Secret Cove Brewing

All posts tagged Secret Cove Brewing

Well, here we are in December, and while the weather hasn’t been too terrible, there’s still a great argument to be made for stocking up on beer for both the holidays and for après shovelling, sledding, skiing, and other wintertime activities that are fun and/or necessary. The good news around that is that our region’s breweries continue to step up with new and interesting beers that will make building up a collection fun and interesting, if not easy (how do we choose?!). And not only that, but we’ve got some news about a couple breweries expanding, which can only mean more beer and/or more space to drink it in! Read on for details on those and for the rest of your weekly dose of beer news from across the Atlantic Provinces.

Landwash Brewery in Mount Pearl opened their doors December 6th, 2018, and to celebrate their First Anniversary, today they are releasing an appropriate beer to celebrate, Burn Your Boats. This 9.0% ABV deep dark beauty is an Imperial Stout that spent several months in Bourbon barrels before canning. Major dark roast and coffee notes are paired with the lovely vanilla and notes of spirits. BYB is available at the brewery at opening today at 3 PM, by the glass and in a limited run of cans too (ISO!). And while you’re at the brewery, check out their wide selection of glassware that they’ve had shipped in from Jymline, plenty of options for whichever beer you’re drinking, from 1 litre Maß to a small Arome glass. Keep an eye on their IG account for more details on their Anniversary Party and their plans from now until the end of the month (we can tease that there is another Merb’ys collaboration coming out next week, a Key Lime Pastry Pale Ale!, and Cake Tray, a Cherry Pound Cake Pastry Pale Ale joining it. More detes next week. Congratulations to the Landwash family!

The folks at Propeller have been playing with their small batch program, and have brewed up three pilot brews that have all been fermented with a traditional German Lager yeast strain. The first of these beers has just been released today, Schwarzbier. Named, of course, after the style that is commonly referred to as a “Black Lager”, the grist contained a portion of debittered black malt (huskless malt that provides that dark colour and some roasted character, without the acrid flavours that can accompany darker malts), giving the beer a deep, black colour. Hopped to 30 IBUs with noble varieties, the beer has a “subtle, earthy backdrop” to complement. It comes in at 5.5% ABV, and is light-bodied and moderately dry, with a clean finish. If you’d like to give it a try, best to drop by one of the Prop shops to find it. And while you’re there, you can grab this year’s edition of their Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout (note that this version is marked as 2018, as the beer went into Bourbon barrels in December of last year).

The folks at recently-opened Tire Shack Brewing in Moncton are starting to run some experiments on their pilot system, which should be welcome news to those who are able to get to the brewery to try them. There are 3 small batches going on the taps right now for folks to try. First up is a coffee saison, St Caroline, at 6.0% ABV and using coffee sourced from local organic roaster Sunny Brae Coffee. This one still maintains a light color thanks to the use of cold brew on the coffee side. Next up is a gose they’re calling Duck Duck Gose, that they describe as “very balanced” and which also weighs in at 6.0% ABV. And last, but certainly not least, is a Piña Colada Milkshake IPA dubbed Love at Midnight. With flavors of pineapple and coconut, as you’d expect in anything bearing the descriptor “Piña Colada”, there was also an addition of lactose for a sweetness to enhance the fruit flavors and mouthfeel. This one is already in short supply though, so if you want to try it you’d best make your way to Tire Shack this weekend! But wait, there’s more! Just because they’re tapping the pilot system doesn’t mean they’re ignoring the big one. Resistance is Fruitile (*groan*) is a black raspberry sour that’s described as “Christmas in a Glass” owing to its red color. Look for this one to see a limited canning run over the next week or two.

Bedford’s Off Track released a new IPA late last week out this week, Jersey IPA. Named after a loyal customer’s recently-deceased Boston Terrier, Jersey, both of whom would often frequent the taproom. Jersey IPA is of the American variety, and was brewed with a fairly simple grist, and hopped with a blend of Mosaic and Cascade. Golden-coloured, with lots of tropical and citrus notes from the hop additions, it’s just about sold out already. Luckily, they do plan on brewing a larger batch of this 5.5% ABV, 63 IBUs brew; however, you may still be able to get one of the last pours from the final keg if you get over there soon!

Fredericton’s Red Rover Cider has a new release hitting their shelves today, a cider three years in the making. Starting from a blend of Spartan apples and Dolgo crabapples, after an initial 6-month cool fermentation, this dry cider was aged on oak for over two years before packaging. The full aromatics from Spartan (even when fermented bone-dry), along with the acidic character from the Dolgo make this a blend made in heaven. Le Brut is a 7.6% sparkling cider, and is available now at their CiderHouse location on Queen Street, Fredericton Farmers Market this weekend, and soon from their online store. The handsome bottle seems like a great option to pop open at midnight in a few short weeks…

Let’s stay in Fredericton (well, in Fredericton-adjacent Hanwell) for the next new release, from Niche Brewing. Celebrating their 100th batch (congrats, guys!), they decided to push the envelope in a different direction this time, brewing and fermenting their first Lager. The Bear is a 5.0% ABV Munich Helles, featuring Pilsner and Munich (natch) malts, a light bittering addition of Magnum hops, and fermented with Escarpment Labs’ Isar Lager strain. Bold malt flavour, but not sweetness, a touch of floral hop, and dry finish are what to expect in this beer, perfect for new- and old-school craft drinkers alike. Sharing the nickname of the father-in-law of co-owner Shawn Meek, The Bear is one that we think he’d be proud of. Grab a pint at one of their licensees around the Capital city, and those in Halifax will soon be able to enjoy it on tap at Stillwell HQ.

We’ve got tons of news from Robie Street, Halifax’s, Good Robot Brewing this week, so prep yourself before you wet yourself… First up is Li’l Creature aka Creature Feature VIII aka Baby Yoda, the latest and littlest in their line of biotransformation (aka, hopping during high fermentation) IPAs. At 4.5% ABV, you can still enjoy all of the tropical and citrus notes from a bigger IPA, but without the hangover. Next is C.R.E.A.M. – Cats Rule Everything Around Me, a new released dreamed up to hit the taps at the HaliMac Axe Throwing locations in Halifax and Kentville. Look for this light drinking Cream Ale the next time you’re tossing the ol’ hatchet around.

This week’s release of their first Beta Brew in a while (The Absolute Unit Belgian Tripel, thanks to their Sabco system being back up and running) wasn’t a one-time thing, as next Tuesday sees the launch of Stabby Geoff. Brewed with Brendan Martin, they’re describing it as a 5.3% ABV Wheat Ale hopped with Warrior, Ella and Summit in the boil (to 35 IBUs). Not being finished there (it IS a Beta Brew, after all), they also threw in some Queen of Tarts tea, and Grains of Paradise. Following hot on the heels of that brew will be their next newest beer, Et Tu? Brut IPA, a couple of days later on Thursday, Dec 12th (gotta admit, clever segue with the beer names there!). Naturally a Brut IPA, this 6.4% ABV, 22 IBUs brew has “bright flavours of orange and lemon citrus, as well as some white tea”, and finishes expectantly dry.

In St. John’s, this Monday saw the annual release of YellowBelly’s Mummer’s Brew (2019). This year’s batch is a 7.3% ABV Mocha Porter brewed with Oats, Wheat and Flaked Barley, along with Midnight Wheat, BlackPrinz, and Roasted Barley. These latter specialty grains added plenty of roasted character to the brew (along with a black colour, of course), but not too much so that the other wonderful flavours don’t come through. Specifically, we’re talking about the “deep, beautiful, nutty and malty” notes from the addition of Brazilian coffee beans (roasted by local Darkstar Coffee Roasters). The brew was hopped (to 25 IBUs) with Sasquatch and East Kent Goldings to add a bit of earthiness and a surprising licorice presence, according to the brewery. You can find it on tap at the brewpub and in bottles for takeaway; the bottles should be landing at NLC stores later in the week.  

Looks like there’s a new hoppy beer coming out of North Brewing this week, and it’s also the second release in the brewery’s 2019 collaboration with Benjamin Bridge. Musqué Double IPA was co-fermented on Chardonnay musqué grape skins (provided by the winery, naturally), and dry-hopped with the Australian Vic Secret variety. This 8% ABV hybrid DIPA is showing “notes of pear, mango and grape”, with a delicate acidity, and is dangerously easy-drinking. It launches today, and you can grab it in some fancy-lookin’ cans if you’re in the area. And why not pick up some Blanc while you’re there, which made its return last week? This year’s batch of the 4.5% ABV Grisette was fermented on some skins of its own… specifically, Sauvignon Blanc skins that were also provided by Benjamin Bridge. Like last year, $0.50 from each can sold will be donated to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust

Unfortunately, we also have some sad news to share concerning North. Recently, their good friend and business partner, Leo Christakos, passed away unexpectedly. Leo was involved in creating Battery Park, and was always thoroughly involved with every aspect of the business, ranging from customer service to the nitty gritty details. Long-time fans of craft beer will undoubtedly connect him to the Brooklyn Warehouse, a restaurant that Leo opened, that was one of the first restaurants in the city to give craft beer top billing. His death is a huge loss to the craft beer community, and our condolences go out to his family and everyone touched by his loss… which are many, indeed. 

Fresh off their big win at the Atlantic Canadian Brewing Awards last month, Montague, PEI’s, Bogside Brewing has branched out and released their first cider. Fizz the Season is a 6.0% ABV blend of all Island apples, processed and pressed right in the brewery. Featuring a blend of holiday spicing (think cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice), Fizz is a nice complement to the crispy lagers and ales they’ve been releasing (and winning awards for!). And coming out next week is the beginning of their SMaSH (Single Malt And Single Hop) series with Shoreline Malting, with a new malt being used to create its iconic beer recipe. First up will be a Munich Dunkel, hitting the taps and retail next week. Joining it will be another new cider blend, this time using fresh local cranberries, bringing a decidely tart character to the finished product. We’ll have lots more on those releases next week, of course!

Down in Shelburne, NS, Boxing Rock has both a new beer and a returning favorite this week. On the new side is Inverse a “white stout”. Reminding everyone that “stout” means “strong”, not necessarily “dark”, this beer looks like a pale ale, but has plenty of the coffee, and chocolate flavors you’d associate with a darker beer in the stout style. Featuring additions of cold-brewed espresso to boost the coffee notes and vanilla to provide a background sweetness and smooth mouthfeel, it comes in at 6% ABV. Also returning to the fold is a beer first released in March of this year, Patricius Irish Stout, a 5% ABV stout that IS dark. “Refreshingly dry,” and intended to be an easy drinking beer for the winter months, it’s light enough in ABV that you won’t have to worry about having a couple on a snowy afternoon. Keep your eyes out for these beers, along with their barrel-aged series, Fisticuffs, wherever you get your BR fix. And if you’re interested in trying those big beers, but not sure you want to commit to a big bottle, you also have a chance to try them paired with cheese and cookies at Boxing Rock’s two upcoming customer appreciation events, the first at Local Source in Halifax on Thursday, December 12, from 4 – 6 PM and the second at the taproom in Shelburne on Thursday, December 19, from 5 – 7 PM.

If you follow TrailWay Brewing on social media, you may have noticed their mention a couple of weeks ago of a collaboration they did with Quebec’s Lagabiere brewery. The beer was De L’Autre Boutte to Here, a double-dry-hopped American IPA that they brewed at the Lagabiere’s location in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Luckily for their NB fans, they came back to Fredericton and brewed the same beer in their own brewery, and it’s being released today. At 7% ABV, it was hopped with almost twice the typical-for-TW amount of hops for their IPAs (which we’re guessing is therefore a crapload, for lack of a better term). The hops used were Motueka, Simcoe and Citra, so expect lots of juicy, tropical fruit character. You can grab it on tap and in cans at the brewery starting today. If you stop by, you’ll also notice that their Simcoe-focused American IPA, More Better, is also back; this one will also be hitting ANBL growler stations in the next couple of weeks.

We’ve got two bits of big expansion news to tell you about today, one in Nova Scotia, and one in New Brunswick.

Since opening their doors in 2016, Sober Island Brewing has been bringing great beer to Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore. Currently brewing in their own space at the Henley House in Sheet Harbour, they have announced that their own taproom will be opening next door in a couple of weeks. Located at 22462 Highway 7 (the former Three Sisters storefront), the taproom will have room for 50 guests, in a common area as well as side room that can be closed off for private events, or opened to accommodate thirsty visitors. Thanks to their manufacturers permit, they are able to welcome kids as well as adults, so no need to tie Junior up outside while you have a wee swally. With beer on tap, cider in the bottle, and some non-alcoholic bevvies to start, they’ll be expanding to an 8 tap draught system with beer, cider, and mobucha flowing. Their spot will also feature a retail space, with cans, crowlers, as well as growler fills, for the first time ever. Local flair is abundant in the space, with a live edge bar top, stone accents, and boards from an old barn. Local craftsman George Child has been a great asset to the design and build, still working harder than most, despite celebrating 80 years of age. So, when can you visit?? It won’t be long now, as they will be opening their doors Tuesday, December 17th, and celebrating with the launch of new merchandise and a new batch of IPA. From then until December 22nd, they will be welcoming guests in the new space, and then taking a break over Christmas. They will then be opening again for a New Year’s Day levee potluck, to celebrate the new year and big things to come in 2020 (including some short-term rental rooms above the taproom for the full SIBC experience). We’ll have lots more details to share with you as the space comes into its own over winter, and the Sober Island team is excited to offer a space that is open year-round, as well as partnering with neighbouring Henley House during its open season.

In other big taproom and expansion news, Moncton’s Tide & Boar Brewing has announced that they will be opening a brewery and taproom location in the New Year. Currently brewing on a 1 BBL (120 litre) system in the basement of their Main Street restaurant of the same name, they will be exiting into the light, and expanding brewing operations significantly. Located 15 minutes walk down Main at 1355 Main Street, the new location is just a 3 minute walk from the new Avenir Centre. The 15 BBL (1800 litre) system will offer the ability to serve not only their restaurant, but the new tap room onsite and more regular growler fills and canned offerings. The location will also have a kitchen onsite, which may mean more access to their High Fives pizza offerings. As they work hard on renovations and opening their doors this Spring, they’ve launched a new website to let you see behind the scenes, as well as pick up some great deals perfect for sharing with your loved ones (or not, no sharing!) over the holidays. Peep their deals on the Mug Club, Growler Club, Pizza Party and others here. Congratulations on the big news to Chad and the rest of the T&B crew.

Only one event in the hopper this week, but if you haven’t been to the Garrison Oxford Taproom yet, this would be a fun way to get an introduction:

If you’re in Halifax and looking for an excuse to get away from all your Christmas shopping this weekend (or if you just want to get away from your family, we won’t judge), the Ladies Beer League has you covered. This Sunday, December 8th, they’re hosting a December Bevvy at the Oxford Taproom from 2-4 pm. Hang out in the loft and drink some Garrison beers; they’ll even have some merch available for purchase, so you can take care of a bit of shopping at the same time, you efficient bugger you. They’ll also be collecting donations for Feed Nova Scotia, and if you donate you’ll be entered to win a gift basket with treats from the LBL and Garrison. 

And a few last mentions before we send you on your way:

With Foghorn’s recent expansion comes great responsibility… no wait, sorry, a new canning line! They’ve recently canned and released some of their regulars, including Golden Grover (English Pale Ale), Bumble (APA), and Constable Winchester (IPA). You can find them at brewery’s taproom in Rothesay, and at ANBL stores across the province.

Maybee Brewing released a new DIPA last week, Clockwork. Weighing in at 8.3% ABV, it has “rich stone fruit and citrus notes, a clean and balanced malt profile, and a light caramel finish”. Find it at the brewery, and at select licensees.

The PEI Brewing Co. has begun their Christmas Growler Countdown, where they release a new, small batch beer for growler fills, every Friday leading up to Christmas. This week’s release is English Mild with Brett; it goes on tap at the brewery starting today at 4 pm.

Secret Cove Brewing has teamed up with Corner Brook’s Newfound Sushi to brew The Rice is Right, a 4.8% ABV Session IPA. The beer is “crisp and smooth”, and features the addition of gelatinized Japanese rice.

It’s damn near October; how the heck did that happen?! We’ll let you ruminate on that one whilst you peruse our weekly round-up of beer and beer events news in the region. Plenty of new beers on the go this week as breweries continue their transition from, “dear god make it stop,” summer production to, “let’s have some fun in the brewhouse again,” fall shenanigans. Meanwhile, plenty of Oktoberfest events are still going on or yet to come, and though we didn’t have any submissions this week, we know the pumpkin beers are still flowing. Grab one (…or maybe a Pilsner, if that’s what you prefer) and read on!

Tanner & Co Brewing in Chester Basin has packaged a beer released earlier this month, strongly influenced by one of Brewer Dan Tanner’s favourite wines. Pinotage is one of South Africa’s signature grape varietals, a cross of the Pinot noir and Hermitage varietals, developed in the first half of the 20th century. The wines made with Pinotage are dark red, with smoky and earthy flavours, and sometimes having banana, tropical fruit, and possibly acetone/solvent notes (though these are discouraged and avoided when possible). Starting from their base Porter beer, Tanner aged the beer in highly charred barrels that once held Ironworks Dark Rum, with extra fruit notes from Black Raspberry puree, kicked up with fresh Blackberries and Blueberries. With contribution from the base beer, barrel, and fruit additions, look for vanilla, caramel, light smoke, roast, chocolate, with deep berry character. The 6.3% ABV Porter [Oak Aged & Berry Addition] is available at the brewery and farmers markets now in bottles and limited growler fills, and may be one of the offerings at their Chester taproom, poised to open at the end of October. Tanner & Co on Duke will be located (coincidentally, right?) at 59 Duke Street in the Village of Chester, and feature 20 seats, with a whole bevvy of their own beers, complemented by guest taps from the region, and plenty of excellent wine once the licensing is in place. Another of their beers which *may* still be around at the time of celebration is their Double IPA, back in the lineup after a six-month hiatus. Maxing out their larger system this time around, this 8.0% ABV beer features a dry finish, accentuated with lots of kettle and dry hops (their biggest ever!) to the tune of 60 IBU, with Amarillo, Centennial, and Citra throughout, for a citrus bomb with additional floral and earthy notes. Available now at the brewery as well!

We mentioned it was coming last week and now that it’s out we’d like to double-down on a recommendation that you give it a listen. September’s 902BrewCast tasting episode has the gang blind tasting 8 (no wait, 9!) Czech- and German-style Pils(e)ners from around the region (and one from beyond) and documenting their experience as they went. We think it’s an excellent introduction to the practice of throwing away your preconceived notions and tasting blind with others, describing what you’re sensing and talking it through. Whether you’re a budding beer geek or an old palate, it’s an excellent exercise for your senses, your descriptive abilities, and your tasting mindset. It’s also a bunch of fun as you can tell from listening to these jokers do it!

Last Friday Bootleg Brew Co in Corner Brook put on a new beer before closing their doors for the week on Sunday night to head to town for a series of 6 pop-ups on Tuesday at locations around St. John’s. So we’re not entirely sure this beer is still available, but we’re going to tell you about it anyway – if it didn’t sell out, you can go try it, if it did sell out, you know it’s a straight banger and you’ll want to keep an eye out for the next time it’s available. Old Hat is an honest and gimmickless American Pale Ale hopped with Amarillo, Idaho 7, and some BC-grown Cascade. Expect a classic floral, citrus and piney hop character in flavor and aroma, a lowish bitterness and a light body, all in a fairly sessionable 5% ABV package. Only available at the brewery, definitely for fills, possibly for pints.

The bad boys of Niche Brewing in Hanwell have emerged from the summer madness and now seem to be back on the road of new and interesting releases. This week they’ve got one called Colours of Shade hitting the taps, a mixed-fermentation Saison with black currant. As you might expect, this one was fermented with Niche’s own house culture of Saison and Brettanomyces strains, meaning that at some level it’s going to taste like a “Niche beer,” but the very nature of such a blend of microorganisms means that it’s likely to express itself a little differently every time it’s used, so some of the magic is seeing how each beer is different. In this one, the yeast and fruit come together to provide a pleasant tartness, with some Brett funk to complement. The color is a beautiful purple thanks to the addition of black currant puree late in fermentation. Aged briefly in stainless, it comes in at 6.2% and would be a great choice for fruity/funky beer fans and wine lovers alike. Coming soon to  The Joyce Pub, Peppers Pub, Stillwell, The Auction House, Graystone Brewing and the Laundromat Expresso Bar (Marky’s), with a couple of kegs also making their way to the ANBL growler station at their Moncton North store. And if you’re at one of those places you might also find one of the last few kegs of their Intergalactic NEIPA on tap as well! 

Our first Oktoberfest beer this week, as Big Spruce launched Schnitz & Gigglez, their take on the malty-yet-dry amber Lager. Brewed with 100% German malts (including Pilsner, Munich and Vienna) and hopped lightly with GR Magnum and Tettnang, the wort was fermented with Escarpment Lab’s Biergarten (“sourced from a venerable Munich brewery”) and then lagered for about 8 weeks before packaging. With aromas of toffee and brown bread, and “hints of dried apricot and candied orange”, the beer is full-bodied, with a lightly-sweet finish. It weighs in at 6.3% ABV (at the upper end for the style), and is available right now on tap at the Sprucetique in Nyanza (and soon at some of your favourite Big Spruce accounts).  

In Edmundston, Petit-Sault is leaning towards the hoppier side of things with their latest release, Double Vision. This is the brewery’s first crack at the Double IPA style, and it’s a big one at 8.8% ABV. Intensely hopped with Vic Secret, Azacca, Columbus and Mosaic, the beer has plenty of malt backbone to balance, and finishes firmly bitter (60 IBUs). There is only a limited supply available, and it IS in cans… however, the only way to get it is at the brewery, so either get ready for a road-trip, or maybe call in a favour or two to friends/family who live around that area of New Brunswick!

Testify! Stillwell Brewing has announced that their barrel-aged sour beer with peaches, Preach, is being released today. This year’s version is their most peach-saturated batch yet, featuring a whopping 300 g/L of whole peaches. The “base” beer is a blend of four different barrel-fermented Saisons (who gets to decide which Saisons to use in these blends, and is Stillwell Brewing looking to add people into that role? Asking for a friend…), and went through a refermentation on the peaches (that’s 600 lbs!) and continued aging on the fruit for about five months, before bottling at the beginning of the year. They’re describing the final product as “bright, fresh, soft and fun”, and if it’s similar to the last batch, we can confirm that this is accurate! Grab it on tap and/or in bottles at Stillwell today from noon. And with their Beergarden still closed due to the crane issue during Dorian, be sure to drop by and show them some love at HQ.

Few new/returning beers coming out of Propeller today, proving that they’re continuing to stay very busy at the brewery. Returning is Nocturne, their 6.7% ABV Black IPA that is brewed in celebration of Halifax’s Nocturne, “an evening of art and wonder” in mid-October that Propeller sponsors. Luckily they release the beer weeks ahead of time, giving you many chances to consume a pint or two. Speaking of the beer, it is dry-hopped with Amarillo and Falconer’s Flight, giving “complex tropical fruit and pine hop aromas” to go with the flavours of dark chocolate and coffee. Also out today is a tasting-room only beer, Lagered Ale. The name gives you an idea of what this one will be: “easy-drinking, balanced and refreshing”, according to the brewery, and at just 4.5% ABV, it definitely seems to fit the mould. Expect hints of “sweet melon, stone fruits and citrus” in this one. Finally, tonight’s cask is Pumpkin Ale with Vanilla (4.5% ABV), which will be tapped at 5 pm as usual.

Not too far away, Garrison Brewing has a couple new releases of their own, both brewed in celebration of, yep, Oktoberfest. Let’s start with their Oktoberfest/Marzen, Gettin’ Ziggy. Malty and clean, this 5.5% ABV Lager has “grainy and toffee flavours and a quick and soft bitterness”, and pours a reddish-copper colour. Next is a Wheat Ale named It’s a Wienerful Wheat, which they brewed in collaboration with local radio station Jack 92.9. This 4.6% ABV, 12 IBUs golden-coloured brew is light and crisp, with aromas and flavours of “sweet malt and bready wheat, with spicy notes and a mild, citrusy finish”; each can sold will see $0.50 go to the SPCA. Both beers are available now, at the Garrison taproom and private liquor stores in the HRM.

Lots of news from Tatamagouche Brewing this week, with the return of their Lagerhosen as well as two bottle releases on the go. For those who aren’t familiar, Lagerhosen is an amber lager that Tata has been making for quite awhile (our first mention of it was in 2014). Timed for release in the fall during Oktoberfest season, there are two variants, a regular and a dry-hopped. Running at just about 5% ABV, it’s brewed with Hallertauer Mittelfruh hops for spicy and floral notes. The dry-hopped version features additions of both Strisselspalt and Czech Saaz for an even more intense noble character. Find both of these in cans at the brewery for sure, and hopefully also your other favorite locations for grabbing Tata brews. Or, if you’re planning to be at the 40th North Shore Oktoberfest this weekend you’ll definitely find it there!

Meanwhile, those who missed out on the annual Tata Tap Takeover at Battery Park a couple weeks ago may have been kicking themselves when they read our post that week mentioning some of the special kegs that were pouring that night. Well fear not gentle reader, at least some of those beers are being packaged for wider release and the first two, both considered entries in Tata’s “Weird Beer” series, are ready to go this week! First up is a barrel-aged rye (quick! someone call Tony!) saison they’ve named Rooted. All kinds of things went in to this beer, which started with a rye saison with Brettanomyces that was then blended with a neutral Berliner-style sour for some tartness before being barrel-aged. Described as a beer that “connects you to the earth,” you’ll find plenty of flavor, aroma, and mouthfeel including some spice from the rye, plenty of tart lemon and other citrus, and a pithy bitterness on the finish. Coming in at 6.6% ABV, it pours a bright banana color, and slightly cloudy, with polka dot lacing; if you get your hands on some expect a complex and challenging experience for your senses. Find it in 750 mL bottles at the brewery and hopefully at private stores in the city as well.

And if you lean more (or also) towards the bigger beer styles, Tata’s also got you covered with their second bottle release of the week, Toro. A massive Belgian Quadrupel bourbon barrel-aged with Brett, it’s a monster at 11.2% ABV and, where it’s been packaged in 500 mL bottles we suggest you bring a friend and/or plan for a night in when you try it (as friends of the blog like to say, a “movie beer”: best enjoyed on the couch while checking out the latest superhero flick). Like the Rooted, there’s lots going on in this deep coppery-orange beer, with plenty of dark fruit flavors complemented by sweet and malty notes and maybe even a little bit of toffee and chocolate presence. Although there’s certainly some heat from the alcohol, it’s not overpowering, as it’s been balanced by the malt profile and caramel sweetness. You can also safely expect some additional oak character from the barrels and some of the notes that only brett can provide. Definitely available from the brewery, we hope it’ll be available in the city as well as time goes on.

Speaking of Oktoberfests in the region, the Mount Pearl Oktoberfest is this weekend, and several of the breweries attending have released beers they’ll be pouring at the event, as well as doing wider releases. First up, host brewery YellowBelly has offered up a Helles named Schweine fliegen (we’ll leave the translation as an exercise to the reader). At 5.2% ABV, it features a simple malt bill of Pilsner, Munich, and CaraPils malts, and hopped entirely with Hersbrucker hops. Filtered clear, as is tradition, the light beer leans towards the malt side rather than hops, though both sides shine through with pleasant biscuit notes and Noble-like earth and spice from the hops. In addition to at the Fest, Schweine fliegen is pouring now at the brewpub in downtown St. John’s.

A short taxi or bus ride from George Street is Quidi Vidi, where the brewery by the same name is fully embracing Fest season by releasing Oktoberfest Marzen.This 5.5% ABV beer is malt-driven, and supremely chuggable. While not available in 1 Litre Maß at the brewery overlooking the gut, it is being released in tall cans there and around town. So grab two and make your own Oktoberfest at home (if you can’t make it out to Mount Pearl)! 

A little further out of town is Port Rexton on the Bonavista Peninsula, who are visiting the Avalon this weekend with their own German beer, this one in the Pilsner style. German Pilsner is a 6.2% ABV crisp and clean beer, using Hallertau Mittelfruh, Tettnang, and Strisselspalt hops, and fermented with Escarpment’s Isar Lager yeast. In addition to the Craft’ernoon Experience tomorrow, it will be available in the PRBC Retail Shop on Torbay Road, keep an eye on their social media for when exactly it is tapped, so you can fill up your Siphon or Stuetzla! 

And a couple more notes about PRBC this week: they are hosting a Brewers Dinner at Peach Cove Inn in nearby Trinity East, on October 11th. Featuring 6 courses of food and an accompanying beer (or is it the other way around?), this will surely be a fun intimate environment to sit down with both chef and brewer to talk about the flavours in both food and drink. Limited to just 20 tickets, best to contact your via phone at 709-436-2069. And if working for a brewery has been on your radar, then look no further! PRBC is hiring a part-time delivery driver to join their team. Looking to fill about 20 hours worth of work, though there may be a potential for more hours in a packaging capacity at the brewery. Send Nicole your resume today, or pop by the brewery to learn more!

And while not out quite in time for the Oktoberfest in their backyard, Landwash Brewery has teased that they will be releasing a Munich-style Helles in the next few weeks. More info on that when the time is right, but in the meantime they’re still bringing the German flair this weekend with their One Wave Blonde (which features lots of German Saphir hops), as well as their Brackish Sour Ale (heavily influenced by the German Gose style). Cans of both are available at the brewery if you cannot get out to the Oktoberfest this weekend.

Today is “Meet the Motherfuckers” day at Unfiltered Brewing in Halifax as they’ve brought back their pair of aggro-named sour beers. Sour Motherfucker is a little different this time around, with no Brett or barrel-aging involved, but it’s still a tart cherry wheat beer that should be plenty refreshing and a little dangerous, weighing in at 6.5% ABV. Fruity Motherfucker on the other hand is described as a 7% ABV “apricot, pink guava and tangerine IPA,” with plenty of fruit and, since it’s coming from Unfiltered and it’s an IPA, no doubt plenty of hops! Find both of these for fills and pints and in cans at the brewery from noon today along with what’s left of the cans of DOA and also some new branded merchandise.

What’s on the go this weekend? Peep here for the fresh info!

Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing is making a foray across the harbour today for a takeover at Hop Yard Halifax on Gottingen Street. Featuring 10 taps from the brewery, including Rampant Lion NEIPA, Karate Laser SIPA, Bush Berry Haskap Cider, Taken for Granted Mead, and their brand new Sound Check West Coast IPA there should be something for everyone. Head down for an afternoon pint or plan to stay for several and a meal, there will be live music starting at 8 PM.

Good Robot’s annual celebration of all things puppers is this weekend, with their Hair of the Dog event at the Garrison Grounds in Halifax. From noon daily, there is a beer garden, events throughout the day, food and dog-friendly merchandise and paraphernalia, with the highlight of Saturday night being an airing of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Your $12 entrance fee gets you your first drink (beer or other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage), and access to all of the fun. One of those beers may be the brand new Hope Nation Saison, which we mentioned in last week’s post. Good news for dog Aunts and Uncles, no pupper is required, and please note that entry is restricted to those pups and people who play nice with new friends. 

Just a couple more things before we send you on your way today…

Boxing Rock teamed up with frequent collaborator World Tea House’s Phil Holmans to brew up Citrodora, a 6.5% ABV IPA with a healthy dose of lemon verbena tea. Look for that on tap at the Legendary Taproom in downton Shelburne, as well as the Agricola Street bottle shop in Local Source Market in Halifax. In case you haven’t already grabbed your tickets for the Highway 103 Tap Takeover happening tomorrow, now’s your chance to avoid disappointment!

King Street Beer in Bridgewater is releasing the latest of their Lahave River Beers, collaborations with local homebrewers and fans. Hawaiian Explosion is a Pineapple IPA, featuring moderate bitterness and tropical floral hops. Grab it from 6:30PM tonight!

Fredericton’s Maybee Brewing is Zagging while many are Ziggying (sorry not sorry), and releasing Pony Boy, a British Golden Ale described as “clean and malt-forward beer with a biscuit aroma”. Drop by today to grab a sample, pint, or growler of this one.

Secret Cove in Port au Port Newfoundland is going dark this week, with The Port au Porter. A 6.0% Robust Porter, think chocolate and coffee thanks to the dark German malts used. Smooth as silk, and with a name like that, how can you not take a trip out to grab a pint?!

Sourwood has an interesting new cider available this weekend: Semitone (7.1% ABV) was spontaneously fermented on blueberries that had been used in the making of their last blueberry cider, Denim. Aged on the previously-used fruit for 2 months, it’s tasting slightly acidic, with a “much softer fruiting ad colour profile” compared to the first go-around with the fruit. 

If you’ve been around the Nova Scotia beer scene for a while you know that Uncle Leo’s is known for, among other things, making some fine German-style beers. And if you’re a fan of those you’ll know that this is the time of year when they drop their mixed 4-pack! Featuring Vohs Weizenbier (wheat beer), Nachtical Illusion (Schwarzbier), Ceilidh Ale (Kölsch), and Altbier (Alt, of course!), it’s a pretty great primer for those interested in trying German styles or a treat for those who are already in the know. Find it at NSLC locations in and around the HRM already (hopefully with more around the province added in coming weeks) and, word has it, at ANBL and PEILC locations as well!

Happy weekend! Sad to say that summer is already creeping towards its end, but that doesn’t mean that this week is any less of a barrage of beer news than usual, as we’ve got a pretty good amount of new beers and ciders to tell you about, as well as a couple of great events happening in Halifax over the weekend. So enough of this idle chit chat… let’s get to it! 

It wouldn’t be a week in the beer world without the release of at least one New England IPA, and Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill has the honour of leading off this week’s blog post with theirs! Bang a Uey 201 (named after the New England term for performing a U-turn) features “stupid amounts” (read: very large) of Mosaic, Huell Melon, and Mandarina Bavaria as a whirlpool addition, as well as a triple dry-hop of all three varieties. Fermented with the Årset Kveik yeast blend from Escarpment Labs (at a very hot 40 Celsius!), the result is a super-hazy beer with aromas and flavours of tropical fruit, melon, and tangerine. For right now, you’ll only be able to find this 6.9% ABV, 25 IBUs beer at the brewery, for pints and growler fills; there’s a chance a few kegs may make it to the HRM in the near future. 

The Church Brewing Company in Wolfville has debuted another beer in their taproom this week, as they continue to roll out their initial offerings from their brewhouse. Eight Bells is a 5.2% ABV Belgo Pale Ale, combining the sensibility of an American Pale Ale on a Belgian base. As with their Sanctuary Enkel (a Belgian Singel beer) and Mayflower White IPA, the best place to try the beer is at the source, as they are not yet sending kegs out into the wild. EXCEPT, they will be attending this weekend’s Seaport Cider and Beer Fest, where those in the big city will have a chance to grab a small taste of their offerings. And keep a close eye on their Instagram page, as they will be debuting at least a couple new beers over the next few days, including their Silver Lining Witbier and Congregation Pilsner.

Halifax’s Sourwood Cider will also be attending the Seaport Fest this weekend, and one of the new expressions they’ll be pouring is their second iteration of Wabamo!. This is the latest in their line of hopped ciders, as they play with the flavour available from different varietals. Starting from a base of Northern Spy, the hops (Citra and Simcoe, in this batch) were boiled in the juice, to extract bitterness and change the base cider further. Simcoe was added again during active fermentation (think hazy NEIPA-vibes), with another dosing added post-fermentation for good measure. In addition to Seaport, Wabamo! Is currently pouring at their Cornwallis Street taproom for your tasting and testing pleasure.

Hanwell’s Niche Brewing has debuted the latest in their Belgian lineup this week with the Solstice Saison. The 6.0% ABV straw-coloured beer started with a simple malt bill of Pilsner and Wheat, and fermented with a traditional Saison strain from France. However, the brewers took a left turn when it came to hop choices, opting for higher levels, and more New World varieties. Amarillo, Topaz, Enigma, and Idaho 7 were added to the boil (to the tune of about 40 IBUs), with more Enigma and I7 added in a devil-may-care way post-fermentation. Waves of tropical, citrus and juicy notes meld with the phenolic spiciness from the yeast, and finishing dry. Solstice is pouring now in Fredericton, and will be popping up in Saint John any day now, so keep your eyes (and mouth) open to try it! And for those attending the Seaport in Halifax, grab their Wander Dry Hopped Sour at the Brewnosers table at all three sessions.

Maybee Brewing snuck in another bottle release at the end of last week (after the blog was published… we’re off the hook!), the third in their series of barrel-aged beers. Barrel-Aged Saison (Cab. Sauv. Version) is just that, a Saison that was aged in a Cabernet Sauvignon barrel, for eight months. This 7% ABV Farmhouse Ale is golden-coloured, with aromas of “oak, grape, black pepper, pear, and apple”, according to the brewery. This follows through on the palate as well, with a bit of heat in the finish. As with their previous bottle releases, it’s available at the brewery only; they also have it on tap, if you’d like to try a pint to go with your 750 mL bottle purchase (no growler fills). Look for a future release of the same recipe aged in different barrels. 

Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing has a new beer pouring in the Moncton area these days, L’Aboiteau (a sluice gate used to reclaim marshland). This 5.3% ABV beer is a mouthful, in more ways than one! It’s a Peanut Butter Milk Stout, meaning it features lactose (milk sugar) for a touch of sweetness in the base beer, along with a pleasant peanut butter flavour over top (thanks to an addition of peanut butter powder late in the boil). The grist itself was made up of 2-row, Roasted Barley, Chocolate malt (hence the chocolate flavour and aroma in the beer), and a healthy amount of oats. As many know, milk chocolate and peanut butter go incredibly well together, so now’s your chance to grab a pint and continue the love affair! L’Aboiteau is currently pouring at Le BarBu in Dieppe.

Big Spruce Brewing has released another beer in their one-hop series, Beverly’s Hill 902. You can bet that they’ve gone to town with the description of this one, with somewhere around 26 references to that multiple-award winning TV show of the 90s (and rebooted this week), Beverly Hills, 90210 (ps, Razzies count as awards, right?). But we’re going to spare you all of that, don’t worry… so put your vomit buckets away! The beer was hopped with an experimental hop, HBC 472, which is commonly described as having characteristics that are “coconut and woody”. Big Spruce is describing this particular beer as being heavily aromatic, “deeply piney, with hints of juniper poking through”. We suggest that you try it yourself! It weighs in at 7.2% ABV and 58 IBUs. Available on tap at BS, and local tap accounts.  

Continuing on to Newfoundland with the punny beer names (because, why not?), where Port Rexton Brewing has a new beer out, and it’s a great style for summer sipping. This Czech Pilsner, which they’ve named Czech Out the Whales (!), was brewed with a grist made up almost entirely of Pilsner malt. Hopped with Saaz, and fermented with the Czech Lager yeast strain from Escarpment Labs, it was cold-conditioned (lagered) for over seven weeks. It’s now ready for you, and smelling and tasting like a classic example of the style, with herbal, floral, and spicy notes, and a “delicate but present bitterness”. Truly a great style of beer to cleanse your palate between all those hop bombs and sours that you may be craving, and at 5% ABV, it goes down right some easy. Grab some for the weekend at the brewery taproom, or their retail shop in St. John’s. 

Bannerman Brewing, in St. John’s, NL, has a couple of new beers on the go this week, one style from each side of the pond. On the Continental side, they’ve got Casual Acquaintance, a German-style Pilsner that they hopped with classic noble Saaz and somewhat more modern Ella for herbal, grassy, and fruity flavors. Crisp, easy-drinking, and no doubt refreshing, it comes in at a nice and light 5% ABV. Back on the North American side comes Tan Lines, an American Wheat beer that’s been double-dry-hopped with tropical El Dorado hops. Also light in body, but slightly heftier at 6% ABV, look for notes of candy and citrus along with an assertive and lingering hop profile.

Staying in Newfoundland, next up is Crooked Feeder, who have been very busy this summer. Their brewery in Cormack is fully operational, and now so is the taproom, serving those in the Deer Lake region and folks taking the trip to Gros Morne with in-house pints and flights and growler fills to go. But they’ve also got things going on in Corner Brook, where they opened a pub in late June and are now working on a retail location to join it. That means you’ll be able to have the same CF experience in Corner Brook, having a few pints in the pub or getting  a growler fill to go. Keep an eye on social media for updates on the CB retail outlet as well as some other things they’ve got on the go, no doubt including some new beers!

While the love-it-or-hate-it Brut IPA style has experienced a bit of a decline in production lately, that doesn’t mean that it’s completely gone! In fact, Tanner & Co. is launching their own take on the style today, and it’s definitely a different approach than that taken by most breweries. Their goal was to create a Brut IPA that emulated a Nova Scotia Muscat wine (thanks to a challenge on a 902 BrewCast post), which has given us Musqué. Brewed mostly with Pilsner malt, with small additions of corn and wheat, they threw in some fresh peaches in the boil, along with grapefruit and orange peel. Some Galaxy and Mosaic hops were used as a whirlpool addition, with fresh strawberries added to the wort before fermentation began. Amylase enzyme was added the dry the beer out (all the way down to 1.000), with a dry-hop of more Galaxy and Mosaic, as well as Amarillo. The resultant 6.5% ABV, 10 IBUs beer has a multitude of flavours (as you may expect), with none of them being “over the top”… a blend of experiences, if you will. You can find this one on tap and in bottles, both of which are available at the brewery only, for now.

Montague, PEI’s newest brewery, Bogside Brewing, has been keeping busy at their taproom this summer, with lots of beer (and BBQ!) flowing for their thirsty customers. And they’ve just added another two new ones to their menu, both of which are kettle sours. The two beers are actually the same base beer, which was soured with Lactobacillus before being boiled. The first, Sun of a Beach, was consequently dry-hopped with mostly Mosaic, and a touch of Simcoe, giving “big hits of lemon with some tropical notes”. The second beer, Roadside Attraction, had an addition of fresh strawberries, for those of you who prefer your beer fruitiness from actual fruit, instead of hops! Both beers are 4% ABV and available on tap only, at the brewery and licensees. 

And while on the topic of Bogside, they’ve teamed up recently with Tatamagouche Brewing to brew up a DIPA named Holiday Island. Tata is where Bogside Brewer Mark Patriquin cut his teeth before a stint in British Columbia, so a collaboration was inevitable. West Coast in nature, with a dry and light body, and fairly bitter thanks to massive additions of Galaxy and Mosaic throughout for citrus, stone fruit, and plenty of tropical notes. The 8.3% ABV, 83 IBUs, beer is available now on tap, and soon in cans. And for those unable to make the trip to Montague (shame on you, you’re missing out on some killer BBQ), cans of Bogside will be available at both of the Markets in Charlottetown on Saturday and Sunday.

Dartmouth’s North Brewing is releasing a sour of their own today, the latest in their Breakwater series. Breakwater Passionfruit Sour was soured in the kettle with two strains of Lactobacillus, boiled, and then fermented with Vermont Ale yeast. Once complete, a very large amount of passion fruit puree was added to the beer to give it a “quenchingly tart, juicy, super-refreshing” character. Thankfully, they’ve canned this one for us, meaning you can cart it around with you on your travels this weekend! You can grab your cans at both North shops, as well as Harvest Wines, WestSide, and RockHead.

Secret Cove Brewing has a new beer available this week in Port au Port, NL, a tribute to the island they’re calling Come Home Beer. A summer seasonal in the form of an “Apricot Beach Wheat Ale”, its aroma might have you thinking of jam, as it’s full to the gills with apricots, giving it a tropical, fruity, and somewhat tart presence. Hazy, as is typical for a beer with plenty of wheat, it weighs in at 5% ABV and is surely going to be a super refreshing summer sipper. Look for it at their taproom in Port au Port where they’re featuring their summer hours of 1 – 9 PM Mondays to Thursdays, noon to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and 1 – 6 PM on Sundays.

If you’re a fan of the Creature Feature beers from Good Robot – a series of “biotransformation IPAs” that they’ve been brewing – you may want to hang around their taproom this weekend, as they’ll be putting on their latest, Creature Feature VI – as soon as a line is freed up. The first in the series to be assertively bitter (at 50 IBUs), this 5.6% ABV entry features additions of a mish mash of varieties, including Mt. Hood, Dr. Rudi, Ella, Wakatu, and Cascade. They’ll also be throwing on their watermelon-and-kiwi Radler, Pink Flamingo (4.6% ABV), when yet another tap is available.

Rounding out the news this week is great news coming out of the Annapolis Valley. During their Third Anniversary celebration on the weekend, Les Barr of Roof Hound Brewing in Digby announced that they will be opening a second location this fall. 573 Main Street in Kingston will be the location of “Roof Hound Kingston”, which will feature a full retail space, live music, and a full food and beer menu in the 60 seat taproom inspired by what you have grown to love at their original location outside of Digby. Kingston will also be the site of their new Barrel project, allowing them to age some beers for a little while longer, experimenting with new flavour profiles. They are looking to hire kitchen and bar staff in preparation, both full- and part-time positions are available, so contact them with your CV to apply.

So, what’s got us excited this weekend? Beer, beer, and more beer!

Halifax, get ready for an even larger influx of beer than normal, as the annual Seaport Cider & Beerfest is this weekend at the Cunard Centre. With over 300 different beers and ciders pouring from breweries from 20 countries, you’re bound to find puh-lenty of beverages to keep you happy! This year’s event could easily be the best yet, as this is the first time they’ve brought in the Maine Beer Box, a 40’ shipping container that will be pouring 78 (yes, 78!) different Maine craft beers. The event is stretched out over both Friday and Saturday, with an evening session tonight (7-9:30), and two sessions tomorrow (2-4:30, 7-9:30). Note that there are also VIP options for each evening session (afternoon VIP is sold out), which gets you into the event an hour earlier. Tickets are still available, and range in price from $51 to $79.75; you can purchase yours right here

Two highly-regarded breweries and a restaurant from the State of Maine are making appearances in Halifax this week: Austin Street from Portland and Orono Brewing from Orono are joined by Portland’s Thirsty Pig, purveyor of fine sausages. Today at 3 PM in downtown Halifax at 2 Crows you’ll find a food pop-up from Thirsty Pig, while the gang from Orono finish off a collaboration brew day with the hosts. Expect some delicious sausages on offer, as their mission is to provide the finest sausage and beer pairings that there ever were. You can check the event’s Facebook page for details on what they’ll be serving up.

And of course there’s going to be some beer from these fine folks! Formerly Saturday, but rescheduled to a later date, both Austin St. and OBC will be taking over the taps (six each) at Stillwell, pouring a wide variety of beers, ranging from sours and Saisons to Sweet Stouts and hoppy offerings. Stillwell’s kitchen will also be serving up a couple of new food items to pair with your beer, including fried green tomato sandwiches and disco fries. Couple of great breweries at a great location, don’t miss it! The event has been postponed to a later date, due to issues with beer delivery. Stay tuned for more info!

Just a few last things before we release you for the weekend…

Landwash Brewery has been *extremely* busy since they’ve opened, but they’ve been brewing like mad, and want you to know that they now have plenty of beers back on tap and in cans, including their very popular NEIPA, That Much Ocean. Grab them quick before they’re gone again!

Propeller Brewing has brought back their Call Me Blondie Dry-Hopped Blonde for another round of fun this week. Brewed with the Ladies Beer League and first released in March around International Women’s Day, this 5.0% ABV brew features loads of Simcoe dry-hopping, for melon and citrus aromatics. Catch it on tap at the LBL table at the Seaport this weekend!

Tatamagouche Brewing has a couple of returning one-offs for you to grab when you see ‘em: Rushton’s Peach Berliner Weisse (3.5%), a kettle sour aged on organic apricots and peaches, and Deadeye DIPA (8%), a hop-heavy brew featuring a double dry-hop of Hallertau Blanc, Columbus, and Centennial

Trider’s Craft Beer is keeping up their spirit of innovation with a bevvy of new bevvies on tap at their taproom these days. The list is always rotating, but we’ve recently seen word of a new 6.5% ABV Rye IPA (D-Rye Ice), as well as two new takes on American Wheat, with Pango Tango, a pineapple and mango wheat (4.9% ABV), and American Orange, at 5.5% ABV, dry-hopped with Triskel hops and featuring sweet orange peel. Pop by their taproom at 46 Anson Ave in the Amherst Industrial Park to get your growler, pint, or flight of these and more!