Today marks the turn into the last month of Summer, at least as far as the Earth’s orbit around the Sun is concerned. But the realities of solar system mechanics and their impact on meteorology aside, we know that there’s still plenty of warm-weather beer drinking to be had in our region. Lucky for us, our region’s breweries and cideries are continuing to pump out top class liquids for our consumption. Read on for news about as many as we could find out about this week!
Last Friday (too late for a blog post then, sorry!), Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing dropped the latest in their Million Acres series, an ever-changing lineup of barrel-aged brews. This newest release is Million Acres – Barrel-Aged Cherry Saison, a 6.5% ABV beer brewed with malt from Island Malt House. The beer was put into barrels in January, and transferred back to steel about six months later. There, it was given a small dry-hop of Barbe Rouge (a French varietal), along with an addition of cherry purée. With a reddish colour, and aromas of cherry and leather, this bottled beer is showing off flavours of “deconstructed cherry pie”, as well as notes of grapefruit, lemongrass, orange pith, leather, straw, pie crust, and dill, according to the brewery. You can find bottles at both Upstreet locations in Charlottetown; they’re recommending that you don’t cellar this one *too* long, as it’s best-enjoyed within a few months.
Hopping over to Newfoundland, where Landwash is excited to share details on a fresh new beer they’ve just canned, Platters Head. Billed as a hoppy Lager, the beer has a simple grist of 85% Pilsner and 15% Flaked Oats. Fermented with the Isar Lager strain from Escarpment Labs (is there a week where we DON’T mention Escarpment? [editor’s note: No]), the beer was lagered for five weeks, and dry-hopped with Amarillo and Azacca. The final 4.8% ABV brew is tasting crisp and clean, as a good Lager should, with plenty of fruit – including peaches and lemons – in the aroma, and a bit of dankness carrying over into the flavour. Congrats to recently promoted Head Brewer Alex on this release, the first he’s fully designed and brewed at Landwash! It’s available on tap and in cans; stop by the brewery for a taste this weekend (and grab some Saucy Mouth while you’re there, natch!). While you’re there, you can pick up some of their latest batch of Brackish Sour Ale, and they should have some super fresh That Much Ocean NEIPA available now as well!
Back to the mainland for New Brunswick Capital Region’s Niche Brewing’s latest release, another in their exploration of fun and exciting hop combinations. Lost in Translation is a 4.6% ABV Session IPA, with hop additions of Hallertau Blanc and Simcoe beginning in the boil, further enhanced by a heavy dry-hopping of more of the same hop pair, along with Citra. Foggy London Ale yeast from Escarpment did the heavy lifting, with the tropical and citrus vibes first and foremost, along with a touch of spiciness. As with most Niche releases, grabbing it on draught at your local watering hole is your best bet, with The Joyce in Fredericton, Peppers Pub in Saint John, and Halifax’s Bar Stillwell all the first spots to jump on kegs. And speaking of Stillwell, they are facing off against Dartmouth’s Side Hustle Snack Bar in a friendly head-to-head competition of kitchens, all in the name of raising funds for disaster relief, so we strongly encourage you to visit one or both spots this weekend. More details on their social media.
Hometown-proud Truro Brewing Co. has a couple of new beers hitting their taps over the last week, including their latest foray into the world of SMaSH (while we don’t seem to see as many of these beers these days, we figure you’re still all up to speed with what that acronym stands for), Halla Back Girl. This 5.8% ABV beer was brewed all Pale malt from Shoreline Malting, and hopped with a generous amount of Hallertau Blanc. Expect “a tropical, fruity aroma with hints of white wine and pineapple”, in a light orange, very hazy package. Also, last Friday the brewery launched Rubyfruit Grapefruit Sour, a tart and refreshing, 3.5% ABV fruited sour. Both beers are available on tap at the brewery, now.
Maybe we’ll actually be crazy and stick with one province for a moment, and move over to Route 19 Brewing, who have been experimenting on their 50 L pilot system. For those of you have been looking for a beer that tastes like peanut butter waffles covered in strawberry jelly, we guess you’re going to be excited by this one! Crunchy! is what the brewery is calling, yes, a “Peanut Butter Strawberry Jam Ale” (hey, don’t shoot the messenger, ok?). The malt used in the grist (including Biscuit, Carapils, and Honey malt) during brew day contributes biscuit and “fluffy batter flavours”, and strawberry puree was added during fermentation. What about the PB, you ask? Well, they didn’t want to overdo that aspect of the 6.5% ABV beer, so they added peanut butter extract directly into the brite tank (before carbing the beer) “one spoon at a time until the flavour was just right”. Maybe they should have named this one Goldilocks and the Peanut Butter Bears? We’ll just show ourselves out… Oh, we should also reiterate that there isn’t much of this beer around, so if you’re at all curious about what it tastes like, we recommend getting over there ASAP for a pint. And of course, those with nut allergies should avoid this one. Glad to see they’re back open after the awkward incident earlier in the month!
We go from one unusual but intriguing beer to another, stopping next at Good Robot Brewing, the place where misfit people can enjoy misfit beer 😉. Dreamed up by summer brewhouse intern Nathan, they’re going all in on a Chocolate Banana Porter named The Banana Wizard. A light 5.0% ABV Porter, fermentation was carried out by a Belgian yeast to promote banana esters and a touch of clove spiciness, on top of the rich chocolate, dark toffee, and toasted notes. To send it over the top, they dosed in some banana cream and chocolate extracts, for the full “chocolate covered frozen bananas on the boardwalk” experience (there’s always money in the banana stand!). This release is only available in cans, so fire up your Segway to head down to their Robie Street location, or order online for home delivery, and they’ll dispatch their stair car directly to your door.
Delta Force Brewing, Nova Scotia’s only Farmshed brewery, is back with a second big release after a few months creeping through the jungles and carrying out Top Secret missions. With several of the beers in this release taking months of patience to let the yeast and bugs play together, the window to grab the beers is now open! Returning are Anderlecht, their 6.0% ABV Belgian Single with Brett Lambicus, and Mean Time, their 4.8% ABV English Bitter brewed with their own shed-grown hops and fermented with Brettanomyces. They are joined by a new twist of their third release in April, the West Coast IPA Operation Stronghold, but one keg was dosed with Brett, developing some great funky notes and a touch of ester fruit character. All three of these beers are available in 500 mL bottles, at $8 apiece.
Joining those three are a trio of debut releases from Delta Force. Operation Sommar is a Dry Stout, putting an end to the trope that stouts can only be enjoyed in Winter (we also suggest anyone who thinks that should maybe reflect on the existence of Tropical Stouts). Be transported to an idyllic place in the Swedish countryside, where you can dance around the Maypole, be showered in flowers, and dress up like a bear (whether you want to or not). Chocolate, roast, but light and lively enough to be refreshing. Operation Saison is even more refreshing, harkening back to the days when Saisons were enjoyed freely by farmhands at the end (or during) a hard day’s work in the fields. Open fermented in a former milk jug, the floral and spicy character shine through, a testament to the malt, hops, and yeast working together in harmony. Both of these beers are also in 500 mL bottles, $5 each. Rounding out the beer offerings is Operation Assay, a Pale Ale fermented with Ebbergarden Kveik yeast. This is DFBC’s first foray into a “year-round elixir”, and they invite you to follow along on their journey.
So, how can you get your mitts on these beers? The best path to success is to send them an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your order request, and delivery address. Orders over $40 include delivery in Halifax, and arrangements may be possible for smaller orders or other areas of the region. Keep an eye on their IG page for more details as they’re released today.
Back to Newfoundland for the latest small batch release from Port Rexton Brewing. Summer vibes continue on the Bonavista peninsula, so plan your trip to PR to Wet Your Whistle. A 3.8% ABV Session NEIPA, it’s hoppy, hazy, and bursting with great citrus character. Light bodied and crushable, it’s perfect as a rehydration helper for the hot days we’ve been having. As it’s a small batch, it’s only available at the taproom in Port Rexton for pints and growler fills (still a few options at their St. John’s Retail Shop, fear not).
Dieppe’s CAVOK Brewing has teamed up with Bertrand’s Oktoberfest des Acadien to release a beer in its honour. With physical distancing requirements making the in-person Oktoberfest an impossibility, CAVOK has stepped up and brewed a beer to allow us all to celebrate the event together, apart. Keeping true to the inspiration from the original Oktoberfest in Munich, L’Oktoberfest des Acadiens is a 4.7% ABV Märzen, an easy-drinking lager with light toast and biscuit notes, and the perfect beer to fill your Maßkrug. Available in cans at the CAVOK brewery and taproom, it will see wide distribution in ANBL stores across the province.
Down the road from Dieppe and across the Confederation Bridge, Charlottetown’s Red Island Cider is launching a new cider for your enjoyment tomorrow. Part of their Ghost Ship series of limited edition beverages, Two Farmers is made with a blend of apples from two of PEI’s apple producers, one in Prince County (the Island’s “West side”), and one in Kings County (the “East side”). Together, the apples combined with yeast to produce a dry yet complex 6.5% ABV cider with a champagne color, and a bright and vinous nose. Additional tasting notes from the cidery include creamy honey, a touch of caramel, and a tannic finish. Sounds lovely to us! Even better, tomorrow’s launch will feature a special on this cider with local oysters from 4 – 7 PM on their limited space, properly socially-distanced patio. If you can’t make it, though, the Ghost Ship series does generally make its way into bottles, so you should be able to grab some to go as well!
Speaking of PEI cider (two PEI cider posts in one week? That’s got to be a record!), Caledonia’s Double Hill Cidery has a new release of their own. IslandSide was made with apples from Arlington Orchards, and was slowly-fermented and cold aged. It’s 5.5% ABV, and is tasting “fresh and crisp, with floral notes”. It’s available in cans right now at Double Hill, and should be available very soon at PEILCC stores (maybe even in time for the weekend!).
And a couple more short mentions before we leave you to your weekend; we hope it’s a warm, sunny and beery one wherever you are!
Dartmouth’s North Brewing has the latest in their line of sour beers available now. Raspberry Plush features a whole whack of fresh raspberries pressed in-house, resulting in a beautiful bright pink colour and a beer bursting with flavour. At 4.5% ABV, it’s a perfect patio pairing partner (partner!). Grab it online or at their store on Portland Street when you’re there for some Side Hustle side action.
Quidi Vidi Brewing released an American Amber Ale earlier this week, simply-named Amber Ale. Billed as easy-drinking, with light caramel and biscuit-like flavours, as well as a touch of fruit character, it finishes dry with a firm bitterness. Coming in at 5% ABV, it’s available now at the brewery’s Hops Shop for pickup and delivery.