Saltbox Brewing

All posts tagged Saltbox Brewing

Here we are on another Friday, with the official start of Summer just a week away – though maybe keep bringing your plants in at night, mkay? – bringing you the latest in beer news for the region. It’s a bit of a quiet week compared to some of the craziness of the last couple of months, but that certainly doesn’t mean there’s nothing exciting to tell you.

• Let’s lead off the news with a good story from Nova Scotia, which was made public by the NSLC and CBANS yesterday. Big changes are being implemented July 1st for NS breweries: those breweries who hold a hospitality license (which is many of the smaller spots) will have the option to pour in glasses larger than 4oz, saving glasses countless trips through the washer. The change comes just months after engagement with the Premier and other members of government during a “Meet Your Brewery” event attended by members of all parties, and the divisive beer brewed by Premier McNeil with one of the most vocal members of the province’s brewing industry, Jeremy White of Big Spruce. It really *is* all about engaging those in power, as well as the general population. Here’s hoping this change is only the beginning, as there are plenty more archaic rules in place that could be eased to further help the brewing industry in the province (and the whole region).

• One Nova Scotia brewery that is most-certainly ecstatic about this recent change is Halifax’s Tidehouse. They’ve been waiting for this day, and now that it’s finally here, they just so happen to have a brand new beer to serve you pints of in their Tiny Tasty Beverage Room! Pitcher’s Perfect Pineapple NEIPA was brewed with multi-hate-wearing-employee Mike Pitcher, and is indeed a NEIPA (at 6.3% ABV) brewed with Pale, Oats, Wheat, Munich, and Acidulated malts. Hopped at the end of the boil with Citra, Amarillo, and Centennial, and then more Citra and Amarillo a couple of days into fermentation, the juice factor was upped even higher by the addition of real pineapple in the fermentor at the tail end of the beer’s completion. Tasting like “hoppy pineapple juice”, you’ll be able to find it on tap and in bottles at the brewery, starting at opening (2PM) today.

• Shelburne’s Boxing Rock and Halifax’s Chain Yard have collaborated on a new beverage, possibly the first packaged example (or at least the first local example) of the classic beer/cider mix known as a “snakebite” to be available in NS. A 50/50 blend of Boxing Rock’s Hunky Dory Pale Ale, which features citrus zest and green tea, and Chain Yard’s Foundation cider, known for its tropical notes and light tannins, Snakebite is a 5.7% ABV product that features the best of both worlds. While it will be available in limited quantities at both Boxing Rock, who have some pre-filled growlers and a keg for 4 oz (or MORE?!) samples, and at Chain Yard, who have it on tap as well as in cans, the prime channel for acquiring some for yourself will be select NSLC stores across the province.

• We don’t know whether many people outside the area are aware, but the location of Saltbox Brewing in Mahone Bay is very close to a spur of the old Halifax to Yarmouth H&SW rail line – Halifax and South Western, which locals repurposed to “Hellish, Slow & Wobbly” based on the travel experience. This line, whose bed has since been repurposed as a recreational trail, is symbolic of a beer brewed at Saltbox in collaboration with Railway City Brewing in St. Thomas, ON. Railway City’s brewer is Amanda Fehr, sister of Saltbox’s own brewer Jeremy Fehr, and the siblings came together during the week of the Canadian Brewing Awards to brew a New England IPA. Called The Last Spike, this easy drinking 5.8% ABV beer features big citrus and pineapple flavors with very little bitterness. Perfect for sipping on a sunny afternoon on a patio, possibly while watching some soapbox races…Speaking of which, a reminder that the Saltbox Soapbox Derby is tomorrow down Clearway St. in Mahone Bay with all proceeds going to Bayview Community School Breakfast Program. There are 28 entrants across the 4 classes this year with participants ranging in age from 4.5 to 67 years old!!

• Our friends at Tatamagouche Brewing have been gearing up for their big 4th birthday celebration this weekend, and one of the ways they’re celebrating is with a new beer release, Salt Water Cowboy. This one is a Gose that was soured with a co-pitch of a Kolsch yeast strain and a strain of Lactobacillus, and fermented in tequila barrels. The 4.4% ABV beer was aged in the barrels for four months, and then an additional period on lemon peel, to play up the tequila, salt, and citrus character. With a subtle flavour on all fronts (including the barrel character), it’s meant to be easy-drinking and refreshing, as all good Goses should be! You’ll be able to find it on tap at Tata tomorrow, with bottles being released sometime over the coming weeks. And a reminder since last week’s post, they’ll have Route 6 Food Truck onsite all day, live music, social media contests and real-life games, plus a Nothing But The Hits taplist pouring (sorry, still only in 4oz glasses for now!): Amrita, Barrel-Aged Barley Wine, Crack of Dawn Breakfast Porter, Guava Heist, Lagerhosen, and the aforementioned Salt Water Cowboy.

• Hanwell’s Niche Brewing has another brand new beer dropping this week, Into the Wild. Fermented solely with Brettanomyces Claussenii (Brett C rather than Saccharomyces), this IPA straddles the line between “clean” and “wild”, with both the hops and yeast working together for a fruity tropical and juicy beer. In the boil, and again in the fermenter, Azacca and Vic Secret were used to impart citrus, mango, and pineapple flavour and aromatics, which is further enhanced by the pineapple and a touch of funk from the yeast. The 6.6% ABV beer has a soft and smooth mouthfeel and finishes rather dry, setting you up for your next sip (or pint!). The Niche crew have sent the beer to the bars and restaurants in the area, so keep your eyes peeled for its tapping. In Fredericton: The Snooty Fox, King Street Ale House, and The Joyce Pub; in Saint John: Peppers Pub, Lemongrass Thai Fare, and Saint John Ale House.

• The Good Robot new beers continue, with their latest Beta batch being Rosemary Was A Boy, a 5.5% ABV Witbier. Brewed with graphic designer Margot Durling, the simple grain bill of 2-row and Wheat malt was rounded out with boil additions of Mittelfrüh hops, coriander, orange peel, and, of course, rosemary. Expect your typical Witbier experience – fruity and spicy, light and refreshing – with a touch of rosemary character to complement; check it out next Tuesday.

• Over in PEI, Montague’s Copper Bottom is ready to release the collaboration beer they brewed a few weeks ago with L’Espace Public, a Montreal taproom with a brewery in-house. Patio Beer is a 4.5% ABV kettle sour that was brewed with a grist made up of only 2-row malt. Soured with a pure pitch of Lactobacillus, the wort was then boiled and hopped very lightly with Centennial. Later in the process, they added a plethora (such a great word!) of juices, made up of equal parts strawberry, cranberry, tart cherry, and wild blueberry juice. The brewery describes the beer as “light on the sourness” with a present-but-not-overpowering juice presence. Head on over to the taproom tomorrow for a taste; it’ll be available in pints, growlers, and cans. They’ll also be serving up oysters from Chef Robert Pendergast from 4-8 pm to celebrate.

• Meanwhile, in Charlottetown, Upstreet will have cans and kegs of their latest Neon Friday release, Oat Cream IPA with Cashmere. These beer names pretty much describe themselves, meaning less typing for us! But if you’d like us to be clear, it’s an American IPA with Oats in the grist, and lactose powder in the boil. Double-dry hopped with Cashmere (an American variety that exhibits lemon, lime, and melon characteristics), they’re describing the final product as having “an easy-drinking sweetness that’s juicy and clean”. As always, it’ll be available at the Upstreet taproom and Craft Beer Corner.

• There are three new beers available from Off Track this week, proving that they’re not planning on slowing down with experimenting in the near future. Here are the Cole’s Notes for all of them: Pull the Pin IPA (5.5% ABV, 57 IBUs), an American IPA hopped entirely with Centennial; Base is Loaded (5% ABV, 37 IBUs), an easy-drinking APA hopped with Cascade, Falconer’s Flight, and Belma; and Cherry-BOMB (4.2% ABV, 22 IBUs), a “Cherry Chocolate Kolsch”. This last one was attempted after the release of their Coconut Kolsch for the Stillwell Open in May, with the cherry adding a slight tartness. And there’s more that just beer news going on at Off Track – their patio is now open for the season, they’ve paired up with On the Wedge to offer food options, and they have stainless steel growlers now available for purchase. Finally, this Sunday they will be donating $1 from every pint, grunter and growler fill towards a Father’s Day charity.

Last week we mentioned the Toast the Coast event happening next Thursday at the Stillwell Beer Garden, and we’ve been able to gather a bit more intel to pass along. Here’s what we have on a few of the beers that will be pouring….

This Beer is Toast! (Garrison) – The grist for this one features Pale Ale and Wheat malt… and bread. Yes, 25% of the grist is made up of “fresh-but-past-code” bread from some local bakeries. Hopped with Hallertau and Cascade to 20 IBUs, this 5.5% ABV Saison has “light malt, bready-dough and toasty flavours, with a dry and effervescent finish”. A portion of all sales will go to Feed Nova Scotia.

Sorry (Good Robot) – Speaking of bread, Good Robot teamed up with Stone Hearth Bakery to brew this one, adding some of their toasted, light rye bread that was slightly past its date. The bread went into a second mash, after the first with Pilsner, Flaked Barley, Vienna, and Flaked Oats. Hopped with Ekuanot and Magnum in the boil, they also added some lactose and carob powder. Once fermentation was complete, they went further, and threw in a little coconut, more chocolate, and coffee beans. We’re not really sure if this beer has an official “style”, but it weighs in at 6% ABV and 55 IBUs, and pours  a “pale orangey colour”. A portion of sales will go to Bryony House.

Wheatly Edition (Off Track) – This 4.2% ABV, 22 IBUs American Wheat Ale was hopped with Belma and Huell Melon to “highlight the tropical, honey dew flavours”, and also has notes of pineapple. A portion of sales will got to SPCA Nova Scotia.

You’ll also see products from Propeller, Spindrift, Brightwood, and Boars Back Cider, all supporting other local charities.

There’s a couple of events going on in Nova Scotia over the next couple of weeks that we’d like to point out:

• There are still some tickets left for Garrison’s Backlot Bash, happening tomorrow, June 16th, at the Cunard Centre in Halifax. This fundraiser for the Ecology Action Centre will feature beer and cider, axe throwing, food trucks, skate demos, and plenty of live music. Tickets are $39.10, and can be purchased here.

• Sydney’s Breton Brewing is throwing a big party they’re calling Under the Breton Sky on Saturday, June 30th. Featuring Matt Anderson & the Bona Fide, Dave Sampson with Band, Slowcoaster, The Jordan Muycsyn Band, and The Carmen Townsend Band as well as, no doubt, plenty of Breton beer. Early bird tickets have come and gone, but General Admission are still available at $55 and will also be available the day of the event at $65. If you’re really enthused by the bill, you might consider the VIP Package at $75, which includes access to the beer patio, tap room, and the front of the stage. All tickets are available on-line and be aware that those prices are irrespective of taxes and fees.

And lastly, before we let you go:

Halifax’s Spindrift has been subtly tweaking their core brands (Killick Session Lager, Knotty Buoy Pils, and Coastal Lager) and are encouraging consumers to visit the brewery to try the new versions while they’re fresh for comparison. The new batches are currently being sent to stores, as well. Both Killick and Knotty Buoy are available now, with Coastal Lager appearing on July 4th. Also, look for Keller-Hell, Keller-Pils and Keller-Amber available on draught at the brewery and select bars and restaurants.
TrailWay is releasing their latest American IPA, All Can Phil (6.5% ABV) today at the brewery, featuring some of their favourite hops (no specifics on which ones). They describe it as having a “big, juicy/clean citrus front and a tangerine sweetness to finish it off”; available in cans and on tap at opening today.

With two of your three writers traveling this week, we’ve decided to forgo the fancy introduction and get right to the important beer news. Wait, did I just write an intro without trying? Perfect. My grade 12 English teacher would be proud. Or sad that this is the height of my writing career these days… Anywho, here we go!

• We begin this week’s news with another new bottle release from Stillwell Brewing, a beer that follows with others they’ve released in the past, but also heads in a slightly different direction. Poptones started off as a hoppy pale ale when it was brewed last September, with a grist of Pilsner, Wheat, and Oat malts. Hopped in the kettle with Sterling and Saphir, it was fermented with a clean, American yeast strain. Once primary fermentation was complete, the beer started heading down a more-familiar road for SWB, as the brewery’s house cultures were pitched in the beer, where they were allowed to slowly do their work over the next three months in the tank, attenuating the beer further and working their magic in other flavourful and aromatic ways. Dry-hopped with more Saphir, the beer was then bottled (with a portion actually transferred over to barrels for some further aging; heads-up for this one in the near future), and is now ready for purchase. The brewery describes it as having “a nice hop bitterness, flavour, and aroma, with a light acidity from the house cultures and a really cool, rustic kind of fermentation character”, with a more-pronounced Brett funk that many of their other releases. You’ll be able to pick up bottles of this 5.3% ABV summer-drinker tomorrow at the brewery from 12-3 (2015 Gottingen, enter via the parking lot around the back); rumour has it that you’ll also be able to find some bottles of Gosh 2.0 and Preach, and maybe even some others as well!

• Around front/upstairs in the same space, Propeller Brewing has released the latest in their Gottingen Small Batch series, with yesterday’s tapping of Love the Way We Love. This American Wheat features loads of Mosaic hops (complemented by Azacca), for papaya, pineapple, and mango fruit nose and flavour in a 5.0% ABV package. As with all beers in the GSB line, these are only available on tap, with growler fills available at both their Windmill and Gottingen Street locations, plus pints on Gottingen and at licensees around the city. A portion of the sales are being donated to the neighbouring North End Community Health Centre. They are celebrating the release with a special cask of it today from 5PM, with a Mosaic Double Dry-hopped version, with pretzels from The Cake Lady for your pairing enjoyment. And you can enjoy LtWWL and a handful of other locally-produced beer and cider as part of Toast the Coast!, a Tap Takeover June 21 at Stillwell Beergarden celebrating The Coast’s 25th Anniversary.

• Let’s stay inside Halifax – and within walking distance, actually – with 2 Crows. They, too, have ventured a little outside their standard brew day (wait, does 2C even HAVE a “standard brew day”?) and created a refreshing, dry-hopped Lager. Named, appropriately enough, Refresh, this is their first Lager in some time. Brewed with German Pilsner malt, 25% Flaked Rice, and a touch of chit malt, it was hopped in the boil with Hallertau Blanc, to just 12 IBUs. Fermented cool with the Weingenstephan 34/70 Lager strain, the beer was lagered for close to two months before being dry-hopped with more Hallertau Blanc, and Huell Melon. The result is a 4.8% ABV crusher that has notes of “lemongrass, cucumber, gooseberry, and honeydew melon”. It was just canned this morning, and should be on sale at the brewery (also on tap) by the time you read this!

• Moving on to friends/arch-rivals of 2C, Tidehouse Brewing are releasing their very first Russian Imperial Stout, named The Sex (oh, those crazy kids!). It’s not like June has been that warm anyway, so why not sip on a 11.9% ABV dark beer? Featuring a mega-grist of Maris Otter, Midnight Wheat, Malted Oats, Carafa II, Pale Chocolate Malt, and Roasted Barley, it was hopped with Northern Brewer to help balance all of that roast and sweetness. After fermentation was complete, they decided to go with maybe a little more sweetness, and added a touch of Port, and raspberries! You can find this one on tap at the tiny tasting room starting today, and also in bottle form for aging/sharing/all the rest… at that ABV, we recommend against drinking an entire bottle by yourself. We’re not “Putin” you on (sorry)!

• The yang to The Sex’s yin is also being released today, Brew Swillis Hoppy Light Ale. Straw in colour thanks to the base malt of Pilsner, Carapils, Flaked Rice and Flaked Corn, this 4.5% ABV beer was bittered with Warrior at the beginning of the boil, and features aromatic/flavour hopping from Cluster and East Kent Golding. Light in body and colour, but still flavourful, this draft-only brew will be the perfect one to pour from your growler after mowing the lawn or doing some spring cleaning this weekend.

• Over to Robie St., where the fine people at Good Robot prepare to release their latest Beta Brew, Oh Captain, My Captain. Collaboratively-brewed with Meaghan MacDonald, this kettle sour was brewed with Pilsner malt, Flaked Oats, Red X, and Rye malt. Roasted beets were added to the wort during the first, brief boil; the wort was then soured overnight. Boiled again the next day, and hopped with Polaris to 40 IBUs, the wort was fermented out, and then pomegranate juice was added in two steps. The beer comes in at 5% ABV, and will hit taps next Tuesday. We also have a sneak preview for a special beer that will come out next Friday, Halifax North. Right now, we can tell you that it’s a collaboration beer (more on who with, next week), and it’s GR’s first Double IPA. We do have some recipe details: the grist was made up of Golden Promise, Maris Otter, Vienna, and Flaked Barley, and it was hopped and dry-hopped with Southern Passion and African Queen. Weighing in at 7.7% ABV and 90 IBUs, look for more info here next Friday, when the beer is released.

• And just a stone’s throw away, Unfiltered is launching a brand new Double IPA today at noon, Inducement. This “fruity, hoppy, and hazy” 7.5% ABV brew was hopped with (undoubtedly, plenty of) Mosaic and Falconer’s Flight, so rest assured the beer is full of tropical, fruity goodness as advertised. Nash also threw in a little Honey malt in the grist to give the beer just a touch of sweetness, to help balance all the hop presence that we can expect. Drop by Charm School today to pick up your pints and growlers.

• Ok, time to move out of the big city and visit Annapolis Brewing Co., where their brand-spanking new taproom is officially open! Located at 302 St. George St. in Annapolis Royal, the location will have eight Annapolis brews on tap, along with a few guest beers and ciders from other breweries/cideries in the province; wine and kombucha can also be purchased. You can stay for flights and pints, and/or leave with growlers and 355 mL bottles. While food isn’t available on-site, you’re more than welcome to order in or bring your own! Their hours are 12-8 pm Sun-Thurs, 12-10 pm Friday, and 10-10 on Saturday. And keep Saturday, June 30th on your calendar if you’re in the area, as they’ll be holding their grand opening (with live music) on that day.

• Let’s leave Nova Scotia for today and cross the ferry to PEI. Charlottetown’s Upstreet has two new beers for us as of today, both of ‘em split off from a single kettle sour. The first one is Dry Hopped Sour with Motueka, a 5.5% ABV brew featuring the lovely New Zealand variety (Motueka, if it wasn’t obvious enough to you!), which gives this particular beer aromas of lemon and pine, according to the brewery. Followed by a creature of a different sort, Strawberry Rhubarb Sour drops the hops and goes with an addition of strawberry and rhubarb juice (the same, actually, that they use in the flagship Rhuby Social). “Full-bodied and perfectly balanced with sweetness”, it’s here just in time for patio season (maybe?). Both beers are available today on tap and in growlers at the Upstreet taproom and at Craft Beer Corner. And as a little preview, there was a third split from that same original kettle sour… stay tuned for what they’re doing with that portion in the near future.

• Just across town, PEI Brewing has launched a new brand this week, Rix Light Craft Lager. The beer is named in honour of Bill Rix, who opened the short-lived Island Brewing Company in Charlottetown in 1986, the first brewery on the Island in decades. While it may have been a little ahead of its time and did not survive the decade, it had planted the seed of a local brewery for others to take up. The beer is very light in body and colour, and at 4.0% ABV, definitely an easy drinking brew. The beer is available at the PEILCC now, and there are launch parties being held across the province during the month of June, to help introduce the brand.

Speaking of events, there’s lots going on this weekend in our region, so be sure to get out and support your local brewery and good beer bar…

Horton Ridge Malt & Grain is celebrating the First Anniversary of their brewery and taproom tomorrow, with food, fun, and beer. They will have Asado Wood Fired Grill onsite with plenty of chicken, ribs, sausage, brisket, and elote to keep you happy, with live music from 3-5PM and 7:30-9:30PM. The beers will be flowing, too, with plenty of their own brews as well as a couple of guest taps and cans, all brewed using their own malted grains. Drop by to tour the brewery and malt house. Congratulations to the Stewart family!

• If you wanted to try the Red Racer Across the Nation 12-pack, now’s your chance, as it is available in our region. If you wanted to taste all 12 of them in one sitting, and learn more about the beers and styles while doing so, consider signing up for the Collaboration Beer Tasting being held at Upstreet Brewing tomorrow afternoon. This ticketed event will have Certified Cicerone Bryan Carver pouring and chatting about each of the dozen beers from 2-4PM at Upstreet. Pop by to try Upstreet’s Salted Caramel Lager, 2 Crows’ Coast 2 Coast Ancient Grain Saison, TrailWay’s Three Beasts American IPA, YellowBelly’s Me Ol’ Trout East Coast Cream Ale, plus 8 others from across the country.

Heritage Brewing in Yarmouth is celebrating their One Year Anniversary this Sunday, June 10th. From noon until 5pm, drop by their 19 Kirk Street location for samples and growlers of their beers, including their fan favourite Scotia Prince, a 6.0% ABV New England IPA. They will be serving cake, having some fun contests, before their move to their new location on Main Street later this month.

• And speaking of Yarmouth, next weekend is the Yarmouth Craft Beer Festival, being held at the Rodd Grand Yarmouth Hotel. The weekend kicks off Friday night with a 2.5k or 5k Hop Run through downtown Yarmouth, where participants are congratulated with a medal and a cold glass of beer. The festival itself is Saturday June 16, with two sessions happening that day: Afternoon 2:30-4:30PM, and Evening 7:30-9:30PM. General admission tickets get you in the door, your tasting glass, and your few few beer tokens (with more available for purchase after you use those). VIP tickets are available, allowing entry 30 minutes earlier, plus more 10 vs. 5 tokens, and an extra pint glass and bottle opener to take home. More than 100 beers from 15 breweries from across the province makes for a great day out. Beer pong onsite, plus a chance to win a brewery swag pack. Grab your tickets here before it’s too late!

• Mark your calendar and make plans to visit Tatamagouche Brewing next Saturday for their 4th Birthday celebration. With several brand new beer releases happening Friday and Saturday, the fun is happening all day with live music that afternoon and evening (including a ticketed concert at 7PM that evening). Route 6 Food Truck is onsite that day as well to keep you happy. We’ll have more details on the new beers next Friday!

• If you’re on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, be sure to drop by Saltbox Brewing to check out their Soapbox Races next Saturday the 16th. 28 cars have registered to take part in the all day event, as they will race down Clearway Street in Mahone Bay. Plenty of beer will be flowing, and food trucks will be set up onsite as well. All proceeds are going to the Bayview Community School Breakfast Program.

We’ve got a few Newsbites to leave you with today before you head out for a pint today:

– The seasonal Watermelon Wheat Ale, Melonhead, from Picaroons should be popping up in stores and on tap about now, with a new spokescat on the label (Henry Smith), and in cans for the first time. Also, Pivot #16 is now available; this time the rotating-hop(s) 8% ABV DIPA features Fuggles, Northern Brewer, and Willamette.
– For beer fans in St John’s who would like to try beer from the province’s latest-to-open brewery Scudrunner, but unable to make the trip to Gander, you’re in luck! They’ve dropped off a couple kegs of their Scudrunner Red to Blue on Water Hotel, at 319 Water Street, and the beer is pouring now.
– Spindrift’s latest Seventh Wave release is And The Hazy Sea. This 5.1% ABV fruited Witbier features blueberries and lemon zest to complement the coriander used in the boil. Lightly hopped to 17 IBU, this beer is available for growler fills at their Frazee Ave location now, and at the Toast the Coast event on June 21.
– Fredericton’s TrailWay had their Red Racer party earlier this week to celebrate the release of their Across the Nation collaboration brews, including the Three Beasts American IPA which represents the province of NB. As we mentioned in an earlier post, TW decided to brew that same beer on their own system, and it’s available now in limited quantities on tap and in cans at the brewery. Full of Mosaic, Citra and Galaxy, it comes in at 6.6% ABV.

Alright folks, this is the big one! For the first time in several years (since Fredericton in 2014, to be precise), our region is once again the epicentre of the Canadian beer scene for the weekend, as Halifax hosts the Canadian Brewing Awards and Conference. Already kicking off last night, the talks and sessions continue today and tomorrow, with the Awards Gala being held tomorrow night. You have to be in the beerbiz to attend, but you can follow along with the Awards results online during the stream, and we will be sure to keep a live feed of all of the Atlantic Canadian winners. We already flooded you with the new collaborative releases from 2 Crows, North, and Propeller last week, and you’re well served to get to their respective retail locations to pick them up before they are gone. Let’s concentrate on the newest info we have regarding another onslaught of releases hitting the taps and shelves now.

• Let’s kick off the week with the first brewery opening in a few weeks, O’Creek Brewing in Dieppe. Brewing on a 1 BBL system means they end up with about 120 litres of beer per batch, so this is a truly small operation. But being small has its benefits, as owner Patrice Daigle is able to stay nimble and brew a wide variety of beers. The first beer to be available is Route 117 NEIPA. Named after the coastal highway that connects Kouchibouguac and Miramichi, this hoppy and hazy 6.5% ABV brew features loads of Mosaic, Citra, and Amarillo hops throughout the brewing and fermenting process. In addition, Daigle is launching with an American Pale Ale and Saison, though details are a bit short on those for now. So, how can you try the O’Creek beers this weekend? Easy! Just drop by their booth at this weekend’s Atlantic Beer Festival, held at the Moncton Coliseum. If you don’t already have your tickets, you are in luck, as they are still available for this evening, as well as Saturday afternoon and evening sessions. Check out O’Creek on Facebook and Instagram for the latest news, and tune in to the blog early next week, as will have a full Profile with them, with more details on their brewing history and ethos, and what other beers you can expect from them in the future (and where to find them). Congratulations!

• We’ve got lots of news from Digby’s Roof Hound Brewery, so let’s get you up to date. First off, the latest in their kettle sour series is now available, Fall From Grace. This 4.3% ABV sour is the first beer to be completely designed and brewed by Roof Hound Assistant Brewer Ben, and features notes of rose water and lychee to match and offset the beer’s acidity. Look for it on tap at the brewery and in HRM now. Also available now is Roof Hound’s collaboration with Guelph’s Escarpment Yeast Labs, SafeWord Pineapple Milkshake IPA, which debuted at yesterday’s event at Battery Park (if you’re lucky, some of these will still be on tap today!). This 6.0% ABV IPA was late- and dry-hopped with a massive amount of Azacca hops for tropical notes on top of the vanilla and lactose added to complete the milkshake vibe. Escarpment’s Foggy London Ale yeast was used to keep the beer with a smooth mouthfeel and hazy as heck. In addition to BP, kegs have been delivered to Stillwell and growlers fills will be available at Harvest Wines.  And finally, owner Les Barr has announced that “The Dog House” is open for the season. This two-bedroom rental property is just a few minutes walk from Roof Hound’s brewery and taproom, and is decorated with the same touches as the brewery itself. Folks can learn more and book their stay on Airbnb. No word if Barr will tuck you in, or bring you a coffee in the morning, but knowing his hospitality, we wouldn’t be surprised! And a bonus for early birds, if you are one of the first to book your stay, there are big savings to be had.

• Let’s talk about another beer that debuted at yesterday’s Escarpment x Battery Park event, from Cape Breton’s Big Spruce Brewing. Brett, Actually is a 7.7% ABV IPA, co-fermented with both Cali Ale yeast and Brettanomyces drei and dry-hopped with Mosaic and Citra for a big hop presence. You’ll find this one available for pints and growler fills at the brewery, as well as at tap accounts around the Province. Also out this week from Big Spruce is another mixed fermentation beer they’re calling Lucky Pucker, which was hit with both Old World Saison yeast and Brettanomyces bruxellensis. Conditioned for 6 months in Chardonnay barrels, before being bottled and conditioned in glass for another 4 months, this beer finished up at 6.3% ABV and 12 IBU, making it a strong Berliner Weisse. Tart and fruity, it’s only available in bottles, both at the brewery and at the private stores in Halifax. And that’s not all from Jeremy and Co this week, as they’ve got another one they’re calling Hugs Bunny that was brewed in collaboration with Merit Brewing out of Hamilton. It seems Merit and Big Spruce like to make Gose, this is a similar beer to the Gose of Christmas Past from last month, with Indian Coriander and sea salt and landing at 3.8% ABV. In lieu of a barrel treatment, though, hugs bunny got a big ol’ dry hop with Citra for a lemon and citrus aroma. Look for it to appear at the Sprucetique and possibly a few tap accounts as well.

• Even with all of those delightful-sounding collaboration beers released by North Brewing yesterday (which we addressed in detail in last week’s post), they still went ahead and launched another new beer for the Victoria Day long weekend. It’s close to being sold out already, but we’d like to share the info anyway, in case you’re lucky enough to find some! Lawrencetown Surf Session Ale was brewed with Pilsner malt and Malted Oats, and dry-hopped with Citra and Simcoe Cryo hops. With lots of citrus throughout, the beer is quite refreshing and definitely lives up to its “sessionable” description, coming in at just 4% ABV. Hopefully there’s still a few cans left at the brewery, and it’ll likely still be available on tap at accounts in Halifax.

Tanner & Co in Chester Basin has a pair of new beers available just in time for the weekend, so start planning your visit now. The first is Sauvage Gose, their take on the sour and lightly salty style originally from Goslar, Germany. After a round of kettle souring to impart some acidity, the beer was fermented with Scotia Sauvage yeast, which was originally isolated from a Pin cherry on the Big Spruce farm and propagated up by Escarpment Labs. Featuring lots of tart citrus and notes of tropical fruit, there is only one keg of this beer available, on tap at the brewery for growler fills. The second release is Dampfbier, a German Steam Beer. While this beer was one of their first at launch in the fall, this release is the first on their larger system. As per the style, this beer is brewed with all malted barley, and with a Weissbier yeast, usually used in Hefeweizens, the iconic German wheat beer. The result is a beer featuring pleasant clove and banana characters from the yeast with a nice malt finish. As with the Gose, the best place to grab a taste of Dampfbier is at the brewery, so drop by this weekend!

• In Sydney, Breton Brewing has their first kettle sour available. Sour Sessions with Guava & Passionfruit is the first in a series of sour, low ABV, summer beers that they’ll be releasing over the coming months under the Sour Sessions banner. This edition comes in at 3.2% ABV and 5 IBU and is flavored, as you probably guessed, using additions of passion fruit and guava. Tart and thirst quenching, you’ll find it at the brewery for pints and growler fills this weekend.

• Do you remember when Garrison Brewing teamed up with Ontario’s Sawdust City Brewing, to brew a special collaboration beer? We didn’t either; there’s just too much going on! [Fortunately the internets never forgets – Ed.] But good news, the beer is ready and it’s being launched this week. Leroy, an Imperial Brown Ale brewed with Sawdust City, was initially released last fall to celebrate Halifax being named this year’s CBA host venue. Some of that beer was saved and aged in bourbon barrels for a year, giving us Bourbon Barrel-Aged Leroy Imperial Brown. A bit of salted caramel was added to the barrels as well, with the final product coming out as a massive (11.5% ABV), deceptively-smooth Brown Ale with aromas and flavours of “bourbon, salted caramel, molasses bread, and milk chocolate.” Available now in limited quantities at Garrison, in 650 mL bottles. And tomorrow, Jalapeno Ale is returning. Remember Jalapeno Ale? It’s back. In can form! At 5% ABV, it’s brewed with a mix of spicy jalapenos, habaneros, Scotch bonnets, and Jamaican hot peppers. Hope you like spicy!

Spindrift continues to remain busy, with another boatload of new beers hitting taps this week. Their one-off Seventh Wave series gives us two entries alone, so let’s get started there. The two beers are an experiment in compare-and-contrast, with America and England going toe-to-toe: Old Salt ESB (5.5% ABV, 35 IBUs) is a light-bodied Extra Special Bitter hopped with East Kent Golding and Experimental Hop #02720, giving the beer a “smooth, malty fruitiness and a sharp hop kick”, while Shoulder Parrot APA (5.1% ABV, 35 IBUs) represents the U.S., and was hopped with Saaz and Falconer’s Flight, for a “rich, pineapple-like fruit palate”. Try both and see which country you’d prefer to emigrate to!

• Moving out of the Seventh Wave series, Spindrift has a new regular that dropped this week, their first Radler. Named Wheelhouse, it’s a beer with a blend of citrus fruit juice, including grapefruit, lemon, and tangerine. Back-sweetened with Stevia to give “a perception of sweetness, without a big, cloying body”, there’s plenty of citrus character in the aroma and flavour; and at just 4% ABV and 8 IBUs, it goes down easy, which all Radlers should! This one is going to be available in 473 mL cans in all Atlantic provinces through the summer.

• Fredericton’s Niche Brewing continues to display the depth of their recipe file with another couple of new ones out this week in addition to the Cool Kid 2 Crows collaboration on tap in Halifax. First up is a summer crusher, called Margarita Gose, a take on a traditional German Gose, but with a Nichean twist (not to be confused with a Nietzschean twist that might lead you to question the existence of beer). Starting with a base beer of wheat and Pilsner that was kettle soured and to which traditional fresh cracked coriander and sea salt were added, a light hopping with Amarillo was also applied. Post-fermentation the beer was conditioned on lime rind ribbons yielding a tart and refreshing beer with an overall lemony-citrus character, notes of lime, and some savoriness from the coriander and sea salt. At only 3.5% ABV you can get away with having a few and still keep your washer toss/cornhole game strong.

• Also available this week is Fiscally Irresponsible, another Milkshake IPA, but this one taken in a different direction than the Orange Creamsicle IPA from earlier this year. Starting with a similar grist, with wheat malt and malted oats contributing body and mouthfeel, lactose powder was added for the sweetness the style is known for, and it was hopped with lots of Galaxy, Citra, and Vic Secret at the end of the boil. Rather than fermenting with an American or English yeast strain as is de rigueur for the style, Shawn and Rob opted to go funky and use the Amalgamation blend of six Brettanomyces strains. From there, the beer was dry hopped with more of the same hop varieties used in the kettle before it was conditioned on Madagascar vanilla beans (hence the beer name; have you seen the price of vanilla right now?!) and passion fruit purée. The result is a beer with “quite a bit going on.” Dominated by passion fruit, there are notes of mango, papaya and subtle vanilla. A low-medium bitterness balances with the slight sweetness and it goes down easy despite 6.2% ABV. It’s scheduled to be tapped at Stillwell HQ this weekend, but tap accounts in New Brunswick will also see it next week. And folks in Halifax who don’t feel they see enough Niche beer should keep their eyes open, as it is known that kegs of Innerstate, Receding Darkness, Pineapple Persuasion, and You Had Me At… Ekuanot are known to be in the queue at Stillwell properties (the Pineapple Persuasion is scheduled to go on tap at the Beer Garden this weekend if the weather holds).

• As if there isn’t enough to do this weekend in Halifax, NOW you’ve got to also set aside time to drop by Stillwell Brewing to get in on their two latest bottle releases. Sorry!* To be fair, they do sound delicious, as usual. The first one is Preach (5.5% ABV), which is a blend of a Saison fermented in a wine barrel, with a foedre-fermented, sour Farmhouse Ale that was re-fermented in oak barrels with 220 g/L of fresh, Nova Scotia peaches. Both of these base beers are currently over a year old, and were already tasting well-developed before blending. Now, however, there’s “oak and wine character, fresh peach skin aromatics, minty, herbal notes, and a wonderfully quenching acidity”, thanks to the blending and additional bottle conditioning time. Sounds great to us! Some of the 716 bottles will be available to drink on-site at both Stillwell locations, and some are going to Copper & Theory in British Columbia for Farmhouse Fest. The rest will be available for purchase by anyone in Halifax tomorrow (Saturday) at the brewery, from noon-3 pm. *notsorry

• Next up from Stillwell Brewing is Disco. Originally aged in a single red wine barrel until the tartness and balance of this tart Farmhouse Ale was in Baby Bear territory (read: just right!), a “modest” amount of equal parts dark sweet cherry and raspberry purée were added into the barrel to kick off fermentation again, and age for another couple of months. The 5.7% ABV beer was then bottled and allowed to condition several more months, resulting in a “well-integrated and balanced Farmhouse fruit beer that is neither cherry nor raspberry, but something where the sum is greater than its parts”. Some bottles going to Stillwell(s) for sale on-site, and the rest for sale tomorrow from 12-3 with Preach. And hey, they’ll also be selling some more bottles of Gosh 2.0! And if you’re a fan of Stilly Pils, they’ve just released their latest batch, and they claim it’s hoppier and meringuier (more-merignuey?) than ever! Look for that one at Stillwell and the beer garden, on tap only.

Fredericton’s Bogtrotter has their first new beer out in a while, Maroon Patch. A 5% ABV American Pale Ale, it was named after the 5th Canadian Division, recognized by the maroon patch worn on the sleeve of soldiers. The beer was hopped exclusively with Denali, a fairly new American variety that is sometimes known as Nuggetzilla (!). The description for Denali mentions characteristics of “pineapple, citrus, and pine”, with spicy notes coming through as well. Look for this one on tap around Fredericton, and in bottles at select ANBL stores.

• Breweries from three different counties in NS have teamed up for a collaboration beer, as a way to indicate their appreciation for the overall open, collaborative nature of the beer community, and to “celebrate craft brewing expertise” in the area. Trider’s, Lunn’s Mill, and Saltbox have created Tridal Bay, a 6.5% ABV Belgian IPA that was heavily hopped with Columbus for bittering, and Saaz and Triskel for the flavour and aroma. With a grist containing some Wheat and Aromatic malt, Belgian Candi sugar was also added in the boil to help dry the beer out. Fermented with a Belgian yeast strain, the beer came out extremely dry in the finish, while “retaining that Belgian fruitiness and citrus, heavy hop bitterness”. All three breweries are pouring the beer at their taprooms, and a few local bars may receive some kegs as well.

Today, Upstreet is releasing the next beer in their Flipside series, California Lager. Brewed in the style of a California Common, it was hopped with Polaris and Northern Brewer to 35 IBUs. Described by the brewery as “toasty, with hints of nuttiness, caramel, and chocolate without the sweetness”, and with “earthy, herbal aromas”, this 5% ABV medium-bodied brew will be available on tap and in bottles at Upstreet today, and will follow at Craft Beer Corner and PEILCC stores sometime next week.

If you managed to get your hands on one of the Red Racer Across the Nation 2018 Collaboration Mixed Packs put out by Surrey, BC’s Central City Brewing, you might have noticed that the the PEI representation was a brew done with Upstreet called Singing Sands, a salted caramel lager. In order to make sure folks in their home province got a decent chance to try it, Mike and Matt decided to do up a small batch at home. A “light dessert beer,” it weighs in at just 5.5% ABV and a slight 15 IBU, perfect for sipping after a meal. Rich with caramel flavors accentuated by aromas of honey and vanilla, a hint of salt provides balance. Look for this one at the brewery for sure, but possibly at tap accounts as well.

Moncton’s Bore City is shipping out kegs of their latest beer, one that they’ve been carefully watching and patiently waiting for several months. Saison LBC was brewed in late 2017 and was conditioning on fresh cranberries for some time. Brettanomyces was added, along with some lemon zest, at a later date, to kick off a second fermentation. Now that it’s finally ready, the aroma has notes of “lemon and light funk”, with flavours of citrus and tarness from the cranberries, and a light mouthfeel and dry finish. Look for this 6.3% ABV, 30 IBUs beer on tap at the Laundromat and Les Brumes du Coude very soon; it’ll also be pouring at the Atlantic Beer Festival this Saturday, during the afternoon session.

And as is usually the case, Halifax’s Good Robot has a bit of news for us this week as well. The release for Beta Brewsday this week is an as-yet unnamed beer put together by Alpha Dawg Doug Kehoe during Good Robot’s Dive Bar event with Afishionado Fish Mongers. It’s a Gose with Oyster Shells added to the boil that weighs in at 5% ABV and with negligible IBUs. You’ll find it on tap this Tuesday, May 29th as per usual for the Beta releases. Meanwhile, in big batch news, DeWolfe of Wall Street, the 6.4% ABV and 29 IBU fruity and hoppy American Pale Ale is making its return to the taps this week as well.

A few final mentions before we leave you to your weekend, and let you get out for a beer:

Sea Level Brewing in Port Williams has brought back their Apple Blossom Ale just in time for the Annapolis Valley’s annual Apple Blossom Festival. Brewed with Pilsner malt and infused with apples, it’s an ideal beer for the season!

– Up in St. John’s YellowBelly Brewing has a new beer on tap they’re calling Maritime Bitter. Hey, you’d be bitter too if you got snow in May! This is a single malt pale ale, it’s 5% ABV and runs to about 60 IBU with an intense berry character. Look for it on tap at the brewery now, with bottles coming next week.

– And don’t forget that Stillwell (both HQ and the Beergarden) is hosting Grand National this weekend, with beers from all across the country pouring, in celebration of the CBAs. Keep an eye on their social media for the latest taplist. If you’re not sure if the Beergarden is open due to weather, check this link for the latest info.

– And drop by The Auction House after 3PM for the PEI Tap Takeover, featuring beers from all five Island breweries. If there’s enough beer, it will last through Saturday as well!