What a difference a week makes! From dreary drizzly weather, to beautiful 20C+ weather in all 4 Atlantic provinces, this is definitely the weekend to get outside and enjoy it. Whether that means hitting a local taproom patio, or grabbing cans, bottles, or growler fills from your local brewery and hitting the lake, we hope you have an awesome safe beer-filled weekend!
Gahan’s Halifax location opened on the weekend, in the downtown Nova Centre at Argyle/Prince/Market/Sackville streets. After closing their Harbourfront location in the spring, they upgraded the brewing equipment with some sweet new brewhouse gear (increasing capacity from their former cramped location), as well as some 1,000 litre foeders from PEI’s own New World Foeders. While the ‘fax-brewed-beers haven’t hit the taps quite yet, they are pouring the full complement of Island beers from their core lineup, beers from the other Gahan locations in PEI and New Brunswick, as well as guest taps. Keep an eye on their social media (Fb / Ig / Tw ) and here, of course, for updates on their next big releases brewed by roving Gahan Brewer Spencer Gallant. One of those releases is the return of Sin Bin, their 4.4% ABV German Kolsch in celebration of the PEI Mudmen Rugby Team, of which Gallant is a member. Look for the beer on tap and in cans at the PEIBC locations on the Island, and further afield soon, no doubt.
Speaking of Mr. Gallant, we have great news to share on his plans to branch out (pun intended). Gallant is teaming up with friends and business partners Jared Murphy and Dillon Wight to bring another Island brewery to life later this year. Lone Oak Brewing Company will have its home base in Borden-Carlton, at 103 Abegweit Blvd in the Gateway Village, with a brewery, taproom, and retail location opening in the fall. As their name implies, wood will be a big component of the beers available, with their barrel-aged line set to be released in Spring 2020. In the meantime, peep their progress on all of the media (Fb / Ig / Tw ) and ready yourselves to a new place to stop on your way to, or from, the Island.
It’s pretty grand cider weather out there lately, and Annapolis Cider Company has released the latest entry in their Something Different series, just in the nick of time! This latest cider is Cherry & Coriander, which is made from a blend of their flagship Crisp & Dry (featuring fresh-pressed juice from Northern Spy, McIntosh, and Cortland apples) and the juice of Montmorency cherries (a sour cherry variety). This 7.3% ABV blend was then cold-steeped with crushed coriander seeds, contributing “lemony citrus aromas” to the final product, which also has notes of tart cherry, citrus, and spice. And as with all Something Different ciders, $0.50 from each refill goes towards a local charitable recipient; this cider’s contribution will support the Wolfville School Activity Park.
Attention, Milkshake IPA fanatics! Big Spruce Brewing is pouring fresh samples of their latest, I Scream, You Screamsicle, a 7.2% ABV IPA sweetened with lactose in the boil, hopped and dry-hopped with high levels of Nugget, Mosaic and El Dorado, and featuring an addition of vanilla and organic blood orange concentrate. Swing on by the taproom this weekend while touring beautiful Cape Breton, grab yourself a pint of this silky smooth brew, and take in the citrus and vanilla flavours… and the view! If you can’t make it to the brewery, we kinda sorta understand, and fear not: kegs will also be making their way to some of your favourite Big Spruce licensees. Also, good news for those of you who missed the limited run of The Hour of Sour when it was released back in March, as this mixed-fermentation sour conditioned on organic raspberries is back on tap. At 6.3% ABV, they like to describe it as The Silver Tart’s “cool grown-up Aunt” – funky, lots of raspberry, with a subtle lavender presence.
Now that it’s finally getting hot out there, you’ll probably notice an increase in fruity, refreshing, “summery” beers from the breweries in our region, and Dartmouth’s North Brewing is no exception. Today sees the release of Nordic Tea Saison, an interesting-sounding beer that was brewed with a small amount of honey, and fermented with the Ebbegarden Kveik Blend from Escarpment Labs. The finished beer was also conditioned on fresh lemon and grapefruit zest (with the emphasis on lemon), and received an addition of an Earl Gray tincture, made with tea from the World Tea House. Coming in at 5.4% ABV, you can grab cans at the North bottle shops, and seek it out on tap at several North accounts, including Battery Park, Stillwell, and the Board Room Game Cafe.
St. John’s, Newfoundland’s new brewery on the block, Bannerman Brewing, has wasted no time getting into the collaboration game with a beer coming out this week that they brewed with the fine folks from Mount Pearl’s Landwash Brewery. Dream Time is being called a Lactose DIPA, no doubt thanks to an addition of lactic sugar. Hops-wise this one features a “healthy amount” of Galaxy and Sabro, which should provide aromas and flavors of tropical fruit and coconut, a perfect complement to the sweetness of the sugar. They celebrated the release of this one at the brewery by inviting the gang from Landwash down for a tap takeover last night with 6 Landwash brews and 6 of Bannerman’s own taps running, and some Brackish cask action. Hopefully, if you were in the St. John’s area yesterday evening you took advantage of an awesome chance to try some beer from two of Newfoundland’s newest! Otherwise, maybe think about heading down today and seeing what leftovers might be pouring! And for those looking for even more, Landwash will be releasing their version of this home-and-home collaboration shortly, with a full can release to boot.
On the other side of the Rock, in Port au Port East, Secret Cove Brewing also has a new beer on tap this week. Described in style as a “Devoted Pale Ale,” Oat to Newfoundland is inspired by Newfoundland’s official anthem, which is usually publicly performed by singing the first verse and the last; this beer is intended to be delicious from the first sip to the last. At 4.9% ABV you’ll be able to have a few and still sing clearly. It’s got a smooth and silky mouthfeel, a distinctive orange color, and has been triple dry hopped with classic American varieties perfect for a light and hoppy summer ale. You’ll find it on tap at the brewery now alongside the return of their Hard Case in Your Face DIPA.
In Fredericton, TrailWay Brewing has announced that their bottle program will officially kick off today with the release of El Tipico. Similar to their draught/can beer El Generico, El Tipico will be an ever-changing sour beer series. Unlike EG, however, ET is not a kettle-soured brew, meaning that while it was indeed soured with Lactobacillus (in this case, a blend from Escarpment Labs), the wort was not boiled afterward in order to kill the Lactobacillus before fermentation. Instead, it was fermented with the brewery’s house ale yeast, and then allowed to age on tart cherries for four weeks. The beer was then carbonated via CO2 (although it did pick up some natural carb thanks to the refermentation from the fruit addition) and packaged in kegs and 500 mL bottles. The final product exhibits “an increased complexity and softer acidity”, compared to EG, according to the brewery, along with plenty of citrus fruit on the nose and palate, with a “refreshing, smooth sour/tartness” in the finish. Bottles are available at the brewery as of 11 am this morning, and it’ll also be pouring on tap for pints (no growler fills).
Hold on, TW isn’t content to stop there this week! They’re also bringing us a brand new canned beer to help you through these hot summer days, Fandango. It’s a 4% ABV brew that was dry-hopped with a new-to-TW hop combo (including a new hop that they’re keeping a secret for now… although we have a good guess!), and then hit with an addition of mango puree. Showing notes of “coconut, tangerine, mango and papaya”, it’s hitting taps/shelves at the brewery at the same time as El Tipico. Finally, TW’s Citra-only American IPA, Seeing Citra, is also freshly available, so you’ve got a wide variety to keep you interested when you drop in this weekend.
Hopping back over to Nova Scotia, or more specifically, Stellarton, where Backstage Brewing Co. has a new Session IPA out to help you beat the summer heat. Stiff Hopper Lip was brewed with a hefty portion of oats in the grist, helpful in low ABV beers (in this case, 4.3%) to boost the mouthfeel and add a silkiness that demands another sip or six. Hopped in the whirlpool with Centennial, Columbus, Citra and Simcoe, it was then dry-hopped with all four varieties, as well as some Amarillo. Fermented with two different IPA yeast strains, you can probably expect all sorts of fruit/citrus flavours, and maybe even some dank in there, too. If you’re out for a drive this weekend and passing by the brewery, we suggest dropping in to pick some of this one up!
And staying in Pictou County, across the causeway from Stellarton (or down the 104 and up Highway 376 if you like the alternative inland scenic route), Uncle Leo’s Brewery has a new beer pouring in Lyon’s Brook that they just tapped yesterday. Although largely known for their classic American and German styles, this one has its roots in another European country. The aptly-named Odin’s Summer Ale is a table beer in the Norwegian style, leveraging the (very) warm-fermenting Kveik yeast that’s been all the rage lately along with some traditional juniper, in ground form. Ultra-light, at just 3.8% ABV, this coppery-colored beer with spicy and fruity notes is a perfect patio beer for this weekend’s heat wave. Come by the brewery and grab a growler (big or little), as it’s not in cans yet, but will be shortly. And while your there, by all means grab a few of Uncle Leo’s other award-winning offerings – their Ceilidh Kolsch and Sunburst Pale Ale are both lovely summer crushers as well and Encore IPA will make any hophead sit up and take notice.
The fine folks behind Halifax’s Bishop’s Cellar have been involved in several collaborating brews since they opened sixteen years ago, and today marks yet another notch in their collab cap with a release from Garrison Brewing. Boardwalk Empire is being billed as a hoppy Hefeweizen, and was brewed recently with the staff from Bishop’s. With a classic Weizen grist of Pilsner and wheat malts, it was hopped not-so-classically with decent amounts of German varietals Hallertau Blanc, Huell Melon, and Mandarina Bavaria (to 14 IBUs). Another great summer sipper, it’s showing aromas of banana, clove, and bubblegum (expected in a Weizen), as well as melon, pear, grapefruit and pine (maybe not expected!), all supported by a “lingering earthy, resinous, and peppery bitterness”. Sound tasty? Well, the 5.5% ABV beer available as of today in 473 mL cans, exclusively at Bishop’s Cellar and Garrison now.
Down in Lunenburg, on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, Shipwright Brewing continues to put out new stuff on a fairly frequent basis, especially for a small operation. Slipway Brut IPA is exactly what it says in the name, an IPA brewed to dry out almost completely. For additional interest, though, brewer Kellye Robertson applied two yeasts: first, a primary fermentation with Northwest Ale and then a krausening with the Belgian Ardennes strain, a technique bound to provide some extra complexity in a beer designed to be light in body. Also a hop showcase, it was hopped solely with Hallertau Blanc, known for white wine characteristics that should be complemented nicely by the extra yeast character. With notes of banana, lemongrass, gooseberry and passionfruit, the beer comes in at 6.6% ABV and 30 IBU with a dry finish and a “bright, but balanced bitterness.” Find it on tap at the Grand Banker and for pints or to go (Crowlers & Growlers) from the brewery itself.
Upstreet has teamed up with the Inn at Bay Fortune – a long-running restaurant/inn located in Bay Fortune, PEI – to brew a special beer, FireWorks Farmhouse Saison. Brewed with “fresh flavours from their farm and fires”, it features Herkules and Calypso hops, was fermented with a custom yeast blend of Kveik and French Saison from Escarpment Labs, and was based on a grist of 2-row barley malt and wheat malt from Shoreline Malting along with some Golden Naked Oats and rye malt. But wait, there’s more! Locally foraged elderberries and sumac, sea salt produced at the Inn, and some applewood from the Inn’s property and toasted on-site provide all kinds of complexity to this well-carbonated brew. You might notice any or all of apple, pear, banana, soft black pepper and white bread on the aroma, and flavors of orchard fruit, and zesty black pepper, with hints of vanilla and golden toast rounding out the palate. Hazy, very lightly bitter at only 10 IBU, and boasting a 6% ABV, it will be available in bottles only at the Inn, as well as Upstreet’s taproom and the Craft Beer Corner, starting tomorrow.
If you’re of a certain age in Nova Scotia (not sure about the other Atlantic Canadian Provinces), you might have memories of a product called Golden Glow. Well, let’s be really really honest about it, if the name “Golden Glow” means something to you, any associated memories are probably EXTREMELY hazy at best. Originally produced from the 1930s (yes, you read that right) to the 80s by Chipman Wines in Kentville, NS, it was a (very) hard cider coming in at 15.5% ABV. The last pressing took place in 2007 under the banner of Andres, who bought the brand in 1983 and moved production to Truro. We like to think there’s some bottles of the original still out there, immune to the ravages of time and ready to spice up somebody’s evening in a dramatic way. But even if there’s not, Bad Apple Brewhouse has come to the rescue! Claiming to have finally cracked the code and developed an apple blend that is worthy of the name. Somerset’s Golden Glow Revival is a new hard cider with a taste of the past. Available in small and sleek cans from The Core in Wolfville and, we expect, the brewery in Somerset, we don’t have an ABV listing on this, but given the clear reverence they’ve got for the original (and their decision not to provide growler fills), we’d be surprised if it wasn’t in the same neighborhood as its forebearer. Grab a couple and remember what you forgot!!
What’s going on this weekend (and next month)? Here’s the scoop!
St. John’s favourite Inn / Restaurant / Bar, The Guv’nor on Elizabeth Avenue, is hosting a Newfoundland Craft Beer Tap Takeover this weekend, kicking off today at 4 PM. Featuring ten taps from ten Nfld breweries, this is the perfect opportunity to taste your way across the island without leaving home. Find out more details here, including how you can win yourself a stay and breakfast just for supporting your local pub and breweries!
Fredericton’s Beer on the Bridge returns this weekend, and they certainly picked a perfect date for the fun! Tomorrow, Saturday July 6, from 6 – 9 PM, more than 30 Maritime breweries, cideries, and distilleries are taking over the Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge, pouring their best for you. Tickets are still available here, so grab yours now to avoid disappointment!
A quick heads up that will have Newfoundland beer fans looking forward even more to next month’s Royal St. John’s Regatta. It was announced that the Newfoundland Craft Brewers Association will be running the beer tent at the Regatta on August 7th. And earlier this week, almost all of the breweries in the province, plus several who are planning on opening later this year, came together at Landwash Brewery to brew up a collaborative beer. This Mexican Lager will be hitting the tents next month, so keep your ears peeled for more details then!
Just a coupla more things today…
Good Robot has re-released their collaboration with the Limestone Group, Flavabot: Pink Flamingo. This watermelon kiwi Radler was originally brewed to honour the national bird of the Bahamas, and at 4.5% ABV and 15 IBUs, is great for summer sipping.
Hammond River Brewing has just released Enkel Tom’s Cabin, a Patersbier (aka Enkel or Belgian Single) that is basically the Belgian form of a lawnmower beer. This refreshing, pale-coloured, hazy beer weighs in at 5.8% ABV and 14 IBUs, and was the winning entry in this year’s annual HRB Homebrew Competition. Originally designed by Fredericton’s Matt Stever, who was on hand for the brew day at HRB, you can find it on tap now at the brewery, as well as local tap accounts.
Bridgewater’s King Street Beer Company (a partnership with Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing Company) are coming through on their promise to invite local homebrewers in to brew a beer on their system under the Lahave River Beers banner. Gillian Crouse and Gillian Varner put together a recipe for a Belgian Blonde Ale infused with Mangoes that they’re calling Man-Goes Wild (see what they did there?). That beer goes on tap tonight at 6:30 PM at the brewery where you can sit on the patio and enjoy this light and refreshing brew.
Niche Brewing has brought back a lighter beer to beat the heat this weekend, the Grisette they call Mines of Wallonia. At just 3.6% ABV, leaning on a grist of Pilsner, spelt and malted oats, and fairly hoppy thanks to Hallertau Blanc, it was fermented with the French Saison yeast strain. Look for it on tap wherever you’re used to seeing Niche beers.
Nine Locks released their politest beer yet yesterday, an “East Coast IPA” named Frig Off (6.7% ABV, 30 IBUs). Brewed with oats and wheat in the grist and dry-hopped to “massive” proportions, its hazy, silky, with a light bitterness in the finish, and a whole whack of citrus and tropical hop flavour. Available exclusively at the brewery on tap and in cans.
Petit-Sault has a brand new brewery-only beer pouring for the weekend, a hazy Session IPA named Rock Ways. Dry-hopped with Ekuanot and Azacca, it comes in at a supremely-sessionable 3.3% ABV. Growlers and pints right now!
Rockbottom has their first new beer on tap in awhile, Nova Anglia. A New England IPA that was hopped with lots of Huell Melon and Ekuanot once the boil was complete, this hazy, bright yellow beverage is tasting very juicy, with lots of that lovely, fruity hop flavour that you’re constantly craving.
Tusket Falls released Watch Me Work Now, a 4.2% ABV Gose brewed with additions of grapefruit rind, in early June. Well, it’s back again, and this time there’s plenty of cans headed out to NSLC stores across the province. Tart and refreshing, there’s tangerine, lime, and grapefruit on the palate.
New beer pouring at Yellowbelly, an Amber Lager named Float Your Boat (5.3% ABV, 30 IBUs). Designed by brewer Dave Hale, it’s available for pints and growlers.