Happy December, y’all! Bit of disappointment as our Men’s team has exited the World Cup this week, but at least we will not have to wait another 36 years to cheer on Les Rouges, as the Women’s World Cup is in Australia and New Zealand in 2023, and then the men’s team co-hosts with Mexico and USA in 2026. Grab a beer and read along to see all of the new releases the breweries from across all four Atlantic provinces have for us this week.
Good Robot Brewing continues to flex the versatility of their new Elmsdale brewing location, complete with mash filter and expanded fermenting capacity, with plenty more new beers rolling off the line. B.F.Hef. (aka Best Friends Foreverweizen) is the latest, their foray into the German Hefeweizen Wheat Beer style. Featuring loads of wheat in the malt bill, the 4.8% beer also uses a specific Ale yeast to give off a pleasant blend of citrus and clove aromatics, with a hint of banana on the nose. Mandarina Bavaria hops enhance that citrus aroma even further. Cans are available at their original Robie Street location, as well as their newly-opened retail shop at the Elmsdale facility. Open Wed – Sun from noon (10 AM on the weekend), visitors to 14 Industrial Way will be able to purchase from the entire GRBC portfolio in can and growler fill, as well as their branded merch.
And good news for those looking to continue or start their career in beer, as Good Robot is hiring! They are looking for help both in their Elmsdale brewery and beyond, as they beef up their Brew Crew as well as those who help sell the resulting beer. They are looking to fill the following positions: a Shift Brewer, expected to have at least a couple of years professional brewing experience, a Junior Brewer (no pro experience necessary, but that’s definitely an asset), as well as a Sales Rep in the HRM/Nova Scotia region. Check out their job postings here.
Trailway has been busy this fall as well, and have a quartet of new releases available at their Main Street Fredericton location, and for local and AtlCan- & Ont-wide delivery from their website. Returning to the taps and shelves is their Beans Coffee Oatmeal Stout, a 6.8% stout brewed with a batch of freshly roasted Winter Solstice beans from their pals at Mill Town Roasters. For our coffee nerd brethren, WS is a blend dark roast blend of beans from Sumatra, Peru, and Columbia, with notes of bitter chocolate, molasses, and a warming spiciness, pairing perfectly with the beer’s malt-derived roast and full mouthfeel from the oats. Available on tap and in cans now, they have also leveraged the capabilities of Craft Coast Canning to package a Nitro version of the beer! Lower carbonation, but that means a little shake and a hard pour from height into a glass will show off a lovely cascading action as the beer settles. Due to the special nature of this version, Nitro Beans is a can-only release, but still orderable online.
Trailway has another pair of beer ready to purchase now… Merry Very is returning again for the cooler months. This is a 5.0% White Chocolate-Orange Stout… Think big chocolate, roast, coffee, a hint of citrus, but in a pale colour, something your buddy Terry would really enjoy! Locally kilned cacao nibs from McGuire Chocolate enhance the malt’s chocolate flavour, with the citrus brightening and contrasting the dark character, with a touch of vanilla. On tap and in cans now.
And finally, a debut beer from Trailway, Event Horizon. A massive 11.0% ABV imperial stout, with strong caramel, coffee, and chocolate notes, it also spent time in a 15-year Glen Breton Single Malt Whisky barrel, picking up strong vanilla and whisky notes to complement. Obviously a bit warming at 11.0% ABV, and as it’s available in 500ml bottles, we suggest grabbing a couple for sharing with friends and families a few times over the coming winter.
Uncle Leo’s Brewery in Lyons Brook has a new beer on tap, on their shelves, and for delivery, this week. Misty Morning is an aggressively-late-hopped New England IPA, absolutely brimming with tropical notes of passion fruit, citrus, and peach. All that Galaxy and Citra used late in the brewday, as well as in the tanks after the fact, mean this 6.0% beer is not bitter, but rather has a smooth mouthfeel. Their online shop has free delivery within Nova Scotia and beyond, just need to hit a very reasonable minimum value.
A pair of beers from Sydney’s Breton Brewing this week. First released is the return of an old favourite, their take on the German Kölsch. A beer where drinkability and enjoyment are top of mind, these are fermented with an ale yeast, but usually at cooler-than-normal temps, to keep the fruity esters at bay, before a long nap at even cooler temps for a conditioning/cleanup rest. At 4.0% ABV, this is low enough to pair well with appetizers, main course, or even dessert.
And debuting later in the week was Champagne IPA, wherein Breton brewed a light-bodied beer (with some rice in the grist), and used an American Ale yeast, coupled with an enzyme to extract every last bit of sugar from the wort, to finish with a bone-dry beer. Mix in the Ariana and Mosaic hops in great volume, and you’ve got a solid bitterness as well as aroma. Look for both of these limited releases in cans, on draught, and for delivery now!
Fresh off their win of the Hopyard Battle of the Breweries, Montague’s Copper Bottom Brewing is bringing back a blast from the past today, complete with a party to help celebrate! Charlie is an English-style Brown Ale, and despite being only 4.5% ABV, is brimming with malt-derived toast, biscuit, caramel, and nuttiness. To celebrate its release on draught and in festive 355ml cans, they are hosting Loaf & Ladle Food Truck serving up comfort food from 2 until 8 PM this afternoon, Craig Fair on the piano from 6 – 8 PM, and keeping the patio nice and toasty warm. Pull that Ugly Sweater from the closet and make a night of it!
In Halifax on Brunswick Street, 2 Crows has brought out the latest entry in their now long-running series of irresponsibly-hopped hazy IPAs (fun(?) party game: try to name all the previous ones!). Permanent Vacation is described as having been “absolutely saturated” with Talus, and Vic Secret hops, but with a touch of Galaxy as well. So a little bit of “the Pacific Northwest battles Australia in a tropical fruit stand, but Australia brought backup.” Expect a smooth and creamy presentation with plenty of sweetness, leading with notes of pineapple (canned), overripe mango, and a bit of coconut. Given that there’s Talus in there we’d expect a bit of the dankness as well, but you’ll have to try this 6.1% juice bomb for yourself to confirm. The 2C gang did point out that this is a smaller batch than previous entries, so if you’re a fan of the series and/or hoppy hazies in general, you’ll want to get your orders in!
On Main Street in Fredericton, NB, Half Cut Brewing has a new IPA of their own out, a double IPA, really. Continuing their trend of “juicy beers with weird f’n names” is Deep Pockets IPA. Described as being “like that uncle who never grew up,” this one’s a heavy hitter, arriving at 8% ABV and 40 IBU. You’ll find it in cans at the brewery and (soon, if not already) on the shelves of an ANBL store near you.
As is their wont, Tanner & Co Brewing in Chester Basin, NS, continues to bring beers in styles that aren’t terribly common in these parts. This week they’ve got a twist on the German style, Rauchbier. Pronounced “rowsh-beer” rather than “rock-beer”, it is traditionally made with a very large portion (up to 100%, even) of smoked malt in the grist. This can often lead to folks who are not big fans of smoke to find the beer “too smoky” so Tanner took their foot off the gas on this one and aimed for a more mellow presentation. To ensure there would still be plenty of complexity, they then took advantage of their oenological bent to age this one in oak wine barrels for a few months. The result is a 6% ABV beer that no doubt has plenty of smoke, but also some tannins and acidity for balance. Look for it packaged in bottles at both of Tanner’s locations and online for delivery.
Fans of both dessert and beer have reason to celebrate in Halifax this week as Propeller Brewing has released a beer that ticks both boxes this week. Nanaimo Imperial Dessert Stout is a pretty self-explanatory name, we think, but if you’re somehow not in the know about the classic Canadian dessert, we’d better provide some detail anyway. Built on a base of cocoa and coconut, with a layer of vanilla custard and a topping of milk chocolate, Nanaimo bars are one of the great bake sale traditions from coast to coast. Propeller’s beer version aims to hit all of those notes and meld them together with a roasty, but still sweet imperial stout. With all of that going on and it coming in at 10%, this rich and creamy number has “danger” written all over it. Grab it now directly from the source at your favourite Prop Shop, or look for it at Bishop’s Cellar or the other private stores in Metro.
Half Cocked in North Grant has a pair of returning favourites now pouring at their taproom, and in cans for the first time. Braeside Bitter showcases their English side, with lightly-coloured malt bringing out notes of biscuit and caramel, with a blend of hops showcasing lemon, tea, and honey, to complete the experience. 5.5% ABV. The Darkest One is of another category entirely, a big brash American Stout, blasting the nose with dark chocolate, and filling the palate with roast, finishing with some bitterness on the back end. 355 ml cans for this one as well, only at the brewery. Why not drop by tomorrow, December 3rd, for Holiday Market on the 245, which they are co-hosting with Teasdale Apothecary from 3 – 6 PM. And after the vendors have packed up, there will be live music from Leeboy!
Spryfield’s own Serpent Brewing has a new beer out for the festive season with a release that reflects their continued quest to bring the best of Belgian styles to Dentith Road and environs. Described as a Belgian Golden Strong Christmas Spiced Ale, it’s got a much more compact (and fun) name: Jurassic Jesus. Although it weighs in at a hefty 7.5%, it’s deceptively easy to drink, with subtle malt undertones beneath a blend of cinnamon and nutmeg spice. Cookie and caramel along with some fruity ester notes from the yeast complete the picture, as there’s little to no hop presence detected or expected in a style like this. On tap tomorrow at the brewery, you’ll also be able to grab it in 375ml bottles to go. And if you do visit, don’t forget that Spryfood, their in-house kitchen, is now up and running at full bore.
Smiths Cove is deep in the Annapolis Valley, not too far from the ferry to Saint John, so quite accessible for people in both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. And their very own Lazy Bear Brewing has a new beer on tap and in bottles this week, a big bold beer ready to be enjoyed around a cozy fire. Assassination of a Wise Man is a 10.0% Barleywine, with rich caramel notes shining through, balanced with just-enough hops to keep it from being too sweet. Finished with molasses, some dark notes of raisin, with a lighter vanilla hint also coming through on the nose. The bottles were sealed with wax, minimizing any oxygen from sneaking in during their (possible) long cellaring period. We suggest grabbing a couple, one to enjoy now, and one later, if you happen to miss it on tap. Not overly bitter, on draught and in bottles at Smiths Cove, keep your eyes peeled to their social media for availability beyond their location, but a visit out there is a great idea, during their Thursday night taproom evenings (and maybe by appointment if you reach out early enough)!
You can tell winter is coming, as Big Spruce is holding the release party for their annual Barrel-aged Imperial Stout this weekend. Battery Park will be the gracious hosts of the two variants of the 2022 edition, as well as sharing kegs dating all the way back to 2018. However, there is a major, and welcome, change in the beer name and design this year, that we’re excited to tell you about. Kobzar Imperial Stout, is named in honour of writer Taras Schevchenko, considered to be the father of modern Ukrainian literature, with profound effects on the language and culture of his home country. Banned and exiled from Ukraine due in part to his push for Ukrainian independence, still inspiring Ukrainians more than 150 years after his death. Kobzar is both a collection of poems written by Schevchenko, and the nickname given to him, meaning “bard” in Ukrainian. Kobzar the beer will be familiar to long-time Big Spruce fans, with massive coffee and dark chocolate notes with a touch of hop bitterness to balance. This year’s releases were aged in two distinctly different barrels, imparting plenty of the character of its previous residents. Jamaican Rum Kobzar and Glenora Whisky Kobzar both clock in at 11.0%, and in a change, will be available in cans this year! Making them a little easier to stack in the basement cellar, we suspect… You can enjoy the first tastes of Kobzar tomorrow at Battery Park from 11:30 AM, where they will be pouring both 2022 versions of the beer, as well as four previous releases of Ra Ra Rasputin, including 2021 Tawny Port, 2019 Cognac, 2019 Peach Brandy, and 2018 Glenora Whisky. Cans of Kobzar (as well as a few bottles of previous releases) are available at their shop in Nyanza, on their website for delivery and shipping, Bishop’s Cellar, with the 2022 Jamaican Rum Kobzar available in cans at Bar Stillwell and Stillwell Freehouse.
There’s not only breweries getting into the festive season, Tapestry Beer Bar in Lr Sackville is filling their dance card with a range of events this month. Tomorrow, Dec 3 at 5 – 9 PM, they are hosting a Christmas Market with their nextdoor neighbours Apartment 3 Espresso Bar. On Dec 8, they are hosting a Beer & Cheese Pairing with Smith & Hartlen Fine Cheese (grab your tickets ahead of time). There are plenty more events leading up to a Bar Olympics on Dec 31, check this page for more details!
Just a few more notes before we let you go this week….
Antigonish’s Candid Brewing has a new release today, which will be complemented by at least a couple more before the weekend is done. With 3 weeks out until the official celebration on December 23rd, they’re debuting Festivus IPA. A 6.5% ABV with plenty of late-addition Barbe Rouge and Belma hops, offset with a touch of lactose, drive a few of these into you before the Airing of Grievances or Feats of Strength.
Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing has a new beer on tap and for crowler fills late this week.Their first Cold IPA, they’ve named it the appropriately punny Thawless Victory. A hefty 6.5% ABV and respectable 35 IBUs, look for it on tap at their tiny taproom, and maybe downstairs at the Grand Banker too!
We’re ending this week with a bit of sad news, hopefully not a “Goodbye” but a “See You Later”, from Delta Force Brewing. The always elusive crew, brewing out of an undisclosed location in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, has announced that they are closing out Phase 1, Alpha Team if you will, of the brewery. As they say, opening a “farm shed brewery at the beginning of the brewery was a bold move”, and they have pushed through with 30 different releases over the past couple of years. To toast the possibility of Phase 2, they are holding a sale on their remaining stock, so we encourage you to grab a case and enjoy them this month. Cheers fellas!!