We’re firmly into November now, and no doubt mostly everyone has found themselves reaching for the thermostat at least once. Whether you’re looking for something bigger and warming to make up the distance between where your heat is set and where you wish it was, or you’re looking for something cooling because your spouse demands sweat lodge room temperature, our craft breweries and cideries have you covered. There’s plenty of new and returning beers going around in all four Atlantic Provinces this weekend, so read on to find out what and where you can grab it!
We’ll start off this week on the North Shore of Nova Scotia, where Tatamagouche Brewing continues to put out entries in their hop-focused Intertidal series. Veering away a little from the New World varieties that have been featured in the last few iterations, this one hits up the “new school of the old school”, featuring French hops. “French hops?” you ask, why yes, dear beer drinker, French hops. Starting with a base of pale and Vienna malts paired with a touch of honey malt for a slightly sweet and grainy backbone, hopping began in the kettle with the original French noble hop, Strisselspalt (from Alsace, the most German part of France, natch) paired with two brand new varieties, Mistral and Aramis. An additional hit of Mistral was added as a dry hop at the end of fermentation, which was undertaken cool, with Kölsch yeast, for a clean profile that would let the hops shine. And shine they do, with the Mistral at the fore, providing notes of melon, rose, and grapefruit along with some prominent dried apricot on top of a crispy and refreshing base. Look for this one at the brewery either in person or for online orders. Meanwhile, in other Tata release news, you may be aware that at Stillwell Beer Garden’s Oktoberfest this year they were serving a Märzen that Tata provided for that celebration, Sepia, a classic, malt-driven 5.3% little number that was quaffed in quantity that day on Spring Garden Road. Whether you had some and know how good it was, or you missed it and you’d like to find out, you’re in luck. That beer has been packaged in 355 mL cans and is now available as well.
Some BIG news out of Landwash Brewery and Memorial University this week: a whale of a new beer is out from the brewery in collaboration with the university’s their Faculty of Science. To celebrate the Blue Whale skeleton hanging in their Core Science Facility, Whale of a Time is a 4.5% dry-hopped saison that was released on Wednesday. The beer is very dry with a complex fruit aromas of strawberry, grapefruit and tropical fruits due to the dry-hopping of Saaz and experimental HBC 586. The beer is available now at the brewery on tap and cans, with cans also available at Marie’s. The whale is one of two that washed ashore on the west coast of Newfoundland in 2014 and is believed to be one of nine crushed by heavy sea ice that year. Read more about the installation here.
Put on your big person pants, as the cooler weather has also brought out one of the higher-alcohol annual releases this week, with yesterday’s debut of Big Spruce’s Ra Ra Rasputin. This Certified Organic (as all of BS’s beers are) Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout poured for the first time at Downtown Dartmouth’s Battery Park yesterday, with both the “original” Glenora Whiskey version, as well as the debut of a Glenora Canadian Rye Whiskey version, the first of its kind, on tap. Sourcing barrels from the Glenora Distillery in Glenville, Cape Breton, each of the two versions weighs in at 10.5% ABV, with the bold roast and chocolate malt supporting the whiskey and spicy rye notes that complete the aroma and flavour. Available now in 330 ml bottles (thank you!) via Big Spruce’s webshop for free delivery province- and country-wide, look for them on the shelves of the private stores this weekend. Heck, we bet there are still some of these two releases, and/or the 2018 Glenora Whiskey, 2019 Peach Brandy, 2019 Cognac, 2020 Tawny Port pouring at Battery Park if you arrive early enough today for a side-by-side-by-side-by-… you get it… tasting.
Speaking of returning favourites, Propeller has two dark and lovely releases on the shelves again today… First is their Mocha Oatmeal Stout, which sounds to us like a killer breakfast beer! Coffee, chocolate, beer, 5.5% ABV, say no more! Dark roasted malts were used judiciously to keep the base beer from being harsh or bitter, and given that the cans were carbonated with nitrogen rather than carbon dioxide, a super-smooth mouthfeel rewards the drinker. With these types of packaging, remember that giving it a fast and vigorous pour (hold it completely upside-down from height to create some activity) is the best technique. If you track us down, we can talk about the partial pressures of various gases to really drive home the science of it. 😉 Cans are available in the three Prop Shops and online for home delivery and shipping, and you should also see it at the private stores like Bishop’s Cellar and Liquid Assets shortly. [Ed note: we jumped the gun on the London Porter, stay tuned for more on that release]
Moving down to the South Shore of Nova Scotia, Tanner Brewing in Chester just released a barrel aged version of one of their core beers. Barrel Fermented Belgian Blonde is a twist on their blonde ale that traditionally has pronounced malt aromas and flavours, mixed with aromatic spicy and fruity esters from the yeast. Throwing in six months of a partial fermentation and aging in a first-use Ironworks rum barrel to the traditional golden blonde ale added flavours of molasses, caramel and vanilla has yielded a 7% beer is with 20 IBU that is available in 500ml bottles in both of their locations and their online store.
On the cider side of the world, Lake City Cider is back with a new release from their limited edition Vine Series. Blueberry Pinot Grigio is a wine-infused cider, based on their Nova Scotian apple cider base complemented with Pinot Grigio and blueberries. The result is a light, effervescent, refreshing drink with a light blueberry flavour. Ideally served in champagne flutes it’s 8.5% and available in 4-packs of 355ml cans. A limited release you’ll want to move fast if you’d like to try it; you’ll find it available at Lake City’s Downtown Dartmouth location and on their online store for delivery.
Good Robot continues to innovate and keep us on our toes with new releases that push the style boundaries. This week, they are dabbling in more of a mainstream style with the release of Tropical Storm, a single-hop NEIPA showcasing the Sabro hop, known for its tropical and coconut characteristics. Cans and pints of this 7% ABV NEIPA are available now. What’s more, this is the first in what they are planning to be a series of single-hop NEIPAs. We’ll be sure to keep you posted when the next one drops.
Never a stranger to events and release celebrations, 2 Crows is re-releasing Paradise, their foedre aged sour with raspberry and passionfruit additions, originally released in October 2019. Lightly hopped in the boil with Nelson Sauvin and aged noble hops, it was conditioned on over 500lbs of raspberries and 200lbs of passionfruit for several months, allowing the sugars to fully ferment. The result is a jammy, bright, and sour beer coming in at 4.7%. To celebrate on Saturday November 6th, the brewery is teaming up with Fortune Doughnuts for a special Paradise doughnut! The doughnut is a sour lemon and passionfruit-filled number with a raspberry and passionfruit glaze; it will be available at the brewery for dine-in or take-out starting at noon until they’re all gone! Meanwhile, you can grab a pint of the matching beer on tap or get some cans to go.
Next weekend, Saturday, November 13th, Copper Bottom Brewing in Montague is marking their 4th Anniversary, and we’re all invited to take part in the fun! From noon until late, there will be live music on their stage (12 – 3 PM Thomas Harrington & Jesse Periard; 3 – 6 PM Nick Doneff; 6 – 9 PM Dan Doiron), their resident food truck, The Pizza Box, will be running specials on pizza and sandwiches, plus the taproom is featuring $5 pints and beer slushies! One beer you’ll have to try is Birthday Beer 4, which is the special anniversary beer being released for the event. A Mango IPA, this 5.6% beer started with a malt bill of pilsner, wheat, and flaked oat, and fermented with an Escarpment Labs strain of Kveik yeast. Dry-hopped with Amarillo and Simcoe, the beer also saw the addition of mango puree to really dial up the tropical fruit flavour. Low in bitterness, but big in taste, in addition to pouring at the brewery next Saturday, it will also be available in cans for retail and website sales.
Just a few more things to hit before we dismiss you this week…
As you start to see holiday goodies fill up the stores, you’ll see a returning favourite from Breton Brewing on the shelves! Gingerbread Holiday Ale is back and is a London Extra Special Bitter with Gingerbread, bringing flavours of ginger and cinnamon to the classic style. First released back in 2018, you’ll be able to find this special 5.5% and 35 IBU winter release available now at select NSLC locations around the province, or at the brewery in-store or online (for delivery too!).
If you’re looking for something different in the Sussex area this weekend, swing by Sussex Ale Works for a pint of their newest release, Petal Pusher Chamomile Blonde. Look for citrusy notes and an approachable drinking experience. Petal Pusher is available now for pints at the taproom or to-go in crowlers.
And rounding out the news is a big announcement from the fine folks at Trailway Brewing in Fredericton….. they’re heading South! No, we don’t mean on a vacation to Mexico, they will be opening a location in Saint John! Even better, eh? Taking over the space at the corner of Union and Dorchester Streets in the heart of Saint John, they will be operating a 3 BBL (350 litre) brewhouse to supply the 40-seat taproom with all of the experimental and style-bending beers folks in Fredericton have loved for years as well as brewing up special one-offs and even a few exclusive house beers to keep SJ locals happy, plus guest taps from other local breweries and cider producers. The space also features a kitchen to provide a well-curated menu, and a fully-stocked retail space to serve the local clientele even better. Renovations are starting now, and we’ll keep you up to date on the progress, including job posting calls, as they are looking to open mid-2022. Congratulations to the Trailway Family on the great news!
Looking for a job in #AtlCanBeer? Peep these offerings!
Lone Oak is looking for a Brewery Assistant to work with Head Brewer Spencer Gallant. This full-time position will include everything from production planning, managing raw materials inventory, and supporting brew days, to packaging and equipment maintenance. Doesn’t hurt if you’re funny too, as the last person who had the job definitely is (congrats on the album drop, Dan!). If you’re looking to get into the PEI brewing scene, check the full posting here, then send a resume to email@example.com.
North Brewing is also recruiting for full and part-time retail positions at their OG location on Portland Street and the soon-to-open location on the Timberlea Village Parkway! North has been teasing lots of renovation progress at the new retail space and hiring the team is another sign that the opening is right around the corner. Check out their website for more info on the positions and how to apply.