Hi again, it’s us again. And we’re late. Again. We blame the weather. And illness. And day jobs. And too much beer news from all our friends at breweries around the region. So in the interest of getting on with things, we’ll cut this off here and wish you a happy beer-filled long weekend!!
If you caught a mention on the social media pages of Tusket Falls Brewing about a new beer called Bitter Stout, we’re sorry to tell you that this experimental batch has already sold out. Luckily, they’ve got two other new brews on tap at the brewery for you to try! One is a 6.5% ABV Brown Porter with an addition of cold brew coffee, giving aromas of “dark chocolate and fresh coffee grinds, and a creamy, vanilla cappuccino flavour”. The next is a 5% ABV Saison with hibiscus, with “Juicy Fruit gum and floral, carnation-like” notes on the nose, as well as “subtle, tart cherry and floral flavours” to complement. If these go as quickly as the Bitter Stout, you best get into the brewery to try them, quick!
St. Patrick’s Day is still a month away, but Bathurst’s Four Rivers Brewing has released their St. Paddy’s seasonal a bit early as a limited run. Raglan Red is, as you may expect, an Irish Red Ale; the name was inspired by Raglan Road, a local Irish band. The beer itself (5.0% ABV, 25 IBUs), which pours a deep red colour with a creamy, off-white head, is described as having “a slightly sweet biscuit and caramel flavour that finishes dry, with hints of Roasted Barley”. It was fermented with an Irish Ale yeast strain, which “adds a faint aroma of toffee and wildflowers”, according to the brewery. You can currently get it at the brewery on tap and in cans. Next month, however, it should be more readily available, with kegs even hitting some ANBL growler stations around the big day. Four Rivers will also be holding a St. Patricks Day party on March 15th, featuring Raglan Road, with a portion of ticket sales going to the local SPCA; tickets are $15 and are available now at the brewery.
Elsewhere in Bathurst, newly-opened 13 Barrels Brewing has released their second beer, Tall Tales IPA. We don’t have too many details to share, but we can tell you that this copper-coloured brew is a 6% ABV, 55 IBUs American IPA that the brewery is describing as “crisp and malty, with an aroma that has hints of spice and orange bouquet”. It joins their first beer, Pabineau Pale Ale, on tap for pints and growler fills, and a half-dozen guest beers that can be enjoyed in their cozy taproom.
Back to Nova Scotia, and Annapolis Royal, for our next new release. Annapolis Brewing Company has released their first Hefeweizen, an iconic German beer style that features a hefty amount of wheat in the malt bill, and a special yeast strain. Capital Hefeweizen is 5.2% ABV, and shows off the characteristic blend of banana and clove aromatics, along with light bubble gum and vanilla flavour compounds. Lightly hopped to 11 IBU with Liberty and Nugget hops, this quaffable beer features high carbonation for an effervescent pint. The name is an ode to Annapolis Royal’s distinction of being the former provincial capital. Available on tap at their St George Street taproom, those in the current capital city can enjoy it tomorrow evening at the Craft Beer Cottage Party at the Seaport Farmers Market, joining their W&A Rye IPA and Dry Dock Dry (Brut-style) Pale Ale.
We’ve seen Bishop’s Cellar team up with local breweries to create collaboration brews before, and based on those results, we’re excited about the latest one! Bloom was brewed with our friends at North Brewing, and will be dropping tomorrow for your drinking pleasure. A 5.0% ABV Saison, it features the addition of lactose powder in the boil. Hopped with Saaz, Hallertau Blanc, and Galaxy, they decided to step things up and throw in even more of that delicious Galaxy in the dry hop. We’re guessing here, but are thinking there’ll be a good mix of tropical fruit and spice in this one, all in a dry-but-not-too-dry-finish-package. You can grab your cans at both North bottle shops, as well as at Bishop’s Cellar (natch); it’ll also be pouring at tomorrow’s Craft Beer Cottage Party.
Niche Brewing just outside of Fredericton aren’t slowing down their release schedule these days, despite the crappy weather, and have a brand new beer out late this week. Counting Stars was brewed with a base of Golden Promise along with oats and chit in the malt bill, and fermented with a mix of low-flocculating yeast strains, resulting in a hazy golden-coloured brew. This 6.7% ABV New England IPA is all about the hops, of course, with Galaxy, Topaz, and Amarillo taking centre stage in the boil, with the former two also being added as dry-hops after fact, along with Vic Secret. Hop notes of tropical, fruit, and lightly dank are followed up with a firm bitterness on the palate. Keep an eye on Niche’s social media (or better yet the bar and restaurants), to see when Counting Stars hits the tap at The Joyce Pub (ed: it’s on now!), Hilton Garden Inn Fredericton Downtown, and Saint John’s Peppers Pub.
While the cats are away, the mice will play. Or in this case, while Matt and Christiane of Tatamagouche Brewing are making us jealous with their honeymooning in Europe, the rest of the crew are busy working and releasing four (4!!) beers this week. Returning is the Oyster Cloister Stout, their 5.3% ABV stout named in celebration of the annual oyster shucking party that has been a part of local tradition for years. Roasted barley and Carafa malts create a rich chocolate and roasty base to the beer, with a light dose of hops, and finally a salty kick from the Malagash oysters added in. They’ve taken the party from the kitchen, and invited the rest of us to take part, as it kicks off tonight at 7 PM at the brewery.
In the first of the brand new beer at Tatamagouche this week, the women in the brewery got together with another female-strong brewery in the province, Good Robot, and brewed up Maltriarchy. This “strong beer for strong women” weighs in at 8.6% ABV, is a Golden Strong Ale, with a light and effervescent mouthfeel, dangerous for a beer this size. Leveraging a Belgian yeast strain and Saaz hops for a fairly traditional take on the style, with some fruity esters from the yeast and a classic noble hop character.
Nelson’s Park Pale Ale is the second of the new brews out in Tata, and as the name would imply, the New Zealand hop Nelson Sauvin features prominently in the brew. This 5.1% ABV hoppy and hazy beer is named after Nelson Memorial Park, overlooking Tatamagouche Bay. Tropical and stone fruit character are complemented by the white wine notes often found in Nelson, and the bitterness is enough to balance without becoming too harsh.
And finally, we’ve got Mingle. This 4.7% ABV Ale is simply categorized as a “Hazy Organic Ale”. Details are a bit light on the one, but we’ve been assured it sports a light body with notes of apple and pear, and is dangerously drinkable. It, like all of the Tatamagouche beer we’ve mentioned today, are available at the brewery now on tap for samples, pints, and growlers, with cans available there, and at select private stores in HRM in the next week or so.
Seamount Saison is a brand new release at Mount Pearl’s newest brewery, Landwash. Admittedly released a little out of saison (season, sorry!), they fell into some good luck with a special yeast perfect for the style, and could not pass up the opportunity. Returning to the roots they set down at Folly Brewing in Toronto, this is a Belgian-inspired beer that lets to yeast blend to shine through, with zesty citrus notes, with pepper aroma and flavour. A medium bitterness and dry finish will have you ordering your second pint. This is a one-off brew, for now, as Seamount will return in the spring when the temperatures are a little warmer. But for now, grab it on tap this weekend for pints and growler fills, as well as in cans in their retail shop. Also in the shop this weekend is the return of Home and Away, the 5.6% ABV American Pale Ale they first released in late December. Showcasing Cascade and Citra, this beer is all sorts of hoppy goodness, with massive orange and grapefruit on the nose and palate, with a medium bitterness to tickle your tongue. It too is available for flights and pints at the bar, with growlers and cans to take away. If you’re ever wondering which Landwash beers are available, we highly encourage you to check out the Availability section on their site. And keep your eyes peeled in town, as we’ve seen kegs of Landwash available at better beer spots in St. John’s, including Merchant Tavern and Jack Axe’s. If you *don’t* see them at your favourite watering hole, ask the staff about maybe bringing them, wouldja?
The PEI Brewing Co. has had a lot of employees over the years, so you know when they brew a beer in honour of one of them, it means something. Mike Ross, now the co-owner of both the Charlottetown and Halifax HopYard locations, was once the brewery’s Sales Manager, and is as least as much now a strong advocate for craft beer as he was during his days at the PEIBC. In a nutshell, he’s well-deserving of having his picture on cans of El Bolito De Coraje (Spanish translation “little ball of courage”). The beer is billed as a 6.2% ABV “Mexican Chocolate Stout”, and was brewed with organic cocoa nibs, cinnamon, and “a blend of spicy peppers”. The brewery tells us that the beer isn’t TOO spicy, more providing a touch of heat, while allowing the other ingredients to come through. You can find it on tap at both Hop Yard locations, and in cans at the PEIBC taproom this coming Monday, February 18th.
Halifax’s Garrison is the latest brewery in our region to explore the satellite taproom and pilot brewery concept; there was plenty of social media excitement when it was announced this week that they’ll be opening up in the Oxford Theatre building at the corner of Quinpool and Oxford Streets. Although there was certainly some chagrin from the arts community that an independent cinema or performance space was not on the docket, Garrison’s plan is consistent with the stated goal by the Nahas family, who purchased the building last year, to renovate and maintain the property as a landmark and community friendly space on Quinpool Road. Plans for Garrison’s part of the facility will include a 1 BBL electric brewhouse with a couple of 1 BBL unitanks for fermentation and conditioning all on a very small visible footprint (~150 ft2). The taproom side of the mix will include 13 Garrison brews and 1 cider (Bulwark), with two additional taps for beers brewed on site. Expect 2 to 4 brews a month to be done in-house, with the team using it as an opportunity for experimentation with ingredients, techniques and recipes, as well as potentially for collaboration brews with other brewers and potentially folks from the community. Some snacks will be available, but patrons will also be welcome to order in food from neighboring restaurants, and look for the occasional pop-up or catered event as well. Set to open in Spring 2019, we’re definitely excited to see what else Garrison has in the works for this concept.
Meanwhile, in more Garrison beer news, they also have some new brews coming out today, a trio of Winterventions: Bourbon Barrel-aged Wintervention, Whiskey Barrel-aged Wintervention, and plain ol’ Wintervention are joining the Cellar Series this week, where Cherry Bourbon Barrel-aged Wintervention has been hanging out all by its lonesome for a couple of weeks. Those who’ve been around for a while know that Wintervention is a Chocolate Imperial Stout brewed to 10.5% ABV and conditioned for a month on cacao nibs. A deep dark beer for deep dark winter nights, you can now try the original formulation and/or compare and contrast the different barrel treatments. Available now in 650 mL bottles at the brewery and, we expect, you’ll see at least some of them pop up at private stores in Halifax over the coming weeks. And look for one more variant to be released before the season’s over. Oh, the suspense!!
Plenty going on in beer events over the next couple weeks and beyond:
Nothing seems to ever be able to stop Stillwell from holding wonderful tap takeovers, and we’re not complaining! Coming up this Saturday, February 16th, Toronto’s Godspeed Brewery will take over your favourite beer bar with nine beers on tap and three in cans. And we’re not talking about your daddy’s beer, here, unless your daddy is into Smoked Pilsners, Green Tea IPAs, and Peated Scotch Lagers (and if he is, can we trade daddies?). Check out Stilly’s Facebook page for a full list of what will be pouring. And because it’s Stillwell, of course there will be some excellent food to pair with all these tasty beverages, featuring sushi and appetizers from Sushi Shige. It all starts at noon, and will continue all day (based on availability).
Battery Park is continuing their run of tap takeovers by inviting Pictou County’s two most prominent breweries to line their wall with beers. Next Thursday, February 21, you’ll find the best offerings from Lyon’s Brook’s Uncle Leo’s and Stellarton’s Backstage Brewing flowing in Dartmouth. Beer will begin flowing at their usual 11:30 AM opening time. Consistent with other takeovers, we suspect it’s fair for you to expect some stone cold classics along with some new and/or limited editions in the house. Keep an eye on social media for potential hints as to the beers that will be pouring.
In case you find yourself in Vancouver next Friday, February 22, and maybe thirsting for a taste of home, you might be in luck: 2 Crows will be doing a tap takeover presented by UntappedBC at 12 Kings Pub. Brewer Jeremy Taylor and Brewery Coordinator Mitch Gilbert will be in full effect and knowing 2C, they’ll have some favorites as well as some rarities and one offs. The event starts at 6 PM (yes, that’s Pacific time). If you’re not going to be in Vancouver, but have been telling your West Coast peeps about how good you’ve got it on the East side with 2 Crows, you might let them know this is happening so they can see for themselves!
Do you like rare, delicious Belgian beer? Do you live in or around the Moncton area (or are willing to travel for good beer)? If you answered “yes” to these questions, we have some very good news for you – the Tide & Boar is getting a shipment of hard-to-find Belgian beers and they’re holding an event on Saturday, March 2nd for you to try them! They’ll be pouring bottles of Cantillon, De Cam, Drie Fonteinen, and more, and some of these will be extremely limited due to their rareness (including a single bottle of Cantillon Fou Foune); check out the event page for a more thorough listing of what beers will be available. They’ll be offering special flights of four, 3 oz pours, as well; they’re not legally allowed to post prices of the flights or any of the beers, but are encouraging you to message them directly if you’d like to know (hint: bring your wallet). T&B will also be offering a special Belgian-themed food menu for the event. We don’t see these beers around here very often (as in, hardly ever), so if some of these beers are on your lifelong must-try list, you best show up early! They open at 11 am.
Speaking of Tide & Boar, they – along with Halifax’s Stillwell – have been selected yet again to be one of a handful of bars in the world to host Peche Day on Saturday, March 23rd. For the two of you unfamiliar with this event, it’s a celebration of one of Canada’s most-loved beers, Peche Mortel, from Quebec’s Dieu du Ciel! Bars lucky enough to take part will have 6-7 kegs of different variants, as well as the original, of this beer available, and usually offer flights of each to customers for purchase. If you live near either T&B or Stillwell, we highly suggest you drop in on the 23rd to give one, two, or all variants (and the original!) a try.
And a final few mentions before you go:
Tracadie’s Brasseux d’la Côte has two new beers pouring at their brewery, a Brut IPA (quite low at just 4.6% ABV) and Tuba (even lower at 2.6%) a “refreshing, light beer low in alcohol, calories, and gluten.
No Beta brew next week for Good Robot (boo!), due to a staff function causing the brewery to be closed on February 19th. However, they are bringing back Bingo Bronson (hooray!) on the following Thursday; it’s their 6% ABV, 25 IBUs Chocolate Porter (psst… it’s also their highest-rated beer on Untappd out of 160 listed beers, if you’re into that sort of thing).
The Harbour Brewing Co. has released Fred, a 5.6% ABV, 48 IBUs, amber-coloured IPA hopped and dry-hopped entirely with Citra; it features a “big malt body with a hint of sweetness, combined with grapefruit and citrus flavours” from the hops.
Propeller wants us to let you know that they’re bringing back a couple of fan favourites, including XPA (which should be released shortly), and Dark Berry Sour (which is now a spring seasonal release, so will see wider distribution compared to its initial release). And if you’re heading there for their Friday Cask this evening, we can let you know that it’s their Porter, hopped with Simcoe.
Spindrift just released two more beers in the Out of the Hold series, Neat and Peanut Butter Inside. Both are Imperial Stouts that were barrel-aged in French Oak, and they both weigh in at a hefty 10% ABV. No other details at this time, but bottles are now available at the brewery for purchase.
Parrsborro’s Two Islands Brewing just launched two new beers for Love Day, so they should still be available. Drop by the brewery to give Chocolate Porter and Mango Weisse Ale a try.