YellowBelly Brewery

All posts tagged YellowBelly Brewery

Happy Friday the 13th! Oh, stop complaining, it’s just a silly superstition (knocks wood, tosses black cat over left shoulder). Plenty going on in the world of Atlantic Canadian beer news, as usual, including the opening of two new breweries in our region, one in PEI, and one in Dartmouth. So let’s get into it so we can all go about the rest of our day (read: waiting for the weekend to officially start).

We hinted last year about Summerside, PEI getting their own brewery, thanks to the work of Alex Clark, owner of the OpenEats restaurant in the downtown area. Well, it looks like all of that planning and preparation has worked out, as Evermoore Brewing just opened their brewery and taproom this week at 192 Water St. Featuring a 10 bbl (1200 L) brewhouse from DME, the brewery’s taproom will be open Sunday-Thursday from noon-8 pm, and Friday and Saturday noon-10 pm. They’re currently filling growlers of their first two beers, Summerside Light and Hoppy Lager, and you’re of course welcome to stay onsite to enjoy a pint! Summerside Light is a 4.0% ABV light and easy going lager, while the Hoppy Lager weighs in at 6.0% ABV and features solid citrus and grassy flavour and aroma, with a hoppy aftertaste. Look for food service to be available later in the year. We hope to have more info and a Profile of Evermoore, including specific details on the beers they hope to have in the future, very soon.

After some major renovations at 91 Alderney Drive in downtown Dartmouth, New Scotland Brewing Company is opening their doors tomorrow. Brewing on a 4 BBL (500 litre) system, their beer will be available in the taproom for flights and pints, as well as to take away in growlers. Keep an eye on their social media for musicians (and maybe even the owners and brewers, musicians in their own right!) to take stage in the taproom. Unfortunately, details on what beers will be pouring are scarce, and we haven’t been able to get hold of them for contact. We hope to have more (is this a trend?) in the near future.

While not a brand new brewery, it is certainly worth mentioning that St. John’s YellowBelly Brewery has opened their new location in the newly expanded Departures level at the St. John’s International Airport. The restaurant and bar is open from early until late (6AM until 11PM) to satisfy both the early business flyers for breakfast, and the rest of us looking for a pint and decent meal before leaving the Island. The restaurant continues the tradition set at their downtown locations of offering freshly-prepared pizza and a full menu, as well as casual bites. Borrowing from the aesthetics of their building at the corner of Water and George Streets downtown, the 150 seat bar and lounge features historical wood and stone features throughout. And, now for what you’re really interested in knowing: what about the beer? They will be pouring their core group of four beers, Yellowbelly Pale Ale, Wexford Wheat, St. John’s Stout and Fighting Irish Red, as well as a brand new beer, the YYT Cream Ale. Their Crooked as Sin cider will also be pouring. They will also be pouring a rotating line or two from other Newfoundland and Labrador craft breweries, as available, showing their love and support for the great shift happening in the province in the past few years. These will be announced on social media as they are tapped. Also available for sale will be YellowBelly merchandise and local treats, and there may even be the possibility of packaged beer available to go in the future (we’ll let you know when that happens!). Congratulations on the launch of the new location, it certainly proves that local beer in Newfoundland is taking off!

Tatamagouche Brewing is bringing back a favourite brew of theirs that first debuted at the start of 2018, their Crack of Dawn. This Breakfast Porter features a Horton Ridge Pale malt base, along with Chocolate Wheat and Oats to offer roast character and mouthfeel. The pièce de résistance is the addition of a cold brew preparation of barrel-aged coffee, this time around featuring Ethiopian green beans aged in a Bulleit Bourbon barrel before getting a light roast treatment from Tata’s neighbours at Meeting Waters Roastery just a few doors down Main Street. The resultant beer is 8.4% ABV, with significant coffee roast and barrel character complementing the full-bodied base Porter. This version, as well as the original release, was brewed with assistance and guidance from homebrew guru Brian Harvey (aka 1029Brewing) and our own acbbchris (former homebrewer, full time drinker). Due to the batch size, this version will only be available on tap, including at the brewery this weekend, as well as Battery Park and Stillwell in HRM, and at Tata’s tent at this weekend’s Big Axe Craft Beer Festival.

Tata is also debuting a brand new beer this weekend, one for the hop heads among us. Fish Hawke is an 8.4% ABV double dry-hopped Double IPA, featuring a variety of new school and old classic hops, all added after the boil is complete. Chinook and Centennial meet Azacca and Vic Secret insubstantial whirlpool and subsequent temperature-drop additions (this is the period while the wort rests post-boil, and helps to reduce the amount of trub is transferred to the fermenter). After fermentation is complete, two rounds of dry-hopping while conditioning were also undertaken with the same hop blend. Though the bitterness is tough to calculate, there will be some, but the flavour and aroma is the goal in this brew. Looks for Fish Hawke to debut on tap at the brewery and a couple of spots over the weekend, with a small number of cans being released at the brewery on Monday.

The fine folks at Big Axe Brewery have been extremely busy prepping for their second annual Big Axe Craft Beer Festival happening tomorrow (more on that in the events section below), but that hasn’t stopped them from brewing some new beers on their brand-spanking-new 10 bbl system in Nackawic! Launched this week if their Lumberjack East Coast Lager, a “Czech Amber Lager” brewed with summertime drinking in mind. Featuring a grist of Pilsner and Vienna malt, the brew was fermented with a Lager yeast strain and then allowed to lager at cool temperatures for four weeks. Richly malt, with bready and biscuity notes, it has a medium body to help support the sessionable 4.1% ABV, letting you enjoy a couple of these without feeling out of control (YMMV). On tap now at your favourite Big Axe tap account!

Fredericton’s TrailWay is releasing the latest iteration of El Generico, their constantly-changing fruited kettle sour. This time around, the 3.8% ABV beer had raspberry puree and lime juice added after fermentation, giving plenty of bright fruit aromatics, along with a high level of lime in the flavour. Look for it on tap and in cans at the brewery today at opening (11 am), and likely on tap at several licensees across the city. And in other TW news, they won a coolship (long, shallow, open-top vessel used to cool wort) at this year’s Craft Brewers Conference in Nashville, TN, which recently arrived at the brewery; they’ll be using this new addition to kick off their barrel-aged, sour beer program (naturally, don’t be looking for these beers anytime soon… it’s a long process!).

Heading over to Newfoundland, Port Rexton is putting two beers on tap at their taproom this weekend; while these beers aren’t new, exactly, they have been difficult to find in the past, making appearances at both Stillwell locations over the CBA weekend in May, and sporadically at Port Rexton. First up is Tyrannosaurus Brett, a Brett Porter brewed with acbbchris. Fermented entirely with Brett D, this one was aged for six months in fresh red wine barrels (one American, one French), giving aromas of “red wine, dark chocolate, berries and oak”, with fig and red grape notes as well. Finishing clean and dry, it weighs in at 5.9% ABV. Next is Brett Chops (6.3% ABV), which is the brewery’s flagship Horse Chops IPA, aged in red wine barrels (the very same used for Tyrannosaurus Brett) for six weeks with Escarpment Lab’s Brett D. The finishing beer has a light acidity, an aroma of “light barnyard funk, overripe mango, mild strawberry, and red grapes”, and stone fruit and a “pop rocks/candy” presence in the flavour, along with some wonderful Brett character. Stop by the brewery this weekend to satisfy your funk crave! Note that the brewery’s retail shop in St. John’s has extended their hours for the summer, Friday 12-8 pm and Saturday 12-6 pm.

Back over to Rothesay, where Foghorn has a new beer on tap, named after a Billy Madison reference that I was supposed to Youtube, but forgot (oops!). The Blue Duck is a dark lager brewed along the lines of a Munich Dunkel. With a grist made up mainly of Pilsner malt, along with some CaraMunich, CaraAroma, and Melanoiden, it was fermented with a dry Lager yeast strain, and then lagered for over a month before its release. Bready, with a touch of caramel, it finishes light, clean, and easy-drinking at just 4% ABV. Enough malt character to satisfy your needs, but not too heavy to scare of those of you afraid of dark beers (stop it!). On tap at Foghorn now for pints and growler fills, at a few accounts in New Brunswick, and pouring at this weekend’s Big Axe Craft Beer Festival.

Propeller promised us last week that they’d have a new variation of their summer-favourite Hefeweizen this week, and staying true to their word, they’ve released Azacca Hopfenweisse, their latest Gottingen Small Batch.The brewery is describing the beer as a “fusion” of Hefeweizen with a “New World IPA”; while staying at a very-drinkable 4.8% ABV, the Azacca hop is featured prominently, providing aromas of tropical fruit and citrus, to complement the typical banana and clove character found in all good Hefeweizens. Highly carbonated, with a medium-light finish, you can find it on tap at Propeller starting today, where it will be available for growler fills only.

Remember when we told you last week that Good Robot would be re-releasing their Burban Legend this week? Well, turns out they decided to hold off on that, therefore turning the ACBB into a house of lies. Being the fine, fine people that we are, however, we’ll still tell you all about their latest Beta Brew, Pink Flamingo. This “Watermelon Kiwi Radler” was brewed with Giovanni, and has fresh watermelon and kiwi added, giving the 5% ABV beverage a pink colour, and a light, refreshing tartness. An infusion of tea from David’s Tea was also added; Look for it on tap at GR next Tuesday. Look for Leave Me Blue this week as well, which will mostly be available at various Pride events.

After many months of renovations and other preparations, Alma’s Holy Whale Brewing has opened their Riverview taproom location. Located in a former shipping container along the Petitcodiac River, you can find it at 391 Coverdale Rd., in the parking lot of the Riverview’s Chocolate River station. They’ll be pouring on 12 taps, with six dedicated to Holy Whale beers, and six to guest beers, with a focus on New Brunswick craft. They’ve also taken their small, test brewery equipment from Alma and installed it in the shipping container, so expect to see some very small-batch one-offs on tap over the coming weeks! Everything sold at the location will be for consumption on-site only, where there is seating capacity for 70, including space on the boardwalk to enjoy your beer(s). They’re open Wed-Thurs 5-9, Fri 4-9, Sat 1-9, and Sun 1-6.

A few beer related things you might get up to in the coming week:

Tickets have been sold out for some time, but the 2nd Annual Big Axe Craft Beer Festival – the largest outdoor craft beer fest in Atlantic Canada – is happening tomorrow, July 14th, from 4-8 pm in Nackawic. Those of you lucky enough to have grabbed your tickets will be treated to a gargantuan (I’ve always liked that word… so rarely have an opportunity to use it in a sentence) number of vendors pouring their tasty beers, ciders, mead, and vodka, as well as five food trucks, 3 live bands, and one mechanical bull (BYO pen to sign the waiver, and BYO neck brace!). On top of all that, there’s outdoor drinking during a beautiful day, and free boat rides from 3-7 pm. The 40 attending breweries, cideries, etc. will be from across the Maritimes, as well as Ontario and Maine. One thousand people will be attending… have a great time!

The third “In Concert With” dinner from The Carleton will be partnered with Garrison Brewing and Upstreet, and is happening on Thursday, July 19th. “Chef Dolente’s Craft Draught Showdown” will involve five courses, each paired with two 4 oz beers (one from each brewery). Both Daniel Girard of Garrison and Mike Hogan of Upstreet will be in attendance to speak about the pairings, along with Chef Michael Dolente. Those of you attending will vote on your favourite beer at the end of the night. The event also includes live music; tickets are $55 + HST and can be purchased here.

Lastly, a couple more quick ones that might influence your weekend beer plans:

Breton Brewing has just kegged the second beer in their Summer Sour Series, Strawberry Rhubarb Kettle Sour (4.2% ABV). It’s available now in their taproom for pints and growler fills, and should be hitting tap accounts in the HRM sometime next week.
Lake City Cider has officially opened their taproom in downtown Dartmouth, at 35 Portland St. They’re open every day from 10am-8pm, so drop by to grab some cider-to-go, or to enjoy a pour at their new location.
Niche Brewing has brought back their “Hibiscus Sour Ale”, Ruby Tuesday (4.4% ABV). This fruity, tart, bright red beer will be pouring at select locations in Fredericton and Saint John, as well as at tomorrow’s Big Axe Craft Beer Festival.
Upstreet is now selling packaging two of their flagship beers, Do-Gooder and Rhuby Social, in 12 oz cans; the two join their other flagship, Commons, which they started canning a couple of months ago.

Happy first day of Summer and longest day of the year, you’ve got more daylight today than any other day of the year during which to enjoy the fine beers of our region’s producers and it looks like the weather in most of Atlantic Canada is cooperating. So give a read below to see what might be new and interesting in your particular geographical corner of our burgeoning beer scene and get thee to a patio!! (Although if you’re in Newfoundland, maybe bring a sweater? Sawwy).

Starting up on the Rock, waaay up in Twilingate, where Split Rock Brewing has plenty on the go. First is the latest iteration of their Gateway, a 7.1% ABV India Pale Ale that’s been getting successively hoppier as batches have gone on in a possibly not-so-subtle effort to gently introduce modern IPAs to their local market. Featuring plenty of Cascade and Amarillo in both late additions and dry hops, they’ve now gotten it to where they want it, at least for the time being. Also released this week was Razzin’ Around, a Raspberry Wheat beer made with lots of real raspberry puree for aroma and flavor. Tart, but not sour, it still manages to have a crisp finish, making for a refreshing summer beer with a pleasant fruit kick. Lastly, but definitely not least, this weekend Split Rock is kicking off what is planned to be a series of sour beers, each of which will feature something different added to the base, which is a kettle sour using Pilsner and wheat that has been soured with a pure pitch of Lactobacillus plantarum. These beers will come in under the moniker of Sour Patch B’ys and the first has been dubbed Sour Patch B’ys: Citra, for the generous addition of Citra in the dry hop stage. Pale yellow in colour, this medium-sour beer has a lemony-lime tang and overall citrus flavor. You’ll find all three of these beers primarily at their brewpub, the Stage Head Pub (hours on their Facebook page), but some will no doubt make it to other parts of the province, most likely St. John’s (we can confirm that the Gateway IPA is on at Jack Axes and Razzin’ Around is at Fort Amherst Pub in Churchill Square).

Speaking of St. John’s, YellowBelly Brewery has a new beer pouring, a black IPA they’re calling Gravity Base, an homage to the many Newfoundlanders working in the oil and gas industries at sea and on land. This 5.3% ABV and 60 IBU brew is big and toasty, bready and bitter, with Pacific Gem, Citra and Topaz hops added in the boil and a dry hop of Motueka providing a fruity balance. Look for it on tap on site, pouring for pints and growler fills, and bottles to come this week.

And rounding out the Newfoundland news, over in the Southwest portion of the island in Corner Brook, Bootleg Brew Co. has a brand new beer on tap themselves. Drunken Muppet is an Extra Special Bitter ale aimed solidly at non-hopheads. Only 20 IBU and a fairly sessionable 5.0% ABV, it features hints of cocoa and coffee to accompany a light malt toastiness. Available only by the pint at the brewery.

Heading south to Nova Scotia, Shelburne’s Boxing Rock Brewing has released another in their lineup of Black Box Challenge winners, Bursted! IPA. Brewed by Truro’s Derek Wood (known as Woody amongst the local homebrewing community), his runner-up entry took a different turn than the already-released Oh Snap! Ginger Snap Brown. Focusing on the plethora of hops provided in the box, he used Mosaic late in the boil, Cascade and Amarillo at flameout for a 30 minute whirlpool, and tons of all three in the dry-hop after the fact, extracting more aroma and flavour than bitterness and elevating this pale-coloured beer to new heights. As well as on tap and in growlers, look for bottles of the 6.5% ABV Bursted! at the brewery, their market stalls, and at the private stores in HRM this weekend.

Now that we’re officially into summer, Annapolis Brewing Company is ramping up their energy level to keep the thirsty Valley- (and Visiting-) folk happy. Now that their taproom is open at 302 St George Street, they have a pair of beers coming out in the next several days. Debuting this weekend is a brand new Session IPA named Cool Calm & Collected. “CC & C” also covers the hop side of the beer nicely, with Cascade, Chinook, and Citra coming together to provide a solid hop presence to a very sessionable 4.1% ABV beer. Expect this one to be a hoppy refresher for the deck or the dock this summer. And speaking of summer beers, expect to see Blockhouse Blonde back on tap early next week. Brewed with a combination of 7 malts and hopped with modern Ella and classic East Kent Goldings, it weighs in at 5.3% ABV.

In the big city, Stillwell Brewing has yet another double release happening tomorrow from 12 – 3 PM at their usual spot behind Propeller on Gottingen Street. If you’ve been enjoying the Poptones released two weeks ago but have been musing to yourself, “I say, this is a delightful farmhouse pale ale, but I do wonder what it might taste like if someone were to have aged it in oak barrels for a while,” you’re in luck! Adjust your monocle, good sir/madam, and peep the Poptones Remix. This beer went into Burgundy-style white wine barrels at the same time the OG Poptones was first put into bottles, so while it’s the same age, it grew up in a different part of town, so to speak. Still light and refreshing, but with some oak character, a deeper acidity and funkier flavors overall, it’s 5.3% ABV and displaying herbal and lemony notes with hay and funk. Also up on the block tomorrow is version two of Sport, which was a much bigger batch than the original, allowing more flexibility and variety in the blend. At 5.6% ABV, it’s light and refreshing, if a little heavier than last year’s version, and it once again features lime zest and sea salt to complement the subtle coconut character provided by the barrels. And if you want to get into these beers quickly without cracking into bottles, you’ll also find both on draught today at Stillwell HQ on Barrington, the first time they’re featuring Stillwell Brewing oaked farmhouse beers on tap!

Halifax nano Tidehouse is re-releasing their Cloud Shadow hopfenweisse again, this time in smaller bottles (340 mL vs 640 mL), but still packed with the same flavor. A hoppy wheat beer with Mandarina Bavaria and Ahtanum, expect citrus, tangerine and floral aromas and flavors balanced against a solid malt bill of 50/50 wheat and pale malts. There’s a bottle limit of 6 per person and you can only get them at the brewery on Salter Street starting today at 2 PM. And while you’re there, you might consider asking the helpful barperson for a pour (still only 4 oz, sadly, but only for 10 more days!) of another Tidehouse new release, a strong hoppy saison they’re calling Houndstooth. We’ll have more information on that one as its bottle release approaches in a couple of weeks, but you can get yourself a preview today!

A stone’s throw (OK, maybe a long drive on the fairway) up and over from Salter is Brunswick Street, where you can find a pair of new beers from 2 Crows Brewing’s fermenters. First up is a special collaboration with Coady and Griffin from Dartmouth cocktail and foodie hotspot The Watch That Ends The Night. Inspired by mixology, specifically a cocktail called the Last Word, and expressing brewer Jeremy Taylor’s love of gin (and giving him an excuse to walk over to TWTETN for “research”), Last Word started with a basic grist of Pilsner and wheat malts, with some raw wheat for character, and was lightly hopped in the boil with Halltertau Blanc and Calypso. From there it was fermented warm to encourage earthy and pithy grapefruit yeast character from the Brettanomyces strains used. This became the base for additional machinations centered around the various elements of the Last Word cocktail, namely gin, lime, chartreuse and maraschino, each in its own way. The gin is represented through the addition of juniper berries, coriander and orange peel, the lime by 5 cases worth of lime juice and zest, and the chartreuse by bay leaves and lemon verbana. The maraschino was creatively reflected by the use of mahleb, a spice made from cherry pits, that brings marzipan (sweet almond) and light cinnamon notes. Lastly, a small amount of sour beer was blended in for a bit of zip and to accentuate the lime character. For packaging the beer was keg conditioned with Champagne yeast to provide a tight effervescence. The result is definitely a beer, but one with a lot of subtle reminders of the cocktail. Lime is the dominant flavor, but there is also earthiness, the zip of the gin botanicals, some herbaceous notes, and a slight marzipan sweetness. You’ll find this one of a kind beer only on tap at the brewery and, of course, at The Watch That Ends The Night for now, with kegs possibly going out to other places in coming weeks.

The second of the pair is a pilot brew from Assistant Brewer (let’s be honest, these guys and gals do all of the hard work in breweries) Miles, and Assistant to the Brewer Nick. Retrograde is hoppy and hazy New England-style Pale Ale, available now at the brewery, only by the glass. The malt bill started out as one destined for a Saison, featuring Pilsner, Wheat, Rye, and Spelt, but this dynamic duo decided to cross the Atlantic mid-way through the boil and used loads of Azacca, Ella, Hallertau Blanc, and Loral hops, and fermented it with the darling of NEIPA beers, London Ale III. With more of the same hops added on the cold side, the flavour and aromas shoot through the roof, showcasing peach, pineapple and pear notes on a soft and pillowy base. As mentioned above, this 5.5% ABV beer is only available at the brewery by the pint, so don’t delay your visit to grab it!

Niche Brewing in Hanwell, NB, has released a new Belgian-inspired beer this week, but setting aside the wild and funkier side for a classic and clean one. Day Tripper is a Tripel, with a malt bill of primarily Pilsner malt, with a little Aromatic and Wheat malt as well, and hopped with the very traditional Saaz varietal to 24 IBUs. Using a traditional Trappist yeast strain which exhibits fruity esters, it melds well with the spiciness from the Noble hopping. With the light sweetness often found with Pils-heavy beers, it transitions to fruity and spicy, and finishes dry with a touch of alcohol warmth from the 8.4% ABV. It can be found around Fredericton at Graystone, King Street Ale House, and The Joyce, and kegs may be available further afield soon.

Fredericton’s Grimross Brewing has dropped the latest beer in their Scratch Series, this being release #11. 100% Brettanomyces is, you could probably guess, fermented solely with our favourite wild-but-domesticated yeast Brettanomyces. The straw-coloured base was lightly hopped (to 20 IBUs) with locally-grown Hallertau and Magnum from Darlings Island Hop Farm, before fermentation. The resultant beer is quite dry, with bright tropical fruity notes and a touch of funkiness from the yeast. As with the rest of these Scratch releases, this is a draught-only beer, so drop by the brewery, or check out the local haunts for your next pint.

PEI’s Upstreet Brewing is finally releasing a beer they say has been 548 days in the making (but who’s counting?). Part of their Million Acres series of barrel-aged farmhouse and sour beers, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Apple Brett Blonde Ale was brewed on December 21, 2016 and bottled some 9 months later in September of 2017. It’s been aged in those bottles for an additional 9 months, which brings us to today and its availability at the brewery and Craft Beer Corner. Blurring the line between farmhouse and orchard, expect an overall easy drinking beer, but with notes of interest from apples, Brettanomyces and Buffalo Trace Kentucky Bourbon barrel. Although quantities are definitely limited, you might consider grabbing two of these and salting one away to see what another 9 months (or even 18) might bring to it. You can also try a glass on tap at both locations while it lasts.

Unfiltered Brewing on Halifax’s North Street has released their first bottled beer in a spell, Mise en Garde. This 10.8% ABV stunner is a Barleywine fermented with both American and Belgian yeasts, before being aged on oak. Today’s release is available in 500mL bottles (perfect for adding to the cellar), as well as on tap and in growler fills, but as the name implies, proceed with caution.

Good Robot on Robie Street has a pair of new beers hitting the taps next week, hot off the heels of their Halifax Beer North and South Double IPA collaborations, and the perhaps-aptly-named Sorry from the past week. On Tuesday the 26th, they’ll be releasing their latest Beta Brew, Four Freddy Beaches. Assistant Brewer and Beta Brewster Kelly Costello grew up in Fredericton (aka Freddy Beach), and recruited three high school classmates Jenni, Leah, and Ally to brew this one. This 5.3% ABV hoppy Pale Ale has a base of 2 Row, with some Cara Aroma, Red X, and a touch of Rye malts, and hopped in the boil with Warrior and Vic Secret, and dry-hopped with Belma.

On Thursday the 28th, GRBC will be releasing their latest big batch brew, Pterodactyl Song. A 4.8%  American Wheat named in honour of comedian Maria Bamford, the malt bill consists of 2 Row and Wheat, along with Vienna, Red Wheat and a bit of Honey Malt. Hopped to 23 IBUs with Warrior and Falconer’s Flight, this beer also received a dry-hopping treatment of Belma after fermentation.

And mark your calendars for their Hair of the Dog event at the Garrison Grounds (think the edge of Bell Rd at Sackville St) June 30th and July 1st. From 11-11 each day, this dog park/beer garden combination will be full of dogs and their owners playing fetch, rolling in the grass, and sniffing each others butts (mostly the dogs, we reckon). Pints of Good Robot will be available for purchase, plus there will be plenty of dog-related vendors as well as food trucks/tables. While admission to the grounds is free, donations and pint sales proceeds will be going to support the Nova Scotia SPCA and Halifax Pop Explosion. And in case you were wondering, no dog is needed to come hang out and pet the friendly mutts.

A couple more new and re-releases to tell you about, before you hit the nearest beer garden, patio, campground, or dock this afternoon

– Spindrift continues their Seventh Wave Series with Pineapple Pear, a 4.7% ABV unfiltered Helles this week. Lightly flavoured with pineapple and pear, the underlying beer is still the star of the show, giving a fine base for the fruit aroma and flavour. As always, these are only available at the brewery, and in short supply, so be sure to drop by today for a fill.
– North Brewing has a fresh batch of their Lawrencetown Surf Session Ale available at both their Halifax and Dartmouth locations, in both cans and on tap. This 4.0% ABV beer is full of hoppy goodness, but is all flavour and aroma with very low bitterness. The oats in the grain bill help to keep the beer from being too thin, despite its dry finish. And check out the Launch Party tomorrow night at Lion & Bright in celebration of East Coast Surf School.
– PEI Brewing Company is continuing their Growlers of Summer with Hopscotch Lager today. Think New England IPA, but fermented with a lager yeast, the beer features plenty of late- and dry-hopping on a base of light malts and oats to enhance the mouthfeel. Drop by at 4PM for your fill to start your weekend.
– Tanner & Co in Chester have a brand new beer on tap at the brewery this weekend. This Double IPA is a big one at 8.9% ABV, and features loads of Citra and Simcoe in the boil, and at multiple times during the dry hopping phase, ending up at 75 IBUs. Take a trip down Angus Hiltz Road this weekend to grab a growler.

Alright folks, this is the big one! For the first time in several years (since Fredericton in 2014, to be precise), our region is once again the epicentre of the Canadian beer scene for the weekend, as Halifax hosts the Canadian Brewing Awards and Conference. Already kicking off last night, the talks and sessions continue today and tomorrow, with the Awards Gala being held tomorrow night. You have to be in the beerbiz to attend, but you can follow along with the Awards results online during the stream, and we will be sure to keep a live feed of all of the Atlantic Canadian winners. We already flooded you with the new collaborative releases from 2 Crows, North, and Propeller last week, and you’re well served to get to their respective retail locations to pick them up before they are gone. Let’s concentrate on the newest info we have regarding another onslaught of releases hitting the taps and shelves now.

• Let’s kick off the week with the first brewery opening in a few weeks, O’Creek Brewing in Dieppe. Brewing on a 1 BBL system means they end up with about 120 litres of beer per batch, so this is a truly small operation. But being small has its benefits, as owner Patrice Daigle is able to stay nimble and brew a wide variety of beers. The first beer to be available is Route 117 NEIPA. Named after the coastal highway that connects Kouchibouguac and Miramichi, this hoppy and hazy 6.5% ABV brew features loads of Mosaic, Citra, and Amarillo hops throughout the brewing and fermenting process. In addition, Daigle is launching with an American Pale Ale and Saison, though details are a bit short on those for now. So, how can you try the O’Creek beers this weekend? Easy! Just drop by their booth at this weekend’s Atlantic Beer Festival, held at the Moncton Coliseum. If you don’t already have your tickets, you are in luck, as they are still available for this evening, as well as Saturday afternoon and evening sessions. Check out O’Creek on Facebook and Instagram for the latest news, and tune in to the blog early next week, as will have a full Profile with them, with more details on their brewing history and ethos, and what other beers you can expect from them in the future (and where to find them). Congratulations!

• We’ve got lots of news from Digby’s Roof Hound Brewery, so let’s get you up to date. First off, the latest in their kettle sour series is now available, Fall From Grace. This 4.3% ABV sour is the first beer to be completely designed and brewed by Roof Hound Assistant Brewer Ben, and features notes of rose water and lychee to match and offset the beer’s acidity. Look for it on tap at the brewery and in HRM now. Also available now is Roof Hound’s collaboration with Guelph’s Escarpment Yeast Labs, SafeWord Pineapple Milkshake IPA, which debuted at yesterday’s event at Battery Park (if you’re lucky, some of these will still be on tap today!). This 6.0% ABV IPA was late- and dry-hopped with a massive amount of Azacca hops for tropical notes on top of the vanilla and lactose added to complete the milkshake vibe. Escarpment’s Foggy London Ale yeast was used to keep the beer with a smooth mouthfeel and hazy as heck. In addition to BP, kegs have been delivered to Stillwell and growlers fills will be available at Harvest Wines.  And finally, owner Les Barr has announced that “The Dog House” is open for the season. This two-bedroom rental property is just a few minutes walk from Roof Hound’s brewery and taproom, and is decorated with the same touches as the brewery itself. Folks can learn more and book their stay on Airbnb. No word if Barr will tuck you in, or bring you a coffee in the morning, but knowing his hospitality, we wouldn’t be surprised! And a bonus for early birds, if you are one of the first to book your stay, there are big savings to be had.

• Let’s talk about another beer that debuted at yesterday’s Escarpment x Battery Park event, from Cape Breton’s Big Spruce Brewing. Brett, Actually is a 7.7% ABV IPA, co-fermented with both Cali Ale yeast and Brettanomyces drei and dry-hopped with Mosaic and Citra for a big hop presence. You’ll find this one available for pints and growler fills at the brewery, as well as at tap accounts around the Province. Also out this week from Big Spruce is another mixed fermentation beer they’re calling Lucky Pucker, which was hit with both Old World Saison yeast and Brettanomyces bruxellensis. Conditioned for 6 months in Chardonnay barrels, before being bottled and conditioned in glass for another 4 months, this beer finished up at 6.3% ABV and 12 IBU, making it a strong Berliner Weisse. Tart and fruity, it’s only available in bottles, both at the brewery and at the private stores in Halifax. And that’s not all from Jeremy and Co this week, as they’ve got another one they’re calling Hugs Bunny that was brewed in collaboration with Merit Brewing out of Hamilton. It seems Merit and Big Spruce like to make Gose, this is a similar beer to the Gose of Christmas Past from last month, with Indian Coriander and sea salt and landing at 3.8% ABV. In lieu of a barrel treatment, though, hugs bunny got a big ol’ dry hop with Citra for a lemon and citrus aroma. Look for it to appear at the Sprucetique and possibly a few tap accounts as well.

• Even with all of those delightful-sounding collaboration beers released by North Brewing yesterday (which we addressed in detail in last week’s post), they still went ahead and launched another new beer for the Victoria Day long weekend. It’s close to being sold out already, but we’d like to share the info anyway, in case you’re lucky enough to find some! Lawrencetown Surf Session Ale was brewed with Pilsner malt and Malted Oats, and dry-hopped with Citra and Simcoe Cryo hops. With lots of citrus throughout, the beer is quite refreshing and definitely lives up to its “sessionable” description, coming in at just 4% ABV. Hopefully there’s still a few cans left at the brewery, and it’ll likely still be available on tap at accounts in Halifax.

Tanner & Co in Chester Basin has a pair of new beers available just in time for the weekend, so start planning your visit now. The first is Sauvage Gose, their take on the sour and lightly salty style originally from Goslar, Germany. After a round of kettle souring to impart some acidity, the beer was fermented with Scotia Sauvage yeast, which was originally isolated from a Pin cherry on the Big Spruce farm and propagated up by Escarpment Labs. Featuring lots of tart citrus and notes of tropical fruit, there is only one keg of this beer available, on tap at the brewery for growler fills. The second release is Dampfbier, a German Steam Beer. While this beer was one of their first at launch in the fall, this release is the first on their larger system. As per the style, this beer is brewed with all malted barley, and with a Weissbier yeast, usually used in Hefeweizens, the iconic German wheat beer. The result is a beer featuring pleasant clove and banana characters from the yeast with a nice malt finish. As with the Gose, the best place to grab a taste of Dampfbier is at the brewery, so drop by this weekend!

• In Sydney, Breton Brewing has their first kettle sour available. Sour Sessions with Guava & Passionfruit is the first in a series of sour, low ABV, summer beers that they’ll be releasing over the coming months under the Sour Sessions banner. This edition comes in at 3.2% ABV and 5 IBU and is flavored, as you probably guessed, using additions of passion fruit and guava. Tart and thirst quenching, you’ll find it at the brewery for pints and growler fills this weekend.

• Do you remember when Garrison Brewing teamed up with Ontario’s Sawdust City Brewing, to brew a special collaboration beer? We didn’t either; there’s just too much going on! [Fortunately the internets never forgets – Ed.] But good news, the beer is ready and it’s being launched this week. Leroy, an Imperial Brown Ale brewed with Sawdust City, was initially released last fall to celebrate Halifax being named this year’s CBA host venue. Some of that beer was saved and aged in bourbon barrels for a year, giving us Bourbon Barrel-Aged Leroy Imperial Brown. A bit of salted caramel was added to the barrels as well, with the final product coming out as a massive (11.5% ABV), deceptively-smooth Brown Ale with aromas and flavours of “bourbon, salted caramel, molasses bread, and milk chocolate.” Available now in limited quantities at Garrison, in 650 mL bottles. And tomorrow, Jalapeno Ale is returning. Remember Jalapeno Ale? It’s back. In can form! At 5% ABV, it’s brewed with a mix of spicy jalapenos, habaneros, Scotch bonnets, and Jamaican hot peppers. Hope you like spicy!

Spindrift continues to remain busy, with another boatload of new beers hitting taps this week. Their one-off Seventh Wave series gives us two entries alone, so let’s get started there. The two beers are an experiment in compare-and-contrast, with America and England going toe-to-toe: Old Salt ESB (5.5% ABV, 35 IBUs) is a light-bodied Extra Special Bitter hopped with East Kent Golding and Experimental Hop #02720, giving the beer a “smooth, malty fruitiness and a sharp hop kick”, while Shoulder Parrot APA (5.1% ABV, 35 IBUs) represents the U.S., and was hopped with Saaz and Falconer’s Flight, for a “rich, pineapple-like fruit palate”. Try both and see which country you’d prefer to emigrate to!

• Moving out of the Seventh Wave series, Spindrift has a new regular that dropped this week, their first Radler. Named Wheelhouse, it’s a beer with a blend of citrus fruit juice, including grapefruit, lemon, and tangerine. Back-sweetened with Stevia to give “a perception of sweetness, without a big, cloying body”, there’s plenty of citrus character in the aroma and flavour; and at just 4% ABV and 8 IBUs, it goes down easy, which all Radlers should! This one is going to be available in 473 mL cans in all Atlantic provinces through the summer.

• Fredericton’s Niche Brewing continues to display the depth of their recipe file with another couple of new ones out this week in addition to the Cool Kid 2 Crows collaboration on tap in Halifax. First up is a summer crusher, called Margarita Gose, a take on a traditional German Gose, but with a Nichean twist (not to be confused with a Nietzschean twist that might lead you to question the existence of beer). Starting with a base beer of wheat and Pilsner that was kettle soured and to which traditional fresh cracked coriander and sea salt were added, a light hopping with Amarillo was also applied. Post-fermentation the beer was conditioned on lime rind ribbons yielding a tart and refreshing beer with an overall lemony-citrus character, notes of lime, and some savoriness from the coriander and sea salt. At only 3.5% ABV you can get away with having a few and still keep your washer toss/cornhole game strong.

• Also available this week is Fiscally Irresponsible, another Milkshake IPA, but this one taken in a different direction than the Orange Creamsicle IPA from earlier this year. Starting with a similar grist, with wheat malt and malted oats contributing body and mouthfeel, lactose powder was added for the sweetness the style is known for, and it was hopped with lots of Galaxy, Citra, and Vic Secret at the end of the boil. Rather than fermenting with an American or English yeast strain as is de rigueur for the style, Shawn and Rob opted to go funky and use the Amalgamation blend of six Brettanomyces strains. From there, the beer was dry hopped with more of the same hop varieties used in the kettle before it was conditioned on Madagascar vanilla beans (hence the beer name; have you seen the price of vanilla right now?!) and passion fruit purée. The result is a beer with “quite a bit going on.” Dominated by passion fruit, there are notes of mango, papaya and subtle vanilla. A low-medium bitterness balances with the slight sweetness and it goes down easy despite 6.2% ABV. It’s scheduled to be tapped at Stillwell HQ this weekend, but tap accounts in New Brunswick will also see it next week. And folks in Halifax who don’t feel they see enough Niche beer should keep their eyes open, as it is known that kegs of Innerstate, Receding Darkness, Pineapple Persuasion, and You Had Me At… Ekuanot are known to be in the queue at Stillwell properties (the Pineapple Persuasion is scheduled to go on tap at the Beer Garden this weekend if the weather holds).

• As if there isn’t enough to do this weekend in Halifax, NOW you’ve got to also set aside time to drop by Stillwell Brewing to get in on their two latest bottle releases. Sorry!* To be fair, they do sound delicious, as usual. The first one is Preach (5.5% ABV), which is a blend of a Saison fermented in a wine barrel, with a foedre-fermented, sour Farmhouse Ale that was re-fermented in oak barrels with 220 g/L of fresh, Nova Scotia peaches. Both of these base beers are currently over a year old, and were already tasting well-developed before blending. Now, however, there’s “oak and wine character, fresh peach skin aromatics, minty, herbal notes, and a wonderfully quenching acidity”, thanks to the blending and additional bottle conditioning time. Sounds great to us! Some of the 716 bottles will be available to drink on-site at both Stillwell locations, and some are going to Copper & Theory in British Columbia for Farmhouse Fest. The rest will be available for purchase by anyone in Halifax tomorrow (Saturday) at the brewery, from noon-3 pm. *notsorry

• Next up from Stillwell Brewing is Disco. Originally aged in a single red wine barrel until the tartness and balance of this tart Farmhouse Ale was in Baby Bear territory (read: just right!), a “modest” amount of equal parts dark sweet cherry and raspberry purée were added into the barrel to kick off fermentation again, and age for another couple of months. The 5.7% ABV beer was then bottled and allowed to condition several more months, resulting in a “well-integrated and balanced Farmhouse fruit beer that is neither cherry nor raspberry, but something where the sum is greater than its parts”. Some bottles going to Stillwell(s) for sale on-site, and the rest for sale tomorrow from 12-3 with Preach. And hey, they’ll also be selling some more bottles of Gosh 2.0! And if you’re a fan of Stilly Pils, they’ve just released their latest batch, and they claim it’s hoppier and meringuier (more-merignuey?) than ever! Look for that one at Stillwell and the beer garden, on tap only.

Fredericton’s Bogtrotter has their first new beer out in a while, Maroon Patch. A 5% ABV American Pale Ale, it was named after the 5th Canadian Division, recognized by the maroon patch worn on the sleeve of soldiers. The beer was hopped exclusively with Denali, a fairly new American variety that is sometimes known as Nuggetzilla (!). The description for Denali mentions characteristics of “pineapple, citrus, and pine”, with spicy notes coming through as well. Look for this one on tap around Fredericton, and in bottles at select ANBL stores.

• Breweries from three different counties in NS have teamed up for a collaboration beer, as a way to indicate their appreciation for the overall open, collaborative nature of the beer community, and to “celebrate craft brewing expertise” in the area. Trider’s, Lunn’s Mill, and Saltbox have created Tridal Bay, a 6.5% ABV Belgian IPA that was heavily hopped with Columbus for bittering, and Saaz and Triskel for the flavour and aroma. With a grist containing some Wheat and Aromatic malt, Belgian Candi sugar was also added in the boil to help dry the beer out. Fermented with a Belgian yeast strain, the beer came out extremely dry in the finish, while “retaining that Belgian fruitiness and citrus, heavy hop bitterness”. All three breweries are pouring the beer at their taprooms, and a few local bars may receive some kegs as well.

Today, Upstreet is releasing the next beer in their Flipside series, California Lager. Brewed in the style of a California Common, it was hopped with Polaris and Northern Brewer to 35 IBUs. Described by the brewery as “toasty, with hints of nuttiness, caramel, and chocolate without the sweetness”, and with “earthy, herbal aromas”, this 5% ABV medium-bodied brew will be available on tap and in bottles at Upstreet today, and will follow at Craft Beer Corner and PEILCC stores sometime next week.

If you managed to get your hands on one of the Red Racer Across the Nation 2018 Collaboration Mixed Packs put out by Surrey, BC’s Central City Brewing, you might have noticed that the the PEI representation was a brew done with Upstreet called Singing Sands, a salted caramel lager. In order to make sure folks in their home province got a decent chance to try it, Mike and Matt decided to do up a small batch at home. A “light dessert beer,” it weighs in at just 5.5% ABV and a slight 15 IBU, perfect for sipping after a meal. Rich with caramel flavors accentuated by aromas of honey and vanilla, a hint of salt provides balance. Look for this one at the brewery for sure, but possibly at tap accounts as well.

Moncton’s Bore City is shipping out kegs of their latest beer, one that they’ve been carefully watching and patiently waiting for several months. Saison LBC was brewed in late 2017 and was conditioning on fresh cranberries for some time. Brettanomyces was added, along with some lemon zest, at a later date, to kick off a second fermentation. Now that it’s finally ready, the aroma has notes of “lemon and light funk”, with flavours of citrus and tarness from the cranberries, and a light mouthfeel and dry finish. Look for this 6.3% ABV, 30 IBUs beer on tap at the Laundromat and Les Brumes du Coude very soon; it’ll also be pouring at the Atlantic Beer Festival this Saturday, during the afternoon session.

And as is usually the case, Halifax’s Good Robot has a bit of news for us this week as well. The release for Beta Brewsday this week is an as-yet unnamed beer put together by Alpha Dawg Doug Kehoe during Good Robot’s Dive Bar event with Afishionado Fish Mongers. It’s a Gose with Oyster Shells added to the boil that weighs in at 5% ABV and with negligible IBUs. You’ll find it on tap this Tuesday, May 29th as per usual for the Beta releases. Meanwhile, in big batch news, DeWolfe of Wall Street, the 6.4% ABV and 29 IBU fruity and hoppy American Pale Ale is making its return to the taps this week as well.

A few final mentions before we leave you to your weekend, and let you get out for a beer:

Sea Level Brewing in Port Williams has brought back their Apple Blossom Ale just in time for the Annapolis Valley’s annual Apple Blossom Festival. Brewed with Pilsner malt and infused with apples, it’s an ideal beer for the season!

– Up in St. John’s YellowBelly Brewing has a new beer on tap they’re calling Maritime Bitter. Hey, you’d be bitter too if you got snow in May! This is a single malt pale ale, it’s 5% ABV and runs to about 60 IBU with an intense berry character. Look for it on tap at the brewery now, with bottles coming next week.

– And don’t forget that Stillwell (both HQ and the Beergarden) is hosting Grand National this weekend, with beers from all across the country pouring, in celebration of the CBAs. Keep an eye on their social media for the latest taplist. If you’re not sure if the Beergarden is open due to weather, check this link for the latest info.

– And drop by The Auction House after 3PM for the PEI Tap Takeover, featuring beers from all five Island breweries. If there’s enough beer, it will last through Saturday as well!