Two Islands Brewing

All posts tagged Two Islands Brewing

We’ve got another full complement of beer and cider news to get you excited for the weekend. Several new producers on the radar across the region are now open, plus plenty of new and returning favourite beers from established breweries too! Let’s keep this opening paragraph short, and spend our time on the real news. No one reads these intros, do they?

Arisaig, Nova Scotia should already be on the radar for you alcohol beverage fan, as it is the home to Steinhart Distillery, an award winning spirits maker. Located 30 km Northeast of Antigonish along the 245 Highway, they have entered the brewing space under the name 9zero2 Brewing. Owner and distiller Thomas Steinhart comes by his love of beer honestly, having grown up in Germany, and is bringing some favourite styles and recipes from his birth country to life. Beers now available include a Hefeweizen, Pilsner, Cold Smoked, Arisaig Ale, Summer Party, and very soon, their first IPA. We will have a full Profile with 9zero2 shortly, but in the meantime, be sure to drop by the distillery/brewery for pints and growler fills, as it’s the only place you can taste the beer! They are open Monday to Friday, 10 – 7 PM.

In Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, Two Islands Brewing Company recently opened their doors at 169 Main Street. With Rising Tide Bakery operating in the same space, the taproom and kitchen has been open for a couple of weeks, initially serving beer and cider from other producers in the province. They now have an Irish Red and Blonde of their own, and should be pouring this weekend. Growlers of their own beer will be available, along with pints and flights of all beer and cider on draught. The brewery is open 10AM-6PM (Tue, Wed, and Sun), and 10AM-10PM Thu-Sat. The bakery is open 8AM-6PM Tue-Sun. Drop by this weekend to check out the brewery!

Let’s turn our eye to cider, as Maritime Express Cider has just opened their location in Kentville, Nova Scotia. Housed in a railway hotel at 325 Main Street, Maritime Express boasts onsite cider fermentation and a beautiful taproom. Their cider is built from 100% Annapolis Valley apples, pressed locally, and fermented cool and slow. They are currently pouring a pair of their ciders in the taproom: The Flying Blusenose, a 6.0% ABV dry and crisp cider, and The Dayliner, a 5.0% ABV sweet and smooth blend. They will be adding a third blend, featuring rhubarb, in the near future. Their taps are rounded out with six Nova Scotia beers, and mix and match flights of all are available for enjoyment. Open 11 AM – 9 PM Mon-Thu, 11 AM – 11 PM Fri-Sat, and 11 AM – 5 PM.

And in the “mostly open” department is Sussex Ale Works, located at 597B Main Street. This week they have brewed up their first beer, but while they wait for it to be ready, they’ve been sharing great NB beers from other breweries with their thirsty patrons. Rick Lockhart has been working with Sussex Craft Distillery and Holy Whale Brewing in Alma for several years, and he is running the show at Sussex Ale Works, on their 1 BBL (120 L) system. We’ll have lots more details on Sussex soon, but in the meantime, drop by this weekend to check out the new digs and toss back a pint. Open 12 – 10 PM Fri-Sun, and 5 – 10 PM Mon-Thu.

The gang at Tatamagouche Brewing has plenty going on this week, starting with the launch of their online store. You can now shop for and order your favorite Tata brews and merch from the comfort of your own home! All the pertinent details are available on the site (especially the FAQ), but to answer the most obvious questions, beer must be purchased in multiples of 12 cans and/or 6 bottles, but yes, you sure can mix and match. Shipping is available to all Canadian provinces (but none of the territories) and ships via Canada Post. Even better, orders over $150 ship free! Meanwhile, earlier this month we mentioned Stillwell Brewing’s Make 1, 2 and that the correct term for such a blend of older and newer beer is a bière de coupage. As it turns out, we’d written about another one in the region only a month before when we told you about Tata’s Cahoots. Well available this week is another one from Tata that they’re calling Bliss, again a mix of beer out of two barrels, one old and one young. Coming in at 6.3% ABV and more sour than its predecessor, it’s being released this weekend as a bière de marriage (sorry; not sorry) in celebration of the nuptials of Tata’s own Matt and Christiane, two of the nicest folks in our region’s craft beer scene. A hearty “Cheers” and a big congratulations from us here at the blog! (Also, in related news, the brewery is closing early on Saturday (3 PM) and will be closed Sunday.

One of Newfoundland’s original craft breweries, Storm Brewing in Newfoundland in Mount Pearl, got its start in Carbonear on the east side of the Avalon Peninsula (and the west side of Conception Bay), in 1995. In 1998 they brewed a batch of beer for the first time that led to six months of bureaucracy before the brewery was able to package and sell it. The problem? It was full of hemp seeds. Although hemp won’t get you high, it’s certainly a member of the cannabis family and sourcing good quality seeds became difficult owing to political climate in the early 2000s, so the beer was discontinued. Right up until the other week, that is. Now that cannabis is entirely legal in this fine country of ours, it seemed to the folks at Storm that it would be a fine time to revisit that beer. Sourcing high-quality hemp seeds from Ontario, which were added to the mash, Hemp Ale, known locally as Weed Beer, is a light and refreshing 4.5% ABV brew with a balanced, earthy flavor and a nutty and herbal aftertaste. Packaged with the original labels from 20 years ago, they’re not entirely sure what the future of this beer will be, but they do know that the 650 mL bottles delivered have already have sold out, leaving 6-packs available for purchase at select NLC locations and convenience stores (the NLC site is a bit slow to update inventory, but here is the shortcut for your reference). It’s also on tap at the Ship Pub and the Quidi Vidi Brewery tap room.

Those of you who have been following the evolving nature of North Brewing are well aware that the brewery has released a fair number of different beers since they opened in 2013. Yesterday, they officially added their very first Pilsner to their lineup, with Sparrow. Crisp and refreshing, yesterday’s launch will trickle into today, when cans of the 4.8% ABV beer will be available at both bottle shops. Look for it on tap around the HRM, as well, including their partner in the beer formulation, Agricola Street’s Bar Kismet.

Niche Brewing from Hanwell is continuing their one-hop beer series, with a favourite Australian varietal taking centre stage. You Had Me At… Vic Secret continues the tradition that began with Ekuanot and transitioned to Mosaic, with a 4.4% ABV all Vic Secret Session IPA. Fermented with a blend of yeasts, but cleanly to allow the hop character to shine through. And it does, with tropical fruit and pine notes coming through, on top of a hazy, yet dry, base beer, enhancing the 30 IBU bitterness. Look for it on tap at their regular tap accounts in Fredericton, Saint John, as well as at the HopYard in Charlottetown.

The march of the Pumpkin Ales continues (like it or not!), with Newfoundland’s Bootleg Brew Co. throwing their hat in the ring with Basic Bee. This light-bodied, dry, 5% ABV beer features the addition of local pumpkin from Wright’s Family Farm (Pasadena) and 40 lbs of honey from the Newfoundland Bee Company (Little Rapids). Lightly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, the honey makes this one a slightly-different take on the Pumpkin Ale style; look for it on tap right now at Bootleg.

Halifax’s annual sci-fi and gaming convention, Hal-Con, is happening this weekend, and Garrison is once again launching a new beer to celebrate. Billed as a four brewery, three nation collaboration, they teamed up with Mason’s Brewing and Lone Pine Brewing from Maine, and Gæðingur Öl Brugghús from Skagafirði, Iceland to brew Hipster Viking during the Seaport Beer Festival in August. This unfiltered “Atlantic IPA” was brewed in the New England style, and was hopped with Mosaic, Ekuanot, and Idaho 7. Featuring a “dank, tropical aroma and flavour” it weighs in at 6% ABV, and will be available starting today at both Garrison and Hal-Con, and at the private liquor stores next week. Note that the label artwork has been done by Ben Bishop, a well-known comic book artist.

Over in Good Robot Land™, next week’s Beta Brew is another fruited kettle sour, this one concocted by Corey Crocker (hey, that wasn’t planned!). Inspired by “the shiny satin shirts and well-bottomed pants of the ‘70s disco era”, Electric Dynomite (misspelling intentional) features the addition of strawberries and rhubarb (4.2% ABV, 6 IBUs). Drop by the brewery on Tuesday, where we (and surely, they) encourage you to wear your favourite disco outfit… and with Halloween right around the corner, you may not even get too many curious stares. And on Thursday, Leave Me Blue (4.5% ABV) is back on tap yet again. Corn!

Fredericton’s Grimross Brewing has a new beer in their series of more experimental offerings that they’ve dubbed Scratch. Now up to number 13 in the series, the latest entry is Lemondrop Saison, named for the use of a fairly-recently developed hop variety from the United States that features a citrusy lemon character (of course), but melded with a herbaceous, almost green tea-like presence. Dry hopped to bring out maximal aroma, this 5.8% ABV and 19 IBU beer features a complex grist that supports a round mouthfeel and subtle spicy notes. This one appears to have made it into cans, so look for it on sale at the brewery!

Port Rexton Brewing is back in full effect at their St. John’s retail location this month. Open for business every Thursday (5 – 8 PM), Friday (12 – 7 PM) and Saturday (12 – 6 PM) for the foreseeable, they’re happy to save you a three hour drive from St. John’s to get your fix. This week the supply of cans is getting a little low, so you’ll be limited to 4 cans of each style, but they’ve got Blazing Sun (Double NEIPA; see below), Horse Chops (IPA), and T-Rex Porter. But as always, they’ve also got growler fills, and the lineup there looks like Sweater Weather (Double IPA), T-Rex Porter, Firehouse Amber, and Baycation Blonde, with The One With the Citra waiting in the wings for when one of the others kicks. The Blazing Sun is a notable return, as it was the first beer that PR put into cans last year. A big sister to their Chasing Sun NEIPA, it’s super hazy and super juicy with tons of hop character, low bitterness, and a full mouthfeel from plenty of oats and wheat in the grist. It takes its name from the oldest living Newfoundland Pony Stallion, a 27 year old named Blaze who lives in Champneys West just across the beach from the brewery. Blaze is always quite happy to munch on the spent grain from Port Rexton’s brewing endeavors, but we suspect most people will prefer the beer. You can keep yourself apprised of what’s available at the retail shop by scoping its dedicated Instagram on the regular and while you’re at it, you might want to follow the brewery’s main Instagram as well.

Dieppe’s CAVOK Brewing has been brewing up a storm in their new space at 250 Dieppe Blvd, and as we wait for them to be released, they are extending their opening hours to include Thursdays. Their hours are now 6 – 10:30 Thu, 2 – 11:30 PM Fri and Sat, and 2 – 7 PM Sun. And to keep up with all of these hours, they are looking to add some more team members to join them. Send them an email to learn more! Just a note that they are not yet filling growlers due to permitting issues, but have five of their own beers on tap, plus five more guest taps, to keep you happy.

Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing has a trio of new beers waiting in the wings to share with all of us this weekend. Let’s start with Saint James, a Fruitcake-inspired Stout. Brewed in Winter 2018, this 11.5% ABV stout has been aging in Glenora Whiskey barrels on BS-farm-grown cognac-soaked Organic purple plums. Assistance for the beer concept, recipe, and brewing came from Nova Scotian music Donald MacLennan, an accomplished violinist who had frequently held court in the Big Spruce taproom. Saint James, in case you are wondering, was MacLennan’s Father in Law, and a wonderful part of their family. The beer is full of iconic fruitcake notes of dark dried fruits, chocolate, and coffee, with a significant heat from the high alcohol and barrel-aging.
Something Sophisticated is a 6.4% ABV bottle-conditioned Saison, co-fermented with Brettanomyces, featuring a balance of fruit, spice, and light malt, with the Brett funk shining through.
And finally Pile-It License, which is a Sherry Barrel aged Chocolate Porter, weighing in at 7.0% ABV. Chocolate and sherry and wood come together in a smooth beer worth enjoying before, during, or after, a great meal. All three beers will be available in bottles very soon.

In between new brewery and cider-house hopping this weekend, check out the other events on the go…

The Auction House is teaming up with Garrison Brewing for a Halloween Bash tomorrow, October 27th, with 15 taps at Auction House being taken over by the brewery. Several of Garrison’s “specialty brews” will be pouring, and of course there’ll be lots of tasty food available. You can also expect live music and prize giveaways, as well as, ‘tis the season, a costume contest with prizes. There’s no cover charge, so dig out your finest white sheet with two eyeholes and truck on down to Argyle St. tomorrow night to take part in the fun.

Next Saturday will see a full dozen offerings from Annapolis Cider Company on tap at Halifax’s Stillwell Beer Bar, as they celebrate their diversity of offerings. Always using Annapolis Valley juice as their base, the different blends and expressions follow the seasons and will sometimes feature other fruits or adjuncts added to enhance the flavour. For those new to Annapolis, or cider in general, may we suggest checking out their appearance on the 902 BrewCast this week, with co-owner Sean Myles talking the crew through their beginnings, how they choose which apples to use, their cider philosophy, and about their Cider Club. Listen in to get ready for Saturday November 3rd!

A note regarding the FemmeBot Beer Fest we mentioned last month: due to a date conflict, it has been moved to April 27, 2019. With the aim to highlight female brewery employees, and/or members of the public creating beer, Good Robot is hosting a 15 brewery Fest at the Mayflower Curling Club. More details are available for breweries looking to be part of the fun, and we will share ticket details once available.

A few more bites before we leave you this week:

Horton Ridge has brought back their Chocolate Oatmeal Stout (6% ABV) in time for the cooler weather; roasty, chocolatey and smooth, drop by the taproom now for a taste.

Picaroons is still churning out new iterations of their PIVOT (8% ABV) Imperial IPA, with the latest (#21) featuring Sorachi Ace and Denali hops. You can find it on tap at all Picaroons locations, as well as select ANBL growler stations.

Propeller has a special cask on tonight, a sneak preview of this year’s upcoming Coffee Porter release. Chocolate was added for this very small release (20 L only), to put a bit of an extra twist on a crowd favourite.

Roof Hound is now pouring their popular Keltic Devil Pumpkin Spiced Latte Strong Porter (as fun to drink as it is to say!), a Porter which is how you might expect it to be from the name. It’s a strong one at 9% ABV, and has plenty of coffee added from Sissiboo Coffee Roaster, as well as pumpkin, vanilla bean, lactose, and pumpkin pie spices.

Sober Island Brewing on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore has launched a Kickstarter campaign to push them to the ultimate goal of building their brewery on Sober Island itself. Check out the offerings, and contribute to help further their expansion!

Tanner & Co. first released their Belgian Tripel as an entry in their Reserve Series, back in February. This 8.9% ABV, 35 IBUs brew, which was fermented with a variety of Belgian yeast strains, has just been bottled for the first time. With “lots of complex aromas and flavours”, you can pick up a bottle or two (or more!) at the brewery itself this weekend; note that kegs are also filled and awaiting to go on tap.

TrailWay dropped new cans and kegs of Beans, their 6.3% ABV Oatmeal Coffee Stout, today when they opened. “Sweetness balanced against roasted malts”, with lots of coffee and chocolate in the aroma, you can grab cans or pints at the brewery starting at noon; look for cans to also hit select ANBL stores sometime next week.

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.