O’Creek Brewing

All posts tagged O’Creek Brewing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International Beer Day, Natal Day, New Brunswick Day, Regatta Eve Eve Eve, no matter what your reason for celebrating this weekend, we hope you do it with a fresh local beer or cider in your hand! Due to the holiday, be sure to check first that your favourite shop or brewery is open, btw! Here are the latest releases to get you thirsty this Friday morning…

As usual, Big Spruce shows no sign of slowing down! After last week’s Stanfest and the release of two new beers, they’re releasing *another* two beers this week. Their first beer is from one of the original lawnmower beer styles, a Cream Ale called Day Boil. Named after the Newfoundland term that describes the wonderful act of getting slightly buzzed in the afternoon, it comes in at a not-too-heavy, not-too-light 5.1% ABV. With a portion of Organic long grain rice used in the grist, the beer has a creamy mouthfeel, and “is reminiscent of light sake and big brew”. Only lightly-hopped, to 10 IBUs, it’s refreshment and easy-drinking to the max (kids say that, right?)! Their next newbie is their latest American Pale Ale, hopped entirely with that ever-popular variety, Citra. Named Ankle Biter, this 5.5% ABV APA does show some bitterness in the finish, but it’s preceded by aromas and flavours of grapefruit and tropical fruit. Expect both of these beers to be available on tap only, at Big Spruce and your favourite Big Spruce-pouring establishments.

Might as well stick with Cape Breton, where Breton Brewing has announced a new series of beers, simply named S.M.A.S.H. By this point, all of you probably know that this is a fairly-common acronym in the brewing world that refers to single-malt-and-single-hop; Breton’s first beer in this series is a Session IPA that will feature Canadian Superior Pilsner and the wonderful, tropical Azacca hop variety. In true Session IPA style, this is a beer that you can have a few off and not be too worried about handling knives and heat at your BBQ, as it weighs in at a comfortable 4.0% ABV (and 20 IBUs). All of that Azacca provides plenty of citrusy, tropical fruit in the aroma, with flavours of “spicy mango, pineapple, tangerine and pine”. The first batch is limited, with cans available at the brewery and a select number of NSLC stores across the province. As of right now, no kegs have been filled, so if you see some cans, grab ‘em quick!

If you have travelled through the Moncton/Dieppe area over the past months, you may have noticed that O’Creek Brewing has been releasing some tasty brews, many of which focus on the hazier, hoppier side of things. If this is right up your alley, you’ll be pleased to find out that they have two new offerings to help satisfy your hop crave. Late last week saw the release of Ti Pruce, a 4.5% ABV Session IPA that they brewed with the intention of focussing on piney flavours. No, pine needles were not used when brewing this one; instead, they used healthy additions of Simcoe, El Dorado, Azacca and Idaho 7. Pouring a hazy golden colour, the final beer is light and refreshing, with a fruity aroma and lots of pine in the flavour – as intended – with a mild bitterness in the finish. And released just yesterday is Magnetic Ale, an American IPA brewed with a simple grist of 2-row, Wheat malt, oats, and Honey malt. Hopped with Simcoe, Galaxy, Mosaic, and El Dorado (and dry-hopped with more Mosaic and SImcoe), and fermented with Escarpment Lab’s Foggy London strain, expect a proverbial fruit salad, with aromas and flavours of “zesty orange, citrus, pineapple, and peach”. Seek out your O’Creek beers at Le BarBu, Tide & Boar, and The Rooftop at Dolma Food

Kegs are running a bit low in Lunenburg for Shipwright Brewing, but they’re trucking along with a brand new release, Mayday, their take on a Belgian IPA. An off-shoot of the more-typical American IPA, the Belgian IPA combines the characteristics of that American hoppy style with a Belgian Golden Strong or Tripel. Shipwright comprised a grist of Pale malt, Vienna, and Light Munich, hopped the wort with healthy doses of Citra and Topaz, and fermented the whole thing with a Belgian Golden Strong yeast strain. The final product has “intense aromatics of orange and grapefruit”, followed with a moderate bitterness, as well as some fruity esters from the Belgian yeast. It weighs in at a strong 6.7% ABV, and 50 IBUs. Pouring right now at the Shipwright taproom, while quantities last. 

Heading back up towards Halifax, or more specifically, Dartmouth, with two new beers from North Brewing. Well, one beer and one sorta… ok, let’s just start with the beer. Cole Harbour Red is their first-of-likely-many takes on the Irish Red style; just a small batch for this go-around, they plan on tweaking the recipe as time goes on, until it’s right where they want it. In the meantime, if you’re looking for an easy-drinking, 5% ABV red ale with light caramel and biscuit notes, and a clean finish, this is your beer! While it’s only available at North for growler fills right now, future iterations should be available in cans. Next up is the sorta-beer, Sunshine Shandy. Your typical shandy is a mixture of beer with a lemon/lemon-lime beverage; North’s take is, in their terms, a grapefruit shandy (shandy vs. radler… discuss). They took a beer brewed with a “very light malt bill” and performed a secondary ferment with grapefruit juice and grapefruit puree, and also added in grapefruit zest to bump the aroma even more. To give a touch of residual sweetness, some honey was also thrown in. Light and refreshing at 4.6% ABV, you’ll be able to grab cans of this one in both bottle shops starting today, just in time for the weekend. 

Yesterday was IPA Day, and Propeller Brewing released a new take on their stalwart IPA that has their fans buzzing. Double Dry-Hopped IPA weighs in at the same 6.5% ABV as its sibling, but turns the hops up to 11 with dry hop additions of Mosaic and Simcoe. Taking advantage of these hops’ dank and tropical characteristics, the flavour and aroma bursts out of the can and overwhelm your senses. Speaking of the can, in a first in Atlantic Canada (we believe), cans of DDH IPA feature a 360 End, meaning most of the top of the can is removed after opening, allowing all of those great hop volatiles to get to your sniffer without having to pour it into a glass (which you can still do, of course!). The new cans are available now at both Prop Shops, and will be hitting the private stores and The Port by NSLC soon. And pop by the Gottingen Street Tap Room for Cask Night today at 5PM for a cask of the DDH, with even more dry-hopping.

Halifax’s Good Robot is releasing a friendly beer today ahead of their International Friendship Day event on Sunday, the return of a BetaBrew from earlier in the program. Ales of Friendship was originally cooked up by Jill Bernier and BetaQueen Kelly Costello, as a 4.3% ABV Pale Amber featuring honey and an infusion of basil. With Bernier’s help and guidance, it has been stepped up to a full batch so that more of us can enjoy the brew! That should mean it will be available further afield as well, after this weekend’s festivities. Speaking of which, GR’s Friendship Day Event is meant to make it a little bit easier to meet folks and make friends, in a safe and respectful space where all are welcome.

Mount Pearl’s Landwash Brewery has a new beer on tap this week, with another one set to debut next Wednesday (or Thursday… or Friday… we’ll explain in a second). Out now is Tidepool Pilsner, a 5.0% ABV German Pils, featuring all Weyermann Pilsner Malt, a German lager yeast (℅ Escarpment Labs), and lots and lots of Saphir and Strisselspalt hops. All of these come together for a beer with notes of orange and spicy hops, and a clean and crisp base with some cracker malt flavours as well. On tap now, with cans rolling out today as well (we believe).

And debuting at next week’s Royal St. John’s Regatta will be Garden Party, the collaborative brew between 14 Newfoundland and Labrador breweries and cideries that are open/coming soon. Details are a bit slim on this Mexican Lager, but when great minds come together, we’re sure it’ll be a hit! In a first for the Regatta, the Newfoundland Craft Brewers are running the beer tent, so there will be a great can selection from Landwash, Port Rexton, Newfoundland Cider Company and Quidi Vidi onsite (including a release from them, Crown and Anchor Lager). Proceeds from the beer tent go to The Royal St John’s Regatta Committee, Special Olympics, and the REAL Program (Recreation Experiences and Leisure)

Over in Fredericton, local brewery TrailWay is stepping away from the hoppier side of things with the release of Dump Run Saves. While we can’t with 100% certainty explain to you the exact meaning of that name (TW says the beer is “brewed in recognition of a local area legend and business owner”), we CAN tell you that they’re placing it in a style they call a “Fruited Summer Ale”. Brewed with a very simple grist of Pale malt, and hopped very lightly with Citra, the main stars of the show are additions of passion fruit, peach, and mango purees. As a result, expect intense tropical fruit coming through, with a medium body and barely any bitterness in the finish (the passion fruit does add a touch of tartness). Sessionable at just 4% ABV, you can find it today at the taproom when they open this morning, on tap and in cans. 

Copper Bottom Brewing in Montague, PEI, has plenty of news to share today, all of it resulting in more beer for you! First on the list is their lifting the covers off their in-house R&D line, which has been running for a while, but which hasn’t previously seen its results available to the public. The first of the beers to be released came out yesterday, and it’s a perfect beer for a warm weekend. Pilot Program is a 5.0% ABV kettle sour that’s been dry hopped with the Czech variety Sladek, a relatively recent (for Continental hops, anyway) hop developed in the early 90s. Known for a classic hop aroma and fruity flavor profile, it’s known for notes of grapefruit, passionfruit, and peach. Because the pilot batches are, by their nature, small, they’ll only be available by the glass in the tap room, so you’ll want to act quickly if you want a taste. And look for a new pilot batch to be released on or about the first of every month for the foreseeable future. Next up, CB’s Blueberry Sour, surely another great warm-weather beer, will be hitting the shelves at some PEI Liquor locations this week. This 5% ABV beer can be found at Cornwall, Montague, and two Summerside locations. And if you’re at PEI Liquor, you can also pick up another limited edition Copper Bottom brew, their Panmure Island Pilsner, a collaboration with Surrey, BC’s Central City Brewers. This one is only available as part of the annual Red Racer Across the Nation Collaboration package of 12 different beers, each brewed by Central City and one brewery from each of the 10 provinces plus the Yukon and Northwest Territories.

Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery is in the (legitimate) news this week, but sadly not for their beer. It seems that their open door policy with respect to four-legged family members has run them afoul of the NS Department of the Environment, specifically the Inspection, Compliance, and Enforcement Branch, responsible for Nova Scotia’s Food Safety laws. Per the inspector, allowing dogs in the taproom puts Brightwood in violation of Section 39 of the regulation, which could result in the loss of their beverage room license. While it would be natural for Brightwood and its dog-loving patrons to focus on the underhanded nature of the anonymous complaint that resulted in the visit from the Inspector, the fact is that the regulations only allow two sorts of live animals to enter food-serving establishments: (a) service dogs and (b) edible fish, crustaceans, and/or shellfish in an aquarium, thus, any random inspection could also have resulted in a similar warning or worse. So, for the moment, Brightwood has had to change their policy and disallow dogs in their taproom. To their credit, however, they are approaching this as a temporary measure while they work on having the offending regulation reviewed and revised, starting with a publicity campaign and a petition on Change.org (probably up over 5,000 signatures by the time you read this). Their goal is simple, to follow the previously established example of provinces such as British Columbia and Alberta who have a third clause in their version of Section 39, to wit, “any other animal that a health officer determines will not pose a risk of a health hazard occurring on the premises.” This seems more than sensible to us and reflects a few ideas that we believe are fairly commonly held: that dogs are family members and a properly-behaved dog presents no more risk in a food-serving establishment than in many of the other places where dogs are already welcome, that there is little difference in this context between a service dog and a properly-behaved family dog, that allergy concerns are myriad in any food-serving establishment and dog allergies are rarely as health-threatening as, say, nut, peanut, or shellfish allergies, and that food-serving businesses should have the right to decide whether to open their doors to dogs as other businesses are free to do as long as they are willing to do any extra work required to maintain compliance with the food safety guidelines as a result and are also willing to do the right thing when it comes to dogs that do not meet behavior standards. If you support changing the Food Safety laws of the province to allow all well-behaved animals to enter food-serving establishments, we encourage you to add your signature to the petition and help bring awareness to this issue! And, if you’re the social media type, you could also make your voice heard on your favorite SM platform, using the hashtag #BrightwoodLovesDogs for maximum visibility.

In addition to the Civic Holiday celebrations around the region, here are a few beer-y things on the go over the next few days!

Windsor’s Schoolhouse Brewery is celebrating Avon River Days all weekend long, here are the highlights:

  • At 4 PM today, they are celebrating Cask Friday with an Orange Zest and Coriander-infused version of their Amarillo Wheat. Pints and samples only!
  • At 8 PM this evening, they are inviting SWIG to take over their patio for some live music. No cover charge.
  • Saturday, starting at 1 PM until they sell out, Pigging Out Caterers will be on site offering spit roasted Porchetta and apple pastries. 
  • Saturday night, they are hosting the Beer Garden with The Legendary Goldblooms and Tye Dempsey Band, from 7:30 PM. Cover is $10, with tickets and packages available at the brewery.
  • Sunday, 10 AM – 4 PM, the Avon River Days Car Show is on. Free to watch, $10/vehicle to participate.

Digby’s Roof Hound Brewing is celebrating their Third Anniversary tomorrow, so be sure to drop any time after noon for a fresh pint of Big Stink, some live music from local band Tide and Timbre ( 8 PM start), and the taping of an episode of Slainte!

A reminder that it’s Bellwoods Day in Halifax this weekend, kicking off with the release of cans at Bishop’s Cellar at 8 AM Saturday, followed by a 10 tap/bottle/kitchen takeover at Stillwell from noon, and continuing Sunday at the Beer Garden with Sour Pours and their Disco Sunday fun. Peep here for more details!

And just a few more things to catch you up…

Fredericton’s 3Flip Brewing is continuing their plan for world domination by launching a pair of beers in bottles at the ANBL. Their Sassy Cow Root Beer Milk Stout and Anonymous Amber Ale are available at better shops in Fredericton, Moncton, and Saint John, so check out their social media for the exact locations to fill up today. Their aim is to keep these two well stocked in the region, in both draught and bottle format, with their variety of rotating offerings popping up as well.

Boxing Rock has a limited release “Lagered Ale” named Puck Off (is this becoming a trend in NS? We’re curious to see Unfiltered’s entry…); “crisp and refreshing”, it’s 5% ABV and available in 340 mL six-packs.

Chain Yard has introduced a brand new hybrid cider this week, just in time for the long weekend. Pie Hard is a 5.5% ABV blend of raspberry and cranberry wine, on top of an apple cider made from MacIntosh, Sonya, and Honey Crisp juices. Aged with French Oak, the resulting cider “tastes like raspberry pie with hints of vanilla and a sharp cranberry finish.” Pie Hard is available now for pints and samples, as well as growler fills to enjoy at home.

Gahan House Port City, in Uptown Saint John, is releasing a brand new beer today. Brett Saison is a 5.1% ABV beer with a Pilsner, Spelt, and Wheat base, with a spicy hop character, with all of the beautiful funk and fruit one can expect from the Brett fermentation. Bottles of the beer are available at all of the New Brunswick and PEI Gahan locations today.

Dartmouth’s Lake City Cider has a new cider out this week, the latest in their line of hopped offerings. ALPHA 3.0 is a bone dry clean cider, dry-hopped with Chinook and Willamette, for a floral, piney, and lightly spicy layer on top of the cider base. Available on tap for flights, pints, and growler fills, with bottles coming soon.

Brasseurs du Petit-Sault have brought back an old favourite this week, just in time for enjoying at the lake or beach this long weekend. Bob Fife is a 4.5% ABV Pale Ale, infused with lots of blood orange for a lovely citrus flavour and kick. Grab cans at the brewery now, and look for it at the Bob Fife Foundation Golf Tournament next weekend!

Trider’s has just re-released their Blueberry Ale, Exit 6, a 4.6% ABV beer that has a Cream Ale base and an addition of real blueberries. Crisp and refreshing, with plenty of blueberry character on the palate, you’ll be able to find it on tap at Trider’s accounts; there’s also a small amount of 330 mL bottles available at the brewery for sale.

The weather has certainly taken a turn for the better this week, with patios and beer gardens open more than closed this week! The final couple days of PEI Craft Beer Week are upon us, with events at all 8 Island breweries (no, not 5, PEILCC!), so let’s kick off the week with the latest news from the Fair Isle.

PEI’s Upstreet has been in operation now for close to four years; Gahan, originating and still operating on the Island, for much longer. It’s taken awhile, but the two have finally come together to brew their first collaboration beer, and they’re hoping you will find it worth the wait! Appropriately named, About Time was brewed with Pilsner, raw wheat, and rye in the grist. Hopped (and dry-hopped) with Czech Saaz and Kazbeck, as well as Cascade, it was fermented with a Brettanomyces blend, as well as a Kveik strain. The hazy, yellow beer finished at 5% ABV and 19 IBUs, and has aromas of “fresh hops, lemon zest, fresh mown grass, and undertones of wet hay”, with lots of herbal spice and citrus in the flavour. This one will be available only on tap; you can find it at Upstreet and the Craft Beer Corner, as well as Gahan locations…

In even more Gahan/PEI Brewing Co. news, it looks like they’re releasing another in the series of their bottled Brett beers; you may remember Patience, a dry-hopped Saison with Brett, which was originally released a couple of years ago. Their latest beer, Persistence, follows the same line – it’s also a dry-hopped Saison with Brett – although it definitely has its differences! Persistence was fermented entirely with Brettanomyces (Patience had Brett added for a secondary fermentation) and features a dry hop with a very large amount of Citra. Look for notes of tropical fruit and light funky character in this 6.0% ABV high carb, dry beer. Bottles are available now at the PEIBC and Gahan shops, and at several PEILCC locations across the province. And this week is the kick-off of their Growlers of Summer series of beers, special brews only available at the PEI Brewing Company and Beer Station at the North River Causeway for growler fills, natch. This week’s release is Margarita Gose, a 5.2% ABV beer that was originally released about a year ago. Tart and salty, this take on a Gose has an addition of tequila-soaked lime and orange zest. Crisp and refreshing, grab your growler(s) at the PEIBC taproom starting today at 4pm, or at the North River Causeway.

Montague’s Copper Bottom Brewing has a brand new kettle sour hitting taps and shelves starting today, just in time for a sunny weekend (kinda). Blueberry Sour was brewed with a simple grist of 2-row (from PEI’s own Island Malt House) and a healthy percentage of wheat malt. Soured with Lactobacillus, and hopped very lightly with Centennial, an addition of over 100 kg of wild blueberry puree (from local Terry’s Berries) is what gives this aptly-named beer its bright purple colour. Lots of blueberry in the flavour, the tartness helps the 5% ABV brew from being too sweet. Grab it on tap and in cans at the brewery today; it should follow at a few PEILCC stores later on in the summer.

Turning to the latest Island Brewery, Bogside Brewing has been welcoming visitors for the past week, serving up some authentic low and slow BBQ thanks to Chef Dave Mottershall (including Pork2BeerFest from 4:00 PM today!). While they’ve been waiting for their beer to be ready, they’ve had a variety of Island ciders and beers on tap. Well, your patience will soon be rewarded, as the final pieces of their serving equipment is almost onsite, which means you’ll soon be able to enjoy Brewer Mark Patriquin’s brews. Keep an eye on their social media (Fb/IG/Tw) for the release details, but you’ll be able to their Session IPA, Hefeweizen, and Brown Ale within the next week, and we’ll have a full Profile with them early next week.

Big Spruce has never been a brewery accused of lack of experimentation, and they’re keeping that up with the latest entry in their experimental hop series of IPAs. This 7.9% ABV brew is named Makes ¢¢¢¢ (considering the first beer in the series was simply named $$$$, you shouldn’t be too surprised!), and features the experimental hop HBC-644 (don’t worry, if the variety catches on it’ll eventually have a much sexier name). The final product is showing plenty of apricot and nectarine in the aroma, with “notes of ripe mango and summer strawberry”, and some pink grapefruit zest on the palate, all with a piney finish. Considering the enthusiasm from beer drinkers for $$$$, this one has a lot to live up to, and it sounds like it may have accomplished that feat! Judge for yourselves… swing by Big Spruce for a taste/growler, or check out one of their many licensees if you’re not in the Cape Breton area.

Couple new beers coming your way this week and next from Good Robot, the first being their collaboration with the Anchor City Rollers, Thick Thighs Save Lives. This American Pale Ale comes in at 5.3% ABV and 39 IBUs, and is described by the brewery as “superbly crushable, with a great bracing bitterness”. Next week’s release is another collaboration, this one with a brewery, and a brewery that pretty much all of us will recognize – Quebec’s Trou du Diable. Beelzebot! Is another APA, but brewed with an addition of spruce tips straight outta Shawinigan (TdD’s home town), and fermented with a Kveik yeast strain. The beer is tasting fruity, with a good amount of spruce popping through in the aroma. It comes in at 6.66% ABV and 47 IBUs; you’ll have to pop by the source (read: Good Robot) to give it a try.

Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing is bringing back their very popular La Saison du Nord Saison, but have made some changes to the yeast and hops to switch up the beer. Released to celebrate the lobster fishers in Northern NB, this version of the Saison still weighs in at 7.0% ABV, but features the New World Saison yeast from Escarpment Labs, which contains both Sacc and Brett. After fermentation was completed, the beer was dry-hopped with European Saaz and New Zealand Motueka. The resultant beer is a true blend of the contribution from the yeast, malt, and hops, with fruity, funky, spicy, and earthy notes, on a dry beer with plenty of refreshing zip. Grab it on tap at Euston Park Social Beer Garden and CAVOK Brewing.

Shelburne’s Boxing Rock is back in action in their Halifax Test Kitchen with a couple of new beers to tell you about, one on tap now and one in the works. Already pouring at Local Source is Shoreline SMaSH, a 5% Pale Ale. By now most dedicated blog readers already know that a “SMaSH” is a “single malt and single hop” beer that shows off the best of both. In this case the grist is composed entirely of malt from PEI’s Shoreline Malting Company; the hop is the grandaddy of American hop varieties, Cascade, known for its citrus, floral, and spicy character (sourced from Ontario’s Clear Valley Hops). You’ll find this one a pleasant and easy-drinking brew with low bitterness and a full mouthfeel, perfect for outdoor drinking on a warm day in late spring. The beer yet to come was inspired and co-brewed by Halifax beer writer Kim Hart Macneill. A Belgian Blonde Ale with peaches, it sounds perfect for patio drinking if summer ever comes. We expect to have more details about this one closer to its release, but for now the folks at Boxing Rock are appealing for name suggestions for this one. Slide into their social media DMs to give them your best ideas that aren’t “Peachy Keen.”

Another week with a new Shipwright beer release (that’s at least a few in a row, no?), a West Coast IPA named after one of many British ships carrying the first IPAs to England, HMS Hop Bombay. Hopped heavily with Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe, expect obvious notes of grapefruit and pine throughout, with a firm bitterness to finish it all off. Grab pints and growlers (and crowlers!) of this 6.6% ABV, 60 IBUs IPA at the brewery this weekend; you can also likely find it on tap at the local The Grand Banker.

Twillingate is known around Newfoundland as one of the best places in Iceberg Alley to spot bergs. While there, you will most definitely need to stay hydrated, which means a visit to Split Rock Brewing is certainly in order. They are kicking off their summer sour series this week with their Sour Patch B’ys: Mosaic. This 3.4% ABV kettle sour has a medium acidity, with plenty of tropical fruit (think pineapple and mango) from the generous dry-hopping of Mosaic. They also have a pair of new IPA on tap these days, both worth checking out while in the taproom. Skipper D’s is a 6.8% ABV IPA, featuring Cascade and Amarillo hops, used heavily both late in the boil and in dry-hopping, concentrating on flavour and aroma notes, rather than bitterness. And celebrating the impromptu Sunday jam session that often fills the taproom, Sunday Session IPA is a 4.3% ABV light IPA with plenty of late Chinook, Citra, and Mosaic hops for pine, mango, and citrus character. Grab your guitar, mandolin, or squeeze box, and pop by for a session!

Let’s get you up to speed with what’s on the go this weekend…

The Inaugural PEI Craft Beer Week is entering its final weekend, which saw all of the breweries in the province taking part in the celebration of beer releases and events. Today, Bogside is celebrating Pork2BeerFest from opening at 4:00 PM, Copper Bottom is celebrating their Sour Blueberry release, Evermoore is hosting live music and continues their Island Tap Takeover, Gahan is holding PEI Tap Takeovers with guest taps gracing their draught all day, PEIBC is hosting a Cask & Comedy event starting at 7:00 PM, and Upstreet is celebrating with an Island Tap Takeover, as well as debuting this year’s release of Go Devil IPA. Saturday sees multiple live music events at the taprooms around the province, giving you yet another excuse to get out and visit. Check the details on the PEICBW site! And celebrating the end of the week, Moth Lane Brewing is releasing a new Pale Ale named Last Kick at the Can on Sunday. Look for more details from their Facebook page.

If you’re in the environs of Pleasantville on Saturday, June 8th, and you like a bit of cidery goodness, you could do worse than grabbing a ticket for the Newfoundland Ciderfest. Brought to you by the same folks behind the Newfoundland Craft Beer Festival and taking place at the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 56, Pleasantville. Doors open at 7:00 PM and inside you’ll find 45 ciders from 14 producers, both big and small, old and new, from Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, BC, and Denmark. Tickets are $65 plus taxes and fees, and include all your tasting samples, an event passport, live entertainment, and a tasting glass to take home. Food will also be available for purchase. Grab a ticket online and get your cider on.

Halifax’s The Carleton has another entry in their Craft Draught Showdown series of friendly beer pairing competitions coming up on Thursday, June 13th, at 7:00pm. As always, you’ll get 5 courses from The Carleton’s Chef Michael Dolente, each paired with two 4 oz pours, one from each of two breweries. Diners will vote on which beers they enjoyed the most and at the end of the night a winner will be announced. This edition of the event will feature two breweries from Nova Scotia’s South Shore, Mahone Bay’s Saltbox and Liverpool’s Hell Bay. Tickets for the event are $60 + tax ($69 all-in) and include gratuity; they’re available online from the event page on The Carleton’s website, which also includes information about the dishes that will be served.

Those who were excited to read about the NL Ciderfest above but were lamenting being in Halifax instead of St. John’s need not fret too much, as there’s a similar event coming up more locally. The Curated Guide is presenting their 3rd annual East Coast Ciderfest next weekend, Saturday, June 15th, at the Halifax Forum Multi-purpose Centre. Two sessions are scheduled, afternoon and evening, but if you haven’t got your tickets already you’ll want to act quickly, as the evening session (6 – 9 PM)  is officially sold out and the afternoon session (1 – 4 PM) is already at 90%! Tickets (available online through the link above) are $35 plus taxes and fees (another $6.25) and include 12 sample tickets and a tasting glass to take home, with additional tickets and food available for purchase on-site. There will be ciders pouring from 19 different Nova Scotia producers as well as a couple from New Brunswick as well. Designated Driver tickets are $10 and are available at the door.

Have you been keeping tabs on the new brewery and tap room build by North Brewing on Portland Street in Dartmouth? We know we have. But somehow it slipped by us (and maybe you too) that, in the grand tradition of Dartmouth, they’ve built themselves a Cold Beer Store!! Scheduled to open next weekend, official hours will be Wednesdays to Sundays, 12 – 7 PM. To celebrate this fabulous development they’ve got a big celebration going on next Saturday, June 15th. Starting at noon will be a BBQ fundraiser for Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum featuring hot dogs and veggie dogs from North friend and partner Side Hustle Snackbar (which will be opening onsite later in the summer). Since it’s Father’s Day that weekend, they’ll be bringing in a bouncy castle from 12 – 3 PM that will be free of charge so you can let the kids run out some energy while you grab a hot dog and your beer-to-go. North would love to have their new neighbours in the area stop by and see what they’re all about, as well as friends and fans from around HRM and beyond. But wait, there’s MORE!! What better way to celebrate the opening of a cold beer store than by releasing a new beer for folks to buy? We do Helium, Lighter Than Air is an ultralight ale weighing in at only 3.5% ABV, with Pilsner malt and flaked corn in the grist and a bright element from lemon and lime zest. This will be a full release, with cans available on Saturday at both the new spot as well as their retail counter at Battery Park on Ochterloney, as well as draught around the city. Congrats to the North Brewing team on this latest development and we look forward to even more good times when the Tap Room is finished!

Just a few more new and returning beers this weekend.

Grimross has brought back their Bishop Belgian IPA, which will be available at the brewery in cans and on tap starting today. This 6% ABV, 50 IBUs brew is hopped and dry-hopped with Hallertau Blanc, Mandarina Bavaria, and Amarillo; expect spicy phenolics in addition to pineapple, orange, resin, and bubblegum.

Niche has a new batch of their Day Tripper back in circulation, a Belgian Tripel at 8.4% ABV that’s hopped with the classic noble hop Saaz. Look for spicy phenolics, fruity esters, and a dry finish to go along with a little bit of alcohol warmth. This one is being sent out to tap accounts in New Brunswick only at this point.

Tatamagouche Brewing knows how to time a beer release, as they’re re-releasing Cellar Slammer (4.4% ABV), arguably one of the finest Session IPAs brewed in our region. Hopped with Hallertau Blanc and Mosaic, giving lots of juicy citrus flavours, it’s refreshing and delicious, and extremely drinkable. Did we mention delicious?

Tuskets Falls Brewing is currently pouring an “Experimental IPA” at the brewery; we’re light on the details, but we can tell you it’s a 6.4% ABV NEIPA with lemon and lime rind added. If you’re nearby the brewery, you can stop in to give it a try this weekend!