The Carleton

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Oh hey, it’s us, and we’re really late today. We recommend you demand a full refund!! There’s going to be weather this weekend. What kind? We don’t know. But we have beer news, so read on.

The town of Port Rexton will once again be full of mirth and cheer this weekend as they celebrate Port Rexton Pride Festival, building awareness, support, and education around LGBTQ+ issues in Port Rexton and the local region. With a Pride-themed Trivia kicking off the fun last night, the rest of the weekend is chock full of events at various locations around town (click that link for all of the details). Tonight’s signature event is Queer Anthem Karaoke at Port Rexton Brewing, starting at 8:30PM; rock painting, a local Amazing Race event, and live music in the brewery are on the go Saturday. With such an important event in town, there surely must be a special beer to accompany, right? Well, faithful reader, there surely is! Queer Feeling is a 4.7% ABV Farmhouse Ale fermented with Ebbergarden Kveik from Escarpment Labs. The beer was brewed with the crew from Queer Beer NL, a home brew and beer appreciation group based in St. John’s, who made the trek out to PR last month to help out with the brewday. The beer is on tap at the brewery today, and will be all weekend until it runs out, so it’s best to arrive early, and often, to avoid disappointment! QF joins the 2019 release of Brett Chops, a 100% Brettanomyces-fermented version of their Horse Chops IPA, which has hung out in Bourbon barrels since February 2018. This is a brewery-only release, btw, even more reason to head out to the Bonavista Peninsula this weekend!

Let’s stick to the Rock for the next new beer this week, which is another collaborative effort between a couple of beer powerhouses. The crew from Split Rock in Twillingate invited Landwash of Mount Pearl to come over and play in their brewery last month. More specifically, the Assistant Brewers from both spots took the reins on this project, which was a homecoming of sorts for Lw Assistant Brewer Alex Troke, who began his life in the beer world at Split Rock. He and current Split Rock brewer Ryan went all in for a Brut, known for being dry and effervescent. Rye Not? Brut Ale features Sabro and Simcoe hops, for tropical and tangerine aromatics, with rye malt in the grist bill for light complexity. This 7.0% ABV beer is pouring freely at both the host and visiting brewery this weekend, for pints and samples, and for growlers to go from Split Rock. You’re heading to grab one right now, right? If not, Rye Not??

And one last new release from Newfoundland comes from Conception Bay South, and the taps at 75 Conception Bay Highway, home to Ninepenny Brewing. Keeping those summer vibes alive, they’ve released 10 Bricks Milkshake NEIPA. A grain bill featuring Oats and 2-Row malt, and aided by lactose for a bit of residual sweetness, is the base for tropical and fruit flavours thanks to hops, yeast, and fruits working together for a full-on experience. Ekuanot, Azacca, Galaxy, and Cascade offer some light bitterness and plenty of aroma and taste, which was accentuated by 75 kg of peach puree on the nose, palate, and appearance. Escarpment’s Foggy London keeps it hazy and juicy too. Catch 10 Bricks on tap at the brewery this weekend, and if you’re lucky, it may pop up elsewhere on the peninsula as well.

On the mainland, Tatamagouche Brewing celebrated their Fourth Annual Tap Takeover at Battery Park in Dartmouth yesterday. With 20 beers available, it saw the return of a few seasonals as well as the debut of several more beers. Fingers crossed that some last drips remain for a few hours today (BP opens at 11:30 AM folks!), so let’s get you up to speed… Returning after a several-month hiatus is a fresh batch of Kitty Clyde DIPA, a 7.8% ABV celebration of late hops with big blasts of citrus, peach, and passion fruit (but staying low in bitterness) thanks to Vic Secret and Galaxy, named after a wooden brigantine built in Tatamagouche in 1857. KC is on tap at the brewery now, and cans should be available real, real soon. 

In “totally new, so new there aren’t any bottles just yet” beer news from Tata, the crowd at Battery Park were able to enjoy four new brews on tap that will be released in bottles or cans over the next few months. As of writing, we’re not sure which, if any, of these are still available for on tap in Dartmouth, but since the cat is already out of the bag, let’s get you excited for these upcoming bottles and cans.

  • Toro (11.2% ABV) – Quadrupel (aka, Belgian Dark Strong) fermented in stainless steel before transfer to Bourbon barrels for secondary fermentation with Brettanomyces. Will be available on draught and in 500 mL bottles before the end of September.
  • Rooted (6.6% ABV) – Barrel-aged Saison featuring rye malt in the grist. Will be available on draught and in 750 mL bottles in early October.
  • Muse (6.5% ABV) – Sour Red Ale (think Flanders Red such as Duchesse de Bourgogne), mixed fermentation, aged with cherries. Draught and 500 mL bottles, no timeline for release yet.
  • Foeder One (5.5% ABV) – Pale Saison with a grist of Pilsner and Spelt, aged in a red wine foeder. Will see release on draught and in cans later this year.

Undeterred by Dorian, Big Spruce Brewing in Nyanza has a pair of new beers out this week, available at the brewery, and a few bars around Nova Scotia. The first is Indigo Borealis, a 6.4% ABV Haskap Saison. Taking its name from a pair of Haskap species added to the beer, this Saison pours a light ruby in colour, and features loads of raspberry and blackberry, with highlights of citrus reminiscent of marmalade. A zesty base beer completes the entire package. The second beer now pouring in the taproom these days will help unlock the secret that many of us are chasing in our beer glasses… The Key to Happiness is a 6.6% ABV Key Lime Pie Milkshake IPA, extending the iconic base style of lactose, vanilla, and hazy tropical feels with the addition of key limes for a light citrus bite. The malt bill even boasts some graham cracker notes, harkening back to the dessert that inspired the beer. Grab both Indigo Borealis and The Key to Happiness on draught for pints and fills at the taproom on Yankee Line Rd outside of Baddeck, and at better beer bars in the province this weekend.

At the opposite end of Nova Scotia you’ll find Tusket, which is home to Tusket Falls Brewing. They have recently released a duo of beers at their taproom, one of which will see wider distribution later in the month. This Moment Is is a 5.5% ABV Porter, light on the hops, allowing the complexity of the malt to shine through, with raisin bread and toffee on the nose, followed by chocolate on the palate, in a medium body and roasty finish. This is currently available at the brewery only, but may see wider draught distro soon. And on the other side of the spectrum, we have A Diversion In Life, a 6.2% ABV hoppy, hazy IPA, featuring Simcoe hops. Tropical and earthy dance together with a touch of dank, in this balanced IPA. Also available on tap at the brewery now, look for cans of ADiL to hit the shelves of your local NSLC in the next couple of weeks, perfect for a grab and go as you look to finish your day (or get it off to a fun start!).

Halifax’s Good Robot has found themselves with a bit of a surplus of beer in the brewery this week, so what is there to do but get it out to thirsty post-hurricane Halifax with a quickness? First up on Monday is a fresh new batch of their Goseface Killah, their long-standing German wheat beer with salt and coriander. Slightly tart and quite refreshing (it’s a nice change-up after a bunch of hoppy IPAs, for instance), it comes in at 5% ABV and 11 IBU. Later in the week, probably Thursday, and assuming a tap opens up for it (that’s a challenge to weekday evening drinkers if ever we heard one), is a new beer but not a new beer. The New Original is, to some degree, based on their much-loved Leave Me Blue in the sense that both beers are in the Kentucky Common style. That said, The New Original hews more closely to the style, with a touch more malty sweetness and a hint of vanilla (* no vanilla actually added, we don’t think), but still a dry and crisp finish. Coming in at 4.3% ABV we suspect it will be popular with fans of Leave Me Blue as well as winning some more folks over to a historic pre-Prohibition style.

On the Eastern side of Prince Edward Island is Copper Bottom Brewing who have a new seasonal beer out this week, a Rye IPA (guess 902BrewCast’s Tony Important is making an unscheduled trip to the Island this weekend…). Inspired by the bear and its symbolism in North American culture, NorthPaw pays homage the the great animal and the wild that surrounds us all. Featuring plenty of Canadian rye malt, PEI-grown 2-row provided the base with Vienna, Acid Malt and Wheat rounding out the malt profile. Bittered to 40 IBU with Warrior, Simcoe and Amarillo were added in the kettle, and a large dry hop featuring more Amarillo along with Cascade. The overall hop impression is of citrus and stone fruit, with a bold orange juice character front and center and finishing with a spicy note from the rye. This one is available for pints at the brewery, but also to go in cans. You’ll also be able to grab cans at PEILCC locations later this fall. And if you’re in the area today, every pint sold will see $1 go to MacPhail Woods, a local forestry stewardship organization in PEI; also Sneaky Cheats will be on site from 6 – 10 PM tonight with some tasty wood-fired eats.

Kentville’s Maritime Express Cider has both a returning cider this week along with a brand new one to tantalize your apple-loving tastebuds. Roundhouse Rhubarb is the returning number, tar and crisp, with a crystalline clarity and light carbonation. Hints of rhubarb complete this 4.5% ABV dry cider. And new to the taproom is Sour Rosé, a 5.5% sour cider fermented with hibiscus and lemon peel and with Sour Patch Kids candy added to balance the sweetness. On the sweeter side, but also sour and funky, this one sounds like an interesting detour from more common everyday ciders. Both of these are available at the taproom now and, it being Friday, a reminder that they’ve got Happy Hour on Friday evenings from 4 – 6 PM; an excellent opportunity to try out one or both of these ciders along with some of their other offerings!

And since we’re speaking of cider in the Annapolis Valley, it’s probably an excellent time to mention that Annapolis Cider Co also has a new one out in their Something Different series. Cascade Charmat had a complex path from juice to bottle, but we suspect the result is well worth it! Starting with fresh-pressed juice (as always!) from McIntosh, Northern Spy and Jonagold varieties, they cool-fermented this one in their usual way. The Charmat method of performing secondary fermentation in a pressurized tank was used to create a fine and persistent carbonation. A dose of Golden Russet cider and Flemish Beauty perry was then layered in, providing additional flavors while preserving the carbonation. Finally, Cascade hops provided a delicate citrus character to this 9.1% ABV unfiltered sparkling cider. Look for it as always at the cidery on Main Street in Wolfville; as always with their Something Different series, $0.50 from every refill sold will benefit a charitable organization, this time it’s CAPRE (Community Association of People for REAL Enterprise).

Shipwright Brewing in Lunenburg is saying goodbye to summer with the final entry in their Summer Belgian series of beers. Brut-Ale Storm is a Brut IPA but also a Belgian IPA. Featuring the clove and pepper phenolic character of Belgian yeast, honey and biscuit malt notes, this beer was then hit with a complex mix of southern hemisphere hops, namely Citra, Galaxy, Topaz, and Enigma to generate flavors and aromas of orange, pine, and mango. Being in the Brut style, you would be correct to expect this one to be dry and crisp on the finish due to a very low finishing gravity. Check it out at the brewery and, very possibly, on tap at the Grand Banker as well!

With Fredericton’s Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival on this week and finishing this weekend, we’re maybe a little surprised that we didn’t hear from too many F-town breweries this week. But thinking about it, it’s probably because they went straight from manic summer production to madly trying to be ready for the fest! We recommend if you’re in Freddie or planning to be there for the fest this weekend that you check out your favourite brewery’s social media to see what they’ve got available this weekend and also check out your favorite independent beer-friendly spots for tap lists as well.

With that out of the way, Trailway is the exception to the above this week with a brand new beer to tell you about that’s all ready for the fest. Wizzum is their first real stab at a West Coast IPA, but still keeping true to Trailway’s own house hazy and full-mouthfeel style. Featuring more malt and more bitterness, they also chose more classic West Coast hops like Simcoe and Cascade. The result is spicy, slightly fruity, and definitely resinous, with a definitely kick, coming in at 7% ABV. Look for it in cans and on draft at the Tw taproom all weekend long.

Some events coming up that you might consider attending:

If you’ve been lurking around 899 Portland St. in Dartmouth for a while, eagerly waiting for North Brewing to open their new taproom, your wait is finally over. After teasing us with a previously announced opening date last week (or maybe the week before?) the day is FINALLY here and they’re flouting superstition by opening on Friday the 13th!! From here on in they’ll be open every day from Noon to 7 PM, staying open later on Friday nights until 9 PM. As time goes on you might see some adjustments to that based on the whims of their drinking public, but for now, lock it in. You’ll find all manner of tasty North brews on tap and now food as well, with their catchily-named kitchen, Side Hustle Snack Bar, providing the goods. Today you can also expect ciders from Lake City and Sourwood, and three of Matt Kenny’s favorite beers from Tatamagouche Brewing: Square One, Crack of Dawn, and Dekorum on tap as well. Many congratulations to the team at North for pulling this all together in just about a year. Their journey to the Dark Side is complete; we suggest you head down and celebrate with them!!

This Monday marks a show in town by doom metal gods Sleep, who will be blowing the roof off of The Marquee on Gottingen St. The opening act for the show is Pontiak from the Virginia, who are also happen to be the geniuses behind the brewery Pen Druid in Sperryville, PA. Specializing in spontaneous, barrel-aged, and just plain wild beers, these folks will be taking over the taps at Barrington Street’s Stillwell Beer Bar for a rare Monday event. Kicking off at noon (not the usual 4 PM opening time), 10 beers on draught, along with a few extra bottles, will be pouring at the Official Concert Pre-Drink event. And to further sweeten the pot, a pair of tickets will be given away to lucky visitors through the bar that day, so be sure to pop by for a bevvie before the show. The kitchen crew will be slinging some special food (as usual), and we’re sure there’ll be some killer tunes blasting all day to get everyone in the mood.

If you weren’t already in the know, Propeller’s Gottingen Street location has a pretty special secret hiding just below the retail shop and taproom: Propeller Arcade. With almost a dozen pinball machines, and the same number of modern and retro cabinet games, this underground (literally) spot is a favourite of many who are looking to relive their childhood (and those who may be a little too young to have encountered the joy of bowling alley arcades in the region). To push their spot to the next tier, they are holding a Level Up Weekend, starting next Friday. They are expanding the games available to include air hockey, basketball, and plenty more new offerings, as they take over the brewing that is shared between them, Stillwell, and Granite, so we can almost imagine the fun of shooting hoops amongst the fermenters… The hours of the event are Friday and Saturday from 4 PM – 12 AM, with Sunday (12 – 6 PM) being dubbed Family Day, as the space will be open to those under 19 to enjoy the games, as well as food provided by nearby Hopyard Halifax. Check out the FB link above, and we’ll no doubt see you there!

We don’t always put out work a whole month before an event, but we’re making an exception this week for the next Craft Draught Showdown at The Carleton in Halifax. These events have been going on for a year or so and have proven to be a hot ticket every time. Pitting two breweries head to head each pairing fine of their beers with five courses from Chef Michael Dolente, the eating and drinking public votes at the end on whose beers and pairings they preferred. Coming up on Wednesday, October 9th is Chester’s Tanner & Co Brewing vs Tatamagouche Brewing Co and, given both breweries’ penchants for food-friendly mixed-fermentation styles, this one should be extra special. Tickets, as always, are $60 plus HST per person (gratuity included) and can be purchased from the Carleton website. And if you want to get a little ahead of the game, the CDS after THIS one will be Garrison vs Schoolhouse on Thursday, December 5 with tickets for that one available here. And stay tuned, we’re expecting the 2020 slate of showdowns to be announced in November; when they are we’ll be sure to let you know about it!!

Howdy howdy folks, and welcome to another ACBeerBlog Friday Wrap-up where we blather on at length about as many of the beer happenings in Atlantic Canada as we were able to get details about. This week we’ve got a new brewery announcement, some collabs, the usual fresh releases, and a couple of events to tell you about, so grab a beer and get ready. But before you read further, we’d like to give you a heads-up that next week we’ll be taking one of our (ultra-)rare weeks off from the blog, so you’ll have to do your own social media mining for beer news on Friday, July 19. We’ll be back on the 26th, refreshed and ready to bring you our usual high quality reportage.

While details are a bit light at the moment, we are thrilled to share news of a soon-to-open brewery coming to Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. Delta Force Brewing is the culmination of well over a decade of recipe development and perfection of techniques by decorated homebrewers Jayme Keddy and Gavin Stewart. Concentrating on “farmshed” beers (think “farmhouse”, but smaller and with a local bent), Delta Force will serve the Valley and HRM before fall. Follow along on their social mediums for progress ( Fb / Ig / Tw ), and we’ll have a full Profile with Keddy and Stewart (aka Alexander and McCoy) closer to opening, with background on their beer, brewhouse, and plans. 

Lake City Cider celebrated their Anniversary this week, marking their cidery and taproom’s first year of operation with a tap takeover at fellow downtown Dartmouth business Battery Park. One of the ciders ahem beverages debuting yesterday was Hometown Hybrid, a collaborative graf brewed with North Brewing. Graf (or graff) is the melding of beer and cider, with the starting wort and juices fermented together for the best of both styles. Hometown Hybrid is a 5.0% ABV bevvie, and is available on tap and in cans today at both host fermentories, with kegs being sent out to licensees as well. And if you’re lucky, there may still be a few ciders on tap at BP to quench your thirst today.

Speaking of downtown Dartmouth, Brightwood Brewery shares a space with Lake City at 35 Portland Street, and is releasing a new beer today, a hybrid in its own way. Pineapple Crushable is a Sour Wheat Beer, but arrived at in a unique way. Using techniques developed a couple of years ago, the Brightwood crew used a SCoBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast)  from Pop Culture Kombucha to first sour the wheat-heavy wort, before halting the process by boiling (and killing all bacteria and yeast). Yeast is then used to complete fermentation, generating alcohol instead of lactic acid as in the first step. After fermentation, loads of fresh pureed pineapple and Idaho 7 and Simcoe hops were added to the fermenter to round out the beer. Pick up this tart, fruity, and refreshing 4.7% ABV beer at the brewery’s taproom today for pints and growler fills, with cans to follow next week.

Last weekend’s Beer on the Bridge festival in Fredericton saw the debut of several new beers, one of which was the latest to come out of Harvey’s Think Brewing. Train of Thought is an American IPA brewed with a grist that includes flaked oats, and malted and flaked wheat, giving the beer a smooth body and slight haziness. Hopped with Citra and Amarillo, expect juicy and tropical aromas and flavours. No need to be upset if you missed this 6.9% ABV, 43 IBUs beer last weekend – it’ll be popping up at regular Think tap accounts across the province.

Tatamagouche Brewing, conveniently located located on Main Street Tatamagouche (that was good planning!), has a new brew out this week. Holiday Honeycomb is a 5.5% ABV Blonde Ale with all malts originating from the Valley’s Horton Ridge Malt & Grain Co. Featuring the addition of 60 lbs of honey (20 lbs in the kettle, 40 lbs in secondary) from Holiday Inn Truro’s hives, the beer was hopped with Saaz to 25 IBUs. Grab this one on tap at the brewery, partner hotel, and at better beer spots around the province (including Horton Ridge, Battery Park, Stillwell, and HopYard Halifax).

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing has spent the last few months releasing new and interesting things for you to drink and they’re continuing that trend this week with their Brut Rosé Sparkling Ale. This one has been inspired by classic light and easy summery rosé wines, perfect for this time of year. A “sparkling ale” (which we assume means more highly carbonated than your average ale), it carries the brut designation, implying a very dry body and finish, and a blush color provided by pinot noir grapes and hibiscus. Very light and refreshing at 4.4% ABV and a mere 8 IBU, limited kegs have been filled for Propeller’s own locations and, most likely, licensees around the city, but it’s also been packaged in 473 mL cans, which you can pick up at both Prop shops and hopefully the private stores in the city.

No one has ever accused Big Spruce Brewing of a lack of experimentation… or, if they have, they likely received a well-deserved smack! But with their latest beer, Slam Dunkel, they’ve even got us admitting that the “style” is one that likely hasn’t been seen before: a “Jamaican rum-barrel-aged Dunkel Wit”. This 7.3% ABV brew has a Dunkelweizen-type grist, fermented with a Witbier yeast strain. Aged for five months in dark rum barrels from Jamaica, the final beer has an aroma of chocolate-spiced rum cake, with lots of dried fruit and spice on the palate… and more rum! A touch warming in the finish, as you may expect, this dark beer is meant to be sipped on during these fine summer evenings. It’s available in kegs only, so look for it on tap at the brewery and a select few tap accounts in Nova Scotia. And in returning beer news for Big Spruce, their organic guava IPA, Guava Get Me Some (6.4% ABV), is back on tap and in cans, so grab some tropical goodness wherever you see it.

Moving westward to Amherst, where Trider’s has a brand new beer for you fans of American Wheat Ales out there. American Orange in Paris isn’t your typical wheat beer, however, as it was dry-hopped with the French variety, Triskel. While this hop is known for imparting citrus and floral character when used, the brewery decided to add a bit more punch with an addition of sweet orange peel. Coming in at 5.5% ABV, it was fermented with a neutral American ale yeast to allow the hop and orange peel additions to shine. It’s draught-only for now, at the brewery tap room and maybe one or two lucky licensees.

Up in Fredericton, Niche Brewing has a brand new beer on the go this week, the first to be designed and brewed solo by Matt Scott, secret squirrel member of the Niche team for the past few months (but not anymore!). Westfalia is a straight-up, classic Hefeweizen built on a grist of Pilsner and lots of malted and flaked wheat and fermented on Niche’s favorite Weizen yeast strain. Look for plenty of banana and clove presence from the yeast and a classic wheat-driven body in this 4.5% ABV refresher. Kegs of this are going out to The Joyce, Ringo’s Grill, Peppers Pub, Brasseux BrouePub, and Graystone Brewing in New Brunswick, and folks in Halifax will also get a chance at this one thanks to Stillwell and The Auction House.

While it kinda feels like Port Rexton Brewing just opened yesterday, it also feels like they’ve been around forever. That’s probably just old age talking, but regardless of that, they’re turning the big 0-3 this Saturday, and you’re probably not too surprised to hear that they’ve got some celebratin’ planned! With four new beers, new glassware, and free cake – at both the taproom AND St. John’s retail shop – it’s fun times for all, guaranteed! Let’s dive into these beers and get started…

John Jacob Lichtenhainer Schmidt – Brewed with a portion of smoked malt, this is a 4.1% ABV sour beer that has “a limeade tartness” to contrast all of that delightful, smoky BBQ character

Dry-Hopped Baycation Blonde – Name gives it away, this is their regular Baycation Blonde that has been dry-hopped with Cascade and Azacca. The 5.2% ABV base beer is showing plenty of “grapefruit, peach, stone fruit and pineapple” thanks to that dry-hop addition, along with a little more bitterness than the non-dry-hopped version. 

Continuum w/ Mandarina Bavaria – The latest in the Continuum series, a whole whack of Mandarina Bavaria (along with some Simcoe) was added in the whirlpool, hop back, and dry hop additions. Hazy, bitter, and 5.6% ABV, this IPA has notes of mandarin orange and wildflower in the aroma, along with “tropical mango/pineapple, apricot and rose” on the palate. 

2019 High Fives – Some of you may recall that for their 2nd birthday bash, PRB released High Fives as a tribute to their customers (that’s you!); this year’s batch is another “thank you” to the people they love and appreciate! A mixed-fermentation Farmhouse Ale that was aged for 11 months in their Calvados foeder on their Brett-packed house culture, it’s finally ready, just in time! Weighing in at 6.4% ABV, it’s showing lots of Brett character, with “undertones of oak, apple brandy, and pear” in the aroma. Expect a dry cider-like experience in the flavour, with “Champagne-esque vibes backed up by green apple Jolly Rancher/kiwi/green grape skin”.  

All of these birthday beers will be available on tap, and will be sold as 12 oz pours only… at a discount! If you get there nice and early, however (i.e. you’re one of the first 40 people through the door), you’ll be given a special 16 oz PRB birthday mason jar, which you’ll not only be allowed to take home, but you’ll also have filled at the 12 oz price all day! When the birthday brews sell out, there’ll be other PRB flagships ready to go on, to ensure the beer/fun keeps flowing. Happy birthday, PRB!

Earlier this week, Maybee Brewing released the second beer in their barrel-aged series, Maple Bourbon Elevensies. As you may have guessed from the name, this beer is their regular Espresso Stout, Elevensies, aged in Maple Bourbon barrels (more specifically, Kentucky Bourbon barrels which previously held Vermont maple syrup). The beer was fermented in stainless, then moved into barrels where it went through a brief, secondary fermentation, and then was allowed to age in the barrels for seven months. Carbonated before packaging, this dark brew has aromas of maple syrup, Bourbon, and vanilla, with a touch of chocolate and caramel, all supported by notes of oak. Both the oak and maple carry through to the flavour, with a low level of carbonation allowing the barrel character to be more prevalent. At 6% ABV and 41 IBUs, it’s available at the brewery right now in 750 mL cork & cage bottles, and is also pouring on one of their nitro taps. Look for kegs to make their way to select tap accounts across NB over the coming weeks.

Brand new bottle release from Halifax’s Tidehouse this week, a 7.5% ABV Double IPA named It Was All A Dream. A tropical, juicy brew hopped heavily with El Dorado, Idaho 7, and Ella, it’s available exclusively at the brewery. You can purchase some 650 mL bottles to go, or stay for a visit in the taproom and sip on a glass. Growler fills are available as well, but limited to the 1 L size.

Congratulations are in order, as homebrewer Derek Woods’ winning D Rock Dunkel has been released. Gahan House in Charlottetown hosted Woods as he won the Maritime Home Brew Challenge in the fall, with his 5.7% ABV Dunkel taking top honours. Woods reports that the experience was great, and “Brewmaster Trent Hayes let me get my hands dirty on brew day and the Gahan team gave me a healthy dose of Island hospitality”. Cans of the brew are currently available at the host brewery in Charlottetown, as well as the PEI Brewing Company taproom, and the three Gahan locations in New Brunswick (Fredericton, Saint John, and Moncton). Fingers crossed that it will also be available at the Nova Centre location soon. And if you want the chance to brew up a full batch with Hayes in 2020, check out the details of this year’s Challenge, submitting your best IPA (any style), Mixed Fermented/Sour, or Stout by October 27th. Check out their website for more information.

And speaking of homebrewers, and those looking to transition away from amateur brewing and making it a career, The Capital Complex in Fredericton is adding a 4 BBL (500 litre) brewhouse to their portfolio. Take a look at their Assistant Brewer job posting on Indeed, package up some of your homebrews to share. They are focusing on easy-drinking Pale Ales to start, with expansion of the offerings to come later.

We don’t have a whole lot of events to report on this week, or at least we didn’t manage to find out about a whole lot, but as always, check your favorite breweries’ social media pages to see what they’ve got going on.

We’re a little late to be mentioning this one, as online ticket sales have ended, but this weekend marks the 3rd edition of the Big Axe Beer Festival in Nackawic, NB. Billed as the largest outdoor beer festival in Atlantica Canada, it’s taking place near the World’s Biggest Axe on the shores of the Saint John River. Taking place tomorrow, July 13th, from 4 PM (gates open at 2 PM), attendees are welcome to roll on up via the river, by car, or by one of the several buses they’ve got running from Fredericton, Woodstock, Saint John/Quispamsis, and Moncton. More than 35 producers, mostly of beer and cider, but with some mead as well, will be pouring, with representation from all Atlantic Provinces, Ontario, Quebec, and the State of Maine. Tickets are still available for the Friday Night Kickoff Party featuring Denum tonight starting at 6 PM.

Thanks to the brewers in our region, we in Atlantic Canada can celebrate the IPA style all year round, but as some may know, there has been a movement, started by Michigan’s Founders Brewing Co. in 2011, to designate the first Thursday in August as International IPA Day. This year #IPADay falls on August 1 and Halifax’s Propeller Brewing has decided to celebrate it in style at The Carleton in Halifax. Chef Dolente will be on-hand introducing his five-course dinner menu paired with five unique beers in the India Pale Ale style from Propeller, with beer sommelier Pat Robichaud providing insight into the pairings. Only 20 tickets are available for this intimate dinner, so if you’re interested it’s best that you act quickly; cost is $60 per person plus tax (gratuity included) and tickets can be purchased online on The Carleton website.

And, as is our wont, we end with a few final items to inform and possibly influence your beer buying this weekend:

Good Robot is pouring Nova Scoby at their taproom this weekend, which is a blend of Pale Ale with Goodmore’s Black Sage Lavender Kombucha. At 4% ABV and 14 IBUs, it’s refreshing and easy-drinking… and maybe good for your belly!

Grimross has brought back Grimdonk (6.5% ABV, 17 IBUs), their award-winning (from this year’s Canadian Brewing Awards) Belgian Blonde. “Golden, crisp and dry, with balanced fruity and spicy notes”, it’s available now on draft and in cans at the brewery, with cans heading out to ANBL stores in the not-too-distant future. 

As a follow-up to last week’s mention of Dream Time, the DIPA collaboration between Bannerman Brewing in downtown St. John’s and Landwash Brewery in Mount Pearl, Landwash is pleased to announce the release of the version of that beer that they brewed on their system, packaged in cans. Look for it at the brewery as soon as they can get the labels on to ‘em!

And on the West Coast of the Rock, Secret Cove Brewing is releasing Newfoundland Light & Sour, a 3.8% ABV Berliner Weisse with loads of local Marsh Berries. Grab a pint or fill at the brewery in Port Au Port, and you may be lucky enough to see it in Central or the Avalon too!

The weather has certainly taken a turn for the better this week, with patios and beer gardens open more than closed this week! The final couple days of PEI Craft Beer Week are upon us, with events at all 8 Island breweries (no, not 5, PEILCC!), so let’s kick off the week with the latest news from the Fair Isle.

PEI’s Upstreet has been in operation now for close to four years; Gahan, originating and still operating on the Island, for much longer. It’s taken awhile, but the two have finally come together to brew their first collaboration beer, and they’re hoping you will find it worth the wait! Appropriately named, About Time was brewed with Pilsner, raw wheat, and rye in the grist. Hopped (and dry-hopped) with Czech Saaz and Kazbeck, as well as Cascade, it was fermented with a Brettanomyces blend, as well as a Kveik strain. The hazy, yellow beer finished at 5% ABV and 19 IBUs, and has aromas of “fresh hops, lemon zest, fresh mown grass, and undertones of wet hay”, with lots of herbal spice and citrus in the flavour. This one will be available only on tap; you can find it at Upstreet and the Craft Beer Corner, as well as Gahan locations…

In even more Gahan/PEI Brewing Co. news, it looks like they’re releasing another in the series of their bottled Brett beers; you may remember Patience, a dry-hopped Saison with Brett, which was originally released a couple of years ago. Their latest beer, Persistence, follows the same line – it’s also a dry-hopped Saison with Brett – although it definitely has its differences! Persistence was fermented entirely with Brettanomyces (Patience had Brett added for a secondary fermentation) and features a dry hop with a very large amount of Citra. Look for notes of tropical fruit and light funky character in this 6.0% ABV high carb, dry beer. Bottles are available now at the PEIBC and Gahan shops, and at several PEILCC locations across the province. And this week is the kick-off of their Growlers of Summer series of beers, special brews only available at the PEI Brewing Company and Beer Station at the North River Causeway for growler fills, natch. This week’s release is Margarita Gose, a 5.2% ABV beer that was originally released about a year ago. Tart and salty, this take on a Gose has an addition of tequila-soaked lime and orange zest. Crisp and refreshing, grab your growler(s) at the PEIBC taproom starting today at 4pm, or at the North River Causeway.

Montague’s Copper Bottom Brewing has a brand new kettle sour hitting taps and shelves starting today, just in time for a sunny weekend (kinda). Blueberry Sour was brewed with a simple grist of 2-row (from PEI’s own Island Malt House) and a healthy percentage of wheat malt. Soured with Lactobacillus, and hopped very lightly with Centennial, an addition of over 100 kg of wild blueberry puree (from local Terry’s Berries) is what gives this aptly-named beer its bright purple colour. Lots of blueberry in the flavour, the tartness helps the 5% ABV brew from being too sweet. Grab it on tap and in cans at the brewery today; it should follow at a few PEILCC stores later on in the summer.

Turning to the latest Island Brewery, Bogside Brewing has been welcoming visitors for the past week, serving up some authentic low and slow BBQ thanks to Chef Dave Mottershall (including Pork2BeerFest from 4:00 PM today!). While they’ve been waiting for their beer to be ready, they’ve had a variety of Island ciders and beers on tap. Well, your patience will soon be rewarded, as the final pieces of their serving equipment is almost onsite, which means you’ll soon be able to enjoy Brewer Mark Patriquin’s brews. Keep an eye on their social media (Fb/IG/Tw) for the release details, but you’ll be able to their Session IPA, Hefeweizen, and Brown Ale within the next week, and we’ll have a full Profile with them early next week.

Big Spruce has never been a brewery accused of lack of experimentation, and they’re keeping that up with the latest entry in their experimental hop series of IPAs. This 7.9% ABV brew is named Makes ¢¢¢¢ (considering the first beer in the series was simply named $$$$, you shouldn’t be too surprised!), and features the experimental hop HBC-644 (don’t worry, if the variety catches on it’ll eventually have a much sexier name). The final product is showing plenty of apricot and nectarine in the aroma, with “notes of ripe mango and summer strawberry”, and some pink grapefruit zest on the palate, all with a piney finish. Considering the enthusiasm from beer drinkers for $$$$, this one has a lot to live up to, and it sounds like it may have accomplished that feat! Judge for yourselves… swing by Big Spruce for a taste/growler, or check out one of their many licensees if you’re not in the Cape Breton area.

Couple new beers coming your way this week and next from Good Robot, the first being their collaboration with the Anchor City Rollers, Thick Thighs Save Lives. This American Pale Ale comes in at 5.3% ABV and 39 IBUs, and is described by the brewery as “superbly crushable, with a great bracing bitterness”. Next week’s release is another collaboration, this one with a brewery, and a brewery that pretty much all of us will recognize – Quebec’s Trou du Diable. Beelzebot! Is another APA, but brewed with an addition of spruce tips straight outta Shawinigan (TdD’s home town), and fermented with a Kveik yeast strain. The beer is tasting fruity, with a good amount of spruce popping through in the aroma. It comes in at 6.66% ABV and 47 IBUs; you’ll have to pop by the source (read: Good Robot) to give it a try.

Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing is bringing back their very popular La Saison du Nord Saison, but have made some changes to the yeast and hops to switch up the beer. Released to celebrate the lobster fishers in Northern NB, this version of the Saison still weighs in at 7.0% ABV, but features the New World Saison yeast from Escarpment Labs, which contains both Sacc and Brett. After fermentation was completed, the beer was dry-hopped with European Saaz and New Zealand Motueka. The resultant beer is a true blend of the contribution from the yeast, malt, and hops, with fruity, funky, spicy, and earthy notes, on a dry beer with plenty of refreshing zip. Grab it on tap at Euston Park Social Beer Garden and CAVOK Brewing.

Shelburne’s Boxing Rock is back in action in their Halifax Test Kitchen with a couple of new beers to tell you about, one on tap now and one in the works. Already pouring at Local Source is Shoreline SMaSH, a 5% Pale Ale. By now most dedicated blog readers already know that a “SMaSH” is a “single malt and single hop” beer that shows off the best of both. In this case the grist is composed entirely of malt from PEI’s Shoreline Malting Company; the hop is the grandaddy of American hop varieties, Cascade, known for its citrus, floral, and spicy character (sourced from Ontario’s Clear Valley Hops). You’ll find this one a pleasant and easy-drinking brew with low bitterness and a full mouthfeel, perfect for outdoor drinking on a warm day in late spring. The beer yet to come was inspired and co-brewed by Halifax beer writer Kim Hart Macneill. A Belgian Blonde Ale with peaches, it sounds perfect for patio drinking if summer ever comes. We expect to have more details about this one closer to its release, but for now the folks at Boxing Rock are appealing for name suggestions for this one. Slide into their social media DMs to give them your best ideas that aren’t “Peachy Keen.”

Another week with a new Shipwright beer release (that’s at least a few in a row, no?), a West Coast IPA named after one of many British ships carrying the first IPAs to England, HMS Hop Bombay. Hopped heavily with Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe, expect obvious notes of grapefruit and pine throughout, with a firm bitterness to finish it all off. Grab pints and growlers (and crowlers!) of this 6.6% ABV, 60 IBUs IPA at the brewery this weekend; you can also likely find it on tap at the local The Grand Banker.

Twillingate is known around Newfoundland as one of the best places in Iceberg Alley to spot bergs. While there, you will most definitely need to stay hydrated, which means a visit to Split Rock Brewing is certainly in order. They are kicking off their summer sour series this week with their Sour Patch B’ys: Mosaic. This 3.4% ABV kettle sour has a medium acidity, with plenty of tropical fruit (think pineapple and mango) from the generous dry-hopping of Mosaic. They also have a pair of new IPA on tap these days, both worth checking out while in the taproom. Skipper D’s is a 6.8% ABV IPA, featuring Cascade and Amarillo hops, used heavily both late in the boil and in dry-hopping, concentrating on flavour and aroma notes, rather than bitterness. And celebrating the impromptu Sunday jam session that often fills the taproom, Sunday Session IPA is a 4.3% ABV light IPA with plenty of late Chinook, Citra, and Mosaic hops for pine, mango, and citrus character. Grab your guitar, mandolin, or squeeze box, and pop by for a session!

Let’s get you up to speed with what’s on the go this weekend…

The Inaugural PEI Craft Beer Week is entering its final weekend, which saw all of the breweries in the province taking part in the celebration of beer releases and events. Today, Bogside is celebrating Pork2BeerFest from opening at 4:00 PM, Copper Bottom is celebrating their Sour Blueberry release, Evermoore is hosting live music and continues their Island Tap Takeover, Gahan is holding PEI Tap Takeovers with guest taps gracing their draught all day, PEIBC is hosting a Cask & Comedy event starting at 7:00 PM, and Upstreet is celebrating with an Island Tap Takeover, as well as debuting this year’s release of Go Devil IPA. Saturday sees multiple live music events at the taprooms around the province, giving you yet another excuse to get out and visit. Check the details on the PEICBW site! And celebrating the end of the week, Moth Lane Brewing is releasing a new Pale Ale named Last Kick at the Can on Sunday. Look for more details from their Facebook page.

If you’re in the environs of Pleasantville on Saturday, June 8th, and you like a bit of cidery goodness, you could do worse than grabbing a ticket for the Newfoundland Ciderfest. Brought to you by the same folks behind the Newfoundland Craft Beer Festival and taking place at the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 56, Pleasantville. Doors open at 7:00 PM and inside you’ll find 45 ciders from 14 producers, both big and small, old and new, from Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, BC, and Denmark. Tickets are $65 plus taxes and fees, and include all your tasting samples, an event passport, live entertainment, and a tasting glass to take home. Food will also be available for purchase. Grab a ticket online and get your cider on.

Halifax’s The Carleton has another entry in their Craft Draught Showdown series of friendly beer pairing competitions coming up on Thursday, June 13th, at 7:00pm. As always, you’ll get 5 courses from The Carleton’s Chef Michael Dolente, each paired with two 4 oz pours, one from each of two breweries. Diners will vote on which beers they enjoyed the most and at the end of the night a winner will be announced. This edition of the event will feature two breweries from Nova Scotia’s South Shore, Mahone Bay’s Saltbox and Liverpool’s Hell Bay. Tickets for the event are $60 + tax ($69 all-in) and include gratuity; they’re available online from the event page on The Carleton’s website, which also includes information about the dishes that will be served.

Those who were excited to read about the NL Ciderfest above but were lamenting being in Halifax instead of St. John’s need not fret too much, as there’s a similar event coming up more locally. The Curated Guide is presenting their 3rd annual East Coast Ciderfest next weekend, Saturday, June 15th, at the Halifax Forum Multi-purpose Centre. Two sessions are scheduled, afternoon and evening, but if you haven’t got your tickets already you’ll want to act quickly, as the evening session (6 – 9 PM)  is officially sold out and the afternoon session (1 – 4 PM) is already at 90%! Tickets (available online through the link above) are $35 plus taxes and fees (another $6.25) and include 12 sample tickets and a tasting glass to take home, with additional tickets and food available for purchase on-site. There will be ciders pouring from 19 different Nova Scotia producers as well as a couple from New Brunswick as well. Designated Driver tickets are $10 and are available at the door.

Have you been keeping tabs on the new brewery and tap room build by North Brewing on Portland Street in Dartmouth? We know we have. But somehow it slipped by us (and maybe you too) that, in the grand tradition of Dartmouth, they’ve built themselves a Cold Beer Store!! Scheduled to open next weekend, official hours will be Wednesdays to Sundays, 12 – 7 PM. To celebrate this fabulous development they’ve got a big celebration going on next Saturday, June 15th. Starting at noon will be a BBQ fundraiser for Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum featuring hot dogs and veggie dogs from North friend and partner Side Hustle Snackbar (which will be opening onsite later in the summer). Since it’s Father’s Day that weekend, they’ll be bringing in a bouncy castle from 12 – 3 PM that will be free of charge so you can let the kids run out some energy while you grab a hot dog and your beer-to-go. North would love to have their new neighbours in the area stop by and see what they’re all about, as well as friends and fans from around HRM and beyond. But wait, there’s MORE!! What better way to celebrate the opening of a cold beer store than by releasing a new beer for folks to buy? We do Helium, Lighter Than Air is an ultralight ale weighing in at only 3.5% ABV, with Pilsner malt and flaked corn in the grist and a bright element from lemon and lime zest. This will be a full release, with cans available on Saturday at both the new spot as well as their retail counter at Battery Park on Ochterloney, as well as draught around the city. Congrats to the North Brewing team on this latest development and we look forward to even more good times when the Tap Room is finished!

Just a few more new and returning beers this weekend.

Grimross has brought back their Bishop Belgian IPA, which will be available at the brewery in cans and on tap starting today. This 6% ABV, 50 IBUs brew is hopped and dry-hopped with Hallertau Blanc, Mandarina Bavaria, and Amarillo; expect spicy phenolics in addition to pineapple, orange, resin, and bubblegum.

Niche has a new batch of their Day Tripper back in circulation, a Belgian Tripel at 8.4% ABV that’s hopped with the classic noble hop Saaz. Look for spicy phenolics, fruity esters, and a dry finish to go along with a little bit of alcohol warmth. This one is being sent out to tap accounts in New Brunswick only at this point.

Tatamagouche Brewing knows how to time a beer release, as they’re re-releasing Cellar Slammer (4.4% ABV), arguably one of the finest Session IPAs brewed in our region. Hopped with Hallertau Blanc and Mosaic, giving lots of juicy citrus flavours, it’s refreshing and delicious, and extremely drinkable. Did we mention delicious?

Tuskets Falls Brewing is currently pouring an “Experimental IPA” at the brewery; we’re light on the details, but we can tell you it’s a 6.4% ABV NEIPA with lemon and lime rind added. If you’re nearby the brewery, you can stop in to give it a try this weekend!