Stillwell Beer Bar

All posts tagged Stillwell Beer Bar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just a couple more before you head out for lunch…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Spring Everyone! Now we just need to tell Mother Nature that! But it will be nice to see the snow eventually receding so that you have a big more time to dodge the potholes. A handful of new beers and events this week, so grab that coffee, or coffee stout, and get up to speed on the beer news. As always, if you have beer info you’d like us to share, please don’t hesitate to send it along! We’re always happy to spread the word about the great beer in our region.

News concerning collaboration beers brewed for International Women’s Day keeps trickling in; this week, we can fill you in on the one released by Petit-Sault and Big Tide. Brewed at the Petit-Sault brewery in Edmundston, Brighid is an 8.8% abv “Strawberry Brut IPA”. Hopped with Mosaic and Lemondrop, enzymes were added to help the beer dry out as much as possible, as is typical for the Brut IPA style. During fermentation, strawberry puree was added (to the tune of 300 lbs), giving the beer a hazy, pinkish hue. Tropical, juicy, and super-dry (as expected), it’s currently available on tap only, at both breweries. Look for 750 mL bottles to appear at both locations next week, as well.

One of New Brunswick’s newest breweries (for a little while longer, anyway), Hampton Brewing, dropped a new beer release in time for St. Patrick’s Day last weekend. Ol’Marley is a Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, brewed with a mixture of Roasted Barley and Chocolate malts to impart plenty of roasted, coffee-like character in the aroma and flavour. The beer also features the addition of rum-soaked, organic cacao nibs, adding even more chocolatey goodness to the finished product. Weighing in at 5.5% ABV and 32 IBUs, it has a medium body and moderate bitterness in the finish. Look for it on tap at your favourite Hampton Brewing account.

Let’s move back to Brut IPA territory; specifically to Smiths Cove, NS, where Lazy Bear Brewing has released their very own. Simply named Brut IPA, it was dry-hopped with Ariana, Callista, and El Dorado; we’re going to assume no hops were added during the boil, as the brewery lists the IBUs as “very low to none”. The beer comes in at 7% ABV and finishes very dry (again, thanks in part to the addition of enzymes); it’s available on tap at the brewery during the Thursday Growler Evenings and the Annapolis Royal Farmers Market, with kegs possibly being sent elsewhere soon.

Hanwell, New Brunswick’s Niche Brewing has a new beer out this week that hopefully will put you in mind of warmer days to come. A grisette, In Limbo was brewed with primarily Pilsner malt, with plenty of spelt and both flaked and malted wheat rounding out the grist, and it was hopped lightly with classic noble Saaz before being fermented with Niche’s house culture. The result is a beer with a light body and a pleasant lemon presence that’s definitely on the funkier side of the style, but which certainly doesn’t bash you over the head with yeast character. Easy-drinking and refreshing, at 4.2% ABV you can have a few and without worrying you might dart out in front of an oxcart during the festival of the vernal equinox! Look for it at Niche tap accounts around NB and, if the folks in Halifax are lucky again, maybe some will come to that city as well.

We warned you a month ago to keep your eyes out for a beer featuring carrots, and sure enough, it has come to pass as those crazy kids at Boxing Rock in Shelburne, NS, have pushed the boundaries yet again with 14 Carrot Gold. This beer is a collaboration with Square Roots, a brand that encompasses a pair of projects under the aegis of Enactus SMU that aim to help reduce food waste and eliminate food insecurity in our communities. One way to address the former is to find uses for the less pretty produce that might not be sold if it were put on the shelf. So this beer isn’t just full of carrots, it’s full of ugly carrots, carrots that might roll a rabbit in a dark alley, carrots that you wouldn’t bring home to meet your Mom, but carrots that taste just fine. The juice of these carrots was added to the mash, joining a grist that included some honey malt to encourage some balancing malt sweetness. Into the kettle the wort went, to be hopped up (sorry*) with Calypso, Magnum, and Hallertauer Mittelfruh. The overall result is a clean and refreshing rather orange pale ale that is herbal and slightly spicy, but which also definitely tastes of carrots. You can find it already in 650 mL bottles at the brewery, Boxing Rock Bottle Shop at Local Source and private liquor stores in Halifax, and it will also be on the shelves at NSLC locations starting April 1st. Maybe grab an extra to put out for the Easter Bunny to enjoy? And speaking of the bottle shop, thanks to the associated Test Kitchen, they’ve also got a brand new one on the taps: FLEX IPA clocks in at a hefty 7.3% ABV and sports plenty of Falconer’s Flight, Centennial, and Simcoe hops. Stop by to grab a growler if you’re in the North End.

* totally not sorry

Spindrift Brewing has their latest entry in their Out of the Hold series bottled and available for sale, FIKA. This one is a 10% ABV Imperial Stout that was fermented in stainless, and then transferred to a French oak barrel for months of aging. Once it was ready to be packaged (in 500 mL bottles), the beer was infused with espresso beans, vanilla, and cardamom (in essence, now making it an Imperial Coffee Stout). Wondering about the beer’s name? Well, “fika” is apparently the Swedish word for “coffee break”, and the espresso beans were bought from IKEA (which we’re sure we do not have to explain to you what that is). You can pick up your bottles at the brewery’s taproom right now; check out the HRM’s private liquor stores in the near future as well. Note that this beer was brewed with lactose, just in case you’re intolerant of such things!

Halifax’s Garrison brewed up a special collaboration with the staff of Agricola Street Brasserie that made its debut last week at their beer dinner at that restaurant. How Dairy?! is a one off draft-only release available for now at the brewery for samples, pints, and growler fills, although it’s expected to be sent out to a few tap accounts as well. A stout weighing in at 4.7% ABV, it was built on pale ale and Munich malts, with oats, crystal malt and roasted barley rounding out the grist. Hopped to 32 IBU with Millennium, it also contains lactose, which very well might take it into the sweet stout or milk stout category. You can make that determination for yourself if you head down and give this smooth and full-bodied beer with notes of coffee and chocolate a try.

Bryan Carver, certified Cicerone, former Brewmaster at PEIBC, and former employee in the technical services department at DME Brewing, will be opening his own brewery – Modern Brewer’s Village Green – in Cornwall, PEI, this summer. Located at 1 Cornwall Rd, the building currently houses a dentist’s office which is relocating at the end of this month. While his equipment has not been ordered yet, as he’s waiting for the building to be rezoned, Carver plans to brew on a 2 bbl (240 L) system, to concentrate primarily on serving the 25-seat taproom. Locals can expect to try beers that they may not have tried before, as Carver plans to focus on styles that may not be easily-accessible to the area. We will have much more with Carver on Village Green as the project progresses.

We’ve got a few events to tell you about this week, definitely worth leaving the March Madness behind for a few hours, we reckon!

We mentioned it a few weeks ago, but here’s your reminder that this year’s Péché Day will be happening tomorrow and folks in our region are lucky enough to have two options available: Stillwell in Halifax and Tide & Boar in Moncton. Péché Day celebrates Péché Mortel, a Imperial Coffee Stout from Dieu du Ciel! that continues to be one of the finest beers in the country year after year. There will be seven variants on offer this year, all boasting an ABV of 9.5%:

  • Péché Mortel – the original
  • Péché Mortel Bourbon 2018 and 2019 – two different vintages aged in bourbon barrels
  • Péché Mortel Cerise – brewed with cherries
  • Péché Mortel Coconut – matured on toasted coconut
  • Péché Mortel Islay 2019 – aged in Islay Scotch barrels
  • Péché Mortel Moka – brewed with cacao

If you’re at all a fan of big, dark boozy beers, especially those featuring wood aging or other additions, you might want to find a way to check it out. You might also want to strongly consider 5 oz tasting glasses if you want to run to try them all!!

Last week we gave you the full rundown on the Flavabot: Rake ‘n Scrape event being thrown down on Sunday by the Lime Stone Group at Good Robot in Halifax, but we thought it prudent to give you a little reminder that there will be four brand new beers available, all with a Caribbean influence:

  • Rake ‘n Scrape – 6.9% ABV Tropical IIPA with mangoes & pomegranate, 70 IBU
  • Blackbeard’s Amber Ale – 4.5% ABV, Blackberry Amber Ale, 30 IBU
  • Pineapples & Coconut … Bro – 5.6% ABV, Pina colada Wheat Ale, 27 IBU
  • Passion Bliss – 5.5% ABV, Passion fruit Pale Ale, 50 IBU

Brunch starts at 10 AM but the party goes ALL DAY. That said, only the Rake ‘n Scrape is a full-size Alpha batch, so if you want to increase your chances of tasting the other three best get there early.

Digby’s Roof Hound Brewing is celebrating the release of a brand new beer Sunday, a collaboration with the Hopped Up Gaming East (HUGE) podcast. Button Masher is a 7.0% Cherry IPA, featuring loads of Citra hops for a hazy, aromatic and bitter IPA, that was then “juiced up” with black cherries. Keeping with the mutual love of video games and beer, the teammates will be launching the beer at the Board Room Cafe on Barrington Street in Halifax. From 7 – 9 PM, there will be Video Game Trivia, with the beer pouring all evening. Drop by to grab the first pints and take part in the fun, and then look for it on tap around Halifax, with bottles of Button Masher coming next week.

Next Saturday, March 30, White Hills Resort in Clarenville, NL, will be celebrating BrewSKI 2019! With Beer Yoga kicking off the day at 10 AM, to a fun ski & snowboard race at 12 PM, to the BrewSKI Craft Beer Fest starting at 7 PM, there is a whole day of fun to be had on the ski hills. The evening’s festival will feature beer from 8 Newfoundland breweries and cideries: Baccalieu Trail Brewing Co (Conception Bay), Bootleg Brewery (Corner Brook), Landwash Brewery (Mt Pearl), Port Rexton Brewing Co (Port Rexton), Quidi Vidi Brewery (Quidi Vidi), Split Rock Brewery (Twillingate), YellowBelly Brewery (St. John’s), plus the Newfoundland Cider Company (Milton). There will be live music by 3 Shades of Grey and The Dimaggios, and food from Oh My Cheeses. Tickets for the day’s events are available now, grab them and find your best retro snowsuit to fit right in with the crowd.

Just a few more notes to pass along this week!

We mentioned it briefly in yesterday’s post with His Excellency Pavel Hrnčíř, the Czech Republic’s Ambassador to Canada, but wanted to remind you that the 902 BrewCast has dropped their March Tasting Episode today, and it covers all things Fredericton Craft Beer Festival. In addition to that interview, they spoke with Geaghan Brothers, Holy Whale, and O’Creek Brewing. Listen in!

Mount Pearl’s Landwash Brewery has brought back their Brackish, a 4.8% ABV Sour Ale that features Newfoundland Sea Salt, their take on a German Gose. With draught, growlers, and cans available at the brewery now, we suggest popping by to grab some. And to celebrate its return, the folks at Landwash have a couple of fun things on the go. They actually brewed a second full-sized batch, and added mango puree to it, and so Mango Brackish is pouring (and available to go in growlers) at the brewery now. And, also, too, they’ve cask conditioned 20 litres of the unfruited Brackish, and swapped out the standard sea salt for Newfoundland Salt Company’s Juniper Smoked Salt, for a floral and herbal cousin of the original. This one is in short supply (and we’re not even positive it’s still available!), so if that sounds like something you’d like, be sure to pop by the brewery today when they open at 4 PM.

Propeller Brewing has brought back a favourite from the fall, their Galaxy IPA. This 6.5% hoppy, hazy, and juicy IPA feature a ton of the great Aussie hop Galaxy added in the kettle and fermenter, for tropical, citrus, and stonefruit character. Back now on tap and in cans, with four-packs available at the NSLC for the first time next week.

Unfiltered is bringing back their Fist of God DIPA again, a “fruity, tropical, soft, and delicious” 7.5% ABV hop bomb. Available today at the brewery in pints, growlers, and cans. So is their Citra bomb DOA which came back last week. If you love some hops, you know where to go.

In a case of a community doing the right thing, the Town of Wolfville agreed Tuesday to amend their Land Use Bylaws and Municipal Planning Strategy to explicitly allow breweries to operate and sell beer off-site. This is great news for Church Brewing, who continue construction of their on-premise brewery at 329 Main Street in the town, to complement the already thriving restaurant. If struck down, it would have severely handcuffed them from the start, and had the unintended consequence of hurting other craft alcohol producers in the same zone, including Annapolis Cider Company, Bad Apple Brewhouse, and Paddy’s Pub.