Oh hey, it’s us, and we’re really late today. We recommend you demand a full refund!! There’s going to be weather this weekend. What kind? We don’t know. But we have beer news, so read on.
The town of Port Rexton will once again be full of mirth and cheer this weekend as they celebrate Port Rexton Pride Festival, building awareness, support, and education around LGBTQ+ issues in Port Rexton and the local region. With a Pride-themed Trivia kicking off the fun last night, the rest of the weekend is chock full of events at various locations around town (click that link for all of the details). Tonight’s signature event is Queer Anthem Karaoke at Port Rexton Brewing, starting at 8:30PM; rock painting, a local Amazing Race event, and live music in the brewery are on the go Saturday. With such an important event in town, there surely must be a special beer to accompany, right? Well, faithful reader, there surely is! Queer Feeling is a 4.7% ABV Farmhouse Ale fermented with Ebbergarden Kveik from Escarpment Labs. The beer was brewed with the crew from Queer Beer NL, a home brew and beer appreciation group based in St. John’s, who made the trek out to PR last month to help out with the brewday. The beer is on tap at the brewery today, and will be all weekend until it runs out, so it’s best to arrive early, and often, to avoid disappointment! QF joins the 2019 release of Brett Chops, a 100% Brettanomyces-fermented version of their Horse Chops IPA, which has hung out in Bourbon barrels since February 2018. This is a brewery-only release, btw, even more reason to head out to the Bonavista Peninsula this weekend!
Let’s stick to the Rock for the next new beer this week, which is another collaborative effort between a couple of beer powerhouses. The crew from Split Rock in Twillingate invited Landwash of Mount Pearl to come over and play in their brewery last month. More specifically, the Assistant Brewers from both spots took the reins on this project, which was a homecoming of sorts for Lw Assistant Brewer Alex Troke, who began his life in the beer world at Split Rock. He and current Split Rock brewer Ryan went all in for a Brut, known for being dry and effervescent. Rye Not? Brut Ale features Sabro and Simcoe hops, for tropical and tangerine aromatics, with rye malt in the grist bill for light complexity. This 7.0% ABV beer is pouring freely at both the host and visiting brewery this weekend, for pints and samples, and for growlers to go from Split Rock. You’re heading to grab one right now, right? If not, Rye Not??
And one last new release from Newfoundland comes from Conception Bay South, and the taps at 75 Conception Bay Highway, home to Ninepenny Brewing. Keeping those summer vibes alive, they’ve released 10 Bricks Milkshake NEIPA. A grain bill featuring Oats and 2-Row malt, and aided by lactose for a bit of residual sweetness, is the base for tropical and fruit flavours thanks to hops, yeast, and fruits working together for a full-on experience. Ekuanot, Azacca, Galaxy, and Cascade offer some light bitterness and plenty of aroma and taste, which was accentuated by 75 kg of peach puree on the nose, palate, and appearance. Escarpment’s Foggy London keeps it hazy and juicy too. Catch 10 Bricks on tap at the brewery this weekend, and if you’re lucky, it may pop up elsewhere on the peninsula as well.
On the mainland, Tatamagouche Brewing celebrated their Fourth Annual Tap Takeover at Battery Park in Dartmouth yesterday. With 20 beers available, it saw the return of a few seasonals as well as the debut of several more beers. Fingers crossed that some last drips remain for a few hours today (BP opens at 11:30 AM folks!), so let’s get you up to speed… Returning after a several-month hiatus is a fresh batch of Kitty Clyde DIPA, a 7.8% ABV celebration of late hops with big blasts of citrus, peach, and passion fruit (but staying low in bitterness) thanks to Vic Secret and Galaxy, named after a wooden brigantine built in Tatamagouche in 1857. KC is on tap at the brewery now, and cans should be available real, real soon.
In “totally new, so new there aren’t any bottles just yet” beer news from Tata, the crowd at Battery Park were able to enjoy four new brews on tap that will be released in bottles or cans over the next few months. As of writing, we’re not sure which, if any, of these are still available for on tap in Dartmouth, but since the cat is already out of the bag, let’s get you excited for these upcoming bottles and cans.
- Toro (11.2% ABV) – Quadrupel (aka, Belgian Dark Strong) fermented in stainless steel before transfer to Bourbon barrels for secondary fermentation with Brettanomyces. Will be available on draught and in 500 mL bottles before the end of September.
- Rooted (6.6% ABV) – Barrel-aged Saison featuring rye malt in the grist. Will be available on draught and in 750 mL bottles in early October.
- Muse (6.5% ABV) – Sour Red Ale (think Flanders Red such as Duchesse de Bourgogne), mixed fermentation, aged with cherries. Draught and 500 mL bottles, no timeline for release yet.
- Foeder One (5.5% ABV) – Pale Saison with a grist of Pilsner and Spelt, aged in a red wine foeder. Will see release on draught and in cans later this year.
Undeterred by Dorian, Big Spruce Brewing in Nyanza has a pair of new beers out this week, available at the brewery, and a few bars around Nova Scotia. The first is Indigo Borealis, a 6.4% ABV Haskap Saison. Taking its name from a pair of Haskap species added to the beer, this Saison pours a light ruby in colour, and features loads of raspberry and blackberry, with highlights of citrus reminiscent of marmalade. A zesty base beer completes the entire package. The second beer now pouring in the taproom these days will help unlock the secret that many of us are chasing in our beer glasses… The Key to Happiness is a 6.6% ABV Key Lime Pie Milkshake IPA, extending the iconic base style of lactose, vanilla, and hazy tropical feels with the addition of key limes for a light citrus bite. The malt bill even boasts some graham cracker notes, harkening back to the dessert that inspired the beer. Grab both Indigo Borealis and The Key to Happiness on draught for pints and fills at the taproom on Yankee Line Rd outside of Baddeck, and at better beer bars in the province this weekend.
At the opposite end of Nova Scotia you’ll find Tusket, which is home to Tusket Falls Brewing. They have recently released a duo of beers at their taproom, one of which will see wider distribution later in the month. This Moment Is is a 5.5% ABV Porter, light on the hops, allowing the complexity of the malt to shine through, with raisin bread and toffee on the nose, followed by chocolate on the palate, in a medium body and roasty finish. This is currently available at the brewery only, but may see wider draught distro soon. And on the other side of the spectrum, we have A Diversion In Life, a 6.2% ABV hoppy, hazy IPA, featuring Simcoe hops. Tropical and earthy dance together with a touch of dank, in this balanced IPA. Also available on tap at the brewery now, look for cans of ADiL to hit the shelves of your local NSLC in the next couple of weeks, perfect for a grab and go as you look to finish your day (or get it off to a fun start!).
Halifax’s Good Robot has found themselves with a bit of a surplus of beer in the brewery this week, so what is there to do but get it out to thirsty post-hurricane Halifax with a quickness? First up on Monday is a fresh new batch of their Goseface Killah, their long-standing German wheat beer with salt and coriander. Slightly tart and quite refreshing (it’s a nice change-up after a bunch of hoppy IPAs, for instance), it comes in at 5% ABV and 11 IBU. Later in the week, probably Thursday, and assuming a tap opens up for it (that’s a challenge to weekday evening drinkers if ever we heard one), is a new beer but not a new beer. The New Original is, to some degree, based on their much-loved Leave Me Blue in the sense that both beers are in the Kentucky Common style. That said, The New Original hews more closely to the style, with a touch more malty sweetness and a hint of vanilla (* no vanilla actually added, we don’t think), but still a dry and crisp finish. Coming in at 4.3% ABV we suspect it will be popular with fans of Leave Me Blue as well as winning some more folks over to a historic pre-Prohibition style.
On the Eastern side of Prince Edward Island is Copper Bottom Brewing who have a new seasonal beer out this week, a Rye IPA (guess 902BrewCast’s Tony Important is making an unscheduled trip to the Island this weekend…). Inspired by the bear and its symbolism in North American culture, NorthPaw pays homage the the great animal and the wild that surrounds us all. Featuring plenty of Canadian rye malt, PEI-grown 2-row provided the base with Vienna, Acid Malt and Wheat rounding out the malt profile. Bittered to 40 IBU with Warrior, Simcoe and Amarillo were added in the kettle, and a large dry hop featuring more Amarillo along with Cascade. The overall hop impression is of citrus and stone fruit, with a bold orange juice character front and center and finishing with a spicy note from the rye. This one is available for pints at the brewery, but also to go in cans. You’ll also be able to grab cans at PEILCC locations later this fall. And if you’re in the area today, every pint sold will see $1 go to MacPhail Woods, a local forestry stewardship organization in PEI; also Sneaky Cheats will be on site from 6 – 10 PM tonight with some tasty wood-fired eats.
Kentville’s Maritime Express Cider has both a returning cider this week along with a brand new one to tantalize your apple-loving tastebuds. Roundhouse Rhubarb is the returning number, tar and crisp, with a crystalline clarity and light carbonation. Hints of rhubarb complete this 4.5% ABV dry cider. And new to the taproom is Sour Rosé, a 5.5% sour cider fermented with hibiscus and lemon peel and with Sour Patch Kids candy added to balance the sweetness. On the sweeter side, but also sour and funky, this one sounds like an interesting detour from more common everyday ciders. Both of these are available at the taproom now and, it being Friday, a reminder that they’ve got Happy Hour on Friday evenings from 4 – 6 PM; an excellent opportunity to try out one or both of these ciders along with some of their other offerings!
And since we’re speaking of cider in the Annapolis Valley, it’s probably an excellent time to mention that Annapolis Cider Co also has a new one out in their Something Different series. Cascade Charmat had a complex path from juice to bottle, but we suspect the result is well worth it! Starting with fresh-pressed juice (as always!) from McIntosh, Northern Spy and Jonagold varieties, they cool-fermented this one in their usual way. The Charmat method of performing secondary fermentation in a pressurized tank was used to create a fine and persistent carbonation. A dose of Golden Russet cider and Flemish Beauty perry was then layered in, providing additional flavors while preserving the carbonation. Finally, Cascade hops provided a delicate citrus character to this 9.1% ABV unfiltered sparkling cider. Look for it as always at the cidery on Main Street in Wolfville; as always with their Something Different series, $0.50 from every refill sold will benefit a charitable organization, this time it’s CAPRE (Community Association of People for REAL Enterprise).
Shipwright Brewing in Lunenburg is saying goodbye to summer with the final entry in their Summer Belgian series of beers. Brut-Ale Storm is a Brut IPA but also a Belgian IPA. Featuring the clove and pepper phenolic character of Belgian yeast, honey and biscuit malt notes, this beer was then hit with a complex mix of southern hemisphere hops, namely Citra, Galaxy, Topaz, and Enigma to generate flavors and aromas of orange, pine, and mango. Being in the Brut style, you would be correct to expect this one to be dry and crisp on the finish due to a very low finishing gravity. Check it out at the brewery and, very possibly, on tap at the Grand Banker as well!
With Fredericton’s Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival on this week and finishing this weekend, we’re maybe a little surprised that we didn’t hear from too many F-town breweries this week. But thinking about it, it’s probably because they went straight from manic summer production to madly trying to be ready for the fest! We recommend if you’re in Freddie or planning to be there for the fest this weekend that you check out your favourite brewery’s social media to see what they’ve got available this weekend and also check out your favorite independent beer-friendly spots for tap lists as well.
With that out of the way, Trailway is the exception to the above this week with a brand new beer to tell you about that’s all ready for the fest. Wizzum is their first real stab at a West Coast IPA, but still keeping true to Trailway’s own house hazy and full-mouthfeel style. Featuring more malt and more bitterness, they also chose more classic West Coast hops like Simcoe and Cascade. The result is spicy, slightly fruity, and definitely resinous, with a definitely kick, coming in at 7% ABV. Look for it in cans and on draft at the Tw taproom all weekend long.
Some events coming up that you might consider attending:
If you’ve been lurking around 899 Portland St. in Dartmouth for a while, eagerly waiting for North Brewing to open their new taproom, your wait is finally over. After teasing us with a previously announced opening date last week (or maybe the week before?) the day is FINALLY here and they’re flouting superstition by opening on Friday the 13th!! From here on in they’ll be open every day from Noon to 7 PM, staying open later on Friday nights until 9 PM. As time goes on you might see some adjustments to that based on the whims of their drinking public, but for now, lock it in. You’ll find all manner of tasty North brews on tap and now food as well, with their catchily-named kitchen, Side Hustle Snack Bar, providing the goods. Today you can also expect ciders from Lake City and Sourwood, and three of Matt Kenny’s favorite beers from Tatamagouche Brewing: Square One, Crack of Dawn, and Dekorum on tap as well. Many congratulations to the team at North for pulling this all together in just about a year. Their journey to the Dark Side is complete; we suggest you head down and celebrate with them!!
This Monday marks a show in town by doom metal gods Sleep, who will be blowing the roof off of The Marquee on Gottingen St. The opening act for the show is Pontiak from the Virginia, who are also happen to be the geniuses behind the brewery Pen Druid in Sperryville, PA. Specializing in spontaneous, barrel-aged, and just plain wild beers, these folks will be taking over the taps at Barrington Street’s Stillwell Beer Bar for a rare Monday event. Kicking off at noon (not the usual 4 PM opening time), 10 beers on draught, along with a few extra bottles, will be pouring at the Official Concert Pre-Drink event. And to further sweeten the pot, a pair of tickets will be given away to lucky visitors through the bar that day, so be sure to pop by for a bevvie before the show. The kitchen crew will be slinging some special food (as usual), and we’re sure there’ll be some killer tunes blasting all day to get everyone in the mood.
If you weren’t already in the know, Propeller’s Gottingen Street location has a pretty special secret hiding just below the retail shop and taproom: Propeller Arcade. With almost a dozen pinball machines, and the same number of modern and retro cabinet games, this underground (literally) spot is a favourite of many who are looking to relive their childhood (and those who may be a little too young to have encountered the joy of bowling alley arcades in the region). To push their spot to the next tier, they are holding a Level Up Weekend, starting next Friday. They are expanding the games available to include air hockey, basketball, and plenty more new offerings, as they take over the brewing that is shared between them, Stillwell, and Granite, so we can almost imagine the fun of shooting hoops amongst the fermenters… The hours of the event are Friday and Saturday from 4 PM – 12 AM, with Sunday (12 – 6 PM) being dubbed Family Day, as the space will be open to those under 19 to enjoy the games, as well as food provided by nearby Hopyard Halifax. Check out the FB link above, and we’ll no doubt see you there!
We don’t always put out work a whole month before an event, but we’re making an exception this week for the next Craft Draught Showdown at The Carleton in Halifax. These events have been going on for a year or so and have proven to be a hot ticket every time. Pitting two breweries head to head each pairing fine of their beers with five courses from Chef Michael Dolente, the eating and drinking public votes at the end on whose beers and pairings they preferred. Coming up on Wednesday, October 9th is Chester’s Tanner & Co Brewing vs Tatamagouche Brewing Co and, given both breweries’ penchants for food-friendly mixed-fermentation styles, this one should be extra special. Tickets, as always, are $60 plus HST per person (gratuity included) and can be purchased from the Carleton website. And if you want to get a little ahead of the game, the CDS after THIS one will be Garrison vs Schoolhouse on Thursday, December 5 with tickets for that one available here. And stay tuned, we’re expecting the 2020 slate of showdowns to be announced in November; when they are we’ll be sure to let you know about it!!