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All posts for the month August, 2022

Second week of August already??!! Time flies when you’re drinking on the patio, and soaking up every ray of sunshine you can! Thankfully our local cider and beer makers have been working overtime to keep your glasses and mugs full, so let’s get you up to speed on what’s new and coming soon to our Atlantic region, starting with a few releases from last weekend, but still available for purchase at their respective breweries/taprooms around town.

2 Crows Brewing have teamed up once again with the fine folks at Lightfoot & Wolfville, to the bring together the 2021 Harvest Scheurebe Piquette. This 6.2% drink uses freshly pressed Scheurebe grape skins, soaking them in cold water to extract out the residual sugar and tannic acids that remain after the first pressing that Lightfoot used for their wine. After this soaking, the skins were separated from the sugary liquid and allowed to ferment out extremely dry (no complex sugars that are common in beer brewing), and received a light dry-hopping of Eclipse before canning and forming a bright natural carbonation in that package. Tropical, fresh, and dry, cans are available to enjoy onsite at Lightfoot and 2 Crows now! Joining it is the latest in 2 Crows’ Hop Water series, canned yesterday. Cans of Tangerine Hop Water are ready to grab and go with you wherever your travels take you, when you need a break from the booze but are looking for a locally made fizzy drink! Citra hops enhance the bold citrus character, living up to its name.

Coming out of Spindrift Brewing is a vertically integrated special! Kristi White from their team is their quality manager and a production brewer and she’s done everything from recipe creation, brewing and label design for Lavandula. This is a Honey Lavender Saison with additions of blueberry blossom honey, dried lavender buds, paired with a delicate blend of hops to keep it light, bright, sweet and floral. This is 6.2% and available in cans from the Dartmouth and Antigonish locations. 

For months now, fans of Stillwell Brewing have been eagerly anticipating the first releases to start rolling out of the tanks of their new production brewery on Kempt Road. Well, the wait is over with their Best Bitter Special hitting the hand pumps at the Freehouse, Stillwell HQ and The Narrows. As a few of your favourite bloggers can attest, expect a very cozy drinking experience with a pleasant carbonation, low ABV, plenty of malt complexity and some earthy hop notes from the Fuggles dry hop. If you can’t make it to any of these Halifax pubs, fear not. Cans and kegs will start rolling out of the brewery by September 1st. The initial line up will include Stilly Pils, their German-style Pilsner, with an updated receipt featuring a single decoction, their Kolsch-style ale Kompakt, and the aforementioned Best Bitter. On top of that, plans are in place to open up the retail space later in the fall, along with an event space that will feature Stillwell Brewing events but will also be open for community bookings. We’ll be sure to share more info in the weeks ahead, along with a feature profile on the brewery.

Off to Newfoundland for the first time this week, as the small town (with a big heart) of Port Rexton is celebrating Port Rexton Pride this weekend! And of course, Port Rexton Brewing is getting in on the fun! They are hosting a whole bunch of crafting, food, and pop-up shopping at the brewery tomorrow, followed by Music and Brews in the evening (more info on Instagram). But what’s Pride without a celebratory beer?? Teaming up yet again with the Queer Beer NL crew, they have released Cascading Pride, a White IPA. The whole crew was onsite to zest kilos and kilos of lemon and lime for a bright zippy and citrusy nose, enhancing the sweet orange peel and touch of coriander spicing. Cascading Pride is available on the Give Back Tap at the brewery now ($1 per pint going to support Port Rexton Pride for the month of August), and cans will be available at the St. John’s Retail Shop and other shops next week! Get on out to PRBC this weekend and show your Pride!

If you’ve got a ticket to Paradise, be sure to check out Banished Brewing anytime, but they’ve got some news this week with a new beer, retail and updates on the taproom and beer garden. First up, the new beer! They’ve got Groundskeeper’s Best Bitter coming out this week and this is a 4.7% classic style with a nod to cask ales. This is available now in their retail shop and will be headed out across stores across the province of Newfoundland.

Their retail shop is open with new devlieres of merch and some glassware on the way, and in the next few months they’ll have their beer garden up and running, as they make their way through the necessary red tape. Keep an eye out for this awesome brewery as they’ll have some new releases in the next few months and more updates about the brewery!

We’ve got a new beer from North Grant’s Half Cocked Brewing to tell you about this week! Looking for big bold tropical flavours of a New England IPA, but in a tiny beer, we’ve got the right beer for you! Lil’ Hug is a light and sessionable 3.2% ABV, but the heavy late hop additions concentrating on papaya and citrus notes that we love in a NEIPA. Grab it on tap and in cans at the brewery on Highway 245 just 5 minutes outside of Antigonish.

Nova Scotia’s most mysterious and elusive brewery continues to pile up the good deeds with its fifth release under the Make Peace Not War beer project. Delta Force Brewing is releasing a Belgian Pale Ale, available now through their online store. 40% of proceeds will be donated to the Ukraine Red Cross. And while you’re buying some of this new release, be sure to check out the rest of their brands to take advantage of their August sale of $1 off per bottle. 

Over in Spryfield, Serpent Brewing is releasing Sunspot, a Sour Tropical IPA that comes in at 5.1% ABV. Named after the good boy/pup Sunspot, who liked to laze around in the sunny spots all day, it uses Philly Sour yeast to create a refreshing tart finish, along with some stonefruit esters. The combination of Simcoe and Citra hops also provides a mix of tropical and citrusy fruit notes. Flaked Wheat was added to the base Pilsner malt to provide a rounder mouthfeel that stands up to the hops and tartness. This one is only available on tap, so you’ll need to make a pilgrimage to Spryfield to try it on tap or to fill up your growler. 

The fine folks out of Sydney, Nova Scotia are bringing a nice summertime release to the masses this week, with Breton Brewing’s Wee’ Smidgen, a Tiny IPA. A lower ABV release, this is a 3.6% IPA packed with tasty hops. Citra and Mosaic lead the way with big citrus flavours and a base of Ebbegarden yeast brings notes of mango and pineapple. Cans and pints are in the taproom and also available for home delivery in Cape Breton and HRM. This is a seasonal release, so get this while you can.

Staying in Cape Breton, Big Spruce has a new release available now. Irrational Optimist is an Apricot Sour coming in at 5.4%. Packed with stone-fruit aroma and flavour, there is a nice balance of pucker and tartness. This is available now online for free shipping and at the brewery in Nyanza. 

A few updates from Tire Shack out of Moncton, with a new beer and a facility update. As always, we start with the beer. Dragonfruit-Watermelon Sour is a very fruity sour with pear, kiwi and watermelon Jolly Rancher flavours. A tasty patio sour (soured with lactobacillus) is 5.5% and is available on tap now and will be in cans any day now. 

This award winning brewery also has some expansion plans in the works with construction underway now. They’ll look to complete this in early 2023, but we are excited for Jerica, Alan, and their team, along with the entire Maritime region!

Everyone’s favorite beer bar conglomerate (haha!)  sure has you covered for things to do this weekend:.

Your faves (and ours!) at Stillwell are for sure makin’ a weekend of it. We told you last week about the Bar Volo takeover happening today at both Stilly HQ and the Freehouse (a reminder that all the deets can be found in this Ig post), but right after that was announced, another announcement came about what’s happening the rest of the weekend. And the something that’s happening is CIDERAMA

Not since 2018 has the Stillwell gang brought this much juice to the city. Starting tomorrow, Saturday, August 13th, at HQ, where longtime friends of Stillwell, Guelph’s Revel Cider will be taking over all 12 taps on the wall. Meanwhile, at the Freehouse will be “Cellar Unleashed” where twenty of the best American, Canadian, and English bottled ciders will be poured by the glass all day. Look for stuff from Absolem Cider, Cidrerie Chemin des Sept, Olivers Cider & Perry, Cidre Sauvageon, Son of Man, Sourwood Cider, Twin Island Cider, and maybe more! Following that, on Sunday, August 14th, look for the fun to continue at the BeerGarden, with “The Clam Jam” where Joe Martini and friends will be slinging molluscs off the charcoal grill to accompany cans and taps from Chain Yard Cider, Anxo Cider, Son of Man, Absolem Cider, and Revel. So if you’re anti-beer, gluten-free, or just love you some fermented fruit juice beverages, this is your chance to try some local faves as well as some true treats from all over the world. 

One job posting on the go this week, this one in PEI:

The fine folks at Lone Oak continue to grow their operations and team, with positions currently available at their original Borden-Carleton taproom and the new Milky Way Brewpub outside of Charlottetown. A variety of bartender, server and kitchen positions are available. Reach out to careers@loneoakbrew.com for more.

A couple final things to send you on your way to a weekend of beery bliss:

Antigonish’s Candid Brewing has teamed up with the upcoming Antigonight Art Festival to release Antigonight Czech Dark Lager this week. Light and crisp in body and flavour, with just a touch of roast malt on the palate. Cans were released yesterday in time for last night’s Art Battle, and will be on tap and in that format to go when you head there this weekend!

After spending the last few months focusing on opening their new Elmsdale production brewery and beergarden, Good Robot is back to rolling out the new releases, with the third release from their Tropical Storm single hop series. Tropical Storm Nectaron is a NEIPA featuring the eponymous hop from New Zealand. The rare hop is akin to the more popular Galaxy, and showcases notes of peach, pineapple and grapefruit. Coming in at 7.0% ABV, cans are available now through Good Robots online store and at their two retail locations.

Closing out the blog today with a returning favourite from TrailWay Brewing on Fredericton’s North Side. Imagination IPA is a 6.0% hazy and dank IPA, with this release amped up with a DDH (Double Dry Hop) treatment. Southern Tropic, Sultana, and Citra Lupomax were used in massive quantities late in the process in order to maximize hop aroma and flavour without the corresponding bitterness. Look for great guava, citrus, stone fruit, and pine in the can, which is available now at the brewery and for online ordering.

Hello loyal beer news fans! Apologies for the lack of news last week, we decided that with 4 of us travelling, it was a bit too much to get a post together that day. But we’ve more than made up for it this week, with news from every Atlantic province and surely a beer, cider, or event that everybody will enjoy, although we were obviously challenged in getting it put together in a timely fashion. So let’s get right to it!

The summer of Propeller Brewing’s 25th Anniversary celebration continues this week as they took the opportunity on yesterday’s IPA Day to release 25K IPA. This 6.1% Double Dry-Hopped IPA leverages Amarillo and Cryo Citra for an intense melon and citrus hit on the nose, with a solid West Coast character in the glass. Available on draught at Propeller’s three locations, as well as at licensees around the province (if you don’t see it, ask!). Also available in cans locally through Propeller and the Harvest Wine group, as well as local delivery and nation-wide shipping. Enticing us even more is what the “25K” name represents: teaming up with industry partners, they will be donating 100% of the proceeds of the beer to Feed Nova Scotia, which will exceed $25,000! More than just a food bank, Feed Nova Scotia’s goal is to increase food security through food distribution, education and collaboration throughout the province. We can certainly get behind that! Check out Jenell and Pat on Global with more on the beer and charitable component.

Let’s keep the charitable beers rolling this week, with Big Spruce in Nyanza releasing their 2022 Black is Beautiful beer, Toasted Coconut Jamaican Rum Barrel-Aged Foreign Extra Stout. Wow, quite a mouthful! And the beer is too, with this Foreign Extra Stout (think full-body and bold) seeing toasted coconut in the boil, and then hanging out in Jamaican Rum barrels for more than 6 months, picking up both wood character as well as plenty of rum booziness from its previous tenant. 100% of the proceeds of Black is Beautiful are going to African Nova Scotian Decade for People of African Descent, a coalition building strength and health across African Nova Scotian communities and working to forge a renewed working relationship with government that creates conditions for all African-descended people in Nova Scotia to thrive. And you can learn more about Black is Beautiful, the international charitable collaboration entering its third year, in this short documentary. Only available through Big Spruce, pop by their taproom and retail shop overlooking the Bras D’Or lakes, or for home delivery (nationwide shipping too) on their website.

While you’re there, also check out their other new release, Ykpaïha. Styled after a classic European Pilsner, Ykpaïha features Zlato Polissya hops throughout, grown in Zhytomyr Oblast, Ukraine. Those hops lend fresh herb and light floral notes with a slight earthy undertone, reminiscent of Noble hops grown elsewhere in Europe. Available now in cans and on draught. 

Mount Pearl’s Landwash Brewery released a funky beer, months in the making, in late July, and we want to be sure we told you about it ASAP so you don’t miss out… Funk Island 2022 began life as a pale wheat ale back in the winter, which then had a second round of fermentation in wine barrels with Brettanomyces, a familiar yeast to those into traditional Belgian or French beers. With the light base beer giving the yeast a lovely stage upon which to shine, it features notes of hay, orange blossoms, and strawberries. And as the 4.9% beer was packaged with a bit of yeast and fermentable sugar present, it has developed a lively and tight carbonation in the bottle, and will be perfect for storing to see how it further develops. Currently only available at the brewery on Commonwealth Avenue, it should be available at a few other retail shops in the region in the coming weeks.

And just released this week in celebration of Regatta Day (sorry to those who may have lost at Roulette Tuesday night/Wednesday morning!), is Pearl Swirl, their new Milkshake IPA series. The first release is Pearl Swirl: Lemon and Apricot, which is chock full of lemon, drinking like a lemon meringue pie! Named after the Mount Pearl Curl hairstyle, look for this on tap at Landwash now, with cans coming next week. 

From one island to another, Lone Oak Brewing, based in Borden-Carleton (and now Charlottetown with their Brewpub location), has released a charitable and collaborative beer in Monarch Kolsch. The 4.7% ABV lagered ale is light and refreshing for these warmer months, with a touch of fruity esters with a hint of spicy character. Every can sold will see $1 donated to the Island Nature Trust, whose mission is to protect natural beauty and habitat on the Island, including the land and flora that the Monarch Butterfly loves. Pop by the Brewery or Brewpub (the only places Monarch is available) this weekend to grab a four-pack, drinking for a great purpose!

Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewery is releasing a new beer they’ve been tweaking behind the scenes since January.  Strawberry Vanilla Shake IPA is a 100% vegan take on a milkshake IPA. Milkshake IPAs typically use lactose sugar to add sweetness and a creamy mouthfeel. Tire Shack has replicated that with a secret ingredient that opens the beer to a wider audience of drinkers. Dry-hopped with Enigma, expect big notes of strawberry jam and vanilla ice cream, but without having to worry about popping a couple of Lacteeze first! Available now at the brewery on tap and in growler fills and cans to go!

Back to Newfoundland and the Avalon Peninsula, Bannerman Brewing is releasing Future-Proof, the brewery’s first cream ale. This one started with a grain bill of Pilsner malt, flaked barley and corn before a light hopping with several European hops. Cream ales combine the fruity esters from an ale yeast fermentation, with the crisp drinking experience of a lager. Future Proof, coming in at 4.8% ABV, is available now at the brewery on Duckworth. While you’re there, you’ll also find Eclipse, their Sabro/Eclipse hopped IPA, back in stock. And finally, don’t forget to bring your Newfoundland and Labrador Craft Brewery Passport for a stamp. Bannerman is participating in the promotion this summer, along 18 other breweries and 1 cidery and 1 distillery, as part of the province’s Come Home 2022 Summer.

Halifax’s, and now Elmsdale’s, Good Robot Brewing has a new beer on their Drinkubator line, a Milk Stout. Leveraging their taproom visitors’ opinions and enthusiasm, the Drinkubator program lets folks vote and decide which beers will get a bump up from a small pilot batch to a more wide release. Notes of coffee, chocolate, and vanilla abound in this beer, maybe great for enjoying around a summer evening fire (when allowed, burn safely, folks!). On tap on Robie Street only, for now…

And while you cannot (yet) grab this one at their Elmsdale Beer Garden location, a reminder that it is open and ready to serve its thirsty neighbours. Located at 14 Industrial Way, the Beer Garden is open Friday to Sunday, noon to 11 PM (noon to 10 PM Sunday). Their retail shop out there is set to open soon, operating Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 8 PM (opening at 10 AM Friday and Sunday).

Heading west to the “other Lawrencetown”, Lunn’s Mill has two new releases to share with you. First up is It’s A Session IPA, which as you may have guessed, is a session IPA. Coming in at 4.3%, it is the first release in their new Lazy Brewer series. Up next is Not Your Bock, their take on a German Maibock. Expect some grainy sweetness and a hint of spice, along with an ample 7% ABV. Both beers are being released next Wednesday, August 10, at the brewery’s Lawrencetown and Bridgetown locations. These two will also be on tap for pints and growler fills.

Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing has released Bell Ringer Red, in support of the campaign to save the bell from the iconic Lunenburg Academy. This one was designed by Shipwright owner Adam Bowers, who also happens to be a former student of the academy. Look for a malt-forward drinking experience that includes notes of caramel and toffee. Bell Ringer is available now at the brewery on Montague Street.

Back to the Avalon one more time, where in Paradise, NL, new brewery Banished has a brand new DIPA pouring from the taps. Jim Time is an ode to the man who was responsible for keeping their opening as close to on-schedule as it could be given the pandemic circumstances. Described as a, “tractor driving, F1-watching, Adirondack-sitting, BBQ-loving legend,” Jim was also known for only drinking DIPAs, which made it an easy decision as to how to honour him. At 8% ABV, it’s got some serious kick, and no doubt a pretty significant hop kick as well. Packaged in cans, you can grab it from the brewery and other places where you find Banished beers.

Some beery things happening in the big city this weekend and next:

As things continue to return to something like the normal we knew before the pandemic, we’re starting to see the return of such novelties as big beerfests. First out of the gate in that regard, at least in the HRM, is the Seaport Beerfest, back for the 12th iteration of the event, 14 years after the first one in 2007. This year taking place entirely out of doors in front of Garrison Brewing’s Seaport location, 25 Maritime breweries are represented (19 from NS, 3 from NB, and 3 from PEI) along with some treats from Ontario, Quebec, Europe, and Maine. There are also cideries and meaderies represented, and this year sees the advent of FizzFest, which means you’ll find a wide selection of Ready-to-Drink hard seltzers, sodas, and cocktails as well: plenty of options for the non-beer drinkers in your social circle as well. The first of four sessions was held last night and was attended by our own Aaron and Chris, who can attest to it being a great time. If you’re looking for a way to beat the heat and taste some beers (or other beverages), tickets are still available for the three remaining sessions, tonight, 7 – 10 PM, Saturday afternoon 2 – 5 PM, and Saturday evening, 7 – 10 PM. Lots more information, including a link to a list of everything that will be pouring, is available in the FAQ section of the event website.

Next Friday, August 12th, a reunion of sorts will take place in Halifax, as Stillwell will welcome their old friends from legendary Toronto beer destination Volo. As many know, some of Stillwell’s leadership learned the ins and outs of the industry at Volo, laying the groundwork for the creation of the Stillwell Empire. Since that time Volo has begun making their own beer and wine and they’ll be bringing a bunch of it for us to try and enjoy. The event will run from open to close at both The Freehouse and HQ, with slightly different taplists at each spot. You can find a full list of what’s available in this Ig post.

As is often the case at this time of year, lots of our region’s purveyors are looking to supplement their staff during the busiest season for suds.

Up first is Tusket Falls, who are looking to add a combination role of Server and Social Media Manager to the team. If this combination sounds like it would be a fit for you, you can send in your resume via email. Next up, one of the region’s oldest breweries, Picaroons, is looking for a Production Brewer for their Roundhouse location in Fredericton; full details are available here. Tatamagouche Brewing is hiring both Cellar and Store positions, part-time and full-time, year round and seasonal. No experience is required, just a great attitude; you can learn more by emailing for full info or just go ahead and submit a resume. Landwash is hiring multiple folks on a part-time basis for their taproom and events; they’re hoping to people who have availability during afternoons and weekends. Full details are available at this link. And lastly, but not leastly, Bishop’s Cellar is looking for both full and part time staff to join their warehouse team. Benefits include a staff discount on wine, beer, and spirits; find out more or send in your resume using this address.

Being off meant we missed a couple of things last week; here’s a couple that should still be around:

Grimross Brewing in Fredericton has a beer made from in-province ingredients. Spring Runnings has malt from Maison Fils du Roy, and Mt Hood hops from Lakeview hops. Packing a bit more punch than usual for a blonde ale, this one comes in at 6.5% ABV.

In Wolfville, Annapolis Cider has a new one, aptly named Blueberry Crabapple. A sparkling, off-dry cider coming in at 7.4% ABV it’s features fresh-pressed local blueberries and a splash of tart hyslop crabapple juice to balance the sweetness. Even better, $0.50 from every refillable bottle sold will go to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust.