Welcome to your mid-October wrap-up and preview of all of the goings on in the Atlantic Canadian Beer Scene! As always, we are thrilled to bring you the latest and greatest information from across the region, as we leave no hop leaf unturned in searching out all the news that’s fit to print. If you ever have any questions, scoops, or feedback, we would love to hear from you! Reply to this post on our website, message or tag us on Insta (@ACBeerBlog), or fire us an email. Really, we’d love to hear from you!
We start this week with news of a worldwide collaboration born out of the horrific tragedy that struck the Hawaiian island of Maui in early August. An out of control fire in an extremely dry region, fueled by winds from nearby Hurricane Dora, devastated the West Maui town of Lahaina, claiming 100 lives and causing billions in damage, changing the lives of all residents forever. Maui Brewing Company, the largest independent brewery in Hawaii, has called the island home since opening in 2015, and have worked with the Global Empowerment Mission to establish the MBC Fire Fund. The fund will assist those on the ground to support the recovery after this disaster, with brewery partners able to take part in an international collaborative brew, with more than 600 breweries having signed up thus far. And the only Canadian brewery East of Ontario to sign up for this worthy cause thus far is St. John’s’ Quidi Vidi Brewery. QV is showing their own Island Hospitality by donating $1 from every growler fill and pint of Kōkua – “Maui Strong” Session IPA sold, when it is released October 23rd at both the Taproom in the Gut, as well as the Hops Shop on Harbour View. Be sure to get out and support the Maui rebuilding effort next week!
You don’t have to wait until Monday for new QV beer, though, as the latest in their ongoing collaboration with the Newfermenters Homebrew Club has hit their shelves this week. 2 Scoops is a Blackcurrant Milkshake Sour, brewed by member Ben Hussey. Tons of blackcurrant fruit and tart character on a sour, with a touch dessert sweetness. Pick it up at QV’s spots now, and convenience stores and the NLC real soon!
Chester’s Tanner & Co Brewing has a trio of new beers on tap (and some in package) this week, so let’s get you up to date with the South Shore Suds! First up is a tiny taproom-only release, made using locally-grown flowers! Marigold began life when co-owner Peggy purchased several Orange Gem Marigold plants at the Hubbards Farmers Market, and was intrigued to see if they could be incorporated into a beer. Brewer Mark took up the mantle (and bouquet), and crafted a light saison (base malts of local pilsner, wheat, and Vienna), adding the flowers during the mash, first wort, and again at flame-out. The resulting 5.3% beer is very reminiscent of a German Gewurztraminer wine, with floral, orange blossom, and lychee. Given the special nature of the ingredients and steps involved, there is not much of this beer, so pop by their Duke Street taproom in Chester to grab a pint before it’s gone!
For those looking for a pair of beers to enjoy onsite, and then take home, Tanner has something for you too! Wild Rye is a 5.3% Amber beer brewed with a full half of the malt bill being Rye! Using a locally-isolated yeast strain, there are some prominent banana notes reminiscent of German Weiss yeast, which works well to complement the spicy malt character. And Barrel Aged IPA is another detour completely, with a high test IPA spending time in former red wine barrels from Grand Pré Wines. While the winery cleaned and stripped the barrels of most of the wine character before passing them along to Tanner, the oak and vanilla do certainly come through in the 8.1% ABV final product. Available on tap and in cans at both the brewery and taproom locations!
In Fredericton, Trailway Brewing reminds us once again this week that they’re not just harbingers of hazy hoppery with this week’s release. A German hefeweizen, heavy presence of wheat (“weizen”) in this beer ensures that it will, actually, be hazy, but instead of hops in contrast, you’ll find all kinds of yeast (“hefe”) character. Whirligig is a bright and balanced beer, with a soft mouthfeel and notes of clove, banana, and some traces of vanilla and bubblegum. Like all good hefes, this one also comes in at a very quaffable ABV, in this case 5.2%. Look for it at Trailway’s spots both on tap and in cans to go.
It’s dark beer season, and we have a trio to end the new beer news with this week. Burnside Brewing (fka Spindrift) has brought back their Goldilocks Oatmeal Stout, this time, with a twist! Namely, this 4.8% beer has been packaged with low carbonation and a healthy dose of nitrogen for a smooth as silk mouthfeel. Chocolate malt, as well as three different additions of oats, give the stout plenty of mouthfeel and flavour that will have you coming back for more. The use of nitrogen, in place of the normal carbon dioxide, keeps any harshness or bite at bay, allowing a thick and luscious mouthfeel. Because of the special treatment and packaging required, this beer is only available in cans, and will be on sale at both their original location in Burnside, as well as their Oak Manor location Antigonish. And you heard it here first, their location in Truro, The Common by Burnside located at the Hub Shopping Centre, will also be carrying Goldilocks when they open, which we expect to be before the end of the month! Keep your eyes peeled here for more information on that big announcement!
Another returning seasonal favourite is Propeller’s London-Style Porter. 5.0% ABV, full of rich notes of chocolate and roast, with a creamy mouthfeel. The pleasant full body and tasty dark malt character finishes quickly and relatively dry, allowing you to go back in for another taste. Cans are available at all of their spots, and keep your eyes open for them at private stores as well.
Rounding out our dark and roasty trilogy, from Cole Harbour’s North Brewing comes Cozy, a 5.0% Oatmeal Stout. Dark malts imparting notes of chocolate, coffee, and a bit of nuttiness are wrapped up in a cozy blanket and smooth mouthfeel thanks to the oats used in the mash. On tap and in cans at their two taprooms and three retail locations now!
News continues to trickle in from the brewery in development in Lower Sackville, Sack Vegas Brew Co. They have announced that they will be sharing space with Tapestry Beer Bar at 833 Sackville Drive, brewing and serving exclusively at the bar for the first few months. No details yet on exact brewhouse equipment or capacity, or opening dates, but follow along here, and on their socials, for the latest information.
We’ll finish this week with some big news out of Moncton, where Tire Shack Brewing have finally completed their long and winding road towards expansion. Soon to enter their fifth year of operation, anyone who’s been to their spot on a busy night knows that quarters have been close for a while now, and those who’ve been trying to get their hands on the beers know that supply has been limited. Well both of those things have been addressed with the renovations, with their brewing capacity doubled and additional room yet available for fermenters. Meanwhile, they’ve got a new 170-capacity events space downstairs, and a brand new all-season rooftop patio upstairs. “All season in Moncton,” you scoff? Yes indeed; they’re promising that from blizzard to heat wave you’ll be able to head up and enjoy beer from six rotating taps. They’ve even carved out some room to start the barrel-aging program they’ve been dreaming of for a while now. So whether you live in the Moncton area or just visit, you’ve got yet another reason to head down to Tireshack. More space, more beer, less dust and noise! Congratulations to the team on getting this done!!