NSLC

All posts tagged NSLC

Happy Friday folks! The region got a dose of great news with the announcement of the Atlantic Bubble coming next Friday, but that doesn’t mean you can forget everything we’ve been doing for the last 3 months (just look South for proof). Keep being smart about how you choose to get together with friends and strangers, and above all, spread love and not the virus. We’re taking next Friday off, so we hope this dose of beer news will keep you satisfied until then. And if not, we promise a full refund. Happy Canada Day, and remember that brewery taprooms, restaurants and bars are operating under different circumstances than usual, so check before heading out, and tip as generously as you can!

We want to start this week off with two brewing initiatives that are poised to make an impact on inclusivity and equity in the local brewing community, and beyond.

Good Robot Brewing Co’s brewer Giovanni Johnson, along with members of the Nova Scotian Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour population have come together to form the Change is Brewing Collective. Their first release will be coming mid-July, named Blackberry Freedom, a Pale Ale with blackberries. The group, and beer, is a challenge to other breweries in the province, dare we say everywhere, “to consider how they can be more inclusive for the BIPOC in their communities”. We can see this as a way of encouraging more breweries to engage members of their local BIPOC community for both staffing or patrons. We can get behind that! Look for Blackberry Freedom in July, and we’ll have a ton more with Gio and the Collective then.

And in an out-of-region initiative, but of utmost importance here, is the Black is Beautiful project. Hosted by Austin’s Weathered Souls, it is a worldwide collaboration for breweries to bring awareness and efforts to overcome injustices that many people of colour face. Over 900 breweries have signed up world-wide for the project, brewing a 10.0% ABV Imperial Stout, and directing 100% of the beer’s proceeds to groups focusing on racial justice, equality, and inclusion. So far in Atlantic Canada, we see two Nova Scotian breweries have stepped up to the plate. Halifax’s Tidehouse Brewing will be donating the proceeds to GameChangers902, a group of African Nova Scotians coming together to promote and mobilize change in the province, centralizing the experience, culture, and history of Black Nova Scotians. Tatamagouche Brewing is taking part as well, as they are committed to continued education, understanding and supporting people of colour, and are directing their proceeds towards groups educating and promoting awareness in the province. We want to encourage other breweries in the region, both small and large, to take part in this collaboration, because, while conversations on and efforts to remove systemic racism may be difficult and feel overwhelming, Black Lives Matter.

We’ve got big news for the island of Cape Breton, where Island Folk Cider House opened their doors last weekend. Located at 52 Nepean St in Sydney, just a stone’s throw from the Big Fiddle, they are open for retail sales of their initial release blends. Open Thursday and Friday, 12 – 7 PM, and Saturday 11 – 4 PM, you can grab cans of their Good Company 6.5% ABV cider, and Rebel Rosé 7.0% ABV blend of cider and cranberry wine. The cans feature artwork by local illustrator and cartoonist Alison Uhma. Their third release, the smaller batch Easy Beezy featuring local honey, sold out in just a few days, sorry, but more blends are on the way! If you can’t get to their retail location, fear not, as the Good Company is available at 14 NSLC locations across the province, from Yarmouth to Sydney, and Amherst to HRM. Plus kegs of both GC and RR are at several bars and restaurants on the Island as well as the South Shore, check out their Fb page for more details. You can also keep up to date on the fun on their Ig page. We’ll have a full Profile with IFCH up in the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime, Congratulations to Jill and team!

After months of preparation and planning, Sackville’s Bagtown Brewing Co. finally opened up their new retail store at 45 Main St. last weekend. The new location is also the new home to the brewhouse, and while just across the street from where they were previously, allows them more space to sell more beer! In addition to Bagtown’s rotating offerings, you’ll also be able to grab cans and bottles from other New Brunswick breweries. If you’re in the area and would like to drop in to check out the new space/pick up some beer, they’re open today (Friday) from 12-6 pm, and Saturday 9am-3pm.  

Upstreet Brewing is celebrating a huge milestone this weekend: their brewery has now been operating for 5 years in Charlottetown, PEI. And while the ongoing need for social distancing means that they can’t throw a massive shindig for all their friends in the taproom, it’s not going to stop them from celebrating. The first aspect of that celebration is now traditional: DeNovo V is, appropriately, the 5th iteration of their mixed-fermentation saison birthday beer. Keeping it local, the grist features Island Malt House Pale, Wheat and Rye and the hop side has Island Hop Company Saaz along with some out-of-province Centennial and Ekuanot. Tasting-wise, it starts with an aroma of peppery lemon meringue accompanied by some mild funk, citrus and herbal notes. Lightly toasted sourdough comes through on the palate, leading to a very dry and crisp finish on this beer that weighs in at 6.5% ABV and 15 IBU. This year they’ve elected to bottle it in 500 mL bottles instead of the 750s used in previous years. If you’re on the Island you can definitely grab this one direct from Upstreet (whether that’s the brewery/taproom or Craft Beer Corner), but it looks like it may also make it to Halifax as well, where we’d imagine you’ll find it at some or all of the private stores in the city in the coming weeks.

The other aspect of Upstreet’s birthday celebration is a contest they announced today on social media: they’re offering folks a chance to win a $500 Upstreet gift card for themselves and $5,000 to a charity of their choice! Entering is easy: Post a photo with your favorite Upstreet beer (or Rewind Seltzer or East Coast Soda Co. Soda) on Fb or Ig, making sure to tag @upstreetbrewing and the charity of your choice and add the hashtag #cheersforcharitypei, then use the caption space to say how that charity is doing good in the community. Multiple entries per person are allowed, although each needs to nominate a different charity. There will be one winner of this contest announced July 10th at noon. So grab yourself an Upstreet beverage and your camera/phone, and get snapping for your favorite cause!

Speaking of 5th Birthdays, Breton Brewing is celebrating their own this Saturday! To help celebrate, they’re going to be releasing five beers as part of an Anniversary Series, with each beer being launched at a different date over the summer. A mixture of brand new beers and returning favourites, they’re starting off with one of the latter, Shipwreck DIPA. Hopped entirely with Mosaic, this 7.4% ABV hop bomb is hazy and pale amber in colour, with “aromas of mango, citrus, and peaches”, and lots more on the palate. Always a requested beer at the brewery, this is the first time Shipwreck has been available in cans. It’s available right now in the taproom, as well as for delivery in the CBRM; look for it to pop up at the private stores in Halifax next week, as well as home delivery in that area. And keep your eyes peeled for their next Anniversary release, which should be early July… we’ll keep you posted!

Now that the Good Robot taproom is officially up-and-running, they’re releasing some beers with feelings of summer – one new, and one returning. Seems natural to start off with the new one, so let’s begin with Fanny Pack, a dry-hopped Lager. Designing a brew for those of us looking for something light and refreshing for summer drinking, but with lots of bright hop character, Fanny Pack was brewed with a simple grist of Pale ale malt and flaked corn. Fermented with the brewery’s favourite Mexican Lager yeast strain, it was lagered appropriately and dry-hopped with Comet and Citra. The 4.8% ABV, straw yellow-coloured beer has citrus on the nose and palate, including notes of lemon and grapefruit, with low bitterness. Crushable as advertised, it’s available in cans at the brewery. And while picking up your cans for the weekend, you’ll notice that Viking Holiday is back, also in cans (and on tap)! This 4.2% ABV Pineapple Wheat beer was fermented with a Kveik strain, giving the brew notes of nectarine to complement the aromas and flavours from the pineapple added to the brew. 

Now that Ol’ Biddy’s Brewhouse is officially at full throttle (it should be noted that the taproom is still open for retail sales only), they’ve gone ahead and added some canned beers to their expanding lineup this week. Those of you who have been following the brewery since their humble, 1-bbl brewhouse days may recognize the names of two of the beers, which were originally released in 2018. The first of these is Orange American Bastard, a 4.7% ABV American Wheat beer that features late-boil additions of orange peel and coriander, as well as a touch of Cascade hops. Crisp, clean, and refreshing, a beer to pound back by your pool, or maybe share with someone ready to dip the toe into the waters of craft beer (“clever” metaphor, not insinuating that the beer is watery). The other returning brew is Call Your Bluff, a 4.9% APA originally brewed in collaboration with Todd Beal that has a “pungent grapefruit character”. 

The new beers are on the darker side of the spectrum, starting with Shady 80, a chocolate stout. Brewed with a variety of dark malts, this 6.3% ABV Sweet Stout has an addition of lactose powder to bump up the sweetness slightly, to balance the roast character in the beer. Rounding everything up is Engine 41, a 6.4% ABV Cherrywood Smoked Porter. “Big on taste, yet balanced and easy to drink”, expect some moderate smoke character, finishing with notes of chocolate and roast. All four of these beers are presently available in cans at the brewery, open regular hours this weekend, and then opening early next week on Tuesday and Wednesday (yes, July 1), 12 – 6 PM, to allow you to stock up for the Canada Day holiday.

Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing has a new beer on the radar, a hoppy, hazy APA named Beachcomber. The latest in their small batch series, the 5.5% ABV beer was intensely dry-hopped with Galaxy, Mosaic, and El Dorado. Hard to go wrong with those varieties! They’ve described it as “light-bodied, flavourful, and aromatic”. Available for delivery, and, of course, for pick-up at the brewery.

The crew at Pollen Angels have teamed up with Fils du Roy to produce Fils D’Abeille (Son of a Bee). You may be already wondering if a meadery teaming up with a distillery means mead + spirit(s), and you’d be right! Fils D’Abeille is a blend of Queen’s Nectar mead and oak-aged Gin Thuya, weighing in at a hefty 10.5% ABV. Described as a harmony of “honey, apples, Thuja occidentalis, juniper berry and coriander”, you can find this beverage at many ANBL stores across New Brunswick; be sure to continue to check the ANBL site for which stores are carrying bottles of the product.

A few more newsbites for you today before we dismiss the class…

There’s a new episode from your favourite hosted-by-three-guys, all about local beer, three digit podcast out for download and listenin’ as of earlier this morning. If you guessed 902 Brewcast, good for you! This is a tasting episode/chat about the latest news/answer social media questions episode, so all bases are covered. Download it wherever you normally download your favourite podcasts.

And in more great news, their faithful sponsor, Bishop’s Cellar Bishop’s Cellar Bishop’s Cellar, has re-opened their doors to the public, for in person shopping (Mon – Wed 10 AM – 6 PM, Thurs – Sat 10 AM – 9 PM), as well as online ordering for curbside pickup or province-wide delivery. (dm us for our address to send that cheque)

CAVOK Brewing has a very small, limited batch newly-available on tap, Dents De Lions. Brewed with local dandelions and citrus fruit, this 4.3% ABV, 6 IBUs brew can also be found online, for local delivery. As a side note, we also would like to invite CAVOK to drop by our homes later in the summer, for more dandelion harvesting. Free!

Unfiltered’s super-hoppy DIPA (well, one of them anyway), Fist of God (7.5% ABV) is back for the weekend. Described by the brewery as a “fruity, citrus, tropical, East Coast DIPA w/ West Coast roots”… well, we don’t know what else to say. On tap and in cans at the brewery now, and delivery options are also available (for orders made before 2 pm).

And with the good news happening around AtlCan, we’re seeing some spots hiring and expanding their scope. Here are two such businesses looking to bring some folks onto their team.

Way up (and we mean waaaaaaay up) in Labrador City, NL, one of the region’s newest breweries, Iron Rock, is looking to expand their team in the form of an Assistant Brewer and Cellar Person. This is potentially a combined position, however the immediate need is on the cellaring side, managing inventory and packaging while maintaining the brewery’s dedication to cleanliness and sanitation. Over time opportunities on the brewing side are expected to grow and so the applicant’s previous brewing experience is certainly a relevant factor. A full-time gig in Lab City, hours will definitely vary. If this sounds like you and you’re in town or willing to make a move, maybe check out the full details and job description and throw your hat in the ring!

Also in Newfoundland, Port au Port’s Secret Cove Brewing is looking to fill a position or two… or four, specifically! There’s a wide variety of jobs available, including working right in the brewing side of things (Brewery Operations – Canning and Distribution), into the taproom with the Taproom Manager position, as well as Bartending and Curb Shop staff, and finally, they’re looking for a cook! You need to be motivated and love everything involved with craft beer, and the cook position does require experience. For more details, check out the full info here, and if you’re interested, send a cover letter and resume to beer@secretcovebrewing.com.

Given the events of the past week or so, we would like to open this week’s post with a message of solidarity to our friends, family, brewery employees, and beer fans, acknowledging that acts of racism and marginalization, both passive and active, continue to occur in our region and in our country. We pledge to speak up and speak out condemning bigotry and hate, and submit that anything but love has no place in our communities. It is through many voices that our lives are enriched, and any oppression of these is unacceptable. “Stop being political; you’re just a beer blog,” some might say, and they’re right about the second part. But we will use our modest platform as we see fit, and right now we see fit to say #blacklivesmatter. 

On a more specifically beery note, with PEI brewery taprooms and restaurants able to open earlier this week, NS following suit today (and word coming that beer deliveries in the province will continue to be legal going forward), and Newfoundland poised to relax restrictions Monday, this is a week of transition for the region’s alcohol producers and licensees. We are anticipating the continuation of safe-distance interactions and PPE for the moments when distancing is not possible, to continue to keep all employees and imbibers safe and comfortable. As usual, it’s best to double-check directly whether your favourite taproom or bar has opened, as not all will be back up and running immediately. And we ask everyone to remember to be understanding: you might arrive at a place and find it full to its revised capacity; you might dislike or disagree with some of the social distancing measures; staff who haven’t worked in nearly three months may have some issues getting back into the swing of things. Breweries and Taprooms are going to do the best they can to remain open and vital, but they absolutely need their public to respect the measures that are in place and be understanding of the hiccups that are bound to happen. Be kind, folks.

It’s always sunny in Newfoundland… ok, not really, but the weather is even getting nicer there, meaning it’s time for some super-refreshing, tasty beers to have on hand for deck drinking. Bannerman is up to the task with Permanent Vacation, a 5.2% ABV Mexican Lager. Brewed with a combination of Pilsner and Vienna malt, along with a large addition of flaked corn, it was lightly-hopped with Motueka to provide just a hint of lime. The beer itself is “light and crisp, with a hint of sweetness”, perfect for warm, spring weather; available now in cans and for growler fills. And if you’re looking for something with a little more “kick” in the flavour department, Bannerman has also brought back Shore Leave, their kettle sour dry-hopped with Mosaic, and conditioned on blood orange and pineapple. Totally drinkable at just 5.2% ABV, expect “bright acidity with heavy tropical fruit flavours”. 

During this worldwide pandemic, the “old days” of large gatherings of people are a distant memory, meaning that many beer events have been, unfortunately, cancelled. One such event would have been the annual party TrailWay has been throwing to celebrate the anniversary of their taproom opening on Main St. in Fredericton (their 4th, this year, if you were wondering). We get you may be upset to miss out on an excuse to drink beer in the sun, but don’t fret… they’re still releasing what would have been a special anniversary beer. It’s the second entry in their wine barrel-aged series, and is named 3rd Room (like the first entry). They brewed up a lightly-hopped base beer and fermented it with a neutral ale yeast strain; once this was complete, they transferred it to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir barrels and pitched their house culture of Brettanomyces and bacteria. The beer was allowed to condition for 15 months before blending, and was then packaged in 750 mL bottles, where it was left for another 5 months to carbonate and condition further. The final 6.3% ABV beer is tasting “incredibly vinous, with Pinot’s red berry and Chardonnay’s light pear and buttery character”. The Brett and bacteria has provided some complementing funk and acidity to go with the effervescent mouthfeel and dry finish. There’s going to be about 550 bottles going on sale at the brewery only, starting tomorrow at noon. 

In hoppier news (shakes head at leaving a TrailWay post without really mentioning hops), Propeller has just released Strata Double Dry-Hopped Pale Ale. A 5.5% American Pale Ale beer that is… wait for it… double dry-hopped with Strata hops (a new-ish American variety), it’s showing aromas and flavours of passion fruit, melon, fresh berries, and some dank character as well. You can grab cans of this one at all three Prop Shops, or order online for home delivery. Note that this is a one-off release for now, so supplies are limited!

The beer is flowing regularly through the taps at Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing now, and with warm weather finally a semi-regular occurrence in New Brunswick, they’ve been wracking their brains for the perfect patio beer. After some deep contemplation, they’ve decided to bring back Roman Road, a dry-hopped Italian Pilsner that made a brief first appearance last December. Double-dry-hopped with Spalt Spalter and Hallertau Mittelfruh, it’s extremely refreshing and crisp, and 5.5% ABV. You can find it at the brewery right now in cans and on tap.

Hey, were you a fan of a couple of beers from Chester’s Tanner & Co. Brewing, specifically their French Saison and Brut series? Good news! They’ve melded together the best of both worlds into this week’s release of Mandarina Brut Saison. Starting with a base of Pilsner, Vienna, and Wheat malts, enzyme is used pre-fermentation to make as much of the sugars available to the French Saison yeast as possible, resulting in a bone-dry beer. Mandarina Bavaria hops are used throughout for bright and fresh citrus notes, and on the dry base, the 30 theoretical IBUs punch well above their weight. This 6.8% ABV beaut of a brut is available at their retail shop and taproom today.

Upstreet is another brewery missing out on celebrating with another big, annual party this month, but on the bright side they’re releasing 5 new beers to celebrate turning five! They’re not being dropped all at once, so breathe… you’ve got a reasonably good chance at trying them all. This week they’ve launched the first two beers, the first of which is Fireworks Farmhouse Ale 2020, their collaboration with Chef Michael Smith of The Inn at Bay Fortune. Not just a basic Saison (as you may have suspected), the 6% ABV, 10 IBUs beer features additions of smoked applewood and spruce tips, both of which were gathered/harvested at the Inn. The resulting beer is spicy and complex, with “notes of orange, honey, and toasty vanilla”. Next is Limelight Lime Lager, a 4% ABV refreshing lager with a hint of lime from an addition of pure lime juice as well as a touch of salt, meant to be enjoyed in quantity with (hopefully) a background of hot weather. And playing on the “Lite” name, it is only 100 calories, and contains 0 g sugar. Both beers are available now in the Upstreet taproom (in person and online), and at Craft Beer Corner. And hitting the shelves later today is the latest in Upstreet’s Neon Friday series of hoppier beers. Known internally as 3.02 (3rd year of the series, 2nd beer of the year), it’s a pale ale in the New England/Northeastern style. With lots of BC Comet, bolstered by Citra, Mosaic, and Ekuanot for plenty of hop character, it’s hazy and plenty juicy, though a little lighter than an IPA.

Moving from “currently available” to “coming soon,” next week will see the release of Gamay Noir Saison, which started its life as De Novo 4 before being aged for 10 months, before being lovingly conditioned on grape pomace (of the Gamay variety, of course), and then bottle-conditioned. Expect a very dry saison, with a delightful interplay between brettanomyces and red wine character. And if you’re on the hunt for something to provide to your non-beerloving COVID-19 bubble-approved guests this summer, Upstreet is getting into the vodka soda game (makes sense, as they’re already in the soda game) with their Refresh series. Developed in-house and targeted towards being light and refreshing, all three initial flavors, Raspberry & Lemon, Key Lime & Sea Salt, and Blood Orange & Grapefruit, come in at 100 calories or less and leverage a combination of fruit and natural flavors. Available in 6-packs of 355 mL cans some time in the next couple of weeks. Lastly, getting towards the end of June, we’ll see Neon Friday 3.03, which will hop to the other side of IPA to DIPA; we’ll get you further details on that one closer to release.

Let’s keep the fruit beers rolling with Lifesaver, the latest release from Unfiltered Brewing. A 4.2% ABV sour beer, it was re-fermented on 230 kg of wild blueberries, resulting in a bright blue-ish-purple colour, screaming out that there’s plenty of fruit and flavour inside. Tart and refreshing, with a juicy blueberryness that will have you wanting more. Cans and fills are available from noon today, and join the recently-returned DOA aka Double Orange Ale, their 7.5% ABV Citra DIPA. A note that their store hours are now 12 – 9 PM daily, with deliveries happening Tuesday through Saturday, get your order in before 2 PM for some same-day lovin’. No date yet for the re-opening of Charm School next door, btw.

Lazy Bear in Smith’s Cove brought back their First Crush last night. This Saison is fermented on wine grapes grown in their own vineyard right on the brewery grounds, with this year’s release featuring Lucie Kuhlmann grapes. After fermentation, the beer hung out in Oak barrels for a spell before release. Check their site for ordering options at this weekend’s Markets, and they’ll be open at the brewery again Thursday the 11th for bottle sales, as well as pints, for the first time in 3 months!

As friends and frequenters of New Scotland Brewing in Dartmouth are well aware, non-beer beverages get equal billing in their brewhouse and taproom, specifically ciders and meads, and this week marks the first time that they’ll be packaging one of their meads in cans for general sale. Rosehips Don’t Lie is a 5.5% ABV sparkling mead (although some folks might prefer the term “hydromel” at that ABV) that was produced with a natural fermentation: letting the microorganisms in the environment ferment the must instead of explicitly pitching yeast. Aged for 6 months with rosehips, the resulting beverage is a balance of tart acidity and a slight honey sweetness. Get yours either via a visit to the brewery or by ordering online for home delivery.

Halifax’s Garrison Brewing is excited to let everyone know that they’ll be amongst the breweries opening their taprooms today with both their Seaport (12 noon) and Oxford (3 PM) locations geared to allow 50% of their nominal capacity. And what better way to celebrate their re-opening than with the re-release of a fan-favorite beer? Georgia Peach is an APA at 5.0% ABV, with a grist of Maritime Pale malt, oats, and wheat,  hopped with Cascade, and hit with plenty of peach. Not especially bitter at 27 IBU, it’s hazy and orange and bursting with peach flavor. Grab some at either of the aforementioned Garrison locations as of today, but you can also expect to see it at select NSLC stores and private stores in Halifax in the coming weeks.

You can now count Cole Harbour’s North Brewing amongst the breweries who are getting into the hard seltzer game. Our this week is their “sparkling, spiked and fizzy” Pink Lemonade Seltzer. A blended seltzer, it’s gluten-free (tested!), and fresh frozen Nova Scotia raspberries are added, giving an all-natural lovely pink colour, with lemon juice added for a tart kick. It comes in at a light and lively 5% ABV. Available now via the webstore and at the brewery, you can rest assured that this won’t be the only seltzer coming out of North this summer.

You can expect to see a new, summery beer (seeing a pattern with today’s post?) coming from our friends at Good Robot very soon (maybe even as soon as today!). Viking Holiday is billed as a “Pineapple Wheat Ale”, a beer that was brewed with a simple grist of 2-row and Wheat malt, and fermented with a strain of Kveik yeast. Kveik can usually be counted on to offer a wide range of tropical, fruity flavours, but GR boosted that even further with an addition of pineapple puree. With bright carbonation, and pineapple and nectarine notes, it’s very sessionable at just 4.2% ABV.

Speaking of beers-that-should-be-available-very-soon-if-not-right-now, newly-opened Grand Falls Brewing is just about ready to launch their latest, a Helles Lager named Régal. Brewed with German ingredients (including a German Lager strain) and lagered appropriately, it weighs in at 4.6% ABV and 19 IBUs. There’s a bit of bready malt sweetness in this one, balanced by herbal and floral notes from the hop additions. Finishing crisp and dry, this could be a good one for those of you who appreciate a good Lager, and for sharing with your friends or family members who haven’t quite made the full leap into craft beer world yet! Keep your eyes on the Grand Falls social media pages for when exactly this beer will be available.

And a couple of quick final mentions as we leave you to your weekend:

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated…” After whispers and rumours that Somerset’s Bad Apple Brewhouse would be closing, we can report that is not the case. Fresh cans of their signature Box Cutter IPA and Stearman APA are available at the brewery retail shop, located at 515 Parker Condon Road, a stone’s throw from Exit 15 on the 101 Highway. Open 1 – 6 PM daily, you may be able to snag some of the last cans of their Apearently Funky Brett Pear Cider before it disappears.

It looks like the Rockbottom Brewpub, which closed in March like all other restaurants and taprooms, will not be re-opening. However, we hear that it will be reopening as a Nine Locks taproom in the future. Your Father’s Moustache, owned by some of the same group, will be opening their doors now that restrictions have been lifted, and are targeting a June 17th date for their return.

Another summer week is in the books and it appears that most of the region is staring down a lovely weekend weather-wise. And what better companion for a beautiful weekend in the shank of the summer than beer? We may be biased, but we can’t think of one. So read on for all the latest beer news in Atlantic Canada and hopefully you’ll find something to wet your whistle on Sunday afternoon.

For those of you who think that Gose is one of the finest warm weather beer styles out there (raises hand), Lunn’s Mill is probably on your side. Well, maybe we’re assuming too much here, but they DO have their own take on the style, How She Gose B’y, currently available on tap at the brewery for pints and growler fills. A classic take on the style, this kettle sour was brewed with a simple grist of Pilsner and Wheat, along with a bit of Acid malt. Hopped very lightly with Hallertauer, they added the usual coriander and sea salt (from local Salt & Light Sea Salt Co.), resulting in a beer with “restrained tartness and mild saltiness”, along with some bright notes of lime from the coriander. Light and refreshing at 4.7% ABV, it’s a great beer to crush and sob into as you contemplate the end of yet another summer. 

Moving to one of the finest Belgian styles, where Big Spruce is pouring their latest Saison at the Sprucetique in Nyanza. L’Été Phone Home (“l’ete” is french for summer, and Saisons have traditionally been brewed for different seasons, with certain techniques and ingredients often used for varying seasons) is a 6.1% ABV Saison hopped entirely with organic Aramis (a variety from the Alsace region in France), and fermented with the Old World Saison strain from Escarpment Labs. The result is a complex beer that is lightly sweet, with stone fruit, white peppercorn, clove, and floral aromas. Golden-coloured and hazy, you’ll find some clove, coriander, sage and marjoram on the palate, according to the brewery. This one is available on tap only; apart from directly at the source, you’ll likely find some showing up – briefly! – at your favourite Big Spruce tap accounts. 

TrailWay Brewing has been extra busy lately as the summer winds down to an end, and as a result they’ve got two brand new hoppy brews out this week, as well as a returning fave. Let’s start with Ooz, their latest DIPA that they hopped with two of their favourite Australian varieties (Ella and Galaxy), no doubt in significantly high quantities. Weighing in at 7.5% ABV, you can expect “overripe tropical fruit, cantaloupe, and mango” throughout, with a very juicy and pungent character, along with an earthiness quality. On tap and in cans at the brewery, with some cans being sent to various ANBL stores across the province. Next up is Half Past, an American IPA that is freshly available as of today at 11 am. Brewed with Lotus, a very new American variety that was previously known as Experimental Hop 06297 (odd that they decided that Lotus was a catchier name, no?). Also hopped with a “supporting variety” that TW felt would complement, the final beer has “massive stone fruit, bordering on a fuzzy peach candy, with a solid amount of straight tropical fruit”. Available on tap, this 6% IPA has also been canned, but these will be available at the brewery only, for the time-being. Finally, the brewery’s New Zealand Pilsner, Emerald – hopped with Southern Cross and Wakatu, it also has an addition of key lime juice and lime zest – is back, also on tap and in cans. 

PEI Brewing Company has released the latest in their After Hours series, where they let the brewers play, experiment, and take their time with beer. Midnight Oil is a beer that certainly fits that description, as this beer began life as a Stout aged in wine barrels full of funky bacteria, before being further aged in Bourbon barrels on dark cherries and raspberries. The 6.0% ABV beer was then packaged and allowed to naturally carbonate in the bottle before release. Bottles can be bought now at the brewery taproom, and will be appearing on shelves at PEI Liquor next week.

The Newfoundland Cider Company is continuing their effort of showcasing local ingredients beyond apples in their products, and have two new expressions coming this weekend. The first is Sparkling Strawberry, a wild-fermented cider made with all local strawberries from Lester’s Farm in St. John’s. At 5.1% ABV, there is plenty of aroma and flavour from the strawberries, in addition to a lovely rose hue. The second new cider is actually a cyser, thanks to the addition of local honey. Honey Cyser weighs in at 5.3% ABV, and uses honey harvested from hives located close to the NCC apple orchards (not too far from their taproom in George’s Brook-Milton), and was also wild fermented. A touch of sweetness, but light and summery, perfect for this time of year. Pop by the taproom for a taste, and then the bottle shop in Shoal Harbour later this weekend to take some home.

Tatamagouche Brewing has another fun collaboration in their Weird Beer line of offerings, this time with Newfoundland’s Port Rexton Brewing. Haven Blended Saison, 5.9% ABV. Primary fermentation occurred in barrels thanks to a mixed bag of yeast, and aged for over a year before a referment on NS Haskap berries and Nfld Partridge berries. Packaged still and bottle conditioned, there are tons of fruit, funk, and lovely parts to pick out of the beer. Bottles are available to take away at the brewery (as well as one keg hitting the taps at some point this weekend), and can also be ordered for delivery Canada-wide at their online bottle shop.

It’s been a little while since we’ve seen Charlottetown’s Upstreet release a beer in their Million Acres series of long-term barrel-aged beers, but if you were waiting with bated breath for the next one, you can finally exhale. Mango & Pink Guava Sour was brewed in fall of 2018 when it was barreled and left to develop lots of character. Shortly before bottling it was transferred to steel where it met up and mingled with lots of fruit for 30 days. Bottled in 500 mL bottles on July 5th, and, we presume, bottle-conditioned, it’s now available for purchase at the brewery and Craft Beer Corner. Mug Club members got a preview of this one yesterday at the Upstreet Taproom, where a single keg was pouring, but the rest of us plebs can have at it now. Expect a fruit-forward beer, juicy, yet with some tannic barrel character and lots of fruity aromas. Weighing in at 7% ABV and a slight 20 IBU, it’s got some weight to it, so be careful!

Corner Brook’s Bootleg Brew Co has a pair of new beers on tap this week, from two different ends of the spectrum. First up is Midnight Snack, a 4.2% ABV English Porter, featuring lovely chocolate and caramel notes, on top of a medium-bodied roasty snack of a beer. Also newly on tap is Charlie Work, a 6.5% ABV Belgian Saison, featuring a load of fresh lemons added to the beer, enhancing the fruity yeast esters, and making this ever-so refreshing and crushable. 

Lots of news from Good Robot in Halifax this week beginning with some packaging and availability news: GR’s Creature Feature series of biotransformation IPAs has been pretty popular over the last while, none moreso, we think, than the original version, Creature Feature I. In recognition of that popularity (hey, give the people what they want!), that beer has been brewed big and packaged in cans that are on their way to the NSLC. Now more folks will have more chances to try this 6.4% ABV and 68 IBU juicy and jazy IPA (and look for GR Brew Queen Kelly Costello and her dog on the can!). If you’re in the city, though, you can also head on down to the GR taproom where they’ve got a new beer on tap. Easy Bruiser is a novel style, a California Common-ish beer taken to the Nth degree. Fermented at a warm temperature with a tolerant lager yeast, it was also loaded up with Mosaic, Ekuanot and Cascade. But lest you think this is just an uncharacteristically-hopped steam beer, check the specs: 8% ABV and 73 IBU. To quote Ted (Theodore) Logan, “Woah.” Be careful with this one, folks, we’re told it’s smooth, fruity, and dangerously drinkable. 

And lastly, but definitely not leastly, GR is giving the femme brewers of the region some extra time this year to get their entries together for the 2020 edition of the Good Robot FemmeBrew Competition by announcing the competition now even though judging will not take place until March. The primary reason for the early opening is this year’s stipulation that entries contain some local or foraged ingredients and, as Kelly succinctly put it, “as it turns out nothing grows in January/February in NS.” We also think that this will give neophyte brewers an opportunity to get a few extra brews under their belts to tweak out process and recipes. Remember, just because you forage an ingredient now doesn’t mean you can’t use it a few months down the line (depending on what it is, of course). Know someone with some hops growing in their yard? That’s local. Dry ‘em, vacpac ‘em, and pop ‘em in the freezer until brewday. There are plenty of flowers, herbs, veggies and fruit about this time of year that will keep in one form or another if you treat them right. As always, the competition is open to women and woman-identifying folks throughout the region who are able to get their entries to GR or their local Noble Grape before March 3rd, 2020. First-time brewer? No problem. Seasoned (pickled?) homebrew veteran? Also no problem. Entering also gives you access to the Three Cheers for the Lady Beers party where the winning beers will be announced. For more information, go to the GR website and click “On Tap” at the top (or click this handy dandy link right here), then scroll down until you see “Femmebrew Competition 2020” where you’ll find a link to the entry form.

Congratulations are in order, as Shelburne’s Boxing Rock Brewing has opened the doors to their taproom at 218 Water Street in the Loyalist Plaza. With ten taps, there is a wide variety of Boxing Rock pouring at any one time, plus there is always room for a guest beer and cider or two, to keep everyone happy. Their retail fridge from their production brewery has also moved over, making it easy to grab bottles to go, and are set up to sell/exchange growlers (filling on demand is coming). Their friends at Finest Kind Food have also moved into the new space, and are celebrating with their first Finest Kind Friday there, with live music this afternoon 5 – 7 PM, and food specials to accompany your pints. And their barrel-aging program has made the move as well, so you can check into what’s bubbling and coming soon from Boxing Rock.

Montague’s Copper Bottom Brewing is hiring someone to play double-duty in the brewery, in a full-time position working both the production side, as well as delivery on the Island. Working with their brewing team, they will be responsible for canning operation and assist in troubleshooting. And then working with delivery of those cans, plus kegs, to the different licensees and retailers in the province, to ensure the freshest and best beer possible gets in your hand. Learn more in their job posting.

A couple of beery things going on this week and next:

Fredericton’s The Joyce is continuing to promote sour beers, as their 3rd Annual sour event is happening tomorrow, August 24th. Tarte Diem III: Bigger, Sour & Untappd is an all-day event (starting at noon when the pub opens) that will feature 20+ taps of some of the finest sour beers from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and PEI. As always, there’s no charge to attend, and you can buy individual beers by the pints or 12 oz pours, as well as flights. And now that their deck is open, you can finally enjoy some of these beers outside!

Tickets for August 31st’s Gros Morne Beer Festival are still available, but are definitely moving quickly. Put on by the fine folks at the Nfld Craft Beer Festival (who ran the events in April in St. John’s and Corner Brook), this will see beer from across the province, Atlantic provinces, and elsewhere in the country, pouring at the Town Hall in Norris Point. There are some pretty special extra options available to enhance your Gros Morne experience, which include taking a Zodiac, Kayak, or SUP tour of the area before the festival, with a beer and food pairing. Peep their Instagram feed for hints as to what you’ll be able to enjoy next weekend, and then grab a ticket here!

And a few last mentions before you get back to your Friday afternoon:

The boys at Off Track Brewing in Bedford found themselves in a bit of hot water this week, as their Damn Skippy Peanut Butter Stout caught the eye of an international peanut butter maker, and they kindly (ya right!) asked them to cease and desist use of their trademark. Rather than let that be a problem, they interrogated their automated-beer-naming-machine and it spat out another moniker fit for the brew. The new name is Illuminutty Peanut Butter Stout, and bottles will be featuring a new label next week. But if you skip to the brewery this weekend, you may be able to find some of the forbidden bottles, and grab them as a keepsake.

Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing is releasing a new beer today, 16 Tons. a 6.0% ABV Black IPA, it features plenty of roast malt character enhanced by piney bitterness from Cascadeand Amarillo hops. Find it on draught for pints and growlers at the brewery, and may hit the taps at local restaurants and pubs soon!

Tusket Falls Brewing is tapping their latest experimental beer this afternoon. Details are pretty light, but we wanted to let you know about the Blackberry Sour, as these small batch brews rarely last more than a few days. Keep your eyes on their social media to see when the beer is pouring!