Well, well, well, another Friday is upon us, which means it’s time to inundate you with the latest beer news from the region. We’ve got more than 20 new and returning beer and cider to tell you about this week, from every province in the region, so let’s dive right in so you know where to head after work today!
Saint John’s Loyalist City Brewing dropped a brand new beer late last week, RGB. They’re referring to it as a “German-style Pale Ale”, as they hopped it with three of the “new” hop varieties that hail from Germany: Mandarina Bavaria, Huell Melon, and Hallertau Blanc. This 5% ABV, pale gold-coloured brew features “a pronounced fruity aroma of melon, tangerine, and citrus” thanks to the use of these hops (along with a large dry hop of more Mandarina Bavaria and Huell Melon). The citrus and melon continue into the flavour, complemented by a bit of malt sweetness and a moderate bitterness (60 IBUs, calculated). You can find it on tap right now at your favourite LC destination.
If you were a big fan of the first entry – Dream Island #1 – in Landwash Brewery’s rotating DIPA series, you’ll be happy to know that they have just released Dream Island #2, which is now available for purchase at the brewery. This iteration was hopped with big additions of Amarillo, Simcoe and Columbus, giving notes of “marmalade jam on toast, pineapple rings, and dried peach”. They also threw in a bit of lactose to boost the mouthfeel and add just a touch of sweetness to the final product. They’ve done a limited canning run of this 8.3% hop bomb, and it’s on tap for growler fills as well… probably won’t last long, so best to head there ASAP to pick some up. They also have a new batch of their NEIPA, That Much Ocean, so you can really fulfill your hop needs all in one go! Note that Landwash is now open on Wednesdays, in addition to their regular days, with their resident food truck, Saucy Mouth, open daily until 10PM.
Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing has a pair of new beers available, to fuel your adventures out and about this weekend. Released late last week was the latest in their Neon Friday series, this one a collaboration with Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing. A 6.5% ABV NEIPA is the result of that mind-meld, with big notes of coconut, orange, and papaya on a smooth base, thanks to generous additions of Sabro and Vic Secret hops. Tall cans are available at Upstreet’s two Charlottetown locations, and on tap there and at their Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse in Dartmouth. Keep an eye out at the HRM private stores as well!
And debuting this week is Rhuby Sour, a new take on their popular Rhuby Social Witbier. Beginning life as a partially-soured witbier, Rhuby Sour receives the same great fruit additions as the OG, with rhubarb and strawberry, to kick up the refreshing character and still maintain plenty of fruit qualities. This 5.0% ABV beer is available on tap and in cans in both Charlottetown and Dartmouth now!
There’s a new Gottingen Small Batch brew pouring at Propeller, and don’t let the name – and the weather! – fool you into thinking it’s Halloween! Spooky Sour Saison is a kettle sour that was fermented with the Spooky Saison yeast strain from Escarpment Labs (as well as a blend of Brettanomyces strains) on fresh apricots. As you might expect, there’s lots going on with this beer, with plenty of fruit and spice characteristics coming through, as well as a dry, sour finish. It weighs in at 6.2% ABV and 8 IBUs, and is available at Propeller for pints, flights, and growlers only, for a limited time.
Rejoice, Glou fans, as this year’s batch from Stillwell Brewing is now available for purchase in bottles! A blend of oak-aged Saisons (different batches aged from 8-18 months) was transferred to a foeder, along with 1000 lbs of NY Muscat grape skins from Benjamin Bridge, where they were allowed to impart their deliciousness into the beer over a period of about four months. The aroma is huge with this beer, “all candy and fun upfront, with a deep and complex savoury quality on the palate”. Oak and tannins in the finish to leave you wanting more, it’s 6.7% ABV and lovely! Grab some bottles to go at Stillwell, where you may also be lucky enough to find it on tap (and at the newly-opened Beer Garden, too!).
Miramichi’s first brewery, Timber Ship Brewing, has just released How She Goin’, a beer they’re calling a “Honey Session Ale”. Intended to be an easy-drinking style for the summer (it IS coming, right?), it features the addition of wildflower honey from Napan, NB’s My Lil’ Bee Honey Farm. There was also a dry hop addition, featuring hops from Lindsay, NB’s Bloomfield Hops Farm. The final beer is “light and crisp, with a slightly floral aroma and notes of honey”. Very drinkable at just 4.3% ABV and 12 IBUs, you can find the first kegs on tap at the Piping Plover Gastropub and O’Donaghue’s Irish Pub.
We weren’t ALL lucky enough to be able to attend the annual Stillwell Open during Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week (dangit!), but luckily for us, some breweries have been doing larger releases of the single-hop Session IPAs that they entered in the friendly competition. For Tatamagouche Brewing, this means the release of Zaka, a Session IPA fermented with a Kveik yeast strain, and hopped entirely with the wonderful Azacca variety. This 4.4% ABV beer was created and brewed with local homebrewing legend Mark McKay, and is a hazy, aromatic treat, with pineapple and mango coming through in spades, along with “flavours of woody resin and light fennel”. It’ll be on tap at many Tata licensees, as well as directly at the source on draught, of course. They’ve also got a fresh batch of their wildly popular Kitty Clyde DIPA, hopped with Vic Secret and Galaxy, on tap and in cans.
We mentioned last week about the album release party coming up at Good Robot for Aquakultre x Ghettosocks (Aquasocks) on May 31st and that it’s a fundraiser for Akuakultre’s debut album coming next year. We also mentioned that a special beer has been brewed for the event called Legacy. That beer debuted at the GR taproom yesterday for those who’d like an early taste. Nominally a Pilsner coming in at 4.5% ABV and 27 IBU, it apparently also contains blueberries, which provide it a rather purple hue, as well as pineapple, for a pleasant tropical note. Nicer weather that we’re sure just HAS to be coming soon is likely to make this a popular pour on the Gastroturf.
We know this time of year brings a plethora of light beers – hoppy, fruity, etc – but it’s still nice to see darker beers being brewed. We won’t get into a rant, but those beers are still ok to drink during warmer weather, ya know? We can thank O’Creek Brewing for realizing this with the launch of Matchless, a 7.1% ABV Robust Porter. This isn’t your grandpappy’s Porter, however, as it had an addition of raspberry and coconut after fermentation was complete. The raspberry is coming through subtly, with dark chocolate on the palate and the coconut in the finish. You’ll be able to find the first kegs at CAVOK Brewing and the Laundromat.
Baccalieu Trail has just added a new beer to their lineup, and it’s their first kettle-soured brew. A twist on the classic Gose style, Half Hour Ahead does include the addition of sea salt as any Gose should, but they also decided to add blueberries! Specifically, 20 lbs of dehydrated blueberries from Markland Cottage Winery, all of which was added directly into the fermenter. The deep-purple beer is tasting quite tart, with a strong blueberry presence in the flavour. It comes in at 5.3% ABV, and is currently available on tap at the brewery’s taproom, exclusively.
Wolfville’s Annapolis Cider continues to put out new and interesting creations in their Something Different series with another entry now available. Rhubarb & Rosehips is a 7.0% ABV sparkling cider based on a juice blend from Golden Russet and Cox’s Orange Pippin apples that was infused with dried rose hips and fermented with rhubarb juice. Refreshing and bright, the rose hips bring a tartness that some might find similar to that of dried cranberry. Floral aromatics, a bit of red berry character, and a dry finish have this one sounding like a delicate delight. As always, $0.50 from every bottle will go to charity, this time it’s Rowan’s Room Respite & Development Centre in Middleton, NS.
Grimross has really been going hard with the Scratch series beers lately, as this week has not one, but two new ones to add to their growing list of one-offs. First up is Scratch #20: Living Roots Saison, a 5.7% ABV, 18 IBUs Saison named after the upcoming Living Root Music Festival in Fredericton (May 30th-June 2nd). Brewed with Pilsner malt and a mixture of flaked and malted Rye, it was hopped lightly with Calypso and Hallertau Mittelfruh. Fermented with a Brett and Saccharomyces blend from Escarpment Labs, the final beer has notes of “spice, considerable tangerine, light pepper, and dandelion”, and finishes nice and dry. You can grab it in pints and growlers, as well as cans, at Grimross, with cans available at ANBL stores any day now.
The next Scratch is on the American side of things, with Scratch #21: Session IPA. With a base of Maris Otter malt, they also blended in Golden Naked Oats, Honey malt, and Flaked Barley, lending some biscuit and granola character to the beer. Hopped late in the boil with Centennial and Delta, it was dry-hopped with a large addition of Calypso. The final beer lives up to its name at just 4% ABV (and 21 IBUs), and has lime, orange and grassiness on the palate, with an assertive bitterness. This one can also be found at the brewery (cans, on tap) starting today, with ANBL stores and licensees receiving it sometime next week.
TrailWay’s weekly Friday release today is an American IPA, which you may have guessed… however, this is the first beer they’ve fermented with a Kveik strain. Originating from Norway, this type of yeast ferments best at extremely warm – heck, even hot – temperatures, giving a wide variety of flavours and aromas. TW used the Voss Kveik strain from Escarpment Labs, and hopped the beer – which they’ve named Oculus – “moderately” with Citra and Idaho 7. The result is a 6% ABV, full-bodied beer that is big in the citrus department. Available at the brewery today when they open at noon, on tap and in cans; kegs will be travelling across the province – and to Stillwell – over the coming days.
Lucky Moncton peoples can head on over to Tide & Boar, where the brewery has just released their latest beer, a Sour IPA named Millions of Peaches. This 7% ABV kettle sour features a grist that includes a large addition of oats, with lactose powder added in the boil to up the sweetness/body. Dry-hopped entirely with Citra, the beer was further conditioned on Fuzzy Peach candy (yep!) and peach puree. To tell you that the beer is tasting sour and peachey… well, it does, but we kinda think you could have figured that one out for yourselves! Limited availability, on tap at the brewpub only!
If you’re sight-seeing in the Lunenburg area, check out Shipwright Brewing, which has just tapped “Choc”-A-Block, their latest beer. A “Rye Stout”, it of course includes an addition of Rye malt in the grist, which gives a touch of spice in the finish, which goes well with the cacao and roasted coffee notes from the darker grains used in the brew. 5.2% ABV and 25 IBUs, you can grab it at the brewery right now in pints, growler, and crowlers. It should also be available on tap at the Grand Banker.
If you were at the NS Craft Beer Week Full House event, you might have stopped by the Garrison booth and tried a new IPA that they were quietly debuting that uses “American Noble Hops”. Whether you know about hops or not, you might wonder, “What the hell is that?” Well, we’ve mentioned the Cryo hop products from Yakima Chief – Hopunion (YCH) in previous posts, which allow brewers to get significantly more bang for their buck out of high-aroma and -bittering hop varieties by using less hop material and seeing less liquid (beer!) absorbed and lost. As it turns out, however, there’s a byproduct to the cryo extraction process that’s also been released to the market, the leaves and bract from the hop flowers that don’t have the same oil or alpha acid content of the cryo products, but which do maintain quite a bit of aroma and flavor. The name “American Noble Hops” seeks to qualify this product with brewers in terms of the classic low-alpha varieties from Continental Europe. Not a great name, no, but the alternative was apparently “Debittered Leaf” so… Anyway, Garrison has embraced these new hops in the first release in their new Hop Trip IPA series, starting with Hop Trip: American Noble Citra, a 6.2% ABV and 30 IBU beer in the NEIPA-ish style. Smooth and drinkable, thanks to those low alpha acid numbers, the beer still maintains plenty of Citra character, with mandarin, lemon, and lychee coming to the fore. Even better, this beer (and the beers to come in the series) has been canned in 355 mL cans, available this weekend at the Brewery for $2.99 each or 4 for $11.99. So if you’re a hop lover but can’t always justify a tall can, you might have plenty of reason to celebrate this one. Stay tuned for other entries in the series, we’ve been advised that a Hop Trip Brut IPA is in the offing as well.
Not too many beery events to tell you about this weekend, so use this as an excuse to get out and support your local brewery, or local bar who supports your local breweries, and toast their efforts. However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t give you one last reminder that whether you’re in Moncton or St John’s, there is a Beer Fest in your backyard, which can be a good way to drink your way through the beer landscape. Both events feature local craft beer alongside macro and foreign producers, so if you wanted to try the latest batch of Silver Bullet to see if it still tastes the same now that you’ve left that type of beer behind, now’s your chance.
Next Wednesday, Matt and Dave from Toronto’s Burdock Brewing will be taking over the taps at Stillwell, hot off the heels of a collaborative pairing dinner at Little Oak the evening before (sorry, all sold out, folks!). Featuring the full variety of Burdock’s offerings, including the modern styles like Vermont Blond and IPA, wine-inspired (and -infused) Baby Riesling and a trio of BUMOs, and barrel-aged funky beers like Auko and Flur. Check out Stilly’s social media for the full list (which also includes the debut of a collaboration between Burdock and another brewery (ed. note, we incorrectly said it was with Stillwell Brewing originally), and come prepared to spend some time on May 29th.
Just a handful more beers to tell you about before we send you on your way!
Douglas, NB’s 3Flip Brewing is following up the release of last month’s “Pretzel Ale” with Lemon Kilmister. A “Lemon Blonde” that was hopped with Amarillo and given an addition of fresh lemon peel. Look for it on tap at The Joyce, Saint John Ale House, and Fredericton’s York St. ANBL for growler fills.
Sackville, New Brunswick’s, Bagtown Brewing has released a small batch of their take on a Farmer’s Double IPA this week. Weighing in at 8.5% ABV, it features the use of Cascade hops from local Wysmykal Farm to the tune of 60 IBU, and was bumped up with blueberries from Blueridge Berries in town. With such a limited production size, we definitely suggest dropping into the taproom and beergarden at 62 Main Street for a taste!
Corner Brook’s Bootleg BrewCo debuted a new beer this week, Brett Who? This 6.0% ABV beer was fermented with both brewer’s yeast and Brettanomyces for a light bodied and dry beer, with the iconic funky character that Brett imparts. Available now on tap for samples and pints in their taproom.
Newfoundland’s Dildo Brewing Company debuted a new one this week, playing on a question we imagine gets asked all over the world …Where the Helles Dildo? For those of us fortunate enough to know the answer, we’ll be rewarded with a German Helles, Dildo’s first Lager. This 6.5% ABV pale lager toes the line with malt and hops playing nicely together for an easily quaffable beer. Drop by the brewery this weekend to grab a pint or growler, and to tell the world, I know where the Helles Dildo!
Niche Brewing has brought back another of their popular beers this week: Ethos is their Brett saison, a lightly tart, dry, and funky beer brewed with their house culture. It’s going out to their usual New Brunswick accounts and will very likely also make an appearance in Halifax at Stilwell and/or the Stillwell Beer Garden.
Ninepenny Brewing in Conception Bay South has a brand new beer on tap these days. Belgian Pale Ale is a 5.0% ABV brew reminiscent of those in Europe, with notes of toffee and toast from the malt, along with a complementing yeast character. As always, the best place to grab a sample, pint, or growler is at the source, at 75 Conception Bay Hwy, open today from 4 PM.
This weekend marks the return of another one of Greg Nash’s hop hammers at Unfiltered, namely Riddle of Steel. Touted as a hybrid of West Coast and New England IPA styles, it’s 7% and available for fills, pints and in cans, thank Crom!! Also available in cans at the retail shop this weekend are Twelve Years to Zion, All Falc’d Up, and Warning Label.