All posts for the month September, 2016

Happy Friday everyone! Another busy week, so let’s dive right in!

• It’s been a busy few weeks at Tatamagouche Brewing, and they’re ready to share the fruits of their labour! Yesterday, they released their first kettle sour beer, brewed in collaboration/conspiracy with Big SpruceI’m In Love is a 4.0% ABV Berliner Weisse, featuring 70kg of ground cherries added after primary fermentation was complete. The resulting beer has quite a tropical feel, with melon and cantalope notes, aided by light additions of Mandarina Bavaria and Mosaic hops (to 13 IBUs). This beer will be a draft-only release, so grab a growler at the brewery, or a pint at better watering holes in the province. And we have it on good authority that this will not be the last TataWeisse release; we’ll keep you up to date with future releases.

• Launching at TataBrew today, is the third in their Barrel Aged Belgian Golden Strong series of beers. The Blackberry and Cherry spent an extra month in its barrel, as compared to the earlier releases of the Raspberry and Strawberry and Ginger versions. As such, this release, while still clocking in at 7.8% ABV, does show more barrel (vanilla and oak) and fruit (the eponymous blackberry and cherry, but also subtle sherry) characters. As with the other two releases, there are only a dozen cases of this beer available, so be sure to drop by the brewery this weekend to avoid disappointment.

• Tata’s Lagerhosen will be back next week, just in time for next weekend’s Tatamagouche Oktoberfest. The 4.5% ABV lager will be available in cans, as well as growler fills and of course on tap. They are running a contest on Facebook for swag, tickets to Oktoberfest, and a case of beer, so be sure to check it out! And we’ve spotted a new brew in the works with Battery Park, slated to be released at Tatabrew tap-takeover there on Thursday, October 6th, where a grand total of 14 Tatabrew beers will be featured on tap, along with one cask. Keep it dialed here for the details on this West Coast-inspired beer when available!

• The Port Rexton Brewing crew have been busy lately, and will be launching a brand new beer (to both them, and to the Rock, we reckon), a Gose. This 4.0% German-inspired beer features hand-picked and freshly-cracked coriander seed from the gardens and greenhouse at nearby Fisher’s Loft Inn. And in more exciting PRB news, they made their first delivery into St John’s this week: two kegs of T-Rex Porter were delivered to The Adelaide Oyster House Wednesday evening. Expect there to be more deliveries to town when supply allows it.

Bore City has brewed up their very first Imperial IPA – with a grist made up mainly of 2-row, there’s a decent amount of flaked grains to boost the body (and add haze), and just the tiniest amount of CaraMunich malt. Hopped and dry-hopped with heavy amounts of Equinox, Galaxy and Topaz, those of you lucky enough to try this currently-unnamed DIPA can expect big blasts of citrus and tropical fruit. Fermented with a blend of English and American ale yeasts, it weighs in at 8.5% ABV and 75 IBUs. Your best bet to try this delicious-sounding beer? Next Saturday’s (Sept 24th) Atlantic Canada Craft Brew Oktoberfest in Moncton; tickets are still available here.

• As wet-hopped-beer season continues, Maybee Brewing recently brewed their first, a SMaSH featuring all Maris Otter malt and freshly-harvested Columbus hops from Southan Farms. A hop variety that has been around for years, Columbus offers a pleasant mix of dank, earthy, and resinous aromas and flavours, which should be amped up even more when used fresh. Expect this one to come in between 5.5-6% ABV, and to hit taps in the next week or so. It will also be released in 473 mL cans, which will be available exclusively at the brewery in Fredericton.

• Florenceville-Bristol’s Railcar Brewing has a new brew available at the brewery, and another following soon. Their Biggar’s Extra Special Bitter is an English ESB brewed with 2-row, Munich, Crystal 40 L, and Chocolate malts, and hopped entirely with English Goldings. At 6.2% ABV and 47 IBUs, it’s available now for growler fills and pints. Brewed recently is a Smoked Vanilla Whisky Porter; this 9.9% ABV monster features a combination of roasted and smoked malts, as well as 8 lbs of blackstrap molasses. In addition, whisky-aged oak chips and 35 vanilla beans were added in secondary. Finally, the beer was dry-hopped with Goldings. Look for this one to become available on tap at the brewery within the next couple of weeks.

• We reported last week on TrailWay‘s first sour beer, which was kettle-soured with a Lactobacillus blend from Escarpment Labs. That beer is nearing completion, and should be available sometime next week. We can now confirm that it will be a ~5% ABV hoppy sour ale; it was “generously whirpool-hopped” with Galaxy, and further dry-hopped with Citra. With the IBUs kept extremely low (high bitterness can easily clash in sour beers), expect a quite tart beer with loads of tropical fruit on the nose and palate.

• There’s another new brew on tap at Mama’s Brew Pub, an American Wheat Ale named Atlantic Great White. Featuring a simple grist of 50% each of 2-row and Wheat malt, it was hopped with the tropical/citrus Amarillo variety. Crushed coriander was also added in the boil, followed by fresh apples and oranges in secondary. Easy-drinking at 4.9% ABV and 17 IBUs, this one is – as always – available only at the brewpub for pints and tasters.

• After several months delay, Fredericton’s Gray Stone Brewing has finally received and commissioned their 11.5 hL (10BBL) brewhouse. As such, they’ve been brewing like mad this week, with at least three batches currently on the go, including their first wet-hopped beer – American Harvest IPA – which will be brewed this coming Sunday. Bittered with freshly harvested Summit to an approximated 85 IBUs, according to the brewery, the beer is expected to come in at 6.5% ABV. They are also putting out a call for any interested parties growing hops on their property to drop them off at the brewery by closing-time on Saturday, to be used in the brew in the flavour and aroma additions. Look for the first in-house-brewed releases to come late September/early October. Congratulations!

• With the return of fall comes the inevitable return of pumpkin beers. Last year, Upstreet released their Gravedigger, which is returning with a couple of changes: this year’s batch weighs in at a slightly-lower 6.5% ABV (compared to last year’s 7.5%), and exhibits slightly less graham cracker character in the flavour. The beer will officially launch tonight with the Gravedigger Ghost Tour and Beer Release, with a Ghost Tour starting at Captain Jack’s Bar & Grill at 6pm, and ending up at Upstreet at 8pm to join the party in full swing. And big congratulations to them for winning Startup Canada’s Social Enterprise Award, recognizing them for making a difference in, and helping to build, their community.

• And in an interesting mesh where wet-hopped-beers-meet-pumpkin-ales, Big Tide has brewed up their Indian Beach Pumpkin Ale, which features additions of real pumpkin, and is wet-hopped with freshly-harvested Cascade from Dunhams Run. As always, the beer also has cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and clove added to boost the pumpkin pie presence, resulting in an interesting flavour combination for this ~5% ABV brew. They have also brewed a wet-hop version of their FogBound Hemp Pale Ale, swapping out Cascade for Dunham Run’s Hallertauer and Nugget. Look for these beers to hit the taps at the end of the month.

• Charlottetown’s Gahan House has just released the details of this year’s Home Brew Challenge. Amateur brewers from the Island are encouraged to brew up their best Winter Warmer by November 18th, when it will be judged by a panel of beer experts. The winning brewer will then get to brew her/his recipe with Gahan’s Brewmaster Trent Hayes (plus a cash prize!), and will be launched in 2017. Register via email by September 30th, and more details are available on their Facebook page.

We’ve got lots of things for you to do this weekend, including the Hops ‘n’ Brats event tonight, and Halifax Beer Run and Halifax Oktoberfest tomorrow.

• It’s a busy weekend for new Nova Scotia breweries! Trider’s Craft Beer is launching today in Amherst. Their retail location at will be open at noon for growler and merchandise sales, and again tomorrow 12-10pm. In case you missed it, check out the Profile of Trider’s we released earlier this morning.

• In Mahone Bay, Saltbox Brewing is officially opening the doors of their taproom and retail shop tomorrow, September 17 at 10 am. In addition to merchandise and growlers of their four core beers, their taproom will be open to embibe onsite. Lobster Jo’s Food Truck will be set up to keep folks happy too. Joining Saltbox on tap will be a few beers from Boxing Rock, Firkenstein, and Good Robot, plus ShipBuilders Cider. Learn more about Saltbox in an upcoming Profile post, and drop by 363 Main Street to take part in the fun!

• Continuing through Sunday is the annual Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival in Fredericton. Red Rover is opening a couple of pop-ups where they’ll be selling about six different ciders; they’ll also be accompanied by various beers from Maybee and Grimross. One will take place one the balcony of the Fredericton Region Museum today from 4pm – 12am, and the other will occur on the Isaac’s Way patio tomorrow from 12am – 2am. Cover charge is by donation, with all funds going to the Fredericton Region Museum.

• Drop by Digby’s Roofhound Brewery for Games Night this Saturday. Pitchers of RH beer are discounted by $5, and there will be some special treats available that evening. The fun kicks off at 8pm.

• The Newfoundland and Labrador Artisanal and Craft Beer Club is hosting an Oktoberfest at the Bella Vista September 30th. Featuring four German beers and digestif, and food to pair with it, this will be sure to give you a taste of the country. Learn more and register your spot with Matthew by Sept 27th.

• A reminder that the second annual Fredericton Cider Festival is in two weeks, Saturday, October 1st. Held at Brewbakers downtown, there will be unlimited 4 oz samples of more than 25 different varieties of cider, with local cideries such as Red Rover, York County, Gagetown Cider Company, and Scow being the main stars of the show. Tickets are still available ($56.50, tax included), which get you a tasting glass and samples from 1:00-3:30 pm; VIP tickets, which allow for early entry at noon, are sold out.

• Mark your calendars! Bissell Brothers and Orono Brewing Company will be taking over the taps at Stillwell the weekend of Dec 10-12. These great Maine breweries are killing it in Portland and Orono, respectively (and the rest of the state), and are bringing their great beers North for us to enjoy. Stay tuned for the exact date/time details, as well as teasers of which beers will be available.

Looks like a nice couple of days coming up for the last weekend of summer; get out there and enjoy them (with some craft beer, of course)! In closing…

PEI Brewing Co. have brought back a pair of seasonal favourites: Harvest Time Lager and Pumpkin Beer.
– For those who like it in the can, Propeller Brewing has expanded their tinnie offering to include the Pilsener and Pale Ale, joining their popular IPA. Cans are available at both their Gottingen and Windmill locations.
Pump House SPCA IPA is available again, with a portion of proceeds going to the Greater Moncton SPCA.
– Keep an eye out for the first kegs of Fredericton’s Bogtrotter beers in the wild: kegs of Muddy Mayhem IPA, Osprey’orange Pale Ale were delivered to Gray Stone Brewery last night, and will likely be tapped this weekend. To learn more about Bogtrotter, check our Q&A with them, and be sure to visit the James Joyce for their Meet the Maker event next weekend.

Trider's Logo

After a successful soft launch at Sociables Pub this past weekend, Trider’s Craft Beer is set to open the doors to their retail location this Friday at noon. Located at Unit 3 of 46 Anson Avenue in the Amherst Industrial Park, Trider’s is the first brewery in Nova Scotia’s Cumberland County. Business partners Scott Parker, Joe Potter, and Laura Parker have been hard at work for many months planning, building, and now launching the brewery. We asked Scott to bring us up to speed on the Trider’s family (literally), and their plans for Amherst’s local brewery.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Our Brew Master is Joe Potter from Springhill, Nova Scotia. Joe was working as a lawyer in the town of Amherst and has been home brewing for more than a decade. He realized brewing was his true passion and decided to make the plunge and chase a dream of his! Joe has extensive knowledge working with all grain recipes which have garnered a ton of compliments from almost everyone who has tried them. He really does brew a fantastic beer!
I (Scott) was living in Toronto and working for a marketing firm until September 2015, when I decided to move back home to Nova Scotia. At the firm, I worked very closely with SABMiller. Grolsch, Peroni, Fosters, MGD, and Miller Light were some of their beers that I marketed across both Canada and the United States. I worked on the team that handled the entire product launch of Miller Light into the Canadian marketplace. Such a fun experience!
My sister Laura Parker (who happens to be married to Joe), is our Operations Manager and will be managing our tap room/retail location. She brings a wealth of experience to the table from the merchandise management standpoint. She is currently a Veterinary Assistant here in Amherst making the transition with us over the coming months.

How did you get into the world of craft beer?
Scott has been drinking craft beer since the early days of Picaroons. Craft beer has such an extensive variety when compared to those of the big box brands. There are always new and exciting flavors or styles to try. Joe never buys the same beer twice, knowing there has to be something that he’s never had before. He is a huge fan of the exploding craft beer scene in Nova Scotia. Luckily, he lives right on the NB/NS border so getting his hands on what NB has to offer isn’t too far out of reach for him. Laura prefers the gluten-free alternatives, as she is allergic to wheat. We hope to have a gluten free alternative at some point!

What made you decide to take the step into brewing professionally? Care to share some info on your homebrewing history?
Joe started home brewing with his father shortly after finishing high school. Like most home brewers, he started with simple kits, and gradually became more and more advanced with his techniques. Joe has certainly worked though the motions of home brewing, going through extract kits, fruit and spice flavour additions, partial grain steeping, hop teas, dry hopping, and eventually full all grain mashes. The true spirit of brewing is in the ability to experiment and continually push the boundaries of the craft. This applies to everything from ingredients to the equipment being used. Joe always enjoyed building new gear to drive the beer forward. This progressive momentum has done nothing but pick up speed from day one. After making the jump to all grain brewing, it became obvious that the beer he was making had to be shared.

What type of brewing system will you be using?
We are opening our doors with sales of beer made on a 40 litre pilot system. We run a three vessel, propane fired, manually driven stainless steel brew house. The bulk of the pilot system was sourced through our buddy Dave at Everwood Ave Brew Shop just outside of Halifax. While each batch is only forty litres, we have more than 300 litres of fermentation space, and a wealth of carefully engineered methods for maintaining strict temperature control. We are carbonating in corny kegs for the moment. The larger system currently under production (with delivery expected in October) is a three vessel, 8.5 hectolitre (7 BBL), electric brew house manufactured by DME in Prince Edward Island. Our fermentors are sourced from a company in China called Jinan Tiantai. There is a lot of talk right now within the industry surrounding sourcing brewhouses from Asian manufacturers. It has certainly become a central theme to discuss with everyone we deal with. We have developed a good relationship with our supplier and raised many of the concerns North American brewers voice when debating the issue. They were the first to point out that there are lot of questionable manufacturers, and that it is crucial for brewers to do their research before buying. Still, it seems that the largest problem is often due to a misunderstanding of the needs of the brewery and the extent of what the manufacturer can actually offer. We noticed right away that Tiantai had figured this out, and were operating in a similar fashion to North American equipment suppliers. We are happy with them so far, and fully expect a quality product to help us bring the beer to our customers.

What are your plans for distribution?
Distribution from now until December will be in our storefront, where we will initially be providing growlers, with 500ml stubbie bottles to follow shortly. During our grand opening later in the fall (after christening our main brewhouse), we expect to have our products listed with the NSLC. We hope to have our 6 packs and 500ml bottles in their stores come the new year. We do have restaurants who are awaiting our kegs and taps but we have agreed to not release their information at this point.

Do you have some accounts in the area lined up to serve your beers?
We currently have our beer on tap at Sociables Pub in Springhill, NS, and may branch out as production allows.

 Can you tell us about the beers you plan on offering initially?
We will be starting with our three staples which are Yellow Beer’d Ale, Rod’s Red, and our Scotian Pale Ale. Yellow Beer’d  is a very friendly 5.0% ABV Blonde with a hint of Citra and Columbus hops at the end of each sip. We want this to be an introductory beer into the craft beer scene for those of us who have yet to develop a taste for the more full flavored beers available. Rod’s Red is Joe’s late father’s secret recipe. It’s a very smooth 5.0% ABV Red with a nice finish of malted barley. Dark in color, but light in feel. Our Scotian Pale Ale is an exciting take on the classic and very popular IPA. Our S.P.A. is a very nice pale ale that is dry hopped with Cascade hops that will be sourced from a local hop farms (Wysmykal Farms). We will have rotating seasonals such as Oxford Blue (Blueberry wheat ale), Maccan Maple (Maple beer brewed with sap from our own maple trees), and the Coal Miner Stout. Again, we are aiming at having easy drinking craft beer in hopes of getting more people into the craft beer scene that normally wouldn’t stray too far from their usual big box brands. We want to share the amazing beers that our province has to offer and would like even more people enjoying the various beers of Nova Scotia.

Have you had any assistance from other breweries and other folks people in Atlantic Canada?
Absolutely! The gang at Jym Line has been massively helpful. They provide around 90% of the craft beer scene with a lot of their glassware. They gave us a few pointers and have provided us with contact info for a few of the local breweries. Unfortunately, we have not reached out to all of them yet. Sean at Picaroons has been a large help and Aaron from Halifax Folding Cartons is absolutely incredible. I recommend anyone who needs beer boxes made to contact Aaron. We have been keeping a close eye on Upstreet in PEI and absolutely love everything they are doing. We have a number of friends working as staff for them and are always happy to hear about the inside scoop. A lot of Scott’s contacts from his time working with SABMiller have been a large help.

Where do you hope to see your brewery in the next 2-3 years?
We hope to be a household name with beer drinkers throughout the province in three years. We really want to be the stepping stone into the craft beer scene for the “craft curious” who might not like that double IPA right away or the non beer drinkers who would like to start drinking beer.

Do you have a favourite beer style, beer, or brewery you enjoy drinking?
Scott’s favourite craft beer is currently Boxing Rock‘s Hunky Dory while Joe seems unwilling to pick any favourites. Scott is a fan of very strong IPA’s generally, and Joe isn’t happy unless he has had a crisp clean ale followed by a rich and malty dark brew.

Thank you to Scott for sharing the info on Trider’s! Their retail location will be open today from noon until 10pm, and Saturday 12 to 10pm, for 1.89 litre growler sales and fills of Yellow Beer’d Ale and Rod’s Red, as well as merchandise. Until their Grand Opening later in the fall, they will be open Thursday (4-10pm), in addition to the Friday and Saturday hours. Look for the launch of their 500 ml bottles of Scotian Pale Ale in the coming weeks. And be sure to head to the Amherst Fire Department’s Rocktoberfest, being held at the Fire Hall October 1st, to drink some Trider’s and support the local FD. Keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter for the latest Trider’s news.

tidehouse logo


Tidehouse Brewing is the partnership between Shean Higgins and Peter Lionais, two avid homebrewers in Halifax. They are taking their passion for well-crafted beer to the next level, and will be opening shop this fall. Located at 5187 Salter Street, their brewery and retail shop are right in the heart of downtown. We caught up with the boys to learn a bit more about them, and their plans for the brewery.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Shean hails from the woods of New Brunswick, and is seemingly always occupied by some kind of DIY project, with almost an obsessive focus on home improvement projects, woodworking, brewing, etc. Oh, and handsome; he’s really, really handsome.
Peter is a Cape Breton ex-pat who has been living in Halifax since 2003. He used to be found at almost every indie rock show, but now mostly stays home to work on beer while popping over to his favourite tap rooms when he can. Also handsome.

How did you get into the world of craft beer?
Peter started down the road of fermentation after moving to Halifax and following in his dad’s footsteps of making wine kits, when he and a friend split on some equipment and began making wine in a spare room. Eventually, looking for a more creative output and falling in love with Halifax’s burgeoning craft beer and home-brewing scene, he moved towards focusing on designing and brewing beer. Shean was a little late to the party but made up for any shortcomings by talking REALLY LOUDLY. Shean learned the ropes from Peter, and his friend Derrick Hiltz. Derrick and Peter were brewing for years and Shean was great at consuming their products.

Care to share some info on your homebrewing history?
The two of us, as well as some other close friends, have bonded over our varied fermentation projects/experiments. We have both worked together at a local home brew shop, Noble Grape (shout out to the Oxford crew) for many years, honing our knowledge, helping others and learning about running a business. We both entered the Stillwell Open of 2016 and have entered many of the local homebrew competitions.

What made you decide to take the step into brewing professionally?
CASH MONEY!! Because a 1 hectolitre system is a HUGE money maker right? RIGHT??!! (Perhaps a bit of passion for brewing and creating as well)

What type of system will you be brewing on?
We will be brewing on a 98 L system and be doing double brew days. We are starting with a four brew day/week schedule.

Do you have an approximate launch date?
Barring some unforeseen incident, we are hoping to have beer for sale early to mid-October, but we hear from our pals in the industry that unexpected delays are to be expected.

What are your plans for distribution?
To start, we are focusing on pre-filled growler sales from our 5187 Salter St. location. We will have our own branded refillable bottle, but will be filling other clean growlers/refillable bottles. We will be sending some kegs/casks to our favourite craft beer hangouts/tap rooms.


Thankfully they won’t have to drive far to deliver their beer, as the Tidehouse delivery van needs a little work… From

Do you have some initial accounts in the area lined up to serve your beers?
Nope! But we will soon!

Can you tell us about the beers you plan on offering?
Our initial lineup will consist of:
Golden Glacier– A pale ale hopped with a favourite hop variety of ours, Glacier. We’ve always said it is a really pleasant hop with a lovely balance of earth, citrus and wood.
The Copper – A darker amber ale with a hint of smokiness from Rauchmalt (beechwood smoked malt from Germany).
Mild Thing – A super sessionable (lower alcohol) malty beer following British traditions of a pub beer. Look out for casked versions that make your heart sing!
Like A Motorcyc-ale – We were inspired by our friends’ band Like A Motorcycle to make a black but sessionable rock n’ roll of a beer. Light body, earthy and dank hop flavours and dark as a midnight ride on your motorcycle through the woods.
We are launching with four titles, but will add in one-offs and seasonals as we like.

Have you had any assistance from other breweries/people in Atlantic Canada (or elsewhere)?
We are definitely excited to be joining an industry that is so friendly and collaborative. We have learned a lot from Big Spruce, North Brewing, Good Robot, Sober Island and even fellow new comers 2 Crows and Bore City. “The rising tide floats all boats” truly does apply in our region, and we think most of the breweries out there recognize that. We are also very thankful for the help we’ve received from Noble Grape; the Haynes brothers have been hugely influential and big supporters of our project for quite some time. We’ve learned a lot from the home brewers of Halifax both those involved in the Brewnosers club and our enthusiastic customers at Noble Grape. We didn’t just teach people to how to brew beer, many of them taught us a thing or two.

Where do you hope to see your brewery in the next 2-3 years?
We plan to expand from what we can brew in our Salter St. space and have a larger production brewhouse set up, while still slinging growlers and producing fun one-offs in the downtown Halifax location. At the moment there are no plans for a pub or tap-room, however there IS available space in the unit directly next door. *wink*

Do you have a favourite beer style, beer, or brewery you enjoy drinking?
Peter is a big Saison fan, so expect to see something from that style coming down the pipelines. Shean tends to lean more toward sessionable hop-forward beers.

How about favourite style or ingredient to brew with?
Variety is the spice of life and we enjoy exploring the many avenues that brewing can lead you down. Expect a lot of different options. We’ll really be all over the map once we lock in our initial offerings.

Thanks to Peter and Shean for getting us up to speed with their little big project! Be sure to follow along on the build and brew process at their social media pages, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Cheers!