Propeller Brewing

All posts tagged Propeller Brewing

Happy Friday, Beer Fans! Well, you did it, you survived Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week! Hopefully you made it out to some of the events sponsored by the CBANS, and drank more than your share of the good stuff. Let’s keep the good vibes going to let you know what and where to enjoy some more tasty bevvies this weekend and beyond.

The final event of NS Craft Beer Week this year was the Stillwell Open, hosted by the long-time local-beer-boosters at Bar Stillwell. Four teams from across the province (North, South, Halifax, and Dartmouth) competed to create their best Single Hop beers in four categories (English, Session, Standard, and Double IPA). The drinking public voted on their favourite, and after the dust settled, First Place in the IPA category, and overall, went to the winning brew from Team North. Big Spruce Brewing teamed up with the soon-to-open Church Brewing Company and multi-award-winning homebrewer David Pepper. Named $$$$ (named after/sung to the first line of The O’Jays – For The Love of Money), due to the overwhelming amount of the very new, and not even named yet, HBC 692 hop. Pouring a hazy straw colour, with aromas and flavours of grapefruit and tangerine, it ticked all of the boxes for the crowd that day. Good news for those who missed out Sunday, this is a full release with the beer available at the breweries and better beer locations around the province.

Other finalists in their category were the Session IPA, Karate Lazer, brewed with Ekuanot by New Scotland Brewing, American IPA Shipwreck IPA brewed with Mosaic by Breton Brewing and Brathair Brothers homebrewing collective, and English IPA It’s a Boy! with Bramling Cross by homebrewer Glen O’Keefe. Both commercial brews mentioned are also available at their respective breweries and will see local distribution as well. Congratulations to these medal winners!

There were twelve other beers debuting on the wall Sunday, many of them also seeing distribution throughout the province. For the first time ever, Shipwright Brewing graced the chalkboard at Stillwell, with Secret HOPeration, a 4.6% ABV Session IPA featuring Vic Secret, which is also pouring at their taproom and Grand Banker. Hop notes of pineapple and grapefruit complement the light grain profile with a light bitterness. This entry was brewed with local homebrewers Matt and Isaac Hachey.

Propeller Brewing teamed up with own acbbchris to continue the love with another Gottingen Street Small Batch. This year’s effort was Sabro Double IPA, featuring a s**t-ton of newer hop Sabro added generously early, late, and after the boil (including during active fermentation), for a melding of coconut, pineapple, mango, and papaya, for a pina colada with a bit of a bitter kick. It is available now at both Propeller locations for growler fills, with pints also pouring at the Gottingen Street taproom. Drop by tomorrow during Open City to check out their brewery, and for the first time ever, the Propeller Arcade is open to all ages from noon to 4 PM.

Let’s skip provinces for a moment, where after months of delays (the most recent opening was planned for mid-October of 2018), the Gahan House has officially opened their Moncton location, Gahan House Hub City. The 160-seat restaurant (located at 55 Queen St. downtown) will also feature a 60-seat seasonal patio and a 5 bbl (~600 L) brewhouse, with three 5 bbl fermentors. As with other Gahan locations, you’ll find the standard PEI Brewing Co./Gahan line-up on tap, along with one-offs and seasonals brewed at the Hub City location, as well as other Gahan breweries in Atlantic Canada. Naturally, we’ll keep you updated on these beers, but we can give you a sneak preview of the first beer brewed at Hub City… it’s a 5.3% ABV American Pale Ale hopped with Cascade and Huell Melon.

And while on the subject of Gahan, we might as well take the opportunity to mention that the first beer from the Saint John Barrel Room series will be released at the Saint John and Fredericton Gahan locations on May 17th. Sour Saison was fermented initially with a Saison strain, the beer was then moved to Pinot Noir barrels with a blend of Brett, Lacto, and Pedio for six months. Bottle-conditioned for three months before its release next week, it finished off at 6.4% ABV.

If you’re into this new trend of hazy IPAs that all the kids are drinking (and who isn’t??), you may be interested to hear that Port Rexton Brewing has added a new rotating beer series, Continuum, to their line-up. This series of hazy IPAs will focus on different hops with each batch, and the first, Continuum w/ Vic Secret, was mainly hopped with the lovely Vic Secret variety from Australia. With large amounts thrown into the whirlpool and dry hop additions (along with some Azacca to complement), the beer has “bright tropical, stone fruit, and floral aromas and flavours, with undertones of piney bitterness”, all in a smooth, soft body with a dry finish. You’ll have to make a trip out to the brewery this weekend (now open 7 days a week, 12 – 10 PM) to grab this 5.6% ABV beer, but the trip will be worth it for the berg-watching, a walk along the Skerwink, and/or to attend their Mini Market tomorrow from noon until two, with crafts and goods by local entrepreneurs.

On the Avalon Peninsula, where we’ve been told you can spot some icebergs as well, you’ll find Landwash Brewery. And out in Mount Pearl, they’ve released a brand new take on their Brackish Gose, this release conditioned with some juicy Guava for an extra kick of acidity, and of course some bright tropical character. As always, sea salt from Newfoundland Salt Company plays an important role in mouthfeel and “zing”. On tap at the brewery for samples, pints, and growlers, as well as limited number of cans, pop in this weekend to enjoy this 4.8% ABV taste of the tropics. Their website is always up-to-date with their Availability, so be sure to keep an eye out there too. You’ll soon see yet another new beer hit the taps at the brewery, as well as the Admiralty House Museum, a hint of what’s to come can be found here.

On Newfoundland’s West Coast, pop into Bootleg BrewCo in Corner Brook for a taste of their Hawai’i Four-O American Session Ale. Full of fresh pineapple added to the conditioning tank, plus juicy tropical hops to complement, this 4.0% ABV refresher of a beer is light, smooth, and perfect for the warmer days sure to arrive any week now…

And speaking of Corner Brook, there will soon be another local brewery location in the city. Crooked Feeder Brewing, located in Cormack, will be taking over the Gitanos’ restaurant space in the Millbrook Mall, and opening Crooked Feeder Gastropub. While keeping their brewing operations in the former mill just north of Deer Lake, they will be bringing the look and feel of their quiet brewery location to CB. We expect that will feature plenty of work by The Tin Man, the local fabricators who have worked with Crooked Feeder to manufacture their brewhouse and fermentation vessels. With an expected seating capacity of over 100, the food menu will feature both meal and small-bite options, for those just coming in for a flight or pint, or staying a while to enjoy the live music and entertainment. They will also have a retail counter where growlers and merchandise to show off your Crooked Feeder pride. The Gastropub will be opening next month, but they’ve got plenty of beer to share with us in the meantime. Their Ohh Baby Brut IPA debuted at the Newfoundland Craft Beer Festival last month, and they are filling growlers in Cormack currently, and keep an eye out for a late-May release of their Best Coast Bitter, a Best Bitter in the traditional English style.

In Fredericton, TrailWay has been busy with the upcoming warm weather, meaning patio season, and more beer drinking! This week, they’ve got a new beer and two returning ones to suit those thirsty days. First up is their latest American IPA, Inception, a 6.5% ABV brew hopped entirely with Falconer’s Flight, an ever-changing blend of American ‘C’ hops. Plenty of citrus and tropical fruit abounds, no doubt, and if you’re at the brewery to have a pint or pick up some cans, bonus points if you do so with your totem in hand… but remember, don’t let anyone else touch it! (No, we’re not being dirty, sickos… watch the movie for cryin’ out loud!)

As for returning favourites, their seasonal Beyond Reality, a 4.6% ABV dry-hopped Raspberry Wheat, is back on tap and in cans, for those of you who need a hop break (homebrewers, see what I did there?). But if you love the hops (and if you’re going to TrailWay, we’re pretty sure you do), they’ve also brought back DDH Green Island, the double-dry hopped version of their standard Green Island IPA. This one is also available on tap and in cans, albeit at a very limited supply.

Out in Hampton, New Brunswick, Matchstick Beer Factory has launched a new beer. Darlin’ of an Amber is being touted as a heavily-hopped American Amber Ale that features a simple grist of Maritime Malt and Crystal 40, with the hops being split between Liberty and Newport (added to the tune of about 40 IBUs) sourced from local Darlings Island Farm. Fermented with a neutral American Ale yeast strain, the hop flavours are complemented by the maltiness of the beer. Coming in at 6% ABV, look for kegs to be pouring at Sussex Ale Works, the Cask and Kettle, Saint John Ale House, and Match Factory Restaurant.

Drop by 2 Crows this Saturday at noon if you’d like to get your bottle fix, as they’ll be releasing Five Petals, the latest in their ever-expanding lineup of barrel-aged sours. Brewed with Pilsner, Spelt, and Wheat, no hops were added to the wort before it made its way to the wonderful world of oak. Fermented with a blend of the brewery’s Lacto, Brett and Saccharomyces cultures, it spent about 4 months in Sauvingon Blanc barrels, where it was then transferred back to stainless. Here, it was further conditioned on fresh lemon zest and juice, along with an addition of elderflowers, before bottling. Tasting “very bright, fun, lively and fresh, with a strong lemon presence, firm minerality, and a delicate touch of elderflowers’ floral/lychee presence”, it weighs in at 5.9% ABV.

YellowBelly in St. John’s, Newfoundland has a new beer coming this week, their version of a collaboration with Five Boroughs Brewing Co. in New York City to celebrate the success of the hit musical now playing in New York (on Broadway, even!), Toronto, Melbourne, London and on tour as well, Come From Away. Unfiltered and unfined, this pale ale’s is augmented by oats and wheat in the grist for a silky mouthfeel, with a soft bitterness rated at 40 IBU and a maybe-not-quite-sessionable-but-maybe-have-another-one-anyway 6.0% ABV. The blend of Cashmere, Cascade, and Amarillo hops lends tropical, citrus, and stone fruit notes in both the aroma and on the palate. Expect it to pair well with spicy foods and creamy cheese. You can find it on tap at YellowBelly’s Pub, with growler fills expected to be available by Sunday, May 19th at the Takeaway. You can also expect to find it on guest taps around the city and possibly the rest of the province, and the NLC will have bottles within the next week! A lovely tribute to a great story of folks going out of their way to help others during an event that truly shook the world.

Late last fall, Maybee Brewing released Brut IPA, their take on the hoppy, effervescent, bone-dry style. This beer will be the focus of the first release in their barrel-aged program with Brut: Aged in Pinot Noir Barrels. Aged in Pinot Noir barrels for four months, the final product is the result of a blend of two of these barrels, plus a small amount of the Brut IPA base. Refermented in 750 mL cork-and-cage bottles with fresh yeast for about 6 weeks, the bottles are now ready and will be released exclusively at the taproom next Wednesday. The 6% ABV beer is displaying aromas of “tropical fruit, pineapple, white wine grape notes, wood vanillins, earth, and spice”, with flavours of the same, along with some barrel character, according to the brewery. They’ve also kegged a small amount, which will be available for pints only, also at the brewery.

What to do this weekend? We’ve got one suggestion for you today!

Our good friends at Stillwell are holding their very first Newfoundland Tap Takeover tomorrow, May 11th, from noon until closing. They’ll be hosting three breweries from the Rock, including Landwash (pouring That Much Ocean, Hazures Rock, One Wave, Brackish, and Home and Away), Quidi Vidi (Iceberg, Bog & Barrens Imperial Bakeapple Gose, and Dayboil), and Port Rexton (T-Rex Porter, Some Day on Hops, Azacca NEIPA, and Drifter). And it wouldn’t be a Newfoundland anything if there weren’t some tasty home-inspired treats on hand, so they’ll be serving up fried bologna and fishcakes on the menu. No entry fee, of course, so drop by and sample some delicious beers and food!

Just a couple more before you head out for lunch…

Bad Apple Brewhouse has been experimenting with English beers lately, as an excuse to find use for their new hand pump. If you’re in Wolfville, drop by The Core (just off of Main Street) to try the new, unnamed Extra Special Bitter (4.9% ABV), which has a “balanced hop bitterness with a slight, fruity ester-like finish”.

For next Thursday’s Alpha Brew, Good Robot is bringing back Creature Feature I (6% ABV, 68 IBUs), the first iteration in their biotransformation IPA series. Hopped with a selection of North American varieties, expect a “mild honey flavour and a subtle orchard fruit aroma”.

Here we go again, beer fans! We’re in the final weekend of NS Craft Beer Week! We hope those of you in the province have been getting out to support your local brewery and licensee. We want to sincerely thank those of you who came out and took part in our Beer Trivia Night at The Auction House last night, and big thanks to the breweries who donated so much swag that all of the teams who took part went home with something. We can’t wait to do it again, and it may be even sooner than next year! Enough gushing, on with the news!

Another week of releases for Big Spruce, this time it’s the return of She’s Maibock. A fitting release, given we’ve just entered the month of May, this is a heritage German style of lager brewed similar to a Helles, but a bit more intense in malt/ABV/hops (pro tip, “bock” means buck or ram, and these beers will often feature one on the label). Their take on the style is a 5.9% ABV copper beer, brewed using their own farm-grown hops, and lots of complex and flavourful malts, giving rise to toast and bread notes, with a light citrus character. Grab this beer on tap at the brewery in Nyanza, and at licensees around the province. And drop by HopYard Halifax this afternoon (4 – 7 PM) for the official launch of Year 3 of their Tag! You’re It! IPA, with $0.50 from each can going to Ocean Tracking Network.

Boxing Rock’s Agricola Street Test Kitchen at Local Source Market has another new beer pouring this week. Fail No More is a 3.7% ABV English Mild, keeping to the iconic style with a light bitterness and pleasant caramel and toast and roast notes. You’ll have to pop in for a taste and a growler fill soon, as these Test Kitchen releases are always quite limited!

And in more great Boxing Rock news, the culmination of their Black Box Challenge was on Sunday. This saw homebrewers given the same list of ingredients, and it was up to them to come up with a recipe using some or all of the materials. With presentations ranging from a game of Jeopardy!, to a Crazy Game of Porter, the finalists put their best foot forward on Sunday to present and “sell” their beer to the judges. At the end of the afternoon, Jana Dellapinna and her Hello Darkness Schwarzbier was crowned the winner, through a combination of scores of the beer, presentation, and song choice (The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel). Dellapina will be traveling down to Shelburne to brew up a full size release of the beer, for wide distribution. And some of her fellow finalists may receive the same call, given the quality of the entries in this year’s competition!

Backstage Brewing will be releasing their first Red Ale (aka American Amber) this weekend in time for the main festivities (read: Full House). Simple Man was brewed with Pale malt, CaraMunich, Carafa and Roasted Barley (likely in moderation, to help provide colour). Hopped lightly to 20 IBUs with Willamette from Fundy Hops, the brewery is describing the final beer as “smooth, malty, and simple”. In addition to pouring at Full House, it’ll be on tap at the brewery.

Saltbox Brewing in Mahone Bay is celebrating the opening of their new location in Bridgewater, King Street Beer Co. Not surprisingly, this brewery and taproom is located at 463 King Street in the town, and features a pilot system that they are using for special on-premise beer releases, LaHave River Beers. The first of these hits the taps at 6:30 PM this evening. Silvercat Legendary Canamerican Pale Ale (that’s a mouthful!) is a 5.5% ABV, 39 IBU, Maple Pale Ale, brewed with local homebrewer Don Graham. No word on the origin or amount of maple used in the beer. As with all the brews on this pilot system, it is in very short supply (under 40 litres!), so pop down this evening to avoid disappointment! And drop by both King Street and Saltbox this weekend as they are hosting the Highway 103 Tap Takeovers, featuring breweries from up and down the 103 Highway on the province’s South Shore.

To help celebrate NS Craft Beer Week, Tanner & Co. Brewing is releasing the latest beer in their Sauvage series, with 2019 Sauvage. This Saison features a malt bill built entirely around grain from Horton Ridge, including Pale malt, Vienna, and Wheat. Hopped to 20 IBUs with EKG and Mt. Hood, it was fermented – like last year – with Big Spruce’s pin cherry yeast isolate. All about the yeast character (as a good Saison should be!), it’s showcasing “tropical fruit such as pineapple, mango, citrus, and a bit of lemon rind on the finish”. It clocks in at 6% ABV, it’ll be pouring at the Full House event this weekend, with bottles at the brewery as well.

Coupla new hoppy beers coming from the Upstreet family for this weekend, starting with an early sneak peek of Great Day Session IPA. Brewed with Pilsner, Vienna, Wheat, and Golden Naked Oats, they hopped the beer with Cashmere, Amarillo and Mosaic, for aromas of “pear, white grapes, melon, and coconut”. Light-golden in colour, with a smooth body thanks to the addition of the oats, it lives up to its name at 4.8%, and finishes only mildly bitter (25 IBUs). It’s officially launching at tomorrow’s Full House, and will also be on tap at the BBQ Brewhouse for pints, growlers, and crowlers this weekend. Look for draught and cans to follow on PEI next Thursday.

Upstreet’s other hoppy offering is Neon Friday 2.04, the latest in the ongoing series. With the addition of some Honey malt and Melanoiden to give the beer a “gentle, warming sweetness”, as well as a reddish colour, it was hopped with Amarillo, Southern Cross and Sorachi Ace (to 45 IBUs), providing the 6.5% American IPA with aromas of “orange peel, lemon, pine, and a hint of dill”. This one is debuting on the Island today at the Upstreet taproom and Craft Beer Corner (on tap and in cans), with a few cans making their way to the Nova Scotia private stores as well.

Landwash Brewery, out of Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, has lots going on this weekend, including the launch of a brand new beer. Might as well start there! Another Shore is releasing in cans and on tap at the brewery today at 4 pm, and it’s a very specific take on the classic Kolsch style. Brewed with malted barley and wheat from PEI’s Shoreline Malting, it was fermented cool and allowed to condition at low temperatures. Once complete, they dry-hopped it with Amarillo and Sabro, and then went further by adding “a whole whack” (that’s a lot!) of fresh lime zest. You can probably imagine in your head how this 4.2% ABV brew is tasting… we’ll leave you to it. In other Landwash news, they’re holding their first Cask Night at Toslow in St. John’s, tonight, where they’ll be tapping Coconut Hazures Rock (and they’ll have a keg of Another Shore, too). Also, keep your eyes peeled for a new batch of One Wave Blonde Ale coming out soon.

While in St. John’s, why not stop by YellowBelly and try Deadly, Missus, their 2019 International Women’s Day brew. It’s being referred to as a “Belgian India Blonde Ale” (!) that was hopped with the Pink Boots Society hop blend (Loral, Glacier, Mosaic, Simcoe, and Sabro). Designed and brewed by head brewer Nardia McGrath, it’s tasting “spicy, funky, and earthy”; it clocks in at 7.1% ABV. And hey, you’re there, so you might as well give their latest cider, Iceberg Cider, a try. Made entirely with iceberg water (natch), it’s 5.5% ABV and on tap now; bottles should follow next week in local NLC stores.

Speaking of cider, the PEI Brewing Company has a new one of their own available, 6 Hours of Sun. Made with a “special blend of apples”, it was fermented with Champagne yeast to give a crisp, fruity, refreshing cider. Semi-dry with a semi-sweet finish, it’s 5% ABV and can be found right now at the PEIBC taproom in Charlottetown; you’ll be able to find it at all Gahan locations soon, as well as in cans at PEILCC stores.

New beer alert from Moncton’s Grand Monk Artisan Ales, Flat Earth IPA. Hopped copiously with varieties from North America (Cascade and Mosaic) and Australia (Ella), you can probably expect a beer full of tropical, juicy goodness. It weighs in at 7.5% ABV, and can be found at your favourite Grand Monk watering hole. And stay tuned for their next beer, Down With Vaccinations Pale Ale. Too soon?

Fredericton’s Maybee Brewing is releasing their first Lager tomorrow, May 4th. A Schwarzbier, we’re slightly confidant you could take a crack at what the name was going to be, knowing the date… and if you guessed May the Schwarz Be With You, you would be correct! This black Lager was brewed almost entirely with German malt and German hops, it was fermented cold with a dry Lager yeast. Fairly dark (24 SRM), and pretty easy-drinking at 4.9% ABV and 29 IBUs, it’s showing aromas of espresso, milk chocolate, and caramel, and a medium-light body with chocolate and caramel on the palate. They’re releasing it initially at the brewery on tap and in cans; look for it to follow at tap accounts later next week, and it should be on at ANBL growler sites later in the month. Drop by the brewery tomorrow from noon, where they’ll be holding a launch party, featuring beer (of course) and food from Gastrognomes.

Plenty of things going on in the region this weekend and into next week, check them out! And of course keep an eye on the NSCBW Calendar we put together so that you’re never late for an event.

Tomorrow, Propeller’s Gottingen Street taproom will be the site of their celebration of all things Star Wars, with their May the Fourth celebration.They’ll be featuring two casks, both hopped with out-of-worldy hops, like their Galaxy IPA hopped with an extra dose of (Millenium) Falconer’s Flight, and a cask made with their brand new canned (also draught) release, Sasquatch Pale Ale. This 5.2% Pale Ale features a wholly-Canadian hop, Sasquatch, grown in BC, and used throughout the brewing process to impart a tropical and juicy note to the beer. Also back this week is their Stone Fruit, which will be hitting the shelves of the private and NSLC stores soon. Back to the taproom, the Propeller Arcade is open all day (from 10AM), and they’ll have Star Wars-themed Vandal Doughnuts to pair with your pint. And if you’re wearing some Star Wars paraphernalia, your first pint is just $5! Pop by on your way to…

The Full House Beer Fest is also tomorrow, with forty breweries from across Nova Scotia pouring the newest and best beers at the Halifax Forum Multipurpose Centre (entrance is from the Young Street parking lot). From Yarmouth to Sydney, Amherst to Musquodoboit Harbour, breweries from all over are coming together for the biggest celebration of #NSCraftBeer. Tickets for both the afternoon and evening session are still available, and we will certainly be there taking it all in. One of the new releases you’ll be able to enjoy is Annapolis Brewing’s Port Royal Pilsner, which was fermented low and slow (over a month!), for a smooth finish, with the Saaz used giving a hint of herbal notes. (It will also be available for pints and growler fills in their taproom this weekend)

If you wake up woozy and disoriented in Halifax on Sunday morning, Good Robot has your hookup to maybe soothe your self-inflicted wounds with a taste of the tropics. The Limestone Group will be hosting a brunch featuring food inspired by sunny climes (and based on the weather forecast a little imagination might be required there). How does coconut crusted French Toast sound? And if lovely food isn’t enough to get you over the hangover hump, there will, of course be beer. The brunch runs from 10 – 3 PM, so there’s plenty of time to drag your sorry self out of bed and get down to Good Robot and partake.

Also going down on Sunday is an annual event that’s near and dear to our hearts here at the ACBB (well, the empty places where our hearts used to be anyway), the 2019 Stillwell Open at Stillwell Beer Bar on Barrington Street. Now in its 5th year, this event pairs homebrewers and breweries together to develop beers for a blind tasting competition that ultimately crowns a champion beer based on the voting response of the public. To up the ante a little in terms of bragging rights, once again the province has been divided into geographical regions, North, South, Halifax, and Dartmouth, with a title going to the team with the best overall showing. This year’s theme for beers is single-hop IPAs. Each team will bring four beers in the Session IPA, American IPA, Double IPA, and English IPA (served on cask) categories, all made with but a single variety of hop. Beers are expected to be one offs for the competition or production batches that will debut at the competition, so 100% brand new, never sampled, sipped, or swigged before beers will be available. Our own Chris McDonald is captaining Team Halifax, with Les Barr of Roof Hound heading up Team South, Spindrift’s Kyle Jeppesen helming Team Dartmouth, and Jeremy White of Big Spruce once again leading the charge for the two-time (TWO-TIME!) defending champions, Team North. If you attend you may need to plan to balance your blood lupulin levels next week with some crispy Pilsners and fruity mixed ferms, but Sunday is all about the hops. The blind tasting starts at 12 PM with the field being cut in half based on votes after 90 minutes and again in half every 30 minutes until 3 PM when the category winners, the winning Team, and the overall champion beer will be revealed. So come on down and see if you don’t find yourself bleeding green afterwards!

Let’s turn our gaze away from NS Craft Beer Week for a moment, and look elsewhere… Namely, the fact that Hanwell’s very own Niche Brewing will be holding a Meet the Maker Tap Takeover tomorrow, May 4th, at The Joyce Pub in Fredericton. Those crazy cats decided to brew and keg up 16 different beers for this event, with almost half of them being one-offs and debuts. One of those is Into the Great Wide Open, a Saison dry-hopped with Hallertau Blanc and Amarillo. The Takeover officially begins at 7 PM, so be sure to drop by and meet the brewers behind the beer, and try the many offerings on tap. The full list of beers for the evening is available on the FB event page.

HopYard Halifax is holding a Battle of the Breweries every Thursday, where they’ll be dedicating three taps each to a number of breweries who will be fighting to the death… or, bragging rights, I suppose. Round 1 will be stretched over four Thursdays (starting yesterday) with three breweries for each day… ten from Nova Scotia, one from PEI, and one from NB. The brewery who has sold the most beer for each day moves forward to the next round, so you’re essentially voting with your wallets! Show up to support your favourite(s)!

And a couple last things before you get your plans together for the weekend:

Garrison is re-releasing Lemondrop, their dry-hopped kettle sour, this weekend at the brewery. Hopped entirely with Lemondrop after the boil was complete, this 5% ABV sour is tart and lemony, and will also be available at NSLC and private stores. You should be able to find it in other provinces this summer, too.

TrailWay is bringing back Good Times in the Fridge today, their 6% ABV American IPA brewed with a rotating hop schedule. This batch features Southern Cross, Wakatu, Enigma and Loral, giving a beer that is “dank, pungent, fruity, pineapple, spicy, and herbaceous”. You can find it at the brewery starting today.

Drop by Unfiltered today at noon if you’re a fan of Warning Label, their super strong (10% ABV) and super hoppy DIPA; it’ll be available on tap and in cans.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just a few more things to tease you with today…

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

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

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