Ol’ Biddy’s Brew House

All posts tagged Ol’ Biddy’s Brew House

So, ok, we’re a bit late today, but hey, Christmas IS only a few days away, and when you throw in work getting busier, staff parties being inconveniently scheduled for Thursday evenings, and just the general crap-storm that is preparing for the holidays, on top of a seemingly-extra large amount of brewery news/new beers, it’s tough! Ok, that’s enough wallowing in self pity for today. A note that this is the last Friday Wrap-Up for us this year, as we’ve decided to take a little break next week. In the meantime, keep an eye on our social media as we will be pushing out a Profile or two (fingers crossed!), as well as shorter blurbs as we learn of new releases to share. We’ll definitely have a full post Friday January 4th, as we begin our 8th (EIGHTH!!) year of bringing you the freshest beer news from across Atlantic Canada. Cheers and Happy Holidays!

Let’s start the news rolling this week with some fantastic news from the west coast of Newfoundland. Port au Port East is located on the outskirts of Stephenville, 2 hours from the Port aux Basques ferry terminal to the mainland. Located at 92-96 Main Street in Port au Port East is Secret Cove Brewing, which opened its doors yesterday for the first time. Operating a brewery and taproom in the former Viking Lounge location, they have four beers for enjoyment onsite and to take away in growlers: James Blonde 00709 Belgian Blonde, Malt Water Joys Brown, When in Stout Stout, and Hard Case in your Face DIPA. The brewery is open today and tomorrow 4 – 11 PM, with Sunday’s, and beyond’s, hours to be determined. Drop by to welcome the newest of your Island breweries to open, and we will share a full Profile with Secret Cove very soon! Congratulations Jason and Sheila! This marks the 5th brewery to open in Newfoundland in 2018, bringing the number across the Island to 13.

In other great news for breweries opening in our region, we mentioned a few weeks ago that Sussex Ale Works had opened their taproom on Main Street in Sussex. This week, for the first time, they have been able to serve their own house-made beers on tap and to go in growlers. Their first beer is Who’s Your Daddy Red Ale, a 6.8% Red Ale featuring 20 IBUs. It is complementing their all-New Brunswick offerings, including local Matchstick Beer Factory’s Matchstick Pale Ale, Long Bay’s Full Pleasure Passonfruit Sour, and several from Hammond River, Maybee, Niche, and Graystone, as well as Yip Cider. Look for more from Sussex Ale Work’s own 1 BBL (120 litre) brewhouse in the New Year, including their Holstein Milk Stout, and Picadilly Pale Ale. Congratulations Rick and family!

Back to the Rock for the next new beer to hit the taps, we’ve got Home and Away American Pale Ale from Landwash Brewery. Located in Mount Pearl, this is Landwash’s first release since their launch earlier this month. This 5.8% ABV American Pale Ale is a tribute to the iconic style which helped fuel the North American beer renaissance. Featuring loads of American Cascade and Citra hops, the aroma and palate are full of orange and grapefruit character, with bitterness to balance the malt. Home and Away is available on tap for pints and flights now, and for growlers to take away, along with their core lineup of beers.

Off Tracking Brewing in Bedford, Nova Scotia, is celebrating their First Anniversary this weekend, and are releasing a couple of new beers to celebrate, as well as a special collaboration with a brewing pal. First up is Charles in Charge, a hopped-up version of their 5.0% ABV Good Grief Charlie Brown Brown Ale, increasing the hopping rate to more than 50 IBU. They are also releasing Frank Citra-Natra, a 4.7% ABV American Pale Ale, featuring nothing but, you guessed it, Citra hops (to the tune of 40 IBU).

These two new Off Track beers are gracing the newly-expanded tap offerings, which now sits at 15, and also includes a few guest offerings. The latest collaboration-guest-hybrid beer to hit the chalkboard is the first from Sackville brewery Ol’ Biddy’s Brewhouse in several months, Funktown American Pale Ale. Brewed with OBB owner Keith Forbes at Off Track, this 5.1% ABV APA features loads of Centennial and Falconers Flight hops for a floral, lemon, and grapefruit character on the nose and flavour, with a light body and clean and dry finish. Grab a flight or pint, and then take a growler to go to enjoy in front of your holiday tree.

And in more Off Track news, they are keeping with the tradition of being open regular hours (Thursday through Sunday) during this holiday time, including next Monday and Tuesday (Christmas Eve and Christmas), 12 – 6 PM. If you need a break from the family, you’ll be sure to find some friends in the same boat there next Tuesday! They’ll also be open 12 – 6 PM on New Year’s Eve. And while you’re there, check out their new line of bottles, with their Crash Course IPA, Damn Skippy Peanut Butter Stout, Alias Pale Ale, Universal Soldier Kolsch, and Not About You ESB all available in singles or 4-packs.

The elves over at 2 Crows have been extra busy lately, as we’ve got three new beers to report this week, two of which will be hitting your mouth this weekend. The big release today at noon is Waltz, a 5.5% ABV, 22 IBUs German Pilsner. Brewed with 100% German Pilsner malt, no shortcuts were taken in brewing this one to style. Using de-aerated brewing water, a low oxygen brewing environment (don’t worry, no one passed out!), and a multi-step mash, let’s just say the brew day was a little longer than usual. Hopped with German varieties (Huell Melon, Hallertau Blanc, and Saphir), it was then fermented with the classic German Lager strain, Weihenstephan, and then allowed to lager for more than 8 weeks. Sounds like the wait/hard work was worth it, with the final product being “beautifully crisp, doughy, with some lovely lemony and herbal notes”. The good news is there’s lots of this one, as it was a full 40 bbl batch, so you can find it on tap and in cans at 2C today, and it should also be hitting the local private stores soon.

You could always wait to head to 2 Crows tomorrow, when you’ll be able to grab one of the very few bottles of Razzle Dazzle, a “Champagne Brett Lager”. Brewed nine months ago with Pilsner malt and rice, the wort was hopped with Hallertau Blanc in the boil to just 12 IBUs. It was then fermented with the Weihenstephan strain, lagered for 7 weeks… and then that’s when things got a bit weird! They added glucoamylase and Brett C, and allowed the beer to condition for another 5 months, where it was finally packaged in 750 mL cork-and-caged bottles, with Champagne yeast. It’s tasting “super dry, crisp, and funky, with notes of pineapple, hay, and pear”. It finished at 6.1% ABV, and if you’d like to try it, get there when they open… there’s only about 90 bottles or so available, and there is a 2 bottle-per-person limit.

And finally, 2 Crows has got one more humdinger dropping next Saturday, and were kind enough to give us the inside scoop early on Biere de Champagne. Follow along with this one closely, it ain’t the simplest beer. Originally brewed over a year ago, in October, 2017, it started off as two beers: 1) a lower-ABV beer brewed with Pilsner and Oat malt, and fermented with TYB207 (a Brett brux strain), and 2) a high-ABV beer brewed with Pilsner malt and Nova Scotia honey, and fermented with Omega All The Bretts (that’s a blend of at least 10 Brett strains!), and Champagne yeast. After both beers fermented out, they were blended and bottled in Champagne bottles, and dosed with Champagne yeast and priming sugar, aiming for a carbonation of 6.8 vol CO2 (for those of you not in the know, that is a LOT of carbonation… your typical APA or IPA is likely somewhere around 2.5). Head brewer Jeremy Taylor can do a better job of explaining the next long process: “The bottles were conditioned horizontally for 2 months, then very gradually moved until they were sitting cap-down, riddling them every day or so over a period of many months. The beers were then chilled for several days, then the neck of the bottles was super chilled with dry ice; we removed the cap and shot out the yeast plug that had settled in the neck, then bottles were corked and caged.” Yikes! Sounds like it came out tasty, extremely effervescent (ya think?!) with “big honey notes, funky, cantaloupe, earthy”, 8.4% ABV. Releasing next Saturday (Dec 29) at 2C, there’s only 140 bottles available.

If you were a fan of Propeller’s recent one-off NEIPA, Galaxy (and we’re guessing those of you who tried it ARE fans of it, considering it’s currently the brewery’s highest-rated beer on Untappd), we’re sad to say that it is now sold out. On the upswing, they do have another once-a-one-off IPA returning, Skyrocket DIPA. Showcasing the experimental Skyrocket hop variety (related to Chinook) from the Gorst valley, it was originally brewed as a Gottingen small batch brew in January, and is now returning in cans. This 8% ABV beer is “intensely aromatic, with big, beautiful notes of mango, papaya, and pineapple”. Look for it at your nearest Propeller location! We should also mention that today’s cask release is Russian Imperial Stout, with smoked black tea, which gives the already-big-and-bold beer a “powerful smoky aroma and flavour”.

In Mahone Bay, NS, Saltbox Brewing has two releases for you this week. The first is a beer, Storm Surge, that they’re referring to as a “Maritime Ale”. They describe it as a 5.4% ABV brew that is “a prime example of a malt-forward beer, beautifully balanced by the subtle, spicy citrus of hops”. We’re guessing something along the lines of an American Pale Ale, perhaps? Either way, you’ll have to try it yourself to decide for sure; you can stop by and grab a growler right now. They’ve also just released a cider, Backyard Cider, which is made up of 100% Heirloom Gravenstein apples (grown locally in NS). Exhibiting “a balance of sweet and tart”, just like the apple that it came from, it finishes dry and crisp with floral notes. Also available in growlers, both Backyard Cider and Storm Surge should be making an appearance in cans in the not-too-distant future, so stay tuned for that.⠀

With the changing of the seasons, Meander River is giving us a changing of the seasonals. The latest in their Farm Cider series is First Frost, which will be taking over from Fall’s offering, Dusty Road. Made from the freshest press of the year’s apple harvest, it’s a 5.5% ABV cider that’s citrusy, tart and juicy while being very dry. Scheduled for release on the first day of Winter (hey, that’s today!), you’ll be able to grab some this weekend at the Halifax Forum Farmers Market, and it will also go on tap at Tusket Falls, Stubborn Goat, Battery Park and Chain Yard.

Summerside, PEI’s Evermoore Brewing has a new offering that started pouring earlier this week. Called Smokey Double IPA it’s exactly what the name indicates, a double IPA with a touch of smokey character thanks to some smoked flaked barley in the grist. On the hop side, it features Brewer’s Gold, Hallertau Blanc, and Amarillo in the kettle during the boil before being hit with Simcoe and Tettnanger in the whirlpool. At 8% ABV and 60 IBU it’s a bigger beer and fairly bitter. You’ll find it at Evermoore’s taproom at 192 Water Street if you fancy a taste.

You may recall that in celebration of their 20th Anniversary last year, Garrison released XXX IPA, a Double IPA, for a brief run. They’ve just released a barrel-aged version of the same beer, where it spent 12 months in Glen Breton Rare Single Malt Whiskey barrels. They’re referring to this one as an Imperial IPA/American Barleywine hybrid, as it comes in at a whopping 11% ABV. If you’d like to decide for yourself, it’s available at the brewery only, in 650 mL bottles. They’ve also brought back their Imperial IPA in bottles and on tap at their retail store; this time around they’ve tweaked the recipe slightly, and hopped it with 100% Cascade.

Yarmouth’s Heritage Brewing is keeping up with the new brews lately, as they’ve just released a DIPA, Golden Horse. Named after the Golden Horse Fountain located in the community of Milton, the beer was hopped heavily with a blend of three high alpha acid hops. Early, late, and dry hop additions contribute to high bitterness (130 calculated IBUs) and “plenty of dank, pine, and citrus flavours”. Hazy and alarmingly drinkable (even at 7.6% ABV), sneak into Heritage before the holidays for a pint/growler, and satisfy your hop urge!

Those crazy folks at Tidehouse must have found a sale on bottles, as this is the… I don’t even know how many consistent weeks of bottle releases they’ve had, and I certainly don’t have the time to check! It’s a lot. But hey, that means more take-home beer for all of us, right? And this week brings the release of Bonny Stormer, an Extra Special Bitter hopped with Progress and First Gold. Coming across as “a pinch earthy, with notes of sweet tangerine and orange”, it finishes fairly bitter (expected with this style), and comes in at 5% ABV. In addition to being available in bottles (limit 6/person) today at 2 pm, you can also find it on tap at Tidehouse.

It’s almost December 23rd, and you know that everyone in Newfoundland (well, the fun ones, anyway!) are gearing up for Tibb’s Eve on Sunday. Those characters at Port Rexton Brewing are no exception, of course, and have a couple of brand new beers to help you celebrate, just in time. First up is Tibb’s the Saison, a “Festive Saison” that was hopped with both French and Czech hop varieties, and fermented with the Fruit Bomb Saison yeast blend from Escarpment Labs. Containing both a Saison Saccharomyces strain and two Brettanomyces strains, the combination of the three ensures lots of tropical fruit character in the finished beer. This particular Saison features “gingerbread aromas and a light rye spice” and weighs in at 6.6% ABV. This was a small batch, and half of it is already resting peacefully in a grape brandy barrel; the current iteration can be found on tap at PR for their Tibb’s Eve party Sunday, and also at their St. John’s retail shop for growler fills today and tomorrow.

Next up from Port Rexton is Round Table, a nice, big, Bourbon barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout. Designed by head brewers Les and Chris shortly after trying some similar beers at the 2018 Canadian Brewing Awards in Halifax, the oak character from the barrel comes through nicely, blending with the Bourbon found on the nose and palate, as well as some “dark chocolate-covered berry and coffee flavours”. Smooth and quite drinkable even at 8.8% ABV, the carbonation was purposely kept fairly low, and is best enjoyed served at a slightly-warmer temperature. This one is available in 500 mL bottles only, and was released yesterday evening with a limit of 2/person. Seek it out at both PR locations this weekend!

TrailWay has a new iteration of Beans coming out today when they open, with this batch being dosed with cocoa nibs and 250 lbs of cherry puree, to help complement the regular addition of freshly-roasted coffee beans from Whitney Coffee Company. The coffee character is prominent as usual, along with “rich and deep chocolate in the aroma, with a subtle, fruity, tart cherry component”. Available on tap and in cans at the brewery. They’ve also got fresh kegs and cans of one of their crowd-favourite American IPAs, Green Island (6% ABV).

One of the region’s newest cideries, Maritime Express in Kentville, NS, has a brand new cider available that features an ingredient better known for its use in beer. Train Hopper is made from 100% Annapolis Valley apples across four varieties: Cortland, Macintosh, Gravenstein and Spartan. To that base was added three types of hops, all sourced locally, to provide a decidedly citrusy and hoppy aroma. On the palate, look for grapefruit, floral and lemon notes that lead to a strong tart finish. Look for it at the cidery, both pouring from the taps and in bottles.

Antigonish’s Half Cocked Brewing is excited to have their first bottle release and they’re doing it in style with a big one. Tapped & Feathered is being called a “maple sap imperial stout,” as it was brewed using sap from Haveracres Maple Farm in nearby St. Joseph’s in place of water, a handy way to extract additional sugars from the mashing process and thus not lose significant efficiency on a big beer. Once fermented, the beer was aged for several months in a Glenora whiskey barrel. Coming in at a hefty 10.3% ABV, it features aromas of candied orange rind and dark chocolate, with flavors of figs, brown sugar, dark chocolate and vanilla. Expect it to be available at the brewery very soon; to find out exactly when check out their social media (Fb, Ig, Tw), where the release will be formally announced.

CAVOK in Dieppe, NB, has been doing some experimentation with their Stout. So far they’ve released salted caramel, cold-brewed coffee and peanut butter variations. These are small batches, each about 1 BBL, aimed at testing the flavourings and getting a feel for the appropriate levels. As such, they are only available by the pint in their taproom. All three are 4.9% ABV. Meanwhile, in terms of bigger batches, they’ve also got a light American lager on the go that they’re calling Joe Blow Lager. Crisp and refreshing, it’ll be a great beer for a holiday party and guests who might be looking for something a little lighter. At 4.5% ABV and very low bitterness, we think they might be onto something!

Boxing Rock continues to push out some new beers from the Test Kitchen location in Local Source Market on Agricola Street in Halifax. Late last week, they released the Blue Collar Blonde, a collaborative 5.0% ABV Kolsch brewed with the fine folks at Halifax’s HopYard, which debuted during last weekend’s YMCA fundraiser at the bar. It was deemed so popular that it will be brewed again very soon, this time at their big system in Shelburne, for a full release in the New Year. Out this week is another collaboration, this time with the crew from Canopy Creative, who came in and brewed Canopy Cane Chocolate Milk Stout, which features lactose, chocolate, and peppermint in the boil for the full Christmas experience. As with all of these releases, they are very small, so if you see something you like, best get there ASAP to grab it! And keep your eyes peeled for the re-release of their 4% ABV Winter Session Ale, The Biggest Spruce Axe-worthy, brewed with spruce tips right in the boil.

If you manage to get away from the family in the couple of weeks, be sure to double check that your favourite brewery, bar, or watering hole is open, as many are adjusting their schedules over the course of the next two weeks. We’ve got a pair of events you’ll certainly want to check out if you’re in the area!

Moncton’s Tide and Boar Gastropub is hosting their annual Free Oyster Day today, with oyster shucking happening all day to complement your beer and food. As well, they’ve released a pair of new/returning favourites on tap, with a limited amount available to go in growlers: Herbies Coffee for Breakfast Stout, Special Blend IPA, and Melting Mountains IPA. Plus there may be a couple of bottles of their cellar-aged sour for you to take home! Details on their FB Event page.

Big Spruce is celebrating the release of their latest batch of One Hundred Wild next Saturday, December 29th, at Horton Ridge Malt & Grain. Obviously an important of this 100% Nova Scotia equation with grain/malt, hops, and yeast (isolated from a fruit tree on their property in Nyanza), Horton Ridge is the perfect place to host the event, and will have the beer flowing from 1 PM, with live music 3 – 5 PM, and 7 – 9 PM. Cans can also be pre-ordered for pickup the day before. More details on their FB page. And in more Big Spruce news, they’ve just announced that they will be a permanent part of the Halifax Seaport Market, beginning tomorrow, with bottles and growlers.

Stillwell Beer Bar in Halifax is once again holding their New Years Day Levee, when they will be opening their doors at noon January 1st, and will be pouring up a dozen special beers, holding super sales on many of their cellar bottle list, and a slew of hangover-curing brunch items to help you forget the night before. Pop by to see what they’re sharing to celebrate the beginning of 2019!

Just a couple more things to finish off the year, before you head out and grab that eggnog stout or nutmeg blonde…

Lazy Bear Brewing in Smiths Cove has bottled up a few of their beers, and now have the Norwegian Kviek Ale available at YHZ Airport’s Liquid Assets. Look for those to hit the shelves elsewhere in HRM soon. And keep an eye out at their market stall for their 10.1% ABV Russian Imperial Stout, available this weekend.

Niche Brewing in Hanwell has their Chromatic By Design Red IPA available again throughout New Brunswick. This 6.6% ABV beer features load of Ekunanot, Mosaic, and Citra, for a bold blast of tropical, dank, and citrus hops, with a touch of toffee and caramel flavours from the specialty malt. And hitting the taps next week is Wayfarer, their 6.0% ABV Sour IPA, featuring Centennial and El Dorado hops, for a lovely hybrid of sour and tropical.

Sea Level Brewing in Port Williams has released the latest version of their High Street Wee Heavy. This 6.3% ABV classic Scottish Ale is the first beer to feature barley and hops from their Millstone Harvest farm, the future site of their estate brewery, set to open next year. We hear that the next batch of their barley is actually being malted at Horton Ridge currently, for use in future Sea Level brews. High Street is available on tap at the Port Pub, and to go in cans and growlers today.

And finally, in a bit of humour around this Holiday time, St. John’s YellowBelly Brewery is looking for your unwanted/extra fruitcake! They’ll be brewing up a beer in the New Year, and would to use your un-loved fruitcake in the mash. With all of the sugars, and a little booze, that these divisive holiday baked goods contain, they are sure to lend plenty of character to the final beer. Check out this article for more information.

Another Friday, another day chock-full of beer news for Atlantic Canada. The sun has been shining for a few days, and, thankfully, water levels are finally starting to recede across New Brunswick… although, there’s still a ways to go, and a heck of a lot of work ahead. In the meantime, we invite you to take a break from your work day and catch up one what’s going on in the wonderful world of beer… at least, in our region.

• Halifax’s Chain Yard Cider released a new blend last week, pairing apples, rhubarb and honey together in a tasty beverage. After arresting (stopping short) the ferment of a rhubarb wine (with fruit from Terra Beata Farms), they blended it with a mead made from honey from Brandt’s Bees in Wolfville. That was then blended with their Intrepid cider, which is created from their Northern Spy apples, and allowed to condition at cold temperature. The resultant cyser (mead/cider blend), Rhubee Cyser, weighs in at 8.0% ABV and features plenty of honey and fruit flavours up front, followed by earthy notes in the middle, with some sweetness and floral flavours on the finish. Grab a glass at their Agricola Street location today, or check the cider and food from Unchained Kitchen tomorrow during Open City (more details below).

Tanner & Co. in Chester Basin has a brand new beer that should be available at the brewery tomorrow, Sauvage Saison. At 6.3% ABV, this Saison features a light-bodied and -coloured malt bill of predominantly Pilsner with a touch of Wheat and darker malts, and light hopping from traditional English hop East Kent Golding. The wort was fermented with the wild Pin Cherry yeast harvested from Big Spruce‘s farm in Nyanza, Cape Breton, nicknamed Scotian Sauvage. Due to the nature of this experiment, there’s just a single keg of Sauvage Saison available, so be sure to visit Tanner & Co this weekend to enjoy it. And with it being Open Brewery Day in Nova Scotia, we think it’s the perfect time to do so! And keep an eye out over the the next few weeks, as there will be more from the Scotian Sauvage yeast, as well as Tanner’s GSB release, but we’ll tell you more about those next week.

• More barrel goodies are coming our way this weekend, as Stillwell Brewing has two releases – one new, one returning – for us tomorrow. The “returning” beer is the second blend of Gosh, a Mosaic dry-hopped Saison. First released late last fall, the original beer came from a red wine barrel; in contrast, tomorrow’s 6.2% ABV beer is a blend of multiple white wine barrels. With lots of fruity aromatics (from the fermentation character, as well as the Mosaic), it was brewed in May of 2017, and bottled in January, 2018. As for the new beer, Deluxe is a tart Saison that was brewed in April, 2017, and aged in a single white wine barrel. Five months later, over 50 kg of overripe apricots were added, ultimately resulting in a “highly complex, fruity, dry beer with lots of beautiful barrel character” that was bottled in January, and weighs in at just 4.9% ABV. Both will be available for purchase from 12-4 pm tomorrow, at the back of 2015 Gottingen St.; both beers, especially the smaller-batch Deluxe, will go quickly, so don’t be late!

• There’s a whole lotta beer news coming from Spindrift this week, so we should stop wasting time and dive right in! First up is a brand new beer that will be joining the brewery’s core brands – Hurricane IPA is an unfiltered, West Coast-style IPA. The simple grist was boosted slightly with light additions of Crystal 45 L and Munich malt, giving the beer a light orange/copper colour. Hopped extensively with Amarillo and Comet (to a total of 60 IBUs), this 6.2% ABV brew features flavours and aromas of “fresh cut grass, pine, ripe melon, zesty grapefruit, and Tim Horton’s peach juice” (now that’s specific!), with a dry finish. You should be able to find it on tap and in 473 mL cans at the brewery now, and quite possibly at some NSLC stores by publishing as well.

• Spindrift also has two new Seventh Wave releases this week. Let’s start with Just Boats Brown Ale, a 4.9% ABV Brown brewed with Pilsner, Wheat, Chocolate Wheat, double-roasted Crystal, and Roasted Barley. Hopped with Magnum to 31 IBUs, and fermented with an English ESB strain, the beer focuses on the malt character, with notes of light roast and chocolate. Second is Mosaic SMaSH Ale, which debuted at last weekend’s Full House Craft Beer Fest. Focusing solely on Pilsner malt and Mosaic hops, this is a newer batch that the brewery claims has a fuller body, with lots of “berry, tropical, and citrus” packed into a 5.5% ABV, 26 IBUs package. Hopefully both of these are still pouring at Spindrift, so you’d best check it out ASAP to be sure!

• Speaking of busy breweries, Ol’ Biddy’s Brewhouse is yet another one, as we’ve got news on not one, not two, but three new beers hitting taps in the very near future. Honey, I’m Home is a Honey Brown Ale that was brewed in collaboration with Freeman’s Pizza, a frequent supporter of Ol’ Biddy’s. Brewed with Pale, Chocolate, Honey, Carapils, and Crystal 60 L malts, it’s a malt-forward, medium-bodied beer with notes of “chocolate and caramel, with a touch of residual sweetness”. Hopped with Columbus to just 17 IBUs, it’s easy-drinking at 5.1% ABV; look for it to be on tap soon at the Freeman’s Sackville location, as well as Battery Park. Moving into more-hop-friendly territory is Boogie Nights IPA, featuring a simple malt bill and plenty of Columbus, Huell Melon, and Azacca. Slightly bitter in the finish (63 IBUs), expect lots of melon in both the aroma and flavour of this 6.3% ABV beer. Look for this one to be tapped over the next few days at the earliest; keep up with Ol’ Biddy’s social media pages to find out exactly where it lands. Finally, we have a sneak peek at the first beer of a new series for the brewery, Sackvegas SMaSH: Azacca/Pilsen. This one was designed to be an easy-drinking summer beer, and should come in at 4.9% ABV and approximately 27 IBUs. Featuring all Pilsner malt and Azacca hops, it won’t be released until the end of the month, but we’ll remind you when it comes out!

• Today marks the fourth release in Upstreet‘s Neon Friday series of hoppy beers, but this time around they’re taking it a step further, and releasing the beer in cans… the first time any beer from Upstreet has been packaged this way. The beer is NEIPA with Mosaic and Galaxy, which does a pretty darn good job of explaining itself! So, yeah. Hazy, lots of Mosaic and Galaxy tropical, fruity goodness, in a 6.5% ABV, 40 IBU package. Available in four-packs in very limited amounts: 100 packs going to the Upstreet taproom (opens at noon), and 100 going to the Craft Beer Corner (opens at 11 am). They’ll likely go pretty fast, so it would be a good idea to get downtown early!

• Next week’s Good Robot releases are locked and loaded, proving that NSCBW didn’t have quite a serious enough effect on staff. Next Tuesday’s Beta brew is Hands Off Maibock!, a collab with a couple of women that Kelly C. met during her Ladies Beer League days. This Maibock was brewed with Pilsner, Munich and Vienna malts, giving it a “toasty finish, and pleasant residual sweetness”. Hopped to 27 IBUs with Hallertau to give some low floral/spice character, it weighs in at a reasonable 5.8% ABV. As for Thursday’s larger-scale release, it’s a new beer named Tiny Tigers. A kinda-lighter-ABV Saison (5.8% ABV), the grist was made up of Pilsner, 2-row, and some Crystal 30L to keep the colour light. Hopped with Columbus and Citra to 31 IBUs, it has a “smooth spice and subtle citrus aroma” thanks in part to the fermentation

• In Fredericton, as the water is finally starting to go back where it belongs, TrailWay Brewing has two releases this week. The first is the return of Good Weather; an American IPA that originally was released in March, it’s now joining the TW regular summer line-up. With a slightly-tweaked hop schedule, it should be otherwise similar to the first batch, with a “bright, tropical, citrus, peach juice” combination of characteristics. Aside from being available at the TW taproom, it should be showing up in cans at ANBL stores as well. Also returning is Hopical Trop, the brewery’s rotating “Fruited DIPA”. This time around, the 8% ABV beer was conditioned on dark cherries, giving “massive, sweet fruit character with a vanilla-like quality”. This one is in cans at TrailWay only, as well as on tap for pints and growlers, with a few kegs likely to be pouring at select licensees.

Big Spruce has another just-in-time-for-summer beer out for us, which – in our humble opinions – is one of THE best styles for warm weather out there. Hugs Bunny is a Gose – a sour, low-ABV, German style – brewed with sea salt and Indian coriander (both of which are classic additions to the style). The great thing about a Gose is there are a lot of directions you can take it afterwards, and Big Spruce didn’t hesitate to go down one of those roads, dry-hopping it with lots of Citra. Light, slightly-salty, tart, with lots of citrus and tropical fruit on the nose… all at only 3.8% ABV. Get it now on tap at Big Spruce, and at some of the finer tap accounts in Nova Scotia.

• Recently, Annapolis Brewing Company teamed up with Horton Ridge to brew Oatta the Valley Pale Ale, and that beer has just been kegged and ready for tasting this weekend. Brewed with all Maritime-grown malt and hops, the recipe creation was a true collaboration, in a fun and different way. We’ll let the crew from Annapolis describe it, “The makeup of the recipe was somewhat of a card game. The Annapolis Brewing Company started the recipe with the base malt and sent it back to Horton Ridge for the next malt addition. Once they added their malt choice, they, in turn, sent the recipe back to us for the next addition. We did this with the hops as well. It was truly a 50/50 collab from recipe makeup to brewing. We love working with Horton Ridge and most of all…brewing with their malt!” The final grist consisted of 2 Row, Rye, Munich, Vienne, Wheat and Oat malts, and the hop bill, grown at Fundy Hops, were Centennial and Galena. You can find Oatta the Valley on tap at Horton Ridge today! And keep your eyes open for Annapolis’ beers at Liquid Assets, the all-NS private liquor store at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Their Goodwill Amber, Big Shot Black IPA and Acadian Honey Brown are available in 355ml stubby bottles to grab when you go visiting, or when returning from a trip. And we’ve heard that the LA folks will even meet you outside of security if you’re just passing through!

• On the South Shore of NS, in Mahone Bay, Saltbox Brewing has two new styles to share, both on the deeper, darker side of the spectrum. The first is Bette Davis Eisbock, a beer that would have started fairly big in the usual bock style, but which also underwent a freezing process to remove some of the water content yielding a beer with a final ABV of 10.6%. Strong and full-bodied, there’s a moderate bitterness for balance, but a definite sweetness present. This is a traditional German style that would be served from December to April, but we’re getting it a little later here this year, matching our late spring. And somewhat lighter but still nowhere near pale is Lou Keyte’s Brown Ale, a collaboration with Sea Level Brewing up in Port Williams. It’s named after a Chicago conman (the “Bernie Madoff of the Roaring Twenties) who hosted big parties at his hunting lodge near Kejimkujik before being extradited home, where he chose to avoid a long term prison sentence by scarfing a whole box of chocolates (he was diabetic). Happy for us, he inspired this beer, which is deep brown in color, with a creamy tan head, and featuring hints of caramel and chocolate on the palate and a soft roasted finish. Lighter than you might expect from the color, it comes in at 6.2% ABV, perfect for sipping on its own or pairing with food.

• A couple of quick mentions from the Rock today, first, starting way way up in Twilingate, we’ve got news of a new beer from Split Rock, another entry in their IPA family. Reminiscent of their Gateway IPA but featuring Citra hops, Dream of Spring is a 7.1% ABV American-style IPA. Available at the Stage Head Pub, expect a solid body and a firm bitterness. And on the west coast, in Corner Brook, Bootleg Brew Co also has a new beer available as of last night, one they’re referring to as a “summery session ale”. Class Act was designed for day drinking, a crisp, hoppy, refreshing, and sessionable pale ale made with oats. Zesty, with hop-derived notes of orange, pear and lime, it’s 42 IBU and a super quaffable 4.2% ABV.

• We’ve previously mentioned the Cider Club at Wolfville’s Annapolis Cider Company and for those who missed out and wish they hadn’t, we’ve received word that there’s a very limited number of additional memberships available. If you’re interested in a regular 10% discount, 6 special bottles twice a year, guided tastings of special releases and participation in discussions about future releases, check out the details on their sign-up page. A reminder that you need not be local to Wolfville – you can have your cider shipped to you anywhere in the 10 Provinces of Canada!

• Halifax’s Garrison has released another new hoppy beer, this one taking the New England IPA style down a notch in terms of ABV, but definitely not in flavor. Wicked Good is being called a New England Pale Ale and features a grist of Maritime pale malt, oats and wheat paired with classic Cascade, new hotness Huell Melon, and some other hops that will remain nameless, at least for now. Juicy, hazy and unfiltered, it’s a reasonable 30 IBU and a very sessionable 5.0% ABV, all the better to let stone fruit and citrus aromas and melon and pear flavors to shine through. Look for it in cans at the brewery (and, we expect, the private liquor stores at some point) as well as at Garrison’s Open City / Open Brewery Day Event tomorrow (see below)!

Here’s what’s going on for beer-related events in the region this weekend and over the next week or two:

• Taking a page from I Love Local Halifax, the community of independent Halifax businesses, breweries across the province are holding Open Brewery Day tomorrow, May 12th. From Shelburne to Nyanza taking part, there is sure to be something in your neighbourhood, or worth traveling for, tomorrow, so be sure to get out and visit. To make life a little easier, we’ve put together a map of all the events we could find. If we’ve missed something, let us know and we’ll add it!

2 Crows, Halifax, 2-5PM: Live band from 2-5PM with $1 off pints and growler fills during that time
Big Spruce, Nyanza, 12-6PM: Live music and wood fired pizza!
Boxing Rock, Shelburne, 11AM-7PM: Free tours all day, try your hand at axe throwing, live music from 2-4PM. Samples and flights, and food courtesy of Finest Kind Food.
Chain Yard Cider, Halifax, 11:30-?: Enjoy $2 samples of cider on their patio, plus Unchained Kitchen will offer a $6 shrimp/mussel boil.
Garrison, Halifax, 11AM-6PM: The Cake Lady and The Shuck Stop! will be set up, serving pastries and bivalves to pair with their beer. Plus the release of Wicked Good New England APA in cans.
Meander River, Ashdale, 11AM-5PM: Visit the brewery for a tasting and tour, chat with the brewer and owners, grab some beer, cider, and other farm products to go.
Nine Locks, Dartmouth, 11AM-6PM: Nine Locks will have brewery tours starting at 11 am and run until 4 pm, running at the top of the hour. The tour is limited to 12 people each tour. You can sign up in advance by contacting the brewery directly.
Propeller, Halifax, 10AM-2PM: Drop by all day and see first hand how beer is made. They will be brewing an American Wheat, which will be dry-hopped and released in a few weeks.
Saltbox Brewing, Mahone Bay, 12-9PM: Backoos Korean Food Truck on-site. Prize draws and live entertainment. Staff are avail to sample and discuss their beer.
Schoolhouse Brewery, Windsor, 12-6PM: Drop by at 3:30pm for a brewery tour by owner Cameron Hartley and to meet your local brew crew!
Stubborn Goat, Halifax, 11AM-close: The Stubborn Goat Beer Garden opens for the season, and both locations will be serving up $5 snacks.
Tanner & Co, Chester Basin, 12-5PM: Brewery tours and other fun!
Tatamagouche Brewing, Tatamagouche, 10-5PM: Brewery tours start at 10AM, and run every half-hour. There will be live music in the brewery taproom from 2-5PM. Dogs are welcome/encouraged/required.

• If two wheeled locomotion is more your speed, tomorrow is the inaugural ride of the Nova Scotia chapter of BrewDog Chain Gang. Using Off Track Brewing on Rocky Lake Drive in Bedford as the start and end to the ride, the group will be traveling out to Goffs and back, a 70km ride. A world-wide bike club sponsored by Scottish brewery BrewDog, the goal of Chain Gang to encourage camaraderie with other cyclists, and use breweries and beer bars as the homebase for refreshment and conversation after riding. Look for more rides throughout the summer, and check out the event details for more information.

May 13th is the inaugural day for the Craft Beer Farmers’ Market, being held at the Annapolis Royal Farmers Market, 10AM until 2PM. Featuring 8 vendors of beer, cider, spirits, and kombucha, with more expected to join (including wineries), the market will be held every Sunday until October 14th. Bring your empty growler and sample what the following vendors have to offer: Annapolis Brewing Company, Casa Nova Fine Beverages, Horton Ridge, Lunn’s Mill, Meander River, Roof Hound, Solas Kombucha, Still Fired Distilleries, and Wayfarers Ale.

Saltbox is holding a Soapbox Derby on June 16th from 9 AM – 3 PM in Mahone Bay. Although this is quite a ways away now, registration is due by Friday, June 1st. Further, it’s limited to 40 entries across 4 divisions and is quickly nearing capacity! The four divisions are Kids 6 – 12 (starting halfway down the hill), Ages 13 and Over, Open Class (anything goes except engines), and Corporate. Castle Building Supplies is making cart kits for all divisions except Open available. There are prizes for the race winners, of course, but also for originality, cart decoration and more! If you’re interested you’ll want to move fast (and then you’ll want to move fast on race day!!).

And as usual, a few last mentions before we let you get on with your Friday:

– Liverpool’s Hell Bay has re-released their Privateer Pilsner a little early this year; get this easy-drinking 4.7% ABV lager while it lasts!
Picaroons is up to entry number 15 in their Pivot DIPA series, this latest featuring the CTZ and Chinook hops from Southan Farms in Wicklow, NB.
Hammond River has now bottled a batch of their Blueberry Ale, which will be available at the Hammond River Beer Bar and coming to ANBL stores as well!
Tidehouse did up a special brew featuring local Haskaap Berries for the inaugural AFX: Animation Festival of Halifax. Brewed with local Haskaap berries and hopped with Mosaic, Magical-ale Lantern was a big hit at the opening ceremonies and will re-appear at the event’s wrap party on Saturday. You can find this pinkish/peachish-hued 4.7% ABV beer at the Tiny Tasty Beverage Room on Salter Street.

We are mid-way through April, which means the first signs of life are being spotted on our local hop farms. These ambitious little sprouts will grow to more than 6 metres in height, and produce enough cones to make any beer a little hoppier (and happier). Plenty to tell you about today, so let’s go!

• It seems like it’s been a while since Stillwell Brewing has had any of their tasty, tasty new releases, but fear not! Their latest beer, Glou, will be available for purchase this weekend. A blend of barrel-aged Saison and a sour, foedre-aged beer (both of which were originally brewed in May of 2017), Glou then had New York muscat grape skins from Blomidon Estate added, to the whopping tune of 200 g/L. The final 6.3% ABV beer is being described as “hugely aromatic, floral, woodsy and bright, with a great acidity and tannic structure”. Sounds great to us! Bottles of Glou (along with Dang, and maybe even another brand or two!) can be purchased at the rear entrance behind 2015 Gottingen St. from 12 – 3 PM both tomorrow and Sunday; if you can’t wait till then (we get it!), drop by Stillwell (the beer bar) today if you’d like, where you can try Glou on-site. And keep it locked here for more info on another new release, plus fan faves, in the coming weeks.

• Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewing has a new beer available this weekend, a collaboration with local kombucha producer Pop Culture. Starting with the malt bill of a Wheat Ale, Brightwood used the Scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) from Pop Culture to start the process of souring. After this first wave of fermentation was complete, the beer was boiled, with grapefruit and Palisade hops added during that process, and fermentation completed with a clean yeast. A further addition of Palisade during a dry-hopping step complements and increases the grapefruit character from the citrus fruit. The resulting RadBucha is available at their Alderney Farmers’ Market stall tomorrow, and will be part of the “Evolution” Tap Takeover at Battery Park Thursday (more details below).

• Fredericton’s Coastliner Cider will soon be releasing their fourth cider, Full Steam Ahead. This entry definitely takes your typical cider in a completely new direction, thanks to the addition of coffee beans roasted by local Whitney Coffee Company. Quite drinkable at 5.4% ABV, this semi-dry cider has notes of coffee in the aroma and flavour, but still retains its complementary cider character. It will be officially released this Saturday for the Saint John Beer Fest, and will follow shortly thereafter in kegs at select accounts on Monday. If you can’t make it out to try it, fear not – it will eventually be packaged in bottles, hopefully sometime in the not-too-distant future.

• The folks at Tidehouse continue to come up with new beer ideas, with their latest brew, Grisette Jungle, available on tap now. Brewed with Horton Ridge Pale and Wheat malt, the wort was bittered to ~30 IBUs with Warrior, with some Belma also being throw in at the end of the boil for a touch of fruit character. Fermented with a blend of Belgian and French Saison yeasts, it comes in at just 4.3% ABV and pours a light-straw colour with a bit of haziness. Coming across as “floral, fruity, with a nice grainy note and a little spicy zing”, you can find it at the Tidehouse taproom for growlers and small pours; look for it to pop up on tap at Stillwell in the near future.

• Over at Good Robot, you can soon expect the return of last year’s Falstaff, an American Pale Ale, next Thursday. Just-about-sessionable (always a debatable subject!) at 4.4% ABV, this one was brewed with plenty of Pilsner malt, and a bit of Red X, Rye, and Flaked Barley throwing in for good measure. It was dry-hopped with Azacca and Jarrylo to add some notes of tropical fruit, and at 30-35 IBUs, should have a moderately-bitter finish. And for this week’s Beta Brew, they bring us the winning entry in their successful FemmeBrew, an all-female homebrew competition. I Love My Dog was brewed by Drella Green-Simony, and is a “Liquorice Stout” that features a grist of Pilsner, Belgian 2-row, and Black malt. It was hopped in the boil with Willamette to the tune of ~50 IBUs, with star anise thrown in the kettle as well, giving it a mild but present liquorice character. You’ll be able to grab this 5.1% ABV Stout on tap at GR next Tuesday.

• Looks like Spindrift Brewing has a new entry in their Seventh Wave series on tap right now at the brewery. White Whale Wheat Pale Ale is a light-and-hazy brew hopped with Hallertau Blanc, a wonderful hop variety that lends “citrus overtones of grapefruit and lemongrass” in this particular beer. With a smooth mouthfeel thanks to the generous addition of Wheat in the grist, this is an easy-drinking, 4.5% ABV beer that blends perfectly with the slowly-but-surely-getting-better weather out there. Limited amounts only, of course, so grab a growler before it’s gone!

TrailWay Brewing in Fredericton is dropping another juicy and hazy Double IPA at their taproom today, All is Well. Featuring some super-fresh Amarillo hops, along with Idaho 7, it all comes together for a blast of tropical and orange notes, in an 8.0% ABV package. This release is only available at the brewery, enjoyed at their bar or in cans to go.

PEI Brewing Company has released a pair of new beers in their After Hours series, just in time for last evening’s launch event. Earlier in the week they released Mango Smoothie IPA, a 6.5% ABV featuring loads of vanilla fruit puree for a hazy and lovely bright orange appearance. The hops used complement the fruit character as well. And yesterday saw the release of Raspberry Sour, a 5.0% Sour Wheat Ale (using the kettle sour technique) with raspberries added. Both beers are still available at the brewery, but won’t be around forever, given the nature of the styles, and batch size.

• When you drop by Port Rexton’s Retail Shop on Torbay Road today, you’ll be greeted by a brand new beer in the fridge. Though the beer started out with the same malt bill as their Chasing Sun NEIPA, through a series of “weird and wonderful events” (we can only imagine!) on brewday, it didn’t end up that way! Enter DiscomHOPulated, still in the New England IPA style, weighing in at 6.0% ABV, generously dry-hopped with Amarillo, El Dorado, Mandarina Bavaria, and Mosaic, and still just as delicious as its original direction. The beer is available at the Shop for growler fills only, joined by Baycation Blonde for growler fills, with cans of T-Rex Porter and Blazing Sun also available to go, today 4 – 8 PM and tomorrow 12 – 6 PM.

• Rothesay’s Long Bay Brewery is releasing Amplified Kölsch in celebration of Record Store Day on April 21st. Using authentic yeast imported from a brewpub in Cologne, this 5.0% ABV beer features a malt bill of primarily Pilsner, for a bright yellow appearance. The bitterness of the beer is quite light, at less than 20 IBUs, but features a large whirlpool addition of Mandarina Bavaria after the boil was finished, in order to extract some lovely citrus aromatics. Teaming up with Backstreet Records, there will be live music by Christina Martin in store at 2PM, plus t-shirts of the beer logo available for purchase. You can also drop by the brewery to get your fix, and keep an eye out at local ANBL locations as well. Turn it up to 11!

Here’s what we’ll be trying to squeeze into our calendars in the next week or two:

• As we mentioned last week, if you’re in the environs of Lower Sackville tomorrow, give a thought to heading down to Freeman’s to celebrate Sackvegas’ own nanobrewery, Ol’ Biddy’s. Eight of Keith Forbes’ brews will be on tap, including the much loved Sackvegas Sour. Look for the rest of the taplist to be posted on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram); the event starts at 10 AM and runs until close. Come celebrate the belated grand opening of Ol’ Biddy’s and show your support for Freeman’s, who continue to show their dedication to local beer on tap!

• Dartmouth’s Battery Park will be hosting a “small batch brewery” takeover next Thursday, April 19, from 11:30 AM until close. Dubbed “Evolution Part II”, it follows on from last year’s event, which was the last opportunity to try Sober Island and Schoolhouse before their respective evolutions out of the small batch market space. This year the taps will be populated by Halifax’s Tidehouse, Yarmouth’s Heritage, and Dartmouth’s Brightwood, who are the brewery undergoing an expansion this year. You’ll find the Facebook event page here, which will no doubt be updated with tap info as the day approaches. Head on down and remind yourself that great beer can be brewed on any size system.

• Also taking place April 19 is the first event of the #weekendofbeer in St John’s, courtesy of the folks behind the St John’s BrewFest. Featuring local favourite Port Rexton Brewing going head to head against Come From Aways 2 Crows, the taps at the Sundance SunDeck Bar will be flowing with 14 great AtlCan beers. Kicking off at 6:30 PM, a $5 cover charge gets you in the door, and started on your way to a great evening. The full taplist is available on the FB Event page, and we can tell you that both breweries are bringing their A-game, with at least one brand new release debuting, and plenty of new-to-the-region beers available. To keep you going round after round, there will be live music and food available as well.

• Friday evening (April 20th) tickets are still available for the St John’s BrewFest at Club One. In addition to the slew of great beer being brought to the Island (updated beer list here), there will be a strong showing from Newfoundland breweries, including Port Rexton, Quidi Vidi, Split Rock, Storm, Western Newfoundland, with Scudrunner on site with their merchandise for sale. Grab your tickets today to avoid missing out!

• Good news, New Brunswick (especially those of you in the Moncton area)! If you’re still sore over missing the Mikkeller takeover at Halifax’s Stillwell last January, the people behind the Tide & Boar have the perfect “analgesic” for you. Yes, Denmark’s most famous brewery will be pouring six of their delicious creations at a Mikkeller Tap Takeover at T&B Saturday, April 28th, from open till close (or the beers run out!). If you’re lucky enough to be able to attend, expect to see the following on tap: Jackie Brown, Citra IPA, Mosaic IPA, Black, Monk’s Brew, and Green Gold. But that’s not all – several other beers will be available in bottles, including Spontanbeetroot, Spontanlingonberry, Spontanyuzu (all three of which are funky, sour offerings), and their French Oak barrel-aged Barleywine, Foret Limousine. There’s no charge to attend, just make sure you’re there bright and early when they open at 11 AM, if you want to “Maximize Your Mikkeller” (™ pending)!

And a couple more little bits before we let you get on with your Friday:

– We have it on fairly good authority that Niche Brewing’s extremely popular Orange Creamsicle Milkshake IPA will be back early next week. Look for it to appear at the James Joyce for sure and, as other craft beer pubs savvy up, there too!
– The Gose of Christmas Past that Big Spruce brewed up with Hamilton’s Merit Brewing back in December is just now being seen in the wild. A gose brewed with Indian coriander and French Sea Salt before being aged in Tequila Barrels, look for it to appear at the Sprucetique and at tap accounts around the province this week. And keep your eyes out over the next couple weeks for some other big releases from Jeremy and the gang!