Toslow

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Well, Christmas is right around the corner, so you know what that means: oodles of new releases from breweries, followed by a brief hiatus as everyone takes a much-needed break. That break translates to one for us as well, so this is your last read of the ACBB for 2019 (holds Chris away from the computer). We highly recommend you check out your favorite breweries’ social media pages over the holiday season before venturing out on a beer run; hours are likely to be highly variable over the next week or two, so plan ahead!
And as we close out our seventh year of the blog, we’d like to thank all of you readers, and the rest of the beer community, for letting us tell your stories. And when we hit the ground running in 2020, look for plenty more tales of new breweries, beers, events, and the people behind your favourite beverages. 

Another group of chaps sharing the stories behind the beer of our region is the 902 BrewCast. They’ve released their December Tasting Episode, and last one of the year, this morning. Our own acbbchris managed to sneak on for a taste of PEI, with beer from Bogside Brewing and brand-new Lone Oak, as well as Gahan House Port City in Saint John. Topics from favourite beers of the year, to what they’re looking forward to in 2020 (and how to get it), plus a healthy dose of shoutouts and callbacks, naturally! Grab the episode today for your commute home, or while you brave the stores this weekend, to drown out the 1000th playing of All I Want For Christmas

We’re not pulling any punches for the first beer of the day, let’s jump in and embrace the season! St. John’s Bannerman Brewing released Yuletide last weekend, and we think it would be a perfect beer for sharing with turkey dinner. A 5.0% ABV kettle sour with Pils and Wheat malts, it was conditioned on loads of cranberry, raspberry, and cherry purees, for a tart, fruity, and lightly savoury beer that complements and cuts through meat and potatoes and all the fixings. Grab it on tap at the brewery now!

The Big Spruce gang up in Nyanza is out to make sure you’ve got plenty of options for beers for the holidays with two new ones out this week. First up is Mele Kveikimaka, an IPA which features the Ebbgarden strain of Kveik, considered by some to increase the perception of bitterness, which should be perfect for the style. Hazy and rich, with a lovely head, this one no doubt features tons of hops and comes in at a pretty stiff 7.4% ABV. Also on the go is a new wine-influenced beer (seems all the cool kids are doing that these days) called Saviour Complex. Aged in a grape pomace barrel, this one is nominally a sour, but also features Brettanomyces. With sourness, funk, pomace, and barrel character all competing for palate space, we suspect this one lives up the the word “complex” in its name. At 7.2% ABV you probably didn’t want to slam this one down anyway. Neither of these beers is scheduled to be packaged, so you’ll have to make your way to one of the fine establishments serving them on draught. For Mele Kveikimaka, that’ll be Battery Park, Hopyard Halifax, Studio East, Boardroom Cafe, and Maritime Express. Saviour Complex will be found at Battery Park and Maritime Express. And if you contact them *right now* you may still be able to get on their Holiday Home Delivery to HRM tomorrow. Check out the FB Event for availability details, and then call them at 902-295-ALES!

On the West side of PEI in Ellerslie, Moth Lane Brewing has a brand new beer they’re excited for folks to know about, and for which they’ve gone all out on the pouring side. Na Zdravi is a Czech-style Pilsner named for the Czech version of the phrase “Cheers!” Expect this one to be clean and slightly sweet, with a pronounced, but not overwhelming bitterness and plenty of biscuity and bready character. It’s pouring from traditional side-pour taps imported from the Czech Republic and into traditional glassware for a maximally continental experience. Even better, the beer will also be pouring down the road in Tyne Valley at Backwoods Burger just as soon as they get their matching side-pour tap installed!

From one Island to another, let’s head East to Cormack, Newfoundland, where Crooked Feeder calls home. They are pouring a new Hefeweizen (German-style Wheat), featuring Newfoundland-grown wheat. Grown on Rideout’s Farm, just a few kilometres from the brewery, this is one of the first times grain from the province has been used in beer. Ausrittweizen (German for “rideout heat”) is a 5.0% ABV hazy beer, featuring loads of banana and bubblegum character thanks to the yeast chosen, and is pouring now at the brewery, as well as their Gastropub in Corner Brook.

Sydney’s Breton Brewing is knee-deep into their Christmas Countdown right now, where they’ve had daily specials on everything from beer to merchandise. Day one, however, marked the launch of their newest barrel-aged beer, Chocolate Whiskey Stout. Aged for over a year in Glenora whisky barrels with cocoa and coffee, this 7% ABV dark brew is exhibiting a blend of whisky, chocolate and coffee, with notes of oak. Smooth and warming, the entire batch was bottled, and there was only a limited amount – 500 – available when they released it. If you haven’t grabbed yours yet, we wouldn’t recommend waiting much longer. And keep an eye on their IG account for the latest news and specials.

Not to be slowed down by the holidays, North Brewing has a trifecta of beers out for you to fill your stockings with. The first two are new iterations of their Strong Dark Belgian (Glenora Barrel Aged), one inspired by Figgy Pudding (brewed with figs, dates, and vanilla), and one by Speculaas Cookies (brewed with fresh ginger and the brewery’s special Speculaas spice blend). Both come from the original base beer, which was aged in four Glenora barrels for more than two years, before blending. This is a big beer – at 10+% ABV – the perfect style for sipping while watching your kids open their presents (kids wait to open gifts after cocktail hour, right?). The third beer is a barrel-aged version of their Grisette, Blanc. Fermented on Sauvignon Blanc grape skins from Benjamin Bridge, and aged in a wine barrel for 11 months, it was then bottled and allowed to condition naturally. Lots of “funky barrel character” in this refreshing beer, the perfect counterpart to those Strong Dark Belgians you’ll be picking up. All three are available in bottles at your most-convenient North location.

Newfoundland’s Port Rexton Brewing has a couple of new beers of their own. The first is this year’s edition of their annual Tibb’s the Saison, a Saison fermented with Fruit Bomb Saison yeast from Escarpment Labs. With aromas of cinnamon, banana and clove, you can expect “notes of spice and black pepper” to follow on the palate; it weighs in at 6.6% ABV. Next up is the newest hoppy entry in their Continuum series, Continuum – Happy HoliHaze. This iteration was hopped with lots of varieties, including Hallertau Blanc, Columbus and Galaxy, accompanied by Citra and Simcoe. Lots of juiciness and haziness in this 5.9% ABV IPA, with stone fruit character and “light herbal and pith notes”. Both of these newbies are available for growler fills at the retail shop in St. John’s, and growlers and pints at the taproom starting today. And hey, they’ve just canned a fresh batch of Mixed Opportunity, their mixed-ferm Saison, so you can take home some of those as well. And if you visit the brewery taproom on Tibb’s Eve (that’s Monday the 23rd), you’ll have a chance to try their first ever casked beer, Blue Steel with orange peel and hibiscus! Tapped when they open at 6 PM, and won’t last long, as there’s only 40 litres!

TrailWay is launching the latest iteration of Beans, their Oatmeal Coffee Stout, today when they open. Espresso Beans was brewed with a large amount of espresso beans from Fredericton’s Mill Town Roasters. The roast used was selected to complement their chocolate-forward base beer, with more beans being used than in previous Beans releases. They also boosted the ABV of the beer slightly to 6.8%, in order to give it more body and flavour. If you’re dropping by the brewery to pick up some cans/growlers, they’ve also re-released their Stormy Weather American IPA, hopped heavily with Vic Secret and other “supporting” hop varieties, giving lots of citrus and pineapple in the beer; also on tap and in cans. Today is a great time, by the way, to pick up your TW beers for the weekend/holidays, as half of all pint sales sold today will be donated to the Fredericton Homeless Shelter… so, stay for a pour, why dontcha?

Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing has launched not one, not two, but three new beers today, sure to satisfy thirsty folks out and about in the city today. Crimson Thunder is a Barley Wine, weighing in at 9.0% ABV, and features a balancing act between light alcohol warmth and malt sweetness, as well as light dried fruit character perfect for enjoying in front of the fire.Speaking of warming… Face Melter is a 10.5% ABV Wee Heavy, taking the malt base up a few notches for light sweetness, bold caramel flavours, but without any hot alcohol burn. Sounds like this will fuel many a story over the holidays! And the third release is Waffle Sauce is a “Maple Butter Tart ESB”, a Canadian twist on this English standard. The 4.7% ABV Extra Special Bitter features addition of maple syrup, rum, and vanilla, making the beer a great bevvie to warm up, or accompany your flapjacks or waffles tomorrow morning. All three are pouring at the brewery currently, with Crimson Thunder and Face Malter available to go in retro stubbie bottles, and Waffle Sauce being canned and available later on the weekend.

We always like to hear about our local breweries working together on things, and this week two downtown Dartmouth breweries have stepped up with some news in that vein for the holidays. Brightwood Brewery and New Scotland Brewing have collaborated on a new Triple IPA they’re calling Eraserhead (after the notoriously feel-good holiday movie we’re sure). At 10.5% ABV you might want to sit down to drink it, but it’s got a hop onslaught to match the booze factor, with Chinook for bittering and then “crazy amounts” of Centennial, Columbus, and the YCH Hops 2019 Pink Boots Blend of Loral, Mosaic, Simcoe, Sabro, and Glacier. Look for an explosion of juicy and citrusy hop flavors, and some stone fruit in there as well. This one will be on tap at both breweries as of this evening, some kegs will go out to other locations around the HRM, and cans will be available as of tomorrow.

And New Scotland also has a pair of their own beers on tap at the brewery on Alderney Drive, available today. Blunderbuss 1839 is an ode to the home of IPAs, Burton-on-Trent in England, famed for their water profile and generous use of hops. Using a historical recipe, and “Burtonizing” the brew water (lots of minerals and salts like Calcium, Bicarbonate, and Sulfate), they’ve achieved a 6.0% ABV brew with well over 100 IBU of bitterness. Choosing UK floor malts and a long boil allow the malt to provide a sturdy backbone to support the hops. The second release is a return of Slowburn, a Chocolate and Chili Porter, featuring chilies grown in Annapolis Valley. Added both in the kettle, as well as twice during the conditioning phase, the heat grows throughout the drinking, as the notes of chocolate and vanilla give way to a pleasant spicing level. Both Blunderbuss 1839 and Slowburn are on tap at the brewery now, and should be available at licensees elsewhere in HRM (but sorry, no cans!).

Down the 101 in Wolfville, Church Brewing continues to favour European styles, as is their wont. This time out is a Dubbel they’re calling The Luxury. On one hand, it’s a traditional style brewed by Trappist monks, on the other, boy is there a lot of variation in that style, ranging from pale to dark, 10 – 30 IBU, and 4 – 12(!)% ABV. This one rests on the darker side, smack dab in the middle for IBU at 21, and i hearty, but not insane 7.0% ABV. Leveraging a pile of Franco-Belge continental malts along with some Munich malt from Horton Ridge Malt & Grain, Belgian Candi sugar was also added to enrich the color and mouthfeel. Overall chestnut in colour with some coppery highlights, it’s got a dense off-white head on the pour. Aroma- and flavour-wise, expect yeast character in the form of clove-y phenols paired with deep sweet flavours of caramelized sugar and dark fruit. A dry finish leaves a clean impression. Look for this one for sure on tap at the brewery, and we’ve been told to expect it to be canned as well, so there’s some potential for this one to be available in the city over the holidays..

Not to let something like Christmas Eve slow them down, Good Robot is still releasing a Beta Brew next Tuesday. A Black IPA they’ve named The Night Before… Black IPA, it was hopped with Chinook, Amarillo, and a bit of Citra. With a malt profile that focuses on dark chocolate, the hops provide a bright, fruity characteristics to this dry beer. Weighing in at 5.6% ABV and 35 IBUs, it was brewed with Krista Collier-Jarvis. And if you come back on Boxing Day, you’ll find The New Original Kentucky Common (4.5% ABV, 20 IBUs) back on tap.

Propeller has brought back Baltic Porter, their 6.7% ABV take on the eponymous style. Fermented with a Lager strain, the full-bodied beer has aromas of “dark roasted coffee, burnt caramel, with hints of raisin and vanilla”. It’s available as of today, on tap now at the Gottingen Street taproom. Pair it with a bottle of last year’s version aged in barrels, which was released late last month. Also, today’s cask beer (tapped at 5 PM at their Gottingen taproom) is Schwarzbier with vanilla, and next week’s will be Porter with chocolate and clementine zest. And they’ve teamed up with Compass Distillers on Agricola Street to bring you the latest in their Windmill Craft Cocktails family, Rhumb Line. Using Compass’ Spiced Rhumb, and a blend of cola with a hint of lime, they’ve constructed a tasty Cuba Libre perfect for wherever your next travel takes you. Available at the brewery and distillery retail shops, as well as Liquid Assets at the Halifax Airport.

Late addition to the blog today (sorry!), is the full release of 2 Crows‘ Tinto, their Flanders Red inspired beer that was first released for Stillwell’s Sixth Anniversary party in November. Using a complex malt bill, and lightly hopped with EKG, the beer has been 18 months in the making. Check for the full details in our previous post, to wet your whistle for bottles at the brewery tomorrow at noon. And in the meantime, you can enjoy Graduation, a 5.5% ABV mango and raspberry sour ale brewed in 2018 by the Prud’homme beer sommelier course attended by many in the NS Craft Brewery community, including 2C’s own Kelly Huizink. Light malt bill, just a touch of Nelson Sauvin and Enigma ops, before fermentation by kveik yeast and then soured in the fermenter with a blend of LactobaccillusFurther fermenting was done with a blend of bugs from favourite beers from around the world, before the addition of fresh mangoes and raspberries. Natural carbonation by champagne yeast in the keg, and now available on tap. We’d say that earns the crew an A+! Grab Graduation only on tap at the brewery now, no bottles or cans of this one!

Lots on the go this weekend to keep you out of trouble!

As a reminder and follow-up to our piece earlier this month, Sober Island Brewing has opened the doors to their taproom at 22462 Highway 7 in Sheet Harbour. Seating for 50, kiddos welcome, and those in the Sheet Harbour area can pick up their own specialized growler to show off to friends and visitors. Drop by today 4 – 9 PM, Saturday 2 – 8 PM, and Sunday 2 – 7 PM, before they take a break for Christmas. Congratulations to the SIBC family!

Corner Brook’s Bootleg Brewing is hosting Deer Lake’s newly-opened Rough Waters Brewing with a Rough Waters Brewing Pop-Up today, starting at 7 pm. All four of the brewery’s flagship beers will be available, including Selkie (American Wheat), Scallywag (American IPA), Signaler (American Porter), and Sou’Wester (Kettle Sour).  While they’re currently only packaging in bottles, Bootleg will be serving the beers in full pints, half pints, and 5 oz tasting glasses. There will also be t-shirts and posters available for sale, and the Rough Waters crew will be on-site to chat beer! And for those thirsty for Rough Waters on the East Coast, we highly recommend getting into Toslow this weekend for your fix. We’ve also heard they may have a keg from a new/not-yet-fully-open West Coast brewery pouring, but it won’t last long!

Picaroons and the Fredericton Craft Beer Fest are hosting a Christmas Cask Event at their Roundhouse location Sunday afternoon, 1 – 5 PM. Your ticket gets you in the door, a sampling glass to keep, and pours from the almost 20 casks pouring. In addition to the host brewery, try casks from Big Tide, Flying Boats, Foghorn, Garrison, Grimross, Maybee, PEI Brewing, Upstreet, as well as Pollen Angels and Red Rover. Wear your favourite Ugly Sweater for a chance at a prize. This may be the first time to check out the collaborative beer from Pics and the FCBF, Double Vision Imperial IPA, out now (soon?) in cans.

Both the Charlottetown and Halifax HopYard locations will be holding an Alberta beer tap takeover event directly after Christmas, starting Thursday, December 26th and running into the weekend. With breweries like Alley Kat, Banded Peak, Grizzly Paw, Outcast, and Troubled Monk participating, there will surely be something for every taste. And in true HY fashion, special food items will be available during the event. Specifically, the Halifax location will have an Alberta-themed menu, while in Charlottetown, local chef Nigel Thompson of Sneaky Cheats will be hosting a pop-up. Stay tuned to HY’s social media for updates on the breweries/beers as they become available.

Upstreet will be continuing their New Year’s Day annual partying with The 2020 Kickoff, happening – of course – Wednesday, January 1st. The all-day event (starting at noon) will be jam-picked with activities, including live bands, beer cocktails, happy hour pricing for the entire day, and a special brunch menu from 11am-3pm (as well as tacos and pizza-by-the-slice from 3pm-10pm). As always, it’s free to attend, and the beer will be flowing like wine, so drop by and help ring in 2020!

Some quick newsbites before we sign off today…

Hell Bay has teamed up with a “guest brewer” – Johnny Oickle – to brew Johnny O’s IPA, a 6.8% ABV, 70 IBUs brew with “citrusy hop flavours upfront, finishing with a bitter bite”. Available now at the brewery.

Hanwell’s Niche Brewing have brought back their Belgian Tripel this week, Day Tripper. Light in colour, and finishing quite dry, it hides a pleasant 8.0% ABV in its spicy and fruity finished product, thanks to an iconic Belgian yeast. Kegs have been delivered to Capital Region licensees, including The Joyce and Ringo’s Bar & Grill, with a few more spots sure to be pouring it over the weekend.

Route 19 Brewing is pouring Cranberry Pine Winter Ale, a lightly-hopped, 5% ABV brew with aromas of citrus and flavours of, yes, cranberry and pine. Lightly bitter in the finish, it’s available on tap and in cans at the brewery in Inverness. 

Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing has brought back a favorite DIPA for the Holidays, Fist of God is available now for fills and in cans as well as on tap at Charm School next door. You’ll also find 12 Years to Zion, Inducement, Sour Motherfucker, Hoppy Fingers, Exile on North Street, and Flat Black Jesus in cans, but you might not want to wait to long on some or all of those as you’ll likely not be the only one stocking up on hoppy goodness. Also, Unfiltered has very proactively put up their holiday hours on social media, so as alluded to in our intro today, you can’t say you weren’t warned!!

And finally this week, we’ve seen that the much-anticipated Painted Boat Beer Company now has product to sell. Produced at their Stellarton location at 230 Foord Street, which they share with Nova Scotia Spirit Company, and where they’ll be opening a taproom in the new year. PBBC launched at the New Glasgow Farmers’ Market earlier this week, and promise to pop-up at the Seaport Market tomorrow, but beyond that, we can’t help you! If you happen to know anything, drop us a line!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check it, we’ve got MORE RAIN coming this weekend. Whodathunkit? So grab your bee costume, queue up some Blind Melon (yes, we’re old) and grab some beer from your favorite Atlantic Canada producers. And if you’re looking for some suggestions, well, read on!

Somerset’s Bad Apple Brewhouse has a brand new beer out this week. Citronella is a 6.5% ABV amping up of the hazy New England IPA style with the essence of a bitter & resinous West Coast IPA. A base of light malts, with lots of Citra and Summit hops throughout, the beer was fermented with a blend of the Conan and Coastal Haze yeasts for an easy drinking beer with a big nose of citronella. Grab cans of this brand new killer beer at Bad Apple’s brewery in Somerset, or at their taproom in Wolfville, The Core, at 3 Elm Avenue, open from noon daily.

Hampton New Brunswick’s Matchstick Beer Factory is undergoing a name change today, so we wanted to be sure we get you up to speed. Their name is an ode to the Flewelling Saw Mill & Match Factory that used to operate in Hampton, but it being a significant landmark in town means that other businesses in the area can take inspiration from the historical building. In order to reduce confusion, the brewery is changing their name. And so, Gridiron Brewing is born! Named after the Gridiron, a small set of rapids located on the Tusket River inYarmouth County, NS, and located near the old family homestead of Head Brewer Luke MacGregor. So be sure to update your links to include their new addresses on the web and social media (Web / Fb / Ig / Tw ), as they are going live today. And be sure to follow them on social media, as they are running a contest for tickets to the Beer on the Bridge Festival in Fredericton, July 6th. Plus another exciting development coming later this month that will definitely having you pop in to Hampton for a visit!

And while we have you, let’s talk about a brand new beer that Match…. Gridiron debuted at last week’s Sussex Rotary Brew Festival. Luckily for those of us unable to attend, they’ve sent some kegs of it out in the wild to local licensees. Moose Draw Session is a Session IPA, featuring hops from nearby Moose Mountain Hops in the Upper Saint John River Valley, and grain from Island Malt House in New Glasgow, PEI. Weighing in at 4.5% ABV and a hefty 70 IBU, you can/soon find it on tap at Cask and Kettle, Peddlers Creek, Sussex Ale Works, and the Match Factory in Hampton.

Let’s head up the Number 1 Highway to Dieppe, where CAVOK Brewing calls home. They have debuted a brand new light summer sipper this week in the taproom, Soleil d’Ete. Dubbed a “New England Summer Ale”, this 4.5% ABV beer was fermented with an iconic yeast often used in NEIPAs to keep it juicy, which is only enhanced by the generous use of Mosaic and New Zealand Wakatu late in the brewing process to reduce bitterness and enhance aromatics, to the tune of about 15 IBU. The best place to grab a sample or pint is at the brewery, though we’re sure there will be kegs of it on tap at CAVOK’s accounts across NB soon.

As almost everyone knows, Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing largely makes their bones with big and bold beers, usually featuring irresponsible hopping levels. But lest you think that limits them to IPAs and West Coast Stouts, they’ve got a new beer this week that should disabuse you of that notion. Helles Bock, or Maibock, is a German style traditionally brewed in the Spring as a shift from the very malt-forward “bread-in-a-bottle” beers that dominate the winter months. Enter Hellevator, brewer Greg Nash’s take on the style. Consistent with the tradition of the style being pretty big (and perfect for Unfiltered), it comes in at 7.0% ABV and was brewed with malt, yeast and noble hops all sourced from Germany. We don’t reckon that many German brewers have ever described a Helles Bock as “juicy” but this one is, while still having a malt-forward character befitting a Maibock. Look for this one at the brewery starting today at noon, with pints, fills and cans all on offer.

Our buddies at Big Spruce have a new barrel-aged bottle release for us, and it’s one that sounds perfect for enjoying with a little hot, sunny weather. Wild Wild Wheat is a light-bodied wheat beer that was fermented with the brewery’s Farmhouse yeast (specifically, Pin Cherry 2 of their Scotia Sauvage), and aged in Chardonnay barrels for five months. Expect plenty of floral and peppery characteristics in this 4.9% ABV beer, along with some nice oak character. It’s currently available only at the Sprucetique in Nyanza, in 650 mL bottles. And while you’re there grabbing yours, Sublime – their double-dry-hopped-with-Mosaic 5% Session IPA, conditioned on organic lime juice – is back, so you might as well pick up some of that one as well!

Breaking their tradition of ping ponging between styles from release to release, Niche Brewing’s followup to last week’s Paradox is another ultralight offering coming in at an extremely sessionable 2.9% ABV. But lest you think the guys have lost their flair for changing things up, Living Reflection isn’t another Session IPA, no, it’s a fruited Brettanomyces beer that trades hops for funk. Leveraging a Niche favorite, the Amalgamation blend of 6 Brett strains from The Yeast Bay, you can absolutely expect plenty of varied Brett character from this one. Managing to avoid a too-thin body for the weight with a grist largely composed of Pilsner and wheat malt, tangerine puree was added in the secondary for a delightful citrusy and fruity kick along with a touch of tartness. This one is on its way to Niche tap accounts in New Brunswick, with a chance of an appearance at Stillwell (HQ and/or BG) in Halifax.

Over in Montague, PEI, newly-opened Bogside Brewing has a new one-off that they’ve added to their taplist, to go with their flaships. Named after the salty, sour, German style that we all know and love, Gose is a 4% ABV salty, sour… oh wait, I guess you probably figured that out from the first part of this sentence. But it is! Coriander is also typically added to this style of beer, but in Bogside’s case, the coriander presence is minimal. Easy-drinking with “some nice grainy notes”, you can grab it at the brewery’s restaurant/taproom (along with some BBQ!) over the weekend, in sample, pint, or growler form.

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing continues to surprise and delight with their willingness to bring new beers to their seasonal lineup with their summer lineup of NE IPA, Galaxy, Session IPA, Azacca, and Summer Fruit Beer, Stone Fruit, all winning plenty of fans in the region. This week, though, they’ve upped the ante even a little more with a special limited release of a beer that’s been quite a while in the making. Brett IPA doesn’t have a fancy name, but it’s sure to be a complex beer. Coming in at 6.0% ABV, with some wheat in the grist and plenty of Mosaic and Azacca, as befits the IPA aspect, it was also aged for more than 8 months in red wine barrels with Brettanomyces bruxellensis. Look for plenty of hop character, with notes of tangerine, papaya and passionfruit, some complex barnyard funk, and no doubt some further complexity and tannins from the barrel. Bottle conditioned in 750 mL bottles with cork and cage and a gorgeous label courtesy of Densley Design, only 200 of these are available in total starting tomorrow at both Propeller locations. The question is, do you drink it now and get the full effect of the hops, or do you cellar it for a year or two and let the Brett develop even further? Let’s be honest, the answer is probably to buy two and do both!! A quick warning from the brewery, though, the corks used for this bottling were somewhat sub-optimal and will likely require a corkscrew to remove; they’re addressing this issue with different corks on future limited releases. And if you’re considering hitting up Propeller (or the Propeller Arcade) tonight for a pint or two, we think that knowing that tonight’s cask is their Rye IPA with Grapefruit might help you make your decision.

Bannerman Brewing, located in St. John’s, has been up and running for a couple months now, and while they’re still working at ramping up production to keep up with demand, they DO have two brand new beer releases for us all this weekend. Let’s start with Hard Yes, a dry-hopped kettle sour. Brewed with a good percentage of wheat, this tart beer was dry-hopped with heavy amount of Citra and Galaxy, which, as you can probably imagine if you’re familiar at all with hops, results in a lot of citrus and tropical character, all supported by a biscuity finish. At 5.2% ABV, you’re probably ok to enjoy one or two of these without going overboard (results may vary)! Next up is Medium Cool, a malt-forward American IPA brewed with Golden Promise, Pilsner, and Crystal malts. Dry-hopped with large amounts of Mosaic, Simcoe and Columbus, the 7% ABV beer has “notes of honey, with a rounded bitterness and a resinous, earthy hop profile”. Both of these beers should be available at the brewery right now, for pints and growler fills. And if it happens to be nice out while you’re there, take a minute and enjoy a beer on their newly-opened deck!

New beer coming out from TrailWay today, a beer they’re referring to as an “Oatmeal IPA”. Overnight was brewed with “near maxed-out recommended dosages of both malted and flaked oats”, according to the brewery. Hopped – likely intensely with, being TrailWay and all! – with El Dorado and Citra, two American varieties that TW has used with many of their other hoppy offerings, expect “melon, berries and cantaloupe” in the aroma/flavour. The oaty grist comes through in spades in the mouthfeel, lending a creamy, soft body to the beer, without being cloyingly sweet. And as with most TW beers, there’s very little bitterness in the finish of this 6% ABV brew. It’s available right now (because there’s no way this post is published before noon… NO WAY) at the brewery on tap and in cans. While there, you can also grab some Good Weather, another of their popular summer American IPAs.

If you’re around the Corner Brook area of Newfoundland this weekend, you might just want to head over to Bootleg Brew Co. They have released a special collaboration beer they cooked up with St. John’s beer bar Toslow, kinda-sorta in time for their first anniversary. Starting from a Berliner Weisse (sour wheat beer) base, the piece de resistance was a whole whack of Newfoundland berries, donated by Toslow co-owner Chris Scott’s grandmother, with partridgeberries, blueberries, marshberries and cranberries. Hence the name, A Nan Jam, seems quite fitting to thank her! 🙂 Tart from the berries as well as the souring technique, plus aromatic from the fruits as well as a generous Galaxy dry hopping, this is a complex and beautiful pink beer that we’re sure won’t last long. It’s available right now at Bootleg’s taproom, and very soon on the other side of the province at Toslow, hopefully this weekend.

The team at Halifax’s Good Robot has certainly been enjoying the sunnier weather this week, and given the glorious space that is the Gastroturf (with more taps added this week care of Beer Tech), why wouldn’t they? They’ve got a new beer out this week that’s just right for enjoying some sun, assuming we get more at some point, and they’re calling it Viking Holiday. Fermented with a kveik yeast strain, a great choice for this time of year when temperature control gets more difficult and a quick turnaround is paramount, it was built on a grist of two-row barley and wheat and gets a delightful zing from an addition of pineapple. Reminiscent of the ever so rare Pineapple Creamsicle™, it aims to be light and refreshing at 4.2% ABV and a gentle 15 IBUs and with a fairly spritzy carbonation. Look for it on tap at the brewery for pints and fills.

Charlottetown’s Upstreet is continuing their “Do Good Resident Artist” program with the release of their newest beer, Orange Mandarin Gose. Brewed with their current RA, Peter Christenson (hailing from the state of Washington), the grist is simply made up of 2-row and malted wheat, and hopped very lightly to 5 IBUs with Herkules. While this kettle sour features the normal-for-a-Gose additions of sea salt and coriander, they’ve also added orange peel and mandarin, which contributes some nice citrus notes to go along with the tart, salty flavours of the beer. And at just 4% ABV, the refreshment factor increases even higher! If you’d like to check out Peter’s artwork, they’ll be holding an Artist Talk/Beer Release this Sunday at 2 pm, in the white building adjacent to Upstreet’s taproom, which will be followed by a trot over to the taproom to try the beer!

A couple of things to tell you about in terms of beery events coming up:

If you’re beer-motivated and looking for something to do on the evening of Saturday, June 29th, consider grabbing one of the remaining tickets for Curated Magazine’s East Coast Craft Beer Festival in the Multipurpose Room at the Halifax Forum. Tickets are $35 (plus taxes and a $1 fee) and will get you 12 tickets, each good for a 4 oz pour from 18 Nova Scotia breweries plus two out-of-province guests: Cask & Kettle Irish Gastropub from Saint John and Dominion City from Ottawa. There will also be local food on offer (cash only), live music, and taxi service. Designated Driver tickets are available for $10 at the door.

Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing Company is pleased to announce that they’ve partnered up with the team from Murphy’s on the Water to bring a weekly Brews Cruise on the Tall Ship Silva every Thursday night this summer from 9 – 11 PM featuring live music and New Scotland beer. Tickets are $15 and are available from Ambassatours. Meanwhile, keep an eye on Social Media to see who’s playing each week!

And a few last mentions of new releases, re-releases, and openings to help you figure out where you’re going to buy the beer you’re likely to be drinking inside this weekend:

In case you missed it during your morning commute, fellow beer-crazy cats 902 BrewCast have dropped their June Tasting Episode today. Highlighting their choices for their Nova Scotia Summer Slammers as published in The Coast, they once again curate and fawn over their favourite brews, wines, and news going around our little piece of the beer world. Check into your fave podcast app for the latest episode.

Boxing Rock has brought back Bravo!, their 6% ABV single-hopped American IPA featuring, you guessed it, the Bravo variety. It’s available in six-packs for those of you who enjoy this “perfectly bitter” beer and need more than one. They’ve also revealed that they’re currently building a taproom in Shelburne; stay tuned for more info on that project.

Tracadie, NB’s Brasseux d’la Cote is releasing their Barram Witbier this week, a silver medal winner at this year’s Down East Brewing Awards. Now packaged in cans, it’s a 4.5% ABV Witbier available at the brewery (where we guess you can also grab it on tap).

Congratulations are in order as Dildo Brewing Company has opened their St. John’s retail location today. Located at 332 Water Street, next door to good friend of good beer The Adelaide Oyster House, the retail location will be open from noon today, with sales of growlers, cans, and their deadly popular merchandise. No onsite samples or pints are available, but look as close as next door, or further down the street, to imbibe.

Up on the North Shore of Nova Scotia, in Grant (near Antigonish), Half Cocked Brewing has announced their summer hours and the opening of their patio. In addition to their usual Thursday Growler nights, check them out Fridays from 5 – 8 PM and Saturdays from 2 – 7 PM for fills, pints and flights. Hey, pop in today after you sign off for the work, why dontcha? Bring your own umbrellas if you dare sit on the patio!

Hell Bay has released their own take on a Gose, The Salty Piper (5% ABV). Brewed in collaboration with the White Point Beach Resort, the sea salt used in the brew was actually harvested from the resort. Drop by the brewery and resort for a taste of the final product.

Shipwright’s newest beer, released this week, is an Australian Pale Ale named Aussie Rules (5.5% ABV). Hopped with Galaxy and Enigma, expect aromas of “peach, pineapple, and cantaloupe”, with a touch of malt sweetness. Find it on tap at the brewery, or downstairs at the Grand Banker, both located at 82 Montague Street in downtown Lunenburg.