Friday, here we are again! We’ve made it another week, so let’s drink a local beer to celebrate. Here are just a few suggestions of what’s new and returning in the fridges and on draught in our region.
Unfortunately, the Russian Invasion of Ukraine marked its 6th month anniversary this week, with many casualties and more than 6.5 million Ukrainians displaced by the continuation of the Russo-Ukrainian War. On a happier note, this week also saw the Independence Day of Ukraine, celebrated on August 24th. In Halifax, that meant a flag raising ceremony to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the country’s independence from the Soviet Union. And in Dartmouth, Brightwood Brewery launched Stand with Ukraine, a lagered ale with a major charitable component. Through the UNITED 24 platform, Brightwood is donating $4 from every can of Stand with Ukraine to urgent medical aid and the rebuilding of the country, which will take decades. Currently only available in their brewery and retail shop at 35 Portland Street, it may be available for delivery or shipping on August 29th, should there be any stock remaining.
Paradise NL’s Banished Brewing is continuing their Puffin series with the baby chick version of their core Space Puffin, with this week’s release of Space Puffling. In the same hazy and juicy New England IPA vein, it forgoes a bit of alcohol in the tin (4% ABV), without sacrificing anything else. Massive mango and citrus on the tongue and in the nose, with only a hint of bitterness on the palate. Both Space Puffling and Space Puffin are available at their retail shop on Maverick Place in Paradise, and at local retailers around St. John’s and beyond.
Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing is celebrating the warmer days with the release of Tan Lines, a 6.7% Apricot Milkshake IPA. Stone fruit character abounds in this smooth beer, with a sweet finish thanks to the vanilla and milk sugar in the brew. On tap at their taproom spot, and look for it around the way this weekend too. And now for something completely different… Hoom is Where the Heart is is their 4.9% English Pub Ale, brewed with local ingredients, including a high portion of the malt coming from Horton Ridge Malt House, and all of the Challenger, Goldings, and Fuggles hops grown in Big Spruce’s own Organically-farmed hop yard. Available on tap and in cans at the brewery and online, look out for (or demand!) this on a beer engine/hand pump the next time you visit your local pub!
Tanner & Co in Chester Nova Scotia has another expression in their search for interesting and unique flavours, opting for a return to honey as the fermentable. Just Honey is 5.9% ABV sparkling mead, made with locally sourced product from The Little Bee Farm in Auburndale just a few kilometres down the 103. Light and spritzy, bottles of Just Honey are available at Tanner’s locations in town and at the brewery down Hiltz Road. At both locations you’ll also be able to enjoy the return of their dry-hopped Czech Pils, Most. Using the eponymous hop throughout the brewday, and then again for an extra burst on the nose, the 5.7% Most is available on tap and in cans for pickup at their spots, or place an order for delivery at their online shop.
Deer Lake’s Rough Waters has debuted a new beer in partnership with the upcoming Rough Waters Gravel Grind. Mechan-Enkel is a low alcohol (4.3%) beer brewed originally by monks, in the Belgian Singel/Single/Enkel style. Pilsner and Wheat Malt make up the grist, with a nice touch of citrus and spice from the belgian yeast, give complexity to this beer fit for enjoyment after a long slog on the bike. Speaking of, registration to the October 1st event is open until September 12th, so if you’re looking for a wild few hours in the woods around Humber Valley, sign up now! And if you suspect you’ll need some liquid encouragement beforehand, cans of Mechan-Enkel are available at the brewery to take-away today.
Let’s get you up to speed on a few returning beers before we let you go this week…
Staying in Newfoundland, we’ve got two returning beers from Bannerman Brewing. First up is Shore Leave, their 5.2% dry-hopped sour that features Mosaic hops and sees conditioning on blood orange and pineapple purree. Expect lots of tropical fruit flavours that meld nicely with the beer’s acidity. This week also sees the return of Negative Space, their take on a cold IPA (fermented with an ale yeast, but cold conditioned like a lager). This one has a distinct west coast hop profile using the three-C’s of Cascade, Centennial, and Citra. Both are available on tap now on Duckworth Street. The brewery’s canning line is currently down for maintenance, so keep on eye on their social channels to see when you may be able to grab these to go.
Despite the unwavering humidity, there are signs everywhere that the turn of the season is around the corner. Christmas displays are out at Costco (!), Halloween stores are popping up in abandoned Sears locations, and pumpkin beers are starting to roll out of the tanks. Potentially first to the finish line is Breton Brewing with their 5.5% ABV Spiced Up Pumpkin Ale. Expect hints of cinnamon sugar with prominent notes of pumpkin pie. Cans are available now at Breton’s two taprooms, for delivery via their online store, and should be hitting the shelves at the government monopoly next week.
Ok, so, we technically have a tie for the earliest pumpkin beer release. Propeller’s Pumpkin Spiced Ale is out today, featuring pumpkins from Windsor farmer Howard Dill. The spice mix for this 5% ABV take on the style includes cinnamon, nutmeg and clove that combine for the comforting pumpkin pie aesthetic. It’s available now at Propeller’s three retail locations, for delivery via their online store, and will also make an appearance at the aforementioned NSLC.
Just one event we heard about this week, but it’s fixing’ to be a doozy!
Last week we teased the Tatamagouche Brewing tap/cask takeover happening at the Stillwell Freehouse this Saturday (August 27). Consider this your official reminder that the Freehouse will be featuring 12 taps and 6 casks of core and special Tata brews, along with some cellared kegs of their big beers rotating through the taps.
We have two breweries hiring this week, in Moncton and Halifax! If you’re looking to continue your brewing career, or just kicking it off, check these out!
Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewery is looking for a Brewer to join their ranks as they expand their facilities this summer and fall on John Street. They are on the search for someone who has brewing experience, and looking for a change of scenery, and flexing their creative juices. There’s always something new in the tanks at Tire Shack, and they are hoping the right candidate will fill that role right away. Offering a competitive salary and plenty of help to get situated in Moncton, they encourage anyone interested to reach out via email with a resume and any questions!
Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing is on the search for help behind the scenes, in a Bookkeeper/Admin Assistant role on a part-time basis. Additionally, there are two openings for part-time Taproom Server/Packaging Assistants, especially important jobs to ensure the beer in the taps flows smoothly into cans! Learn much more, including wages and how to apply, on their website.