The Carleton

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

And now, beer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A few things coming up events-wise:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

February 8th, how time flies! More wicked weather in our region this week, and no, we won’t shut up about it until we get consistently above-freezing temperatures. Great news, your friendly neighbourhood brewers haven’t slowed down their releases, with plenty of new and returning favourites available this week, and lots of events to keep you warm. Grab a pint and follow along!

After releasing their Winter Warmer several weeks ago, Saint John’s Loyalist City Brewing is heading in a different direction with their latest beer (and first Lager), Starlight, a German Pilsner. This crisp beer was brewed with a grist made up entirely of German Pilsner malt, and hopped with Hallertau Tradition from local Darlings Island Farm. After being cold-fermented with a Lager yeast strain, the beer was lagered for two months before packaging. The gold-coloured brew has a “grainy-sweet aroma with hints of light honey”, with the hops giving some herbal notes as well. That sweetness and herbal presence comes through in the flavour as well, with a crisp, clean finish. Easy-drinking at 4.5% ABV and 37 IBUs, most of this beer will be available in cans at ANBL stores; there are a few kegs available as well, which will be on tap at the brewery’s unofficial taproom at the BunkHaus Hostel & Cafe.

Newfoundland’s Port Rexton has a new beer from the eponymously named Port Rexton Brewing Company, and though it’s the second iteration of this one, some significant changes to how it’s made should give you extra reason to check it out. Salted & Soured Pale Ale features both tartness due to a souring with Lactobacillus and salinity from an addition of salt from the Newfoundland Salt Company. Belma hops provide some bright berry and tropical fruit notes to this brew with a “sure I’ll have another” ABV of 4.5%. This version of the beer is the result of two brewings, one soured and one not, which were then blended, allowing the team to dial in the balance of tartness, salt and hop character to exactly where they wanted it. Look for it on tap at the brewery and in town this coming weekend and also, as of last evening, at the Port Rexton Retail Shop in St. John’s for growler fills.

Grimross has a new canned beer out this week, brewed in honour of Sara Burns, one of the shooting victims in Fredericton from last August. Burns was an officer with the Fredericton Police; the beer, Grimsby, was named after her horse. It’s an American Pale Ale hopped and dry-hopped with Delta, giving it “a touch of citrus and some grassy notes”. Well-balanced and refreshing, it weighs in at 5.2% ABV and 20 IBUs. The brewery teamed up with Craft Coast Canning and Ginger Design for the release of this beer; all of the proceeds will go towards the Sara Burns Police Memorial Fund, which will fund several initiatives to make the city of Fredericton a safer place to live. While the majority of the beer will be sold in cans, a few kegs will be tapped in the Grimross taproom for pints and growlers. And while you are at the brewery today picking up cans, make a plan to stay for a pint of today’s cask, Pugnacious Porter aged on local wild blackberries. The 20 litre pin will be tapped at 2 PM.

While serving pints from local breweries at their bar, the crew at Sussex Ale Works are continuing to experiment with their own beers, as they’ve got yet another new one on tap right now. English War Bride is a SMaSH beer brewed as in the English style – all Maris Otter for the grist and East Kent Goldings for the hops. Lightly bready and herbal/spicy, it comes in at 6.2% ABV and 38 IBUs. As always, drop by the brewery/taproom at 597B Main Street in Sussex for a taste if you’re nearby.

Back over in Newfoundland, one of the Rock’s newest breweries, Baccalieu Trail, has released a brand new American Pale Ale named Bay Run. Utilizing only late additions and a healthy dry hop of Centennial, Simcoe and Azacca lends a “burst of fresh citrus fruit aroma, with some floral qualities” to complement the “clean, crisp finish” of this 4.9% ABV and 36 IBU beer. It’s on tap right now at the brewery’s location in Bay Roberts… head on over and pick up a growler!

Now that TrailWay’s “Summer IPA”, Good Weather, is long gone (<shakes fist at winter>), they’ve decided to replace it with another seasonal IPA, Stormy Weather. It has one major similarity with it’s cousin, in that it features a large portion of Vic Secret in the hop bill… however, the “supporting” hops are quite different (but secret, so don’t ask us for specifics!). It’s still light-coloured and extremely hazy, of course, but with more “overripe tropical fruit and berries” in the aroma/flavour, as opposed to the citrus characters of Good Weather. You can grab cans/growlers of this 6% ABV IPA when the taproom opens today.

You may recall the Barrel-aged Baltic Porter released by North Shore Nova Scotia’s Tatamagouche Brewing which had matured for 9 months in barrels from Glenora Distillery and was initially released in October of 2017. What you might not know is that there was some beer that remained unbottled and has been cradled in the loving arms of one of those barrels ever since. Thankfully, the folks at Tata didn’t forget about it and they’ve packaged the remainder, which has now been aging for 2 solid years, for your enjoyment. Only available at the brewery store, there’s a two bottle per person limit. With winter still in full force, this big ‘un originally listed at 10% ABV will likely make a very fine sipper on a cold February night. And while we have you, details are out for Tata’s annual Oyster Cloister party and beer release: Next Friday, Feb 15, they will be releasing their oyster stout, and celebrating with live music, oysters (of course!), and tons of special beers at the brewery. This is a ticketed event, so drop by the brewery to pick them up, or grab them via email or phone (902-657-4000).

Not content to bask in the success of their first bottling run (Evolution has damn near sold out a week after release), Niche Brewing in Hanwell, NB, continues to feed the demand for their beers with another new release this week, another entry in their series of one hop Session IPAs. You Had Me At…Galaxy features one of the most popular hops in the business right now, the tropical and passion fruity Australian Galaxy. Featuring a bit of crackery malt character and a medium bitterness, it came in a little higher than previous YHMA editions at 5% ABV, but we don’t expect anyone will complain. Kegs are already on their way to The Joyce Pub, Peppers Pub, Britt’s pub + eatery and Laundromat Expresso Bar, and more will go out as homes are found for them. And those in Moncton should pop by the Growler Station at the ANBL on Vaughan Harvey Blvd to grab pours of their Single Origin Coffee Sweet Stout, and Coalescence, their Sour Milkshake IPA w/grapefruit.

It’s been a little while since we’ve seen a new release from Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing, but they’re giving us both barrels this week with the re-release of a fan-favorite and an all new beer. Oak-aged Sour Motherfucker is their kettle sour aged on tart cherries and aged on oak. Look for a tart character with definite cherry presence along with a slight creaminess and tannic presence from the wood. Last seen with ABVs of 6.4% and 6.8%, this one weighs in quite a bit heavier at 7.5%. Meanwhile, also on the docket is Fruity Motherfucker featuring a co-pitched (i.e., multiple yeast strain) fermentation, a double-dry hop of dank Mosaic and orange-y Citra and a re-fermentation on apricots, mangoes and blood oranges. The result is a 7% ABV beer that will smack you upside the head with tropical fruit, citrus and pithy character. You can find both of these beers available today at noon in all your favorite packages: cans, growlers and pints.

After recently celebrating their annual brewing of their FemmeBot Alpha batch (which we’ll have more details on in the future), Good Robot has settled down in time to fill us in on the details of next week’s releases. In Beta world they’re bringing us Mad Love, a Red Ale brewed with Mary Ann Daye. Other than a description of “easy and smooth”, we don’t have a whole lot to share for this one! Oh, it’s 4.5% ABV and 21 IBUs. As for Thursday’s Alpha, Creature Feature I is making a return. It’s a 6.4% ABV, 46 IBUs NEIPA hopped with Amarillo, Cascade and Citra.

Lunenburg’s new brewery, Shipwright Brewing Company, has another new beer on the taps this week. Lil Dingy ISA is an India Session Ale with a sessionable ABV of 4.5% and a moderate 30 IBU. Light in body as you’d expect for the style, it still packs plenty of flavor thanks to two Southern Hemisphere hop varieties, Ella and Vic Secret, which bring tropical, pine and citrus flavors to the mix on top of a clean malt finish. We don’t have official word on packaging, but we expect you’ll probably be able to have a growler filled, grab a crowler, or enjoy a pint of this one at their taproom or their roommate Grand Banker.

Back again to the rock and St. John’s, where YellowBelly has a new Doppelbock on the go that appears to be known as The Navigator. Describe as “an old school barley sandwich” this one, as is typical for the style, leans heavily to the malt side, with Pilsner, Vienna, Munich and Caramunich bringing bready and sweet flavors and a solid mouthfeel. A bit of Spalter Select rounds out the beer from the hop side of this 7.1% ABV brew. Available on tap for pints at the brewery or the Underbelly or get a growler to go at the Takeaway shop.

Halifax’s Tidehouse Brewing is pouring a whole slew of new and returning favourites in their Tiny Taproom these days, so let’s get you up to speed. Kashmir is a 7.6% ABV Double IPA, marked by a smooth and low bittering from Cashmere hops, with some Hallertau Blanc, on a simple and keeps-out-of-the-way base of 2-Row, Carafoam, Flaked Wheat, and Vienna malts. Tropical fruit and a touch of sweetness, the Th crew are proud of the balance and drinkability of this release. Grab a sample, pint, or growler now.

From restrained to anything but, the Tidehouse crew love to have fun in the brewhouse (a benefit of being small and nimble), and are sure to catch some ire from traditionalists. We say, beer is supposed to be fun, so brew (and drink) what you’d like! Which brings us to Choco-Nilla… This 9.6% ABV beer began life in late December as a high gravity Imperial Stout, to which they added an irresponsible amount of Chips Ahoy chocolate cookies (think 15+ bags), marshmallows, and Fluff in the boil. Additions of vanilla and lactose were also incorporated, lending some residual sweetness to offset the very fermentable baked goods and sugary snacks. The result is a thick, sticky, and complex stout that starts with chocolate and biscuit on the nose and vanilla and more chocolate on the palatte. Choco-nilla is on tap for pints and growlers now.

The fun doesn’t end there, as they’ve got a pair of returning beers in bottles, one available now, and one being released Tuesday. Enigmatic is a bottle-conditioned version of their India Saison (one of their beers at launch), think hybrid of IPA and Belgian Saison. A light malt bill supports a playground for both hops (Ahtanum, Azacca, and Amarillo) and yeast (a Belgian Saison strain), allowing the two to come out and play and shine through. Also returning in bottles is Tidehouse’s ode to Valentine’s Day, The Sex. Featuring a “definitely outlawed in Russia” label, this 11.9% ABV Russian Imperial Stout is fermented on raspberries, and then given an extra bump with the addition of Port. A change in the bittering level of this release counters the residual sweetness from malt and raspberries, helping to keep everything in its place. Look for these bottles to hit the shelf at the Tiny Taproom on Tuesday. A note that all of their bottle releases going forward, of which there are plenty more in the works, will be bottle conditioned, and given the appropriate time to carbonate in the bottle before release.

You will no doubt see some new bright aquamarine cans on the shelf at Propeller Brewing’s Gottingen and Windmill locations today, as well as popping up at the private beer and wine stores in the area. Not a beer, but rather the second in their line of ready-to-drink beverages (the first being their The Perfect Storm Ginger beer and rum blend). Winter Blues is a 7.0% ABV “tiki-style” beverage, a mix of pineapple, lime, and falernum (yup, we had to look it up too!). A mix of star anise, allspice, clove, and toasted almonds, the mix originated in the Caribbean, with a Nova Scotian twist put on it. This RTD is a collaboration with Shane Beehan, an award-winning mixologist working in Halifax. The mix is the first release under the new Windmill Craft Cocktails line, which will see more one-off releases in the coming months.

Mark your calendars for these events coming in the next few weeks:

Next weekend, The Townhouse Pub in Antigonish will be hosting a multi-day tap takeover by Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing. From Friday Feb 15 until Sunday the 17th, they’ll have more than 6 taps (and maybe a couple of casks) of the good stuff pouring, with some special food pairing dishes created to complement.

Details are a bit light at the moment, but circle next Saturday on your calendar, as award-winning Toronto brewery Godspeed will be taking over the taps at Bar Stillwell on Barrington. From noon on February 16th, there will be a dozen taps (plus some cans) a-pouring, with food pairing provided by a pop-up by Sushi Shige next Saturday, February 16th.

The following weekend sees a battle of the heavyweight Halifax brewers Garrison and Propeller, as they go head-to-head at The Carleton in “Chef Dolente’s Craft Draught Showdown”. On February 21st, both breweries are bringing their best beer forward to pair with five courses of food, with Daniel Girard of Garrison and Pat Robichaud of Propeller on hand to talk about their choices. Attendees will vote after each course, with the winning brewery crowned the new champion. The real winners, of course, are those in attendance! Tickets are available online now, for $60 +HST (gratuity included).

Darmouth’s Jamieson’s Irish Pub is holding another of their dual tap takeovers in a couple of weeks, with this one featuring Tatamagouche Brewing and Good Robot. The takeover will take place from February 21st-24th, with each brewery having 8 taps to play with. As always, there’ll be plenty of food and live music to go with the beer! Stay tuned to Jamieson’s social media pages for the full taplist, which should be announced shortly.

February 20-26th is the first ever KV Craft Beer Week, with breweries and restaurants in the Kennebecasis Valley taking part in some sweet events and deals. Bootstrap BrewPub, Hammond River Brewing, and Long Bay Brewery are teaming up with local restaurants Amici Pub, Barrel’s Head, Boaz, Commons Creperie, Peddlers Creek, The Robertson, and Vito’s to offer discounts on beer and food in the region. Check that first link for the deals on pours and pairing throughout the week, and pop-in. The week also features the KV Craft Beer Festival, taking place on February 23rd at the Quispamsis Qplex, with beer pouring from the attendees above, as well as other breweries in the South of New Brunswick. Tickets are $45+HST and available at The Barrels Head, Bootstrap and Long Bay.

Beer fans in North Shore Nova Scotia should be happy to hear that the first annual Antigonish Craft Beer Festival is a go for March 30. Presented in partnership with CACL Antigonish, Legion Branch 59 and Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre, they’ve got 12 breweries lined up to show you the best of the region’s craft beers, including The Townhouse Pub, Half Cocked, Propeller Brewing, 9 Zero 2, Big Spruce, Meander River, Maybee, Garrison Brewing, Sober Island, Upstreet, and Tatamagouche Brewing. The event runs from 6 to 10:30 PM with the first hour reserved for VIP ticket holders. A regular $40 ticket ($35 if you buy soon enough to get early bird pricing) gets you a souvenir glass and 8 beer samples, with additional drink tickets available at $2 each; VIP tickets are $55, and include complimentary food as well as the beer samples. Tickets are on sale right now, and can be purchased online.

And here be your final bits of beer news; have a great (beer-filled) weekend!!

Boxing Rock has a new beer available at their Local Source Market location in Halifax, a beer brewed by their production brewery team from Shelburne as a test drive for their Test Kitchen. Nick and Daniel brewed up Buddy in December as a beer that their buddies would enjoy. A lagered ale, it’s crisp, clean, and eminently drinkable. Don’t sleep on it though, as some of the small batch that was brewed went back to Shelburne.

Flying Boats has a new entry in their Test Pilot series with Test Pilot No. 4 – Lover’s Quarrel IPA. They’ve released this beer before (first time was three years ago), but this is the first time this 6.2% ABV IPA with Mosaic and Galaxy will be available in cans. Check the brewery or your local ANBL store to pick some up.

Heritage Brewing now has cans available of Freezing Spray, their 6.5% ABV American IPA hopped with Chinook, Citra and Ekuanot. You can grab cans at the brewery, or at select NSLC stores in the near future.

If you’re in or around Bedford this weekend, and in the mood for something light and easy-drinking, Off Track Brewing has just released Got Me Drove, a 5.5% ABV, 12 IBUs Cream Ale. Limited supplies with this one-off, so drop by soon if you’d like to give it a try.

Feeling in a chocolate-y mood now that Valentine’s Day is around the corner? Petit-Sault has you covered with their latest beer, La BuckMousse, a 6.5% ABV “Chocolate Mousse Porter”. Dark, rich, and smooth, they added a “generous” amount of cocoa nibs to this brew. It’s available on tap now at the brewery, and at select ANBL growler stations.

Charlottetown’s Upstreet Craft Brewing has a new release out now, a hybrid reminiscent of two of their other popular beers. Rhuby Sour is a 5.0% ABV beer that combines the rhubarb and strawberry fruitiness of Rhuby Social, with the tart acidity of Major Tom. Available in bottles or on tap at the brewery on Allen Street, as well as their Craft Beer Corner location downtown.

We received a wide variety of weather across the region this week, with unseasonal highs, lots of wind and rain, and maybe even a dusting of snow in some places. Welcome to fall in Atlantic Canada! If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes…. and it will probably get worse. Worry not, beer fans, as we have plenty of new beers to keep you going no matter what Mother Nature throws at us. Plus a new brewery in Newfoundland is opening their doors, which is a great reason to take a #Baycation. A reminder that the provincial liquor stores will be closed Sunday for Remembrance Day, and some breweries and bars will be showing their respects by closing or adjusting hours, so be sure to check before you make the trip.

We’ve got great news for beer lovers on/near The Bay, as Baccalieu Trail Brewing in Bay Roberts, NL, is opening their doors this weekend! Open 12 – 11 PM Saturday, drop by their location at 1 CBS Highway (just before the causeway to Spaniard’s Bay) to grab samples, pints, and growlers of four of their beers. Look for their Blonde, ESB, Porter, and New England IPA to be pouring, plus lots of merch to show off your Bay Brewery pride! We hope to have a full Profile on Baccalieu Trail in the very near future, but until then, we’ll have to live vicariously through your pictures, so be sure to tag them and us (@ACBeerBlog) so we can follow along! Congratulations to the entire Baccalieu Trail family!

Out in Harvey, New Brunswick, Think Brewing has a new beer for you to sample, their first in several months. Forest Reflections (named, perhaps, to encourage some contemplative time when outside of the city… or maybe just because it sounds cool!) is an American IPA brewed with 2-row, Flaked Wheat, Oats, and a bit of Munich malt. This beer is all about the late-addition and dry hops, including Amarillo, Centennial, Citra, and a small amount of Galaxy. As you would likely expect when you see those names, this beer has a good amount of juicy, tropical fruit in the aroma and flavour, with a moderate bitterness in the finish. It weighs in at 6.8% ABV, and can be currently found on tap at The Joyce and 540 Kitchen & Bar in Fredericton, Cask and Kettle in Saint John, and the Tide & Boar in Moncton. And who knows, maybe if the beer goes over well (and it should!), maybe we’ll be lucky enough to see it join the other members of the Think bottle line-up!

There’s been lots of activity at a couple of the Gahan House locations in the Maritimes; let’s start off with Gahan Port City, in Saint John. They’ve got two new beers hitting taps at this location, both of which are named pretty straightforward, so you know what you’re getting! Rye IPA is a copper-coloured, dry, Rye IPA that was hopped with Azacca and Mosaic, giving some tropical fruit flavours to complement the touch of spice character from the Rye malt. The bitterness is firm at 52 IBUs, and it clocks in at 5.9% ABV. Next up is Brett Table Beer, an easy-drinking (4.1% ABV, 18 IBUs) brew fermented with “a blend of Brettanomyces strains” from Escarpment Labs. Hopped solely with Mosaic to give “tropical fruit notes of pineapple, guava, and lime”, the beer was modelled after one of the brewer’s favourite beers (we’re going to guess Allagash Little Brett, another low-ABV, Brett beer hopped entirely with Mosaic). Look for both beers to be currently pouring at Port City.

Moving over to PEI, Gahan Charlottetown has not one, not two, but THREE new beers now on tap! The first beer, Maritime Homegrown Lager, was brewed to celebrate the Maritime brewing community. Brewed with Vienna malt from Horton Ridge (NS), Santiam hops from Darlings Island Farm (NB), and water from PEI, the simple recipe yielded a “crisp, drinkable” 4.5% ABV, 23 IBUs Vienna Lager. Second-up is XXL Saison, a collaboration with Rothesay’s Foghorn Brewing. As the name suggest, this is a strong Saison – at 8.3% ABV – which was brewed with 2-row and Wheat malt, with additions of Ultra hops from NB (Darlings Island, again), and honey from PEI. The beer, fermented with a dry Saison strain (BE-134, specifically), has “aromas of fruit and spice, with a mild honey aroma, and a snappy and refreshing dryness”. It finishes moderately bitter to help offset the larger grain bill. While pouring at Gahan Ch’town, it’s also available on tap at Foghorn, and on tap at a few locations in Fredericton, including Gahan Riverside and The Joyce. And last but not least is a New England IPA brewed in honour of longtime Gahan brewer Trent Hayes, who has been with Gahan Charlottetown for 20 years. Trent Hayes’y IPA (get it?) was hopped with Citra and Columbus in the kettle, and dry-hopped heavily with more Citra, and Huell Melon. Wheat and Oats were used in the grist to give a smooth mouthfeel (and up the haziness), going great with with the beer’s “notes of overripe strawberry, honey dew, and navel oranges”. It’s pretty low-ABV (5.1% ABV) for an IPA, with 44 IBUs to provide a bit of bitterness. There’ll also be a limited can run of this one; look for that in the next few weeks.

From one Island to another, let us tell you about the newest release from Sydney’s Breton Brewing. They have just released a winter seasonal beer, the Gingerbread Holiday Ale. Starting with a base of a London ESB, at 5.5% ABV and 35 IBU, with notes of ginger and cinnamon to evoke feelings of winter. The beer is available at the NSLC and brewery as a holiday gift pack, with two beautifully-designed cans and a Breton glass, perfect for gifting or enjoying now with a friend. There are a select few kegs to be distributed in the wild, as well.

With their recent purchase of the Bowl-a-Drome, a long-standing (>50 years) bowling institution in Fredericton, TrailWay has created a new beer intended to be the house brew for their latest acquisition… and prepare yourselves, for it’s not a hoppy style! Candlepin Kolsch is, of course, a Kolsch, a clean, crisp, easy-drinking German style that has been brewed and enjoyed for centuries. TrailWay’s take on the style involves all-German ingredients: German Pilsner malt, Hallertauer Mittelfrüh hops, and a German Ale yeast strain. Since this style of beer is traditionally crystal clear, TrailWay made use of fining agents for the first time, and the result is decidedly-different from what we’re used to seeing from the haze-enamored brewery. Expect “a fantastic sweetness that is balanced by an attenuated fermentation, and a low-but-present hop character”, according to the brewery. It’s an easily-drinkable-in-quantity 4.5% ABV; while it will be available on tap at TW starting today, along with a small amount in cans, this beer will regularly be exclusive to the Drome.

More bottle goodness coming your way today from Tidehouse Brewing in the form of two different barrel-aged-coffee beers, both of which were brewed in collaboration with the fine folks at Low Point Coffee. The base beer is about the same for both brews (think: Brown Ale with Oats, Flaked Barley, Pale Chocolate, Crystal 30 L and Midnight Wheat in the grist, and a bit of lactose in the boil), but the coffee beans have a different origin. Invicta! (6.7% ABV) features Colombia Tolima coffee beans that were aged in Tawny port barrels, giving the beer “tart cherry on the nose, with dark chocolate, subtle peach, and light oak, backed up by dark fruit, tangerine and cranberry, with a hazelnut finish”. Meanwhile, Quetzalcoatl! (7.1% ABV) has Mexico Tapachula Chiapas beans, aged in tequila barrels; expect “black currant and red licorice” in the aroma, “with notes of vanilla, spice, and red apple” on the palate, all with a light-bodied, silky mouthfeel package. Both beers are available by the bottle only (limit of 6/person), starting today at 2 pm. Drink ‘em fresh, to fully experience the coffee!

After a brief hiatus, Good Robot’s Beta Brews are back, with their next entry, Tainted Love, hitting their taproom next Tuesday. Brewed with Carly B, this one is a Black Lager hopped lightly with Hersbrucker (to just 9 IBUs), and fermented with an American Lager yeast strain. In true Beta Brew fashion, the experimentation continued, this time in the form of additions of vanilla and ginger. Just 4.5% ABV, as always you’ll have to swing by the GR taproom to give it a taste. And a couple of days later, kegs of El Espinazo del Diablo will officially be out and about, at GR and local tap accounts.

Boxing Rock in Shelburne is releasing a special Double Bill gift pack this year, the continuation of their Fisticuffs Series. The first in the series was a barrel-aged Barleywine, released back in March 2018. This time around, they have two big beers that will be available at the brewery, their Local Source Market retail location, as well as select NSLC stores around the province. The first is Chardonnay Barrel Aged Barley Wine, weighing in at 11.0% ABV, which began life as an English Barleywine, before spending several months in an oak Chardonnay wine barrel, enhancing the malt character with notes of dark fruits like plum, prune, and fig, with hints of vanilla. Post-barrel-aging hopping increases the light fruit notes, which finishes with a soft carbonation. The second is Barrel Aged Tripel, also tipping the scales at 11.0% ABV. A classic Tripel (think light-coloured malt with Noble hops and a fairly clean Belgian yeast), then spent 8 months in oak, bringing out bread and biscuit flavours to play off of the lightly bitter and spicy base beer, as well as more dried stone fruit. The dual gift pack will be available very soon at the brewery, and the individual beers *may* be available as well, but we suggest buying both for a great night in by the fire.

And while we have you, be sure to drop by Dartmouth’s Battery Park next Thursday, November 15th, as Boxing Rock is taking over the taps with 12+ taps of core beers, brand new releases, special cellared kegs, and much more! The event kicks off at 11:30 AM, and the Boxing Rock crew will be on hand to chat beer, and will have merch to share.

Coming soon to Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, is Landwash, a brewery with a strong pedigree. Co-owners Chris Conway and Christina Coady were the founding brewers at Folly Brewing in Toronto. The third piece of the ownership and development puzzle is Jennifer Defreyne, a engineer with 20 years of project management experience. They’re building a 15 bbl system with PEI’s DME Brewing Solutions that is expected to produce 1,000 hL per year. While they’ve got the brewing side of the operation sorted, at least for now, they’re looking for some folks to fill taproom and retail positions. Beer knowledge and a love for beer are key, as is previous experience in serving and hospitality. As they’re hopefully opening by early December, you’ll want to get your boogie on the application process if you’re interested. Resumes should be emailed to info@landwashbrewery.com. And if you’re not looking for work but are interested in learning more about Landwash, we’re working to have a profile of the brewery in the coming weeks.

As is so often the case in our region and many others, the changing of the seasons tends to bring a change in seasonal offerings from breweries. And although the old saying that “people like dark/heavy/higher alcohol beers more in the winter than the summer” is fading in its influence – Barleywine is for life, not just for Christmas – some seasonal habits are hard to break and, frankly, if your drinking public is used to a beer coming out at a particular time of year, why not play into that expectation sometimes? So it is with Propeller’s Coffee Porter. Using specialty malts for a deep color and Java Blend Fog Burner coffee for an extra kick of flavor, it also features hints of dark chocolate and roasted malt along with a smooth finish. Look for it both in 650 mL bottles at the brewery and NSLC and for pints and growler fills in the Tasting Room on Gottingen Street in Halifax. And if you didn’t get enough of their Pumpkin this year before it disappeared from store shelves, fear not, you’ve got one more chance. A single keg was kept on reserve at the brewery and will go on tap this afternoon for pints and flights only (no growler fills). They’re saying for the weekend, but if you’re into it we wouldn’t wait until Sunday.

Bridgewater’s FirkinStein has a couple of new beers to wet your whistle, both of them variations on a the cream ale style. The first is Door Hinge Cream Ale a 6.8% ABV beer with lactose for some sweetness and (maybe) some orange flavor (say the name quickly). The other, tipping the scales at 7.6% ABV they’re calling Firk-a-Peel Lemon Lime Cream Ale and it features, of course, notes of lemon and lime. These are brewery-only specialties, but it’s an awfully pretty time of year to drive in our region, so now you’ve got two reasons to take a drive to the South Shore.

Local homebrew supplier BrewHQ has decided to make a foray into the ultra-lucrative beer podcast game with their Pitch & Prime Podcast. Don’t worry, though, they’re not competing with your 902BrewCast boyz (and really, who could compete with those be[e/a]rdos?); this one is a podcast targeted at homebrewers or folks who think they might like to become homebrewers. Their first episode, in which they talked to some local pros about their beginnings brewing at home, was released this week and timed to coincide with Learn to Homebrew Day. And speaking of 902BrewCast, you can also check out their latest episode with Grand Monk Artisan Ales (formerly known as Bore City Brewing), the first of their 5-brewery New Brunswick Road Trip of DEWM.

Here’s some beery events you might want to think about taking part in over the next couple of weeks:

We’ve already told you what to drink at Gahan Charlottetown above, but if you need another excuse to get out and try the new beers flowing, consider attending the award ceremony for the Maritime Home Brew Challenge Saturday. Brewers from across the Maritimes submitted their best beers to try and take home the title of Best Beer around, with their beer being packaged for retail distribution, and their piece of the cash and brewing prizes. Starting at 2:30 PM, the awards will be handed out at the Gahan Pub, so all homebrewers who entered, plus fans of good beer (so let’s call it an open invitation!) are welcome to celebrate the homebrewing community, as it is success there that drives many folks to turn pro. And for those homebrewers who want to start the celebration earlier, PEI Brewing is hosting a Beer & Munchies With The Brewers event tonight at 96 Kensington Road: from 6 – 8 PM, grab a beer and some snacks, tour the brewing facilities, and chat with the PEIBC Brew Crew to learn all of their secrets.

Kentville’s Maritime Express Cider is celebrating their Grand Opening next weekend, Saturday November 17th. From 8 PM, they will be celebrating with live music, small bites and appetizers, and of course cider (plus some guest beer taps). In fact, the entire Railway Hotel complex is celebrating an Open House, so you can also throw some axes next door at HaliMac and check out the Phantom Effects workshop. You don’t need to wait that long to enjoy Maritime Express’ newest release, however, as their Roundhouse Rhubarb is flowing now. Using a blend of Annapolis Valley apples, and fresh-pressed Organic rhubarb, this 4.5% ABV cider is clean and tart, with light fruit aroma and flavour. Pop in for a sample, glass, or take home a bottle today!

November 17th is an important day on PEI as well, as it marks the One Year of Beer at Copper Bottom Brewing. Head out to Montague for a full-day party, complete with live music, a food truck, tarot card reading, and of course, beer! They will be launching two brand new ones that day, which we hope to tell you about next week. Check out the link above for more details.

Back in July, The Carleton on Argyle Street in Halifax hosted their first Craft Draught Showdown featuring beers from Garrison and Upstreet paired by the brewers with special dishes out of the kitchen. That one sold out and went so well that they’ve decided to do it again! Coming on November 21st is the second of these events, this time pitting Dartmouth’s Nine Locks against the returning Upstreet. Once again Chef Michael Dolente is bringing some exclusive edibles and once again the brewmasters, Jake Saunders and Michael Hogan, have been tasked with pairing their wares. Five courses, two 4 oz pours each is $60 per person (tip included), with both the brewers and the chef on hand to provide information about the food, the beer, and the pairings. Space is limited, so check out the event page on Facebook for information on how to get a seat.

A few last quick mentions before we return you to your regularly scheduled Friday afternoon:

Tanner & Co Brewing in Chester Basin, NS, has a new beer for all the visitors who have been asking for an IPA to quench their thirst. From the brewery, “A light, malty base, lots of hop character from the Citra, Simcoe, Centennial & Nelson Sauvin used at various stages”. Drop by the brewery this weekend to grab a taste and a growler!

Port Rexton has brought back a crowd favorite this week; their Blue Steel, a Lactobacillus-soured kettle sour with orange peel will be available at the brewery and the retail shop in St. John’s this weekend. At 4.7% ABV it’s well-balanced and fairly sessionable (and ridiculously good looking), with a light lemonade tartness and a zesty orange character.

Unfiltered Brewing in Halifax has two favorites returning to the taps this weekend, both pouring today from noon. Riddle of Steel IPA (7% ABV) has a NASH-ian tonne of dank Simcoe and Mosaic hops to make your lupulin-loving tastebuds happy. And their Flat Black Jesus American Stout (7% ABV) has risen once again as well. You know what, you know where, you know how.