Welcome, welcome, welcome! Is this a natural time for a beer news lull? Maybe! But there is always news out there and we are happy to bring it to you. We feel for our breweries in the Pictou/New Glasgow/Stellarton area that were mostly out of power for over two weeks with Hurricane Fiona. Just as with any of your other local businesses and community members, keep your heart and mind open to all of those around you. You could even bring them some beer, or get some for yourself! Watch the weather, relax after some turkey and drink what you like, or try something new…now onto some news for you!
‘Tis the season, and North Brewing is getting into the Pumpkin SZN swing with Sweater Weather, a Pumpkin Spiced Amber Ale and North’s first ever pumpkin beer! They started out by roasting out those pumpies before adding a selection of seasonal spices, including nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and ginger in the fermenter. It came out at 5% and is nicely spiced, malty and drinkable. It’s available now in cans from all North locations and on tap as well.
Keeping our feet firmly planted in the pumpkin patch we find Serpent Brewing also has a gourdy new release, fresh out of Spryfield. Today they’re releasing Pumpkin König Tripel, sticking with their Belgian-inspired backbone and a mostly traditional Belgian Tripel style, but with the addition of a touch of pumpkin spice. Using traditional amber and biscuit malts, with the aforementioned spices and some simple candy syrup to clean it all up, it’s got a nice body, while staying dry and drinkable. It’s 7.5% and available to go in 500ml bottles and on tap for pints and growlers. This is very limited in bottle stock, so don’t wait for Halloween!.
Staying in season, Tatamagouche Brewing is bringing back their seasonal Lagerhosen in a 355ml format and with a festive new label. Originally released over 8 years ago(!), you probably already know that it’s an Oktoberfest-themed lager, but were you aware that it picked up silver at the 2014 Atlantic Canadian Brewing Awards? Crisp and refreshing at 4.5% it’s brewed with Halltertau Mittelfrüh hops for classic spicy and floral notes.
Also new and available today from TataBrew, and in collaboration with Derado’s Pizzeria for their anniversary, is Saucy, a Cerveza with a basil addition inspired by the classic pizzeria. The beer is 4.5% and pairs perfectly with all the fare from Derado’s. Both of these releases are available online and in-store.
Pulling a different thread of connections between beer news items we’ll switch to geography. On the North Shore in the Antigonish area you’ll find Half Cocked Brewing who have a new 4.5% lager-ish release available. Pip is a Pseudo-American Lager that is canned and available now from the brewery in 355ml cans.
Taking a rip over to Moncton, Tire Shack has their big banger monster sized triple IPA back for Spooky Season! Killed by Death is a 10% TIPA absolutely loaded with a luscious, juicy mix of Citra, Mosaic and Vic Secret hops. Look for citrus and tropical fruit along with some dankness on top of a big body with some alcohol bite. It’s available now in cans and on tap at the brewery.
Straight out of Deer Lake, NL, Rough Waters has a new Daydreamer IPA out now and soon to spread across the western part of the island. Featuring a powerful hop blend of Vic Secret, Sabro and Mosaic, it’s smooth and balanced with some bitterness but still has a full, hazy body at 5.2%. It’s available from the brewery now and in Deer Lake, Corner Brook and Pasadena over the coming days, with distro to the eastern part of the province in the following week.
Jumping across to Bay Roberts, Baccalieu Trail is jumping into the low ABV lager game with the release of Baccalieu Light. The brewery has been experimenting with different light lagers over the last 8 months, making tweaks and improvements along the way, and has landed on a recipe worthy of its core lineup. Featuring a grain bill of Pilsner malt and flaked corn and hopped exclusively with Saaz hops, Light comes in at a sessionable 4.3% ABV. The first batch is currently flowing from the taps at the brewery, with a larger run of cans currently conditioning for release in a few weeks.
In what has the look of an annual event, Sourwood is once again releasing two collabs with Baddeck Forks Chef Bryan Picard of Bite House fame. First up is a Pet-Nat made from a blend of wild apples to the tune of 5.3% ABV. Expect a hint of sweetness and a pleasant carbonation from the bottle conditioning. Field Blend Pet-Nat is available in 375 ml bottles. The pomance from those wild apples was then combined with water to extract the remaining sugars and fermented as a Piquette style cider, with the signature low-ABV of the Piquette method. Feral Apple Piquette features a more neutral acidity and comes in at 1.9% ABV. You can find these two releases at the Sourwood taproom, through their online store or via the fine folks at Bishops Cellar.
Skipping straight over Hallowe’en and getting an early start on stocking stuffers this year is Dartmouth’s Lake City Cider. Featuring a stocking hat-clad take on their duck logo on the outside of the bottle, the inside looks to bring a taste of winter. Off-dry (or semi-sweet, depending on your preferred terminology), and 6.8% ABV, it’s bolstered by a blend of cinnamon, ginger, clove, nutmeg, and dried orange peel. A limited edition, Spice Up Your Life is available in 750ml bottles via Lake City’s online store, a great gift for the cider lover in your life, or maybe you’ll want to grab one and dream of cooler nights to come yourself.
Just one event on the go in the next week, as the last (we think!) of the region’s Oktoberfest events
If you’re in Charlottetown next weekend and you’re looking for something to do involving beer, check out PEI Brewing Co.’s annual Okto-beer-feast celebration. A two-day extravaganza of German-inspired food stations, live entertainment, and activities, tickets are $30 plus taxes and fees per session and include a 24oz. stein and one fill. Friday evening’s festivities run from 5pm – 12am, while saturday’s start earlier, of course, at 2pm and also run until midnight. Beers and ciders will be on tap from Gahan and the food stations will run on a token system. Activities will include some competitions where the winners will receive Murphy Hospitality Group gift cards. Full details for each day can be found at the ticket purchase links for Friday and Saturday.
A few newsbites before we go.
Upstreet has a fresh batch of Blue Meanie Blueberry DIPA available at its Halifax and Charlottetown locations. Coming in at 8% ABV, expect notes of blueberry jam, lemon, pineapple and a hint of tartness.
We’ll leave you with a quick hit from Dieppe where CAVOK is releasing a lovely new fruited sour, Mission Rhubarbe Canneberge. This 4.9% sour was fermented on local cranberries and rhubarb and is available now on tap and to-go in growers or crowlers.