All posts for the month August, 2023

Ahoy-hoy beer fans of Atlantic Canada. With the region still in full-on summer mode, and often bound for the beach, it also means that many breweries are primarily focused on pumping out as much of their core lineups as they possibly can to keep up with thirsty patrons. Between that and our own busy schedules we’ve only got a handful of new releases and re-releases, but hopefully it’s enough to pique your interest and wet your whistle. Read on for your weekly dose of beer news.

Big news on the North Shore of Nova Scotia this week, as Tatamagouche Brewing has launched their non-alcoholic line of beers with Nomad Pilsner. Taking a different tack than many breweries to produce their alternative beverages, they’re confident Nomad Pilsner, and further releases to come, will have the quality and flavour that you’d expect from Tata products. Their novel approach will also allow for some additional future bevvy possibilities so stay tuned for more to come. Meanwhile, you can get all the latest news by following the Nomad brand specifically at their new website and on Fb and Ig (and possibly other socials that we’re too old to be hip to).

We’ve long appreciated Tanner & Co. Brewing in Chester Basin for their quality beers, but as true beer geeks we also appreciate their tendency towards experimentation. Sure, if you know owner/brewer Dan Tanner’s extensive wine background the integration of grapes makes sense, and they’ve put out plenty of honey-bearing liquids as well, but they’ve also spent time and effort unearthing and recreating lesser known (some might even say “forgotten”) styles. Kotbusser, Dampfbier (German Steam Beer), and Rauchbier are just a few examples of the unique styles they’ve brought to market. That continues this week with the release of Princesse. The style Princessebier was first mentioned in the mid-1700s as a Dutch beer made for shipping long distances. By 1900 the beer had pretty much disappeared from production, but has seen some revival from breweries like Tanner who appreciate the finer details of beer history and styles. This take on the style was infused with orange peel, coriander seed and licorice root, resulting in a blend of “royal” flavours. It’s currently on tap at the Duke Street taproom for pints and growler fills.

Up in Cape Breton, Big Spruce is rolling out another sessionable release with Hoppily Ever After. This 5% ABV session IPA has a touch of malt sweetness, but the real star of the show is on the hop side, with notes of mango, passion fruit and some piney resin. This one should be making an appearance on-tap this weekend and check out the Sprucetique or their online store for 473 ml cans.

A quick hit in Fredericton where Trailway has brought back their fruited wheat beer and tribute to local junk removal service Fredericton Dumpster Services, Dump Run Saves. This time the beer saw additions of apricot and mango before a dry-hop of El Dorado. Check out the brewery today to try the 4% ABV DRS. They have a $10 Shipping Special this weekend to celebrate!

Be careful while close to water this weekend, as Propeller’s Leviathan Triple IPA is back again! Absolutely loaded with tropical hops, this 10.0% beast is tropical, dank, and while bitter, is mellowed by just a touch of lactose to smooth it out. Available in tall cans at all of their shops in Halifax, Dartmouth, and now Bedford, it can also be ordered for local delivery and Canada-wide shipping, or at your favourite private shops like Bishop’s Cellar, and even some select NSLC locations!

Moncton’s O’Creek Brewing continues to flex their new-brewery-muscles with the release (and canning) of two beers this week… Corigan Pale Ale returns, and Czech Affair is a new Czech-inspired Pale Lager, made with authentic hops and malt from its homeland. Stop by their spot on Barker Street for a mug, pint, or four-pack to go! Their food partners, The Craft Canteen, have extended their hours to now serve lunch, and have added a few things to the menu, too!

If you’re in Halifax this coming week, we recommend checking out HopYard Halifax on Gottingen Street on the evening of Tuesday, August 29th, at 7 PM, where the Change is Brewing Collective will be hosting an event in association with Boxing Rock and HopYard. “One Pint at a Time” is an award-winning documentary that aims to shine a light on Black & Brown-owned breweries in the US, who make up less than 1% of the 9,000 breweries in the country, and the challenges they have faced in an industry that, on the whole, has thus far failed at diversity. In addition to a screening of the film, there will be a beer tasting and plenty of dialogue about creating an inclusive and equitable craft beer & hospitality industry. Admission is pay what you can, with proceeds supporting CiB initiatives. A limited release Change is Brewing x Boxing Rock x HopYard collaboration will also be on tap for the event. One Pint Wheat Ale is a 4.5% ABV wheat featuring Shelburne County strawberries from Loré’s Farms, as well as locally foraged rhubarb. A beautiful pink hue to the beer invites folks in for a mix of fruity and light tartness, reminiscent of a strawberry rhubarb pie! Brewed at their Windsor Street Halifax small batch brewery, after the event, it will be available while supplies last at Hopyard and Windsor Street.

Fun in the sun in Montague tomorrow, as Bogside Brewing is hosting a Summer Block Party all day. They are launching the latest in their Single Hop Series, Calypso, with live music from 4 PM all evening, and oyster shucking by Colville Bay Oysters from 4:30 PM. More details on raffle and door prizes on their IG page.

Happy Friday, y’all! A bit of a late release to the blog today, you’ll have to excuse us as we are traveling across the East Coast this week and next, sipping and savouring what the breweries in the region have to offer. We’ve got plenty of new releases and events to let you know about, let’s get you up to speed. As always, feel free to tag us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter to share what you’re enjoying this evening! We’re @ACBeerBlog on all of them. Cheers!

We’ll start this week in the East End of St. John’s, NL, where Bannerman has a new summer beer on the go. Curb Appeal, a dry-hopped and fruited sour, saw four different types of oranges added (kumquat, tangerine, blood orange, and standard orange) before it received a dose of Eclipse hops and was then conditioned on orange peel. Sounds like they may have been going for some citrus notes? The only way to be sure is to grab some of this dry and highly-carbonated brew on tap, as this one isn’t going in cans (but you can grab a growler fill if you need it to go).

In Fredericton, NB’s harbingers of hoppery, Trailway Brewing, have a returning engagement this week in the form of Inception, one of their double-dry hopped IPAs, this time hopped with Motueka, Topaz, and El Dorado. Coming in at 6%, it sees thick and sweet malt meeting a juicy burst of ripe tropical fruit and citrus from the hops, for a full-bodied mouthfeel with minimal bitterness. Available now on tap and in cans to go at TW’s Freddie and Saint John locations.

Back to the Rock, where Port Rexton Brewing has brewed up a special batch of their Golden Ale that they’re calling Bonavista Biennale after the event of the same name. An “innovative, rural-based, public art event occurring every two years on the Bonavista Peninsula, it provides a unique platform for artists and audiences to explore, exchange and challenge different ideas and perspectives.” With over 20 unique sites over a 165km route, running from August 19th to September 17th, it brings new meaning to the term, “exploring art.” You can find out more at the Bonavista Biennale website. Meanwhile, PR’s beer would be the perfect tipple to celebrate and rehydrate after a day’s art appreciation. You can find it in cans and on tap at the taproom, to go from the PR SJ retail shop, and many of your other craft beer sources in the area next week.

From one island to another, we find ourselves in Nyanza, Cape Breton, where Big Spruce continues to put out new beers despite the busy summer season. You Gotta Keller with Kindness is a kellerbier, a perfect offering for this time of year when tank space is at a premium and lagers take “too long.” Make no mistake this is a beer brewed as a lager, with caramel-infused maltiness and delicate hop bitterness, but if you pour it into a glass you might notice it’s not crystal clear and there’s definitely still some tooth to the body. “Kellerbier,” as we’ve probably mentioned at least once, translates to “cellar beer” as in, “we brought this up from the cellar; it’s not quite ‘done’ yet, but it still tastes great!” A classic style from Europe brought to your glass in the New World. Find it at the brewery in cans to go, their online shop, and likely at many of the other places you go to get your BS fix.

Continuing in Cape Breton, and on the lager tip, we find Breton Brewing in Sydney, who have brought back their lightest and crispest summer offering, Breton Light Lager. At only 4% ABV, and incredibly light and drinkable, you can plan on crushing a couple, a few, or a bunch after a hard day mowing lawns, out on the trails, or playing softball. Or maybe just grab one of their convenient 6-packs of 355ml cans and hit the hammock for the afternoon. Available at the taproom and also online for home delivery in the CBRM and HRM. It’s a limited release, so grab it now if you want some!

Back to NFLD as there seems to be a lot of new up there this week. This time it’s Baccalieu Trail Brewing Co. bringing up a new entry in the Summer of Sours. Radler-inspired, Strawberry Lemonade Sour tips the scales at a measly 3.5% ABV, but delivers on flavor and refreshment. A big effort from the brewing and packaging teams to ensure that the strawberry and lemonade infusion both tasted right and was packaged properly, your job is simply to grab some from your local craft beer purveyor (exclusively in Marie’s Mini Marts in the St. John’s Metro Region) and enjoy the fruits (and lemonade) of their labours.

On the South Shore of Nova Scotia we find Tusket Falls Brewing continuing to iterate on their Next Phaze hazy IPA in an effort to learn more about the style. This time around they almost completely nixed the Phantasm powder, focused on Citra in the whirlpool, and used a little more Citra along with tonnes of New Zealand hop varieties Riwaka and Motueka for the dry hop, at very high rates. We have no doubt that in doing so they’ve produced another hazy and juicy hop monster ready to satisfy your lupulin cravings. We expect you can find this one in both Tusket as well as the TF Beer Project in Halifax.

Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing has a fresh batch of their Whitecap Belgian Witbier on this week. Featuring loads of wheat to complement the pale pilsner malt, the beer saw generous additions of coriander, both sweet and bitter orange peels, as well as grains of paradise in the boil. A bit of Hallertau and Loral hops were used to balance the beer and enhance the flavours. Using a proper Belgian yeast sets the aroma and taste firmly in the classic style, with spicy, floral, and citrus notes flowing out of this fluffy and refreshing 5.0% ABV beer. Available on draught and in crowlers to go at both of their locations on Montague Street!

A couple of events happening over the coming weeks that you’ll want to keep on your radar…

Since opening their doors a few weeks back, staff at the Propeller Bedford location have been perfecting the space, adding in some Prop touches, and service folks both in the taproom as well as their Drive Thru retail shop. They are ready now for the full Grand Opening, which is happening Sunday, August 20th. From 1 – 5 PM, they are making it a full family affair, with cornhole and other games, face painting, balloon animals, as well as pop-ups from The Kon Dog and Vandever Pizza to keep tummies young and old satisfied. They’ll even be bringing in a few arcade games from the Propeller Arcade location to keep your Street Fighter skills honed! And just in case you missed it, the Bedford location is open from noon ’til 10 PM (later on Fri & Sat), and while their own kitchen partner is not yet operational, food can be brought in to enjoy. And while you’re there you’ll be able to grab their Galaxy IPA in the new small can twelve-pack, when you’re looking for just a small bit of hops to keep you satisfied during the week. Of course, tall can four-packs and singles will continue to be available.

A head’s up that there’s only a week until the Newfoundland Craft Beer Festival, being held at Banished Brewing next Saturday, August 26th. You’ll be able to enjoy beer and cider from thirteen producers from Newfoundland and Labrador, all in one evening! Tickets are still available here, check the updated beer list at the link above, and if you’re looking for information on safe transportation to/from Paradise, then check out this IG post.

Happy Friday everyone! We hope you’ve had a great week and are ready to celebrate another weekend with a variety of beer, cider, and mead from your local producers. We’ve got plenty of news on big changes from two breweries in Nova Scotia, new beer and Pride in Port Rexton, some great events later in the month for those in HRM, and of course a few things to sip and savour at home or in your favourite watering hole before then. And a reminder that this weekend’s Seaport Beerfest is happening rain or shine, so be sure to coordinate the colour of your umbrella with that of your drinking boots! With 300+ products from across the region and beyond, there will be more than enough to satisfy your cravings. Cheers!

This weekend is Port Rexton Pride, with a full gamut of events happening in town, with crafting fun and the kick-off BBQ this afternoon at the arena, and of course Port Rexton Brewery will be hosting plenty of events all weekend. To celebrate the event, they have once again teamed up with Queer Beer NL, a group of queer homebrewers in St. John’s, to bring you Experimental Phase. This is truly a hybrid of two styles, with the hop aroma and flavour of a New England IPA with the malty profile of a Red Ale. Citrus and stone fruit on the nose, followed by a touch of caramel or even gingerbread, in a low bitterness, 5.5% ABV, package. It’s pouring at the brewery now, and will be available everywhere you grab Port Rexton in the coming weeks, so be sure to check it out and support PR Pride!

Windsor’s Schoolhouse Brewery has released their Summer Break Wheat, just in time to finish out the hottest part of the summer, and give teachers one last moment of respite before the bells start ringing for another year. This 5.3% ABV beer uses a Kolsch-style yeast for a clean fermentation with a touch of subtle banana fruitiness to the bright orange peel finish. Perle hops lend a touch of mint, pine, and spice to the overall effect, and is available on tap and in cans at the brewery and at Bishop’s Cellar.

Down in Lunenburg, Shipwright is releasing Sea Legs, a Belgian influenced take on a Brut IPA. This one starts with a grain bill of Pale, Munich, CaraBelge and Abbey malts, before seeing additions of Citra and Lemondrop hops. The team then pitched Escarpment’s Ardenne Belgian yeast, which fermented the beer to be quite dry with an ABV of 9.5%. Despite the high ABV, the dryness and low bitterness (16 IBUs), this one is sneakily easy drinking. The combo of the hops and Belgian yeast give floral aromas and fruity esters. Grab it today in Downtown Lunenburg.

Across the way in Wolfville, Annapolis Cider is releasing the latest in their Something Different series with Bouquet Rosé. This one saw 4(!) separate ferments come together, including a lilac co-ferment, a cyser (mead/cider hybrid) that uses magnolias and dandelions, and a blueberry wine. The result is a spring bloom in a glass, with notes of lilac, flowers, blueberries and nectarines. Refillable bottles are available at the cidery now, with $0.50 of every sale supporting The Mudley Fund, which helps to remove financial barriers for children and youth in the Town of Wolfville who are seeking to engage with their community. 

Two big events to tell you about coming at the end of the month.

Our friends at Change is Brewing Collective are partnering with Elevate & Explore Black Nova Scotia to bring you a Summer Beer Bus Tour on Sunday August 27. Teaming up with Taste Halifax Food & Beer Tours, this tour begins at the Africville Park with a walking tour of the area, before continuing on to North Brewing (CIB’s collaborators on Deep Rooted), Propeller Brewing (Wabanaki Soda), and on to Garrison Brewing (future plans, perhaps?). There will be charcuterie boxes from a local Black-owned business, plus prizes too! Tickets are on sale now, with early bird pricing available. Don’t miss out on this great learning and drinking opportunity. Learn more here.

And just a couple of days later, on August 29, Change is Brewing is hosting a screening of One Pint at a Time, an award-winning documentary highlighting the stories of Black-owned breweries and brewers as they make their mark in the US beer market. Co-hosted by Boxing Rock (of Back to Birchtown Stock Ale), the screening will be held at Hopyard Halifax on Gottingen Street, featuring food pairing and the launch of a Triple Collaborative Beer between the three groups. Tickets are pay what you can to support Change is Brewing’s initiatives around the local industry. More information here.

A few more things before we let you go…

Coming back just in time for the Dragon Boat festivities at Octagon Pond in Paradise next weekend is Banished Brewing’s Paddles Up! Sour. Inspired by and brewed with the Avalon Dragons, a group of Breast Cancer Survivors who race in the Paradise SunSplash Paddle every year, this Raspberry and Hibiscus Fruited Sour is brimming with flavour and sports a lovely pink hue. Fifty cents from each can goes towards the team, so drink up!

In returning beer news, Big Spruce has a couple of releases this week, with the Blursday 6.6% Hazy IPA hitting the draught lines and shelves this week. Think tropical fruit, with mango, papaya, and lychee. Joining it is Kolsch Encounters, their 5.6% Lagered Ale hybrid beer, with a delicate malt character and a crisp and dry finish. Look for it on tap and in cans as well.

The King of Citra is back from UnfilteredDouble Orange Ale, aka DOA, is their 7.5% ABV Double IPA, brimming to the edge with Citra hops throughout, for serious citrus vibes and solid bitterness. Pints and cans to go from Charm School and the brewery next door on North Street!

Let’s finish off this week with news from two Nova Scotia breweries where there have been some big changes recently!

On Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore, fans of Sober Island Brewing will be seeing some new faces working the taps these days, as owner and founder Rebecca Atkinson has passed the reins over to new owners Nancy and Steve Giles. Since opening the brewery in 2016, Atkinson has helped to make Sheet Harbour a destination for beer lovers from across the country, and is now turning her focus to other endeavours. The Giles’ will continue the great work, keeping the brewery taproom and Musquodoboit Harbour Beer Garden bustling and busy with events, and Brewer Tim MacLeod will continue brewing the same beers that he has for years, including the recently released Eastern Shore Barley Wine, an 11.7% ABV beast of a beer. Congratulations to Rebecca and the Gileses on the transition!

Residents of Lower Sackville will soon see big changes at their local brewery at 111 Cobequid Road, Ol’ Biddy’s is undergoing a name change. Since the sale of the brewery in April, there have been major renovations in the taproom and improved patio front and centre to the building. There is another big transition happening now, as they are changing their name to a locally inspired one, Great Roads Brewing. The website and social media pages are still in flux, but the Great Roads name is inspired by the nearby Fultz House Museum, with the Fultz House sitting at the intersection of the important roads leading from Halifax and Dartmouth to Windsor and Truro. Visitors to the brewery can get a sneak peak of the new branding by grabbing their newly canned Blueberry Wheat Ale. Many of the same folks who have been at the brewery for years continue on, including Brewer Rob, who has been making the beer for 3 years, learning under founder and former owner Keith Forbes. We’re excited to hear of the new and upcoming changes, and will continue to share the latest news from Lower Sackville’s brewery!