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!