Spindrift Brewing

All posts tagged Spindrift Brewing

We’re well into the meat of the winter season now in Atlantic Canada, with it colder than a polar bear’s claws through most of the region and a “bomb cyclone” (sounds menacing!) descending on St. John’s. The good news is that our region’s beer and cider producers are still hard at work ensuring that you’ve got a spectrum of new and familiar potables to get you through, ranging from fireside sippers to reminders of summer. So have a read and make a plan to both stock your fridge for the coming weekend and check out some of the cool beer happenings that are coming this weekend and beyond.

If you’re still on a hazy-and-hoppy kick, Garrison Brewing is keeping up with your needs (well, your beer needs, anyway) with the recent release of No. 1 Squeeze IPA. This NEIPA was brewed with a simple grist of Pilsner and Oat malts, and hopped heavily with Mosaic, Azacca and Comet (to the tune of 40 IBUs). The result is a beer jam-packed with aromas and flavours of apricot, tangerine and passion fruit, “with a smooth and restrained citrusy finish”. Weighing in at 6.2% ABV, this batch will only be available on tap, exclusively at both Garrison locations in Halifax. 

In ciderland, Halifax’s Chain Yard has just released something new at their taproom – Rubintette is a small batch, single apple variety cider. Featuring the Rubinette apple (apparently a cross between Golden Delicious and Cox’s Orange Pippin), the batch was slow-fermented, giving it a “vinous and woody character, with summer fruit flavours”. Pretty hefty at 8% ABV, drop by sometime this weekend for a taste, as it likely won’t be around for very long. And they’ll be hosting a Nova Scotia Snakebite Competition mid-February, in a celebration of the cider-beer blend popular in the UK. Check that link for details on the participating partners.

As we’ve mentioned once or twice over the last couple years, the rural community Hanwell, NB, is the home of Niche Brewing and thus carries a pretty weighty rating if you’re measuring fine beers per-capita; and we suspect this week’s release will only improve that ratio. Speed of Life isn’t a first for Niche; it’s not their first session IPA and certainly isn’t their first beer named for a David Bowie tune. What it definitely is, though, is hazy and juicy, the former owing to hefty amounts of flaked wheat and oats along with some chit malt in the grist, and the latter thanks to plenty of Amarillo and Ekuanot in the kettle and more of the same along with Galaxy at dry hop. Medium-low in bitterness, you can expect plenty of stone fruit and citrus character in a beer that you’ll likely wish you were enjoying on a hot summer day. You’ll just have to close your eyes and imagine while you drink your pint, though, as it almost certainly won’t be around that long (this batch, anyway). Look for it to appear first at The Joyce, Peppers Pub, Cask and Kettle, Sussex Ale Works and the Laundromat. And there are still a few bottles of their Evolution available at ANBLs in Fredericton and Dieppe, but they certainly won’t be around for much longer.

Brand new barrel-aged beer in their Weird Beer series coming at you from Tatamagouche Brewing this week! Ceres is a 4.2% ABV Berliner Weisse brewed with a 60/40 blend of Pilsner and Wheat malt. After being kettle-soured with a pitch of Lactobacillus bacteria, the wort was fermented in stainless with an American Ale yeast strain, and Brettanomyces in the form of Berliner Brett from Escarpment Labs. Once complete, the beer was moved to barrels for aging, and was then blended and refermented on yellow plums from Malagash Cidery. Aged on elderflower for a couple of days before packaging in 500 mL bottles, it’s finally ready! Pouring a hazy, goldenrod colour, it has aromas and flavours of “tart lemon meringue pie”. Accompanying on the nose is “yeast, black tea, and lychee”, as well as “underripe yellow plum, wheat cereal and white pepper” on the palate. Sounds pretty complex to us! The best way to truly experience this beer is, of course, to snag some yourself. How, you may ask? Well, you can find bottles directly at the source (read: Tatabrew), or they can ship them to you via their online store; Ceres should also pop up on the shelves of Bishop’s Cellar sometime in the near future. 

Even more news in the world of hops (does it ever end?) with Tidehouse, who is releasing a new bottled beer today that puts the “Imperial” in Imperial IPA. Big Yacht Money is a 10.5% ABV “DDH Milkshake Triple IPA”. Hopped with very heavy amounts of Azacca, Idaho 7 and El Dorado, lactose was also used in the boil to give that touch of sweetness that goes with Milkshake IPAs. This style of beer is usually fruited as well, and this particular brew was fruited to the extreme, with mango, strawberry, and orange zest, accompanied by an addition of vanilla. As you may imagine, the final result is juicy and boozy, with the fruit quite prominent and complemented with notes of vanilla. Bottles likely won’t last long, so may be a good idea to drop by the brewery today to start your weekend off right.

It’s always nice to see local breweries taking on classic beer styles that are exhibiting a sort of resurgence, and lately, Lagers are gradually coming back. Big Spruce just kegged and tapped Honza’s Boho, their take on the classic Bohemian Pilsner (aka Czech Pilsner). They apparently worked closely with a brewery from the Czech Republic to ensure that they were treating this style with the utmost respect, and brewing it as authentically as possible. With a grist made up almost-entirely of imported Pils malt from continental Europe (a bit of Carapils was thrown in, as well), and hopped with Saaz, it was fermented with the Urquell yeast (that refers to one of the classic examples of the style, not Family Matters) (or even better, this!) from Escarpment Labs. The final beer comes in at 4.5% ABV, and if you’re curious as to how it’s tasting, you can try it at the brewery, or at one of your favourite BS accounts. And check our Events listing below for more info on new beers from them debuting next week…

Not to be outdone, Montague, PEI’s Copper Bottom has launched a Bohemian Pilsner of their own (after all, they’ve been expanding with the purchase of new tanks, so why not brew some new beer?). Their beer is named Flora, and was brewed with PEI-grown floor malt and Saaz hops, before lagering for five weeks. Now that it’s been packaged (cans and kegs), this crisp, 5% ABV beer is available and pouring bright and crystal-clear. You won’t be able to try it until tomorrow when the brewery officially reveals it at a launch party, UNLESS you were lucky enough to be at last night’s edition of HopYard’s Battle of the Breweries, where Copper Bottom took on Moth Lane). If not, it’s off to Montague with ya!

Apparently, Corner Brook’s Bootleg Brewing has had many requests for a “red beer” to be available at their taproom. They’ve finally given in, but it may not be quite the style of beer that most were expecting, but it sounds plenty tasty, nonetheless! Red Beer is a “Red Table Saison” brewed mostly with Red X blended malts, along with a bit of Munich, Wheat malt, and kilned Amber malt. Fermented with a Saison strain, the beer is showing some slight malty/bready character in the aroma, along with some dried fruit. Finishing crisp and dry, this 4.7% ABV brew is meant to be enjoyed in quantity, but it’s got a lot more going on than a lot of your American Amber Ales that some may have been expecting. Currently pouring on tap in Corner Brook!

It’s been a little while since we’ve seen a new beer come out of Unfiltered Brewing on North Street in Halifax. But that itself is nothing new; would you believe they’ve released “only” about 30 beers since they opened in mid-2015? That’s exactly the way NASH said it would be, of course, and he’s managed to stick to it and, near as we can tell, still sell plenty of beer. So if you’re the type to get excited about a new beer release from Unfiltered, you may do so, with Edgy hitting the taps for the first time today. The sixth beer (we think, but we never claimed to be good at math) in NASH’s inimitable SMaSH DIPA series, this one features Centennial hops in great quantity for plenty of citrus and herbal character in the tried and true 7.5% ABV and 100+ IBU format. Pints, fills, and cans available at noon.

In the “beer coming soon” category, and plenty soon at that, is an intra-provincial, cross-bridge collaboration between Nova Scotia’s Spindrift Brewing and PEI’s Lone Oak Brewing. A solid friendship between the two Head Brewers was formed as they both spent time brewing for Gahan Brewing, and the bon ami continues now that they are at the helms elsewhere. Silver Fox is a 5.5% ABV Export Lager, featuring uniquely PEI-sourced ingredients. Shoreline Malting near Summerside provided the Pilsner and Munich Malts, with Island Hop Company supplied the Ultra hops (a descendant of the very-Noble Hallertau and Saaz varietals). Bready malt notes, zesty and floral components from the hops (aided by a hard water profile to accentuate), along with a crisp finish thanks to the two months of lagering, which also allowed it to be unfiltered and naturally carbonated. Look for Silver Fox to debut at both Spindrift and Lone Oak next week, just ahead of LO’s Grand Opening on the 25th.

And in more collaboration news with Spindrift, they brewed with another island brewery, from a different island, Newfoundand’s Dildo Brewing Company. Coming to both the NSLC and NLC at the end of the month is Altbier, a 5.3% ABV ode to the classic German style, which saw the wort first fermented cool with a German Ale yeast, and further lagered for a month before canning. All German ingredients, from Munich, Caramel Munich and Carafa malts, and hopped generously with Hallertau Mittelfruh for a “spicy, herbal hop character”. The official release will be at both breweries on Friday, January 31st, with the beers at the provincial liquor stores in the future.

Annapolis Brewing in Annapolis Royal has a new beer on tap these days, their first foray into the farmhouse/Saison side of things. The Old Mill is 6.2% ABV Saison, and is available for pints and growlers in their taproom now, as well as at Horton Ridge Malt’s taproom for pints as well. This is their first, but by no means last, look at the style, so stay tuned for more iterations as they play in this wheelhouse. And keep an eye out for several other new styles in the coming weeks and months, including an Extra Special Bitter and a Berliner Weisse with cranberries. One or both of those may be out in time for their Cask versus Keg night on Friday, February 24th, comparing a cask of their Double Dry Hopped Rye IPA (aka Keep it on the Rails) to their W & A Railway Rye IPA on draught. Lots of fun and education on the go that evening, and all winter! Keep an eye on the latest news on their Social Media (Fb/IG/Tw).

Newfoundland Cider Company in Clarenville had a major release this week, with seven new ciders dropping yesterday. Their 2018 Pet Nat cider is a low intervention and naturally carbonated cider over a year in the making. They also released six new entries in their Forager Small Batch Series, with Barrel-Aged Applewood Smoked Crabapple, Barrel-Aged Partridgeberry Perry, Orchard and Vine, Barrel-Aged Sour Cherry, Newfoundland Honey Mead, and New England Style on Blueberry Skins. All of these, as well as their Scrumpy are available at the Cider Shop at 24 Balbo Drive in Shoal Harbour, as well as at the Howley Estates NLC in St. John’s.

Big congratulations to Microbrasserie Houblon-Pêcheur who are celebrating their first year of operation today. And whaddya know, they got *us* a present! Loup de Mer Dry Stout is 4.2% ABV, and features a smooth body, dry finish, and plenty of dark chocolate and coffee character. Look for bottles on the shelves of your local ANBL from Bathurst to Moncton, including in MH-B’s own Acadian Peninsula. Details here!

And just making it under the wire this week (because when have we ever been able to say “no” to anyone?) is Propeller, with today’s release of their latest beer, Sweet Orange Sour. Luckily, the name gives you a pretty solid idea of exactly what to expect – it’s a kettle-soured beer that was hit with lots of lots of citrus zest, lending a mixture of sweet and tangy flavours to go with the assertive tartness. Orange and tangerine notes abound in a 4.8% ABV brew that finishes dry. On tap only, at both Prop locations. And for tonight’s cask, their delicious Galaxy IPA, with clementine zest, vanilla, and lactose.

There are some very cool beer-focused events coming up over the next little while that we thought you should know about:

If you’re a craft beer fan in the Northeast New Brunswick area and don’t find yourself getting down to the Moncton region very often, you’re in luck: Dieppe’s CAVOK Brewing (that’s “CAV-Oh-Kay” for those unfamiliar with aviation terms) will be in Bathurst for a tap takeover tomorrow at Au Bootlegger. Starting at 6 PM there will be at least 10 taps of CAVOK’s finest pouring; full details are available on the Fb event page, with the confirmed taps as follows:

  • Petitcoudiac Rye IPA 6.0% 60 IBU
  • Leger Corner Honey Ale 4.8% 25 IBU
  • Foxtrot 33 (Oatmeal Stout) 5.0% 33 IBU
  • Runway 11 Lager 4.3% 13 IBU
  • East Coast Pirates IPA 6.5% 70 IBU
  • YQM Pilsner 4.3% 29IBU
  • Soleil d’Été NEPA 4.5% 15 IBU
  • Echo Saison 6.0% 17 IBU
  • Apricot Belgian Stout 4.1% 23 IBU
  • Terre Rouge (Red Ale) 4.8% 24 IBU

You can check out this post for more details on each of those beers, and be forewarned that there’s been rumours of a “secret surprise beer” as well.

For the second weekend in a row, Stillwell is hitting us with a mini-event on a Saturday without much notice or fanfare even though they’re bringing some of Toronto’s finest beer – last week it was Burdock Brewery, this week it’s Bellwoods. Those who are already familiar will almost certainly head down, and those who do not know, but enjoy really good beer, would do well to join them. Though not a full tap takeover, some of the best of what Bellwoods has to offer across sour, saison, farmhouse and hoppy styles is on offer, to wit:

  • Jelly King (Dry Hopped Sour 5.6%)
  • Raspberry Jelly King (Fruited Sour Ale 5.6%)
  • Justu (Pale Ale 5.6%)
  • Roman Candle (American IPA 6.8%)
  • Farmageddon w/ Niagara Montmorency Cherries (Fruited Barrel Aged Wild Farmhouse Ale 6.3%)
  • White Picket Fence [Peach] (Blended Foedre Saison Conditioned on Peaches 5.7%)
  • White Picket Fence OG (Blended Foedre Saison 6.1%)

As always on Saturdays, doors open at noon tomorrow and the taps will commence pouring (these are all kegged beers), with the usual lovely food coming out of the kitchen as well. So head on down and get another taste of the Big Smoke without having to actually besmirch yourself by going there.

Everwood Ave Brewshop is bringing back their EverBrews Home Brewers Club this month, with their meeting next Tuesday, January 21st. Starting at 6:30PM at their store at 731 Old Sackville Road, the evening will feature social and guided tastings, club business, presentations, and a general Q&A on what form the club will take. Everyone interested in the homebrewing hobby is welcome to attend, whether you currently partake or not. 

Dartmouth’s Battery Park will be host to a Norweigian Invasion next Thursday, January 23rd, as three Nova Scotian breweries will be showing off their favourite Kviek beers for the day. Big Spruce, North Brewing, and Tatamagouche will each bring three (or more) brews fermented with the hottest thing to escape Norway since Darkthrone and Cadaver. Look for hazy pale ales/IPAs, the winner of Big Spruce’s Homebrew Challenge Winter Warmer, Nordic Tea Saison, a co-fermented Lager, and at least one barrel-aged behemoth. The pour party kicks off at 11:30 AM, and runs all day, so be sure to drop by to taste the latest releases from these beauties!

Halifax’s Harbourstone Sea Grill & Pour House is hosting a Battle of the Brews Thursday evening, pitting Garrison and Spindrift against each other to pick the perfect beer to complement a six course tasting menu. Tickets are best reserved via phone or email for the event that kicks off at 6 PM on January 23rd. Grab them here: 902-428-7852 or harbourstone@marriott.com

Details are still very loose right now, but we see that there will be a Certified Cicerone exam being held in Halifax in April May Spring. The exact date has not been finalized, but if this is something you’re interested in, be sure to sign up on the Cicerone website, sign up that you are interested, and pass the Certified Beer Server Exam.

And here be your last few mentions before we leave you to your weekend:

Montague’s Bogside Brewing has a new beer pouring this week, Paint it Black, Jack, a 6.3% ABV Porter featuring loads of additions of chocolate and orange, natch, for a full on sweet, chocolate, and coffee brew. Grab it on tap this weekend!

Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing has their Full Service Double IPA back on tap for pints and growler fills. After selling out *very* quickly upon first release, they have been able to brew up another batch and quell the demands of the masses. Juicy, hazy, and a solid 7.5% ABV, it certainly packs a hoppy punch. Look for more from Tire Shack in next week’s post, as they promise a trio of new beers out before the end of the month.

And finally, a note that the YellowBelly Brewery Takeaway location on Water St will be closing tomorrow while they search for a new location. Upgrades needed in the kitchen area have them out of commission for a while, which means growler fills and their Skip the Dishes will be paused for the time being. They promise to let us know once they are back in action!

Wow, where did the summer go? Here we are, closing out August on a wet and blustery gorgeous and sunny note, and it’s the last hoorah before students head back to school next week. It looks like our region’s breweries are maybe coming up for a little air now that the crush of summer production is easing off a bit, as there’s quite a few new brews on this long weekend for you to try, and even better you’ve got an extra day to recover! We remind you as always, though, to keep in mind that your local breweries may be adjusting their hours because of the holiday.

Let’s kick off the week’s news with a stunner of a collaboration coming out of Mount Pearl, Newfoundland. Landwash Brewery teamed up with the beauts at the Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club to release a special brew this week. The NLBMC are celebrating the third year of their widely popular Merb’ys calendar, an annual fundraiser for a variety of provincial charities. This year’s recipients are Planned Parenthood Newfoundland & Labrador Sexual Health Centre, Home Again Furniture Bank, and SPCA St. John’s. Let’s talk about the beer, shall we? Bellyshake is a 6.5% ABV Key Lime Milkshake IPA, the brewery’s first in the style, which features lactose and vanilla to mimic the popular dairy treat. Bellyshake features loads of key limes for a sharp citrus and light tartness, with strawberry puree used to increase flavour and body. With a massive dry-hop addition adding notes of pineapple, coconut, and tangerine. Cans are now sold out at the brewery (though we understand there are some to enjoy on-site at Toslow downtown), but growlers, pints and samples are still available. Cans of One Wave Blonde will be available at opening today, with the deadly trio of Pilsner, American Pale Ale, and Breakfast Stout also pouring for the weekend.

Speaking of Downtown St. John’s, Bannerman Brewing at 90 Duckworth St is pouring a new beer these days, on the lighter side of things. Brite Lite is a 3.8% ABV Session Ale, kinda sorta mostly in the Session IPA family. Oat malt complements the base barley to give a fuller body despite the low alcohol, and the Citra and Sabro hop character shine through as tropical fruit reminiscent of pineapple, mango, and passion fruit. Grab a pint or growler of Brite Lite and/or half a dozen more at the brewery today!

Stillwell Brewing snuck a release out that we didn’t get a chance to tell you about in last week’s Friday Wrap-up so we’ll just tell you about it this week instead. Sook is YOUR new grisette in the region, a bit of a niche style that you’d be wise to not bring up around serious beer geeks lest you be lost in esoteric arguments over what a grisette truly is. In this case, it’s a low-alcohol (4.1% ABV) farmhouse-style stainless-fermented beer with a touch of acidity, “charming” fermentation character, and bit of noble hops to finish. As with many, if not most, mixed fermentation beers, this one would certainly be cellarable, but we agree with the brewery on this one: enjoy it now, when its no doubt at its lightest and most effervescent while you consider the coming change of seasons. You’ll find this one in bottles to-go at Stillwell on Barrington, and we’re sure it’ll pop up a few times on tap there as well as at the Beergarden over the coming weeks.

Did we say Beergarden? We sure did! And did we just hear someone say that they were hoping that 2 Crows would launch a couple of beers – specifically, one new and one returning – at the Stillwell Beergarden this Saturday? We thought we did! For privacy sake, let’s call this person Jeremy T. No wait, that’s too obvious… let’s say J. Taylor. Well, good news, because that’s exactly what they’re doing! The brand new beer they have is called Terry, named after a couple of important Terrys in the brewery’s life. Brewed in early 2018, the beer is their typical “sour base” (Pilsner, Wheat malt, Spelt, Special Aromatic, Flaked Oats) that was hopped to a scant 3 IBUs. Fermented with a variety of yeast strains and bacteria cultures in tequila barrels, the beer waited patiently here until half of an enormous blueberry addition (the brewery’s highest fruiting rate yet) was thrown in late last summer. After another long aging period, the other half of the fruit was added a few weeks before bottling, where the beer was allowed to condition naturally. The final beer is exhibiting lots of blueberry juice character, oak, acidity, and “tequila earthiness”. 

The returning beer is Refresh, 2C’s dry-hopped lager that they released to lots of fanfare last summer (was it really that long ago??). Brewed with Pilsner malt and flaked rice, they hopped this one in the boil with Huell Melon and Hallertau Blanc. Fermented slowly at cool temps with their favourite Lager strain, the beer enjoyed a nine week lagering period with a healthy dry-hop of more Huell Melon. “Bright, crisp, with some serious honeydew, lemongrass, and lychee vibes”, it’ll be pouring on tap (alongside bottle pours of Terry) at the Beergarden all day tomorrow. Of course, you’ll be able to grab bottles of Terry for take-away (and cans of Refresh!) at 2 Crows as of noon Saturday. 

If you happen to be hanging around Tatamagouche this long weekend, we highly recommend that you stop by Tatamagouche Brewing. We’d recommend that on any day, really, but for this weekend they do have a couple kegs of a special low alcohol beer fermented solely with Brettanomyces yeasts (the same blend as their lovely Feronia, the Wild Ale aged on plums). Brett Session started out with a grist bill of Pilsner, oats, and wheat, and lightly hopped with Azacca and Hallertau Blanc in the kettle. After primary fermentation began in early 2019, it was kegged off and allowed to naturally carbonate in kegs. And now our collective patience is being rewarded as it is now on tap at the brewery (and only on tap at the brewery).

And returning this week is Tata’s Atlantic Pale Ale, a collaboration with Annapolis Valley maltster Horton Ridge Malt & Grain. Using 100% Atlantic Canadian-grown grains, malted by Horton Ridge, APA weighs in at 5.9% ABV, and is available now at both breweries. And if you plan your visit right, you can catch Christina Martin live in the Horton Ridge taproom this evening at 8, tickets are still available.

It’s been a super-busy week for the crew at Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing, with 3 (three!) new beers on tap. Maybe the threat of Labour Day weekend had something to do with it… do people drink more on long weekends? Unsure. Anyhoo, let’s just dive right into these, shall we? The first brew isn’t so much new, actually, but a second take on their Whitecap, a Belgian Witbier. While this version was still brewed with a 50:50 mix of Pale and Wheat malt, this time around they hopped it with Topaz (to a higher bitterness than the first batch), and added bitter orange peel, lime, and grapefruit peel, to give more of that citrus character that goes so well with this style of beer. Sticking with the Belgian theme for their next brew, Slack Tide is a “Hopped Rye Saison”, which they’re breaking down as a hybrid between a Saison and a Rye Pale Ale. Brewed with Pilsner and Rye malt, and hopped with Pahto in the boil, it was dry-hopped with Enigma once fermentation was complete. With aromas of “slight Belgian funk, followed by grassy notes”, the 5.3% ABV brew exhibits flavours from both the malt and hop sides, according to the brewery, all with a dry finish. Their third and final beer is Desperate Session, a collab they did with Nyanza’s own Big Spruce Brewing. Due to the high demand for their beer in Lunenburg, they were starting to run a little low, so Big Spruce kindly reached out to help in getting more beer out there! The beer in question is a hazy Session IPA hopped with Mosaic and HBC 472, giving tropical fruit in the aroma, and “huge flavours of passionfruit and citrus”. All of these beers are available (hopefully, if they haven’t run out!) on tap at Shipwright.

Looks like the Ladies Beer League is back to their collaboratin’ ways, as they’ve teamed up with Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery to create Jagged Little Pils. Not your typical Pilsner, they’re calling it a “Juicy Pilsner”, probably because it was dry-hopped with Simcoe and Idaho 7. Still brewed with a Pilsner base and fermented with Lager yeast, the dry-hop addition gives the beer lots of citrus and tropical fruit notes on the nose, and at 5.5% ABV, it’s right in that range where you can enjoy a couple without going *too* far (ymmv). It’s currently available at Brightwood for pints and growler fills, and cans also just hit their shelves this week.

HRM stalwart Propeller has released a new beer today, their Tropical Session Sour, making sure you’d have something suitable for lovely weekend weather. It’s tropical, with notes of passionfruit and pineapple, sessionable, at 3.9% ABV and 0 IBU, and sour. If that doesn’t describe an ideal patio beer we don’t know what does! A limited release, you’ll only be able to find it at Propeller’s two Prop Shops on Gottingen in Halifax and on Windmill in Dartmouth, as well as all of the private stores (including Liquid Assets at the Stanfield Airport if you’re on your way out of town). And if you decide to seek this one out at the source, you’ll also find a limited number of bottles of the Celebration Pils from earlier this summer available at the Prop Shops!! If you missed this the first time around, you’ve got one more chance to give it a go; if you didn’t miss it, we suspect you may wish to experience it again. On sale today from opening until it’s all gone.

Halifax’s Good Robot has been around for 4 years now and they’ve made all kinds of beers, both crazy and staid. But they’ve never ever made a Hefeweizen. Until now. A somewhat strangely uncommon style in our region, hefeweizen is more than just fun to say, it’s one of those lovely German words that says exactly what it means: hefe = “yeast” and weizen = “wheat”. Describing a Weißbier (“white beer”, most likely deriving from Weizenbier, “wheat beer”), a hefe is a beer made with a significant portion of wheat replacing barley, then fermented with a strain of ale yeast known for imparting phenolic (clove) and estery (banana/bubblegum) characters and served unfiltered, with some yeast still suspended, imparting a hazy appearance in the glass and a soft mouthfeel. Good Robot brewed theirs with 55% wheat and 45% pale malt, Australian Summer hops, known for subtle flavors of apricot, melon, peach, and grass, and they added some orange peel to the mix for a bit of a citrus presence. Coming in at 4.7% ABV and  10 or so IBU, they’re calling it Yeast Boss (or El Jefe de Hefe) in honour of brewer and yeast QA/QC man Gio, which is fitting as this style is extremely dependent on healthy and happy yeast. You’ll find it on tap at the brewery now!

Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing is continuing their line of beers showcasing that European sensation Kveik yeast, but pushing the boundaries a little further. This batch of Oculus weighs in at 8.0% ABV, a fair jump up from the 4.0% and 6.0% of previous batches. With the jump in ABV, they are also pushing the limits of hopping, with massive additions of Sabro and Vic Secret in the kettle and dry hop addition. The resulting beer features notes of pineapple and orange, with a light vanilla sweetness. Grab a four-pack or growler to enjoy this weekend, while the weather is still tropical-ish.

And in Breaking News, we see that The Drome by TrailWay will be opening its doors this weekend! After major renovations lasting more than 4 months, the long-time Main Street institution has received a TrailWay facelift and improvement to be a taproom and patio, while preserving the lanes and character of the original. With lots more local craft beer available on tap, and a menu still focusing on classic bowling alley fare with a modern twist, we’re sure this will be a fun addition to the local beer taproom landscape. Doors open Saturday at 3PM for beer, food, and bowling (first come first serve on these while they sort out the weekend), so drop by!

Living in/around Fredericton and interested in entering the professional brewing world? Maybee Brewing is currently hiring for a full-time Assistant Brewer position, which would put you right in the center of the action: brew day prep, brewing, cleaning, inventory, etc. Brewery experience is an asset, but avid home brewers are also welcome to apply. Check out the full job listing here; you can drop off your cover letter and resume directly at the brewery, or send it via email to paul@maybeebrew.com. 

Have you been following the goings on (and the comings out) at Church Brewing? We have, and we’re happy to report that per several sources, they’re already coming through with many of the economic benefits to the Town of Wolfville that some people always said were likely to be the result of their opening. One of the most impressive and prominent of these is the fact that they’re already employing more than 90 people (we’ve heard tell that already makes them the second-biggest employer in town, less than 6 months after opening). But with beer flying out of the taproom and the retail shop, and already on the shelves of the NSLC, they have need for at least one more: they’re looking for an Assistant Brewer and Cellarperson to help keep liquids moving from tanks to the people. If you’re looking to get into the beer industry and you’re interested in joining a going concern in Wolfville, maybe check out the job posting and consider sending in a resume. Hell, they hired KelticDevil, they’ll probably at least give you a look! 

Speak(ing) of the (Keltic)Devil, he was back on the most recent episode of the 902BrewCast (August Tasting Episode #2: Electric Boogaloo) where he, Tony and Kyle talked some more about Church Brewing, beer, politics, and beer politics, all while sampling some tasty-sounding beers. Get it at your favorite place what does podcasts.

The weather may be due to cool down in coming weeks, but it seems the beer events are heating up. Check them out:

We would be remiss if we neglected to give a big old plug to our own event tomorrow night at the Auction House. Those who’ve been around a few years know that ACBB likes to do a little beer-flavored trivia now and then. Normally this is twice a year during FCBF and NSCBW, but The Auction House in Halifax has been kind enough to offer us an opportunity to do another one tomorrow night from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. As always the taps will be flowing with beer from many local and regional breweries, but featured will be fine selections from Tatamagouche Brewing, several of which might be first time/only time on tap in the city. Come on out and tolerate our corny humor while you rack your brain for the answers to our trivia questions. Did we mention that there will be prizes for the winners? Full details can be found on the Facebook Event page; hope to see you there!

The Labour Day weekend festivities continue at Big Spruce on Sunday, September 1st, with some fun activities for you AND the kids! Starting at noon at the brewery, there’s going to be lots going on, with plenty of activities that all revolve around beer! All of the usual Big Spruce taps will be pouring at the Sprucetique, and outdoors they’ll have games, archery, a bouncy castle (be aware, archers!), and live music. They’ll also have a pig roast, and accompanying sides from Stand and Stuff Your Face. It only costs $10 to get in on the fun, and kids are free!  Food is pay-as-you-go (pay-as-you-eat?). 

If you’ve been lurking around 899 Portland St. in Dartmouth for awhile, eagerly waiting for North Brewing to open their new taproom, they’re holding a sneak peek next Friday, September 6th. This is going to be a small gathering, as only 100 tickets will be sold. Your $100 ticket (available here) will get you into the event, three drinks at the bar, and food inspired by the menu at Side Hustle Snack Bar. Additional beers will, of course, be available for purchases, and $25 of your ticket price will go to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust (as part of the North Brewing Conservation Initiative). As for the grand opening itself, that will be happening on the following Friday, September 13th.

Odds and sods abound this weekend; we’ll see you out with these newsbites and remind you once again to check the opening hours of your favorite breweries this weekend, especially for Monday, before you go making any long drives.

On the western side of Newfoundland in Corner Brook, Bootleg Brew Co. put a new beer on tap last night, their Hard Ticket Sour IPA. With plenty of their favorite hop varieties added for dry hop, they describe this one as “juicy, fruity, a little piney & dank,” all while being sessionable/crushable. Get your sour and your hop fix at the same time in a 5% ABV package! On tap for pints and fills at the brewery. Maybe stop in there before/after the Gros Morne Beer Fest tomorrow evening? Grab your tickets for that here.

Chain Yard Cider is branching out a little bit into the realm of mead. This week they’ve got their new Traditional Mead available, made from wildflower honey sourced from the Annapolis Valley. Fermentation of this 7% ABV sparkling mead was arrested, leaving a slight honey sweetness with floral and melon notes on the palate and providing a light, fine carbonation. Get it at the source on Agricola St. in Halifax.

Meander River Farm & Brewery reminds us that they’re a cidery as well with the availability of a new small lot cider called Juicy Strawberry. We think we know what’s probably in this 5.5% ABV blend… As with all their small lots, you’ll almost certainly have to go to Ashdale to get it, but that’ll be a lovely drive on a long weekend in late summer, we think.

Newfoundland Cider Company in Clarenville have a big weekend of tasting planned, as they’re serving up their summer batches of small batch botanical ciders. Starting at 3:30 PM today you’ll be able to sample and quaff Old Tilt, Cloudy Blueberry, Blackcurrent & Lavender, Spruce Tip, Pineapple Weed and Wild Rose. If you’re in the area and you love cider, this sounds like an amazing lineup to try!

For those who like Toller from Dartmouth’s Spindrift but would like to have a slightly lighter, lower-calorie option, you’re in luck! Today marks the day that Toller Lite is released, exclusively at the brewery on Frazee Avenue in Burnside at 4 PM. A full percentage point lower in ABV than regular Toller, it weighs in at 4%, with only 92 calories and 3.2 g of carbs per serving. And if you can’t make the brewery, the private stores carrying its big brother are all scheduled to have Toller Lite this weekend as well.

Last but not least today is the return of Unfiltered’s ode to Citra, DOA. Double Orange Ale is their single-hopped Double IPA, weighing in at 7.5% ABV, and featuring massive citrus and specifically orange character on top of a robust bitter beer. On tap for pint and growler fills at the taproom and brewery respectively, with cans available at the brewery today and tomorrow as well.

Happy end of May! It’s hard to believe it, but we’re closing the books on the fifth month of 2019. You’d certainly never believe we’re on the cusp of Summer by looking out your window (or maybe you would, if you were chasing icebergs around Twillingate this week)! Let’s get you up-to-date with the opening of PEI’s first new brewery in 8 months, plus a baker’s brewer’s dozen of new beers and lots of events to keep you happy.

We’re excited to announce that Prince Edward Island’s Beer Scene is expanding today, with the opening of Bogside Brewing in Montague. Located at 9 Brook Street, overlooking the Montague River and Waterfront Park, Bogside features a full restaurant and taproom to complement the brewing operations. While equipment delays have them serving up fellow Island Craft Beers this weekend (with their own beers flowing in the next week or so), there’s no such holdups with the food! Chef Dave Mottershall is running a food program featuring low-and-slow BBQ, a wide variety of cured meats from his Salume Rume meat locker, and plenty of traditionally paired sides (think baked beans, greens, cornbread). The restaurant and taproom is open today 4 – 11 PM, and daily with the same hours, opening just in time for PEI Craft Beer Week (much more on that below!). Keep an eye on their social media (Fb/IG/Tw), and we’ll have a Profile with owner David McGuire and Brewer Mark Patriquin early next week.

We’ve got lots of news from Tanner & Co Brewing in Chester Basin this week, so let’s get right to it! First off, they sat down with our pals at the 902 BrewCast and recorded an episode chronicling the first 18 months of operation down on Angus Hiltz Rd. Topics range from their opening Thanksgiving weekend 2017, to the expansion of their brewing operation from 50 to 500 litres, to their take on traditional and historic German style. Dan and Peggy (but mostly Dan!) took over the rocking chair and aired some grievances about Untappd, beer competitions, and that nasty “s” word, saturation. And you’ll also get the inside scoop on their new taproom on Duke Street in Chester, opening this summer! They’ll be moving their pilot system into the downtown to create more room in the brewhouse (aka garage), and offer locally-brewed beer to visitors and locals alike. And you’ll be the first to hear about a South Shore Beer Bus that will allow beer fans to hop on and off at breweries in Chester, Bridgewater, Mahone Bay, and Lunenburg (we’ll have more on that plan soon). At well over an hour in length, the podcast is the perfect length to listen to while driving to/from the brewery to catch the latest release!

Speaking of which, the latest brew coming out from Tanner & Co is Mango Basil Saison. Starting from their traditional Saison base of Pilsner, Vienna, and Wheat malts, and fermented with French Saison yeast, this batch features light usage of Amarillo in the boil (to the tune of 25 IBU) and a light dry-hopping. Added to both the kettle and then again to the conditioning tank was organic mango puree and fresh basil, working to meld with the base beer character, rather than overpower it. Think light tropical and herb notes working with the light fruity esters and phenolic spiciness from the yeast. Bottles of the 6.2% ABV MBS are available at the brewery now, as well as at their Lunenburg Farmers’ Market stall on Thursdays.

Niche Brewing, southwest of Fredericton, NB, is releasing another beer on the hoppy side this week. Dubbed Equanimity (a challenge to say after having a couple), it’s a NE-style Pale Ale, hazy and juicy, and slightly dank, but decidedly lower in ABV than a NE IPA at 5.5%. Expect a smooth body from a grist of 2-row, Golden Promise and flaked wheat and a moderately bitter finish, balancing a hop bonanza from late additions of Ekuanot, El Dorado, and Mosaic, and a very large amount of Vic Secret and more Mosaic in the dry hop. Look for it all over New Brunswick starting this weekend.

New can release from 2 Crows this weekend, and it sounds like a real humdinger! Humdinger (see what we did there? #killingit) was brewed with Pilsner malt and lots of different wheat (including raw, malted, and flaked), as well as a bit of oats and Aromatic malt. Hopped late in the boil with Nelson Sauvin and Mosaic “American Noble Hops” (check out our post last week for more on this extremely odd and confusing term) to 15 IBUs, the wort was fermented in one of the brewery’s foedres with a blend of yeasts (including American Farmhouse, a white wine strain, and the multitude of other goodies living in said foedre), and conditioned for over 4 months. The beer was then transferred back to stainless and dry-hopped with Centennial, Huell Melon, and Idaho 7, canned, and conditioned with Champagne yeast for about six weeks. The final beer is tasting “super bright, lively, delicately funky, with citrus, honeydew and orchard fruit vibes”. Sounds great to us! Grab your cans at the brewery tomorrow.

Looks like Spindrift is continuing to play with small batch releases, as they’ve got a new beer hitting their taproom next week. Diabolic Scheme is a “Black Currant Wheat Beer” that was brewed with a grist of Pilsner and Wheat malt. Hopped very lightly (to just 6 IBUs) with Herkules and Cascade, the 5.6% ABV brew features an addition of black currant puree. As you might expect, the black currant is what comes through most prominently in the aroma and flavour of the beer, with a bit of tartness from the fruit coming through as well. You’ll be able to find it on tap at Spindrift on Thursday, June 6th.

The gang at Shipwright Brewing is keeping busy with new beers, as their latest, Fischerdorf Alt, is now available on tap. Named after the German word for “fishing village” (they ARE in Lunenburg, after all!), this is the brewery’s homage to the Altbier, a classic German style. A dark amber brew that was hopped lightly (to 22 IBUs) with Perle, it was fermented cool with an Ale yeast. Sporting a “delicate malt-forward presence”, it has a touch of bitterness to balance, along with a crisp finish. This 5.2% ABV beer is currently pouring at the brewery (pints, growlers, crowlers), and is also on tap at the Grand Banker.

Port Rexton Brewing already has the next entry in their Continuum series of hazy IPAs, Continuum w/ Galaxy, available for you thirsty hop-heads out there! As you may have imagined, it’s hopped with loads of Galaxy, that fabulous Australian variety, including additions in the whirlpool, hop back, and dry-hop. Those of you familiar with Galaxy know that that means plenty of “passion fruit, pineapple, peach and mango” in the aroma and flavour, balanced by a moderate bitterness in the finish. It comes in at a low-for-an-IPA 5.1% ABV, meaning you can enjoy a pint or two and not feel loopy (well, that depends on a lot, but… you know). Check out the PR taproom for pints and growlers, or the brewery’s retail shop in St. John’s for growler fills only. And when you head out to the taproom, you’ll be able to catch the very small batch of Kveik IPA, their local spin on the Newfoundland Skerwink Haze collaboration they brewed with Red Racer and is part of the Across the Nation 12-pack available in Atlantic Canadian Liquor Corporations/Commissions now.

The Picaroons General Store location in Saint John has a one-off beer – Light Speed Lager – currently available for pints and growler fills. A light-to-medium bodied brew, it was hopped with Mandarina Bavaria and Huell Melon, giving some citrus on the nose, as well as “faint, fruity flavours”. Lagered for six weeks to allow these flavours to develop, this 5.1% ABV Lager finishes dry and refreshing. Limited supplies available, only at the General Store.

Hot off the heels of two Scratch beers last week, Scratch #22: Hefeweizen is out today from Grimross. Brewed with lots of Wheat malt (~55%) and a mixture of Pilsner and Melanoiden, as well as a touch of Chocolate Wheat for colour, it was lightly hopped with Magnum and Tettnang to 13 IBUs. Fermented with a Weizen yeast strain to give your classic banana and clove characteristics, it comes in at 5.5% ABV. Refreshing and flavourful, you can find it on tap and in cans at the brewery for you to stock up on for the weekend; look for ANBL stores and tap accounts to receive their own supplies sometime next week.

It wouldn’t be the start of the weekend without at least one new beer from Big Spruce, which goes hand in hand with a cute, punny name! For this week, they’ve actually got two of both for us, starting with Kolsch Encounters of the Third Kind (see?). A light and refreshing, 5.4% ABV lagered ale (fermented with an ale yeast, likely cool, and allowed to lager at cool temps even longer), it’s meant to be easy-drinking, just what you need after yardwork, long hikes, etc. The second release is Apri-Hours, a mixed fermentation sour ale with apricot. Medium-bodied with flavours of apricot and lemonade, it packs a bit more of a punch at 6.8% ABV. Both beers are available on draught only; while you can of course swing by the Sprucetique for pours and growler fills, there will also be some kegs out in the wild (definitely at Battery Park and Auction House, as well as others). And keep your eyes peeled for Big Spruce’s first foray into the canned non-alcoholic realm, with Sparkling Organic Lemonade available now at the brewery and soon in cans across the province.

Halifax’s Good Robot has kegged the latest iteration in their Creature Feature series of biotransformation IPAs. Leveraging the practice of adding a bunch of hops during primary fermentation (e.g., before the beer is “dry,” so it’s not really a “dry hop”), they’ve also committed to a very 1970s/80s rock album model of roman numeral naming. This one is Creature Feature V, which features the fairly uncommon and somewhat feared Japanese Sorachi Ace hop variety. Known for imparting a lovely bright lemony character, but at the same time often bringing along complex and prominent notes of dill and lemongrass, it’s a bold move for a bold style. Coming in at 5.6% ABV and 40 IBU, look for it at the GR taproom and possibly GR tap accounts around Halifax, starting this weekend.

You’ve got a busy weekend ahead of you, folks, so let’s help you plan your moves…

Propeller Brewing is hosting the Awards Gala for the Everwood Ave Home Brew Competition at 7:30 PM at their Gottingen Street taproom this evening. The event is open to the public, and if you have ever thought about taking up homebrewing, you’ll want to drop by to meet some of the keen members of the community, as well as have the chance to speak with homebrew shop owners and professional brewers to talk shop. You’ll also be able to grab a pint from their Friday Cask; this week’s features the returning Stone Fruit, with an extra-special dose of lime in the cask. Plus Real Fake Meats is onsite with Veggie Donair Egg Rolls to keep your tummy satisfied. And with the Arcade open from 4 PM this afternoon, you’d be crazy to miss it!

The Inaugural PEI Craft Beer Week is kicking off this weekend, and running from June 1 – 8, 2019. All eight Island breweries will be participating, each hosting events at, and around, their respective breweries. While there is no All-Island Brewery Festival to kick-off or end the week, there will be some big events happening to get you excited that we want to highlight. The first is on the kick-off day Saturday, as a handful of PEI Craft Beer Bus Tours will be crisscrossing the island. You can choose which of your favourite breweries to be picked up at (Copper Bottom, Evermoore, Moth Lane, or Upstreet [PEIBC bus is now sold out]), and you and your closest pals will tour all seven breweries (skipping the Gahan House) in one day. A great way to drink your way across the province and taste everything the fine breweries have to offer! Click that link to grab tickets! Sunday features a Brewer’s Brunch and brewery tours at most of the locations. Check the full schedule here, and if we get our butt in gear (looking at you, Chris!), we’ll have a Map and Calendar posted over the weekend to help you plot your moves over the next 8 days.

It’s been almost five years since Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing has been in operation, and the 3rd Anniversary of the opening of their “big” brewery (remember, they started off as a 1 bbl in a basement before opening a much-larger brewery with a taproom) is coming up. You know what that means… an Anniversary Party! So, tomorrow, June 1st, TW is blocking off their side parking lot to include space for food trucks, outdoor games, live music, and a beer garden. They’ll be having free brewery tours throughout the day, swag giveaways, and plenty of beer releases, including the re-release of Bliss, their 4% ABV “Session India Pale Lager”, and a new iteration of their Velvet Fog Milkshake IPA, this one with raspberry and orange. Most of the outdoor activities start at around noon, and there’s no charge to attend… it’ll continue all day and evening!

The 5th Annual Port City Beer Run in Saint John is fast approaching, happening next Saturday, June 1st. This event has been growing since it started, with this year’s run expected to have over 300 runners participating, and 17 breweries and cideries pouring their products. Aside from all that beer and cider to look forward to after your run (there are 3, 5 and 10 km options), there’s also going to be live entertainment, and four restaurants on site serving up food. Almost $50,000 has been raised for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation over the last four years, so rest assured that besides having a great time and being active, your registration cost will be going to a very good cause. Speaking of that, you still have time to sign up; it costs $65 to register, and if you’d like to take part in all of the non-running fun, you can grab a “fan ticket” for $55. Check out the link above for tickets.

In addition to the beer mentioned above, Good Robot will be the site of much mirth and merriment this weekend with two big events on the docket. First up is the Aquasocks album release tonight at the Mayflower Curling Club (a few tickets are still available) that we’ve mentioned a couple of times over the last few weeks. It will feature a special beer brewed just for the event (that’s been on preview at the GR taproom since last week), a blueberry- and pineapple-laden Pilsner they’ve called Aquakultre’s Legacy Lager.

And following hot on the heels of what will surely be a night of beer drinking and booty shaking comes the latest event under the Flavabot umbrella, called, in typically questionable GR taste, The Great North End Jerk-off. There will be nothing questionable, however, about the taste of the traditional Caribbean Jerk-style cooking that is the heart of this event. The Limestone Group, RumbleFish (GR’s in-house kitchen in partnership with Black Sheep), and HopYard Halifax will be bringing smoke, spice and heat in a competition to crown the Jerk King. Two levels of tickets are available, Silver, which gains you admission only (all food and drink is extra) and Gold, which gains you admission and 5 food samples. And it wouldn’t be a FlavaBot event without some Caribbean-influenced beer, now, would it? Of course not! So Giovanni Johnson is bringing plenty of that. Rake ‘n Scrape originally debuted at the Flavabot Rake ‘n Scrape event back in March. A tropical double IPA with mangoes and pomegranate, it’s plenty juicy, plenty bitter, and tart as well, with an ABV of 6.9% and 70 IBUs. On the small batch side there will be two others, Pineapples and Coconuts (which also debuted at Rake ‘n Scrape), a 5.6% ABV and 27 IBU wheat ale featuring pineapple and coconut, and a brand new one, Conch Style Lager, a light, crisp, and refreshing beer with lime zest and spruce tips that weighs in at 4.5% ABV and 29 IBUs. Festivities start June 1st (that’s tomorrow!) at noon at the Mayflower Curling Club; you can get your tickets online here. So come get your jerk on at the jerk off!! (sorry/not sorry)

Just a few more things before we send you along your way today!

Garrison Brewing already has the second entry in their Hop Trip IPA series, with Hop Trip – Azacca (6.2% ABV). Hopped entirely with, yep, Azacca, expect lots of pineapple and lemon flavours. It’s only available on tap, so stop by the brewery for a growler, or look for it at your favourite Garrison licensee.

If you’re a hop lover in Halifax, you might plan to be in the environs of North Street this weekend, as Unfiltered has brought back their king hell Citra bomb, DOA. As usual, it’s 7.5% ABV, lotsa IBUs, and you’ll belch an orange grove after a glass or two. Cans, fills and pints from today at noon.

Upstreet’s dry-hopped kettle sour, Major Tom (5% ABV) is back as of yesterday. Tart in the finish with notes of grapefruit thanks to the dry-hop addition, you can find it on tap at the brewery and Craft Beer Corner, as well as in bottles.