Welcome once again to the weekend, and the end of another week chock-full of Atlantic Canada beer news! Yesterday, August 4th, was IPA Day, so naturally many breweries in our region released several new IPAs to celebrate this national holiday. Let’s begin with that…
• First off, PEI Brewing Co. has an Oat Session IPA now available, an unfiltered beer that Brewmaster Chris Coles is describing as “cloudy-golden, pungent, and refreshing”. Featuring a simple grist of “mild-ale malt” and Flaked Oats, it’s hopped with Mosaic and Huell Melon, the high majority of which were added as whirlpool and dry hop additions, giving the beer a huge tropical fruit, citrus, and spruce aroma, with just a slightly-bitter finish. Weighing in at just 4.2% ABV and 30 IBUs, look for it at the brewery and at the Gahan House in Charlottetown, and maybe one or two beer bars in the province. It’s also at all five ANBL Growler stations this weekend, so fill up, New Brunswickers!
• Staying on the Island, Upstreet has released their first American IPA, Island Hopspitality. Described as a “West Coast IPA”, the grist is made up mostly of Maritime Malt, with a little Crystal and Melanoidin as well. Four Southern Hemisphere hop varieties (none of which have been used at Upstreet before) were added to the beer: Ella, Sticklebract, Pacifica, and Wai-iti. About 75% of the hop addition was added 5 minutes before the end of the boil, with the rest making up the dry-hop addition, so expect plenty of citrus and floral notes in the aroma and flavour. Look for this 6.5% ABV, 50 IBUs IPA at the brewery now, and at select tap accounts.
• On to Nova Scotia! Big Spruce and Boxing Rock have teamed up to release a collaboration, Shame on You IPA. Brewed to protest “Crafty” beers, and raise awareness of locally-owned and run NS Craft Breweries. Bittered with Bravo, with late flavour/aroma additions of Amarillo, El Dorado, and Centennial, it was then dry-hopped with Chinook and Citra. The result? Plenty of fruity, tropical, piney aromatics and flavours, all in an authentic 6.0% ABV and 41 IBU package. A single batch of 1700 litres was brewed, so be sure to get it while you can. It is available at both breweries now, at this evening’s session of the Seaport Beerfest, and on tap at finer establishments this weekend.
• Meanwhile, Unfiltered has – of course – brewed up a new hoppy beer for the special day. Deity SMaSH DIPA was brewed entirely with 2-row malt and the Columbus hop variety, to 7.5% ABV and a calculated IBUs of 100. Described by the brewery as “massively juicy, with a spicy, herbal nose”, think of this one as the fraternal twin to their popular Double Orange Ale (which features Citra instead of Columbus). On tap now at Charm School and the brewery for pints and growler fills.
• Truro’s The Nook and Cranny has their new IPA out just in time for this week. Coming in at 6.0% ABV, it was dry-hopped with Moutueka and Centennial for a big blast of fruit and citrus in the aroma and flavour, balanced with some malt sweetness to even it all out. Be sure to drop by the brewpub to give it a try while it lasts!
Don’t worry, there’s lots of other beer news that doesn’t necessarily revolve around IPAs!
• Big Tide is celebrating their 7th Anniversary today, and have brewed a new edition of their Anniversary Amber to celebrate! This year’s batch features seven varieties of malt in the grist, and a total of 2009 grams (get it?) of local Cascade and West Coast Willamette hops. Brewmaster Wendy Papadopoulos describes it as “malty with a moderate bitterness of 50 IBUs”, it’s available on tap for pints and growler fills starting today at the brewpub, and clocks in at 7% ABV (naturally). And look for their Valley View Saison to make a return next week, as well as a special raspberry version.
• TrailWay had a special sneak preview of their newest beer earlier this week during the Fredericton Beer Run. Luster is their latest hoppy session ale that the brewery is describing as “hazy and bright, with tropical-juicy hops, and full-bodied with a pillowy mouthfeel” (thanks in part to the generous use of Flaked Oats). Heavily-hopped (all late-additions and dry hops) with Comet, Galaxy and Topaz, it weighs in at a very-low 3.7% ABV and somewhere around 25 IBUs. Available now at the brewery for pints and growlers fills, and on tap at select tap accounts in Fredericton.
• Propeller released their latest One Hit Wonder, Pokemon Pilsner, last Friday afternoon. Billed as an American-style Pilsner, the addition of Acid malt to the grist provides a slight, crisp tartness to the beer, and the Northern Brewer hops give a “spicy, herbaceous profile” to the 5% ABV, 20 IBUs beer. Described as “clean, dry, and super-drinkable, with a creamy white head and balanced taste profile”, sounds like there’s still a little of this left for growler fills at both Prop Shop locations, select private stores, as well as on tap at a few accounts in the city.
• Good Robot is releasing a new beer today, 4th Chamber – Brew-Tang Ale – that they’re calling a Berliner Weisse/Witbier/Gose hybrid. Brewed with Pilsner, Wheat, and Acid malt, it was hopped entirely with Sorachi Ace, and fermented with Abbey IV, a Belgian yeast strain. With the addition of salt, coriander, and Lactobacillus bacteria, the result is a pale, effervescent, fruity, sour beer that is super-sessionable at only 3% ABV. Get down to the brewery to give this one a try!
• There’s lots going on at Tatamagouche Brewing, so let’s get to it! First off, they’re releasing Ace of Lace, a Witbier at their retail store tomorrow, and it’s an interesting one! Brewed mainly with Pilsner malt and Wheat, with a bit of Rye, Queen Anne’s Lace (a medicinal wildflower) and Indian Plum berries were added to the hopback, along with coriander. In addition, the beer was lightly dry-hopped with Sorachi Ace and Amarillo, and fermented with a Belgian yeast strain. The resulting beer has herbal tea and orange zest notes in a 4.3%, 18 IBU package. Available in cans and growlers, and hitting tap accounts soon, a cask version will also be tapped this weekend at the brewery.
• In more TataBrewNews, early next week, they will be releasing a second batch of their collaboration with Bishop’s Cellar, Cellar Slammer Summer Session, the 4.4% Session IPA featuring loads of Mosaic, Hallertau Blanc, and Amarillo. Look for it in cans and growler fills (both at the brewery and Bishop’s Cellar), and kegs at your local watering hole. There is also a cask earmarked to be served next Friday Aug 12 at Tata itself, with even more hops added in the firkin. On hand that Friday and Saturday will be The Food Wolf food truck, serving up food to complement to beer sampling.
• And finally in Tata News, look out for several special releases beginning Wednesday of next week. First up, they are releasing a series of Barrel-Aged Belgian Golden Strong ales. The 7.8% base beer was brewed earlier in the year, and had been aging for several months, before fruit was added to each one: Raspberry, Strawberry & Ginger, and Cherry & Blackberry. The first two releases will happen next week, with the cherry & blackberry beer coming a little later. These will be available in very limited amounts for sampling at the brewery, with bottles available for purchase. Joining these will be the next pair of beers in their Giant Beer Series. For the first time in this higher-ABV, bottle-only brews, they are going Belgian, with an 8.4% ABV Belgian Tripel. Brewed with primarily Pilsner malt, and Saaz with a touch of Mallertau Mittelfruh hops for bittering, this beer is bottle conditioned for higher carbonation and to extend the lifetime of the beer. Joining the Tripel is a small release (only 15 cases) of the Barrel-Aged Two Rivers Baltic Porter, the 8.0% ABV big brother to the Two Rivers, which spent 4 months in Ironworks barrels. Look for exact release details on their social media pages, as they roll out beginning Aug 10!
• There are several new beers available now/coming soon at Gahan House – Halifax. First up is Crosscurrent American Pale Ale, which is currently pouring and will be joining the regular lineup at the brewpub. Planned to evolve over time, the beer will showcase different hop combinations while incorporating the same malt bill (Pale malt with small amounts of Flaked Oats and Red Wheat); the current hops being used are El Dorado (whirlpool and dry hop) and Amarillo (dry hop only). Currently 5.5% ABV and 35 IBUs, it has lots of hop flavour, but low bitterness for the style. Also on tap at the brewpub is a new 4.0% ABV wheat House Beer. Brewed in the German Weizen style, with notes of clove and banana, the beer was partially cleared, but still retain some of the characteristic haziness from the yeast and high wheat content in the beer. A dry-hopping with Saaz completes the beer. And next week, the brewery will be releasing Maritime Brine, a Gose described as “delicately acidic, salty, and lemony” that comes in at 3.8% ABV and 8 IBUs.
• Mill Street St John’s has released their latest beer, Brehm’s Blueprint. Named after the German Brewmaster and architect who designed the Bavarian Brewery on Leslie Street, this German Pilsner features traditional Hersbrucker hops for floral and earthy notes on a crisp base beer. An ode to the familiar Newfoundland brands of Blue Star and Jockey Club once brewed at Bavarian, this 5.0% ABV, 30 IBU beer is available now on tap for pints and growler fills. Keep an eye out for upcoming releases, including an IPA and California Common.
• Garrison has released their latest one-off creation, Peanut Butter Honey Ale. The base beer is their Roggen Dunkel (aka Klingon Warnog), with real peanut butter and honey blended into the beer post-fermentation. This 5.3% ABV beer is only available at the brewery for samples, so you’ll have to visit their Marginal Road location for a taste!
• There’s a new beer available from Big Axe in Nackawic, Sea Buckthorn Golden Sour Ale. As with many Big Axe beers, the beer features an ingredient found in New Brunswick, in this case, Sea Buckthorn. A type of berry that the brewery says has been used as a cure-all for thousands of years, it was used amply in the beer to help result in ale that is “slightly sour, yet refreshing and bitter”. Hopped with Palisade, the beer comes in at 4.8% ABV. Look for it at the brewery now and on tap at several Big Axe accounts; it will also be making an appearance at this weekend’s Halifax Seaport Beerfest.
• Halifax’s Rockbottom Brewpub has a pair of new beers on tap these days, including the 5.0% Blanched Blonde Witbier, brewed in the traditional Belgian style, with low bitterness (25 IBUs), with orange aroma and a slight phenolic spiciness. Also on tap is the Dark Mild, which, when served on nitrogen, has a nice creamy mouthfeel and notes of toast, treacle, and quince fruit from the English yeast-derived esters. Upstairs at sister-bar Your Father’s Moustache, the entire Nine Locks complement is available, including the latest Watermelon Blonde release. And available this afternoon will be a special house-only beer, a 4.1% ABV Berliner Weisse. This traditional style features wheat notes on a sour base, not unlike a tart lemonade with a hint of citrus dry hopping.
• The latest beer from Alexander Keith’s Historic Brewery is now available, Fundy Low Tide White IPA. The 5.7% ABV was brewed with 50% torrified wheat and 50% Golden Promise, for a bready, wheat character, with a solid 60 IBU bitterness from Amarillo, Cascade, Mosaic and El Dorado hops in the boil and dry hopping. 7 kilograms of locally-harvested seaweed was added to the boil, a 50/50 blend of dulse and sea lettuce harvested by Seaboost during low tide off Grand Manan Island. The mild saltiness plays off the bold hop character, with notes of grapefruit rind and melon. It is available on tap at the brewery on Lower Water Street, and at the weekend’s Beerfest.
• Speaking of the Seaport Beerfest, there will be several special casks pouring at the Ladies Beer League / Brewnosers Cask Pavillion, including a special cask of Red Rover Dragon Slayer (featuring local cranberries), named Hop the Magic Dragon, after the hops added to the cask. Also pouring will be some special one-offs from Gahan, Boxing Rock, Garrison and Moosehead. Be sure to check the full beer list here, and we’ll see you there!
A few more parting shots before we call it a wrap:
– Port Rexton Brewing has added a third beer to their lineup this week, the Island Blonde. This 5.6% ABV beer is available on tap, joining their Horse Chops IPA and Night ‘Bous Porter.
– York County Cider is on tap for the first time, with their Like an Academic – a 6.5% ABV blueberry cider – on tap now, and their hopped cider, An Apple a Day, on deck. Drop by the Cidery today for samples of their next special blend, details of which are under wraps.
– Picaroons has re-released their Pride Sally Pride, a 4.5% ABV Pale Ale brewed with Amarillo hops and apricot flavouring; look for it on tap now at the Brewtique and General Store, as well as several Pics accounts.