Happy Friday y’all! Another great week for beer in Atlantic Canada, with the official Launch Party of Moncton’s AWOL Brewery happening tomorrow (more info on the brewery and event in yesterday’s post), updates and first looks from Lone Oak’s Brewpub coming soon to Charlottetown’s Milky Way, and new beers for us to tell you about from all four provinces. We are bursting at the seams with content, so let’s dive right in!
Let’s start this week’s news with a reminder that this is the last week and weekend of April, CBANS’ Nova Scotia Craft Beer Month. Tomorrow is Open Brewery Day, with breweries across the province holding special events , brewing demonstrations, new beer launches, and live music in their spaces, there is sure to be something for everyone everywhere to enjoy. As you make your way to a new or favourite brewery, there will be plenty of new beers pouring and available to take away, including…
Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing, who have released their Brave Noise Pale Ale. A reminder that Brave Noise is the worldwide movement and collaboration to create inclusive and safe spaces for women, LGTBQ+, and BIPOC, namely anyone otherwise underrepresented or made to feel less than welcome in the beer industry. Big Spruce brewed the suggested 4.5% ABV American Pale Ale recipe on International Women’s Day, and are ready to release it to the world now. Available on tap for pints and fills at the brewery now, it is also packaged in 473ml cans in their retail fridge, for home delivery, and at the freshly stocked fridge at Warehouse Market at 2867 Isleville Street in Halifax. Proceeds from the sale are being donated to a Cape Breton-based Women and Children’s shelter.
Big Spruce has also released That’s So Bougie this week, a Foedre-Fermented Wild Saison. Leveraging hints of oak from the wooden vessel it fermented and conditioned in, this 7.0% pale-coloured saison is bursting with ester and spice and floral notes, on a lively effervescent base, all thanks to the multifaceted wild saison yeast(s) used to ferment. Cans only for this release, look for it in the usual spaces you’ll find Big Spruce beer.
Fresh off celebrating their Sixth Anniversary last weekend (Congrats to Becky and her team!) Sober Island Brewing has a new light beer on the taps and in cans, to celebrate the coming warmer months. Expect to see a different beers in this category from SIBC in the coming months, with the first of those being a 4.3% light ale, dry-hopped with Azacca for a citrus and tropical vibe without being too heavy or filling. Look for future iterations to inch lower in ABV while incorporating more local malt. No official name yet, as that will be revealed with the label design inthe summer. Just ask for the Light Beer and they’ll steer you right! May we suggest dropping by tonight around 7PM, as Shannon Dalberg from Mountain Meadworks will be onsite doing a guided tasting of five of her meads, to showcase the flavours available in this honey-derived beverage. And big things are happening on the Eastern Shore, as Sober Island prepares to open their Musquodoboit Harbour Beer Garden May 19th, and in June, Andre Pettipas and the Giants will mark the opening of their home base outdoor beer garden space. More on those events closer to the dates.
Greenwich’s Delta Force Brewing has brewed and released a second and third beer in the Make Peace Not War beer project. Joining the Dry-Hopped Farmshed Sour are the Valley Lager and Farmshed Tripel. Both available in 500 ml bottles, and 40% of all proceeds are being donated to Red Cross efforts in Ukraine. Easy drinking, fizzy and pale, the Valley Lager is no nonsense and straight to the point at 5.1% ABV and 33 IBU. On the other end of the spectrum is the Farmshed Tripel, at 9.8% ABV, quite dry, with plenty of citrus esters from the style-accurate yeast.Learn more about the beer and project, and order yours today from their website!
Straight out of Annapolis Royal, Annapolis Brewing has a trio of new beers available on draught and in cans this week to tell you about. The inaugural brew on their new brewhouse, Maiden Voyage Kolsch is a 5.5% crisp and easy-drinking hybrid beer, highlighting the straw and bready character from the malt, and just a touch of fruit ester character imparted by the yeast. A light balancing of hops helps to round out the entire package. Maiden Voyage joins their Northern Lights White IPA, which has been tweaked ever so slightly to continuously improve the recipe. 5.0% ABV Wheat Ale, featuring a full mouthfeel and great head retention, with additions of Citra, Amarillo, and Simcoe dry-hopping further enhance the coriander and curacao orange peel used in the boil (along with enough bittering hops to get up to 50 IBU). And finally, Annapolis have released their collaborative Brew for Ukraine Putin Huylo Golden Ale, with all proceeds from can and tap sales going to relief and recovery efforts in Ukraine. Tweaking the original Pravda Brewery recipe slightly, their 5.0% Golden Ale is dry-hopped with Cascade to impart some great citrus aroma and flavour.
Hot off the press (cold off the canning line?) today is the latest “locals [ingredients] only” beer from Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing. Terra is a classic American Pale Ale, using only Maritime-grown and -processed ingredients. Starting from a base of Shoreline Pale and Pilsner malts, along with Toasted Wheat and Amber Malt from fellow PEI-based maltsters Island Malt House. Tapping into the fine growers at Lakeview Hops in New Brunswick, whose Chinook hops ended up in the mash and during first wort transfer, aided by more Chinook and now Cascade in the whirlpool post-boil. Fermented with a clean ale yeast strain to let the malt and hops take centre stage, the actively fermenting beer received even more of both hops for some lovely bio-transformation of the aromatic terpenes. Using the yeast burps of carbon dioxide to their advantage through the technique of spunding (keeping the CO2 in the vessel to naturally carbonate the beer), and adding just a touch more sugar to complete the carbonation in the can. Think West-Coast-y Pale, with flavours of grapefruit and pine with a solid bitterness to boot. This 5.8% ABV Pale Ale is on shelves at 2 Crows now, and at the NSLC in your neck of the woods real soon.
And if you can’t find a designated driver to take you around to all of the breweries in the province, may we suggest taking in the Tapped Truro Beer Fest, where about 20 breweries will be pouring their wares, plus food vendors, games, and you can even upgrade your ticket to include a shuttle back to your house, hotel, or AirBnB to arrive safely. Grab tickets here!
There is lots of action happening in Deer Lake, as Rough Waters Brewing has a bunch of new releases! Starting with Priestess, a fruited milkshake NEIPA that is fruity, full bodied, and a bit sweet. At 5.9% with additions of cherries and blueberries and a big dry-hopping of Lotus, it sports a delicious aroma with a slightly berry-forward flavour. Another new release is Knock Out. This is a 6% Brut IPA, following the dry champagne style packed with dry hops to bring topical citrus notes and a dry finish. Third on the list is one of their new Sour Series, Spiced Grapefruit! What is the spice? Ginger root! What is the grapefruit? Grapefruit puree! The base of the sour series is a Berliner Weisse and is a tweak of their Canadian Brewing Awards Silver Medal winning Sou’wester beer. All three of the releases above are available in 473ml cans at NLC stores across Newfoundland and different stores around St. John’s, too.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen the release of several IPAs that are pushing as much fruit character out of the hops as possible using specialised yeast strains or Phantasm (extracted from Sauvignon Blanc grapes). The name of the game here is freeing thiols, aromatic compounds that punch above their weight when it comes to tropical fruit character. PEI’s Lone Oak Brewing is the latest to hop on the thiol train with the release of Phancy. The 7% ABV hazy IPA is low on bitterness, but high in fruit flavour and aroma, including notes of passion fruit, tangerine and grape juice. Phancy is available now at the taproom in Borden or for delivery via their online store.
Over in Mount Pearl, the team at Landwash is teaming up with St. John’s tech company, CoLab Software, for the first release in their Make/Shift series. Collab CoLab, Citra Citra Citra is a hazy DDH IPA, that Landwash is calling one of the most juicy, assertive IPA they’ve brewed to date. It features several iterations of the citrusy Citra hop, including the OG Citra T-90 pellets, an addition of T-45 Citra and Citra Spectrum during fermentation for the biotransformation effect, and a final dry hop with more hop pellets. Citra Spectrum is a newer product that uses the essential oils from the hops. Since it comes in liquid form, it can add a lot of hop character without impacting yields at all. Collab CoLab, Citra Citra Citra is available now at the taproom and should also be hitting the shelves at Landwash’s retail partners across the province this weekend.
A couple of short newsbites before we let you go for the week…
As mentioned in last week’s post, Lunn’s Mill was just packaging up ЧЕРВОНІ ОЧІ (Red Eyes) American Amber Ale in support of the Brew for Ukraine initiative, and now we’re able to tell you the beer is available now to order through their online store, or directly at their taproom in Lawrencetown and The Station in Bridgetown.
In the category of “coming soon”, Lunn’s Mill has a new release in collaboration and support of Annapolis Royal Pride, the brewery is looking for submissions to design a label for Saisons of Love. All submissions must be in a high resolution format and submitted by May 1st to email@example.com for a chance to win some prizes from the brewery.
Trailway continues its streak of non-hazy releases with the return of Emerald. Their 5% ABV take on a New Zealand style pilsner features Nelson Sauvin hops and additions of lime juice and zest. Cans of Emerald are available now.
Staying in Fredericton, Maybee Brewing Company is releasing Paddle On Pale Ale. This one is lower on ABV at 4.5%, but plenty bitter at 45 IBUs. Expect a light body and notes of grapefruit and peach. Find it on tap at the brewery today.
As part of their 25th Anniversary celebration, Propeller Brewing has released the latest new beer in their portfolio, Guavarama Summer Ale. Featuring loads of juicy guava, as well as plenty of blackberries, this 4.8% ABV beer is a lovely glimpse of summer to come with tropical vibes and just a little tang, hazy pink in the glass. Find it on tap and in cans at all three Propeller Shops in Dartmouth and Halifax, online for local delivery or shipping, and at the private stores in HRM and at the airport.
A short drive from Antigonish, Half Cocked Brewing has a new release joining their tap lineup. Lemon Lime Farmhouse is a refreshing release leading into the warmer weather. Using additions of kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass to a slightly tart 5% ABV base, these add lighter flavours instead of the actual peel or fruit. This beer is available starting today on tap or growlers to go.
Church Brewing has a new release out now, with Blonde available from the brewery and online now in 473ml cans. This is a 5.0% classic blonde ale with some light fruitiness, a gentle hap flavour and medium body. This will be available soon in the NSLC and if you liked their previous blonde release, In Your Honour, from a few years ago, we imagine this will be right up your alley!
Looking to get into the beer business? Read on!
We’ll close with a job posting on Nova Scotia’s beautiful South Shore. The team at Hell Bay Brewing is looking to grow with the addition of full-time Assistant Brewer. Prior brewing experience is an asset, but a passion for beer and willingness to learn may get you in the door if you’re lacking experience. Apply via firstname.lastname@example.org or by dropping by the brewery in Liverpool.