What a difference a week makes! While last week’s post was a quick aperitif to your weekend of cider and beer fun, today’s edition is looking like the 200+ producers in our region are awakening from their winter hibernation, and ready to roll with dozens of new releases. We’ve done our best to grab the info you’re looking for, and as always, hit us up on our Socials to ping us if there’s a great new spot or beer release you’d like us to highlight.
Nova Scotia Craft Beer Month is picking up speed, so let’s start you off with some news from Scotia, with details on some events you’ll want to be sure to check out over the next few weekends!
Tomorrow, Saturday April 9, Dartmouth’s Battery Park is hosting a New Kids tap takeover. Featuring those Nova Scotian breweries who have opened in the last 2 years, this is the first time seeing many of these breweries on tap in Dartmouth. Candid Brewing in Antigonish, Half Cocked Brewing from North Grant, Ol’ Biddy’s Brew House of Lower Sackville, Serpent Brewing hailing from Spryfield, Truro Brewing out of Truro, as well as Island Folk Cider from Sydney, may not have had the chance to ever have a full “Grand Opening” experience due to the pandemic, so this is your chance to try their beer, and maybe even chat with the owners or brewers. The kegs hit the taps at 11:30 AM opening tomorrow, and will pour all day. There will be three different offerings from each producer, so there will definitely be something right up your alley!
Mark your calendar for next Friday, April 15, as Battery Park will be hosting the release of the 2022 edition of Cerberus, the annual All-Organic American IPA release. Always bitter, unlike the breweries who produce it, this year’s three-way conspiracy saw host brewery Big Spruce welcome perennial partner Tatamagouche, and for the first time, 2 Crows Brewing. To make this a three-headed day of fun, each of the trio will also be bringing another few beers to fill out the taps, so if IPAs aren’t your thing, fear not! Again, the fun kicks off at 11:30 AM and lasts all day.
The following day, Saturday, April 16, Battery Park Beer Guru Marc Wilson tapped more than a dozen Brewmasters and Head Brewers of Nova Scotia to think about the singular beer they wanted to share, representing any combination of “what they want to drink after work”, “what represents their brewery”, “what was their first brew ever”. We’ve heard there will be quite a wide selection on the board, so again, make plans to head in there!
The following Saturday, April 23, Class of ‘97 Alumni Garrison Brewing and Propeller Brewing are teaming up for a look back, and forward, as they celebrate 25 years of slinging beer in Nova Scotia. Each brewery will be taking over half the taps with some blast from the past, current beauties, several new-beer-debuts, with a Battery Park X Garrison X Propeller special collaboration brewed just for the event completing the line-up.
And sneaking in just before the end of NS Beer Month, is the annual Halifax Burger Bash (previously known as Burger Week). Running April 28 – May 7, this is a fundraiser for Feed Nova Scotia presented by The Coast. As Saturday April 30th falls right in line with both Beer Month and Burger Bash, Battery Park is hosting a Burgers ‘N Lagers event, with nine different lagers from across the province pouring, so you’ll be sure to find a beer that pairs with their Green Chili Cheeseburger.
Doing the Good Work out in Lower Sackville, TAPestry Beer Bar is celebrating NS Craft Beer Month with plenty of great things on the go. All month long, visit their spot at 833 Sackville Drive on a Wednesday, Thursday, or Sunday, and receive a ballot to win a mixed 24-pack of Nova Scotia Craft Beer. 2 drink minimum on this, but we’re sure there’ll be plenty of great choices enticing you!
And why wait for Sunday if you’re thirsty tonight, right?! As if you need another reason to visit, Bryan, the Head Brewer from Antigonish’s Candid Brewing will be slinging beer and telling stories this evening at TAPestry, the first in a series guest bartenders from across the NS Beer industry to be dropping in and holding events this month. Keep your eyes peeled on their Facebook and IG page for the latest news, where you’ll be the first to peep their “Meet the Brewers” series, short videos on the history, present, and future of breweries in the province being released this month.
Phew! So, that’s every weekend sorted for the next month, how about today, what should you be ordering or picking up for the weekend ahead? Here are a few more ideas for you…
Speaking of Propeller Brewing, their Wild IPA is back on the shelves and taps today. This 6.2% funky friend is a blend of Brettanomyces-fermented IPA that has been hanging out in oak barrels for months, plus a freshly-brewed IPA chock-full of Nelson Sauvin hops. The resulting hybrid is overflowing with white wine and gooseberry notes thanks to the hops, with plenty of funky hay notes from the Brett-aged beer. On tap and in cans at all three Propeller locations (Gottingen, Windmill, and Quinpool), online for delivery and Canada-wide shipping, as well as at the private beer stores in the province, and even to some better ANBL locations. Score!
Proving that there are no size restrictions on trying to do some good in the world, one of the region’s smallest breweries, Delta Force Brewing in Greenwich, NS, a highly confidential location, is gearing up to participate in the Make Peace Not War Beer Project, an initiative where breweries pledge to share (at least) 10% of the proceeds of the sales of a given beer to charity and in return they get to use the super spiffy label provided. In this case, the folks at ∂F have elected to share 40% of the proceeds with the Ukrainian Red Cross. Since this is a no-recipe collaboration project, the brewery gets to brew what they want. In this case, it’s a dry hopped farmshed sour, coming in at 4.2% ABV and 5 IBU. Order it online and drink now for the hoppiest possible experience, or, better yet, order a couple (or a few!) and let one sit for a little while (up to two years, they say) and see how the Brett develops! Available now from the ∂F webstore for delivery.
Dartmouth’s Lake City Cider has two new releases this week for cider fans. First up is Vanilla, a 6% ABV cider using all Nova Scotia apples, that includes an addition of steeped vanilla beans. This one features notes of cream soda and a lingering vanilla flavour. Next up is Black Currant, weighing in at the same ABV, but this time featuring pressed and fermented black currants. Expect more tannic notes from this full bodied cider that pours a delicate pink colour thanks to the fruit. Check out the taproom on Portland Street for both of these newbies.
On North Street in Halifax, Unfiltered Brewing is totally getting into the spirit of things by making sure to release a batch of their tropically delicious Inducement DIPA in time for you to enjoy during Craft Beer Month. Nobody’s going to pay you to drink it, and no, they’re not even going to give you any Airmiles for buying it (that sounds soooorta like a bit of an…inducement to us, how about you?). They’re just going to give you delicious hoppy as hell beer in return for your hard earned cash (or filthy lucre, if that’s all you’ve got). If you’re going to celebrate something about craft beer, that’s probably as good a place to start as any. Available today at noon at the brewery and for pints at Charm School.
Dartmouth’s Spindrift Brewing has queued up a new release for both their shelves at the Brewery and tasting room in Burnside as well as their taproom in Antigonish. Seeker Vanilla Stout is pretty self-descriptive, taking the coffee and chocolate notes of their Seeker Espresso Stout and upping the ante with a “massive” dose of vanilla, yielding a, “smooth, cozy, and incredibly drinkable treat.” Built on a base of Pilsner malt, with chocolate malt, Carafa III, CaraMunich, Amber, and Double-roasted Caramel specialty malts providing deep colour, richness, and roastiness, it was hopped with classic German varieties Magnum and Perle. Coming in at 6.3% ABV, it’s got some bite, but we’ll warrant that the vanilla smooths it right out. We believe this one’s been canned, so you’ll be able to grab some to go!
And just so you don’t think that all the beery fun is going down in Nova Scotia this week, here’s a smattering from at least two of the other three Atlantic Provinces!
Over to Borden-Carleton PEI for a new release that hit the taps and shelves late last week. Lone Oak Brewing plugged into Czech inspiration to create Cervene, an Amber Lager. Brewed with malt from Shoreline Malting just down the road from them, and hopped with Saaz grown by Lakeview Hop Farm of Harvey Station, New Brunswick, Cervene is Amber in appearance with a lovely Noble hop character and a floral finish, on a moderately bitter base. The beer was lagered for 6 weeks and naturally carbonated, sealing in that precious carbon dioxide for a smooth and crisp take. Available on tap and in cans at the brewery, and on draught at beer beer bars on and off the island soon.
Lone Oak has a full weekend of events, including Family Feud tonight, Live Music tomorrow, and a Sunday Brunch with live music. More details here. And for those wondering, the Milky Way Brewpub in town renovations are moving along nicely, and they are aiming for an opening in about 6 weeks. Keep an eye open here and on their SM account for the exact details, and there may even be a special cross-Confed Collab release hitting the shelves at the same time! 😉
Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing is continuing to brew up new and interesting beers to complement their standard lineup. This week’s example is Concord Grape Sour, which they hope proves that grapes aren’t just for wine. Look for notes of that nostalgically familiar “grapiness” that you know and love from Grape Crush, Grape Freezies, and Grape Popsicles (or, as Homer Simpson so eloquently put it, “Mmmmmmm…..Puuuuurple.”) Available both in cans and on tap, you can sit at the taproom and have a pint or grab some to go. Also, if you’ll remember last week we told you that Tire Shack is expanding and are consequently looking for additional staff. They’ve let us know they are accepting resumes until the end of the month and to keep ‘em coming folks!!
Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing has a new version of a previously released beer for you this week, their Major Tom Watermelon Sour. Still 5% ABV and 12ish IBU, the change might not be immediately noticeable to the drinking public, but we’re pretty sure it’s quite a change for the brew team! Instead of souring the beer in a traditional way, brewing a wort and then letting it sour over a period of hours before running it off or introducing Lactobacillus-producing bacteria before or after regular fermentation, this beer leverages a new yeast that produces both lactic acid and alcohol at the same time! With watermelon concentrate providing a fruity and summery feel, this 5% ABV and 12 IBU beer should have you in mind of a Jolly Rancher with a little bit of malt presence from plenty of 2-row malt and Centennial hops to remind you it’s a beer. Grab it at the Brewery, CBC, Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse in Burnsdie, and, we presume, other places where you find Upstreet products.
Next month will see the 2022 edition of the annual East Coast Music Awards taking place in Fredericton from May 4th to 8th, and for the second year running, a special beer will be brewed to both celebrate and slake the thirst of attendees. This year’s beer is once again a collaboration between a consortium of breweries, with each Atlantic province represented: Garrison Brewing and Breton Brewing from NS, Quidi Vidi from NL, Upstreet in PE, and this year’s “host” brewery, Grimross from NB, who brewed the beer. Dubbed ECMAle Track 2: Fredericton, it’s a delightful light Pale Ale, from which proceeds will help to grow and promote our amazing music scene in this end of the country. Look for it to appear region-wide as the festival nears.
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