Port Rexton Brewing Co.

All posts tagged Port Rexton Brewing Co.

Here we are most of the way through February and it feels a little like there’s some light at the end of the tunnel. With both the big sportsball game and everyone’s (least?) favourite Hallmark holiday firmly in the rearview mirror, a three-day weekend coming up for many, it feels like maybe we’re on our way to surviving another winter (unless you’re in Cape Breton, maybe, where they’re probably on the fence about that). Pull up a chair, grab yourself a pint, pat yourself on the back, and read on for all the news we could find in Atlantic Canadian Beer for this week.

We’ll start this week on the South Shore of Nova Scotia where Tanner & Co Brewing in Chester Basin has been quite busy of late. Two weeks ago we told you about their new Best Bitter, made with a new malt (the Maris Otter-esque “The Otter Guys” from the folks at Horton Ridge). Last week it was their new dark and creamy Oatmeal Stout. This week they match those two with a brace of new releases. Up first is Hazy Belgian IPA, which marries the yeast-driven aromas of a Belgian ale with the juicy hop presence and haze of an NEIPA. Coming in at 6.8% ABV, you can safely expect Tanner’s usual care and attention to finding a balance between these two bold characters. This one is 6.8% ABV and 60 IBU and has been canned, but the labels were storm-delayed until yesterday; hopefully it’ll be available later today, but it could be a little later this weekend. On the other end of the spectrum from a hoppy beer intended to be consumed young is their other new release, a dark beer that’s already been hanging around for six months. Tanner’s stalwart Porter has been around for over five years now and features plenty of dark malt character with roasty chocolate and coffee notes balanced against sweeter caramel and malt flavors in a 5.7% package. Last fall, 100 liters or so from a batch of that Porter was fed into a Hungarian oak barrel from Grand Pré Winery that was previously used to age apple brandy. This week that beer came out of the barrel so that it can be enjoyed. What will six months in oak, no doubt with a touch of apple brandy, do to a Porter? The only way to find out is to try it!

That brings us neatly to our last piece of Tanner news, that they will be featured from open ‘til close tomorrow at Battery Park in Dartmouth for a tap takeover. Tanner has one of the broadest oeuvres of any brewery in the region and their full range will be on display. Foch saison fermented on grape skins, German styles, British styles, Belgian styles, and meads will all be represented. This will also be the first opportunity to try the barrel aged Porter (although some will also be canned for release, possibly as early as next week). A full tap list can be found here. Hope to see you there!

Labrador’s Iron Rock Brewing has a returning beer out this week, the annual seasonal they call Banishment. An oat stout that’s been aged in Bourbon barrels, giving the chocolatey notes of the base beer a boost with vanilla and oak, it’s quite smooth, maintaining plenty of body and roast character, and weighing in at 6.0% ABV and 32 IBU. This year’s batch has been crafted in honour of the 2024 running of Cain’s Quest, the world’s longest snowmobile endurance race that covers more than 3,000km around some of the world’s toughest Northern terrain. This year’s race kicks off on March 3rd with 37 teams set to compete. Maybe some of them will relax with a Banishment at the end of it all… we know the spectators will definitely be enjoying a few to keep warm!

Lone Oak of Borden-Carleton, PEI, is coming in hot this week with a brand Double IPA, Elysium. Sneakily debuting at their Battle of the Breweries at Hopyard Beer Bar earlier this month, this 9.1% ABV beast is now available to everyone everywhere all at once. While the yeast is not always the star of the show when it comes to IPAs, it’s definitely worth noting here, as this beer was fermented with the experimental Elysium by yeast darlings Escarpment Labs. Developed in their Guelph facility to promote pineapple aromatics and flavour, that was only enhanced at Lone Oak by their use of Sultana hops as the major addition, to keep the tropical vibes going. On tap and in cans at their four locations across the island (Borden Taproom, Milky Way Brewpub and Cold Beer Store, and Stratford Fox Meadow). If you’re interested in more about Escarpment’s yeast offerings, including Elysium, its new “sister” yeast, Pomona, and how they can help create standout IPAs, check out their latest blog post.

Moncton’s O’Creek Brewing put out a cheeky one earlier this week just in time for Valentine’s Day. HibisKiss is a pale ale low in bitterness at 15 IBU and light on hop character in order to make room for flavors of lemon and hibiscus. Featuring a gorgeous red color, it’s described by the brewery as, “romance in a glass.” But if that’s not your speed and you’re looking for something a little hoppier, check out their Riwaka Loral Hazy Pale Ale. Riwaka is a New Zealand hop variety known for imparting heavy tropical and passion fruit vibes, and Loral is a recently developed American hop that brings citrus and floral character with some peppery spice and some herbal notes. Paired together in a 5%, 25 IBU and very hazy package, we suspect it will be a winner with the hop head crowd. Our best understanding is that both of these beers are draught-only at the taproom, at least for now.

The burgeoning trend towards non-alcoholic options in beer has been progressing nicely for the last couple of years, with some local breweries having strong entries in the segment already. It seems only fitting that the local cideries join the party and recently Halifax’s Chain Yard became the second that we’re aware of. Anytime is a non-alcoholic cider that, like all CY ciders, starts with 100% Nova Scotian apples. All the way down in true NA territory at 0.5% ABV, it’s refreshing and balanced, featuring notes of ripe apple and honey balanced by hints of light citrus and floral overtones. Find it at the tap room for now, but hopefully soon at other places where you find your non-alcoholic options.

One of the other trends that the global beer world has seen in the last while, but that hasn’t had a whole lot of local representation is the “low-carb” offering. Dominated by industrial breweries with equipment that isn’t generally accessible in the craft brewing space, we know of only a couple entries in the category from Canada. Them? Notsomuch with the “craft.” Their parent companies? Notsomuch with the Canadian. Enter Good Robot Brewing, boldly going where very few other craft breweries anywhere have gone. Ultra Light is…ultra…light? A measly three grams of carbs per serving and 4% ABV, but without compromising on flavor, this one is coming out of their state of the art facility in Elmsdale where truly impressive things are possible. You can grab it in 355ml tall cans (the “svelte” ones, natch) at the tap room or order it for home delivery now, or you can wait for it to appear at the NSLC once they’ve got their packaging sorted out.

In addition to the Tanner Tap Takeover at Battery Park tomorrow, there’s some other events coming up shortly.

Eagle-eyed social media savants may have noticed a month or two back some Insta clips featuring the brewers of Tatamagouche Brewing and 2 Crows spending some time with the team at PEI’s Lone Oak (eventually, once everyone had their breakfast and stuff). The result of that collaboration is now ready to share. Taking some cues from an all-world beer, Taras Boulba by Brussels’ Brasserie de la Senne, this beer features the use of three yeast strains: Foggy London by Escarpment Labs, a French Saison blend to finish and dry the beer out, and the White Labs product Metschnikowia reukaufii, a yeast that has evolved to specialize in consuming nectar, but which also provides enhanced aroma and modulated bitterness in malt co-fermentations. Hopped generously with three Alsatian varieties, Aramis, Mistral, and Barbe Rouge, it saw additions in the mash, the kettle, the whirlpool, and a dry hop as well. Finishing at 5.5%, and somewhat hazy, it’s almost certainly a beer without too many analogues in the region. Bière d’Amis hits the taps next Thursday for the first time amidst a tap takeover featuring all three breweries at HopYard in Charlottetown on Thursday, February 22nd. Three beers from each brewery plus the collab will be on offer, and folks from all three will be in attendance as well. This event is the perfect kick-off to what will almost certainly be a fun- and beer-filled weekend for PEI Beer Fest.

Wait, did we say, “PEI Beer Fest?” We sure did! This year’s event will go down at the Delta Prince Edward by Marriott next weekend and will feature three sessions, one on Friday evening, one Saturday afternoon, and one Saturday evening. For general admission, evening sessions are three hours, Saturday afternoon is two and a half but there are VIP tickets available offering a start time 30 minutes earlier and a take-home souvenir glass. There are also, appropriately, Designated Driver tickets available to ensure that folks can plan a team effort in getting home safely. Some twenty-five producers across beer, cider, and ready-to-drink spaces will be represented. There will be live music and local food pairings as well. Tickets are still available for all sessions, although VIP for Saturday evening is now sold out. You can find out more about the fest, the breweries that will be represented, and find links to purchase tickets at the PEI Beer Festival Official Website.

A few more things before we sign off this week. Thanks, as always for reading!

In Big Spruce news, on the heels of the judging of their 11th annual Home Brew Challenge (results next weekend!) is the re-release of last year’s winning beer, Alex Hunt’s Under the Mountain, a cascadian dark ale (aka “Black IPA”) at 6.8% and packed with Chinook, Simcoe, and Centennial hops. Grab it from the source now, and we suspect other places where you find Big Spruce in the coming weeks.

Heading down the 104 we get to Truro, NS, where Truro Brewing Company has their annual collab with Port Rexton Brewing back on the go. Quiet Company is a Bourbon Barrel-aged Barleywine tipping the scales at a hefty 9% and packaged in 650ml bombers, you’ll probably want to take this one on sitting down. Rich and boozy, there’s plenty of malt there to sip quietly, perhaps by a warm fire with the best of friends. Also available by the pint at the tap room.

Continuing down that very same highway, we reach New Brunswick, and then Dieppe in particular, where CAVOK has a new twist on a hazy style this week. Soleil  is a New England-style hazy pale ale aged with Brettanomyces in an oak foeder. Hops and brett can go together beautifully in our opinion, and the oak should provide some lovely tannic contrast. Check out this 4.8% ABV number for yourself at the source.

Up in St. John’s, NL, Bannerman has their cold IPA back on tap and in cans. Negative Space is brewed and hopped like an IPA, but fermented and conditioned like a lager, giving a crisp and clean finish beneath a generous hop character. Cascade, Centennial, and Citra, make sure you’re getting your classic West Coast hop character in this 6.0% beer.

!!Attention all Atlantic Canadian Homebrewers!! You are just a couple of weeks out from the deadline for the Fifth Annual Atlantic Homebrew Challenge, your chance at hundreds of dollars in prizes, and seeing your beer being brewed and distributed by Gahan Beer across the region. This year’s beer styles are Best Bitter and Spice, Herb, and Vegetable, so you truly do have time to brew one or both styles in time for judging later in March. Visit the website above for all of the details on styles, rules, and be sure to drop off your beer before March 2nd at your local Gahan pub!

And we’ll finish the week back in Halifax with a bit of a PSA. 2 Crows is recalling cans of one of their anniversary beers, Alright Alright Alright due to some issues with can liners. If you’ve got some on hand you’re advised to empty and dispose of them, but also to reach out to eric@2crowsbrewing.com to arrange a refund or replacement with an alternative product. Kudos to the 2C gang for doing the right thing for their customers in response to a quality issue.

Welcome to December in Atlantic Canada, or as we like to call it, Decembeer! Cheesy puns aside, we know that with the turn of the month comes the real ramping up of the holiday season, and breweries are working to get their end-of-year seasonals and special releases out of the tanks and into our eager hands, so we anticipate plenty of new releases to talk about over the next few weeks. We’ve also got a new spot open in New Brunswick and a couple of anniversaries to tell you about this week, so without further ado, let’s get to it!

Felicitations! Artisan Brewing at 66 Roseberry St. in Campbellton is finally serving their own beer! After being open for for over a year, and offering the largest selection of NB-brewed beer in Northern New Brunswick, their long term plan of brewing in-house is now a reality! They have launched their menu with four beers created on their 600 litre DME system: Original Lager, La Blonde a Jo Blonde, North Shore Session IPA, and Buck Fever White. The brewing team brings decades of experience to the table, led by Elise Cornellier Bernier, co-Founder and Head Brewer of A l’abri de la Tempete on Iles-de-la-Madeleine, with Zach O’Kane and Marc LeBlanc in the brewhouse. The taproom shares space with Smoke on the Water BBQ, and features two dozen more taps from their NB brewery pals. Growlers can be filled with your favourite beer, after enjoying a pint onsite.

From Northern NB to Nova Scotia’s South Shore, Tanner & Co Brewing has the latest release as they continue to explore historical styles. Princesse is an historical style from the Netherlands, created in tribute to Anna van Honnover, Princess of Oranje-Nassau in the 1700s. With a base of Horton Ridge Munich malt, the beer uses a combination of coriander, licorice root, and orange peel to deliver very special aromatics and flavour, fit for royalty. Cans and draught of this 4.1% ABV beer are available from both Tanner locations, and cans are available for delivery across the province and beyond.

Port Rexton Brewing is taking a decidedly hazier route this week, as they bring back their Continuum Series. Focussing on hop-forward, often single hop beers, the latest beer of the bunch is Continuum with Zappa Hops. Yes, named after *that* Zappa, these hops are grown exclusively in Washington’s Yakima Valley, but originated several thousand km south growing wild in the mountains of New Mexico. As such, the hop itself is dichotomous, with tropical fruit and fruity pebbles on the nose, yet the flavour leans toward pine and a touch of spice. Used throughout the boil, cooling, and fermentation, the 6.4% ABV beer has a medium-high bitterness to match the malt. Available on tap and in cans at the taproom, in cans at their St. John’s Retail Shop, and at better beer merchants very soon.

It seems in recent months as though more breweries in the region are starting to explore the saison style a bit again after what seemed to be a bit of a lull; and we’re all for it! Bannerman Brewing in St. John’s is the latest to release one, and it’s a doozy. New Perspective was brewed with cardamom and allspice, then conditioned on pear juice to bring a fruity character to match with those spices as well as the characteristic flavour contributions of the saison yeast strain. The result is a 5.0% beer that is complex, but also dry and refreshing. Also brand new from Bannerman is another twist on an established style, concocted with Selina from The Merchant Tavern down the block on Water Street. Hot Take is nominally an IPA, but one that was conditioned on pineapple and Thai chilis, which imparted both a slight fruity sweetness and a bit of spicy heat. You’ll find this super smooth 6.2% beauty on tap exclusively at Bannerman and The Merchant; cans are already available at the brewery and are being released into the wild next week.

Embracing the season is Breton Brewing, who have brought back their Gingerbread Holiday Ale. Based on the London ESB style, this 5.5% beer saw additions of ginger, cinnamon, all spice, and nutmeg to heighten the experience. If that weren’t enough, they’ve got a new release as well that’s also got “holiday” written all over it. A Munich Dunkel-style lager, with plenty of toasty malt and a lovely dark brown color with deep red overtones, it was infused with chestnut flavor. Sounds to us like a great beer to enjoy by the fire. Chestnut Lager is 5.4%, and it and the Gingerbread Holiday Ale are available at the brewery, and for home delivery and shipping across the province through their online shop. 

A quick one-two punch of Blueberry beers returning to the region: Great Roads Brewing in Lower Sackville, NS, has brought back their Blueberry Wheat Ale, a 4.1% light bodied beer with just enough blueberry to get the point across. Meanwhile, in Corner Brook, NL, Boomstick Brewing has brought back Nan’s Puddin’, encompassing all of the goodness of traditional baking, with blueberry, lemon, and vanilla in a tight package. Both spots have their beer on tap and in cans to go!

Our good pal Chef Stephen Barrett at Seasoned Plate continues to highlight the great independent breweries in Nova Scotia through a variety of avenues, including videos, posts, and now, a series of Holiday-themed beer and food pairings. These recipes are ones you can create at home, with Barrett highlighting a brewery and/or beer that will complement or contrast what’s on your plate. With seasonal recipes paired with beers from Yarmouth to Sydney, Chester to Tusket, they will be accessible to all! Keep an eye on SP’s Instagram page for the details as they drop, with the first video featuring Sober Island coming tomorrow!

In Antigonish, NS, Candid Brewing Company is celebrating their community with a benefit beer they’re calling Village. A light lager at 4.0% ABV, $1 from every pint and $2 from every six-pack sold throughout the month of December will be donated to the Antigonish Community Fridge. It’s already on tap at the brewery and will be available in cans to go next week.

Trailway’s Union House Taproom in Saint John took a bit of a hit recently, with an overzealous transport trailer taking out their sign. Apparently the driver missed the No Left Turn sign… Rather than get upset, the Tw Crew has made the most of the situation, and are releasing No Left Turns IPA today, to really drive the point home. As they wanted to match the smashing of their sign with some of equal power, they have released it as a SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop), featuring their house Pale malt, and all El Dorado hops throughout, the beer shows citrus, lemon, and tropical vibes. Cans and draught of the 5.6% IPA are available in Fredericton and Saint John now, keep your eyes peeled for them to hit the shelves elsewhere in the province as well.

Last week we mentioned that Sea Level Brewing out of Port Williams, NS, is celebrating their 16th anniversary and the 4th anniversary of their Millstone Harvest Brewhouse location and we’ve got news of a special beer release to toast with at their Anniversary Celebration that’s happening today. Buffalo Bourbon Barrel Blend is an excellent case of “does what it says on the tin” excepting that it’s not actually been canned. A blend of Sea Level’s Port in the Storm Porter and High Street Wee Heavy was pumped into a Buffalo Trace bourbon barrel and left to condition for 13 months. When it came out, it had picked up oak and whisky characters as well as a smoky finish from the barrel to pair with the rich and smooth chocolaty flavours inherent to the beer. Coming in at 7% ABV, it’s only available at the taproom for pints and a very limited run of 118 bottles (sporting a lovely label and wax seal). Head on down and toast the crew to help celebrate their anniversary and maybe grab one for the beer lover on your holiday shopping list (if you’re like us, that beer lover might be you!)

Happy Sixth Birthday to Copper Bottom in Montague! Celebrating tomorrow with live music from 1 PM, there will be an oyster bar onsite, and happy hour pints. One of those could be Birthday Beer 6, an 8.0% Imperial Peanut Butter Stout. Featuring Chocolate Malt, real peanut butter, and milk sugar, this beer features a rich and full bodied mouthfeel, with the flavour of Reese Peanut Butter Cups. Come on out to party with the CB crew, and big congratulations from the ACBB Family!

It’s also that time of year for Mount Pearl’s Landwash Brewery to celebrate their opening, which happened in December 2018. The Newfoundland Beer Scene has exploded since then, with a handful of openings since then, and a handful more expected by December 2024. In the meantime, let’s get you sorted for the fun in Mount Pearl! Wednesday, December 6th, marks their actual 5th Anniversary, and as such, they are giving everyone a deep discount on their beer, which includes a pair of holi- and birth-day themed debuts. Time Capsule is a Imperial Fruited Sour, absolutely full of puree from grapefruit, lime, mango, orange, and tangerine, and rounded out with some lactose, for a real fruit smoothie/juice box kinda vibe! But sporting an 8.0% tag means this is for adults only (but still fine for weekend breakfast/brunch). Their other new release will be Unrequited Dreams, a 10.0% Mint Chocolate Milkshake Stout. It’s pretty much all there in the name, but let’s give you a little more detail. Featuring cacao nibs from JACOBEAN Craft Chocolate, and vanilla beans, lactose, and peppermint added right in the fermenter, think After Eight, but in liquid form. Cans and draught of both of these will be available Wednesday Dec 6, so hold tight until then! Keep an eye on Landwash’s IG for all of the Anniversary fun next week/end.

It’s been another busy week, as patios and Beer Gardens are beginning to close for the year (last chance for Stillwell BG is Saturday, weather-willing), darker beers are coming back in full force, and the never-stopping (not that we’d want it to) release of well-made IPAs continues unabated. Join us for a summary of almost two dozen releases from across our four Atlantic provinces! (Ed note: We’re gonna need a beer after this!)

Let us start with a duo of big IPAs from two breweries in Moncton, both hitting the taps and shelves today. First up is O’Creek Brewing once again flexing their hazy muscles with the release of Take On Me. Using a yeast that helps to keep all that hoppy goodness in suspension and closer to your nose, this beer was hopped late, and often, with the tremendous trio of Nelson Sauvin, Vic Secret, and the new HBC 586 (more on that in a moment). Massive tropical and citrus aromatics here, in a tidy 7.5% ABV package. And, speaking of packages, this freshly-canned beer is available today at their brewery on Barker in Moncton, as well as on tap there, and soon at better beer bars in the province.

Tire Shack, currently undergoing an incredible expansion of their facilities on John Street, is also releasing a great big hazy IPA today, telling the world that just because it’s getting a little cooler, there’s no need to let go of the tropical flavours just yet! They are continuing their Hip Hop Series, their ongoing exploration of flavour profiles from a showcased hop. Today’s release is Hip Hop Volume 9: HBC 586. A still-experimental hop from the Hop Breeding Company, HBC 586 is a stone fruit paradise, with mango, lychee, guava, and some orangey citrus in the mix. Beer nerds and home brewers, more info here. Sounds great in your breakfast smoothie, eh? Well, pop by Tire Shack today to grab some cans to try that tomorrow morning! And at only 8.0% ABV, it’s a fine substitution for a mimosa anyway. (Ed note: we are not responsible for anything that happens post-brunch if you substitute an 8% IPA for a mimosa)

Up the road in Fredericton, Trailway has a new delight for you with the introduction of Sunny B. You may remember their previous Sunny C, a step up the alphabet (and a step up in ABV) from the classic orange drink popular with the youths across North America. This iteration is still a small sour, at 3.5% ABV, and swaps orange for blueberry. Juicy and crushable, think of it like a blueberry mimosa, perfect for accompanying brunch or to give you a fruity kick to ward off the doldrums of a rainy and cool Fall day. Grab it in cans at either of their Fredericton or Saint John taprooms.

Continuing the trend of breweries whose names begin with the letter ‘T’, we have Tusket Falls, who have a sour of their own out this week that they’re calling Long Way Around. The latest in their series of “sour smoothies,” this one saw a dry hop of Citra and Strata for major citrus and dank hop aromas, an infusion of raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries for a fruity punch, and lactose and Madagascar vanilla beans to sweeten and smooth it all out, balancing the Lactobacillus-driven sourness. A touch of sea salt puts the finishing touch on this one, which comes in at 6.5% ABV and is available now from the brewery or at their spot in North End Halifax.

Off the mainland and up to the Rock we find Landwash Brewery in Mount Pearl with something new and hoppy for us this week. Dog Park is a 4.5% ABV session IPA, but rather than the little hazies that have abounded in our region and across the continent over the past few years, this one instead leans into the classic West Coast profile. With malt notes of biscuit and toffee, and citrus, dank, and slightly spicy hop character, this one would be perfect to slide into a Yeti Colster® for sneaky sips while your pup pulls zoomies at the local off leash area. There are three can designs available, all featuring very good girls and boys owned by members of the Landwash Team; collect ‘em all! Find this one in cans and on tap at the brewery, with distribution to come at all the usual places you find their beer.

Now we head back down South, but to another island of note in our region, Cape Breton, where in scenic Nyanza, Big Spruce has a new one and a returning engagement. First up is Buntàta, a collaboration brew with a primary ingredient that might take you by surprise. It’s no secret that CB has one of the largest Gaelic-speaking populations outside Europe and the local Gaelic Business Initiative worked together with the Spruce team to come up with a beer to celebrate their culture. A “Gaelic Potato Ale” this one leaned on starches from farm-grown red, purple, and white potatoes, paired up with Big Spruce’s own Centennial and Mount Hood hops for an earthy and vibrant brew. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy thanks to the potatoes, but there’s still some malty caramel sweetness and subtle hop bitterness as well. More in the mainstream is the other release from BS this week, Alors on Danse, this one on its second go around. A hazy double IPA coming in at 7.1%, it leverages the Thiol Libre yeast from Escarpment Labs to help bring out lots of tropical flavors like gooseberry and passionfruit. Grab either (or both!) of these brews at the brewery and, no doubt, at other places where you tend to find Big Spruce beers.

Moving west to the Antigonish area, we find North Grant’s Half Cocked Brewing also has a new release, a hybrid of French and Belgian saisons. Old Barn Saison is bone dry, thanks to the hungry yeast that consumed all of the tasty sugar from the mash. It has also imparted some lovely pepper and citrus notes, further enhanced by the Saaz hops used throughout the boil. Refreshing, complex, a touch acidic…definitely a complex beer that warrants your further investigation! Grab Old Barn on tap this weekend, maybe while you pop in for brunch at The Crafty Cooks, who are setting up a buffet inside the brewery, 10 AM – 1 PM Sunday.

In cider news, Annapolis Cider in Wolfville, NS, has a new entry in their Something Different series. Melon Margarita sees the marriage of literal truckloads of watermelon goodness with honeycrisp apple juice, a bit of cucumber, for a vegetal smokiness, and some lime for that tart zip that says, “margarita.” Finished with fresh honeycrsip and watermelon juice, the result is sweet, yet tart, and very refreshing, at 5.2%. As with all ciders in the Something Different series, $0.50 of every fill goes to a charity and this time around it’s Shelter Movers Nova Scotia, a volunteer organization that helps individuals and families fleeing abuse.

Back up to Newfoundland, we find Banished Brewing in Paradise bringing the Hallowe’en goods with the return of their Skelephone IPA. Although they tried to do the same thing this year as last year, using blue spirulina to impart an eerie green hue, this year it’s less green than ever. Same recipe, same techniques, different result; they tried blending in the spirulina three times and each time it dissolved and then precipitated back out. We agree with the Banished team that’s a suitably sinister situation for this 5% seasonal. Fortunately, the spirulina is flavor-neutral and the beer tastes just fine, the glow in the dark can is still rad AF, and it is what it is, b’y. Find it on tap at the brewery and at retailers who tend to stock Banished beer.

Speaking of Banished, our friends at Bishop’s Cellar on the Halifax Waterfront have made an effort to bring some of their offerings to Nova Scotia beer fans. Available today in the store and for online orders are An Elaborate Series of Mirrors (American Lager, 5%), Mustard Pickles (Triple IPA collab with Lone Oak, 10.5%!), Clockin’ Out (Red Ale, 5.2%) and their flagship hazy Space Puffin (NEIPA, 6%). You may also see that last one appear at some of the other private stores in the city, but you’ll have to stick to Bishop’s for the others. A reminder that shipping is free on to addresses in NS on orders over $150 and quite reasonable on orders less than that, and they’ve also got a new Express Delivery Service (2 hours within select postal codes within the HRM, 12 noon – 8 PM Thu/Fri/Sat). They’ve also got a fall sale in progress across most of their product lines, so we ask, “What are you waiting for?”

A big birthday party this weekend in Labrador, and a workshop in Halifax coming up early next week.

Labrador’s Iron Rock Brewing is celebrating their Fourth Anniversary this week, with events all weekend, as well as a new beer, one with quite a history, to celebrate their accomplishment. First brewed by Dave Hurley as part of the Newfermenters Homebrew Club Advent Calendar in 2017, it took a little bit of help from his brother Brian to be delivered to the distribution point in St. John’s in time for the bottle share. And now, six years later, Dave is still the one brewing (albeit on a much bigger scale!), and Brian is helping with the Island logistics (and plenty more!). Orange Daydream Milkshake IPA is the beer, and marks batch number 261 on their system in Lab City. The 6.0% ABV beer is loaded with Equinox, Azacca, and Citra, and further bumped up with sweet orange zest, and a bit of lactose and house-made vanilla extract for that creamsicle mouthfeel. On tap now, with cans coming to the brewery, and beyond, in the next little while.

The Fourth Anniversary Fun continues this weekend with a full schedule, including Trivia tonight at 7:30, Beer Yoga tomorrow at 1 PM, and live music tomorrow night at 9 PM, courtesy of The Sun Dogs. Congratulations to the Hurley boys and the whole Iron Rock Family!

We’ve got an event put on by Prince’s Trust to tell you about this week and this one is put on with the Change is Brewing Collective. Prince’s Trust has been an organization based out of the UK (back when King Charles was the Prince of Wales) to fund opportunities for youth from disadvantaged communities in finding new opportunities and connections, and learning new skills in hopes of finding career paths and exploring new industries. The Prince’s Trust Canadian branch is featuring a Halifax workshop on Monday, October 16th, to discuss brewing industry opportunities and all of the jobs involved from brewing, marketing, supply chain, and warehousing. Giovanni and O’Neil from Change is Brewing will be giving a talk and then diving into a hands-on workshop. This is all free if you’re between 18 and 30 and can be in the North End of Halifax from 6:30 PM until 8:30 PM. You’ll need to register at the link here to attend.   

Staying on the job train, Tatamagouche Brewing is hiring part-time and full-time positions as a taproom associate. You have three ways to apply here if you live nearby and want the job: drop off your resume in person at the brewery, email, or via Indeed. Be sure to check the Indeed posting for even more details. 

Lots of quick mentions to end the post today, from further news about a new taproom to lots of re-releases around the region:

The news keeps coming out of 2 Crows and their new location (Oxford and Cork in Halifax, the old 4Cats Art Studio, if you didn’t read last week’s post). As we mentioned last week they’ve posted for a General Manager for the food and taproom and this week we get news that it’s Yeah Yeahs Pizza as the food partner! Moving from their Barrington Street location, they will be headed from the downtown to the West End for the 50-seat taproom location. This is a big newsbite and an awesome partnership and location. Yeah Yeahs should be closing their Barrington location at the end of the month, so check out the 2 Crows and Yeah Yeahs socials for more updates. 

If you’re near Perth-Andover in New Brunswick, the do-it-all (brewery, coffee roastery, music venue and more) Tobique River Trading Company has a new brew on tap. Oktober Brown Ale is available now at the brewery for pints and growler fills. It’s 5% and is malt forward but balanced out with some nice hop bitterness. 

As it truly is the fall harvest, we’re rolling right into Stout Season and North Brewing is bringing back Let the Good Times Roll, a 6% Golden Stout. The beer brings the comfortable warmth of a stout with some chocolate and coffee flavours, but with a golden coloured body from the light-on-roast malt bill. This is available now in cans from all three of North’s locations and online for home delivery and shipping. 

Sticking with another returning seasonal for Stout Season, Schoolhouse Brewery is bringing back Staffroom Stout, a collaboration with T.A.N. Coffee, their Windsor neighbours. Using cold-brewed organic coffee from T.A.N, this coffee stout has refreshing flavours of espresso and chocolate that is refreshing and flavourful. It’s 5.5% and available in cans from the brewery for a limited time. 

Kicking off a trio of Newfoundland beer news, Bannerman Brewing kicks us off with their seasonal release of Dressed to Kill. Just like the first time it was released it’s a fruited sour ale with additions of raspberries and blackberries. A dry-hopping of Mosaic then brings a lovely initial aroma to join the berry flavours. The 6% beer is available now on tap and in cans from the brewery.

Another Halloween-themed Newfoundland release comes to us from Port Rexton Brewing. Back with a seasonal dark beer release, Chasing Moon is a Dark NEIPA. A style that we haven’t seen too much of, the beer takes all those tropical and stone fruit flavours and aromas, and pairs them with a dark colour and slightly roasty profile with the use of dark malts. At 6.2% there is a lot of flavour in the juicy, smooth, slightly bitter and highly drinkable brew. Pick this up now at both Port Rexton locations, Marie’s and everywhere else around the island for distribution next week. 

Finishing off the Newfoundland trio, Quidi Vidi Brewery is teaming up with the (amazing) St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival for a new release to mark the occasion. Director’s Cut is a 4.8% American Pilsener that’s been canned and is available now, though the actual festival runs from October 17th until the 21st. 

Copper Bottom Brewing out of Montague, PEI is embracing the darkness as they bring back Eclipse, a Black IPA. This 6.5% IPA brings notes of citrus, pine, stone fruit and a slightly roasty body thanks to the dark roasted and coffee notes from the malt. The hop bill for this brings out those aforementioned flavours from Simcoe, Galaxy and Cascade and it comes in at 50 IBU. This returns on Saturday in cans and on tap along with some special and food music at the brewery. 

We’ll leave you this week, for the second week in a row, with some unfortunate news. Hammond River Brewing in Rothesay, NB, announced this week that they are permanently closing their doors. The first brewery to open in the Kennebecasis Valley, in fall of 2013, HR started very small, with a 1 BBL system in the basement of original brewer/owner Shane Steeves. That system was eventually replaced by something much larger and a brewery and taproom in town. They’d seen an ownership change in the last few years, but still seemed to be a going concern in the region. We’re sure they will be missed by lovers of craft beer in the KV. We remind you again that this is an extremely tough time for the industry and people continuing to support their favorite locals is likely to be a determining factor in brewery survival.