Unfiltered Brewing

All posts tagged Unfiltered Brewing

Happy end of May! It’s hard to believe it, but we’re closing the books on the fifth month of 2019. You’d certainly never believe we’re on the cusp of Summer by looking out your window (or maybe you would, if you were chasing icebergs around Twillingate this week)! Let’s get you up-to-date with the opening of PEI’s first new brewery in 8 months, plus a baker’s brewer’s dozen of new beers and lots of events to keep you happy.

We’re excited to announce that Prince Edward Island’s Beer Scene is expanding today, with the opening of Bogside Brewing in Montague. Located at 9 Brook Street, overlooking the Montague River and Waterfront Park, Bogside features a full restaurant and taproom to complement the brewing operations. While equipment delays have them serving up fellow Island Craft Beers this weekend (with their own beers flowing in the next week or so), there’s no such holdups with the food! Chef Dave Mottershall is running a food program featuring low-and-slow BBQ, a wide variety of cured meats from his Salume Rume meat locker, and plenty of traditionally paired sides (think baked beans, greens, cornbread). The restaurant and taproom is open today 4 – 11 PM, and daily with the same hours, opening just in time for PEI Craft Beer Week (much more on that below!). Keep an eye on their social media (Fb/IG/Tw), and we’ll have a Profile with owner David McGuire and Brewer Mark Patriquin early next week.

We’ve got lots of news from Tanner & Co Brewing in Chester Basin this week, so let’s get right to it! First off, they sat down with our pals at the 902 BrewCast and recorded an episode chronicling the first 18 months of operation down on Angus Hiltz Rd. Topics range from their opening Thanksgiving weekend 2017, to the expansion of their brewing operation from 50 to 500 litres, to their take on traditional and historic German style. Dan and Peggy (but mostly Dan!) took over the rocking chair and aired some grievances about Untappd, beer competitions, and that nasty “s” word, saturation. And you’ll also get the inside scoop on their new taproom on Duke Street in Chester, opening this summer! They’ll be moving their pilot system into the downtown to create more room in the brewhouse (aka garage), and offer locally-brewed beer to visitors and locals alike. And you’ll be the first to hear about a South Shore Beer Bus that will allow beer fans to hop on and off at breweries in Chester, Bridgewater, Mahone Bay, and Lunenburg (we’ll have more on that plan soon). At well over an hour in length, the podcast is the perfect length to listen to while driving to/from the brewery to catch the latest release!

Speaking of which, the latest brew coming out from Tanner & Co is Mango Basil Saison. Starting from their traditional Saison base of Pilsner, Vienna, and Wheat malts, and fermented with French Saison yeast, this batch features light usage of Amarillo in the boil (to the tune of 25 IBU) and a light dry-hopping. Added to both the kettle and then again to the conditioning tank was organic mango puree and fresh basil, working to meld with the base beer character, rather than overpower it. Think light tropical and herb notes working with the light fruity esters and phenolic spiciness from the yeast. Bottles of the 6.2% ABV MBS are available at the brewery now, as well as at their Lunenburg Farmers’ Market stall on Thursdays.

Niche Brewing, southwest of Fredericton, NB, is releasing another beer on the hoppy side this week. Dubbed Equanimity (a challenge to say after having a couple), it’s a NE-style Pale Ale, hazy and juicy, and slightly dank, but decidedly lower in ABV than a NE IPA at 5.5%. Expect a smooth body from a grist of 2-row, Golden Promise and flaked wheat and a moderately bitter finish, balancing a hop bonanza from late additions of Ekuanot, El Dorado, and Mosaic, and a very large amount of Vic Secret and more Mosaic in the dry hop. Look for it all over New Brunswick starting this weekend.

New can release from 2 Crows this weekend, and it sounds like a real humdinger! Humdinger (see what we did there? #killingit) was brewed with Pilsner malt and lots of different wheat (including raw, malted, and flaked), as well as a bit of oats and Aromatic malt. Hopped late in the boil with Nelson Sauvin and Mosaic “American Noble Hops” (check out our post last week for more on this extremely odd and confusing term) to 15 IBUs, the wort was fermented in one of the brewery’s foedres with a blend of yeasts (including American Farmhouse, a white wine strain, and the multitude of other goodies living in said foedre), and conditioned for over 4 months. The beer was then transferred back to stainless and dry-hopped with Centennial, Huell Melon, and Idaho 7, canned, and conditioned with Champagne yeast for about six weeks. The final beer is tasting “super bright, lively, delicately funky, with citrus, honeydew and orchard fruit vibes”. Sounds great to us! Grab your cans at the brewery tomorrow.

Looks like Spindrift is continuing to play with small batch releases, as they’ve got a new beer hitting their taproom next week. Diabolic Scheme is a “Black Currant Wheat Beer” that was brewed with a grist of Pilsner and Wheat malt. Hopped very lightly (to just 6 IBUs) with Herkules and Cascade, the 5.6% ABV brew features an addition of black currant puree. As you might expect, the black currant is what comes through most prominently in the aroma and flavour of the beer, with a bit of tartness from the fruit coming through as well. You’ll be able to find it on tap at Spindrift on Thursday, June 6th.

The gang at Shipwright Brewing is keeping busy with new beers, as their latest, Fischerdorf Alt, is now available on tap. Named after the German word for “fishing village” (they ARE in Lunenburg, after all!), this is the brewery’s homage to the Altbier, a classic German style. A dark amber brew that was hopped lightly (to 22 IBUs) with Perle, it was fermented cool with an Ale yeast. Sporting a “delicate malt-forward presence”, it has a touch of bitterness to balance, along with a crisp finish. This 5.2% ABV beer is currently pouring at the brewery (pints, growlers, crowlers), and is also on tap at the Grand Banker.

Port Rexton Brewing already has the next entry in their Continuum series of hazy IPAs, Continuum w/ Galaxy, available for you thirsty hop-heads out there! As you may have imagined, it’s hopped with loads of Galaxy, that fabulous Australian variety, including additions in the whirlpool, hop back, and dry-hop. Those of you familiar with Galaxy know that that means plenty of “passion fruit, pineapple, peach and mango” in the aroma and flavour, balanced by a moderate bitterness in the finish. It comes in at a low-for-an-IPA 5.1% ABV, meaning you can enjoy a pint or two and not feel loopy (well, that depends on a lot, but… you know). Check out the PR taproom for pints and growlers, or the brewery’s retail shop in St. John’s for growler fills only. And when you head out to the taproom, you’ll be able to catch the very small batch of Kveik IPA, their local spin on the Newfoundland Skerwink Haze collaboration they brewed with Red Racer and is part of the Across the Nation 12-pack available in Atlantic Canadian Liquor Corporations/Commissions now.

The Picaroons General Store location in Saint John has a one-off beer – Light Speed Lager – currently available for pints and growler fills. A light-to-medium bodied brew, it was hopped with Mandarina Bavaria and Huell Melon, giving some citrus on the nose, as well as “faint, fruity flavours”. Lagered for six weeks to allow these flavours to develop, this 5.1% ABV Lager finishes dry and refreshing. Limited supplies available, only at the General Store.

Hot off the heels of two Scratch beers last week, Scratch #22: Hefeweizen is out today from Grimross. Brewed with lots of Wheat malt (~55%) and a mixture of Pilsner and Melanoiden, as well as a touch of Chocolate Wheat for colour, it was lightly hopped with Magnum and Tettnang to 13 IBUs. Fermented with a Weizen yeast strain to give your classic banana and clove characteristics, it comes in at 5.5% ABV. Refreshing and flavourful, you can find it on tap and in cans at the brewery for you to stock up on for the weekend; look for ANBL stores and tap accounts to receive their own supplies sometime next week.

It wouldn’t be the start of the weekend without at least one new beer from Big Spruce, which goes hand in hand with a cute, punny name! For this week, they’ve actually got two of both for us, starting with Kolsch Encounters of the Third Kind (see?). A light and refreshing, 5.4% ABV lagered ale (fermented with an ale yeast, likely cool, and allowed to lager at cool temps even longer), it’s meant to be easy-drinking, just what you need after yardwork, long hikes, etc. The second release is Apri-Hours, a mixed fermentation sour ale with apricot. Medium-bodied with flavours of apricot and lemonade, it packs a bit more of a punch at 6.8% ABV. Both beers are available on draught only; while you can of course swing by the Sprucetique for pours and growler fills, there will also be some kegs out in the wild (definitely at Battery Park and Auction House, as well as others). And keep your eyes peeled for Big Spruce’s first foray into the canned non-alcoholic realm, with Sparkling Organic Lemonade available now at the brewery and soon in cans across the province.

Halifax’s Good Robot has kegged the latest iteration in their Creature Feature series of biotransformation IPAs. Leveraging the practice of adding a bunch of hops during primary fermentation (e.g., before the beer is “dry,” so it’s not really a “dry hop”), they’ve also committed to a very 1970s/80s rock album model of roman numeral naming. This one is Creature Feature V, which features the fairly uncommon and somewhat feared Japanese Sorachi Ace hop variety. Known for imparting a lovely bright lemony character, but at the same time often bringing along complex and prominent notes of dill and lemongrass, it’s a bold move for a bold style. Coming in at 5.6% ABV and 40 IBU, look for it at the GR taproom and possibly GR tap accounts around Halifax, starting this weekend.

You’ve got a busy weekend ahead of you, folks, so let’s help you plan your moves…

Propeller Brewing is hosting the Awards Gala for the Everwood Ave Home Brew Competition at 7:30 PM at their Gottingen Street taproom this evening. The event is open to the public, and if you have ever thought about taking up homebrewing, you’ll want to drop by to meet some of the keen members of the community, as well as have the chance to speak with homebrew shop owners and professional brewers to talk shop. You’ll also be able to grab a pint from their Friday Cask; this week’s features the returning Stone Fruit, with an extra-special dose of lime in the cask. Plus Real Fake Meats is onsite with Veggie Donair Egg Rolls to keep your tummy satisfied. And with the Arcade open from 4 PM this afternoon, you’d be crazy to miss it!

The Inaugural PEI Craft Beer Week is kicking off this weekend, and running from June 1 – 8, 2019. All eight Island breweries will be participating, each hosting events at, and around, their respective breweries. While there is no All-Island Brewery Festival to kick-off or end the week, there will be some big events happening to get you excited that we want to highlight. The first is on the kick-off day Saturday, as a handful of PEI Craft Beer Bus Tours will be crisscrossing the island. You can choose which of your favourite breweries to be picked up at (Copper Bottom, Evermoore, Moth Lane, or Upstreet [PEIBC bus is now sold out]), and you and your closest pals will tour all seven breweries (skipping the Gahan House) in one day. A great way to drink your way across the province and taste everything the fine breweries have to offer! Click that link to grab tickets! Sunday features a Brewer’s Brunch and brewery tours at most of the locations. Check the full schedule here, and if we get our butt in gear (looking at you, Chris!), we’ll have a Map and Calendar posted over the weekend to help you plot your moves over the next 8 days.

It’s been almost five years since Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing has been in operation, and the 3rd Anniversary of the opening of their “big” brewery (remember, they started off as a 1 bbl in a basement before opening a much-larger brewery with a taproom) is coming up. You know what that means… an Anniversary Party! So, tomorrow, June 1st, TW is blocking off their side parking lot to include space for food trucks, outdoor games, live music, and a beer garden. They’ll be having free brewery tours throughout the day, swag giveaways, and plenty of beer releases, including the re-release of Bliss, their 4% ABV “Session India Pale Lager”, and a new iteration of their Velvet Fog Milkshake IPA, this one with raspberry and orange. Most of the outdoor activities start at around noon, and there’s no charge to attend… it’ll continue all day and evening!

The 5th Annual Port City Beer Run in Saint John is fast approaching, happening next Saturday, June 1st. This event has been growing since it started, with this year’s run expected to have over 300 runners participating, and 17 breweries and cideries pouring their products. Aside from all that beer and cider to look forward to after your run (there are 3, 5 and 10 km options), there’s also going to be live entertainment, and four restaurants on site serving up food. Almost $50,000 has been raised for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation over the last four years, so rest assured that besides having a great time and being active, your registration cost will be going to a very good cause. Speaking of that, you still have time to sign up; it costs $65 to register, and if you’d like to take part in all of the non-running fun, you can grab a “fan ticket” for $55. Check out the link above for tickets.

In addition to the beer mentioned above, Good Robot will be the site of much mirth and merriment this weekend with two big events on the docket. First up is the Aquasocks album release tonight at the Mayflower Curling Club (a few tickets are still available) that we’ve mentioned a couple of times over the last few weeks. It will feature a special beer brewed just for the event (that’s been on preview at the GR taproom since last week), a blueberry- and pineapple-laden Pilsner they’ve called Aquakultre’s Legacy Lager.

And following hot on the heels of what will surely be a night of beer drinking and booty shaking comes the latest event under the Flavabot umbrella, called, in typically questionable GR taste, The Great North End Jerk-off. There will be nothing questionable, however, about the taste of the traditional Caribbean Jerk-style cooking that is the heart of this event. The Limestone Group, RumbleFish (GR’s in-house kitchen in partnership with Black Sheep), and HopYard Halifax will be bringing smoke, spice and heat in a competition to crown the Jerk King. Two levels of tickets are available, Silver, which gains you admission only (all food and drink is extra) and Gold, which gains you admission and 5 food samples. And it wouldn’t be a FlavaBot event without some Caribbean-influenced beer, now, would it? Of course not! So Giovanni Johnson is bringing plenty of that. Rake ‘n Scrape originally debuted at the Flavabot Rake ‘n Scrape event back in March. A tropical double IPA with mangoes and pomegranate, it’s plenty juicy, plenty bitter, and tart as well, with an ABV of 6.9% and 70 IBUs. On the small batch side there will be two others, Pineapples and Coconuts (which also debuted at Rake ‘n Scrape), a 5.6% ABV and 27 IBU wheat ale featuring pineapple and coconut, and a brand new one, Conch Style Lager, a light, crisp, and refreshing beer with lime zest and spruce tips that weighs in at 4.5% ABV and 29 IBUs. Festivities start June 1st (that’s tomorrow!) at noon at the Mayflower Curling Club; you can get your tickets online here. So come get your jerk on at the jerk off!! (sorry/not sorry)

Just a few more things before we send you along your way today!

Garrison Brewing already has the second entry in their Hop Trip IPA series, with Hop Trip – Azacca (6.2% ABV). Hopped entirely with, yep, Azacca, expect lots of pineapple and lemon flavours. It’s only available on tap, so stop by the brewery for a growler, or look for it at your favourite Garrison licensee.

If you’re a hop lover in Halifax, you might plan to be in the environs of North Street this weekend, as Unfiltered has brought back their king hell Citra bomb, DOA. As usual, it’s 7.5% ABV, lotsa IBUs, and you’ll belch an orange grove after a glass or two. Cans, fills and pints from today at noon.

Upstreet’s dry-hopped kettle sour, Major Tom (5% ABV) is back as of yesterday. Tart in the finish with notes of grapefruit thanks to the dry-hop addition, you can find it on tap at the brewery and Craft Beer Corner, as well as in bottles.

Well, well, well, another Friday is upon us, which means it’s time to inundate you with the latest beer news from the region. We’ve got more than 20 new and returning beer and cider to tell you about this week, from every province in the region, so let’s dive right in so you know where to head after work today!

Saint John’s Loyalist City Brewing dropped a brand new beer late last week, RGB. They’re referring to it as a “German-style Pale Ale”, as they hopped it with three of the “new” hop varieties that hail from Germany: Mandarina Bavaria, Huell Melon, and Hallertau Blanc. This 5% ABV, pale gold-coloured brew features “a pronounced fruity aroma of melon, tangerine, and citrus” thanks to the use of these hops (along with a large dry hop of more Mandarina Bavaria and Huell Melon). The citrus and melon continue into the flavour, complemented by a bit of malt sweetness and a moderate bitterness (60 IBUs, calculated). You can find it on tap right now at your favourite LC destination.

If you were a big fan of the first entry – Dream Island #1 – in Landwash Brewery’s rotating DIPA series, you’ll be happy to know that they have just released Dream Island #2, which is now available for purchase at the brewery. This iteration was hopped with big additions of Amarillo, Simcoe and Columbus, giving notes of “marmalade jam on toast, pineapple rings, and dried peach”. They also threw in a bit of lactose to boost the mouthfeel and add just a touch of sweetness to the final product. They’ve done a limited canning run of this 8.3% hop bomb, and it’s on tap for growler fills as well… probably won’t last long, so best to head there ASAP to pick some up. They also have a new batch of their NEIPA, That Much Ocean, so you can really fulfill your hop needs all in one go! Note that Landwash is now open on Wednesdays, in addition to their regular days, with their resident food truck, Saucy Mouth, open daily until 10PM.

Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing has a pair of new beers available, to fuel your adventures out and about this weekend. Released late last week was the latest in their Neon Friday series, this one a collaboration with Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing. A 6.5% ABV NEIPA is the result of that mind-meld, with big notes of coconut, orange, and papaya on a smooth base, thanks to generous additions of Sabro and Vic Secret hops. Tall cans are available at Upstreet’s two Charlottetown locations, and on tap there and at their Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse in Dartmouth. Keep an eye out at the HRM private stores as well!

And debuting this week is Rhuby Sour, a new take on their popular Rhuby Social Witbier. Beginning life as a partially-soured witbier, Rhuby Sour receives the same great fruit additions as the OG, with rhubarb and strawberry, to kick up the refreshing character and still maintain plenty of fruit qualities. This 5.0% ABV beer is available on tap and in cans in both Charlottetown and Dartmouth now!

There’s a new Gottingen Small Batch brew pouring at Propeller, and don’t let the name – and the weather! – fool you into thinking it’s Halloween! Spooky Sour Saison is a kettle sour that was fermented with the Spooky Saison yeast strain from Escarpment Labs (as well as a blend of Brettanomyces strains) on fresh apricots. As you might expect, there’s lots going on with this beer, with plenty of fruit and spice characteristics coming through, as well as a dry, sour finish. It weighs in at 6.2% ABV and 8 IBUs, and is available at Propeller for pints, flights, and growlers only, for a limited time.

Rejoice, Glou fans, as this year’s batch from Stillwell Brewing is now available for purchase in bottles! A blend of oak-aged Saisons (different batches aged from 8-18 months) was transferred to a foeder, along with 1000 lbs of NY Muscat grape skins from Benjamin Bridge, where they were allowed to impart their deliciousness into the beer over a period of about four months. The aroma is huge with this beer, “all candy and fun upfront, with a deep and complex savoury quality on the palate”. Oak and tannins in the finish to leave you wanting more, it’s 6.7% ABV and lovely! Grab some bottles to go at Stillwell, where you may also be lucky enough to find it on tap (and at the newly-opened Beer Garden, too!).

Miramichi’s first brewery, Timber Ship Brewing, has just released How She Goin’, a beer they’re calling a “Honey Session Ale”. Intended to be an easy-drinking style for the summer (it IS coming, right?), it features the addition of wildflower honey from Napan, NB’s My Lil’ Bee Honey Farm. There was also a dry hop addition, featuring hops from Lindsay, NB’s Bloomfield Hops Farm. The final beer is “light and crisp, with a slightly floral aroma and notes of honey”. Very drinkable at just 4.3% ABV and 12 IBUs, you can find the first kegs on tap at the Piping Plover Gastropub and O’Donaghue’s Irish Pub.

We weren’t ALL lucky enough to be able to attend the annual Stillwell Open during Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week (dangit!), but luckily for us, some breweries have been doing larger releases of the single-hop Session IPAs that they entered in the friendly competition. For Tatamagouche Brewing, this means the release of Zaka, a Session IPA fermented with a Kveik yeast strain, and hopped entirely with the wonderful Azacca variety. This 4.4% ABV beer was created and brewed with local homebrewing legend Mark McKay, and is a hazy, aromatic treat, with pineapple and mango coming through in spades, along with “flavours of woody resin and light fennel”. It’ll be on tap at many Tata licensees, as well as directly at the source on draught, of course. They’ve also got a fresh batch of their wildly popular Kitty Clyde DIPA, hopped with Vic Secret and Galaxy, on tap and in cans.

We mentioned last week about the album release party coming up at Good Robot for Aquakultre x Ghettosocks (Aquasocks) on May 31st and that it’s a fundraiser for Akuakultre’s debut album coming next year. We also mentioned that a special beer has been brewed for the event called Legacy. That beer debuted at the GR taproom yesterday for those who’d like an early taste. Nominally a Pilsner coming in at 4.5% ABV and 27 IBU, it apparently also contains blueberries, which provide it a rather purple hue, as well as pineapple, for a pleasant tropical note. Nicer weather that we’re sure just HAS to be coming soon is likely to make this a popular pour on the Gastroturf.

We know this time of year brings a plethora of light beers – hoppy, fruity, etc – but it’s still nice to see darker beers being brewed. We won’t get into a rant, but those beers are still ok to drink during warmer weather, ya know? We can thank O’Creek Brewing for realizing this with the launch of Matchless, a 7.1% ABV Robust Porter. This isn’t your grandpappy’s Porter, however, as it had an addition of raspberry and coconut after fermentation was complete. The raspberry is coming through subtly, with dark chocolate on the palate and the coconut in the finish. You’ll be able to find the first kegs at CAVOK Brewing and the Laundromat.

Baccalieu Trail has just added a new beer to their lineup, and it’s their first kettle-soured brew. A twist on the classic Gose style, Half Hour Ahead does include the addition of sea salt as any Gose should, but they also decided to add blueberries! Specifically, 20 lbs of dehydrated blueberries from Markland Cottage Winery, all of which was added directly into the fermenter. The deep-purple beer is tasting quite tart, with a strong blueberry presence in the flavour. It comes in at 5.3% ABV, and is currently available on tap at the brewery’s taproom, exclusively.

Wolfville’s Annapolis Cider continues to put out new and interesting creations in their Something Different series with another entry now available. Rhubarb & Rosehips is a 7.0% ABV sparkling cider based on a juice blend from Golden Russet and Cox’s Orange Pippin apples that was infused with dried rose hips and fermented with rhubarb juice. Refreshing and bright, the rose hips bring a tartness that some might find similar to that of dried cranberry. Floral aromatics, a bit of red berry character, and a dry finish have this one sounding like a delicate delight. As always, $0.50 from every bottle will go to charity, this time it’s Rowan’s Room Respite & Development Centre in Middleton, NS.

Grimross has really been going hard with the Scratch series beers lately, as this week has not one, but two new ones to add to their growing list of one-offs. First up is Scratch #20: Living Roots Saison, a 5.7% ABV, 18 IBUs Saison named after the upcoming Living Root Music Festival in Fredericton (May 30th-June 2nd). Brewed with Pilsner malt and a mixture of flaked and malted Rye, it was hopped lightly with Calypso and Hallertau Mittelfruh. Fermented with a Brett and Saccharomyces blend from Escarpment Labs, the final beer has notes of “spice, considerable tangerine, light pepper, and dandelion”, and finishes nice and dry. You can grab it in pints and growlers, as well as cans, at Grimross, with cans available at ANBL stores any day now.

The next Scratch is on the American side of things, with Scratch #21: Session IPA. With a base of Maris Otter malt, they also blended in Golden Naked Oats, Honey malt, and Flaked Barley, lending some biscuit and granola character to the beer. Hopped late in the boil with Centennial and Delta, it was dry-hopped with a large addition of Calypso. The final beer lives up to its name at just 4% ABV (and 21 IBUs), and has lime, orange and grassiness on the palate, with an assertive bitterness. This one can also be found at the brewery (cans, on tap) starting today, with ANBL stores and licensees receiving it sometime next week.

TrailWay’s weekly Friday release today is an American IPA, which you may have guessed… however, this is the first beer they’ve fermented with a Kveik strain. Originating from Norway, this type of yeast ferments best at extremely warm – heck, even hot – temperatures, giving a wide variety of flavours and aromas. TW used the Voss Kveik strain from Escarpment Labs, and hopped the beer – which they’ve named Oculus –  “moderately” with Citra and Idaho 7. The result is a 6% ABV, full-bodied beer that is big in the citrus department. Available at the brewery today when they open at noon, on tap and in cans; kegs will be travelling across the province – and to Stillwell – over the coming days.

Lucky Moncton peoples can head on over to Tide & Boar, where the brewery has just released their latest beer, a Sour IPA named Millions of Peaches. This 7% ABV kettle sour features a grist that includes a large addition of oats, with lactose powder added in the boil to up the sweetness/body. Dry-hopped entirely with Citra, the beer was further conditioned on Fuzzy Peach candy (yep!) and peach puree. To tell you that the beer is tasting sour and peachey… well, it does, but we kinda think you could have figured that one out for yourselves! Limited availability, on tap at the brewpub only!

If you’re sight-seeing in the Lunenburg area, check out Shipwright Brewing, which has just tapped “Choc”-A-Block, their latest beer. A “Rye Stout”, it of course includes an addition of Rye malt in the grist, which gives a touch of spice in the finish, which goes well with the cacao and roasted coffee notes from the darker grains used in the brew. 5.2% ABV and 25 IBUs, you can grab it at the brewery right now in pints, growler, and crowlers. It should also be available on tap at the Grand Banker.

If you were at the NS Craft Beer Week Full House event, you might have stopped by the Garrison booth and tried a new IPA that they were quietly debuting that uses “American Noble Hops”. Whether you know about hops or not, you might wonder, “What the hell is that?” Well, we’ve mentioned the Cryo hop products from Yakima Chief – Hopunion (YCH) in previous posts, which allow brewers to get significantly more bang for their buck out of high-aroma and -bittering hop varieties by using less hop material and seeing less liquid (beer!) absorbed and lost. As it turns out, however, there’s a byproduct to the cryo extraction process that’s also been released to the market, the leaves and bract from the hop flowers that don’t have the same oil or alpha acid content of the cryo products, but which do maintain quite a bit of aroma and flavor. The name “American Noble Hops” seeks to qualify this product with brewers in terms of the classic low-alpha varieties from Continental Europe. Not a great name, no, but the alternative was apparently “Debittered Leaf” so… Anyway, Garrison has embraced these new hops in the first release in their new Hop Trip IPA series, starting with Hop Trip: American Noble Citra, a 6.2% ABV and 30 IBU beer in the NEIPA-ish style. Smooth and drinkable, thanks to those low alpha acid numbers, the beer still maintains plenty of Citra character, with mandarin, lemon, and lychee coming to the fore. Even better, this beer (and the beers to come in the series) has been canned in 355 mL cans, available this weekend at the Brewery for $2.99 each or 4 for $11.99. So if you’re a hop lover but can’t always justify a tall can, you might have plenty of reason to celebrate this one. Stay tuned for other entries in the series, we’ve been advised that a Hop Trip Brut IPA is in the offing as well.

Not too many beery events to tell you about this weekend, so use this as an excuse to get out and support your local brewery, or local bar who supports your local breweries, and toast their efforts. However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t give you one last reminder that whether you’re in Moncton or St John’s, there is a Beer Fest in your backyard, which can be a good way to drink your way through the beer landscape. Both events feature local craft beer alongside macro and foreign producers, so if you wanted to try the latest batch of Silver Bullet to see if it still tastes the same now that you’ve left that type of beer behind, now’s your chance.

Next Wednesday, Matt and Dave from Toronto’s Burdock Brewing will be taking over the taps at Stillwell, hot off the heels of a collaborative pairing dinner at Little Oak the evening before (sorry, all sold out, folks!). Featuring the full variety of Burdock’s offerings, including the modern styles like Vermont Blond and IPA, wine-inspired (and -infused) Baby Riesling and a trio of BUMOs, and barrel-aged funky beers like Auko and Flur. Check out Stilly’s social media for the full list (which also includes the debut of a collaboration between Burdock and another brewery (ed. note, we incorrectly said it was with Stillwell Brewing originally), and come prepared to spend some time on May 29th.

Just a handful more beers to tell you about before we send you on your way!

Douglas, NB’s 3Flip Brewing is following up the release of last month’s “Pretzel Ale” with Lemon Kilmister. A “Lemon Blonde” that was hopped with Amarillo and given an addition of fresh lemon peel. Look for it on tap at The Joyce, Saint John Ale House, and Fredericton’s York St. ANBL for growler fills.

Sackville, New Brunswick’s, Bagtown Brewing has released a small batch of their take on a Farmer’s Double IPA this week. Weighing in at 8.5% ABV, it features the use of Cascade hops from local Wysmykal Farm to the tune of 60 IBU, and was bumped up with blueberries from Blueridge Berries in town. With such a limited production size, we definitely suggest dropping into the taproom and beergarden at 62 Main Street for a taste!

Corner Brook’s Bootleg BrewCo debuted a new beer this week, Brett Who? This 6.0% ABV beer was fermented with both brewer’s yeast and Brettanomyces for a light bodied and dry beer, with the iconic funky character that Brett imparts. Available now on tap for samples and pints in their taproom.

Newfoundland’s Dildo Brewing Company debuted a new one this week, playing on a question we imagine gets asked all over the world …Where the Helles Dildo? For those of us fortunate enough to know the answer, we’ll be rewarded with a German Helles, Dildo’s first Lager. This 6.5% ABV pale lager toes the line with malt and hops playing nicely together for an easily quaffable beer. Drop by the brewery this weekend to grab a pint or growler, and to tell the world, I know where the Helles Dildo!

Niche Brewing has brought back another of their popular beers this week: Ethos is their Brett saison, a lightly tart, dry, and funky beer brewed with their house culture. It’s going out to their usual New Brunswick accounts and will very likely also make an appearance in Halifax at Stilwell and/or the Stillwell Beer Garden.

Ninepenny Brewing in Conception Bay South has a brand new beer on tap these days. Belgian Pale Ale is a 5.0% ABV brew reminiscent of those in Europe, with notes of toffee and toast from the malt, along with a complementing yeast character. As always, the best place to grab a sample, pint, or growler is at the source, at 75 Conception Bay Hwy, open today from 4 PM.

This weekend marks the return of another one of Greg Nash’s hop hammers at Unfiltered, namely Riddle of Steel. Touted as a hybrid of West Coast and New England IPA styles, it’s 7% and available for fills, pints and in cans, thank Crom!! Also available in cans at the retail shop this weekend are Twelve Years to Zion, All Falc’d Up, and Warning Label.

Here we go again, beer fans! We’re in the final weekend of NS Craft Beer Week! We hope those of you in the province have been getting out to support your local brewery and licensee. We want to sincerely thank those of you who came out and took part in our Beer Trivia Night at The Auction House last night, and big thanks to the breweries who donated so much swag that all of the teams who took part went home with something. We can’t wait to do it again, and it may be even sooner than next year! Enough gushing, on with the news!

Another week of releases for Big Spruce, this time it’s the return of She’s Maibock. A fitting release, given we’ve just entered the month of May, this is a heritage German style of lager brewed similar to a Helles, but a bit more intense in malt/ABV/hops (pro tip, “bock” means buck or ram, and these beers will often feature one on the label). Their take on the style is a 5.9% ABV copper beer, brewed using their own farm-grown hops, and lots of complex and flavourful malts, giving rise to toast and bread notes, with a light citrus character. Grab this beer on tap at the brewery in Nyanza, and at licensees around the province. And drop by HopYard Halifax this afternoon (4 – 7 PM) for the official launch of Year 3 of their Tag! You’re It! IPA, with $0.50 from each can going to Ocean Tracking Network.

Boxing Rock’s Agricola Street Test Kitchen at Local Source Market has another new beer pouring this week. Fail No More is a 3.7% ABV English Mild, keeping to the iconic style with a light bitterness and pleasant caramel and toast and roast notes. You’ll have to pop in for a taste and a growler fill soon, as these Test Kitchen releases are always quite limited!

And in more great Boxing Rock news, the culmination of their Black Box Challenge was on Sunday. This saw homebrewers given the same list of ingredients, and it was up to them to come up with a recipe using some or all of the materials. With presentations ranging from a game of Jeopardy!, to a Crazy Game of Porter, the finalists put their best foot forward on Sunday to present and “sell” their beer to the judges. At the end of the afternoon, Jana Dellapinna and her Hello Darkness Schwarzbier was crowned the winner, through a combination of scores of the beer, presentation, and song choice (The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel). Dellapina will be traveling down to Shelburne to brew up a full size release of the beer, for wide distribution. And some of her fellow finalists may receive the same call, given the quality of the entries in this year’s competition!

Backstage Brewing will be releasing their first Red Ale (aka American Amber) this weekend in time for the main festivities (read: Full House). Simple Man was brewed with Pale malt, CaraMunich, Carafa and Roasted Barley (likely in moderation, to help provide colour). Hopped lightly to 20 IBUs with Willamette from Fundy Hops, the brewery is describing the final beer as “smooth, malty, and simple”. In addition to pouring at Full House, it’ll be on tap at the brewery.

Saltbox Brewing in Mahone Bay is celebrating the opening of their new location in Bridgewater, King Street Beer Co. Not surprisingly, this brewery and taproom is located at 463 King Street in the town, and features a pilot system that they are using for special on-premise beer releases, LaHave River Beers. The first of these hits the taps at 6:30 PM this evening. Silvercat Legendary Canamerican Pale Ale (that’s a mouthful!) is a 5.5% ABV, 39 IBU, Maple Pale Ale, brewed with local homebrewer Don Graham. No word on the origin or amount of maple used in the beer. As with all the brews on this pilot system, it is in very short supply (under 40 litres!), so pop down this evening to avoid disappointment! And drop by both King Street and Saltbox this weekend as they are hosting the Highway 103 Tap Takeovers, featuring breweries from up and down the 103 Highway on the province’s South Shore.

To help celebrate NS Craft Beer Week, Tanner & Co. Brewing is releasing the latest beer in their Sauvage series, with 2019 Sauvage. This Saison features a malt bill built entirely around grain from Horton Ridge, including Pale malt, Vienna, and Wheat. Hopped to 20 IBUs with EKG and Mt. Hood, it was fermented – like last year – with Big Spruce’s pin cherry yeast isolate. All about the yeast character (as a good Saison should be!), it’s showcasing “tropical fruit such as pineapple, mango, citrus, and a bit of lemon rind on the finish”. It clocks in at 6% ABV, it’ll be pouring at the Full House event this weekend, with bottles at the brewery as well.

Coupla new hoppy beers coming from the Upstreet family for this weekend, starting with an early sneak peek of Great Day Session IPA. Brewed with Pilsner, Vienna, Wheat, and Golden Naked Oats, they hopped the beer with Cashmere, Amarillo and Mosaic, for aromas of “pear, white grapes, melon, and coconut”. Light-golden in colour, with a smooth body thanks to the addition of the oats, it lives up to its name at 4.8%, and finishes only mildly bitter (25 IBUs). It’s officially launching at tomorrow’s Full House, and will also be on tap at the BBQ Brewhouse for pints, growlers, and crowlers this weekend. Look for draught and cans to follow on PEI next Thursday.

Upstreet’s other hoppy offering is Neon Friday 2.04, the latest in the ongoing series. With the addition of some Honey malt and Melanoiden to give the beer a “gentle, warming sweetness”, as well as a reddish colour, it was hopped with Amarillo, Southern Cross and Sorachi Ace (to 45 IBUs), providing the 6.5% American IPA with aromas of “orange peel, lemon, pine, and a hint of dill”. This one is debuting on the Island today at the Upstreet taproom and Craft Beer Corner (on tap and in cans), with a few cans making their way to the Nova Scotia private stores as well.

Landwash Brewery, out of Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, has lots going on this weekend, including the launch of a brand new beer. Might as well start there! Another Shore is releasing in cans and on tap at the brewery today at 4 pm, and it’s a very specific take on the classic Kolsch style. Brewed with malted barley and wheat from PEI’s Shoreline Malting, it was fermented cool and allowed to condition at low temperatures. Once complete, they dry-hopped it with Amarillo and Sabro, and then went further by adding “a whole whack” (that’s a lot!) of fresh lime zest. You can probably imagine in your head how this 4.2% ABV brew is tasting… we’ll leave you to it. In other Landwash news, they’re holding their first Cask Night at Toslow in St. John’s, tonight, where they’ll be tapping Coconut Hazures Rock (and they’ll have a keg of Another Shore, too). Also, keep your eyes peeled for a new batch of One Wave Blonde Ale coming out soon.

While in St. John’s, why not stop by YellowBelly and try Deadly, Missus, their 2019 International Women’s Day brew. It’s being referred to as a “Belgian India Blonde Ale” (!) that was hopped with the Pink Boots Society hop blend (Loral, Glacier, Mosaic, Simcoe, and Sabro). Designed and brewed by head brewer Nardia McGrath, it’s tasting “spicy, funky, and earthy”; it clocks in at 7.1% ABV. And hey, you’re there, so you might as well give their latest cider, Iceberg Cider, a try. Made entirely with iceberg water (natch), it’s 5.5% ABV and on tap now; bottles should follow next week in local NLC stores.

Speaking of cider, the PEI Brewing Company has a new one of their own available, 6 Hours of Sun. Made with a “special blend of apples”, it was fermented with Champagne yeast to give a crisp, fruity, refreshing cider. Semi-dry with a semi-sweet finish, it’s 5% ABV and can be found right now at the PEIBC taproom in Charlottetown; you’ll be able to find it at all Gahan locations soon, as well as in cans at PEILCC stores.

New beer alert from Moncton’s Grand Monk Artisan Ales, Flat Earth IPA. Hopped copiously with varieties from North America (Cascade and Mosaic) and Australia (Ella), you can probably expect a beer full of tropical, juicy goodness. It weighs in at 7.5% ABV, and can be found at your favourite Grand Monk watering hole. And stay tuned for their next beer, Down With Vaccinations Pale Ale. Too soon?

Fredericton’s Maybee Brewing is releasing their first Lager tomorrow, May 4th. A Schwarzbier, we’re slightly confidant you could take a crack at what the name was going to be, knowing the date… and if you guessed May the Schwarz Be With You, you would be correct! This black Lager was brewed almost entirely with German malt and German hops, it was fermented cold with a dry Lager yeast. Fairly dark (24 SRM), and pretty easy-drinking at 4.9% ABV and 29 IBUs, it’s showing aromas of espresso, milk chocolate, and caramel, and a medium-light body with chocolate and caramel on the palate. They’re releasing it initially at the brewery on tap and in cans; look for it to follow at tap accounts later next week, and it should be on at ANBL growler sites later in the month. Drop by the brewery tomorrow from noon, where they’ll be holding a launch party, featuring beer (of course) and food from Gastrognomes.

Plenty of things going on in the region this weekend and into next week, check them out! And of course keep an eye on the NSCBW Calendar we put together so that you’re never late for an event.

Tomorrow, Propeller’s Gottingen Street taproom will be the site of their celebration of all things Star Wars, with their May the Fourth celebration.They’ll be featuring two casks, both hopped with out-of-worldy hops, like their Galaxy IPA hopped with an extra dose of (Millenium) Falconer’s Flight, and a cask made with their brand new canned (also draught) release, Sasquatch Pale Ale. This 5.2% Pale Ale features a wholly-Canadian hop, Sasquatch, grown in BC, and used throughout the brewing process to impart a tropical and juicy note to the beer. Also back this week is their Stone Fruit, which will be hitting the shelves of the private and NSLC stores soon. Back to the taproom, the Propeller Arcade is open all day (from 10AM), and they’ll have Star Wars-themed Vandal Doughnuts to pair with your pint. And if you’re wearing some Star Wars paraphernalia, your first pint is just $5! Pop by on your way to…

The Full House Beer Fest is also tomorrow, with forty breweries from across Nova Scotia pouring the newest and best beers at the Halifax Forum Multipurpose Centre (entrance is from the Young Street parking lot). From Yarmouth to Sydney, Amherst to Musquodoboit Harbour, breweries from all over are coming together for the biggest celebration of #NSCraftBeer. Tickets for both the afternoon and evening session are still available, and we will certainly be there taking it all in. One of the new releases you’ll be able to enjoy is Annapolis Brewing’s Port Royal Pilsner, which was fermented low and slow (over a month!), for a smooth finish, with the Saaz used giving a hint of herbal notes. (It will also be available for pints and growler fills in their taproom this weekend)

If you wake up woozy and disoriented in Halifax on Sunday morning, Good Robot has your hookup to maybe soothe your self-inflicted wounds with a taste of the tropics. The Limestone Group will be hosting a brunch featuring food inspired by sunny climes (and based on the weather forecast a little imagination might be required there). How does coconut crusted French Toast sound? And if lovely food isn’t enough to get you over the hangover hump, there will, of course be beer. The brunch runs from 10 – 3 PM, so there’s plenty of time to drag your sorry self out of bed and get down to Good Robot and partake.

Also going down on Sunday is an annual event that’s near and dear to our hearts here at the ACBB (well, the empty places where our hearts used to be anyway), the 2019 Stillwell Open at Stillwell Beer Bar on Barrington Street. Now in its 5th year, this event pairs homebrewers and breweries together to develop beers for a blind tasting competition that ultimately crowns a champion beer based on the voting response of the public. To up the ante a little in terms of bragging rights, once again the province has been divided into geographical regions, North, South, Halifax, and Dartmouth, with a title going to the team with the best overall showing. This year’s theme for beers is single-hop IPAs. Each team will bring four beers in the Session IPA, American IPA, Double IPA, and English IPA (served on cask) categories, all made with but a single variety of hop. Beers are expected to be one offs for the competition or production batches that will debut at the competition, so 100% brand new, never sampled, sipped, or swigged before beers will be available. Our own Chris McDonald is captaining Team Halifax, with Les Barr of Roof Hound heading up Team South, Spindrift’s Kyle Jeppesen helming Team Dartmouth, and Jeremy White of Big Spruce once again leading the charge for the two-time (TWO-TIME!) defending champions, Team North. If you attend you may need to plan to balance your blood lupulin levels next week with some crispy Pilsners and fruity mixed ferms, but Sunday is all about the hops. The blind tasting starts at 12 PM with the field being cut in half based on votes after 90 minutes and again in half every 30 minutes until 3 PM when the category winners, the winning Team, and the overall champion beer will be revealed. So come on down and see if you don’t find yourself bleeding green afterwards!

Let’s turn our gaze away from NS Craft Beer Week for a moment, and look elsewhere… Namely, the fact that Hanwell’s very own Niche Brewing will be holding a Meet the Maker Tap Takeover tomorrow, May 4th, at The Joyce Pub in Fredericton. Those crazy cats decided to brew and keg up 16 different beers for this event, with almost half of them being one-offs and debuts. One of those is Into the Great Wide Open, a Saison dry-hopped with Hallertau Blanc and Amarillo. The Takeover officially begins at 7 PM, so be sure to drop by and meet the brewers behind the beer, and try the many offerings on tap. The full list of beers for the evening is available on the FB event page.

HopYard Halifax is holding a Battle of the Breweries every Thursday, where they’ll be dedicating three taps each to a number of breweries who will be fighting to the death… or, bragging rights, I suppose. Round 1 will be stretched over four Thursdays (starting yesterday) with three breweries for each day… ten from Nova Scotia, one from PEI, and one from NB. The brewery who has sold the most beer for each day moves forward to the next round, so you’re essentially voting with your wallets! Show up to support your favourite(s)!

And a couple last things before you get your plans together for the weekend:

Garrison is re-releasing Lemondrop, their dry-hopped kettle sour, this weekend at the brewery. Hopped entirely with Lemondrop after the boil was complete, this 5% ABV sour is tart and lemony, and will also be available at NSLC and private stores. You should be able to find it in other provinces this summer, too.

TrailWay is bringing back Good Times in the Fridge today, their 6% ABV American IPA brewed with a rotating hop schedule. This batch features Southern Cross, Wakatu, Enigma and Loral, giving a beer that is “dank, pungent, fruity, pineapple, spicy, and herbaceous”. You can find it at the brewery starting today.

Drop by Unfiltered today at noon if you’re a fan of Warning Label, their super strong (10% ABV) and super hoppy DIPA; it’ll be available on tap and in cans.