We’ve made it to the end of another week and somehow it’s the last Friday of November, which means thousands of Atlantic Canadians will be precariously perched on ladders this weekend, stringing up holiday lights, and cracking a cold one as they step back and admire all of those randomly burnt out bulbs. As our neighbours to the south nurse their Thanksgiving hangovers, you’re likely being bombarded with countless Black Friday emails and posts. Before you buy that 3-in-1 combination air fryer, pasta maker, pizza oven that you’ll probably never use, take a scroll through the latest beer news, and consider directing your hard earned cash towards your favourite producer of fermented beverages instead. Or consider taking advantage of our one-day only ACBB sale where you can snag a one-year subscription to the blog for 50% off!
Let us catch you up on a pair of late-last-week releases that are now available throughout the Avalon craft beer convenience store. The crew from Mount Pearl’s Landwash made the trek out to Port Rexton to brew two beers from just one mash! Let us explain… At the end of the mashing period, the sugary water (wort) is separated from the barley and other malted grain in the mash tun, and transferred to the kettle for the boil. That leftover grain still has some sugary goodness left on it, and a second dose of water can be used to rinse the malt clean, giving rise to the start of another beer! This technique is known as parti-gyle brewing, and has been around for centuries. While the two resultant beers will have the same base grains, due to the concentration of sugars, they will have quite different potential alcohol levels, and can be treated with different intensities of hops and other ingredients.
Ursa Major Double IPA is the first beer to come out of that double-brew, weighing in at a hefty 8.5% ABV. Using loads of late-addition hops (low bitterness, high aroma and flavour), namely Sultana and Amarillo, it features orange, pineapple, and a hint of pine, on a slightly-sweet finish.
Ursa Minor IPA is the parti-gyled beer made from the second runnings of wort, with an ABV of just 3.9%. As it was boiled separately, a different combo of hops could be used in the kettle, in this case Lotus and Azacca, imparting citrus and stone fruit on the palate, with a dry finish.
Both of these stellar-inspired beers are available at Port Rexton and Landwash on tap for pints and growler fills, and distributed to Port Rexton’s St. John’s Retail Shop, as well as their other retail partners.
Staying in Newfoundland, Bannerman has a big weekend ahead with two new releases. First up is Red Eye, a coffee milk stout. To get the most possible coffee character into the beer, the team added coffee during every step in the brewing process, including broken beans in the mash tun, kettle and fermenter. Before packaging, some of the fermented beer was also soaked on more beans overnight, before being added back into the main batch. Combine all of that coffee with the addition of lactose and you’ve basically got your morning pick me up ready to go in beer form. The coffee for this one comes from Cape Coffee Roasters, a new roaster in Cape Broyle. Cans and pours are available now at the brewery with cans also seeing wider distribution through Bannerman’s usual channels. And what goes better with your coffee than a piece of toast with a bit of Nan’s homemade jam? Their next release, Either/Or is a fruited sour that combines big fruit flavour with some slight tartness, just like Nan’s jam. You’ll also find cans and pours of this one at the brewery, with cans seeing wider distribution later this weekend.
Rolling over to Cape Breton, Sydney’s Breton Brewing has a brand new seasonal release for the holidays with Milk n’ Cookies Stout. Not your average stout, this one has additions of chocolate chip cookies from their friends at Not Just Cakes and lactose sugar to create a sweet, bitter and balanced brew. Easy drinking at 5% this is available on tap or in cans from the brewery and for delivery, and in select NSLCs, too.
Back to Newfoundland for another round this week, Deer Lake’s Rough Waters Brewing teamed up with the fine folks of The Newfoundland Embassy in St. John’s for their latest release. Ambassador is a 4.7% German Pilsner, as the two teams wanted to maximize easy drinking and super refreshing as they came together. Light-bodied, crisp, clean, and able to pair with whatever you’re eating! Pints are obviously available at the Embassy now, with cans at Urban Market 1919, and wider distro through the NLC soon.
Kentville’s Maritime Express Cider has a pair of new expressions available in their shop. 2020 Sparkling Perry is an all-pear cider, aged on lees in the bottle for two years. This extended aging period in the bottle has allowed it to dry out completely (no residual sugar), and is sparkling for a bubbly rush of candied pear and tropical fruit. Joining it is 2021 Sparkling Sour Berry, their apple cider base co-fermented with raspberries and rose hips, and blended with two-year aged cranberry wine. Allowed to undergo a secondary fermentation in the bottle before an extended cellaring period. Also finishing quite dry, the fruit additions lend much to the aroma and impart a tart finish.
Beausoleil Farmstead Cider in Port Williams has a new release this month, Valley Fields. Crisp Valley-grown pears and a field blend of estate-grown Pinot Gris, Cabernet Franc, and Frontenac Gris grapes, were co-fermented to finish dry, a light carbonation enhances the aromatic and light acidity in the glass. Their tasting room and retail shop at 1469 B Church Street in Port Williams is open 1 – 4 PM Saturday for visitors, or by appointment at other times.
Speaking of Beausoleil, wine- and cider-maker extraordinaire Melanie Eelman has once again lent her knowledge to the folks at Saltbox Brewing on the South Shore, helping them to launch Rosemary. Featuring Annapolis Valley apple cider, blended with a Marquette wine, infused with rosemary, this blend features herbal notes along with ripe apple, field berries, and a touch of spice. This 6.7% hybrid is available in cans at Saltbox and its sibling breweries.
Staying in the cider-verse, Dartmouth’s finest, Lake City Cider, has a brand new release that is winter-inspired. Gingersnap is a spicy and sweet little cider that uses Annapolis Valley apples, freshly pressed ginger root, and a bit of molasses for some balance. The fresh ginger is the star here, bringing you the fragrant nose and bit of refreshing spice like that you’d expect, all in a 7% package. It’s available now from the cidery in 473ml cans and is also available online.
Rounding out the cider news for this week is the latest from Paradise’s Mauzy Cider. Once again taking advantage of feral and undeveloped apple trees, Devil’s Acid began life during the 2021 harvest. Starting with apples from Burin Bay and Golden Hornet Crabapples from Torbay, these were co-spontaneously-fermented with the skins of Dolgo crabapples, with the combination of crabapple varieties imparting a serious acidity in the glass. This 6.8% cider was bottle conditioned with a touch of apple juice for some carbonation. Like their other releases, look for them online for pickup in Paradise, and at cider, wine, and beer friendly spots around Town.
Staying in Paradise (we’ve got two tickets after all!), if you’re able to, hit up Banished Brewing for their brand new release, a collaboration with Toslow (a cafe, but generally delicious food establishment). Crosstown Cooldown is a Coffee Porter featuring beans from the Montreal roaster Traffic Coffee Co. The result is a highly drinkable, roasty and full beer with a great balance at 5%. This is canned and available now from the brewery and next week it will be hitting retailers.
Also new this week is the final form of the Puffin! If you’ve been following along with the themed releases from Banished, there were 3 previous variations and now the 4-pack is complete. New this week is Intergalactic Puffin, a triple IPA, the clear next step up from the previous Session NEIPA, NEIPA and double NEIPA, and coming in hot at 10% ABV. Very full, juicy, and surprisingly easy drinking for the style and ABV, it features loads of Mosaic during the boil and whirlpool, and was dry-hopped with equal parts Citra and Sabro, enhancing the citrus and tropical notes seen in the rest of the Puffin family. This beer is available now in cans from the brewery and will also hit retailers next week. If you’re looking to get the full vertical of the Puffin releases, you better hurry, as there is only a limited amount of Space Pufflin (Session NEIPA) left. Get your ticket to Paradise, pack your bag and leave tonight!
At the Seaport in Halifax, Garrison Brewing has a brand new release, which we’re already picturing having around for the holidays. Night Mooves is a Coffee Milk Stout that is lower on ABV (at 4.5%) but high on roasted coffee, dark chocolate and a bitter-sweet impression from combination of coffee, roasted malts, and lactose. Here’s the fun part for many of you, let’s look at the ingredients! The malt bill here features pale, munich, caramel & chocolate malts, along with some roasted barley. The hop bill gets balance and backing from the classic German Hallertau and the brew also features additions of lactose and coffee from West Ender Coffee. This one is available in 473ml cans now at both Garrison locations, on the website for delivery, and at Liquid Assets.
Boxing Rock has two new releases that are sure to appeal to fans of stone fruit flavours. Up first is Black and Tan: Stout and Pale. This one is a 5.2% ABV blend of Patricius, their Irish Stout, and a blonde wheat ale that saw an infusion of apricot, leading to a combo of roasty and stone fruit notes. Next up is Intergalactic, an American Pale Ale. A combination of new-world hops and an infusion of apricot leads to notes of pineapple, grass, and stone fruit. Cans of both are available now through Boxing Rock’s two retail locations and their online store. In other Boxing Rock news, their much revered Double IPA, Vicar’s Cross, is making its final appearance in bomber bottles after almost 10 years and over 1 million bottles sold! This DIPA was one of the first produced in Nova Scotia that was widely available in packaged format and introduced many budding craft beer enthusiasts to the style. To celebrate the retirement of the bombers, Boxing Rock is planning a package that includes a special edition commemorative bottle and a Vicar’s Cross hat. Pre-orders for the package go live on December 6.
Tire Shack Brewing out of Moncton has a brand new release this week, too, and if you’re noticing a theme this week of sweet treat additions to beer, you’re not alone. Scoop! There It Is! is an Apple Pie Ice Cream Beer (not a stout) released with a special ice cream recipe from Lost and Found Ice Cream in Moncton. The beer features a clean malt bill with a clear, amber colour, but features big additions of 100L of fresh ice cream (loaded with whole vanilla beans and cinnamon) and then 125 kilograms of apple pie filling. Both adjuncts were added during fermentation, so expect big flavours to carry through in a clean 5% beer. This is available in pints, cans and growlers directly from the brewery.
We’ve got a new beer from Nova Scotia’s North Shore Tatamagouche Brewing, plus a way for you to enjoy it in the big city this weekend! Collusion Double IPA started life in the mash tun with a base of Horton Ridge pale and Shoreline Pilsner malts, amped up with malted oats and wheat, and combined with some Chit malt (the last having undergone a very short germination stage, leaving plenty of complex starch and sugar to increase mouthfeel in the final beer). After mashing, this saw a heavy-handed addition of Nugget hops early in the boil for bitterness, with a post-boil addition of a blend of Cascade, Centennial, and Bravo. Really taking this big IPA to the next level of aroma was a one-two punch of Citra and Mosaic oil extract for a big blast of citrus and tropical fruit. For fermentation they used a New England-style ale yeast, playing in the “hazy” realm, while still being eye-appealing. And while the yeastie beasties were working away, more hops were added, including Citra dry hop extract, the first time the Tata crew has played with this product. Collusion is out now, with cans, pints, and growler fills available at the brewery, and for those in HRM, the perfect time to try it may be at the Tatamagouche Tap Takeover at Battery Park Saturday! With 16 draught lines filled with a mix of new releases and old favourites, including a Baltic Porter from 2017(!), and Flintshire Pub Ale on the handpump, there will certainly be something for everyone! Plus door prizes for coming out and saying hi!
HopYard Beer Bar in Charlottetown is hosting the finals of the Battle of the Breweries this weekend, which also happens to be the battle of Montague! Bogside Brewing and Copper Bottom have each put their four best beer, cider, and seltzers forward in a race to finish kegs and sell the most pints until close Saturday. Stop in to show your support, because really, we are all winners in these sorts of competitions!
Sober Island Brewing is holding a Christmas-themed Brewers Dinner next Saturday, December 3rd, at their taproom in Sheet Harbour. A multi-course meal with SIBC beer pairings, all lead by Head Brewer Tim MacLeod. Tickets are available now, and we suggest grabbing them very soon, so that you can secure your choice in one of the courses, a Humble Pie Turkey Dinner or Vegetarian handpie.
A few quick newsbites before we let you go this week…
Moncton’s Happy Craft Brewing has a new release on draught this week, German Altbier. This hybrid of ale- and lager-techniques features the inclusion of kilned malts in the grain bill for a darker colour and a lovely toast and nutty character, with a balancing bitterness. This 5.0% ABV is available now at Happy’s Main Street location.
After a several month hiatus, Lone Oak Brewing has brought back their Boat Traffic Oatmeal Stout. Big and bold roast character is complemented with undertones of chocolate, coconut, and vanilla, thanks to a weeks-long oak-aging step before packaging. It is available on draught and in cans at their Borden-Carleton Taproom, their North River Brewpub, as well as PEILCC locations across the province.
Staying on the Island, PEI Brewing Company has a new seasonal available that they’ve dubbed Hour Delay. A chocolate stout brewed with cocoa and a selection of rich roasted malts to really bump up the chocolate flavor, it’s perfect for cozy nights by the fire as you watch the weather and say a little prayer or two for an hour delay in the morning. Or maybe one to enjoy in a cozy bed in the morning as you enjoy an hour delay? We’re not going to judge! You’ll find this 6% ABV and 30 IBU beer available across the island at the PEI Brewing Company Taproom, Gahan Beer Store, and select PEILCC locations.
Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing has announced the launch of their kitchen, with today (Friday) being the first day of operation. The full menu is available here, featuring a trio of different smash burger styles, grilled panini sandwiches, as well as beer & cheese soup, brussel sprouts, and even arancini! It launches at 2 PM this afternoon, check their social media for the full schedule as it is released.