Unfiltered Brewing

All posts tagged Unfiltered Brewing

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.

Happy Spring Everyone! Now we just need to tell Mother Nature that! But it will be nice to see the snow eventually receding so that you have a big more time to dodge the potholes. A handful of new beers and events this week, so grab that coffee, or coffee stout, and get up to speed on the beer news. As always, if you have beer info you’d like us to share, please don’t hesitate to send it along! We’re always happy to spread the word about the great beer in our region.

News concerning collaboration beers brewed for International Women’s Day keeps trickling in; this week, we can fill you in on the one released by Petit-Sault and Big Tide. Brewed at the Petit-Sault brewery in Edmundston, Brighid is an 8.8% abv “Strawberry Brut IPA”. Hopped with Mosaic and Lemondrop, enzymes were added to help the beer dry out as much as possible, as is typical for the Brut IPA style. During fermentation, strawberry puree was added (to the tune of 300 lbs), giving the beer a hazy, pinkish hue. Tropical, juicy, and super-dry (as expected), it’s currently available on tap only, at both breweries. Look for 750 mL bottles to appear at both locations next week, as well.

One of New Brunswick’s newest breweries (for a little while longer, anyway), Hampton Brewing, dropped a new beer release in time for St. Patrick’s Day last weekend. Ol’Marley is a Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, brewed with a mixture of Roasted Barley and Chocolate malts to impart plenty of roasted, coffee-like character in the aroma and flavour. The beer also features the addition of rum-soaked, organic cacao nibs, adding even more chocolatey goodness to the finished product. Weighing in at 5.5% ABV and 32 IBUs, it has a medium body and moderate bitterness in the finish. Look for it on tap at your favourite Hampton Brewing account.

Let’s move back to Brut IPA territory; specifically to Smiths Cove, NS, where Lazy Bear Brewing has released their very own. Simply named Brut IPA, it was dry-hopped with Ariana, Callista, and El Dorado; we’re going to assume no hops were added during the boil, as the brewery lists the IBUs as “very low to none”. The beer comes in at 7% ABV and finishes very dry (again, thanks in part to the addition of enzymes); it’s available on tap at the brewery during the Thursday Growler Evenings and the Annapolis Royal Farmers Market, with kegs possibly being sent elsewhere soon.

Hanwell, New Brunswick’s Niche Brewing has a new beer out this week that hopefully will put you in mind of warmer days to come. A grisette, In Limbo was brewed with primarily Pilsner malt, with plenty of spelt and both flaked and malted wheat rounding out the grist, and it was hopped lightly with classic noble Saaz before being fermented with Niche’s house culture. The result is a beer with a light body and a pleasant lemon presence that’s definitely on the funkier side of the style, but which certainly doesn’t bash you over the head with yeast character. Easy-drinking and refreshing, at 4.2% ABV you can have a few and without worrying you might dart out in front of an oxcart during the festival of the vernal equinox! Look for it at Niche tap accounts around NB and, if the folks in Halifax are lucky again, maybe some will come to that city as well.

We warned you a month ago to keep your eyes out for a beer featuring carrots, and sure enough, it has come to pass as those crazy kids at Boxing Rock in Shelburne, NS, have pushed the boundaries yet again with 14 Carrot Gold. This beer is a collaboration with Square Roots, a brand that encompasses a pair of projects under the aegis of Enactus SMU that aim to help reduce food waste and eliminate food insecurity in our communities. One way to address the former is to find uses for the less pretty produce that might not be sold if it were put on the shelf. So this beer isn’t just full of carrots, it’s full of ugly carrots, carrots that might roll a rabbit in a dark alley, carrots that you wouldn’t bring home to meet your Mom, but carrots that taste just fine. The juice of these carrots was added to the mash, joining a grist that included some honey malt to encourage some balancing malt sweetness. Into the kettle the wort went, to be hopped up (sorry*) with Calypso, Magnum, and Hallertauer Mittelfruh. The overall result is a clean and refreshing rather orange pale ale that is herbal and slightly spicy, but which also definitely tastes of carrots. You can find it already in 650 mL bottles at the brewery, Boxing Rock Bottle Shop at Local Source and private liquor stores in Halifax, and it will also be on the shelves at NSLC locations starting April 1st. Maybe grab an extra to put out for the Easter Bunny to enjoy? And speaking of the bottle shop, thanks to the associated Test Kitchen, they’ve also got a brand new one on the taps: FLEX IPA clocks in at a hefty 7.3% ABV and sports plenty of Falconer’s Flight, Centennial, and Simcoe hops. Stop by to grab a growler if you’re in the North End.

* totally not sorry

Spindrift Brewing has their latest entry in their Out of the Hold series bottled and available for sale, FIKA. This one is a 10% ABV Imperial Stout that was fermented in stainless, and then transferred to a French oak barrel for months of aging. Once it was ready to be packaged (in 500 mL bottles), the beer was infused with espresso beans, vanilla, and cardamom (in essence, now making it an Imperial Coffee Stout). Wondering about the beer’s name? Well, “fika” is apparently the Swedish word for “coffee break”, and the espresso beans were bought from IKEA (which we’re sure we do not have to explain to you what that is). You can pick up your bottles at the brewery’s taproom right now; check out the HRM’s private liquor stores in the near future as well. Note that this beer was brewed with lactose, just in case you’re intolerant of such things!

Halifax’s Garrison brewed up a special collaboration with the staff of Agricola Street Brasserie that made its debut last week at their beer dinner at that restaurant. How Dairy?! is a one off draft-only release available for now at the brewery for samples, pints, and growler fills, although it’s expected to be sent out to a few tap accounts as well. A stout weighing in at 4.7% ABV, it was built on pale ale and Munich malts, with oats, crystal malt and roasted barley rounding out the grist. Hopped to 32 IBU with Millennium, it also contains lactose, which very well might take it into the sweet stout or milk stout category. You can make that determination for yourself if you head down and give this smooth and full-bodied beer with notes of coffee and chocolate a try.

Bryan Carver, certified Cicerone, former Brewmaster at PEIBC, and former employee in the technical services department at DME Brewing, will be opening his own brewery – Modern Brewer’s Village Green – in Cornwall, PEI, this summer. Located at 1 Cornwall Rd, the building currently houses a dentist’s office which is relocating at the end of this month. While his equipment has not been ordered yet, as he’s waiting for the building to be rezoned, Carver plans to brew on a 2 bbl (240 L) system, to concentrate primarily on serving the 25-seat taproom. Locals can expect to try beers that they may not have tried before, as Carver plans to focus on styles that may not be easily-accessible to the area. We will have much more with Carver on Village Green as the project progresses.

We’ve got a few events to tell you about this week, definitely worth leaving the March Madness behind for a few hours, we reckon!

We mentioned it a few weeks ago, but here’s your reminder that this year’s Péché Day will be happening tomorrow and folks in our region are lucky enough to have two options available: Stillwell in Halifax and Tide & Boar in Moncton. Péché Day celebrates Péché Mortel, a Imperial Coffee Stout from Dieu du Ciel! that continues to be one of the finest beers in the country year after year. There will be seven variants on offer this year, all boasting an ABV of 9.5%:

  • Péché Mortel – the original
  • Péché Mortel Bourbon 2018 and 2019 – two different vintages aged in bourbon barrels
  • Péché Mortel Cerise – brewed with cherries
  • Péché Mortel Coconut – matured on toasted coconut
  • Péché Mortel Islay 2019 – aged in Islay Scotch barrels
  • Péché Mortel Moka – brewed with cacao

If you’re at all a fan of big, dark boozy beers, especially those featuring wood aging or other additions, you might want to find a way to check it out. You might also want to strongly consider 5 oz tasting glasses if you want to run to try them all!!

Last week we gave you the full rundown on the Flavabot: Rake ‘n Scrape event being thrown down on Sunday by the Lime Stone Group at Good Robot in Halifax, but we thought it prudent to give you a little reminder that there will be four brand new beers available, all with a Caribbean influence:

  • Rake ‘n Scrape – 6.9% ABV Tropical IIPA with mangoes & pomegranate, 70 IBU
  • Blackbeard’s Amber Ale – 4.5% ABV, Blackberry Amber Ale, 30 IBU
  • Pineapples & Coconut … Bro – 5.6% ABV, Pina colada Wheat Ale, 27 IBU
  • Passion Bliss – 5.5% ABV, Passion fruit Pale Ale, 50 IBU

Brunch starts at 10 AM but the party goes ALL DAY. That said, only the Rake ‘n Scrape is a full-size Alpha batch, so if you want to increase your chances of tasting the other three best get there early.

Digby’s Roof Hound Brewing is celebrating the release of a brand new beer Sunday, a collaboration with the Hopped Up Gaming East (HUGE) podcast. Button Masher is a 7.0% Cherry IPA, featuring loads of Citra hops for a hazy, aromatic and bitter IPA, that was then “juiced up” with black cherries. Keeping with the mutual love of video games and beer, the teammates will be launching the beer at the Board Room Cafe on Barrington Street in Halifax. From 7 – 9 PM, there will be Video Game Trivia, with the beer pouring all evening. Drop by to grab the first pints and take part in the fun, and then look for it on tap around Halifax, with bottles of Button Masher coming next week.

Next Saturday, March 30, White Hills Resort in Clarenville, NL, will be celebrating BrewSKI 2019! With Beer Yoga kicking off the day at 10 AM, to a fun ski & snowboard race at 12 PM, to the BrewSKI Craft Beer Fest starting at 7 PM, there is a whole day of fun to be had on the ski hills. The evening’s festival will feature beer from 8 Newfoundland breweries and cideries: Baccalieu Trail Brewing Co (Conception Bay), Bootleg Brewery (Corner Brook), Landwash Brewery (Mt Pearl), Port Rexton Brewing Co (Port Rexton), Quidi Vidi Brewery (Quidi Vidi), Split Rock Brewery (Twillingate), YellowBelly Brewery (St. John’s), plus the Newfoundland Cider Company (Milton). There will be live music by 3 Shades of Grey and The Dimaggios, and food from Oh My Cheeses. Tickets for the day’s events are available now, grab them and find your best retro snowsuit to fit right in with the crowd.

Just a few more notes to pass along this week!

We mentioned it briefly in yesterday’s post with His Excellency Pavel Hrnčíř, the Czech Republic’s Ambassador to Canada, but wanted to remind you that the 902 BrewCast has dropped their March Tasting Episode today, and it covers all things Fredericton Craft Beer Festival. In addition to that interview, they spoke with Geaghan Brothers, Holy Whale, and O’Creek Brewing. Listen in!

Mount Pearl’s Landwash Brewery has brought back their Brackish, a 4.8% ABV Sour Ale that features Newfoundland Sea Salt, their take on a German Gose. With draught, growlers, and cans available at the brewery now, we suggest popping by to grab some. And to celebrate its return, the folks at Landwash have a couple of fun things on the go. They actually brewed a second full-sized batch, and added mango puree to it, and so Mango Brackish is pouring (and available to go in growlers) at the brewery now. And, also, too, they’ve cask conditioned 20 litres of the unfruited Brackish, and swapped out the standard sea salt for Newfoundland Salt Company’s Juniper Smoked Salt, for a floral and herbal cousin of the original. This one is in short supply (and we’re not even positive it’s still available!), so if that sounds like something you’d like, be sure to pop by the brewery today when they open at 4 PM.

Propeller Brewing has brought back a favourite from the fall, their Galaxy IPA. This 6.5% hoppy, hazy, and juicy IPA feature a ton of the great Aussie hop Galaxy added in the kettle and fermenter, for tropical, citrus, and stonefruit character. Back now on tap and in cans, with four-packs available at the NSLC for the first time next week.

Unfiltered is bringing back their Fist of God DIPA again, a “fruity, tropical, soft, and delicious” 7.5% ABV hop bomb. Available today at the brewery in pints, growlers, and cans. So is their Citra bomb DOA which came back last week. If you love some hops, you know where to go.

In a case of a community doing the right thing, the Town of Wolfville agreed Tuesday to amend their Land Use Bylaws and Municipal Planning Strategy to explicitly allow breweries to operate and sell beer off-site. This is great news for Church Brewing, who continue construction of their on-premise brewery at 329 Main Street in the town, to complement the already thriving restaurant. If struck down, it would have severely handcuffed them from the start, and had the unintended consequence of hurting other craft alcohol producers in the same zone, including Annapolis Cider Company, Bad Apple Brewhouse, and Paddy’s Pub.

February 8th, how time flies! More wicked weather in our region this week, and no, we won’t shut up about it until we get consistently above-freezing temperatures. Great news, your friendly neighbourhood brewers haven’t slowed down their releases, with plenty of new and returning favourites available this week, and lots of events to keep you warm. Grab a pint and follow along!

After releasing their Winter Warmer several weeks ago, Saint John’s Loyalist City Brewing is heading in a different direction with their latest beer (and first Lager), Starlight, a German Pilsner. This crisp beer was brewed with a grist made up entirely of German Pilsner malt, and hopped with Hallertau Tradition from local Darlings Island Farm. After being cold-fermented with a Lager yeast strain, the beer was lagered for two months before packaging. The gold-coloured brew has a “grainy-sweet aroma with hints of light honey”, with the hops giving some herbal notes as well. That sweetness and herbal presence comes through in the flavour as well, with a crisp, clean finish. Easy-drinking at 4.5% ABV and 37 IBUs, most of this beer will be available in cans at ANBL stores; there are a few kegs available as well, which will be on tap at the brewery’s unofficial taproom at the BunkHaus Hostel & Cafe.

Newfoundland’s Port Rexton has a new beer from the eponymously named Port Rexton Brewing Company, and though it’s the second iteration of this one, some significant changes to how it’s made should give you extra reason to check it out. Salted & Soured Pale Ale features both tartness due to a souring with Lactobacillus and salinity from an addition of salt from the Newfoundland Salt Company. Belma hops provide some bright berry and tropical fruit notes to this brew with a “sure I’ll have another” ABV of 4.5%. This version of the beer is the result of two brewings, one soured and one not, which were then blended, allowing the team to dial in the balance of tartness, salt and hop character to exactly where they wanted it. Look for it on tap at the brewery and in town this coming weekend and also, as of last evening, at the Port Rexton Retail Shop in St. John’s for growler fills.

Grimross has a new canned beer out this week, brewed in honour of Sara Burns, one of the shooting victims in Fredericton from last August. Burns was an officer with the Fredericton Police; the beer, Grimsby, was named after her horse. It’s an American Pale Ale hopped and dry-hopped with Delta, giving it “a touch of citrus and some grassy notes”. Well-balanced and refreshing, it weighs in at 5.2% ABV and 20 IBUs. The brewery teamed up with Craft Coast Canning and Ginger Design for the release of this beer; all of the proceeds will go towards the Sara Burns Police Memorial Fund, which will fund several initiatives to make the city of Fredericton a safer place to live. While the majority of the beer will be sold in cans, a few kegs will be tapped in the Grimross taproom for pints and growlers. And while you are at the brewery today picking up cans, make a plan to stay for a pint of today’s cask, Pugnacious Porter aged on local wild blackberries. The 20 litre pin will be tapped at 2 PM.

While serving pints from local breweries at their bar, the crew at Sussex Ale Works are continuing to experiment with their own beers, as they’ve got yet another new one on tap right now. English War Bride is a SMaSH beer brewed as in the English style – all Maris Otter for the grist and East Kent Goldings for the hops. Lightly bready and herbal/spicy, it comes in at 6.2% ABV and 38 IBUs. As always, drop by the brewery/taproom at 597B Main Street in Sussex for a taste if you’re nearby.

Back over in Newfoundland, one of the Rock’s newest breweries, Baccalieu Trail, has released a brand new American Pale Ale named Bay Run. Utilizing only late additions and a healthy dry hop of Centennial, Simcoe and Azacca lends a “burst of fresh citrus fruit aroma, with some floral qualities” to complement the “clean, crisp finish” of this 4.9% ABV and 36 IBU beer. It’s on tap right now at the brewery’s location in Bay Roberts… head on over and pick up a growler!

Now that TrailWay’s “Summer IPA”, Good Weather, is long gone (<shakes fist at winter>), they’ve decided to replace it with another seasonal IPA, Stormy Weather. It has one major similarity with it’s cousin, in that it features a large portion of Vic Secret in the hop bill… however, the “supporting” hops are quite different (but secret, so don’t ask us for specifics!). It’s still light-coloured and extremely hazy, of course, but with more “overripe tropical fruit and berries” in the aroma/flavour, as opposed to the citrus characters of Good Weather. You can grab cans/growlers of this 6% ABV IPA when the taproom opens today.

You may recall the Barrel-aged Baltic Porter released by North Shore Nova Scotia’s Tatamagouche Brewing which had matured for 9 months in barrels from Glenora Distillery and was initially released in October of 2017. What you might not know is that there was some beer that remained unbottled and has been cradled in the loving arms of one of those barrels ever since. Thankfully, the folks at Tata didn’t forget about it and they’ve packaged the remainder, which has now been aging for 2 solid years, for your enjoyment. Only available at the brewery store, there’s a two bottle per person limit. With winter still in full force, this big ‘un originally listed at 10% ABV will likely make a very fine sipper on a cold February night. And while we have you, details are out for Tata’s annual Oyster Cloister party and beer release: Next Friday, Feb 15, they will be releasing their oyster stout, and celebrating with live music, oysters (of course!), and tons of special beers at the brewery. This is a ticketed event, so drop by the brewery to pick them up, or grab them via email or phone (902-657-4000).

Not content to bask in the success of their first bottling run (Evolution has damn near sold out a week after release), Niche Brewing in Hanwell, NB, continues to feed the demand for their beers with another new release this week, another entry in their series of one hop Session IPAs. You Had Me At…Galaxy features one of the most popular hops in the business right now, the tropical and passion fruity Australian Galaxy. Featuring a bit of crackery malt character and a medium bitterness, it came in a little higher than previous YHMA editions at 5% ABV, but we don’t expect anyone will complain. Kegs are already on their way to The Joyce Pub, Peppers Pub, Britt’s pub + eatery and Laundromat Expresso Bar, and more will go out as homes are found for them. And those in Moncton should pop by the Growler Station at the ANBL on Vaughan Harvey Blvd to grab pours of their Single Origin Coffee Sweet Stout, and Coalescence, their Sour Milkshake IPA w/grapefruit.

It’s been a little while since we’ve seen a new release from Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing, but they’re giving us both barrels this week with the re-release of a fan-favorite and an all new beer. Oak-aged Sour Motherfucker is their kettle sour aged on tart cherries and aged on oak. Look for a tart character with definite cherry presence along with a slight creaminess and tannic presence from the wood. Last seen with ABVs of 6.4% and 6.8%, this one weighs in quite a bit heavier at 7.5%. Meanwhile, also on the docket is Fruity Motherfucker featuring a co-pitched (i.e., multiple yeast strain) fermentation, a double-dry hop of dank Mosaic and orange-y Citra and a re-fermentation on apricots, mangoes and blood oranges. The result is a 7% ABV beer that will smack you upside the head with tropical fruit, citrus and pithy character. You can find both of these beers available today at noon in all your favorite packages: cans, growlers and pints.

After recently celebrating their annual brewing of their FemmeBot Alpha batch (which we’ll have more details on in the future), Good Robot has settled down in time to fill us in on the details of next week’s releases. In Beta world they’re bringing us Mad Love, a Red Ale brewed with Mary Ann Daye. Other than a description of “easy and smooth”, we don’t have a whole lot to share for this one! Oh, it’s 4.5% ABV and 21 IBUs. As for Thursday’s Alpha, Creature Feature I is making a return. It’s a 6.4% ABV, 46 IBUs NEIPA hopped with Amarillo, Cascade and Citra.

Lunenburg’s new brewery, Shipwright Brewing Company, has another new beer on the taps this week. Lil Dingy ISA is an India Session Ale with a sessionable ABV of 4.5% and a moderate 30 IBU. Light in body as you’d expect for the style, it still packs plenty of flavor thanks to two Southern Hemisphere hop varieties, Ella and Vic Secret, which bring tropical, pine and citrus flavors to the mix on top of a clean malt finish. We don’t have official word on packaging, but we expect you’ll probably be able to have a growler filled, grab a crowler, or enjoy a pint of this one at their taproom or their roommate Grand Banker.

Back again to the rock and St. John’s, where YellowBelly has a new Doppelbock on the go that appears to be known as The Navigator. Describe as “an old school barley sandwich” this one, as is typical for the style, leans heavily to the malt side, with Pilsner, Vienna, Munich and Caramunich bringing bready and sweet flavors and a solid mouthfeel. A bit of Spalter Select rounds out the beer from the hop side of this 7.1% ABV brew. Available on tap for pints at the brewery or the Underbelly or get a growler to go at the Takeaway shop.

Halifax’s Tidehouse Brewing is pouring a whole slew of new and returning favourites in their Tiny Taproom these days, so let’s get you up to speed. Kashmir is a 7.6% ABV Double IPA, marked by a smooth and low bittering from Cashmere hops, with some Hallertau Blanc, on a simple and keeps-out-of-the-way base of 2-Row, Carafoam, Flaked Wheat, and Vienna malts. Tropical fruit and a touch of sweetness, the Th crew are proud of the balance and drinkability of this release. Grab a sample, pint, or growler now.

From restrained to anything but, the Tidehouse crew love to have fun in the brewhouse (a benefit of being small and nimble), and are sure to catch some ire from traditionalists. We say, beer is supposed to be fun, so brew (and drink) what you’d like! Which brings us to Choco-Nilla… This 9.6% ABV beer began life in late December as a high gravity Imperial Stout, to which they added an irresponsible amount of Chips Ahoy chocolate cookies (think 15+ bags), marshmallows, and Fluff in the boil. Additions of vanilla and lactose were also incorporated, lending some residual sweetness to offset the very fermentable baked goods and sugary snacks. The result is a thick, sticky, and complex stout that starts with chocolate and biscuit on the nose and vanilla and more chocolate on the palatte. Choco-nilla is on tap for pints and growlers now.

The fun doesn’t end there, as they’ve got a pair of returning beers in bottles, one available now, and one being released Tuesday. Enigmatic is a bottle-conditioned version of their India Saison (one of their beers at launch), think hybrid of IPA and Belgian Saison. A light malt bill supports a playground for both hops (Ahtanum, Azacca, and Amarillo) and yeast (a Belgian Saison strain), allowing the two to come out and play and shine through. Also returning in bottles is Tidehouse’s ode to Valentine’s Day, The Sex. Featuring a “definitely outlawed in Russia” label, this 11.9% ABV Russian Imperial Stout is fermented on raspberries, and then given an extra bump with the addition of Port. A change in the bittering level of this release counters the residual sweetness from malt and raspberries, helping to keep everything in its place. Look for these bottles to hit the shelf at the Tiny Taproom on Tuesday. A note that all of their bottle releases going forward, of which there are plenty more in the works, will be bottle conditioned, and given the appropriate time to carbonate in the bottle before release.

You will no doubt see some new bright aquamarine cans on the shelf at Propeller Brewing’s Gottingen and Windmill locations today, as well as popping up at the private beer and wine stores in the area. Not a beer, but rather the second in their line of ready-to-drink beverages (the first being their The Perfect Storm Ginger beer and rum blend). Winter Blues is a 7.0% ABV “tiki-style” beverage, a mix of pineapple, lime, and falernum (yup, we had to look it up too!). A mix of star anise, allspice, clove, and toasted almonds, the mix originated in the Caribbean, with a Nova Scotian twist put on it. This RTD is a collaboration with Shane Beehan, an award-winning mixologist working in Halifax. The mix is the first release under the new Windmill Craft Cocktails line, which will see more one-off releases in the coming months.

Mark your calendars for these events coming in the next few weeks:

Next weekend, The Townhouse Pub in Antigonish will be hosting a multi-day tap takeover by Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing. From Friday Feb 15 until Sunday the 17th, they’ll have more than 6 taps (and maybe a couple of casks) of the good stuff pouring, with some special food pairing dishes created to complement.

Details are a bit light at the moment, but circle next Saturday on your calendar, as award-winning Toronto brewery Godspeed will be taking over the taps at Bar Stillwell on Barrington. From noon on February 16th, there will be a dozen taps (plus some cans) a-pouring, with food pairing provided by a pop-up by Sushi Shige next Saturday, February 16th.

The following weekend sees a battle of the heavyweight Halifax brewers Garrison and Propeller, as they go head-to-head at The Carleton in “Chef Dolente’s Craft Draught Showdown”. On February 21st, both breweries are bringing their best beer forward to pair with five courses of food, with Daniel Girard of Garrison and Pat Robichaud of Propeller on hand to talk about their choices. Attendees will vote after each course, with the winning brewery crowned the new champion. The real winners, of course, are those in attendance! Tickets are available online now, for $60 +HST (gratuity included).

Darmouth’s Jamieson’s Irish Pub is holding another of their dual tap takeovers in a couple of weeks, with this one featuring Tatamagouche Brewing and Good Robot. The takeover will take place from February 21st-24th, with each brewery having 8 taps to play with. As always, there’ll be plenty of food and live music to go with the beer! Stay tuned to Jamieson’s social media pages for the full taplist, which should be announced shortly.

February 20-26th is the first ever KV Craft Beer Week, with breweries and restaurants in the Kennebecasis Valley taking part in some sweet events and deals. Bootstrap BrewPub, Hammond River Brewing, and Long Bay Brewery are teaming up with local restaurants Amici Pub, Barrel’s Head, Boaz, Commons Creperie, Peddlers Creek, The Robertson, and Vito’s to offer discounts on beer and food in the region. Check that first link for the deals on pours and pairing throughout the week, and pop-in. The week also features the KV Craft Beer Festival, taking place on February 23rd at the Quispamsis Qplex, with beer pouring from the attendees above, as well as other breweries in the South of New Brunswick. Tickets are $45+HST and available at The Barrels Head, Bootstrap and Long Bay.

Beer fans in North Shore Nova Scotia should be happy to hear that the first annual Antigonish Craft Beer Festival is a go for March 30. Presented in partnership with CACL Antigonish, Legion Branch 59 and Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre, they’ve got 12 breweries lined up to show you the best of the region’s craft beers, including The Townhouse Pub, Half Cocked, Propeller Brewing, 9 Zero 2, Big Spruce, Meander River, Maybee, Garrison Brewing, Sober Island, Upstreet, and Tatamagouche Brewing. The event runs from 6 to 10:30 PM with the first hour reserved for VIP ticket holders. A regular $40 ticket ($35 if you buy soon enough to get early bird pricing) gets you a souvenir glass and 8 beer samples, with additional drink tickets available at $2 each; VIP tickets are $55, and include complimentary food as well as the beer samples. Tickets are on sale right now, and can be purchased online.

And here be your final bits of beer news; have a great (beer-filled) weekend!!

Boxing Rock has a new beer available at their Local Source Market location in Halifax, a beer brewed by their production brewery team from Shelburne as a test drive for their Test Kitchen. Nick and Daniel brewed up Buddy in December as a beer that their buddies would enjoy. A lagered ale, it’s crisp, clean, and eminently drinkable. Don’t sleep on it though, as some of the small batch that was brewed went back to Shelburne.

Flying Boats has a new entry in their Test Pilot series with Test Pilot No. 4 – Lover’s Quarrel IPA. They’ve released this beer before (first time was three years ago), but this is the first time this 6.2% ABV IPA with Mosaic and Galaxy will be available in cans. Check the brewery or your local ANBL store to pick some up.

Heritage Brewing now has cans available of Freezing Spray, their 6.5% ABV American IPA hopped with Chinook, Citra and Ekuanot. You can grab cans at the brewery, or at select NSLC stores in the near future.

If you’re in or around Bedford this weekend, and in the mood for something light and easy-drinking, Off Track Brewing has just released Got Me Drove, a 5.5% ABV, 12 IBUs Cream Ale. Limited supplies with this one-off, so drop by soon if you’d like to give it a try.

Feeling in a chocolate-y mood now that Valentine’s Day is around the corner? Petit-Sault has you covered with their latest beer, La BuckMousse, a 6.5% ABV “Chocolate Mousse Porter”. Dark, rich, and smooth, they added a “generous” amount of cocoa nibs to this brew. It’s available on tap now at the brewery, and at select ANBL growler stations.

Charlottetown’s Upstreet Craft Brewing has a new release out now, a hybrid reminiscent of two of their other popular beers. Rhuby Sour is a 5.0% ABV beer that combines the rhubarb and strawberry fruitiness of Rhuby Social, with the tart acidity of Major Tom. Available in bottles or on tap at the brewery on Allen Street, as well as their Craft Beer Corner location downtown.