Spindrift Brewing

All posts tagged Spindrift Brewing

Happy Friday folks! If you’re anything like us, you’re nursing a headache/prepping your liver for the fun happening in New Brunswick’s capital city this weekend, as the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival celebrates its 7th year. There are still a few tickets available for Saturday afternoon session (grab ‘em here), and be sure to say hi if you see us with a beer in our hand (or waiting for one). We’ve got lots of great news and new beers to kick off the weekend, including a whole bunch of awesome beers and events celebrating women in the industry, as today is International Women’s Day. So raise a pint to all of the brewsters and other women and femme-identifying folks working in the industry around the region, and let’s dive right in!

Port Rexton is among the breweries who have brewed up a special beer in honor of International Women’s Day. Designed and brewed by the women of PR, Early Rise is an American Pale Ale with a twist, namely all the Earl Grey Tea that could be procured from the Bulk Barns in the St. John’s area (or at least 1.5 KG)! Every other ingredient in this beer was selected specifically to complement the special ingredient, from the malt to the hops. Coming in at 5.9% ABV, look for a light and spicy malt sweetness and a lingering orangey hop character. You can grab this one starting today at the taproom during their IWD Celebration starting at 4 PM (including IWD-themed trivia at 8 PM with registration at 7:30). It’ll also be on the taps at the Port Rexton St. John’s Retail Shop while supplies last.

2 Crows is focusing solely on the hops with their latest release, Perfect Recreation, the newest in their series of NEIPAS. Like the other entries, the grist has been kept fairly simple (Golden Promise, Wheat malt, and flaked oats), to allow the huge amount of hops to come through nicely, while at the same time keeping the mouthfeel of the beer smooth and pillowy. Plenty of Citra and Simcoe were thrown into a hopback addition (after the boil, on the way to the chiller and fermenter), with the beer then being fermented with a “super juicy yeast strain”. Of course, there were more hops added after fermentation, with two dry hop additions – both including more Simcoe and Citra, as well as Vic Secret and a bit of Centennial. The result is a 6.1% ABV beer described by 2C as “super lush, soft, and absolutely exploding with tropical hop aromas of mango, passionfruit, and guava.” You’ll be able to find it at the brewery today (cans and on tap), and at select 2C tap accounts over the weekend… and maybe it’ll even pop up at tomorrow’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival. Finally, a big congratulations to head brewer/co-owner Jeremy Taylor and his wife, Elaine, on the birth of their new baby girl!

Speaking of NEIPAs, straight outta Hanwell, NB, comes the latest in that style from Niche Brewing, one they’re calling Make it So. Also built on a grist of primarily Golden Promise and also featuring wheat (flaked), oats (also flaked) and chit malt, it’s almost enough to make you wonder if Niche and 2 Crows brewers occasionally might talk a little bit… or at least read the same blogs 🙂 Hops in this one include Citra, Chinook, and Columbus as very late kettle additions, with more Citra and Galaxy comprising the massive dry hop. Fermented, per their usual, with one of their favorite NEIPA-geared strains, it’s described as “super fruity and juicy,” while displaying the characteristic haziness and medium bitterness one would expect. You’ll find this one pouring at Niche’s usual tap accounts, at Halifax’s Stillwell in the near-ish future, and, if you’re lucky enough to have a ticket, at the evening session of the FCBF tomorrow night!

New beer alert from Moncton’s Grand Monk, a beer they’ve been conditioning for awhile now. Overdosse (rough English translation would be “idiot” or “loser”… note that the FB post for this beer was accompanied by a picture of the current U.S. president) is a 9.5% ABV Belgian Strong Ale brewed with Pilsner, Vienna, and wheat malt. Hopped with East Kent Goldings and Hallertau Blanc, it was fermented with the wonderful Duvel yeast strain (with temperatures allowed to rise as high as they could go). Conditioned in the fermentor for a few months, it’s now ready for you, and is exhibiting lots of Belgian phenolic and ester characteristics on the nose and palate. Look for it on tap at your favourite Grand Monk watering hole, at the ANBL Vaughan Harvey growler station, and at FCBF.

Looks like Spindrift is moving forward with more experimentation in brewing, with the introduction of the first entry in their latest series, Future Thoughts. Lemon to a Knife Fight falls in the Witbier style, and is more-specifically billed as an “Imperial Blueberry Lemon Witbier”, if you’re picky (which we are!). The grist is made up in the traditional sense for a Witbier – with Pilsen malt and a blend of both malted and flaked wheat – but at a grander scale, resulting in a 7.5% ABV beer. Hopped lightly with Herkules and Cascade to 18 IBUs, fresh lemon zest (from 200 lemons!) was added, along with a dose of Indian coriander. As for the blueberry portion, puree was added during fermentation, as well as a bit of blueberry extract after fermentation was complete. The finished beer is tasting estery, slightly boozy, with aromas of blueberry mixed with lemon. This one is a draught-only release, with most of it available exclusively at Spindrift (although a keg or two may make it to a couple of local licensees). Future entries in this series may be bottled; only time will tell.

We think we’ve got the details on that special beer from Secret Cove Brewing we briefly mentioned last week, which was brewed for their Grand Opening party. Hop a Ryed in My Dory is a different take on your traditional DIPA; while at first this 7.4% ABV brew seems fairly typical, featuring late hop additions to give flavours of “mango and citrus, with a sweet apricot finish”, they threw in an addition of Canadian Rye malt to give the beer a “spicy complexity”. by the brewery in Port au Port East, Newfoundland to grab a pint and judge for yourself.

Is the high alcohol in all of those DIPAs, Winter Warmers, etc. getting you down these days? If it is, Tatamagouche Brewing has the cure for what ails ya with Dekorum (English translation: “behaviour in keeping with good taste”). Truly keeping the “light” in Light Lager, this 2.9% ABV beer still manages to pack in some crisp, refreshing flavours, while still allowing you to enjoy a few without having to worry about calling a cab (although that’s subjective, so still, enjoy responsibly!). You can find cans and growlers of this one at Tata, and we know for a fact it’s already popped up on tap in the HRM. Cans will also be hitting shelves at your local NSLC in the not-too-distant future.

It’s been a bit of a spell since we’ve seen a bottle release from Tide & Boar Brewing in Moncton, but luckily, our wait is over! That’s the good news. The bad news is that this is an extremely-limited release, so you best jump on it if you’re interested. The beer is And You May Find Yourself, a “Pastry Stout” that was brewed with maple syrup and cocoa nibs, all conditioned on an “insane” number of vanilla beans. Billed as low-carbonated and sweet, this is a big beer at 11% ABV, and is meant to sip on as a dessert beer of sorts (they also recommend to consume this one fresh… no aging!). You can buy tickets to purchase this beer here; if you’re lucky enough to get a bottle, you can pick it up at the Duo Cafe next door to T&B (or ask for it directly at T&B); have your idea and ticket with you. And by limited release, we DO mean limited.. only 40 bottles are available for purchase. Though we have it on good authority that if you ask nicely at the FCBF, they may have it pouring from their jockey box. And be sure to pop by their table at the fest tomorrow, as Chad and crew are sure to have something special on the go. Those of us who’ve done that previously got to try their unique Peach Ale Shake, served through by a slushie machine!

If you’re in the area of Tusket Falls Brewing this weekend, and feel like you have a bit of a sour tooth, you may want to drop by the brewery to see if they have any of their latest one-off left, Passionfruit Sour. This 4.5% ABV kettle sour has lots of passionfruit on the nose and palate, according to the brewery, finishing with a “pleasant tartness that complements the juiciness well”. It won’t last long, as their experimental beers tend to move quickly. They’ve also started canning their Beyond the Haze NEIPA (5.8% ABV), so grab some of those while you’re there! Those will also be hitting the shelves of the private stores and NSLC very soon.

The brew crew from St. John’s YellowBelly Brewery took a trip down to New York City last month, to brew up a special beer with Five Boroughs Brewing. Celebrating the Come From Away Broadway show, and the story of town of Gander during September 11, 2001, they lent their hands Newfoundland-style, to brew up a collaboration beer. Come From Away is a 6.0% ABV “Islander Pale Ale”, featuring tons of Amarillo, Cascade, and Cashmere hops added at every step of the brewday and beyond, and has plenty of citrus and tropical fruit character. While this beer is only available in NYC for the time being, a little birdy told us that YB will be brewing the same recipe on their system on Water Street soon, so soon we can all be singing and dancing along to this great beer.

Attention Home Brewers! It’s that time of year again, as Boxing Rock has announced that registration for their super-popular Black Box Challenge is now open. As a reminder, this is a different type of brewing competition, as brewers are not aiming for a style, per se, but starting from the same ingredients (and only those ingredients, except water), and the end result is totally in their hands. Previous winners have been a smoked cinnamon beer, a kettle sour with orange peel, and a American Brown Ale with ginger. There are only a few spots left, grab your tickets here, and pop into HopYard in Halifax to pick up your box of ingredients starting today. This year’s competition features a new twist that reflects Hop Yard’s involvement, where each contestant must pair a record (as in vinyl) with their entry. Beers are due mid-April, and the live judging (including a presentation by each finalist explaining why they selected that particular record) and crowning of the winner will be at HopYard April 28th.

The big events that have our attention this weekend (beside the FCBF) are the great Femme-focused events happening at Good Robot in Halifax this weekend.

  • Today from 6 PM, Cheers for Lady Beers. Female-brewed beers from across the province (and beyond!) will be taking over their taps, with many of those brewsters on hand to chat and answer questions. Lots of beers we’ve talked about in the last couple of weeks will be pouring, including Good Robot’s own Big Witch Energy, Garrison Brewing’s Susannah IPL, and the Propeller x Ladies Beer League Call Me Blondie collab. The winners of the FemmeBrew competition will be announced during a private party before the public event (4 – 6 PM).
  • Tomorrow from 12 PM, Women in Entertainment. A panel of women in the entertainment business will be sharing their knowledge, stories, and advice for those looking to get involved or further their career. Doors open at 10 AM, with food served and beer pouring from that point.
  • Tomorrow from 9 PM, Dance Through the Pain-triarchy. A dance party in a safe space, open to everyone!
  • Sunday from 7 PM, RobieScope: The Help. A female-strong period drama, BYO-PJs.

And tickets for their Brewster Fest, being held April 27th, are now available. Celebrating women-owned breweries and female-brewed beers, they have breweries from across the province and beyond pouring at the Mayflower Curling Club that day. Click the link to see the brewery list and grab a ticket!

Before we let you go this week….

Boxing Rock has brewed up a beer for the Good Robot Femmebot Tap Takeover taking place today. Catarina Sour is a 5.7% ABV kettle sour brewed with pineapple and mango brewed with their “Femmebot friends”, Jana and Patricia; it’ll also be on tap at Boxing Rock.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Grimross has teamed up with Fredericton’s Ladies Beer Connection to release two special casks – Strawberry Champagne and Pomegranate Cheval D’Or – at tomorrow’s FCBF. One of each cask will be tapped at the beginning of each VIP session.

Up in Village-au-Poirier, NB, Microbrasserie Houblon-Pêcheur is happy to let folks know that their Nigogue Pale Ale is now available at several ANBL locations including Bathurst, Miramichi (both locations), Shippagan and Tracadie. You’ll also find their other two beers, Pèlerin IPA and Astérie Winter Beer at the Pleasant Street location in Miramichi.

Hot off their opening late last month (congrats guys!), Ninepenny Brewing in Conception Bay South has a brand new beer hitting the taps. It’s a 4.6% ABV Blonde Ale, and complements their Porter, Pale Ale, and White IPA already pouring. Pop out for a pint and/or to fill a growler this weekend!

Dartmouth’s Nine Locks Brewing is the latest brewery in our region to take on the “mixed drink in a can” market with the introduction this week of Sand Piper Vodka Soda. Zero carbs, zero added sugars, and all-natural flavoring in a convenient pre-mixed format. Look for more info on the dedicated Insta account for the brand and/or pick some up at the Nine Locks Retail Store, select private liquor stores in Halifax and, soon enough, at NSLC locations.

And a quick note to end the post today, thanks again to everyone who came out to take part in our trivia last night at The Joyce, and big thanks to all of the breweries who donated great swag to give away to our winners. We had lots of happy folks last night! For those breweries who missed out, we’ll be doing it all again in Halifax during NS Craft Beer Week, so reach out if you’ve got anything to share!

Happy Friday, everyone! While we have your attention, would any of you be opposed to us renaming this weekly post the “Almost-Saturday Wrap Up”? No? Great, we didn’t think so!

And now, beer.

We’ve got the news on the latest bottle release from Halifax’s Tide House, which was just released yesterday. Turtles All the Way Down (<brain explodes>) is a Saison with a grist made up mostly of Pilsner and Wheat, with some Flaked Oats and Acid malt thrown in for good measure. Hopped with Ahtanum, the wort was fermented with the Old World Saison blend (made up of two “classic” Saison strains) from Escarpment Labs, giving a light-bodied beer with notes of “pepper, lemon, honey and spice”. It’s an easy-drinking 4.7% ABV, so when you’re at the brewery to pick up your stock, you might as well grab a few, no?

For the second year in a row, Fredericton’s Maybee Brewing has paired up with Bangor’s Geaghan Brothers Brewing for a collaboration beer, which will be released in Fredericton today. A Lot in Common is a California Common which was brewed at Maybee, with several of the Geaghan Brothers team making the short trip north to participate in the brew day. With a grist featuring a blend of Canadian, German, and British malts, it was hopped with Cluster to 38 IBUs. Fermented at cool ale temperatures to keep the production of fruity esters to a minimum, this 5.6% ABV amber-coloured “hybrid” has aromas of “raison, caramel, toffee, biscuit, and Baker’s chocolate” with more of the same in the flavour, followed by an assertive bitterness in the finish. This one will be available on tap and in cans, both of which can be found at the Maybee taproom right now; it’ll also be on tap at many Maybee accounts, as well as the ANBL growler program as of March 7th. And of course at next weekend’s Fredericton Craft Beer Fest, where both breweries (and many, many more) will be pouring the best and newest beers. More details below.

If you’re eating and drinking in Dartmouth this weekend, you may want to swing by North and/or Battery Park (and if you’re doing your eating and drinking there, even better!). Why, you ask? Well, North is releasing Into the Aether today, an Imperial Stout that has a lot more than just roast character going for it. This 5 bbl batch of beer has additions of 5-6 lbs of toasted cocoa nibs and 12 lbs of toasted coconut, as well as vanilla and sea salt to top it all off. They’re aiming for a beer with a balanced blend of all of these flavours, so that no single one of them overshadows the others. You can grab cans at both retail shops, with the only kegs being poured at Battery Park on their nitro tap.

Hanwell’s Niche Brewing has a brand new sour hitting the taps over the next few days, Ginger Spur. This 4.7% ABV beer started with a grist of Pilsner, 2-Row, Munich and Wheat malts, and was soured with Lactobacillus plantarum, before being boiled and lightly hopped with Amarillo (to 6 IBU… like we said, “lightly hopped”, mainly to ensure the Lacto cannot survive). After fermentation is when the fun began, as the beer was conditioned on fresh lemon zest and a mixture of fresh and powdered ginger, for a complementary blend of citrus aroma and ginger flavour and zip, on top of the lightly sour base beer. Kegs of Ginger Spur will be delivered to a few restaurants in Fredericton and Saint John next week, and will be available to Niche fans in Nova Scotia, pouring at HopYard Halifax before the end of the weekend.

TrailWay has got their hop-oil-soaked hands on a popular new American hop variety, Sabro, which they’ve used in their latest American IPA, Urban Sabrero. Sabro is an odd variety in that it doesn’t have a European heritage (like most hops do); it actually comes from a sub-species that has been growing wild in the mountains of New Mexico for the past million years (according to the Washington Beer Blog). Many sources have described Sabro as very unique, featuring flavours of tangerine, tropical fruit, citrus, coconut, and even hints of “cedar, mint and cream”. In TW’s beer, they also added some other hop varieties they deemed showing similarities to these descriptors, resulting in a 6% ABV brew with aromas and flavours of “coconut, pina colada, tangerine citrus, and vanilla”. Urban Sabrero is releasing today on tap and in cans at the brewery.

Quidi Vidi Brewing has released a mixed four-pack of cans this week, the winning beers of their collaborative contest with the Newfermenters Home Brew Club. The homebrew competition was held in the Fall of 2018, and saw the top 4 brewers drop into QV for a brewday. The winning beers are: Uncle Fred’s Kolsch (4.5% ABV), Iron Cherry Sour (5.5% ABV), Milky Way NEIPA (5.9% ABV), and Perfect Storm Dunkelweizen (6.0% ABV). Four-packs flew off the shelves at QVBC yesterday, but they assure us that there will be more available soon. They are also available at a few NLCs today, so be sure to ask at your local one!

We think that maybe Good Robot is mad at us or something, because instead of making us report on their usual weekly Beta Brew release, they had to go and make FOUR of them! To be fair, they *are* pretty psyched about celebrating FemmeBot, so it may actually have more to do with that than actually messing with our heads. We’ll give them the benefit of the doubt! So, let’s get right to these beers, shall we? All were brewed with local ladies who are keen on the beer scene in Halifax.

  • #yololager – A 4.8% ABV “light and crushable lager” made by local real estate agent Jess Tasker (March 5th release)
  • The Ploughwind – A 6.7% ABV “big, rich stout” made by Missy Searl (March 6th release)
  • Aunty Fukkup’s Blueberry Pie-PA – A 4.4% ABV light Pale Ale hopped with Saphir, with a generous addition of blueberries, brewed with Dalhousie nursing student Leslie Langille (March 7th release)
  • Imposter’s Syndrome – A 4.1% ABV Dark Wheat Ale brewed with Whitney Moran, co-author of East Coast Crafted (March 9th release)

Actually, that wasn’t so bad. Sorry for complaining! Finally, next week’s Alpha beer will be this year’s official FemmeBot brew, Big Witch Energy. Brewed with Golden Promise malt, Summer hops, and sweet orange peel (which was added with the dry hop), it sounds like a refreshing break from some of the other big beers out there this time of year.

Halifax stalwart Garrison, now rocking their third decade of production in the city, have all kinds of new beer news to share with us this week. First up is the return of Sour to the People, brewed in conjunction with the folks from The Carleton restaurant on Argyle Street. Originally brewed in Summer of 2017, this will be an excellent beer to help get you through the last dregs of winter and help remind you that better weather is (maybe!) just around the corner. With lots of notes of peach, lemon and green apple sour notes balanced against pineapple, citrus and pine notes from new hop Denali, the beer is 6.1% ABV and, as is often the case with sour beers, 0 IBU. Available in cans and on draft at the brewery (and we suspect both cans and kegs will make it to other places in the city).

Next up, as is traditional with Garrison, the winning beer from last year’s Garrison Home Brew-off is being released at the same time as the winners of this year’s competition are announced. Kölsch 1149, a 5.2% ABV Kölsch by Dave Martin and Kent Brooks was on tap last night at this year’s awards gala and will continue to be available at the brewery, including cans. As for the 2019 competition results, this year’s category was another European style that was perhaps a little difficult for local brewers to wrap their heads around, with no commercial examples readily available. A fairly sweet and full-bodied lager balanced very much towards the malt side (“a sandwich in a glass”), it also generally packs a punch, in the 6.3 – 7.5% ABV range. Four beers won accolades this year, starting with an honorable mention for Kevin Sweezey’s entry. The top three were Jeramy Slaunwhite in 3rd place, Scott MacLean in 2nd and David Pepper winning the competition. Pepper and Slaunwhite are no strangers to the winners’ circle in local homebrew competitions; the two were category winners in the 2016 Big Spruce competition where Pepper’s Risky Biscuits Dark Mild also took Best of Show. Look for the winning beer to be brewed in time for next year’s awards gala where the category has already been announced: New England IPA!! Garrison also made sure to include a shoutout to local homebrew supplier Noble Grape who every year help immensely with the logistics of this competition.

And in still more Garrison news, this coming week also marks the release of the first beer they’ve ever produced by an all-female team. Starting with brewer Kellye Robertson, Susannah is a collaboration with East Coast Wild Foods, who provided wild-foraged sumac and sea buckthorn to this all-German malt Imperial Pale Lager that was heavily hopped with Topaz and Hallertau Blanc. Look for elements of sweet grain complemented by elements from the hops and fruit, including notes of lychee, grapefruit and pineapple. Proceeds from the beer, which is being packaged in 473 mL cans will support women in trades in Nova Scotia through the NSCC Foundation. A launch party for the beer will take place next Friday, March 8th, at the Garrison Brewery. Starting at 7 PM, it will feature live music from Halifax rockers Like a Motorcycle beginning at 8:30 PM. Meanwhile Ray Brisson, the artist who designed the label, will be present, Birdie’s Bread Co. will have food available for purchase, and East Coast Wild Foods will be on site to talk about foraging and the workshops that they run. No tickets are required for entry, but donations will be taken at the door in support of the NSCC Foundation.

Propeller Brewing, also in their third decade of operation, has plenty of news for us this week as well, including the launch of a pair of new beers for us to enjoy. First up is the return of their Irish Red, just in time for that *big celebration of all things Irish* later in the month. While the recipe for this 5.0% ABV, 25 IBU beer has not changed, this year’s version has been left unfiltered, letting more flavour molecules through to your sniffer and taster. Look for sweetness and light roast from the malt, with an earthy hoppiness from the traditional UK hops.

Debuting today at their Gottingen taproom is an experiment months in the making: they took their ESB and aged it for 4 months in the barrels that previously held their Baltic Porter. The light malt in the base beer, along with the light barrel and dark malt notes from the porter, make this a wonderful beer to enjoy lightly carbed, so they will be featuring this beer on their bartop at the taproom for the entire month of March (or as long as the casks last!). Pop by today at 5 PM for the tapping of the first Barrel Aged ESB, and enjoy a pint. Paired with the Propeller Arcade downstairs, and/or today’s Cask Night snack, Vandal Doughnuts, you can kick your weekend off right!

Also hitting the taps today is the release of a beer Propeller brewed in celebration of International Women’s Day, Call Me Blondie. Brewed with the fine crew of the Ladies Beer League, CMB is a Blonde Ale with a twist, as it is dry-hopped with Simcoe, featuring a melon and cantaloupe aroma, complementing the citrus flavour and light and crisp body. This draught-only beer debuts at today’s Cask Friday event as well, and will be pouring at LBL’s big International Women’s Day event at Halifax’s Timber Lounge on March 8, Axe the Patriarchy. From 7 – 10 PM, drop in to enjoy the beer, live music, craft corner, and meet your fellow local beer enthusiasts! There is no fee to attend, though a portion of axe throwing costs, and donations, are being collected to support Alice House.

Newly-opened 3Flip Brewing out of Douglas, NB has a one-off, limited release that should be hitting a couple of taps soon, and will also be pouring at the FCBF Nano Night next Friday. The beer is Sassy Cow, a 5% ABV “Root Beer Milk Stout” that showcases a “sweet malt/lactose flavour with hints of roasted coffee”. Complemented by aromas and flavours of root beer (thanks to the addition of a special extract), the finishing bitterness is low. If you don’t have tickets to next week’s Nano Night, and still want to try the beer, both The Joyce and Saint John Ale House will be receiving a keg over the next few days.

After an extremely busy couple of weeks after opening in mid-January, Hill Top Hops Brewhouse in Brooklyn, Nova Scotia, had to re-fill their fermenters and build up some product. They are scheduled to reopen today, Friday March 1st starting at noon and going ‘til 10 PM. The full lineup of taps will be available, including their Cream Ale, Pale Ale, Blonde Ale, Pilsner, Red Ale, and Porter. Fans of their IPA will have to wait one more week. Be sure to check out their Fb page for updates to their hours for the winter season.

New Scotland in Dartmouth has a brand new beer on the go, one they’re calling Eastbound Brown. An American Brown Ale, a somewhat surprisingly uncommon style in our region, it’s big and malty, but hard-hitting in the bitterness department with 64 IBU and in terms of ABV at 6.8%. Look for some hints of chocolate paired with malty sweetness underlying a very firm bitterness and an aroma characteristic of American ‘C’ hops. You’ll find it at their taproom this week for sure, with the potential for a few kegs to make it to other locations about town.

Also in Dartmouth, Nine Locks is celebrating their 3rd Anniversary with the release of Champagne IPA. Combining lots of hop aroma (leaning on citrus and Juicy Fruit) with high, downright spritzy carbonation, it finishes very dry with a moderate bitterness. Nothing says “celebrate” like Champagne, ya know? It weighs in at 6.3% ABV and 38 IBUs, and can be picked up at the taproom as we speak.

Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing continues to crank out beers in their more experimental First Sail series. This week’s entry, Dark Cherry Blonde was based on their Kölsch from a malt and mash perspective, but fermented with clean American yeast and with some dark cherries added towards the end of fermentation. At 5.5% ABV and 15 IBUs, expect something akin to a rosé wine, with a light body and a slight sweetness balanced by some tartness from the cherries. Only at the brewery and in very limited quantities, it’s available for pints or crowlers to go. And if that weren’t enough to get you there, the Midnight Oil milk stout is back by popular demand. A blend of six malts, it’s a medium-bodied milk stout with bit of nuttiness sitting on top of a base of cacao, coffee and vanilla flavors, with a sweetness from an addition of lactose. Coming in at 5.2% ABV and 25 IBU, you can sit down for a pint, bring a growler for a fill, or grab a crowler to go!

New beer coming at you from 2 Crows when they open today at noon (although by the way things are going, I’m going to assume when this post is actually published, noon has already come and gone). Livewire is a hoppy Brett Saison brewed with a base of Pilsner malt, as well as some Wheat, Rye and Oats. Hopped lightly with Calypso and Azacca, a portion of the beer was soured with Lactobacillus, and then blended back in with the rest of the beer when the acidity reached the level they were looking for. The entire batch was fermented with a blend of Brettanomyces strains, and finally dry-hopped with the delicious Enigma variety. Expect a very dry beer with funk, light pith, and “notes of Pinot Gris, lemon zest, and rock melon, with a firm minerality and a touch of tartness”, according to 2C. It weighs in at 4.6% ABV and 17 IBUs, and can be found (probably now!) at the brewery in cans and on tap.

In yet more beer competition news (well, sorta), this time from Spindrift, the winning beer from their first (annual, we hope) homebrew competition is once again available, this time with a twist. Brian Whalen’s Naughtius Maximus v2.0: Naughtier Maximumus has a slightly different grist from the original recipe due to some crystal malt left at the bottom of the grain mill, but it’s also been cellared since 2018. Perfectly balanced between bitter and crisp this 7.3% ABV and 22 IBU Belgian Saison is on tap at the brewery now, though only 40 L were made, so you’ll want to move fast if you want in on this.

In what could be seen as sad news, Naughtier Maximus also marks the end of Spindrift’s Seventh Wave Series, those growler-fill-at-the-brewery-only small batch, often experimental brews that would taunt those who couldn’t get over to Burnside before they were gone. But weep not, gentle reader, as is often the case, as one door closes, another opens. Coming March 7th is the first beer in an all new series designed and curated by Steve Crane, Spindrift’s Assistant Brewer, called Future Thoughts. Designed to be like Seventh Wave in being somewhat experimental, and notably exploring contemporary styles, flavours and brewing techniques, Future Thoughts batches are scheduled to be larger, allowing for more customers to have a chance to try them and at a somewhat more leisurely pace versus the old mad dash to Dartmouth. Look for the first beer in this series, Lemon to a Knife Fight Blueberry Imperial Wit to be released this coming Thursday, March 7th. We’ll no doubt have the full details on that beer next week.

For those of you interested in keeping track of the going-ons in the Town of Wolfville, the first reading of the amendments to their Municipal Planning Strategy and Land-Use Bylaws happened Feb 4, and we were in attendance to take in the action. The issue at hand is whether to make changes to the Municipal Planning Strategy (MPS) and Land Usage By-laws (LUB) to (a) have a clear policy statement on alcohol producers, (b) specifically allow off-site sales of product, and (c) forbid contract brewing. With the legality of contract brewing already decided (as far as we can tell, it’s illegal in Nova Scotia), the second amendment is where the rubber meets the road. Last week’s meeting was the first reading of the amendments, and was crammed with members of the public wanting to be heard, mostly expressing their objection to the changes. Video of Part 1 is here, and Part 2 is here, or, if you prefer to just listen instead, you can find an audio version here (loud audio warning at 8:20).

But let’s back up for a second. Why the fuss? The public are concerned that Church Brewing (who have recently opened their restaurant, but whose brewery is still under construction) will increase truck traffic as much as 10-fold on Main Street, take up many parking spaces, and have 24/7 noise and brewing smells. These concerns seem to be largely based on a preponderance of poor information, some of which has a particular odor of its own, and the most dubious of which is the notion that Church Brewing will somehow reach 15,000 hectoliters of production, the legal limit for a craft brewery in this province, in the near future. We noted above that both Garrison and Propeller have passed the 20 year mark in their respective lifespans. Both have spent over two decades working to extend their distribution footprint from Halifax to not just beyond Nova Scotia but beyond Atlantic Canada as well. And both fall well short of 15,000 hL per year in production. To suggest that Church could attain even greater success in any kind of short time is either a massive nod to Church’s business plan and leadership or fearmongering at its worst. Most of the doom and gloom scenarios being proffered as dissent are heavily anchored in this number as a realistic estimate of production.

We encourage everyone with an interest to educate themselves; there is plenty of material available online thanks to the Town of Wolfville and interested parties such as the 902BrewCast. While we understand some of the consternation and concern about how things have been done, we believe that, as in so many communities in our region, having Church open and producing quality beer will benefit the town and its citizens. You can find the agenda for the next town council session regarding the MPS and LUB changes here. We hope that these meetings lead to us writing a profile of Church after their successful opening as a brewery in the near future.

A few things coming up events-wise:

Secret Cove Brewing Co. has been celebrating their Grand Opening the past couple of days, but don’t worry if you missed it! They’re continuing with more events throughout this weekend. Tonight they’re launching a brand new beer (which they’re not sharing details on yet… sorry!) to go with their open mic night, and while closed some of tomorrow for a private event, they’ll be reopening their doors to the public at 6 PM, with live music starting at 7 PM. Finally, Sunday will feature a Kitchen Party from 2 – 6 PM; they’ve also hinted at a “special announcement” sometime throughout the weekend. Congrats to all of the Secret Cove crew!

Corner Brook’s Bootleg Brew Co. is turning one, and in true Newfoundland fashion, they’re celebratin’ (ok, most breweries celebrate their anniversaries, but it’s NL so maybe it’ll be even more fun?) at the taproom today. Starting at 4 pm when they open, there will be snacks throughout the day, plenty of beer from both Bootleg and local guest breweries, and live music starting at 10 PM tonight. No cover!

We mentioned the big Belgian beer drop at Moncton’s Tide & Boar two weeks ago, but wanted to remind you all since the event officially happens tomorrow, March 2nd. Check out the link for all the details, but rest assured if you love Belgian beer, you want to be going to this. They open at 11 am; it’ll be going on all day, but we’re pretty positive that some of these bottles will be gone quickly, so best that you get there early!

As we’ve mentioned earlier in the post, the annual Fredericton Craft Beer Festival is next week, with the main event – the beer festival! – happening next Saturday, March 9th. While tickets for the evening session are sold out, there ARE still a few regular-entry afternoon session ones available (grab them here). There are also events going on throughout the week, leading up to Saturday, including our Trivia Night at The Joyce on Thursday, March 7th, which is also happening at the same time as a Hammond River tap takeover. There’s some educational seminars as well, including Distilling School and Home Brewing School on Thursday, and Beer School on Friday, March 8th, which is a day-long event that focuses on several aspects of the brewing process. As for the main event on Saturday, you know what to expect… hope to see you there!

And our usual last mentions on our way out the door (where? To get BEER):

Picaroons has released CBA, a 7.5% ABV “Canadian Black Ale”; described as “big, dark, and hoppy”, we think it’s pretty safe for you to put this in the Black IPA category. You can currently find it at all Picaroons locations, and it should be hitting ANBL stores sometime next week.

Port Rexton has their newest American Pale Ale exclusively on tap, Pith and Substance (5.9% ABV). Featuring “grapefruit pith vibes and a delicate strawberry aroma”, it has a medium bitterness in the finish; look for it at the PR taproom and retail shop, as well as on tap at Bootleg Brew Co. for tonight’s One Year Anniversary Tap Takeover that we mentioned earlier.

Hi again, it’s us again. And we’re late. Again. We blame the weather. And illness. And day jobs. And too much beer news from all our friends at breweries around the region. So in the interest of getting on with things, we’ll cut this off here and wish you a happy beer-filled long weekend!!

If you caught a mention on the social media pages of Tusket Falls Brewing about a new beer called Bitter Stout, we’re sorry to tell you that this experimental batch has already sold out. Luckily, they’ve got two other new brews on tap at the brewery for you to try! One is a 6.5% ABV Brown Porter with an addition of cold brew coffee, giving aromas of “dark chocolate and fresh coffee grinds, and a creamy, vanilla cappuccino flavour”. The next is a 5% ABV Saison with hibiscus, with “Juicy Fruit gum and floral, carnation-like” notes on the nose, as well as “subtle, tart cherry and floral flavours” to complement. If these go as quickly as the Bitter Stout, you best get into the brewery to try them, quick!

St. Patrick’s Day is still a month away, but Bathurst’s Four Rivers Brewing has released their St. Paddy’s seasonal a bit early as a limited run. Raglan Red is, as you may expect, an Irish Red Ale; the name was inspired by Raglan Road, a local Irish band. The beer itself (5.0% ABV, 25 IBUs), which pours a deep red colour with a creamy, off-white head, is described as having “a slightly sweet biscuit and caramel flavour that finishes dry, with hints of Roasted Barley”. It was fermented with an Irish Ale yeast strain, which “adds a faint aroma of toffee and wildflowers”, according to the brewery. You can currently get it at the brewery on tap and in cans. Next month, however, it should be more readily available, with kegs even hitting some ANBL growler stations around the big day. Four Rivers will also be holding a St. Patricks Day party on March 15th, featuring Raglan Road, with a portion of ticket sales going to the local SPCA; tickets are $15 and are available now at the brewery.

Elsewhere in Bathurst, newly-opened 13 Barrels Brewing has released their second beer, Tall Tales IPA. We don’t have too many details to share, but we can tell you that this copper-coloured brew is a 6% ABV, 55 IBUs American IPA that the brewery is describing as “crisp and malty, with an aroma that has hints of spice and orange bouquet”. It joins their first beer, Pabineau Pale Ale, on tap for pints and growler fills, and a half-dozen guest beers that can be enjoyed in their cozy taproom.

Back to Nova Scotia, and Annapolis Royal, for our next new release. Annapolis Brewing Company has released their first Hefeweizen, an iconic German beer style that features a hefty amount of wheat in the malt bill, and a special yeast strain. Capital Hefeweizen is 5.2% ABV, and shows off the characteristic blend of banana and clove aromatics, along with light bubble gum and vanilla flavour compounds. Lightly hopped to 11 IBU with Liberty and Nugget hops, this quaffable beer features high carbonation for an effervescent pint. The name is an ode to Annapolis Royal’s distinction of being the former provincial capital. Available on tap at their St George Street taproom, those in the current capital city can enjoy it tomorrow evening at the Craft Beer Cottage Party at the Seaport Farmers Market, joining their W&A Rye IPA and Dry Dock Dry (Brut-style) Pale Ale.

We’ve seen Bishop’s Cellar team up with local breweries to create collaboration brews before, and based on those results, we’re excited about the latest one! Bloom was brewed with our friends at North Brewing, and will be dropping tomorrow for your drinking pleasure. A 5.0% ABV Saison, it features the addition of lactose powder in the boil. Hopped with Saaz, Hallertau Blanc, and Galaxy, they decided to step things up and throw in even more of that delicious Galaxy in the dry hop. We’re guessing here, but are thinking there’ll be a good mix of tropical fruit and spice in this one, all in a dry-but-not-too-dry-finish-package. You can grab your cans at both North bottle shops, as well as at Bishop’s Cellar (natch); it’ll also be pouring at tomorrow’s Craft Beer Cottage Party.

Niche Brewing just outside of Fredericton aren’t slowing down their release schedule these days, despite the crappy weather, and have a brand new beer out late this week. Counting Stars was brewed with a base of Golden Promise along with oats and chit in the malt bill, and fermented with a mix of low-flocculating yeast strains, resulting in a hazy golden-coloured brew. This 6.7% ABV New England IPA is all about the hops, of course, with Galaxy, Topaz, and Amarillo taking centre stage in the boil, with the former two also being added as dry-hops after fact, along with Vic Secret. Hop notes of tropical, fruit, and lightly dank are followed up with a firm bitterness on the palate. Keep an eye on Niche’s social media (or better yet the bar and restaurants), to see when Counting Stars hits the tap at The Joyce Pub (ed: it’s on now!), Hilton Garden Inn Fredericton Downtown, and Saint John’s Peppers Pub.

While the cats are away, the mice will play. Or in this case, while Matt and Christiane of Tatamagouche Brewing are making us jealous with their honeymooning in Europe, the rest of the crew are busy working and releasing four (4!!) beers this week. Returning is the Oyster Cloister Stout, their 5.3% ABV stout named in celebration of the annual oyster shucking party that has been a part of local tradition for years. Roasted barley and Carafa malts create a rich chocolate and roasty base to the beer, with a light dose of hops, and finally a salty kick from the Malagash oysters added in. They’ve taken the party from the kitchen, and invited the rest of us to take part, as it kicks off tonight at 7 PM at the brewery.

In the first of the brand new beer at Tatamagouche this week, the women in the brewery got together with another female-strong brewery in the province, Good Robot, and brewed up Maltriarchy. This “strong beer for strong women” weighs in at 8.6% ABV, is a Golden Strong Ale, with a light and effervescent mouthfeel, dangerous for a beer this size. Leveraging a Belgian yeast strain and Saaz hops for a fairly traditional take on the style, with some fruity esters from the yeast and a classic noble hop character.

Nelson’s Park Pale Ale is the second of the new brews out in Tata, and as the name would imply, the New Zealand hop Nelson Sauvin features prominently in the brew. This 5.1% ABV hoppy and hazy beer is named after Nelson Memorial Park, overlooking Tatamagouche Bay. Tropical and stone fruit character are complemented by the white wine notes often found in Nelson, and the bitterness is enough to balance without becoming too harsh.

And finally, we’ve got Mingle. This 4.7% ABV Ale is simply categorized as a “Hazy Organic Ale”. Details are a bit light on the one, but we’ve been assured it sports a light body with notes of apple and pear, and is dangerously drinkable. It, like all of the Tatamagouche beer we’ve mentioned today, are available at the brewery now on tap for samples, pints, and growlers, with cans available there, and at select private stores in HRM in the next week or so.

Seamount Saison is a brand new release at Mount Pearl’s newest brewery, Landwash. Admittedly released a little out of saison (season, sorry!), they fell into some good luck with a special yeast perfect for the style, and could not pass up the opportunity. Returning to the roots they set down at Folly Brewing in Toronto, this is a Belgian-inspired beer that lets to yeast blend to shine through, with zesty citrus notes, with pepper aroma and flavour. A medium bitterness and dry finish will have you ordering your second pint. This is a one-off brew, for now, as Seamount will return in the spring when the temperatures are a little warmer. But for now, grab it on tap this weekend for pints and growler fills, as well as in cans in their retail shop. Also in the shop this weekend is the return of Home and Away, the 5.6% ABV American Pale Ale they first released in late December. Showcasing Cascade and Citra, this beer is all sorts of hoppy goodness, with massive orange and grapefruit on the nose and palate, with a medium bitterness to tickle your tongue. It too is available for flights and pints at the bar, with growlers and cans to take away. If you’re ever wondering which Landwash beers are available, we highly encourage you to check out the Availability section on their site. And keep your eyes peeled in town, as we’ve seen kegs of Landwash available at better beer spots in St. John’s, including Merchant Tavern and Jack Axe’s. If you *don’t* see them at your favourite watering hole, ask the staff about maybe bringing them, wouldja?

The PEI Brewing Co. has had a lot of employees over the years, so you know when they brew a beer in honour of one of them, it means something. Mike Ross, now the co-owner of both the Charlottetown and Halifax HopYard locations, was once the brewery’s Sales Manager, and is as least as much now a strong advocate for craft beer as he was during his days at the PEIBC. In a nutshell, he’s well-deserving of having his picture on cans of El Bolito De Coraje (Spanish translation “little ball of courage”). The beer is billed as a 6.2% ABV “Mexican Chocolate Stout”, and was brewed with organic cocoa nibs, cinnamon, and “a blend of spicy peppers”. The brewery tells us that the beer isn’t TOO spicy, more providing a touch of heat, while allowing the other ingredients to come through. You can find it on tap at both Hop Yard locations, and in cans at the PEIBC taproom this coming Monday, February 18th.

Halifax’s Garrison is the latest brewery in our region to explore the satellite taproom and pilot brewery concept; there was plenty of social media excitement when it was announced this week that they’ll be opening up in the Oxford Theatre building at the corner of Quinpool and Oxford Streets. Although there was certainly some chagrin from the arts community that an independent cinema or performance space was not on the docket, Garrison’s plan is consistent with the stated goal by the Nahas family, who purchased the building last year, to renovate and maintain the property as a landmark and community friendly space on Quinpool Road. Plans for Garrison’s part of the facility will include a 1 BBL electric brewhouse with a couple of 1 BBL unitanks for fermentation and conditioning all on a very small visible footprint (~150 ft2). The taproom side of the mix will include 13 Garrison brews and 1 cider (Bulwark), with two additional taps for beers brewed on site. Expect 2 to 4 brews a month to be done in-house, with the team using it as an opportunity for experimentation with ingredients, techniques and recipes, as well as potentially for collaboration brews with other brewers and potentially folks from the community. Some snacks will be available, but patrons will also be welcome to order in food from neighboring restaurants, and look for the occasional pop-up or catered event as well. Set to open in Spring 2019, we’re definitely excited to see what else Garrison has in the works for this concept.

Meanwhile, in more Garrison beer news, they also have some new brews coming out today, a trio of Winterventions: Bourbon Barrel-aged Wintervention, Whiskey Barrel-aged Wintervention, and plain ol’ Wintervention are joining the Cellar Series this week, where Cherry Bourbon Barrel-aged Wintervention has been hanging out all by its lonesome for a couple of weeks. Those who’ve been around for a while know that Wintervention is a Chocolate Imperial Stout brewed to 10.5% ABV and conditioned for a month on cacao nibs. A deep dark beer for deep dark winter nights, you can now try the original formulation and/or compare and contrast the different barrel treatments. Available now in 650 mL bottles at the brewery and, we expect, you’ll see at least some of them pop up at private stores in Halifax over the coming weeks. And look for one more variant to be released before the season’s over. Oh, the suspense!!

Plenty going on in beer events over the next couple weeks and beyond:

Nothing seems to ever be able to stop Stillwell from holding wonderful tap takeovers, and we’re not complaining! Coming up this Saturday, February 16th, Toronto’s Godspeed Brewery will take over your favourite beer bar with nine beers on tap and three in cans. And we’re not talking about your daddy’s beer, here, unless your daddy is into Smoked Pilsners, Green Tea IPAs, and Peated Scotch Lagers (and if he is, can we trade daddies?). Check out Stilly’s Facebook page for a full list of what will be pouring. And because it’s Stillwell, of course there will be some excellent food to pair with all these tasty beverages, featuring sushi and appetizers from Sushi Shige. It all starts at noon, and will continue all day (based on availability).

Battery Park is continuing their run of tap takeovers by inviting Pictou County’s two most prominent breweries to line their wall with beers. Next Thursday, February 21, you’ll find the best offerings from Lyon’s Brook’s Uncle Leo’s and Stellarton’s Backstage Brewing flowing in Dartmouth. Beer will begin flowing at their usual 11:30 AM opening time. Consistent with other takeovers, we suspect it’s fair for you to expect some stone cold classics along with some new and/or limited editions in the house. Keep an eye on social media for potential hints as to the beers that will be pouring.

In case you find yourself in Vancouver next Friday, February 22, and maybe thirsting for a taste of home, you might be in luck: 2 Crows will be doing a tap takeover presented by UntappedBC at 12 Kings Pub. Brewer Jeremy Taylor and Brewery Coordinator Mitch Gilbert will be in full effect and knowing 2C, they’ll have some favorites as well as some rarities and one offs. The event starts at 6 PM (yes, that’s Pacific time). If you’re not going to be in Vancouver, but have been telling your West Coast peeps about how good you’ve got it on the East side with 2 Crows, you might let them know this is happening so they can see for themselves!

Do you like rare, delicious Belgian beer? Do you live in or around the Moncton area (or are willing to travel for good beer)? If you answered “yes” to these questions, we have some very good news for you – the Tide & Boar is getting a shipment of hard-to-find Belgian beers and they’re holding an event on Saturday, March 2nd for you to try them! They’ll be pouring bottles of Cantillon, De Cam, Drie Fonteinen, and more, and some of these will be extremely limited due to their rareness (including a single bottle of Cantillon Fou Foune); check out the event page for a more thorough listing of what beers will be available. They’ll be offering special flights of four, 3 oz pours, as well; they’re not legally allowed to post prices of the flights or any of the beers, but are encouraging you to message them directly if you’d like to know (hint: bring your wallet). T&B will also be offering a special Belgian-themed food menu for the event. We don’t see these beers around here very often (as in, hardly ever), so if some of these beers are on your lifelong must-try list, you best show up early! They open at 11 am.

Speaking of Tide & Boar, they – along with Halifax’s Stillwell – have been selected yet again to be one of a handful of bars in the world to host Peche Day on Saturday, March 23rd. For the two of you unfamiliar with this event, it’s a celebration of one of Canada’s most-loved beers, Peche Mortel, from Quebec’s Dieu du Ciel! Bars lucky enough to take part will have 6-7 kegs of different variants, as well as the original, of this beer available, and usually offer flights of each to customers for purchase. If you live near either T&B or Stillwell, we highly suggest you drop in on the 23rd to give one, two, or all variants (and the original!) a try.

And a final few mentions before you go:

Tracadie’s Brasseux d’la Côte has two new beers pouring at their brewery, a Brut IPA (quite low at just 4.6% ABV) and Tuba (even lower at 2.6%) a “refreshing, light beer low in alcohol, calories, and gluten.

No Beta brew next week for Good Robot (boo!), due to a staff function causing the brewery to be closed on February 19th. However, they are bringing back Bingo Bronson (hooray!) on the following Thursday; it’s their 6% ABV, 25 IBUs Chocolate Porter (psst… it’s also their highest-rated beer on Untappd out of 160 listed beers, if you’re into that sort of thing).

The Harbour Brewing Co. has released Fred, a 5.6% ABV, 48 IBUs, amber-coloured IPA hopped and dry-hopped entirely with Citra; it features a “big malt body with a hint of sweetness, combined with grapefruit and citrus flavours” from the hops.

Propeller wants us to let you know that they’re bringing back a couple of fan favourites, including XPA (which should be released shortly), and Dark Berry Sour (which is now a spring seasonal release, so will see wider distribution compared to its initial release). And if you’re heading there for their Friday Cask this evening, we can let you know that it’s their Porter, hopped with Simcoe.

Spindrift just released two more beers in the Out of the Hold series, Neat and Peanut Butter Inside. Both are Imperial Stouts that were barrel-aged in French Oak, and they both weigh in at a hefty 10% ABV. No other details at this time, but bottles are now available at the brewery for purchase.

Parrsborro’s Two Islands Brewing just launched two new beers for Love Day, so they should still be available. Drop by the brewery to give Chocolate Porter and Mango Weisse Ale a try.