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We’re officially halfway through April, and halfway through Nova Scotia Craft Beer Month (COVID-limited edition), but that doesn’t mean there’s not a bunch of news from the other provinces in Atlantic Canada. So while the weather isn’t exactly screaming “Spring is here” this weekend in much of the region, there’s still plenty of good beer to explore, including the annual return of a hoppy beast, some cool collaborations, and a new option for good beer drinking in St. John’s.

After years of planning, and months of anticipation from thirsty patrons, the East Duckworth area of St. John’s is about to welcome another beery establishment! Bar Brewdock is the brainchild of Craig Farewell and Steve Martin, the busy fellas behind the Newfoundland Craft Beer Festival and plenty of other beer-centric events. Their love of craft beer is more than a decade old, and they are ready to share the passion in a permanent establishment with their fellow Newfoundlanders. With 24 rotating taps (including 2 Czech side-pull faucets for that silky-smooth beer with a tight creamy head) and the province’s first Beer Engine (perfect for casks!), Brewdock will be pouring beer from independent breweries across the province and beyond. Chef Chris Mercer is the brains in the kitchen, whose team is whipping up beer-pairing-worthy snacks and plates for those visiting, with veggie and vegan dishes available too. Benefiting from, and building upon, the great distribution breweries from across the province are seeing to the Avalon, their debut tap list features beers from Bootleg, Boomstick, Rough Waters, Port Rexton, Baccalieu Trail, Ninepenny, Landwash, and Quidi Vidi, with kegs from more craft breweries in Newfoundland and Labrador, the rest of the Atlantic provinces, and beyond to be following along in short order. Look for their collaboration brew with Toslow at Bannerman Brewing to be released in the next couple of weeks, securing the camaraderie of the East Duck Beer District. Named Block Party, this Hibiscus Saison has a lovely pink hue owing to the flower, and is reminiscent of both Brewdock’s iconic 24 Flavors sign and Toslow’s ambient lighting. Sounds perfect outside on a warm day, which is fitting as in addition to their indoor seating for about 40, their Beer Garden will feature even more very soon. Brewdock opens their doors to the public next Thursday, April 22nd, and operates Wed (4 – 11 PM), Thurs (4 – 12 AM), Fri – Sun (12 PM – 12 AM). Congratulations to Farewell, Martin, Mercer, and the whole Brewdock team!

From one three-way collaboration to another, let’s head to Nova Scotia, where its breweries are celebrating Nova Scotia Craft Beer Month. While COVID has put a damper on any big events, it is still an opportunity for some conspiring, with Organic breweries Big Spruce and Tatamagouche once again teaming up for their Cerberus American IPA. But this duet is even better as a trio, and they have enlisted Cole Harbour’s North Brewing to complete the team. Heavily hopped late in the boil with Simcoe, El Dorado, and Mosaic, and further enhanced with a big biotransformation addition (mid-ferment to have the yeast help convert some terpenes), as well as a pair of dry hoppings, this will satisfy any hop head who dares take on the beast. From Big Spruce’s big spruce Jeremy White, “Every year Tata and Big Spruce get together to remind the NS craft beer world of what it means to be an organic brewer:  sustainability, environment and ecology. Cerberus also happens to be one monstrous, haze driven, hop forward aroma bomb as well! Last year we invited North to the dance, and the foot stomps felt just right with them around, so we decided to double up and have them to dinner again!” Cerberus is out today in cans and draught at all three breweries, with growler fills available at both Big Spruce and Tata.

And if you’re looking for a way to celebrate the release (or celebrate Friday, who are we to judge), get yourself to Downtown Dartmouth’s Battery Park today for their Three-Headed Tap Takeover, with each brewery bringing 5 bangin’ beers to the taps, and it may be the only way to experience both the Cerberus on draught and on cask side by side, which is sure to change the flavour profile. The beers are pouring from their opening at 11:30 AM, with the full details on who’s pouring what available here.

morALE Brewsters is a service member- and veteran-owned nano brewery in Oromocto, New Brunswick, and due to their small production size, primarily serve the local area bars and restaurants. Wanting to expand their reach, the morALE team worked with the fine folks at Dieppe’s CAVOK Brewing to upscale one of their brands to serve a larger audience. Pte Bloggins is a 5.0% ABV Blonde Ale, light on the bitterness at 14 IBU, and perfect for enjoying in volume after a long day doing drill on the tarmac (or lazing around on the deck). Kegs have been delivered to their locals Griffin’s Pub and Mingler’s in Oromocto, as well as to the Pics Roundhouse, Grimross, and host brewery CAVOK, with cans also available at CAVOK as well as the ANBL locations Fredericton York Street, Corvette Centre, and Oromocto. And don’t be shy asking for it at your own ANBL or local bar if you’d like to see it on tap. The morALE team is thrilled for the experience, and very thankful to Serges Basque and Nadeau, and the brewing team of Ben and Guillaume.

In some Nova Scotian collaboration news, Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing and Mahone Bay’s Saltbox have come together for a special release! Salty Lion is a hoppy, hazy Double IPA coming in at 8.2%. Generously hopped with Ekuanot and Citra, it brings that orange citrus flavour with notes of peach as well. Watch for this release available now on tap at the Saltbox and New Scotland taprooms and it will also be available in cans from both locations as well. 

We’ve got a new one from the Do Gooders (Good Doers?) at Upstreet as they have a brand new crisp and refreshing 4% ABV crusher they’re calling Cavalier. A light lager with a light body and grassy notes, sweetness on the nose and flavour, that has well balanced bitterness and is very crisp. Leveraging some rice in the grain bill to keep the body in check and Ekuanot to hop, the result is a very refreshing lager. Get this one in 355 mL cans from Upstreet directly (in store and online) with 12-packs going for just over $23! And if you give them the secret password when you head into the brewery to grab a case, they may even let you try the pilot batch of their next Libra non-alcoholic beer, a Hazy IPA.

Halifax’s 2 Crows has decided this won’t be one of the (very) few weeks of the year when they don’t release something new as they are releasing Roble today. Billed as an “oak-fermented wild Witbier” coming in at 4.2% ABV, those with long beer memories – like our own @acbbchris – may recognize some shared DNA with Ramble, their 2.9% ABV “wild table Witbier” from the summer of 2018. Originally brewed in late 2020 on a base of Shoreline Malting Pilsner, wheat malt, raw wheat, and some flaked wheat, it was mash hopped with plenty of Sterling and kettle hopped with more Sterling and some Citra. Traditional coriander and fresh orange zest were added via the hopback before the beer was shipped into a foedre for fermentation with the 2C house culture on a pile of sliced oranges. The oranges were removed after fermentation was complete, but the beer remained in foedre to condition for several months before it was finished with a dry hop of Bru-1 hops and can-conditioned with Champagne yeast. Described as, “dry, super-orangey, zippy, fun, funky, and fresh,” you almost certainly won’t find it too bitter at 19 IBU. Look for it at the brewery now, and according to the 2C team, there’s another (slightly tweaked) batch conditioning in foedre right now as this one is slated to be a semi-regular member of their lineup!

Keeping it cool in PEI, we’ve got some bad mother shuckers from Bogside giving us a new release. Shucker’s Select West Coast IPA is a 7.1% hop forward, bitter release that is layered with hop aroma and flavour at 55 IBU. Available on tap at the brewery now, look for kegs across the province, and cans to go or for Island-wide delivery!

Straight outta Stellarock, there is some exciting from Backstage Brewing. Although they’ve previously done some limited bottling runs since their opening in 2017, this week they’ve gotten themselves some swank new bottle branding thanks to Task at Hand Illustration & Design. Also responsible for the Backstage logo, Task at Hand has produced a new run of 4 labels (with more to come, we hope) for some of Backstage’s core beers. 

And what better way to celebrate the new labels than with a new beer?! Off the Hop is a 4.3% ABV Golden Ale featuring Shoreline Malting Pilsner malt and balanced out nicely with Mosaic and Centennial hops. Fermented with a British ale yeast, this is a fun style that can range from more British-centric, with more malt presence and earthy, herbal hops, to more New World, with a lighter body and American hops; this one seems to aim for a nice balance. Try it yourself and see what you think; it’s available now in 500 mL bottles from the brewery on Bridge Ave. 

Jumping across the Northumberland, Village Green has another hop-forward release this week with Antipode. This 6.2% IPA features some of our favourite southern hemisphere hops, with additions of Galaxy, the elusive Nelson Sauvin and Motueka. Expect lots of fruit-forward notes from the hops, including cantaloupe, strawberry, and according to the brewer “white gummy bears that have been smuggled into movie theatres.” Antipode is available in cans and on tap now at the brewery in Cornwall. 

Always bringing the hits and fan favourites, there is some summery and exciting news out of Propeller. First up, we see the re-release of Lime Lite lager. If you remember this from last year, this was a canned hit that was popular for those summer months and it’s back this year with the same light lager infused with real fresh limes but in shorter 355 mL cans. Bringing some nice citrus aroma and a very crisp, clean and refreshing finish at 4.5% ABV and 10 IBU it is is available today at all the Prop Shops and online for delivery; it will also be stocked at Bishop’s Cellar and NSLCs starting in May and available throughout the summer. 

In other news from their Quinpool location, there is a new Small Batch that will be available today! Mosaic Pale Ale was made on the on-site pilot system so the quantities are quite limited. This refreshing pale ale style is hopped generously with Mosaic which should bring a well balanced flavour of fresh berries with a bit of piney-resin. It’s on tap only (no growlers) as of today at Quinpool, Prop Arcade, and you’ll find some popping up at Battery Park later as well. 

For a few other quick hitters from Propeller, Common Lager is retiring but will be available for $40 per flat while supplies last. It’s never a bad idea to have a good stock beer around and that’s a great deal for 24 cans. 

Also, Community Cask Night is back next Friday, so be sure to check out the Facebook event here

In addition to the three-way Tap Takeover at Battery Park today, here’s what else is on our radar…

Moncton’s Euston Park Social is popping up in the Tire Shack Brewery taproom this weekend, for a preview and Test Kitchen version of what’s to come to their spot this summer. From 3 PM today, and noon both Saturday and Sunday, you’ll be able to try out the cool dishes to come before anyone else!

Down the Eastern Shore (or is it up?), Sober Island is celebrating its 5th anniversary with a COVID-friendly day of beer, food and music. From noon to 6:00 PM tomorrow, the brewery will be offering brewery tours and free flights to accompany live music and food available for purchase from the Ground Search and Rescue food truck. If you can’t make it on Saturday, the taproom is now open on Wednesday through Sunday, and as temperatures rise, keep an eye out for the opening of their outdoor beer garden. Congrats to Sober Island on 5 years!

Next week, Hopyard Charlottetown is kicking off the second annual Battle of the Breweries. Every Thursday, for nine weeks, HopYard will feature a keg from two breriews who will face-off, with the winner determined by which keg kicks first. This year’s battle will include local favourites such as Lone Oak, Village Green, Red Island Cider, Moth Lane, Evermoore, Upstreet, Bogside, Copper Bottom and PEI Brewing Co. Let the games begin!  

And a few quick mentions as we wrap up the beer news:

On April 1, we profiled Bluenose Lager, a collab between Garrison and Shipwright Brewing to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Bluenose. Cans are now available through both of the breweries’ retail channels and at private liquor stores.

Earlier this month we told you about the grand opening of Serpent Brewing’s taproom in Spryfield. We’re happy to report that Serpent’s kegs are now starting to make their way into beer slinging establishments across HRM. Look for keg or their Belgian IPA and Belgian Single at Battery Park, with the Single also making an appearance at The Other Bean

Trailway continues to glance back while moving forward and putting out updated versions of some older brews. This week it’s More Better, an IPA that features dank and resinous Simcoe hops, this time complemented by some Citra. Grab it fresh at the brewery today.

A couple more breweries in the region are looking for some help around their breweries and taprooms for the summer and perhaps beyond:

Bedford’s Off Track Brewing is looking to grow their team and they have a part-time opening for a server/bartender who will also be called on to handle retail sales. As with all serving positions, it’s 19+ only, and in addition, a valid driver’s license is required along with the ability to do some occasional lifting (50lbs+), availability for days, evenings, and weekends, and, as the brewery is dog-friendly, comfort with working around puppers. Folks with relevant experience and a strong customer focus are welcome to apply, but please send in your resume to allan@offtrackbrewing.ca rather than bringing it in person due to current COVID protocols. Off Track is an inclusive place, and folks from all races, sexual orientations, religions, and cultures are welcome to apply. 

Fredericton’s Trailway Brewing is looking to staff a summer position largely centered on their canning and bottling lines, but with additional duties supporting the brewers and cellar folks as required. An entry-level position, they’re expecting it to run 25 – 40 hours per week, depending on production levels and starting ASAP. Resumes will be reviewed as early as this week, so if you’re interested, best get your resume into the brewery in a hurry by sending it to info@trailwaybrewing.com!

Bubble bobble, it’s time for our weekly hobble! Terrible jokes aside, we’re all looking forward to the reestablishment of the Atlantic Bubble in a month. There have been many tasty treats through our great region and we’re happy to have it coincide with the warmer weather (those in Nova Scotia ignore that part). Hope is in the air and beer news is down below!

After a pop-up retail tease in the fall, Spryfield’s brewery, Serpent Brewing, is opening on a permanent basis this weekend. Located at 16 Dentith Rd, the taproom and retail spot is located just off Sussex Street under the Canadian Tire (and next door to the future home of Mary Brown’s Chicken). While they received some less-than-great news that their taproom permits have been delayed due to a hand-off from the NSLC to Alcohol and Gaming (thanks NS gummint!), there is beer in kegs and bottles so they are opening their retail store for take-away Saturday at noon, and Sunday at 2 PM. Next week and going forward, they are open Wednesdays 2 – 8 PM, Thursdays through Saturdays 12 – 10 PM, and Sundays 2 – 8 PM. Their 5 BBL (600 litre) brewhouse has been working overtime to prepare the 7 Belgian-inspired beers available on draught and in bottles. Those who visited the pop-up in 2020 have already had a chance to try their Patey’s Bier, their 4.6% ABV Singel/Patersbier, Eden, their 6.0% ABV Belgian IPA, and White Mountain Witbier, coming in at 5.5% ABV. These three are available to go in bottles as well as growler fills (and pints soon enough). Add to that Medusa, a 7.4% ABV Dubbel, and 33, their 8.0% ABV Tripel, completing the trifecta of Monastic beers. Both of these, as well as The Bite cider are available in bottles this weekend.

Serpent’s first Founders Club release is also available, this one being a taproom exclusive due to its limited nature… Chocolate Lake Chili Porter was brewed with Rob, one of the early adopters to their Beer Creation Experience, allowing members to conceive the beer, help with the brew day, and even work with their designer on the label artwork. While all of those memberships for the 2021 edition have been snapped up, there are still some spots in their Brew Club, the 24 month membership which provides you with a Serpent growler and your choice of a growler fill, two bottles, or two pints per month, discounts on growler fills on Thursdays, a t-shirt, 2 beer glasses, and vouchers for 4 pints and 4 flights to be used personally or shared with friends. Details on this can be found on their website. Look for more Beer Experience releases in the coming months, as well as plenty more Belgian-, and non-Belgian-, inspired brews to be pouring. Keep an eye on their social media (Fb/Ig/Tw), and we’ll be sure to give you lots of fun information about their taproom once it opens in a few weeks. 

In more opening news, Moncton’s Tide & Boar Brewing has finally opened their doors this week, after months of delays due to the COVID pandemic. However, they soldiered on and have had a very successful launch just in time for Moncton Craft Beer Week (more on that below). While owner Chad Steeves began brewing on a small kit in the basement of the Tide & Boar Gastropub at 700 Main Street, they have graduated to a much larger brewhouse down the road at 1355 Main Street. Their attitude has not changed, however, concentrating on modern hazy New England IPAs such as Uncut Hops, Special Blend #10, Pow Pillow Rakau, as well as their Sour Otis line of fruited sours. This expanded capacity has allowed them to offer cans to go on a permanent basis, in addition to being enjoyed at their space. The taproom is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 4 PM (until 11 or later), features a full kitchen (open from 4 – 10 PM during the week and from noon to 10 PM Saturdays), and the Duo Cafe is open 7 AM – 1:30 PM Mon – Fri (can also buy retail beer during those hours). Congratulations to Steeves and family on the opening!

And in coming soon “new” brewery news, the fine folks near Fundy, Alma’s finest, Holy Whale is the second New Brunswick brewery to purchase a bowling alley! The owners have taken possession of the Parklane Bowling Alley at 28 Biggs Drive in Riverview, New Brunswick. Not too far from their beer garden location, the lanes are located about 70km from their spot in Alma. They will be starting renovations shortly and aiming to have a beer garden and lanes open in August. For the Parklane fans, fear not, the lanes will definitely remain the focal point of the space, with the beer hall taking over other space in the building. They’ll also be moving their pilot system from Alma for on-location brewing, so you can expect some fun beers to come from there. Beer and bowling, yes please! Throughout the process of idea to realization, the Holy Whale gang have had a number of people help them, none more than the TrailWay Brewing crew who successfully opened The Drome in Fredericton a couple of years back, but keep an eye on their Facebook for further details and their full list of shout outs. Their Beer Hall down the way at 391 Coverdale Road in Riverview will remain open during the construction.

Big Spruce Brewing has released a brand new and important beer this week, as part of Black is Beautiful, a world-wide collaboration to raise awareness of the injustices that People of Colour face daily. Breweries take part to lift up, empower, and give real (aka monetary) support to Black organizations to continue the fight. Big Spruce has has pledged to donate 100% of the proceeds of their release to the The African Nova Scotian Decade for People of African Descent Coalition, whose member groups work in the province to see that African Nova Scotians have a voice in the planning of, and access to, improved community services, health care, and reform of the justice system. Big Spruce’s version of Black is Beautiful is a Whiskey Barrel Aged Foreign Extra Stout coming in at 6.9% ABV. Beginning life as a bold black beer featuring dominant notes of chocolate and roast coffee, the barrel aging process brings vanilla, red fruit-like cherry, and a lovely whiskey nose. The beer finishes dry and with a touch of bitterness, and leaves you wanting more. Available in cans from their retail shop in Nyanza and online for delivery in Nova Scotia and beyond, several restaurants and bars across Nova Scotia have also taken kegs to help expand the reach (including Bar Stillwell, Battery Park, Bitten Moon Pub in Glace Bay, Grand Banker in Lunenburg, Maritime Express in Kentville, Nook and Cranny in Truro, and The Townhouse in Antigonish). Be sure to grab some cans or pints to support this important initiative!

It’s been a few weeks since its initial release, but for those who’ve yet to come across it, Boxing Rock has a new Best Bitter available called Perfect Pint. This 4.3% ABV take on the style features Maris Otter and crystal malts, and is hopped with the classic English Goldings hop. Expect some fruity esters, with caramel and stone fruit coming through on the palate. Perfect Pint is available now in 491 mL cans through Boxing Rock’s sales channels, including their Local Source Market location. 

Moving on to a slightly larger rock, Landwash Brewery is releasing the first beer in its new Limited Series, with Cuslett. This IPA pays homage to the west coast version of the style with a malty backbone and hefty bitterness. Named after the village along the Cape Shore of the Avalon, Cuslett comes in at 7.0% ABV and is available now in cans for pick-up at the brewery in Mount Pearl, as well as the better corner stores in the region.

Joining Cuslett is Landwash Dark, a pitch-black Lager reminiscent of the Schwarzbier style, featuring plenty of chocolate and dark malt character, but with a crisp and dry finish, setting it apart from stouts and porters. This 5.0% ABV beer lets the malts shine through, giving the hops a rest for another day… With the current Level 4 restrictions on the Avalon, their taproom remains closed, but the retail side is still able to sell fresh cans to go, and check out your local corner store too!

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing has something new for those who both like their hoppy beer and who also are trying to satisfy their craving for hops without getting into big and heavy IPA territory. Taking the notion of “Session IPA” almost to an extreme, or at least as far as we’ve seen it taken around these parts, Micro IPA weighs in at a paltry 2.8% ABV. That said, it still manages to be hazy and full-bodied, and, of course, hoppy! Featuring Nelson Sauvin and Idaho 7 hop varieties for aroma and flavor notes of “mango, gooseberry, and stone fruit, with a subtle backdrop of black tea and spice,” this one was a small batch on their Quinpool pilot system, so quantities are limited. Available in 500 mL bottles from all Prop Shops and through online ordering for pickup or home delivery.

And meanwhile, with COVID restrictions starting to ease up a little more (but please, let’s keep up with the mask-wearing and social distancing where appropriate!), the Prop gang is happy to announce the return of Community Cask Nights. Twice a month at their old school tap room location on Gottingen Street, you’ll find a special cask tapped on Friday evenings starting at 5 PM with proceeds going to a local charity. Check it out today, when you’ll find a cask of their S’Mores Imperial Dessert Stout (a special treat, as cans of that one are sold out) with Marshmallow Fluff. This one will be pouring in support of the Canadian Mental Health Association of Halifax Dartmouth.

Truro Brewing Co has a new release this Friday straight out of the Hub! Released in collaboration with nearby Mountain Meadworks, Ostara is a Saison-style Braggot (a beer and mead blend). Brewed with Shoreline Malting pale malt, honey, and juniper berries, it is the second collaboration between the two companies and should please all types of drinkers, bringing flavours of spice, honey, banana and juniper. Coming in at 7.6% ABV, it’s available in 650 mL bottles today directly from the brewery, and this weekend from Mountain Meadworks’ table at the Truro Farmers Market as well as the online Truro and New Glasgow Farmers Markets.

Delta Force Brewing is back with its fourth release, featuring some returning favorites, new twists on previous releases, and some brand new beers for their fans to try.
First up is a fun two-pack that provides the opportunity to compare and contrast two different strains of Kveik yeast in the same base beer. Operation Assay is an American-style pale ale coming in at 4.6% and 4.9% ABV for the two strains. These versions feature the Ebbegarden and Voss strains of the yeast. We recommend finding a pal and opening both bottles at once for a side-by-side.
Staying with pale ales, Operation Jolt combines three loves of many a beer drinker – hops, coffee and funk! This 4.9% APA with Brett also features an addition of brewed coffee.
Next up, we have Baurenhofschuppen with Brett. This one started life as a Märzen, which appropriately enough is German for March Beer, but was also fermented with Brett to a final ABV of 6.6%. Expect the bready malt notes you’d usually find in a Märzen, with a funky finish from the Brett.
We also see a new twist on Wessex, the barleywine from their third release. Wessex with Brett is, you guessed it, a version of their original barleywine with an addition of Brett to add some funk that compliments the rich malt notes.
This release also sees the return of their ‘traditional farmshed ale’ Anderlect. This Trappist single-style beer is available as a two pack the features vintages 1 and 2, or as single bottles of the second release. Finally, Mean Time, their English Bitter with Brett, also makes a return. Like Anderlect, you can choose a two-pack of multiple vintages or singles of the newest release.
All beers are available for weekend deliveries within 1 hour of HRM. Contact the boys at deltaforcebrewing@gmail.com to place an order or for more info, and to be added to the mailing list and be the first to learn of when new beers are available. 

Today’s weather got you craving a rich, warming stout? Look no further than Tatamagouche Brewing’s release of Solitude, a 12.6 ABV% cognac barrel aged imperial stout. This one starts with a base of Horton Ridge Pale malt and Munich malt, with smaller additions of chocolate wheat and Caraaroma malt. To balance the sweetness from the big malt bill, Centennial hop bittering additions were added to the tune of 70 IBUs. For more sweetness and a creamy mouthfeel, lactose was used during the boil, with the final addition of Cholaca liquid cacao once fermentation was complete. The beer then spent 10 months in cognac barrels before packaging. Expect big chocolate notes, dark fruit and a notable barrel character, all balanced nicely by the higher bitterness. Solitude is available now in 500 ml bottles and also found its way into a few kegs (including one being tapped in the Tata taproom at some point in the upcoming week). If you’re looking to grab a bottle in the HRM, they should be available at Bishop’s Cellar shortly. 

New from the South Shore of Nova Scotia this week, Home Port is a pale ale that is available now from Shipwright Brewing Company. This hazy pale ale has a grain bill of Shoreline Pale, Munich and Weyermann Dark Wheat was hopped in the kettle with Citra and Loral, and dry hopped with Idaho 7. Fermented with their house Kölsch yeast, it has a great profile and should be crisp, stone-fruity and showing some great bitterness at 5.2% and 45 IBU. Only be available on tap at the brewery and for growler fills and crowlers to go. 

It may not be very Summer- (or even Spring-) like out there today in the HRM, but Cole Harbour’s North Brewing is (re-)releasing a beer that should put you in mind of better weather: Sparrow Pilsner, their classic German-style lager, is available again now at the tap room, Battery Park, and online for pickup or delivery orders. Joining it is a new package for their Strollin’ Down Baldwin Street New Zealand Grisette, now available in 6-pack 355 ml cans, perfect for one or two of the 3.0% ABV refreshers at the end of the day.

Rounding out the news this week is New Scotland Brewing in Dartmouth, who have put together a special brew for a special cause. Those familiar with New Scotland may know that they have a particular connection with Multiple Sclerosis and that they’ve released exclusive products in the past with the goal of raising $10,000 for the MS Society of Canada. This year on the brewery side they’ve brewed up a special batch of beer they’re calling All Together, an easy-drinking red ale with a graham-crackery malt character and fruit-forward hop presence from Amarillo and Galaxy hops. You’ll find this available in 4-packs at the taproom and online for pickup, local delivery, or shipping. And on the apparel side, they’ve got brand new Red Lion t-shirts and hoodies available from their online store. Says New Scotland co-founder Kevin Saccary, who brewed this beer with Mike Gillespie in February and who himself was diagnosed with MS 12 years ago, “In Atlantic Canada, we rank higher than anywhere else in the world with over 7,000 diagnosed cases. Tremendous progress is being made – and we want to keep the momentum going in the right direction. We really do believe that we can make a difference in understanding, awareness, compassion and quality of life for those affected.” We don’t know about you, but we certainly appreciate the opportunity to support a noble cause, and when that can involve beer, even better! And congratulations to the other Saccary brother, Scott, who was part of Team Nova Scotia at the 2021 Brier Cup in Calgary earlier this month!

Late addition to the blog is a new one from TrailWay that has us looking forward to spring, but available now… Brewed for JH Sports, the region’s first indoor golf center, perfect for keeping on your game while the fairways and greens take a break, Mully is a 4.0% ABV light beer brewed to be super crisp and refreshing, and perfect for a sip in between holes. On tap exclusively at JH Sports for now, it will soon be in cans, featuring a label sporting a local golf course, so you’ll be able to Take a Mully at local courses once they start opening this spring. 

The Moncton Craft Beer Week is happening March 22 – 27, with more than a dozen breweries, restaurants, and bars getting in on the fun. There are events happening all over the GMA, with the Moncton Craft Brewery Passport debuting Monday, and running all year long. CAVOK, Flying Boats, Gahan House Hub City, Holy Whale, Pump House, Tide and Boar, and Tire Shack Brewing are all taking part in this initiative, with visitors getting a stamp after they grab a pint at these taprooms, and a full passport earning an entry to win a massive prize pack. Monday evening, drop by CAVOK to Meet the Nano Brewers in the area, with the folks behind Acadie-Broue, Chockpish, Grand Monk, and O’Creek Brewing on hand with their beers pouring. Tuesday’s Yoga and Beer event at Holy Whale is sold out, but that’ll be a great chance to check out either the Mac n Cheese n Beer Restaurant Crawl or the Moncton Craft Beer Tap Takeover at The Furnace Room, both of which are running the entire week. Wednesday is busy with a Halo Donuts pop-up at Tire Shack Brewing, and then Beer Geek Trivia that evening at The Furnace Room (sadly, due to COVID restrictions, acbbchris will not be able to host this, but did send along some questions for the capable crew!). Wednesday also marks the start of the Moncton Craft Beer Tasting Menu at Clos, which runs until Saturday (RSVP here). Thursday sees another fun event with a Beer and Cheesecake pairing at Flying Boats, who are having Cheesecake Garage pop up in their space that evening. Friday is a comedy and beer evening at Pink Flamingos, Craft Beers and Laughing Tears, with the Winter Beer Garden kicking off at Euston Park earlier that day. The Beer Garden continues Saturday, which also marks Open Brewery Day, with buses taking visitors to the breweries and taprooms in the Greater Moncton Area. It is also made for hopheads at Tide & Boar Gastropub is hosting an All IPA Tap Takeover starting at noon. As you can see, there’s something for everyone who’s into beer, so be sure to check their website, Facebook, and Instagram pages for more details and take part in one or more events to celebrate the great things brewing in Moncton!

Another few job postings for you this week, breweries and beer bars looking to round out their crews for the spring and summer.

The fine people at Truro Brewing Company are looking to hire a few taproom servers for the summer. These are part time positions and no prior experience or beer expertise is required. If you’re interested please email your resume to TruroBrewCo@gmail.com

In other seasonal staffing news, Dildo Brewing is hiring kitchen Staff, taproom Servers, cashiers, and host and hostess roles. Big stuff! Included in there are cashier roles for the St. John’s store. If you’re Interested, please email your resume to dildobrewingcompany@gmail.com and specify the location you are applying to.

HopYard Hali is looking for more Front of House staff at their Gottingen Street location, perfect for the beer enthusiast, or someone interested in learning more. Fire them an email at hopyardhalifax@gmail.com with your resume to learn more and apply!

And finally today, massive congratulations to Shekara Grant on being named to the first Board of Directors of Pink Boots Society Canada! You will recognize Shekara’s name as one of the founders of the Change is Brewing Collective, who have done several beer and cider collaborations in Nova Scotia, partnering to inspire and increase representation of the BIPOC community in the industry. She is also part of the Road to 100 Initiative, led by Black Beer Chick Eugenia Brown to increase representation of Women of Colour in beer. Follow Shekara as she continues to disrupt the current beer industry, opening doors and breaking down barriers. Congratulations again, Shekara!

 

Long Weekend in the Maritimes, woohoo! That may mean your favourite brewery, restaurant, bar, or retail shop is closed Monday, so please reach out before you visit. Better yet, stock up now and spend the day in your jammies enjoying the best of the region. Here are a few suggestions for what to have in your glass…

Let’s begin today’s post some sad news, hitting close to home. Niche Brewing in Hanwell, NB, has announced that they have brewed and packaged their last beer and will be closing. We understand there are many factors leading to the decision, and both Rob and Shawn will certainly be a part of the New Brunswick beer scene forever, having started as avid homebrewers over a decade ago, taking the leap into opening a brewery with an impressive variety of releases, and ending on their own terms. As some may know, Shawn has also been one of the authors of this blog, and we’re reflecting on the great writing and contributions he’s made to the Atlantic Canadian beer scene over the past 8 years (!!), using his voice to help promote others in the same space as Niche. And though we’re very disappointed, we must acknowledge that Shawn has retired from the blog as well. Thanks brother, we look forward to sharing a beer together again when it’s safe.

Some thoughts from each of us…

“I remember the first time I had Niche was at The Joyce in early 2018. All I had to read was “Brett Table Beer” and I was sold on Something Different. It was only a few months later their beers showed up more and more at Stillwell and then in the fall they had an excellent tap takeover at Stillwell. I’ve been lucky to have spent some time with Shawn and the region is lucky to have had this brewery’s funky, sour and aged treats for many years. I’ll cherish my cellared Niche beers for years to come. To the cool kids!” – Damian

“When I heard that Shawn Meek was planning to open a brewery, my first thought was “who’s that?”… little did I know that Niche would become such an innovative and delicious presence in the Atlantic Canada beer scene. I’ll miss seeing the Allagash of Hanwell on the wall at Stillwell, and the bottles smuggled in from New Brunswick by he who shall not be named. All the best Shawn and cheers to what’s next.” – Devon

“Even before I was press-ganged into the blog, I was aware of Shawn’s brewing prowess thanks to his personal blog and his homebrew comp triumphs. When I heard that he was starting a brewery it seemed natural for someone so passionate and capable to take the next step. How he continued to be a family man, work a full time job and also write damn near half this blog most weeks I will never know. But I’m awfully thankful for it. I’m also thankful for so many fine beers of a quality and variety that many breweries much bigger and more established have trouble matching. I’ll miss hearing about what’s coming out of Hanwell before everyone else, but I hope we can continue to butt heads, kibitz (at Chris’ expense, when possible), and also share a beer or two when the stars align (Orval, maybe?). – Aaron

“Shawn, I can’t remember exactly when or where we met, but I’m glad we did! GDAH or FCBF, right? It’s been a wild ride, and what I do remember is the fun we’ve had together with a beer in our hand (or not!), shooting the shit, and fixing the (beer) world. Thanks for saying “Yes” when I called in the big guns to partner up for the blog, and still being crazy enough to write it while juggling everything on the go in the real world. While there may not be much more Niche coming our way, this just means the homebrew will be flowing freely soon, right? 😉😜 Looking forward to sharing another pint with you again soon, brother!” – Chris

OK, enough feeling down on ourselves…. For those of you fortunate enough to live in the Capital Region (and beyond), check out your local ANBL or Brewery Agency Store to ensure you grab bottles of Niche’s releases before they are gone (like gone, gone). Plus Niche draught is still pouring at a few spots in the region, including The Joyce, Bar Stillwell, and better beer establishments in between.

Let’s kick off the new beer news of the week with a pair that were a long time in the making, from the small town of Montague, PEI. Copper Bottom Brewing is debuting the first in their foray into barrel-fermented and -aged farmhouse ales, both brewed mid-2020, and allowed to develop plenty of character over the past 6 months.

First up is Thicket, a 5.0% Wild Ale with Blackberries. Starting from an uncomplicated malt bill of Vienna and Pilsner Malts, with some Raw Wheat and Spelt added to give the little beasties something to chew on over time, the wort saw just a small addition of Centennial hops used at the end of the boil. The hops are not the star of this show, however, with a blend of yeasts in the “tart saison” family pitched as the wort was added to a pair of white wine barrels. The yeast was allowed to do its thing over the next three months in the barrels, before being moved to a stainless conditioning tank, where a healthy serving of wild blackberries were added. A second fermentation and conditioning took place over the next two months, before the beer was bottled still, and allowed to carbonate naturally in glass. Bright, tart, and complex, with the blackberries lending a touch of sweetness to the final package.

Patina is the second release out today, and while it started with the same base wort, it was fermented with a blend of yeast blends, with Brett Sour and Saison yeasts and other beasts coming together to dutifully chew away at the sugars. Fermented directly in a pair of Pinot Grigio barrels, the beer was allowed to sit for 6 months, before packaging and allowed to finish in the bottle. This 4.8% beer is lively, funky, bright, and features just a touch of oak.

Both beers are available in the taproom and retail today, as well as for delivery through their online shop. Those in the area are seriously recommended to drop by this evening to try the two new beers, as well as take part in the pop-up by roving pizza empire Dough Boy Industries. In the taproom from 5 PM this evening, there will be 13” pies and garlies available for ordering, as well as live music from Joce Reyome. Arriving early and/or reserving a table (902-361-2337) are the best ways to avoid disappointment. Keep an eye on other events at Copper Bottom through their Events page, where they have all of their weekly Saturday and Sunday shows listed, as well as special events, including Ashley Condon’s concert March 6th, and Garrett Mason on the 20th.

Let’s head North East to Deer Lake, Newfoundland, to our friends at Rough Waters Brewing. While their brewery retail spot is currently closed (thanks COVID!), that hasn’t stopped them from continuing to put out some great beers to the province’s beer stores. Backcountry Saison is out in the wild now, just aching to be taken on an adventure in nearby Gros Morne National Park. Featuring 2-Row, Wheat, and Vienna malts, it was lightly hopped with Centennial and East Kent Golding, before being fermented with an iconic Saison yeast, lending plenty of spice and spritz to the beer. Enhancing those characteristics were additions of coriander and orange peel at the end of the boil. 6.9% with a dry finish, keep an eye out for this one! Also hitting the shelves of the Marie’s Mini Marts and other good beer shops reeeeeal soon is Plum Pint. Those in Western may recognize the name from a local spot, but anyone can enjoy this 5.0% Wheat Beer, which features an addition of plum puree post-fermentation. Smooth and fruity, tasty all way round!

Back on the mainland, Truro Brewing Company is releasing Dark Necessities. This 10% ABV Imperial Stout was aged in a “Bourbin-ish” barrel from nearby North River’s Raging Crow Distillery. Expect big, rich chocolate notes, some coffee and a smooth bourbon character in the finish. Packaged in 650 ml bottles, you can find it today at the brewery, onsite at Raging Crow and tomorrow (Saturday) at the Truro Farmers Market. Beer drinkers of Truro, consider your Valentine’s Day plans resolved. 

In other TBC news, the brewery is holding a contest to name a new Double IPA that they are planning to release at the end of February to coincide with their first anniversary. Send your most creative idea (a nod to something local would help) via DM on their social channels or to trurobrewco@gmail.com by February 25. The winner will be announced the next day, with a $50 TBC gift card and t-shirt up for grabs. 

Big Spruce is giving us ‘an early taste of summer’ (apparently they are ignoring the long-range forecast for Nyanza) with the release of Day 6. This 6.4% offering is a co-fermented blueberry sour with Brettanomyces. Expect a deep purple colour with upfront flavours of tart blueberries and lemonade, followed by some comforting notes of chamomile tea and blueberry jam. We’re told that kegs are heading to Battery Park and Primal in the city. 650 ml bottles should be available in the webstore tomorrow. And as always, you can find Day 6 on tap at the source in sunny Nyanza.

If you’re like us and enjoy the occasional hop explosion taking over all of your senses, 2 Crows is here with their first take on the aggressive style. Space Words brings the hops. At 10.1% like other Triple IPAs we’ve seen around the region, this one comes in at 70 IBU and is loaded with Galaxy, Eclipse and Comet hops. Onto the nerdy details! This ale was brewed with a base of German Pilsner malt, flaked wheat, and Golden Promise, with sucrose added to the boil to boost the ABV. Next up, this was hopped judiciously in hopback with Galaxy and Comet. This was fermented with a blend of juice-forward hazy yeasts, as well as a unique nectar specialist yeast Metschnikowia reukaufii (from the brewery – “This yeast was initially harvested from flowers in the Berkeley Hills of California, and is thought to have evolved to make flowers smell better for pollinators by altering nectar compounds like glycosides”). Think Bio-transformation in a big, big way! This IPA was quadruple dry hopped with the three featured hops and is the juiciest, boldest and hoppiest beer to date from the Brunswick Street brewers. This beer is available now in 473ml cans and you can have it delivered right to your door ordering directly from the brewery to get this as fresh as possible!

Nanobrewery O’Creek has a pair of new beers in the wild these days, on tap at several spots in the GMA. First up is The Flyer, a 6.8% NEIPA, using Talus, Citra, Centennial, and Amarillo hops to blast your senses with full on orange, tangerine, and citrus character, yet with a smooth mouthfeel. Named after one of the fastest boats used in the rum trade in Kent County, best get yourself to CAVOK or Tide & Boar for a pint before she’s gone! Also keep an eye out for Outback IPA, a 6.2% all Aussie hop-bomb, featuring Galaxy, Enigma, and Vic Secret. Dank and tropical, this can also be found on tap at CAVOK.

A blog favourite from the 2019 Stillwell Open returns again from Propeller. Sabro is a flavourful Double IPA packed with intense tropical hops. With a flavour packed with Sabro hops, you’ll get some passionfruit, pineapple and coconut. This is a hazy favourite clocking in at 65 IBU and 7.5% ABV. Available in 473ml cans at both Prop shops today, online too, and will be hitting the private stores in HRM next week.

Did you know that Trailway Brewing, Fredericton, NB’s pied pipers of hazy hopjuice, have been tickling your tastebuds with lupulin-laden delights for six years now? Well if you didn’t, then now you do! With things being what they are pandemic-wise they’re not planning anything huge to mark the occasion, but they’d be happy to see you and the gang from your 10-person bubble visit the taproom to celebrate with some pints, or just you picking up some cans to toast them with at home. And they’ve got plenty of options for you in both cases, including at least four very fresh batches, to wit:

  • Beans, their oatmeal stout with coffee and, fittingly, a keg of which was the first keg sale Tw made (to The Joyce, of course!), is back on tap and in cans.
  • Voyager, a very soft 8% ABV DIPA that they haven’t brewed in quite some time, and featuring two of the juiciest hops known to humankind: Citra and Galaxy, is available once again, this time in a double dry hopped version!
  • Green Island, which sees two fairly new hop varieties, Idaho 7 and Cashmere join forces to bring out juicy berry and pineapple characters in a hazy 6% ABV package.
  • Box Theories, another DIPA at 8% ABV, this one with new hop hotness Strata combining with old and busted (but we still love it*) Mosaic for a bright and tropical, yet still soft and juicy, flavor experience.

And if there’s anyone out there reading this in Quebec who’s a fan of Trailway and has noticed their beers in La Belle Province, you very well might be seeing the three IPAs listed above at your local dep or wherever you’ve been finding it before.

* Except Chris. But he’s weird in other ways too. Happy Birthday buddy!

The good folks at Tatamagouche Brewing are bringing out a big bodied banger for Valentine’s Day with a nice twist on their Russian Imperial Stout. They took their original RIS recipe, added some chocolate wheat and then it was racked into Bourbon barrels from two different barrels. With the addition of chocolate wheat to this release, nice rich, roasty and chocolate flavours come through with a touch of coconut. This 650ml bottle release is 10.3% and is available now. Get this directly from the brewery’s online shop, as they ship across the nation!

Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing is, like everyone else, very happy to see that Moncton is finally out of the red phase, COVID restriction-wise, and in particular they’re excited to start helping to hook you up with some of the beer they’ve been stockpiling a little during the increased protocols. Fans of the brewery will no doubt be happy to know that Parts N Labour, their 6% ABV New England IPA, is back, this time featuring a different variety of hops, namely: Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe. “A true haze bomb,” you can expect to see (and experience) the effects of biotransformation due to dry-hopping during primary fermentation. This one is already available at the brewery for pints and fills, and, canning gods willing, also in cans later this afternoon!

Meanwhile, there’s also two smaller batches done on the pilot system available for enjoyment at the taproom (and very possibly fills to go). Their Belgian Quad is a rebrew, this time with their own house made Belgian Candi Sugar. And a new one, Peanut Butter Pastry Stout, which is described as “dessert in a glass” and features a healthy dose of lactose, is expected to be on tap starting today.

Down in the Annapolis Valley, or at least at the head (tail?) of it, lies Horton Ridge Malt & Grain, home of both a local malting operation and its eponymous brewery and taproom. Just in time for Valentines Day they’ve got a couple of special editions available that have been in the works for a while. First is their Barreled Bar Dog, a barrel-aged variation of their Bar Dog stout. But instead of the typical bourbon or whisky barrel treatment, this one had a stay in a red wine barrel from Valley neighbours Luckett Vineyards. At 6.6% ABV this one maintains the roasty malt and chocolate character of the non-BA version, but adds some dark fruit character. Second is Brunch, which might put you in mind of something light and fruity, but if it didn you’d be very, very wrong. Taking its name from a special ingredient, it’s an American Barleywine weighing in at a hefty 10.6% ABV. Featuring some maple sweetness from pure maple syrup sourced from their neighbours at Hutchinson Acres as well as a smokey bacon finish that we’re not going to speculate on how they accomplished, but maaaybe if you’re vegetarian or vegan you’ll want to ask some questions before purchasing. At 10.6% ABV we don’t really recommend having more than one of these with brunch unless you’re planning an afternoon nap. We don’t know about whether they’ve got either of these on tap, but we can tell you for sure that they’re available for purchase in 375 mL bottles!

If you’ve kept an eye on local craft beer social media as of late, you may have noticed the fine folks from the Change is Brewing Collective took a trip down Shelburne way. In addition to visiting the Black Loyalist Heritage Center, they took a visit to Boxing Rock to brew a beer! Brewed on February 4th, get ready for the release of Back to Birchtown Old Stock Ale. A 6% ale that could be reminiscent of a warmer, sweet caramel of a winter warmer. The inspiration from this ale comes from traditional Birchtown brewing ingredients of raisins, brown sugar and molasses. 

This beer is actually releasing at the end of the month in 650ml bottles, but you have the opportunity to order a limited edition package with a collaboration mask and admission to the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre for future use, all for $26. The label will also be designed with Change is Brewing and likely the mask as well. 100% of the proceeds from this beer and this package will be donated to the Change Is Brewing Collective and the Black Loyalist Heritage Society. Pre-order at the link here.

A trio of short beer blasts to finish your assigned reading for today!

The fine folks at Hell Bay Brewing in Liverpool are releasing a new canned beer, Sea Sea Salted Chocolate Porter. Details on the beer are scarce at the moment, but we do know that you’ll soon be able to find this 6.0% ABV offering at NSLC locations and on tap at the brewery.

Port au Port, NL’s Secret Cove has a new beer out this week, what they’re calling a “small beer with lots of character”. Chesterfield Road may only be 4.8% ABV, but this Session IPA still packs plenty of oomph in the can, thanks to lots of late addition of Mosaic and Cashmere hops. Tropical, citrus, beery, and pine, without the headache tomorrow morning! Their first Island-wide release, check out your local good beer shop to grab some, and of course on tap for pints and growlers at the taproom too!

Heading back south, Tusket Falls Brewing Company is releasing the latest in its experimental beer series with Raspberry Milkshake IPA. This one features Citra and Mosaic hops, with a base malt of chit malt.  The milkshake aspect comes from the addition of lactose sugar, followed by conditioning on Madagascar vanilla beans and raspberry puree. Expect notes of raspberry candies and some citrusy hop notes from this 7.5% ABV offering. Check it out at their taproom today.