YellowBelly Brewery

All posts tagged YellowBelly Brewery

With September upon us, a reminder that grain and hop harvests have started around the region, which means it will only be a few weeks until those Wet-hopped beers will be available. With a vibrant hop farm scene here in the region, we expect to see Pale Ales and IPAs made with fresh hops in all four provinces. Until then, enjoy the rest of the new arrivals and returning favourites below…

• Speaking of the hop harvest, Meander River Farm is calling for all hands on deck tomorrow morning at 9AM to help pick their hops. Drop by the farm at 906 Woodville Rd in Ashdale that morning to help out, and you may even earn yourself a sample or two!

• It’s also a busy time for the folks at Horton Ridge, harvesting their own rye grain, grown adjacent to the Malt House and Taproom, which will be hitting the malt floor shortly. And we imagine the trucks filled with raw grain from other farms will be headed their way shortly! Luckily, they’ve released a new beer this week to keep the delivery folks happy. PEI SMaSH is a 4.9% ABV Pale Ale, whose recipe features a Single Malt and Single Hop. The malt bill consists entirely of Queens Two-Row Barley, developed at Agriculture Canada’s Charlottetown location in the 1990’s. While not developed with malting as a priority (its higher beta glucan content undergoes the malting process a little slower than “malting grains”), but the grain thrives in our climate, making it a great choice for local farming. That slower malting process also allows Horton Ridge to take their time and work their magic. Mandarina Bavaria makes up the entire hop bill, which is used in moderation to balance the malt sweetness and add citrus aromatics, but as with all Horton Ridge beers, malt is the focus. The PEI SMaSH is also a nice contrast to their Rye’s Up Pale Ale, which features a mixed grist of 50% PEI Barley, with 25 % PEI Wheat, and 25% Rye (grown at the Malt house), showcasing the flavour profile from this special malt. As with all of the HR beers, the best place to enjoy them is at their Hortonville taproom, whose patio is still open, and you may be able to catch them harvesting the grain this weekend.

• Summer may be just about over, but it’s not too late to report on one of the latest beers from PEI Brewing Co.Sin Bin. A Witbier brewed in collaboration with the PEI Mudmen, a local rugby team, the grist contains a majority of the very-light Heidelberg malt, along with small amounts of Malted and Torrified Wheat. Hopped to 15 IBUs with Tettnanger and Mt. Hood, the wort was spiced with Indian coriander seed and orange peel, in true Witbier fashion. Outside of the norm for the style, however, the beer was dry-hopped, on Day One of fermentation, with another hop variety that they don’t want to tell you about (hint: it was used due to its similar qualities to coriander). Dry and spicy, and coming in at 5.7% ABV, you can find it on tap at several PEIBC accounts in PEI, as well as at Battery Park in Dartmouth.

• Up on Agricola Street in Halifax’s North End, Chain Yard Urban Cidery released another new blend this week. Aptly called Wild Flower, it’s a blend of apple, fruit and flowers complemented by the use of wild yeast. Cider maker Jay Hildybrant started by making a wild blueberry wine, arresting the fermentation when it reached a point where spice notes were emerging and the berry flavour was “distant”. He also created a wild apple cider base using the same indigenous wild yeast and the juice blend from Chain Yard’s Foundation (McIntosh, Northern Spy and Jonagold). From there, the cider was used to macerate lavender from Meander River Farms, just to the point before any soapy or off flavours were extracted. Lastly, the wine and the cider were blended to yield a “perfectly floral”, smooth, and easy-drinking cider that features spice and floral notes. It’s available for samples and pints at the cidery.

• There’s a new easy-drinking beer from Loyalist City hitting tap accounts in Saint John and Fredericton… Barefoot Blonde is a “New Zealand Blonde Ale” that takes your typical Blonde Ale a couple of steps further with the addition of fresh pineapple, as well as a dry-hop punch with Nelson Sauvin. A simple grist of 2-row and Wheat malt provides a light, sweet malt character, backing up the pineapple and grape notes from the fruit and hop additions. With a light bitterness to round off the finish, this 5% ABV brew should hit the spot during these last warm days of summer.

• Following the releases earlier this summer of their tasty fruited Berliner Weisse series, Guava Heist (guava) and Philaroma (cherry), Tatamagouche Brewing has another fruited Berliner available for your immediate enjoyment! Rushton’s Peach is another light (3.5% ABV), tart, kettle-soured brew, but this time it’s been aged on 100 lbs of organic apricots and 300 lbs of peaches. Sound like another perfect beer for the end of summer? Even better news: like the previous two, it’s available in cans, as well as growler fills and pints at the brewery, and at Tatabrew tap accounts.

• If you’re feeling a bit overheated and need to get out of the sun, or just want to head downstairs for some beer and grub, the Rockbottom just tapped a new beer, The Aristocrats. A 100%-fermented Brett IPA, it combines the hop characteristics of “tropical fruit, hard candy and citrus” with the “pineapple, pear, wet hay, overripe berry, and an understated Brett funk” from the yeast. At 7% ABV and 60 IBUs, it’s available now at the ‘Bottom, while supplies last.

• If you missed it the first time around, Grafted, the orange peel-infused kettle sour from Boxing Rock is back. Created by Brian Harvey, this beer won the 2017 Boxing Rock Black Box Challenge. Thanks to some process tweaks at the brewery we’re promised a deeper sourness and more orange flavour in this batch, but otherwise it’s still a 5.5% ABV beer with low bitterness, a refreshing sourness and and sweet orange finish. This is a limited release of 650 mL bottles in the province, available at the brewery and making an appearance at the private liquor stores in Halifax. We’re told that later in September it will also make its way to Prince Edward Island via the PEILCC so folks can get a taste outside Nova Scotia. In other Boxing Rock news, they’re rocking an all-new website, featuring a modern and responsive design, a list of their current beers, and online ordering for their swag shop and keg club. Check it out!

• Yarmouth’s Heritage Brewing should be releasing Strawberry Rhubarb Wheat, their last summer seasonal for the year, sometime today. A light American Wheat Ale, it was fermented for two weeks before 45 lbs each of locally-harvested rhubarb and strawberries were added to secondary. Described by the brewery as being “light and refreshing, with a naturally tart flavour and a hint of sweetness”, this 5% ABV brew will be available for growler fills and samples at the brewery only. Keep your eyes peeled for a slew of other new beers from Heritage in the near future, including a single-hop Session IPA featuring Experimental Hop #07270, a new IPA with Chinook, Citra, and Ekuanot, and a wet-hopped ale.

• Sit down, and prepare yourselves – Good Robot does NOT have a new beer release this week on the alpha brew side of things. No, no one is dead (that we know of), but don’t worry, it sounds like there will be plenty coming through the pipeline next week! And there’s still a new Cask in the Sun entry for today at 4 pm: Damn Fine Coffee & Cherry Pie Pale Ale (damn, that’s a lot of typing for a beer name) with Low Point cold brew, cherries, and “very, very toasted oats”. And next Tuesday’s Beta Brewsday is Hard Corgi Black Lager (4.2% ABV, 34 IBUs), brewed by Drella Green-Simony and Johnny ‘Burger’ Heighton, with Kelly Costello. Fermented with California Lager yeast to keep it clean, it’s a slightly-roasty beer hopped with Cascade and Mosaic.

• There has been a passing of the torch at Mill Street St. John’s this week, with Head Brewer Dan heading off to the Toronto Mill Street location. In his place, Matt Chevrier has taken over the reigns. However, Dan’s legacy lives on with a new release this week, Tic-N-Tuff Hopfenweisse. At 6.0% ABV and 32 IBU, this hybrid German style features banana and clove from a Weisse, with a healthy dose of hops, in this case Wild Turkey, lending Passionfruit-like character. Grab a sample or pint today, and keep an eye out for its debut on the growler station this weekend.

• The NSLC recently released their first quarter financial results for Fiscal Year 2018 and the results continue to be encouraging for fans of craft beer in the province. You might be aware that the quarter being reported here corresponds to the period starting this past April when the number of Nova Scotia Craft Beer listings at many NSLC stores jumped considerably. What impact did that have? Although overall beer sales were down 1.2% to $74.6 million and volume was down 2.7%, both significant declines over the same quarter last year, NS Craft Beer sales were up an impressive 48% to $3.2 million, a growth rate matching Q1 last year. Further, this implies that NS craft beer accounted for 4.3% of overall beer sales this quarter compared to 3.3% last year. After watching year-over-year quarterly growth decline over the course of FY 2017, it will be interesting to see whether that trend is mirrored this year or whether the wider selection will have a lingering impact. The news was also good for NS spirits and cider producers, with local spirits more than doubling sales over last year and the ready-to-drink category, which is mostly ciders when it comes to NS products, up 75.7%. Hopefully this continued growth will encourage the NSLC to continue the trend of adding SKUs and shelf space for local products, and maybe soon we’ll even see them supporting the smaller, non-bottling/non-canning producers through an in-store growler program.

• Attention AtlCan Brewers: the invitations for the Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards have gone out this week, so if you have not received them, let us know! Submissions are due in Halifax October 2nd-6th, with the judging taking place October 13-15th. The announcement and Gala is happening the next Sunday, October 22nd, at the Stubborn Goat.

We’ve got brand new events, as well as updates and reminders for a whole slew of them coming this month. We strive to keep our Calendar up-to-date, and you can help us by sending heads up emails or tweets our way!

• After a wildly successful Lambic-fest last weekend, the Stillwell crew are inviting the fine folks from Oxbow in Newcastle, Maine to take over their taps next Friday and Saturday (September 8 and 9). “Loud beer from a quiet place”, Oxbow launched in 2011 and has been brewing farmhouse and eccentric beers in the woods of coastal Maine (and recently at their blending location in Portland) ever since. Featuring a full twelve-tap-takeover on Barrington on Friday, and ten taps at the Beer Garden Saturday, both locations will also receive a healthy number of Oxbow bottles to complement.

• Get ready, Charlottetown… Unfiltered is coming your way! And not just a couple of beers, but the most Unfiltered beer that has ever hit PEI at one time. Starting Thursday, September 14th, Unfiltered will be taking over all 10 taps at Hopyard. And it’s not just beer you’ll be enjoying, head brewer Greg Nash has paired with HopYard master chef Jane Crawford to create a fully collaborative food menu, to go with all those tasty beverages. Tickets for the 7pm kickoff event are available now, and be sure to keep an eye on their social media pages as hints on the food and beer pairings drop. If you’re not able to make the Thursday night event (shame on you!), be sure to drop by Friday, as there will certainly be enough great Unfiltered beers to keep C’town happy for a couple of nights!

• If you’re planning your September weekends, you might want to pencil in a little time with Garrison as their annual Oktoberfest extravaganza is coming up down at the brewery. Friday, September 15th, from 6:30 PM to 11 PM is Hops ’n Brats, a celebration of Nova Scotia Craft Beer and Sausages. A $25 ticket will get you entry, 8 sample tickets, and a commemorative glass. Additional sample tickets can be purchased on-site. Designated Driver tickets are also available at the door for $10 that include a non-alcoholic beverage. Bringing their best beers will be Garrison, of course, 2 CrowsBig Spruce, Boxing Rock, Breton, Good RobotNine LocksNorth, SpindriftTatamagouche, and Tidehouse. The next day, Saturday, September 16th, is the original all day, all night Oktoberfest celebration in Halifax. Garrison Oktoberfest Halifax starts with a day long all-ages free-entry party from 11 AM to 5 PM featuring traditional German food, 3 bands worth of oompah music (The Swell Guys, Die Brew-misters, and The Roving Steins) and, of course, Garrison beer! At 5 PM the kids go home and the ticketed portion of the proceedings start. For $16 you’ll get your first beer (12oz) and entry to the rest of the evening’s proceedings, scheduled to go until 11 PM. There will be dancing, games, and food will be served throughout the evening. And of course, MOAR BEER. Proceeds from the event will benefit Cystic Fibrosis research and care through CF Atlantic Canada.

• There are still tickets available for Newfoundland’s Craft Beer Attraction, presented by the Newfoundland and Labrador Artisanal & Craft Beer Club. With Grand Tastings taking place 7-10 PM Friday and Saturday, Sept 22 & 23 at St. John’s Curling Club on Mayor Avenue. There will be more than 100 different beers available on a pay-per-pour basis. The Premium Tour is taking place at 12:30 Saturday, hosted by Certified Cicerone Mike Buhler, and will feature 21 beers from across the world. A guided tasting of Sam Adams Utopias, and a Brewmaster’s Luncheon featuring Trou du Diable, round out the events on the weekend. Check out the full beer list and grab your tickets before they sell out!

• The Canada Beer Run is happening in Halifax on Sunday, September 24th. Held in several cities across the country, the Halifax Beer Run involves non-competitive running to four different breweries (approximately 10 km total). With a pre-drink at 11 am, runners will then proceed to Propeller, Garrison, Spindrift and Good Robot, with 20 minute breaks at each stop for some beer sampling. Sound crazy? Well, we’re pretty sure that’s what they’re going for! It costs $65 to participate, which includes a shirt and swag, race bib, brewery party favours, beer run buff, and a finishing medal. For more details on specifics, check out the link above. Registration is open now.

• The James Joyce’s first-ever sour beer tap takeover, Tarte Diem, was a huge success last weekend, with Big Axe‘s Seaberry Sour taking first place from the panel of three judges. Following up with second and third place were Acadie-Broue‘s Tête de Cochon Lichtenheiner and Unfiltered‘s Daytimer, respectively (and an honourable mention to Upstreet‘s Island Hopspitality 2017). If you missed out on the fun, don’t worry… they’ve already set the date for next year’s event, Tarte Diem II – 2 Sour 2 Acidulous, on Saturday, August 25th.

A few returning favourites, new releases, and casks to let you know before we sign off today

– As we teased last week, 2 Crows has a new beer dropping today at noon, Promiseland Double IPA. This juicy, hop-forward beer, features Citra and Simcoe late in the boil, during active fermentation (biotransformation for the win!) and during final conditioning. Grab the 8.3% ABV, 64 IBU, DIPA at 2 Crows today on tap (samples, pints, and growlers) and in cans, with cans also hitting the HRM private stores shortly.
– Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill Beer Co has dropped a new beer today, Roadside Attraction Pale Ale. A 5.0% American Pale Ale featuring 100% Cascade hops, the lighter malt body lets the hop floral and citrus characters shine through, with medium bitterness. Grab it at their taproom today!
– Fredericton’s Picaroons has released the latest in their Pivot DIPA Series, with Pivot #6. Keeping to the 8.0% / 80 IBU specs as previous releases, this version features Mosaic and Warrior hops for tropical and candy-like aromas. As with all of these releases, they can be found at their locations in Fredericton, Saint John, and St. Andrews, with delivery to the ANBL expected early next week.
TrailWay has re-released their Green Island American IPA (6% ABV), with some slight tweaks to the hop additions, resulting in strong pineapple flavours, according to the brewery; available on tap and in cans at the brewery.
Unfiltered releases their Front Line Rocker DIPA (8% ABV) at Charm School today, for growlers and pints; look for it to pop up around the HRM on tap as well, and select establishments in PEI and NB.
Upstreet‘s seasonal Pumpkin Ale (yes, it’s that time again), Gravedigger (6.5% ABV), drops today (bottles and kegs);
– At Schoolhouse in Windsor, NS, their Cask Friday beer this afternoon is their witbier, Summer Break, with blackberries and raspberries. Sounds like a lovely beer to sip on the first day of September.
– And not to be outdone on the cask front, Halifax’s Propeller will have some of their Organic Blonde Ale aged on the Japanese citrus fruit Yuzu on tap this evening at 5 PM. But wait, there’s more! Tomorrow at 2 PM they’re tapping a special 20 L keg of their Cascade Pale Ale that will be dosed with fresh Cascade hops picked less than 24 hours before. You won’t find beer with fresher hops than that.
– And on the Rock, Yellowbelly has their East Coast Cream Ale, a collaboration with Top Shed Brewery in Goonengerry, NSW, Australia, back on tap and available at the brewery in bottles as well. Limited bottles will also be going to the NLC tomorrow. Kangamoose is on the loose!

As July winds down, we’ve been blessed with some great drinking weather, which means the region’s brewers are hard at work to keep us happy. Be sure to raise a toast to them as you grab a pint on the patio or at the cottage this weekend!

• International IPA Day is next week (Thursday, Aug. 3rd), and Upstreet will be releasing a brand new beer to celebrate. Island Hopspitality 2017 may share the same name as last year’s release, but this one goes in a completely different direction, as a “Sour IPA”. Kettle-soured via Lactobacillus to ~3.4 pH, plenty of Azacca, Centennial and Sorachi Ace were added in both whirlpool and dry-hop additions, giving lots of citrus and tropical fruit in the aroma and flavour to complement the tartness, but minimal bitterness (at only 10 IBUs). As expected, this 4.5% ABV beer won’t be released until next Thursday, where it will be available for pints and growlers at the brewery, and on tap at other Upstreet accounts.

• While on the topic, TrailWay has released a new iteration of their kettle-soured hoppy ale, El Generico. This pale, sessionable (3.8% ABV) brew is constantly-changing, and made it’s first appearance in early May with a Hallertau Blanc dry-hop. This newest release was dry-hopped with El Dorado, an increasingly-popular hop variety at the brewery that has fruity, Jolly Rancher-like qualities. In addition to the hops, Apricot puree was added to the batch (at a rate of ~51 g/L) to boost the taste even more, giving the impression of “Welch’s fruit snacks and sour peach candy”, according to the brewery. Available on tap and in cans at the brewery only, this was a limited batch so won’t last long.

• Plenty of beer news coming from Newfoundland this week! Let’s start with the Mill Street Brewpub in St. John’s, who have two new beers for your enjoyment. First up is Townie Triple, a Belgian Tripel which comes in heavy at 8.7% ABV, and was hopped generously with Czech Saaz (to 30 IBUs) for balance. With aromas of “banana, cloves, orange zest, and honey”, and a flavour profile that includes “notes of chai tea, peaches, and pear”, it’s definitely meant to be enjoyed as a sipper, and is available at the Brewpub for pours and grunters.

• Next up from Mill Street is Chocolate Lab, a collaboration with the Newfoundland Chocolate Company. A “dark ale base beer” was brewed up, which then had 8 kg of cacao nibs – provided by the NCC – added and cold-steeped. While dry, light, and easy-drinking, the nibs give “big aromas of dark roast coffee, dark chocolate, a slightly oakey flavour, and a touch of honey”. At 4.5% ABV and 32 IBUs, this one is a bit more sessionable than the first beer! You can find it on tap now at the Brewpub for pints and growlers.

• Let’s move on to Yellowbelly, who have a new beer on tap that is going fast! Big Land Lager is a “Labrador tea rice Lager” that was mashed in birch sap, according to the brewery. While only 4.8% ABV, it’s big on flavour, with subtle notes of pine, spice, and lemon coming through, and a “slight minty vanilla in the finish”. It’s on tap at the brewpub (but on it’s last keg or two, so may not be around when this post is published), with a very small supply also available for purchase in 1 L bottles at the brewpub only. And for those of you attending the Halifax Seaport Beerfest, a couple of kegs were sent over from the Rock, so this will be your chance to give it a try!

• Heading Northwest to the Bonavista Peninsula, you will find yourself at Port Rexton Brewing, who celebrated their first anniversary last weekend, and have released a slew of new beers for visitors to enjoy. Shed Session is a 4.4% ABV Session IPA, featuring a bevvy of late-hopping on a straw-coloured light base. East Meets West is a 5.0% ABV Saison, featuring Honey Dew melon and Black Pepper, and was brewed as a Cross-Country Simultaneous Collaboration with Port Moody, BC’s Moody Ales. And rounding out the newest arrival is Spruce Wayne, a 5.4% ABV amber ale with spruce tips added.

• Let’s finish off our tour of the Rock with a trip to the West Coast, namely Pasadena, home to Western Newfoundland Brewing Company. Their small and agile system has been working overtime lately, giving locals and visitors alike plenty of new flavours. The newest beer to be released is Green Gardens Haze, an “Oat Forward Pale Ale”, with flaked oats accounting for one third of the malt bill. The resultant base beer is creamy and hazy, with a nod to the New England IPA style. At 5.0% ABV and 25 IBUs, the late hop additions offering more in terms of flavours and aroma, than bitterness. It is currently on tap at the officially unofficial WNLBC taproom, Galliott Studios in Woody Point, Bonne Bay. And while the pilot batch of Tuckamore Spruce just kicked, we can report that there are several hundred litres of the beer set to be released in the next week or two. Inspired by the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s cartographic survey of Newfoundland, this is their take on a historically-inspired Spruce Beer, a 6.0% Amber with plenty of Munich malt to offset the resinous character of the spruce tips (added near the end of the boil). When released in early August, it will be available at restaurants in Corner Brook and Gros Morne National Park.

• Yarmouth’s Heritage Brewing Co. will be releasing their first Double IPA, Under the Patio, this weekend. This 7.5% ABV hoppy brew incorporates a simple malt bill that gives “just enough body” to support the heavy hopping rates. Speaking of the hops – and that’s the important point with this style of beer, right? – a blend of five different varieties were used throughout the brew, with the focus falling on Chinook. At 80 IBUs, expect a firm bitterness in the finish, to complement the hop aromas and flavours sure to be found. Look for it on tap this weekend at the brewery, and at establishments serving Heritage beer.
Loyalist City‘s latest summer beer just hit taps yesterday, and we got your details right here! Peach Giant is a Berliner Weisse (a low ABV, sour German beer) that was mash-soured with the brewery’s house strain of four different Lactobacillus strains. Once soured, the brew was then fermented as usual, and once complete, saw the addition of real peaches, which triggered some additional fermentation. Now that it’s finally kegged and ready to go, expect lots of peach aroma and flavour, “complemented by a light, doughy sweetness”, all in an orange, hazy package. At only 4.5% ABV, you should be able to enjoy this one in relative quantity! Look for it today at your favourite Loyalist City tap source.

• Halifax’s 2 Crows had a few special taproom-only beer on the go this week, with Monday’s release of their collaboration with the fine folks from Everwood Ave Brew Shop , Ever Wood Aged, a Double IPA conditioned on wine-soaked oak. As of the time of printing (posting), this beer is still available, but certainly in short supply. The other new beer of note is Swan Fan Makkum, an American Pale Ale featuring loads of Belma, Citra, Hallertau Blanc, and Simcoe, resulting in a supremely smooth and quaffable 5.0% ABV and 13 IBU hazy beer. Pouring as part of the Tall Sips endeavour, the beer is named after a tall ship that co-owner Mark Huinizink worked on as a teenager. As with all of these small batches, they are only available on tap at the brewery, so drop down on Brunswick St for a pint before (or after) checking out the Tall Ships on the Waterfront. And as a heads up, watch this space for the second of 2C’s Foedre beers, to be released in cans mid-August. Featuring lots of mango and a bit of peach, this beer has us (milk)Shaking in anticipation.

Breton Brewing brewed up a light, lovely style that’s perfect for summer drinking, a Munich Helles named Island Time Lager. Featuring malty and bready notes, this is a style that is malt-focused, with an underlying hop bitterness that keeps it from being too sweet. And at 4.3% and 14 IBUs, you’ll be able to enjoy a couple of these in the hot sun. It’s only available in the Sydney area at the moment, but look for kegs to hit Halifax in the next couple of weeks.

• In Digby, Roof Hound has a new brew on the go that we should be seeing in the very near future. Hoppy Seconds is an APA that was brewed to showcase Victory, the brewery’s favourite specialty malt. Dry-hopped in heavy amounts with Columbus and Mosaic, expect similar aromas to their previous hoppy release, The Big Stink (which uses the same hop varieties). It should come in at about 5.5% ABV; look for it at the brewpub and local accounts within the next couple weeks.

• What do you do to up the ante when you’re one of Halifax’s littlest breweries? If you’re Tidehouse on Salter Street, you build one of Halifax’s littlest tap rooms and serve beer in little glasses! Seating seven comfortably, and serving only tasting flights (for now), this as-yet unnamed hideaway could easily become a place where everybody knows your name – and your brand of deodorant. Right now they’re pouring Tidehouse favourites, but will shortly be expanding to eight taps and, hopefully, will be mixing it up with some guest beers. There are also plans to have a turntable playing Shean and Peter’s favourites, although patrons are welcome to bring in their own vinyl for everyone’s enjoyment. Right now, in addition to Tidehouse classics like The Copper and Like a MotorcycALE we know they’ve got some Sumac Smack on the go, which we told you about last week, and the Noon Moon, a citrus-driven little number. There’s also the Fuzzy Sun APA (at least what the Stubborn Goat didn’t snap up), a pale with a round malt flavour from Melanoiding and Munich malts and a smooth mouthfeel from Wheat. It features Citra, Cascade and Simcoe for a very tropical hop profile with additional notes of citrus and pine. And today will also see the appearance of a new beer called City Mouse. This is another pale ale, of the juicy persuasion, featuring Citra and Mosaic hops. You should notice apricot and mango with underpinnings of orange citrus. Honey malt in the grist provides a bit of sweetness to this 5.4% ABV and 26.5 IBU beer, which also uses wheat and oats to create a smooth mouthfeel.

• Our friends at Good Robot are having their usual busy week, running the gamut of a new beer, a new variation on an existing beer, and a re-release on the docket. First, this afternoon’s Cask in the Sun (pay no mind to the weather, they’ll pour it inside and point the lights at you if you insist) takes a break from the Goseface Killah base that has served them so well in previous weeks in favour of the Leave Me Blue Kentucky Corn Beer, a summer stalwart on their taps. Corn Light Mojito sees that base adulterated (in the nicest possible way!) with organic lime and garden mint grown right there on the Gastroturf! Meanwhile the taproom has seen the return of the Skratch Plaskett Electric Tambourine Ale, originally a collaboration with Schoolhouse Brewery (who’ve lately been serving and bottling their own version of this very same beer). For those who don’t know, it’s an A/APA, or American/Australian Pale Ale coming in at 5.8% ABV and an enough-to-know-it’s-there 25 IBU. The grist side has 2-row malt, some wheat for mouthfeel and vienna for character, while the hops see high-alpha Warrior for bittering, classic American Cascade in the whirlpool and newcomer Australian Summer for the dry-hop. And finally, on Tuesday GR will remind us that Winter is coming when this week’s Beta Brewsday concoction drops. King in the North is a sessionable Black IPA at 4.5% ABV, but with a pronounced 55 IBU. Local Horton Ridge 2-row (we’re going to guess maybe the “winter” variety) and Maris Otter provide the base for the grist and big, bold, dank and piney Simcoe and citrusy Chinook are the hops.

Boxing Rock, on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, has released another in their line of kettle soured beers featuring fruit. Joining Over the Top! (Cranberry), For the Love of Grimace (Blueberries), Grafted (Orange Peel), this week’s release, Turn of Fraise, features strawberries on top of a sour wheat base. Grab the beer in bottles at the brewery now, and look for bottles at their market locations and the private beer stores this weekend.

• We have a pair of returning favourites from Halifax’s Rockbottom Brewpub this week. Recently, they brought back their Freudian Sip Vienna Lager, a light and crisp golden lager, featuring toasted malt with spicy and herbal noble hop characteristics. It weighs in at 5.5% ABV and 30 IBUs, and is available on tap for samples, pints and growlers. Also returning after a several month hiatus is Raspberry Sour, their 4.5% ABV kettle sour, featuring loads of raspberry for a refreshing and flavourful tart beer.

• Time flies when you drink this much beer. That must be the case, as the third episode in a month of the 902 BrewCast has just been released. Continuing their tour of the South Shore, the gents dropped into the hometown of the last remaining Arby’s in Nova Scotia, Bridgewater. They met and chatted with Adam and Devin of FirkinStein Brewing, were are celebrating the opening of their retail and second brewery location. Learn all about their start, the mixed origin of their brewhouse, inspiration for beer recipes, and their plans for the future. And be sure to drop by their new spot on Main Street next time you’re in the neighbourhood. Yes, they allow outside food, including roast beef sandwiches, so just head up Dominion Street and take a left on Hight…

• Craft fans on PEI can now join their New Brunswick brethren in sneering at Nova Scotia and the NSLC. The Island’s liquor control commission, PEILCC, has officially joined ANBL in providing growler fills with an 8-tap station installed at their Gateway location (Officially Store #002, in Borden-Carleton). According to spokesperson Mark Carragher, this is part of PEILCC’s overall strategy to help promote local products and expand their craft beer selection at retail. The focus is on local products, but even now the selection includes breweries from other parts of Canada. Carragher notes that growlers have been successful in other markets and customer feedback so far has been very positive, so there’s a chance that additional stations will be added in the future. For now, you can bring any clean 1.89 L growler to them for a fill in Borden-Carleton, or purchase a growler on-site for $5. And if you’re curious what they’re pouring, you can keep an eye on PEILCC’s Twitter for tweets like this one, or you can visit the dedicated growler station page on their website for a full list.

What’s on the go this weekend and beyond?

• TonightPropeller is bringing back their bi-weekly Cask Night, where a new beer will be introduced on cask at their Gottingen St. location, every second Friday. Up tonight will be a Cascade American Pale Ale, dry-hopped in the cask with Falconer’s Flight and Nelson Sauvin. As before, the cask will be tapped at 5 pm; there’s only 20 L available, so be sure to show up early so you don’t miss out! What’s coming up at future Cask Nights? Well, we can give you a few teasers: how about a Pilsner hopped with Strisselspalt, followed by a DIPA, then a Porter with American Oak? As always, we’ll continue to keep you updated!

Taste of Nova Scotia is holding two special events this weekend, on Halifax Harbour’s Georges Island. The Georges Island Dinner Series is running both tonight and tomorrow, with a different theme each evening. Tonight’s event is Nova Scotia Lobster Feast, featuring a feast of local lobster, mussels, oysters, paired with Nova Scotian beer, wine, cider and spirits. Tomorrow’s event is the Good Cheer BBQ, with a more land-based menu with pork and meat pies, and even more breweries in attendance. Your ticket includes your ferry ride to the island, all of the food and drink, and the live music shows from Joel Plasket and Port Cities.

• Saturday marks Unfiltered Brewing‘s Second Anniversary, which means they are inviting the lovers (and the haters) to Charm School for an epic birthday bash to celebrate. With special pricing on all of their beers, as well as the availability of previous favourites (including on- and off-site sales of bottles of their Commissar RIS), there will be plenty to keep folks happy. Their food menu is being expanded for the evening with help from Stillwell’s Joe Martin providing some special plates from 6-9pm.

Tomorrow, July 29th, Stillwell HQ will be hosting New Brunswick brewery Acadie-Broue, which will be pouring four different sour beers (safe to say probably the highest number of Acadie-Broue sour beers in one place, ever?). Look for the following beers to be on: Kiebitz Coti (Berliner Weisse), Reflux (Gose), Tête de Cochon (Lichtenheiner), and Boudeuse, a 5-year-old Lambic-style beer that has been blended with a Baltic Porter. If you needed an excuse to visit SW on a Saturday (we know, you didn’t), you now have one!

• If you are looking for a good excuse to visit the North Shore on Saturday, a reminder that the first North Shore Craft Brew Expo will be held at the North Shore Rec Centre in Tatamagouche from 6-11:30 pm. Tickets are still available, and your entrance fee get you started with five 4 oz drink tickets, live music from 8pm, and access to lots of local food vendors.

• Two weeks ago, we mentioned the upcoming beer from Big Spruce – Tag! You’re It! – a collaboration with Dalhousie University’s Ocean Tracking Network. Just a note to let you all know that this American IPA will be launched on Thursday, August 3rd at both Stillwell locations in Halifax (HQ and the Beer Garden), so be sure to drop by for a pint!

• Going down at Good Robot on Sunday from 5 PM – 8PM, is Moo Grass, a benefit event for Moo Nay Farms. For those who don’t know, Moo Nay is a family farm near Shubenacadie focusing on, “promoting nature and natural living conditions for both humans and livestock.” They’re also the destination for the spent grain from Good Robot’s brewing endeavours, ensuring that a large amount of brewing by-product doesn’t go to waste. Moo Nay had an unfortunate incident a few weeks back when it was discovered that someone decided to steal some livestock from their property. This event will directly help Moo Nay recover from this utterly despicable incident. Festivities will begin with a comedy set by GR’s own Dan Hendricken, followed by bluegrass, blues, country and folk from Big Country Ramblers. Food will be available, with Antonio Rinaldo of Rinaldo’s Italian-American Specialties serving up pig parts from a Moo Nay-raised Berkshire pig and, of course, plenty of Good Robot craft beer. There will be a pay-by-donation entrance fee for the event, with all proceeds going directly to Moo Nay farms.

• And attention, PEI! If you were just thinking to yourself the other day, “Dammit, I just can’t get enough Good Robot in my life”, we have some good (?) news for you! On Monday, August 7th, Upstreet will be hosting a Good Robot Tap Takeover at 5 pm. We’re not entirely sure yet what beers they’ll be bringing with them from Halifax, but since they seem to be brewing something new every week, rest assured they’ll have some interesting ones with them! Upstreet says there will be no gimmicks or games at the event, but… we just don’t believe you guys. Sorry! No charge to attend, just show up for some beers and some good times.

• August is just around the corner (gah!), which means that the New Brunswick Beer Run group will be having their annual events soon! First up is the Fredericton Beer Run on Monday, August 7th (New Brunswick Day) at 10 am – as usual, there will be three run distances available (4, 6, or 12 km), with beer available at the END of the run (sorry). Tickets are $60 and are available here. And on Friday, August 18th, the Moncton Beer Run will begin at 6 pm. Details on this one are slim at the moment, but they promise us they will be coming soon, along with a ticket link, so save the date!

• There’s a new beer festival coming to New Brunswick this fall, and it’s the first one to hit Woodstock! The First Town Craft Beer Festival will be held on Saturday, September 23rd, at the Best Western Plus Hotel. With two tasting sessions available – 1:30-4:00 pm and 7:00-9:30 pm – and twenty local breweries, cideries, and meaderies confirmed to be attending, there’ll be a wide assortment of products to sample! Your ticket gets you a 4 oz souvenir glass to keep, and unlimited pours for your session. There will be live music at the indoor/outdoor festival, Covered Bridge will be supplying chip samples at each session, and local restaurant/bar The River will be on hand, barbecuing up some tasty eats for purchase. Speaking of The River, everyone attending will be able to vote for their favourite beer of the festival; the winning brewery will have their beer on tap at The River for one year (minimum). Tickets are $55 each (tax included) and are available here (note there are also $15 designated driver tickets available). Finally, if you’re in the Woodstock area and able to drop by the Best Western, you can purchase a VIP ticket at the front desk for $65, which gets you into your session an hour earlier, a larger tasting glass, and a beer education session. Get your tickets now!

• We’re just about two weeks away from the annual Halifax Seaport Beerfest and the list of breweries and beers has been released for public consumption. And what a list it is! There are 370 brands represented with a record 113 producers in the mix! This year they’re also nearly doubling the number of Atlantic Canadian beers, which will represent 43% of the total. They’ve also managed to increase ciders by 68%, which along with beer options, has them at 42 gluten-free options available. A full 56% of the brands are not available through the NSLC, so this is a chance for folks, especially those from more rural parts of the region that don’t have a private liquor store or a happening craft beer bar, to sample a wide range of local and non-local products. And you may be used to seeing local organizations like the Ladies Beer League and the Brewnosers Homebrew Club at their information tables, but this year they’ll be serving at the new TAP LOCAL! booth which will see 8 taps rotating through 24 special one-of kegs over the course of the 3 tasting events. Tickets are still available (and there will be some tickets available at the door), but we suspect once folks start perusing the beer list tickets might start disappearing quickly! (We’re honour-bound to point out that the list is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances, but we don’t figure it could change drastically).

Finally, one more thing before you head out for your (late) lunch…

Scudrunner Brewing, set to open late summer/early fall in Gander, is looking for an Assistant Brewer and Bartenders to join their team in the near future. Reach out to them via email, or in person at the brewery space to let them know you’re interested. We’ll have all of the news fit to print as they get closer to their launch.

Happy Summer, folks! It sure felt that the warm weather was never going to come, but with temperatures reaching well above 20C in all four provinces this week, we’re finally able to dust off the patio furniture for real, and work on those farmer tans. Let’s get right to the beer(s) you should be drinking!

Lunn’s Mill Beer Company has added a new brew, Anvil, a Porter, to their list of offerings in Lawrencetown, NS. Described by the brewery as being closer to the American Porter style (as opposed to British), it’s smooth and dark, with “hints of roast, chocolate, and dark fruit”. With a moderate bitterness in the finish to balance the malt flavours, it weighs in at 5.8% ABV and 32 IBUs. It was released late last week at the brewery, so only limited amounts are likely still available. But fear not! They’ll be brewing it again soon, and their tasting room has extended their hours (Thursdays 3:30-6:30 and Friday 12:00-6:00). And with three new 5 bbl (580 L) BIACs (Brew-in-a-Conical) arriving, there’ll be a big increase in production at the brewery any day now!

• Halifax’s Chain Yard Urban Cidery has released a brand new blend this week, Yard Berry. The base cider of Jonagold and Northern Spy apples was blended with NS High Bush blueberries that underwent an arrested fermentation (aka, stopped short of finishing too dry). The final product features notes of sour cherry, cranberry, and of course plenty of blueberry, with a heavier weight, but clean finish. Drop by their location at North & Agricola and enjoy a glass on their patio.

Western Newfoundland Brewing Company has had a busy spring, brewing up some test batches at their Pasadena location. They currently have three of these smaller batches in rotation (as well as their Killdevil Pale Ale and Wild Cove Cream Ale) at their officially-unofficial taproom, Galliott Studios in Woody Point, located inside Gros Morne National Park. On tap currently is The Hoppin’ McIlroy, a Pale Ale brewed using wild hops from Norris Point, across Bonne Bay from the Studios. Also rotating through are Oat Pale Ale, featuring oats for a creamy mouthfeel and lots of late-hopping for a pleasant citrus and fruit flavour, and the preview for an upcoming wider release, Stout River (formerly Stout #1). Take a drive into the Park, grab a pint and sit on their beautiful wharf, and watch the humpbacks and minke whales that frequent the Bay.

• Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing is releasing an all-new beer today, the aggressively named Sour M.F. This is a wheat beer, kettle-soured and weighing in at 6.2% ABV. And here we depart from the typical text of an Unfiltered beer release because there’s no IBU number to report, nor are there any hop varieties to name. This ain’t a hoppy beer, it’s a sour, and in typical NASH style, it was rather unsubtly re-fermented on a metric fuckton of tart cherries for a big cherry bouquet. It’s described as acidic, refreshing and bright with a light spicy finish. Probably a beautiful beer for your patio drinking needs on a hot day. Available from noon today for fills at the brewery and pints next door at Charm School Pub.

• Those of us who’ve were lucky enough to share in the beers of Peter Lionais over his homebrewing career have reason to be excited, as there’s a new beer coming out of Tidehouse and it finished at a specific gravity of 1.003. A beer that dry can mean only one thing: Peter’s been into the saison yeast again! Using a blend of two strains, 2 Many Birds is firmly in the saison style, with a balance of earthy and citrus characters from the yeast. A grist of largely Pilsner malt with some Vienna added for character yields a rounded mouthfeel despite the dry finish. Hops in this batch were a blend of the old school Perle, the American darling Amarillo and the Southern Hemisphere newcomer Pacific Jade, for a floral and orange-grapefruity hop presence. The lion’s share of this batch was shipped up to Stillwell‘s Beer Garden on Spring Garden, so look for it to appear there soon, with the balance likely to find a home across the water at Battery Park and for a severely limited number of fills at the retail space on Salter Street.

• Newfoundland’s Port Rexton Brewing put their thinking caps on and developed a “100% Canadian beer”, utilizing ingredients from all four of our favourite provinces. Big Cod Mountain Ridge uses PEI malt (floor malted by Horton Ridge) in the grist, Cascade hops from Moose Mountain Hops in NB, and pineapple weed (tea-infused) harvested in NL by Cod Sounds. Finally fermented by Big Spruce‘s pin cherry-harvested yeast (with some help from Escarpment Labs), the beer – probably best described as a Saison – comes in at 5% ABV and 19 IBUs and exhibits a “Belgian feel”, and finishes very dry.

North Brewing is releasing two beers today, one of which is new, the other, a returning favourite. The new brew is Little Beast, brewed for the North End Runners, a community of local runners who meet every Wednesday at 6 pm at North Brewing for a 6 km run. A 4% ABV “lagered ale”, it was hopped with Huell Melon to 10 IBUs, and features an addition of salt to the boil. North wants you to think of it as a “post-run recovery beer”… sounds right to us! Returning is White Lightning (4.8% ABV), a dry-hopped kettle sour. This time around, the beer is slightly more tart, thanks to the use of a different Lactobacillus starter, and was hopped with Azacca, Huell Melon, and Wai-Iti. Both beers will be available as of today at both North locations, for growler and swing-top fills, as well as in 650 mL bottles.

TrailWay has their brand new automatic canning line up and running, which means more cans for all of us, and less work for the TW crew! It also means new label designs, and packaging dates indicated on each can. Beyond Reality (raspberry Fruit beer) is already out with its new look, and their Rye Pale Ale, Rype, will be available as of today. Finally, the winning American IPA in the first TrailWay Homebrew Challenge is available again (probably for the last time); Hoppy McHazy was brewed by Pierre Gagnon, and features plenty of Amarillo, Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe, for a huge blast of tropical, fruity goodness.

• And the circle of life is complete as we heard from a little birdie this week that the canning line Trailway replaced with their new whizzbang automatic dealio is on its way to Sober Island on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore. While we let you consider what that’s going to mean for Rebecca Atkinson and her crew, or, more to the point, for you, gentle beer drinker, we’ll tell you about their latest release, dubbed Kirby’s Canoe Rye Pale Ale. The grist features 11% rye, which will almost certainly provide a spicy note on the finish. We also know that it was dry hopped with both Willamette and Bramling Cross hops, with the Bramling being the focus. This should provide a bright berry character. It’s straw-yellow in colour, with a solid 5.7% ABV and 30 IBU, if you really want to figure this one out, look for it in crowlers at the brewery, on tap at The Henley House in Sheet Harbour and Battery Park in Dartmouth, and appearing at the New Glasgow and Musquodoboit Farmers Markets.

• Heading Southwest along Nova Scotia’s coast, FirkinStein in Bridgewater has their latest experiment on tap and ready for prime time. Sassamanana is a 7.0% ABV Pale Ale, featuring the addition of cranberries and banana to the beer. While the techniques they used are secret (trust us, we asked!), they promise that the light tart character from the berries, and creaminess from the banana will make for a great experience. The beer is debuting at tomorrow morning’s Bridgewater Farmers’ Market. And keep an eye out for the news of their King Street satellite brewery/taproom/retail location, which is poised to open before the end of the month.

• And back to the city, on the waterfront in Halifax, Gahan Harbourfront is now serving up a batch of Flavour of the Monk which was the winning beer in their first annual homebrew competition. Devised (and named) by Ian Wheatley, who you may remember from March’s Lil’Wheatey Tap Takeover at Tidehouse Brewing earlier this year, it’s a Belgian beer in the Trappist Single style, with a pillowy white head and moderate bitterness. The hops used are classic Czech and German noble varieities, giving a floral and spicy nose to balance against the classic peppery and fruity Belgian yeast character. It’s a fairly easy-drinking 5.4% ABV and 35 IBU. Meanwhile, Gahan has quietly become the second brewery in NS to offer crowlers. These 32oz cans let you take beer pretty much anywhere in a convenient package, or let you sock it in the fridge for up to a month. Only Gahan beers are available (no PEIBC or guest taps) and they’re available for $8 from the fridge at the restaurant entrance. Currently available in this format are their Crosscurrent APA, Impatience Sour Brown and Captain Falcon’s IPA.

Maybee Brewing is releasing Old Growth, an Extra Special Bitter, sometime today. The slightly-bigger brother to their Slanty Shanty Best Bitter that originally came out last December, the malt and hop profiles have been tweaked slightly. Horton Ridge floor-malted Organic Pale Malt makes up the majority of the grist, with New Brunswick Goldings hops bringing the IBUs to 44. Exhibiting “hints of honey and caramel”, and nicely-balanced with a firm bitterness, this 5.5% ABV beer is available at the brewery for pints, growlers, and cans. Look for cans to likely appear at select ANBL stores in the future; local tap accounts will also be receiving kegs.

• St. John’s YellowBelly Brewpub celebrated the changing of the seasons this week with the release of Summer Solstice Crystal Wheat. A nod to Wexford Wheat, one of their core beers, this beer features a simplified malt bill with just 2-Row and Wheat malts. Unlike WW, it is filtered, resulting in a bright, crystal-clear straw coloured beer. The hops are also unique to this release, with Pacific Gem and Sorachi Ace used in the boil, with more Sorachi and a second hop during dry-hopping. At 5.3% ABV and 18 IBUs, this is sure to be a crowd-pleaser on their patio this weekend at the corner of George Street, or to take-away when bottles make an appearance next week.

• Dropping today is YellowBelly’s latest cider, this one is a blend of dry apple cider fermented with Champagne yeast and sweetened with a touch of unfermented cider, then blended with 6% cold-pressed cranberry juice from the Island’s West Coast just prior to filtration. At 6.0% ABV, the resultant cider is juicy and tart, and thirst quenching for the warm weather (enjoy it over ice to extend the pleasure). On tap today, it should also see release in bottles at the Brewpub next week. And for a hint of what’s to come this summer, YB is currently on the look-out for an experience manager for “YellowBelly Take-Away”, to open at 264 Water Street in the coming months. Contact them via email for more details.

• Nackawic’s Big Axe Brewery has been busy crafting up some new sour beers, after the success of their kettle-soured Partridgeberry Sour and Sumac Sour. Coming up next is their next entry, Strawberry Sour. Initially fermented with a “collection of Brettanomyces and bacteria”, a neutral Ale strain (read: Saccharomyces) was used to finish things off. Real strawberries were then added during secondary fermentation, resulting in a “sourness complemented by a strawberry and citrus aroma” in this hazy, light-copper-coloured brew. Easy-drinking at 5% ABV, you’ll be able to find this one on tap at the brewery, as well as in Fredericton at 540 Kitchen & Bar and the Cider House. Next week should also see the release of Seaberry Sour, an amber-coloured kettle sour brewed with NB Sea Buckthorn berries, resulting in lots of citrus aromas, according to the brewery. This very-limited release will pop up at a few tap accounts.

• We have some great news for you New Brunswick Mead fans out there! Fredericton’s Sunset Heights Meadery has a very large shipment of bottles heading to more than 30 different ANBL locations across the province, starting this coming Monday, June 26th. After a few releases at four locations over the past months, the high demand was apparent; the current numbers hitting stores is ten times the amounts from before. Look for plenty of bottles of Queen’s Nectar, Scuttlebutt, ChaChaChaga, and Latifah to be hitting shelves very soon, with another release scheduled for sometime in early September. You can check the ANBL location list here.

Big Tide has announced that they have a beer coming out soon, LaTour, their entry in the Acadian Nut Brown style being seen more and more in New Brunswick (check out our mention of it in last week’s post for more info). The 2 Row base malt is accented by plenty of CaraMunich and Chocolate Wheat malts for a medium-bodied, malt-forward, 6.5% ABV Nut Brown. Hopped to 27 IBUs with Fuggles for a mild bitterness and earthy aroma. A little past the June 9th official launch date, but that’s ok! It’ll be available at the brewpub for pours and growler next week. And grab a pint or growler of their 4.5% ABV Zippy Pale Ale, as it is sure to run out this weekend.

• Last week we told you a bunch of stuff about Good Robot that turned out to be a week too early (we blame contrails and the Illuminati). To save us some typing, you can catch up on that stuff right here (CTRL-F “robot” <enter>). We have it on good authority this week, that you will finally see the Cream Team cream ale appear this coming Tuesday, June 27th. This will mark the first of the Tuesday Beta Brew releases, heretofore and forever known as BetaBrewsDays. Also heading for Tuesday next, assuming kegs can be cleared in time, will be #2 in the SMaSH Pale Ale series, now officially known as Hey Now (you’re an all-star, get your game on, go play). And lastly, but not leastly, today will see the debut of the Cherry Goseface Killah, so head on down to Robie Street and get yourself some sour, salty brew with a fruit kick.

• Breton Brewing in Sydney, NS, has a brand new summer refresher out, the cleverly-named Miami Weiss, a weizen-style beer mixed with 100% organic grapefruit juice to create a Shandy. At a very light 4.0% and barely there 12 IBU it’s likely to be extremely crushable and perfect for a sunny afternoon on a patio somewhere. It’s already available at the brewery for pints and fills and you should see it make taps in the big city within the next couple of weeks. They’ve also got a third batch of the Stillwell Open-winning Seven Years Pale Ale just brewed and have put down their second lager for aging into early July. We’ll have more information on availability for the former and details on the latter in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, if you’re in Sydney this weekend and you love beer, why not swing by the brewery and check out Breton’s 2nd Birthday Party, which has been in full swing since kicking off last night. The festivities continue tonight with a Music on Tap event from 4 – 10 PM before tomorrow’s 10 hours of live music, food trucks and cake! Check out the Breton Brewing Birthday Bash Facebook event page and plan accordingly!

• Down in the old A. Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery, a new beer is on the horizon, this one being labeled Highland Scottish Pilsner. Taking advantage of the similarities (water-chemistry wise) between the Halifax Pockwock water supply and the classic brewing liquor of Pilsen in the Czech Republic, this brew sees light and grainy Pilsner wed to the round sweet maltiness of Scottish Golden Promise. This will no doubt provide the beer with somewhat more body than a truly classic Pils, while preserving the dry and crisp finish characteristic of the style. The hopping also sees an uncommon marriage, with the classic Saaz combined with its descendant variety from New Zealand, Motueka. At 5.5% ABV and 20 IBU, you’ll find it available for growler fills at the brewery.

• Despite our best efforts, we’re always finding out we’re not quite as on top of things as we like to think we are. Case in point, this week we heard about The Groundswell Inn, located on the Fleur-de-lis trail in D’Escousse on Isle Madame, NS, on the south side of Cape Breton. A bed and breakfast with an attached British-style Pub, they’ve been since last year and feature 8 craft beer taps, one of the largest selections of craft beer, if not the largest, in Cape Breton! We’ve added them to the Brewnosers Good Beer Map on this site, but certainly if you’re planning to be in the area or looking for accommodations or a place to have a pint near Isle Madame, check out their website and look for info on their coming events on Facebook and Twitter!

• Those of us patiently waiting for Big Spruce‘s Silver Tart to be available in cans in Halifax, rejoice! After a run on the cans yesterday, we’ve been assured that there are a few hundred more being delivered to Bishop’s Cellar this morning, in time for your post-work pint. Keep an eye on BC’s twitter feed, as they’ll be sure to announce their arrival. Or, why not make a run up to Nyanza, where you can also enjoy some food, live music, and relaxation courtesy of some Beer Yoga.

Looking for a few things to do in the next few weeks? We’ve got lots to keep you busy, no matter where you are!

• The tap takeovers at Charlottetown’s HopYard continue in full force today, June 23rd, with an Upstreet/North Takeover all day. All taps will be dedicated to the two breweries – check out the event link for a full list – including a new collaboration between the two, Northern Light, a 3.5% ABV, 15 IBUs Session IPA brewed with equal amounts 2-row and Wheat malt, and hopped with Cashmere and Mosaic. Launching at this event, Northern Light will also be on tap at the Upstreet taproom in Charlottetown and Battery Park in Halifax, as well as select tap accounts in both cities.

Horton Ridge is holding the Grand Opening of their brewery and taproom tomorrow, June 24th, starting at 11 am. A selection of NS craft beer will be on tap for purchase, including – of course – several of the releases from Horton Ridge, which are only available at the brewery/malt house. Singer/songwriter Caleb Miles will be performing at 6 pm, and the Let’s Eat Beer food truck will be serving up some beer-infused items all day (all proceeds will be going to Atlantic Canadian charities). Games, tours, and door prizes will be rounding out the day, so drop by and bring the family!

• Back to Upstreet, who will be having their 2nd Birthday next week, and like last year, will be celebrating with the launch of a new beer in their annual De Novo series. De Novo II is a Belgian Saison brewed with Maritime malt, New Brunswick Goldings hops, and fermented with a Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces blend. The result is flavours of “light candy and funk”, backed lightly by a dry finish and hop bitterness. This already-dry beer will get more so over time, as the Brett continues to chew away at residual sugars, increasing the amount of funk character in the beer (and, quite possibly, carbonation… you’ve been warned!). The De Novo II Release Party is next Thursday, June 29th, at the taproom, from 6-10 pm. There’s no charge to attend, just drop by for some music, cake, and pick up some hand-bottled De Novo II while it’s available!

• All year, Propeller Brewing is celebrating their 20th Anniversary, with several initiatives and collaborations and events planned. The details of their official Anniversary Party have been announced, taking place July 8th. From 2-8PM, they are taking over the parking lot of their neighbours Seven Bay Bouldering, and inviting some great local bands to play free concerts all day, also featuring games for young and old alike, beer specials, and plenty more surprises. After the day’s fun, the party moves a few feet down the block to the Marquee, where Skratch Bastid and friends will be playing starting at 10PM. With tickets priced at $20, this is a steal of a deal, but even more so when realizing that 100% of profits will be going to the North End Community Health Centre, just down Gottingen from Propeller, and their favourite charity. Check out the FB Events page for more information, and grab your tickets for the show at the Marquee before they sell out.

Good morning, and welcome to another Friday! As usual, there’s plenty of beer news to share for the week, so let’s not waste any time with preamble. Ok, truth is the site was down for awhile and we lost a lot of changes, including a witty intro, and I just don’t have it in me to try to come up with it again!

• Let’s kick off the week with the announcement of a new brewery on Nova Scotia’s South Shore. Heritage Brewing is opening their doors for the first time tomorrow, at 19 Kirk St in Yarmouth. From 11-3, they will be pouring their four beer for sampling onsite, and in growlers to take away. They will be pouring their Amber Ale, Blonde Ale, Session IPA and/or Stout all day (or until they run out!). Merchandise, including clothing and glassware will also be available for purchase. Look for a full Profile with the Heritage crew Monday morning. Congratulations on your opening!

• Moncton’s Bore City is back on the board with a couple of new beers! First up is the recently-released Jus de Citra, which has been on tap at Marky’s Laundromat for a couple of days and is going fast. This American IPA is hopped entirely with, you guessed it, the beautiful Citra variety. A simple grist of Pilsner and 2-row malt, along with a healthy amount of Flaked Oats to boost the body, lets the tropical juiciness of one of our favourite hops shine through. Fermented with Conan to boost that juicy character even further, it weights in at 6.5% ABV and 68 IBUs. If it’s out at the Laundromat by the time you read this, fear not… you can always make the trek to Fredericton’s James Joyce, where it should be available on tap any time now.

• The other new beer from Bore City has been brewed and is just finishing up fermentation. Accordingly named Koalatee Pale Ale, this one was hopped with three Australian varieties: Ella, Summer, and Vic Secret. Expect plenty of citrus and tropical fruit in this brew as well; it should clock in around 5.5% ABV, and will be available within the next few weeks. As always, we’ll keep you updated!

• Now that there’s finally some inklings of nice weather in our area, those of you in Fredericton have a good excuse to head over to TrailWay Brewing to check out their new-and-improved patio. Luckily, they’ve also released a brand new beer to give you yet another excuse! Blueprint is the brewery’s latest Porter, described by the brewery as “chocolate-forward, sessionable, dry and crisp”. A popular style in the taproom (where you can pick up growlers, pints, and cans), this 5% ABV brew will also be available on tap around the city.

• Sticking around Fredericton, Half Cut Brewing has their first new beer in a while out and about the city. Tickle Fight IPA is a 5.8% ABV American IPA hopped with Warrior and Sorachi Ace, giving an “ample amount of bitterness, with lots of fruit character, including citrus, mango, and passionfruit”, according to the brewery. Look for it on tap at your favourite Half Cut tap account today.

• In cider news in the city, Red Rover has their first cask-conditioned release on at the Cider House as of this week. Paradise is a 7% ABV dry cider with a “sweet aroma of pineapple and a dry apple finish”; available only for glasses served in-house at the downtown location, be sure to drop in and try this limited released while it’s still available!

• You may have noticed an announcement from Petit-Sault about a new beer of theirs, La Madoueska, which they’re referring to as an “Acadien Brown Ale”. Brewed with a combination of “Pale, Caramelized, and Toasted malts”, it has an aroma of freshly-ground coffee beans and dark chocolate, accompanied by a fairly dry finish. There will be an announcement later today  by Sebastien Roy of Fils du Roy regarding this new “style”; you’ll likely be seeing several beers brewed in this way from Acadien breweries in the coming weeks. In the meantime, the 6% ABV La Madoueska is available on tap at the Petit-Sault taproom for pints, bottles and growlers, at ANBL growler stations this weekend, and in bottles at select ANBL stores.

Good Robot is bringing back last year’s The Shocking Pink, a Gose-Radler hybrid of sorts that they originally introduced for the 2016 OUTeast Film Festival in Halifax. Well, the festival returns on June 15th, and so does version 2.0 of the beer! This hazy, straw-coloured beer is the brewery’s Goseface Killah with pink lemonade added, as well as organic teas “Queen of Tarts” and “Fruity Oasis” from DAVIDsTEA. Tart, salty, lemony, and fruity, v 2.0 will be launched on the 15th when the festival opens; look for it on tap across the city.

• Wolfville’s Annapolis Cider has released the latest in their Heritage SeriesOld-Fashioned Gravenstein. Using only hand-picked, local Gravs, they crafted a 7.4% ABV cider with a fresh apple aroma and crisp, tart, flavour. This release is available exclusively at the cidery on Main Street.

Mill Street St John’s has released a new beer, taking inspiration from Italy. Terrazza Lager clocks in at 4.8% ABV and 30 IBUs, featuring biscuit and bread notes, with a spicy hop character from Saaz hops. Grab a pint or growler at the bar today, and at EVOO in the Courtyard, at Water and Beck’s Cove.

• Digby’s Roof Hound Brewing is putting the finishing touches on a brand new beer set to mid-next-week. Thyme to Grow a Pear Blueberry Kettle Sour is a complex and flavourful beer that will be hitting their taps, as well as licensees shortly. Featuring a light base from Pilsner and Wheat malts, the beer was soured in the kettle thanks to a healthy dose of yogourt (which contains the necessary Lactobacillus bacteria). After a couple of days letting those guys do their work, the beer is boiled to kill them off, at which point Pear puree was added. After further fermentation with a traditional yeast, Blueberry puree made its appearance in the beer. And while the beer finished its conditioning and carbonation, fresh Thyme was added to the brite tank. All of this culminates in a 3.9% ABV acidic, yet clean, beer, with a lovely thyme and fruit finish.

• You may have spotted a new publication in Nova Scotia breweries this week, the NS Beer Guide. Published independently from any brewery or organization, it aims to put the information for all Nova Scotia breweries together in one book for easy reference. Follow along on their social media pages to see where the guides have been delivered to grab yours over the next few days, as they visit all of the breweries in the province.

• On the Isthmus of Chignecto (try saying that after a couple beers), Trider’s in Amherst has a new beer in bottles. My Honey, My Heather is the result of experimentation that followed after a local honey producer approached Trider’s and asked if they wanted to do a honey beer. The beer uses a few buckets of wild honey and the team is pretty happy with the result; it also contains heather, hence the name. Meanwhile, if you’re in Halifax and you’re wondering where you might find Trider’s brews on tap, we’ve got the scoop: The Local on Gottingen has had White Ogre and Rod’s Red, The Stubborn Goat will be serving Rod’s Red as well, and the Timber Lounge will have 500 ml bottles of the Brew-Deau. More accounts will no doubt follow in coming weeks; we’ll let you know as we’re made aware.

• On the South Shore of NS Boxing Rock is holding a contest to name their latest beer, this one a Cream Ale brewed specially for the Tall Ships visit to Shelburne on August 14th and 15th as part of the RDV2017 Guest Port Program in Canada to celebrate Canada 150. Your prospective name needs to be submitted in person at the brewery (open 7 days a week, 11AM – 7PM) between June 8th and July 8th to qualify. The winner will be revealed at Boxing Rock’s birthday party celebration on July 8th. This isn’t a ballot-box stuffing style contest, it’s all about creativity, and we’ve been assured that “Beery McBeerface” isn’t in the running. We’re told that the beer itself is light and easy-drinking, with a grist comprised of 100% malt. Hopped with both European noble and North American varieties for a light bitterness and mild aroma, it weighs in at 5% ABV.

• Halifax’s 2 Crows tapped a new beer yesterday afternoon, a “super tropical” brett pale ale called Angel Eyes. Fermented with a blend of Brettanomyces strains, it’s a healthy 6.5% ABV and a solid 34 IBU. Dry hopped with new world hop varietals Azacca, Galaxy, and Citra, expect a juicy and funky presence, with a dry finish and a strong pineapple and lemon notes. Brewmaster Jeremy Taylor even gave a shoutout on Facebook to our own Shawn Meek and a similar recipe he concocted a couple of years back (but don’t tell him that, it’ll go right to his head). This is a very limited release, with only 250 litres available on tap at the brewery. And speaking of the brewery, 2 Crows now has a patio with seating for 20 out front on Brunswick Street. We suspect that a pint of Angel Eyes and a seat on the patio might be an excellent squad goal for craft beer lovers in Halifax this weekend! And if Brett isn’t your thing, there’s still some of the 2 Crows x 902 BrewCast In Theory to be had.

• You may remember the Pucker Up Cranberry Hibiscus Wit originally launched by Garrison back in 2015. They’ve revamped the beer as a kettle sour, and have re-launched the beer as Pucker Up. This bright red beer is brewed with Pilsner and Wheat malt, and was soured with Lactobacillus bacteria, before being briefly boiled (but no hops were added to the brew). It still has the pomegranate and hibiscus notes like the original beer, and comes in at a quaffable 4.7% ABV. The brewery describes the taste as “Fun Dip for adults”, which probably gives you a pretty good idea of the flavours! Available at the brewery for tasters and growlers now, look for it to follow at local tap accounts very soon. And in other Garrison news, they’re once again putting out calls for locally-grown rhubarb! Bring your fresh, usable rhubarb in to the brewery (leaves removed, please) for a free taster, plus an in-store credit of $1 per pound (limit of 10 lbs per person).

Another busy weekend ahead of us, folks!

• Starting today, visitors to Schoolhouse Brewery‘s new Windsor location will be able to grab a full pint of Schoolhouse’s, and guest breweries’, beer.  Drop by 40 Water Street today at 3:20PM (when school lets out, off course) until 9PM, or on the weekend from 11AM. While there, pick up your tickets for their Graduation next weekend, and GradParty after the day’s “formal” fun is done. They’re hosting a Four Square Tournament that day as well, be sure to sign up early to secure your spot! And keep your eyes open for the return of favourites Skratch Plaskett – Electric Tambourine Ale and Vice-Principal Session IPA, both slated for their return next week.

• Good news (Prince Edward) Islanders! Beginning tonight, BarNone Brewery in Rose Valley is open for pints and growler fills on both Thursday and Friday evenings! From 6-10pm both nights, drop by the brewery to check out what’s newly released, what’s coming next, and take a seat upstairs in the auditorium for some great local music. Friday’s music leader is Jon Rehder, and will feature plenty of local and visiting musicians throughout the summer.

• For those in the Annapolis Valley (or looking for an excuse to head there), La Torta Pizzeria in Wolfville will be hosting a Tap Takeover by Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing Saturday from 3pm. Featuring their core lineup, as well as several one-offs and brand new offerings, be sure to drop by for a slice and flight tomorrow. (If you can’t wait to see what’s available, checkout La Torta’s IG  for the details)

• There are few good reasons to stay close to Moncton’s Tide & Boar tomorrow morning: at 10AM they are holding the latest of their Growler Fill Mornings, when they offer some of their house-brewed beer in a take-away format. This weekend’s offerings are Pow Pillows IPA (a New England-style IPA with CitraGalaxy, and Nelson Sauvin hops, with some lactose for residual sweetness), Hand PlantIPA (all Galaxy, and a non-flocculating yeast for a hazy outcome), and Layback Lager (brewed with rye, New Zealand hops, and fermented with a German lager yeast). And stick around until 11AM, where you can grab a pour from their single bottle of Sam Adams Utopias, the 25%ABV+ beer that drinks more like whisky than a beer. Plus those who do purchase a 1 ounce pour with have a chance to win the iconic bottle.

• Now that the Central City “Red Racer Across the Nation” collaboration twelve-pack can be found in three of the four Atlantic Provinces (ANBL, NLCBishop’s Cellar and Cristall Wine in NS, with PEILCC to come very soon), the dates and details for the kick-off parties are all set. Next week, the good folks from Central City will be visiting our region, pouring the collaboration beers, and having a proper East Coast time:

June 12th at Quidi Vidi. 4:30-10PM. Sample all twelve beers, plus grab pints of QV’s collab brew too. Food onsite. Facebook Event.
June 15th at PEI Brewing Co. 5-9PM. Live music and pints of the PEIBC collab beer. Facebook Event.
June 16th at Picaroons. 5-11PM. Live music, collab 12-packs for sale, food and beer. Facebook Event.
June 17th at Garrison. 1-4PM. Free samples of Garrison’s collab, plus meet the folks from Central City. Facebook Event

• After a brief stint on tap last month, YellowBelly has brought back their Ryan’s Fancy IPA, which is available in bottles at the brewery now, and select NLCs this weekend. Celebrating the eponymous iconic band that formed in 1971, the beer will be re-launched in earnest June 13th at their “What a Time – Volume 2” CD release party at O’Reilly’s Pub, at 7PM.

• The Moncton Beer League will be holding their next Urban Beer Hike in downtown Moncton June 17th. Start your afternoon of fun at Marky’s Laundromat, and hit up four other bars for a taste of the region offers. Grab your tickets today!

• We don’t want the summer to go by too quickly (hey, we’ve earned it!), but a reminder that tickets for this year’s Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Oktoberfest (being held on Saturday, September 30th) go on sale today at noon. Featuring unlimited beer samples from many local craft breweries, there are two ticket options available: regular tickets get you entry from 7:30-10:00 pm and a takeaway glass, VIP tickets get you in at 7 pm, and “VVIP” tickets get you a special glass, access to an industry panel discussion, and a guided beer tasting. Ticket prices range from $58-$75+fees, and are available here. Check out the link for additional festival details. As in the past, funds will help support the United Way of Greater Moncton.

Just one more more beer to keep an eye out for this weekend:

– Attention, Halifax  beer drinkers: keep your eyes open for a new Tidehouse brew, Simcoe Krush (5.2% ABV, 30 IBUs), an American Pale Ale focusing strongly on Simcoe hops.

Wow, look what happened over the last couple of days… spring/summer actually arrived! Better late than never, right? We’re sure the sunny rays have helped those of you who were lucky enough to indulge in Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week recover, so it’s now time to dive right in to the usual geyser of beer news that’s been going on over the past week…

• The YellowBelly Brewpub has a new beer on tap, released late last week in conjunction with the NLC’s Beer Expo which took place over the weekend. Ryan’s Fancy IPA was brewed with 2-row, Munich and Carastan malts, and hopped with generous amounts of “an assortment of varietals”, both in the kettle and dry-hop additions. Coming in at 6.3% ABV and 60 IBUs, it has a firm supporting malt backbone, and is described as “resinously bitter” by the brewery. It’s on tap now at the brewpub.

• Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewery has one heck of a big beer out, brewed to recognize the traditions of Maritime sailors. Fog Bank is a rich, chocolatey stout that was aged for five months in rum barrels. The result is an 11% ABV monster of a beer, with vanilla and dark fruit notes, and a deceptively “smooth, mellow finish”… that should become even smoother with some age. It’s available at the brewery for 13 oz pours, and also in bottles, giving you the opportunity to pick up a few; try one now, and throw a couple more in your cellar to try again in several months… or even longer!

• Apparently not tired out by NSCBW one bit, Good Robot is releasing a brand new beer, and a new iteration of another. Let’s start with the new one, the first in their new SMaSH series (single-malt and single-hop), SMaSH No. 1: Dr. Rudi. Brewed with 2-row and the Dr. Rudi hop variety (yes, that’s a thing), it was fermented with White Labs East Coast Ale yeast. With aromas of “cantaloupe, citrus, honey, and pine”, and fruity and herbal flavours, it weighs in at 6% ABV and 47 IBUs. Gluten-reduced like all GR beers, it will be available Monday-ish at GR’s taproom, and will be popping up at fine tap accounts in the HRM.

• Moving along, today Good Robot is releasing version 3.0 of their well-loved-but-difficult-to-type Damn Fine Coffee and Cherry Pie Pale Ale.  This take features Kenya Nyeri Mahiga coffee beans from Java Blend, cold-brewed by Low Point Coffee Co., giving the beer “notes of cocoa, citrus and stone fruit”, according to the brewery. Aside from the coffee used, the rest of the brew is similar to previous releases; 5.5% ABV, 32 IBUs, also available at the brewery and at select tap accounts.

• The third and final beer in Roof Hound‘s Dive Bar Classic Cocktail Series is now available. Harvey Wallbanger is an American Wheat Ale brewed with both Pilsner and Wheat malt, with orange and vanilla beans added during the brew process (juice at the end of the boil, and zest and vanilla bean in secondary) to give you the aromas and flavours normally associated with the classic mixed drink (traditionally made with vodka, orange juice, and Galliano liqueur). Easy drinking at just 4.4% ABV and 16 IBUs, it’s on tap now at the brewery; drop by tomorrow, and you can try it in a mini-flight of all three in the Cocktail Series – joining previous releases Mojito Sour and Fuzzy Navel IPA – for just $5.

TrailWay hasn’t been slowing down with their “small-batch” (read: 10 bbl) releases, as they’ve brought back Ellipse, a crowd-favourite 6.3% ABV American IPA that was originally released early this year. Inspired by the “intense orange-citrus character” from large additions of the very popular Amarillo hop variety, some Columbus was also thrown in to provide some “dankness and spiciness” to complement. Luckily, this batch is also available in cans, which can be picked up only at the brewery taproom (along with growlers) for the time-being. Drop by today for your hazy-and-juicy fix!

• In other Fredericton news, Picaroons is launching a new beer series today, showcasing a brew with a static grain bill but ever-changing hop profile. Pivot is an Imperial IPA that will feature a simple grist of Canadian 2-row and a touch of Toasted Wheat (to 8% ABV) that will allow the changing variety of hops to be front and center. Two batches have already been brewed: Pivot #1 will be released today on tap only, at all four Picaroons locations in NB, and was hopped with Warrior, Azacca, and Hallertau Blanc, giving notes of “melon, pineapple, bubblegum, and white grapes”, according to the brewery; Pivot #2 will be released next week in bottles only, throughout the province. The #2 features Warrior and Azacca only, with a larger dry-hop addition this time around. For bottle purchases, look for the batch number on the side of the label; you can head to this site to check out which hops were used in each batch.

• After an initial release at last weekend’s Full House event for NSCBW, Lunn’s Mill is officially launching their latest American IPA, Purple Grain. A gold-coloured brew featuring a “balanced malt body with notes of honey”, it was hopped with Cascade, Centennial and Citra for “tangy and slightly spicy” flavors.  This 5.5% ABV, Prince-themed beer is available for growler fills at the brewery, but only a small amount is left, so drop by during their opening hours (or request a growler delivery)!

• We’d love to tell you about the Jade Moon APA from Tidehouse, but there’d be no point in that because it’s gone already, thanks to its presence at both last weekend’s Craft Beer Full House and the Timeraiser event at the Halifax Central Library this past Monday. While we wait to see whether that one makes a reappearance, however, the gang has two even newer beers for us this week. First we’ve got another in the APA style, ‘Insert Clever Name Here’ Pale Ale, a 5.5% ABV beer with 56 or so IBU, 97% of which came from post-boil additions of pungent Simcoe and Citra hops. The grist sees 2-Row supplemented with Maris Otter and Munich, which should give it a solid malt base against which passionfruit, lemon zest and light pineapple notes will contrast. This one will be available for fills at the brewery this weekend and is also slated to be on tap at Halifax’s new noodle sensation, Water & Bone, posthaste.

• Also debuting this weekend is the first in a new series of beers brewed by Shannon Higgins (née Rockwell), partner of Tidehouse principal Shean Higgins. Rockwell Series vol. I is a truly big DIPA that comes in at 9%. It’s been heavily hopped (“to high heaven”) with modern American hop varieties Simcoe, Amarillo, Mosaic, and Citra giving notes of orange, mango and peaches. Shannon also tells us it has a creamy body and thirst-quenching dry finish and it’s the beer she “wants to drink”. We suspect she won’t be alone on that one. Look for it at the brewery today and Halifax Forum Farmers’ Market tomorrow for fills for sure, and possibly on tap elsewhere, if we don’t drink it all first.

Garrison has hopped aboard the canning train after 20 years of their beers being available exclusively in bottle form (outside of kegs, of course!). One of their first beers, Tall Ship, is available now in 473 mL cans, with several more brands – including Seaport Blonde  available this weekend, and Juicy! DIPA following in the near future. Featuring new label designs, the NSLC and Halifax private stores will be the first to receive all three beers (outside of the brewery), but they will also be selling in NB and Newfoundland (and at least one brand in PEI, and parts West as well) by this summer. We asked Garrison man-about-town Jeff Green about the addition of cans to the Garrison brand, here’s what he had to share: “The people have spoken. Cans, specifically the 473ml (16 oz.) cans continue to grow in popularity and we are pumped to finally be bringing something to the party. Cans allow us to offer some favourites like Tall Ship in a second format, move certain seasonals like Seaport Blonde into a better pack for and serve up some new beauties like Juicy! in a more portable, chillable, crushable (see what I did there) package. We also get to design some cool new labels and have fun with the huge array of textures and design highlights available from the great folks at FastTrack Packaging. After 20 years exclusively in bottle format, we are SUPER excited to see what the future holds with cans!”

• Garrison is also proud to release the first of two special releases to celebrate 20 years of brewing craft beer in Halifax. Launched yesterday at the brewery, 20th Anniversary Triple IPA is a hybrid beer, lying somewhere between an extra-strong Imperial IPA and an American Barleywine. It features a simple grain bill of 100% Maritime Pale Ale Malt, with Glacier, Amarillo, Citra, El Dorado, and Crystal hops in the boil and Crystal and Centennial for dry-hop. Cold conditioned for two full seasons, it weighs in at a hefty 9% and 100 IBU. Despite the very strong malt presence, it still manages to be hop-forward, with earthy, floral, fruity hop flavors, fruity yeast esters, and sweet malt notes, including caramel flavours developed during an extended boil. This beer is available now at the brewery in bottles and you’ll also be able to find it by next week at the private stores in Halifax and, eventually, in New Brunswick and Newfoundland.

Nine Locks will soon be releasing Ginger Rye, a full-bodied, red-colored ale. Brewed with an unspecified amount of Rye and Wheat malt, it features “subtle caramel malts, and a restrained ginger presence on the palate”, according to the brewery. Finishing with some “assertive spiciness” thanks to the addition of real ginger in the brewing process, it clocks in at 5.6% ABV and 15 IBUs, and will be available soon at the brewery only, on tap. And keep your eyes on this space for upcoming details on their first SMaSH beer, brewed earlier this week.

• Rothesay’s Foghorn has re-released The Yellow Dart, a beer we haven’t seen since the brewery originally launched last fall. This India Session Ale (aka Session IPA) has been tweaked slightly in the hop department, now including Vic Secret, Columbus, and Huell Melon, providing lots of tropical character in the aroma. Out just in time for the hot days we’ve finally been experiencing, it’s the perfect summer slammer you’ve been waiting for. At 4.5% ABV and 35 IBUs, it’s available now at the brewery taproom for pints and growlers; keep your eyes open on your favourite Foghorn tap accounts, as it may pop up there as well.

• Shelburne’s Boxing Rock has two new releases out now, and a special launch this weekend for one of them. Dark as Keji is the Black IPA we told you about last month, and is now in wide release. The 6.5% ABV beer is available in sixpacks at the NSLC and private stores, and of course at the brewery in Shelburne. But what better way to enjoy it than under a dark sky in Keji itself? Tomorrow evening at the Sky Circle at Kejimkujik National Park, there will be samples of the beer available from 8PM, followed by a Dark Sky look at the stars at 9:30PM presented by Parks Canada, Friends of Keji, and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. And for every sixpack of Dark as Keji sold, Boxing Rock is donating 50 cents to FoK.

• Boxing Rock’s second release this week is the winner of their Second Annual Black Box Challenge. Homebrewer Brian Harvey, who brews under the moniker 1029 Brewing, had used the ingredients provided to put together Grafted, an Orange Peel Sour, which garnered solid marks from the judges, and took the top prize aided by his unique presentation. He visited the brewery in Shelburne last month to brew the full-sized batch, and it is now available to the rest of us. A sour mash was performed to get the beer started on the right foot, with orange peel used in both the mash and the boil for an extra citrus kick. The 5.5% ABV beer has been bottled, and is available now at the private stores in HRM, with growlers available at the Market and brewery. Grab one today to see what all the fuss is about!

Unfiltered‘s popular SMaSH DIPA, Double Orange Ale (7.5% ABV), featuring everyone’s favourite hop, Citra, is back again starting today; drop by Charm School for a pint and/or growler fill.

• Released last night at the brewery in Rose Valley, BarNone has a brand new beer out, using all Island-grown barley. Grown by the Craig family in Tryon, it was malted by Horton Ridge in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, and sent back across the bridge for use. Hopped as a Pale Ale, the malt is the key in this 5.0% beer, with the subtle earthy character of the base malt shining through nicely, even giving a slight spice character. Grab Try On next Growler Night at the brewery (Thursdays from 6), and look for it at BN’s regular taps on the Island shortly.

• The St. John’s Beer Tours website went live on the weekend, and tickets are selling fast! The first tours of the season will be held Friday, June 2nd, and typically run in the afternoons of Thursday-Sunday each week throughout the summer. There are deep discounts for the first tours of the season, so be sure to snag one today. Depending on the tour type chosen (anything from Axes & Ales, Scuff & Scoff, Ultimate Townie Brew Tour, or Hoppy Highlights), participants visit different spots in St. John’s and nearby Quidi Vidi. They are also holding a contest on Facebook, to win a day in the brewery with Mill Street St John’s Head Brewer Dan Boldrini.

The PEI Brewing Co. will be opening up a new location for pint purchases and growlers-to-go at the PEI Factory Shops at Cows Creamery. The Beer Station will basically act as an extended, miniature version of the brewery’s taproom on Kensington Rd., with six taps available (featuring five PEIBC core beers, and one rotating seasonal), and a small retail section with various clothing products available for purchase. Customers can enjoy a pint on-site, as well as several food items from a limited menu, and can pick up a variety of cans and bottles (as well as growler fills) to take home. Look for the Beer Station to open by the end of this month.

• Earlier this year, Central City Brewing in Surrey, BC, brewed up a collaboration beer with a brewery from each province. Each of the 12 beers has been brewed at Central City’s Surrey brewery specially for this collaboration and embodies the region they represent. A brewer/representative from each collaborating brewery joined the Central City brewers to brew the recipe that they helped design. These have been trickling out to the stores in each province, either at the provincial stores, or private shops. Highlighting the beers produced with our local breweries, with the full list available here:  Picaroons collaborated on Restored Hop(e) ESB, inspired by the province’s motto Spem reduxit, meaning “Hope is restored”. Garrison came in with “New” Scottish Ale, a lightly peated Scottish Ale. PEI Brewing Company brought together local ingredients for Bière d’ici Honey Ale, using PEI honey and Maritimes-grown hops, a lighter take on the Bière de Garde style. Quidi Vidi Brewing Company went German for Hop To The East Hefeweizen, with new tropical-aromatic hops, for a unique twist on this classic style. To celebrate the releases, they will be holding tasting events at each of the participating breweries during the second week of June: Monday June 12th at Quidi Vidi, Thursday June 15th at PEI Brewing Company, Friday June 16th at Picaroons, and Saturday June 17th at Garrison. Look for more details on these events in the coming weeks. And look for the 12-pack of beer at your local ANBL now, and coming some to the PEILCC and NLC. In Nova Scotia, while the NSLC will not be carrying it, Bishop’s Cellar will have it for sale in June.

Remember to check ahead if your local beer store or brewery is open for this long weekend. We suggest stocking up early and often, just to be sure…

• There are no solid details available as of publishing time, but we have it on pretty good authority that Stillwell‘s Beergarden will be opening this weekend. Before you start beating down their door, however, peep an eye to their Social Media page, as well as the Beergarden page on their site, the banner will proclaim the good news. As it is an outdoor spot, it is very weather-dependent.

• Saint John’s Grannan’s Seafood is holding a special tasting with Picaroons on Wednesday, May 24th. Featuring six courses paired with six Picaroons beers – hosted by Chef Johnny High and Picaroons’ Ian Covey – the opening reception starts at 6:30 pm, with dinner starting at 7:00. Tickets are $50 (+ tax and tip), and can be reserved by calling 506-634-1555.

Lion & Bright is holding a Cider Tap Takeover next Thursday, May 25th, from 6-10 pm. Six cider-makers (Annapolis Valley, Bulwark, Chainyard, Meander River, Planters Ridge, and Red Rover) will be pouring a total of  at least 12 different ciders; “fresh bar bites” will be available, with a live DJ providing your tunes. Early bird tickets are $15 each, and include eight 3 oz samples (additional drink tickets will be available at four for $8); during the first hour, and also allow you entry at 6 pm for a one hour meet and greet with representatives from each cider producer. If you don’t pre-purchase tickets, no worries! You can still drop by after 7 pm to buy drink tickets as you go.

• On Thursday, May 25th, the 85th Annual Apple Valley Blossom Festival will be holding Blossom Brew Night at the Wolfville Farmers’ Market from 5-9 pm. Your $25 ticket (buy now online; $35 if purchased at the door) includes a souvenir glass and your first six beer tickets, with more available for purchase at the event. A variety of local breweries, cideries, and distilleries will be pouring. Food will also be available for sale on-site.

• There are still tickets available for next weekend’s Atlantic Beer Festival, at the Moncton Coliseum. Friday, May 26th 7:30-10PM, and Saturday 2:30-5PM and 7:30-10PM. Your $55 ticket (only $45 for the Sat afternoon session) gets you unlimited sampling of 150 beer from 70 breweries across the Maritimes and beyond. Grab yours today.

Mill Street St. John’s is hosting their Spring Brewmaster’s Dinner May 31st at 6PM. They have invited Mill Street Ottawa’s Brewmaster Tim Hulley to join in the fun, and he will be bringing two new beers with him from the nation’s capital. Tickets are $69.99, and can be reserved by calling 709-383-7070.

• Moncton’s Tide & Boar got their hands on a bottle of this year’s Samuel Adams Utopias (the white whale 27% ABV beer), and they are holding a tasting of said beer on Saturday, June 10th at the brewpub. At 10:45 am, before the pub opens, they will be passing out 18 tickets (one ticket per person, first come, first served), which will entitle you to purchase a 1 oz pour of Utopias for $11. When the bottle is empty (which will be shortly after 11 am, when the T&B opens), all tickets will be entered in a draw; the winner will receive the bottle as a souvenir.

• Ticket’s for this year’s Halifax Seaport Beer Festival have gone on sale this morning, being held August 11 & 12. Featuring sessions Friday and Saturday 7-9:30PM and Saturday 2-4:30PM (with VIP tickets available for an extra hour before the event opens), there will be more than 300 products from around Atlantic Canada, and the rest of the world. Brewery details are a bit thin at the moment, but last year’s list should give you an idea on what to expect. The VIP sessions always sell out, so if you’re so inclined, grab those today! Add too a bonus $5 off the entry price if purchased before the end of May.

Looks like that’s “it”… have a great long weekend!

So it’s spring, eh? Ya right! March came in like a lion, and while it may have taken a nap mid-way, it leaves just as powerful. Let’s hope those April showers wash away the snow and ice, and we can be done with the white stuff for a few months. The poor weather hasn’t kept the brewers down, however, as we’ve got lots of news from around the horn to share with you today. Without further ado, here we go!

• The results of the first Gahan Harbourfront Homebrew competition are in and the winner is none other than Ian Wheatley, who you may remember from his mini-takeover at Tidehouse Brewing earlier this month. According to Gahan brewmaster Kyle Jeppeson, Ian’s Trappist Single was exceptional, well-carbonated and featuring a very pleasant yeast and hop profile. Ian will be brewing a batch of his beer on the 5 bbl system at Gahan at some point to be sold alongside Kyle’s offerings. Congratulations are also in order to Justin Clarke of the Brathair Brewing collective, who placed second. Gahan is promising that the competition will be back next year and Kyle is looking for any suggestions this year’s participants might have towards improving it for next year.

• Travelling up the hill to the base of the Citadel, 2 Crows Brewing is putting yet another new beer on this week. At 6.8% ABV and 39 IBU, Shakedown Brett Porter marries the classic English style (perhaps the brownest of the brown ales) with earthiness and funk from Brettanomyces bruxellensis yeast and a decidedly New World nose. Dry-hopped with earthy and fruity Calypso and straight-up orange grove Citra, it’s described by brewmaster Jeremy Taylor as “super earthy, dry, almost mossy in flavour, with a decent layer of funk.” This one wasn’t a big batch, so it’s not likely to be around for a long time. Catch it while you can at the brewery.

• Meanwhile, if you’ve been wondering if maybe there’s been a bit of a method to the madness of all these recent releases from 2 Crows, wonder no more! Thursday, April 13, will see 2 Crows doing their first tap takeover at Battery Park in Dartmouth. Promising 10+ taps (although we’ve heard rumours that it could be as many as 14 in total), you’re sure to see your favourite 2 Crows brews alongside some of the interesting limited releases we’ve seen in the last few weeks. And if that’s not enough, knowing Jeremy, there’s sure to be a couple of brand new and interesting brews that will see their first light of day at the event. Plan to kick off your Easter Weekend 2 Crows x Battery Park style. Look for the full tap list to be revealed as the event approaches.

• A hop, skip, and a jump back into the heart of downtown will take you to Tidehouse Brewing on Salter Street at Barrington, who are also releasing a new beer today. Out Like a Lion Hoppy Wheat Ale is a 5.1% ABV Ale, brewed with a blend of Superior Pale, and Wheat malts, for a hazy, straw appearance, and lighter body. Lots of late additions of Centennial and Summit (during the post-boil chilling step, as well as dry hopping), give citrus flavours and aromas, which meld nicely with the banana notes from the yeast blend chosen. Grab a growler at the brewery today, and keep an eye on the board of a North End taproom tomorrow to grab a pint.

• The crew at Trider’s Craft Beer in Amherst have been quite busy, with a pair of new beers out, and a couple more in the pipeline for release soon. Making its debut as last month’s Craft Beer Cottage Party, Maccan Maple is now available to everyone, no plaid required! Rather than using water as the base liquid for the beer, they only used sap from Hidden Mountain Maple Farms in nearby Springhill! After mashing and boiling as usual, they added maple syrup to the wort as they pitched the yeast. The 5.0% ABV beer ends up with a strong maple flavour, and is sweeter than other beers of the same style on the market, making this a perfect dessert beer. The beer is freshly bottled, available at their brewery, as well as in growler fills. Kegs of this, and all of their beer, are also available, so keep an eye out at local watering holes for a tap.

• The second new beer from Trider’s is Brew-Deau Cream Ale, based on their very popular Christmas Cream seasonal, but tweaked the recipe to end up with a lighter appearance, thanks in part to the subbing in of corn, iconic in a Cream Ale grain bill. The 5.0% ABV beer is lightly hopped to 10 IBU, and will be a popular warm weather beer (if it ever arrives!). You can sip on a bit of summer now, however, as the beer is available in growler fills and 500ml stubbies at their Anson Ave location in the Industrial Park.

• There are a pair of other seasonals headed your way from Amherst, including White Ogre, a hybrid between Belgian Witbier and American IPA. What started as a test batch to satisfy co-owner Scott Parker’s want of a hoppier beer has proven quite popular with customers dropping by the brewery. A significant wheat base, with lots of orange peel and coriander added, but with a hoppy kick from CitraColumbus, and Willamette, resulting in a 5.5% ABV, 56 IBU White IPA. The beer is finishing now, and will be available in growler fills and bottles next week. And aiming for late April is Second Breakfast Oatmeal Stout, a 5% roasty dark stout with a creamy mouthfeel thanks to the addition of oatmeal during the brewing. We’ll have more details, including release date, later next month. Plus we’ll have more news to share on Trider’s plans at their current location.

• TrailWay has released the last batch of Good Aura Amber Ale for the season, as they transition to their summer lineup. Featuring lots of Mosaic hops for a stonefruit and tropical aroma, built upon the base of Munich, Caramel, and Ryle malts. Named after brewery rescue dog Aura, part of the proceeds are being donated to the Fredericton SPCA. Don’t forget that the brewery is dog-friendly to friendly dogs (and people!) and they have treats and water to keep them happy while their owners enjoy human treats. Look for the latest batch of their house IPA, Hu Jon Hops, which just dropped at the brewery as well, and will be making it out to the ANBL.

• Mama’s Brew Pub in Fredericton has a pair of new beers on tap these days: German Dunkel is a 4.5% ABV tart, refreshing, beer with a sour fruitiniess and dry finish. Their East Coast Pale Ale is replacing their East Coast Dry Hop American Pale Ale, with a change of recipe to provide more flavour and body to the base beer, with using loads of late- and dry-hop additions of Cascade and Citra for pine and citrus aroma and taste. At 4.8% ABV, you can certainly enjoy a session at Mama’s!

• In Rothesay, Foghorn Brewing has released Bob’s Your Uncle, a 6.5% ABV English IPA, coming in at a significant 65 IBU, with even more hops added after the fermentation, namely iconic English hops Fuggles and Goldings, as well as new kid on the block Jester. Currently only available on tap for pints and growler fills at the brewery on Clark Road, look for it to pop up around the area soon.

• Moncton’s Tide & Boar is holding another Growler Day today, with three beers available to takeaway: Killington IPA is a 7.6% ABV hazy, North East IPA, featuring citrus and tropical notes from the Citra and Mosaic added throughout the brew. Method IPA is 7.0% juicy IPA as well, but in a different flavour and aroma profile than Killington. And finally Peach Shake is a Milkshake-style IPA, featuring lactose (milk sugar) and vanilla beans added to the beer for a sweeter flavour profile, enhanced by the addition of peaches during the brew session.

Good Robot will be releasing a new Beta Brew this Sunday called Brewster Juice. The name, we expect, is a nod to the millennia-long tradition of female brewers, and this beer was brewed on International Womens’ Day by Kelly Costello and two Good Robot Glee Club members, Jenn and Allana. This is a SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) brew containing nothing but water, Canadian 2-row malt, Glacier hops from Fundy, yeast, and a “dry hop” of fresh raspberries. It weighs in at a nice and light 4.2% ABV and has an apricot-gold color.

• Up on the North Shore of NS, Tatamagouche Brewing has a new release for us this week from their Staff Series of beers. Tata cellarman Alex Martin developed the concept for a Brown IPA that melds the chocolate and dark fruit flavors of darker malts with big hop flavors and a solid IPA bitterness. Arriving at a husky 7.1% ABV and 80 IBU, the Tweed Wolf was hopped with the dank, piney and citrus-laden Simcoe and the fruity melon and berry subtlety of Huell Melon. The de rigeur IPA dry hop contains those same two varieties along with the very tropical El Dorado that should bolster an already heady nose. Expect this one to strike a nice balance between rich malts, firm bitterness and fruity hops. Cans will be available as of today at the brewery and should arrive at the private liquor stores next Thursday. Meanwhile, you’ll find it coming up soon at tap accounts in Halifax.

• Scuttlebutt in beer circles this week centered around a posting on commercial brewing forum ProBrewer regarding a currently operating Nova Scotia brewery being up for sale. Details are minimal and nobody involved is talking openly, which means that speculation is running rampant about who it is and why it they might be selling. With the Craft Beer industry in Nova Scotia growing as quickly as it has, especially over the last five years or so, one of the areas where we’re possibly a little behind the curve is in brewery turnover. As we look at some of the other markets where there has been a craft beer boom, however, we see that this is one of the hallmarks of a healthy industry. There are lots of reasons a brewery might go up for sale and many (some might argue most) of them don’t have anything to do with beer. While we certainly aren’t immune from kibitzing about it ourselves, as local beer lovers and fans of the scene we’re mostly interested to see who steps up to buy this business and how they approach taking it forward into its next evolution as a brewery. And no, we don’t know who it is either.

Be sure to check out our Events Calendar, as we keep it as up-to-date as we can with all of the goings on in our region. Remember that we don’t always repeat events we’ve mentioned in previous weeks, so your best bet is to check it periodically, or better yet, add it to your own iCal/gCal, and never miss out! Just click the +GoogleCalendar button on the bottom right of the calendar.

• Last week we told you about the 80/- Scottish-style Collaboration Ale created by the various members of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia. Today is your chance to check out that contentious brew as it goes on tap for the first time at noon in the Good Robot taproom in North End Halifax. The first 48 patrons will receive a takeaway can of the beer, which will eventually be available in limited supply at Bishop’s Cellar, Harvest Wine & Spirits, and the NSLC. You’ll also be amongst the first to hear the first official events list for the upcoming Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week, ask questions of Nova Scotia brewers, and try a custom Scottish Hot Dog from T DOGS.

• For some beer excitement in PEI, look no further than Charlottetown’s HopYard Beer Bar today. They are hosting a BarNone Tap Takeover, with eight beer from Rose Valley flowing, plus some special beers as chosen by owner and brewer Don Campbell, including Unfiltered’s Fist of God IPA. Drop by from noon to enjoy some blasts from the past, as well as new releases. It also corresponds to the first day of PEI Burger Love, the cross-province month of more than 80 establishments (including HopYard) serving up some creative burgers, from PEI-raised beef.

Today is also a big day in Alma, New Brunswick, as the Buddha Bear Cafe continues their major renovations towards opening Holy Whale Brewing Company in late spring. Located in a former church on Main Street, the Cafe has been open for several months, serving up their own roasted coffee, as well as beer from around the Maritimes. Buddha Bear/Holy Whale owners, brothers Jeff and Peter Grandy, will be closing the cafe during weekdays, and re-opening full-time in a few months. So, what’s happening today at the Cafe? The brothers need your help to Drink the Church Dry! All day today, they are looking to push as many kegs as possible through their nine lines, to help make room in the beer fridge. Every time a keg kicks, they will be lowering the price of a pint by 50 cents, so it pays to stick around and enjoy the return on your investment.

Tomorrow is the HRM celebration of Big Spruce‘s 4th Anniversary, and the launch of the 2017 edition of Ra Ra Rasputin, with several variations of the Barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout pouring from 11:30am at Battery Park, and noon at Stillwell. Look for non-barrel-aged versions (in keg and on nitro), 2016 vintage, plus several unique casks with fruit, coffee, and/or wood additions right in the firkin for an extra level of flavour. You may need to hit both locations for the full experience! Check out the event flyer here.

• Sunday April 2nd, is the BC Tap Takeover at Stillwell, postponed from the original March 25th date due to shipping delays. Enjoy a dozen beauties from Brassneck Brewery in Vancouver, Dageraad of Burnaby, and Four Winds Brewing from Delta. Featuring a wide variety in styles of beer, including Brassneck’s Stockholm Syndrome Saison, Sri Lanka Dubbel from Dageraad, and Four Winds’ Nectarous Dry-hopped Sour. No tickets required for the event, and the doors open at noon (unusual for a Sunday). The full taplist is available here.

• Also coming up at Good Robot is Latin@ Night, a celebration of Latin American Culture on Thursday, April 6 that will feature the release of Cerveza Latina, a Beta Brew in the Vienna Lager style that was created in collaboration with some of GR’s patrons from various South and Central American countries. It’s got a bready nose, lemony citrus on the palate, and a clean, crisp lager finish. The night also promises to feature broken Spanish, South American-influenced dishes from Black Sheep, a playlist designed to inspire dancing and the Mexican beer cocktails known as micheladas.

• Digby’s Roof Hound Brewery is celebrating National Beer Day on April 7th. Only the 7th, how strange, we figured any/every day was a great day to drink beer! But who are we to argue? They will be showing off their expanded tap selection, including a very limited edition of Big Brown Pure Maple. Only one keg will be served at Roof Hound,  so best to not miss the event that evening. Live music from Tide & Timbre will kick off the festivities at 9pm, plus they will have guest taps from their neighbour breweries Lazy Bear in Smiths Cove, and Lunn’s Mill from Lawrencetown. Check out the FB Events Page for more details.

Before we let you go, a couple more things…

– As the grand opening of their new digs in Windsor approaches, Schoolhouse Brewing is now preparing their “First Draughts” on the new system! We’ll certainly have more information as it becomes available, but for now we can tell you that Cam and Co. are looking for a Retail Manager to help run the new storefront operation. The details are at the bottom of their webpage.
Garrison is bringing back a big ‘un today as part of their Cellar Series, the Barrel Aged Ol’ Fog Burner barleywine. Weighing in at an hefty 11.5% ABV, it spent time in oak barrels from Glen Breton Rare Single Malt Whiskey from Glenora Distillery. It’s available in 650ml bottles costing $15.95 at the brewery and quantities are severely limited.
Picaroons’ Winter Warmer is done for the year, but they have just released a batch of it that has been aged on French Oak for two months. Available only on tap at their Roundhouse and Brewtique locations in Fredericton, General Store in Uptown Saint John, and The 5 Kings Brewhouse in St. Stephen.
YellowBelly in St. John’s has brought back their East Coast Cream Ale, a 5.0% ABV, 22 IBU beer brewed in collaboration/celebration of Top Shed Brewery on Australia’s East Coast. Featuring Pacific Gem and Mosaic hops from Australia, the beer is on tap at the brewery now, and in bottles to take away.

As a last mention this week, maybe be a little wary of any wild or unexpected claims made by local bars and breweries tomorrow…check your calendar before jumping to conclusions; we wouldn’t want anyone to worry about breaking a nail.

You might think that the last week of February/first week of March would see a bit of a slowdown in beer news — winter’s not quite over, March break is yet to come and the University students are back in class. But if you write a beer blog and you try to keep up with it all, you know better. There are plenty of things to tell you about as the region prepares for one of its biggest annual events, the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival. As well, seasonal beers are being released, plenty of events going on, another new brewery has opened its doors and we’ve received word of another brewery in the works! We’re starting to think there might possibly be something to this whole “Craft Beer Industry” thing.

• The wait is over for local beer fans in Lawrencetown, in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley! Lunn’s Mill Beer held their first growler session yesterday afternoon, with their four core beers available (Charming Molly Blonde Ale, Brickyard Red Red Ale, Lunn’s Pub Ale English Ale, and XPA #1 IPA). For those who contact them ASAP, there will be the first Growler Delivery happening this afternoon, for folks in the Annapolis Royal to Greenwood region. For now, Growler Nights and Delivery will be the best way to get your hands on Lunn’s Mill beer, and we will be sure to let you know when the brewery is set up for samples and pints, as well as draft available at local pubs and restaurants. Congratulations to Mark, Sean, and the whole Lunn’s Mill Crew!

• We’ve received word of another new brewery on the way for New Brunswick, with Valonray Farmhouse Brewing (changed from the initial name, “46th Parallel Brewing”) scheduled to open later this summer in MacDougall Settlement. Founded by Phil and Allison Fontaine, they plan on launching with a small line-up of American-style ales – brewed by Phil on a 1 BBL (115 L) electric system – with Belgian-style barrel-aged ales following within a few months, thanks to the acquisition of twenty 225 L oak barrels. The initial beers will be available at select licensees, as well as some being bottled and sold through the ANBL. The couple will be using 100%-locally sourced ingredients, with some being grown directly on-site. A tap room is also in the planning stages, and will hopefully be open by the summer of 2018. The eventual goal is to become an authentic Belgian-style, Farmhouse brewery within the first few years, including expanding to barrel-aged sour beers. Look for a Q&A with Allison and Phil from us in the near future.

• Early this week, Maybee Brewing released Mars Madness, a Bière de Mars. This style is closely related to the Bière de Garde, a French style traditionally brewed in the early spring, and then cellared for several months to be enjoyed during warmer weather. Bière de Mars, on the other hand, is usually brewed in March and released immediately. It is in some ways similar to a Belgian Saison, especially in that the yeast provides a lot of the character, with a malty backbone from the grist. Mars Madness was fermented at a low temperature to keep the fruity esters in check, and had a lengthier conditioning time than usual for Maybee brews. Described by the brewery as a crisp, refreshing beer, it has “fruity notes of banana and bubble gum, and subtle hints of noble hop spice and clove”. Clocking in at 6.7% ABV and 30 IBUs, this one is available on tap only. For those of you attending the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival next week, it will be available on cask at both the afternoon and evening sessions.

• Dartmouth’s Downeast Beer Factory has a new beer on tap, perfect for the approaching St. Patrick’s Day holiday. Nitro Irish Stout was brewed with plenty of Roasted Barley and Midnight Wheat in the grist, to give lots of the roasted aromas and flavours expected from the style. Both Cascade and East Kent Goldings hops were added, with “a generous amount” of EKG at the end of the boil. Served on a 75/25 nitrogen/CO2 blend to boost the creamy mouthfeel, it’s easy-drinking at 4.8% ABV, and on tap right now at the brewpub.

• With the 2017 Brier kicking off this week in St John’s, YellowBelly Brewpub has released a new beer to celebrate. They’ve released the quintessential American Pale Ale, weighing in at 4.5% ABV and 40 IBU, featuring two dry-hopping rounds with Cascade. The beer is on tap now (and only on tap, no plans for bottles), but they need your help to name it! Hit them up on Twitter or Facebook with your best curling pun name to win a $100 gift certificate. And once this small batch APA kicks, their St Patrick’s Day celebration Patrick’s Pale Ale will hit the taps. This year’s version features Sorachi Ace as the sole hop in the 6.0% ABV, 45 IBU beer.

• After two straight releases of the decidedly less hoppy variety, Unfiltered Brewing is bringing out a beer today to remind everyone just who punches the hoppy dance cards in HRM. And speaking of dancing, the beer is being released in conjunction with the film Goon: Last of the Enforcers, which will be screened in Halifax on March 9 a week ahead of its March 17 release date. Fist of God is a NASHian DIPA in the Northeast IPA style with 100+ IBU and featuring a mix of Citra, Simcoe, Columbus and Mosaic hops for big citrus, tropical and dank aromas and flavors. At 8% ABV, it’s also likely to leave you in a bit of a FoG if you’re not careful. Look for it at the brewery and Charm School pub for pints and fills as of noon today, as well as on tap at Primal Kitchen, Stillwell (from Friday open), and Tom’s Little Havana (who will keep it on tap as long as Unfiltered can supply it).

• And while you are grabbing a pint and/or growler at Unfiltered today, be sure to try the other latest addition to their taps, kombucha from Mad Boocha. Brewed in small batches in the Unfiltered brewhouse, kombucha is produced using yeast and bacteria, fermenting sweet tea into a lightly acidic and refreshing low-, or no-, alcohol drink. Mad Boocha has released several styles of the drink, with a Hibiscus Ginger version available currently for both pints and take-away in growlers at Unfiltered. Keep an eye on their social media pages for more details on the next releases.

North is releasing a new beer today, a Belgian Dubbel named Doki Doki Dubbel. Not your typical Dubbel, this one had a secondary fermentation on black cherries, gives notes of cherry, raisin, and dark fruit in the flavour, along with a light spiciness in the finish. Weighing in at 7.4% ABV, it will be available for growler fills, as well as in 750 mL swing tops. Battery Park will have it on tap, and it will be available at tonight’s North Tap Takeover at Good Robot; it may also appear at other beer establishments in the HRM in the near future.

• Earlier this week Boxing Rock in Shelburne brought a new beer to market in a style not common around these parts, and certainly not one we’ve seen from a local brewery any time recently. Stayin’ Alive is a malty lager in the traditional bock style, fairly high in alcohol and hopped very mildly for a satisfying and filling experience. Originating in the town of Einbeck some 700 years ago, it was commonly brewed and consumed by monks as a means of maintaining nutrition during pre-Easter fasting. Though they eschewed the de rigueur billy goat on the label, Boxing Rock’s version stays true to the style, coming in at 6.8% ABV, with biscuit, bread and roast flavours, smooth bittering and just a touch of noble hop flavor. You can find it now at the brewery, at private stores in HRM, and on tap at tap accounts throughout Nova Scotia. And speaking of taps, Boxing Rock has announced their Legendary Keg Club contest, where the winner will see a beer tap installed in his or her home and Boxing Rock will supply 6 months of beer to stock it! To enter, simply go to the contest page and fill in the blanks appropriately.

• Like Boxing Rock, Saltbox Brewing in Mahone Bay will also be hopping on the seasonal malty German lager train early in March, but with the bigger, beefier version of the bock style, the Doppelbock. Doppel being German for “double”, doppelbock takes the maltiness of the bock to deeper, darker places where more roasty and dark fruit flavours emerge. Doppelbock 1753 pays tribute to the German heritage of the South Shore and is subtitled, “The Winter Beer of Lunenburg County.” This beer features the requisite malty sweetness as well as rich plum flavours, hints of dark chocolate and a slightly warming mouthfeel consistent with the 8.1% ABV. A characteristically low 19 IBU provide slight bitterness to this dark brown brew that finishes with a lingering vinous character.​ A firm launch date has not yet been determined, but watch the brewery’s Twitter feed where it will surely be announced. Late notice addition: Launch Date is March 10th.

• After celebrating their First Anniversary this week, the fine folks at Nine Locks Brewing have decided to give us all the gift of another new beer! Launching this coming Monday, Vanilla Porter will be available on draft and in cans. Featuring three separate additions of vanilla, this full-bodied porter blends dark chocolate and vanilla together in a great brew. At 5.0% ABV and a light 25 IBU, the malt and vanilla are the stars of the show. Keep an eye on their Twitter page for the exact launch details.

• Launching at next weekend’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival is a cross-Confederation-Bridge Collaboration, between Charlottetown’s Upstreet and Fredericton’s Picaroons breweries. Brewed using the same malt bill, featuring a healthy dose of Rye malt, Rye’d On is an 8.0% ABV Imperial Rye Beer, but fermented with two different yeasts. Upstreet’s Hogie brewed the beer at his brewery in Charlottetown, and then travelled to Fredericton to assist in brewing the same beer on the Picaroons system. In Fredericton, the beer was fermented using Pics’ own Ringwood ale strain, while in C’town, Upstreet used a pitch of lager yeast normally destined for their Commons Pilsner. The result is two different beers with a common origin. You’ll have the first chance to try the beer at the Fest March 11th, and to a wider release at both ANBL and PEILCC stores, and on draft in both provinces on Monday the 13th.

• Hammond River is brewing a new American IPA next week – single-hopped with Summit, this is a high alpha-acid American variety known for providing plenty of orange, tangerine, and citrus character in beer. Going in the dry-hop with the Summit will be lots of freshly-zest grapefruit zest, so we can likely expect a beer chock-full of citrus character! Expect this one to come in at around 6.5% ABV and 60 IBUs, and to start popping up on tap in a few weeks.

And the goings-on keep going strong:

• Head out to Digby’s Roof Hound this Saturday, March 4th, for another Beer Launch Music Event. Kicking off their “Dive Bar Classic Cocktail Series”, they are releasing the Mojito Dry Hopped Sour that we told you about last week. Weighing in at 4.8% ABV, the light-bodied tart beer features loads of freshly zested and squeezed limes and fresh mint. To celebrate, they are holding a live music event that evening, with Hannah-Grace playing from 10pm, after the beer starts flowing at 9pm.

• For those of you in Halifax, drop by Lion & Bright Saturday night from 8pm for a Breton Brewing takeover of their taps. Featuring their core lineup, as well as a few seasonal and fun favourites, there will sure to be something for everybody flowing tomorrow night. Find out more on their event page.

Good Robot continues to keep their schedule packed with goings-on. After last night’s tap takeover at Battery Park in Dartmouth, tonight sees North-end neighbours North Brewing populating 8 of the GR taps completing a craft beer quid pro quo celebrating the collaboration beer Moo Nay Tripel that we told you about last week. On Wednesday, they bring you FemmeBot, a celebration of International Women’s Day hosted by comedian Megan McDowell. They’ll have three new beers on tap: Red Moon Landing, a Red IPA that celebrates the African American women who were key to NASA space missions (and who inspired the film Hidden Figures); Baba Yaga Chaga Brown, an American Brown Ale featuring Chaga Fungus that invokes a supernatural feminine spirit of Slavic folklore; and, Faster Pussy Hat! Kill! Kill! a hibiscus-infused IPA. The first two of these were brewed by female staff of Good Robot, the third by Glee Club member and home brewer, Robyn Vaughan. There will also be guest taps from other breweries with prominent female brewers, including Sober Island, Boxing Rock, Spindrift and Lazy Bear. Much more information is available on the event’s Facebook page and Thursday’s article in The Coast.

• Next week is Fredericton Craft Beer Week, with plenty of events leading up to the grand finale, the FCBF, on March 11th. In addition to these events, the James Joyce will be hosting a New Brunswick IPA Showdown from Tuesday, March 7th to Thursday, March 9th. During this time period, all 25 taps (and a cask) will be pouring various IPA styles, ranging from American to English, White to Black, and beyond! All of your favourites will be on, as well as some new beers, including the first appearance of Saint John’s Loyalist City Brewing, which will have both their Hop Series Cascade and Hop Series Motueka on tap at some point. Be sure to show up and order some flights (and/or full pours) to get your hop fix!

• Also next Thursday, March 9th, don’t forget to stop by the King Street Ale House for their Nova Scotia Tap Takeover and Trivia Night. Lots of great NS beer, lots of easier (we promise) trivia questions from Shawn and Chris… and lots of brewery swag to the winners! Beer starts pouring at 6 pm, with trivia following at 7 pm. No charge to attend, but if you buy a ticket in advance you get a special glass and ten 5 oz pours to get you started. And once you’re done there, maybe you can head down the street to Graystone to sample some beers from their New Brunswick NanoTakeover, where 8 different small NB breweries will have their beers on tap.

Enjoy your weekend, and as always, just a few more things before signing off…

Picaroons seasonal Maple Cream Ale is back; this 5% ale is brewed with maple syrup from local producers Briggs Maples. Available for a limited time on tap at the Roundhouse and Brewtique, and in bottles at ANBL stores.
Tatamagouche Brewing has added a third can to their offerings at the NSLC, their popular Hippie Dippie Pale Ale. Check here for the availability at your local outlet. And watch your podcatching app next #902sday (aka March 7th), as the 902 BrewCast folks (with our own Chris in tow), drop by Tatamagouche to learn about the history of the brewery, and some cool new beers and projects on the horizon.
– Yesterday, TrailWay released the winning American IPA in their first Homebrew Challenge; Hoppy McHazy was brewed by local homebrewer Pierre Gagnon, and is available now on tap and in cans. Only 50 cases of cans were released, but fear not… the beer will be brewed again within a couple of months. Check here for the full details on the beer.