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It kinda feels like one of those Fridays that doesn’t feel like a Friday, y’know? Maybe it’s because this was the week of Blue Monday (cue New Order), but more probably it’s the dead of winter and there’s some weather in the region and COVID is still a thing. Or maybe the internationally auspicious events in the US this week haven’t completely sunk in yet, although ACBB are all extremely happy about a potential return to something like normalcy down there. So whether you’re toasting to another week of winter gone, or a new administration for our nearest neighbours, or whatever else brings you joy, see below for some notes on some of the beers that our region’s breweries have for you this week and how you can get them!

Those of you in the HRM were most likely at 2 Crows last weekend, picking up your share of their latest brews. We hope you don’t mind making a return trip, as there’s a couple more hitting their shelves today, a newbie and a returning fave. The new beer is Soft Fruits, a beer that makes good use of a brewing technique that has been gaining steam over the last few years. When sour beers are conditioned on fruit and then packaged, there is still quite often a good amount of character remaining in what’s left behind. In this specific case, we’re talking about the raspberry and blackcurrant used in last year’s Zap and Zop, fruited Berliner Weisses. The leftover fruit was transferred to a stainless tank, along with a pitch of malolactic bacteria to soften the acidity of the fruit. While all this sounds wonderful, of course we need BEER to go on there, right? So, they added a low-ABV Lager (brewed with Shoreline Pilsner malt, and flaked rice) onto the fruit, where it underwent a second fermentation (remember, the fruit also had the yeast from the barrel cultures) and seven months of conditioning before bottling. Super drinkable at just 3.8% ABV, this unique beer is “surprisingly clean and bright, with a subdued fruit character and incredible soft acidity”. Very limited supply, so best to grab some while you can. 

And if you like your IPAs Brett-y and extra fruity, there’s a supply of fresh cans (and pints!) of Brettango, 2C’s Brett IPA w/ mango. With a tweaked water chemistry, increased dry-hopping (Citra and Mandarina Bavaria), and a small addition of orange zest in this year’s batch (along with the maybe-pushing-it amount of 420 lbs of mango), this 7.9% ABV brew is plenty tropical, citrusy, and juicy for your needs, along with “a nice little pineapple funk” thanks to the blend of Brettanomyces strains used for fermentation. And keep your eyes peeled here next week for even more releases… The 2C Crew has big plans for what is normally their anniversary party and release, and while things may be a little less “let’s get together and drink” this year, does not mean they’ve done any less work behind the scenes.

Let’s pop over to the Rock for the next announcement, where we hope you were able to shovel your way from your bed to your beer fridge this morning! Quidi Vidi Brewery has released the third installment of their Newfermenters X QV mixed 4-pack this week. This annual competition sees amateur brewers from across Newfoundland and Labrador putting together some epic beers and sharing with their fellow enthusiasts in a massive bottle share and judging event. The all-new mixed pack features:

  • Brothers Scuff, a 4.5% ABV Session IPA from Ben Hussey
  • Lost in Time, a 5.5% Roggenbier from Mark Courish
  • Darkstar, a 6% Coffee Extra Special Bitter by Ralph Pike
  • Sabby Sour, a 4.2% Sour Kveik by Jordan Blake

The mixed pack is available today from QV’s new Hops Shop at 16 Harbour View Ave, and at NLCs and the better convenience stores next week. (Home deliveries are on pause for the time being, but will be returning soon)

And congratulations to the Quidi Vidi family who are celebrating 25 years in business, having opened in 1996. The beer landscape in Newfoundland was quite different back then (all over the country, really!), so while their 1892 Traditional Ale may have been a bit of a shock to the light-lager-drinking public back then, they have stuck it out through thick and thin, and are rocking along in the 2020’s. From one independently-owned brewery to just-under 20, things are looking great in the Newfoundland and Labrador beer scene.

Speaking of Homebrew Competitions, big congratulations to Halifax’s Tim Gregory, who took home Gold in the Eighth Annual Big Spruce Home Brew Competition. From 25 entries, his Sticke Alt recipe and beer grabbed the judges’ attention for its take on the “secret” version of the classic German style. You’ll be able to drink the winner yourself later in the year, once Gregory heads up (down? I can never remember…) to Nyanza and takes part in the brewing of a large batch suitable for distribution. And yes, this “Tim” is the same from the very first Home Brew Competition that brought us Tim’s (Dirty) American IPA, clearly he knows what he’s doing! 

Oh, and speaking of judging, for those looking to get into the homebrewing or judging game in Atlantic Canada, the Brewnosers Homebrew Club will be hosting Tasting and Written exams for the BJCP in the Spring and Summer. If you are looking to start, continue, or elevate your beer brewing and/or enjoyment, the Beer Judge Certification Program, and the studying and tasting sessions surrounding it, are a great way to go. Check out the thread on the Brewnosers, and sign up there or fire us an email to get on the list! While usually self-directed, drinking and filling out scoresheets with pals (even remotely) helps to keep the enthusiasm up!

We’d also be remiss if we didn’t mention that Big Spruce also has a couple of returning brewskies for your drinking pleasure. The first is The Hour of Sour, their 6.2% ABV mixed-fermentation raspberry sour. Conditioned on organic raspberries, the brewery likes to describe it as the “cool, grownup cousin of The Silver Tart”. With all sorts of complex flavours and aromas (including watermelon candy, bumbleberry pie, citrus, and funk, to name a few of the descriptors) to go along with the raspberry, it may be just what you need to break out of the winter blues. If hops are more your thing, the delicious-but-not-fun-to-pronounce Brobdingnagian Mosaic DIPA is also back. A big beer at 8.5% ABV, it’s exclusively hopped with the wonderful Mosaic, and boasts “arousing aromas of ripe peaches, apricots, and sticky marmalade”. You can grab both at the Sprucetique while quantities last.

Not to fret if you’re over in St. John’s, reading about DIPAs… your own Bannerman Brewing has actually just released a brand-spanking-new DIPA of their own. After Hours was brewed with lots of wheat malt and toasted wheat flakes, and hopped very heavily with Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy. Notes of “stone fruit, pineapple, and white grape” abound, and the body is full and creamy thanks to all of that wheat. At 8% ABV, just be sure to imbibe carefully! You can drop by the brewery for growlers of this one right now; no cans yet, but it sounds like they hope to have those out at some point soon.

Continuing on the DIPA train, let’s move over to New Scotland Brewing, whose latest beer may have just the hazy, hoppy goodness you’re looking for in the Dartmouth area. Tough Chit is brewed with a grist made with a majority of… can you guess? That’s right, Chit malt, how did you know? Usually used to boost a beer’s body and improve head retention, the chit likely also contributed to the heavy haziness in this brew… especially considering that a higher-than-normal percentage of the grist incorporated it. With heavy late additions of Mosaic and Idaho 7 hops, this 7.5% ABV DIPA has flavours and aromas of “mango, honeydew melon, and pineapple”, along with some dank notes. Available today at the brewery in pints and cans, you may see a few kegs pop up at better beer locations in the area. 

Finally – did we miss a memo or something? – Unfiltered also has a DIPA that just became available at Charm School yesterday. It’s a returning favourite, Here it Comes…, a 7.5% ABV DIPA hopped entirely with Chinook. Available for pours, growlers, and cans just in time for the weekend. 

Making sure we hear a little bit from beleaguered New Brunswick today (hang in there folks!) is Trailway Brewing, who are happy to say that they’ve got cans of their collaboration brew with Lagabière out of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC, on the shelves. Originally brewed at the end of 2019/beginning of 2020, De L’Autre Boutte to Here is a 7% ABV Double Dry-hopped IPA brewed with Citra, Simcoe, and Motueka at rates that even Trailway themselves describe as “incredibly high.” The massive level of hops along with extra time cold conditioning results in a very drinkable and soft beer familiar to those who’ve had IPAs from Lagabière before, with zesty citrus, plenty of tropical fruit, and a dank and piney hop backbone. Only available in these parts from Trailway themselves (as far as we know right now), submit an online order for contactless curbside pickup or for shipping anywhere in the Maritimes or Ontario.

A few events on the go, plus a couple more things we want to leave you with today. Happy Friday!

Borden-Carleton PEI’s Lone Oak Brewery is also celebrating their anniversary this month, marking their first year around the sun next week with lots of what they do best: great beer, and hosting amazing artists and serving up excellent food. Two ticketed musical events are on the go from 2 – 6 and 7 – 11 PM, with details available here (and grab your tickets via email here). We’ll have the scoop on the food and beer for you next week, natch!

A quick update to last week’s call out of the Moncton Craft Beer Week. Due to the *ahem* goings ons in the province, it has been pushed back by a month, to March 22 – 27. However, those folks who were eying up the Extreme Homebrew competition are advised that the submission date is still the same, with beers due by Feb 22nd, drop off at the Tide & Boar.

For those who like to consume beery-things with their ears as well as their mouths, Beer.Diversity.’s Ren Navarro has launched a podcast Ren Likes to Talk. The first two episodes are available now, one of which is with North Brewing’s Co-Founder and -Owner Rozina Darvesh! Grab those episodes and subscribe today! (In case you strike out by searching by the name, try including ”Liquid Culture Podcast Network”, or just add it via this direct RSS link: http://liquidculturenet.com/category/ren-likes-to-talk/feed/ [we got you!] )

Copper Bottom is looking to add to its growing production team, specifically someone to operate the canning line and support other production duties in the brewery. If you have a passion for great beer (of course you do, you’re reading this blog!) and are interested in working in picturesque Montague, check out their posting here

Let us be the last to welcome you to December, folks. In a year that feels a decade long, we’re rounding the corner to what wild and wonderful things 2021 has in store for us. No matter what, there will be great beer and cider, so at least we’ve got that going for us! A full complement of new and returning options for you to seek out this weekend, and remember that many places are on reduced operations due to COVID restriction, so you’ll want to do a double-check before hopping in your car to visit. Better yet, when possible choose contact-less delivery from those breweries and restaurants offer it, and tip generously. Be kind and drink well, friends!

The Change is Brewing Collective is back with their latest collaborative release, this time with Dartmouth’s Lake City Cider. Forest Glory is a 6.8% ABV blend of many different fruits and herbs all grown or foraged in Nova Scotia and featuring contributions from Stirling Fruit Farms, Terra Beata, East Coast Wild Foods, and Riverview Herbs. Starting with a blend of apple and cranberry juices fermented dry, it was infused with a tincture of juniper, thyme, and rosemary — we hear that the blending and herb selection day was a feast for the senses, as evidenced by the social media posts. Not only does the cider taste great, but it looks great too! Collective member Amber Zaza created a festive and meaningful design featuring the ingredients in a repeating wreath pattern, inclusive of the season, and for whatever reason you choose to celebrate. Proceeds of sales are going to a local non-profit supporting BIPOC youth and community-building.

From Change is Brewing, they “are more motivated than ever to continue promoting diversity & inclusion in the craft beverage industry, and exploring the different opportunities available to BIPOC folks in this province,” so keep your eyes peeled here and on their Social Media (Fb/Ig) for their next Brewing 101 and other events and releases. Grab Forest Glory at Lake City’s retail location, and/or for delivery in HRM, right now! Their in-person event planned for this Sunday is on hold due to COVID restrictions, but they’ll be doing a virtual event later in the month.

Like several areas of New Brunswick, the Moncton region remains in the Orange zone, but that isn’t stopping some of the local breweries from helping you get your beer fix! CAVOK Brewing, still open for pints with your bubble members, as well as takeaway beers, has a brand new New England IPA for the weekend. Got Wings? was brewed with a grist of 2-row and CaraRed malts, along with some oats, and was hopped with a wide variety of hops, including Chinook, Magnum, Citra, Mosaic, and Amarillo. Conditioned on tangerine and pineapple purée “for a sharp, upfront taste of bitter oranges and some fruit sweetness”, you can naturally expect even more citrus, fruity, dank aromas and flavours from the hop additions. With a fairly-low-for-an-IPA ABV of 5.8% ABV, you can find this medium-bodied hop bomb right now at CAVOK on tap and in cans.

Mount Pearl, Newfoundland’s Landwash Brewery is celebrating their Second Anniversary this weekend, and are releasing two new beers to mark the occasion. Awesome! Fresh off the canning line just this morning is the latest in their exploration of the American IPA style, Anchor Rode. This 7.2% IPA features a heavy dose of Strata hops, a newer variety related to Perle, and features a dank character along with plenty of juicy tropical notes of passion fruit, grapefruit, and strawberry. Cans, pints, and fills are available now!

And for those digging a big bold barreled beer, enter Landwash’s The Barrelman. Locals will recognize who this is referring to, but for the rest of us, The Barrelman was the name adopted by Joey Smallwood during his history and culture radio show broadcast in the 1930s and 40s. The beer stands as tall as the man, an American Barley Wine that spent 8 months in Bourbon barrels (American Oak, natch), taking on plenty of vanilla and a touch of booze, along with plenty of toffee and dried fruit character from the base beer. At 10% ABV, it’s perfect for nights huddled around the radio. Cans are also available in their retail shop now, and it’ll also be on draught when the taproom opens at 3 PM. Congratulations on your first two years, Landwash Crew, you have lots to celebrate, and more great things coming! Check their Social Media for details of events they’re holding over the next few weeks, including Slay Belles Drag Brunch next Sunday, as well as plenty of live music.

Tonight you will be visited by three spirits … ok, maybe it’s too early to start reciting Christmas Carol lines, but if you’re in the mood for a spooky beer, check out Good Robot’s release of Uncle Giggle’s Hazy APA. This 5.1% juicy pale ale is an homage to Disney’s Haunted Mansion which inspired the many of the design aspects of GR’s upstairs bar, the MouseTrap. Expect citrusy aromas with floral and grapefruit flavours from the Magnum, Citra and Equinox hops, which were paired with a grist bill featuring pale malt and flaked wheat. Grab some today from the Robots at their retail store on Robie Street or stay home and order delivery through their webstore

Over in PEI, Montague’s Copper Bottom is happy to announce the latest entry in their Field Trip series, consisting of kettle-soured, fruited beers. Field Trip: Tangerine was brewed with a very simple recipe of Shoreline Malting 2-row, soured with Lactobacillus, and fermented with a clean ale yeast strain. Conditioned on loads of tangerine puree, the resulting 5% ABV brew is tart and sessionable, with “a moderate tangerine and tangerine pith character”. You can find it in the brewery’s taproom, online for pickup and delivery options, and in this year’s Advent Calendar from Harvest Wines. And if you were a fan of CB’s NorthPaw Rye IPA (6.5% ABV) when they first launched it, good news, as a fresh batch is now available! Hopped with Amarillo and Cascade to 40 IBUs, this time around it’ll be available at select PEILCC locations, as well as at the brewery and online.

If you’re feeling more in a Lager-ish kinda mood, Tatamagouche Brewing has you covered with their latest, Arvo, a Helles Lager. A style brewed to be clean, easy-drinking, and a showcase for good malt and noble hops, Tata’s take on the style features a grist of mostly Pilsner malt, with a little bit of Honey malt and Carapils thrown in for good measure. Mash-hopped with Czech Saaz, more Saaz and some Hallertau Mittlefruh were added in the boil, for a total calculated IBUs of 26. Fermented with the Isar Lager strain from Escarpment Labs, the final beer is right where you’d want it at 4.6% ABV, and is just what you’re looking for when you need a beer that is approachable, sessionable, and flavourful… without smacking you in the face too hard with, well, anything! Available at the brewery store for growlers and cans, and of course you can order it online (lots of great shipping options for all around the country!).

TataBrew also has a couple of other favourites returning: Elixir, their Pale Ale fermented with the Krispy Kveik yeast and hopped with Elixir and Mistral, two French varieties, is currently available on tap and in cans; and Giantess, their award-winning Barley Wine, a big (11% ABV!!), bold, delicious beer, can be found in store/online in 650 mL bottles. Two completely-different beers, yet both tasty as all get out!

Cole Harbour’s North Brewing has had a big couple of weeks, what with the release of Stack o’ Pancakes and their new and vintage collaboration beers with Benjamin Bridge, all of which we’ve mentioned over the past couple of weeks. This week saw the release of another beer we mentioned two weeks ago as on-the-way, SoP’s “sister” beer, Cinnamon Bun Stout. But they haven’t stopped there! Out today is a very special version of their original pastry stout, Twinkle Pony. For those who remember, this was a stout brewed with Tiramisu components, including ladyfinger cookies, vanilla, and coffee, as well as plenty of chocolate malt. As a special treat for all those folks who continue to ask for it, they not only made more, they made it MORE. Two barrels worth of a previous batch of this beer were socked into whiskey barrels for a solid 10 months before being blended with some newer stout then conditioned further on toasted coconut, cocoa nibs from Rousseau Chocolatier, and more vanilla. The result is a 9% ABV beer that will no doubt twinkle your pony. They’re calling it Coco Pony and if you’re into it, you should act quickly: only 900 cans have been produced! Grab it through on-line ordering for curbside pickup or delivery, or responsible socially distanced retail!

This is the time of year when some of you start craving certain Christmas candies, which inevitably means that similarly-themed beers will follow. With Dieppe’s Flying Boats, they’ve added a new beer to their Small Batch Brewing series, Midnight Express, a “Double Chocolate Orange Porter” which most likely is inspired by the popular stocking stuffer, Terry’s Chocolate Orange. The beer is brewed in the English Porter style, with a grist that contains two different Chocolate malt varieties. East Kent Goldings hops were added in the boil, along with additions of bitter orange peel. More orange was added to the beer in the form of orange puree during the conditioning phase, with the end product showing off a “full-bodied dark chocolate flavour, hints of orange zest, and a nice, creamy finish”. It’s 6.2% and 28 IBUs, and was packaged in 750 mL bottles for purchase at the brewery, as well as select ANBL stores. 

Need a break from beer? Well, don’t forget that there’s lots of great, local cideries around Atlantic Canada now, with Halifax’s ChainYard being an excellent option. And hey, they’ve got a brand new cider currently available in cans, Cran’d Ole Hopry. This one is a cider made with Northern Spy apples that was dry-hopped with Cascade and Mosaic, and then aged on the cidery’s house-made cranberry wine. Lots of hop aromatics with this beauty, as well as a tart, refreshing finish of cranberry. It weighs in at 6.4% ABV; grab your 4-packs at CY right now!

Quidi Vidi has a few new beers in their Hop Shop and hitting NLCs and convenience stores this week. First up is Infinity Skull IPA, a juicy Idaho 7-heavy American IPA, featuring notes of apricot, lime, and pineapple. This collaboration was done with local tattoo artist Murray Brokenshire from Trouble Bound Studio, and of course features a pretty sick can design. Their Sofa Sours Series continues with the return of Strawberry Guava Creamsicle. Bright ripe strawberry and guava, with a touch of lactose to balance the acidity, makes for a refreshing, light, and fruity extension of the beer line. And finally, Imperial Black Forest Stout! As the name implies, lots of chocolate in the can, along with cherry and vanilla that will have you thinking of this heavenly dessert. Check their website for availability for pickup and delivery, in addition to those sent to the other retail locations.

As the holidays draw nearer, Atlantic Canadian beer drinkers collectively seek out a beer that is socially acceptable to crack open before noon (or is that just us?). Look no further, as Propeller is rereleasing its Mocha Oatmeal Stout. Brewed with chocolate and locally roasted coffee, expect flavors of espresso, milk chocolate and brown sugar in a 5.5% ABV package. As an added bonus, this year’s cans are of the nitro variety, leading to a creamier, smooth mouthfeel and the classic cascading head caused by the nitrogen. The kegged version was carbed using CO2, so grab a growler while you’re at it to compare and contrast the two styles. Available today at Prop’s three HRM locations are via home delivery through their webstore.

Not to be outdone by all the other breweries doing some kinda boxy bundley thingy for the holidays (just a little late to the party 😘), 2 Crows Brewing in Halifax is stepping up the local content with theirs, calling it the Local Crate. Of course you’re going to get some lovely liquids from Brunswick Street, including 8 beers, 2 cans each of Refresh and Fantacity, 1 Laurel, 1 I Love You, and a bottle of Terry (the last two are exclusive early releases!) as well as 4 cans of Hop Water and a lovely limited release 2 Crows Arome beer glass to enjoy them all with. But you’ll also get a loaf of sourdough bread, a bag of granola, and an enamel pin from Birdies Bread Co., and Milosh Mustard (yep, mustard made with 2 Crows Milosh Helles-style lager) and Apple-Shallot Chutney from Good Luck Café & Pantry. Check out the pretty pictures at their web store, but don’t spend too long fawning, if you want one of these you need to place your order by December 10th; they’ll be ready for pickup or delivery on December 12th. 

Nothin’ doin’ this week in terms of beer-related events, but let’s be honest, that’s very much the way it should be. As we adapt to increased restrictions, though hopefully not for too long, we’ll likely see some virtual beer events pop up again, which we’ll be happy to tell you about. And with that, here’s the traditional batch of shorter items to send you on your way to plan your weekend beer(s)!

Breton Brewing’s latest seasonal is a NEIPA named Into the Haze (6.6% ABV) that was brewed with Wheat malt from Shoreline Malting and plenty of delicious hops to give “notes of pineapple on the nose, and flavours of grapefruit, lemon, mango, and cantaloupe.” Available for pickup at the brewery, and online for delivery/shipping across Nova Scotia. 

If you’re interested in trying some cellared beers, particularly those of the higher ABV variety, check out Garrison’s Cellar Celebration.  Featuring releases going as far back as 2015, you’ll find long-time favorites like Spruce Beer, Ol’Fog Burner Barleywine, Wintervention and Baltic Porter. Check out Garrison’s webstore for all of the details.   

Grimross Brewing has brought back their Abbey Dubbel (pronounced “double”, not “doobel”!), but this time, the Belgian Dubbel is available in cans. At 7.2% ABV, and with “notes of dark fruit, banana, and allspice with toasty malt and a drying finish”, it’s just what you need for sipping on a cold (or, lukewarm?) late-fall night. 

Maybee Brewing has their own returning Belgian staple, Stone House Tripel. This pale-coloured, 8.4% ABV Belgian Tripel was originally one of the brewery’s flagship beers; if you’ve been missing it, you can grab it on tap and in cans at the brewery.

Halifax hop heads rejoice! Double Orange Ale is back at Unfiltered Brewing. The 7.5% DIPA you know and love is available now in cans and growler fills (Unfiltered glass only) on North Street, or via home delivery.  

It’s Friday the 13th, if you’re into that thing. It’s also the second day of the Masters (in November!) if you’re into a tradition unlike any other. One thing we’re all into is beer! As we head into the Christmas season, our precious Atlantic Bubble is still churning out the new releases and events while we still can. Stay alert, stay safe and remember to support your local businesses. And if all else fails, we’ll still be here writing about beer every week! 

St. John’s is the place to be this weekend (heck, maybe every weekend, really!), as Bannerman Brewing has two new, strong beers you can grab to celebrate, or drown your sorrows in, depending on your mood (PS always drink responsibly!). The first is a 9% ABV Double IPA named New Dystopia that was brewed with a simple grist of Pilsner malt and flaked oats. Featuring a heavy dry-hop addition of Mosaic, the final beer is showing off flavours of “citrus, pineapple, and apricot”, and drinks deceptively smooth despite that high ABV. Pale, hoppy beers not quite your thing? Well, maybe you’ll be interested in beer #2, Sinister Feelings, which was released a couple of weeks ago, just in time for Spooky Season. This Stout was brewed with a blend of Caramel malts, as well as a little bit of lactose to oh-so-slightly bump the sweetness. Once fermentation was complete, the 7.5% ABV beer was conditioned on toasted coconut, vanilla beans, and coffee from Pilot Coffee Roasters. Roasty, coconut-y, with plenty of delicious coffee aromas and flavours, it may be just the beer now that temperatures are starting to drop back into normal-November range. Both beers are available on tap for pints and growlers, as well as in cans. 

Fans of Wolfville’s Church Brewing may be interested to hear that they’ve just released Heart of Gold, which besides being a pretty damn good song, is the brewery’s second Lager… more specifically, an Amber Lager. Customers and tap accounts alike were requesting a beer along these lines, and Church was more than happy to oblige. The grist was conceived to be made up of several malt types, including Pilsner, Vienna, Melanoidin, and a  bit of Carafa Special III for colour. Bittered to 22 IBUs with Summit hops, the copper-coloured, crystal-clear beer is complex, yet clean, with honey and biscuit flavours, as well as a touch of dried fruit. It finishes well-balanced and at 5.5% ABV isn’t going to knock you out too quickly. It’s available on tap directly at Church (and to go in crowlers), as well as licensees across Nova Scotia.  

Newly-opened Village Green – Cornwall, PEI’s very first brewery – have announced that they’re now pouring one of their very first hoppy beers, Village IPA. Brewed entirely with 2-row malt from Island Malt House, it was hopped with Cascade and Centennial in the boil, Amarillo in the whirlpool, and a dry-hop addition of Simcoe. This one was influenced by classic West Coast IPAs, so don’t be expecting a hazy, non-bitter juice bomb! That’s not to say you won’t find citrusy, resiny, dank flavours and aromas in this one… you most certainly will! But at 7.5% ABV and 60+ IBUs, it’s going to remind you of the days when IPAs still had some bitterness to them… and simpler names!

On the other side of the naming convention comes a tat for tit, or yang to yin, of a friendly inter-brewer play on the Dry Irish Stout style, with Foghorn’s Andrew Estabrooks. Village Stout (C’est sec Esty), is brewed with Maris Otter, more 2-row from Island Malt House, as well as enough Roasted and Flaked Barley to lend an iconic roast and chocolate character, and leaving it dry, dry, dry (it’s in the name, after all!). At 4.1% ABV, and lightly hopped to 25 IBU with East Kent Golding, this is the perfect sipper on your lunch break, or evening taking in the sights of Cornwall from their taproom. And check down below for a great excuse to get into the taproom and pair the IPA and Stout with food from Holy Fox and wines chosen by Stellar Somm.

And speaking of Stellar Somm, Bryan Carver of Village Green Brewery and Lesley Quinn of Stellar Somm Wine Experts are teaming up and throwing down in a Wine vs. Beer Challenge! The event is Thursday, November 26th at 7pm and will see a Certified Cicerone and Certified Sommelier put their skills to the test. Check out the event link here to get your tickets. 

If you’re a regular reader of this blog (come on, admit it… it’s cathartic), you’ll probably remember we mentioned details on Tire Shack’s First Anniversary, which happened early this week. Well, if you missed it, we have great news… they’ve decided to continue celebrations throughout the week and into this weekend, and they’ve even got another two new beers to join the two they’ve already released! The first is a “Vanilla Latte beer”, brewed in collaboration with local Epoch Chemistry Coffee House. Golden Latte ft. Epoch Chemistry is a White Stout – e.g. a pale-coloured beer that smells and tastes like a Stout – that Tire Shack created by adding lactose and vanilla to a Brazilian, light roast coffee. There’s only 150 L of this chock-full-of-coffee-flavours-and-vanilla bad boy brewed, so if you want to try it, you best get in to Tire Shack today or tomorrow! And you can’t celebrate without glitter, right? Well, maybe that one isn’t a given, but the next beer, Sparklepuff, is a Glitter IPA. Hopped with lots of Simcoe (most of which was added during fermentation), and with an addition of edible glitter (three versions will be available: Gold, Silver, and Rose Gold), it’s 6% ABV, “bright and fruity, with lots of apricot and passion fruit notes”, and if ya got a problem with glitter, don’t shoot the messengers!

Yarmouth, former home of The Cat and current home to Heritage Brewing, comes to you with a new release! Brewed in collaboration with local neighbours, Perky Owl Coffee, we have another White Stout (see above!). Snowy Owl Stout is brewed with plenty of oats and wheat for a delicious bready and malty profile, with big additions of chocolate, coffee, lactose and vanilla. It’s white stout season, and it sounds delicious. At 5.5% and 15 IBU, this is available now directly from the brewery. 

If you are fans of continuity, logic and delicious IPAs, you’ll be thrilled with the latest can release from those birds at 2 Crows. A re-release of Perfect Situation (it’s been 2 years!) sees the return of a smooth and juicy IPA generously hopped with Vic Secret and Idaho 7. From 2 Crows, here’s an explanation of the full series:

“For those of you following along at home, Perfect Situation was the start of a fun little hop-forward series where we utilize the same base beer but load it to the max with different combinations of fruity hops — versions to date include Perfect Situation, Second Situation, Perfect Recreation, Another Iteration, and Perfect Saturation.”

With Perfect Situation, we get a 6.1% ABV brew at 44 IBU that is “super fruity, lush, tropical, pillowy and juicy. Massive notes of pineapple, passionfruit, apricot, red grapefruit and papaya.” Mama-mia! Canned and available from the brewery and online for delivery now!

Are you down with OBB? Ol’ Biddy’s has 2 new releases currently available on-tap exclusively in Lower Sackvile. 

Kicked in the Hops is a Double IPA at 7.7%. This comes packed with intense hop flavours and aromas of pine along with some nice tropical and citrus notes, thanks to generous additions of Amarillo, Simcoe, and Centennial hops. Their second release is a Red Ale, Love It or Hate It, comes in at 5.0% and is lightly smoked. Brewed with one of their military employees (shout out to Rob Truscott), this one is worth a try to find out if you … love it or hate it. Both of these are smaller batches, and draught-only, joining thirteen other taps available at their newly opened taproom at 111 Cobequid Dr in Lower Sackville. Taproom and Retail are open Thurs – Sat, 12 – 8 PM and Sun 12 – 6 PM.

As we’ve mentioned a few times over the last month or so, this year marks the third year for the Maritime Home Brew Challenge presented by Gahan House (part of the PEI Brewing Company family) out of Charlottetown. Two of your intrepid bloggers had a great time visiting the Island last weekend with some other BJCP judges from Nova Scotia to help the local judges determine the winning beers. Unfortunately, unlike previous editions, a full gala celebration at the Gahan House location in Charlottetown is impossible due to COVID-related travel and gathering restrictions, so this year they’re going to do it virtually. Tomorrow, Saturday, November 14th, at 10:00 AM the winning entries will be revealed, with prize values ranging from $50 to $300 for the top 5 beers in each of this year’s styles (New England IPA and West Coast IPA), with a couple of special prizes available (Best Name and Best Use of Local) and an additional $500 going to to Grand Champion, who will be given an opportunity to brew a batch of their beer on the Gahan Charlottetown system and see it canned and distributed at PEI LCC locations on the Island. If you’re an entrant or just interested to see who won, feel free to join the call via Facebook tomorrow via the Gahan Charlottetown Facebook page.

Get your human bottoms ready, Copper Bottom, one of the two fine craft breweries in Montague, PEI, is turning 3 years old! They’re celebrating (and we should all be, too!) with two new releases and a birthday bash!

First up, Birthday Beer 3, their annual anniversary release. This year, this Brut IPA is brewed with 100% Shoreline Pale Malt and the fine British Columbia grown Sasquatch hops.  This should bring some floral and lemongrass flavours with a bit of woodieness and tangerine, with a nice dry finish you’d expect from a Brut IPA. 7.5% ABV and 30 IBU for this treat that will be available in the taproom, online and local accounts around PEI. 

Next up is the latest in their single-hopped Session IPA series, Flux: Galaxy.  Hopped heavily with … Galaxy and a malt bill with Shoreline Pale, Flaked Oats and Wheat, we get a 4.2% with 25 IBU. They would best describe it as Juno’s younger cousin (and Juno is delicious!) with a biig hit of pineapple, passionfruit, and peach in a nice sessionable package. Flux: Galaxy is also available in the taproom and online for home delivery this Saturday. 

On top of two new releases, they’re having a safe and fun anniversary party on Saturday November 13th with food, music and cheap beer! Starting at Noon, the first 50 guests will get a free Birthday Beer glass to take home. Admission is free and it sounds like a blast! Check out all of the details on their event page on Facebook.  

A reminder that Garrison’s Oxford Taproom is celebrating their First Anniversary this weekend, featuring prizes, drink specials, as well as a special limited-time-only Celebration beer on tap. A blend with a two year old Barrel-Aged Ol’ Fog Burner, dry hopped with Cascade, coming in around 8.8% ABV. Sounds like a winner to us! There will be plenty of other fun things on the go this weekend, so best to pop by to get the full scoop! They’re open noon to 11 PM Friday and Saturday, and noon to 10 PM the rest of the week.

And just like that… Halifax’s Bar Stillwell is turning Seven this Sunday, November 15! Celebrating Stilly’s birthday is always an amazing time (anyone remember the multi-floor party with jockey boxes of Quebec goodies one year?), and 1672 Barrington Street will once again be a focal point for awesome beer from here and away (Lambic pours!). While this year’s celebration may be a bit subdued compared to previous, there will still be plenty of great beer and cider a-pouring, as well as thoughtful food coming from their kitchen all day. Plus Free Cake! It looks like the RSVP tables are all spoken for (could check with sam@barstillwell.com to confirm/be put on the waitlist), but there will also be a few spots set aside for walk-ins all day (and it’s walk-in only after 8 PM). HBD Stilly Fam!

We’ve certainly had a lot of content from PEI this week, and we’ve got one more piece of big news from the Island for you out of Lone Oak Brewing in Borden-Carleton: coming in just one short week, on Friday, November 20th, is a full, year-round kitchen to complement their awesome tap room. Partnering with the folks behind Terry’s Berries Food Truck in B-C, sister restaurant of The Wheelhouse in Georgetown and Thatcher’s in Montague you can expect the same level of variety, quality and local focus! They’re still working on staffing the place up, so if you or someone you know lives in the area and is interested in a position as Sous Chef, Line Cook, Front of House Manager or Counter Attendant, you can drop an email to manager@wheelhouseingeorgetown.com to inquire. Keep an eye on social media (Fb/Ig/Tw) for the official name to be announced and the opening menu to be finalized. Meanwhile, we already know what one of the first big events after the restaurant opening will be, as the very next day, on Saturday, November 21st, Lone Oak will be hosting the inaugural Sweet Oyster Cup 2020 Shucking Invitational. Of course now that we’ve told you that, we also are honor bound to let you know that the in-person tickets for the event are sold out, but you can watch along starting at 6 PM via this link right here. If you’re not one of the lucky few with a ticket and are an oyster lover, though, you could stop by Lone Oak tonight for some free oysters as a warmup to next weekend’s event!

Propeller Brewing is launching a returning favourite beer today, Sasquatch Pale Ale. Focusing on the Canadian-grown Sasquatch hop variety, the 5.2% ABV, 35 IBUs beer features “juicy mango and pineapple flavours, and gentle honey and hazelnut notes”. Available on tap and in cans at all three Prop Shops, for home delivery, as well as a few of the private shops in HRM. And in more Prop news, you can now find their IPA in small cans in NSLC stores and their own shops. For those who still prefer bottles, don’t worry, those aren’t going anywhere!

The fine folks in Dartmouth (they exist) have one of their fan favourite brews back in stock this week. North Brewing brings back Malternate Reality, this 6.4%, 51 IBU New England IPA is massively aromatic with notes of mango, pineapple, guava that’s smooth with a great balance of carbonation. You’re going to want to drink this fresh, so check Battery Park, North Brewing and you can also order online from the brewery and the NSLC. No excuses!

Quidi Vidi Brewery is getting a head start on the holiday spirit by releasing their Mummers Brew this week. This 5.3% ABV Cream Ale is easy drinking with hints of hop-related floral and herbal aroma, along with a pleasant bitterness. The beer is available at the taproom, Hop Shop, as well as through their online ordering system for all your beer-y needs. And you are encouraged to take part in the 12th annual Mummers Festival, featuring wo weeks of events, Nov 28-Dec 12, celebrating the history and art of mummering. Plus you can take part in the Virtual Mummers Parade of December 12th by submitting your videos here!

We’ll leave you with a trio of new, reopening, and very soon-to-open good beer locations across Atlantic Canada, all of which can be found on our Good Beer Map, FYI! The perfect accompaniment to your Bubble travels this holiday season!

After closing their doors adjacent to the War Memorial in downtown St. John’s earlier this year, the super-cool cats at TOSLOW have moved to a brand new spot just up the road to 108 Duckworth. The espresso machine gets fired up by 8 AM, and paired with their fresh pastries and sammies every morning, will keep you going all day (well, until beer o’clock). While they put the final touches on their bar and taproom space, they are take-out only until early afternoon, but keep an eye on their IG for details on the beer spaces opening up, focusing their gaze on the great Newfoundland beers on tap and in bottles and cans, along with beer and natural wine from across the country. Word on the street is that they’ll be launching Wednesday, the 18th, with four taps from across the province, including the Port Rexton Azacca IPA, Landwash Tidepool Pilsner, Bootleg Brew Co Dream Team Partridge Berry Milkshake Sour and Iron Rock Large Day APA. But those of you keeners should def. keep your eyes peeled on their IG (hint hint).

In Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, Lunn’s Mill Beer is thrilled to launch The Station, their restaurant, pub, and speakeasy opening tomorrow in Bridgetown. Located at 73 Queen Street, The Station will be open from 9 AM daily, closing at 9 PM Sunday through Wednesday, and at midnight Thursday through Saturday. That early opening means a full breakfast will be available, and the kitchen will be serving up food all day and night from their pub menu. Reservations are required (can also phone 902-665-3069) for dinner service at 4 PM (thanks COVID!), and are encouraged for other times as well, to ensure you and your bubble can enjoy a well-spaced meal. Of course, there will be plenty of great Lunn’s Mill Beer on tap, thanks to 17 draught lines and even a handpump so they can continue their cask program onsite. For those looking for something different to imbibe, taps of cider and wine are also available, as well as a selection of bottles and cans from producers across the province. Additionally, they will feature a full bar stocked with local spirits, to be enjoyed on their own or in handcrafted cocktails. Speaking of, The Side Car Lounge is their speakeasy space open after 6 PM, in a more intimate setting featuring even more spirit options. And taking advantage of all available space, look for a second brewing space to open in the next few months, with special test and one-off brews produced exclusively for The Station, made onsite. A retail shop with bottles, cans, and growler fills will open in the next little bit, and their Lawrencetown taproom and retail shop is open Thursday through Saturday, 3 – 7 PM. Congratulations to the Lunn’s Mill team!

And in coming-shortly news, Gridiron Brewing in Hampton, New Brunswick has completed the purchase of a building in order to upgrade and expand their brewing operation. Lots of steps lie ahead for them to demolish an old kitchen and pour proper sloped concrete floors, etc, but the writing is on the wall that in the next few months their new spot will be rocking along nicely! In the meantime, their current location at 74 St. James Street in Hampton will continue to be open Thursday through Sunday, 4 – 6 PM (and also by appointment) for growler fills, cans, as well as a selection of other NB beers to take away.