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All posts for the month May, 2021

It’s the last Friday in May in Atlantic Canada and after a short week thanks to Victoria Day, it’s time to start thinking about the weekend. Somewhat sadly, with the pandemic still upon us, that’s not going to include much in the way of in-person socializing or even, for many, trips to the cabin or cottage or camp or whatever you call it. But there have certainly been some rays of hope this week, with Nova Scotia’s case numbers continuing to drop, recoveries increasing, and vaccinations now open to everyone 12 years of age and older throughout the entire region. And our breweries definitely seem to be getting into a more summery mood as they hope for easing of intra- and inter-province restrictions in time to be slinging suds in person and on premise before our all-too-short warm season is over. Read below for all the news we could find and type up about this week’s releases. We also encourage our Nova Scotia readers in particular to check out the information that’s come out this week regarding the Auditor General’s report on the operations of the NSLC. If you’re a fan of the smaller independent breweries in NS, consider lending your voice to the crowd that’s calling for action by the Provincial Government. We already knew that these folks have been facing an uphill battle with largely antiquated liquor laws and COVID restrictions destroying many business models, but the AG’s report seems to suggest that the operating model of the NSLC does almost nothing to help our region’s local producers, folks who have been entrepreneurial in their communities, generating employment opportunities and keeping cash local. We’d love to see more folks out there amplifying their voices as they lobby the NS Government for change to support our community breweries before we start seeing them have to close up shop.

After contract brewing for the past couple of years, Hampton Brewing Company now has a place to call their own. Located at 64 Robertson Road just outside of town, HBC has set up at Fire Fly Forest Recreation. The taproom and patio are open seven days a week, Mon – Wed 4 – 8 PM, Thurs 4 – 10 PM, today and Sat 12 PM – 12 AM, and Sun 12 – 8 PM. Brewing on a 500 litre (4 BBL) Blichmann Hybrid system, they are currently pouring 5 beers for onsite enjoyment (or to take away), Crush Session IPA, Big Shoes American Pale Ale, Black Door Porter, Chameleon Blackberry Lime Sour, and just tapped for the weekend, Misty Mountain Hops NEIPA. Make the trip out, maybe even stay the night, and support the newest brewery in our region! Congratulations Hampton Brewing Crew!

Our friends at Landwash Brewery have handed over control of their brewhouse – temporarily – to their Packaging Manager, Nardia, to create a one-off beer of her very own. After no doubt hours of deliberation, she desired to brew something inspired by her home country of Australia. April 25th was the annual Anzac Day, a national day of remembrance originally designed to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp. This reminded Nardia of the biscuits that have been produced by ANZAC, which are made with coconut, rolled oats, and golden syrup. So… where were we going with this? Oh right, so the beer, Caribou Hill, was brewed to represent these biscuits! Named after the battle of Caribou Hill in World War I, where ANZAC and Newfoundland troops fought alongside each other, the beer is a 5% “Coconut Biscuit Brown Ale”. We’re betting you can already taste it in your minds (is that a thing?), but rest assured it’s a dark brown brew with notes of coconut, and plenty of biscuity malt character throughout. Cans are available now at the brewery, and if you get there REALLY fast, you may be lucky enough to purchase some of the cookies that inspired the beer! All money raised from cookie sales will be donated to the Canadian Mental Health Association – Newfoundland.

Candid Brewing in Antigonish opened their doors last week for the first of their “retail pop-ups”, and are back at it again this weekend for even more of the same. Joining their Humdinger West Coast IPA are two more of their core beers, namely the No Brainer and Party Line. No Brainer is a 5.2% ABV Pale Ale, with blood orange juice added for an extra citrus blast on the palate. Party Line is a 6.2% ABV Northeast IPA, featuring plenty of tropical and bright citrus character from loads of hops added late in the process, for a smooth and low bitterness beer. All three beers are available at their pop-up shop at 88 College Street today 3 – 6 PM, and again tomorrow 1 – 4 PM. And keep an eye on their and neighbour The Townhouse’s Social Media (IG) for the details on a food and beer pairing take-away bundle available tomorrow and Sunday.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been bringing you news about more and more breweries embracing lower ABV styles in smaller packages, mainly 355ml cans. Trailway is the latest to embrace this trend with the release of Fetch Pale Ale. Let’s start with the packaging. For the first time, Trailway will be offering 12 packs of 355 ml cans. Starting off, you can find them at the brewery, but in a few weeks it will see province-wide distribution through ANBL. Now, onto the beer. Fetch is made using Canadian pilsner malt and hops sourced exclusively from New Brunswick producers. In another first, Trailway is saying goodbye to its trademark haze, and filtering the beer to a high degree of clarity. Expect notes of honey from the malt with floral hope notes and a mild bitterness.

Rough Waters Brewing, up in Deer Lake, NL, has released a new beer in their Neighbeerly series of beers that each support a local charity. This time, they’re benefiting the Islaview Foundation, with $1 from each bottle sold going to that organization. You’ll also find it for sale at Marie’s Mini Mart locations on the East Coast, Ultramar Corner Stores in Deer Lake and on West Street in Corner Brook, and Rudy’s Pub & Grub in Gros Morne. The swank new beer bar in St. John’s, Brewdock, also has it on tap and will also be donating proceeds. So what is the beer, you ask? It’s a fairly self-describing Strawberry Mango Milkshake India Session Ale, of course! At only 4% ABV you should be able to go through a couple of them as you decide whether it’s the Strawberry, Mango, or hops that you like the best.

Continuing to fly under the radar (at least, in our opinion) Nova Scotia bright spot and future destination once things open back up, Lunn’s Mill has a new release this week. Sour Batch Kveiks is a Sour IPA clocking in at 7% on the ABV scale and this style is always a fun one to try. Citrus and stone fruit complement a ripe orange with lime sour taste, reminiscent of Sour Patch Kids. Bringing some bitterness to the finish, this uses El Dorado for the hops and a Kveik yeast from Escarpment Labs. Available now for growler fills and pints at the brewery, cans will be available in the coming weeks at the private stores around HRM. 

Cornwall’s Village Green continues to churn out interesting styles, with two new releases over the last two weeks. First up is Centennial Black Ale. This 7.5% ale features bready notes, chocolate and orange flavours, with enough bitterness from Centennial to keep things balanced. Find this one on tap or for fills at the brewery, as well as cans to go. And brand new this week is West Coast IPA. Coming it at 7.9%, expect more malt character and bitterness than Village Green’s previous IPAs that leaned more into tropical hop notes, thanks to Columbus, Cascade, Amarillo, and Mosaic in the boil, and then a double dry-hopping from a combo of Motueka, Amarillo, and Citra, and later Idaho 7. Hops lovers will want to get out to Cornwall this weekend to snag this before it’s gone!

Chester’s Tanner & Co continues to dip their toes in the mead pool, offering more choices for fans of fermented beverages, especially those seeking a gluten-free option. Their newest release is Oak Aged Raspberry Mead. This one starts with local honey from Cosman & Whidden. Towards the end of fermentation, it was transferred to an oak barrel from Ironworks Distillery, where it finished fermentation with some raspberry purée. This 8% ABV mead has made its way into bottles that are available now at the Duke. St taproom and through Tanner’s online store. 

Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing has a stated goal of focusing on Belgian-inspired beers, and Saison certainly qualifies. Originally brewed on the farms of Wallonia in the winter months with leftover ingredients, and then conditioned for summer consumption, there has always been a wide range of characteristics to what we know as Saison. Of late, and certainly in our region, when most people think of the style they think of a fairly light-bodied spritzy beer with plenty of yeast character, including pepperiness and even some tartness. Those who experienced Serpent’s first iteration of Sprytown Saison back in March know that it was more on another part of the spectrum, with rustic malt character and some deep caramel undertones. Why are we telling you all this? Because there’s a new version available, their Summer Edition, and it’s not so much like the first one. Drier, lighter, and with some definite tart and fruit character, this new 5.5% ABV edition should be an excellent refresher on hot summer days. You can find both versions, Spring and Summer, available from the brewery, just make sure you ask for the one you want. Grabbing one of each would be an excellent way to introduce yourself to the breadth of the Saison style, while giving you something to look forward to, as they plan to brew a different version of this beer for each of the seasons of the year. Pop out to their spot behind Canadian Tire on Dentith this weekend to pick some up, and complete your visit by grabbing something from Jamdouns Food Truck, specializing in Jamaican cuisine, who are onsite 2 – 8 PM Saturday and 2 – 6 PM Sunday.

Want more tiny beers in tiny cans? Check out Tatamagouche Brewing’s newest taste of summer, Dekorum Lime. Tata has added organic lime to its 2.9% light lager for a super sessionable sipper, available in 355 ml cans. If you’re not feeling the lime, check out Arvo, their 4.6% Helles Lager, also back in stock this week. In other Tata news, the brewery’s retail store has reopened for in-person takeaway, with capacity limits in place. Pair that with a 15% discount of Tata clothing (in person and online), and your weekend is set!

Although not specifically mentioned in government reopening plans, the gradual return to normal times means that we’ll surely be seeing more beer events across the Atlantic region. Craft breweries on PEI are kicking off the summer season with PEI Craft Beer week. Running from June 5-12, the celebration of local beer features daily events that include tastings, musical entertainment and food pairings. Check out https://www.peicraftbeerweek.com/ for all of the details, and if you’re on FB, their Events pages. And while you wait for the weekend’s festivities to begin, check out Beer Trivia with the PEI Beer Guy at the Upstreet taproom on Thursday night. Trivia runs from 7-9 PM and you can call the taproom to book your team of 4-6 people.

A couple of brewery job listings for you to peruse before signing off this week.

If you’re looking for an industry job in the Moncton/Dieppe area, check out the jobs page for Flying Boats Brewing. They are currently looking for a Sales Representative to join their team.  The ideal candidate will have an outgoing attitude and a passion for craft beer. Applications for the position close on June 6.

Landwash Brewery in Mount Pearl is hiring a cellarperson to join their team. Mostly working on the “cold side” of the brewhouse, that is, everything after the brewing, tasks include cleaning, transferring, cleaning, packaging (kegs and cans), cleaning, and more cleaning. 😉 But in all seriousness, the position is open to anyone enthusiastic to get into the beer world, but does not require brewing experience, so this could be just the perfect way in for you! Check the job posting on Indeed, and give them a shout before June 1.

 

Happy May Long Weekend, beer pals! While not every brewery can be open and welcoming folks in their taprooms and patios, we do hope you’re able to support them with curbside and delivery purchases. In Nova Scotia, many restaurants and bars are struggling due to being quick to follow government regulations and closing in-person service for everyone’s safety, but inaction and lack of support from the Province could see them suffering permanent losses. Be sure to check in to see if your favorite spot is offering ordering and delivery or curbside pickup and try to support them however you can; it could make the difference between them reopening when this mess is all over and, well, not.

And more universally, there has been a reckoning of late, bringing to the forefront shocking events of harassment and assault directed toward women, non-binary folks, people of colour, and others under-represented in the beer business. Those in positions of power, whether they be brewery owners or management, festival organizers, or patrons in bars, breweries, or at festivals, have been the beneficiaries of a “code of silence,” but we say with some hope that it appears that silence is starting to break thanks to a myriad of people stepping forward to report, support, and amplify. We believe when people tell us what they have experienced, and we support them. We believe that all businesses and organizations in this industry should have guidelines on conduct and safety posted in their establishment and online, so that all can feel safe and free from reprisal in reporting any of these acts. And now is the time for those in the beer (and wider) world to speak out about this topic and take action if witnessing any harassment. We believe that these actions will improve Beer for everyone, allowing more to feel welcome and bring their passion to the industry.

Let’s start the news with a one-two punch of new and returning breweries in the Antigonish area. After closing in early 2020 to complete major renovations in their brewery and taproom, Half Cocked Brewing in North Grant has opened their doors once again. Located 7 minutes north of downtown, Half Cocked is located in a former chicken farm building on Highway 245. Expanding their brewing capacity from 50 litres to 1200, they have fully stocked their fridge, ready for their thirsty fans. They have eight beers currently available for draught sales via growler purchase (either bring your own clean glassware, or you can purchase one of theirs): returning favourites are Pete’s Sake Blonde (4.7%), Darkest One American Stout (6.0%), XPA American Pale Ale (6.0%), and Cock of the Walk Black IPA (6.5%). And debuting this week are Sunrise Session Ale, a 4.4% crushable lawn mower beer; White Whale Pale Ale, at 6.6%, floral, punchy, and dry; Haze Fatigue IPA, a 7.7% bitter and brite IPA with a citrus finish; Wait For It Double IPA, 8.3% well worth the wait! Half Cocked’s retail spot is open 4 – 7 PM from Wednesday – Friday and 12 – 7 PM Saturday and Sunday. When restrictions are lifted, you’ll be able to sit inside or out on their massively expanded taproom and patio, with some special pop-ups and events planned, as well as enjoy pints at the local beer hotspots, including the Townhouse, so keep your eyes peeled here and on their Social Media (Fb/Ig/Tw)! Congratulations to Greg, Matt, and the whole Half Cocked Crew!

Back in the heart of town, Candid Brewing is not quite ready to open their retail location, but they *are* ready to get some beer in your hands! Located at 88 College Street in downtown Antigonish, they are doing a Pop Up today 3 – 6 PM, and again tomorrow 1 – 4 PM, slinging two canned beers curbside. First up is Humdinger a 6.7% West Coast IPA, featuring bold citrus and pine flavour with a full body that balances the bitterness. It is the first of Candid’s five core beers available in the coming weeks. Also available is a collaboration with their pals at Big Spruce Brewing in Nyanza, Skeptical Vibes. This 4.9% red lager was cold conditioned before receiving a generous dry-hopping with New Zealand’s Motueka, for a bright citrus nose on a crisp and dry base. Available in cans at both participating breweries, as well as online for delivery and shipping from the Big Spruce store. We’ve heard tell of lots more from Candid, and we’ll be sure to share when we can! Their space will feature a large taproom with plenty of room for bubble distancing and events galore. Those in the area should sign up for their Membership to get early access to the news and releases, plus some slick deals when the taproom and retail are open full-time. Congratulations Bryan and team!

Off to Mount Pearl for another new release, this one from Landwash Brewery. Their first bottle-conditioned beer, Saison Da Pearl is reminiscent of when Brewster Christina Coady was heading up the program at Toronto’s Folly Brewing, where Farmhouse beers were the focus. Now they’re bringing that to Da Pearl! The focus is on the yeast, with the pale malt and muted hops taking the backseat, giving rise to notes of pepper, spice, and even a touch of vanilla, thanks to a warm fermentation allowing the yeast to express itself. That yeast also plays double-duty, after finishing the beer fermentation, a dose of sugar just before bottling brings it back to life, and has the yeast naturally carbonating the packaged Saison. Closing your eyes, you may even be transported to a Wallounian farm after a hard day’s work! This 7.0% 500 mL bottle is available exclusively at the brewery’s retail location (for now, it may be available elsewhere if there’s any left in June).

O’Creek Brewing may be most known for their super hazy, super hoppy IPAs (and with good reason!), but sometimes they like to branch out a bit and play with other beer styles. One beer in particular was brewed back in March, and is finally hitting taps any day now. The beer is Doppelbock, and we’re betting you can probably guess the style! That’s right, this one is a Doppelbock, a high alcohol, dark brown, malty Lager that originated in Germany many years ago. O’Creek’s version was brewed with lots of Munich malt as the base, along with Pils, and Carapils, CaraMunich and Chocolate malt thrown in for colour and character. Hopped with Saaz and East Kent Goldings, it was fermented low and slow with Isar Lager yeast from Escarpment Labs, and allowed to lager for weeks longer. Coming in at 7.6% ABV, it’s sweet and malty, with “hints of dark fruits and light toast”, with very low bitterness. It’s currently on deck at CAVOK and The Joyce, so keep your eyes peeled for when it goes on tap!

Wait wait, don’t worry hopheads, O’Creek has you covered as well! Their latest hop bomb is Elevated, a 7.6% ABV DIPA that is bright, hazy, and flavourful. Hopped with Nelson Sauvin, Idaho 7, Mosaic, and Centennial, it’s smelling and tasting exactly as you probably expect – tropical and citrusy, with notes of mango and passion fruit. First kegs of that one will be popping up at The Joyce, Euston Park, and Au Bootlegger (if it’s not on tap already).

Camping season is fast-approaching/here – YMMV! – and Boomstick Brewing has thus been inspired to brew a beer that they feel pairs perfectly with the great outdoors: a Session IPA named Gravel Pit. An easy-drinking-yet-flavourful beer hopped with a large amount of Galaxy, it’s got tropical fruit aromas abound, and at just 4.8% ABV, is a great brew to enjoy during or after a hike, campfire, etc. It’s available right now at the brewery’s West St. location in Corner Brook on tap and in cans, and should already be on NLC shelves by now as well. 

Out Port Rexton Brewing way, they have teamed up with Toporama Prints in nearby English Harbour for a beer and art collaboration. An artist-run screen printing and design shop, Toporama has designed a unique piece that melds perfectly with beer, and limited prints of it will be available in posters, t-shirts, and on glassware, as well as adorning cans of a new beer release. Although we don’t know what it’s called yet, coming out today at noon is a 5.3% combo of sour ale and New England IPA, featuring a blast of mango and peach, and everything tropical, with a moderate acidity and light bitterness. A limited run, it’s available exclusively from their taproom in Port Rexton this weekend (maybe elsewhere in the off chance it’s not all gone!). We think planning a visit out is a super-great idea, as Toporama will be setting up their screen printing gear Sunday afternoon and creating tote bags right in the taproom!

After a super-successful launch earlier in the month, Saint Andrews Brewing is back with another new release this weekend, in celebration of Paddlefest 2021. That’s a Paddlin’ is a kölsch-style lagered ale that has been allow to cellar condition for 3 months, allowing the iconic yeast to do its thing and bring together notes of both lager and ale, on a German Pilsner base with plenty of Czech Saaz to balance. Cracker malt character with some spicy hoppiness, all in a spritzy package. It joins Wharfbound Hazy Pale Ale and Herringbone Pub Ale at the Red Herring Pub, where all three will be pouring this weekend. As with all SABC releases, these are quite small, so be sure to show up early (and often) to avoid disappointment!

Heading north up the Acadian Peninsula, four breweries in North-Eastern New Brunswick have collaborated with their own local mountain biking club. Brewed at host Distillerie Fils du Roy, brewers from Brasseux d’la Cote, Microbrasserie Houblon-Pêcheur, and Brasserie Retro Brewing were brought together by Mountain Bike Atlantic and local bike clubs. Sirène is the brewery’s take on a Vienna Lager, which they are calling a Vienna Acadienne in a nod to the local barley used to make the beer. Sirène is technically a SMaSH beer as it showcases 100% Vienna malt and Saaz hops. The malt comes from the Fils du Roy maltery in Petit-Paquetville and uses barley grown exclusively on the Acadian Peninsula (hence the Vienna Acadienne). The malt lends a copper red colour and a rich malt character, with notes of caramel, that are complemented by a medium hop bitterness that comes in at 20 IBU. With an ABV of 4.5%, Sirène is plenty sessionable to enjoy after a nice mountain bike ride. The beer is named after the collaborating bike club, Sirènes en Cavale, a women’s mountain biking club on the Acadian Peninsula. Cans are available now through the collaborating breweries and look out for more releases in the series in the coming weeks. 

Continuing the beer and biking collaborations theme is Sussex Ale Works in Southeastern New Brunswick, who teamed up with the neighbours at The Outdoor Elements to brew a beer fit for enjoying after (or while) hitting the local trails. LBS Kölsch is clean and refreshing lagered ale that comes in just shy of 5% ABV. The name is a nod to Local Bike Shop, and Outdoor Elements can’t get much more local as it shares a building with Sussex Ale Works. LBS Kölsch is available this weekend at the taproom on Main Street. 

And would you believe we’re not yet done with the brewery and cycling connections in New Brunswick? In Fredericton, Grimross Brewing is releasing Monkey Business, a Session IPA brewed in collaboration with River Valley Cycling, Mountain Bike Atlantic, and NB Brews. Named after a well-known mountain bike trail in the city (well-known to mountain bikers, anyway!), it’s a light and sessionable 4.5% ABV brew, built on a grist of pale malt and rolled oats, with low bitterness (6 IBU) and plenty of hop aroma (Vic Secret, Mosaic, and Idaho 7), designed to be the perfect cap to a hard session on the trails; but best be sure you’re finished your ride, as it’s likely that the first one will quickly lead to another. If this sounds on-brand for you, you’d best get on your (chromoly) horse, as this is a summer seasonal and once it’s gone, it’s gone! 

In other news out of Grimross, they’ve got another new small batch from their Scratch Series hitting the taps today, and it’s a special one for the brewery. It would seem that some extra microbiology has been going on within the walls at the brewery, as they’ve managed to discover a yeast strain unique to their premises. And what’s a brewery going to do when they discover a new yeast in their brewery? They’re going to brew with it, dammit!! SMaSH House is a single-malt and single-hop (well, sorta) beer using pale malt from Shoreline Malting and the Grimross Hop Blend from  Island Hop Company. Fermented with the aforementioned yeast (name and trademark to be determined, no doubt 😉 ), it has a subtle malt presence and notes of citrus and spice all leading to a crisp finish; perfect for all things summer. Check it out at the brewery today when you’re stocking up for the long weekend.

Edmundston’s Brasseurs du Petit-Sault has a new release in their Epic Series this week, chock full of bright and vibrant fruit. Simply named Ale aux Fraises et aux Framboises, the most learned among us recognize that it features strawberry and raspberry on a smooth and velvety, yet slightly tart base. Cans of the 5.2% beer are available at the Brewtique now, with growler fills next week.

Back in Halifax, Unfiltered Brewing is doing their best to lift the lockdown blues for thirsty beer drinkers, courtesy of a brand new release! Positively Shocking is a new SMaSH DIPA featuring Idaho 7 hops, that follows the same technique of Greg Nash’s other beloved SMaSH DIPAs. Look for piney and tropical notes from the hops with a pithy and bitter finish. Cans and fills of the 7.5% DIPA are available today on North Street. 

New Brew from Baccalieu! Hitting their shelf in Bay Roberts today is Hot Spot, a 5.5% Tropical Smoothie Sour, absolutely chock-full of dragonfruit, passion fruit, and pineapple on a tart base. And kicking it up to the next level is a generous dry-hop of citrus darling Mandarina Bavaria. Cans are available today and all weekend at 1 Conception Bay Highway in Bay Roberts, keep your eyes peeled at the better beer retail spots across the Island to snag yours later.

Inception, Trailway’s ode to the Falconer’s Flight hop blend, is making its return this weekend, this time as a 6.5% DDH IPA. Look for lemon-lime citrus notes, subtle notes of pine and a punch of dank hop character. Cans are available now at the taproom and through Trailway’s online store. 

A few weeks ago we teased a new Belgian Saison from Lone Oak Brewing Co. Lupin comes in at 6.5% and features classic Belgian notes of bubblegum, clove and spice. It is now available in bottles at the taproom in Borden Carleton and for island-wide delivery. 

And in another “reminder of a previous beer”, the 2 Crows Czech Pilsner, Letná, has been released to the masses this week. Available at the brewery in cans for retail, curbside, and delivery now, it is also available at Bishop’s Cellar for the same treatment. Joining the 355 mL can is a branded 500 mL mug, tall enough to be able to give it a proper pour with a couple of inches of tight foam to protect the liquid’s refreshing carbonation. Delivery and curbside pre-ordering is the way to go for this and other 2C orders, given the current restrictions.

Spryfield’s latest addition, Serpent Brewing, has a new beer and a virtual event on the go this long weekend. First up is the beer: Days End is a top-fermented, cold conditioned beer in the style and spirit of the city of Köln in Germany (such beers produced there are properly called Kölsch, of course). A perfect beer to cap a long day of work or to sip on a warm summer patio, it comes in at 4.6% and, we’re sure, has a slightly grainy malt backbone, with a slight fruity presence and a balancing bitterness. They’ll be celebrating the release of this one with a Virtual Tasting Event via Facebook Live tomorrow evening at 7 PM (time subject to change, so keep an eye on that event page). Growler fills and crowlers of this one are available, but bottles are still listed as “coming soon.” So make some plans to grab some Days End and/or some of the other Serpent offerings, and plan to hunker down tomorrow evening to share it virtually with other like-minded folks while learning a little from the team about the beers and how they’re made. 

Spring is in the air in Newfoundland. And at the Northern tip of the island, at the end of Highway 430, you’ll find Saint Anthony, home of RagnaRöck Northern Brewing Company. While they’ve been churning out the great beer non-stop since their opening in 2019, they did pause the taproom for the winter to re-configure and add a canning line to the mix. Well, with this unofficially official start to summer, they are looking to welcome folks back in the taproom starting Thursday, May 27. Open Thursday through Saturday from 5 PM til 11 PM (10 PM Thursday), they’ll be pouring a half dozen beers from the taps, plus have a great selection of beers to takeaway in cans. With a summer perfect for domestic/close to home travel, this is the time to get out and see *all* of your home province, so be sure to make all the way North! Located at 223-227 West Street, pop in while exploring L’Anse-Aux-Meadows or Grenfell Museum

And rounding out the news this week is Mirimachi’s New Maritime Beer Company, who are releasing a brand new beer inspired both by a trip to Mount Everest Basecamp by two of the brewery’s owners as well as their experience navigating the difficult waters as a new brewery during this past year’s pandemic craziness. Three Little Birds is named after the Bob Marley song, and if you know it, you’re probably already singing softly to yourself that every little thing gonna be alright. Considered by the brewery to be a New Zealand Pale Ale, owning to the exclusive use of NZ hop varieties Rakau and Motueka, it features aromas and flavors of stone fruit and citrus zest along with some tropical vibes. At 5.5%, it’s pretty light and crushable, and perfect for a carefree summer afternoon on a patio somewhere. Get it now at the brewery, on tap for pints, or to go in growlers or crowlers.

Not a whole lot of events going on in the region, for obvious reasons, and we encourage you to stay home, stay cool, and drink some beer; meanwhile, if you’re an experienced brewer looking for a job in and you’re in the St. John’s area (or willing to go there), check this opportunity out:

Banished Brewing is the brainchild of the folks behind the newly opened and busy as heck Bar Brewdock, in St John’s East Duck area. Banished, however, will be found in a beautiful location in Paradise, and slated to open in 2022. Wanting to start things off running, they are looking to hire an experienced Head Brewer to join and lead the production team. Check out the job posting on their website, and drop them a line if you’re the right person for the job!

Happy mid-May everyone! We hope you’re all keeping well, staying safe, getting a pop-up test occasionally if your provincial government is offering them (looks like only NS residents at the moment, but they *do* have the highest active cases currently), and maybe even enjoying a local beer or two when you have a chance. There are still plenty of new beers to tell you about, but first some very important internal news. Big congratulations to our own co-author Damian whose wife Leah gave birth to Lewis Brian Bertram Daniels this week! We’ll give Lewis a couple of years of rest before he gets roped into writing for the blog… Massive thanks to Shawn for stepping in and exercising those blog-writing-fingers for us to bring you the beer news in a timely fashion!

Let’s kick off this week’s news sharing news that the call for applications to North Brewing’s 2021 Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship is now open! Recognizing the “need for better representation within the craft beer and hospitality communities”, the crew at North are awarding a scholarship, $1500 per year for up to four years of education at an HRM College or University, for local students entering programs related directly or indirectly to the brewing industry. Highlighting the many hands that work together to bring great beer to fruition, that could be in sciences, hospitality, engineering, art and design, fabrication and trades, and business, to name a few. In addition, the successful candidate will have guaranteed summer employment (if they choose) in the taproom, retail, or production areas at the brewery, during their schooling. Assisting North in going through the many worthy applicants are Ren Navarro of Beer. Diversity., and members of the wonderful and local Change is Brewing Collective. Applications are open now until July 31st, please check out the details on their website.

We hope we’re not too late in passing on some important beer news from Corner Brook’s Boomstick Brewing, but just in case there’s some bottles of their latest release yet for those of you in Newfoundland not in the know, it’s better late than never! The beer is Time Scientist, a barrel-aged Breakfast Stout. With a grain bill that is the largest of any beer they’ve brewed so far (and it shows, coming in at a hefty 10% ABV), likely representing a myriad of specialty grains, there was also an addition of lots and lots of beautiful coffee from Gros Morne Coffee Roasters. The next ingredient was time, with the beer allowed to condition for nine months in two types of imported barrels: four previously containing Buffalo Trace Bourbon, and four others Jack Daniel’s Whiskey. Those of you experienced even slightly with barrel-aged beer will recognize that individual barrels can impart anywhere from small to large differences in a beer, and this is the case here, as well. Allowing those similarities and complementary notes to remain intact, the four bourbon barrels were blended together, but packaged separately from its four whiskey brethren, in different-hued takes on the same image of local Tablelands hiking trail in Gros Morne National Park. Both resulting beers exhibit “notes of coffee, vanilla, and toasty oak”, coming across as hearty and rich, with different subtleties from the barrels. As supplies have been quite limited, there’s a very good chance they’re getting low on stock by now, so be sure to contact them ahead of time if you’re planning a run over to the taproom. All is not lost for those who are a bit further afield, as the Time Scientist will be making its way East starting Monday, with NLC locations and Marie’s Mini Marts receiving stock Monday and Tuesday. And great news if this is your cup of beer, as they are planning more Time Scientist releases for the rest of 2021, so keep your eyes peeled for more versions!

Meanwhile, back on the mainland – Hampton, NB, to be exact – Gridiron Brewing has a brand new beer that should be hitting taps and cans just in time for the weekend. Highland Maple Amber Ale was brewed with a not-unusual grain bill of barley, toasted wheat, and Amber malt (all from Island Malt House), but instead of using water for the mash, they incorporated maple sap (here’s hoping the heat helped liquify all of that a little bit!) that was produced at Highfield Maples, located very close to the brewery. Approximately 12 L of maple syrup from the same source was added once fermentation began, giving the final 5.1% ABV beer “a nice, delicate maple finish”. You can find it on tap and in cans at the brewery from Thursday to Sunday 3-6 pm, or by appointment (check out their social media for more details on that front); it should also be available at other friendly beer spots in the area. And stay tuned for more updates on their new brewery, with their taproom set to open in the not-too-distant future!

It’s been a long time coming, but Fredericton’s Maybee Brewing has finally opened their taproom expansion, almost doubling their drinking space with a new room adjacent to the original space. The new lounge continues the same motif, with barn board, barn red doors, and plants, but adds some super comfy chairs and couches, as well as TVs, darts, and board games. There’s also a separate bar in the new space that will be open during busy times, as well as private functions. To celebrate the new space, they’ve also launched a brand new American IPA, Hole in the Wall. This 5.8% ABV, 55 IBUs crystal-clear beer was hopped with Galena, Mosaic, Galaxy and Citra, giving aromas of “mango, pineapple, and juicy citrus, with floral hints of pine needle”. Expect more of the same on the palate, with a mild bitterness in the finish. We suggest dropping by the new space this weekend, to enjoy both the atmosphere AND the beer(s)! Note that they’ve also expanded their taproom hours, as they’re now open every day of the week from noon to 11 pm.

Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing has a whole bevy of bevvies hitting the shelves at home and to a new market this month. First up, Limelight is back, their 4.0% ABV lager with real lime juice added to the brew. Coming in at 100 calories, it’s also great for those keeping track while they imbibe. Now at the taproom and Craft Beer Corner retail shops, it will be hitting the shelves at the PEILCC next week. Speaking of next week, they’ll be debuting Go Go Gose, a 4.0% ABV Golden Plum Sour that is a slightly tweaked version of the Beta Brew that appeared in a local Advent Calendar. Featuring a significant addition of golden plum purée and a touch of salinity, the sour will be on shelves at 41 Allen Street and 156 Great George Street before the end of next week, and on draught there and at licensees before too long. The Go Go Gose and Limelight will be joining their new Cavalier Lager in a Beach Day Essentials mixed 12-pack debuting next week as well, available at Upstreet and PEILCC locations. And from one Island to another, a big order of Limelight, Commons Lager, White Noize White IPA, and Go Devil will soon be appearing on shelves at Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Commission. We’ll be sure to let our faithful readers know when they can grab them!

The creative minds at Serpent Brewing are at it again. Fresh off installing their awesome curbside drive-thru, the team is rolling out a new packaging format and using the occasion to thank the frontline workers who have been ensuring we all continue to have access to essential goods and services. On the packaging front, Serpent is now offering 32 oz crowlers, starting off with three of their core brands. We are big fans of this format, perfect for sharing and preventing our basements from accruing more glass growlers. To top it off, they are offering a limited-time promo to help you get your hands on some crowlers and show your appreciation for frontline workers. Between now and 2:00 PM tomorrow (Saturday), if you buy two crowlers, a third will be provided to a well-deserving frontline worker, compliments of the good people at Serpent. To sweeten the offer, Serpent will deliver your crowlers directly to your door. Grab your favourites at their online shop now! And keep your eyes peeled here and their Social Media for details on the release of a new beer next week, which will include a virtual tasting event on Saturday May 22.

Stillwell Brewing is back with a new batch of SOOK now in the wild. First released in August 2019, SOOK is a 4.1% ABV grissette, brewed with Stillwell’s house mixed fermentation strain. A mix of pale barley and wheat malts are combined with noble hops to produce a dry, zippy, farmhouse-style grisette with light floral notes. You can get your hands on SOOK in HRM through weekly Friday deliveries. Orders of $30 or more placed by midnight Thursday will be delivered right to your door. Stillwell’s beers are also available for Canada-wide shipping. We noticed that a few oldies/goodies have also been restocked, giving you the chance to order some other tasty treats while you’re at it. And while we’re talking about Stillwell, we’d be remiss not to mention that the beer bar side of the business has relaunched its online store. To keep you safe during this last (right? please?) wave of the pandemic, they are putting together make-at-home kits featuring some classic menu items. That’s right – you can now get your smash on at home and prepare your very own diner burger. The store is also stocked with all sorts of liquid treats from elsewhere in Canada, the USA and Europe. Next-day HRM deliveries are available Thursday through Saturday.

Lake City Cider has a special tasting event planned this evening for their In-Ciders this evening. And great news, if you’re in the HRM, you can be an In-Cider too! Featuring a 750ml bottle each of their Raspberry Dry (8.0%, featuring Noggins Farm raspberries), Exit 6 Blueberry (5.5%, Oxford wild blueberries), Mac G Cider (6.5%, 50% Macintosh 50% Gravenstein), plus you’ll be receiving a Mystery Bottle only available in this In-Cider pack. We’re in the dark to its identity as much as you, but we’re sure it will be a tasty and unique blend! Your $65 pack (delivery included!) also includes a Lake City unbreakable Silipint glass. Tune into their Instagram at 7 PM to drink along with Poet of Lake City as she chats about the development, production, and final flavours in the ciders in your glass. There is a 1 PM cutoff for delivery today to ensure you don’t miss out, otherwise you can grab it yourself at their curbside take-away window at 35 Portland Street in downtown Dartmouth, open 11 – 8 PM.

Down the coast in Chester, Tanner Brewing snuck in a new release after posting time last week. Half Nelson is a lighter take on their ever popular Nelson Saison. With a name inspired by the Nelson Sauvin hop, this 5.2% saison features notes of passion fruit, pineapple and lemon, to go along with a subtle sauvignon blanc character. 500 ml bottles are now available at Tanner’s two Chester-area locations. 

If y’all like yourself some Czech Lager, we’ve got some good news to cheer you up if you’re in the HRM… or heck, even if you want some beer delivered to your door outside of that area! 2 Crows has passed on some early details on a beer they’re releasing next Friday (May 21st), a Czech Lager named Letna. In true 2C form, it was brewed with the classic style in mind, with a base of floor-malted Pilsner from Island Malt House, and a little bit of Acid malt for mash pH adjustment. They used low-oxygen brewing techniques (pretty much standard for all of the brewery’s Lagers now), as well as a double decoction mash (obviously suckers for punishment!). Hopped to the max with Saaz hops, including in the mash, at first wort, 10 minutes remaining in the boil, and in the whirlpool. Fermented low and slow with Escarpment Lab’s Czech Lager strain, they also krausened the beer at the end of fermentation with a smaller batch of the same beer. Once the beer was ready for the temp to be dropped, they did so slowly, all the way down to -0.5 Celsius, where it was left to lager for 10 weeks. And now, it’s finally ready for you (in a week!), and is tasting “crisp and crunchy, herbal, bready, and bitter”, and weighs in at a supremely drinkable 4.9% ABV and 38 IBUs. Hell, they’re even calling it the best thing they’ve ever made… we think that may be subjective, but are inclined to take their word on it! Letna is going to be available in 355 mL cans, which we love to hear. Keep watch on the brewery’s social media early next week, as they plan to announce a pre-order package that includes a sixer of the beer, a Lager stein, Czech-style sausages, buns, meats… the whole nine yards.

Brightwood Brewery has a new release from their summertime ‘crushable’ series. Berry Crushable is a kettle sour developed in collaboration with Dartmouth’s Pop Culture Brew Co. Kombucha. This ‘kombucha sour’ was kettled soured with the scoby probiotic which is used to make kombucha. The fermentation included additions of elderberries and hibiscus for a bright red color. The final beer comes in at 4.7% ABV and features red fruit flavours and a tart finish. Berry Crushable is available now at the brewery on Portland Street and in Brightwood’s online store.

Sticking with Dartmouth sours, North Brewing is releasing a new iteration in its Plush series with Peach Plush. This 4.5% ale sees a fermentation featuring both Lacto 2.0 and Vermont ale yeast from Escarpment Labs. This 10 barrel batch was then hit with 300 pounds of Nova Scotia peaches  Cans are now available through North’s delivery, curbside pick-up, and shipping options, all accessible on their website.

A few last minute beers to tell you about before we let you go this week!

Sussex Ale Works has a brand new sour on tap and in cans this weekend, featuring locally grown and harvested rhubarb. Homestead Rhubarb Sour is 4.8% ABV, and in addition to the local vegetable that thrives in the region, Sussex also added in a spice featured in their family’s rhubarb pie recipe. Pop by Thurs – Sat 12 – 8 PM, 2 – 6 PM Sundays.

Two warm weather favourites are making their return at Trailway Brewing. First up is Beyond Reality Raspberry Wheat Ale. Coming in at a sessionable 4% ABV, the base wheat beer features El Dorado hops and an addition of raspberries. We also have Velvet Fog Milkshake IPA. This one sticks with the raspberries and El Dorado hops, but in the milkshake style also includes additions of lactose and vanilla, as well as a little bit of lime zest this time around. Both beers are now available in cans and on tap at the brewery. In other timely news, Trailway has also expanded the patio area at its Fredericton taproom and has upgraded the outdoor seating options for your lounging pleasure. 

Shipwright Brewing and Uncle Leo’s Brewery have teamed up to create Off Course, a 5.7% ABV German Smoked Lager. Light and refreshing yet displaying plenty of smoke character, this beer is a throwback to the days when even non “intentionally” smoked beers showed that character due to the barley kilning process using low-burning smokey fires. Available now at both breweries, and at Uncle Leo’s website for delivery in Pictou County, or nation-wide shipping (free in NS!).