Niche Brewing

All posts tagged Niche Brewing

With the weather forecast looking pretty dang fine for most of our region, and now that we seem to have finally reached the magical, “hot days, cool nights” portion of the summer, all we need is for our local beer producers to step up and keep things interesting. And wouldn’t you know it, it appears they have! Read on for the latest beer news from around Atlantic Canada, including plenty of new and re-appearing beers, a new venue in Halifax, and not one, but TWO homebrew competitions.

Halifax fans of local beer got some great news this week, as Boxing Rock unveiled their plans in the big city. The Shelburne brewery has opened up Test Kitchen, a pilot brewery in the Local Source Market space at 2530 Agricola Street. Brewing on a 120 litre (1BBL) system (with a pair of fermenters), this smaller brewhouse will allow them the opportunity to test out some brand new and innovative recipes, before possibly scaling them up to a full-sized batch of several thousand litres. They anticipate brewing a couple of times per month, with Tuesday’s inaugural brew being a collaboration with two-time Black Box Challenge winner Brian Harvey. Brewing onsite also gives Local Source the ability to sell Boxing Rock beer, as an extension of BR’s Retail license. With a dozen different full-time, seasonal, and test batch beers available in bottles, growler fills using their futuristic-looking Pegas CrafTap system, and a couple on tap at adjoining Lion & Bright, Agricola just got a little more South Shore. To accomodate all of us thirsty visitors, they’ve extended the hours of the shop a little later in the evening: M-W 9-7, Th 9-8, F 9-9, Sat 10-9, Sun 10-6. The beers are available at their retail location now, and they are holding a Grand Opening next Saturday, September 1 to celebrate. From 10AM, the first 250 folks to visit the location will receive a free limited-edition Boxing Rock growler (just pay for the fill). This is your key to savings, as it give the owner $2 off each 1.89 litre fill in both Halifax and Shelburne, for the life of the growler. You can also tour the brewery space out back to see what’s bubbling away, and maybe get a hint of what’s coming next. For those unable to attend next Saturday’s event, they are holding an online contest for their followers, you can learn more here. Congratulations to the Boxing Rock Crew!

Hanwell’s Niche Brewing is back with a brand new beer this week, the latest object of their love and appreciation of traditional styles and modern ingredients. New World is a Saison fermented with The Yeast Bay’s Saison Blend, which features two clean-fermenting Saison yeasts, and marks the first time they’ve used this blend. The simple malt bill consists of Pilsner and Wheat, with the yeast offering some spiciness and light minerality. The hops took a decidedly updated turn, with Citra and Ekuanot used lightly in the boil (sub-20 IBUs), with a larger dry-hopping of the same for citrus and tropical flavours and aromatics to complement the yeast. Kegs of this 5.1% ABV have been delivered around Fredericton, Saint John, and Moncton, so keep an eye out for it as you hit the patios and barstools in the province this weekend.

Looks like the third entry in Breton Brewing’s Sour Sessions popped up on tap earlier this week; the latest in their rotating-fruit kettle sours brew features the addition of kiwi and passion fruit puree. The low IBUs (4) and sessionable ABV (4.2%) allow you to be able to drink this one in quantity, so you can enjoy the “crushable tartness and fruity finish” in what’s left of our beautiful summer weather. Drop by the brewery for a pint or growler, or look for it at a few select accounts in Halifax (including the Stubborn Goat and Shuck Seafood + Raw Bar).

Fresh off the opening of their expanded location and taproom earlier this month, Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery has a brand new beer to follow up with. The Little Lift is described by the brewery as a Session IPA, based at least in part on their The Big Lift IPA. Brewed with 2-Row, Munich malt, and a touch of Wheat, it was hopped late in the boil with Citra, Northern Brewer, and Palisade. Fermented with the East Coast yeast strain, it was then dry-hopped with more Palisade. Expect “lots of citrus aromas and flavours, with a crisp, full body” in this 5.6% ABV brew; drop by the new taproom to give it a try or fill up a growler.

In Dieppe, New Brunswick, Flying Boats has decided to experiment a little, by launching a Test Pilot Series. The first beer in said series is Test Pilot No. 1 – APA, a “hop-forward” American Pale Ale that features large whirlpool and dry hop additions of Azacca and Citra, two very expressive American varieties. The 5.6% ABV beer is a deep golden colour, and has “intense, tropical and citrusy flavours and aromas, with a lingering, soft, citrusy finish”, according to the brewery. It’s been on tap for the last few weeks, and is now also available in cans at the brewery, select ANBL stores, and Picaroons retail locations.

Looks like Good Robot has even more beer news than usual this week, to tag along with their Beta and Alpha releases. Let’s start with the “usual” – next Tuesday’s Beta will be Ringside Imperial, an Imperial Red Ale brewed with Pat King. Weighing in at 7.3% ABV and 42 IBUs, we don’t really have anything in terms of recipe details for you, but can confirm from GR that it’s a golden-amber coloured beer that leaves a “mild alcohol heat at the back of the palate”. As for next week’s Alpha brew, it’s the return of Leave Me Blue, the brewery’s award-winning 4.5% ABV Cream Ale. You’ll also see cans of El Espinazo del Diablo, their 5.7% ABV Mexican-style Lager with lime and jalapeno flavours, available as of today.

As for the other Good Robot snippets, they’re releasing two other Beta releases on Sunday for Flavabot, their “All-Day Island Party” that will feature plenty of food, games, music, and, naturally, beer. Back to that, the first beer is Stag A Lee (6% ABV, 20 IBUs), brewed with toasted coconut flakes. They then took some more toasted coconut flakes and soaked them in coconut rum, before adding to the beer after fermentation was complete. They’re describing it as a “rich, dark, tropical Porter”. Next is Calypso Gator (5.8% ABV, 81 IBUs), a White IPA with “hints of pineapple, grapefruit, and mangoes, with a nice, hoppy balance”. Be sure to drop by the event on Sunday to give these new beers a taste, and take part in the fun!

Do you remember the tasty, tasty release of Glou from Stillwell Brewing back in April? We sure do! It was a 6.2% ABV foedre-aged sour beer that had been aged on New York muscat pomace. In the forum of great news, bottles of Blend 2 of Glou will be released this Saturday at the brewery from 12-4 pm. The base beer for this blend is a sour that had been aging for almost a year in a foedre, atop the very same pomace used for Blend 1. Described as “floral and peppery on the nose, and deep and round in the middle, with a dry and snappy finish”, it sounds like they probably have another winner!

Lazy Bear in Smiths Cove debuted a new beer during their Growler Night at the brewery Thursday. My Old Friend is the barrel-aged version of their Hello Darkness Dark Saison. Sitting for 6 months in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels, the beer picked up some vinous notes, as well as a touch of oak from the barrel itself, which complement the dark malt characteristics in the base beer. The resultant brew is 6.3% ABV, and will be available at the brewery and Annapolis Royal Farmers Market tomorrow, with a lone keg being tapped soon at Dartmouth’s Battery Park.

TrailWay is bringing back an old favourite today, with a twist that they’ve brought to some of their other more-popular beers. DDH Dunder is a double-dry hopped version of their “Australian Pale Ale”, Dunder, a 4.8% ABV brew featuring Australian hop varieties. The extra dose of dry hops has increased the “overripe fruit, dank, extremely tropical” qualities in the beer, according to the brewery. You can find cans exclusively at the taproom as of today; it’s also on tap there, and will likely be at a few tap accounts around New Brunswick.

In the heart of downtown Halifax, and brewing on a system barely larger than most homebrewers (😉), Tidehouse Brewing is releasing a pair of brand new beers today. The first is ESB Rights & Peace. Featuring traditional English hops East Kent Goldings and Fuggles, this 6.5% ABV brew is described by the brewery as “Simple and Crushable”. And the second beer joining it is Brew Swayne, a 5.0% ABV light and supremely easy drinking “Lawnmowing beer”, featuring Athanum, Belma, and Cascade hops, though added more for aroma and flavour than bitterness. You’ll be able to judge for yourself beginning at 2PM, when you drop by for a sample, glass, or growler fill at the brewery at 5187 Salter St. Just be sure to park legally while you pop in…

We have two homebrew competitions to tell you about this week, so all of you amateur brewers, pay particular attention!

The first is from Dartmouth’s Spindrift Brewing, whose competition is named “May the Best (Wo)Man-Darina Win!”. This competition is wide open to any style of beer, but offers a neat twist on traditional competitions: Spindrift wants to supply you with the hops! Wanting to shaowcase three new German hops, your $20 entry fee will include all of the Hallertau Blanc, Huell Melon, or Mandarina Bavaria you may need for your recipe. We checked, and they say there’s no limit to the amount of hops they’ll send your way! Other hops can absolutely be used in the recipe, but the new-world Germans should make up more than 60% of the total hop mass. The deadline to register is September 14th, and you will need to include your recipe plan with your application form, so they can prepare your hops in advance. The beers are due Friday October 3rd, with the judging by Spindrift employees and BJCP judges happening before the Gala and bottle share on October 13th. The top 3 beers will receive prizes, with the top brewer having the opportunity to recreate their recipe on the Spindrift pilot system for later release, and plenty more hops and SD swag. Grab the Poster, Info Sheet, and Recipe sheet now.

The second homebrew competition is being held this fall by Quidi Vidi Brewery, in collaboration with the Newfermenters Homebrew Club. QV is looking to celebrate the great, and growing, homebrew community by releasing a 4-pack of amateur-brewed beers across the province. There are no restrictions on the style you can brew, and entrants will be welcomed to the brewery to present your recipe, beer, and passion for the craft. Submissions are due October 20th, with the presentations and Awards happening at a later date. The winners’ pack will be available in the NLC in early 2019. You can learn more here, and by emailing your intent to enter (and ask questions) to newfermenters@gmail.com.

Speaking of Quidi Vidi, they are looking for an experienced Operations Manager to join their team, to oversee all of their production. Managing the brewing, packaging, storing, and distribution of their beer is a monumental task, so they are looking for an exceptional candidate to take this on. Supply-chain management experience is an asset, as well as previous brewery and management experience. Check out the full posting here, and fire an email to jobs@quidividibrewery.ca by September 6th to apply.

Just one event to tell you about this weekend, but don’t be shy: get out and enjoy the beautiful weather while it lasts!

Fredericton’s The Joyce Pub is holding their second annual sour beer event, Tarte Diem II – 2 Sour 2 Acidulous, tomorrow, August 25th. At least 25 of the bar’s taps will be pouring sour beers from breweries in NB, NS, and PEI; for a sneak peek, check out this photo. There’s no charge to attend the event, just plan your attack and order by the pint or flight! It starts at 3 pm when the pub opens, and goes all day. As always, they’ll be serving their full menu to accompany your beers.

Just a couple more bits to tell you about before we let you go:

After a brief hiatus, Unfiltered has brought back their immensely popular DOA Double Orange Ale, their 2-Row and Citra SMaSH. HOWEVER, Nash has adjusted the grain bill slightly, and while you may not be able to tell right away, there is a second malt in there, so they’re calling it a DMaSH. Either way, the 7.5% ABV Double IPA, 100+ IBU beer is back on tap for pints and growler fills. No cans this time around, we thirsty patrons keep drinking it too quickly to give them a chance to restock! (Original version of the post did not include the DMaSH info, as it was not available at the time of posting)

In Clarenville, Newfoundland, the Newfoundland Cider Company has released their widest variety of blends so far. As part of their Forager series, they are now carrying a limited supply of Elderflower & Rhubarb, Wild Cherry & Rose, Lavender & Black Currant, Lilac, and Spruce Tip blends. In addition, growler fills of their Farm house and Cloudy Scrumpy, as well as 375 ml of Wild & Dry and Cloudy Scrumpy are also available. Drop by their spot at 24 Balbo Drive today and tomorrow, open Friday 1 – 6PM and Saturday 1 – 5PM.

Guess what? It’s Friday again! And what does that mean? Plenty of news on the great beers now available in our region. We figure you don’t need an excuse to drink IPA, or “beer”, so we skipped right over those days and hope you drank whatever the heck you wanted to. And with most of us having Monday off, we encourage starting your long weekend now!

Let’s start this week off on the Rock, as we have plenty of news to share from the Eastern part of our region this week. A couple of weeks ago, we mentioned several new beers released by Port Rexton Brewing for their second Anniversary party; details were brief at the time of writing, and now we’ve got some more information regarding one of the beers, that we feel deserves mentioning! The beer in question is New-Foeder-Land, Newfoundland’s very first foeder-aged beer. Last Spring, Port Rexton received a 9.4 hL foeder from France; previously used to hold Calvados (apple brandy), it was filled by PR with a blend of beers. The first beer was brewed last fall and aged in red wine barrels for 8 months, fermented with New World Saison yeast from Escarpment Labs. Then, they brewed an “Imperial Farmhouse Ale”, blended it with the barrel-aged beer in the foeder, and pitched their house yeast blend. The result? An 8.4% ABV beer with “a light bitterness, tartness, and lively carbonation”, completed by the Calvados and oak character from the foeder. “Lots of apricot, dried peach, and a subtle fruitiness with a hint of funk”. The only way to get to try this one is to drop by the brewery, so get down there before it’s all gone!

And available now at both the brewery, and their St. John’s retail shop, is Some Day on Hops, a light bodied, touch hazy, easy drinking Session IPA, bursting with tropical fruit on the nose and palette. It joins the Blue Steel Kettle Sour and T-Rex Porter on tap at 286 Torbay Road for growler fills today, 12-8PM, and tomorrow, 12-6PM.

Yellowbelly Brewery has released a beer celebrating this week’s Royal St. John’s Regatta, named Up The Pond. This 5.0% ABV Cream Ale is a new take on their East Coast Cream Ale, this time dry-hopped with Citra and Motueka hops. Available on tap at the brewery, it can also be found in bottles, the label sporting the official artwork celebrating the 200th anniversary of one of the oldest sporting events in North America. We sure hope all of you had a blast Wednesday (and didn’t have too hellish of a Thursday morning)!

Twillingate’s Split Rock Brewing has continued their sour beer releases with a pair of releases over the past few days. Both Sour Patch B’ys: Blueberry and Partridgeberry were both made with locally foraged fruit, with the Blueberry finishing quite dry, and with a pleasant berry-wine-like character, and the Partridgeberry, a tart berry in its own right, complementing the sour base beer quite nicely, and the fruit adding a jam character to the aroma. Sadly, as with the previous Sour Patch B’ys releases, these were in very small quantities, and have been and gone from the brewery in record time. Fear not, however, as there may be a keg of the Partridgeberry on tap at the Stage Head Pub, Split Rock’s taproom, during their birthday later this month. And for all you townies who have been sad to miss out on the recent fruited versions due to small batch size, they’ve got great news! The next Sour Patch B’ys (number 5 in the series) is due out in the next couple of weeks, and should be available in town. This release is an Amarillo dry-hopped version, no fruit this time. Keep an eye on Split Rock’s Social Media (fb/ig/tw) for the full details.

And now for “absolutely, definitely, available today at the brewery” beers, Split Rock’s Nar Day American Pale Ale is here/back. Previously released as an unnamed APA (and whose name is obvious to locals but us CFAs could definitely use some help), Nar Day is akin to saying “Wow, what a day we’re having today!”, as a nod to the beautiful weather they’re seeing currently in Central. At 5.7% ABV, this beer features lots of Cascade and Columbus hops in the boil, as well as a generous dry-hopping, on top of a dry finish and cleanly fermented beer. Grab a pint or growler from the brewery and crack it on the patio or campsite.

And finally in Newfoundland (for this week), Corner Brook’s Bootleg Brew Co. just released a new beer yesterday, albeit a very small batch. Curmudgeon is a Berliner Weisse, soured with Lactobacillus over two and a half days, before being fermented with Escarpment’s New World Saison yeast. This 3.7% ABV brew has a “strong, clean lactic sourness with a weaker background of doughy, bready, and grainy wheat flavours”. Hop bitterness and flavour is negligible (typical for classic versions of the style), and the effervescent carbonation helps this light brew come across as extra refreshing. It’s available at the taproom for pints only.

International IPA Day was yesterday, and Lunn’s Mill helped celebrate the occasion with the release of a small batch of Soma SMaSH, a 6% ABV, 82 IBUs American IPA brewed entirely with Maris Otter, and double-dry hopped with Mosaic. The first dry-hop was added at the tail-end of fermentation, allowing for some bio-transformation thanks to the interaction of the yeast with the hop oils, with the second addition occurring once fermentation was complete. Both additions give the beer plenty of that Mosaic character most of us know and love: “tropical fruit, citrus, and a dank/piney finish”. It’s available now for pints and growlers in the Lunn’s Mill taproom, with a keg or two making their way to Stillwell in the very near future.

The crew at 2 Crows have been keeping themselves busy this summer, managing to keep their regular beers in rotation while continuing to release new and exciting brews pretty much on a weekly basis (at least). Included in these new releases are two that are hitting taps/cans today, making your long weekend planning just a bit easier! We’ll start with Ramble, a “Wild Table Witbier”. Brewed with Pilsner and Wheat malt, and a bit of Flaked Oats, it was lightly hopped with Sterling and Citra in the boil (to just 9 IBUs), with late additions of coriander and orange peel (as is customary for a Witbier). Fermented with a blend of wild yeast strains, and allowed to age to develop some funk, it was finally dry hopped with Citra (and some more orange zest), before being packaged with sugar and Champagne yeast to create a “nice, bright, and tight carbonation”. Maybe best of all, it weighs in at a supremely sessionable 2.9% ABV… the bad news is that only 500 cans are available!

The second 2 Crows release today is Wild Skies, a “Fruited Brett Sour”. Brewed with Pilsner, Spelt, Wheat and Oats, the wort was soured with Lactobacillus plantarum, and then fermented with Amalgamation, a blend of six Brettanomyces strains. Once fermentation was complete, over 1200 lbs of peach, apricot, and blackberry puree were added. Once they realized they had a few dollars leftover, they decided to dry hop the beer with a “substantial” amount of Galaxy and Enigma, two Australian varieties that are equally as wonderful as they are expensive. This 5.2% ABV beer has also been canned, and is tasting “super fruity, tart, and lively, with just the right amount of funk”.

Another brewery continuing to release new beers throughout the summer is the North Shore’s Tatamagouche Brewing. After launching a new fruited sour, a new DIPA and Nova Scotia’s first (official) 12+% beer over the last couple of weeks, they’ve got another one out, one that’s probably a whole lot more subtle than those three. Patterson’s Porter arose from a desire to have an easy-drinking dark beer for the summer months. To that end it eschews too much roastiness, with only chocolate malt providing color and a light roast character to an otherwise quaffable 5.6% ABV beer. This one comes just in time for the other news out of Tata this week, namely that they’re installing a CellarStream nitrogen delivery system. Similar to the unit in place at Battery Park, this device allows the infusion of beer with nitrogen gas on its way from the keg to the glass. Nitrogen is not very soluble in liquid, as any scuba diver who has learned about the bends will know, so it will just push the beer along without dissolving in it, leaving the liquid in a beautiful cascading pattern; meanwhile it does not impart a carbonic “bite” to beer, and therefore yields a softer mouthfeel. It is generally deployed in darker beers, like stouts and sometimes porters, but over the last few years has even found favour with highly-hopped IPAs. Look for Tata to be able to fill your glass or your growler in a new way once it’s in place; and given that they can also apply nitrogen to kegs using the CellarStream, you might keep your eyes open for nitro versions of Tata beers to possibly appear at select tap accounts from time to time!

Sticking to the Northern part of NS, but moving from the Northumberland closer to the Fundy Shore, Meander River Farm & Brewery has a new small batch cider to tell us about, although from what we’ve heard it’s a small enough batch and popular enough that they’re already running shy. Rose Petal Cider is a dry cider using 100% Nova Scotia apples that have been infused with farm-fresh rose petals from the Meander River Farm, of course. Sweet on the nose, and decidedly floral (go figure!), it’s 5.5% ABV and boasts a crisp apple palate and a rosy finish. Only 400 L of this delightful elixir were made, and you won’t be able to find them at their usual Halifax Forum Farmer’s Market this week, so if you want to try it you’ll have to visit them at the farm this weekend. But our roving reporter on the street did happen to witness a couple of kegs being delivered to Battery Park yesterday, so keep an eye on their Untappd feed for when it hits the taps.

Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing is releasing the latest version of Velvet Fog, their 6.5% ABV Milkshake IPA, today at the brewery when they open. This time around, the beer was hopped with El Dorado, and fruited with “massive additions” of raspberry puree and orange zest. Complemented by lactose powder and vanilla, to cap off that milkshake feel, the beer is “massive and round with juicy hop complexity, sweet raspberry, a bright citrus streak and a candy-like vanilla sweetness”. With the exception of a few tap accounts, you’ll likely only see this one at the brewery, where you can pick it up in cans and on tap for pints and growlers. And while there, pick up some cans of Good Weather, their returning 6.5% ABV American IPA hopped with Vic Secret and Citra.

In Fredericton (although we are contractually obligated to point out that the beer is brewed in nearby Hanwell), Niche is releasing another carefully crafted mixed-fermentation small beer for you to ponder during this impossibly hot couple of weeks. At an eminently sessionable 3.6% ABV, this beer features a very simple grist fermented with Niche’s house blend of Brettanomyces and Saison yeast strains. Aged for a month in stainless, it was then conditioned with pomegranate puree for a light tartness on the finish. Called Tafelbier, which translates to “table beer” or a low alcohol beer generally served with food, we suspect this golden-colored beer’s gentle and subtle tart and funky nature probably bears consideration on its own. You can find out for yourself at tap accounts in Saint John and Fredericton.

If you’re in Halifax and in a Black IPA kinda mood, drop by Good Robot next week for their Beta Brew release, Easy to Love. Brewed with 2-row, Cara 60, Flaked Oats, Black malt, and a touch of CaraAroma, this Black IPA (aka Cascadian Dark Ale) was hopped to 50 IBUs with Cascade, Centennial, and Polaris. Fermented with California Ale, a neutral ale yeast strain, it comes in at a relatively-low-for-the-style 5.8% ABV, and will be pouring at the source starting Tuesday. And two days later, their latest batch of El Espinazo Del Diablo, a 5.7% ABV Mexican-style Lager with jalapenos and limes, will be available (don’t worry, lots of summer left!).

One of Picaroons’ long-running beers has been Best Bitter, their take on the Special Bitter English style. This week, they’ve released Extra Special Best Bitter, representing the Extra Special Bitter (ESB), the next up in line for the English Bitter series. Brewed with Maritime malt “from the NB potato belt”, and hopped with local Centennial from Southan Farms, it’s a dark amber-coloured brew, with a “strong hop bitterness balanced by a robust malt backbone”. The 6% ABV beer is available in bottles now, with 32 different labels circulating; each represents a different vintage postcard from New Brunswick. Available at all Picaroons locations, and select ANBL stores.

From one of the oldest and largest breweries in our region, and to one of the newest and smallest, let’s cap the post with a new release from Halifax’s Tidehouse Brewing. Just because it’s hot outside doesn’t mean that darker beers need get short shrift. That’s the idea behind The Tay Porter, their take on a “Summer Porter”, named after friend of the brewery Taylor P. A 4.6% ABV dry porter, featuring Pale Chocolate, Midnight Wheat, Oats, and Wheat Malts, with East Kent Golding as the most prominent hop. On tap for samples and pints at the Tiny Taproom now, be sure to drop by and toast the beer fans and community that keeps the industry alive and vibrant.

Lots on the go around the region this long weekend, and be sure to check the schedule of breweries and stores before dropping by Monday…

Avon River Days is happening this weekend in Windsor, NS, area and Schoolhouse Brewery is in on the fun again this year. Starting on Friday evening with a Patio Party featuring live music from The Miths from 8 – 11 PM, the fun continues into Saturday when Schoolhouse will be hosting an Avon River Days Beer Garden starting at 7 PM and carrying on until the wee hours. With more live music from Tye Dempsey, Elektrik Boogaloo and The Basement, there will also be plenty of beer to be (responsibly) consumed. Cover is $5, but a crisp $20 bill will pay your cover and also get you your first beverage and a swank limited edition Avon River Days 2018 stainless steel pint glass. Schoolhouse will also be in effect on Sunday for the Hood Automotive Avon River Days Car Show from 10 AM – 4 PM. There’s lots more family friendly events going on, check them out at the Avon River Days website!

There’s a couple of events going on in Fredericton tomorrow, August 3rd, one involving exercise, and one involving beer! Don’t worry, they’re meant to go together. First up is the annual Fredericton Beer Run, which begins at 3 pm (registration from 2-3 pm); with various options available for distance (ranging from 0.5 km all the way to 12 km), your $57.50 ticket includes your running bib, run, water stops, and a custom beer glass with unlimited samples at the Down East Brew Festival, which follows directly from 4-8 pm. This is the first year for the outdoor event, which is being held on Carleton St. There will be roughly 25 vendors pouring a wide variety of beer, cider and mead, and the good news is if you’re not into running, you can still attend the festival! You can purchase your ticket through the link above, which gets you your own glass and unlimited samples.

A reminder that Stillwell is welcoming Austin, TX brewery Jester King to take over their Barrington Street location Sunday afternoon starting at 2 PM. There will be tons of great beers flowing, including a handful from their Spon series, blending several vintages of spontaneously-fermented beers, akin to the wonderfully complex Lambic beers of Belgium, as well as other beers not otherwise available in the region.

Next Friday and Saturday marks the annual Seaport Beerfest, making its 12th appearance on the Halifax waterfront. With more than 300 beers and ciders from across the world, there is surely something to satisfy any fan. With a healthy bunch of Atlantic Canadian breweries in attendance, there will be beers from across the country, and beers also sent over from Ireland, and for the first time, an Icelandic pavilion featuring 16 different offerings. And they’ve increased the gluten-free options again this year, so those who aren’t able to handle that can still have fun. Tickets for all three sessions are still available (Friday 7-9:30PM, Saturday 2-4:30PM and 7-9:30PM), with VIP offerings getting you in the door an hour early with a special tasting glass. And to reward our faithful readers who keep track of the news every week, we’re able to offer a pair of tickets to one of the sessions for you! All you need to do is post a picture of your favourite #AtlCanBeer on twitter or instagram, and tag @ACBeerBlog and @seaportbeerfest. The contest is live now, and we’ll end it with a random draw on Tuesday at 8PM. Good luck!

They’re still ironing out the final details, but Upstreet has scheduled their fourth annual Upstreet Block Party for Saturday, August 18th. The day-long party is always a great way to celebrate the local community, with plenty of beer, food, live music, games, brewery tours… and even a barber shop! It’ll be held at the brewery in Charlottetown as usual, with no cost to attend. Just show up and pay by the beer, haircut, whatever! Keep up with their social media pages for the specifics on bands, vendors, etc.; we’ll be sure to let you know if they have a special beer or two planned for the event as well.

Just a few more things to with this week:
– If you’re angrily wondering why it’s August and a heat wave in Halifax and there’s been no sign of Unfiltered Brewing’s summer crusher of a kettle sour Daytimer, you can stop your cursing and head down to the brewery; fills and pints as of noon today (and, actually, in this case, it’s probably best you keep up with the cursing.)
North Brewing is bringing back the second in their Breakwater series, Breakwater Mango-Lime Sour. It follows up the Coconut-Lime that hit the taps and shelves last month, with a new pairing fruit. It will be available on tap and in cans from noon today at both the Agricola and Ochterloney shops. It will be joined soon by cans of their collaboration with Propeller, the Whip It! Lemon Meringue Sour (also available at Prop’s shops, of course).
– After a slight delay, The Harbour Brewing Company in Musquodoboit Harbour opened this week, at 7955 Hwy 7. Samples and growlers are still available, with their hours being 12-8 pm Thurs-Sat, 12-5pm Sun and Wed. Drop by this weekend to welcome them to the family!

It’s been a blazing hot week in our region (remember all of our jokes back in spring about winter never ending and summer never getting started? Haha.), with temperatures that can only be mitigated by proper hydration. Fortunately, our Atlantic Canada beer producers specialize in tasty liquids to help keep your fluids up. With more hot weather in the forecast, we suggest you might want to stock up on your drive home today or at your favorite beer-enabled farmers market in the morning. And if you’re in the HRM region, maybe check on the status of our newest brewery, The Harbour in Musquodoboit Harbour, as their plans were to open this weekend. Either way you can check our profile from yesterday here in anticipation of their grand opening.

Speaking of new breweries, we wanted to get you up to speed with the progress of ShipWright Brewing in Lunenburg. Located in the same building as The Grand Banker on Montague Street, ShipWright will be launching in August, the first brewery in this picturesque South Shore town. With a 1 BBL (120 litre) brewhouse, and three 400 litre fermentation tanks, they are starting small in their current space, but plans are already in the works to expand to a separate facility on Victoria Road in 2019. With a separate tasting bar located upstairs in the brewery space, the ShipWright beers will add four more taps in the restaurant downstairs, joining the more-than-a-dozen NS Craft Beers currently flowing at Grand Banker. Given their size, production will focus on in-house draught and growler sales, with their expansion offering the possibility of keg sales to licensees and small-format packaging in the future. The brewery is a homecoming for Brewer Kellye Robertson, who grew up in the area before moving to Ontario to take the Niagara Brewmaster’s program, and working at Garrison and launching Spindrift. And for Grand Banker owner Adam Bower, opening a brewery on site is a natural progression of his passion for local beers, as demonstrated in the extensive taplist and events showcasing producers from across the province. Stay up to date with ShipWright’s progress here (including a full profile closer to launch, as well as on their social media pages (FB, IG, Tw).

From a brewery Coming Soon, to one that’s been established for a while, Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing is celebrating their Third Anniversary this Sunday, July 29th. And to mark the occasion, they are looking to release a beer with a bit of history behind it, thanks to Brewmaster Greg Nash. Dementia is an 8.2% Double IPA with some underlying malt presence, but as the name implies, an insane amount of hops added in the boil, as well as dry-hopped three times during conditioning. Long-time beer fans may remember a Nash beer of the same name brewed elsewhere in the region, so this is sure to stir up some happy memories (or maybe erase them completely!). Grab pints and fills of Dementia from noon today, and then come back from noon Sunday for an all-out bash with $5 pints, bottles of the 2017 Commissar and 2018 Mise en Garde, and Chef Joe Martin working the grill and serving up some great food worthy of pairing.

Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill Beer Co. has brewed up a new beer to celebrate the achievements of one of their local patrons, Danny Frame. Danny recently set the Guinness World Record for most caber tosses in 3 minutes (check out the video on Lunn’s Mill’s Facebook page), and is now aiming to travel to Germany to compete in the Masters World Championships. To help him in his goal, the brewery has released Caber Crusher Stout, a 4.3% ABV, 33 IBUs Dry Stout that they describe as “roasty, rich and smooth”. For every glass sold, Lunn’s Mill will donate $1 to Danny’s fund to compete in Germany. If you’re in the area, drop by and order up a pint to show your support!

While Valonray Farmhouse Brewery, located in MacDougall Settlement, NB, just opened a few months ago, they’ve been busy brewing up a variety of Belgian-style beers. This Saturday, they will be holding another of their bottle releases, from 10am-5pm. This launch will be the first batch (labelled 001) of their Farmhouse Ale, a mixed fermentation Saison. After being brewed, the beer was fermented in stainless for one week with Saccharomyces, before being transferred to a larger stainless tank for an extended aging period, before finally being bottled with a Champagne yeast strain for 3 weeks prior to release. Total time from brewing to your eager hands is about 5 months. Future batches of this Saison will feature rotating yeast strains (both Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces), as well as rotating adjuncts (which make up 30% of the grain bill). Coming in at around 6% ABV, batch 001 is showing a tasting profile that includes “funk, slight tropical flavours, and overripe strawberry”. And keep your eyes peeled for another bottle release in August, which will be a limited edition Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel, at over 10% ABV.

Near Fredericton in Hanwell, NB, Niche Brewing has both a newish release and a re-release to talk about this week. First up is a beer that was initially poured at the Big Axe Craft Beer Festival back on July 14th in Nackawic, NB. The second entry in their one-hop Session IPA series dubbed You Had Me At… Mosaic, this 4.7% ABV light and hoppy beer is packed with, you guessed it, Mosaic hops for a fruity and dank flavor profile with plenty of pineapple character. You’ll find this one on tap at The Joyce Pub, Wilser’s Room, and Buddha Bear Coffee Roaster & Holy Whale Brewing Co. (and also at the Buddha Bear Riverview location). It will also be on tap on August 2nd at the King Street Ale House for their IPA Day celebration. Also coming out of Niche this week is a re-release of their popular Belgian-American Pale Ale that they’ve titled Bruges Afternoon. Marrying a Belgian Trappist yeast to modern American hop varieties Azacca and Mosaic yields a light and refreshing beer at 5.2% ABV with both spicy and fruity notes from the yeast, and stone fruit and a tropical presence from the hops. Look for this one at The Joyce, KSAH, Snooty Fox, Graystone Brewing, Tide & Boar, and the Laundromat Espresso Bar.

Down in Liverpool, Hell Bay Brewing has a brand new draught-only beer to quench your summer thirst. Lime and Black Pepper Ale features two ingredients that we’re pretty darn sure you can guess if you think really hard! With a grist that includes Barley, Corn, Wheat and Oats (to help boost the mouthfeel), the brew was hopped with Jarrylo to 28 IBUs. In addition, lime zest and peppercorns were added late in the boil, to give “a refreshing lime flavour and aroma throughout, followed by a slight black pepper kick”, to accompany the otherwise-light beer. It weighs in at 5.8% ABV and can be found at Hell Bay now, for consumption on their outside deck. There IS a chance this beer will pop up in bottles in the future; keep an ear to the ground for that.

Our North friends have been busy brewing new beers, while keeping up with their regular releases, and this week is no exception! Coming out today is Perseid IPA (named after the Perseid meteor shower currently taking place, and scheduled to peak sometime around August 11th-13th), their latest American IPA. This 7% ABV brew was hopped with Jarrylo, ADHA 529, and Simcoe cryohops and Mosaic cryohops (which are starting to become popular around these parts). With notes of “mango, melon, and pineapple”, it’s a super-refreshing hop bomb for summer drinking, and is available in cans as well as on tap in the HRM. Drop by either of the two North locations to pick up a four-pack!

Staying with North, they’ve teamed up with Propeller to brew Whip It!, a “Lemon Meringue Pie Sour”. A 4% ABV Sour Ale inspired “by diner pies of days gone by”, it had several special additions while brewing, including graham crackers, lactose powder, and lemon zest. It’s going to be released next Thursday, August 2nd, at the Propeller Tap Takeover at Battery Park, where you’ll also find a wide variety of Propeller classics and rare/limited edition beers. Note that Whip It! will also be available in cans on that date.

Big news from Northern New Brunswick this week, so let’s start off with a few beers recently released. Distillerie Fils du Roy in Petit-Paquetville is continuing their line of historically-inspired beers with Grande Barbe, La Beausoleil, and 732.
Grande Barbe is a 5.5% ABV Wheat Beer, brewed in the Belgian tradition with spicy phenolics and fruit esters, telling the story of Nicolas Denys, a French aristocrat who explored and founded towns and villages throughout New France in the Seventeenth Century.
La Beausoleil is made in honour of Joseph Broussard, one of many heroes of the Acadian resistance in the Eighteenth Century. Born in Port-Royal (Annapolis Royal), NS, and died in Louisiana, he fought against the British in many skirmishes in what are now Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI, alongside fellow Acadians and First Nations fighters. Today, La Beausoleil is a 5.0% ABV Oyster Stout, made with oysters from Néguac’s Maison Beausoleil, located nearby. Bottles are available at the brewery retail shop now, and should soon be available at the ANBL as well.
732 is an American Standard Lager, made in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the incorporation of Grande-Anse. In reality, Grande-Anse was founded in 1808 by Acadian Simon Landry, borrowing from the Mi’kmaq name of Walayik (Big Cove or Grande-Anse in French). At just 500 bottles of this 4.5% ABV beer, this release will only be available at the brewery.

And big news for all of the breweries of Fils du Roy’s region, as this week saw the launch of the Northern New Brunswick Beer Trail/ Route de la Bière du nord du Nouveau-Brunswick. Featuring 9 breweries from Edmundston to Tracadie the 320 kilometre route also marks the four tourist information offices and 21 restaurants, cafes, and bars that serve the products made nearby. The breweries are, from West to East,  Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault, Savoie’s Brewhouse, AKA Beer at Au Bootlegger, Four Rivers Brewing Co, 13 Barrels Brewing (coming this fall), Distillerie Fils du Roy, Brasserie du Village (brewing at Village Historique Acadien with the help of Fils du Roy), Brasserie Retro Brewing, and Brasseux d’la Côte. We have the map here for your perusal or printing, or pick one up at one of the many spots along the way. And you can celebrate the official launch at any one of the breweries next Friday, August 3rd, from 5-7PM, to join your fellow beer travellers.

Over at Quidi Vidi Brewery, just outside of St John’s, they’ve got a pair of new beers on the shelves these days. Three Seasons Saison (playing on the “fact” that Newfoundland celebrates fall, winter, winter again, and then spring… although we’re starting to think this may apply to all of Atlantic Canada) was brewed along the lines of a “classic” Saison. Pale-coloured, dry, crisp, and lightly tart, it comes in at a very manageable 5.1% ABV, and 26 IBUs. Next is Folk’d Up, an American Pale Ale brewed in celebration of the 2018 Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival (happening August 3-5 in Bannerman Park). Hopped solely with Cascade (to 28 IBUs), it has “subtle malty notes, light citrus aromas, and a slight apricot finish”, and clocks in at 5% ABV. Both of these beers were canned, and are/will be on the shelves of your local NLC, so grab a few before heading out this weekend. And for fans of their Iceberg beer, and its iconic blue bottles, the QV Crew is sending out a friendly, but urgent reminder: they are running low on empties, so please return them to your local depot, or direct to the brewery, ASAP. If you do, they may even give you a peek at their on-site bottle washer/sanitizer, which is a massive engineering feat in its own right.

We’ll stick with Newfoundland, as there’s a couple more interesting beers being released there this weekend. In Twillingate, Split Rock Brewing Co. has a new entry in their kettle sour series with Sour Patch B’ys: Squashberry. The squashberry is a red, tart, clustered berry “with a unique flavour, and their aroma might remind you of a walk in the woods”, according to Split Rock. Difficult to find, and locally picked on a recent family hike, they provide the bulk of the flavour in the latest entry in this series (as well as the bright red colour), balanced by the tartness of the lactic acid produced in the souring process. Only a limited supply of this brew is available; you can find it on tap at the Stage Head Pub.

Let’s finish off the Rock with Port Rexton Brewing, releasing a new beer designed to help beat the heat (yes, apparently Port Rexton has had a heat warning for a whopping two days in a row!). Some Day on Hops (named after a description Newfoundlanders use to describe the weather…? Here’s a video for an explanation) is a 4.3% ABV Session IPA featuring a heavy dry hop of Azacca, Huell Melon, and Mosaic. Thanks to these three wonderful varieties, expect a “super tropical nose with a light, mango, pineapple punch, and a light pine vibe giving a tingly-but-present bitterness”. Drop by the retail shop in town this weekend for a growler; they’ll also be pouring Blue Steel, T-Rex Porter, and Chasing Sun (oh, the irony).

Your favourite Amherst craft brewery – that’s right, Trider’s – has a new, summer-drinkin’ beer out this week, a Belgian Witbier (one of the finest of the hot weather beers). The Wit Rabbit was brewed with a traditional Witbier grist, a 50/50 mix of Barley and Wheat malt, and fermented with a Witbier. Sweet orange peel was added in the boil, along with a light touch of Cascade hops for a low, balancing bitterness. Taken in a non-traditional direction, they then added a dry-hop of Triskel, a floral/herbal/citrusy variety developed in France. Cloudy, light golden, with moderately-high carbonation, it’s light and refreshing, and at just 4.5% ABV, can be enjoyed in quantity. You can find it at the Trider’s taproom for pints and growlers now, with some kegs heading out to local licensees, soon.

Good Robot has a new American Pale Ale scheduled to be released for next Tuesday’s Beta Brew, Agricola Street Ale. Described as “very, very light” thanks to a grist made up of Pilsner malt, corn, and rice, it weighs in at an easy-drinking 4.6% ABV. Hopped with Polaris and Perle to 25 IBUs, the beer is “lightly floral, and nicely balanced toward hop bitterness”. And look for the return of the brewery’s flagship Gose, Goseface Killah, next Thursday… or, they tell us, it could be something completely new. For the love of God, why won’t someone think of the bloggers??

Today marks a very small bottle release in the Upstreet Million Acres series, Chardonnay Barrel-Aged Apricot Cream Witbier. Brewed and added to a few Chardonnay barrels in January, the recipe includes lactose powder in the boil, and apricot puree in the barrel; the lactose adds a bit of sweetness, while the puree gives plenty of apricot aroma and a “nice tartness in the finish”. It’s been conditioning in bottles since April, and is now ready to be taken home with you. Bottles of this 5% ABV Witbier will be available only at the Upstreet taproom and Craft Beer Corner (max 2 bottles per customer); it will also be on tap at both locations for pours only (no growlers/crowlers).

Beer things are going on this weekend, and next, and maybe even the week after!

Beer fans in Nova Scotia who have limited access to beers from New Brunswick take notice! A tap takeover of NB craft brews is currently underway at the Auction House on Argyle Street and will continue today and probably into the weekend (while supplies last)!! You can check the Facebook Event Page for the full tap list and details, but the summary is that you’ll find beers from: Big Tide, Flying Boats, Foghorn, Grimross, Half Cut, Maybee, Niche, Petit-Sault, Picaroons, and Trailway, many of which have never before seen the shores of Nova Scotia. Tapping began last night, so ideally they’ll open with a full slate this afternoon. A few Grimross kegs are en route this afternoon and may not make it on until later tonight, but everything else is in the house and ready to pour. Happy Hour pricing ($5 pints from 4 – 6:30 PM) will be honored all weekend, which we think will make the Auction House an especially popular spot today after work. Come check it out and enjoy some of the high-quality beers that are coming from our neighbors to the west!!

Bar Stillwell returns to their beer-bringing-from-far-flung-fields-ways tomorrow when five selections from Calgary, Alberta’s Dandy Brewing hit the taps at HQ on Barrington Street and at the Beer Garden on Spring Garden. They’re also serving brisket nachos for the occasion (no doubt made with ‘Berta beef) and rumor has it some brewery folk might be in attendance. And as if that wasn’t enough, next weekend, on Sunday, August 5th, you’ll find an event featuring one of the bright lights of farmhouse brewing in North America, Jester King, at the bar. Not seen in these parts since the last time they came to Stillwell in September of 2015 in a joint feature with Quebec’s Brasserie Dunham, this is a reason for beer geeks to get excited. Next week you’ll find 6 taps pouring farmhouse styles and 6 more beers from their SPON series pouring by the glass. As usual, Chef Graeme Ruppel will be serving a topical menu, this time with Texas-inspired snacks on the go. And you might find yourself imbibing elbow-to-elbow with Jester King’s head brewer, Averie Swanson!! Look for more details (we’re thinking tap and bottle lists) to appear on Stillwell social media as next Sunday approaches.

Next Wednesday is Regatta Day in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Well, it should be, but as the only weather-dependent holiday that we’re aware of, we encourage you to play Regatta Day Roulette, and prepare for Wednesday off. Celebrate at Quidi Vidi for another of their Day Boil event, with the Regatta races livestreamed in the taproom, along with music and pints flowing all day. The doors open at 10AM, with music from The Blue Mood, Hot x Proxy, The Daisy Cutters, and Waterfront Fire. May the odds forever be in your favour!

International IPA Day is held on the first Thursday in August every year, which means that it’s crept up on us and is next Thursday, August 2nd! No doubt that there will be celebrations and special beers throughout our region, and Fredericton’s King Street Ale House is no exception, with their IPA Day Takeover. All 32 of their taps will be dedicated to hoppy beers, from a number of breweries throughout Atlantic Canada. You can simply show up and sample as many as you’d like, or you can also pre-purchase a ticket for $35 (+tax), which will get you twenty 5 oz samples! The fun starts at 6 pm (although the beers will likely be pouring all day); you can buy your tickets here (just click on the IPA Day tab under reservations).

If you’re in the Fredericton area and haven’t been to The Joyce since their beautiful renovations earlier this summer… well, we’re not really sure why you haven’t. But we have yet another excuse to drop by soon, as they’re holding a PEI and NS Tap Takeover on Saturday, August 11th. All taps will be dedicated to craft breweries from both provinces, with many sending representatives to mingle and chat beer! There’s no cost to attend, just show up when you can and start imbibing!

And a couple more quick mentions before we leave you to another summer weekend full of delightful local beer:

– Our friends at Big Spruce in Nyanza have tapped another new one, an Altbier without a fancy name. Weighing in at 5.9% ABV and 35 IBU, it’s malty, bready, toasty and a touch bitter, in short, everything we look for in an Alt. Check it out now at the Sprucetique and possibly at tap accounts throughout the province.

– Fans of Stillwell Brewing’s blended funky farmhouse styles will no doubt be happy to hear that they’re beginning regular retail hours every Saturday at least until the end of the summer, from 12 – 4 PM at their 2015 Gottingen Street location (rear entrance). This week (that’s tomorrow) will feature their two newest releases, Easy and Merryweather, along with some other previous releases and mercy!

– This week Halifax’s Tidehouse Brewing sees the return of their popular Shannon Rockwell-brewed Hibiscus City, a dark pink sour brew featuring flavors of cranberry, pomegranate, field berry and lemon with a pinch of salt. This is Volume 2, Number 2 of this beer and limited quantities are available by the bottle and by the glass at the Tiny Tasty Beverage Room on Salter Street.

TrailWay is bringing back their DDHHJH (that’s Double Dry-Hopped Hu Jon Hops), an extra-hopped version of their flagship IPA, today. This is only the second time this beer has hit the market, due to the amount of delicious, pricey hops that go into a batch. This one is going to be available on tap and in cans at the brewery only, so be sure to drop by ASAP to grab some before it’s gone.

Finally, we have to close with some sad news. New Brunswick’s Bogtrotter, a 1 BBL (120 L) brewery that opened two years ago, is closing. Owner/brewer Rod Croucher made a recent announcement on the brewery’s Facebook page concerning his difficult decision. Bogtrotter beers were available on tap at several locations in Fredericton, with 500 mL bottles available for purchase at select ANBL stores in the area as well. We wish Rod the best of luck in his future endeavours.