O’Creek Brewing

All posts tagged O’Creek Brewing

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!

Well, well, well, another Friday is upon us, which means it’s time to inundate you with the latest beer news from the region. We’ve got more than 20 new and returning beer and cider to tell you about this week, from every province in the region, so let’s dive right in so you know where to head after work today!

Saint John’s Loyalist City Brewing dropped a brand new beer late last week, RGB. They’re referring to it as a “German-style Pale Ale”, as they hopped it with three of the “new” hop varieties that hail from Germany: Mandarina Bavaria, Huell Melon, and Hallertau Blanc. This 5% ABV, pale gold-coloured brew features “a pronounced fruity aroma of melon, tangerine, and citrus” thanks to the use of these hops (along with a large dry hop of more Mandarina Bavaria and Huell Melon). The citrus and melon continue into the flavour, complemented by a bit of malt sweetness and a moderate bitterness (60 IBUs, calculated). You can find it on tap right now at your favourite LC destination.

If you were a big fan of the first entry – Dream Island #1 – in Landwash Brewery’s rotating DIPA series, you’ll be happy to know that they have just released Dream Island #2, which is now available for purchase at the brewery. This iteration was hopped with big additions of Amarillo, Simcoe and Columbus, giving notes of “marmalade jam on toast, pineapple rings, and dried peach”. They also threw in a bit of lactose to boost the mouthfeel and add just a touch of sweetness to the final product. They’ve done a limited canning run of this 8.3% hop bomb, and it’s on tap for growler fills as well… probably won’t last long, so best to head there ASAP to pick some up. They also have a new batch of their NEIPA, That Much Ocean, so you can really fulfill your hop needs all in one go! Note that Landwash is now open on Wednesdays, in addition to their regular days, with their resident food truck, Saucy Mouth, open daily until 10PM.

Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing has a pair of new beers available, to fuel your adventures out and about this weekend. Released late last week was the latest in their Neon Friday series, this one a collaboration with Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing. A 6.5% ABV NEIPA is the result of that mind-meld, with big notes of coconut, orange, and papaya on a smooth base, thanks to generous additions of Sabro and Vic Secret hops. Tall cans are available at Upstreet’s two Charlottetown locations, and on tap there and at their Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse in Dartmouth. Keep an eye out at the HRM private stores as well!

And debuting this week is Rhuby Sour, a new take on their popular Rhuby Social Witbier. Beginning life as a partially-soured witbier, Rhuby Sour receives the same great fruit additions as the OG, with rhubarb and strawberry, to kick up the refreshing character and still maintain plenty of fruit qualities. This 5.0% ABV beer is available on tap and in cans in both Charlottetown and Dartmouth now!

There’s a new Gottingen Small Batch brew pouring at Propeller, and don’t let the name – and the weather! – fool you into thinking it’s Halloween! Spooky Sour Saison is a kettle sour that was fermented with the Spooky Saison yeast strain from Escarpment Labs (as well as a blend of Brettanomyces strains) on fresh apricots. As you might expect, there’s lots going on with this beer, with plenty of fruit and spice characteristics coming through, as well as a dry, sour finish. It weighs in at 6.2% ABV and 8 IBUs, and is available at Propeller for pints, flights, and growlers only, for a limited time.

Rejoice, Glou fans, as this year’s batch from Stillwell Brewing is now available for purchase in bottles! A blend of oak-aged Saisons (different batches aged from 8-18 months) was transferred to a foeder, along with 1000 lbs of NY Muscat grape skins from Benjamin Bridge, where they were allowed to impart their deliciousness into the beer over a period of about four months. The aroma is huge with this beer, “all candy and fun upfront, with a deep and complex savoury quality on the palate”. Oak and tannins in the finish to leave you wanting more, it’s 6.7% ABV and lovely! Grab some bottles to go at Stillwell, where you may also be lucky enough to find it on tap (and at the newly-opened Beer Garden, too!).

Miramichi’s first brewery, Timber Ship Brewing, has just released How She Goin’, a beer they’re calling a “Honey Session Ale”. Intended to be an easy-drinking style for the summer (it IS coming, right?), it features the addition of wildflower honey from Napan, NB’s My Lil’ Bee Honey Farm. There was also a dry hop addition, featuring hops from Lindsay, NB’s Bloomfield Hops Farm. The final beer is “light and crisp, with a slightly floral aroma and notes of honey”. Very drinkable at just 4.3% ABV and 12 IBUs, you can find the first kegs on tap at the Piping Plover Gastropub and O’Donaghue’s Irish Pub.

We weren’t ALL lucky enough to be able to attend the annual Stillwell Open during Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week (dangit!), but luckily for us, some breweries have been doing larger releases of the single-hop Session IPAs that they entered in the friendly competition. For Tatamagouche Brewing, this means the release of Zaka, a Session IPA fermented with a Kveik yeast strain, and hopped entirely with the wonderful Azacca variety. This 4.4% ABV beer was created and brewed with local homebrewing legend Mark McKay, and is a hazy, aromatic treat, with pineapple and mango coming through in spades, along with “flavours of woody resin and light fennel”. It’ll be on tap at many Tata licensees, as well as directly at the source on draught, of course. They’ve also got a fresh batch of their wildly popular Kitty Clyde DIPA, hopped with Vic Secret and Galaxy, on tap and in cans.

We mentioned last week about the album release party coming up at Good Robot for Aquakultre x Ghettosocks (Aquasocks) on May 31st and that it’s a fundraiser for Akuakultre’s debut album coming next year. We also mentioned that a special beer has been brewed for the event called Legacy. That beer debuted at the GR taproom yesterday for those who’d like an early taste. Nominally a Pilsner coming in at 4.5% ABV and 27 IBU, it apparently also contains blueberries, which provide it a rather purple hue, as well as pineapple, for a pleasant tropical note. Nicer weather that we’re sure just HAS to be coming soon is likely to make this a popular pour on the Gastroturf.

We know this time of year brings a plethora of light beers – hoppy, fruity, etc – but it’s still nice to see darker beers being brewed. We won’t get into a rant, but those beers are still ok to drink during warmer weather, ya know? We can thank O’Creek Brewing for realizing this with the launch of Matchless, a 7.1% ABV Robust Porter. This isn’t your grandpappy’s Porter, however, as it had an addition of raspberry and coconut after fermentation was complete. The raspberry is coming through subtly, with dark chocolate on the palate and the coconut in the finish. You’ll be able to find the first kegs at CAVOK Brewing and the Laundromat.

Baccalieu Trail has just added a new beer to their lineup, and it’s their first kettle-soured brew. A twist on the classic Gose style, Half Hour Ahead does include the addition of sea salt as any Gose should, but they also decided to add blueberries! Specifically, 20 lbs of dehydrated blueberries from Markland Cottage Winery, all of which was added directly into the fermenter. The deep-purple beer is tasting quite tart, with a strong blueberry presence in the flavour. It comes in at 5.3% ABV, and is currently available on tap at the brewery’s taproom, exclusively.

Wolfville’s Annapolis Cider continues to put out new and interesting creations in their Something Different series with another entry now available. Rhubarb & Rosehips is a 7.0% ABV sparkling cider based on a juice blend from Golden Russet and Cox’s Orange Pippin apples that was infused with dried rose hips and fermented with rhubarb juice. Refreshing and bright, the rose hips bring a tartness that some might find similar to that of dried cranberry. Floral aromatics, a bit of red berry character, and a dry finish have this one sounding like a delicate delight. As always, $0.50 from every bottle will go to charity, this time it’s Rowan’s Room Respite & Development Centre in Middleton, NS.

Grimross has really been going hard with the Scratch series beers lately, as this week has not one, but two new ones to add to their growing list of one-offs. First up is Scratch #20: Living Roots Saison, a 5.7% ABV, 18 IBUs Saison named after the upcoming Living Root Music Festival in Fredericton (May 30th-June 2nd). Brewed with Pilsner malt and a mixture of flaked and malted Rye, it was hopped lightly with Calypso and Hallertau Mittelfruh. Fermented with a Brett and Saccharomyces blend from Escarpment Labs, the final beer has notes of “spice, considerable tangerine, light pepper, and dandelion”, and finishes nice and dry. You can grab it in pints and growlers, as well as cans, at Grimross, with cans available at ANBL stores any day now.

The next Scratch is on the American side of things, with Scratch #21: Session IPA. With a base of Maris Otter malt, they also blended in Golden Naked Oats, Honey malt, and Flaked Barley, lending some biscuit and granola character to the beer. Hopped late in the boil with Centennial and Delta, it was dry-hopped with a large addition of Calypso. The final beer lives up to its name at just 4% ABV (and 21 IBUs), and has lime, orange and grassiness on the palate, with an assertive bitterness. This one can also be found at the brewery (cans, on tap) starting today, with ANBL stores and licensees receiving it sometime next week.

TrailWay’s weekly Friday release today is an American IPA, which you may have guessed… however, this is the first beer they’ve fermented with a Kveik strain. Originating from Norway, this type of yeast ferments best at extremely warm – heck, even hot – temperatures, giving a wide variety of flavours and aromas. TW used the Voss Kveik strain from Escarpment Labs, and hopped the beer – which they’ve named Oculus –  “moderately” with Citra and Idaho 7. The result is a 6% ABV, full-bodied beer that is big in the citrus department. Available at the brewery today when they open at noon, on tap and in cans; kegs will be travelling across the province – and to Stillwell – over the coming days.

Lucky Moncton peoples can head on over to Tide & Boar, where the brewery has just released their latest beer, a Sour IPA named Millions of Peaches. This 7% ABV kettle sour features a grist that includes a large addition of oats, with lactose powder added in the boil to up the sweetness/body. Dry-hopped entirely with Citra, the beer was further conditioned on Fuzzy Peach candy (yep!) and peach puree. To tell you that the beer is tasting sour and peachey… well, it does, but we kinda think you could have figured that one out for yourselves! Limited availability, on tap at the brewpub only!

If you’re sight-seeing in the Lunenburg area, check out Shipwright Brewing, which has just tapped “Choc”-A-Block, their latest beer. A “Rye Stout”, it of course includes an addition of Rye malt in the grist, which gives a touch of spice in the finish, which goes well with the cacao and roasted coffee notes from the darker grains used in the brew. 5.2% ABV and 25 IBUs, you can grab it at the brewery right now in pints, growler, and crowlers. It should also be available on tap at the Grand Banker.

If you were at the NS Craft Beer Week Full House event, you might have stopped by the Garrison booth and tried a new IPA that they were quietly debuting that uses “American Noble Hops”. Whether you know about hops or not, you might wonder, “What the hell is that?” Well, we’ve mentioned the Cryo hop products from Yakima Chief – Hopunion (YCH) in previous posts, which allow brewers to get significantly more bang for their buck out of high-aroma and -bittering hop varieties by using less hop material and seeing less liquid (beer!) absorbed and lost. As it turns out, however, there’s a byproduct to the cryo extraction process that’s also been released to the market, the leaves and bract from the hop flowers that don’t have the same oil or alpha acid content of the cryo products, but which do maintain quite a bit of aroma and flavor. The name “American Noble Hops” seeks to qualify this product with brewers in terms of the classic low-alpha varieties from Continental Europe. Not a great name, no, but the alternative was apparently “Debittered Leaf” so… Anyway, Garrison has embraced these new hops in the first release in their new Hop Trip IPA series, starting with Hop Trip: American Noble Citra, a 6.2% ABV and 30 IBU beer in the NEIPA-ish style. Smooth and drinkable, thanks to those low alpha acid numbers, the beer still maintains plenty of Citra character, with mandarin, lemon, and lychee coming to the fore. Even better, this beer (and the beers to come in the series) has been canned in 355 mL cans, available this weekend at the Brewery for $2.99 each or 4 for $11.99. So if you’re a hop lover but can’t always justify a tall can, you might have plenty of reason to celebrate this one. Stay tuned for other entries in the series, we’ve been advised that a Hop Trip Brut IPA is in the offing as well.

Not too many beery events to tell you about this weekend, so use this as an excuse to get out and support your local brewery, or local bar who supports your local breweries, and toast their efforts. However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t give you one last reminder that whether you’re in Moncton or St John’s, there is a Beer Fest in your backyard, which can be a good way to drink your way through the beer landscape. Both events feature local craft beer alongside macro and foreign producers, so if you wanted to try the latest batch of Silver Bullet to see if it still tastes the same now that you’ve left that type of beer behind, now’s your chance.

Next Wednesday, Matt and Dave from Toronto’s Burdock Brewing will be taking over the taps at Stillwell, hot off the heels of a collaborative pairing dinner at Little Oak the evening before (sorry, all sold out, folks!). Featuring the full variety of Burdock’s offerings, including the modern styles like Vermont Blond and IPA, wine-inspired (and -infused) Baby Riesling and a trio of BUMOs, and barrel-aged funky beers like Auko and Flur. Check out Stilly’s social media for the full list (which also includes the debut of a collaboration between Burdock and another brewery (ed. note, we incorrectly said it was with Stillwell Brewing originally), and come prepared to spend some time on May 29th.

Just a handful more beers to tell you about before we send you on your way!

Douglas, NB’s 3Flip Brewing is following up the release of last month’s “Pretzel Ale” with Lemon Kilmister. A “Lemon Blonde” that was hopped with Amarillo and given an addition of fresh lemon peel. Look for it on tap at The Joyce, Saint John Ale House, and Fredericton’s York St. ANBL for growler fills.

Sackville, New Brunswick’s, Bagtown Brewing has released a small batch of their take on a Farmer’s Double IPA this week. Weighing in at 8.5% ABV, it features the use of Cascade hops from local Wysmykal Farm to the tune of 60 IBU, and was bumped up with blueberries from Blueridge Berries in town. With such a limited production size, we definitely suggest dropping into the taproom and beergarden at 62 Main Street for a taste!

Corner Brook’s Bootleg BrewCo debuted a new beer this week, Brett Who? This 6.0% ABV beer was fermented with both brewer’s yeast and Brettanomyces for a light bodied and dry beer, with the iconic funky character that Brett imparts. Available now on tap for samples and pints in their taproom.

Newfoundland’s Dildo Brewing Company debuted a new one this week, playing on a question we imagine gets asked all over the world …Where the Helles Dildo? For those of us fortunate enough to know the answer, we’ll be rewarded with a German Helles, Dildo’s first Lager. This 6.5% ABV pale lager toes the line with malt and hops playing nicely together for an easily quaffable beer. Drop by the brewery this weekend to grab a pint or growler, and to tell the world, I know where the Helles Dildo!

Niche Brewing has brought back another of their popular beers this week: Ethos is their Brett saison, a lightly tart, dry, and funky beer brewed with their house culture. It’s going out to their usual New Brunswick accounts and will very likely also make an appearance in Halifax at Stilwell and/or the Stillwell Beer Garden.

Ninepenny Brewing in Conception Bay South has a brand new beer on tap these days. Belgian Pale Ale is a 5.0% ABV brew reminiscent of those in Europe, with notes of toffee and toast from the malt, along with a complementing yeast character. As always, the best place to grab a sample, pint, or growler is at the source, at 75 Conception Bay Hwy, open today from 4 PM.

This weekend marks the return of another one of Greg Nash’s hop hammers at Unfiltered, namely Riddle of Steel. Touted as a hybrid of West Coast and New England IPA styles, it’s 7% and available for fills, pints and in cans, thank Crom!! Also available in cans at the retail shop this weekend are Twelve Years to Zion, All Falc’d Up, and Warning Label.

Happy Good Friday! We’ve got a full dose of spring beer for you this week, to keep you happy during this holiday weekend. Put down those eggs benny and chocolate eggs (hopefully not on the same plate!), and get up to date with the goings ons in our area. With the four provincial liquor stores closed Friday and Sunday, it’s a perfect time to support your local brewery or retailer, just double check they’re open too!

We’ve got great news for beer fans on the West coast of Newfoundland, you will soon have another local brewery to call your own. After a bit of a hiatus from their original plan to establish on the Burin Peninsula, Rough Waters Brewing has announced that they will be setting up in Deer Lake in the near future. That hiatus found owner Chris Johnson working with and learning much from the Port Rexton Brewing crew, and solidifying and focusing their best plan going forward. Streamlining and concentrating on what is most important to them has them now renewing their excitement and efforts to this project. Keep an eye on their Social Media (fb/ig) over the coming months as they share the many steps ahead of opening. Congratulations!

Lagers are in the air now that the weather is finally warming up; in Saint John, we’re specifically talking about Czech Pilsner, thanks to the release of Svelt Pils from Loyalist City Brewing. After a recent trip to the Czech Republic, owner/head brewer Mark McGraw was inspired to brew his own take on the style. Brewed using the traditional decoction mash (a multi-step technique involving one or more temperature rises), the beer was hopped to 35 IBUs entirely with the floral Czech Saaz variety. Fermented cool with a Pilsner yeast strain, it was lagered for 60 days before packaging. Coming in at a highly-drinkable 4.5% ABV, the golden-coloured brew has aromas and flavours of bready malt, “complemented by a truly unique herbal and floral hop aroma” that carries through to the palate. Finishing smooth, with a moderate bitterness, it’s available now on tap at select tap accounts in Saint John, with cans heading to the ANBL on Wellington Row.

Plenty of new-and-returning beer news from Trider’s this week! Let’s start with the returning brew, the third release of their annual Maccan Maple. Freshly-packaged now that maple season is finishing off, this beer features the use of maple sap (from Hidden Mountain Maple Farms) instead of water in the brewing process. The yeast, naturally, dried out most of the sugar from the sap, so the brewers added more boiled-down syrup to increase the sweetness. Finishing – yes – sweet, “but still balanced”, this 6% ABV beer is on tap at the brewery, where you can also pick up a limited number of bottles. A few kegs will probably pop up at Trider’s licensees. As for the new beers, they’ve brought us Dillusions of Grandeur, a 5.1% ABV “strongly dill-flavoured” Kolsch that had fresh cut dill and Sorachi Ace hops added, and Robblebock, a 6.66% ABV Doppelbock that is “rich and dark”, yet drinkable, thanks to a lagering period of just over two months. Grab these two at the brewery for a limited time only.

Two returning and one new beer trends aplenty! Oof, that’s a bad opening sentence. Anyhoo, our friends at O’Creek Brewing in Dieppe are following said trend, starting with the release of a delicious-looking, super hazy American Pale Ale named Norther. Hopped and dry-hopped with equal parts Galaxy and Vic Secret (two of Australia’s best hop varieties, in our humble opinions), it’s exhibiting wonderful tropical qualities in the aroma and flavour (emphasis on pineapple), with a mild bitterness in the finish. Weighing in at 5.1% ABV and 43 IBUs, look for it on tap at CAVOK Brewing and Tide & Boar; it should also show up on tap at Bathurst’s Au Bootlegger, soon. In the returning department, they’ve got Big Red 250, their 5.6% ABV Mosaic dry-hopped Amber Ale (pouring at Au Bootlegger and the Laundromat), and Le Barachois, a 6% ABV Oatmeal Stout (pouring at T&B and the Laundromat).

In the Greater Fredericton Metropolitan Area, Niche Brewing has another new release this week, this one back to the hoppier side of the spectrum. Sound & Vision is their Session IPA, with lots of oats and wheat included in the grist to ensure there’s still plenty of body in this low-ABV beer (4.8%) to balance against the hops. Leveraging Enigma, and El Dorado in the kettle, and more Enigma along with some Topaz at dry hop, expect a blend of mango, papaya, orange and lime flavors to be most prominent in both aroma and flavor. You’ll find Sound & Vision starting this weekend in Fredericton, Saint John, and Moncton.

Tusket Falls Brewing Company in (of all places) Tusket, NS, has a couple of new beers just in time for Easter weekend, both of which are described by the brewery as being somewhat experimental. First up is an IPA fermented with a strain of everybody’s new darling yeast, Kveik, which they’ve conveniently called Kveik. This 6.2% ABV brew features El Dorado and Citra hops for tropical and citrus character. Lemon yellow and very hazy, with a creamy white foam, you’ll find the mouthfeel quite soft with elements of pine and orange zest tweaking your tongue. Also hitting the taps is the second in their Solo Hops Series, an NEIPA featuring the venerable Simcoe hop. With plenty of fruity character, but also a very dank and earthy presence, Simcoe is the kind of hop that can be smelled at the other end of the table. This beer, coming in at 6.0% ABV aims to be balanced and show off the best that Simcoe has to offer. Look for these two beers on tap at the Tusket Falls taproom as well as potentially at the Saltscapes Expo in Halifax April 26 – 28. And stay tuned for more news about new beers from Tusket in the coming weeks!

We’ve got all the details on the latest release from Copper Bottom, which is hitting shelves and taps today. Better Weather is the brewery’s first Saison, brewed with a simple grist of 2-row (from Island Malt House in New Glasgow, PEI) and Acid malt. Hopped with Saaz and Perle (to 25 IBUs), and fermented with a Belgian Saison yeast, this 5.0% ABV brew has earthy, spicy aromas, with flavours of “bubble gum and fruity esters”. Finishing nice and dry (as a good Saison should!), with a light acidity, you can grab some today at the brewery (pints, growlers, and cans); if you can’t make it to Montague this weekend, look for it on tap at local accounts.

If you’ve been following Nova Scotia Craft Beer religiously for a few years you might have noticed a bit of a rhythm, especially when it comes to certain breweries and certain releases. And if you’re one of those people and you’re particularly sensitive, you might be thinking that it’s just about time for Big Spruce to announce that their Ra Ra Rasputin Coffee Imperial Stoutis ready to make it’s 2019 appearance. And if you’re one of those super intuitive, tuned-in-to-the-ebbs-and-flows-of-NS-Craft-Beer folks you’re probably about 3 unfortunate days behind the folks who just pay attention to social media… Sure enough, Ra Ra 2019 made its debut at Battery Park in Dartmouth last night, with Jeremy White in the house and 3 new barrel aged beers on tap joining 3 vintages from last year. Also, Ra Ra Rasputin Chocolate Truffles from Rousseau Chocolatier. Musta been nice, right? Well fear not, those three new 2019 barrel aged beers, namely Glenora Whiskey, French Cognac, and Peach Brandy are going to be generally available in bottles at many private stores in Halifax soon. Got a bottle or two of last year’s (and/or 2017’s) models? Pull a vertical with your pals. Don’t have any of last year’s left? Buy all three of this year’s and go horizontal (but get some help to do it, because if you solo three bombers of Ra Ra in one night, horizontal is probably the best you can hope for). Enjoyable with or without a Boney M soundtrack.

TrailWay has two returning beers back at the brewery in time for the weekend, if you happened to be looking for a hop fix in the Fredericton area for the long weekend. First up is a new iteration of Almost Nuclear, an American IPA brewed with lupulin-enriched hops. This version features the German Mandarina Bavaria variety, which they used plenty of (natch) to provide a “massive, sweet and juicy tangerine and orange” presence on the nose and palate. Cans and on tap at the brewery only (for now), 6.5% ABV. And Good Weather has returned as well; another 6.5% ABV American IPA, it’s showing characteristics of “tropical juice, overripe mango, pineapple, and citrus”. This one will definitely be available outside the brewery, starting today and extending into next week.

The 902 BrewCast released an episode earlier this week, welcoming on Kelly and Nicki from Good Robot Brewing and Evelyn of Propeller Brewing. The episode was wide-ranging in scope, from celebrating and creating diversity in the beer industry, tackling the bad habit of “mansplaining” beer, hosting safe spaces. Plus the overall theme of “Don’t be a dick”. Catch the episode via podcast or on 902BC’s page, and then grab yourself tickets for the Brewster Fest, being held April 27th at the Mayflower Curling Club. This event highlights the number of women-owned breweries, and female-brewed beers, in the region, with 20 breweries and ciderhouses in attendance pouring their wares. It’s open to anyone, and everyone, who wants to kick back and enjoy a well-made beer with some friendly faces!

Speaking of Good Robot, they’ve released the latest in their Creature Feature line of biotransformation IPAs. Their fourth release, aptly named IV, uses New Zealand hop Wai-iti in the dry-hop addition, resulting in a massive peach aroma and flavour. In case you weren’t familiar with the term, biotransformation (in beer) refers to the technique of adding hops during active fermentation, allowing the yeast to take some of the terpene compounds in the hops, and transform them. There is plenty of research ongoing into the hundreds (thousands?) of chemicals that make our favourite beers taste and smell great, but if you’re looking for a 10 minute primer on here, we highly recommend reading Scott Janish’s take. All of that to say that GR’s Creature Feature IV takes advantage of those hungry bugs during fermentation, and feeds them lots of hops to increase the fruity character we get to enjoy! The 5.4% ABV beer is on tap for pints and growler fills now, and won’t be around for long. Keep an eye out for new batches of Leave Me Blue Kentucky Common and Infinite Saturday Vienna lager, both coming through the pipeline in the next week or so.

And also speaking of Propeller Brewing, they have released the latest in their line of vodka sodas in their Windmill Cocktails, with Grapefruit & Lime hitting their shelves yesterday. This 6.0% ABV blend uses fresh grapefruit flavour and lime, and no sugar or other sweetener. Available in singles and six-packs at both brewery retail locations, it will also be at the NSLC in the coming weeks. And while you’re grabbing a sixer of the new release (or their supremely popular Galaxy New England IPA), stick around for the tapping of their cask at 5 PM. Today’s is their Porter, with an addition of Mosaic hops to get your evening started right. Grab it and head downstairs to the Arcade, why dontcha? Both it and Gottingen taproom and retail shop are open all weekend.

Last, but certainly not least today, is another special return of a big ol’ beer in Halifax. Unfiltered on North Street only makes their Commissar oak-aged Russian Imperial Stout every two years, and the last time they did was for a Spring 2017 release. That means they’re right on schedule in announcing that the latest version of that beer is out this weekend. Boasting an ABV of 11.2%, this one isn’t for the faint of heart. Expect a rich, complex, deep and dark beer that should only get better with age. Find it fresh on tap at Charm School on North Street, and maybe grab a couple of bottles next door at the brewery to put in your cellar for a year or 3.

We’ll have a special stand-alone post next week highlighting the NS Craft Beer Week events, but in the meantime…

Chinched on Bates Hill in St. John’s is hosting a “Home Chef / Home Brew” event next Wednesday, April 24th. Featuring four winning home chef dishes paired with the winners of Quidi Vidi’s homebrew competition (Newfermenters). The chefs and brewers will be on hand to talk about their creations, as well as the professional chefs and brewers who brought the ideas to reality. Drop Chinched a line at 709-722-3100 or online to reserve your seat at the table 6 PM that evening. Check out Chinched’s IG page to learn more about the home chefs who won.

Tickets for the May 24 and May 25 Newfoundland Beer Expo are now on sale. Unlike the Newfoundland Craft Beer Festival held last weekend that aimed to highlight the great Island breweries, and good beer and cider from off the island, this NLC production seems to be geared at those looking to “drink their way through the entire NLC inventory”. About half of the beer is brewed/owned by macro breweries, many of the beers are already on the shelves at the NLC, and only one of the Newfoundland breweries is on the Beer List. Tickets are $86 (or $132 if you include the guided tasting beforehand), and available here.

Just a few more things to tease you with today…

Dieppe’s CAVOK Brewing brought back their FOXTROT 33 Stout earlier this month, and they now have it available in cans at the brewery, and at the local ANBLs in the near future. This 5.0% ABV, 33 IBU, stout features notes of vanilla, chocolate and coffee, and is perfect to sip while waiting for that warmer weather to hit us.

Rothesay’s Long Bay Brewery has brought back their Amplified series of beers again in 2019. Collaborating once again with Backstreet Records in Saint John,  Amplified – Solid Gold Edition is a golden blonde ale brewed “with our favorite malt and yeast, and is designed for the hot weather ahead”. This 5.0% ABV ale is only available on tap and draught for the time being, with bottles available next batch (which tells us this will be a great beer around all summer!).

We’ve already given you the details on two new releases from Tatamagouche Brewing a couple of weeks ago, but we can now tell you that cans of both Dusk Schwarzbier (4.9% ABV) and Eager a 4.8% dry-hopped lager, are now available at the brewery (and maybe at the private stores in HRM soon). Plus look for them on tap at better bars and brewery taprooms in HRM and around the province.