Trider’s Craft Beer

All posts tagged Trider’s Craft Beer

Here we are one week into December and the breweries of Atlantic Canada decided to drop a veritable cornucopia of new beer releases on us. There’s lots of big-ass winter sippers, some holiday-themed beers, along with some less season-focused fare. It’s all a reminder that our scene is burgeoning and shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. You’re not going to get through this in a trip to the can (not without risking nerve damage anyway), so we encourage you to pour yourself a beer, sit down somewhere quiet, and take some time to go through it all.

Let’s kick off with a reminder that Landwash Brewery is now officially open, pouring their first pints to the public yesterday. Drop by their taproom at 181 Commonwealth in Mount Pearl this weekend for samples, pints, and then grab some cans/growlers of their four core beer and first seasonal. Available now are One Wave Blonde Ale, That Much Ocean NEIPA, Hazures’ Rock Breakfast Stout (with oats and coffee), Brackish Gose, and Home and Away Pale Ale. The taproom and retail spot is open Thursday and Friday 4 – 10 PM, Saturday 12 – 10 PM, and Sunday 12 – 6 PM. To get you thirsty for this evening’s visit, check out the Profile of Landwash we published earlier this week.

Hey, if you happen to be checking out Landwash over the next couple of days for their opening weekend, you may notice a brand-spanking-new beer from Port Rexton Brewing, which should be pouring on one of their guest taps. Long Trek is the brewery’s first lager, a clean, refreshing, crisp, 5% ABV Munich Helles. Fermented with Isar Lager yeast from Escarpment Labs, the beer has a “grainy-sweet, malty backbone” with “subtle, earthy, herbal hop notes”. It took about 6 weeks for this brew to be ready for packaging, and it sounds like the wait was probably worth it! If you can’t quite make it out to Mount Pearl, fear not… Long Trek is also available at PR’s taproom for growler fills, as well as at the brewery’s retail shop in St. John’s starting tomorrow. And cans will be showing themselves over the next few weeks, so keep your eyes open for those.

A couple of tasty new releases from our friends at North Brewing this week, along with a big announcement! Let’s start with the beers, shall we? Yesterday brought us Blanc, a 4.5% ABV Grisette that was fermented on Sauvignon Blanc grape skins from Benjamin Bridge vineyards (located in the Gaspereau Valley on the Bay of Fundy). Buying cans of this beer won’t just satisfy your need for delicious beer, but will also go towards supporting the new North Brewing Conservation Initiative, “a fundraising effort to acquire ecologically significant land in Nova Scotia in partnership with the Nova Scotia Nature Trust”, with $0.50 from each can (available at the North bottle shops only) going towards the NSNT. How’s it tasting, you ask? Well, the brewery is describing it as “very vinous, tart, light, and with a little lemon and funk”.

Not to be satisfied with only one new beer this week, today they’re also releasing MR. Funky Time. This 5.2% ABV brew was fermented and aged in a single neutral oak barrel (with some grown-up bottle dregs) before being filtered through a blend of mango and raspberry black tea from local World Tea House. As you may have guessed, the mango and raspberry teas really come through with this beer, to complement the touch of funk and tartness from the fermentation character. A limited release of only 220 bottles, you’ll be able to grab yours starting today at both North bottle shops.

Finally, in other North news, they’ve announced that they’re going all-in on Dartmouth, and will be taking over a larger production space located at 899 Portland St. They’re not giving us too many details yet, but it’s safe to say that this move means more North beer, and their very own taproom to boot! Congrats to the entire North team, and we look forward to what 2019 will bring!

Those who pay close attention to branding will know that the logo for Tatamagouche Brewing features a two-headed bull symbolic of a two-headed calf that once came to the town (its skull is in a local museum!). Their latest beer, Polycephaly, makes further reference to this, as it means, “more than one head.” The beer itself is a milkshake IPA at 6.7% ABV and 40 IBU, starting simply with a grist of 2-row barley and oats, then heavily hopped with a world-ranging variety of hops: German Huell Melon, American Azacca, and Australian Galaxy. Add to that the requisite lactose for some sweetness, and fruit in the form of strawberry and plum purees added in the secondary, and you’ve got a hoppy, fruity, somewhat sweet beer with additional hop aroma from dry-hopping with more Galaxy and Huell Melon. A final conditioning on vanilla beans ties it all together with a characteristic smoothness. Growlers and pints are available now at the brewery, with kegs going out to select licensees in the near future and cans expected to be available at the brewery and the private stores in Halifax sometime next week.

If you just so happen to be in the area of MacDougall Settlement, NB (that’s just outside Shediac, btw), this weekend, you might consider stopping in at Valonray Farmhouse Brewery who have a couple of limited releases available as well as a sale on some of their previous releases. The limited releases are two Belgian styles, a Belgian Quad and a Belgian Dubbel, both aged on Brettanomyces for 6 months. The Quad is 10% ABV, with a prominent stone fruit character, and the Dubbel a lighter 7% ABV, with notes of caramel. Both of these are in extremely limited release (less than 100 bottles each). If you head over to get your hands on these, you can also pick up bottles of their earlier batches of Farmhouse Ale, Terroir, and 100% Brett IPA at 2 bottles for $15, and you’ll also be able to grab their latest Farmhouse Ale (batch #3, dry-hopped with Hallertau) and Terroir (batch #2, dry-hopped with Hallertau Blanc). Bear in mind they’re only open on Saturdays throughout the Winter.

Nearby, in Dieppe, O’Creek Brewing has their latest NEIPA pouring, following on the heels of Route 117 IPA, their first beer. This new one is named I.P.Address, and, like the style dictates, is yellow-coloured and very hazy, thanks to copious amounts of after-boil and dry-hop additions with the emphasis on Vic Secret, as well as some Mosaic and Centennial. Expect lots of tropical fruit aromas and flavours, as well as a bit of dank in this 6.1% ABV, 60 IBUs beer. The grain bill was kept relatively simple (2-row, Wheat malt and flaked wheat, and Carapils) to really allow all that hop goodness to come through. The beer is pouring on tap right now at the Flying Boats taproom, and should be on the board very shortly at CAVOK Brewing.

There’s a new entry in the Million Acres series from Upstreet now out for purchase, Sour Abbey Ale. With a grist made up mostly of Abbey malt, there was also some CaraMunich and Blackprinz thrown in, as well as some house-made invert sugar in the boil (after kettle-souring, of course). Hopped lightly with Mount Rainier from Moose Mountain Hops to 10 IBUs, this beer was actually brewed and bottled back in February, and has been aging ever since for your enjoyment just before Christmas! It weighs in at 5.5% ABV, and is available at both Upstreet locations for purchase. And stay tuned for a future release of the sibling for this beer, which was aged in Cab Sauv barrels, and was just bottled last week.

Hanwell, NB’s Niche Brewing, is getting a little sour and salty with this week’s brand new release. Hitting the taps now is Passion Fruit Gose, which we supposed is self-evident, but we’ve never been known for our brevity, so let us dive a bit deeper… Starting from a kettle-soured beer with lots of Pilsner and Wheat malts, it was boiled with a light addition of sea salt, very similar to the traditional Gose beers that originated in Germany more than 500 years ago. After fermentation with an American Ale yeast, passion fruit purée was added to the final beer, for a blast of tropical fruit aroma and nose, complementing the lightly tart and salty beer. The 4.8% ABV beer is pouring now, or will be soon, at The Joyce, King Street Ale House, Peppers Pub, Eighty3 Bar Arcade, Tide & Boar and Au Bootlegger.

Shelburne’s Boxing Rock is among the breweries bringing multiple releases this week, starting with a special edition of last year’s U-889 Imperial Stout (2017) that’s been barrel-aged and bottle conditioned. It’s coming out at the perfect time for you to grab a bottle for a share and compare with this year’s version, which is also out very soon. The 2018 vintage features notes of dark fruit, chocolate and mocha, balanced with vanilla, espresso and a rich malt character. At a burly 8.9% ABV, it should pair nicely with desserts, especially those featuring chocolate or Christmassy spices.

And in the “brand new beer” category, BR has two arriving on the shelves. First is their Patricius Irish Stout, a beer named after Ireland’s patron saint, St. Patrick. Creamy and well-balanced, and sporting an up-front bitterness with notes of nuts, chocolate and coffee, it’s 4.9% ABV. And if you’re looking for a lighter-bodied beer with some interesting ingredients, look no further than their other new release this week, The Biggest Spruce (no relation) Christmas Tree IPA, a very sessionable 4% ABV beer with lots of American hops that bring aroma and flavor notes reminiscent of spruce. But just to up the ante a little bit, the beer was also treated with a healthy dose of spruce tip-infused Centennial hops! A bit of a “Christmas Tree in a glass” it could well be the perfect accompaniment to trimming your holiday tree. Or Festivus Pole. Look for these releases at the brewery and Local Source, on tap at Boxing Rock accounts throughout the region, and, we presume, possibly at private stores in Halifax.

And if that weren’t already enough, look for some promos from the BR gang happening in December. The bottle shop at Local Source will be featuring 4×650 mL or 2×650 mL and 2 x 16oz glasses for $20; that covers all of their 650 mL stock excepting Fisticuffs and U-889. Quite a deal for stocking up your fridge for the holidays. Meanwhile, they’ve also given us a heads up that they’ve got a mixed-fermentation saison with Brett currently aging in Chardonnay barrels. We’ll give you the full details on that one for its release in 2019.

The new beers just keep chugging this week, and Yarmouth’s Heritage Brewing is no exception. This week they’re giving us Red Rye Ale, which as you can probably guess, is an American Amber with Rye malt in the grist. Lightly hopped with some American varieties at the end of the boil to provide a bit of fruit/citrus character, the Rye provides the typical spicy notes, to go with the malty sweetness background. You can grab some at the taproom this weekend; 5.5% ABV, 28 IBUs.

If you like supporting animal shelters while you drink beer, we have good news for you (especially if you live in Amherst)! Trider’s has brewed a new Session IPA, Gimme Shelter, whose bottle labels feature four adoptable pets from the Lillian Allbon Animal Shelter. While bound to lead to a home for these four lovable, furry beasts, they’re also donating the proceeds from bottle sales directly back to the shelter! Oh, and back to the beer, it’s 4.9% ABV and hopped with Cascade and Centennial, giving high levels of citrus and grapfruit. Quantities are limited, so drop by and pick up a few bottles… and maybe stop by the shelter on the way home for an early Christmas present to you and your family?

Tidehouse has taken their Winter Warmer and stepped it up a notch, just in time for Christmas! The recipe has a few new ingredients, namely cinnamon, rum, oak, and nutmeg, as well as a “pinch” of lactose powder for balance and body. It’s a big beer at 8.3% ABV, and they’ve bottled it in 640 mL bombers. Speaking of those bombers, they’ve teamed up with local furniture company Jampy for the packaging of this one. Known for their Seaflake ornaments, each bottle of this beer will come with its own unique Seaflake, your very own locally-crafted, wooden Christmas tree ornament! It’s two Christmas gifts in one! Or, drink the beer and gift the ornament, that works, too. Drop by the brewery today at 2 pm to grab yours.

Back in Newfoundland, Bootleg Brew Co. has released their very first Stout, Deez Nuts Peanut Butter Stout (trust us, it wasn’t easy typing that). A bit of lactose powder was added to boost the mouthfeel slightly, along with “loads” of peanuts… so suffice it to say, stay away from this one if you have a peanut allergy. They’re describing it as “full-bodied, deep and rich, with a moderate bitterness” balanced by the presence of peanut butter on the palate. It’s pretty easy-drinking at just 4.5% ABV; you can find it pouring at the taproom right now.

In Dartmouth, Spindrift has released the last of their first five beers in their Out of the Hold series of bottle-conditioned beers that we’ve been reporting on over the last month or so. Nanaimo Black Lager was barrel-aged and conditioned on a selection of ingredients that you may recognize as the characteristic elements of Nanaimo dessert bars: cocoa nibs, toasted coconut, almonds and vanilla beans. With some lactose also added to bump up the sweetness a touch, the result is “a sweet, creamy dessert beer with French oak character expressed on the finish.” It’s available sold out at the Spindrift taproom now, but you can most likely expect it to appear at the same private stores that have sold their previous releases in the series, hopefully as early as next week!

It’s not unusual to see breweries releasing a holiday beer this time of year, and Annapolis Brewing decided to go a bit further and release two! The first is a collaboration with Horton Ridge Malt & Grain, a Belgian Tripel named Deep Tripel. With a grist including Pilsner, Wheat and Malted Oats (from Horton Ridge, natch), it may weigh in at a hefty 7.9% ABV and 24 IBUs, but it’s still quite smooth, featuring “banana and apricot notes” with barely a hint of alcohol warmth… so tread lightly! Bottles (660 mL) of this one will be available at both Annapolis Brewing and Horton Ridge taprooms. Next up is Dry Dock, a beer they’re calling a “Brut-style Pale Ale”. Hopped with Mosaic, Vic Secret, Ella, and Motueka (to 20 IBUs), this 6.3% ABV beer is very dry, thanks to the addition of amylase enzymes (just like you’d expect to see in a Brut IPA). Plenty of tropical fruit and citrus, grab some bottles of this at the brewery’s taproom as well.

As if we weren’t busy enough, Nine Locks also had to go and release three new beers this week. Thanks a lot, jerks! There we go again, not using our brain-to-keyboard filter. Ok, let’s get started. The first two beers mark the beginning of the brewery’s barrel-aged program; both beers have been hand-bottled (750 mL) and dipped in wax, and are now available for purchase. The first is Barley Wine, brewed with all Maris Otter malts, and aged for twelve months in Glen Breton whisky barrels. Big and boozy at 11% ABV, it showcases “malty richness, flavours of toast, marmalade, and treacle”, along with some oak presence, and alcohol warmth (well, yeah!), with the 50 IBUs balancing some of the sweetness. The next is another big beer, Russian Imperial Stout. Also aged for twelve months, but in bourbon barrels, expect flavours of “dark chocolate, coffee, molasses, and dried fruit”, along with the bourbon and oak notes. Almost as strong at 10.5% ABV, it has a slightly-higher bitterness (70 IBUs) as expected for the style. Beers like these are always excellent for aging, and make handsome Christmas gifts. Finally, on the opposite end of the spectrum, their third release is Pale Ale, a 5.5% ABV, 35 IBUs amber-coloured brew, featuring “a bittersweet punch of citrus and spice” thanks to hopping with some West Coast varieties. This one is available in cans, as well as on tap, and joins it’s two older brothers as being available at the brewery for purchase.

Not to be outdone by all the other breweries putting out big beers this week (or, y’know, themselves with the recent release of their Barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout), Propeller is in on the fun with the release of their Barrel Aged Baltic Porter. Aged in Bourbon Barrels, this beer is dark and complex, with plenty of toffee and roasted coffee aroma and flavors of vanilla and caramel, it’s all brought together by a distinct bourbon overtone. Bottles are $7 at their locations on Gottingen Street and in Burnside, but they’ve got a deal on where you can get one of these, a Barrel-aged RIS and a bottle of their Coffee Porter for $15! And if you hit the tasting room (Gottingen) for bottles, maybe plan to pause for a little while and try a glass of a special edition of the BA Baltic Porter that’s been further conditioned with Chocolate. This one is only available by the pint; no growler fills. And if your plans are going to take you there this evening (or possibly into the weekend, as supplies last), look for a special cask of Russian Imperial Stout with Coconut to be tapped at 5 PM today.

PEI Brewing Company has joined in on the big beer fun this week as well. A new entry in their After Hours Series, their Barrel-aged Barleywine (#barleywineislife) has been aging for months in Kentucky bourbon barrels and is now ready for general consumption. Already on the shelves as of earlier this week, it features plenty of malt character with sweet and toasty notes, paired with a fruity yeast character and herbal English hops and with vanilla and oak notes from the barrel completing the overall picture. At 10.5% ABV and packaged in 750 mL bottles, we highly recommend you find a friend (or two) to share one with lest you risk a visit by the ghost of hangovers past. You’ll find it at the PEI BC taproom and soon (if not already) at PEI Liquor stores as well. Speaking of the taproom, today will see the release of the second of their Christmas Growler Countdown beers. Island Allspice is a red ale to which ginger, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange were added. Their last CGC beer sold out pretty quickly, so get down to the taproom if you want to try this very holiday-themed beer; it goes on tap at 4 PM for growler fills only.

Good Robot has an IPA twist for us next Tuesday, with Green’s Garden IPA. Brewed by mother and daughter team Keri and Drella, this is a “Rosemary IPA” inspired by North Carolina’s Twin Leaf Brewery. Brewed with rosemary (we’re talking sprigs, seeds, and flowers), and hopped with Simcoe, Amarillo, and Sorachi Ace to 31 IBUs. Light and crisp, with a good amount of rosemary presence, it comes in at 5% ABV; look for it at the taproom on Tuesday. And Thursday brings us a brand new Alpha brew, a collab with Halifax’s Antojo Tacos + Tequila named La Luchadora Catrina. This Stout features the addition of house mole sauce from Chef Francisco Rabelo, and they decided to take that heat and bump it up even further by throwing in “a few more chilis”. Expect a bit of heat, maybe? At least the alcohol isn’t too high (4.7% ABV)!  

Over to Cape Breton, where Breton Brewing has teamed up again with the Brathair Brewing homebrew fellas, to brew the first in their barrel-aged Signature Series, Wild Bretton. This is a Belgian Witbier that was brewed with your classic coriander and orange peel additions, and fermented with more than your typical Witbier yeast strain – Amalgamation (that very popular blend of six Brettanomyces strains) was also pitched, before aging the beer in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir barrels. The 500 mL bottles are being released at the brewery today; grab one of each barrel variant… for science! It’s 5% ABV and 14 IBUs, and “conveys a light body and a tart lemony finish, while offering complex yet refreshing characteristics”. Look for the bottles to hit Halifax private stores sometime next week.

The Christmas beers continue (go figure!), as Petit-Sault and Brasseux d’la Côte teamed up in November to brew a “Belgian Amber Christmas Ale”, which was just released last night at both breweries. Named after St. Nick’s evil twin, Père Fouettard was brewed at Brasseux d’la Côte in Tracadie, and is showing flavours and aromas of “clove, fennel seed, orange peel, caramelized malted sugars, and a touch of smoked malt”. Finishing quite dry, it clocks in at 6.4% ABV and 24 IBUs, and is available on tap only, at both breweries.

Those crazy fellas at the 902BrewCast are continuing their roll of New Brunswick-themed episodes (did they even sleep when they were there?), with the latest featuring a visit to Rothesay’s Hammond River Brewing. Download it wherever you normally get your episodes (you’re subscribed, right?), or they’ll get mad at us!

A couple of very beery events are going on in Halifax in the next seven days that you should think twice about missing:

We told you about this 2 weeks ago, and hopheads in the region are no doubt already salivating, but if you missed it or have been living under a rock this is your final notice that Portland, Maine’s hop heroes Bissell Brothers will be doing their second takeover at Stillwell in Halifax tomorrow starting at noon. Instagram has confirmed 8 beers that will be served, including: The Substance, Swish, Lux, Nuclear Whim with the Fuse of a Mile, Industry versus Inferiority, Preserve & Protect, big small world, and Umbra. We note, however, that Stillwell has 12 taps (15 if you include the hand pumps), and Bissell has a barrel program, soooo… We (honestly!) don’t know anything that hasn’t been posted publicly, and frankly, that lineup above is obviously full of bangers, but greedy bastards that we are we’re hoping a little that maybe we get to see some additional limited releases on the wall and maybe even a touch of Bissell’s first forays into funk! And while you’re drinking the lovely brews, know that the kitchen will be taken over by another Bissell-related joint, Highroller Lobster Co. Curious how rich shellfish pairs with exquisite hoppy beers? You can find out tomorrow!

Two of Halifax’s oldest craft breweries – Garrison and Propeller – are teaming up for a tap takeover at HopYard Halifax next Thursday, Dec 13th. A Well Crafted Xmas will feature six taps for each brewery, with $1 from each pint going to Saint George’s YouthNet, a local youth organization. Lots of vinyl and beer, and a chance to win a craft beer basket – a $5 donation gets you a ballot, or even better, bring an unwrapped gift (art supplies, board games, sporting equipment, or Lego are preferred) for three ballots! It all starts when they open at 11 am.

Did you really read all the way down to here? Good on you, but we’re not done yet; here’s a few last mentions before we let you go get your beer on:

Bathurst’s Four Rivers is now canning some of their small batch brews, including their latest, British Mild. A light-bodied dark ale, with “notes of pumpernickel and caramel balanced by a slight fruitiness”, it comes in at 5% ABV and 20 IBUs. Currently available at the brewery; look for other small batch can releases in the near future.

Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing has completed their first bottling run and are now well-stocked with their core beers. Now you can get some to go without having to purchase (or remember to bring) a growler. Look for Rampant Lion IPA, St. Andrews Cross Pale Ale, and Coat of Arms Scottish Export available now.

Picaroons has been doing their 12 Beers of Christmas growler-only releases for many years now, and they recently announced that two of their regulars in this line-up, The Blitzen Coffee Porter and Xmas Tree IPA, will be bottled for the first time; they’re available now at all Picaroons locations. Also look for the 23rd (!) entry in their PIVOT Imperial IPA series, which features Simcoe and Chinook hops.

Schoolhouse Brewery has just re-released Staffroom Coffee Stout (5.5% ABV), with a few tweaks to the recipe, resulting in a dark brown colour, as opposed to the black of last year’s release (they’re looking for roast character without the astringency). Don’t worry, there’s still coffee in it! Available on tap at the brewery for growlers and pints, and in bombers.

Today, TrailWay is re-releasing Christmas Rascal, their 8.5% ABV Imperial Milk Stout. Brewed with cocoa nibs, cinnamon, cardamom and cayenne pepper, and aged on vanilla beans, you can grab it on tap and in cans at the brewery, with a few kegs heading to some local establishments.

Unfiltered has plenty of cans for you to purchase at their retail shop this week, to help you make it through some family visit, family parties… anything family, really. Look for Double Orange Ale, Riddle of Steel, Exile on North St., Play With Fire, and Daytimer; limited quantities are available.

Hello everyone, and hello fall! For those of you who are saying, “Thank God that all that heat is done with!”, we will try to remember to remind you on that first Friday where it’s freezing cold and there’s snow and ice everywhere that you were WRONG to complain about the heat! Don’t worry, we won’t forget! Where were we… ah, beer! Whole bunch going on this week, and luckily it’s not just all about Pumpkin beer re-releases. Let’s get to it!

Why don’t we begin in Dieppe, New Brunswick, where CAVOK Brewing (that’s pronounced “CAV Okay”) will be having a soft opening of their brand-spanking-new taproom this weekend. Located at 250 boul. Dieppe, there will be seven different CAVOK beers pouring, six of which were brewed on their 1 bbl (120 L) pilot system; these include a Rye IPA, kettle sour, Oatmeal Stout, West Coast IPA, Altbier, and Saison, all of which will be joining their flagship beer, Léger Corner Honey Ale. Expect to see some local breweries featured on guest taps; this practice will continue in the future. A limited selection of CAVOK swag will be available for purchase, and guests are encouraged to bring in/order in their own food. Swing on by to check out their new digs during the following times: Fri 5-11pm, Sat 2-11pm, and Sun 2-7 pm. And remember, keep in mind this IS a soft opening, so be patient as staff gets into the swing of things with crowds and POS operations! Their grand opening will most likely be happening sometime next month.

In what may be a first in Canadian brewery news, Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing has purchased a bowling alley on the city’s Northside. And one that is still operational and currently running leagues, to boot! Located at 301 Main St, Bowl-a-Drome is located just 300 metres down the road from TrailWay’s brewery and taproom. The location will remain untouched for the rest of 2018 (as per the former owner’s wishes), allowing time for staff to prepare, and bowling leagues to finish. The Drome will close at the beginning of 2019 to perform renovations, updating the interior, and adding to the bar facilities. Once it re-opens, it will be a craft beer and bowling destination (and we hear you’ll still be able to get a damn fine White Russian), featuring TrailWay and other Fredericton breweries, as well as many from elsewhere in, and outside, the province. Keep an eye on the progress at their Facebook page. Congratulations TW, we think this will be a 7-10 split (or touchdown, hole-in-one, or Diamond Cutter, depending on your metaphors)! And in case you were wondering, there are absolutely no plans to move brewing operations from their current spot, those fermenters are super tall, y’all!

Of course, it IS Friday, which means that TrailWay also has some new hoppy beer news for us. Home is Where the Hops Is was hopped exclusively with Eureka, a fairly new American variety that was originally known as Experimental Pine Fruit… which may help give you an idea of how it comes across in beer. Expect flavours of “citrus, resin, tropical and dark fruit”, according to TW, with “aromas of grapefruit and slight tangerine”. Like most of the brewery’s IPAs it comes in at 6.5% ABV, and no doubt a low number of IBUs. Available on tap and in cans as of today.

Plenty of new/returning beers coming out of Upstreet lately, which I think makes sense to tackle in chronological order, just to make it easier on all of us! Last week saw the release of the brewery’s second foeder-aged beer, Come Pick Me Up, an 8% ABV Saison. Available on tap and in growlers only, at both Upstreet locations (and very possibly Hopyard Halifax next week), the brewery is describing it as having “nice oak, white grape, bubblegum, banana, and pepper notes”. As for today, look for the return of the Gravedigger, Upstreet’s annual fall seasonal Pumpkin Ale. At a fairly-hefty 6.5% ABV, the full-bodied beer is “generously spiced” with nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger, and has notes of vanilla and graham cracker. This one will be available in bottles, as well as on tap.

Moving on, Upstreet will be launching the second in their “Artist Residency” beer series, an Altbier named Abenteur. The German word for “adventure”, this beer was brewed with the help of local artist Mathieu Leger, and comes in at 5% ABV and 40 IBUs. With “aromas of pine and mint”, and some “light-roast coffee, burnt caramel, and brown bread crust” on the palate, it’ll be available starting tomorrow, on tap and in bottles (featuring artwork by, naturally, the artist behind the beer). Drop by the Upstreet Artist Space (the white building beside the taproom) tomorrow at 2 pm for an ArtTalk with Leger; afterwards, everyone will head over to the taproom for some Altbier and live music, at around 3 pm.

Earlier this week, Windsor’s Schoolhouse Brewery launched their first new beer in some time, Freshman, a New England IPA (or Northeast, depending on your fancy). Brewed with a grist of Maritime Malt, Malted Wheat, Maris Otter, and Flaked Oats, over 25 kg of fresh, wet hops were added in the whirlpool, including Chinook, Cascade, and Centennial, all harvested from Stewiacke’s Wicked Hops Farm. The beer was then double dry-hopped with Amarillo, Chinook, and Galena, giving “loads of cloudy, crushable, and juicy freshness”, in a 5.8% ABV, full-bodied package. You can find it right now at the Schoolhouse taproom on tap; a very limited number of kegs will also be going out to local licensees. And next Friday, look for the return on draught of their seasonal Pumpkin Paddler, a 6% ABV Pumpkin Ale. Brewed with pumpkin puree, freshly-diced ginger root, cinnamon sticks, allspice, and a touch of brown sugar, it’s “reminiscent of a Winter Warmer blended with a slice of freshly-baked pumpkin pie”.

We haven’t heard from Gore Farm Brewery – a very small (60 L), irregularly-producing brewery in Charlotte County, NB – for some time now. Well, good news, as they’ve released a new beer that is available now on tap at Fredericton’s Graystone Brewing. The brewers have been experimenting with a Saison recipe, and have scaled it up to give us La Grande Saison, an 8.4% ABV version. With a grist made up of mostly Pilsner malt, some Wheat malt and Munich, and a touch of Acid malt, Crystal, and Aromatic, it’s hopped with East Kent Goldings to 25 IBUs, with some honey, coriander, and orange peel also added at the end of the boil. Expect a combination of fruity esters and spicy phenolics, with a slightly-warming finish, thanks to the high ABV. You can only find it at Graystone, so best stop by there soon, before it’s gone.

Two new beers to mention from Corner Brook’s Bootleg Brew Co. today, although we fully admit we’re not entirely sure the first one is still available! But hey, can’t be sure, so no harm in mentioning it, right? Last Saturday, Electric Streal, a kettle-soured Session IPA, hit taps at the brewery. “Lightly kettle soured” and then heavily late-hopped with Amarillo, this one was described as “bright, juicy, and tart, with flavours of tangerine and grapefruit”… it may still be on right now, here’s hoping! And just released yesterday was Rye is it So Cold Out All of a Sudden?, an American Pale Ale brewed with a “touch” of rye malt in the grist. Hopped modestly, according to Bootleg, expect a “mild, fruity aroma, with flavours of dried apricot, stone fruit, slight malt, and a dry finish”. It comes in at 5.6% ABV, and we’re pretty confident you’ll still find that one, at least, this weekend at the brewery!

Despite coming off a busy Harvest weekend in Fredericton, the Niche Brewing gang still found time to put together another release for us this week, and it’s one of their hoppy offerings, a NE IPA they’re calling Future Nostalgia. At only 5.5% ABV, it doesn’t pack a big boozy punch, but you can be sure that the hops will smack you upside the head (and possibly steal your lunch money). Fermented with a blend of haze-friendly IPA yeast strains, before being hopped in the kettle (and heavily dry-hopped) with Enigma and Mosaic, you’re likely to note some dankness along with tropical notes like guava and passion fruit, all supported by a moderate bitterness and a mouthfeel that’s softened by healthy portions of wheat and oats in the grist. You’ll find this one soon at the King Street Alehouse, Peppers Pub, Cask and Kettle and Ducky’s Bar. Meanwhile we’re told that there are still a few kegs of their Rye Session IPA Riptide and their Boysenberry Persuasion out in the wild, with Stillwell in Halifax having one of each, and the latter having hit the taps yesterday afternoon. If you’re a Haligonian and a fan of Niche you might check out the pretty picture of that beer on Stilly’s Instagram and give the caption a little readthrough. Look for more information here, probably next week! (we might know a guy)

In Shelburne, Boxing Rock has a new seasonal out that’s quite…seasonal; but before you go jumping to conclusions, no gourds were harmed in the making of this Vienna Lager. Weighing in at 5.4% ABV, Marzen Oktoberfest is just the kind of beer you’d expect to drink at an Oktoberfest celebration in Germany, but you’ll have to settle for Nova Scotia with this one. Consistent with the style, you can likely expect a deep orange-y amber hue and a bready body with a bit of sweetness and a gentle noble hop character that lead to a crisp finish, perfect for pairing with sausages, sauerkraut and pretzels. Look for this one to appear by today at the brewery, their retail space at Local Source, and the private stores in Halifax.

In Good Robot world, Chris Joharchy has returned for another Beta Brew, Giantsbane Red IPA. You may recall (or not, there’s been a lot of Good Robot beers!) last year’s King in the North (End) Black IPA from Chris; well, this is another GoT-named beer, hopped with Polaris, Warrior and Hallertau. At 6.1% ABV and 43 IBUs, it exhibits a “mild honey sweetness, grapefruit zing, and a little melon in the finish”, accompanied by a lingering bitterness. Look for it at the brewery next Tuesday. And on Thursday, that week’s Alpha Brew is a brand new’un, Swearwolves IPL. This India Pale Lager was hopped with Green Bullet, Ella, and Wai-iti to 63 IBUs, and fermented with the brewery’s oft-used Mexican Lager yeast. It weighs in at 6.7% ABV, and has aromas of “melon, lemony citrus, and cherry”.

Cideries in the HRM aren’t letting the breweries have all the fun; this week we’ve got three new concoctions to tell you about. First, at Chain Yard Urban Cidery in Halifax we have not a cider, but a mead. Starting with a mead made from Brandt’s Bees honey, they blended with rose petal wine to produce a sparkling rosé mead with a floral nose and notes of citrus that they’ve dubbed Country Rose. Coming in at 7% ABV it’s only available in the Chain Yard taproom for 12 oz pours. Up next is Sourwood Cider, who released their Young’ster, a wild-fermented young single varietal dry cider made from Jonagold apples last week. At 4.9% ABV it was can conditioned, but without any sugar additions, meaning all fermentation would be from residual sugars remaining after fermentation. Be sure to check Sourwood’s Instagram for news on when their next sale or appearance at the Halifax Brewery Farmers Market or the Halifax Forum Farmers Market will be. And finally, Lake City Cider also released a new cider last week, The Red Head. A blend of Lake City cider maker Poet Comeau’s house made strawberry wine with their cider, it’s a hefty 8.5% ABV but complex and interesting with a “great body.” Assuming it’s still around, you can find it only at the cidery in downtown Dartmouth for fills, pints, or as part of a flight.

Can you believe that this November will mark the 6th Annual Big Spruce Home Brew Challenge? SIXTH! Touted as a “Battle of the Wits”, this year’s challenge will feature two categories: German Weissbier and Belgian Witbier. If you’re an interested homebrewer, email jeremy@bigspruce.ca for an entry form. Your $25 entry fee allows you to enter a beer in either category, or one in each (effectively battling yourself, isn’t that fun?). Entries are due in HRM and Cape Breton November 23rd, with the announcement of winners and follow-up party at the Wooden Monkey Dartmouth on November 25th. The top 3 beers in each category will be announced, with the Best in Show brewer being invited to Big Spruce to brew their beer on the brewery’s 7 bbl system, where it will eventually be packaged in kegs and sold across Nova Scotia (including its main release at the Eat. Drink. Local. festival in Halifax on January 10th). Good luck to all entrants!

Amherst’s Trider’s Craft Beer is launching the first in what they intend to be a long line of small batch beers this week. The Sheriff of Nottingham gets its name, no doubt, from the use of Lallemand Brewing’s classic Danstar Nottingham yeast strain. Used by commercial brewers and homebrewers alike for years, “Notty” is known for being an English strain with very neutral characteristics when fermented cool, but brings some classic esters when used closer to the top of its temperature range. The beer is described as a “smooth ale” with “crisp green apple tones” and a fairly sessionable ABV of 5.5%. You’ll only find it on tap at the brewery for pints and flights.

Fellow local-beer advocates Kyle, Phil, and Tony of the 902 BrewCast have a brand new episode out today, their September Tasting Episode. For this one, they teamed up with another local podcast crew, The Drunk Files Podcast. Theirs is a unsolved crime/mystery podcast, fuelled by booze, by Ellen, Jaimee, and Maria, three self-admitted non-experts in the field. The six of them drank their way through a selection of Nova Scotian beers, before moving on to some new and iconic beers from the rest of the world. As with their previous Tasting episodes, the conversation is loose and hits all sorts of topics, not all of them beer-y. Fire up your favourite podcast app and have a listen! And grab the latest episode from The Drunk Files while you’re at it, all about haunted universities!

We have a few more job postings to tell you about in our region this week, to add onto those from last week:

  • We’ve mentioned that PEI’s Upstreet Brewing is launching an invasion of Nova Scotia, teaming with the Chef Inspired Group (of Cheese Curds and Habanero’s fame) to open Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse in Dartmouth this Fall. They’re currently looking for an Assistant Brewer to help run that operation. What could be better than spending your days brewing beer? It might very well be spending your days brewing beer with the aromas of BBQ wafting around you. Check the posting here!
  • The Church Brewing Company will be opening later this year in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Ahead of that date, they are bringing on a team of folks to keep the restaurant running smoothly. They are looking to hire Supervisors, Servers, Bartenders, as well as Back of House staff. Check the list of positions, prep your cover page, and head to the Royal Canadian Legion at 310 Main Street in Wolfville on September 27 or 28 to learn more and apply.
  • Route 19 Brewing is opening this year in Inverness, Cape Breton, and have multiple job openings in- and outside of the brewery. Hit up their Facebook page for more details.
  • Two Islands Brewing is opening on Main Street in Parrsboro this fall, and are doing some hiring for retail staff at their spot and sister Rising Tides Bakery. Check out the job posting here, and we’ll have more details on their brewery soon.

Here’s what happening in our neck of the woods in the next few weeks…

Patrons Bar & Grill in Bedford is currently holding a dual brewery tap takeover, featuring a trio of beers from each of Big Spruce and Roof Hound. On until Sunday, you can get your fill of both breweries, who are bringing a combination of new beers and fan favourites for the event. Roof Hound will be pouring Big Stink IPA, Rye-It Amber Ale, and Fall From Grace Rose Water and Lychee Sour. As for Big Spruce, they’ll have two of their longest-running beers, Kitchen Party Pale Ale and Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout, as well as a brand new beer, Una Cereza Por Favor. Translated to “A Cherry, Please!”, this is an American Wheat Ale with organic cherry, which weighs in at 4.9% ABV and 10 IBUs. Staff from Big Spruce will be hanging out at Patrons on Saturday evening; if you’d like to talk about Big Spruce beer, or beer in general, they’re game! There’ll also be games, draws, and lots of brewery swag for prizes.

Continuing the spirit of multi-brewery takeovers, Governor’s Pub in Sydney is hosting Rock the Lot, featuring live music from 8 bands starting Saturday the 22nd at noon, and plenty of great beer pouring outside in the parking lot courtesy of Big Spruce, Garrison, and Tatamagouche. Think of it as the best musical three-way tap takeover you may ever get a chance to attend! There will be four food stations set up as well to keep you rocking and bopping all day long. There are no tickets required, just pay as you enjoy.

Quidi Vidi Brewing is launching a new beer this weekend, to celebrate the launch of everyone’s favourite calendar, the MerB’ys. The brainchild of the Newfoundland & Labrador Beard and Moustache Club, this is the second year for this fun and charitable endeavour, this year benefitting Violence Prevention Newfoundland & Labrador. Calendar’s are available for order now, or can be picked up this Saturday at the QV Taproom. From 12-4PM, the MerB’ys will be in the taproom, signing calendars and posing for pictures, and there will be MerB’y-friendly vendors in the area as well. More details are available at the Event’s Facebook Page. And what about the new beer for the event? Salt of the Sea is, as you may have guessed, a Gose. Hazy, golden-coloured, and tart, the beer shows a “sourdough freshness on the nose”, and with the addition of coriander and Newfoundland sea salt, a bright, lingering, dry lemon finish. In a word… refreshing! Also, very drinkable at just 4.6% ABV and 8 IBUs.

And while you are visiting Saturday to take part in the fun, bring in a bag of crabapples harvested from your tree to be a part of a future Quidi Vidi brew. Coming November 1st, QV is releasing a trio of fruited Saisons: Blueberry, Raspberry, and Crabapple. The brewery is looking to add to the crabapples they’ve already collected, and need you to bring in your good quality tree (or, you know, borrow from your neighbour). You will be rewarded with a ticket to the launch party (and this is the only way to get in to the event!) and one of the very limited Open Saison branded growlers. Check out the FB page for more details, and get picking (the deadline to drop off your fruit is October 5th)!

Coming up next Thursday, September 27th in Halifax is a launch party by Spindrift for their newest beer, Hurricane Juan DIPA. Let’s talk about the beer, first, before diving into event details (it’s only fair!). Spindrift’s first DIPA to be packaged outside of a keg, Hurricane Juan is a pale-coloured 8.2% ABV, 55 IBUs DIPA, hopped heavily with Bru-1, El Dorado and Galaxy, lending “dominant notes of pineapple and melon, with hints of stone fruit” to the beer. Brewed to commemorate the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Juan, cans of this big brew will be released on September 29th, the same day that that monster of a storm slammed into the Maritimes in 2003. As for the event itself, it will be held on the 27th at HopYard Halifax, and will feature a whole slew of Spindrift beers, as well as the star of the show. These beers include Coastal Lager (a tweaked version, less bitter than previous releases), Clarity of Intent (a 4.8% hoppy Pilsner, this is Knotty Buoy dry-hopped with Saaz and Hersbrucker), Nanaimo Adjunct Black Lager (barrel-aged Abyss, aged on cocoa nibs and toasted coconut, with lactose and vanilla, 5% ABV), Coastal Lager w/ Coffee & Oak (aged on Nova Coffee French Roast whole beans and oak), and Smokin’ in the Buoy’s Room (Killick blended with a 100% Rauch malt Rauchbier, 4.7% ABV). That’s a lotta new beer! The party starts when the bar opens at 11 am, and continues all day while there’s beer to flow!

The Ladies Beer League is hosting an evening at the Dalhousie TRoom October 4th, called How to Engineer a Beer. Featuring speakers Emily Tipton of Boxing Rock and CBANS, and Professors Alex Speers and Allan Paulson of Food Science at Dalhousie, there will be information on equipment and recipe development, plus all of the fun things like brewing and cleaning ;). Tours of the research brewery on campus, as well as live music from Ian Keane, plus beer pouring, will make it a fun evening for all. There are no tickets required and being a member of the LBL is not necessary (but you should join!), just show up at 6PM for the event.

And a few last mentions before your weekend begins:

– Pumpkin Ales are returning throughout the region, and Breton Brewing is no exception, as they’ve recently re-released Jack’d Up Pumpkin Ale (5.5% ABV); brewed with over 150 lbs of real pumpkin, as well as a blend of pumpkin spices, it’s available now in pints and growlers.
– The Pumpkin beer is flowing in Dartmouth as well, as Nine Locks has released their Harvest Pumpkin Ale this week. At 5.2% ABV, the malty base beer supports the blend of spices (plus real pumpkin) added for the festive seasonal beer.
– We’re a bit early, but look for a new Belgian IPA from Grimross Brewing next week, Bishop Belgian IPA (6% ABV, 50 IBUs), featuring a “complex old world spice, and a balance of bold hops and yeast”.
– Gypsy brewery Half Cut has re-released their Jackhammer APA (5.3% ABV); slightly hazy, with “citrus and mild grass” in the aroma, you can find it on tap at most Half Cut accounts in New Brunswick.
Unfiltered has RSMA (Ridiculously Superb Mosaic Ale this time, allegedly), their 7.5% ABV DIPA, pouring again; hopped entirely with Mosaic, it’s always a delicious treat, with a whole whack of tropical fruit flavours, thanks to that wonderful hop variety that we love so much.

Alright folks, this is the big one! For the first time in several years (since Fredericton in 2014, to be precise), our region is once again the epicentre of the Canadian beer scene for the weekend, as Halifax hosts the Canadian Brewing Awards and Conference. Already kicking off last night, the talks and sessions continue today and tomorrow, with the Awards Gala being held tomorrow night. You have to be in the beerbiz to attend, but you can follow along with the Awards results online during the stream, and we will be sure to keep a live feed of all of the Atlantic Canadian winners. We already flooded you with the new collaborative releases from 2 Crows, North, and Propeller last week, and you’re well served to get to their respective retail locations to pick them up before they are gone. Let’s concentrate on the newest info we have regarding another onslaught of releases hitting the taps and shelves now.

• Let’s kick off the week with the first brewery opening in a few weeks, O’Creek Brewing in Dieppe. Brewing on a 1 BBL system means they end up with about 120 litres of beer per batch, so this is a truly small operation. But being small has its benefits, as owner Patrice Daigle is able to stay nimble and brew a wide variety of beers. The first beer to be available is Route 117 NEIPA. Named after the coastal highway that connects Kouchibouguac and Miramichi, this hoppy and hazy 6.5% ABV brew features loads of Mosaic, Citra, and Amarillo hops throughout the brewing and fermenting process. In addition, Daigle is launching with an American Pale Ale and Saison, though details are a bit short on those for now. So, how can you try the O’Creek beers this weekend? Easy! Just drop by their booth at this weekend’s Atlantic Beer Festival, held at the Moncton Coliseum. If you don’t already have your tickets, you are in luck, as they are still available for this evening, as well as Saturday afternoon and evening sessions. Check out O’Creek on Facebook and Instagram for the latest news, and tune in to the blog early next week, as will have a full Profile with them, with more details on their brewing history and ethos, and what other beers you can expect from them in the future (and where to find them). Congratulations!

• We’ve got lots of news from Digby’s Roof Hound Brewery, so let’s get you up to date. First off, the latest in their kettle sour series is now available, Fall From Grace. This 4.3% ABV sour is the first beer to be completely designed and brewed by Roof Hound Assistant Brewer Ben, and features notes of rose water and lychee to match and offset the beer’s acidity. Look for it on tap at the brewery and in HRM now. Also available now is Roof Hound’s collaboration with Guelph’s Escarpment Yeast Labs, SafeWord Pineapple Milkshake IPA, which debuted at yesterday’s event at Battery Park (if you’re lucky, some of these will still be on tap today!). This 6.0% ABV IPA was late- and dry-hopped with a massive amount of Azacca hops for tropical notes on top of the vanilla and lactose added to complete the milkshake vibe. Escarpment’s Foggy London Ale yeast was used to keep the beer with a smooth mouthfeel and hazy as heck. In addition to BP, kegs have been delivered to Stillwell and growlers fills will be available at Harvest Wines.  And finally, owner Les Barr has announced that “The Dog House” is open for the season. This two-bedroom rental property is just a few minutes walk from Roof Hound’s brewery and taproom, and is decorated with the same touches as the brewery itself. Folks can learn more and book their stay on Airbnb. No word if Barr will tuck you in, or bring you a coffee in the morning, but knowing his hospitality, we wouldn’t be surprised! And a bonus for early birds, if you are one of the first to book your stay, there are big savings to be had.

• Let’s talk about another beer that debuted at yesterday’s Escarpment x Battery Park event, from Cape Breton’s Big Spruce Brewing. Brett, Actually is a 7.7% ABV IPA, co-fermented with both Cali Ale yeast and Brettanomyces drei and dry-hopped with Mosaic and Citra for a big hop presence. You’ll find this one available for pints and growler fills at the brewery, as well as at tap accounts around the Province. Also out this week from Big Spruce is another mixed fermentation beer they’re calling Lucky Pucker, which was hit with both Old World Saison yeast and Brettanomyces bruxellensis. Conditioned for 6 months in Chardonnay barrels, before being bottled and conditioned in glass for another 4 months, this beer finished up at 6.3% ABV and 12 IBU, making it a strong Berliner Weisse. Tart and fruity, it’s only available in bottles, both at the brewery and at the private stores in Halifax. And that’s not all from Jeremy and Co this week, as they’ve got another one they’re calling Hugs Bunny that was brewed in collaboration with Merit Brewing out of Hamilton. It seems Merit and Big Spruce like to make Gose, this is a similar beer to the Gose of Christmas Past from last month, with Indian Coriander and sea salt and landing at 3.8% ABV. In lieu of a barrel treatment, though, hugs bunny got a big ol’ dry hop with Citra for a lemon and citrus aroma. Look for it to appear at the Sprucetique and possibly a few tap accounts as well.

• Even with all of those delightful-sounding collaboration beers released by North Brewing yesterday (which we addressed in detail in last week’s post), they still went ahead and launched another new beer for the Victoria Day long weekend. It’s close to being sold out already, but we’d like to share the info anyway, in case you’re lucky enough to find some! Lawrencetown Surf Session Ale was brewed with Pilsner malt and Malted Oats, and dry-hopped with Citra and Simcoe Cryo hops. With lots of citrus throughout, the beer is quite refreshing and definitely lives up to its “sessionable” description, coming in at just 4% ABV. Hopefully there’s still a few cans left at the brewery, and it’ll likely still be available on tap at accounts in Halifax.

Tanner & Co in Chester Basin has a pair of new beers available just in time for the weekend, so start planning your visit now. The first is Sauvage Gose, their take on the sour and lightly salty style originally from Goslar, Germany. After a round of kettle souring to impart some acidity, the beer was fermented with Scotia Sauvage yeast, which was originally isolated from a Pin cherry on the Big Spruce farm and propagated up by Escarpment Labs. Featuring lots of tart citrus and notes of tropical fruit, there is only one keg of this beer available, on tap at the brewery for growler fills. The second release is Dampfbier, a German Steam Beer. While this beer was one of their first at launch in the fall, this release is the first on their larger system. As per the style, this beer is brewed with all malted barley, and with a Weissbier yeast, usually used in Hefeweizens, the iconic German wheat beer. The result is a beer featuring pleasant clove and banana characters from the yeast with a nice malt finish. As with the Gose, the best place to grab a taste of Dampfbier is at the brewery, so drop by this weekend!

• In Sydney, Breton Brewing has their first kettle sour available. Sour Sessions with Guava & Passionfruit is the first in a series of sour, low ABV, summer beers that they’ll be releasing over the coming months under the Sour Sessions banner. This edition comes in at 3.2% ABV and 5 IBU and is flavored, as you probably guessed, using additions of passion fruit and guava. Tart and thirst quenching, you’ll find it at the brewery for pints and growler fills this weekend.

• Do you remember when Garrison Brewing teamed up with Ontario’s Sawdust City Brewing, to brew a special collaboration beer? We didn’t either; there’s just too much going on! [Fortunately the internets never forgets – Ed.] But good news, the beer is ready and it’s being launched this week. Leroy, an Imperial Brown Ale brewed with Sawdust City, was initially released last fall to celebrate Halifax being named this year’s CBA host venue. Some of that beer was saved and aged in bourbon barrels for a year, giving us Bourbon Barrel-Aged Leroy Imperial Brown. A bit of salted caramel was added to the barrels as well, with the final product coming out as a massive (11.5% ABV), deceptively-smooth Brown Ale with aromas and flavours of “bourbon, salted caramel, molasses bread, and milk chocolate.” Available now in limited quantities at Garrison, in 650 mL bottles. And tomorrow, Jalapeno Ale is returning. Remember Jalapeno Ale? It’s back. In can form! At 5% ABV, it’s brewed with a mix of spicy jalapenos, habaneros, Scotch bonnets, and Jamaican hot peppers. Hope you like spicy!

Spindrift continues to remain busy, with another boatload of new beers hitting taps this week. Their one-off Seventh Wave series gives us two entries alone, so let’s get started there. The two beers are an experiment in compare-and-contrast, with America and England going toe-to-toe: Old Salt ESB (5.5% ABV, 35 IBUs) is a light-bodied Extra Special Bitter hopped with East Kent Golding and Experimental Hop #02720, giving the beer a “smooth, malty fruitiness and a sharp hop kick”, while Shoulder Parrot APA (5.1% ABV, 35 IBUs) represents the U.S., and was hopped with Saaz and Falconer’s Flight, for a “rich, pineapple-like fruit palate”. Try both and see which country you’d prefer to emigrate to!

• Moving out of the Seventh Wave series, Spindrift has a new regular that dropped this week, their first Radler. Named Wheelhouse, it’s a beer with a blend of citrus fruit juice, including grapefruit, lemon, and tangerine. Back-sweetened with Stevia to give “a perception of sweetness, without a big, cloying body”, there’s plenty of citrus character in the aroma and flavour; and at just 4% ABV and 8 IBUs, it goes down easy, which all Radlers should! This one is going to be available in 473 mL cans in all Atlantic provinces through the summer.

• Fredericton’s Niche Brewing continues to display the depth of their recipe file with another couple of new ones out this week in addition to the Cool Kid 2 Crows collaboration on tap in Halifax. First up is a summer crusher, called Margarita Gose, a take on a traditional German Gose, but with a Nichean twist (not to be confused with a Nietzschean twist that might lead you to question the existence of beer). Starting with a base beer of wheat and Pilsner that was kettle soured and to which traditional fresh cracked coriander and sea salt were added, a light hopping with Amarillo was also applied. Post-fermentation the beer was conditioned on lime rind ribbons yielding a tart and refreshing beer with an overall lemony-citrus character, notes of lime, and some savoriness from the coriander and sea salt. At only 3.5% ABV you can get away with having a few and still keep your washer toss/cornhole game strong.

• Also available this week is Fiscally Irresponsible, another Milkshake IPA, but this one taken in a different direction than the Orange Creamsicle IPA from earlier this year. Starting with a similar grist, with wheat malt and malted oats contributing body and mouthfeel, lactose powder was added for the sweetness the style is known for, and it was hopped with lots of Galaxy, Citra, and Vic Secret at the end of the boil. Rather than fermenting with an American or English yeast strain as is de rigueur for the style, Shawn and Rob opted to go funky and use the Amalgamation blend of six Brettanomyces strains. From there, the beer was dry hopped with more of the same hop varieties used in the kettle before it was conditioned on Madagascar vanilla beans (hence the beer name; have you seen the price of vanilla right now?!) and passion fruit purée. The result is a beer with “quite a bit going on.” Dominated by passion fruit, there are notes of mango, papaya and subtle vanilla. A low-medium bitterness balances with the slight sweetness and it goes down easy despite 6.2% ABV. It’s scheduled to be tapped at Stillwell HQ this weekend, but tap accounts in New Brunswick will also see it next week. And folks in Halifax who don’t feel they see enough Niche beer should keep their eyes open, as it is known that kegs of Innerstate, Receding Darkness, Pineapple Persuasion, and You Had Me At… Ekuanot are known to be in the queue at Stillwell properties (the Pineapple Persuasion is scheduled to go on tap at the Beer Garden this weekend if the weather holds).

• As if there isn’t enough to do this weekend in Halifax, NOW you’ve got to also set aside time to drop by Stillwell Brewing to get in on their two latest bottle releases. Sorry!* To be fair, they do sound delicious, as usual. The first one is Preach (5.5% ABV), which is a blend of a Saison fermented in a wine barrel, with a foedre-fermented, sour Farmhouse Ale that was re-fermented in oak barrels with 220 g/L of fresh, Nova Scotia peaches. Both of these base beers are currently over a year old, and were already tasting well-developed before blending. Now, however, there’s “oak and wine character, fresh peach skin aromatics, minty, herbal notes, and a wonderfully quenching acidity”, thanks to the blending and additional bottle conditioning time. Sounds great to us! Some of the 716 bottles will be available to drink on-site at both Stillwell locations, and some are going to Copper & Theory in British Columbia for Farmhouse Fest. The rest will be available for purchase by anyone in Halifax tomorrow (Saturday) at the brewery, from noon-3 pm. *notsorry

• Next up from Stillwell Brewing is Disco. Originally aged in a single red wine barrel until the tartness and balance of this tart Farmhouse Ale was in Baby Bear territory (read: just right!), a “modest” amount of equal parts dark sweet cherry and raspberry purée were added into the barrel to kick off fermentation again, and age for another couple of months. The 5.7% ABV beer was then bottled and allowed to condition several more months, resulting in a “well-integrated and balanced Farmhouse fruit beer that is neither cherry nor raspberry, but something where the sum is greater than its parts”. Some bottles going to Stillwell(s) for sale on-site, and the rest for sale tomorrow from 12-3 with Preach. And hey, they’ll also be selling some more bottles of Gosh 2.0! And if you’re a fan of Stilly Pils, they’ve just released their latest batch, and they claim it’s hoppier and meringuier (more-merignuey?) than ever! Look for that one at Stillwell and the beer garden, on tap only.

Fredericton’s Bogtrotter has their first new beer out in a while, Maroon Patch. A 5% ABV American Pale Ale, it was named after the 5th Canadian Division, recognized by the maroon patch worn on the sleeve of soldiers. The beer was hopped exclusively with Denali, a fairly new American variety that is sometimes known as Nuggetzilla (!). The description for Denali mentions characteristics of “pineapple, citrus, and pine”, with spicy notes coming through as well. Look for this one on tap around Fredericton, and in bottles at select ANBL stores.

• Breweries from three different counties in NS have teamed up for a collaboration beer, as a way to indicate their appreciation for the overall open, collaborative nature of the beer community, and to “celebrate craft brewing expertise” in the area. Trider’s, Lunn’s Mill, and Saltbox have created Tridal Bay, a 6.5% ABV Belgian IPA that was heavily hopped with Columbus for bittering, and Saaz and Triskel for the flavour and aroma. With a grist containing some Wheat and Aromatic malt, Belgian Candi sugar was also added in the boil to help dry the beer out. Fermented with a Belgian yeast strain, the beer came out extremely dry in the finish, while “retaining that Belgian fruitiness and citrus, heavy hop bitterness”. All three breweries are pouring the beer at their taprooms, and a few local bars may receive some kegs as well.

Today, Upstreet is releasing the next beer in their Flipside series, California Lager. Brewed in the style of a California Common, it was hopped with Polaris and Northern Brewer to 35 IBUs. Described by the brewery as “toasty, with hints of nuttiness, caramel, and chocolate without the sweetness”, and with “earthy, herbal aromas”, this 5% ABV medium-bodied brew will be available on tap and in bottles at Upstreet today, and will follow at Craft Beer Corner and PEILCC stores sometime next week.

If you managed to get your hands on one of the Red Racer Across the Nation 2018 Collaboration Mixed Packs put out by Surrey, BC’s Central City Brewing, you might have noticed that the the PEI representation was a brew done with Upstreet called Singing Sands, a salted caramel lager. In order to make sure folks in their home province got a decent chance to try it, Mike and Matt decided to do up a small batch at home. A “light dessert beer,” it weighs in at just 5.5% ABV and a slight 15 IBU, perfect for sipping after a meal. Rich with caramel flavors accentuated by aromas of honey and vanilla, a hint of salt provides balance. Look for this one at the brewery for sure, but possibly at tap accounts as well.

Moncton’s Bore City is shipping out kegs of their latest beer, one that they’ve been carefully watching and patiently waiting for several months. Saison LBC was brewed in late 2017 and was conditioning on fresh cranberries for some time. Brettanomyces was added, along with some lemon zest, at a later date, to kick off a second fermentation. Now that it’s finally ready, the aroma has notes of “lemon and light funk”, with flavours of citrus and tarness from the cranberries, and a light mouthfeel and dry finish. Look for this 6.3% ABV, 30 IBUs beer on tap at the Laundromat and Les Brumes du Coude very soon; it’ll also be pouring at the Atlantic Beer Festival this Saturday, during the afternoon session.

And as is usually the case, Halifax’s Good Robot has a bit of news for us this week as well. The release for Beta Brewsday this week is an as-yet unnamed beer put together by Alpha Dawg Doug Kehoe during Good Robot’s Dive Bar event with Afishionado Fish Mongers. It’s a Gose with Oyster Shells added to the boil that weighs in at 5% ABV and with negligible IBUs. You’ll find it on tap this Tuesday, May 29th as per usual for the Beta releases. Meanwhile, in big batch news, DeWolfe of Wall Street, the 6.4% ABV and 29 IBU fruity and hoppy American Pale Ale is making its return to the taps this week as well.

A few final mentions before we leave you to your weekend, and let you get out for a beer:

Sea Level Brewing in Port Williams has brought back their Apple Blossom Ale just in time for the Annapolis Valley’s annual Apple Blossom Festival. Brewed with Pilsner malt and infused with apples, it’s an ideal beer for the season!

– Up in St. John’s YellowBelly Brewing has a new beer on tap they’re calling Maritime Bitter. Hey, you’d be bitter too if you got snow in May! This is a single malt pale ale, it’s 5% ABV and runs to about 60 IBU with an intense berry character. Look for it on tap at the brewery now, with bottles coming next week.

– And don’t forget that Stillwell (both HQ and the Beergarden) is hosting Grand National this weekend, with beers from all across the country pouring, in celebration of the CBAs. Keep an eye on their social media for the latest taplist. If you’re not sure if the Beergarden is open due to weather, check this link for the latest info.

– And drop by The Auction House after 3PM for the PEI Tap Takeover, featuring beers from all five Island breweries. If there’s enough beer, it will last through Saturday as well!