Hello thirsty readers and happy Friday! After a big May 2-4 weekend of releases and events, the breweries and cideries of Atlantic Canada seem to be resting up in anticipation of the coming summer wave, which means a quieter week in beer news. Fear not though, we still have a handful of new releases and a great event to keep you posted about as you roll into the weekend. 

Out in Lower Sackville, Ol’ Biddy’s Brewhouse is planning a big party to celebrate the nice weather and support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, and how better to do that than with a big party with live music and beer? Tomorrow, that’s Saturday, May 28th, if you head down you’ll find a lineup of 7 musical acts on the patio, each playing an hour-long set starting at 1PM and finishing at 9PM. Meanwhile, you’ll be able to sit and enjoy the tunes while you sip the brewery’s finest, including a new release specifically for the event: Frau Ribbentrop. Part of the #BrewForUkraine campaign, it’s one of the recipes published by Pravda Brewery. A Belgian-style Witbier, with orange peel and coriander, it’s a 4.5% ABV beer with a lovely citrus aroma and subtle bitterness; perfect for sipping in the sun. A portion of sales of this beer from the taps as well as sales from the 2,800 bottles that were packaged will be donated to humanitarian organisations through #BrewForUkraine. So come on down and have a pint and enjoy some tunes; based on a quick peek at the forecast, though, we recommend checking OB socials (Fb, Ig, Tw) for any news of rain plans!!

Chester’s Tanner & Co Brewing released a new Czech-inspired Pilsner last week, and it is available now on tap and in cans. Most is named after the newly-released Czech hop variety of the same name, which is Czech for “bridge”, it is seen as a bridge between the UK and European Union, given the UK’s recent departure from that organization. Developed in the UK but grown in the Czech Republic, it features a rather potent aroma of strawberry and bubblegum, with tropical and citrus undertones, and given its higher acid content, it can be used for both bittering or later in the process, which Tanner took to heart by using it throughout the brewing and conditioning of the beer. The end result is a 5.7% ABV beer, with a healthy 40 IBU of bitterness. Pop down to their brewery or taproom in the Chester area to grab a pint or fill, or you can order cans for delivery anywhere between Bridgewater and Halifax too!

Looking to continue your brewing career and/or looking for an excuse to join the thousands of Canadians who have recently moved to Moncton? Now’s your chance! Tide & Boar Brewing, the hugely popular accompaniment to the Tide & Boar Gastropub in the heart of downtown, is hiring! They are looking for an experienced person to jump right in as Head Brewer, so experience is necessary. You’ll be supporting the local thirst for their year-round faves like Robot Food IPA and Millions of Peaches, and have the chance to develop your own recipes too! Fire an email over to Chad at admin@tideandboar.com with your resume to learn more! If there’s a staff discount on pizza, we may have to apply ourselves!

This spring has seen the return of many beer related events that went on a temporary hiatus due to the pandemic. We are thrilled to see more opportunities popping up for people to get together and safely enjoy some fermented beverages, while supporting our great local producers. If you’re near Western Cape Breton on June 4th, you’ll have such an opportunity with the Brook Village Beerfest and Square Dance. Square dances at the Brook Village hall are a legendary pilgrimage unto themselves, and this event will see the addition of beer, cider and food to sweeten the deal. A ticket gives you access to samples from Boxing Rock, Breton Brewing, Bulwark Cider, Candid Brewing, Half Cocked, Island Folk Cider, Route 19, Tatamagouche, along with the chance to dance some sets to performers Kenneth MacKenzie, Mac Morin, and Pat Gillis. The Stand and Stuff Your Face food truck will also be onsite to make sure you have a sufficient base for all of that beer and dancing. Tickets are available online now or across the road at the Brook Village Grocery, with a portion of the proceeds supporting Atlantic Coastal Action Program of Cape Breton, a non-profit dedicated to protecting and restoring coastal ecosystems on the island.

Happy Friday Beer Fans! We’ve got a busy release for you today, as breweries continue to pump out the good stuff in our region, now that patio season is in full effect. And lucky us, as we have an extra day to enjoy it this weekend! Let’s just hope Mother Nature got the memo too… Be sure to check your local breweries’ social media to confirm they are open Monday if you are in the mood for a pint or retail stop that day. Now, on with the new beer and cider news, and check the end for the Atlantic Canadian brewery performance in the Canadian Brewing Awards!

We’ll start out with a gold-medal winning brewery this week, as Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing have scaled up a small batch hit for wide release. Not a stranger to mango purees and sours in the past, this Mango-Guava Milkshake Sour is absolutely filled to the brim with both mango and guava purees, some lactose (aka milk sugar) that is acidified to keep it balanced and super-drinkable. Think fresh-pressed juice or smoothie, and you’ll be in the right mindset! Also keep an eye out for their new Peach Seltzer available now in cans, pints and growlers. 

As for the brewery itself, we’ll give a special shoutout to Alan Norman who was named one of Atlantic Canada’s Top 50 CEOS of 2022 in Atlantic Business Magazine. We’ve seen Mitch Cobb from Upstreet on this list before, so we’re glad the great work these breweries are doing is getting recognized. Other big news for the team is that they picked up a Gold at the Canadian Brewing Awards for their Helles Yeah! Oktoberfest Munich Style Lager.

Deer Lake’s Rough Waters Brewing Co. has a new release in its Neighbeerly series. For this one, they are partnering with Quadrangle NL, an organization working to create a 2SLGBTQIA+ community centre in Newfoundland, and with NL Beer Fans mosaic.wit on Instagram. They’ve teamed up to create a Mosaic Wit, combining the citrusy and coriander notes of a witbier with the fruity and tropical notes that come from a dry-hopping with Mosaic. This one is only available at the taproom for now, but should see distribution through Rough Water’s typical retail spots on the east coast and Avalon next week. One dollar from every can sold will go directly to Quadrangle. Check out @mosaic.wit’s Youtube channel for a behind-the-scenes video of the brewday and what they’ve been getting up to in homebrewing as well!

North Street’s favourite brewery, Unfiltered, has a few newsbites for the weekend. Up first, Double Orange Ale (affectionately known as DOA) is the wonderful 7.5% Double IPA loaded with Citra. It’s as amazing and delicious as ever. Next up, a new release, Sparkling Motherfucker, is a sparkling rosé refermented on raspberries. It comes in at a highly drinkable 4%, is low-carb, gluten-reduced and also has a bunch of electrolytes (sodium, chloride and potassium) but as they’ll tell you, it’s not a sports drink. Both of these are available on tap and in cans today. 

Hopping over to Newfoundland, Landwash also has some returning beer and some new news in the last week. First up, Caribou Hill is back in a limited release but with wide availability. This beer is a ANZAC Biscuit Brown ale in memory of the Newfoundland troops that fought years alongside the Australian New Zealand Army Corp (ANZAC). The troops had special cookies that they would get from Australia. The beer itself is 5.2% with coconut additions and is widely available at the brewery, NLC and Convenience stores.

Another returning beer is Silvern Voices. This is a dry-hopped sour that is a rotating seasonal release. A few changes for this release include the removal of lactose and really upping the Cashmere dry-hop and adding some Galaxy into the mix. They’ve even switched up their lactobacillus from their other sours to make this stand out even more.  This is 4.9% and very hoppy, bright, tart and refreshing for the summer. This is available now across the island and at the brewery. 

Lastly, but not leastly, their spring Make/Shift collaboration series released with Mysa. Mysa is the beer name, too and is a juicy double dry-hopped IPA featuring Cascade and Nelson Sauvin hops. Using the Escarpment Labs Thiol Libre yeast, expect lots of tropical, fruity flavours like from this 7.4% IPA. This beer is also available now at the brewery, NLC stores and convenience stores across Newfoundland. 

Beausoleil Farmstead, the cidery/winery out of Port Williams, teamed up with Saltbox Brewing Company for a new release last week. Hibiscus is a 6.7% ABV blend of cider and chardonnay that has been infused with hibiscus, giving the final product a subtle pink hue. Cans are out now, following a release at last weekend’s Appleseed Cider Fest in Mahone Bay. 

Celebrating their Third Anniversary last weekend, East Duckworth’s Bannerman Brewing quietly released a month-appropriate lager, Full Bloom Maibock. Brewed in the cooler months, with the plan to release in spring, the Maibock is light in colour and higher in alcohol than traditional year-round German lagers, with Bannerman’s sporting a 6.5% ABV. Leveraging the herbal and spice notes from traditional Noble hops, perfect for the malt-favouring base beer. Available in cans in house and at shops around the Avalon, and pouring on tap for pints and growlers too.

Bannerman is also wading into the Cold IPA frey, with the release of Negative Space Cold IPA. While big variations to the pseudo-style exist, at least we can get behind the end result, a tasty hoppy beer! Their take on it uses a similar malt and hop profile as a more traditional IPA, but fermented cool and undergoing an extended conditioning phase like a lager. After primary fermentation, Cascade, Centennial, and Citra were added for dry hops, giving it a distinctly West Coast vibe, with a clean and crisp fermentation profile. Draught and cans are available from the brewery now, with cans probably seeing distribution before too long.

Breton Brewing is back with some long weekend, summer-themed fun with some updates to some of their more popular offerings. Let’s Jam Sour has a new flavour, as Let’s Jam: Blueberry Pomegranate is available now. The current Strawberry Rhubarb offering has been widely available across the province for a few years and this one will also be 4.0% and available at most NSLCs. In other NSLC news with Breton, Seven Years Pale Ale is now available in 6-pack 355ml cans. 

The Dartmouth-Timberlea connectors that are North Brewing have a new release that could be a first for the brewery. Let the Gold Times Roll is a 6.0% Golden Stoute featuring some help from Rousseau Chocolatier for the cocoa nibs and Roastery 46 for some cold brew. Always a fun style that features chocolate, coffee and classic stout flavours, it pours as a golden, clear ale. This is available at all three North locations and available online for delivery.

Halifax’s own Garrison Brewing is celebrating a massive anniversary, as they’ve hit the quarter-century mark. Celebrating 25 years of beer sligning, they’ve got a new beer and a fun contest with the Halifax Wanderers. The beer is  25th Anniversary Pale Ale, a 5.5% hazy beer with a nice mix of malt and fruit-forward hop flavours. This is in a special can and available now.  Check out the Garrison IG for details on their contest valued at $2000 running until May 26th. 

Antigonish’s Candid Brewing Company is celebrating one year in business with the release of 2021. This one is an ode to classic West Coast IPAs, featuring dank, citrusy and pine notes in a 7% ABV package. Speaking of the package, fans of a certain Dr. Dre album will enjoy the label artwork produced by Maritime Grime. In addition to the release, Candid will also be celebrating with live music tonight (Friday) at their College Street taproom. Happy Anniversary from all of us at ACBB!.

Up in the Valley there’s beers afoot, especially in Wolfvegas (that’s Wolfville to non-Acadia students), where Church Brewing decided to do all the things at once, including two collabs! First up, continuing their established history of putting out styles with high drinkability, is Marie, a 4% American Cream Ale, which means it’ll be light, crisp, and fairly dry, perfect for crushing after a hard afternoon of yard work. Then comes Pilsberry, a cranberry Pilsner, combining another very dry and crisp style with the lovely thirst-quenching tartness of cranberries in a 4.5% ABV package. Expect this one to have a hint of pink and to pair well with sitting in the sun on a patio. Also bound to be a hit with the patio drinking crowd is Life After Death, a collaboration with Avondale Sky Winery. Dubbed a “sparkling rosé sour” it’s a beer fermented with Champagne yeast for an ultra dry presentation, and then a conditioning on pinot noir grape skins from the winery. Tart, with some cherry pie flavours, the draught version of this one is quite different in ABV from the bottle conditioned version, with it pouring at 5.5% off the taps and more like 6.2% out of the bottle. You’ll have to visit the brewery to try a pint and then compare with some bottles you buy to take home! Lastly, the other collaboration this week is with up-the-Valley neighbours Schoolhouse Brewing in Windsor. Combining both breweries’ penchant for good beer with fun names they’ve come up with Bible School Dropout, a German Bock. Like all good Bocks, this one leans heavier on the malt side than the hops, and at 6.5% that’s going to mean sweet and smooth on the palate, but it’s also a lager, so you can still expect a fairly dry finish that beckons another sip. You can grab this one in cans from both breweries.

Big congratulations to Lone Oak, who open their Lone Oak Brewpub location at 15 Milky Way in Charlottetown today at 5 PM! With seating for more than 150 inside and out, there is sure to be room to accommodate all drinkers this fine weekend. While reservations are not being taken during the busy season, a quick call to check capacity as you’re headed out the door (and to be put on the waitlist) is a good idea and encouraged (902 892 0600). The brewpub is open from 11 AM seven days a week, and operating until 10 PM or later (the kitchen closes an hour or two before the pub). When visiting, you will be hit with the familiar aromas of the same crew behind The Abby kitchen at their Borden Brewery location, aka Terry Nabuurs and Co. Live music and fun all weekend long, with Matt Hannah and Jeff Doherty taking the stage this evening. Keep an eye on their IG page for more details. Congratulations to Dillon, Jared, Spencer, and the Crew on today’s opening!

A few quick hits from the old crows today, 2 Crows Brewing, ever the supporter of the Halifax classic Bluenose Marathon race weekend, will be opening early on Saturday (10am) and Sunday (11am) to host any post-race celebrations and gatherings. Pastries, coffee and beer, will join a new Electrolyte-based Hop Water in addition to Letna being back and widely available through the summer.  The new Hop Water will only be available at the brewery. 

New Scotland Brewing has a returning cider this week as Barracks is back in a small batch release. This is a 6.2% dry English cider using apples from the Valley. Get this one directly from the brewery! And congrats to the New Scotland Crew who announced that they will be making the move to a new location, offering more space for production, taproom, and music performances. Details coming soon!

Let’s leave you today with results from the Canadian Brewing Awards, announced in Calgary on the weekend. The region’s brewers did quite well, with more than a dozen breweries, representing every Atlantic province, bringing home the hardware. The full results are available here, and be sure to pick up a bottle or can of these beers the next time you stop into your local brewery!

  • 1. European Style Lager (Pilsner)
  • 2. European Style Amber to Dark Lager
    • Silver – Uncle Leo’s Altbier
  • 4. Kellerbier/Zwickelbier
  • 8. Baltic Porter
  • 11. Belgian-Style Abbey Ale/Pale Ale
  • 15. German-Style Sour Ale
  • 17. Porter
    • Bronze – Grimross Brewing Co. Pugnacious Porter
  • 19. Irish and Scotch Ales
  • 21. English Bitters
  • 24. Dry Stout
    • Silver – Tatamagouche Brewing Co. Hierlihy Irish Stout
  • 27. North American-Style Lager
  • 33. North American-Style Blonde or Golden Ale
  • 35. North American-Style Pale Ale
  • 37. American-Style India Pale Ale
  • 40. American-Style Imperial India Pale Ale
    • Gold – Copper Bottom Brewing Parkman Ave
  • 43. American-Style Sour Ale
  • 51. Barley Wine-Style Ale

Happy Friday, loyal readers. The signs of summer are everywhere around us. Temperatures in the region are creeping up to 30 degrees, patios are springing up on sidewalks, sessionable crushers are rolling out of tanks, and in the surest sign that the colder months are behind us, the Leafs are about to choke their way to another early exit. With a later release this Friday (we blame the fact that it’s Friday the 13th…), what better time to grab a beer, and get caught up on all of Atlantic Canada’s newest releases and events. Appreciate you sticking around and checking out the news!

Let’s kick things off with a brewery that hasn’t graced the pages of this blog in some time, Loyalist City Brewing, who are embracing the low-alcohol trend with the release of On Call IPA, a 2.5% ABV micro IPA. Special attention went into assuring that despite the low ABV, this one still packs plenty of hop aroma and flavour. Citra and Mosaic hops were used to create notes of stone fruit and citrus, with plenty of balancing bitterness at 35 IBUs. This one is available for a limited time, on tap at the brewery and better beer bars around New Brunswick.

Over in Antigonish County, Half Cocked is rolling out their first ever lager with Ozzy Dunkel, named in honour of the ever popular taproom dog, Ozzy the German Shepherd. This take on the classic German style comes in at 5.4% ABV and features sweet malt notes of biscuits and caramel, along with a hint of black tea. Ozzy Dunkel is available at the brewery for pints and fills, and may get in Halifax County for those imbibing there..

Let’s make a quick jump back to New Brunswick for our next new release, L’érablière 2.0. CAVOK partnered with Chateau Scoudouc Maple to create an amber ale that saw an addition of maple syrup, before being aged on oak chips. The resulting 7.7% ABV ale is available now for pints, growlers and crowlers. And find it at their spot at Cap-Pelé, which is now open for the season! Beach lovers rejoice!

Propeller is mixing things up this week with the release of Saison, their take on the Belgian-inspired style. Expect notes of lemon and spice from the Belgian yeast (with a bit of citrus twist added to send it even higher), with the fermentation also creating lots of carbonation and a dry finish. Cans of the 5% and 20 IBU Saison are available today through Propeller’s online store, their three retail locations, and at the private stores across Halifax.

Up in Nyanza, Big Spruce is celebrating this beautiful May weekend with the release of Stunt Dubbel. The big winner from their 9th Homebrew Challenge held earlier this year, winning brewer Karl Penney made the trip to Cape Breton and helped the Big Spruce Crew turn his 20 litre batch into more than a thousand! As you could probably guess from the name, this is a Belgian Dubbel in style, a malt-forward and super-smooth beer, featuring aromatics and flavours of caramel, toasted brown bread, and even a hint of milk chocolate. The belgian yeast contributes some light pepper spiciness and banana fruity esters, rounding out the 7.2% ABV beer. Available on tap and in cans, whether your travels take you to the brewery, otherwise you can order for HRM or Canada-wide delivery. It’s joined by returning favourite Day 6 with Brett Blueberry, Big Spruce’s tongue-in-cheek ode to Day 6 with Brent Bambury, full of NS-grown Organic blueberries and fermented with the wild Brettanomyces M yeast, for a fruity, funky, full-featured beer.

Tomorrow in the Annapolis Valley, Sea Level Brewing is releasing their Myria IPA in support of the Brew for Ukraine efforts. Ukrainian for “Dream”, Myria borrows the recipe from Pravda Beer, leveraging some great hops to maximise tropical and citrus notes that are reminiscent of passion fruit, melon, peach, and citrus on both the nose and palate. As supplies of this 6.5% ABV beer are limited, cans are available exclusively at the brewery retail store, with the remainder pouring only in their taproom, at 9146 Hwy 221 in Sheffield Mills. Be sure to drop by this weekend to take in the beer, the sights, and the lovely weather!

Up next is an aptly named collaboration between Newfoundland’s Dildo Brewing Company and Church Brewing out of the Annapolis Valley. Sweet Whistlin’ Jaysus is the brainchild of head brewers and former co-workers, Steve Crane and Kyle Jeppesen. Using techniques and ingredients from multiple styles led them to label this 4.6% ABV lager as an Austro-Mexican Lager. The grain bill features a base of Vienna malt, with additions of CaraVienna and corn; Spalter hops were used exclusively, along with an extended fermentation and conditioning with Dildo’s house lager yeast. Keep an eye on both breweries’ social channels for release and retail details. 

Cornwall’s Village Green is back with a new version of their Weird Clouds IPA series, this one features Amarillo, Strata and Azacca hops. Look for notes of peach and berries that complement the notes of fresh dinner rolls from the malt. We’ll also mention that last weekend saw the release of Lil’ Hazy, a 4.2% ABV New England Style Pale ale. This one featured ample late boil and dry hop additions of Citra, Strata and Mosaic hops, providing lots of tropical fruit and citrusy notes. 

Plenty to tell you about at Serpent Brewing, with several new beers and events to keep you busy this weekend. First up, the beer! Last week, they released Espiritus, a 12% Mexican Mole Porter. Their resident designer of labels and murals in the taproom, Mónica, wanted to bring a taste of her hometown of Mexico City 5000 km Northeast to Spryfield. Using authentic Mexican chocolate, spices, and peppers, she prepared a mole, which went into the beer at the very end of the boil of the base Porter, to bring out even more chocolate, as well as pleasant warming from the peppers and spicing. Previously available exclusively on tap, there are bottles of this heavy hitter available at the brewery now. 

Joining Espiritus are three decidedly more restrained beers alcohol-wise, but every bit as flavourful. Dreamer is a 6.0% Raspberry Witbier, where the Brew Crew leverage their yeast and familiarity from their White Mountain Witbier, with the raspberry puree complementing the wheat character, with the beer fermented a touch cooler to keep its esters restrained. Nova Blue is also 6.0%, and just like Dreamer, is best described as a fruited witbier, with locally-grown blueberries lending their flavourful juices to enhance the aroma and taste of the beer. The latest of the Beer Creation Series, where the first boosters of Serpent were able to choose a beer recipe and release it commercially, with beer fan Bob calling the shots on this one.

And finally in new beers is the next in their Beer Creation Series, a small batch beer named Fight Trail. Those of the two wheel variety may recognize the name from a popular trail in the Spryfield area, where Serpent regular Mitch spends lots of time. The beer is a British Golden Ale, that spent some time lagering as well, to mellow out just a touch. Wanting a beer “to crush after crushing the trails”, the 4.7% beer is simple yet complex enough to enjoy while throwing back a couple. A little light for the style, and Simcoe in the dry-hop may not be CAMRA-approved, but these help to keep it interesting and tasty.

All of these beers are on tap, with many also available to go in bottles, from the brewery who are celebrating the opening of their patio this weekend. Dominic’s Cucina Wood Fired Pizza will be slinging pies from 2:30 PM onward, and Nick Hamlyn will be playing live from the patio 3 – 6 PM. Sunday, they will be playing Music Trivia, and you can check out the many events they hold throughout the week!

Three years ago (May 11, 2019 to be exact!) the fine folks at Bannerman Brewing opened their doors and on Saturday May 14th, they’re throwing a big birthday bash at the brewery. Here are some of the highlights from the delicious East Duckworth venue:

  • BEER! Surf’s Up is being re-released on tap only, a tropical blue sour that sold out very quickly. Also, 30% off of pints of all of their core beers that were available 3 years ago. 
  • Island Time, their original launch DIPA, is also available again as of last Friday. This is available widely in cans and at 8% it’s tropical, easy drinking, smooth with nice orange and tangerine flavours. 
  • FOOD! Best Friend Burger is setting up shop all day to serve their smash burgers for dine-in service. Also, they’ll have dinosaur shaped nuggets. 
  • MUSIC! The Dandelion Few will be around from 3pm until 5pm with some deadly tunes. Don’t worry, there’s no cover, so swing by if you can.

That about covers it. They’re very excited to welcome everyone back, have people in person and pay homage to some of their core beers. 

A pre-COVID staple that many of us looked forward to was the great, the bold, the strong, Péché Day! The annual celebration of the Dieu du Ciel! world class ale is finally back in Halifax and Moncton. Saturday May 21 is the day and Bar Stillwell will host in Halifax and Tide & Boar will host in Moncton. Five offerings of Péché Mortel will feature this year, with Bourbon 2021. Tajumulco 2022, Kumquat 2022 and Dulce de Leche 2022 will join the classic offering. Check out the full details here from DDC. 

All this reading making you thirsty to get into the beer biz? We’ve got a couple of options for you to look at this week.

2 Crows Brewing is taking part in the Canada Summer Jobs Program, and hiring full-time Driver / Packaging Assistant to join the mix. The position is for those 19-30 years of age, and they would love to have those from under-represented-in-beer communities apply for the position. Check that link for full details on the position and how to apply!

Speaking of Packaging, those living in Newfoundland, or willing to move there (and why wouldn’t you??), should check out the FB post and details from Dildo Brewing Company, as they are hiring a full-time Brewer’s Assistant/Packaging Technician to help around the brewhouse. While no brewing specific skills are required, a willingness to learn, and work, are key. Plenty more info on their Facebook and via email!