While there are ghosts and goblins creeping around every corner, we promise no scares or frights in today’s post. We’ve got new brews and events across the region, so adjust your witch hat and Harry Potter glasses, and read on!
The Change is Brewing Collective recently got together with Music Nova Scotia and A. Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery to celebrate the 25th anniversary of MusicNS and to give back to local communities. Dubbed Pier Beer and brewed on Mi’kma’ki, “It gives recognition to the melting pot of diversity & culture in Unimaki, Cape Breton.” A maple and spruce amber lager, it’s got very fall-friendly notes of maple, floral spruce, gingerbread, and cinnamon. So grab a sweater and head down to the Keith’s brewery on Lower Water Street to grab some.
Speaking of Fall collaborations, up on the Rock in Bay Roberts, NL, Baccalieu Trail Brewing has collaborated with Darkstar Coffee Roasters in nearby Carbonear to produce Have Your Cake & Eat It Too, a coffee cake-inspired brown ale. Brewed with demerara sugar and some sweeter malts for caramel and honey sweetness along with some burnt caramel character. Finished in the fermenter through conditioning on cinnamon bark and vanilla beans for a week, it’s got some distinct “dessert vibes” while still managing to weigh in at a fairly light 5.5% ABV. Sounds like a tasty Autumn tipple to us! Grab it on the Avalon Peninsula now, with distro reaching Central and Western Newfoundland in coming weeks.
Champions in terms of news volume today are the lovely folks at North Brewing, who have a new location and two returning beers for your pleasure this week. First up is the long anticipated full opening of their Timberlea taproom as of today. Although beer has been available at this location at retail for a year or so now, various delays (who ever heard of opening delays in the craft beer industry?!) have kept them to can and bottle sales until now. Featuring a 60-seat dining room to rival their spot in Cole Harbour and a very similar (possibly identical, to start) food menu, expect North’s usual fabulous “Cheers your neighbour” hospitality, just on the light side of Halifax Harbour. Open for full service food and beverage at 11:30am six days a week, Tuesday to Sunday, closing at 10pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday, and 11pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, they’ll also have the retail store open on Mondays from 12 – 8pm.
And if you’re wondering what to drink during your first visit to their new spot, they’ve got a couple of bangers back in circulation. First up, released just after we posted last week, is Cinnamon Bun imperial stout. A 9% ABV soft and sweet punch in the face, look for flavors of cinnamon with lots of body and sweetness. A once-a-year brew, grab it soon before it’s all gone. And just out today, timed perfectly for the opening of their TIMBERlea location, is the return of Timberbock, a 6.2% ABV amber lager, quite Märzen-lize, with plenty of body, but still a lovely crisp-like-the-fall-air finish. Grab one or both of these, along with your fave North core offerings, when you check out their new digs.
With the spooky weekend coming, we’ve got some Halloween themed beers and events going on this weekend. 2 Crows is going to have a special spooky version of Pollyanna (their flagship NEIPA) pouring from Friday to Sunday. Bloody Polly is the result of blending 20kg of blood orange into their current Pollyanna recipe, resulting in 150L available through the weekend. This turns the tropical vibes up in Pollyanna and adds even more juice. They’ve also got a movie screening on Halloween with free popcorn at 7 PM!
Staying in the theme of seasonal releases, Propeller is re-releasing Chocolate Orange Porter, a dark, big bodied porter, with flavours of roasted malts backing the tasty combination of chocolate and orange. At 5%, it’s a very approachable and tasty brew and it is available now in Propeller’s three locations, soon to be available in the Halifax private stores as well, and then at the NSLC as December approaches. Move over, Terry!
Trailway is back with this year’s version of Spooky! This is a “candy” sour that you may remember from last year that features blue raspberry flavours and leverages spirulina to give it a blue-green hue. This is available now from the brewery in 473ml cans and a limited number of kegs have been distributed around Fredericton, Moncton, and Saint John as well.
Paradise’s Banished Brewing is back this week with two new releases. First up is a collaboration with St. John’s food truck Liqoursauce. This one is a 4.5% ABV mini-Dortmunder style lager. Cans are available now at the brewery and will be hitting Banished’s regular retail outlets next Thursday. Next up is Skelephone, a 6% IPA hopped with the Cryo-Pop blend from Yakima Chief. This one also saw an addition of blue spirulina algae to give the beer a halloween friendly blueish-green tinge. Rumour is the label also has some spooky vibes. Try cracking one in a dark room or in Paradise (by the dashboard lights, of course) to confirm.
Big Spruce is celebrating local legend Mattea Roach’s return to your screens during the Jeopardy Tournament of Champions with the release of Who is Mattea Roach? This 4% ABV session IPA saw a heavy Citra dry hop, leading to notes of tangerine and pink grapefruit. Cans are available now at the Sprucetique and through the online store. Mattea will be appearing in the Tournament of Champions on November 11, with a special warm up match airing on November 8.
Back in New Brunswick, Maybee Brewing Company has a new sour hitting the taps, with Give up the Gose. This darker take on the German Gose style incorporates the traditional coriander and sea salt additions, but also features chocolate wheat malt to give it a dark brown colour. Find it on tap at Maybee now.
Mount Pearl’s Landwash Brewery has a fun new four pack that riffs on its popular Brackish sour ale, featuring a favourite of the blog, sea salt from the Newfoundland Salt Company. Using the Citra-hopped base beer as a starting point, the first variation is Ruby Line, which incorporates additions of raspberry and lime. Next up is Pineapple Brackish, which swaps the Citra hops for southern hemisphere Wakatau, and sees an addition of pineapple during the conditioning stage. This one is also available in singles at the brewery. Rounding out the four-pack is Tangerine Brackish, which also sees an addition of Ekuanot hops. Grab it now at the brewery, with distribution across the Avalon next week and throughout the rest of Newfoundland later in November.
With all the various Fall-inspired beers around, it’s up to Annapolis Cider to balance things with a seasonal cider. Part of their Something Different series is Autumn Sweater, a 6.4% ABV cider with plenty of warmth for the incoming chill. Based on fresh pressed McIntosh apple juice, several hundred pounds of ripe peaches were added and co-fermented for 6 weeks. True Ceylon cinnamon bark and local pear juice bring complexity and additional warmth. Extra points if you get the musical reference, which you can hum as you sip. As with all Something Different ciders, this one sees $0.50 from the sale of each refillable bottle got to charity, in this case Hope Worldwide Canada (Halifax branch). Available only in Wolfville at the cidery.
Where to go and have a beer-y blast this weekend? Below is our Events section!
Three of everyone’s favourites are teaming up for a Sunday special! Taco Bellwoods is this Sunday, as the Stillwell Freehouse, is hosting Beverley’s Taco Service for food and Bellwoods Brewery for beer! The Bellwoods will be fresh kegs of some Bellwoods classics along with some fresh releases. Jutsu, Roman Candle, Jelly King, Cat Lady, Monogamy (Vista hops are showcased in this one), Goblin Sauce and Bellweiser are all expected to be on tap, but head down on Sunday if you can to check out all the goodies. Bring your family, friends, or go solo. Taco Bellwoods for all!
A few more quick hits before we dismiss you for the rest of the weekend …
Christmas creep is in full effect at Ol Biddy’s with the release of Naughty or Nice, their 7.6% AVB double chocolate stout. Keep on eye on the NSLC shelves for this one if you can’t make it to the brewery in Lower Sackville.
Apparently, chocolate stout is a thing, because Good Robot also has a new release out this week with their Chocolate Mint Nitro Stout. Look for notes of cocoa, mint and vanilla in this 5% cozy sipper.
Unfiltered continues their recent streak of Friday releases with the return of Here It Comes. Featuring hops from Quebec’s Duke25 Hops, this 7.5% DIPA features a big punch of citrus flavour and aroma. Cans are available now on North Street.