Archives

All posts by acbbchris

Spring has sprung in Atlantic Canada. With a stretch of great weather in the forecast, what better time to grab a great local beer, hit up your favourite outdoor space and soak up some Vitamin D. This week we’ve got new releases and returning favourites, plus a couple of new spots to enjoy your pints!

Thirsty folks in Riverview have a new place to drink and play, as the Marvelous Holy Bowly opened their doors at the end of April. Brought to you by the fine folks at Alma’s Holy Whale / Buddha Bear Cafe, the bowling alley cum craft beer bar at 28 Biggs Drive features 12 lanes of candlepin bowling (reserve your lanes here), and capacity for even the biggest of groups. What’s pouring? There are a full dozen of their own Holy Whale beer flowing at all time, with room for a handful more from other New Brunswick producers large and small, plus wine and cocktails. Open 7 days a week from noon til 11 PM Mon-Fri, 10 AM – 11 PM Sat and 12 – 8 PM Sundays, make plans to hang with some pals and throw a few frames, drop a couple of quarters into the arcade machines onsite for the full bowley alley vibe, all while throwing back a couple of pints!

Delta Force Brewing is celebrating two years in business (and what a couple of years it’s been!), with a mixed six-pack of different fruited Anderlecht Farmshed Ales. Hand-picked by the Delta Force team from the Annapolis Valley and Mahone Bay areas of the province, the six varieties of fruits added were Gooseberry, Rhubarb, Sour Cherry, White Currant, Red Currant, and Black Currant. They let the beer, already funky and a touch tart from the Brettanomyces used to ferment, direct the fruit choice and addition rate. Each beer was fully fermented to completion after the fruit was added, with about 3 months of fruit contact time before bottling. This special celebratory six-pack is available for ordering now through their website, just in time for delivery within HRM.

Trailway has a new IPA out, named after those pesky cart-seeking red shells in Mario Kart. Red Shell IPA features a moderate bitterness and notes of stonefruit, citrus and pine from additions of Citra, Amarillo and Callista hops. Featuring a more substantial grain bill than the average Trailway IPA, expect some biscuity malt notes to keep things nicely in balance. Cans are available now at the taproom and through their online store. 

Annapolis Cider has a new release from its always popular Something Different series. Black Cherry & Rosemary features cool fermented cider that is blended with juice from local black cherries. It also received an infusion of rosemary to add a lightly savoury note. The result is a full bodied cider that pours a deep crimson colour thanks to the black cherries. The flavour profile features ripe berries, cherry tannins and slightly herbal finish. Black Cherry & Rosemary is available now in Downtown Wolfville, with $0.50 from each sale supporting the Valley Hospice Foundation

In “coming soon/get your drinking boots on” news, Banished Brewing in Paradise NL has passed one of the big hurdles this week, as they have begun brewing! We’ll have tons more news for you ahead of their open in the coming weeks, but know that soon those tanks will be filling kegs and cans for our enjoyment. Keep an eye on their social media for updates too, as they are coming fast and often these days!

Tapestry Beer Bar in Lower Sackville is taking you to school in June, as they will be hosting Prud’homme Beer Certification Level 1 classes starting June 13. Over the course of 4 Mondays, students will learn all about beer styles, beer recipe and production, tasting techniques, and the history of beer. Interested? Reach out to Tapestry in person or over social media to sign up or learn more!

The small (some may even say, nano) folks out of Cole Harbour, Hardisty Brewing, are bringing their wares to the Alderney Market (at Dartmouth’s Alderney Landing) every Saturday from 8am until 1pm. There are lots of great vendors down there, so stop by, grab some beer, grab some food, and support your local crafters!  Hardisty currently has a lineup of at least 6 beers (an IPA, Amber, two Pale Ales, a Pilsner and Rye IPA), and they also deliver in Dartmouth and Cole Harbour weekly. Check their website for more details. 

The pleasant people at Propeller have a summer-themed Patio Pack of 12 cans available today. This 12 pack features 12 355ml cans mixed between four different beers. Two of the beers most of our readers would be familiar with, Lime Lite Lager and Passion Fruit Sour, but they also have two Summer Ales, Tropic Haze and Guavarama as part of the pack. This pack is available today on their website and in the Propeller shops and will be arriving soon at the private stores in Halifax, along with the NSLC. 

Spring time in Nyanza can only mean one thing, the return of She’s Maibock. Big Spruce’s take on the traditional German Lager is back in stock. The 6.5% maibock is hopped with Huell Melon, giving notes of strawberries, melon and stonefruit to compliment the signature toasted bread crust malt notes of the style. Grab some cans today at the Sprucetique or through their online store. 

The boys at the 902 Brewcast returned this week for a pod recapping the recent Tapped Truro Beer Fest. They also sample a few recent releases, including this year’s release of Cerberus. Treat your ears wherever you get your pods.

We’ve got two quick hits from North Brewing to bring you into the weekend, starting with a rerelease. Just in time for some warmer weather, Sparrow Pilsner is back in stock at all three retail locations. And speaking of retail, North is currently hiring for part-time positions in the three retail shops (Cole Harbour, Downtown Dartmouth and Timberlea). If you’re interested, send a resume to ben@northbrewing.ca or check out the job postings section of their website for more info.

We’ll warrant that but for a few exceptions, most beer drinkers don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about where the ingredients in their beer come from. As you can imagine, though, as with any industry, there’s a whole worldwide supply chain that gets the barley and the hops and the hey hey from wherever they’ve been grown and processed into the hands of our region’s brewers. In the case of hops, there’s one company in particular in Canada that’s responsible for much of the hop content in your glass. That company has always been known as Hops Connect, but they’re now rebranding as Hops Connect Canada to more clearly delineate that they are a Canadian-owned and -operated company serving breweries in every Province and Territory. These are the folks responsible for much of the sought-after Southern Hemisphere (Australia and New Zealand) varieties being available to our brewers, like Galaxy, Vic Secret, Nelson Sauvin, and Motueka, but they’re also behind, through their affiliate, Hops Connect Farms, the only current trademarked Canadian hop variety, Sasquatch. So the next time you’re lifting a glass of Propeller Galaxy, or maybe one of Trailway’s latest juicy hop bombs, give a thought to Hops Connect Canada and maybe check out their website and their new branding.

AWOL Brewery, a Canadian Armed Forces Veteran-owned brewery in the Moncton region, is up and running as of this month, and celebrating its Launch Party at the All Ranks Moncton Mess this weekend. We caught up with owner and brewer, Robert Black, to learn more about his journey to open AWOL, their current and future offerings, and much more!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and AWOL?
My name is Bobby and am the brewer/owner of a new craft brewery located in Moncton, New Brunswick. I am a retired Sgt. from the Army, and started this project after my medical release in 2015. AWOL Brewery is primarily marketed towards serving and retired members of the Canadian Armed Forces, as well as first responders, but not exclusively so. We are part of the Buy Veteran movement, and give back to Veteran non-profit organizations, through a percentage of sales from our merchandise and a selection of our seasonal/specialty beers.

Can you tell us about your brewery and plans for distribution?
The brewery is a 3 BBL (~350 litre) electric brewery, powered exclusively by solar energy, thanks to the panels on the roof of our building. While our current brewing location is not open to the public, we are focusing on providing licensees in the region with beer. The focus is on the development of the brand and getting exposure, before we expand into a new space, which could include a taproom. Where to find us on tap is always expanding, so it’s best to check the list on our website for the up-to-date information. Currently pouring at the All Ranks Moncton Mess (ARMM), Laundromat Expresso Bar, Timber Lounge, and Furnace Room in Moncton, and on the rotating taps at The Joyce Pub in Fredericton. The ARMM is not normally open to the public, except during special events.

Can you tell us about the beers you have available now, and plans for the future?
Currently, we have an American Pale Ale, Tactical Pause APA, as a regular full-time listed beer. This beer is a 5% ABV hop-forward pale ale, with German Caramel malts to give it some body and help balance out the bitterness of the Warrior and Amarillo hops used to make it 36 IBU.
Throughout the year we will be rotating different beer styles in our seasonal selection. By our second year, we plan on promoting the best performing seasonal beer to a permanent listing. Our first seasonal beer is a Smoked Amber Ale, called The Smoker, named after the (rare) post-military training exercise beer call and BBQ. Lightly smoked using traditional German Beechwood-smoked malt, along with German Caramel malts and American Hops to help balance the flavor. The Smoker Ale is at 5.1% ABV 24 IBU and displays a colour of 15 SRM. This beer pairs nicely with anything from the grill, and the smoke does not overwhelm your sense of taste.
The next seasonal beer is a Red Lager brewed with German lager yeast and German Cara malts. It weighs in at 5.0% ABV. No special for it yet, other than calling it AWOL R.E.D. Lager. All three of these will be available on tap at the Launch Party, and at the other licensees, then it’s hard at work on releasing summer seasonal beers.

What can folks expect at the Launch Party Saturday?
From 6PM on Saturday, at the All Ranks Moncton Mess (Building 47 at 299 Park Street), we are inviting the public to join the active and veteran communities to help us celebrate our launch. We will be onsite pouring our three beers, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, the BBQ will be fired up and we will have burgers and sausages available after 6:30, with merchandise such as shirts, glassware, and stickers available for purchase. And door prizes to say thank you to those who come out to support! We have more details on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

How can we keep up with the latest AWOL Brewery news?
We have Facebook and Instagram pages, and we update our website with new beer releases, merchandise, and licensees. Look for an online store for merch coming soon!

Congratulations to Robert and Julie Black on the launch of AWOL, we know it has been many years in the making!

What a difference a week makes! While last week’s post was a quick aperitif to your weekend of cider and beer fun, today’s edition is looking like the 200+ producers in our region are awakening from their winter hibernation, and ready to roll with dozens of new releases. We’ve done our best to grab the info you’re looking for, and as always, hit us up on our Socials to ping us if there’s a great new spot or beer release you’d like us to highlight.

Nova Scotia Craft Beer Month is picking up speed, so let’s start you off with some news from Scotia, with details on some events you’ll want to be sure to check out over the next few weekends!

Tomorrow, Saturday April 9, Dartmouth’s Battery Park is hosting a New Kids tap takeover. Featuring those Nova Scotian breweries who have opened in the last 2 years, this is the first time seeing many of these breweries on tap in Dartmouth. Candid Brewing in Antigonish, Half Cocked Brewing from North Grant, Ol’ Biddy’s Brew House of Lower Sackville, Serpent Brewing hailing from Spryfield, Truro Brewing out of Truro, as well as Island Folk Cider from Sydney, may not have had the chance to ever have a full “Grand Opening” experience due to the pandemic, so this is your chance to try their beer, and maybe even chat with the owners or brewers. The kegs hit the taps at 11:30 AM opening tomorrow, and will pour all day. There will be three different offerings from each producer, so there will definitely be something right up your alley!

Mark your calendar for next Friday, April 15, as Battery Park will be hosting the release of the 2022 edition of Cerberus, the annual All-Organic American IPA release. Always bitter, unlike the breweries who produce it, this year’s three-way conspiracy saw host brewery Big Spruce welcome perennial partner Tatamagouche, and for the first time, 2 Crows Brewing. To make this a three-headed day of fun, each of the trio will also be bringing another few beers to fill out the taps, so if IPAs aren’t your thing, fear not! Again, the fun kicks off at 11:30 AM and lasts all day.

The following day, Saturday, April 16, Battery Park Beer Guru Marc Wilson tapped more than a dozen Brewmasters and Head Brewers of Nova Scotia to think about the singular beer they wanted to share, representing any combination of “what they want to drink after work”, “what represents their brewery”, “what was their first brew ever”. We’ve heard there will be quite a wide selection on the board, so again, make plans to head in there!

The following Saturday, April 23, Class of ‘97 Alumni Garrison Brewing and Propeller Brewing are teaming up for a look back, and forward, as they celebrate 25 years of slinging beer in Nova Scotia. Each brewery will be taking over half the taps with some blast from the past, current beauties, several new-beer-debuts, with a Battery Park X Garrison X Propeller special collaboration brewed just for the event completing the line-up.

And sneaking in just before the end of NS Beer Month, is the annual Halifax Burger Bash (previously known as Burger Week). Running April 28 – May 7, this is a fundraiser for Feed Nova Scotia presented by The Coast. As Saturday April 30th falls right in line with both Beer Month and Burger Bash, Battery Park is hosting a Burgers ‘N Lagers event, with nine different lagers from across the province pouring, so you’ll be sure to find a beer that pairs with their Green Chili Cheeseburger.

Doing the Good Work out in Lower Sackville, TAPestry Beer Bar is celebrating NS Craft Beer Month with plenty of great things on the go. All month long, visit their spot at 833 Sackville Drive on a Wednesday, Thursday, or Sunday, and receive a ballot to win a mixed 24-pack of Nova Scotia Craft Beer. 2 drink minimum on this, but we’re sure there’ll be plenty of great choices enticing you! 

And why wait for Sunday if you’re thirsty tonight, right?! As if you need another reason to visit, Bryan, the Head Brewer from Antigonish’s Candid Brewing will be slinging beer and telling stories this evening at TAPestry, the first in a series guest bartenders from across the NS Beer industry to be dropping in and holding events this month. Keep your eyes peeled on their Facebook and IG page for the latest news, where you’ll be the first to peep their “Meet the Brewers” series, short videos on the history, present, and future of breweries in the province being released this month.

Phew! So, that’s every weekend sorted for the next month, how about today, what should you be ordering or picking up for the weekend ahead? Here are a few more ideas for you…

Speaking of Propeller Brewing, their Wild IPA is back on the shelves and taps today. This 6.2% funky friend is a blend of Brettanomyces-fermented IPA that has been hanging out in oak barrels for months, plus a freshly-brewed IPA chock-full of Nelson Sauvin hops. The resulting hybrid is overflowing with white wine and gooseberry notes thanks to the hops, with plenty of funky hay notes from the Brett-aged beer. On tap and in cans at all three Propeller locations (Gottingen, Windmill, and Quinpool), online for delivery and Canada-wide shipping, as well as at the private beer stores in the province, and even to some better ANBL locations. Score!

Proving that there are no size restrictions on trying to do some good in the world, one of the region’s smallest breweries, Delta Force Brewing in Greenwich, NS, a highly confidential location, is gearing up to participate in the Make Peace Not War Beer Project, an initiative where breweries pledge to share (at least) 10% of the proceeds of the sales of a given beer to charity and in return they get to use the super spiffy label provided. In this case, the folks at ∂F have elected to share 40% of the proceeds with the Ukrainian Red Cross. Since this is a no-recipe collaboration project, the brewery gets to brew what they want. In this case, it’s a dry hopped farmshed sour, coming in at 4.2% ABV and 5 IBU. Order it online and drink now for the hoppiest possible experience, or, better yet, order a couple (or a few!) and let one sit for a little while (up to two years, they say) and see how the Brett develops! Available now from the ∂F webstore for delivery. 

Dartmouth’s Lake City Cider has two new releases this week for cider fans. First up is Vanilla, a 6% ABV cider using all Nova Scotia apples, that includes an addition of steeped vanilla beans. This one features notes of cream soda and a lingering vanilla flavour. Next up is Black Currant, weighing in at the same ABV, but this time featuring pressed and fermented black currants. Expect more tannic notes from this full bodied cider that pours a delicate pink colour thanks to the fruit. Check out the taproom on Portland Street for both of these newbies.

On North Street in Halifax, Unfiltered Brewing is totally getting into the spirit of things by making sure to release a batch of their tropically delicious Inducement DIPA in time for you to enjoy during Craft Beer Month. Nobody’s going to pay you to drink it, and no, they’re not even going to give you any Airmiles for buying it (that sounds soooorta like a bit of an…inducement to us, how about you?). They’re just going to give you delicious hoppy as hell beer in return for your hard earned cash (or filthy lucre, if that’s all you’ve got). If you’re going to celebrate something about craft beer, that’s probably as good a place to start as any. Available today at noon at the brewery and for pints at Charm School.

Dartmouth’s Spindrift Brewing has queued up a new release for both their shelves at the Brewery and tasting room in Burnside as well as their taproom in Antigonish. Seeker Vanilla Stout is pretty self-descriptive, taking the coffee and chocolate notes of their Seeker Espresso Stout and upping the ante with a “massive” dose of vanilla, yielding a, “smooth, cozy, and incredibly drinkable treat.” Built on a base of Pilsner malt, with chocolate malt, Carafa III, CaraMunich, Amber, and Double-roasted Caramel specialty malts providing deep colour, richness, and roastiness, it was hopped with classic German varieties Magnum and Perle. Coming in at 6.3% ABV, it’s got some bite, but we’ll warrant that the vanilla smooths it right out. We believe this one’s been canned, so you’ll be able to grab some to go!

And just so you don’t think that all the beery fun is going down in Nova Scotia this week, here’s a smattering from at least two of the other three Atlantic Provinces!

Over to Borden-Carleton PEI for a new release that hit the taps and shelves late last week. Lone Oak Brewing plugged into Czech inspiration to create Cervene, an Amber Lager. Brewed with malt from Shoreline Malting just down the road from them, and hopped with Saaz grown by Lakeview Hop Farm of Harvey Station, New Brunswick, Cervene is Amber in appearance with a lovely Noble hop character and a floral finish, on a moderately bitter base. The beer was lagered for 6 weeks and naturally carbonated, sealing in that precious carbon dioxide for a smooth and crisp take. Available on tap and in cans at the brewery, and on draught at beer beer bars on and off the island soon.
Lone Oak has a full weekend of events, including Family Feud tonight, Live Music tomorrow, and a Sunday Brunch with live music. More details here. And for those wondering, the Milky Way Brewpub in town renovations are moving along nicely, and they are aiming for an opening in about 6 weeks. Keep an eye open here and on their SM account for the exact details, and there may even be a special cross-Confed Collab release hitting the shelves at the same time! 😉

Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing is continuing to brew up new and interesting beers to complement their standard lineup. This week’s example is Concord Grape Sour, which they hope proves that grapes aren’t just for wine. Look for notes of that nostalgically familiar “grapiness” that you know and love from Grape Crush, Grape Freezies, and Grape Popsicles (or, as Homer Simpson so eloquently put it, “Mmmmmmm…..Puuuuurple.”) Available both in cans and on tap, you can sit at the taproom and have a pint or grab some to go. Also, if you’ll remember last week we told you that Tire Shack is expanding and are consequently looking for additional staff. They’ve let us know they are accepting resumes until the end of the month and to keep ‘em coming folks!!

Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing has a new version of a previously released beer for you this week, their Major Tom Watermelon Sour. Still 5% ABV and 12ish IBU, the change might not be immediately noticeable to the drinking public, but we’re pretty sure it’s quite a change for the brew team! Instead of souring the beer in a traditional way, brewing a wort and then letting it sour over a period of hours before running it off or introducing Lactobacillus-producing bacteria before or after regular fermentation, this beer leverages a new yeast that produces both lactic acid and alcohol at the same time! With watermelon concentrate providing a fruity and summery feel, this 5% ABV and 12 IBU beer should have you in mind of a Jolly Rancher with a little bit of malt presence from plenty of 2-row malt and Centennial hops to remind you it’s a beer. Grab it at the Brewery, CBC, Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse in Burnsdie, and, we presume, other places where you find Upstreet products.

Next month will see the 2022 edition of the annual East Coast Music Awards taking place in Fredericton from May 4th to 8th, and for the second year running, a special beer will be brewed to both celebrate and slake the thirst of attendees. This year’s beer is once again a collaboration between a consortium of breweries, with each Atlantic province represented: Garrison Brewing and Breton Brewing from NS, Quidi Vidi from NL, Upstreet in PE, and this year’s “host” brewery, Grimross from NB, who brewed the beer. Dubbed ECMAle Track 2: Fredericton, it’s a delightful light Pale Ale, from which proceeds will help to grow and promote our amazing music scene in this end of the country. Look for it to appear region-wide as the festival nears.