Hello! Is anyone out there? Is everyone on vacation, enjoying time with friends, family or whatever brings them joy? Well, if you are, and you’re still reading this, or you really just like us so much, we’ll keep the local news flowing. There are a lot of new beers and updates to come this week, so let’s hop right into the latest news.
Propeller Brewing is continuing their 25th Anniversary Celebration with the release of a funky and tart beer in bottles today. Brewed in the before times (2019), the Lambic Style is an ode to the spontaneously-fermented and multi-year blended beers from the Senne Valley in Belgium, for hundreds of years. While Prop’s version was not fermented by the wild yeast in Burnside, they did even better, by using the yeast left in the bottom of some freshly-emptied Belgian lambic beers as the starting point, keeping them in several oak barrels for a couple of years. This permeable vessel allows some oxygen in, and excessive carbon dioxide out, keeping the yeasties happy and chewing away on the complex sugars and starches in the low-hopped wort. After they finished their main fermentation, a few barrels were tapped (with an eye to a different fate for the others left full) and the 6.5% ABV beer was transferred to bottle, where it conditioned further, leading to a lively final product that is ready to drink now, or can be held onto for years to come. It’s available at all of Propeller’s three locations, as well as their online store, as well as Bishop’s Cellar and other private stores in HRM.
Warm up your way-back machine, and point it to Summer 2014 and Spring 2015, and you’ll have a reminder that this is not the first time Propeller has delved into the Lambic-inspired beer, as they have previously released Raspberry, Blackberry, and non-fruited versions of these funky and tart beers. And in case you haven’t already taken our advice, be sure to listen to the 902 BrewCast episode with Cam and Pat from Propeller to learn even more about this release, and some hints as to what is coming for Propeller as they celebrate 25 years, and look to (at least) 25 more! And if you act now, you may be able to snag one of the last tickers for the Propeller Arcade-hosted screening of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, happening in the parking lot of their Gottingen Street location, Sunday, July 24th. And those looking to nerd out at their Windmill location can sign up for a VIP tour of the brewery for Friday, July 29th.
Keeping with some Dartmouth ties, we’ll move to Spindrift Brewing next, as they go with a brand new release in a fun and unique style. Available now is Otto, a Hemp IPA, named after a certain animated bus driver, dude. We’ll run through the grain bill here and some nerdy details to get you a sense of what’s going on. The malt bill uses pilsner malt, carapils, wheat malt and hemp seed flour. The hops is a dank blend of Simcoe, Columbus and HS Sitiva used in the boil and dry hopping. American Ale Yeast is chosen as the vessel here to carry the two terpene-intensive plants of hops and hemp. Some natural hemp flavours were added to to add some more pungency to this 5.5% IPA. There is no THC or CBD in this beer and it’s available in cans, pints and growlers at both Spindrift locations (Dartmouth and Antigonish).
Shipping over to Sheet Harbour, Sober Island is releasing Lil’ Skipper, a light summer ale that is 4.3% with a nice dose of flavour. Lower in bitterness, but big in flavour, you’ll find lots of mango and tropical flavour along with a nice dry-hopping of Mosaic to bump up that aroma. This is 23 IBU and will be a staple throughout the summer directly from the brewery or the private stores in HRM.
Plus they’ve got events happening throughout the summer, including a Kitchen Party July 30th in their Beer Garden in Sheet Harbour, and a Boil-up August 3rd. And The Stanfields are lighting up the Beer Garden August 27th. Check their website and social media for tickets and more details.
Going over to Port-au-port, Newfoundland, we’ve got a pair of releases coming out of Secret Cove Brewing. First up is a twist on an existing beer. They’ve turned their flagship Apricot Wheat beer (they’ve dubbed the unofficial “Come Home Beer”) into a sour! Come Home Beer, an Apricot Mango Sour (now with Mango!) is still 5% but is slightly tart and easily drinkable and refreshing for the summer. This is available at the taproom now and will be canned and ready for distribution across the Island in the coming weeks
Next up from Secret Cove is The Newfie Bullet. This is a lagered ale, Kolsch-inspired, that is easy drinking with a nice touch of fruity esters. It’s 4.5% and being canned for availability across the island. It’s available now in the taproom
Once in Newfoundland, you might as well stay! Sticking with the island double-release theme, Quidi Vidi Brewing has a new release with the name of My Neighbours’ Helles. This is the 4th year of a collaboration between Newfermenters (Newfoundland homebrewing club) and QV. This is a traditional Munich Helles with spicy German hop bite and bready, doughy malt flavour. This is a limited release, so get it while you can. It’s available now at the brewery, but will be shipped to the usual stores and NLC across the island.
The second release is a part of a series from the brewery, with Arts & IPAs 07. This one is a Junior IPA that is low on ABV and high on flavour coming in at 2.9%, this is packed with Sabro, Sultana and Mosaic hops. They call it a little juice bomb with a big punch of hops. On the Arts side, Maggie Rex’s wonderful artwork graces the label of this 473ml can available directly from the brewery and their locations
Elmsdale’s newest brewery, Good Robot, has teamed up with a new charitable group this month for the release of Goodwill Beer – Blood Orange and Field Strawberry Blonde. At 4.4% ABV, the beer description is kinda-sorta right in the name, eh? That means we can skip right to their partner in this endeavour, Rainbow Refugee Association of Nova Scotia. $0.50 from the sale of each can is going to support their raison d’etre of supporting LGBTQI+ who are displaced, escaping persecution or violence, as well as creating safer communities throughout Atlantic Canada through advocacy, education, and sponsorship. And a heads up for those in the Elmsdale area, they will be opening their Beer Garden July 30th. Open Fri, Sat, and Sun from noon until 11 PM (10 PM Sundays), there will soon be retail sales Wed-Sun when that opens mid-August. Food from their pals at Beefy Weiner.
We’ve got a few returning beers from Paradise, NL’s Banished Brewing. Paradise Town is back, but adding Passionfruit to the Mango, making it a Mango and Passionfruit Sour! It’s 5.5% and a bit more sour than their original recipe, which was more on the fruited sour end. This is available at their retail space and will be headed out to other locations throughout the week.
Back with another tweaked recipe, Space Puffin, a New England IPA, has a new yeast to bring some more haze, closer to what they originally wanted. This is still 6.0% and is available now and going out to retailers this weekend!
Serpent Brewing in Spryfield has a new beer flowing this week, which will soon be available in cans. Ophidian is a Vermouth and Barrel-aged Black Tea infused English Bitter. That is a mouthful, let us explain… Phil Holman of Halifax’s World Tea House previously aged Kenya Oolong and Black Fusion teas in barrels sourced by 2 Crows Brewing. After grabbing all of the barrel goodness, those teas were blended with Earl Grey, and then steeped in Vermouth for even more boozy character. After three days, that infusion was added to the English Bitter to result in a 6.0% ABV beer. On draught only this weekend, cans will be available next week, and a barrel-aged version of Ophidian will be released in the future.
Our pal Chef Stephen Barrett of Seasoned Plate has started a Pints & Plates 2022 effort to highlight the great beer being produced in the province, and some suggested food pairings with which to enjoy it. You can expect to spot two of these per week over the next 3 months, with Breton Brewing and Big Spruce being the first hits this week. You can follow along on the Seasoned Plate Instagram, as well as the direct link above. Check out the website for Chef Barrett’s reviews of local restaurants and bars as well!
Speaking of Breton and Big Spruce, both have new/returning beers worth seeking out (or save yourself the trouble and just order through their online portals), with the Breton Ol’ Mick’s Grapefruit IPA back in cans and draught, while Big Spruce released a new 5.2% German Helles lager at their Nyanza brewery and taproom. Stop in for refreshment!
Launched last night at King Street Beer in Bridgewater, the folks at Saltbox/Lightship/King Street Beer have released Loud and Proud Beer this week in celebration of Lunenburg Pride. The 5.25% ABV beer is light in colour and full of citrus and fruity notes, with minimal bitterness. The Lunenburg Pride organization is an advocacy group, building a more inclusive community on the South Shore, welcoming for all orientations, identities, and expressions.
In case you’re looking for an event to attend this weekend, look no further!
Happy Second Birthday to Island Folk Cider Company! You can drop by their spot in Sydney tonight, from 7 – 10 PM, to enjoy a cask of their base cider infused with fresh strawberry and rhubarb, during their 90s DJ Party. Or tomorrow, pop by from 3 – 6 PM during Music Matinee, and you can enjoy a second cask with Cranberries harvested in Port Morien and Tamarack from Mira Gut. Congratulations!
Looking for some fresh and funky drinks tomorrow? The Stillwell Freehouse is hosting a tap takeover from Toronto’s Burdock Brewery. Known for both soft and understated fruited beers, as well as hoppy ales, there will be plenty of beers on draught, bottle, and in cans. A/C inside, sunshine outside, it’ll be up to you where to sit when they open at noon on Agricola.