It’s the last week of April, and you know what that means, breaking out your favourite Justin Timberlake memes for the start of May. Also, May is a month of celebration! Cinco de Mayo leads us into Mother’s day, Fredericton and Bluenose Marathons, May two-four weekend and the Canadian Brewing Awards will be in Halifax before you know it. May is when things really get going here in the Maritimes and our favourite beverage purveyors are ramping up for the homegrown locals and visitors from away. We’ll do our part and keep track of all the new brews, availability, events and more, and you can do your part and read it, and share with a friend or ten. Onto the news!
Let’s start our week on PEI, at Borden’s Lone Oak Brewing. They teamed up with an Ontario brewery for a collaborative brew to introduce that province to the great beer-making ingredients grown in our region. Matron Fine Beer, located in Prince Edward County, ON, has roots of their own on PEI, and chose to feature Shoreline Malting Pilsner malt and New Brunswick-grown hops in the Islander Pils. At just 4.4% ABV, the pale lager features a solid bitterness from the Saaz used, on a crisp and clean base. As part of the collab, LO has been able to pour draught of Islander at both their Borden and Milky Way locations, but sadly no cans available for sale. However… MFB is one of those progressive breweries that will ship Canada-wide, so we suggest grabbing some buds and placing an order on their website (we’re good for eight if you do!).
Also available now at both Lone Oak’s Brewery and Brewpub locations is Table Beer, a small fruited saison. Look for this to be a full-time summer beer, which is just what we’re into. Light-bodied (closer to a Grisette), with a gentle spritziness, along with present but not overpowering field berry notes from the blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries in the glass. At 4.0% ABV, the inaugural batch of this beer is draught only, with subsequent releases also coming to cans. And keep your eyes peeled for announcements of their Fox Meadow location in Stratford, opening veeeeery soon.
Out by the airport in Elmsdale, or maybe in the heart of the peninsula on Robie Street, Good Robot has another entry in their Perfect Storm series, this one dubbed Category 7. Featuring a mix of new-school and super-new-school hops in Mosaic, El Dorado, and HZH-101, it’s maybe a little less “NE” and a little more “American” IPA than the other entries in the series. That said, it’s still hazy and golden in color and boasts tasting notes of pineapple, stone fruit, and lime with an overall dank and grassy presentation. You’ll find this 7% beauty in cans at both GR locations, and no doubt pouring on draught on Robie; and if you’re in a comparing mood, note that Categories 4, 5, and 6 are still available as well!
Down in Chester Basin, NS, Tanner & Co. have a couple of new things on the go for us to try. First up is Belgian Saison, a beer made with a grist of primarily Shoreline Malting Pilsner, but with a touch of Munich malt, along with some oats and malted rye. Fermented with a combination of liquid and dry yeasts (White Labs WLP565 and Fermentis BE-134 for the bacteria nerds in the audience), it was additionally dosed with black pepper and orange peel post-fermentation. Expect plenty of yeast character, along with some phenolic spiciness and a hint of citrus in this refreshing 7.2% and 25 IBU beer. Also on the go is Raspberry Licorice Root Sparkling Mead which is one of those “does what it says on the tin” kind of things. Coming in at 5.9% ABV, it was made with local honey from The Little Bee farm near Bridgewater. In contrast to what is usual for beer, but which is much more normal for mead, the raspberry puree was added pre-fermentation. Meanwhile, the licorice root (from World Tea House in Halifax, natch), was added after the mead had fermented dry. Look for Tanner’s usual style of subtle and balanced flavors as opposed to a fruit bomb. You’ll find both of these lovely liquids available in cans from the source and we suspect pouring at Tanner’s taproom in Chester.
Further up the mainland, Half Cocked is releasing Good Stuff, a kettle sour brewed with organic peach and raspberries. The result is a 5% sour with subtle fruit character and a dry finish. If you’re thinking of grabbing some, why not drop by this Saturday evening for trivia night at the taproom, starting at 7:00 PM.
Sticking with fruited sours, Trailway is releasing its newest version from their smoothie sour series. The Blend Smoothie Sour – Strawberry Kiwi incorporates over 200 grams of strawberries and kiwis, and per the style, pours thick, with the consistency of an actual smoothie. Cans of the 5.3% beer are available now. And with the temperature starting to pick up, don’t forget that these beers must be stored cold because of the unfermented sugars from the fruit, present in the final product (unless you want a fruit explosion all over your vehicle).
Cape Breton’s Island Folk is releasing Lil Besties, a banana and coconut cider (we can confidently say a first of this style on the blog). The first step involved peeling and pressing hundreds of organic bananas, which were then fermented into a high ABV banana wine. It was then blended with Island Folk’s signature cider before seeing an infusion of toasted coconut. The result is a lightly carbonated, off-dry, 8% ABV cider with notes of pineapple, marshmallow, banana and coconut. Bottles are available now at the taproom in Sydney and for cross-Canada shipping through their online store.
Kicking into summer, Propeller has had a great track record of seasonal beer releases and they’re bringing us a new one today. Yutopia is a Summer Ale packed with natural Peach and Yuzu flavours. This is a 5% ale that boasts the strong citrus and zesty punch of the East Asian fruit, along with juicy white peaches. Low on the bitterness, but high on summer vibes and refreshment, this one is available in cans from the Prop shops and online today.
The folks at Landwash are big doggo fans and they’re highlighting a new dog and a new employee to the Landwash fam. Cry Havok is a new dry stout from Landwash, coming to you from their new Production Manager (Jason) and a beer he made and named after his Chocolate Labrador Retriever, Havok! This is a 4% Dry stout that has a deep chocolate colour, with a bit of malty sweetness with some richer notes of espresso and dark chocolate. Light and approachable, just like the pup! This is available on tap on Nitro and in cans from the brewery and the local haunts around the Avalon.
The Crows have a call out to join their busy (and amazing) team, looking for a delivery driver and packaging assistant to start in the middle of May. This is a full time seasonal Summer job that has a possibility of staying on after the summer. This job runs through the Canada Summer Jobs program, so check out the link here for all of the details on the job and how to apply.
The jovial machines at Good Robot are really ramping into the summer, opening a new location adjacent to the Halifax Commons, and getting into gear at the other two locations. With positions in Halifax and Elmsdale, they’re hiring managers, servers, bartenders, cooks and more. Check out all of their postings here to see what may be a fit for you or someone you know.
If you’re looking for some other work that is adjacent to beer adjacent, Picaroons is looking for full time (or part-time, and flexible) General Maintenance Workers that includes deliveries, warehouse work, cleaning, and maintenance. The jobs have competitive wages and benefits packages and it’s a great place to work if you can do a bit of driving, physical labour and maintenance. Apply by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: General Maintenance Position and include details/resume. Or you can drop off a resume in person at the brewery.
Across the bay in the Valley, Horton Ridge Malthouse is hiring a bartender to join the team! This place gets busy in the summer with lots of music events, pop-up dinners, and more. They’re looking for someone with some experience with craft beer, service and flexibility. Shoot them an email with your details and interest!
A Dartmouth Duo has teamed up to bring back a local twist to a classic British mix. Last seen about a year ago, Burst: Snakebite is a take on a Snakebite (traditionally equal parts Lager and Apple Cider) but using North Brewing’s BYOB (a 3.5% light ale) and a blend of Lake City Cider’s Blueberry and Black Currant cider. It’s tart, refreshing and has a good pop of fruit flavour. This is available in cans at all the North locations, Lake City’s taproom and also online from North. Disclaimer: this is not gluten-free!
Quick trip to Corner Brook where Bootleg Brew Co has teased a collaboration with the nearby Tlacuache Mexican Restaurant on the corner of West and Main. Flare Up is a Mexican Chocolate Stout, so expect plenty of chocolate, roast, and maybe even a bit of spicing and heat in the can. Details are a bit light now, but keep an eye on their IG page for details on a collaborative launch party soon!
We’re leaving you with a bit of sad news this week, as Uncle Leo’s Brewery of Lyons Brook, NS has announced that they will be closing after 10 years in operation. Since opening in late June 2013, Uncle Leo’s has won awards both locally and nationally for their ales and lagers, from Smoked Porter to American Pale Ale, to IPA and Altbier. In this Instagram Post, they indicate that their retail shop and online store will be closing at 6PM Saturday, so be sure to drop by today or tomorrow and/or reach out on that post to show your love. No word yet on the exact reasons for the closure, but we wish Karl, Rebecca, and the entire Uncle Leo’s family all the best!