Trider’s Craft Beer

All posts tagged Trider’s Craft Beer

Happy Good Friday! We’ve got a full dose of spring beer for you this week, to keep you happy during this holiday weekend. Put down those eggs benny and chocolate eggs (hopefully not on the same plate!), and get up to date with the goings ons in our area. With the four provincial liquor stores closed Friday and Sunday, it’s a perfect time to support your local brewery or retailer, just double check they’re open too!

We’ve got great news for beer fans on the West coast of Newfoundland, you will soon have another local brewery to call your own. After a bit of a hiatus from their original plan to establish on the Burin Peninsula, Rough Waters Brewing has announced that they will be setting up in Deer Lake in the near future. That hiatus found owner Chris Johnson working with and learning much from the Port Rexton Brewing crew, and solidifying and focusing their best plan going forward. Streamlining and concentrating on what is most important to them has them now renewing their excitement and efforts to this project. Keep an eye on their Social Media (fb/ig) over the coming months as they share the many steps ahead of opening. Congratulations!

Lagers are in the air now that the weather is finally warming up; in Saint John, we’re specifically talking about Czech Pilsner, thanks to the release of Svelt Pils from Loyalist City Brewing. After a recent trip to the Czech Republic, owner/head brewer Mark McGraw was inspired to brew his own take on the style. Brewed using the traditional decoction mash (a multi-step technique involving one or more temperature rises), the beer was hopped to 35 IBUs entirely with the floral Czech Saaz variety. Fermented cool with a Pilsner yeast strain, it was lagered for 60 days before packaging. Coming in at a highly-drinkable 4.5% ABV, the golden-coloured brew has aromas and flavours of bready malt, “complemented by a truly unique herbal and floral hop aroma” that carries through to the palate. Finishing smooth, with a moderate bitterness, it’s available now on tap at select tap accounts in Saint John, with cans heading to the ANBL on Wellington Row.

Plenty of new-and-returning beer news from Trider’s this week! Let’s start with the returning brew, the third release of their annual Maccan Maple. Freshly-packaged now that maple season is finishing off, this beer features the use of maple sap (from Hidden Mountain Maple Farms) instead of water in the brewing process. The yeast, naturally, dried out most of the sugar from the sap, so the brewers added more boiled-down syrup to increase the sweetness. Finishing – yes – sweet, “but still balanced”, this 6% ABV beer is on tap at the brewery, where you can also pick up a limited number of bottles. A few kegs will probably pop up at Trider’s licensees. As for the new beers, they’ve brought us Dillusions of Grandeur, a 5.1% ABV “strongly dill-flavoured” Kolsch that had fresh cut dill and Sorachi Ace hops added, and Robblebock, a 6.66% ABV Doppelbock that is “rich and dark”, yet drinkable, thanks to a lagering period of just over two months. Grab these two at the brewery for a limited time only.

Two returning and one new beer trends aplenty! Oof, that’s a bad opening sentence. Anyhoo, our friends at O’Creek Brewing in Dieppe are following said trend, starting with the release of a delicious-looking, super hazy American Pale Ale named Norther. Hopped and dry-hopped with equal parts Galaxy and Vic Secret (two of Australia’s best hop varieties, in our humble opinions), it’s exhibiting wonderful tropical qualities in the aroma and flavour (emphasis on pineapple), with a mild bitterness in the finish. Weighing in at 5.1% ABV and 43 IBUs, look for it on tap at CAVOK Brewing and Tide & Boar; it should also show up on tap at Bathurst’s Au Bootlegger, soon. In the returning department, they’ve got Big Red 250, their 5.6% ABV Mosaic dry-hopped Amber Ale (pouring at Au Bootlegger and the Laundromat), and Le Barachois, a 6% ABV Oatmeal Stout (pouring at T&B and the Laundromat).

In the Greater Fredericton Metropolitan Area, Niche Brewing has another new release this week, this one back to the hoppier side of the spectrum. Sound & Vision is their Session IPA, with lots of oats and wheat included in the grist to ensure there’s still plenty of body in this low-ABV beer (4.8%) to balance against the hops. Leveraging Enigma, and El Dorado in the kettle, and more Enigma along with some Topaz at dry hop, expect a blend of mango, papaya, orange and lime flavors to be most prominent in both aroma and flavor. You’ll find Sound & Vision starting this weekend in Fredericton, Saint John, and Moncton.

Tusket Falls Brewing Company in (of all places) Tusket, NS, has a couple of new beers just in time for Easter weekend, both of which are described by the brewery as being somewhat experimental. First up is an IPA fermented with a strain of everybody’s new darling yeast, Kveik, which they’ve conveniently called Kveik. This 6.2% ABV brew features El Dorado and Citra hops for tropical and citrus character. Lemon yellow and very hazy, with a creamy white foam, you’ll find the mouthfeel quite soft with elements of pine and orange zest tweaking your tongue. Also hitting the taps is the second in their Solo Hops Series, an NEIPA featuring the venerable Simcoe hop. With plenty of fruity character, but also a very dank and earthy presence, Simcoe is the kind of hop that can be smelled at the other end of the table. This beer, coming in at 6.0% ABV aims to be balanced and show off the best that Simcoe has to offer. Look for these two beers on tap at the Tusket Falls taproom as well as potentially at the Saltscapes Expo in Halifax April 26 – 28. And stay tuned for more news about new beers from Tusket in the coming weeks!

We’ve got all the details on the latest release from Copper Bottom, which is hitting shelves and taps today. Better Weather is the brewery’s first Saison, brewed with a simple grist of 2-row (from Island Malt House in New Glasgow, PEI) and Acid malt. Hopped with Saaz and Perle (to 25 IBUs), and fermented with a Belgian Saison yeast, this 5.0% ABV brew has earthy, spicy aromas, with flavours of “bubble gum and fruity esters”. Finishing nice and dry (as a good Saison should!), with a light acidity, you can grab some today at the brewery (pints, growlers, and cans); if you can’t make it to Montague this weekend, look for it on tap at local accounts.

If you’ve been following Nova Scotia Craft Beer religiously for a few years you might have noticed a bit of a rhythm, especially when it comes to certain breweries and certain releases. And if you’re one of those people and you’re particularly sensitive, you might be thinking that it’s just about time for Big Spruce to announce that their Ra Ra Rasputin Coffee Imperial Stoutis ready to make it’s 2019 appearance. And if you’re one of those super intuitive, tuned-in-to-the-ebbs-and-flows-of-NS-Craft-Beer folks you’re probably about 3 unfortunate days behind the folks who just pay attention to social media… Sure enough, Ra Ra 2019 made its debut at Battery Park in Dartmouth last night, with Jeremy White in the house and 3 new barrel aged beers on tap joining 3 vintages from last year. Also, Ra Ra Rasputin Chocolate Truffles from Rousseau Chocolatier. Musta been nice, right? Well fear not, those three new 2019 barrel aged beers, namely Glenora Whiskey, French Cognac, and Peach Brandy are going to be generally available in bottles at many private stores in Halifax soon. Got a bottle or two of last year’s (and/or 2017’s) models? Pull a vertical with your pals. Don’t have any of last year’s left? Buy all three of this year’s and go horizontal (but get some help to do it, because if you solo three bombers of Ra Ra in one night, horizontal is probably the best you can hope for). Enjoyable with or without a Boney M soundtrack.

TrailWay has two returning beers back at the brewery in time for the weekend, if you happened to be looking for a hop fix in the Fredericton area for the long weekend. First up is a new iteration of Almost Nuclear, an American IPA brewed with lupulin-enriched hops. This version features the German Mandarina Bavaria variety, which they used plenty of (natch) to provide a “massive, sweet and juicy tangerine and orange” presence on the nose and palate. Cans and on tap at the brewery only (for now), 6.5% ABV. And Good Weather has returned as well; another 6.5% ABV American IPA, it’s showing characteristics of “tropical juice, overripe mango, pineapple, and citrus”. This one will definitely be available outside the brewery, starting today and extending into next week.

The 902 BrewCast released an episode earlier this week, welcoming on Kelly and Nicki from Good Robot Brewing and Evelyn of Propeller Brewing. The episode was wide-ranging in scope, from celebrating and creating diversity in the beer industry, tackling the bad habit of “mansplaining” beer, hosting safe spaces. Plus the overall theme of “Don’t be a dick”. Catch the episode via podcast or on 902BC’s page, and then grab yourself tickets for the Brewster Fest, being held April 27th at the Mayflower Curling Club. This event highlights the number of women-owned breweries, and female-brewed beers, in the region, with 20 breweries and ciderhouses in attendance pouring their wares. It’s open to anyone, and everyone, who wants to kick back and enjoy a well-made beer with some friendly faces!

Speaking of Good Robot, they’ve released the latest in their Creature Feature line of biotransformation IPAs. Their fourth release, aptly named IV, uses New Zealand hop Wai-iti in the dry-hop addition, resulting in a massive peach aroma and flavour. In case you weren’t familiar with the term, biotransformation (in beer) refers to the technique of adding hops during active fermentation, allowing the yeast to take some of the terpene compounds in the hops, and transform them. There is plenty of research ongoing into the hundreds (thousands?) of chemicals that make our favourite beers taste and smell great, but if you’re looking for a 10 minute primer on here, we highly recommend reading Scott Janish’s take. All of that to say that GR’s Creature Feature IV takes advantage of those hungry bugs during fermentation, and feeds them lots of hops to increase the fruity character we get to enjoy! The 5.4% ABV beer is on tap for pints and growler fills now, and won’t be around for long. Keep an eye out for new batches of Leave Me Blue Kentucky Common and Infinite Saturday Vienna lager, both coming through the pipeline in the next week or so.

And also speaking of Propeller Brewing, they have released the latest in their line of vodka sodas in their Windmill Cocktails, with Grapefruit & Lime hitting their shelves yesterday. This 6.0% ABV blend uses fresh grapefruit flavour and lime, and no sugar or other sweetener. Available in singles and six-packs at both brewery retail locations, it will also be at the NSLC in the coming weeks. And while you’re grabbing a sixer of the new release (or their supremely popular Galaxy New England IPA), stick around for the tapping of their cask at 5 PM. Today’s is their Porter, with an addition of Mosaic hops to get your evening started right. Grab it and head downstairs to the Arcade, why dontcha? Both it and Gottingen taproom and retail shop are open all weekend.

Last, but certainly not least today, is another special return of a big ol’ beer in Halifax. Unfiltered on North Street only makes their Commissar oak-aged Russian Imperial Stout every two years, and the last time they did was for a Spring 2017 release. That means they’re right on schedule in announcing that the latest version of that beer is out this weekend. Boasting an ABV of 11.2%, this one isn’t for the faint of heart. Expect a rich, complex, deep and dark beer that should only get better with age. Find it fresh on tap at Charm School on North Street, and maybe grab a couple of bottles next door at the brewery to put in your cellar for a year or 3.

We’ll have a special stand-alone post next week highlighting the NS Craft Beer Week events, but in the meantime…

Chinched on Bates Hill in St. John’s is hosting a “Home Chef / Home Brew” event next Wednesday, April 24th. Featuring four winning home chef dishes paired with the winners of Quidi Vidi’s homebrew competition (Newfermenters). The chefs and brewers will be on hand to talk about their creations, as well as the professional chefs and brewers who brought the ideas to reality. Drop Chinched a line at 709-722-3100 or online to reserve your seat at the table 6 PM that evening. Check out Chinched’s IG page to learn more about the home chefs who won.

Tickets for the May 24 and May 25 Newfoundland Beer Expo are now on sale. Unlike the Newfoundland Craft Beer Festival held last weekend that aimed to highlight the great Island breweries, and good beer and cider from off the island, this NLC production seems to be geared at those looking to “drink their way through the entire NLC inventory”. About half of the beer is brewed/owned by macro breweries, many of the beers are already on the shelves at the NLC, and only one of the Newfoundland breweries is on the Beer List. Tickets are $86 (or $132 if you include the guided tasting beforehand), and available here.

Just a few more things to tease you with today…

Dieppe’s CAVOK Brewing brought back their FOXTROT 33 Stout earlier this month, and they now have it available in cans at the brewery, and at the local ANBLs in the near future. This 5.0% ABV, 33 IBU, stout features notes of vanilla, chocolate and coffee, and is perfect to sip while waiting for that warmer weather to hit us.

Rothesay’s Long Bay Brewery has brought back their Amplified series of beers again in 2019. Collaborating once again with Backstreet Records in Saint John,  Amplified – Solid Gold Edition is a golden blonde ale brewed “with our favorite malt and yeast, and is designed for the hot weather ahead”. This 5.0% ABV ale is only available on tap and draught for the time being, with bottles available next batch (which tells us this will be a great beer around all summer!).

We’ve already given you the details on two new releases from Tatamagouche Brewing a couple of weeks ago, but we can now tell you that cans of both Dusk Schwarzbier (4.9% ABV) and Eager a 4.8% dry-hopped lager, are now available at the brewery (and maybe at the private stores in HRM soon). Plus look for them on tap at better bars and brewery taprooms in HRM and around the province.

It’s looking like a mild-ish weekend coming in most of our region and what better time to venture out of your lair to stock up on beer? We’ve got lots of news about what’s new and notable at your local breweries this weekend along with the official launch of another New Brunswick brewery, the goings-on this weekend in Halifax at the 2 Crows 2nd Anniversary party and a few other items that might catch your eye and inform your beer drinking and/or social calendar this weekend and beyond. Let’s get to it!

We’ve got great news for those in the Capital region of New Brunswick. 3Flip Brewing, which we told you about late last year, is now officially open for business! Located in Douglas, just a few minutes West of the Northside of Fredericton, they are brewing on a 1 BBL (120 litre) system in a residential area. 3Flip is focusing on supplying the local bars and restaurants, keeping them flush with great beer. You can be among the first to try their beer tomorrow night at The Joyce at the Crowne Plaza on Queen Street. From 7 – 9 PM, drop in for samples and pints of their Anonymous Amber Ale, Oat Cold Oatmeal Stout, and Pretty Fly for a White IPA, and of course meet the 3Flip crew. More details are available on their FB Event page. Congratulations to Nick and Alicia, and keep an eye on their social media (Fb/Ig/Tw) for more beer releases around the capital region, and as they expand their tap accounts. BTW, we updated their Profile with the full details on their launch beers, maybe not a bad time to check it out again/for the first time? 🙂

2 Crows is turning two, and of course they had to go and plan a big party and release a crapload of new beers that someone gets stuck writing up and NO I’M NOT BITTER, OK? All good, it’s all good. And in all seriousness, this party – happening tomorrow – is going to be pretty kick-ass, and the beers are sounding spectacular. Let’s start off with those beers, shall we? All six of these will be released tomorrow at opening:

  • Hollywood (4.6% ABV, 4 IBUs) – Brewed with Pilsner malt and three forms of wheat, this beer was very-lightly hopped with Calypso. Soured with Lactobacillus, and then fermented in one of the brewery’s oak foedres (with both Sacch and Brett strains), it was conditioned for 4 months before they added 150 kg of blood orange puree. They also threw in some Tonka beans, which are highly-coveted, “aromatic seeds of a giant tree from deep in the Amazon rainforest”. Yikes! Along with the character from the blood orange, the beans give notes of “vanilla, marzian, cherry, and almond” to this beer.
  • 408 Months (4.9% ABV, 15 IBUs) – Collaboration with Calgary’s Annex Ale Project, the wort of Pilsner, Spelt, and flaked oats was hopped with two Southern Hemisphere varieties, Enigma and Nelson Sauvin. Fermented in stainless with a white wine yeast strain, it was then fermented again, in a foedre, with a blend of Sacch and Brett strains. Once fermentation was complete, 200 kg of grape pomace (from Benjamin Bridge and L’Acadie Vineyards) was added, giving some tannic character to this bright, funky, slightly tart beer.
  • Brettango (7.9% ABV, 66 IBUs) – This one is a Brett IPA with mango (you may have actually been able to guess that one!), with a grist of Pale malt, Oat malt, CaraVienna, and flaked barley. Heavily-hopped in the hopback with Belma, Hallertau Blanc, and Citra, it was then fermented with Amalgamation, a blend of six different Brett strains. Then came the mango puree, all 225 lbs of it, before a heavy dry hop of Vic Secret and Citra. As expected, it’s tasting very tropical and juicy, with some light funk. It’ll be on tap Saturday, and for sale in cans.
  • Showtime (4.7% ABV) – Another collaboration, this time with Newfoundland’s The Third Place Cocktail Co. The base wort was hopped lightly with Calypso and Bramling Cross, then soured in 2C’s gin barrels with Lactobacillus, and fermented with, you guessed it, a blend of Sacch and Brett strains. After four months, the barrels were blended and transferred to stainless, where TPCC tonic – featuring cinchona bark, citrus, lemongrass, lime leaves, cardamon, lavender, and green tea – was added. Bottle-conditioned with Champagne yeast for two months, it’s tasting “tart, lively and fun, with subtle juniper, pine, and herbal notes, a light quinine bitterness and a bright lime and citrus kick from the tonic”. Available in bottles, as well as on tap Sunday.
  • Chime (4.9% ABV) – The barrel-aged sour fun continues with Chime, who’s wort made up of a base of Pilsner malt, Spelt, and oats was not boiled. Instead, a touch of Azacca and Galaxy hops were added for a brief, warm whirlpool session, before it was all transferred to stainless for fermentation with a blend of Lactobacillus, Brett, and Sacch strains. Once complete, the beer made its way to Sauvignon Blanc barrels for five months. Fresh lemongrass and pink Himalayan sea salt was added, and then the beer made its way back to stainless again for packaging in bottles with Champagne yeast, where it was allowed to condition for two months. With a surprisingly-full mouthfeel, it’s “lively, fresh, with big Sauv Blanc notes, reinforced with a subtle lemongrass brightness”, and some minerality thanks to the sea salt. In bottles tomorrow, and on tap Sunday.
  • Silence (5.8% ABV) – This beer is a bit of a turn (even for 2 Crows), as it’s a Golden Sour… that is uncarbonated. Aged in one of their foedres, samples taken over time were tasting so good with no carbonation that they decided to package it (in 750 mL wine bottles) just like that. Fans of Belgian styles will recognize that many Lambic beers aren’t carbonated (if you’re thinking of high carbonation, you’re likely thinking of Gueuze, a blend of different years of lambics that is definitely very lively), and will likely be drawn to Silence, which is showing “an assertive tartness, complex minerality, with lemony and herbal notes”. A grand total of 204 bottles will be available tomorrow, and it’ll be on tap Sunday.

They’ll be giving away 100 special anniversary glasses to the first hundred of you that drop in. Lots on tap, three beers for can/bottle pours at the bar, and live music starting at 2 pm and continuing all day (five bands!). Of course, if you plan on hanging around for awhile and having some beers (we hope so, anyway), you’re going to need food. Luckily, Luke from Luke’s Fried Chicken and Highwayman will be on site from 1 pm, serving up four different non-liquid options for your stomach.

In fact, celebrations aren’t just happening Saturday; on Sunday they’ll have some surprise bottle sales (read: some of your favourites from previous releases, so you have a chance to grab some more), and a whopping 13 sour beer on tap. Buttered Bliss will also be around from noon, giving you another chance to grab some tasty munchies. Congrats to 2 Crows on two years of success!

In Amherst, Trider’s Craft Beer is making a habit of keeping three taps on the go featuring beers made in small batches in the 20 – 40 L range, with a new one going on every month or so. Right now they’ve got three such brews on tap and we’ve got the details on all of them. First up is Brewtaur, a Brown IPA weighing in at 5.8% ABV and 55 IBU. With an earthy, “brown” hop profile coming from Willamette and Centennial hops, the brew team focused on making sure that the malt profile of the beer is balanced with the hops, a critical factor for the style. Second, they’ve got Foreign Extra Stout, described as a close relative of Guinness Foreign Extra. At a beefy 7.7% ABV, it’s quite dry, but it’s still got plenty of body. Look for plenty of roasty character and a bit of a boozy kick. And the third small batch tap is currently populated by Saaz Hands, a nice light Czech Pils at 3.9% ABV and 35 or so IBU. As you probably suspected from the name, it’s all Saaz hops from start to finish, lending it a classic Bohemian character. That these small batch beers are available on tap at the brewery only, so if one or more of them tweak your “I gotta try that” bone, best make your way to Trider’s while they last! And keep an eye on their social media (Ig, Tw, Fb) to find out what is going on tap next and when.

Shipwright Brewing Company, Lunenburg’s shiny new little brewery tucked in all cozy cozy with the Grand Banker restaurant, is already starting to make a variety of brews available. This week has already seen a new beer in their First Sail series of very small batches that give the brewers an opportunity to tweak recipes, try new ingredients, and otherwise have some extra fun in the brewery. Lumberjack Dry-hopped Ale was made with Canadian 2-row barley and Simcoe hops before being finished with a dry hop of a new Canadian hop variety called Lumberjack from BC Hop Co. First Sail beers don’t last long and it’s tough to say if this one’s still around, so keep your eyes on SBC’s social media (Ig, Tw, Fb) so you know what they’ve got coming up next in case you fancy a pint or a crowler. And if you’d like to know more about the brewery, be sure to check out the latest episode of the 902BrewCast wherein our intrepid podcasters braved the wilds of the South Shore to get the goods on Lunenburg’s latest hidden gem. You’ll even be able to learn about the latest of their beers to hit the taps yesterday, Tight Quarters IPA, a weighing in at 6.1% ABV and 50 IBU.

Next week’s Betabrew from Good Robot is different than “normal”, at least in terms of the beer’s brew day… it was brewed solo! That’s right, GR’s Kelly Costello had the pilot system all to herself, and brewed up a “Black Ale” named (just to confuse you a little) White Whale. With a grist of 2-row, Chocolate malt, and Flaked Barley, it was hopped with Summit, Vic Secret, and Cascade, to 65 IBUs. Fermented with San Diego Super Yeast, it still comes in at a very-manageable 4.9% ABV, with hints of roast and tropical fruit. Grab some next Tuesday at the taproom. And for Alpha, they’ll be releasing a fresh batch of their Vienna Lager, Infinite Saturday (5% ABV).

Good Robot is also pleased to announce the opening of sign-ups for their third annual FemmeBrew Brewing Competition. Open to all women and woman-identifying home brewers in the region, including first time brewers, the style for this year’s competition is the full BJCP Style #25B category, Saison. That means entrants can brew up a table, standard, or super-strength beer that’s light or dark, and herbs and/or spices can be used as long as they work in harmony with the yeast and other characteristics of the beer. You can check out the full description of the style in the 2015 BJCP Guidelines here. If you’d like to enter, you need to fill out this form by February 20th. You’re then free to brew your best beer and supply a minimum of 4 labeled 341 mL bottles to the brewery by March 2nd. Winners will be announced at the FemmeBot Tap Takeover on March 8th.

TrailWay is sticking with their one-hop Seeing series this week, after just releasing Seeing Double Citra last week. Their latest iteration features Summit, an American hop variety that has been around for about 20 years. A high-alpha acid hop know for its citrus aromas, it was likely used in abundance in Seeing Summit (it is a TrailWay beer, after all), a 6.5% ABV American IPA that the brewery describes as being “full of citrus and stone fruit, but with a solid background of spicy dankness”. It’s in cans at the brewery and a few ANBL stores right now, and should be on tap at the brewery as well, later today.

Dartmouth’s Nine Locks is in a German kinda mood this week with the release of Bock, their take on the Dunkles Bock style, a dark, strong, malty German lager. A variety of malts were used in the brewing of this 6.3% ABV beer, bringing aromas of “fresh-baked bread, with slight fruit overtones”. Copper in colour, it’s medium-to-full bodied, according to the brewery, finishing clean, with enough hop bitterness (25 IBUs) to help the beer from coming across as too sweet. You can stop by the brewery for cans and/or growlers, if you’re so inclined. They’ve also got some of the latest batch of their Pale Ale (5.5% ABV), which has some recipe tweaks to make it “bright, light, and extra refreshing”, with aromas of orange zest and flavours of “grainy malt, orange pith, and a subtle tropical note”.

Plenty of beery things going on in the next couple of weeks in Atlantic Canada; here’s a few you might want to check out:

It’s FROSTival time in Fredericton, a 2 & ½ week period with a wide assortment of events that celebrate winter (wait, what?). But don’t worry, it’s not all about ice sculptures and snow forts (actually, a lot of it isn’t), there’s also a beer/bowling/burger event scheduled by TrailWay for Saturday, February 2nd. Bowling, Beer & Burgs will be held at the brewery’s Bowl-a-Drome; sign up your team of four for $100, which gets you three strings of bowling, a pint of TW beer, and one of several burger options. There are two time slots available (5:30 pm and 9 pm); reserve your spot by calling 506-472-2361.

And continuing with the winter-themed events in Fredericton (what is wrong with these people?) the folks behind the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival are putting on an event a week from tomorrow that they’re calling the 2019 Beer Winter Olympics (we suspect the focus there is more on the “beer” part than the “winter” part). From 12 to 3 PM on Saturday, February 2nd, entrants will have the chance to compete in a series of fun, yet challenging events for which Gold, Silver and Bronze placings will be awarded. Even better? Beer is involved! The minimum entrance fee is $40 per person, which includes 3 beer, but the fee is actually a donation to Type One Diabetes Research. Raise more money, get more beer. A cap has been placed on the number of entries, so if you’re interested you might want to get a move on. You can buy a “ticket” here or email frederictonbeer@gmail.com for more details.

Nova Scotia’s South Shore will spend the first two weeks of February celebrating Nova Scotia’s favorite crustacean with the second annual Lobster Crawl. While there will be plenty of events from February 1st to 18th, including Groundhog Day with Lucy the Lobster and the 2019 Best Lobster Roll Challenge, of particular interest to beer lovers will be the Lobster Crawl Craft Beer Festival (Fb) taking place in Bridgewater at the Lunenburg County Lifestyles Centre on February 9th. Three levels of tickets are available, VIP, General and Designated Driver, with VIP ticket holders getting to hit the floor an hour earlier. Organizers have lined up at least 18 breweries, including all your favorites from the South Shore and some from other parts of the province as well. You’ll also find plenty of cider, food options, and some fun and games. Tickets can be purchased online and range in price from $30 to $55. We’d also encourage you to check out the Lobster Crawl site for information about places to stay, restaurants to check out, and all the other events that will be going on over this two-week celebration of everything the South Shore has to offer.

We’re pretty sure we don’t have to tell you that time flies, but when we realized that Hammond River Brewing will be celebrating their 5th Anniversary next month, it hit home even more. To celebrate this milestone, they’re throwing a party on Friday, February 8th at the taproom. As always, there will be plenty of HR beer pouring, but they’re also combining all of their weekly beer specials into the one day, which includes plenty of savings for those of you lucky enough to attend (all beers 50 IBUs+ for $6/pint, all flights $8, etc.). The partying will go on all day and evening, and there will also be live music from 5 pm on. Congrats to the entire Hammond River crew!

It gives us no pleasure to remind you that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, but… well, there it is. If you’re not into the typical ways to celebrate Love Day (read: go-karts and petting zoos, or gifts that include items such as Lord Huggington), might we recommend a beer and chocolate pairing? The Ladies Beer League is hosting just that with I Heart Beer at Garrison Brewing on Thursday, February 14th, where there will be five Garrison brews with five carefully-chosen, hand-crafted chocolates from Rousseau Chocolatier. It all starts at 7 pm; tickets are $25 and can be purchased through the event link above.

And, as is tradition, a few items of a brief nature before you get on with your Friday:

Moncton’s Grand Monk has brewed up something new and special for the FLASH festival, happening February 15-16th. In the meantime, you can catch a sneak preview of Grand Monkster Flash, a Kolsch, which will be debuting on tap tonight at the Pink Flamingos Cabaret/Lounge.

If you’re in the Oromocto, NB area and looking for more morALE Brewsters beer in your life, stop by Mingler’s Pub tonight for the brewery’s debut there on tap. Along with beer, they’ll have live music and prizes for the winning.

Niche Brewing has brought back Single Origin again, their Coffee Sweet Stout with Ethiopian Yirgacheffe beans from local roastery Jonnie Java. At 5% ABV, it’s dark, smooth and slightly creamy, with just enough sweetness to balance the coffee. You’ll be able to find it at regular Niche tap accounts and we’ve heard that a keg is also going to be at Stillwell in Halifax in the near future (along with Zeste and Enkel).

Port Rexton has brought back Mixed Opportunity, a 5.8% ABV Saison fermented with Fruit Bomb Saison yeast from Escarpment Labs. The beer is then conditioned with a blend of Brettanomyces strains, resulting plenty of “fruity, spicy, Farmhouse flavours”. Look for the beer in cans at both the brewery and St. John’s retail shop, and on tap at the taproom.

Propeller has somehow managed to find some space in their Gottingen Street location to include an old school arcade and they’re pleased to announce its grand opening next Thursday, January 31st! Featuring some sweet pinball tables and cabinets, both new and old, we’re happy to say it appears to run on quarters — no stupid tokens or ridiculous swipe cards here. It’ll be open Thursday to Sunday nights on the regular, with league nights on Mondays. You can see a sneak preview video and get more info on the Instagram page. Craft beer and pinball; you can’t go wrong.

Mahone Bay’s Saltbox has a new beer out today, a Scotch Ale just in time for Rabbie Burns Day. Called Whiskey Jack, we’re not sure of the ABV, but we can tell you that it’s been sitting in a Glenora Distillery single malt whisky barrel for some time, lending it notes of vanilla, toffee and caramel, with peat smoke and oak rounding out the sensory experience. There’s a limited amount on tap, but they’ve also packaged this one for sale in 750 mL bottles, perfect for grabbing one (or more) to take home and pair with your haggis.

Up in Sussex, NB, Sussex Ale Works has a brand new NE IPA kegged this week. Hop To It was made in limited quantities and was tapped on Wednesday, so if you’re looking to get a hop fix for the weekend best make your way there in short order.

Unfiltered has Danko returning today; their Simcoe single-hopped DIPA weighs in at 7.5% ABV, and is chock-full of all of those delicious piney and dank Simcoe-derived flavours that you know and love. Available at the brewery today for pints, growler fills, and in cans.

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.