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While yesterday Canada took a day of learning and reflection to honour the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, today (October 1st) is Treaty Day in Nova Scotia, when the 1752 Treaty of Friendship and Peace was meant to mark a day of renewing friendship and peace between the Mi’kmaq and the Crown. Today, the purpose of Treaty Day is to promote public awareness about the Mi’kmaw culture and heritage for all Nova Scotians. It also kicks off  Mi’kmaq History Month in NS, but keep an eye out around our entire Atlantic region for how your local beverage providers may be supporting their local own Indigenous people. On top of that, we can also keep celebrating Oktoberfest, as these events are still happening all around the globe. As always, keep an eye out for local regulations, proof of vaccination (October 4th for NS folk!) and stay safe out there, fellow fine drinking (and non-drinking) friends!

Antigonish’s Candid Brewing is celebrating their Grand Opening this weekend with their own Oktoberfest; complete with a brand new beer as well as events today and tomorrow… First the beer, shall we? Oktoberfest Märzen was brewed to honour that most excellent Munich tradition of Oktoberfest, and in the same style as the originals, with the 5.9% ABV beer pouring a deep amber colour and is malt on the nose and the palate, with a smooth, quaffable, finish. A taproom feature, draught pours of the Marzen start at 4PM, as the festivities of the weekend kick into high gear…

Today from 4 PM, door prizes and drink and food specials (The Boneyard food truck is onsite), table-side magic from 5 PM, and a free show from Jud Gunning at 6 PM, ahead of two ticketed shows this evening (The Collective at 8 PM, and Andre Pettipas & The Giants at 9 PM, tickets for your table are available here, and include a stein and first fill for each person).

Saturday’s fun start shortly after opening at 1 PM, with more door prizes and drink and food specials, along with Brewery Tours at 1, 2, and 3 PM, with Kinsmen Radio Bingo at 5:30 PM. The doors close for the ticketed events of the evening, before the Dixie Rovers and then Dead Phish take over for the evening. 

The Antigonish Townhouse is also celebrating Candid’s opening, as they’ll have Marzen on tap to pair with a lovely Currywurst feature, and for those unable to make it to town for the weekend fun, kegs will be available in HRM at TAPestry Beer Bar and Battery Park very soon.

In Nyanza, up on Cape Breton Island, Big Spruce is bringing both a returning favorite and an all-new jam to the taps this week, a double-dose of terroir from our CB friends. Up first is Major Hop Lips, also known as, “the beer what they put all their farm-grown hops in.” Yup, you may be aware that Big Spruce has a hopyard on their property, and, barring major investment in extensive cold storage and/or processing and pelletizing equipment, the absolute best way to showcase those hops is to pick ‘em and immediately throw them into a batch of beer. A pale ale weighing in at 5.7% ABV and boasting a stiff-ish 59 IBU, it cone-tains (hyuk hyuk) Cascade, Mount Hood, Goldings, Chinook, and Centennial varieties for an overall impression of apricot, pine, and wildflowers. Golden in color, with a crispy white head, the can design (and name) will no doubt trigger nostalgia for drinkers of a certain age.

Secondly, in a move that screams, “Summer’s not over yet, dammit!” comes Respect Your Elders, a Berlinerweiße featuring elderberries sourced, you guessed it, on the Big Spruce farm. Spritzy, dry, and just a little bit tart, this 4.5% ABV beer takes a soft pink color and light fruit character from the elderberries, long considered to be medicinal. We’re not sure you’ll see any health benefits from drinking this one, but we’re guessing your taste buds will be pretty happy. Both of these beers are now available in cans (although the Respect Your Elders is a small batch) at the Big Spruce online shop for delivery, for pints, fills, and cans to go at the brewery, and, we suspect, on tap over the coming days and weeks at your favorite BS tap accounts.

It won’t surprise regular readers of this blog (both of you!) that we’ve got news from 2 Crows Brewing this week, although it may surprise you that we’ve only got one thing to mention. And we’re not going to lie, this one might seem like a bit of a tease… You see, 2 Crows has done a home-and-home collaboration with one of Canada’s shining light breweries, Toronto’s Bellwoods Brewing, and the first of those two beers, loosely based on a New Zealand theme, is now available. Crowbar features, of course, a raft of New Zealand hops, including Rakau, Pacifica, and Motueka to provide notes of honeydew melon, strawberry, and sweet tart candies. It’s 7.0% ABV, and it’s been canned for your convenience, but here’s the kicker: this is the Bellwoods half of the collab, so it’s only available from them. That said, if you’ve got any friends in Toronto, or the rest of Ontario, Bellwoods ships province-wide, so now may be the time to call in that favor your childhood friend/college roommate/cousin/aunt/uncle/great-grandmother owes you!! Meanwhile, we’ll have the deets on the 2 Crows side of the collab when it’s released in coming weeks.

Up on the Rock, in Mount Pearl, Landwash Brewery has a brand new beer available, although for frequenters of their establishment it’s not exactly new. Originally brewed as a taproom exclusive, English Harbour is a 4.8% ABV sour that was conditioned on locally-sourced field cucumbers and rosewater. Bright and thirst-quenching, it was such a hit on tap they decided to do up a big ol’ batch. Available as of yesterday for pints, fills, and in cans to go, look for this one (and their recent Kveik-fermented quick lager Sand Dollar) to be available via wider distro real soon now!

Sticking with Newfoundland for a spell, we go west to Rough Waters Brewing in Deer Lake, where they’re rolling out a very traditional Belgian style. Mechan-enkel is the RW take on an Enkel, the low-percentage daily drinker brewed by and for monks that you may also know by the name Patersbier. At 4.3% ABV it’s not going to knock you over if you have a couple of them, but it’s got plenty of bready flavor from a grist of Pilsner and wheat malts, some complex overtones from the Belgian yeast strain, and additional notes of citrus, honey, and white pepper. Brewed in partnership with Rough Waters Gravel Grind, a 40/75km bike ride through the Humber Valley trail systems, we think this will go down very smooth after a trek like that, or just the trek from your house to the taproom. This one is available on tap and in cans from the brewery, where you can also grab their two CBA Silver medal-winning offerings, Selkie Wheat beer, Sou-wester sour, or the rest of their lineup.

Let’s chat cider for a bit, as Halifax’s Sourwood Cider has a special release on shelves near and far these days. Cox Orange Pet-Nat is a single varietal cider made from the eponymous apple, that was spontaneously fermented using only the yeast and microbes on the fruit, and underwent a 3-week maceration period with the apple flesh and skins hanging around the fermenting cider. Considered a Zero / Zero cider, there was no sulfur added to kill natural yeast or bacteria, and so no other intervention with chemicals or filtration. With just 24 cases produced, this is certainly a small batch, but is now available at Sourwood’s location on Cornwallis Street, their online shop, and for those in Ontario, through Grape Witches’ shop.

As mentioned in the intro, it is Mi’kmaq Heritage Month and many establishments will show their support in one way or another. One of those is Wolfville’s Annapolis Cider, who is back with one of their Something Different series, featuring limited releases and new flavours blended with their dry cider. Something Different: Peach and Ginger is a full-bodied sparkling cider that blends their cool fermented dry cider with fresh-pressed Annapolis Valley peaches and a bit of ginger. Using a cryo-exraction process for the peach juice, this brings out some acidity and fuller, roundness of flavour, along with notes of tropical fruit and warm peach pie. Splashed with ginger juice, this is notable with a warming zip on the finish of this 5.7% cider. This is available now in growlers only at the cidery and $0.50 from each refill of Peach & Ginger will support the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association (NSNWA). NSNWA offers programs, services and advocacy supports to Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people across the province.

Upstreet’s non-alcoholic offshoot, Libra, continues to expand its offerings with the release of two new beers just in time for anyone partaking in Sober October, or just generally looking for a zero alcohol option that still scratches that beer itch. First up is Libra Pumpkin Spice Ale. Expect those classic fall notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. Also joining the party is Libra Pilsner. Brewed with lager yeast and Czech-imported Saaz hops, you can expect a crisp drinking experience with some light malt sweetness. Both beers are 0.4% ABV and are available in 12 and 24 packs at the Libra online store (Pilsner is coming back in a few weeks), with the Pumpkin Spice also available at Upstreet’s retail shop and Craft Beer Corner downtown.

Over to New Brunswick, where you might know that in Village-des-Poirier on the Acadian Peninsula you’ll find Microbrasserie Houblon-Pecheur. What you may also find in the waters nearby, as he doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to leave, is a Great White Shark called, of course, “Brunswick,” but not why you think. Originally tagged off the coast of the Southern US, he was named after the folks of Brunswick, Georgia! Guess he heard about the “other” Brunswick and decided to go on a road trip! A young adult, he’s “only” 8’9” and 430-ish lbs of ocean-going killing machine, but we have every faith his time in the region will bulk him up. What better way to celebrate such a visitor than with a beer? And BHP came up with just the thing, an IPA they’re calling, not surprisingly, Brunswick. At 7.7% ABV and packaged in 500 mL bottles, it’s a double IPA that no doubt packs a shark-sized punch. Look for it at ANBL stores in Caraquet, Tracadie, and Shippagan, with other usually Houblon-Pecheur points of distro expected to pick it up soon.

The Oktoberfest events continue, in addition to Candid’s event mentioned earlier, we’ve got news of a few more coming over the next couple of weeks…

If you’re headed to the Valley this weekend, the Oktoberfest tradition will find you there, too! Starting today, Horton Ridge will have a wonderful tap lineup of 3 new Oktoberfest beers, along with their other core beer and other taps from Tatamagouche, Big Spruce and East Coast Cider. The new beers are an Oktoberfest Honig, a 5.2% Marzen with local honey, Labour of Love, a 5% Schwarzbier and Bucked Up, a 5.5% Kolsch. These will be available all weekend at the malt house. 

Down at the Seaport in Halifax, Garrison Brewing has brought back a beer for a very special in-house event going on Tomorrow, Saturday, October 2nd. It’s a Wienerful Wheat is a hazy, crisp, and refreshing beer, 4.6% ABV and 12 IBU, nominally in the German Weißbier style, with a bready wheat character and overtones of spice and citrus. It was brewed in collaboration with Jack 92.9 FM, specifically morning hosts Griff and Caroline. Fifty cents from every can sold will go towards the Nova Scotia SPCA. Tomorrow’s event will celebrate all of that, with a pet-friendly launch party. Drink and merchandise (pet accessories, natch) deals will be going on all day, with locally handcrafted pet goods from Bog Dog and Hide & Paw also on display and the chance to win a prize pack with stuffs from other vendors @bichobandanas, @craftybeastsbrewingco, @thewhiskerstore, @chowtimepetfoods, and more! So get your furry friend(s) prepped and primped and head down to have some beer and maybe spoil them a little (more).

We’ve been telling you all about various Oktoberfest celebrations throughout the region over the past several weeks, including a couple today, but in classic, “last, but certainly not least,” news comes word that Stillwell Beergarden is doing their thing once again this year on Saturday, October 9. The true blue beer geek’s version of the event in our region, they’ve got confirmed taps from a couple of well regarded out of town breweries, namely Sonnen Hill of Caledon, ON, and Tooth & Nail, of Ottawa, ON, along with a raft of Maritime stalwarts: PEI’s Lone Oak and Bogside, New Brunswick’s Grimross, and Nova Scotia faves Tatamagouche, Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, Uncle Leo’s, and, of course, Stillwell Brewing. Beers are not all confirmed yet, but you can expect plenty of Märzens/Festbiers along with maybe some Pils, German Lager, Kellerpils, Altbier, and possibly even a Munich Dunkel. No tickets, it’ll be first come, first served, but there will be an entry fee (keep an eye on BG social media for details on that). Beer will be served in ½ L and 1 L steins, and there will be some thematically consistent snacks from HQ chef Joe Martin. So maybe forgo the dirndl and lederhosen and move straight for the drinking pants because this is shaping up to be eine gongshow. 

Just a coupla buncha quick hits this week before we let you go:

Newfoundland isn’t immune to the Fall beer craze either. Bannerman’s Marzen-style lager, Safe Bet, is also available in cans and on tap on Duckworth Street. Their take on the style comes in at 5.5% ABV. Using a blend of Vienna, Pilsner and Caramel malts to produce a beautiful copper colour and provide ample malt sweetness.

In more Newfoundland news, Crooked Feeder has two new releases in its Sour Series. Passion Fruit Sour and Grapefruit Sour are both available at the Cormack taproom and at Marie’s Minimart locations in St. John’s.

If you like your marine vessels to be airborne, Flying Boats has a returning favourite at the brewery and select ANBL stores in a limited release. Red Cap is a 4.8% Peanut Butter Stout using a base of an English-style Double Oatmeal Stout with all-natural peanut butter flavour added in the final stages of fermentation. A mix of peanut butter aroma, flavor with chocolate notes, this is in 473ml cans and on tap and growler fills while quantities last. 

Heading down the river, Rothesay’s Foghorn Brewing Co. is releasing a new Double IPA, Trident to Da Troat. Coming in at 8.5% ABV, expect a deep orange colour, with big hop aroma and flavour from the dry-hopping. Grab it today in cans or by the pint in the taproom.

The Fall beers continue to roll out of brite tanks and canning lines across the region. In Fredericton, Fall means the return of Grimross’ Vienna Lager, King’s Horn. This super clean lager with the style’s signature malt sweetness is available now at the brewtique now on Bishop Drive. 

Windsor’s Schoolhouse Brewery is the fall mood this week as well, as they release Pumpkin Paddler is a 6% Bock with some added pumpkin spice flavour. Try it today at the brewery on Water Street.

We’ll leave you with two final re-releases. Wizzum is back in stock at Trailway. This west coast style IPA has slightly more bitterness than you’ve come to expect from Trailway. Look for a touch of sweet malt flavours and hops that profile the classic pine and resin west coast notes. Finally, on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore, Cup O Joe is back at Sober Island. This 5.8% coffee porter features an addition of Trider coffee and is available now in cans. 

One more thing this week…

For those who like exploring a bit of science as they craft, create, or enjoy beer, the Master Brewers Association of the Americas is a great place to start. While membership is reserved for those in the brewing industry, or students who may join later, there are resources available to the general public such as their free weekly podcast, tapping into their industry members to contribute research and knowledge to everyone in the industry (or just interested in learning more!). For the first time, we in Atlantic Canada have a seat at the table, as Blair Tobin, owner and Head Brewer of Topside Brewing, has been elected as the Atlantic Canada Representative of District Atlantic Eastern Canada. With a local brewer/owner on the board, expect to see more MBAA exposure at events in the region, and more resources available to local brewers, from both pure research side of things, as well as from partnering companies in the malt, yeast, and hops world. Congratulations to Tobin on the election! And hey, while we’re toasting Tobin, we’re thinking Topside’s returning Winter seasonal Chaos Stout is as good a choice as any. The 6.6% Oatmeal Stout with dark chocolate notes complementing the bold roasted malt flavours. Find it on tap at Finbar’s Portland Hills today, and you can always reach out to Topside directly for growler fills via Social Media (Fb/Ig).

 

Fall is nearly here, so that means a few things are here with certainty: Oktoberfest (!), Pumpkin Ales and rising COVID-19 cases. As we get excited for new releases and events currently going on, we see rising cases and lockdowns in Alberta. Make sure to enjoy what you can safely for yourself, friends and family and remember to check out all of the latest restrictions as part of your never-ending beer journey. Now, onto the fun stuff!

Let’s kick things off with a brewery that hasn’t graced these pages in a while. Digby/Kingston’s Roof Hound Brewing has released Aurora Haze, a 4% ABV session IPA. The beer gets its name from the Aurora aircraft that frequent the CFB Greenwood, near Roof Hound’s Kingston location. This hazy SIPA exclusively features Amarillo hops, which were only added during the dry hopping phase, keeping the bitterness low while pulling out all of those great hop aromas. Bottles and pints are available now at the Kingston location. 

In lovely Port Rexton, Newfoundland, their hometown brewery continues to release new and returning favourite beers, with a pair of collaborations out in the last couple of weeks. Celebrating the BonRexton GranFondo, which took place in Hurricane Larry’s wake last Saturday, they released Headwind Pale Ale. This 4.8% easy drinking ale is the right balance of citrus and stone fruit, with a touch of bitterness too. Still on tap at the brewery, as well as in cans at their St. John’s Retail Shop. And returning in cans is Shoreline, a Salted Stout, featuring salt from the Newfoundland Salt Company, headquartered in nearby Bonavista. Big roast and chocolate notes are complemented by the light minerality and mouthfeel in the 6.5% beer.

And congratulations to co-owner and Head Brewer Alicia MacDonald who will be in the keynote “Women in Beer – Equity, Inclusion and Solidarity” during this weekend’s Canadian Brewing Awards and Conference. Joined by other women in the beer biz, she’ll be joined by other female brewers and those selling beer, to talk on their experiences and what needs to be done to include more in the beer world. Still awaiting details if it can be streamed or watched later, but keep your eyes on the front page for the streaming of the Awards Saturday night…

Speaking of hometown breweries, Tatamagouche Brewing has released the latest in their Intertidal Series this week, their foray into hop-forward beers. Building on the Ekuanot Rye IPA and Idaho Gem, comes Intertidal Tiny. Living up to its name, this is a 3.5% Session IPA, which Brewer Chad Ellis built to impress from the ground up. Starting with Horton Ridge Pale and Vienna as the base malts, Malted Wheat, Malted Oats, and Chit malt rounded out the grains. Walking the tightrope of low alcohol without being too thin, a hotter mash was used to enhance the mouthfeel. Hops-wise, the fun started with mash additions, followed by big whirlpool and then dry hops after brew day. Focusing on Sabro and Mosaic, with a touch of Citra, the tropical, stone fruit, and citrus are strong with this one, complementing the coconut and lime. On tap at the brewery now, with cans dropping in store and on their webstore any minute now.

Propeller Brewing’s Flat White is back in stock as of yesterday. This white stout features many of the aromas and flavours you’d expect in its darker cousin, but in a format that tricks the eye with its golden colour. Prop’s version uses cold-brewed Java Blend coffee and cocoa nibs, that compliment a creamy mouthfeel and medium body, helped out by the use of flaked oats in the malt bill. Expect lots of coffee and chocolate notes in this 5% ABV take on the style, which also features 30 IBUs to keep those sweeter flavours in balance. Cans are available now at Propellor’s three HRM locations and online for delivery and shipping.

Montague PEI’s Copper Bottom continues their barrel-aged sour program with its latest release this week. Like Bramble and Thicket before it, Empire is a mixed ferm beer that was fermented then aged in oak for six, before being transferred to stainless and hit with loads of peaches before packaging and bottle conditioning. Fruit and funk shine through in this 5.1% beer, which is available in bottles at the brewery and their online shop for delivery Island-wide.

Downtown Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing is having some friendly in-house competition between 3 members of their brewing staff. “The Battle of the Brewhouse” is a draught-only competition at their taproom and patio on Alderney Drive. First up, from Lucas, is Rye Not?, a Roggenbier spiced with mace and Kashmiri chili. Roggenbier translates exactly to “Rye Beer”, which typically has a malt profile of at least 50% malted Rye, but can vary as brewers see fit. Lucas’ version uses 50% and comes in at 5% ABV with balanced sweetness and forward nuttiness, and a slight slickness also characteristic of the rye malt. The Kashmiri chili builds slowly for some pepper heat.

Next up from Chris is SORRY DAD, an American Pale Ale hopped with Chinook, Simcoe and Mandarina Bavaria. It has lovely aromas of pine and orange, well balanced with some finishing orange flavours and full bodied maltiness; a 5.6% and 41 IBU offering that might just please everyone. 

The last beer in the Battle is from head brewer Mike, with New Wave, a Gose featuring local smoked sea salt and lemon grass additions. A twist on a traditional gose, this one was done using a sour mash technique with added salt and coriander as tradition would go, but also with lemongrass and smoked sea salt from Dartmouth’s own Maritime Salt. A very fragrant beer with citrus note and slight salinity and smoke from the sea salt, it comes in at 5.2%.

We’re not sure exactly how the competition works or what spoils go to the winner, but we’re sure that in order to participate you’ll need to head down and drink some beer and you’ll be sure to find out the details if you do!!

Port-au-Port’s own Secret Cove (that’s not too far from Stephenville, Newfoundland) has a new canned release available today that should be fairly widely available on the eastern side of Newfoundland for more to enjoy. Pee-Wee German is a Berliner Weiße with lime and is sure to be a refreshing and tasty release. A style that we enjoy all year around, this 3.5% offering should be easy-drinking, with slight sourness with a kick of lime. It is available in 473 mL cans immediately from the brewery, but also look for this in St. John’s at Marie’s Mini Mart, along with a few other offerings from Secret Cove. 

We started with the Oktoberfest info last week (or was it the week before?), but it’s coming hot and heavy now folks!

Last week we teased some details about the Oktoberfest festivities at Lwr Sackville’s TAPestry Beer Bar. The fun kicks off this weekend, with a mystery flight of German style beers for Flight School Friday and the beginning of the official two week celebration tomorrow. Circle Saturday the 25th on your calendar for Celebration Day which will feature a wide selection of German style beers from Nova Scotian breweries, a German inspired food menu and free prizes throughout the day. The festivities wrap up with Closing Ceremonies on Saturday, October 3. Check out TAPestry’s social channels (Fb/Ig) for more details.

Hot off the heels of their big US competition wins we mentioned last week, Moncton’s Tire Shack is starting their three weekend long Oktoberfest celebration tomorrow. Euston Park will be popping up a kitchen to serve some authentic German foodstuffs and, of course, there will be a special brew on the go, a Munich Helles they’ve dubbed Helles Yeah! Each weekend, $20 will get you a 1 L stein you can take home after all is said and done, plus your first fill up. Also, the beer has been packaged, so you’ll be able to grab some cans to fill it up again at home!

Montague’s Bogside Brewing is doing an Oktoberfest celebration with a salty, briny twist on Saturday, October 2nd, when they have their OYSToberfest. Two ticketed events are on the slate that day, the first being a Beer School VIP Brewery Tour and Tasting ($25 – tickets here) from 12:30 – 1:30 PM and the second a Shuck ‘U’ demonstration with John Petcoff ($70 – tickets here) from 2:00 – 3:30 PM. From there you can stick around for the Oyster Bar that runs from 4 – 8 PM and two live music events (Keira Loane from 3 – 6 PM and The Broad Cove Boys from 7 – 10 PM). Meanwhile, the brewery is also running a promo on some of their summer products: 20% off purchases of $75 or more on the following products: six-packs of Radler and singles of Sun of a Beach Hopped Sour, Cranberry Wheat, Spirit of Georgetown Gose, Strawberry Sour. Head down to the brewery or place your online order here.

Also on the Island, and last up (for this week, anyway) on the march to Bavarian bliss, is PEI Brewing Company, who are doing their OktoberFEAST on the weekend of October 8th. Starting Friday night at 4 PM with German-inspired food stations along with some not-so-German games (washer toss, cornhole, axe-throwing, and more), there will also be an old school re-release of Gahan Harvest Gold Pale Ale available on draught. On Saturday, things get underway at noon, with all the same games as Friday (except the axe-throwing), plus some game tournaments and other competitions where you can win some PEIBC gift cards. All ticket holders will also receive a 20oz beer stein and their first fill. Tickets are for Friday and Saturday are separate, and for Saturday there’s also the option to tag on an additional ticket for a post-OktoberFEAST album release show by Andrew Waite starting at 8:30 PM.

And here’s your last few quick hits to help inform your weekend beer purchases:

Earlier this summer, the folks at Breton put together a proper French saison they called Île Royale Saison with the folks from Fortress Louisbourg Association to be served at La Taverne Storehouse. With the season winding down, they’ve packaged what was remaining in cans so folks closer to town can enjoy it. We’ll warn you, though, a very small amount is available, so get yourself to the brewery (or put your online order in) in a hurry if you want to try it!

Lastly, if you missed the previous release, there’s a fresh batch of DOA available today at Unfiltered Brewing on North Street. Grab it in cans to go or find it on tap next door at Charm School now.

And if you’re a big fan of Citra hops but are closer to Fredericton than Halifax, Trailway has got you covered for  a citrus hoppy kick, as their Seeing Citra is also back this week. Sit down in the taproom for a pint, have a growler filled, or grab some cans to go!

Dartmouth’s Lake City Cider has a lovely new liquid out that’s thoroughly Nova Scotia and shows what can happen when producers get together and try new things. Lake City married their classic Darkside Dry cider with Caldera Whisky from River John, NS, to produce Apple Jack, an 8.0% ABV concoction that brings notes of oak and spicy rye with plenty of apple presence. Available now in cans from the cidery.

And finishing up today on the Rock, where Landwash has a new “quick little lager” they produced with the KRISPY kveik lager-targeted yeast blend from Escarpment Labs. Coming in at 4.5% ABV and featuring German Saphir hops, look for a bit of spice and even some candied orange; a nice little beer to see out the summer! Look for it at the brewery now and elsewhere (hopefully) soon.

It’s well past the midpoint of August now and we’re sitting here melting into puddles and wondering when the soothing cool nights we’re usually enjoying by this point in the year are. Thankfully, our region’s breweries are stepping up to ensure we’ve got plenty of beer to keep us refreshed and to help us forget that our planet is on fire. Wheeee! While we’re still a ways away from our target vaccination numbers for the “new normal” Phase 5 / Green / Alert Level 1, we’re definitely hearing and seeing evidence that there are more folks visiting from out of the region and more people trying to get out and enjoy themselves. We’d like to remind everyone to be smart and be kind when it comes to their interactions over the coming weeks. If you’re seeing lots of people, try to be outside about it, continue to take advantage of the free testing facilities that are still available, and try not to put vulnerable folks at risk. Most of all, be good to each other, and especially to those folks who are working in restaurants that are just opening up or just expanding service. People are adjusting to being back at work after long layoffs, restaurants are adjusting to higher demand and a different balance of takeout/delivery and in-person dining, and everyone is learning how to be out in public again. We’re still all in this together!!

We’ll start off this week with a Halifax brewery that doesn’t constantly pump out new releases, but instead focuses on consistency and quality delivered with attitude: Unfiltered Brewing. Of course, you probably figure that if we are talking about them, it’s because they do have something new, and you’d be right about that. Featuring a name you have to be old enough to appreciate, Gazoo is a 4.5% ABV key lime sour. Bright, tart and a fairly low ABV, it’ll be an excellent refresher for the awfully humid weather the HRM has been enduring. Although it won’t magically fix everything, it’s got some awfully cute little antennae on the label to boot; if you’re wondering why, you need to get more Flintstones into your life. Grab some at the brewery before it disappears back to Zetox. While you’re at it, you can also grab some Hellevator, their 7% “juicy malt bomb” with all German ingredients (save water) that has returned for another run, and also some ultra fresh DOA, the most Citra beer that ever Citra’d.

Despite being on Canada’s east coast, Newfoundland’s Split Rock Brewing Co.’s location on North Twillingate Island affords it an unobstructed westward ocean view, which means beautiful sunsets filling the summer sky. In a nod to this, Split Rock is releasing Golden Hour, a 6.5% juicy IPA. Expect big tropical, stone fruit and citrusy notes from additions of El Dorado, Galaxy and Amarillo hops, with mostly late additions keeping the bitterness low. Grab a pint now at the taproom (may we suggest around sunset time). 

Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing may be best known for their juicy and flavourful New England IPAs (Route 117 and Citra in a Galaxy come to mind), but this week they’re bringing something completely different. Has Been is a Grisette, a lighter-bodied and more delicate French/Belgian Farmhouse Saison. While low in alcohol, at just 4.3% ABV, it features plenty of lovely notes from the Lemondrop and Motueka hops used, complemented by the use of Jotünn kveik yeast from Escarpment Labs, for a dry and spritzy beer with a fruity and herbal finish. On draught only, so put Le Barbu and CAVOK in Dieppe, as well as Tide & Boar Brewing on your shortlist to visit this weekend. And if your looking for something a little different, Caffé Latte is coming to Le Barbu in the next day or two. This is a Milk Stout (a touch of lactose sugar used for body and residual sweetness) with cold-brewed coffee added to the secondary. Keep an eye on IG to see that tapping announcement!

Up on the North side of Nova Scotia, Tatamagouche Brewing has one new beer hitting the shelves this week and a couple of returning favorites as well. Up first is the newbie with a name, Herlihy, that, if you’re old and decrepit like us, you might think you recognize from early 90s Saturday Night Live (“Let the boy water your plants!”), but which is actually a reference to a road in Tabusintac, NB, and is pronounced Her-Lee-High rather than Her-Li-Hee. An Irish Stout with a fairly low ABV at 4.5%, the grist consists largely of pale malt with some crackery biscuit malt and chocolate malt to bring roasty chocolatey flavors and a deep dark color. UK hop variety Fuggle provides its classic spicy, herbal, and resiny profile, and the London ESB yeast strain ensures plenty of body and a smooth mouthfeel. Look for this one in cans at the brewery for now.

If, however, you’re looking for something at the lighter end of the spectrum, the latest batch of Pausa Pranzo Italian Pilsner is available now, this time with a little heavier hand with the Ariana on the dry hop but with the same malt side and 5.0% ABV. Lastly, if what you’re really craving is something nice and hoppy, but not too high on the ABV spectrum, we can confirm that the Cellar Slammer we mentioned last week is available once again direct from the brewery or at Bishop’s Cellar (who are also scheduled to be carrying the Pausa Pranzo) in Halifax.

Tusket Falls Brewing is bringin’ the hops this week with the release of a new DIPA, Details are Cloudy. This 8% ABV take on the style gets its cloudy mouthfeel by adding oats to a malt bill featuring German barley. Big dry hops of Citra and Amarillo give this one lots of fruit notes, including tangerine, lemon and peach. Cans are available at the taproom now and online through TFB’s webstore. HRM fans of Tusket should also keep an eye on the brewery’s social channels as they’ve teased that the opening date of their Gottingen Street taproom will be announced soon. Check below if you’re interested in becoming part of their team…

Let’s stick with cloudy and pillowy IPAs, this time at North Grant’s Half Cocked Brewery. Pillow Fort is a juicy, 7.4% NEIPA that features huge additions of Idaho 7, Eukanot and Mosaic. The photos of this one on Half Cocked’s social channels show a beautiful golden colour, with the telltale NEIPA haze. Expect lots of tropical fruit aromas and flavours, including papaya and mango, as well as some vanilla notes. Pillow Fort is available now for pints and growler fills, keep your eyes peeled for kegs in the wild in HRM next week! And those who make the visit to North Grant are well-advised to check out The Crafty Cooks, the food truck operating onsite this summer. They even open early for Brunch!

First across the post with Oktoberfest/Marzen beers this year, Grimross in Fredericton has released their eponymous beer in this style. Oktoberfest, a 5.6% ABV malt-forward beer, featuring bread and toast characters, as well as light brown sugar and toffee notes. Available on tap and in cans now. Also returning is their Grimdonk Belgian Golden Ale, 6.5% ABV, with notes of banana, clove, and coriander, also on draught and cans. These returning faves join the latest entries in their Scratch Series, Hopped Saison and Irish Red. The latter is a farmhouse ale fermented using their own house-isolated yeast, and then dry-hopped with Hallertau Blanc. The Irish Red features malt-derived notes of caramel and coffee, with a dry finish, weighing in at 4.5% ABV.

And as right… now… you can grab a pint of Grimross’ British Mild, pouring direct from a cask, where it was naturally carbonated in the traditional manner, leading to a softer mouthfeel and less bite. This is the absolute last of the Mild in-house, though ANBL still has cans for those die hard anglophiles.

If cider is more your thing this weekend, head down to Wolfville for the latest release from Annapolis Cider Company’s Something Different line. Strawberry Lime starts with the cidery’s cold fermented cider and some fresh apple juice, and sees additions of fresh-pressed local strawberries and pure lime juice. The result is a 6% ABV rose gold colored cider, with subtle berry flavours and a crisp finish. The good people at Annapolis Cider Co. are also donating $0.50 from each refill of Strawberry Line to Shelter Moves Nova Scotia, a charity that provides free moving and storage service to women and children fleeing abuse. Cheers to that.

Big news out of Spryfield, Nova Scotia this week, where the much-anticipated Mary Brown’s Chicken opened their doors yesterday. But before we go completely off-topic, we’ve got to remind you that the best spot to enjoy your Big Mary is next door at Serpent Brewing, where they’ve got a new British Dark Mild pouring these days, their 4.0% Some Mild. Notes of toast, nut, and caramel shine through, with a touch of fruity sweetness from the English yeast. On draught and in crowlers and growlers to go. And if you’re in downtown Dartmouth, you can grab it at Battery Park, where their Eden Belgian IPA is also pouring. On the Halifax side, White Mountain Witbier is at the Stillwell Freehouse. For those who are more into enjoying their beer at home or at the beach, cans of Eden and Patey’s Bier Belgian Single are both being released at Bishop’s Cellar tomorrow.

Most people know that Halifax’s Bishop’s Cellar is the place to go when it comes to finding a well-curated selection of local, regional, domestic, and imported tipples of all kinds. In addition to beers mentioned above, some new things you’ll find on the shelves there in the next week or two include Tanner & Co. Wheat, Mountain Meadworks Strawberry Arboreal, and Big Spruce Hour of Sour. Though they’ve always had Province-wide delivery available, the pandemic has certainly altered their business model and they’re now finding themselves looking for more help on the warehousing and delivery front. Folks who have a Class 5 drivers license, a desire to work in a fast-paced and friendly environment, and who are interested in getting into the bevvy industry on the distribution side are welcome to send a resume to ian@bishopscellar.com. Perks of the job include a staff discount on beer, wine, and spirits!

We teased earlier that Tusket Falls’ Halifax taproom is inching towards a grand opening. As they grow their operations, Tusket is looking to hire for both its HRM and Yarmouth County locations. They are currently on the hunt for serving and kitchen staff. If you’re interested, send a resume to info@tusketfallsbrewing.com or stop by the taproom in Tusket.

Trying to figure out what to do this weekend? Those in HRM have a couple of great options!

Last week’s post mentioned the Island Release of the Lone Oak and 2 Crows Together and Apart beers, and the time has come to let the rest of the world enjoy them as well. We’ll skip the details on the beer, and let you know that 2C’s webstore has both in stock for local delivery as well as Canada-wide shipping. And to celebrate, the fine folks at Lone Oak are making the trek off-island and will be doing a tap feature on Brunswick Street tomorrow from noon. Fixed Link German Pils, Modest Tiny Pale Ale, Yankee Gale APA, Delight Golden Sour with Peaches, and Rouge Farmhouse with Lucie Kuhlmann Grapes will be pouring alongside a handful of house-brewed beer. And to make this truly an event not to be missed, the fine folks from Tako Loko will be popping up from noon as well, providing some much-needed sustenance to keep you drinking all afternoon.

For those looking for a cider-based events (but still love tacos!), great news! Thanks to some special relationships with world-class cider makers to both the East and South, Stillwell Beergarden will be hosting a “Side by Side” tap feature of three sought after and super great ciders on draught. From Spain, Isastegi is located in the Basque region, renowned for their natural cider, and Stilly was able to finagle some of their Sagardo Naturala to pour alongside Oliver’s Cider from Herefordshire in England, and ANXO Cider from Washington, DC. Whether you are a hard-core apple-head, or new to cider, we suggest making a stop on Monday and/or Tuesday to check out the offerings on the go!