Happy Friday! Let’s kick off the week’s post with the great news, one of you has won a pair of tickets to the Thursday August 10th session of Halifax Seaport Beerfest… Congratulations to tyler.muffins for the pic and story of them enjoying a pint on the weekend! We’ll send along your tickets momentarily! And for those who entered, thank you very much! We were thrilled to see you make us part of your beer and cider adventures! To continue those adventures, be sure to grab your tickets for the Fest taking part on the Halifax Waterfront in less than two weeks! Thursday August 10 til Saturday August 12, grab your tickets here! There are also Volunteering opportunities before, during, and after the Fest, which will get you some swag and a chance to check out the festival with a backstage pass! More on what you can expect in last week’s post.
Let’s start off this week in Dieppe, New Brunswick, where Flying Boats invited Patrice Godin of Acadie-Broue into their brewhouse for a truly special brewday. Relying heavily on the well-researched books of Lars Marius Garshol and Mika Laitinen, they brewed a rustic ale in the Norwegian and Scandinavian traditions. Beginning with a hollowed out spruce log as their mash and lautering tun, known as a kuurna, a filter bed was created with alder, fir, and spruce branches, which only stood to increase bright wood and resinous properties. A very short pasteurization step, rather than full boil, was used to kill any beasties, before the Ebbegarden Kveik yeast from Escarpment Labs was added. As is tradition, there was a healthy roar let out when pitching, which also gave rise to the name, Screaming at the TrØlls. The resultant beer is full-bodied, with a light wild character, and a bright woodsy aroma and flavour. Given the dimensions of the kuurna, this beer is in short supply, and will not be packaged, so your only chance to enjoy it is at Flying Boats’ taproom at 700 Malenfant Blvd. But we can tell you that there is at least one more beer from the same brewday that will be released in the coming months, so stay tuned! Be sure to check out the great pictures of the day from Mathieu Leger, on Flying Boats’ IG post.
Your Friends in Foam™ at Stillwell Brewing have, right under our noses, managed to stealthily brew a candidate for “beer of the Summer 2023.” Anyone who follows his Insta account knows that brewer CPR spent some time in Czechia earlier this year (or was it late last year?) and anyone who knows the man would have been daft to think he didn’t come home planning a Czech Lager. But then there was the taproom opening and the introduction of Stilly Cream Ale and then summer happened and here we were, blissfully unaware. WHAM. That’s how they get you. On draught at Stillwell properties today, and maybe some other places around town is 10º Czech Pale Lager. The 10º doesn’t mean anything about temperature, it indicates the degrees Plato of the initial wort before fermentation, which is how much sugar is available for the yeast to consume; this is the standard way of describing beer strength in Czechia and the Stillwell gang is staying true to it here, even if it means the name doesn’t really roll off the tongue. Featuring all-Czech ingredients, including floor-malted Moravian Pilsner malt, Czech Saaz hops, and a Czech yeast strain by way of Escarpment Labs, the only thing not Czech about it is the water (although we’re sure Chris thought about it). That said, Halifax’s somewhat soft water is very apt for the style, so no harm, and certainly no foul. Double-decocted (if you know what that means you just cringed at the effort) and naturally carbed via spunding for maximum tradition, it took three months to go from grain to glass. The result is a 4% ABV beer with an impeccable head of foam and a carbonation that fairly dances on the tongue. Described by CPR himself as “kinda savoury, [and] zesty!” it’s the magic of the old country in a glass. Given the ingredients, the techniques, and the conditioning time, this one will likely be a once-a-year treat from the brewery. Fortunately it’ll be packaged in cans next week so you can enjoy it in the comfort of your own home as well as out in the world. And the one of us who has already experienced it can tell you it absolutely tastes like another, and probably another after that. We do, however, recommend making sure to have a slow-poured pint off the Lukr taps at the Stillwell Freehouse, as we can vouch for the way that they can amplify an already stellar beer!
A trifecta of Annapolis Valley breweries came together earlier this month to celebrate and showcase locally-grown and malted grain. When Horton Ridge announced they had some 2-Row malted barley from a local farm, Annapolis Brewing jumped at the chance to use it, bringing along their pals down the road in Lawrencetown, Lunn’s Mill. Opting to brew a Belgian Pale Ale, thank you to the malts character and excellent extraction and fermentability, which enhanced the light spicy phenolic character of the yeast chosen. Simply named Belgian Pale Ale, this 4.9% ABV beer is available on draught only at the three participating breweries along the 101 Highway!
Little North Brewhouse, out of Baie Verte, Newfoundland has a brand new release. If you’re hot on the Cream Ale train and can’t stop dreaming of the cream, these fine folks are bringing you Good Friday, a cream ale coming in at a very drinkable 4.3%. This is available now at 410 Grocery in Baie Verte, Grand Falls Windsor and Gander NLCs and will be in Corner Brook NLC over the weekend. Grab these cans if you’re local (and want to send us some!).
Though they’ve had some troubles with the recent flooding, Tanner & Co Brewing still manages to come out with a new small batch brew for the weekend. Sahti is a new release in the style of the traditional Finnish beer. This is a 9.5% full bodied beer featuring juniper branches and local malt in the mash and hopped for balance to 10 IBU. Hefeweizen yeast brings it all together for a very unique style of beer. The yeast should bring the banana flavour while the juniper flavour should come through for a unique flavour for one of the oldest beer styles in the world. This is only available for a short time on tap for pints and growler fills at the Duke Street taproom.
A regular to these weekly posts, Trailway Brewing has some news out of their Fredericton and Saint John locations. First up, Green Island is back! This is a taste and aromatic 6% IPA that packs the tropical fruit with its mix of Cashmere and Idaho 7 hops. Lots of citrus and tropical fruit complement this juicy New England style IPA.
Other notes from Trailway include the return of Hu Jon Hops Ultra, a 1.5% ABV version of the Hu Jon series. This is in 4 x 355ml packs at ANBL stores and Trailway locations. Also, if you’re looking for the ultimate Trailway experience, they have 2 AirBNB units above the Union House Brewpub in Saint John. You can check them out here.
If you were part of the two big weekends in Cavendish this month, you may have seen a new brew from the Island-native Gahan. Coming fresh off the festival circuit and into wider release is Balmy Island, a pineapple sour. This is a 5% sour with real pineapple additions that was a hit at the festivals. This sour, tart, refreshing and juicy sour is now canned and available now in wider release at PEI Liquor locations, PEI Brewing and Gahan shops.
Never one to shy away from the new stuff, we’ve got a few hits from Banished Brewing. First up is a brand new release, Makes Less Sense is a Hazy Session IPA clocking in at 4.0%. This is the little version of their Hazy IPA, Makes Sense. This is available in cans from the brewery and online right now.
In the event news, the Banished folks go from one island to another where they take over the taps at Hopyard Charlottetown! There will be 4 taps pouring on Thursday August 3rd. The four featured Paradise brews are: Paradise Town (fruited sour), Little Jim (session IPA), Private Line (Kolsch) and Makes Sense (the previously mentioned Hazy IPA). There will be a late night variety show kicking off at 10PM that night as well, but no tickets are necessary, so it’s a great chance for the Charlottetown folks to try some of the Rock’s finest.
If you’re down in Lunenburg, Shipwright Brewing has a new feature on tap. Cherry Hill is a Belgian Sour using cherries from Terra Beata Farms right in Lunenburg. This one is 4.5% and features a nice tart Cherry flavour, with that slight sour refreshing hit on your palate, good for a hot summer. This is available now at the bar and taproom for pints and also crowlers to go.