Greetings, beer fans. It’s Friday and the weather is looking niiiice this weekend, so get into those outdoor drinks while you can. Can you believe it’s November?! If you’ve got some Halloween treats kicking around, there will be many drinks to pair up with some sweet and salty leftover treats. Let’s truly get into fall, transition to winter and bring on the warmer, boozier, darker beers, but also, it’s always lager season. Basically, as always, drink what you want and it never hurts to try something different, so let’s get onto some new stuff!
We’re starting off this week with one of our favourite annual releases. North Brewing’s Saison de Chardonnay (2021) is available now! Remember when this used to come out right before Christmas? While we know the aging process dictates release dates, so let’s talk about it! As always, this is a collaboration with Benjamin Bridge. North brewed a Saison with the addition of Chardonnay grape juice from the 2021 crop from the winery. Brewed last year, this was conditioned for 7 months in stainless. After that, it was bottled and conditioned for another 5 months and it’s ready for release! Getting beautiful notes of lime zest, tangerine and apricot, we already recommend picking up a few of these for special events and holidays. This is 7.6% and available in 750ml bottles at all 3 of North’s locations, online and on tap at all 3 locations as well.
Heading north (from North), Tatamagouche Brewing has another release in their Intertidal series. This time, they’re heading west to feature Ekuanot hops grown in Yakima Valley in Washington. Intertidal: Ekuanot West Coast Pale Ale is a west coast inspired Pale ale which is crisp with some orange citrus flavour with a bit of cedar and a well balanced malt backbone. This is available now at the brewery and online at 5.3% and in 473ml cans.
We’ll head out to Newfoundland this week, and we’re starting out with Dildo Brewing and some barrel aging to start us off right! Barrel-Aged Export Stout is coming at you (and all of us!) this weekend. A base stout starts with a nice mix of caramel and roasted malts before we bring the barrel into play. Post-fermentation, the base stout spent 11 months in American oak bourbon barrels. Bringing out flavours of vanilla, caramel and a deep toastiness, let this one warm up as you sip on it. Still quite drinkable at 6.8%, this one is available at the brewery in Dildo or the St. John’s location now in 473ml cans. It will be available in wider distribution across the island in the coming weeks, as well.
Staying on The Rock, Banished Brewing has a brand new release joining their Puffin lineup. Interplanetary Puffin is a Double New England IPA, being a beefed up version of Space Puffin, their 6% NEIPA. Interplanetary Puffin comes in at 8% and is currently available at the brewery and will be available at retailers across Newfoundland late next week. Completing the Puffin line is the Session NEIPA, Space Puffling at 4%, so grab all 3 if you can!
Rounding out the Newfoundland trio this week is a new beer and a launch party at Landwash Brewery. Fitz’s Cold Lager is an ode to an iconic St. John’s sign that used to reside on Topsail Road. The sign read “Fitz’s Cold Beer” and the folks at Landwash won a charity auction and now they’ve had it cleaned up, refreshed and re-wired and is in the taproom. To celebrate, Landwash is having a beer launch this Saturday featuring the Fitzpatrick family themselves coming to officially light up the sign at 2 PM. They’ll also be pouring $6 pints all day of the lager. The beer is a light and crisp Czech-Style pilsner, coming in at 4.4%. The Newfoundland water is soft and should feature nicely for this style. The beer will be available in 8x355ml cans or 4 packs of 473ml cans and is available at the brewery Saturday, but will launch across the rest of the province and local shops and NLC later next week.
Hopping down to Fredericton, those IPA loving folks at Trailway Brewing have a true-to-style West Coast IPA launching this week! Bearstream is a departure from the brewery’s signature hazy IPA and is a classic, clear, golden IPA with those notes of pine, resin and nice bitterness, with some nice orange and lemon profile as well. Hopped up with Cascade, Chinook, Columbus and Amarillo, Bearstream is 7% ABV. This is available now on tap and in cans and will be available across the ANBL and other locations on tap over the coming weeks.
Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill Beer has a new release this week, ready for you to enjoy this after. It’s a Double IPA … pretty much says it all in the name, doesn’t it? This is release #2 in the Lazy Brewer (Lazy Beer Namer, maybe?) series, as they work their way through some classic styles. Big hop usage in this 7.5% beer, with Cascade enhanced by Mosaic and Citra late in the boil and again in a generous dry-hopping. Available on tap and in cans right now, for enjoyment/pick-up at their taproom, or for local delivery or Canada-wide shipping via their website.
Elsewhere in the Annapolis Valley, Church Brewing Company has a pair of releases gracing their taps for the first time this week. First up is a collaboration with their friends at Serpent Brewing in Spryfield, and keeping in their communal wheelhouse, it’s a Belgian beer. Growing out of the long friendship of Head Brewers Steve and Glen at Church and Serpent, respectively, this 12.0% Quadrupel was brewed back in April, and has been hanging out for the right time for release. And that time is now! Belgian Strong is light amber in colour, and thanks to the malts and yeast used, features dark fruit, molasses, and spice aromatics, with a touch of alcohol heat (unsurprisingly). It is available on draught in the Church taproom, and to go in growler fills. No word yet if it is also on at Serpent’s location.
Also new and available on tap and in cans now is a Church exclusive, Forgive Me Father, a 5.9% Coffee Stout. The beer saw the addition of cold-steeped coffee from T.A.N. Coffee from just down Main Street, to enhance the already-present roast character from the malts. Not yet on their website, so best to call in, or better yet, pop by their Main Street Wolfville location to ensure you don’t miss out!
Back in HRM, Propeller is releasing another drop of its 10% TIPA, Leviathan. Previously released last year, you can expect big notes of tropical fruit, higher bitter (to the tune of 100 IBUs), but also a smooth and rounder drinking experience from the addition of lactose. Cans are available today at Prop’s four retail locations and will soon see distribution on some NSLC stores.
St. John’s’ Bannerman Brewing is leaning into the Fall season with two releases this week. First up is a taproom only dark ale called Past Tense. This one was made with a grain bill of Pilsner malt, flaked corn and some caramel and roasted malts, leading to notes of toffee and raisin. A light dry hop with some German noble hops also lends some herbal/spice notes. You can grab Past Tense on tap at the brewery now. And while you’re down there, why not check out the return of their Marzen-style lager, Safe Bet. Using a blend of Vienne, Caramel and Pilsner malts, this one packs a ton of nutty and sweet malt flavours in a sessionalbe 5.5% ABV package. Cans of Safe Bet are available now on Duckworth Street.
Tusket Falls Brewing has a returning favourite releasing this week. First released last year, While You’re Waiting is back! This peach, mint, Sour IPA has a lovely tropical profile and features Motueka, Galaxy and Citra hops. With additions of real peaches, spearmint, vanilla bean, sea salt and lactose, this is packed with refreshing notes with a smooth mouthfeel coming in at 6.5%. This is available now at the brewery in Tusket and the Tusket Falls Beer Project in Halifax on tap or in cans. It is also available online for shipping across Canada.
In “coming soon” beer news, Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewery is celebrating their Third Anniversary this coming Wednesday, November 9th. Pints are on sale all day, and they are of course releasing a new beer to celebrate. Teaming up with nearby business, and frequent collaborators Halo Donuts, they have brewed Cel-O-Bration, a Birthday Cake-flavoured beer that included 20 kilograms of Birthday Cake donuts from Halo! Wow! Wednesday will be a blast, with a balloon drop and prizes that evening, and the party will continue on the weekend (Nov 11 & 12), as they have a pop-up kitchen visit by Euston Park, more donuts, and even a visit by a miniature horse (named Lil Sebastien, we hope). And congratulations to Henry and the TS crew for their Gold medal win in the Canada Beer Cup Triple IPA category, as their Killed by Death took home top honours. There are a few cans left, so grab them now before they’re gone for another year.
Tomorrow marks the return of the Cask in the Sticks event, a community-led beer festival that moves around to different regions of rural Nova Scotia. Sober Island Brewing in Sheet Harbour is hosting this year’s event, and they are hosting Big Spruce, Breton Brewing, The Harbour Brewing, Lunn’s Mill, Tatamagouche, Uncle Leo’s, as well as a pair of homebrewers, all showing off their best beers in casks. In addition, as this is an outdoor event, there is a onesie competition, free event toque (have to stay warm, right?), a S’more station, and more fun! Grab your tickets here.
A few more newsbites before we let you go today…
If you’re around downtown Halifax soon, they have some new releases in stock and some nice beer news they’ve passed along to us. New in the shop this week are the following:
2 Crows – OK OK OK, 5.1% Farmhouse Ale
2 Crows – Classic, 4.1% Maritime Dry Stout, in a new format! 6x355ml.
Garrison – Dunkel Breaking My Heart, 5.1% Dunkel, Dark German Lager
Schoolhouse – Principal Ale, 4.7% Pale Ale (now a regularly stocked beer)
And for some importing updates, you’ve seen Samuel Smith ales in stock over the past year or so at Bishops, and they’ve got Oatmeal Stout and Chocolate Stout are back again for the winter.
A pair of returning favourites from Nyanza’s Big Spruce to close out this week. The Respect Your Elders BerlinerWeisse with Elderberry is back, made with berries harvested from their own farm, and added early in the brewing process to allow them to ferment with some Brettanomyces yeast for a melding of funk and tart in this dry seasonal beer. And kicking it to the West Coast is Old School, as West Coast IPA with big malt and hops both getting equal billing, At 8.0% ABV, the malt definitely shows up to support the massive hop additions throughout the brew, for a serious bitterness on the palate. Both beers are available on draught and in cans at the brewery, online ordering, and coming to better beer establishments across the province.