We’ve got another full complement of beer and cider news for you today, showing the resiliency of the producers to power through these difficult times, and continue to bring us the good stuff. In case you missed it, we did a Profile with the cats from Delta Force Brewing yesterday, trying to uncover just a bit about them and their beer. They launched their beers yesterday, heading out for delivery today/this weekend, so if you get in touch right away, you may be able to catch them before they disappear back into the night!
More updates to our Delivery/curbside pickup options for breweries and cideries in the region, as Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse in Dartmouth has re-opened (with beer and take and bake food options available), and Truro Brewing Co is trying out curb-side pickup for the first time this week (order in advance online for best results). As always, if we’ve missed something, or just want to chat, get in touch via email or social media (Ig and Tw preferred, but Fb exists too). Take care of yourselves! ?
We’ve got all of the detailed info on 2 Crows latest collaboration, a “Lagered wild ale w/ Riesling piquette”, Vinello. That mini-description right there is already begging for explanation, so don’t worry, we’ve got you covered (thanks to 2C, of course)! Waaaay back in mid-November – you know, about 6 years ago when shaking hands wasn’t weird? – the 2C peoples travelled to the Annapolis Valley to pay a visit to Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards. Of course they didn’t just drop in to say hello, and ended up leaving with a ton (just about literally) of freshly-pressed Riesling pomace (that pulpy residue leftover after the grapes have been crushed and the juice collected). This pomace was taken back to the 2C brewery and set in their blending tank with water to cover; after a week or so, this liquid had started fermenting with its native yeast. This method, which originated in France, produces a beverage known as piquette… basically a low-alcohol wine. Now that they had this part of the project raring to go, they called on Dave and Phil from St. Johns’ Bannerman Brewing to come over and brew up some wort; specifically, a base of Pilsner malt from Shoreline Malting, along with Spelt and raw wheat. The wort was transferred into one of the 2C oak foedres, along with a pitch of Mad Fermentationist Saison yeast from Bootleg Biology, and the actively-fermenting piquette. After 3 months of development, the beer was transferred to stainless and krausened with actively-fermenting Lager, dry-hopped with Hallertau Blanc and Nelson Sauvin, and lagered for six weeks. The final 4.9% ABV beer was packaged in cans, and is tasting “floral, earthy, with a lively acidity and a ton of complexity”. Check out 2C for more info on how to get your hands on some cans this weekend.
Let’s hop across the border (beer is essential services, right?) to New Brunswick, and more specifically Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing. They’ve got a handful of beers pouring these days, so let’s get you up to speed! First up is their Raspberry Milk Stout, a 5.5% ABV milk stout, meaning lactose (aka milk sugar) was added to the brew for a touch of non-fermentable sweetness. The addition of raspberry puree during the conditioning phase completes the picture, for a beer reminiscent of a raspberry chocolate coffee cake. Switching to Sours, O’Creek has Berry Mango Sour out currently as well, a 5.0% ABV fruited sour with plenty of lovely tropical fruit character with a tart kick. A return to the hops for them is IPAdemic, a 6.8% ABV Milkshake IPA, featuring heavy handed use of hops, for a tropical note, bumped up with the addition of coconut to the conditioning beer before packaging.
O’Creek also has two beers in completely new styles for them, coming in the next little while. We figure we’d get you all excited for them now, however… The first is Bock, their take on the traditional malt-driven German style. This 5.8% ABV version pours with a dark-brown body and a creamy head. Hop bitterness helps to balance the malt sweetness of the lager. And finally from O’C this week, is their first release in bottles, Beach Fire. This big boozy fella (10% ABV) is a Smoked Barleywine, taking advantage of the absolute beast of a yeast Kveik, to ensure the beer was nice and tasty without finishing too sweet. All of these are available at their neighbour CAVOK Brewing, who are open 3 – 8 PM daily for take-away, or GMA delivery. And, who have a full complement of their own beers pouring and available too!
From one Nanobrewery to another, let’s return to Nova Scotia, where Hardisty Brewing in Colby Village has released their first foray into Imperial IPA territory. Emperor’s New Clothes weighs in at 7.0% ABV, and features a heavy dose of Centennial hops for bittering, to the tune of 61 IBUs, and finished off with Amarillo to complete the picture. Right now, the only way for a Hardisty fix is to be fortunate to live in their Colby Village delivery area (if you don’t currently live there, there are 20 houses for sale there as of today), with more options coming once the current situation eases.
Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing has a new beer to try to help you deal with the madness of self-isolation. Based on the idea that peanut butter is an “eat it anytime” kind of food, they’ve put some into a “drink it anytime” kind of beer. PBP is a peanut butter porter weighing in at 6.2% ABV that’s perfect for having a beer when you don’t even know what time it is. With subtle chocolate flavors from the grist mingling with nutty goodness, expect a smooth and slightly creamy easy drinking beer. Available in cans for delivery along with a bunch of other Tire Shack goodness. Check their social media (Fb/Ig) for appropriate details on getting yourself some!
There’s still some new beers hitting the taps at Good Robot… of course, these will have to be enjoyed in the form of growler fills, likely in your own home, but hey, you can use your imagination and pretend you’re drinking them with friends at the taproom, maybe? This week they have two brand new beers, including Wilson Brown Ale, a 5.2% ABV Brown Ale (!) with notes of “dates, raisins, plums, and brown sugar”, and Blanket Fort IPA, which is 6.9% ABV and “medium-bodied, dank, and resinous”. Both beers are gluten-reduced as always, and join the FrontLiner Golden Ale we told you about last week, which is still available in short supply.
Our friends at Quidi Vidi have a couple of tasty new brews for those of you in their area this weekend. First up is a beer that is near and dear to head brewer Einar Holtet, an Altbier named Rhinegold. This is a recipe that Einar has been brewing since his younger years, when he learned to brew from his father (likely at an age that was just a wee bit earlier than 19!). This is the first time this beer has been brewed at Quidi Vidi, so that the rest of us can officially give it a try. Brewed with a variety of malts including 2-row, Pilsner, Carastan, Melanoidin, Red-X, Chit, and Dark Munich, it was hopped with Magnum, Perle, and Tradition. It comes in at an easy-drinking 5% ABV, and can be ordered online through QV now; it can also be found at select NLCs and convenience stores. While putting together your online order, keep their other newbie in mind, Pineapple Sour. A kettle sour with a grist of 2-row, Wheat malt, Maris Otter and Acid malt, it was hopped lightly with Cluster and features an addition of pineapple puree. At 5.6% ABV, expect some light tartness to complement all of that pineapple character. This one may also make its way to NLC stores next week, but it’s going fast so you’re best off buying it at the source.
If you’re starting to crave a well-crafted Kölsch (we don’t blame you, it is that time of year!), Stillwell Brewing has some exciting news for you! They’ve just canned (yes, their first cans!) Kompakt, a “Kölsch-style ale” brewed with Pilsner from Shoreline Malting. Hopped with Hallertau Mittelfrüh and fermented with Kölsch Ale yeast from Escarpment Labs, the beer was lagered for 2 months before packaging. Everything you want in a Kölsch, it’s tasting “clean, fresh, bitter, slightly fruity, and bready” with excellent foam and lacing (so make sure you pour this one into a glass). Cans of this 5% ABV beauty can be picked up at the brewery (back of 2015 Gottingen) today between 3-4:30pm; send them a DM after you’ve placed your order online so they can put it together and get it to you, contactless style. They’ll also be delivering tomorrow, so that’s an option, too! And while we’re too late to help you out this week, keep your eyes peeled to Bar Stillwell‘s Social Media (Instagram especially) for their return to being able to serve you some tasty food again. Yesterday and today saw Diner burgers, Tokyo fries, etc, etc, being available for curbside pickup, and we imagine the same will be happening next week as well. Plus you can add beer, wine, and cider from their Corner Store to accompany.
Tidehouse will be resuming their curbside pickup option for tomorrow (details on their social media), and they’ve got their popular Hibiscus City (a Gose w/ lime and hibiscus) available, along with two brand new beers. If you’re leaning towards the malty side of things this weekend, they’d like to introduce you to Albert, a “strong Amber ale” that was moderately-hopped with Idaho 7. Weighing in at 7% ABV, expect “deep stone fruit and light pine, backed by a touch of sweetness”. But maybe you’re more in a fruity, hoppy mood? They’ve got you covered there, as well, with Dry the Rain, an “Imperial Milkshake Sour”. Featuring additions of raspberry, blackberry, lactose, and vanilla, it’s 6.8% ABV and has lots of raspberry and vanilla character, with additional sweetness from the lactose.
Halifax’s Chain Yard has introduced some new shipping deals for online ordering (free shipping for orders over $75 in NS, and free Canada-wide for orders over $150), and even have a couple of new products to help celebrate. First up is Pie Hard 2, a fusion of house-made cranberry and raspberry wine with a “select apple blend”. Coming in at a hefty 7.6% ABV, it was double-fermented and oaked, giving a “lightly sour taste with a burst of berry cider”; available in cans. If you’re looking for something a bit fancier, they have 750 mL bottles of Eper Öak (Strawberry), an 8.6% ABV blend of house-made strawberry wine double-fermented with Northern Spy apple juice. Aged in Hungarian oak for six months before bottling, the final cider is off-dry with notes of strawberry, leather, toffee, fig, and spice. Also keep in mind that if you’re in the HRM, they’ll deliver to your door for free with orders over $40 (check out their website for specifics).
Halifax’s Garrison has a bunch of stuff for us all this week with the results of their 2020 Home Brew-Off and a couple of new beers. Firstly, the competition winners as announced on Facebook last night: congratulations go out to homebrewers Dan McAloney (Honourable Mention), The Bràthair Brewing Collective (3rd Place), Julien Belliveau (2nd Place), and the big winner, Trevor Armstrong. The style this year was New England IPA, an difficult one, particularly for homebrewers, and with 57 entries, taking top prize is a serious achievement. Based on past years, look for Trevor’s beer to be brewed in early 2021 for release in Spring.
Meanwhile, in Garrison beer news, both of their new offerings this week are riffs on the IPA style. First up is one they’re calling Relax!!! a very limited seasonal only available in 473 mL cans at Garrison retail locations (Seaport and Oxford) and for home delivery. Described as “aggressively relaxing,” it was built on a base of Pilsner, Dark Munich and Honey malts, with Citra and Mandarina Bavaria comprising the hop side.The bend in the road comes with the addition of ginger and turmeric, a little bit of yin to the hoppy yang. Expect a balanced beer at 6.0% ABV and 32 IBU, with flavors of ginger and turmeric of course, but also caramel and orange, and a spicy bitterness on the finish.
Also new this week is the latest in Garrison’s Hop Trip series of IPAs: Citrus White IPA. Coming in at 5.5% ABV and 26 IBU, like all “white” IPAs this one is driven by the use of a Belgian yeast strain, which brings a bit of bubblegum and possibly a little bit of spiciness to an otherwise citrusy brew. Simple on the grist side, with just 2-row, wheat, and oat malts, the hops are a blend of Huell Melon, Mandarina Bavaria, and Citra, which along with the addition of orange peel give this beer a citrus kick in addition to some tropical flavors. This one is available in a novel 4×355 mL can format. You can check out one or both of these new beers via your usual means for acquiring Garrison products. And stay tuned, as we have reason to believe there’s another new IPA coming from Garrison soon, a sibling to their ever-popular Juicy IPA.
Back to cider, briefly, where Lake City has the latest iteration in their Alpha Series of hopped ciders. Alpha 4.0 features both El Dorado and Chinook hop varieties, lending some pineapple, citrus, and pine character to the base cider. Check out their delivery details for info on how to give this one a try.
We have some details on the latest from New Scotland Brewing, a Zwickelbier named Alderney Dry. Think of it as an unfiltered Helles, and the smaller brother to Kellerbier. Named after the street they’re located on in Dartmouth, the beer is a 4.9% ABV, easy-drinking Lager that has been available on tap at the brewery for a while, but is now in cans and available to a wider audience. If you act *right now* you may be able to catch their cutoff for Friday delivery, otherwise head to the brewery 11 – 7 PM daily to grab a few.
We’ve got a handful of fruity-adjunct beers (and not) for you today as well, so let’s work our way into those…
Let’s start with Propeller, who have released what will be this year’s summer seasonal, Lime Lite. A Light Lager (4.5% ABV, to be exact) infused with fresh lime (and lemon, apparently), it’s thirst-quenching and refreshing, with “bright citrus aromas and flavours”. Cans are currently at Propeller and some of the private liquor stores in Halifax, and should be hitting NSLC stores very soon.
Going in another direction for a summer refresher are Shelburne’s Boxing Rock who are releasing their The Shandy this week. For those not in the know, a shandy is the British version of a radler, where beer meets fruit juice for a light and hydrating summer cooler. In this case, BR went with the tried and true lemonade (their own), but a bit of a twist by blending it with their cranberry-laden kettle sour Over the Top. The result is a 2.5% ABV quaffer that’s light and tart and perfect for après mow (assuming summer comes eventually). Available 6-packs of cans through their online ordering platform.
And lastly, Hell Bay in Liverpool has decided to hop on the hard seltzer train with Mangoberry and Margarita flavors now available. The former features a blend of 100% unsweetened mango, blueberry and cranberry, while the latter is, we believe, lime and bit of salt. At 5% ABV and 0 IBU, we’re not sure how much, if any, beer character they boast, but if you’re looking for something fruity and don’t care whether it’s beery, these sound like just the thing. Available for growler fills only (with appropriate social distancing and sanitary protocols) from the brewery.
That’s it for the beer and cider and seltzer talk for today, but before we leave you…
In case you haven’t gotten enough beer talk in today, may we recommend some more? The fine fellas over at the 902 BrewCast released a new episode earlier this week, their April Tasting one. They drank, and chatted about, a couple of new releases (North Brewing’s Goin’ Down the Road Helles and Roof Hound’s Gimme a Hint <1% ABV Pale Ale), plus whatever else is grinding their gears this time.
And after a little hiatus, the Newfoundland Beer Podcast has come back in full force, with 4 episodes released in the last month, looking into Food and Beer pairing, kegerator maintenance, the connection of beer and sport, and more!