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All posts for the month January, 2021

As we wind our way through January, Dry or not, the new beer and returning favourites, continue unabated. Whatever you’re drinking these days (or caching away in the cellar for Feb 1), we think there will be something in today’s post that will tickle your fancy. Let’s get this show on the road without any further ado!

Cornwall, PEI’s Modern Brewer’s Village Green continues to release an onslaught of new beers, as they flex their brewing chops in several different directions. This week’s new bevvy is the simply-named Simcoe Pale Ale. Taking advantage of the iconic eponymous hop’s citrus aroma and flavour (think clementine, VG encourages us), the base is made up of Island Malt House Pilsner, Wheat, and Oat malts, for a light and airy mouthfeel that keeps you going back for another sip. Simcoe is exclusively available on tap for pints or growlers, and in cans at Village Green’s location at 30 Church Street, where you can grab a meal or snack at their pals Holy Fox Food Truck too. And while you’re there, be sure to grab the details on their Draught Beer Appreciation Society, so you can become a member too!

It wouldn’t be a Friday if we didn’t have an encyclopedic amount of information to dump on you about new beers from 2 Crows… seriously, don’t those guys have anything better to do than brew beer? Apparently not, because we’ve got two new ones to report on this week, so best to stop complaining and just get on with it already!

First off is Novello, another collaboration beer brewed with the fine folks at Bannerman Brewing. While not an actual in-person collab, naturally (thanks, COVID!), both breweries were involved in crafting the recipe, which was also very much inspired by their first beer brewed together, Vinello. Originally brewed last summer with Pilsner and Rye malt from Island Malt House, the wort was hopped heavily with Sterling (to 48 IBUs), and then fermented in one of 2C’s foedres with an assortment of their house yeast cultures. It hung out in there for about five months, awaiting an addition of macerated Riesling pomace from Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards. After the pomace was added, the beer conditioned for another month before being canned and can-conditioned. The final, 4.5% ABV beer is “lively and fresh, with soft Riesling aromatics, a touch of acidity, and snappy funk”. 

Next up is Colourful Language, a solo-brewed beer that also features wine from Lightfoot & Wolfville. Brewed last June with a grist of Shoreline Pilsner, Wheat malt, and unmalted wheat, it was hopped lightly with Sterling and aged noble hops. The wort was fermented and aged in another of the brewery’s foedres with a blend of Sacch and Brett yeasts, as well as Lactobacillus cultures, for approximately four months. In October, about 400 kg of fresh Marquette pomace from L&W was added directly into the foedre, along with 300 lbs of plum; the beer sat for another six weeks to allow the sugars from the fruit to ferment out, before being canned and can-conditioned. The result is a 5.6% ABV beer that is “playful and peppy, vibrant and juicy”, with no doubt some lovely wine and plum character coming through. 

Both of these beauties are available at the brewery starting today. While you’re grabbing some, note that they’ve got a freshly-canned batch of Waltz in their fridges that you should also pick up! This 5.5% ABV German Pilsner is always crisp and refreshing, and a great palate cleanser for some of those more intensely-flavoured beers that are currently surrounding it at the brewery. This batch features a slightly increased dry-hop, bumping the herbal qualities a little.

Lunenburg’s brewing pride and joy, Shipwright Brewing, has two brand new beers pouring at their taproom downtown… and depending on how you look at it, maybe four beers! In this case, we’re referring to their Shifting Tides Berliner Weisse, their take on the classic German low-ABV, sour style. Shipwright brewed theirs with Shoreline Pilsner and Wheat malt, and a very light addition of Hallertau Blanc hops (to only 3 IBUs). Lactobacillus was used to provide some acidity in this 3.6% ABV beer, to go with the light funk present from fermentation. You can enjoy this one as-is, or order it with an addition of raspberry or woodruff syrup, as is often traditional for the style in Germany. Or, order all three!

Next is the brewery’s latest hoppy offering, Seafarer IPA. With a grist made up of Maris Otter, Caramel malt, Rye and Oats, and hopped heavily with Citra and Idaho 7. Weighing in at 6.7% ABV and 65 IBUs, expect some malt character to break through with notes of “light sweetness, bread, honey and spice”, complementing all of that grapefruit, pine, and tropical flavours from all of those hops. As mentioned, both beers are available at the taproom, for pints or crowlers-to-go. 

Fredericton’s hop maestros Trailway Brewing are bringing new batches of a couple of their hoppiest brews today with fresh batches of Green Island and Box Theories hitting the taps and the fridges. Green Island is (one of) their ultra-juicy IPA(s) featuring Idaho 7 and Cashmere hops for notes of pineapple, peach, and sweet citrus in a hazy 6% package. On the somewhat stiffer, but no less hazy or juicy, end of the spectrum is Box Theories, a recipe developed to show off some the new hotness on the hop market, Strata. With some old hotness mixed in as well in the form of Citra and Mosaic, you can expect elements of mango, apricot, peach and nectarine, and perhaps a tinge of blueberry coming through on the finish. This one’s going to hit a little harder, though, at 8% ABV, so rather than planning anything strenuous maybe just sink a little further into that comfy chair and have another one.

In other Trailway news, is something decidedly less hoppy. Not only are they continuing with their foray into the world of German beers, they’ve announced that they are packaging one “for the first time.” We’re guessing that means they’ve forgotten all about their flagship kölsch (pouring in mass quantity at The Drome), Candlepin, and their long-running German Pilsner Yada Yada, but we’ll let that slide because we’re all lager lovers here and MOAR LAGER is a good thing. You won’t be surprised to learn, then, that we’re excited because this new beer, Ramifications is a Helles (German for “pale”) lager. Described as “clean, smooth, round, and soft,” which is everything a Helles should be, you have every right to expect this to be an immensely quaffable beer at 4.3% ABV. Look for it, the above pair of hop monsters, and everything else the gang at Trailway has available at their online shop, where you can order online for contactless curbside pickup or shipping anywhere in the Maritime provinces or Ontario via Canada Post.

It’s cold and only getting colder, but luckily your Halifax friends from Garrison are here with a seasonal release to keep you warm. Wintervention is back! A Russian Imperial Stout, it’s got a lot of chocolate character after being conditioned on cocoa nibs. Coming in at 60 IBU thanks to some well balanced hopping with Millenium, the chocolate, munich and pale ale malts bring the flavour to this 10.5% ABV release. Available in 650ml bottles, you can pick this up from Garrison at both their Seaport and Oxford retail stores. 

Keeping with the theme from above, North Brewing is helping you out with another tasty stout to keep you warm. Another fan favourite is back with the re-release of Twinkle Pony Tiramisu Stout. This 7.5% stout brings sweet and smooth chocolate and coffee flavours, as it’s made with Ladyfingers, chocolate malt, lactose, vanilla and cold brew coffee. There is only a small amount of this that was canned, as the rest is going into darkness for a barrel-aged treat! Order these cans online today or find them at both of their Dartmouth shops. 

Staying right on theme is Nyanza’s finest, as Big Spruce comes back with a limited edition of their Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout. This already tasty smooth and roasty stout is freshly canned for a Glenora Whiskey Barrel Aged version. Aged in local Glenora Whiskey barrels, the roasty, chocolatey & espresso-coffee aromatics are amplified with a complex layer of smooth whiskey and subtle woody notes from the barrel. This is (again) a very limited release, so we recommend ordering it online directly from Big Spruce on their online shop! Get the good stuff before it’s gone!

Traveling down from Cape Breton, Tatamagouche is back with a few fan favourites that make a very tasty duo. First on deck (appropriately) is the return of First Light, a delicious Czech Pilsner. Crispy like the weather, this 4.5% lager is naturally carbonated, brewed with Noble hops and Czech yeast. This is really a tasty, crispy treat.  

First appearing on this blog about two years ago, Kitty Clyde is back! Meow! A Double IPA hopped with two of our favourite Australian varieties, Galaxy and Vic Secret, this 40 IBU hop bomb clocks in at 7.8% ABV. Both of these returning beers are available in cans online and at Tatabrew, and should make their way into the private shops as well. 

Tidehouse is back with a restock with fresh cans of Sotil coming out today, which first came out just before Christmas. This second iteration is a super dry 4.5% Saison made with Horton Ridge malt, with the wort lightly soured with Escarpment labs Lactobacillus rhamnosus/plantarum blend and fermented with French Saison yeast. A late addition fermentation of Marquette grape skins from Bent Ridge Winery brings a Saison-wine like ale that could be described as a “wine-seltzer” by Tidehouse themselves. They’re very proud of this beer and it’s simple, refreshing and dry. 

Just one event to let you know about at this time, but it will be a full-week affair, so strap on your drinking shoes… The Moncton Craft Beer Week is a celebration of all things beery in the GMA, with twelve breweries and scores of local pubs and restaurants taking part in the fun. Running February 22-27, there will be events every day, including the launch of the Moncton Craft Brewery Passport, an Extreme Beer homebrewing competition (more details here, and the winner will get to brew their creation at Tire Shack Brewing!), A Meet the Nano Brewer night at CAVOK, Beer Geek Trivia with acbbchris at the Furnace Room, culminating with Open Brewery Day (with free buses for those wanting to hit all of the spots in Moncton, Dieppe, and Riverview) and an all-local IPA Tap Takeover at Tide and Boar Gastropub on the 27th. Check out their website and Socials (Fb/Ig) for the latest details, and we’ll have more details on it all leading up to the event, natch!

Happy New Year? There is a lot to be reflective of today, as we started 2021 with a bit of hope, but the harsh realities of our political, social and global health landscapes come right back and slap us in the face. We need to support our friends, families, communities and businesses, as we have through 2020, and we’re hoping with bringing news about beer in our region, we can bring a bit of light and positivity to you each week. There’s a lot of things you could be concerned with, or your minds and hearts conflicted with, but we’re still here, hoping to help in what little way we can. Cheers from ours to yours.

Propeller Brewing had a busy few weeks since our last post, introducing two brand new products as they closed out 2020, and are debuting two more today. Let’s start with the newest two, so that you can beat the rush to grab them. First up is Denali IPA, another in their on-going foray into single hop IPA. Named after the highest peak in North America, the Denali hop is full of tropical and citrus notes, showcasing pineapple and citrus, with a touch of pine kicker. Rather than go all out for a highly bitter beer, this 6.0% beaut features the hops late in the process, and plenty of them, to bring out more flavour and aroma, with a smooth mouthfeel. Cans and growler fills are available at all 3 Prop Shops, with cans coming to the HRM private stores shortly.

Also debuting today is another IPA, but of a different sort entirely… Triple IPA. This 10% beast features a bale-full of hops throughout its creation, from early in the boil for an aggressive bitterness, all the way to a healthy dry-hop to solidify a whole lotta tropical fruit and dank character, courtesy of the Citra, Sabro, and Galazy hops used. Expect a bit of alcohol warming in here, but any harshness is rounded off thanks to the oats and wheat malts, as well as a touch of lactose to lend just a hint of sweetness. Seek out the Triple IPA at the 3 Prop Shops today, in a 500mL bottle format.

And in case you missed two special releases in that twilight week after Christmas and before most are back to work, Propeller made good use of that time to launch two products that are a little different for them. The first was Prime Lager, a 5.0% crisp and clean lager, while it may be light on the hops, it’s made with premium ingredients, and comes in at a “stock-your-fridge” $39.99/24 price tag (also in singles if you so desire). And if you are partaking in Dry January, your life just got a little more interesting, as they’ve released a Hoppy Sparkling Water, named Void. Featuring a favourite hop of your friendly blog authors, Galaxy, this 0.0% ABV and zero calorie drink sports a load of fruity and hops character, but with no guilt. These two are only available at the 3 Prop Shops (and like the rest of the beers today, also through their online delivery).

Heading to New Brunswick, (virtually, of course!) our good friends at Tire Shack in Moncton keep brewing up a storm, and after some great releases over 2020, they’re kicking off 2021 with another tasty treat. Mango Sour, brewed with lots of mango puree, is now available as a super tropical and delicious ale to try and brighten up some of the COVID gloom. Taking it tropical, you’ll get some mango flavours shining through followed by a nice lactic bite at 6.0%. It’s available now in cans and for growler fills. Check out their home delivery, too for the Greater Moncton Area, as their taproom will remain closed while the province remains at an Orange level. Stay alert, stay safe and check your local zones and levels!

Do you love the Flanders Red style, and/or beers inspired by Flanders Red? So do we! You probably wouldn’t be too surprised to hear that the latest brewery to tackle one of these beers is 2 Crows, and you’d be correct to trust your instincts. Releasing today is Birds of a Feather: Cherry, described by 2C as a beverage that is part beer, part cherry wine, ultimately being designated as a Flanders-style Red with Nova Scotia cherries. The base sour red beer was brewed in mid-2019, fermented and conditioned in Port barrels with wine yeast, Brettanomyces, and Pediococcus bacteria. In July, 2020, some of the 2C folks made a trip to Greenwich’s Stirling Fruit Farms to grab 800 lbs of freshly-picked cherries. The fruit underwent carbonic maceration, a technique the brewery has used before that allows the fruit to ferment inside its own skin. Once this step was complete, approximately 400 L of the blended sour red beer was transferred onto them and conditioned for several more months before being bottled in October. The final beer has a “massive rounded cherry flavour and a touch of marzipan, and is smooth, tart and complex”. A bit of tannins work their way through, as well as a touch of balsamic character. 

You may have guessed from the first part of this beer’s name that it was in a series of releases, and you’d be right. In fact, the other two beers are being released today as well, so it only makes sense to fill you in on those, no? The next is Birds of a Feather: Marquette, another Flanders-style red, features the same 2019-brewed base sour red beer as the Cherry, and was also fermented and conditioned in Port barrels with wine yeast, Brett, and Pedio. It swerves off there, though, with the addition of a huge amount (700 kg!) of freshly-pressed Marquette pomace from the Lightfoot and Wolfville Vineyards. Shortly after, the beer was bottled and allowed to condition, and is showing off “massive red wine notes of blackcurrant, cherry, leather, and tobacco”. 

Finally, we’re also getting Birds of a Feather: Bruin, the brewery’s very first attempt at the delicious Oud Bruin, another dark sour Belgian style. The base beer for this one dates way back to 2C’s Megadregs project, which was a beer brewed as a large collaboration.. of sorts. Approximately 20 Canadian breweries contributed yeast and bacteria dregs from wild/sour beers that they had produced, which were allowed to mingle together in two barrels. While most of that beer became Megadregs, released over a year ago, a portion of that was transferred to two Port barrels after 3 months, and allowed to condition for another 14 months before bottling, finally giving us Bruin. The final beer is “smooth, slightly roasty, with notes of coconut, and a touch of balsamic, cherries, and blackcurrant”. 

All three of these beers are releasing at the brewery today, and come in at 6.3% ABV. Of course supplies will be quite limited; we highly recommend grabbing all three, and holding onto at least one bottle of each to save for down the road!

New year, same Pride of Hanwell, as Niche Brewing will bring another new bottle release this weekend and rolling into next week. We’re really hoping you answered yes to the Flanders Red question above, because we asked for a reason! Neighborino is another Flanders Red-inspired beer coming to you this week. Fermented and aged in some wood, this 5.6% beer spent over a year in a single Cabernet Sauvignon barrel with Niche’s house sour culture, consisting of Sacch, Brett, Lacto and Pedio. That’s not all! If you said “this is missing raspberry puree!”, you’d be right! Secondary fermentation occurred back in stainless on raspberry puree. This one promises to be fruity and tart, with a red wine-like complexity and just flat out appetizing. Look for these bottles going out this weekend and around Fredericton at York Street ANBL, Maybee and Picaroons Drinks Market. This will hit CAVOK Brewing and some others the following week. Get your hands on this tasty treat if you can. Please check your local guidelines before heading out!

Do you love little birds? Do you love beer? We’re hoping you answered “yes” to one of those questions, because Tatamagouche is back with new take on a fan favourite, Kiskadee. This was first released two years ago (and we hope some of you enjoyed some from your cellar over the holidays!), a sour Porter aged for 14 months in barrels. This iteration was then refermented in stainless on black currants (setting it apart from the first release, which was refermented on strawberries), before bottling. This second iteration of this should have beautiful aromas of currants, some barrel characteristics, and loads of chocolate. This stronger style porter comes in at 10.8%, and is available today at the brewery (and online) in 500mL bottles (don’t worry, HRM, bottles will be heading your way soon!). Look for kegs of this one to be appearing at the taproom next month, as well as at other lucky NS tap accounts.

Halifax’s Good Robot Brewing did not take the holidays off, releasing two beers when we weren’t lookin’ (or at least weren’t writin’, because let’s be honest, we’re always lookin’ out for new beers). First up was Oatcake Computer, a “chocolate-dipped Oatcake” Stout. If you guessed that means there’s both plenty of oats and chocolate involved, give yourself a fabulous no-prize. But you may not have guessed that there’s also a portion of molasses to help provide a deep and dark base. Coming in at a fairly sessionable ABV of 4.9% and with all that oaty goodness, you can certainly justify cracking one for breakfast, but it would fit in just as nicely for Friday tea with the virtual gang. Apparently the name (and some hints in the can design) are a “vague reference to an album from a 90’s musical group.” We were about to argue about the vagueness of that reference before realizing we’re THAT OLD. *sob*

Next up is a re-release, as the delightfully named GoKart Jackass is back. Described as a “Scott-ish Red Ale,” this 4.8% ABV beer has a deep and rich amber hue and a subtle spicy hop character laid over a very smooth palate. Also allegedly blessed by the fae folk of Scotland. We wonder, does that blessing transfer through drinking? There’s only one way to find out!! But wait, there’s more! Crossing up Mario Kart with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, they’ve got a contest on the go right now: TEN very super extremely special cans are out there in the wilds of Nova Scotia that feature a GOLDEN GOOMBA. If you find one of them, send a picture of it to Nicki who will give you a secret code you can use to claim a number of special mystery beers!

A couple of quick hits before you’re dismissed today…

A pair of new canned releases Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing today, Lockdown Lager is a 4.2% light lager, and McCoy’s Contraband is an 8.5% Tropical Stout. Grab them today from their retail shop or for delivery!

Quidi Vidi has opened a new Hop Shop location, a spot to grab beers that is a little less congested than their original location. Located at 16 Harbour View Avenue, it’s open Tuesday through Sunday, for retail sales and bottle returns. And great news for those of you waiting patiently, their taproom at their brewery in the gut is reopening this afternoon at 4PM!

And finally, before you head out to grab a growler fill or pint, be sure to check that your favourite brewery or taproom is open. With COVID restrictions coming and going, it can be tough to keep on top of them all!