We’re heading for a weekend of weather and COVID restrictions across the Atlantic region, so we strongly encourage you to read quickly and make your moves if you haven’t already stocked up on beer for the weekend. After you’ve checked your fave brewery’s social media to make sure they’re open, of course. Hopefully they are, because plenty of them have new beers on the go that you’re sure to want to try. So read on!
Kicking off this week is an inter-provincial collaboration between two breweries with deep, interconnected roots. Alicia MacDonald of Port Rexton Brewing grew up in Truro, and in fact had originally planned to open a brewery in the town, before co-founding PRBC in 2016. While returning to the area this Labour Day, MacDonald spent the day at Truro Brewing Company with Jana Dellapina, concocting something for the coming months. The result of that wondrous day is available now! Quiet Company is an English-style Barleywine, where the hops take the back seat to bold caramel and malt notes. After fermentation, it spent several weeks in a Bourbon barrel from Raging Crow Distillery in nearby North River, where it took on plenty of great vanilla and spirit notes. Originally conceived as an accompaniment to the Matt Anderson song of the same name, Quiet Company is available now in bottles at TBC’s Inglis Place location.
Tanner & Co Brewing in Chester has a brand new hybrid release available exclusively in their Duke Street taproom/retail spot this week. Maybe even a hybrid of a hybrid, as one half of Ambrosia began life as their Kuhlmann featuring Rye and Vienna malts complementing the base Pilsner malt, which was fermented with the natural wild yeasts of the Lucie Kuhlmann grape pomace that was added to the wort. While some was drawn off for the original release, this portion was allowed to age for an additional year on the skins, grabbing more complexity and drying the beer out further. Blended to it was Original Mead, and the resulting assemblage allowed to develop for longer still. As there were only a few cases of Ambrosia produced, you’ll have to go straight to the source to grab them, but we can attest that the visit is worth your time! Also on the shelves and draught is the returning Dunkelweizen, their take on the classic dark wheat beer, featuring banana and chocolate notes.
Quidi Vidi Brewing is celebrating the latest release in their on-going series of homebrewer contest winners from the Newfermenters competition. Wisdom and Wit is the winning beer from Howard Haby, and is true to the original Belgian Witbier style as it features notes of Coriander and citrus, with a hint of chamomile. This 4.1% ABV can is available at their Hops Shop as well online for same-day delivery.
Also available online now are memberships for Flight Club. Limited to fewer than 200 people, this membership will allow folks early (and sometimes exclusive) access to new and returning beers, their own 20oz mug (to be stored at the taproom), as well as five private events throughout the year. Check that link for more details!
Not many details on this one, but Grimross Brewing has released the latest in their Scratch series this week, Scratch 26: IPA. At 6.5% ABV, this looks to be a West Coast style IPA, with grapefruit, pine, and floral notes coming through. Also out now is a collaboration with the GTFO Adventure Club, Local Legend. $1 from every pint of this juicy pale ale poured will go to their “Give The F Back” Fund. While the taproom may be closing due to return to Level 3 restrictions, both of these are available for growler fills to take away. Stay safe, NB pals!
Propeller Brewing has three pilot-batch beers out now/coming soon, so let’s get you up to speed with them. Available in growlers today at all three of their retail locations, as well as on tap at the newly-reopened Gottingen Street taproom, is Vic Secret Dry-Hopped Sour. This 4.8% tart and refreshing sour ale features loads of fuzzy peach, tangerine, and grapefruit notes thanks to plenty of Vic Secret hops added post-fermentation, on top of a clean acidic base.
Coming soon to the taps are a couple more from their Quinpool Road 300 litre pilot system, in two totally different styles. Bru-1 IPA showcases the hop of the same name, with a fruit salad of flavours like pineapple, melon, and strawberries, and thanks to the Sacch Brux yeast, it finishes fruity, dry, with a hint of acidity. At 6.0% and 70 IBU, rest assured there’s a lot packed into this one! And at the other end of the spectrum is Pineapple & Banana Hefeweizen, a 4.5% switch on the traditional German wheat style, as it was fermented on pineapple puree to bring out that fruit and complement the banana notes from the yeast. Hopyard Halifax has picked up a keg of this to pour soon, and Dartmouth’s Battery Park has grabbed all three to be tapped sometime soon.
Tusket Falls has a new one out this week in their Experimental Beer series, for fans in both Yarmouth County and HRM. The mysteriously nameless Session IPA comes in at 4.6% and features lots of tropical fruit notes from the auditions of Amarillo, Citra, Simcoe and Columbus hops. You can also expect notes of melon, pear, lime zest and stone fruit to accompany a soft body and moderate finishing bitterness. This one is on tap-only at Tusket’s two taprooms.
Fredericton’s Trailway Brewing is ringing in the new year by revisiting one of their core brands with a bit of a refresh. You might have noticed over the past few months that many of Trailway’s products have received the proverbial “lick of paint” in terms of their branding. Today we can tell you that one of their original core brands, Rype has had that treatment, but also a modification to what’s in the can. The name “Rype” was a play on rye malt, which was originally one of the ingredients. Well no more! Both the rye malt and the crystal malt previously present in the recipe are no longer there, and you can think of “Rype” as a nod to the ripe fruit notes provided by the showcased Mosaic hops. A little drier than it was, thanks to the lack of crystal and the addition of bready Munich malt and some wheat as well, and more refreshing, look for the same tropical fruit notes and dankness, but with a more pure hop expression. Look for it to start appearing wherever you get your Trailway fix, it’s already on the shelves at the brewery.
We’ll leave you today with a ton of news coming to you from Brunswick Street in Halifax, as 2 Crows Brewing celebrates their 5th Anniversary this month. Not ones to do anything in half measures, they are releasing 9 new beers in celebration of their Wood Anniversary (fitting, as several of these will have spent time in their barrels and foedres). The first to be released are a pair of grape-heavy beauts, Bunch and Tobeatic Wild. Bunch is a Berliner Weisse, that is a low abv (3.2%) wheat beer, low in hops, and co-fermented with Lactobacillus to give an acidic kick. Starting life back in February 2020 (ah, the Before Times), the beer lived in its Port barrel primary fermentation vessel until the end of the year, when it was transferred to stainless to rest, before the addition of pureed Concord grapes in the summer. After a couple of months on the fruit, the beer was bottled and allowed to carbonate naturally in the bottle. The resultant beer shows a lovely purple hue, is zippy and spritzy due to the acidic component, with the grape notes shining through. Available in 375ml bottles in store and online now.
Tobeatic Wild is also available now, but in the 355ml can format. Its history is a little more recent, starting from the same base beer as Molten Mirrors, a recently-released collaboration with London’s (ON) Beerlab!. MM was billed as a “Saison/Lager hybrid”, with base grains of Pilsner, rice, and spelt, hopped with Saphir and Huell Melon, and fermented with their house Saison culture. After completion, the temperature was lowered, and an actively-fermenting lager yeast was added (krausening technique) and the beer allowed to further condition and develop at cold temperature. After removing the bulk of the volume to package Molten Mirrors, the several hectolitres left were hit with 800kg of freshly-pressed L’Acadie grape skins (aka pomace) from the Valley’s Lightfoot & Wolfville winery. With plenty of sugar and tannic acid still left in those skins, it also picked up a touch of wild yeast which will no doubt show through the delicate 5.4% beer. Carbing was also done in-can, so expect a little bit of (safe to enjoy) yeast residue at the end. Spritzy Saison/Grisette citrus vibes galore with floral and honey aromatics as well. Like Bunch, TW is available for ordering and pick up today. For more on their love affair with grapes, and L&W, check out this post.
2 Crows have also shown their hand for the rest of the Anniversary releases, which can be consulted on their IG page. As a few of them are extremely limited, they opened up early pre-order access to their newsletter subscribers. So if you are keen on getting early/first access to other releases, we figure it’s the second-best beer list you should subscribe to. For those who want to grab one of each of the Anniversary releases (minus the pastry stouts) in a bundle, you can order yourself a bundle now. Note that the bundle is not available for pickup, delivery, or shipping until January 28th, when the final beer will be released. And if you become a subscriber, you can unlock the Newsletter-only version of that bundle, which features a special branded Arome glass in the box.
“Pastry Stouts?”, you say? Yup! Next week will see the release of two extremely limited Pastry Stouts based on Big Turk and Nanaimo bars, both topping the scale at “11.9%” ABV. While half of the bottles were offered and snapped up by newsletter subscribers, the other half (16 bottles of each) will be available at noon, January 20th, split evenly between online and in store options. Think grape, cherry, and chocolate with Big Turk, and vanilla, coconut, and chocolate for the Nanaimo offering. Also releasing on the 20th is Mountain Shadow, a 10.3% Baltic Porter, which was conditioned with Marquette grape pomace, and features cacao nibs for extra dark chocolate character. 355ml cans of this will be available both online and in store.
Let’s bring this in for a landing with their plans for the final weekend of the month. On Saturday, Jan 29th, they will have a food pop-up in the brewery, as RNB Kitchen serves up some warming and satisfying soul food, with both dine-in (assuming regs allow it) and take-out options available 2 – 7 PM that day. And the oft celebrated (and almost as oft maligned the next morning) Sour Sunday will be Jan 30, with a full board of recent and returning favourite sours on draught, plus shots of Pepto and Tums in case anyone needs them.