The Auction House

All posts tagged The Auction House

Okay folks, this will be your COVID-19 joke-free zone for the day, we promise not to make any below. What we will say on the subject is that some breweries are adjusting their growler policies during this time, to reduce the chance of infection of employees and patrons alike, so don’t be surprised by those when you go in looking for a fill this afternoon (some are halting completely, others will only be doing exchanges, both of which we think are smart moves). And with some members of the public going a little over the top in hoarding and needless self-isolation, this could be a trying time for your favourite brewery taproom (not to mention local bars and restaurants), so do continue to support them how/when it makes sense. Perhaps now’s the time to buy yourself or a pal a giftcard for later use? Or take advantage of those breweries that offer online shopping? Here’s what caught our eyes this week, and worth checking out!

After a quick glance through all the info we have for this week, it looks like there’s a lot of hazy-and-hoppy releases, so let’s start off with Big Spruce, because why not? They’ve just released Shrediquette, a 7.6% abv NEIPA hopped entirely with experimental hop HBC-692. There’s quite a few aroma and flavour descriptors for this variety floating around the internet (such as grapefruit, stone fruit, floral, woody, pine, and cream), but Big Spruce is describing this beer as extremely orange-y, with “a subtle, pithy bitterness lingering behind”. Guess you’ll have to taste it and make your own decisions! Look for it at the brewery, or your favourite BS tap accounts, including Auction House, Battery Park, HopYard, and Stillwell in HRM.

Continuing on with hops over in Newfoundland, where Twillingate’s Split Rock Brewing has a Double IPA pouring, Sample Port. Hopped with extremely-high amounts of Amarillo and Chinook throughout the boil, it was dry-hopped with more of the same, plus Mosaic. Medium-bodied and dry, with a hefty bitterness thanks to hefty use of hops (think West Coast style and proud of it), this 7.8% ABV brew got its name from its popularity with the brewing staff, who enjoyed the beer so much that they continued to return to the tank’s sample port for repeated samples. Still on tap at the brewery (until staff gets off for the day!), it is also pouring at Gander Airport’s Union East & Drinks (who are doing a great job showcasing taps from a great variety of the province’s breweries), and should be making an appearance at a couple of the better beer bars in St. John’s before too long. And back after a brief hiatus, and sporting their new house English yeast strain, is ABBA (aka Alli’s Big Brown Ale), their 5.6% ABV Brown Ale. Available at the brewery as well, those of you in St. John’s may have had a chance to try it at the Guv’nor Pub this past week.

Let’s take a break from hops for a moment, but stay on the Rock, East to Quidi Vidi Brewery. Delving into darker territory this week, QV has three of them out in time for next week’s St. Paddy’s Day celebrations. Let’s start light with their Dry Irish Stout. At 4.2% ABV, this beer is brimming with character from the Midnight Wheat, Pale Chocolate and Roasted Barley, complementing the base malts with notes of roast, coffee, and chocolate, with just a touch of balancing bitterness. A medium-light body with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel, and a light finish. At the other end of the spectrum is their Russian Imperial Stout, a 10% ABV brute of a beer featuring many of the same dark and roast malts as its little brother, but amped up. Aromatics of dark roast coffee, and sweet dates from the esters and a touch of alcohol, follow to a full, smooth, mouthfeel with more coffee and chocolate on the tongue. And finally, they’ve got the Imperial Coconut Porter, a 9.0% ABV beer with, you guessed it, toasted coconut added to the brew, in addition to cacao nibs for extra chocolatey goodness, as well as vanilla for a touch of sweetness. Chocolate and Pale Chocolate malts colour and flavour the brew, giving the very dark brown beer a lovely beige head, with notes of toast and nuttiness to complement the adjuncts. All three beers are available on draught in the taproom and in cans in the QV Hops Shop now, and keep your eyes open for them on the shelves of select NLCs in your ‘hood.

With their full Tap Takeover at Stillwell happening tomorrow, Tatamagouche Brewing are bringing more beauties than you can shake a stick at, including four new releases on the taps.

  • Eventide, that midway point between day and evening, is also the name of their latest lager, an amber-coloured 4.6% ABV Vienna Lager. With notes of bread and toast on the nose, and following through to the palate with touches of apricot, Eventide is a showcase of the malt variety from Vienna, rich in character but still manages to finish dry, without too much sweetness. Hops take a back seat in this brew, and the lager yeast keeps the beer crisp and refreshing. On draught now, and in cans very soon.
  • Debuting tomorrow is Tata’s Grisette, a 3.4% ABV “small Saison”, which was carbonated naturally in the keg (and bottles, soon). Dry-hopped with Callista, it features bright and fresh aromatics of mandarin with earthy undertones and light floral notes. This one was kept in Stainless Steel during the process, whereas…
  • Remused is a second take on their Muse Flanders Red-inspired beer released in the Fall. Another batch of the sour Red Ale spent another four months on the same cherries as the initial release. Look for bottles of Remused in the next couple of weeks.
  • And finally, it will also mark the debut of the Stilly X Tata collaboration Staffy Kveik Pale Ale, brewed late last month. Featuring the new and exclusive Samba hop (as well as Huell Melon), this juicy Pale Ale with everyone’s favourite Norwegian Farmhouse yeast, is a lesson in tropical and citrus character in a bright and fresh package. After tomorrow’s debut, look for a wider distro of this one, with a canning run happening next week as well.

And with any takeover, you know that Stillwell goes all out with the food, so look forward to fried clams, haddock tips, smoked mackerel dip, and scallop ceviche on the menu. All day.

Ok, back to hops! We’ll dial it back a bit with Roof Hound, who were looking for a beer with lots of hop presence, but less alcohol than your IPAs and DIPAs. Of course, that means Session IPA, so they created a recipe and named the beer Gimme a Hint. Brewed with both Citra and Mosaic hops, they upped the fruit character even more with an addition of fresh orange zest. But this isn’t your “typical” Session IPA… when we think of the style, something in the range of 3.5-5% ABV usually jumps out. Gimme a Hint comes it at an extremely-low 1% ABV, which we guess is why Roof Hound is actually referring to this beer as a “Micro IPA”. This beer isn’t exactly available yet, but look for it late this month directly at the source (we understand if you’re weirded out that we are giving you advance notice on a beer… we’re a little freaked about it, too).

Hanwell’s Niche Brewing has their latest hoppy beer hitting the taps this week after a debut last weekend. Hop Altered is a hazy NEIPA featuring a grist of 2-row, Golden Promise and Munich malts, with flaked wheat and oats providing the requisite protein component. Plenty of Mosaic and El Dorado hops were used in the kettle, with more of the same plus some Enigma in a very healthy dry hop. The picture is completed by the use of the Foggy London yeast strain from Escarpment Labs. Described as “pretty darn juicy” you can expect some tropical notes, a slight dankness and not too much bitterness on the finish of this 5.2% ABV easy drinker. Look for it first at The Joyce and Peppers Pub but we’re sure it’ll be hitting other Niche tap accounts shortly.

Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing has been tearing it up since they opened, with the taproom full most of the time (y’all are thirsty!). Not to let any slumps sneak up on them, they’re releasing a whopping FOUR new beers this weekend! We’ve got a few light details to share with you now, just to get you in the mood to head there right after work, or maybe tomorrow:

  • Dickie Dee – they’re billing this one as an “Orange Creamsicle Dry-Hopped IPA”, so expect a hoppy, slightly sweet, very orange-flavoured beer. Smooth and creamy, and 6% ABV, it has additions of orange and lactose, and was hopped mostly with Ekuanot. Shoutout for the Eighties kids on that name!
  • Weisse Squad – a German Dunkelweizen (think dark Hefeweizen), the use of Weizen yeast for fermentation has added your typical banana and clove flavours, and the use of some specialty malt helps balance with notes of caramel and toast. Just 4% ABV, so definitely safe to have one or two before responsible activity.
  • Rainy Days – a style along the lines of “je ne sais quoi”, they’re describing this as unique, and “a London Fog recreated in a pale beer”. Lots of lactose and Earl Grey tea were added, and it comes in at 4% ABV; better try this one yourself!
  • Hip Hop – the first in a series, this beer is a double-dry-hopped, hazy New England DIPA; coming in at 8% ABV to keep you firmly in your seat, they hopped this one exclusively with Mosaic. Juicy, juicy, and more juicy, don’t pound back too many of these, despite their easy-drinking nature.

All of these will be on tap at the brewery, naturally. Also a note, Tire Shack will be holding a St. Patrick’s Day party next Tuesday; they’ll be opening early (11 am), with live music by Fundy Ceilidh from 7-9 pm and green beer (yep) pouring throughout the day.

We have the latest details on the newest Something Different entry from Annapolis Cider, which is going to be available today. Arctic Kiwi Perry is a blend of a dry Perry (made from Bosc and Bartlett pears) and juice from locally-harvested arctic kiwis. Not familiar with arctic kiwis? Neither were we, but luckily the fine folks at Annapolis Cider inform us that they are “grape-sized kiwifruit grown in northern climates”. (Wiki article) They taste similar to your typical “normal” kiwi, and in this particular beverage offer pleasant tropical notes, all in a medium-bodied, crisp package. As always, $0.50 from each refill will go towards a local charity; in this case, the Free Spirit Therapeutic Riding Association.

Over on the Island, we’ve got news that the winning beer from this year’s Maritime Homebrew Challenge by Gahan/PEIBC was released this past Sunday on International Women’s Day 2020, perfect timing for winning brewer Chelsea Meisner! The beer itself is a stout with a somewhat untraditional ingredient: Sichuan peppercorns! Known for their ability to leave one’s tongue a little bit tingly (or full-on numb, depending on how much is used), they provide plenty of interest to this rich and full-bodied stout that comes in at 55 IBU and a healthy 7.5% ABV. “Tingles the tongue and warms the soul,” is printed on the can and, we suspect, very fittingly describes the experience. Our congratulations again to Chelsea on her winning beer! You can grab pints and cans of Tingles Sichuan Stout at Gahan and PEIBC, and it should also be available in both formats in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia locations as well.

North End Halifax’s Good Robot has, as always seems to be the case, a couple of things on the go this week. First up, the GR team is trying their collective hand at the hard seltzer game with an Alpha batch of one they’re calling, The Fizz. At 4.7% ABV and no IBUs to speak of, they tried to avoid the “boozy carbonated water” and challenge their brewing skills by making the lightest beer they could, cutting it with some water, and adding lemon, lime and lavender. You can try this low-calorie option at the taproom now!

And meanwhile, in BetaBrew land there’s a “baby beta” coming out this coming BetaBrewsday (Tuesday, March 17th) they’re calling Beerbliotheque. Brewed by Kelly and her longtime friend Amy Lorencz, they leaned into Amy’s librarian vocation (and calling) for this one. A big, rich stout, with notes of dried fruit, there’s also plenty of chocolate character. A bit of a big’un at 7.3% ABV and 26 IBU, it sounds perfect for curling up by the fire on one of our still chilly evenings with a lovely book. We also have a PSA for BetaBrew fans, Kelly has advised us that there will be but one remaining BetaBrew. We’ll definitely try to get the full story on that for you next week, but maybe start planning to make it out for the final edition as soon as we advise you when that will be.

Lastly, Kelly is also the guiding light behind the FemmeBrew Homebrewing Competition for Womxn, Trans, Femme, non-binary and underrepresented brewsters in Nova Scotia, and they’ll be celebrating that this coming Sunday at the taproom starting with a private event for entrants (and their +1s) starting at 4 PM. Winners will be announced after 5 PM and then the doors will open to the general public at 6 PM to celebrate the winners, the entrants, and everyone else involved.

Looks like there’s a couple of new beers pouring at Maybee in Fredericton; well, maybe 1.5 “new” beers? The first one is a lighter take on one of their flagship beers, Work Horse IPA. For those of you who have been longtime drinkers of this classic take on an American IPA (or even those of you who may have been newly introduced to it, now that it’s available in NB’s grocery stores), but would appreciate a lower ABV, they give you Work Horse Light. They say it has the same flavour and hop profile as the original, but “with a cleaner finish and less lingering bitterness”. At 5.5% ABV (and 55 IBUs), it’s a bit easier to enjoy a couple of pints. The other beer – Lakeview Amber – is a true newbie, an American Amber brewed in collaboration with Bangor, Maine’s Geaghan Bros. This isn’t the first collaboration between these two breweries, but this is the first to also include Lakeview Hops (out of Harvey, NB). This easy-drinking Amber was hopped with Magnum to 40 IBUs, giving a “short-lived bitterness” in the finish, after hits of “slight caramel on the nose, with notes of light pine and unripe pineapple”. Weighing in at 5.7% ABV, this beer (and Work Horse Light) can be found on tap now at Maybee; good chance you’ll see both beers pop up at local accounts around Fredericton.

HRM’s Propeller Brewing is continuing to play with packaging cans with nitrogen. This week their stalwart Irish Red Ale became available in nitro cans. If you’re interested but not familiar with beers packaged this way, maybe have a boo at Prop’s social media for information on how to best take advantage of this novel packaging (short form: crack it and dump it into your glass with a quickness, but make sure your glass is big enough for a whole pint!). Nitrogen tends to make beers smoother and “creamier,” which should pair nicely with the malty and earthy notes of the style. Still 5% ABV and 25 IBU as always, look for it in cans and on tap at Propeller locations, and they’ve advised us that a few kegs are also available to taprooms that have nitro capability. We’d also like the opportunity to hint that we think it would be awesome if the next beer they tried this with is their classic ESB

We mentioned back at the end of February that Garrison Brewing was brewing up an all-female developed beer for International Women’s Day 2020 and then failed to remind everyone about it in our post last week (yes, we feel appropriate shame). But we’re hoping to make up for that by reminding you about it now and telling you it’s available at both Garrison taprooms (Seaport and Oxford), as well as private stores in the HRM. A Honey Wheat Ale with honey from Meander River Farm, it’s 5.2% ABV and 25 IBUs, you can safely expect an easy-drinking beer with a doughy character, some melon notes, gentle bitterness, and some honey sweetness. And remember that every can and keg sold means donations toward the Women in Trades bursary with the NSCC (which will be more than $1300 once the batch is sold), so maybe take an opportunity to stock up on a few for a good cause, share them around, and celebrate womxn in the brewing industry!

In addition to the events we already mentioned above, just one more that we found on the calendar this weekend…

Wolfville’s Church Brewing Company is taking over the taps at Halifax’s Boxcar Social Saturday evening. From 5 PM until close, they’ll be pouring their super-refreshing Congregation Pilsner, Sanctuary Enkel (think Belgian Singel), Married to the Sea German Porter, Eight Bells Belgo Pale Ale, The Luxury Belgian Dubbel, as well as the very last keg of their Best Kind Kveik Pale Ale, their collaboration with St. John’s Bannerman Brewing. And because one can never have enough variety, they’ll be rounding out the offerings with cans of Mayflower White IPA, and Til Death Do Us Tart Framboise. To amp up the fun even more, Sun Parka will be playing from 7 PM, so be sure to drop in for a pint or two and stay a spell.

And in not-great, but entirely understandable news, the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia has made the hard decision to cancel the March 21st Nova Scotia Craft Beer Fest. Those who had purchased tickets will receive full refunds. No change to the other events planned in April for #NSCraftBeerMonth, and we’ll have lots more info on those plans in the coming weeks.

As many are aware, it’s a big weekend of beer in New Brunswick, but it’s a bigger weekend for women around the world. International Women’s Day is on Sunday and we’re happy to say that lots of breweries around our region have made an effort to recognize women, usually in the best way they know how: with beer. We truly hope that the celebration of women’s contributions by breweries and beer-related businesses extends past this Sunday and pervades all aspects of our industry. #EachForEqual #IWD2020.

Before we get on to our usual bevy of bevvy news, we’d like to thank everyone who came out for beer trivia at The Joyce last night hosted by our own acbbchris. We’re assured a good time was had by all, and how could it not be with all that great swag donated by so many breweries from around the region; thanks to everyone who sent prizes along for us to distribute, as well as to our gracious hosts The Joyce and 2 Crows.

Now let’s tell you about some beer, shall we?

We’ll kick it off with a beer made for IWD by a brewery started by women: Port Rexton brewed their new Violet Femmes using a very special ingredient that gives it a truly amazing color. Starting with a kettle sour, they added butterfly pea flower. Butterfly pea has bright blue petals that are often used as a natural dye, but the color depends on the pH of the liquid it’s added to. In this case, the acidic nature of the sour beer resulted in a lovely violet hue, perfect for IWD. The beer was then dry-hopped for fruity and floral notes that attempt to capture the taste of the color purple. At 4.6% ABV, you’ll be able to savour more than one as you consider how close they came to that goal. And there’s another good reason to have a couple: $1 from every pint sold (and $0.50 for each half-pint) will be donated to Stella’s Circle and their Naomi Centre, an emergency shelter for women aged 16 – 30 in St. John’s. You’ll also find bins at the taproom and shop if you’d like to make a separate cash donation. This special beer became available yesterday and will be on sale at the taproom and for fills at the PR St. John’s Retail Shop as long as it lasts.

Also brewing up something special for IWD is Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing, who will also be celebrating the occasion with a full slate of events on the evening of March 8th. Tide Breaker is a black currant gose brewed by the women of Upstreet. With a grist of 50% pale and 50% wheat malts, flavored with salt, coriander and hibiscus, it was hopped with Ekuanot and finished with black currant purée. We’ve no doubt that the combination of hibiscus and currant resulted in a rather purple colour. Named for the notion that sometimes you can’t just go with the flow and that, “Redirection can equal balance,” they’ll be donating $1 from every pint sold to Blooming House, a Charlottetown shelter dedicated to keeping women safe. It’ll go on tap at opening (11 AM) on Sunday. The evening will see some remarks from Upstreet and representatives from Blooming House at 4:45 PM, followed by an hour of open mic (open to anyone and anything), and then Kierrah Celeste + Band will take over for the night at 6 PM.

Those dialed into the global beer scene, or at least the North American beer scene, may remember a bit of a blip a couple years ago when suddenly there were beers appearing that were, for lack of a better term “sparkly.” Glitter beer was definitely a thing, but a thing that managed to almost totally miss our region (as far as we remember, Big Axe’s Northern Lights Glitter Stout was the only one, way back in mid-2017). Some might even say it was a good thing, and that such an adulteration of our sacred (pfft) beverage by a purely cosmetic (hah!) addition is somehow “wrong.” We’re sure those folks are no fun at parties.

Well good news for anyone who feels that they missed the boat on glitter beer never having much of a presence on our shores, as one has finally arrived, and it was brewed at Foghorn by a collection of ladies from across New Brunswick that included brewers, restaurant and bar owners, general managers, and servers, as well as folks from Loyalist City, Uncorked Tours, Craft Coast Canning, and ANBL, specifically for IWD 2020. Sparkölsch is a 5.1% ABV beer in the classic Kölsch style. Brewed with an ale yeast, to 20 IBU and 5.1% ABV, it was cold conditioned not unlike a lager to help encourage a clean and crisp finish. Edible glitter was added at kegging time using the novel technique of adding it to the sight glass on the way to the keg. Most of the batch went into kegs that will be tapped in various locations across the province, but a small amount was packaged into 60 bottles that was available at Red Rover Cider in Fredericton (sorry folks, they sold out!). In addition to the camaraderie of women coming together and making something unique and interesting, there is also a significant giving component to the enterprise. A portion of the proceeds from every pint, growler fill and bottle sold of this beer will go to various community organizations that support women. Foghorn’s in particular will go to the United Way as part of their Quarter Club membership, with the funds ultimately going to support mental health research and survivors of domestic violence. But other participants will decide what project they are supporting with their sales of the beer. You’ll be able to get your glitter on this weekend at the below list of venues in the Province, so go forth and get sparkly!

Lunn’s Mill in Lawrencetown, NS is debuting a new release this Saturday, in celebration of their third anniversary. A fairly clean saison with a little bit more of what you’re looking for, Extra Season was brewed back in February when our own acbbchris made a visit to the Annapolis Valley and helped to brew up this collaboration. Starting with a base of Belgian Pale malt, along with a decent percentage of oats for added mouthfeel, and Aromatic, Vienna, CaraVienne/Special B for added complexity. The kettle saw an early addition of Bravo for bittering, and then plenty of lovely Loral added later in the boil, as well as in a subsequent dry-hop (with Azacca as well). At 5.6% ABV, it is floral, fruity, and tropical, with just a touch of funk from the yeast, and finishes nice and dry. You will be able to grab this beer when it debuts tomorrow at noon in their taproom, as well as at March 21st’s Nova Scotia Craft Beer Festival, and spots around HRM (maybe even a cask,eyes peeled everyone!), as well in cans at the end of the month. As if a brand new beer wasn’t enough to get you in the car to Lawrencetown Saturday, the LM crew is throwing a heck of a party! The first 100 people through the door will get a special gift, the kitchen will be rocking all day, a slideshow of the entire history of Lunn’s Mill will be playing in the Boiler Room all day (shots of the wood shop before renos started, growler fills at the garage door, home deliveries, right up to today), and Incoming are playing from 8 PM. Drop by to help them celebrate, have a beer or two, eat a steak taco or two, and rock out!

The gang at Trailway in Fredericton took a step away from their hazy, hoppy standards recently to brew up a rather traditional Berliner Weisse that they’re calling Low Key. Beginning with a grist of 50% German Pilsner malt and 50% wheat malt, it was fermented with a German ale yeast to start, then soured with Lactobacillus. Both kegged and bottled, the bottles were left to condition for six weeks before this week’s release. Inspired by authentic Berliners consumed on a trip to Europe late last year, it’s got a doughy and biscuity malt profile that supports a citric fruitiness. On tap for pints only at the brewery, but no growler fills, it was also packaged into both 500 mL and 750 mL bottles, so you’ll still be able to take some to go. And while at the brewery, pick up cans or fills of the latest batch of their Bliss, their 4.0% ABV India Pale Lager, brewed with Idaho 7 and Amarillo, which will also see wider distro across the province next week.

Two of our smaller Newfoundland breweries recently teamed up to make a special treat for their collective drinking public, Deer Lake’s Rough Waters Brewing Co and Corner Brook’s Bootleg Brew Co. The Real McCoy falls into the “White IPA” style, where a largely wheat-based ale is fermented with Belgian yeast for some light spicy and phenolic character before being dosed with hops, in this case Monroe and Enigma for notes of citrus, melon, and tropical fruit. Coming in at 5.6% ABV, it’s crisp, dry and easy drinking, with not a lot of bitterness, a prime example of old world meeting new world. Look for it at Bootleg for sure on tap and in bottles, but possibly at Rough Waters as well.

Like many folks, Moth Lane Brewing in Ellerslie, PEI, wondered what they could do to help the nearby community of Tyne Valley recover from the devastating fire that destroyed their community rink at the end of 2019. Going with what they know, they decided the answer, as is so often the case, is beer. Enter Rink Rat, a 4.75% ABV and 10 IBU light lager that aims to please. Moth Lane will be donating 100% of the sales of this batch of beer to the initiative to rebuild the sports centre in Tyne Valley. It’s already been delivered to Backwoods Burger, Mill River Resort, 511 West, Ansons, The Silver Fox and Brothers. More kegs are going out, however, including to Charlottetown today. Keep an eye on Moth Lane’s Facebook page to find out where you might grab a pint and support this worthy cause. And if you’re in the Ellerslie area, you can of course grab some at the brewery.

Way down on the South Shore near Yarmouth, Tusket Falls looks like they’re coming out of winter hibernation (or just getting good and ready for NSCBM) with three new canned beers coming out all at once. First up is Peach Mint Sour IPA, a beer that no doubt does what it says on the tin, with Citra and Galaxy hops meeting a kettle sour at 6.5% ABV. Next is Take Me to the Other Side, a Vanilla Milkshake IPA landing at 7.0% ABV also featuring Galaxy, but paired this time with El Dorado. And last, but not least, is Hello, Is Anybody Out There, a 6.0% ABV Hazy IPA with Lotus and Simcoe hops. Good times for hop lovers in Tusket, and, we suspect, the city as well, as TF beers are no stranger to private store shelves in Halifax.

Fredericton’s downtown is getting a bit more beery this weekend! The Capital Complex has re-branded as The Cap, and is adding a small brewery onsite to be able to supplement their support for other local breweries and cideries. The brewhouse is a 3 BBL (~350 litre) system from Stout Tanks, with three fermenters of the same size. The focus will be on beers fit for drinking during one of the many live shows to roll through the different venues under The Cap moniker, or perfect for enjoying on their own in their new Record Store opening in the Capital Bar space next Saturday, and operating daily (except Monday), 11AM until 6PM. The store will also be a place suitable for a day-time hang or laptops-out meeting place while listening to tunes. Once completely up and running in the next few months, the brewery, headed by local homebrewing collective “Tough Guy Brewing” (Ian Demerchant, Steven Christie and Mark Budd), will be supplying two taps in each of the Capital Bar and Phoenix and Wilser’s rooms. However, no need to wait to enjoy their first release, brewed as a collaboration at nearby pals Graystone Brewing. Collaborate and Listen Citra Pale Ale is a 5.0% ABV American Pale Ale, brewed almost exclusively with Citra, and light and refreshing to enjoy now or on the patio once those are a thing again. In addition to launching today at all three venues in The Cap, they’ll be pouring it this weekend at the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival.

Tourism Fredericton has a brand new initiative to get folks out and about drinking good beer and cider made in the city, launching the Fredericton Taproom Trail. Pop by any of the participating spots to get your passport stamped, and win some prizes, and the affection of others, with every stop! Gahan House Riverside, Graystone Brewing, Grimross Brewing, RustiCo.& King West Brewing, Mama’s Brew Pub, Maybee Brew, Picaroons Brewing, Red Rover Cider, The Cap, TrailWay Brewing, and York County Cider.

Tatamagouche is definitely staying busy these days; they’re coming to the city for two events coming up this week. Plus another event you’ll want to attend later this month…

First up, coming on Wednesday, March 11th, at 6:30 PM, is the latest in the Agricola Street Brasserie’s Intimate and Interactive Beer Pairing Dinner series. The 5-course food menu planned by chef Dwayne MacLeod and his team has already been posted up on Instagram, and you can rest assured that the Tata team has been working hard to complement these dishes with suitable pairings from their oeuvre of tasty beers. Tickets are $100 per person, including all fees, taxes, and gratuity, and they can be purchased on-line through Eventbrite. A limited number are available, though, so if you like the looks of that menu or love Tata’s beers, or both, and you’re looking for something delicious to do on Wednesday night in Halifax, maybe grab a ticket or two and head down.

And three days later, on Saturday, March 14th, the Tata gang will be taking over the taps at Stillwell on Barrington, with 12 taps pouring their best draught, 3 casks on the go, and the debut of the collaboration beer brewed by Stillwell staff at (and with!) Tata a little while ago. Don’t be surprised if you see re-releases of some of their longer term cellared offerings available in that mix. Joe Martin will also have some special things coming out of the kitchen specifically for that day. Come out and celebrate with Team Tata and Team Stillwell and drink some fine beers with some great people!

We are just two weeks away from the Nova Scotia Craft Beer Festival, which serves as the kick-off to Nova Scotia Craft Beer Month in April. The March 21st event will feature more than 40 breweries from across the province, showcasing the latest and greatest from CBANS members. There are two sessions that day, 2 – 4:30 PM and 7 – 9:30 PM, with VIP tickets getting you in an hour early. While only standard tickets remain for both sessions, you’re sure to still have a great time drinking your way from Yarmouth to Sydney,and Amherst to Sheet Harbour, all in one day. We’ll update on the events during NSCB Month as they become available, but we can tell you to mark your calendar for Friday, April 3rd at 7 PM, as we’ll be hosting a Trivia Night at Auction House, which will also serve as the release party for a collaboration brew that saw Propeller host Off Track and Spindrift in their Dartmouth brewery.

As if we haven’t already inundated you with new beers, here are a bunch more to round out your day!

If you like your cider with a bit of beer bite (i.e. you like Snakebite, a mixture of beer and cider), ChainYard has just the ticket with King Crimson Cobra Commander. They blended a cider made with Crimson King apples with North Brewing’s Malternate Reality, kicking off a new fermentation. The result is “tart, funky, and refreshing”, and is only available on tap at ChainYard, for a limited time.

Heritage Brewing has a new brew for your Yarmouth beer needs: El Dorado IPA is a 5% ABV Session IPA brewed with a simple malt bill, and hopped to 40 IBUs (and dry-hopped heavily) with the lovely El Dorado variety, giving plenty of tropical fruit character. 

Iron Rock Brewing has something new to help you cool down after your long trek across Labrador, a refreshing Wheat Ale named Checkpoint 19. Fermented with the Norwegian Voss Kveik yeast, it’s “slightly spicy with notes of citrus on the nose”, and is available for pints only at the brewery.

O’Creek Brewing has launched their latest fruited kettle sour, Berry Mango Sour (5% ABV). Soured with Lactobacillus and fruited with mango, raspberry, and blueberry, the lion’s share of kegs are currently pouring at the Pump House Fill Station in Moncton. And keep your eyes peeled for their Route 117 IPA being released in cans for the first time later this month!

Picaroons has a brand new NEIPA hitting their taps this weekend. North of the Border (7% ABV), hopped with a large amount of El Dorado and a little Cascade, is hazy, juicy, and citrusy, and will be available first at the General Store; look for it to follow at the Roundhouse, shortly.

Sussex Ale Works is taking a crack at the salty, tart Gose style with their latest, Gose Before Bros (so do you pronounce the Gose part incorrectly, or Bros?). Brewed in the traditional style with a blend of Pilsner and Wheat malt, it was kettle-soured with Lactobacillus, hopped very lightly with Perle, and features additions of sea salt and coriander. 

Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing would like folks to know that their very popular Citra-inundated DOA is back in cans and on the shelves (also available for fills and pints) as of noon today. Meanwhile they’ve also hinted on social media at the debut of an all-new Nash SMaSH beer coming out in the next little while; we’ll be sure to let you know when that happens. For now, if you’re a fan of the DOA we recommend you don’t wait as this one has a tendency to disappear pretty quickly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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