It’s the weekend folks, and we’re totally being teased with a bit of summer. While we’re not in the Big Smoke with the dome open watching the Jays, we have had some 15ºC temperatures and sunny days that pair perfectly with April patio days. We’ve got news below from all four of our Atlantic provinces and some Canada-wide news too. Take a read, share with a friend and don’t be a stranger on our Twitter and Instagram!
Starting our week on PEI, Lone Oak has a small-batch cider release to kick off the fun. Starting from freshly- pressed Cortland and Mac juice from Red Shore Orchards, the Lone Oak team added a hybrid of Saison yeast and Brettanomyces, and allowed the little beasties to do their thing! Taking the low, slow, and hands-off route, the yeasts chewed away until very little residual sugar was left, resulting in a dry, lightly funky, and flavourful cider that has been bottled still (no carb). No burps or bloating, nice! Due to its small scale, the 6.0% ABV Farmhouse Cider is only available from Lone Oak’s Borden-Carleton Brewery and Milky Way Brewpub locations.
Over in Paradise, Banished Brewing has just celebrated the opening of their taproom (open Wed-Sun), and have followed it up with the release of a collaboration with downtown St. John’s Portage Restaurant. Melding minds with Portage’s Ross Larkin and Celeste Mah, they have developed a supremely food-pairable Czech Pilsner, Portage Světlý Ležák 12°. When designing their brewhouse, the folks at Banished wanted to be able to brew a wide variety of beer styles using the proper techniques, which paid off in spades for the Pils, as they were able to use the traditional decoction techniques believed to bring out the complexity of the Pilsen Malt from Czechia. Of course, they also sourced Saaz grown in Czechia, and fermented cool with Isar Lager from Escarpment Labs. Pale in colour, full of character, and ready to take with you on your canoeing adventures this summer! Thanks to the folks at Bines and Vines, to celebrate the launch the Czech Ambassador to Canada, Bořek Lizec, visited the brewery and celebrated the strong ties between Canada and Czechia. Portage is available on side-pull now at both the restaurant and brewery, as well as good beer bars and retailers (cans) around the city.
We’ve got a very cool release coming straight out of George Street! Yellowbelly Brewery has a new release named after the famed pub in downtown St. John’s (which they are part owners of). O’Reilly’s is a Lagered Ale dry-hopped with Cashmere that brings big notes of citrus, melon and peach. Packaged in 500ml bottles with an O’Reilly’s themed label, this very drinkable 4.7% ABV beer is available now in wide release at certain NLC Stores (cans) and at the source (pints and fills).
Up the road to Mount Pearl we find Landwash Brewery, who have teamed up with Andersons Butcher located on Water Street St. John’s. Butcher’s Brew is a 5.0% Vienna Lager, which is a style known for a hint of malt, but still being crisp and clean. Great with a cold cut sandwich or backyard BBQ, we figure! Landwash’s take on the style started out in last summer’s BBQ Mixed Pack, and has graduated to stand on its own. Grab it at the brewery this weekend.
Also new from Landwash is Field Day, their first foray into a Wheat-forward beer. Inspired by the Belgian Witbier style, this unfiltered wheat beer was fermented with an appropriate yeast to give a hint of phenolic spiciness, enhanced by the coriander, as well as orange and grapefruit peel added to the brew. The resulting beer is bright and refreshing, and at 4.8%, a nice complement to your day exploring the fields near you! Available at the brewery and their regular retail partners shortly.
Moving to Moncton (something you may actually hear people say!), Tire Shack Brewing has a brand new beer to pair up with the warming weather. Dry-Hopped Sour is exactly what you’d expect, but trying to bring those IPA flavours to a tart and sour beer. Soured with a Lactobacillus strain, and subsequently dry-hopped with Simcoe and Mosaic, expect the sour and tart flavours of fuzzy peaches, blueberries and a subtle aroma of bubble-gum. It’s an easy drinking sour with an ABV of 7.1% and is available now in cans and on tap. Also, this weekend at the brewery, there’s a 2pm to 8pm pop-up kitchen from Euston Park both Saturday and Sunday for a beautiful weekend! Ed note: this paragraph was left out of the original version of this post. Sorry!
Staying near Moncton (which you don’t hear a lot of people say), Dieppe’s CAVOK Brewing has a brand new big release that’s been aged to perfection. E-CLIPSE is a bourbon barrel-aged stout that spent its time in a Buffalo Trace barrel for 6 months. Featuring complex flavours with a smooth bourbon flavour of vanilla and a bit of molasses, this is 10.8% and packaged in 750ml bottles. Bottles are limited (145 or fewer!) and it’s also available on tap at the brewery right now!
The fine folks at Good Robot are continuing to up the intensity with this week’s new release, Tropical Storm Category 5. The 2nd release in the Tropical Storm series, this is an IPA that aims to tone down the bitterness from typical IPA’s and up the fruity flavours. Using a hop bill of Falconers Flight, Sabro and Vic Secret, these hops bring notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, and coconut. Expect a hazy, tasty 5% approachable IPA available online, and at both Good Robot locations.
Also new in Robot news, Uncle Giggles has a new entry on its family tree. Great Uncle Giggles is a new pale ale release that both maintains and changes the recipe from the original Uncle Giggles. Since moving brewery locations to Elmsdale, the Robots have started using a piece of equipment called a Hop Egg that can handle yeast pitching, mixing, adjunct blending, dosing and other cellar additions, but which also works great for dry-hopping, as it eliminates the need to open the tanks for additions. Aiming to keep the clean, orange citrus and crisp flavours, they’re leveraging the hop egg for this new beer. This is the only recipe Good Robot has that uses hop oil and they’re trying to get this beer staying fresher for longer. It comes in at 5.1% and it’s available online and at both Robie Street and Elmsdale locations.
Over in Spryfield, Serpent is releasing a Belgian inspired take on a NEIPA with Space Cadet. The Belgian influence comes via a Witbier yeast, leading to lots of fruity esters. A generous dosing of Ahtanum, Amarillo, and Mandarina Bavaria hops adds some additional citrusy notes. This one comes in at 6% ABV with a moderate bitterness of 45 IBUs. Cans are available this weekend at the brewery. And if beers aren’t your thing, they’ll also be releasing their first seltzers in cans and on tap this weekend.
There’s a few beery events coming up in the next month and a bit to tell you about, including one of the beeriest events in the Canadian Beer Calendar:
Another reminder that Halifax is hosting the Canadian Brewing Awards Conference June 1 – 3, and there is still time to take part! Tickets are available to purchase now, and they are still putting out the call for volunteers to help keep everything moving smoothly. There are lots of opportunities for those looking to take part, all day and evening Friday and Saturday, June 2 and 3, at the Halifax Convention Centre. Registration of attendees, prepping swag bags, set-up of rooms, bar service, preparing trophies, and much more! We probably don’t need to tell you that there are lots of beery perks to this gig! If you are interested and available, contact Megan to sign up!
A little sooner than that is a Brewer’s Dinner at Seaport Social, located in the Westin Hotel at the South end of Hollis Street. On April 30th, Jeremy Taylor of 2 Crows will be leading a tasting menu of dishes prepared by Chef Jason Townes and his team. Five courses will be served, with beers to complement and/or contrast and the stories behind them all. As this is a special event, reservations ahead of time are required. Please call 902-240-7608 to grab a seat at the table!
The week before that, you should be at the Stillwell Freehouse for a Trio of Powerhouses, as Toronto’s Godspeed Brewery and CODA Ramen take over the taps and kitchen on Agricola Street April 23. Look for well-crafted European-inspired lagers and flavourful broths and dishes, all in a relaxing atmosphere. Reservations will be required, look to Stilly’s IG feed for details when they go live, later today.
A couple last quick mentions to inform your beer buying for the weekend!
It’s not just the weather that’s been feeling the siren call of summer, a couple of HRM-area breweries are already bringing back their summer après softball crushers. Propeller’s Lime Lite is back, baby, and so, too, is Toller Lime from Spindrift. Both are crisp, clean, and refreshing with a touch of extra thirst quenching citrus. The former can be found at all Prop shops and online for Canada-wide delivery. The latter is available, of course, at Spindrift’s locations in Burnside and Antigonish for pints to stay and fills or cans to go. Both are available at Harvest Wines, Rockhead, and West Side, with Toller Lime also expected to be at Bishop’s Cellar. Maybe grab some of each and A/B them, or at least figure out which one will be your go-to for summer electrolyte replenishment!
Fredericton’s Half Cut Brewing has something freshly canned for your weekend pleasure. Fanny Pack is an India Session Ale, coming in at a light ‘n lovely 4.5% ABV with plenty of hop character. Only available at the brewery for now, it sounds like an ideal beer for hopheads on a sunny weekend in April.
Bootleg Brew Co in Corner Brook has a new tiny beer available in cans, and on draught soon, at their retail shop. The 2.8% ABV Near Near – Boot Lite is sometimes exactly what you’re looking for in a beer: cold, wet, and close to water.