PEI Brewing Co.

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Happy Canada Day Weekend! Now that the frost warnings are finally done [uh oh, did I just jinx us?], and we’ve seen the sun poke through a few times, it’s time to leave our home and get out to visit the local breweries and cider houses. We’ve got two new spots we’re excited to share with you today, plus a dozen new beers and events to seek out locally, no matter where you live. As always during holidays, be sure to double-check that the brewery or bar is open, as some are taking a bit of time off to enjoy the much-needed vacation, too!

About an hour outside of St. John’s, the small town of Dildo is now home to the latest brewery to open in our region. While the origin of the town name may be up for some debate, there’s no arguing that they are ready to join the wave of great beer that is now available on the Rock. Located in the same building as the Dildo Interpretive Centre on Front Road, the Dildo Brewing Company and Museum features a beautiful taproom which borrows the same aesthetics, and even some pieces, from the now-closed Centre. Launching with four beers (a Red, Blonde, IPA, and Stout, with a Blueberry Blonde set to be released shortly), visitors can enjoy beer by the pint or sample flight while enjoying a meal, with growlers available to go as well. Their hours are 11AM – 11PM, and we hope to share a Profile with the DBCaM family next week. Congratulations!

Also opening this weekend is a new Winery slash Brewery at the start of Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. Bent Nail Brewery is located on the grounds of the Bent Ridge Winery, at Daniels’ U Pick on Highway 14 near Martock. Opening this Sunday, they will be pouring their Cream Ale, English Ale, Pale Ale, and IPA, brewed on their 2 BBL (240 litre) system. The taproom features a wood fired pizza oven to complement the beer, and will be open 10AM – 6PM daily, starting Sunday. Congratulations to the Bent Ridge/Bent Nail crew!

Our third “new brewery” news is actually a re-launching and re-branding of a familiar New Brunswick brewery. Bore City Brewing opened in 2015, brewing on a ½ BBL (50 litre) system in the basement of one of their owners in Moncton. Shortly after launching, they realized that they were working very hard to only produce 3 kegs at a time; as a natural result, expansion was on their mind. When building issues stalled their expansion plans for a 10-15 BBL (1200-1800 litre) brewhouse and taproom in 2017, they regrouped. They hired a new brewer in Spring 2017, whose favourite styles to drink and brew lined up nicely with their own: bold IPAs and traditional and modern Belgian beers. They have recently settled into their current location with a 3 BBL (360 litre) system from Stout Tanks, and are ready to unveil their new name. Grand Monk Ales is a portmonteau paying ode to their expansion, their love of Monc(k)ton and Belgian beers. While this new spot is not open to the public, they have been able to send more of their beer further across the province, frequently available on tap at the Laundromat, Tide & Boar, Les Brumes du Coude, as well as at The Joyce in Fredericton and Cask & Kettle in Saint John.  Look out for their favourites, including Causeway IPA (Mosaic/Vic Secret hopped), Mondo IPA (dank and fruity), Vent d’âme Belgian Pale Ale, and Spacetime Odyssey Porter, as well as plenty of new releases throughout the summer. We’ll keep you up to date with all of Grand Monk’s goings ons, including their Launch Party this summer.

Big Spruce has released a new lager, and they need your help in naming it. Fear not, there’s some great prizes for the winner for your hard work! Made in collaboration with Sydney’s Governors Pub, it’s a German lager with a slight North American twist, made with 100% imported Weyermann Pilsner malt and Bohemian Lager yeast, but finishing with a slight citrus bite from the use of classic American Cascade hops. Slowly fermented for 2 weeks before entering a 7 week lagering period, it’s super crispy and perfect for summer lager drinking. Drop by Governors for a pint and check out their new Beer Garden, as it’s the only place you can find the beer outside of the brewery, and submit your idea. The winner will get bragging rights, plus a BBQ Party for Ten on the Governors beer garden patio. You have until July 7th to sip and submit, so don’t delay!

Meanwhile, Jeremy and the gang have a plethora of other beers on the go right now as well, starting with Fake News, a 5.6% ABV and 30 IBU modern American Pale Ale made with Idaho 7 hops and fermented with the Foggy London Ale yeast from Escarpment Labs. Gimme Citra, originally developed as a collaboration with Stillwell, is back again, a hoppy beer with a prominent Citra hop character that weighs in at a supremely sessionable 4.8% ABV. Watches & Jet Skis, Big Spruce’s ode to questionable business practices is a new Berliner Weisse, soured in the kettle and finished with Citra. At 3.8% ABV it should be a lovely refresher on hot summer days and all the inducement you need to drink some NS craft beer. Lastly is a shandy (of all things!) comprised of a 50/50 blend of slow-lagered Kölsch with housemade lemonade. The name? Comedy of Errors.

The collaboration brews from 2 Crows just keep-a-comin’, with their latest hitting shelves today at noon… and don’t worry, like the high majority of 2 Crows beers, it’s an interesting one! Slam Jam was brewed with Vancouver’s Parallel 49 Brewing, when head brewer Graham With was in Halifax for the Canadian Brewing Awards last month. Brewed with Pilsner, Malted Oats, Wheat malt, and Aromatic, it was hopped in the whirlpool with Huell Melon, Vic Secret, and Azacca. Fermented with two Brettanomyces strains, they dried the beer out further by adding the enzyme glucoamylase (which brought the beer down to a gravity of 0.998… just for comparison, distilled water is 1.000). Once fermentation was complete, 400 lbs of blueberry puree was added for conditioning, and finally a dry hop with more of the three hop varieties mentioned earlier… plus Galaxy! The result is a very dry, fruity, funky, highly-carbed beer with a deep blue/purple colour, with “a ton of aroma from the blueberries and the blend of dry hops”. This 6.7% ABV beauty can be found in cans and on tap at 2 Crows today; cans will likely be on the shelves at the private liquor stores in the HRM, and on tap at a few lucky licensees.

Today, North Brewing is launching the first beer in their new Breakwater series, which will feature a total of three fruited sour beers being released over the summer. Breakwater Coconut-Lime was first soured with Escarpment’s Lactobacillus blend, and then fermented with their Vermont Ale strain. Both lime zest and lime juice were added to the beer after fermentation, along with chunks of coconut, to give the 5.5% ABV brew its two name-worthy flavours. Sounds perfect for summer, no? Drop by either of the North bottle shops to pick up some cans for the weekend; it’ll also be pouring on tap at Battery Park.

Just outside of Fredericton in Hanwell, NB, Niche has another new beer, a sour IPA they’re calling Wayfarer. Leveraging a pure lab culture of Lactobacillus plantarum (a bacteria found in all manner of fermented foods and even human saliva) for souring, and with lactose powder added in the boil, the beer was finished with hefty amounts of Centennial and El Dorado hops from post-boil whirlpool onwards to prevent any untoward bitterness that might clash with the sour profile. The result is a 6% ABV and 14 IBU beer that is bright, refreshing and citrussy. You’ll find it at tap accounts in Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John. And look for the return of another Niche beer, Ethos, their house culture-fermented saison. It’s got more Brett character this time around, with light fruit and peppery spice notes highlighted against a slightly acidic body and a dry finish. This one weighs in at 6.3% ABV. Expect to see more Niche re-releases in coming weeks, giving you a chance to enjoy those beers again or try ones you might have missed for the first time.

Yarmouth’s Heritage Brewing is feeling rhubarb-y lately, so much so that they are planning at least three beers to be featured in a special Rhubarb series from the brewery. This weekend, we’ll see the first beer in the series, Rhubarb Gose. Slightly tart, salty, with some coriander notes like a traditional Gose, a “light addition” of rhubarb was thrown in during fermentation to add “a hint” of rhubarb character. If you’d like to grab a growler or two for the long weekend, be sure to stop by the brewery soon, as there’s only 180 L available (growlers are only available at the 19 Kirk St. location for now). As mentioned, expect to see at least two more rhubarb beers from Heritage over the coming weeks, one of which is the return of their Strawberry Rhubarb Wheat Ale from last year (which sold out in just 90 minutes!). They’ve also just opened up the taproom section of their ongoing expansion at 250 Main Street, so sit and enjoy a pint while you’re there! Finally, they’re expecting their new brewhouse to arrive next week, which means more Heritage beer for the thirsty public in the near future.

Tanner & Co. Brewing, in Chester, NS, have already expanded to a larger brewhouse, and have one of their first bigger-batch beers ready for you to try. Nelson Saison is as you might expect from the name: a Saison hopped with the always-amazing-and-not-so-easy-to-find Nelson Sauvin variety, from New Zealand. This wasn’t just a measly, light hop addition, however; the Nelson was added at several stages throughout the boil, and also in the dry-hop, for “aromas and flavours of gooseberry, pineapple, and lemon”. It weighs in at 6.8% ABV and 30 IBUs, and is available now at the brewery.

This year marks the 20 year Anniversary of the formation of the Mudmen, a rugby team in Charlottetown, PEI, and the PEI Brewing Co. has brewed up a beer in their honour. Sin Bin is a Kölsch brewed in the traditional sense, meaning that it was fermented with a Kölsch yeast strain at temperatures somewhere between those typical for a Lager and Ale, and then lagered for a brief period to allow the flavours to meld together. The final product is “bright and crisp, with some German noble hop character”, with some fruity esters from the yeast. It’s easy-drinking at just 4.4% ABV, with a light bitterness in the finish. You can grab cans of this one at the PEIBC taproom tomorrow from 12-2 pm during their launch party. And drop by the taproom today from 4PM for the last in their Growlers of Summer release, Sangria Pale Ale. Bold, yet easy drinking, it features bright hop flavours with an addition of Blood Orange juice.

In Lawrencetown, NS, Lunn’s Mill has more or less completed their taproom expansion, with only a few tweaks here and there expected as they grow into their new space. Both the new space and their patio are now open with beer pouring and food being served. They’ve also got a new beer they’re hoping to release this week that was brewed in collaboration with their bartender, Chris Williams. In a Pinch started with a base of 100% Horton Ridge malt, including their apple malt, hopped with local Galena and Fuggle hops and then dosed heavily with apple blossoms in the post-boil whirlpool. The yeast chosen for fermentation was the Nova Scotia Sauvage strain from Big Spruce, resulting in a very NS-centric beer. Coming in at a crushable 4% ABV and 16 IBU, it’s described as light, floral and refreshing.

Looks like our friends at Tidehouse have another bottle release for us all! Yesterday saw the release of Houndstooth, a bottle-conditioned 8% ABV “India Saison” (read: hoppy Saison). Brewed with Vienna, Wheat, and Acid malts, they bittered the beer with Warrior, and added Hallertau Blanc and Mosaic for flavour and aroma after the boil was complete. Fermented with a blend of Saison yeasts, more Hallertau Blanc was added for the dry-hop, ultimately resulting in a beer with a dominance of white wine-like flavours, “backed by some tropical fruit and berry notes”. The Saison strains dried this one out right some good, and also contribute some “peppery spice and a hint of banana” to the brew. Drop by the brewery today 2 – 9PM (they’re closed this weekend to enjoy the celebrations) to pick up some 750 mL bottles… they suggest trying one now, and letting another one (or more!) age for six months. And while you’re there, why not try Wharf Speed, a light and easy-drinking 4% ABV summer beer hopped with Cascade, Mandarina Bavaria, and Ahtanum? Available on tap as we speak.

Over at Garrison, they’re releasing their latest kettle-sour, Sour Castro. A new take on the La Menta, a beer they brewed with mint last November. This time they’ve got for a bit more of a Mojito feel with the mint being joined by lime juice and the apple juice being left out. Wholly bereft of any IBUs at all, expect a refreshing beer with a cooling sensation from the mint and coming in at a very sessionable 4.8% ABV, perfect for the scorcher of a weekend that’s expected in Halifax. It could be an excellent beer to server at an event like a pig roast; and lo and behold, that’s what they’re going to do! Asado Grill will be at Garrison on Sunday for a Canada Day celebration starting at 11 AM. They’ll be cooking up a whole hog which you can get in on for $20 per person (including baked potato w/ fixins, market salad and roll).

• If you’re in a cider kinda-mood, Annapolis Cider Company has a new entry in their one-off Something Different series coming out today. Honey Blossom is a sparkling cider that started with the cidery’s cool-fermented dry apple cider, but with the addition of locally-picked elderflowers and purple lilac blossoms. A “touch” of local wildflower honey was also added at the end, along with some fresh-pressed apple juice, resulting in a 7% ABV cider that is “aromatic and full-bodied, with lush floral notes”. The usual $0.50/refill donation for this one will be going to the Terranaut Club, “a group of passionate and dedicated women in science, unified by the mission to create and provide opportunities for girls to recognize their own interests and seek their own futures in STEM fields and environmental advocacy”.

Quidi Vidi Brewery has a new beer out this weekend, and are hosting an all-day event at their taproom Sunday to celebrate. Day Boil is a 4.5% ABV Session IPA, featuring a light malt base and plenty of hops, starting with a bittering charge of Magnum before plenty of late-boil and dry-hopping of Mosaic. Cans of Day Boil will also be available Sunday in their Hop Shop, the first off of their brand new canning line. Their Day Boil Party kicks off at noon on Canada Day, with $5 pints until 5PM, with live music all day and night. No cover charge. And if you’re looking for a way to get there and avoid the parking woes around the Gut, The Link from Metrobus is running Wednesday to Sunday every week until October, connecting Quidi Vidi Village with downtown St John’s and Signal Hill, and could be the perfect way to get to/from the brewery, Mallard Cottage (and Beer Garden), or before/after the East Coast Trail to Logy Bay.

• Have you been sitting at home, wishing that someone out there would just brew an IPA with doughnuts already? Well, Roof Hound has some good news for you! They’ve teamed up with Halifax’s Vandal Doughnuts to create Vandal Hound Lemon Meringue Doughnut IPA. The grist includes Victory malt, oats, and wheat… along with a few dozen lemon meringue doughnuts from the good people at Vandal. But they didn’t stop there, and went on to add some hand-toasted sugar, along with a “large pot” of house-made lemon pie filling, and vanilla, throughout the brewing process. Looking to add more lemon character to the beer, they dry-hopped it with Lemondrop, resulting in a “sweet and sour quality, with a good dry-hop burst”. The beer is scheduled to be released on July 5th, with special events occurring at Westside and the Stubborn Goat Beer Garden, followed by an event at Roof Hound on July 6th. Be sure to follow Roof Hound’s social media pages for more info on those events.

In addition to the events above, don’t miss out on these other things on the go this weekend. You know, in addition to the fun Canada Day things on the go!

It’s a special weekend for in Fredericton as the folks at Grimross, fresh off their 4-medal performance at the Canadian Brewing Awards in May, are celebrating 5 years since they opened their doors on Canada Day in 2013. The party at the brewery will be going pretty much all weekend long, with $5 pints today, tomorrow and Sunday. If you buy one, you’ll be eligible to enter a draw for a special prize at the end of the weekend. Festivities kick off tonight with live music and continue into tomorrow’s comedy night and culminating with their Canada Day party on Sunday with a special cask beer, birthday cake, and GastroGnomes food truck on the scene.

A couple of weeks ago we mentioned the Under the Breton Sky music and beer event being put on by Breton Brewing in Sydney tomorrow. VIP tickets have sold out, but general admission tickets are still available at $55 a pop. That goes up to $65 if you purchase on the day of, so if you’re interested you might want to grab your tickets today!

• And don’t forget about Good Robot’s Hair of the Dog event at the Garrison Ground this weekend. From 11-11 Saturday and Sunday, come chill out with your mutt (or meet a new one!), drink some beer, and check out the dog- and beer-friendly vendors. We’ve got more details in last week’s post.

Just a few more things to tell you about this week, with returning favourite beers in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Tatamagouche Brewing’s Guava Heist Berliner Weisse is back on the taps and shelves at the brewery this weekend, with cans destined to the Private Stores next week. The 3.6% ABV sour features Organic guava puree added after fermentation for a lovely fruit complement to the base beer’s acidity.
TrailWay’s Hop Stains (8% ABV), one of the brewery’s first DIPAs, is returning today for the first time in awhile. Using the highest amount of hop additions of any beer from TW, the hop schedule was tweaked this time around, featuring a mixture of American and Australian varieties. On tap and in growlers, with cans being available exclusively at the brewery.
Unfiltered brings back Sour Motherfucker, their kettle-sour aged on tart cherries, today at noon. At 6.4% ABV, it’s lightly tart, with plenty of tasty cherry character; available for pints and growlers starting at noon.
– And finally, not to end the post on a sad note, but we wanted to let you know that Motion Bay Brewing, planning to open in the Fisherman’s Co-op in Petty Harbour, Newfoundland, will not be proceeding. Having met the people involved with the brewery several times, it was obvious their passion for beer was authentic, and bringing jobs and visitors to a small town was an important part of their brewery. We wish them the best in whatever endeavours they get up to in the future.

Happy first day of Summer and longest day of the year, you’ve got more daylight today than any other day of the year during which to enjoy the fine beers of our region’s producers and it looks like the weather in most of Atlantic Canada is cooperating. So give a read below to see what might be new and interesting in your particular geographical corner of our burgeoning beer scene and get thee to a patio!! (Although if you’re in Newfoundland, maybe bring a sweater? Sawwy).

Starting up on the Rock, waaay up in Twilingate, where Split Rock Brewing has plenty on the go. First is the latest iteration of their Gateway, a 7.1% ABV India Pale Ale that’s been getting successively hoppier as batches have gone on in a possibly not-so-subtle effort to gently introduce modern IPAs to their local market. Featuring plenty of Cascade and Amarillo in both late additions and dry hops, they’ve now gotten it to where they want it, at least for the time being. Also released this week was Razzin’ Around, a Raspberry Wheat beer made with lots of real raspberry puree for aroma and flavor. Tart, but not sour, it still manages to have a crisp finish, making for a refreshing summer beer with a pleasant fruit kick. Lastly, but definitely not least, this weekend Split Rock is kicking off what is planned to be a series of sour beers, each of which will feature something different added to the base, which is a kettle sour using Pilsner and wheat that has been soured with a pure pitch of Lactobacillus plantarum. These beers will come in under the moniker of Sour Patch B’ys and the first has been dubbed Sour Patch B’ys: Citra, for the generous addition of Citra in the dry hop stage. Pale yellow in colour, this medium-sour beer has a lemony-lime tang and overall citrus flavor. You’ll find all three of these beers primarily at their brewpub, the Stage Head Pub (hours on their Facebook page), but some will no doubt make it to other parts of the province, most likely St. John’s (we can confirm that the Gateway IPA is on at Jack Axes and Razzin’ Around is at Fort Amherst Pub in Churchill Square).

Speaking of St. John’s, YellowBelly Brewery has a new beer pouring, a black IPA they’re calling Gravity Base, an homage to the many Newfoundlanders working in the oil and gas industries at sea and on land. This 5.3% ABV and 60 IBU brew is big and toasty, bready and bitter, with Pacific Gem, Citra and Topaz hops added in the boil and a dry hop of Motueka providing a fruity balance. Look for it on tap on site, pouring for pints and growler fills, and bottles to come this week.

And rounding out the Newfoundland news, over in the Southwest portion of the island in Corner Brook, Bootleg Brew Co. has a brand new beer on tap themselves. Drunken Muppet is an Extra Special Bitter ale aimed solidly at non-hopheads. Only 20 IBU and a fairly sessionable 5.0% ABV, it features hints of cocoa and coffee to accompany a light malt toastiness. Available only by the pint at the brewery.

Heading south to Nova Scotia, Shelburne’s Boxing Rock Brewing has released another in their lineup of Black Box Challenge winners, Bursted! IPA. Brewed by Truro’s Derek Wood (known as Woody amongst the local homebrewing community), his runner-up entry took a different turn than the already-released Oh Snap! Ginger Snap Brown. Focusing on the plethora of hops provided in the box, he used Mosaic late in the boil, Cascade and Amarillo at flameout for a 30 minute whirlpool, and tons of all three in the dry-hop after the fact, extracting more aroma and flavour than bitterness and elevating this pale-coloured beer to new heights. As well as on tap and in growlers, look for bottles of the 6.5% ABV Bursted! at the brewery, their market stalls, and at the private stores in HRM this weekend.

Now that we’re officially into summer, Annapolis Brewing Company is ramping up their energy level to keep the thirsty Valley- (and Visiting-) folk happy. Now that their taproom is open at 302 St George Street, they have a pair of beers coming out in the next several days. Debuting this weekend is a brand new Session IPA named Cool Calm & Collected. “CC & C” also covers the hop side of the beer nicely, with Cascade, Chinook, and Citra coming together to provide a solid hop presence to a very sessionable 4.1% ABV beer. Expect this one to be a hoppy refresher for the deck or the dock this summer. And speaking of summer beers, expect to see Blockhouse Blonde back on tap early next week. Brewed with a combination of 7 malts and hopped with modern Ella and classic East Kent Goldings, it weighs in at 5.3% ABV.

In the big city, Stillwell Brewing has yet another double release happening tomorrow from 12 – 3 PM at their usual spot behind Propeller on Gottingen Street. If you’ve been enjoying the Poptones released two weeks ago but have been musing to yourself, “I say, this is a delightful farmhouse pale ale, but I do wonder what it might taste like if someone were to have aged it in oak barrels for a while,” you’re in luck! Adjust your monocle, good sir/madam, and peep the Poptones Remix. This beer went into Burgundy-style white wine barrels at the same time the OG Poptones was first put into bottles, so while it’s the same age, it grew up in a different part of town, so to speak. Still light and refreshing, but with some oak character, a deeper acidity and funkier flavors overall, it’s 5.3% ABV and displaying herbal and lemony notes with hay and funk. Also up on the block tomorrow is version two of Sport, which was a much bigger batch than the original, allowing more flexibility and variety in the blend. At 5.6% ABV, it’s light and refreshing, if a little heavier than last year’s version, and it once again features lime zest and sea salt to complement the subtle coconut character provided by the barrels. And if you want to get into these beers quickly without cracking into bottles, you’ll also find both on draught today at Stillwell HQ on Barrington, the first time they’re featuring Stillwell Brewing oaked farmhouse beers on tap!

Halifax nano Tidehouse is re-releasing their Cloud Shadow hopfenweisse again, this time in smaller bottles (340 mL vs 640 mL), but still packed with the same flavor. A hoppy wheat beer with Mandarina Bavaria and Ahtanum, expect citrus, tangerine and floral aromas and flavors balanced against a solid malt bill of 50/50 wheat and pale malts. There’s a bottle limit of 6 per person and you can only get them at the brewery on Salter Street starting today at 2 PM. And while you’re there, you might consider asking the helpful barperson for a pour (still only 4 oz, sadly, but only for 10 more days!) of another Tidehouse new release, a strong hoppy saison they’re calling Houndstooth. We’ll have more information on that one as its bottle release approaches in a couple of weeks, but you can get yourself a preview today!

A stone’s throw (OK, maybe a long drive on the fairway) up and over from Salter is Brunswick Street, where you can find a pair of new beers from 2 Crows Brewing’s fermenters. First up is a special collaboration with Coady and Griffin from Dartmouth cocktail and foodie hotspot The Watch That Ends The Night. Inspired by mixology, specifically a cocktail called the Last Word, and expressing brewer Jeremy Taylor’s love of gin (and giving him an excuse to walk over to TWTETN for “research”), Last Word started with a basic grist of Pilsner and wheat malts, with some raw wheat for character, and was lightly hopped in the boil with Halltertau Blanc and Calypso. From there it was fermented warm to encourage earthy and pithy grapefruit yeast character from the Brettanomyces strains used. This became the base for additional machinations centered around the various elements of the Last Word cocktail, namely gin, lime, chartreuse and maraschino, each in its own way. The gin is represented through the addition of juniper berries, coriander and orange peel, the lime by 5 cases worth of lime juice and zest, and the chartreuse by bay leaves and lemon verbana. The maraschino was creatively reflected by the use of mahleb, a spice made from cherry pits, that brings marzipan (sweet almond) and light cinnamon notes. Lastly, a small amount of sour beer was blended in for a bit of zip and to accentuate the lime character. For packaging the beer was keg conditioned with Champagne yeast to provide a tight effervescence. The result is definitely a beer, but one with a lot of subtle reminders of the cocktail. Lime is the dominant flavor, but there is also earthiness, the zip of the gin botanicals, some herbaceous notes, and a slight marzipan sweetness. You’ll find this one of a kind beer only on tap at the brewery and, of course, at The Watch That Ends The Night for now, with kegs possibly going out to other places in coming weeks.

The second of the pair is a pilot brew from Assistant Brewer (let’s be honest, these guys and gals do all of the hard work in breweries) Miles, and Assistant to the Brewer Nick. Retrograde is hoppy and hazy New England-style Pale Ale, available now at the brewery, only by the glass. The malt bill started out as one destined for a Saison, featuring Pilsner, Wheat, Rye, and Spelt, but this dynamic duo decided to cross the Atlantic mid-way through the boil and used loads of Azacca, Ella, Hallertau Blanc, and Loral hops, and fermented it with the darling of NEIPA beers, London Ale III. With more of the same hops added on the cold side, the flavour and aromas shoot through the roof, showcasing peach, pineapple and pear notes on a soft and pillowy base. As mentioned above, this 5.5% ABV beer is only available at the brewery by the pint, so don’t delay your visit to grab it!

Niche Brewing in Hanwell, NB, has released a new Belgian-inspired beer this week, but setting aside the wild and funkier side for a classic and clean one. Day Tripper is a Tripel, with a malt bill of primarily Pilsner malt, with a little Aromatic and Wheat malt as well, and hopped with the very traditional Saaz varietal to 24 IBUs. Using a traditional Trappist yeast strain which exhibits fruity esters, it melds well with the spiciness from the Noble hopping. With the light sweetness often found with Pils-heavy beers, it transitions to fruity and spicy, and finishes dry with a touch of alcohol warmth from the 8.4% ABV. It can be found around Fredericton at Graystone, King Street Ale House, and The Joyce, and kegs may be available further afield soon.

Fredericton’s Grimross Brewing has dropped the latest beer in their Scratch Series, this being release #11. 100% Brettanomyces is, you could probably guess, fermented solely with our favourite wild-but-domesticated yeast Brettanomyces. The straw-coloured base was lightly hopped (to 20 IBUs) with locally-grown Hallertau and Magnum from Darlings Island Hop Farm, before fermentation. The resultant beer is quite dry, with bright tropical fruity notes and a touch of funkiness from the yeast. As with the rest of these Scratch releases, this is a draught-only beer, so drop by the brewery, or check out the local haunts for your next pint.

PEI’s Upstreet Brewing is finally releasing a beer they say has been 548 days in the making (but who’s counting?). Part of their Million Acres series of barrel-aged farmhouse and sour beers, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Apple Brett Blonde Ale was brewed on December 21, 2016 and bottled some 9 months later in September of 2017. It’s been aged in those bottles for an additional 9 months, which brings us to today and its availability at the brewery and Craft Beer Corner. Blurring the line between farmhouse and orchard, expect an overall easy drinking beer, but with notes of interest from apples, Brettanomyces and Buffalo Trace Kentucky Bourbon barrel. Although quantities are definitely limited, you might consider grabbing two of these and salting one away to see what another 9 months (or even 18) might bring to it. You can also try a glass on tap at both locations while it lasts.

Unfiltered Brewing on Halifax’s North Street has released their first bottled beer in a spell, Mise en Garde. This 10.8% ABV stunner is a Barleywine fermented with both American and Belgian yeasts, before being aged on oak. Today’s release is available in 500mL bottles (perfect for adding to the cellar), as well as on tap and in growler fills, but as the name implies, proceed with caution.

Good Robot on Robie Street has a pair of new beers hitting the taps next week, hot off the heels of their Halifax Beer North and South Double IPA collaborations, and the perhaps-aptly-named Sorry from the past week. On Tuesday the 26th, they’ll be releasing their latest Beta Brew, Four Freddy Beaches. Assistant Brewer and Beta Brewster Kelly Costello grew up in Fredericton (aka Freddy Beach), and recruited three high school classmates Jenni, Leah, and Ally to brew this one. This 5.3% ABV hoppy Pale Ale has a base of 2 Row, with some Cara Aroma, Red X, and a touch of Rye malts, and hopped in the boil with Warrior and Vic Secret, and dry-hopped with Belma.

On Thursday the 28th, GRBC will be releasing their latest big batch brew, Pterodactyl Song. A 4.8%  American Wheat named in honour of comedian Maria Bamford, the malt bill consists of 2 Row and Wheat, along with Vienna, Red Wheat and a bit of Honey Malt. Hopped to 23 IBUs with Warrior and Falconer’s Flight, this beer also received a dry-hopping treatment of Belma after fermentation.

And mark your calendars for their Hair of the Dog event at the Garrison Grounds (think the edge of Bell Rd at Sackville St) June 30th and July 1st. From 11-11 each day, this dog park/beer garden combination will be full of dogs and their owners playing fetch, rolling in the grass, and sniffing each others butts (mostly the dogs, we reckon). Pints of Good Robot will be available for purchase, plus there will be plenty of dog-related vendors as well as food trucks/tables. While admission to the grounds is free, donations and pint sales proceeds will be going to support the Nova Scotia SPCA and Halifax Pop Explosion. And in case you were wondering, no dog is needed to come hang out and pet the friendly mutts.

A couple more new and re-releases to tell you about, before you hit the nearest beer garden, patio, campground, or dock this afternoon

– Spindrift continues their Seventh Wave Series with Pineapple Pear, a 4.7% ABV unfiltered Helles this week. Lightly flavoured with pineapple and pear, the underlying beer is still the star of the show, giving a fine base for the fruit aroma and flavour. As always, these are only available at the brewery, and in short supply, so be sure to drop by today for a fill.
– North Brewing has a fresh batch of their Lawrencetown Surf Session Ale available at both their Halifax and Dartmouth locations, in both cans and on tap. This 4.0% ABV beer is full of hoppy goodness, but is all flavour and aroma with very low bitterness. The oats in the grain bill help to keep the beer from being too thin, despite its dry finish. And check out the Launch Party tomorrow night at Lion & Bright in celebration of East Coast Surf School.
– PEI Brewing Company is continuing their Growlers of Summer with Hopscotch Lager today. Think New England IPA, but fermented with a lager yeast, the beer features plenty of late- and dry-hopping on a base of light malts and oats to enhance the mouthfeel. Drop by at 4PM for your fill to start your weekend.
– Tanner & Co in Chester have a brand new beer on tap at the brewery this weekend. This Double IPA is a big one at 8.9% ABV, and features loads of Citra and Simcoe in the boil, and at multiple times during the dry hopping phase, ending up at 75 IBUs. Take a trip down Angus Hiltz Road this weekend to grab a growler.

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!