Hello Friday! Plenty of great beer released this week, and while the weather continues to stay warm and roadtrips are the name of the game, remember to consider including a small brewery or cidery in your travel plans in the region. Why not check out our Good Beer Map to help with your planning, and please let us know if we’re missing anything so we can help the community.
Let’s start you off with some big news from the team behind Stillwell Brewing, who have been teasing some big news on their IG page over the past two weeks. They are on the move! Having outgrown their gracious hosts at Propeller’s original space on Gottingen Street, they have moved their operations a little further north to 3670 Kempt Road. Having their own facility will allow them greater freedom to set it up exactly as they wish, including a retail and events space, as well as a happy home to their foeders and dozens of barrels full of beer. It has also, just as importantly, afforded them the opportunity to design a brew system all their own! As they explore the intricacies of European Pilsners and other lager styles, they have ordered a 35 hectolitre (30 BBL) system optimized for decoction and other more complicated mash schedules (changing temperatures as well as recirculating during the mash to add complexity not otherwise available from a solely-pilsner malt base).
While Stillwell’s new spot is not quite open, and delivery of their system is still months away, they are not leaving us drinkers thirsty, as they have released a batch of their Stilly Pils recently for draught at their sister locations on Barrington, Agricola, and Spring Garden, and, for the first time, in tall cans for enjoyment anywhere beer can go. As a reminder, Stilly Pils is their hybrid take on of the best characters of historic Czech Pils, with waves of malt complexity, German Pils, with a dry and bitter finish, and the modern Italian (and the North American beers it influenced) Pils with loads of Noble hop flavour on the nose and palate. However you define it, it’s a quaffable beer with plenty of flavour and aroma, great to either “crush or consider,” as they like to say. So, how to get your hands on these cans? While their retail shop isn’t quite ready to welcome you in person, you can order through their online shop for local delivery every Friday (as well as Canada-wide shipping). If you’re the kind of person who’s looking for a Pils fix right now, head to Bar Stillwell on Barrington or Bishop’s Cellar at Bishop’s Landing for some cans to go. Congratulations to the Stilly Brewing Crew on the new space, new beer, and the great news of things to come soon!
If you’ve been in the Ingonish area over the last 12 months, you’ve probably seen big things happening at Cape Smokey. The ski hill is fully operational, with a gondola set to open later this summer, and an ocean-front marina offering food, beer and live music. More big plans are in store with a treewalk opening in 2022, and of course, the brewery. While awaiting the opening of the brewery, brewmaster Jan Tzril has been busy sharing his knowledge of and passion for Czech-style pilsner brewing, including at least one earlier collaboration brew. This spring, Jan visited the team at Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing to brew Cape Smokey Pilsner. The result is a 4.9% Bohemian Pilsner that features 100% Pilsner Malt sourced from the Czech Republic, Saaz hops (also from the Czech Republic), and Czech lager yeast. In true Czech style, it was brewed using a double decoction mash to extract as much flavour and richness from the malt as possible. This method keeps DMS and acetaldehyde levels lower than an infusion mash, and has also been known to accentuate bitterness and help with head retention. If you want to sample Cape Smokey Pilsner, the only way to try it (for now) is to make a visit to the Cape Smokey Marina to enjoy a can onsite. Check out Cape Smokey’s blog to learn more about the collaboration, including an interview with the 2 Crow’s talented brewmaster, Jeremy Taylor.
Let’s skip from Cape Breton to Newfoundland and Labrador, where Lab City’s Iron Rock Brewing has recently released an oak-aged Belgian Tripel months in the making. Le Fer Du Monde was brewed with a traditional simple malt bill of Pilsen and Munich, hopped with the Tettnanger and Saaz, fermented with a Belgian yeast. The work didn’t stop there, as the beer was aged on oak for 3 months before being packaged in a cork and caged bottle and allowed to carbonate naturally. Spicy yeast on the full malt character, melds with notes of oak for a sensory experience. And now the beer is available at both their taproom on Humphrey (which is back open today with Trivia and Karaoke tonight!), as well as in St. John’s at Urban Market 1919 and a pair of Marie’s Mini Mart (Kiwanis & Frecker). We suggest grabbing a couple of bottles: one to enjoy now, and one to set aside for further development in the bottle.
The December holiday season has its fair share of beverage-centric traditions; in some parts of Atlantic Canada, one of them involves a boozy concoction, stored in the freezer, usually in a repurposed bucket (salt beef, with its trusty handle, is always a good choice). The recipe for the beloved slush varies from community to community, but usually features frozen juice concentrate, spirits (typically vodka), and some lemon/lime soda for the final drink assembly. Why are we telling you all of this? Well, because Bay Roberts’ Baccalieu Trail Brewing is releasing an ode to the frozen delicacy, in the form of a slush-inspired pale ale. Right Slushed is hopped with Mandarina Bavaria and Sultana. To hit those McCain frozen concentrate notes, it was then conditioned on blood orange, pineapple and lemon. The result is a tropical and citrusy pale ale that comes in at 5.5% ABV and is sure to have you searching for your slush bucket in July. Cans are available now at the brewery with pints and fills to follow soon.
Over at Propeller, they’re back with a new bottle release available today. Black Forest Sour is a barrel-aged kettle sour with (you guessed it) flavours and aromas reminiscent of Black Forest Cake. A mix of different berries was used in a kettle sour base, which was then aged in bourbon barrels for over a year. Through the barrel, notes of oak, bourbon and a touch of smoke joined the fray. Further conditioning was done on fresh vanilla beans and cocoa nibs. All of that together brings that delicious mix of richness, sweetness and notes from a tasty cake, but in a 5% beer! This is a limited release in 500ml bottles available today for $10/btl at the Prop Shops, Bishop’s Cellar and for local home delivery only. Check it out while it’s still available!
In the ever increasing non-alcoholic beer archive of the blog (and also our lives and building some healthier habits), one of the best and most popular local choices has been Upstreet’s Libra brand. With Libra Hazy IPA joining the lineup earlier this month, Libra Pils is the latest release in a trial run today! Using Saaz hops and lager yeast in traditional pilsner fashion, this comes in at 0.4% and 5 IBU. Expect this to have classic Pilsner notes with a floral, grassy nose, joining a touch of bitterness with a light and crisp body. Available at Upstreet’s two Charlottetown locations (Allen Street and Craft Beer Corner), as well as on their online shop very soon for those not in town (shipping available Canada-wide).
If you do pick some of this up, be sure to hit up their social channel or website to leave feedback, as they want to make a delicious local non-alcoholic beer for the masses.
From the darkside (Dartmouth!) comes Brightwood with some great news this week. First up, Loudwater is a new release now available and is a low-bitterness IPA that features Nelson Sauvin hops. This 6% IPA will showcase some white wine flavours, pairing with notes of citrus, nicely balanced with Maris Otter malt. It’s is available in 473ml cans at the brewery or online for delivery.
In other news, Brightyard is now open! What is Brightyard? It’s an outdoor beer garden on Portland Street in Dartmouth! This is the third location for Brightwood and you can get beer, wine, cider, snacks and BBQ from the mind of Emma Strubank. Check it out around 53 Portland Street in Dartmouth, pretty close to their other two locations! Open noon til 10 PM daily, but check that forecast before heading out, as this is an outdoor space it is weather-dependent.
There’s some big goings on this weekend on the Rock!
Over the last five years, Atlantic Canada has benefited greatly as a region from breweries opening in smaller towns and villages. These businesses create jobs, tourism, economic activity and an incredible sense of community in their local areas. Nowhere has this been more evident than Port Rexton, Newfoundland. Starting from their original taproom/production facility, Port Rexton Brewing has expanded to include a St. John’s retail location and a second larger production facility. More importantly, they have placed Port Rexton firmly on the map of beer destinations in Atlantic Canada, having consistently raised the bar in terms of quality and variety of styles, and having done so while becoming a pillar of their local community, supporting other businesses and community groups through collaborations, events, and pop-ups. This Saturday, PRB is celebrating its fifth anniversary in style with new beers, lots of food options, and a street party featuring live music.
Let’s start with details on the party. From noon until midnight, the street area adjacent to the brewery will be shut down to create a larger, Covid-friendly space. Food vendors will include the in-house staple Oh My Cheeses and special guests Adelaide Oyster House, Old Dublin Bakery, Danger Giles Fried Chicken and Like Yer Mudders. Live music will entertain the crowd all day long and the first 50 beer drinkers will also receive a free glass. Non-alcoholic beers from Upstreet/Libra will also be available.
And now let’s get to the beers. Three new ones will be available on-tap and for takeaway in cans. First up is Five, a blood orange IPA. Coming it at 6% ABV, expect a traditional IPA with lots of citrus notes and pithy bitterness. Next up is Summer Anthem, a 6.5% coconut lime milkshake IPA. Expect a combination of sweetness, tartness and bitterness in this one, which features additions of coconut, lime, lactose and vanilla, and a big dry hop. Summer Anthem also includes a link to a Spotify playlist that features some of PRB’s favorite taproom tunes from the last five years. Last but not least, PRB continues its support for gluten free beer drinkers with Kiwi. This 4.5% GF sour features lots of tropical aromatics and a big kiwi flavour. Cheers to everyone at Port Rexton Brewing, including founders Sonja and Alicia, on five awesome years and many more to come.
We’ve got a few more short beer hits to share today before we dismiss you for the week…
Modern Brewer’s Village Green in Cornwall, PEI, continues their informal Comfortbier series with English IPA, a 5.9% ode to the style. Maris Otter (complemented by a few other English malts) and Bramling Cross (used in both the kettle and dry hop addition) come together for a combination of fresh-baked crusty bread, citrusy marmalade with a touch of floral tea; a quick English Breakfast! Find it on tap on Church Street this weekend, and perhaps in cans to go next week, should there be any left.
The fine folks at Breton are as happy as anyone to be opening up and welcoming guests from near and far, so people can enjoy their beer in CBRM and HRM. Beachside is a new limited release Pale Ale available today. Using a blend of hops for a burst of tropical fruit flavour and aroma, this is a 4.8% summer sipper with a crisp and dry finish. This is available in 473ml cans in the Sydney taproom and also online for delivery.
Wanna work in the world of craft beer and brewing? There’s definitely some spots available right now:
Seeing as how we were just speaking of Breton, let’s start there, where they’re on the hunt for some enthusiastic folks who’d like to join their team as a Bartender in the taproom and help serve up some of that new beer. It’s considered a part-time position, with 20 – 35 hours per week up for grabs, and, as you can imagine, the hours aren’t exactly 9-5, with evenings and weekends being prime time for tap rooms. So if you’re in the Sydney area and interested in breaking into the world of craft beer, more details are available here.
With their burgeoning taproom in full summer swing and their new beer garden now operational (see above), Brightwood is looking to staff up for the rest of the summer with kitchen and serving staff. With 2 full time (40 hrs/wk) and one part time (20 hrs/wk) position available to the end of September, they’re hoping to find some eager folks with previous experience to help them develop a new food concept in house. Check out the full details in the Careers section of their website.
One of the region’s most old school breweries is also looking to fill a position, this one on the back end: Pump House Brewery in Moncton has need of a Director of Plant Operations. This is a position with some serious responsibilities, best summed up as “planning, directing, and coordinating the maintenance and production functions of the brewery.” Given that they’re well-established and fairly sizeable, it should be no surprise that they’re hoping to find someone with significant experience to fill this role. You can find out more, including how to apply, by checking out the full job description posted on Career Beacon.