Here we are in November and, with absolutely NOTHING going on in the world, least of all potentially strange and frightening things of a political nature, we’re free to wax poetic about the local beer scene as is our wont on Friday afternoons. Or maybe things are just heartening yet terrifying all at once, and what we really need to do is distract ourselves with good news about beer and then procure some of that beer and drink it. Whee!
You may have noticed that since changing ownership not too long ago, Rothesay’s Long Bay Brewing has been flexing their experimentation muscles a bit more, with new, small batch one-offs being released every Friday for the past month and a half. While most of these releases have been available only on tap at the brewery, this week’s newest beer was brewed on their 15 bbl system, so will definitely be seeing wider distribution across the province. The beer in question is Return to the Moon, a 7.5% ABV, 50 IBUs New England DIPA. Brewed with a blend of English and Canadian base malts, as well as some wheat and oats, it was hopped and dry-hopped with three different varieties of American hops. With big aromas of stone fruit, tangerine and coconut, you’ll notice flavours “reminiscent of pina colada, with a pre-dominate amount of coconut and pineapple, followed by a complex mixture of cream and tangerine”. Aside from at the brewery, you’ll be able to find this one at select bars and restaurants in Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John. This joins The Half of It, a 4.5% ABV Session-strength New England IPA released late October, also on tap at the brewery and at licensees around the province.
In other Long Bay news, keep your eyes and ears open for coming info on their first canned beer, which should be hitting most ANBLs sometime in December… more details to come! They also plan to be officially opening their taproom this winter (while currently licensed, their taproom right now is set up in a standing room only capacity for extremely small groups, and best to contact ahead of time to ensure there’s room for your Bubble) with enough room for 25 seats, and a second expansion hopefully by the spring that will be much larger, and include an outdoor deck.
Moncton’s Tire Shack is celebrating their First Anniversary this coming Monday (November 9th), so be sure to drop by the taproom that day to help celebrate with $5 pints all day! “We really appreciate the amazing support we have had from everyone this past year so come down and celebrate with us.” So, what to drink Monday? Or even better, today? They have a pair of new beers on draught (and also freshly canned this morning!), so let’s get you those details…
- Black Forest Cake Sour is a take on the excellent german dessert that features a chocolate sponge base filled with cherries and kirsch, a cherry liqueur. Playing off of the flavour components, Tire Shack has gone all in with a glass full of dark malts for chocolate flavour in spades, along with cherry taste and a touch of tartness to bring it all together. As they say, it’s the perfect beer to get you ready for winter!” At 6.0% ABV, the beer is available in samples and pints at the taproom, and in growlers (and now cans) to go.
- Hip Hop Vol 4: Nelson Sauvin is their latest foray into their hop-centric releases, this time heading to New Zealand for one of the most unique (and rare) hops on the market, Nelson Sauvin. Citrus up front with plenty of gooseberry, Sauvignon Blanc grape character, and maybe even a touch of black pepper, this hop is the queen of the kiwi hop scene, and for good reason! The 8.0% ABV Hazy Double IPA packs a punch, and will have you dancing all night long! Samples, pints, growlers, and cans are all available at the brewery right now!
Congratulations to Jerica, Alan, Henry, and the whole Tire Shack crew on Year 1, we hope Monday is a big success! And if weekend drinking is more your thing, keep your eyes peeled here for a couple of new releases and birthday celebrations continuing next weekend, in next Friday’s post!
In Lunenburg, NS, Shipwright Brewing released a continent-spanning Wheat beer this week, taking its inspiration, and ingredients from both European and North American sources. And named after an international sailing season! We’ll explain: Great Grain Race starts with a blend of Pale Ale, Wheat, and Malted Oats for a typical wheat grist. In the boil, Saphir and Hallertau Blanc hops were added in, as well as Sweet Orange Peel and Coriander, iconic additions for a Belgian Witbier. After fermentation with their Kolsch yeast, it was dry-hopped lightly with Topaz before further conditioning. Soft mouthfeel with extra effervescence give a refreshingly clean finish, complementing the wheat and citrus character of this 4.3% ABV beer. So, what’s in a name? Well, the Great Grain Race is the name of a historical sailing route race carrying grain (usually wheat) that generally left from South Australia’s grain ports at Spencer Gulf, all the way to Cornwall, UK. A particularly good passage via Cape Horn was considered anything under 100 days, with the fastest ever being 83 days. We know that the beer will definitely not last that long, so best to get down to Shipwright’s Taproom, or the Grand Banker below, soon to enjoy a glass or crowler!
Chester, Nova Scotia’s own Tanner & Co. Brewing has a brand new beer this week, Belgian IPA. Named after the hybrid IPA sub-style, it was brewed with a grist of Pilsner, Rye, and Munich malts, along with a touch of Honey malt for a bit of extra sweet malt character. Hopped with Amarillo, Citra, Simcoe, Centennial, and a little Mandarina Bavaria, it was fermented with a Belgian Ale yeast strain. Giving off characteristics of both spice and citrus, thanks to the use of both Belgian and American ingredients, it comes in at 6.7% ABV and 60 IBUs. Available right now in 500 mL bottles at the brewery.
Over in Dieppe, O’Creek Brewing continues their run of hazy, hoppy IPAs with the latest in their two-hop-variety DUOH series. DUOH Sabro/Galaxy is a 6% ABV, 50 IBUs American IPA hopped with heavy amounts of the not-so-easy-to-find Sabro and Galaxy varieties, giving the beer a whole lotta tropical fruit, citrus, and coconut notes. Look for it to be pouring soon at CAVOK Brewing (and remember, guest taps at CAVOK can be taken away in crowlers!), with other accounts following in the near future. And as a sneak preview for next week, O’Creek will be releasing SOLOH – Talus, another 6% ABV IPA, but hopped entirely with one variety… in this case, Talus. Talus is a new hop that is a cultivated daughter of Sabro, and gives the beer “big aromas of pink grapefruit, citrus rinds, dried roses, pine resin, tropical fruits, and sage”. Definitely some descriptors in there that we’re not used to seeing in most hops! Look for that one at the usual O’Creek accounts.
Speaking of CAVOK Brewing, they’ve got another bottle release that just hit their shelves yesterday, Béta Germinorum. We don’t have too many details, but can tell you that the beer is a 4.5% ABV oak foeder-aged blend of two different beers, a Raspberry Sour and an Oatmeal Stout. That may be enough info to give you an idea of what to expect in terms of a tasting, but best drop by the brewery to pick up a bottle to be sure! As always with these releases, there is a limited amount of 750 mL bottles available, so don’t wait too long to drop in.
Coming out of Inverness in Cape Breton this week is a new beer from Route 19 Brewing, a first foray (we think) into the Saison style. Eventide references the old english word for evening, which might be the best time of day to enjoy this one. Gaining plenty of yeast character from Escarpment Labs’ Old World Saison blend fermented at a relatively high temperature, you can expect cooked apple and pear notes on the nose with some peppery phenolic spice as well. The grist featured Munich malt from Shoreline Malting, which provided a darker color than might be expected for the style, alongside 2-row, wheat and biscuit malts, the latter two contributing some breadiness and, well, “biscuit” character. On the hop side, the beer leverages a relatively unheralded hop called Celeia that we’ve not run into before, but which has a noble lineage and sports herbal and green tea flavors. Bittered to 30ish IBU, this 6.2% ABV saison will be available from the brewery this weekend and will also be making its way to NSLC locations around Cape Breton as part of their Hyper-Local program.
Those driving to/from Prince Edward Island, or lucky Islanders who just want to try the latest release from Borden’s Lone Oak Brewing, are well-advised to hop in the car and make a drive this weekend! There’s a new special small batch on tap, a style not often seen in the region. Taking the base beer of their Fixed Link Maritime Pilsner, they pulled it from the conditioning tanks a little early, and allowed it to carbonate naturally in the kegs before tapping. Dubbed a Kellerpils, it weighs in at the same 4.7% ABV as Fixed Link, but features a softer mouthfeel and just a little different aromatics. Just a few kegs of this are available, so don’t delay! And for all of their other offerings, Lone Oak has introduced an On-Demand Beer Delivery Service in the Charlottetown area. Place an order online 10:30 AM – 9:30 PM (12 – 8 PM Sundays), and your beer will be in your hands in 45 minutes or less! There is a 4 can minimum, and $6.99 delivery fee for this service.
It’s that time of year for Propeller fans; or, more specifically, fans of their annual release of Russian Imperial Stout. This year, things are just a touch different for the release of this dark, strong (8% ABV), rich, cellarable beer, in that it will be available in bottles only. No growlers this time around, but they will still be serving bottle pours at both taproom locations. You can find bottles at NSLC stores, and of course at both Prop Shops. And in other Propeller good news, they’re bringing back Cask Nights at the Gottingen taproom. Casks will be tapped bi-weekly, with proceeds from each going to a different organization every month. Today’s release (5 pm sharpish) is Nocturne Black IPA w/ Cacao Nibs, and two weeks from now will feature a sneak peek of an upcoming release. Proceeds for this month’s events will go towards the Ecology Action Centre.
Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing has been pumping out the beers nice and steady, and are putting the final push on their taproom and retail space. In preparation for that, they’ve released the details of their Growler and Founder’s Clubs. Big discounts on growlers, merch, pints, special invite-only events, the chance to choose the name and style of one of their brews? All of this, and much more, can be yours by signing up! Full details are available on their website. Best to check it out quickly, as the membership is limited in numbers!
We’re pretty lucky to be living in a region where we can even have beer-related events in a non-scary fashion. Let’s make the most of it in a safe and responsible way!
Charlottetown’s HopYard Beer Bar is hosting their latest takeover this weekend, starting… right….. Now! Hosting Dartmouth’s North Brewing Co to pour some of their core beers as well as recent releases, and have brought along Halifax’s Chain Yard Urban Cidery to ensure there’s something for everyone! From North, you’ll see: Little Beast Lagered Ale, Lawrencetown Surf Session Ale, Gold Sounds Blonde, Dartmouth Dark Lager, Headline Milk Stout, Malternate Reality IPA, Raz Plush Dry-hopped Sour with Raspberry, Strollin’ Down Baldwin Street New Zealand Grisette, and Grape and Strawberry Rhubarb Seltzers. And keeping your tummy happy too is the first pop-up from Dough Boy Industries Pizza, who will be slinging pies Friday 4 – close, and again tomorrow from noon. Margarita, Pepperoni, Canadian, Donair and vegan pizza, with fresh and local ingredients, sounds great to us! And making this all even more awesomer, North is holding a contest on FB and IG, so check it out and have a blast this weekend! Maybe we’ll see you tonight. 🙂
Congratulations are in order for St Anthony’s RagnaRöck Northern Brewing, who are celebrating their First Anniversary this weekend! Saturday evening will see Sam and Tyler jamming some live music, and the debut of a very special beer debuting especially for the event. More details are available on their Facebook page, and we highly recommend giving them a shout to reserve your table at 709-454-3136. Congratulations!!
Halifax’s Garrison Brewing is taking advantage of our Atlantic Bubble status and keeping up with some (socially-distanced) Fall events. First up is a Remembrance Day Levee going on at both their Oxford and Seaport taproom locations, from 12 – 6 PM on November 11th (of course), with a portion of sales going to The Poppy Fund. After 6 PM regular business hours and operations will resume. And next week, from Thursday, November 12th, to Sunday, November 15th, The Oxford taproom will be celebrating their first birthday. Head on down and be part of four days of celebrations that will include prizes, and “Anniversary Beer Bucket”, and more!