Happy Friday folks! The region got a dose of great news with the announcement of the Atlantic Bubble coming next Friday, but that doesn’t mean you can forget everything we’ve been doing for the last 3 months (just look South for proof). Keep being smart about how you choose to get together with friends and strangers, and above all, spread love and not the virus. We’re taking next Friday off, so we hope this dose of beer news will keep you satisfied until then. And if not, we promise a full refund. Happy Canada Day, and remember that brewery taprooms, restaurants and bars are operating under different circumstances than usual, so check before heading out, and tip as generously as you can!
We want to start this week off with two brewing initiatives that are poised to make an impact on inclusivity and equity in the local brewing community, and beyond.
Good Robot Brewing Co’s brewer Giovanni Johnson, along with members of the Nova Scotian Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour population have come together to form the Change is Brewing Collective. Their first release will be coming mid-July, named Blackberry Freedom, a Pale Ale with blackberries. The group, and beer, is a challenge to other breweries in the province, dare we say everywhere, “to consider how they can be more inclusive for the BIPOC in their communities”. We can see this as a way of encouraging more breweries to engage members of their local BIPOC community for both staffing or patrons. We can get behind that! Look for Blackberry Freedom in July, and we’ll have a ton more with Gio and the Collective then.
And in an out-of-region initiative, but of utmost importance here, is the Black is Beautiful project. Hosted by Austin’s Weathered Souls, it is a worldwide collaboration for breweries to bring awareness and efforts to overcome injustices that many people of colour face. Over 900 breweries have signed up world-wide for the project, brewing a 10.0% ABV Imperial Stout, and directing 100% of the beer’s proceeds to groups focusing on racial justice, equality, and inclusion. So far in Atlantic Canada, we see two Nova Scotian breweries have stepped up to the plate. Halifax’s Tidehouse Brewing will be donating the proceeds to GameChangers902, a group of African Nova Scotians coming together to promote and mobilize change in the province, centralizing the experience, culture, and history of Black Nova Scotians. Tatamagouche Brewing is taking part as well, as they are committed to continued education, understanding and supporting people of colour, and are directing their proceeds towards groups educating and promoting awareness in the province. We want to encourage other breweries in the region, both small and large, to take part in this collaboration, because, while conversations on and efforts to remove systemic racism may be difficult and feel overwhelming, Black Lives Matter.
We’ve got big news for the island of Cape Breton, where Island Folk Cider House opened their doors last weekend. Located at 52 Nepean St in Sydney, just a stone’s throw from the Big Fiddle, they are open for retail sales of their initial release blends. Open Thursday and Friday, 12 – 7 PM, and Saturday 11 – 4 PM, you can grab cans of their Good Company 6.5% ABV cider, and Rebel Rosé 7.0% ABV blend of cider and cranberry wine. The cans feature artwork by local illustrator and cartoonist Alison Uhma. Their third release, the smaller batch Easy Beezy featuring local honey, sold out in just a few days, sorry, but more blends are on the way! If you can’t get to their retail location, fear not, as the Good Company is available at 14 NSLC locations across the province, from Yarmouth to Sydney, and Amherst to HRM. Plus kegs of both GC and RR are at several bars and restaurants on the Island as well as the South Shore, check out their Fb page for more details. You can also keep up to date on the fun on their Ig page. We’ll have a full Profile with IFCH up in the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime, Congratulations to Jill and team!
After months of preparation and planning, Sackville’s Bagtown Brewing Co. finally opened up their new retail store at 45 Main St. last weekend. The new location is also the new home to the brewhouse, and while just across the street from where they were previously, allows them more space to sell more beer! In addition to Bagtown’s rotating offerings, you’ll also be able to grab cans and bottles from other New Brunswick breweries. If you’re in the area and would like to drop in to check out the new space/pick up some beer, they’re open today (Friday) from 12-6 pm, and Saturday 9am-3pm.
Upstreet Brewing is celebrating a huge milestone this weekend: their brewery has now been operating for 5 years in Charlottetown, PEI. And while the ongoing need for social distancing means that they can’t throw a massive shindig for all their friends in the taproom, it’s not going to stop them from celebrating. The first aspect of that celebration is now traditional: DeNovo V is, appropriately, the 5th iteration of their mixed-fermentation saison birthday beer. Keeping it local, the grist features Island Malt House Pale, Wheat and Rye and the hop side has Island Hop Company Saaz along with some out-of-province Centennial and Ekuanot. Tasting-wise, it starts with an aroma of peppery lemon meringue accompanied by some mild funk, citrus and herbal notes. Lightly toasted sourdough comes through on the palate, leading to a very dry and crisp finish on this beer that weighs in at 6.5% ABV and 15 IBU. This year they’ve elected to bottle it in 500 mL bottles instead of the 750s used in previous years. If you’re on the Island you can definitely grab this one direct from Upstreet (whether that’s the brewery/taproom or Craft Beer Corner), but it looks like it may also make it to Halifax as well, where we’d imagine you’ll find it at some or all of the private stores in the city in the coming weeks.
The other aspect of Upstreet’s birthday celebration is a contest they announced today on social media: they’re offering folks a chance to win a $500 Upstreet gift card for themselves and $5,000 to a charity of their choice! Entering is easy: Post a photo with your favorite Upstreet beer (or Rewind Seltzer or East Coast Soda Co. Soda) on Fb or Ig, making sure to tag @upstreetbrewing and the charity of your choice and add the hashtag #cheersforcharitypei, then use the caption space to say how that charity is doing good in the community. Multiple entries per person are allowed, although each needs to nominate a different charity. There will be one winner of this contest announced July 10th at noon. So grab yourself an Upstreet beverage and your camera/phone, and get snapping for your favorite cause!
Speaking of 5th Birthdays, Breton Brewing is celebrating their own this Saturday! To help celebrate, they’re going to be releasing five beers as part of an Anniversary Series, with each beer being launched at a different date over the summer. A mixture of brand new beers and returning favourites, they’re starting off with one of the latter, Shipwreck DIPA. Hopped entirely with Mosaic, this 7.4% ABV hop bomb is hazy and pale amber in colour, with “aromas of mango, citrus, and peaches”, and lots more on the palate. Always a requested beer at the brewery, this is the first time Shipwreck has been available in cans. It’s available right now in the taproom, as well as for delivery in the CBRM; look for it to pop up at the private stores in Halifax next week, as well as home delivery in that area. And keep your eyes peeled for their next Anniversary release, which should be early July… we’ll keep you posted!
Now that the Good Robot taproom is officially up-and-running, they’re releasing some beers with feelings of summer – one new, and one returning. Seems natural to start off with the new one, so let’s begin with Fanny Pack, a dry-hopped Lager. Designing a brew for those of us looking for something light and refreshing for summer drinking, but with lots of bright hop character, Fanny Pack was brewed with a simple grist of Pale ale malt and flaked corn. Fermented with the brewery’s favourite Mexican Lager yeast strain, it was lagered appropriately and dry-hopped with Comet and Citra. The 4.8% ABV, straw yellow-coloured beer has citrus on the nose and palate, including notes of lemon and grapefruit, with low bitterness. Crushable as advertised, it’s available in cans at the brewery. And while picking up your cans for the weekend, you’ll notice that Viking Holiday is back, also in cans (and on tap)! This 4.2% ABV Pineapple Wheat beer was fermented with a Kveik strain, giving the brew notes of nectarine to complement the aromas and flavours from the pineapple added to the brew.
Now that Ol’ Biddy’s Brewhouse is officially at full throttle (it should be noted that the taproom is still open for retail sales only), they’ve gone ahead and added some canned beers to their expanding lineup this week. Those of you who have been following the brewery since their humble, 1-bbl brewhouse days may recognize the names of two of the beers, which were originally released in 2018. The first of these is Orange American Bastard, a 4.7% ABV American Wheat beer that features late-boil additions of orange peel and coriander, as well as a touch of Cascade hops. Crisp, clean, and refreshing, a beer to pound back by your pool, or maybe share with someone ready to dip the toe into the waters of craft beer (“clever” metaphor, not insinuating that the beer is watery). The other returning brew is Call Your Bluff, a 4.9% APA originally brewed in collaboration with Todd Beal that has a “pungent grapefruit character”.
The new beers are on the darker side of the spectrum, starting with Shady 80, a chocolate stout. Brewed with a variety of dark malts, this 6.3% ABV Sweet Stout has an addition of lactose powder to bump up the sweetness slightly, to balance the roast character in the beer. Rounding everything up is Engine 41, a 6.4% ABV Cherrywood Smoked Porter. “Big on taste, yet balanced and easy to drink”, expect some moderate smoke character, finishing with notes of chocolate and roast. All four of these beers are presently available in cans at the brewery, open regular hours this weekend, and then opening early next week on Tuesday and Wednesday (yes, July 1), 12 – 6 PM, to allow you to stock up for the Canada Day holiday.
Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing has a new beer on the radar, a hoppy, hazy APA named Beachcomber. The latest in their small batch series, the 5.5% ABV beer was intensely dry-hopped with Galaxy, Mosaic, and El Dorado. Hard to go wrong with those varieties! They’ve described it as “light-bodied, flavourful, and aromatic”. Available for delivery, and, of course, for pick-up at the brewery.
The crew at Pollen Angels have teamed up with Fils du Roy to produce Fils D’Abeille (Son of a Bee). You may be already wondering if a meadery teaming up with a distillery means mead + spirit(s), and you’d be right! Fils D’Abeille is a blend of Queen’s Nectar mead and oak-aged Gin Thuya, weighing in at a hefty 10.5% ABV. Described as a harmony of “honey, apples, Thuja occidentalis, juniper berry and coriander”, you can find this beverage at many ANBL stores across New Brunswick; be sure to continue to check the ANBL site for which stores are carrying bottles of the product.
A few more newsbites for you today before we dismiss the class…
There’s a new episode from your favourite hosted-by-three-guys, all about local beer, three digit podcast out for download and listenin’ as of earlier this morning. If you guessed 902 Brewcast, good for you! This is a tasting episode/chat about the latest news/answer social media questions episode, so all bases are covered. Download it wherever you normally download your favourite podcasts.
And in more great news, their faithful sponsor, Bishop’s Cellar Bishop’s Cellar Bishop’s Cellar, has re-opened their doors to the public, for in person shopping (Mon – Wed 10 AM – 6 PM, Thurs – Sat 10 AM – 9 PM), as well as online ordering for curbside pickup or province-wide delivery.
(dm us for our address to send that cheque)
CAVOK Brewing has a very small, limited batch newly-available on tap, Dents De Lions. Brewed with local dandelions and citrus fruit, this 4.3% ABV, 6 IBUs brew can also be found online, for local delivery. As a side note, we also would like to invite CAVOK to drop by our homes later in the summer, for more dandelion harvesting. Free!
Unfiltered’s super-hoppy DIPA (well, one of them anyway), Fist of God (7.5% ABV) is back for the weekend. Described by the brewery as a “fruity, citrus, tropical, East Coast DIPA w/ West Coast roots”… well, we don’t know what else to say. On tap and in cans at the brewery now, and delivery options are also available (for orders made before 2 pm).
And with the good news happening around AtlCan, we’re seeing some spots hiring and expanding their scope. Here are two such businesses looking to bring some folks onto their team.
Way up (and we mean waaaaaaay up) in Labrador City, NL, one of the region’s newest breweries, Iron Rock, is looking to expand their team in the form of an Assistant Brewer and Cellar Person. This is potentially a combined position, however the immediate need is on the cellaring side, managing inventory and packaging while maintaining the brewery’s dedication to cleanliness and sanitation. Over time opportunities on the brewing side are expected to grow and so the applicant’s previous brewing experience is certainly a relevant factor. A full-time gig in Lab City, hours will definitely vary. If this sounds like you and you’re in town or willing to make a move, maybe check out the full details and job description and throw your hat in the ring!
Also in Newfoundland, Port au Port’s Secret Cove Brewing is looking to fill a position or two… or four, specifically! There’s a wide variety of jobs available, including working right in the brewing side of things (Brewery Operations – Canning and Distribution), into the taproom with the Taproom Manager position, as well as Bartending and Curb Shop staff, and finally, they’re looking for a cook! You need to be motivated and love everything involved with craft beer, and the cook position does require experience. For more details, check out the full info here, and if you’re interested, send a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.