Niche Brewing

All posts tagged Niche Brewing

Happy weekend! Sad to say that summer is already creeping towards its end, but that doesn’t mean that this week is any less of a barrage of beer news than usual, as we’ve got a pretty good amount of new beers and ciders to tell you about, as well as a couple of great events happening in Halifax over the weekend. So enough of this idle chit chat… let’s get to it! 

It wouldn’t be a week in the beer world without the release of at least one New England IPA, and Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill has the honour of leading off this week’s blog post with theirs! Bang a Uey 201 (named after the New England term for performing a U-turn) features “stupid amounts” (read: very large) of Mosaic, Huell Melon, and Mandarina Bavaria as a whirlpool addition, as well as a triple dry-hop of all three varieties. Fermented with the Årset Kveik yeast blend from Escarpment Labs (at a very hot 40 Celsius!), the result is a super-hazy beer with aromas and flavours of tropical fruit, melon, and tangerine. For right now, you’ll only be able to find this 6.9% ABV, 25 IBUs beer at the brewery, for pints and growler fills; there’s a chance a few kegs may make it to the HRM in the near future. 

The Church Brewing Company in Wolfville has debuted another beer in their taproom this week, as they continue to roll out their initial offerings from their brewhouse. Eight Bells is a 5.2% ABV Belgo Pale Ale, combining the sensibility of an American Pale Ale on a Belgian base. As with their Sanctuary Enkel (a Belgian Singel beer) and Mayflower White IPA, the best place to try the beer is at the source, as they are not yet sending kegs out into the wild. EXCEPT, they will be attending this weekend’s Seaport Cider and Beer Fest, where those in the big city will have a chance to grab a small taste of their offerings. And keep a close eye on their Instagram page, as they will be debuting at least a couple new beers over the next few days, including their Silver Lining Witbier and Congregation Pilsner.

Halifax’s Sourwood Cider will also be attending the Seaport Fest this weekend, and one of the new expressions they’ll be pouring is their second iteration of Wabamo!. This is the latest in their line of hopped ciders, as they play with the flavour available from different varietals. Starting from a base of Northern Spy, the hops (Citra and Simcoe, in this batch) were boiled in the juice, to extract bitterness and change the base cider further. Simcoe was added again during active fermentation (think hazy NEIPA-vibes), with another dosing added post-fermentation for good measure. In addition to Seaport, Wabamo! Is currently pouring at their Cornwallis Street taproom for your tasting and testing pleasure.

Hanwell’s Niche Brewing has debuted the latest in their Belgian lineup this week with the Solstice Saison. The 6.0% ABV straw-coloured beer started with a simple malt bill of Pilsner and Wheat, and fermented with a traditional Saison strain from France. However, the brewers took a left turn when it came to hop choices, opting for higher levels, and more New World varieties. Amarillo, Topaz, Enigma, and Idaho 7 were added to the boil (to the tune of about 40 IBUs), with more Enigma and I7 added in a devil-may-care way post-fermentation. Waves of tropical, citrus and juicy notes meld with the phenolic spiciness from the yeast, and finishing dry. Solstice is pouring now in Fredericton, and will be popping up in Saint John any day now, so keep your eyes (and mouth) open to try it! And for those attending the Seaport in Halifax, grab their Wander Dry Hopped Sour at the Brewnosers table at all three sessions.

Maybee Brewing snuck in another bottle release at the end of last week (after the blog was published… we’re off the hook!), the third in their series of barrel-aged beers. Barrel-Aged Saison (Cab. Sauv. Version) is just that, a Saison that was aged in a Cabernet Sauvignon barrel, for eight months. This 7% ABV Farmhouse Ale is golden-coloured, with aromas of “oak, grape, black pepper, pear, and apple”, according to the brewery. This follows through on the palate as well, with a bit of heat in the finish. As with their previous bottle releases, it’s available at the brewery only; they also have it on tap, if you’d like to try a pint to go with your 750 mL bottle purchase (no growler fills). Look for a future release of the same recipe aged in different barrels. 

Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing has a new beer pouring in the Moncton area these days, L’Aboiteau (a sluice gate used to reclaim marshland). This 5.3% ABV beer is a mouthful, in more ways than one! It’s a Peanut Butter Milk Stout, meaning it features lactose (milk sugar) for a touch of sweetness in the base beer, along with a pleasant peanut butter flavour over top (thanks to an addition of peanut butter powder late in the boil). The grist itself was made up of 2-row, Roasted Barley, Chocolate malt (hence the chocolate flavour and aroma in the beer), and a healthy amount of oats. As many know, milk chocolate and peanut butter go incredibly well together, so now’s your chance to grab a pint and continue the love affair! L’Aboiteau is currently pouring at Le BarBu in Dieppe.

Big Spruce Brewing has released another beer in their one-hop series, Beverly’s Hill 902. You can bet that they’ve gone to town with the description of this one, with somewhere around 26 references to that multiple-award winning TV show of the 90s (and rebooted this week), Beverly Hills, 90210 (ps, Razzies count as awards, right?). But we’re going to spare you all of that, don’t worry… so put your vomit buckets away! The beer was hopped with an experimental hop, HBC 472, which is commonly described as having characteristics that are “coconut and woody”. Big Spruce is describing this particular beer as being heavily aromatic, “deeply piney, with hints of juniper poking through”. We suggest that you try it yourself! It weighs in at 7.2% ABV and 58 IBUs. Available on tap at BS, and local tap accounts.  

Continuing on to Newfoundland with the punny beer names (because, why not?), where Port Rexton Brewing has a new beer out, and it’s a great style for summer sipping. This Czech Pilsner, which they’ve named Czech Out the Whales (!), was brewed with a grist made up almost entirely of Pilsner malt. Hopped with Saaz, and fermented with the Czech Lager yeast strain from Escarpment Labs, it was cold-conditioned (lagered) for over seven weeks. It’s now ready for you, and smelling and tasting like a classic example of the style, with herbal, floral, and spicy notes, and a “delicate but present bitterness”. Truly a great style of beer to cleanse your palate between all those hop bombs and sours that you may be craving, and at 5% ABV, it goes down right some easy. Grab some for the weekend at the brewery taproom, or their retail shop in St. John’s. 

Bannerman Brewing, in St. John’s, NL, has a couple of new beers on the go this week, one style from each side of the pond. On the Continental side, they’ve got Casual Acquaintance, a German-style Pilsner that they hopped with classic noble Saaz and somewhat more modern Ella for herbal, grassy, and fruity flavors. Crisp, easy-drinking, and no doubt refreshing, it comes in at a nice and light 5% ABV. Back on the North American side comes Tan Lines, an American Wheat beer that’s been double-dry-hopped with tropical El Dorado hops. Also light in body, but slightly heftier at 6% ABV, look for notes of candy and citrus along with an assertive and lingering hop profile.

Staying in Newfoundland, next up is Crooked Feeder, who have been very busy this summer. Their brewery in Cormack is fully operational, and now so is the taproom, serving those in the Deer Lake region and folks taking the trip to Gros Morne with in-house pints and flights and growler fills to go. But they’ve also got things going on in Corner Brook, where they opened a pub in late June and are now working on a retail location to join it. That means you’ll be able to have the same CF experience in Corner Brook, having a few pints in the pub or getting  a growler fill to go. Keep an eye on social media for updates on the CB retail outlet as well as some other things they’ve got on the go, no doubt including some new beers!

While the love-it-or-hate-it Brut IPA style has experienced a bit of a decline in production lately, that doesn’t mean that it’s completely gone! In fact, Tanner & Co. is launching their own take on the style today, and it’s definitely a different approach than that taken by most breweries. Their goal was to create a Brut IPA that emulated a Nova Scotia Muscat wine (thanks to a challenge on a 902 BrewCast post), which has given us Musqué. Brewed mostly with Pilsner malt, with small additions of corn and wheat, they threw in some fresh peaches in the boil, along with grapefruit and orange peel. Some Galaxy and Mosaic hops were used as a whirlpool addition, with fresh strawberries added to the wort before fermentation began. Amylase enzyme was added the dry the beer out (all the way down to 1.000), with a dry-hop of more Galaxy and Mosaic, as well as Amarillo. The resultant 6.5% ABV, 10 IBUs beer has a multitude of flavours (as you may expect), with none of them being “over the top”… a blend of experiences, if you will. You can find this one on tap and in bottles, both of which are available at the brewery only, for now.

Montague, PEI’s newest brewery, Bogside Brewing, has been keeping busy at their taproom this summer, with lots of beer (and BBQ!) flowing for their thirsty customers. And they’ve just added another two new ones to their menu, both of which are kettle sours. The two beers are actually the same base beer, which was soured with Lactobacillus before being boiled. The first, Sun of a Beach, was consequently dry-hopped with mostly Mosaic, and a touch of Simcoe, giving “big hits of lemon with some tropical notes”. The second beer, Roadside Attraction, had an addition of fresh strawberries, for those of you who prefer your beer fruitiness from actual fruit, instead of hops! Both beers are 4% ABV and available on tap only, at the brewery and licensees. 

And while on the topic of Bogside, they’ve teamed up recently with Tatamagouche Brewing to brew up a DIPA named Holiday Island. Tata is where Bogside Brewer Mark Patriquin cut his teeth before a stint in British Columbia, so a collaboration was inevitable. West Coast in nature, with a dry and light body, and fairly bitter thanks to massive additions of Galaxy and Mosaic throughout for citrus, stone fruit, and plenty of tropical notes. The 8.3% ABV, 83 IBUs, beer is available now on tap, and soon in cans. And for those unable to make the trip to Montague (shame on you, you’re missing out on some killer BBQ), cans of Bogside will be available at both of the Markets in Charlottetown on Saturday and Sunday.

Dartmouth’s North Brewing is releasing a sour of their own today, the latest in their Breakwater series. Breakwater Passionfruit Sour was soured in the kettle with two strains of Lactobacillus, boiled, and then fermented with Vermont Ale yeast. Once complete, a very large amount of passion fruit puree was added to the beer to give it a “quenchingly tart, juicy, super-refreshing” character. Thankfully, they’ve canned this one for us, meaning you can cart it around with you on your travels this weekend! You can grab your cans at both North shops, as well as Harvest Wines, WestSide, and RockHead.

Secret Cove Brewing has a new beer available this week in Port au Port, NL, a tribute to the island they’re calling Come Home Beer. A summer seasonal in the form of an “Apricot Beach Wheat Ale”, its aroma might have you thinking of jam, as it’s full to the gills with apricots, giving it a tropical, fruity, and somewhat tart presence. Hazy, as is typical for a beer with plenty of wheat, it weighs in at 5% ABV and is surely going to be a super refreshing summer sipper. Look for it at their taproom in Port au Port where they’re featuring their summer hours of 1 – 9 PM Mondays to Thursdays, noon to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and 1 – 6 PM on Sundays.

If you’re a fan of the Creature Feature beers from Good Robot – a series of “biotransformation IPAs” that they’ve been brewing – you may want to hang around their taproom this weekend, as they’ll be putting on their latest, Creature Feature VI – as soon as a line is freed up. The first in the series to be assertively bitter (at 50 IBUs), this 5.6% ABV entry features additions of a mish mash of varieties, including Mt. Hood, Dr. Rudi, Ella, Wakatu, and Cascade. They’ll also be throwing on their watermelon-and-kiwi Radler, Pink Flamingo (4.6% ABV), when yet another tap is available.

Rounding out the news this week is great news coming out of the Annapolis Valley. During their Third Anniversary celebration on the weekend, Les Barr of Roof Hound Brewing in Digby announced that they will be opening a second location this fall. 573 Main Street in Kingston will be the location of “Roof Hound Kingston”, which will feature a full retail space, live music, and a full food and beer menu in the 60 seat taproom inspired by what you have grown to love at their original location outside of Digby. Kingston will also be the site of their new Barrel project, allowing them to age some beers for a little while longer, experimenting with new flavour profiles. They are looking to hire kitchen and bar staff in preparation, both full- and part-time positions are available, so contact them with your CV to apply.

So, what’s got us excited this weekend? Beer, beer, and more beer!

Halifax, get ready for an even larger influx of beer than normal, as the annual Seaport Cider & Beerfest is this weekend at the Cunard Centre. With over 300 different beers and ciders pouring from breweries from 20 countries, you’re bound to find puh-lenty of beverages to keep you happy! This year’s event could easily be the best yet, as this is the first time they’ve brought in the Maine Beer Box, a 40’ shipping container that will be pouring 78 (yes, 78!) different Maine craft beers. The event is stretched out over both Friday and Saturday, with an evening session tonight (7-9:30), and two sessions tomorrow (2-4:30, 7-9:30). Note that there are also VIP options for each evening session (afternoon VIP is sold out), which gets you into the event an hour earlier. Tickets are still available, and range in price from $51 to $79.75; you can purchase yours right here

Two highly-regarded breweries and a restaurant from the State of Maine are making appearances in Halifax this week: Austin Street from Portland and Orono Brewing from Orono are joined by Portland’s Thirsty Pig, purveyor of fine sausages. Today at 3 PM in downtown Halifax at 2 Crows you’ll find a food pop-up from Thirsty Pig, while the gang from Orono finish off a collaboration brew day with the hosts. Expect some delicious sausages on offer, as their mission is to provide the finest sausage and beer pairings that there ever were. You can check the event’s Facebook page for details on what they’ll be serving up.

And of course there’s going to be some beer from these fine folks! Formerly Saturday, but rescheduled to a later date, both Austin St. and OBC will be taking over the taps (six each) at Stillwell, pouring a wide variety of beers, ranging from sours and Saisons to Sweet Stouts and hoppy offerings. Stillwell’s kitchen will also be serving up a couple of new food items to pair with your beer, including fried green tomato sandwiches and disco fries. Couple of great breweries at a great location, don’t miss it! The event has been postponed to a later date, due to issues with beer delivery. Stay tuned for more info!

Just a few last things before we release you for the weekend…

Landwash Brewery has been *extremely* busy since they’ve opened, but they’ve been brewing like mad, and want you to know that they now have plenty of beers back on tap and in cans, including their very popular NEIPA, That Much Ocean. Grab them quick before they’re gone again!

Propeller Brewing has brought back their Call Me Blondie Dry-Hopped Blonde for another round of fun this week. Brewed with the Ladies Beer League and first released in March around International Women’s Day, this 5.0% ABV brew features loads of Simcoe dry-hopping, for melon and citrus aromatics. Catch it on tap at the LBL table at the Seaport this weekend!

Tatamagouche Brewing has a couple of returning one-offs for you to grab when you see ‘em: Rushton’s Peach Berliner Weisse (3.5%), a kettle sour aged on organic apricots and peaches, and Deadeye DIPA (8%), a hop-heavy brew featuring a double dry-hop of Hallertau Blanc, Columbus, and Centennial

Trider’s Craft Beer is keeping up their spirit of innovation with a bevvy of new bevvies on tap at their taproom these days. The list is always rotating, but we’ve recently seen word of a new 6.5% ABV Rye IPA (D-Rye Ice), as well as two new takes on American Wheat, with Pango Tango, a pineapple and mango wheat (4.9% ABV), and American Orange, at 5.5% ABV, dry-hopped with Triskel hops and featuring sweet orange peel. Pop by their taproom at 46 Anson Ave in the Amherst Industrial Park to get your growler, pint, or flight of these and more!

It’s shaping up to be another lovely weekend across the region, so let’s keep this short and sweet and get you that pint in your hand ASAP! Here’s what’s new and exciting in Atlantic Canada this weekend. As usual, if we’ve missed something, let us know and we’ll get the word out next week!

The Church Brewing Company at 329 Main St in Wolfville, NS, is now serving their own beer! Having opened their restaurant and taproom at the beginning of 2019, the brewery took a little bit longer to set up. As of last weekend, their Sanctuary Enkel (3.8% ABV) and Mayflower White IPA (5.8% ABV) are pouring at the restaurant for your enjoyment. With cans are coming in August to both their retail shop and the NSLC, the only place to grab a pint of Church Brew Co beer for now is at the brewery, so pop out and toast their success! The restaurant is open from 10 AM, seven days a week, so now’s the time to visit, in case you have not yet made the trip. More information from them, and more of their own beers on tap, soon! In the meantime, keep an eye on their Social Media (Fb / Ig / Tw) for updates. Oh, and peep their podcast episode recorded just this week with the 902 Brewcast crew, at your finer podcast retailers.

And speaking of new breweries, word went out on social media a couple weeks ago from newly revitalized DME Process Systems that they’re building a system for a place in Bedford. That’s right, someone has noticed that the stretch from Clayton Park to Sackville is relatively bereft of craft breweries and has decided to do something about it. That someone is the Grafton Connor Group, who operate more than 14 establishments throughout HRM and beyond, including long-standing family restaurants like The Esquire and Kempsters, the classic seafood house Five Fishermen, and possibly Halifax’s most (in)famous nightclub, The Dome. Of late, another of their properties, The Auction House, has quietly become a destination for craft beer in the downtown. You may also remember that when The Auction House opened, it featured a much-maligned ferment-on-premise (FoP) system in the front window, but this new brewery will not be that: a full 10 BBL (12 hL) mash tun and kettle will be installed along with four 10 BBL fermentation tanks and a hot liquor tank besides. Beer will be served on-premises direct from four 5 BBL bright tanks, and some kegging will take place to service other Grafton Connor properties, including Roxbury Urban Dive Bar, Riverside Pub, Redwood Grill, The Dome, Hide + Seek, and The Auction House. Where, you may ask, is this place going to be? On the south side of Bedford at Mill Cove, in Brewster’s Bar & Grill. We’ve been told they expect the equipment to be delivered in October, and hope to be up and running in November, just in time for Christmas Party season. We’ll check back in with them later in the year to see how they’re doing and hopefully get some more details on what they plan to offer in terms of beers.

Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing celebrated their First Anniversary last weekend, which brought with it two new beers into the fold. Thanks to an expansion of their fermentation and conditioning capabilities (they’ve added 7 new tanks!), they’ll be able to keep up with demand of their core beers, as well as introduce new recipes. The first is Yacht Rock, in celebration of their weekly Thursday night Brews Cruise on the Tall Ship Silva, running all summer long. Single-hopped with Comet, this Session IPA features a light base of Pilsner, Munich, CaraPils, and Crystal malts, and at 3.7% ABV and 28 IB, perfect for enjoying on the boat, wharf, patio, or wherever you find yourself this weekend. And pop by the brewery taproom at 91 Alderney Drive to grab a sample, pint, or growler of their other new release, Louisville Chugger. An old-school Kentucky Common weighing in at 4.5% ABV, this historic recipe features corn in the grist, and is lightly hopped to 21 IBU with Cluster hops. Keep an eye on their social media for details on their ever-rotating list of musicians playing on their taproom stage.

St. John’s latest brewery, Bannerman Brewing Co., released a new beer late last week. Mood Improvement is a kettle sour that was inspired by the Moscow Mule, a mixed drink traditionally made with vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice. While there’s no vodka in Mood Improvement (thankfully!), they did add ginger, along with a dry hop of Motueka, before finally conditioning the beer on lime puree. The resulting beer, which weighs in at 5.2% ABV, is tasting “light and refreshing, with citrusy and spicy notes” to go along with the tartness. If you’re in that fine city this weekend, we highly suggest you drop by for a pint or fill to take away.

This year’s Stan Rogers Folk Festival (aka Stanfest), being held in Canso, NS from July 25th-28th, will include Nyanza’s own Big Spruce at the event. This is the 23rd year for the music festival, and the first year that they have used a local brewery as the beer provider. Big Spruce is pretty hyped about that, so naturally they’ve created a new beer for the occasion! Stanfest, a 4.2% ABV “Session Ale” created with the intention of being the perfect outdoor-concert-summer-sipper. Lightly hazy, nice tight foam, dry and light-bodied. Those not in attendance *may* have a chance to try it at the brewery or better retail spots after this weekend, if they’re lucky! In order to reduce glass issues, the Beer Tent at Stanfest is all cans, so look for other faves like Kitchen Party, Cereal Killer, and The Silver Tart, as well as bevvies from Bulwark and Nova Scotia Spirit Co

And available now at the brewery taproom in Nyanza, and soon at better bars and retail locations in HRM, is Maracu-YES!, a 7.1% ABV “Passion Fruit IPA”. Starting with a base of a Hazy IPA, it conditioned on a ton (figuratively) of Organic passion fruit to impart its iconic tart character along with the floral, tropical fruity notes from the flesh. The result is a lovely melding of these two worlds, with the beer giving the drinker something new with every sip. Maracu-YES! is a draught-only release, so find a patio pouring it, and take your growler to the brewery this weekend!

2 Crows Brewing on Halifax’s Brunswick Street is continuing their summer of bottle releases, with Persica hitting the shelves tomorrow at noon. This Golden Sour beer started from a malt base of Pilsner malt, oats, spelt, wheat, and special aromatic malt in the tun, made a quick turn into the kettle, but did not receive any hops in the boil. After cooling, the wort was transferred directly into freshly-emptied peach brandy barrels, ready to impart their fuzzy fruity goodness. After fermenting and conditioning in the barrels for a total of 3 months, the beer was transferred to a tank, with a heavy addition of Organic dried peaches. After 2 more months to allow everything to be extracted from the fruit possible, the still (flat) beer was bottled with a touch of sugar and champagne yeast, and has spent the last two months carbing up. That’s quite the journey for this little beer, but now the wait is over! Peach comes through the beer in waves, on top of the lightly funky, tart, and bright base, reminiscent of fuzzy peaches candy. Bottles of the 6.5% ABV beer are available from noon tomorrow at the taproom, with one keg available for onsite pours (or in bottles, if you’d prefer).

Niche Brewing is releasing another new beer this week, a dry-hopped kettle sour that they’re calling Wander. Coming in at 5.4% ABV and 20 IBU, it was hopped very lightly during the boil with two hops known for citrus and fruity character, Idaho 7 and Citra. After fermentation had completed, however, massive amounts of both varieties were used to dry hop, giving a powerful hop nose and flavor notes of tropical fruit and stone fruit along with a bit of dankness. Given that it’s quite tart, it’s a lovely palate cleanser and will no doubt make a great companion to food. Look for it on tap at The Joyce Pub, Peppers Pub, Southside Shake, Graystone Brewing, Le BarBu and Laundromat Expresso Bar, and hopefully some other places as well.

Propeller Brewing keeps the new beers coming and coming, with a couple releases this week to help keep your thirsts satisfied, just in time for the weekend. Hypocrite American Stout ain’t your typical American Stout… it was fermented with the Norwegian Voss Kveik yeast. Brewed on Prop’s pilot system in collaboration with Peter Davis, winner of this year’s Everwood Homebrew Competition, the use of Kveik yeast adds an orange, citrus flavour to the beer, to go with the typical roasted characteristics seen in American Stouts. A very small batch that comes in at 6.1% ABV and 31 IBUs, it will be available for pints and flights at Prop’s tasting room, and will be pouring at tonight’s Cask Night, starting at 5 pm. There’s also a couple of kegs going to Battery Park, the Board Room Cafe, and Truro’s Nook and Cranny, in Davis’ hometown. 

Next up is Sabro Sour IPA, a 6.1% ABV kettle sour brewed with lots and lots of flaked oats to help give a smooth mouthfeel. While Sabro hops were indeed used in this beer, Mosaic was also used as a late-boil addition, and Galaxy was thrown into the dry-hop addition (along with the Sabro). Featuring a lactose addition in the boil to add a touch of sweetness, the hops provide plenty of tropical fruit aromas to this tart beer, and at just 10 IBUs, you don’t have to worry about any lingering bitterness. This one is the latest in their line of Gottingen Small Batch releases, which means draught-only, and should be available for growler fills at both Prop locations, and pints and flights in Halifax, as of 5PM today. 

There’s a brand new outdoor sidewalk patio at Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing, and what better way to celebrate than with a brand new beer to drink on it! Appropriately named Sidewalk Saison, the beer was brewed with a base of Pilsner malt, as well as equal amounts of oat, rye, and wheat. Some fresh lychee, tangerine peel, and cardamom were added to the boil; the wort was then fermented with a Belgian Saison yeast strain. This is a very light, easy-drinking brew (at just 3.8% ABV) that has the cardamom coming through prominently in the aroma, with “some slight Belgian funk, followed by some upfront acidity and a balance of citrus and spice”. Grab your seat on the sunny patio (the weekend looks quite nice) and order up a pint! 

Looks like Horton Ridge is keeping up their collaborating pace, as they’re latest team-effort beer, brewed with Annapolis Brewing, has been released this week. The beer is a 6.5% ABV NEIPA named Juicy Bits, and it was – of course – brewed with 100% Horton Ridge organic floor-malted malt. Hopped heavily (3 lbs/bbl) with Mosaic, El Dorado, and Idaho 7, this hazy beverage is very fruit-forward and juicy. Available in limited quantities only, at both taprooms. 

Today marks the third collaboration beer release that Tidehouse has brewed with Dartmouth’s Low Point Coffee, but this one is definitely a step away from the first two beers. Sidama is a Saison… probably not the first beer style you would think of to feature coffee, but stay with us, we’ll walk you through it. Brewed with a Pilsner malt base as well as additions of flaked oats, flaked wheat, and Vienna malt, there was also a touch of Pale Chocolate malt added (via sparging only) to add a “touch of orange colour” without extracting any chocolate flavours. The wort was hopped with Huell Melon and Motueka, and then fermented and allowed to condition since late May, until it was ready for the coffee addition. Speaking of the coffee, the beans (specifically, Green Ethiopia Tolima coffee beans) were first added to peach brandy barrels, and then extracted and lightly roasted at Halifax’s Java Blend. These beans were then made into a “very potent” cold brew, which the chaps at Tidehouse blended into the Saison before bottle conditioning. And now it’s ready! With notes of peaches, vanilla, and tropical fruit, there’s also plenty of malt character and some toasted oak in the background, along with a bit of citrus and honeydew from the hop additions. You can find it on tap at the brewery for pints and tasters, and there’s also bottles (both 340 mL and 650 mL) to purchase for takeaway. 

Charlottetown’s Upstreet has brought back a pair of seasonal favourites, perfect for enjoying outside amongst friends this weekend. First up is Rainbrew Strawberry Lavender Saison, released Monday to celebrate Pride PEI, and tomorrow’s parade through downtown Charlottetown. Featuring ingredients from all colours of the rainbow including Red strawberries, Orange and Yellow malts (all from Island Malt House in PEI), Green hops (wild hops from NB’s Moose Mountain), Blue water, and Purple Lavender. The resulting beer shows influence of the berries, flowers, and yeast, on a dry yet complex base. Grab a pint of this 5.5% ABV brew at the taproom and Craft Beer Corner today! Plus back on tap and in cans is Island Hopspitality, their annual ode to hops, this year focusing on Australia and New Zealand, thanks to Galaxy, Waimeau, and Wakatu in the boil and dry hop. Hazy, juicy, tropical, resinous, this is everything we’re looking for in a 6.5% ABV NEIPA this summer.

Port Rexton Brewing has released the second of their beers for the Port Rexton Come Home Year, celebrating 50 years of the town. Events continue this weekend, which can now be highlighted by Lamplighter, PRBC’s latest brew. Weighing in at 4.5% ABV, this beer is best described as a “craft lager”, sure to pique everyone’s taste buds. “With light floral notes and a smooth body, this easy-drinking beer is crisp, clean and super crushable!” It’s available right now in the taproom, as well as at the St. John’s Retail Shop (while supplies last).

Dartmouth’s Nine Locks is releasing the fourth installment in their series of Summer Seasonals this week, with a Witbier featuring blood orange and an unwieldy name. From Brussels with Blood: a Blood Orange Witbier is pretty much what it says on the tin: a wheat-laden beer with classic notes of coriander and orange peel, but also featuring some additional character, especially citrus, from additions of curaçao (a liqueur made with bitter orange peel) and, of course, blood orange (and a hefty dose at that). Look for aromas of orange peel, vanilla and even some bubblegum along with a pronounced citric tartness. At 5.0% ABV and only 15 IBU you can expect this one to be refreshing in the heat and especially well-paired with hearty foods. Although it’s been canned, it’s only available at the Nine Locks retail store, so you’ll need to get yourself to Dartmouth to grab some.

School has been out for 5 weeks now, but luckily for residents of Windsor, NS, Schoolhouse Brewery is still going strong. Their latest addition to their lineup, Early Dismissal, is a Kolsch that was fermented with a yeast strain “traditionally used in mostly wheat beers”, to 5.5% ABV. The beer was then aged at cool temperatures for four weeks after fermentation was complete, before packaging in kegs. Only available on tap, with the majority at the brewery’s taproom, they’re describing it as having a bready flavour with a “subtle but noticeable fruitiness” and a clean finish. 

What’s on the go this weekend, and beyond? Here’s what’s got us excited…

Unfiltered is turning four, and they’re celebrating tomorrow, July 27th, with a party, Unfiltered-style. What does that mean, you ask? Well, they’ll be pouring plenty of beer (including the return of both Daytimer and Front Line Rocker), with special prices, and lots of cursing throughout the event! Food will be available on-site from The Other Bean, and DJ Chris Toms will be spinning some tunes until they’re forced to shut ‘er down. They’ll even be taking over a portion of the parking lot, to take advantage of that beautiful weather. The fun starts at noon… don’t forget to bring your empty growlers!

Those Stillwell events just keep on comin’, with next Saturday, August 3rd being no exception, as they welcome Ontario’s Bellwoods to Halifax. One of the highest-rated breweries in the country, they’ll be taking over the taps (11) all day, and will also be bringing plenty of bottles for purchase to enjoy on-site. You know what that means –  lots of hoppy, sour, wild goodness… and more! A special menu from the kitchen will also be on hand to fill your eager tummies, and the next day they’ll be serving a selection of Bellwoods sour beers at the Stilly Beegarden, from noon to close. And check out Bishop’s Cellar that Saturday at 8 am; they’ll have some Bellwoods cans on hand for sale.

Tickets are still available for next weekend’s Down East Brew Festival, being held in downtown Fredericton. Taking over Carleton Street 4 – 8 PM August 3rd, breweries from across the province, as well as food trucks, will be serving their wares for thirst and hungry visitors. The accompanying Beer Run kicks off at 3 PM, so maybe you can work up a thirst to get the party started. Check out tickets here.

One of Saint John’s longest-running breweries, Big Tide, is turning the big 1-0 in a couple of weeks, and they’re holding a 10th Anniversary With a Purpose on Monday, August 5th. The small, ticketed event will occur from 7:30 pm – 9 pm, and will feature a tasting of a number of BT beers, with the brewers also in attendance to provide details and answer questions on each. The kitchen will also be providing a selection of finger foods, and your $20 ticket entitles you to a commemorative souvenir. All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Bobby’s Hospice; call the brewery today to reserve yours at 506-214-3311 (you can also purchase them directly at the brewpub). 

On August 9th and 10th, the Halifax Seaport Cider and Beer Fest will once again be taking over the Cunard Centre, and pouring beers and ciders from across the world to attendees. With most Nova Scotian breweries in attendance, plus 20 from New Brunswick and PEI, the Maritimes’ producers will be well represented. Guest beer from the rest of the country, and afar, will also be in full supply, including a delegacy from Iceland braving the Atlantic to attend. The Maine Brewers Guild is sending the Maine Beer Box to the event, featuring 78 taps of beer from our closest state. Grab your tickets here!

Before we let you go, just a few Newsbites for ya:

Gahan House in Charlottetown is pouring a new creation from the brewpub, German Hefeweizen (4.7% ABV, 20 IBUs). Medium-bodied with “aromas of fruit and phenols, leading into a pillowy mouthfeel with notes of banana, clove, bubblegum, and a slight yeast finish”. 

Good Robot has a fresh batch of their El Corazón de Ángel (a Mexican Lager w/ orange peel and lime zest) on tap, and will soon be pouring a collaboration they brewed with Graystone Brewing, Outdoorsy Brut IPA (7.2% ABV, 25 IBUs). Described as “herbal and light”, you can also find it on tap at Graystone’s taproom in Fredericton. And pick up their El Espinazo del Diablo Corn Lager with lime and jalapenos at your local NSLC, and check their Facebook and Instagram pages for a contest they’re currently running.

Hilltop Hops in Newport, NS, is pouring a pair of new beers this weekend, perfect for a hot summer’s day. Smash is a 4.6% ABV light and crisp beer brewed with their 215 hops, old growth hops planted by English settlers, growing in nearby Summerville. And Hill Top Saison weighs in at 4.1% ABV, and while it can be described as hoppy (naturally!), it’s light on bitterness with more fruity character. Pop by their taproom right beside Tidal Bore market on Highway 14!

Microbrasserie Houblon-Pecheur has just bottled their latest beer, Balbuzard Pêcheur IPA (6% ABV). They’re describing it as an East Coast IPA with “big tropical fruit flavour and aroma”. Looks like it’s currently available at the Caraquet, Tracadie, and Shippagan ANBL stores, with others to follow in the fall.

Tatamagouche Brewing has a pair of returning favourite this week, the first being their Englishish Golden Ale, a 4.5% ABV brew perfect for a session in your favourite local. English hops bring out traditional earthy, floral, and spicy aromatics, and make it a nice pair to pub food. Also returning, and now available on their online store for shipping Canada-wide, is Feronia. This 5.1% ABV beer is fermented solely with Brettanomyces (a blend of three strains, in fact), and was aged on Organic plums before bottle conditioning for a melding of dark fruit and funky yeast character, all in a lovely package. 750 mL bottles can also be found at Bishop’s Cellar as of today.

TrailWay has brought back their extremely popular DDH Hu Jon Hops (6.5% ABV), the double-dry-hopped (you figured that out already, didn’t you?) version of their flagship IPA, HJH. Brewed only once a year, it’s hoppiness dialed to 11, with “flavours of pineapple, overripe tropical fruit, and citrus, with a firm, spicy, dank backbone”. On tap and in cans at the brewery, with a few local pubs getting kegs as well.

Howdy howdy folks, and welcome to another ACBeerBlog Friday Wrap-up where we blather on at length about as many of the beer happenings in Atlantic Canada as we were able to get details about. This week we’ve got a new brewery announcement, some collabs, the usual fresh releases, and a couple of events to tell you about, so grab a beer and get ready. But before you read further, we’d like to give you a heads-up that next week we’ll be taking one of our (ultra-)rare weeks off from the blog, so you’ll have to do your own social media mining for beer news on Friday, July 19. We’ll be back on the 26th, refreshed and ready to bring you our usual high quality reportage.

While details are a bit light at the moment, we are thrilled to share news of a soon-to-open brewery coming to Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. Delta Force Brewing is the culmination of well over a decade of recipe development and perfection of techniques by decorated homebrewers Jayme Keddy and Gavin Stewart. Concentrating on “farmshed” beers (think “farmhouse”, but smaller and with a local bent), Delta Force will serve the Valley and HRM before fall. Follow along on their social mediums for progress ( Fb / Ig / Tw ), and we’ll have a full Profile with Keddy and Stewart (aka Alexander and McCoy) closer to opening, with background on their beer, brewhouse, and plans. 

Lake City Cider celebrated their Anniversary this week, marking their cidery and taproom’s first year of operation with a tap takeover at fellow downtown Dartmouth business Battery Park. One of the ciders ahem beverages debuting yesterday was Hometown Hybrid, a collaborative graf brewed with North Brewing. Graf (or graff) is the melding of beer and cider, with the starting wort and juices fermented together for the best of both styles. Hometown Hybrid is a 5.0% ABV bevvie, and is available on tap and in cans today at both host fermentories, with kegs being sent out to licensees as well. And if you’re lucky, there may still be a few ciders on tap at BP to quench your thirst today.

Speaking of downtown Dartmouth, Brightwood Brewery shares a space with Lake City at 35 Portland Street, and is releasing a new beer today, a hybrid in its own way. Pineapple Crushable is a Sour Wheat Beer, but arrived at in a unique way. Using techniques developed a couple of years ago, the Brightwood crew used a SCoBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast)  from Pop Culture Kombucha to first sour the wheat-heavy wort, before halting the process by boiling (and killing all bacteria and yeast). Yeast is then used to complete fermentation, generating alcohol instead of lactic acid as in the first step. After fermentation, loads of fresh pureed pineapple and Idaho 7 and Simcoe hops were added to the fermenter to round out the beer. Pick up this tart, fruity, and refreshing 4.7% ABV beer at the brewery’s taproom today for pints and growler fills, with cans to follow next week.

Last weekend’s Beer on the Bridge festival in Fredericton saw the debut of several new beers, one of which was the latest to come out of Harvey’s Think Brewing. Train of Thought is an American IPA brewed with a grist that includes flaked oats, and malted and flaked wheat, giving the beer a smooth body and slight haziness. Hopped with Citra and Amarillo, expect juicy and tropical aromas and flavours. No need to be upset if you missed this 6.9% ABV, 43 IBUs beer last weekend – it’ll be popping up at regular Think tap accounts across the province.

Tatamagouche Brewing, conveniently located located on Main Street Tatamagouche (that was good planning!), has a new brew out this week. Holiday Honeycomb is a 5.5% ABV Blonde Ale with all malts originating from the Valley’s Horton Ridge Malt & Grain Co. Featuring the addition of 60 lbs of honey (20 lbs in the kettle, 40 lbs in secondary) from Holiday Inn Truro’s hives, the beer was hopped with Saaz to 25 IBUs. Grab this one on tap at the brewery, partner hotel, and at better beer spots around the province (including Horton Ridge, Battery Park, Stillwell, and HopYard Halifax).

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing has spent the last few months releasing new and interesting things for you to drink and they’re continuing that trend this week with their Brut Rosé Sparkling Ale. This one has been inspired by classic light and easy summery rosé wines, perfect for this time of year. A “sparkling ale” (which we assume means more highly carbonated than your average ale), it carries the brut designation, implying a very dry body and finish, and a blush color provided by pinot noir grapes and hibiscus. Very light and refreshing at 4.4% ABV and a mere 8 IBU, limited kegs have been filled for Propeller’s own locations and, most likely, licensees around the city, but it’s also been packaged in 473 mL cans, which you can pick up at both Prop shops and hopefully the private stores in the city.

No one has ever accused Big Spruce Brewing of a lack of experimentation… or, if they have, they likely received a well-deserved smack! But with their latest beer, Slam Dunkel, they’ve even got us admitting that the “style” is one that likely hasn’t been seen before: a “Jamaican rum-barrel-aged Dunkel Wit”. This 7.3% ABV brew has a Dunkelweizen-type grist, fermented with a Witbier yeast strain. Aged for five months in dark rum barrels from Jamaica, the final beer has an aroma of chocolate-spiced rum cake, with lots of dried fruit and spice on the palate… and more rum! A touch warming in the finish, as you may expect, this dark beer is meant to be sipped on during these fine summer evenings. It’s available in kegs only, so look for it on tap at the brewery and a select few tap accounts in Nova Scotia. And in returning beer news for Big Spruce, their organic guava IPA, Guava Get Me Some (6.4% ABV), is back on tap and in cans, so grab some tropical goodness wherever you see it.

Moving westward to Amherst, where Trider’s has a brand new beer for you fans of American Wheat Ales out there. American Orange in Paris isn’t your typical wheat beer, however, as it was dry-hopped with the French variety, Triskel. While this hop is known for imparting citrus and floral character when used, the brewery decided to add a bit more punch with an addition of sweet orange peel. Coming in at 5.5% ABV, it was fermented with a neutral American ale yeast to allow the hop and orange peel additions to shine. It’s draught-only for now, at the brewery tap room and maybe one or two lucky licensees.

Up in Fredericton, Niche Brewing has a brand new beer on the go this week, the first to be designed and brewed solo by Matt Scott, secret squirrel member of the Niche team for the past few months (but not anymore!). Westfalia is a straight-up, classic Hefeweizen built on a grist of Pilsner and lots of malted and flaked wheat and fermented on Niche’s favorite Weizen yeast strain. Look for plenty of banana and clove presence from the yeast and a classic wheat-driven body in this 4.5% ABV refresher. Kegs of this are going out to The Joyce, Ringo’s Grill, Peppers Pub, Brasseux BrouePub, and Graystone Brewing in New Brunswick, and folks in Halifax will also get a chance at this one thanks to Stillwell and The Auction House.

While it kinda feels like Port Rexton Brewing just opened yesterday, it also feels like they’ve been around forever. That’s probably just old age talking, but regardless of that, they’re turning the big 0-3 this Saturday, and you’re probably not too surprised to hear that they’ve got some celebratin’ planned! With four new beers, new glassware, and free cake – at both the taproom AND St. John’s retail shop – it’s fun times for all, guaranteed! Let’s dive into these beers and get started…

John Jacob Lichtenhainer Schmidt – Brewed with a portion of smoked malt, this is a 4.1% ABV sour beer that has “a limeade tartness” to contrast all of that delightful, smoky BBQ character

Dry-Hopped Baycation Blonde – Name gives it away, this is their regular Baycation Blonde that has been dry-hopped with Cascade and Azacca. The 5.2% ABV base beer is showing plenty of “grapefruit, peach, stone fruit and pineapple” thanks to that dry-hop addition, along with a little more bitterness than the non-dry-hopped version. 

Continuum w/ Mandarina Bavaria – The latest in the Continuum series, a whole whack of Mandarina Bavaria (along with some Simcoe) was added in the whirlpool, hop back, and dry hop additions. Hazy, bitter, and 5.6% ABV, this IPA has notes of mandarin orange and wildflower in the aroma, along with “tropical mango/pineapple, apricot and rose” on the palate. 

2019 High Fives – Some of you may recall that for their 2nd birthday bash, PRB released High Fives as a tribute to their customers (that’s you!); this year’s batch is another “thank you” to the people they love and appreciate! A mixed-fermentation Farmhouse Ale that was aged for 11 months in their Calvados foeder on their Brett-packed house culture, it’s finally ready, just in time! Weighing in at 6.4% ABV, it’s showing lots of Brett character, with “undertones of oak, apple brandy, and pear” in the aroma. Expect a dry cider-like experience in the flavour, with “Champagne-esque vibes backed up by green apple Jolly Rancher/kiwi/green grape skin”.  

All of these birthday beers will be available on tap, and will be sold as 12 oz pours only… at a discount! If you get there nice and early, however (i.e. you’re one of the first 40 people through the door), you’ll be given a special 16 oz PRB birthday mason jar, which you’ll not only be allowed to take home, but you’ll also have filled at the 12 oz price all day! When the birthday brews sell out, there’ll be other PRB flagships ready to go on, to ensure the beer/fun keeps flowing. Happy birthday, PRB!

Earlier this week, Maybee Brewing released the second beer in their barrel-aged series, Maple Bourbon Elevensies. As you may have guessed from the name, this beer is their regular Espresso Stout, Elevensies, aged in Maple Bourbon barrels (more specifically, Kentucky Bourbon barrels which previously held Vermont maple syrup). The beer was fermented in stainless, then moved into barrels where it went through a brief, secondary fermentation, and then was allowed to age in the barrels for seven months. Carbonated before packaging, this dark brew has aromas of maple syrup, Bourbon, and vanilla, with a touch of chocolate and caramel, all supported by notes of oak. Both the oak and maple carry through to the flavour, with a low level of carbonation allowing the barrel character to be more prevalent. At 6% ABV and 41 IBUs, it’s available at the brewery right now in 750 mL cork & cage bottles, and is also pouring on one of their nitro taps. Look for kegs to make their way to select tap accounts across NB over the coming weeks.

Brand new bottle release from Halifax’s Tidehouse this week, a 7.5% ABV Double IPA named It Was All A Dream. A tropical, juicy brew hopped heavily with El Dorado, Idaho 7, and Ella, it’s available exclusively at the brewery. You can purchase some 650 mL bottles to go, or stay for a visit in the taproom and sip on a glass. Growler fills are available as well, but limited to the 1 L size.

Congratulations are in order, as homebrewer Derek Woods’ winning D Rock Dunkel has been released. Gahan House in Charlottetown hosted Woods as he won the Maritime Home Brew Challenge in the fall, with his 5.7% ABV Dunkel taking top honours. Woods reports that the experience was great, and “Brewmaster Trent Hayes let me get my hands dirty on brew day and the Gahan team gave me a healthy dose of Island hospitality”. Cans of the brew are currently available at the host brewery in Charlottetown, as well as the PEI Brewing Company taproom, and the three Gahan locations in New Brunswick (Fredericton, Saint John, and Moncton). Fingers crossed that it will also be available at the Nova Centre location soon. And if you want the chance to brew up a full batch with Hayes in 2020, check out the details of this year’s Challenge, submitting your best IPA (any style), Mixed Fermented/Sour, or Stout by October 27th. Check out their website for more information.

And speaking of homebrewers, and those looking to transition away from amateur brewing and making it a career, The Capital Complex in Fredericton is adding a 4 BBL (500 litre) brewhouse to their portfolio. Take a look at their Assistant Brewer job posting on Indeed, package up some of your homebrews to share. They are focusing on easy-drinking Pale Ales to start, with expansion of the offerings to come later.

We don’t have a whole lot of events to report on this week, or at least we didn’t manage to find out about a whole lot, but as always, check your favorite breweries’ social media pages to see what they’ve got going on.

We’re a little late to be mentioning this one, as online ticket sales have ended, but this weekend marks the 3rd edition of the Big Axe Beer Festival in Nackawic, NB. Billed as the largest outdoor beer festival in Atlantica Canada, it’s taking place near the World’s Biggest Axe on the shores of the Saint John River. Taking place tomorrow, July 13th, from 4 PM (gates open at 2 PM), attendees are welcome to roll on up via the river, by car, or by one of the several buses they’ve got running from Fredericton, Woodstock, Saint John/Quispamsis, and Moncton. More than 35 producers, mostly of beer and cider, but with some mead as well, will be pouring, with representation from all Atlantic Provinces, Ontario, Quebec, and the State of Maine. Tickets are still available for the Friday Night Kickoff Party featuring Denum tonight starting at 6 PM.

Thanks to the brewers in our region, we in Atlantic Canada can celebrate the IPA style all year round, but as some may know, there has been a movement, started by Michigan’s Founders Brewing Co. in 2011, to designate the first Thursday in August as International IPA Day. This year #IPADay falls on August 1 and Halifax’s Propeller Brewing has decided to celebrate it in style at The Carleton in Halifax. Chef Dolente will be on-hand introducing his five-course dinner menu paired with five unique beers in the India Pale Ale style from Propeller, with beer sommelier Pat Robichaud providing insight into the pairings. Only 20 tickets are available for this intimate dinner, so if you’re interested it’s best that you act quickly; cost is $60 per person plus tax (gratuity included) and tickets can be purchased online on The Carleton website.

And, as is our wont, we end with a few final items to inform and possibly influence your beer buying this weekend:

Good Robot is pouring Nova Scoby at their taproom this weekend, which is a blend of Pale Ale with Goodmore’s Black Sage Lavender Kombucha. At 4% ABV and 14 IBUs, it’s refreshing and easy-drinking… and maybe good for your belly!

Grimross has brought back Grimdonk (6.5% ABV, 17 IBUs), their award-winning (from this year’s Canadian Brewing Awards) Belgian Blonde. “Golden, crisp and dry, with balanced fruity and spicy notes”, it’s available now on draft and in cans at the brewery, with cans heading out to ANBL stores in the not-too-distant future. 

As a follow-up to last week’s mention of Dream Time, the DIPA collaboration between Bannerman Brewing in downtown St. John’s and Landwash Brewery in Mount Pearl, Landwash is pleased to announce the release of the version of that beer that they brewed on their system, packaged in cans. Look for it at the brewery as soon as they can get the labels on to ‘em!

And on the West Coast of the Rock, Secret Cove Brewing is releasing Newfoundland Light & Sour, a 3.8% ABV Berliner Weisse with loads of local Marsh Berries. Grab a pint or fill at the brewery in Port Au Port, and you may be lucky enough to see it in Central or the Avalon too!