Fri Thursday everyone! We’re hitting you with the news a day early to give ourselves a bit of a break tomorrow, plus allow you to plan your (hopefully) extended weekend around the many events happening across the region.
Let’s start our week off with news of a New Brunswick-based fundraiser with the strongest of roots in Ukraine. Tatiana Vasylyeva was born in Ukraine, and has lived in New Brunswick for 18 years, calling the province her home, while having many friends and family still in her home country. In order to raise funds to help the immediate humanitarian need, as well as the long-term rebuilding, Vasylyeva has teamed up with Rothesay’s Foghorn Brewing to release Razom. Meaning “Together” in Ukrainian, Razom is the embodiment of supporting Ukrainians here and abroad to rebuild and come back stronger than ever. As she is very familiar with the beer of Ukraine, Vasylyeva looked to the country’s breweries for a beer style that would be fitting, and has chosen the Märzen style, a malt-forward lager with restrained bitterness. The Pilsner and darker German malts chosen were donated by Brew Culture (shout-out to Stefan G for the assist), and the wort was lightly hopped to 20 IBU to produce this 5.8% ABV lager. So, how can you enjoy this beer while helping those affected? Foghorn is launching it at their brewery tomorrow at 4 PM, and Vasylyeva will be in attendance to raise a pint (cans are coming next week). And to undergo the full Ukrainian experience, may we suggest visiting Dolan’s Pub Saturday for a fundraising dinner featuring Razom paired with authentic Ukrainian food, such as salo, krychenyky, and more! This is a ticketed event, so be sure to grab yours before they sell out. This event is in support of Aman Lara, a Canadian-based non-profit assisting with evacuation of Ukrainian citizens, focusing on children battling cancer.
After this weekend, kegs and cans will be available province-wide, to magnify the charitable efforts of the beer. We’d also encourage you to check out Tatiana Vasylyeva’s statement on the beer project and current situation in her home country.
(Oh, and hey, if you’re looking for work in the Quispam/Rothesay area, Foghorn are hiring a full-time position to be split between local deliveries and packaging at their facility. Reach out via email and/or check out the job posting)
Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing has a brand new release this week, situated perfectly to fill the “when you want a couple of beer while out and about but don’t want to feel like you’ve drunk a couple of beer” opening in our lives. Parks & Rec Low Cal IPA is just 3.5% ABV, but bursting with tropical and citrus notes thanks to the late addition of Sultana, Calypso, and Trident hops. 2-row and Wheat malts make up the grain bill, and it is fermented quite dry to keep the residual sugar and calories low (9 grams and 100 kCals, respectively). Still hazy and featuring a medium body, there must be some magic in the brewhouse on Allen Street to balance both worlds so well. On tap and in cans at their two C’town locations now, look for it at licensees and the PEILCC shortly, and even available at their BBQ Brewhouse in Burnside soon!
On to our regularly scheduled Nova Scotia Craft Beer Month releases, with plenty of new and returning beers and events to keep you satiated…
Dropping at noon today is 2 Crows’ latest release, Bière de Coupage. Sit back while we spin the tale of a beer two years in the making… Borrowing its name from the technique it employs, with “Coupage” representing a blending (more directly, cutting) of older beer with new, the result elevates the best of both worlds. As fans of 2 Crows know, their brewery is full of barrels, puncheons, and foeders, with a variety of beers in different stages of fermentation and ageing. Tapping into 8 barrels filled with a variety of golden sour beers, having aged in the wood between 15 and 20 months, they found the right balance of acidity, funkiness, earthy notes, and a “zippy”character. To this they’ve added a fresh, hoppy Saison, which started from a malt bill of Shoreline Pilsner, Wheat, and Vienna Malts, hopped assertively with Sterling, Huell Melon, and loads Saaz, to build on the ester and earth character from the aged beer. Dialling it up even further is the combination of 2C’s house Saison strain and Brett Q from Escarpment Labs for a tag-team fermentation. The coupage/blending happened after the young beer underwent primary fermentation, but with residual sugars still in the beer, the fermentation of the resultant melange continued, during which they contained some of the carbon dioxide created during this step, using the technique of spunding, allowing the beer to carbonate naturally without additional CO2 needed. And hey, while you’re at it, why not toss some more hops to the mix? Sure thing! Saaz, Huell Melon, and Bru-1 were added to round out the final product. Available on tap and in cans now, you can grab it in store or order it for local delivery or Canada-wide shipping from their website.
As if you need another reason to visit their taproom, they’ll be hosting the crew from Big Spruce and Tatamagouche tomorrow for the Cerberus Double IPA launch (more details in a moment), and on Saturday from noon, co-hosting a food, music, and beer event with Change Is Brewing Collective, as they are welcoming R&B Kitchen to their space, serving Rasta Pasta and Jerk Chicken from noon til it’s gone, with DJ Douvet and R$ $mooth spinning beats all afternoon. More information here.
It’s that time of year again when the gang at Big Spruce gets together with some like-minded hop-happy friends from other breweries and brews up a special IPA to welcome spring and NS Craft Beer Week/Month/Fortnight/Moon Phase/etc. Cerberus, named for the mythological three-headed hound of hell that guards the entrance to Hades, can more appropriately in this case be thought of as the three-handed brew team that raids the hops freezer. Over the years several breweries have been part of the club, including Propeller, Sea Level, North, and Church, with Tatamagouche being part of every iteration. This year sees a new player in the game, as Halifax’s 2 Crows brewing decided to join the fun. We don’t have a lot of details on what went into the beer this year, but after 7 years of drinking the various iterations we’re pretty confident in suggesting that it will be juicy and hoppy. You can find out for yourself starting tomorrow, Friday, April 14th, with the launch party mentioned above going down at 2 Crows all day and at Battery Park where they’ll be having a mini tap takeover of the participating breweries. If you can’t get to one of those places, other purveyors pouring include Stillwell (HQ and the Freehouse), Hopyard in Halifax, and TAPestry Beer Bar in Sackville. If you’re more interested in drinking it at home, grab cans at any of the participating breweries as well as at private retailers in the HRM!!
The sneaky folks at Delta Force have a pair of new releases out this week, coupled with a returning fave. First up is Operation Triunfo, a 5.0% Mexican Vienna Lager. Inspiration for the beer came from a friend of the brewery, who misses their favourite beer from back home in Mexico, so the DF crew stepped up! With Vienna malt and flaked maize complementing each other, this amber lager is easy drinking but with some malt character to keep it interesting. Next up is Operation Piwo, in the Grodziskie style (also known as Grätzer), a wheat ale originating in Poland. Despite its malt bill consisting of 100% Oak-Smoked Wheat, this 3.5% ABV beer remains refreshing and light, and decidedly ashtray-free. And returning this week is Operation Jolt, their 4.9% Brett-fermented Pale Ale, which saw the addition of fresh brewed coffee to the beer. All 3 beers are available from their online shop in 500 ml bottles, and they are holding a sale on a six-pack, consisting of 2 of each beer, through their site as well.
After a brief hiatus, the dynamic duo of Tony and Kyle are back with the latest episode of 902 BrewCast. April’s episode is a Tasting one, with them taking on beers from Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Germany all in the service of great drinking suggestions for you to seek out. Plus learn about their next outing in the wild, as they are taking your feedback on which breweries they should feature (and visit) next on the pod! Grab it from their website or in your favourite podcatcher today! Their DMs are open too!
Events, events, events…. If you’re feeling up for it, here are a few other things to get excited for this week and into the summer…
A quick reminder that in addition to Battery Park hosting the Cerberus Launch Party tomorrow, they have tapped 20 breweries from across the province to send in their favourite beers to showcase during their Brewmaster’s Choice event on Saturday, April 16th. And keep your calendar clear for next Saturday, April 23, as Garrison and Propeller share a Tap Takeover to co-celebrate their 25th Anniversary. More info here.
It’s never too early to start making your summer beer plans. If a trip to western New Brunswick is on your radar, may we suggest the Big Axe Craft Beer Festival, taking place July 16th. Tickets are on sale now for what is sure to be a fun event, featuring breweries from across the Maritimes, Ontario, Quebec and Maine. In addition to the beer, there’ll also be food trucks and outdoor games onsite. If you’re thinking of camping in the area, you can arrive in style with water shuttle service from three nearby campgrounds. There’ll also be shuttles available from Moncton, St. John’s, Fredericton, Woodstock, St. Stephen and Harvey. All proceeds from the event will go to charity, including a portion being directed to humanitarian aid in Ukraine.
A few news bites before we take our leave this week…
It may only be Spring, but one of the region’s most summery brews is already hitting the shelves with the return of Propeller’s Lime Lite Lager today! Light and refreshing, with real fresh lime for a citrus kick, at 4.5% ABV it’s a perfect post-mowing crusher. Available in 355mL cans as of today at your usual sources for Propeller brews.
Spryfield’s own Serpent Brewing has a new beer, their Hopical Storm DIPA pouring at their spot on Dentith Road this week. Though it’s 7.6%, it still goes down smooth, with a pungent kick from an intense hopping with Simcoe. Only available on tap for pints or as part of the flight in the taproom, there’s plans to brew a future batch for bottling.
The motley crew at Secret Cove Brewing in Port-au-Port, NL, has a new double-dry hopped double IPA featuring Idaho 7 for big citrus and tangerine notes that they’re calling Shout at the Kettle. This 7% ABV dank number has been canned for maximum portability; you can pick some up at the brewery where there’s still a little leftover from the batch pouring on tap.
Apparently it’s the week of the DIPA, as Moncton’s Tide & Boar has created a DIPA of their own, saying it’s got the biggest malt bill and the most hops of any batch they’ve ever made. Big, thick and fruity, with notes of citrus, mango, and pineapple, Back to Back is a 7% hop bomb with a huge fruity aroma that you’re going to want to drink “back to back.”
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