Happy weekend! Sad to say that summer is already creeping towards its end, but that doesn’t mean that this week is any less of a barrage of beer news than usual, as we’ve got a pretty good amount of new beers and ciders to tell you about, as well as a couple of great events happening in Halifax over the weekend. So enough of this idle chit chat… let’s get to it!
It wouldn’t be a week in the beer world without the release of at least one New England IPA, and Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill has the honour of leading off this week’s blog post with theirs! Bang a Uey 201 (named after the New England term for performing a U-turn) features “stupid amounts” (read: very large) of Mosaic, Huell Melon, and Mandarina Bavaria as a whirlpool addition, as well as a triple dry-hop of all three varieties. Fermented with the Årset Kveik yeast blend from Escarpment Labs (at a very hot 40 Celsius!), the result is a super-hazy beer with aromas and flavours of tropical fruit, melon, and tangerine. For right now, you’ll only be able to find this 6.9% ABV, 25 IBUs beer at the brewery, for pints and growler fills; there’s a chance a few kegs may make it to the HRM in the near future.
The Church Brewing Company in Wolfville has debuted another beer in their taproom this week, as they continue to roll out their initial offerings from their brewhouse. Eight Bells is a 5.2% ABV Belgo Pale Ale, combining the sensibility of an American Pale Ale on a Belgian base. As with their Sanctuary Enkel (a Belgian Singel beer) and Mayflower White IPA, the best place to try the beer is at the source, as they are not yet sending kegs out into the wild. EXCEPT, they will be attending this weekend’s Seaport Cider and Beer Fest, where those in the big city will have a chance to grab a small taste of their offerings. And keep a close eye on their Instagram page, as they will be debuting at least a couple new beers over the next few days, including their Silver Lining Witbier and Congregation Pilsner.
Halifax’s Sourwood Cider will also be attending the Seaport Fest this weekend, and one of the new expressions they’ll be pouring is their second iteration of Wabamo!. This is the latest in their line of hopped ciders, as they play with the flavour available from different varietals. Starting from a base of Northern Spy, the hops (Citra and Simcoe, in this batch) were boiled in the juice, to extract bitterness and change the base cider further. Simcoe was added again during active fermentation (think hazy NEIPA-vibes), with another dosing added post-fermentation for good measure. In addition to Seaport, Wabamo! Is currently pouring at their Cornwallis Street taproom for your tasting and testing pleasure.
Hanwell’s Niche Brewing has debuted the latest in their Belgian lineup this week with the Solstice Saison. The 6.0% ABV straw-coloured beer started with a simple malt bill of Pilsner and Wheat, and fermented with a traditional Saison strain from France. However, the brewers took a left turn when it came to hop choices, opting for higher levels, and more New World varieties. Amarillo, Topaz, Enigma, and Idaho 7 were added to the boil (to the tune of about 40 IBUs), with more Enigma and I7 added in a devil-may-care way post-fermentation. Waves of tropical, citrus and juicy notes meld with the phenolic spiciness from the yeast, and finishing dry. Solstice is pouring now in Fredericton, and will be popping up in Saint John any day now, so keep your eyes (and mouth) open to try it! And for those attending the Seaport in Halifax, grab their Wander Dry Hopped Sour at the Brewnosers table at all three sessions.
Maybee Brewing snuck in another bottle release at the end of last week (after the blog was published… we’re off the hook!), the third in their series of barrel-aged beers. Barrel-Aged Saison (Cab. Sauv. Version) is just that, a Saison that was aged in a Cabernet Sauvignon barrel, for eight months. This 7% ABV Farmhouse Ale is golden-coloured, with aromas of “oak, grape, black pepper, pear, and apple”, according to the brewery. This follows through on the palate as well, with a bit of heat in the finish. As with their previous bottle releases, it’s available at the brewery only; they also have it on tap, if you’d like to try a pint to go with your 750 mL bottle purchase (no growler fills). Look for a future release of the same recipe aged in different barrels.
Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing has a new beer pouring in the Moncton area these days, L’Aboiteau (a sluice gate used to reclaim marshland). This 5.3% ABV beer is a mouthful, in more ways than one! It’s a Peanut Butter Milk Stout, meaning it features lactose (milk sugar) for a touch of sweetness in the base beer, along with a pleasant peanut butter flavour over top (thanks to an addition of peanut butter powder late in the boil). The grist itself was made up of 2-row, Roasted Barley, Chocolate malt (hence the chocolate flavour and aroma in the beer), and a healthy amount of oats. As many know, milk chocolate and peanut butter go incredibly well together, so now’s your chance to grab a pint and continue the love affair! L’Aboiteau is currently pouring at Le BarBu in Dieppe.
Big Spruce Brewing has released another beer in their one-hop series, Beverly’s Hill 902. You can bet that they’ve gone to town with the description of this one, with somewhere around 26 references to that multiple-award winning TV show of the 90s (and rebooted this week), Beverly Hills, 90210 (ps, Razzies count as awards, right?). But we’re going to spare you all of that, don’t worry… so put your vomit buckets away! The beer was hopped with an experimental hop, HBC 472, which is commonly described as having characteristics that are “coconut and woody”. Big Spruce is describing this particular beer as being heavily aromatic, “deeply piney, with hints of juniper poking through”. We suggest that you try it yourself! It weighs in at 7.2% ABV and 58 IBUs. Available on tap at BS, and local tap accounts.
Continuing on to Newfoundland with the punny beer names (because, why not?), where Port Rexton Brewing has a new beer out, and it’s a great style for summer sipping. This Czech Pilsner, which they’ve named Czech Out the Whales (!), was brewed with a grist made up almost entirely of Pilsner malt. Hopped with Saaz, and fermented with the Czech Lager yeast strain from Escarpment Labs, it was cold-conditioned (lagered) for over seven weeks. It’s now ready for you, and smelling and tasting like a classic example of the style, with herbal, floral, and spicy notes, and a “delicate but present bitterness”. Truly a great style of beer to cleanse your palate between all those hop bombs and sours that you may be craving, and at 5% ABV, it goes down right some easy. Grab some for the weekend at the brewery taproom, or their retail shop in St. John’s.
Bannerman Brewing, in St. John’s, NL, has a couple of new beers on the go this week, one style from each side of the pond. On the Continental side, they’ve got Casual Acquaintance, a German-style Pilsner that they hopped with classic noble Saaz and somewhat more modern Ella for herbal, grassy, and fruity flavors. Crisp, easy-drinking, and no doubt refreshing, it comes in at a nice and light 5% ABV. Back on the North American side comes Tan Lines, an American Wheat beer that’s been double-dry-hopped with tropical El Dorado hops. Also light in body, but slightly heftier at 6% ABV, look for notes of candy and citrus along with an assertive and lingering hop profile.
Staying in Newfoundland, next up is Crooked Feeder, who have been very busy this summer. Their brewery in Cormack is fully operational, and now so is the taproom, serving those in the Deer Lake region and folks taking the trip to Gros Morne with in-house pints and flights and growler fills to go. But they’ve also got things going on in Corner Brook, where they opened a pub in late June and are now working on a retail location to join it. That means you’ll be able to have the same CF experience in Corner Brook, having a few pints in the pub or getting a growler fill to go. Keep an eye on social media for updates on the CB retail outlet as well as some other things they’ve got on the go, no doubt including some new beers!
While the love-it-or-hate-it Brut IPA style has experienced a bit of a decline in production lately, that doesn’t mean that it’s completely gone! In fact, Tanner & Co. is launching their own take on the style today, and it’s definitely a different approach than that taken by most breweries. Their goal was to create a Brut IPA that emulated a Nova Scotia Muscat wine (thanks to a challenge on a 902 BrewCast post), which has given us Musqué. Brewed mostly with Pilsner malt, with small additions of corn and wheat, they threw in some fresh peaches in the boil, along with grapefruit and orange peel. Some Galaxy and Mosaic hops were used as a whirlpool addition, with fresh strawberries added to the wort before fermentation began. Amylase enzyme was added the dry the beer out (all the way down to 1.000), with a dry-hop of more Galaxy and Mosaic, as well as Amarillo. The resultant 6.5% ABV, 10 IBUs beer has a multitude of flavours (as you may expect), with none of them being “over the top”… a blend of experiences, if you will. You can find this one on tap and in bottles, both of which are available at the brewery only, for now.
Montague, PEI’s newest brewery, Bogside Brewing, has been keeping busy at their taproom this summer, with lots of beer (and BBQ!) flowing for their thirsty customers. And they’ve just added another two new ones to their menu, both of which are kettle sours. The two beers are actually the same base beer, which was soured with Lactobacillus before being boiled. The first, Sun of a Beach, was consequently dry-hopped with mostly Mosaic, and a touch of Simcoe, giving “big hits of lemon with some tropical notes”. The second beer, Roadside Attraction, had an addition of fresh strawberries, for those of you who prefer your beer fruitiness from actual fruit, instead of hops! Both beers are 4% ABV and available on tap only, at the brewery and licensees.
And while on the topic of Bogside, they’ve teamed up recently with Tatamagouche Brewing to brew up a DIPA named Holiday Island. Tata is where Bogside Brewer Mark Patriquin cut his teeth before a stint in British Columbia, so a collaboration was inevitable. West Coast in nature, with a dry and light body, and fairly bitter thanks to massive additions of Galaxy and Mosaic throughout for citrus, stone fruit, and plenty of tropical notes. The 8.3% ABV, 83 IBUs, beer is available now on tap, and soon in cans. And for those unable to make the trip to Montague (shame on you, you’re missing out on some killer BBQ), cans of Bogside will be available at both of the Markets in Charlottetown on Saturday and Sunday.
Dartmouth’s North Brewing is releasing a sour of their own today, the latest in their Breakwater series. Breakwater Passionfruit Sour was soured in the kettle with two strains of Lactobacillus, boiled, and then fermented with Vermont Ale yeast. Once complete, a very large amount of passion fruit puree was added to the beer to give it a “quenchingly tart, juicy, super-refreshing” character. Thankfully, they’ve canned this one for us, meaning you can cart it around with you on your travels this weekend! You can grab your cans at both North shops, as well as Harvest Wines, WestSide, and RockHead.
Secret Cove Brewing has a new beer available this week in Port au Port, NL, a tribute to the island they’re calling Come Home Beer. A summer seasonal in the form of an “Apricot Beach Wheat Ale”, its aroma might have you thinking of jam, as it’s full to the gills with apricots, giving it a tropical, fruity, and somewhat tart presence. Hazy, as is typical for a beer with plenty of wheat, it weighs in at 5% ABV and is surely going to be a super refreshing summer sipper. Look for it at their taproom in Port au Port where they’re featuring their summer hours of 1 – 9 PM Mondays to Thursdays, noon to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and 1 – 6 PM on Sundays.
If you’re a fan of the Creature Feature beers from Good Robot – a series of “biotransformation IPAs” that they’ve been brewing – you may want to hang around their taproom this weekend, as they’ll be putting on their latest, Creature Feature VI – as soon as a line is freed up. The first in the series to be assertively bitter (at 50 IBUs), this 5.6% ABV entry features additions of a mish mash of varieties, including Mt. Hood, Dr. Rudi, Ella, Wakatu, and Cascade. They’ll also be throwing on their watermelon-and-kiwi Radler, Pink Flamingo (4.6% ABV), when yet another tap is available.
Rounding out the news this week is great news coming out of the Annapolis Valley. During their Third Anniversary celebration on the weekend, Les Barr of Roof Hound Brewing in Digby announced that they will be opening a second location this fall. 573 Main Street in Kingston will be the location of “Roof Hound Kingston”, which will feature a full retail space, live music, and a full food and beer menu in the 60 seat taproom inspired by what you have grown to love at their original location outside of Digby. Kingston will also be the site of their new Barrel project, allowing them to age some beers for a little while longer, experimenting with new flavour profiles. They are looking to hire kitchen and bar staff in preparation, both full- and part-time positions are available, so contact them with your CV to apply.
So, what’s got us excited this weekend? Beer, beer, and more beer!
Halifax, get ready for an even larger influx of beer than normal, as the annual Seaport Cider & Beerfest is this weekend at the Cunard Centre. With over 300 different beers and ciders pouring from breweries from 20 countries, you’re bound to find puh-lenty of beverages to keep you happy! This year’s event could easily be the best yet, as this is the first time they’ve brought in the Maine Beer Box, a 40’ shipping container that will be pouring 78 (yes, 78!) different Maine craft beers. The event is stretched out over both Friday and Saturday, with an evening session tonight (7-9:30), and two sessions tomorrow (2-4:30, 7-9:30). Note that there are also VIP options for each evening session (afternoon VIP is sold out), which gets you into the event an hour earlier. Tickets are still available, and range in price from $51 to $79.75; you can purchase yours right here.
Two highly-regarded breweries and a restaurant from the State of Maine are making appearances in Halifax this week: Austin Street from Portland and Orono Brewing from Orono are joined by Portland’s Thirsty Pig, purveyor of fine sausages. Today at 3 PM in downtown Halifax at 2 Crows you’ll find a food pop-up from Thirsty Pig, while the gang from Orono finish off a collaboration brew day with the hosts. Expect some delicious sausages on offer, as their mission is to provide the finest sausage and beer pairings that there ever were. You can check the event’s Facebook page for details on what they’ll be serving up.
And of course there’s going to be some beer from these fine folks! Formerly Saturday, but rescheduled to a later date, both Austin St. and OBC will be taking over the taps (six each) at Stillwell, pouring a wide variety of beers, ranging from sours and Saisons to Sweet Stouts and hoppy offerings. Stillwell’s kitchen will also be serving up a couple of new food items to pair with your beer, including fried green tomato sandwiches and disco fries. Couple of great breweries at a great location, don’t miss it! The event has been postponed to a later date, due to issues with beer delivery. Stay tuned for more info!
Just a few last things before we release you for the weekend…
Landwash Brewery has been *extremely* busy since they’ve opened, but they’ve been brewing like mad, and want you to know that they now have plenty of beers back on tap and in cans, including their very popular NEIPA, That Much Ocean. Grab them quick before they’re gone again!
Propeller Brewing has brought back their Call Me Blondie Dry-Hopped Blonde for another round of fun this week. Brewed with the Ladies Beer League and first released in March around International Women’s Day, this 5.0% ABV brew features loads of Simcoe dry-hopping, for melon and citrus aromatics. Catch it on tap at the LBL table at the Seaport this weekend!
Tatamagouche Brewing has a couple of returning one-offs for you to grab when you see ‘em: Rushton’s Peach Berliner Weisse (3.5%), a kettle sour aged on organic apricots and peaches, and Deadeye DIPA (8%), a hop-heavy brew featuring a double dry-hop of Hallertau Blanc, Columbus, and Centennial.
Trider’s Craft Beer is keeping up their spirit of innovation with a bevvy of new bevvies on tap at their taproom these days. The list is always rotating, but we’ve recently seen word of a new 6.5% ABV Rye IPA (D-Rye Ice), as well as two new takes on American Wheat, with Pango Tango, a pineapple and mango wheat (4.9% ABV), and American Orange, at 5.5% ABV, dry-hopped with Triskel hops and featuring sweet orange peel. Pop by their taproom at 46 Anson Ave in the Amherst Industrial Park to get your growler, pint, or flight of these and more!