Happy Friday the 13th, folks! And your luck is decidedly good today, as we’ve got a full complement of new beer and cider to hit you with! Eat, drink, be merry, keep your stick on the ice, and be kind to each other.
Great news for fans of spirit barrel-enhanced beer, there is a new brewery open that is right up your alley! Rackhouse Brewing Company has launched their first beer, a stout aged in a Corn Whiskey Barrel from Moonshine Creek in Waterville-Carleton, NB. Named after the traditional storage facility for barrels, this features prominently in their plans. Rather than concentrating on the brewing aspect, Rackhouse will be all about the post-fermentation conditioning and packaging of beer at their facility. Their first beer was brewed at Big Axe in Nackawic, where it is currently on tap, and may be found elsewhere soon. Look for notes of tart cherry from the 100-day barrel-aging process, along with chocolate and a hint of coffee from the underlying beer in this 8.5% BA stout. We hope to share a full Profile of Rackhouse as they develop more projects, including opening their space in Waterville-Carleton. Congratulations!
Keeping in the barrelled beer vein, Deer Lake’s Rough Waters Brewing has brought back High Tide. This time around, they have taken a light-bodied Saison, with great fruit and pepper notes, and aged it in a freshly-emptied Rum Barrel from Glenora Distillery in Cape Breton. Look for oak, vanilla, and complexity as you enjoy this 7.5% ABV beer. Look for the beautifully appointed cork and cage bottle in NLC and Ultramars in Deer Lake and Corner Brook, and on the Avalon in the next week.
Wolfville’s Annapolis Cider Co has the latest in their Something Different series this week, Cosmic Peach. This 4.7% cider features a base of Golden Russet and Cox Orange Pippin juices, fermented with a specialty yeast enhancing the tropical notes, and taken to the next level by the use of hops during fermentation too. Dosed with AV Peach juice that went through a cryo-extraction process to concentrate the flavour, this cider is out of this world! As always, the Something Different has a charitable component, with $0.50 of each bottle refill going to Ducks Unlimited Canada in Atlantic Canada, working to restore and protect the region’s wetlands for both the benefit of both animals and humans, for habitat as well as mitigating the effects of Climate Change.
Our friends in the East end of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Bannerman Brewing Co., have a new one out this week, a classic IPA variant that’s very much gone by the wayside in the modern haze craze. Mind’s Eye is a rye IPA, which means it contains a substantial portion of rye (malted, in this case) in the grist. Beer lore suggests that this lends a somewhat “spicy” character, which has been thrown into question by recent taste experiments, but regardless, it definitely gives a different character to the malt side of the beer that many people find pleasing. Also featured in this one is Golden Promise malt, a heritage Scottish variety that gives a slight sweetness, and some oats, which amplify the body a little more. Paired with dank and piney Simcoe, citrussy Centennial, and stone fruit/berry Mosaic on the hop side, you can paint a pretty good picture of how this one tastes in your mind’s eye. And if you can’t, or you need to verify, head on down to the brewery to grab one on tap or in cans to go!
Microbreasserie Ateepic at the Edmundston Golf Course has a new beer available on tap for pints and growlers, Pin Blanc. This 5.3% White Stout features coffee from Brûlerie Du Vieux Poste in Edmundston and cacao nibs, along with a touch of vanilla and lactose to complete the “Milk Stout” character. If you closed your eyes, you’d never know the beer is pale in colour! Pop by their spot from 4 PM to enjoy!
A quick hit from the North Shore this week, as Tatamagouche Brewing has brought back their First Light Czech Pilsner. At 4.8%, this beauty is packed with Noble hops and fermented with a Czech yeast, both of which help to keep it as authentic as possible. And upping that even more is the use of natural carbonation technique, harnessing those yeast farts in the can/keg/glass, for a smooth and fine level of fizziness. Grab it on tap and in cans at the brewery and around the province.
Speaking of Pilsners, 2 Crows on Brunswick Street in Halifax has a brand new one on the go themselves. Dubbed a “West Coast Pilsner,” whatever that means*, it’s a collaboration with their buds at Woodcutter’s Blanket Bar & Brewery in *checks notes* Whitehorse, YT!! Lonely Land was built on a malt base of Shoreline Malting Pilsner and wheat malts, which were put through the 2C low-oxygen multi-step mash regimen. Hops were added along the way, starting in the mash and continuing through the kettle and hopback with Saphir and Centennial. Fermentation featured Escarpment Labs’ Isar lager strain in a slow and low fashion before it was dry hopped with more Centennial along with Cashmere and Nelson Sauvin. Carbonation was largely provided through spunding and the beer was lagered for 10 weeks before packaging. Basically they pulled out all the stops and did all the things on this one and they’re pretty sure it all shows in the final product! Due to some snafus during packaging, cans of this 5.4% ABV delight are quite limited, so you’re going to want to grab some real quick now at the brewery or Bishops Cellar or your other favourite private store in the HRM. On the other hand, there are apparently quite a few kegs to go around, so hopefully you’ll keep seeing this one pop up in various places in the city and beyond!
* According to the brewery it apparently means, “lending the crisp + clean flavours of our favourite German pilsners with the hop aromatics of West Coast IPAs.” Whatever that means.
To finish this week off, a friendly reminder about our contest that closes in 5 days! If you want to join our tour of GR’s new Elmsdale Brewery/Packaging Facility/Warehouse/Battle Station post a picture/story/reel on social media of a favourite local beer/cider/mead you’ve enjoyed in 2022 or 2023, and be sure to tag us in it and use the hashtag #ElmsdaleTour. And if you’re not the social media kind, no problem, just fire us an email, fire us a text, or send us a telegram to let us know you’re interested! We’ll be drawing a whole buncha names on Jan 18 at 6 PM, so your chances are pretty good!