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Hello Friday! Plenty of great beer released this week, and while the weather continues to stay warm and roadtrips are the name of the game, remember to consider including a small brewery or cidery in your travel plans in the region. Why not check out our Good Beer Map to help with your planning, and please let us know if we’re missing anything so we can help the community.

Let’s start you off with some big news from the team behind Stillwell Brewing, who have been teasing some big news on their IG page over the past two weeks. They are on the move! Having outgrown their gracious hosts at Propeller’s original space on Gottingen Street, they have moved their operations a little further north to 3670 Kempt Road. Having their own facility will allow them greater freedom to set it up exactly as they wish, including a retail and events space, as well as a happy home to their foeders and dozens of barrels full of beer. It has also, just as importantly, afforded them the opportunity to design a brew system all their own! As they explore the intricacies of European Pilsners and other lager styles, they have ordered a 35 hectolitre (30 BBL) system optimized for decoction and other more complicated mash schedules (changing temperatures as well as recirculating during the mash to add complexity not otherwise available from a solely-pilsner malt base). 

While Stillwell’s new spot is not quite open, and delivery of their system is still months away, they are not leaving us drinkers thirsty, as they have released a batch of their Stilly Pils recently for draught at their sister locations on Barrington, Agricola, and Spring Garden, and, for the first time, in tall cans for enjoyment anywhere beer can go. As a reminder, Stilly Pils is their hybrid take on of the best characters of historic Czech Pils, with waves of malt complexity, German Pils, with a dry and bitter finish, and the modern Italian (and the North American beers it influenced) Pils with loads of Noble hop flavour on the nose and palate. However you define it, it’s a quaffable beer with plenty of flavour and aroma, great to either “crush or consider,” as they like to say. So, how to get your hands on these cans? While their retail shop isn’t quite ready to welcome you in person, you can order through their online shop for local delivery every Friday (as well as Canada-wide shipping). If you’re the kind of person who’s looking for a Pils fix right now, head to Bar Stillwell on Barrington or Bishop’s Cellar at Bishop’s Landing for some cans to go. Congratulations to the Stilly Brewing Crew on the new space, new beer, and the great news of things to come soon!

If you’ve been in the Ingonish area over the last 12 months, you’ve probably seen big things happening at Cape Smokey. The ski hill is fully operational, with a gondola set to open later this summer, and an ocean-front marina offering food, beer and live music. More big plans are in store with a treewalk opening in 2022, and of course, the brewery. While awaiting the opening of the brewery, brewmaster Jan Tzril has been busy sharing his knowledge of and passion for Czech-style pilsner brewing, including at least one earlier collaboration brew. This spring, Jan visited the team at Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing to brew Cape Smokey Pilsner. The result is a 4.9% Bohemian Pilsner that features 100% Pilsner Malt sourced from the Czech Republic, Saaz hops (also from the Czech Republic), and Czech lager yeast. In true Czech style, it was brewed using a double decoction mash to extract as much flavour and richness from the malt as possible. This method keeps DMS and acetaldehyde levels lower than an infusion mash, and has also been known to accentuate bitterness and help with head retention. If you want to sample Cape Smokey Pilsner, the only way to try it (for now) is to make a visit to the Cape Smokey Marina to enjoy a can onsite. Check out Cape Smokey’s blog to learn more about the collaboration, including an interview with the 2 Crow’s talented brewmaster, Jeremy Taylor.

Let’s skip from Cape Breton to Newfoundland and Labrador, where Lab City’s Iron Rock Brewing has recently released an oak-aged Belgian Tripel months in the making. Le Fer Du Monde was brewed with a traditional simple malt bill of Pilsen and Munich, hopped with the Tettnanger and Saaz, fermented with a Belgian yeast. The work didn’t stop there, as the beer was aged on oak for 3 months before being packaged in a cork and caged bottle and allowed to carbonate naturally. Spicy yeast on the full malt character, melds with notes of oak for a sensory experience. And now the beer is available at both their taproom on Humphrey (which is back open today with Trivia and Karaoke tonight!), as well as in St. John’s at Urban Market 1919 and a pair of Marie’s Mini Mart (Kiwanis & Frecker). We suggest grabbing a couple of bottles: one to enjoy now, and one to set aside for further development in the bottle.

The December holiday season has its fair share of beverage-centric traditions; in some parts of Atlantic Canada, one of them involves a boozy concoction, stored in the freezer, usually in a repurposed bucket (salt beef, with its trusty handle, is always a good choice). The recipe for the beloved slush varies from community to community, but usually features frozen juice concentrate, spirits (typically vodka), and some lemon/lime soda for the final drink assembly. Why are we telling you all of this? Well, because Bay Roberts’ Baccalieu Trail Brewing is releasing an ode to the frozen delicacy, in the form of a slush-inspired pale ale. Right Slushed is hopped with Mandarina Bavaria and Sultana. To hit those McCain frozen concentrate notes, it was then conditioned on blood orange, pineapple and lemon. The result is a tropical and citrusy pale ale that comes in at 5.5% ABV and is sure to have you searching for your slush bucket in July. Cans are available now at the brewery with pints and fills to follow soon. 

Over at Propeller, they’re back with a new bottle release available today. Black Forest Sour is a barrel-aged kettle sour with (you guessed it) flavours and aromas reminiscent of Black Forest Cake. A mix of different berries was used in a kettle sour base, which was then aged in bourbon barrels for over a year. Through the barrel, notes of oak, bourbon and a touch of smoke joined the fray. Further conditioning was done on fresh vanilla beans and cocoa nibs. All of that together brings that delicious mix of richness, sweetness and notes from a tasty cake, but in a 5% beer! This is a limited release in 500ml bottles available today for $10/btl at the Prop Shops, Bishop’s Cellar and for local home delivery only. Check it out while it’s still available!

In the ever increasing non-alcoholic beer archive of the blog (and also our lives and building some healthier habits), one of the best and most popular local choices has been Upstreet’s Libra brand. With Libra Hazy IPA joining the lineup earlier this month, Libra Pils is the latest release in a trial run today! Using Saaz hops and lager yeast in traditional pilsner fashion, this comes in at 0.4% and 5 IBU. Expect this to have classic Pilsner notes with a floral, grassy nose, joining a touch of bitterness with a light and crisp body. Available at Upstreet’s two Charlottetown locations (Allen Street and Craft Beer Corner), as well as on their online shop very soon for those not in town (shipping available Canada-wide).

If you do pick some of this up, be sure to hit up their social channel or website to leave feedback, as they want to make a delicious local non-alcoholic beer for the masses.

From the darkside (Dartmouth!) comes Brightwood with some great news this week. First up, Loudwater is a new release now available and is a low-bitterness IPA that features Nelson Sauvin hops. This 6% IPA will showcase some white wine flavours, pairing with notes of citrus, nicely balanced with Maris Otter malt. It’s is available in 473ml cans at the brewery or online for delivery. 

In other news, Brightyard is now open! What is Brightyard? It’s an outdoor beer garden on Portland Street in Dartmouth! This is the third location for Brightwood and you can get beer, wine, cider, snacks and BBQ from the mind of Emma Strubank. Check it out around 53 Portland Street in Dartmouth, pretty close to their other two locations! Open noon til 10 PM daily, but check that forecast before heading out, as this is an outdoor space it is weather-dependent.

There’s some big goings on this weekend on the Rock!

Over the last five years, Atlantic Canada has benefited greatly as a region from breweries opening in smaller towns and villages. These businesses create jobs, tourism, economic activity and an incredible sense of community in their local areas. Nowhere has this been more evident than Port Rexton, Newfoundland. Starting from their original taproom/production facility, Port Rexton Brewing has expanded to include a St. John’s retail location and a second larger production facility. More importantly, they have placed Port Rexton firmly on the map of beer destinations in Atlantic Canada, having consistently raised the bar in terms of quality and variety of styles, and having done so while becoming a pillar of their local community, supporting other businesses and community groups through collaborations, events, and pop-ups. This Saturday, PRB is celebrating its fifth anniversary in style with new beers, lots of food options, and a street party featuring live music. 

Let’s start with details on the party. From noon until midnight, the street area adjacent to the brewery will be shut down to create a larger, Covid-friendly space. Food vendors will include the in-house staple Oh My Cheeses and special guests Adelaide Oyster House, Old Dublin Bakery, Danger Giles Fried Chicken and Like Yer Mudders. Live music will entertain the crowd all day long and the first 50 beer drinkers will also receive a free glass. Non-alcoholic beers from Upstreet/Libra will also be available. 

And now let’s get to the beers. Three new ones will be available on-tap and for takeaway in cans. First up is Five, a blood orange IPA. Coming it at 6% ABV, expect a traditional IPA with lots of citrus notes and pithy bitterness. Next up is Summer Anthem, a 6.5% coconut lime milkshake IPA. Expect a combination of sweetness, tartness and bitterness in this one, which features additions of coconut, lime, lactose and vanilla, and a big dry hop. Summer Anthem also includes a link to a Spotify playlist that features some of PRB’s favorite taproom tunes from the last five years. Last but not least, PRB continues its support for gluten free beer drinkers with Kiwi. This 4.5% GF sour features lots of tropical aromatics and a big kiwi flavour. Cheers to everyone at Port Rexton Brewing, including founders Sonja and Alicia, on five awesome years and many more to come. 

We’ve got a few more short beer hits to share today before we dismiss you for the week…

Modern Brewer’s Village Green in Cornwall, PEI, continues their informal Comfortbier series with English IPA, a 5.9% ode to the style. Maris Otter (complemented by a few other English malts) and Bramling Cross (used in both the kettle and dry hop addition) come together for a combination of fresh-baked crusty bread, citrusy marmalade with a touch of floral tea; a quick English Breakfast! Find it on tap on Church Street this weekend, and perhaps in cans to go next week, should there be any left.

The fine folks at Breton are as happy as anyone to be opening up and welcoming guests from near and far, so people can enjoy their beer in CBRM and HRM. Beachside is a new limited release Pale Ale available today. Using a blend of hops for a burst of tropical fruit flavour and aroma, this is a 4.8% summer sipper with a crisp and dry finish. This is available in 473ml cans in the Sydney taproom and also online for delivery.

Wanna work in the world of craft beer and brewing? There’s definitely some spots available right now:

Seeing as how we were just speaking of Breton, let’s start there, where they’re on the hunt for some enthusiastic folks who’d like to join their team as a Bartender in the taproom and help serve up some of that new beer. It’s considered a part-time position, with 20 – 35 hours per week up for grabs, and, as you can imagine, the hours aren’t exactly 9-5, with evenings and weekends being prime time for tap rooms. So if you’re in the Sydney area and interested in breaking into the world of craft beer, more details are available here.

With their burgeoning taproom in full summer swing and their new beer garden now operational (see above), Brightwood is looking to staff up for the rest of the summer with kitchen and serving staff. With 2 full time (40 hrs/wk) and one part time (20 hrs/wk) position available to the end of September, they’re hoping to find some eager folks with previous experience to help them develop a new food concept in house. Check out the full details in the Careers section of their website.

One of the region’s most old school breweries is also looking to fill a position, this one on the back end: Pump House Brewery in Moncton has need of a Director of Plant Operations. This is a position with some serious responsibilities, best summed up as “planning, directing, and coordinating the maintenance and production functions of the brewery.” Given that they’re well-established and fairly sizeable, it should be no surprise that they’re hoping to find someone with significant experience to fill this role. You can find out more, including how to apply, by checking out the full job description posted on Career Beacon.

The great news keeps rolling out in our region, with New Brunswick entering Phase 1, and almost immediately Phase 2, of their Path to Green, with Nova Scotia allowing in-person dining and drinking Wednesday, allowing many of our favourite watering holes to re-open. And the re-imagined Atlantic (and Maine?) Bubble looks to become a reality next week as vaccine uptake and recoveries trend up, and case numbers trend down. We’re doing it folks, it’s happening! Let’s celebrate with more than a dozen new beer, plenty of events, and new openings to tell you about this week!

One of the spots that has been able to open this week is a brand new Nova Scotia-only beer bar in Lower Sackville, years in development and months in the construction. Tapestry Beer Bar is located at 833 Sackville Drive, just up from the Beaverbank Connector Road at Exit 2 of the 101. Concentrating on “the smaller breweries around the Province that don’t have a footprint in the HRM”, Tapestry owner Ian Smith is a long-time beer fan, and has driven across the province seeking out breweries that may not otherwise be pouring in the area. The 20-tap draught system features beer and cider from Yarmouth to Sydney, with Heritage Brewing, Hell Bay, Horton Ridge, Tanner & Co, Smokehouse Nano, Hilltop Hops, Harbour, and Big Spruce showcasing the best from away on their initial tap list, as well as locals such as Off Track, Lake City, Unfiltered, and fellow Sackville establishment Ol’ Biddy’s. Even with COVID restrictions, there is plenty of room for those looking to pop in for a pint, with seating for 50 in 10 bubbles in booths, lounging spaces, and stools at the bar. Beer and cider is the focus at Tapestry, with visitors allowed to bring their own food if they’d like, taking advantage of their great location, with Pizzadelic and Apt 3 Coffee in the same building, and Mary Brown’s and Kaiser’s Subs just a quick walk away. Open Tuesday to Friday 2 – 11 PM, and Saturday and Sunday 12 – 11 PM, be sure to pop by and support the Tapestry crew in their quest to bring more great beer to Lower Sackville!

If you’ve been paying attention to your beery social media this week, you may have noticed that TrailWay has been hyping a collaboration with an Ontario brewery that they recently did (virtually, of course) and would be releasing this week. That beer – and the info to go with it! – has finally dropped as of yesterday, so here’s the scoop to get you fired up on your way over to TW’s taproom in Fredericton to grab some cans. The beer, The Big Dance, was brewed with Town Brewery from Whitby, ON. Like TrailWay, Town has a majority of their beers in the “hazy and hoppy” category, and is definitely well-regarded in that particular area (at least). The two breweries discovered that they have more in common than just their tastes – a staff member at Town has a parent who went to prom with a parent of one of the TW co-owners, hence the name of the beer! The beer itself is an APA that was hopped with no-doubt large amounts of Amarillo, Strata, and Eclipse, with hibiscus flowers and passion fruit also added during the brewing process. The beer is looking hazy and pink, giving off “notes of passion fruit, freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice, red beers, and tropical fruit, with some floral and herbal character”, all thanks to the hibiscus, fruit and hop additions. You can find it on tap and in cans at the brewery, but don’t wait to pick some up, as it likely won’t be around too long.

Time flies at Upstreet Brewing, where they’re releasing the 6th version of their annual De Novo series. De Novo VI – Dry Hopped Pineapple Tangerine Saison will be available next week, and for the first time, is being packaged in cans. This one starts with pilsner malt and wheat from Island Malt House, plus an addition of Simpsons Golden Naked Oats.  It was then dry-hopped with Bru-1 and Mandarina Bavaria before additions of pineapple and tangerine concentrates. De Novo VI pours a light orange color with notes of banana, stone fruit, tropical fruit and bubblegum. Some slightly spicy yeast notes round out the 5% ABV Saison. Although De Novo is being released next week, Upstreet’s sixth anniversary is not until June 26. Check this space next week for more details on their planned celebration. 

We mentioned last week that Tatamagouche Brewing is celebrating their 7th anniversary this week and that they’d be releasing some new beers to celebrate, and sure enough, they’ve delivered! Four brand new beers hit the taps and retail this week, two smaller and lighter, and two of the bigger and more complex variety. Starting with the summer refresher side of the spectrum, we have Ketch, a classic Berliner Weiße coming in at 3.1% ABV. 355 mL can- and keg-conditioned, it was fermented with a combination of lactobacillus and a traditional German Kölsch yeast in the primary before a secondary fermentation spell with the Berliner brettanomyces strain from Escarpment Labs. Bright and acidic, but also featuring some funk, this could very well be one of the rare small beers that benefits from some time in the cellar. That said, we’re pretty confident that it’ll be pretty dang tasty right away, on it’s own or with traditional woodruff or other fruit syrups!

The other “light and lively” beer this week is Wherry, a 3.8% grisette. Fermented with Escarpment Labs’ New World Saison yeast blend, which contains both saccharomyces and brettanomyces strains for a rustic charm, the beer itself is also a blend of barrel-aged and stainless steel conditioned versions of the same base beer, with the neutral oak of the barrel side really popping in the finished beer. Continuing with the trend of packaging smaller beers in smaller formats, this one is also in 355 mL cans.

On to the bigger, bolder beers, the first new offering is actually a variation on one of the brewery’s longest-running beers, an award-winning IPA that’s been going strong since September of 2015: Deception Bay. Still very much in the West Coast style for IPA, featuring Huell Melon, Mandarina Bavaria, and Citra hops, it provided a suitably hoppy base for Resurgence a new barrel-aged Brett IPA. Basically DB packed into a barrel with some brettanomyces for a while, before a quick and modest dry hop of Huell Melon, this 6.8% beer was then can- and keg-conditioned to produce a drier, funkier, and somewhat fruitier version of the original. Contributing to the character as well were the previous two hoppy residents of the barrel (and there’s another one in there now, so stay tuned!). Look for this one in 473 mL cans.

And the last of the four new releases this week is Vintage Lane, a barrel-aged saison that was aged on Muscat grape skins and in barrels both from Jost Vineyards. A blend of two saisons, one of which is essentially the Edel from a few years ago, this beer celebrates the brewery’s connection with “the vineyard down the road.” Coming in at 6.6% ABV, it was (500 mL) bottle- and keg-conditioned, with the bottle artwork echoing that connection. Look for all of these beers to be available in packaged format direct from the brewery in the coming days, at various Tata tap accounts throughout the province, and potentially at some of the private stores. We’ve been advised that Stillwell HQ should have all four of these on tap at some point, The Freehouse Ketch and Wherry, and on the packaged side, Bishop’s Cellar is expected to have the Ketch. If you wish to go direct, you can grab pints at the taproom or get free shipping all weekend long by using the promo code 7YEARS at checkout at the Tata Online Store. And a very happy Anniversary from all of us here to Matt and Christiane and the rest of the gang!!

North Brewing has teamed up with a trio of local partners for their newest release, Twice the Wild, a barrel aged Belgian Dubbel. The beer was brewed in September 2020 with help from the guys at A for Adventure, using base malts sourced from PEI’s Shoreline Malting. The brew day also saw the addition of Lucie Kuhlmann grapes from the 2nd partner in the collaboration, Benjamin Bridge. The beer was then fermented with Sacch. Trois and barrel aged for six months in neutral wine barrels, before refermentation in stainless tanks using local honey from Casman & Widden. The result is a bottle conditioned, 8.0% Dubbel that also offers great cellaring potential. Which brings us to the final partner in the collab, the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. NSNT is currently in the midst of its Twice the Wild campaign, where a group of funders have agreed to match donations at four times their value! $5 from every bottle of Twice the Wild will go to the campaign, which means every bottle you buy leads to $25 that will be used to protect and conserve lands in Nova Scotia. Grab it today at North’s two retail locations in Dartmouth or for delivery via their online store. And if you’re there in-person, why not stay for a smashie from their taproom restaurant, Side Hustle, which is now open for indoor and patio dining.

With a big weekend of returning to in-person indoor service in Nova Scotia, you had to expect 2 Crows would decide to gift everyone* with a couple of exciting new releases that are the result of an exciting new collaboration between 2C and Lightfoot & Wolfville vineyard. First up is Vitis, a lager beer that was brewed with Riesling piquette. In the grand tradition of 2C making some of the most ambitious (read: complicated) beers in the region, this one takes a little explaining. It all started with a Pilsner that was brewed with a little bit of wheat, hopped in the kettle with Hallertau Blanc and fermented cool with Mexican Lager yeast. Towards the end of fermentation a small amount of that beer was used to make a piquette along with water and a “whole lot” of fresh Riesling pomace from L&W. The piquette was allowed to pass peak sugar content, but not to fully ferment out by the natural yeasts present on the grape skins, before being transferred to tank with the remainder of the lager, where the whole shebang was capped and, essentially, krausened with the remaining grape sugars instead of wort. Once target gravity was reached, the temperature was dropped and the beer was lagered for eight weeks. The result is a “crisp and lively” light lager that also features Riesling character in the form of pear, melon, and honeyed citrus. Complex, yes, nuanced, sure! but crushable too at 4.6% ABV and 11 IBU! Look for it on tap and in 355 mL cans at the brewery right away, and likely some other places as time goes on.

Part two of this collaboration is a true Piquette, one that doesn’t contain any beer, but definitely has a brewer’s touch to it. This one started with Scheurebe grapes, a lesser-known variety grown largely in Germany and Austria that’s known for being highly aromatic and being used to produce sweeter wines. For this piquette, L&W picked and crushed the grapes, then 2 Crows grabbed the resulting pomace and trucked it back to the brewery where it was macerated in water for several weeks. From there, the water chemistry was adjusted and the natural yeasts present on the skins were allowed to ferment it out before a light dry hop of Saphir and Mandarina Bavaria provided the finishing aromatic touches. Conditioned with local honey, the result is Scheurebe Piquette, a 4.3% ABV refreshing  beverage with notes of grapefruit and a bit of ginger on top of a soft minerality. You can find it for in-person enjoyment at release parties this afternoon at Lightfoot & Wolfville and tomorrow at 2 Crows. You’ll be able to purchase 355 mL cans to go on-site at L&W this weekend or next week at Bishop’s Cellar. Unfortunately, due to NSLC regulations†, 2 Crows can’t actually sell this one to go in packaged form.

* Ed.: except maybe those of us who have to write it all up

† Ed.: Fucking SERIOUSLY?!

After major renovations, a few can-sales-only weekends, and a pause to right themselves, Tidehouse Brewing’s Slightly-Less-Tiny-Tasting-Taproom is open once again. Open Wednesday through Saturday, 4 – 11 PM, owner/brewer Shean Higgins is concentrating efforts on getting the good stuff in your glass at their spot at 5187 Salter Street, with less of a focus on packaging for the time being. Growlers are on pause, with can sales winding down, so that the offerings from their small brewhouse keep the taps stocked. Those taps are full right now, with 6 beers flowing, including Chrysalis Cream Ale (5.5%), Hibiscus City Sour w/ lime and hibiscus (4.5%), Saddle Up IPA w/ Enigma, Eclipse, and Citra (7.0%), Peachy Fuzzies Sour w/ Peach Rooibos Tea from World Tea House (4.5%), Mars Imperial Stout w/ blackberries & Mars bars (11.0%), and Goth Stout American Stout (5.0%). Learn more about the renovations, beers, and everything else in the latest 902 BrewCast which dropped on #902Tuesday.

Remember when 902 BrewCast used to interview brewers and other beer industry professionals?! We promise, that was a thing. Well, they are back in business this week with a 2+ hour interview with Tidehouse’s Shean Higgins and Sprindrift’s Jeff Green. Updates from both breweries, changes at CBANS, and what they’re looking forward to drinking this summer. Check out the episode here, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Speaking of Spindrift Brewing, let’s get you up to date with all of the news coming out of Burnside… Firstly, as mentioned in the 902BC, they’ve just completed an expansion/beautifying of their outdoor seating area, The Spinyard, where folks can lap up the sun while enjoying samples and pints from the brewery at 21 Frazee Avenue, open Tuesday – Friday 11 – 5:30 and Saturday 11 – 4:30. One of the new offerings you can find on tap is a new addition to their core offerings, Sea Glass IPA, a NEIPA weighing in at 7.0% ABV, featuring a light and pale malt bill, with plenty of late- and dry-hopping of Amarillo, Azacca, and Vic Secret, resulting in a soft mouthfeel and blast of pineapple, mango, and lemon. Joining the core lineup is SunDaze, a 4.8% ABV Pale Ale, featuring the lovely Galaxy and Centennial hops, giving great notes of pine, grapefruit, and passion fruit. Both are on tap now for growler fills and pints, and cans to go (SunDaze is coming reeeeeal soon to cans), and hitting the NSLC in the coming weeks.

Spindrift also has a new seasonal on tap, Strawberry Run, a 5.0% ABV Ale, lightly- hopped with Comet, before undergoing a secondary fermentation on Strawberry puree, with Key Lime juice which delivers plenty of acidity to keep it refreshing. Pints and growlers now, cans coming soon to Burnside and NSLC locations. And they have let us know that their Spindrift Oak Manor location in downtown Antigonish will be opening soon, almost certainly (probably maybe) before the end of June! Pair that with the massive expansion at their Burnside location, and a brand refresh, there’s plenty of new excitement from the crew.

Cornwall’s Village Green is back at it with two new releases. First up is Milk Stout, which starts with a mix of English malts and includes the addition of lactose, per the style. Milk Stout comes in at a sessionable 4.2% ABV and with just enough bitterness at 20 IBUs. Check it out today on tap in Cornwall, where it is also available to-go in cans. Next up is A Lager Bier, Village Green’s first foray into the world of bottom-fermenting. This one uses Vienna malt, which gives a nice bready note, and is hopped with German Tettnanger. A Lager Bier is on tap now at the brewery.

Antigonish’s Candid Brewing continues its run of new Friday releases with a pair of entries to their core lineup. First announced is Lagerish, a 4.8% Kolsch-style lagered ale, brewed to be bright, crisp, clean, and refreshing. Joining it is Town Crier, named in celebration of the former newspaper and publisher tenant of their 88 College Street location. A 5.0% Altbier-style bier, this clear copper beer is brewed to let the malt shine through, without hops taking centre stage. Six different beers are available to go today 1 – 6 PM and again tomorrow from 1 – 4 PM. And those in HRM will soon be able to enjoy Candid in their mugs, as kegs are being sent to Dartmouth’s Battery Park in the coming weeks.

Hey hey, check it out! Events can kinda be a thing again!!

The Saint John area is celebrating Craft Beverage Week, with a full load of events wrapping up tomorrow. But before they do, you still have time to:

Get on out and support those producers in the region!

Also on the go today in New Brunswick is the launch of CAVOK Brewing’s new satellite taproom and retail spot in Cap-Pelé. Located at 150 Allée du Parc, it’s just steps from Aboiteau Beach, and shares the building with Restaurant à la Dune. While their neighbours handle your food needs, CAVOK’s 12 taps and retail fridge can handle everything else! Their location features a large deck overlooking the beach and water with seating for more than 50 people, and if the weather isn’t lovely, there’s room for the same inside. They even fill growlers, but if you’re headed to the beach, no glass, eh! The beach location is open from noon until late every day this summer, and pouring favourites and new arrivals like the Red Knight Hibiscus IPA and Echo Saison, light and refreshing and with a robust amount of hops. More good beer in more places, we can dig that!

Coming to your screens this week is the latest project from the duo behind the very successful Beerocracy New Brunswick beer movie released a few years ago. Shauna and Alex hit the road across the Maritimes again last year, producing Maritime Spirits, profiling craft alcohol producers across the region. The first Season is now available on Bell TV1 (either through your TV or online portal), and features visits to Moonshine Creek Distillery, Upstreet Craft Brewing, Red Rover Craft Cider, New Scotland Brewing., Deep Roots Distillery, Tire Shack Brewery, Dunhams Run Estate Winery, Trailway Brewing, Jost Vineyards, and Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault. You can check out the trailer here, and see plenty of behind-the-scenes fun on their Facebook page.

And a last few quick hits on our way out the door for a lunchtime beer:

Corner Brook’s Boomstick Brewing has a pair of new beer out this week, the first is the latest in their Drawing Board Series, debuting in a 4-can Boombox mixer pack that is available across the province now. Rosemary Hibiscus Gose pretty much describes itself, with the 4.5% lightly tart sour ale featuring a touch of salinity, and using rosemary as a complement to the coriander the traditional German recipe employs. And drawing inspiration from their own Hew and Draw hotel at 55 West Street, Hewers Light Lager is a 3.9% American Light Lager, light bodied, crisp, and refreshing. Available on-site as well as in NLC, Maries Mini Mart, and Orange Stores across the province (on its own and in the aforementioned Boombox Mixer packs).

Garrison Brewing has brought back the first winner of their Home Brew-Off competition,Nit Wit Belgian Style Wheat beer. Brewed in the Witbier style, this O.G. hazy beer style features orange peel and coriander to lend some citrus and spice to the character the yeast has already imparted. Cans are available now at both their Seaport and Oxford locations, and can be enjoyed on tap there as well.

Hopheads in Conception Bay Stout can treat themselves to the newest release from Ninepenny Brewing, The Devil’s Jackstone. This 8.9% DIPA is now available in the taproom and on select taps around St. John’s. Look for it to make its way into cans next week.

Rounding off the news this week is the Return of the Mack, DOA (aka Double Orange Ale), from Unfiltered Brewing. Single-hopped with boatloads of Citra, the blast of citrus entering every one of your orifices is enough to power up your weekend. Grab it in cans to go, or even better, their new corral on North Street, allowing them to serve pints onsite at Charm School for the first time in way too long.

Welp, after a lighter blog last week, the breweries, cider houses, and mead makers have righted the ship with two dozen new and returning releases this week. All four Atlantic Provinces are well-represented, so no envious reading of new beers not available in your neck of the woods… And with many breweries shipping intra- and inter-provincially, even those concerns are things of the past. As always in these times, confirm that your local brewery or favourite beer-centric bar or restaurant is open and doing take-away or in-person enjoyment (those in NS will have to wait a while for that luxury again), but at least we can suggest what to ask for when you do sidle up to the bar.

Starting off this week, we’ve got a barrel aged version of a previous release. Last fall, 2 Crows released a Change is Brewing collaboration called Good News, a Berliner-style Weisse with raspberry and Mango additions. Yesterday, they released Great News a barrel aged sibling. The big difference with this one is that the brewers started with some Berliners that were already in barrels from the fall.

From the brewery: “Together with the members of CIB and a couple folks from the Africville Heritage Museum, we held a blending session where we sampled a number of different Berliners we had brewed to barrel in early 2020.  As a group, we decided on a blend of three different barrels – one Sauvignon Blanc, and two Mezcal Reposado barrels.” Fruit additions of Raspberry and Mango joined the blend, which used the same base for all barrels: 55% pilsner, 11% raw wheat, and 33% wheat malt, along with some aged hops in the mash. The beer was then conditioned for two months before bottle conditioning for another seven.

This beer has great jammy flavours from the raspberry, and is zippy per the style. The Mezcal barrels bring some earthiness, while the Sauvignon Blanc barrels give smooth lemongrass notes. It comes in at 3.2% ABV and is available in 375ml bottles. A limited number are available, so get it directly from the brewery while you can! 

Those in the Saint Andrews, New Brunswick area have reason to celebrate, as they now have a local brewery of their own! Saint Andrews Brewing Company is a nano brewery owned and crafted by Ian Covey, a veteran of the New Brunswick brewing scene. While SABC does not have a taproom of their own, they will be supplying local bars and restaurants with their beer, with local The Red Herring Pub the first to carry their beer this weekend. We’ve got the early scoop on what will be pouring, namely: Herringbone Pub Ale, their 4.6% take on a traditional Best Bitter, featuring a grain bill of Golden Promise and a dash of Crystal Dark, plentifully hopped with East Kent Goldings to the tune of 30 IBU. Caramel, toast, and even some Earl Grey tea qualities in the glass, and look for it to be on Cask in the future. Also on draught is Wharfbound Hazy Pale Ale, a 5.5% NEIPA with a blast of ripe tropical fruit character from the Citra and Simcoe used throughout (including in two dry-hopping additions), on a pillowy base of Golden Promise, Canadian 2-Row, wheat, and flaked oats. Think candied pineapple, mango, and even CBD gummies. In addition to these core beers that should always be on tap at the Red Herring, the first of their rotating taps is London Brown Ale, a 4.3% Brown Ale brewed in the historical style, a touch sweeter than a traditional English Brown, showcasing all the lovely brown bread, toffee, and raisin notes you’d expect. These three beers will be on tap today at noon, and given the small batch size, may not last all weekend, so do not delay in visiting to grab the first tastes! We’ll have much more from Covey and SABC soon, and in the meantime follow along on IG and Fb to learn more on future releases!

Heading back to NS, Big Spruce is re-releasing Complexified. With only 500 bottles available, this Bourbon Barrel-Aged Baltic Porter was slow lagered and conditioned in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels for over six months. Featuring complex, rich chocolate notes with a bit of nuttiness, a smooth bourbon finish, and a touch of wood, this beer is a winner. Only available at their Sprucetique in Nyanza and online in 650ml bottles, be sure to act quickly on this. They’ll ship this 10.9% ABV and 28 IBU beauty anywhere in Canada. 

And staying in Cape Breton, their new cidery on the block, Island Folk CIder House, is releasing Special Elderflower Cider. The elderflower infusion leads to slightly herbal and floral notes that compliment tannic notes from the apples. You can grab a bottle at the cider house in Sydney, or order online for local delivery and Canada-wide shipping.

From one Island to another, let’s head to Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, where Landwash Brewery can be found who have plenty to share this week. Out today is Up She Rises, the result of the collaborative brewday Head Brewer Christina Coady held on International Women’s Day in March, in which breweries from across Newfoundland and Labrador took part virtually. This 6.0% ABV IPA uses the Pink Boots Society hop blend from Yakima Chief, and features additions of passion fruit to the brew, for a massive blast of tropical, floral, and summer-esque vibes. Part of the proceeds from can and draught sales this weekend will be going to YWCA St. John’s, so be sure to support their efforts while drinking a great bevvie!

Plus we have some intel on two beers coming later this month, that we’ll spill closer to release, but we can say that the first is a Saison, reminiscent of Christina and Chris’ time brewing at Folly Brewing in Toronto, where naturally conditioned and “weird” and “funky” were the norm. And coming later in May is Packaging Manager Nardia McGrath’s Caribou Hill, an Anzac-biscuit-inspired Brown Ale beer featuring coconut. Much more then!

Where better to drink Up She Rises than at the brewery taproom, which is sporting some new seating up above the taproom proper in a space they are calling the Loft. With 30 additional seats (that will grow to 60 when restrictions ease), the space also features a second bar to reduce wait-times, and a view of the taproom and brewhouse below. It will be available for private bookings shortly, and their website also now allows for seating reservations for you and your bubble. They have a full month of events planned each Wednesday and Thursday, with fly tying (of the fishing type) each Wednesday beginning at 5 PM, and live music each Thursday starting at 6 PM. And as the weather warms, you’ll soon be able to enjoy a pint on their under-construction outdoor seating!

Wolfville’s Church Brewing has a new release this week, and best we can tell, it marks the first time they’ve packaged in bottles. Til Death Do Us Tart Sparkling Framboise is a new take on their previously released raspberry wheat ale, Til Death Do Us Tart. This time around, they’ve bottled conditioned the beer with champagne yeast to create a more sparkling and effervescent carbonation. Bottles are available now at the taproom on Main Street and for delivery locally, throughout the Valley Wednesdays (order before 8 PM Tuesday), as well as to HRM Thursdays (order by Wednesday at 8 PM). It’s also available in a special Mother’s Day gift pack that includes two tulip glasses and a bottle opener, with an optional variety of cheeses that can be added, available Sunday for pickup or local delivery. Due to the small batch size, phoning in the order for delivery is probably the way to go for this one (902-542-2337, https://churchbrewing.ca/store/shop-beer). 

And while we have you thinking of Church, they debuted a new American IPA on the weekend, aptly named Maia. Named after the Goddess of Spring, this 5.7% ABV slightly hazy golden ale features some wheat and oats in the grist to soften the mouthfeel, with the star of the show being the hops used. Magnum, Mosaic, and Vic Secret shine through with lemon and herbal notes, with plenty of other fruity ester character to stand tall on her own, or the beer’s acidity can work with the hops as a refreshing palate cleanser accompanying wings, orzo salad, or a Caprese bacon sandwich. Maia is a draught-only release, which these days means it is only available in Crowlers, but those can be added to a local or HRM delivery over the phone, or picked up in person at their location on Main Street Wolfville.

Bad Apple is back with a cider release this week, straight outta Somerset in the heart of the Annapolis Valley. Haskap Cider is 6% ABV and features the local Haskap berry added to the cider as whole fruit smashed with love. Available in 473ml cans only from the brewery, this is rich, flavourful, well carbed and sports a vibrant red colour. 

And In other Bad Apple news, if you’re reading this early enough on Friday and are in HRM, you may be able to get an order delivered in Halifax. Check out the Facebook post here for details on how to order, and choose from their Box Cutter IPA, Mosaic DIPA, Black & Tackle RIS, and Stearman APA, as well as several of their ciders.

And speaking of both cider and the Valley, Kentville’s Maritime Express has a new cider available this week as well. Lively Airs is a 5.2% fruity and herbal cider that began with a base of a juice blend from Spy and Honeycrisp apples. To that, local strawberries were blended in, before basil was added during the aging process. Named for a picnic outing sponsored by the Western Counties Railway way back in 1875 to drum up funds. Flat cars were fitted with benches and an estimated 1,200 people went on the excursion, entertained by the “lively airs” of the Milton Brass Band who were positioned at the center of the train. A lovely historical reference to a very summery-sounding cider. Get your taste of it by ordering online for pickup any time between 12 and 8 today (Friday) or between 4 and 8 on Saturday (and hopefully soon enough you’ll be sipping pints in the taproom again!) And if you’re making an order, you might also be interested to know that their Roundhouse Rhubarb is also back in stock and it’s “tarter and rhubarbier than ever!”

Bringing some good news from PEI, Copper Bottom is bringing the love, returning the support they’ve received over the past 14 months during the pandemic. Islanders have been more than kind to them and they’re taking a turn to give back. Launching today, they’re starting a Give Back Initiative, which will be a series of beer releases that will support PEI not-for-profits, community groups and local artists. 

The first release comes out today and Plover is a Helles-style lager in support of Island Nature Trust, whose mandate is to protect vital underdeveloped land and at-risk wildlife. Available in cans and pints, this style has a bit more body than a classic Pilsner, has a Noble hop flavour and aroma from the Hallertau Mittelfrüh, complementing the Island floor-malted grain used to achieve the 4.8% ABV. Cans are available from the brewery today, along with draught Plover pouring as well. $1 from every can or pint sale will go directly to the Island Nature Trust to work to protect natural assets and thrive for sustainability across the province. For those not in Montague, check their website for delivery options to your neck of the woods. If you’re lucky enough to be nearby, they’ll have some entertainment in the taproom at 6 PM tonight to celebrate the release. From Copper Bottom, “Future plans for the Give Back Initiative include releases to support mental health initiatives, local art installations, and other community-oriented projects.”

There’s a bunch of news out of Garrison Brewing in Halifax this week, as it’s clear they’re very very busy over there despite the HRM lockdown. First up is news for fans of football (no, not that one, the other one): Halifax Wanderers FC and Garrison are teaming up for a co-branded special release of Garrison’s Tall Ship Light in 473 mL cans. Merging themes from each brand into a single, unified look, you’ll be able to see it for yourself through the Seaport and Oxford retail locations, private stores around the city, and eventually at the Wanderers Grounds at a Wanderers match once this lockdown madness is all over.

There are also beers returning to the Garrison ranks this week, one that’s fairly new school and one that’s decidedly not. First up is the summer edition of their kettle sour. The 2021 edition of Pucker Up! Citrus is hazy and very orange forward, continuing to a citrus finish, all on top of the usual tartness that fans of this one enjoy. Available at the Seaport and Oxford locations now, they will also be coming to the private stores and NSLC in the coming days.

Also returning is the elusive, in-frequent, but cult-following-inducing Jalapeño Ale. Last spotted in 2018, this year’s 4.6% batch features more chilis than just its eponymous pepper, but the exact cultivars are a secret! What isn’t a secret is the kick of capsaicin evident on the nose and palate right away, making it perfect for marinating, cooking, as a base for a beer cocktail, or straight up enjoyment for those pepperheads out there. If you fall into any of these categories, we suggest you grab Jalapeño quickly, as it will be gone before you know it. (Now we need to start a petition for Garrison to bring back and equally vintage brand, Khybeer Mokka Ale!!)

And finally from Garrison is a cider collaboration with their pals at Bulwark. Core Apple Cider has been on tap at their Seaport and Oxford locations for a while now, but is available for the first time in 473 ml cans this week. At 5.8%, finishing dry, it used 1005 Annapolis Valley Apples that Bulwark helps them source and process. Gluten-free as you’d expect, and a yummy alternative for those wanting/needing an alternative to beer.

Borden-Carlton’s Lone Oak Brewing has a new beer on tap at their taproom, your first/last stop when visiting the Island (you know, assuming you aren’t supposed to be self-isolating)…Lupin is a 6.5% ABV Belgian Saison, with lots of yeast-derived notes of bubblegum, clove, spice, and herbs, on a dry effervescent base. Featuring Island-grown hay, as well as honey from Canoe Cove, there’s a hint of sweetness on the backend. Only available on draught at the taproom currently, bottles of Lupin will be available before the end of the month.

Lunn’s Mill – CM done

Lunn’s Mill Brewing, in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, has a new “Old” English IPA on tap at the brewery now. Bramle On features the English Bramling Cross hop, resulting in an earthy and floral aroma complementing the soft and well-conditioned feel of a classic British beer base (and, if you’re like some of us, a name that’ll put you in mind of Led Zeppelin). At 6.1% ABV, it is on draught at the brewery’s taproom in Lawrencetown, so growlers are the best way to go for this one. And then in-person pints there and at your local pub soon, once the lockdown lifts! In the meantime, you can request delivery to your door through their online portal.

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing is continuing their month of Small Batch Releases with a beer over a year in planning. Wild IPA is a blend of a Brettanomyces-fermented IPA that spent time in white wine barrels, before being blended with a super-fresh IPA loaded with Nelson Sauvin hops. Gooseberry and White Wine notes burst from the can, with a funky wild character from the Brett component. This 6.2% ABV blend is a can-only release, appearing on the shelves at all 3 Prop locations open 12 – 8 PM today (and everyday!), with same-day delivery available in HRM and shipping further afield. A portion of the batch will also be appearing at the four private stores in Halifax and Dartmouth this weekend. And after a mad dash to snap it up mid-April, Tropical Haze is back in cans at the Prop Shops as well, perfect for enjoyment outside as the weather warms.

Annapolis Brewing Company is going sour for their most recent release, Basin Berry Sour. Leveraging plenty of raspberry and blackberry fruit in the glass, blending perfectly with the base kettle sour beer that marks their first foray into the style, and just in time for the warmer weather. Featuring a lovely purple hue, the 4.0% sour is available in cans at the taproom in Annapolis Royal (lockdown hours, Wed – Sun, 12 – 6 PM), or for home delivery through their website.

Mountain Meadworks has a pair of new meads available this week, available from their stall Saturday from the Truro Farmers Market, as well as through the online portals from the Truro and New Glasgow Markets. Feral Nova Scotia was created with honey from Tatamagouche, and yeast harvested from a pin cherry in Cape Breton and cultured by Escarpment Labs that will be familiar to many beer fans… Finishing dry, yet showing a touch of lingering honey on the palate, the floral character shines through in spades. The second expression is a sure sign of spring, the return of grackles to the area. Featuring wildflower honey from Tatamagouche, the mead also showcases organic blueberries from North of Nuttby Farm, and Black Currants from Upperbrook Farm in Truro. Dry, yet juicy, with plenty of fruit flavour and light tannins from the fruit additions shining through.

Cornwall PEI’s Village Green has debuted their first traditional farmhouse beer this week, the simply-named Saison. Using a multi-grain grist bill, the beer finishes quite dry with notes of pepper, lemon, and a touch of spice. European and English hops complement the base with a solid bitterness. Find Saison on draught and in cans at their location on Church Street in Cornwall, and you may also be able to catch it on tap at HopYard in Charlottetown as well.

We finish off our news section today with a major development for cider in Fredericton. Red Rover Craft Cider has found a new home, at the historical Neill Family Farm, located in Devon on the Northside. Dating back to 1867, there are generations of history at that location, which Nicola Mason and Adam Clawson of Red Rover intend to continue with their own family. Their plans are far-reaching, including moving their production facility from Hanwell Road to Devon in the coming months, which will allow expansion as well as welcome guests to tour the facility once renovations are complete. A taproom and event space, the Ciderworks, will repurpose some of the existing farm buildings to better suit their new intention. Going forward, they will be planting apple and other fruit trees, including traditional cider-specific varietals, which will bear fruit in the coming years. Much more great details to share as Red Rover make the farm their own, and our congratulations to Mason and Clawson on this major milestone!

Just one event to talk about this week, but it’s a good ‘un if you happen to be in the St. John’s area!!

The East Duck area of St. John’s is getting a taste of the mainland this weekend, with both Bar Brewdock and nearby Toslow pouring some fresh kegs from Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing. Both spots are pouring a nice selection on the go/coming soon, with Waltz German Pils, Deux II Cherry Sour (collab with Orono Brewing Co), Laurel Dark Saison with plum and bay leaf, Zip! Berliner Weisse, Jamboree Fruited Sour, I Love You Brett Saison, and Space Words Triple IPA to be pouring at Brewdock, and Deux II and Laurel on at Toslow. Both spots will also be pairing some great food all weekend (and the rest of the time, natch), so maysel make an evening of it and try ‘em all!

A few last quick hits to leave you with this week:

Lovers of tiny hoppy beers rejoice! 2 Crows Matinee is back. This 3.1% crusher is now available to-go at the brewery and via 2 Crows’ shipping and delivery options on their webstore. Look for it to start popping up at select NSLC’s around the province too. 

The small can/small ABV trend continues to gain momentum, providing us with sessionable packaged options just in time for summer. Tatamagouche Brewing is the latest to adopt the format and is now selling 355ml cans of Dekorum, their 2.9% ABV light lager by the flat. Check out their webstore for some special pricing and stock up for the weekend. 

Heritage Brewing has a new English Pale Ale out this week. This one comes in at 5.4% ABV and 30 IBUs, and like any good EPA, features some malt-driven sweetness. Easy to drink, it is lightly hopped with Fuggles to balance the malt sweetness, with the combination of malt and hops giving a deliciously smooth, medium-bodied ale that is perfect for enjoying in your household bubbles. EPA is available now for growler fills at the brewery on Main Street.

Route 19 Brewing also has a new release this week with Sandcastle. Coming in at 5.0% ABV, this fruited sour ale features peach, key lime and cara cara orange. Sandcastle is available for delivery through Route 19’s online store and is also being carried at 20 NSLC locations across Cape Breton Island. 

Dartmouth pals North Brewing and Lake City Cider have teamed up for a collaborative release hitting the shelves at both spots today. Burst is a melding of beer and cider, aka Snakebite, that features the hop-forward Pleasant Disposition from North, and a blend of Lake City’s Blueberry and Dark Currant ciders that were co-secondary-fermented to finish quite dry. The resultant beverage is hoppy, tart, refreshing, and full of fruit on the palate. Grab Burst in person at both Lake City and North, or through their respective delivery portals.

We’ll leave you with some good news from Miramachi, where New Maritime Beer Co. was the recent recipient of not one, but two gold models at the European Beer Challenge. The Very Best Juicy IPA and Refined Pirate Stout both took home the medals in their respective categories. Congrats to head brewer David Draper and the rest of the team at New Maritime on the wins! And if you’d like to join this award-winning team, they are currently hiring for a full-time Sales Representative / Delivery Person to join their family. Check out the job posting and send along a resume!

Congratulations are also in order to Brasseux d’la Côte who took home an EBC Gold for their La Classic Rosé! Lots of great things brewing along the shore in New Brunswick. Well done Crew!

And speaking of job positions, Bathurst’s 13 Barrels Brewing is hiring a bar tender/server for their taproom. You can learn more and apply by reaching out via email.