All posts by acbbchris

Happy Friday, Beer Fans! We’ve made it more than halfway through May, so you’ve all earned a long weekend! We hope you find a great patio, park, or beach (too soon) to enjoy your favourite beverages, weather-permitting. As always, be sure to check your favourite brewery or taproom’s opening plans for the holiday, before heading out. And with recent news of breweries closing, and certainly more to come, be sure to support local whenever you can. Let’s get you up to speed on where and what you can be enjoying to do that!

Congratulations are in order for the team at O’Creek Brewing, as their new brewery, taproom, and retail shop is open for business! Patrice Daigle has graduated from his basement brewery to a system capable of more than ten times the capacity, as well as incorporating new techniques and expertise garnered from several years in the business. Adding more people to the O’Creek family has enabled the opening of their full-sized taproom, complete with an extensive patio to soak up the lovely weather, as well as a compact but well-run kitchen. The new beers are flowing as well, including the brand new (and possibly already gone) Shine, a 6.4% ABV Hazy IPA, solidly in Daigle’s wheelhouse, as well as Corigan Pale Ale. We suspect there will also be some tasty Czech lagers coming soon, as Daigle recently visited Czechia as part of a government-sponsored trip to learn about ingredients and techniques from one of the most influential beer-producing countries out there. O’Creek Brewing can be found at 175 Barker Street in Moncton, and is open from noon daily, open until 9 PM Sun to Wed, and until midnight Thurs to Sat. We hope to share an updated Profile from O’Creek 2.0 soon, but in the meantime, you can remind yourself of Daigle’s beginnings in Dieppe in 2018 here!

Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill and Horton Ridge have teamed up to release O-Koi Rice Lager. This 4.4% lager uses barley grown and malted at Horton Ridge, and features a pleasant flowery aroma from the rice. Part of the proceeds from sale of the beer is going to the Clean Annapolis River Project (CARP), with specially branded cans debuting at Bridgetown Riverfest, July 15, 2023. But there’s no need to wait that long, as it is on tap at Horton Ridge this weekend for their May Long Weekend party, and will certainly hit the taps at Lunn’s Mill before too long. And for those in the Valley, or looking to move there, Lunn’s Mill is looking to hire a part-time Bartender/Server. Check out this post to learn more.

Happy Birthday to the Lone Oak Brewpub! Opened in May 2022, the Milky Way, Charlottetown, location of Borden-Carleton’s favourite brewery has been slinging great beer and food ever since, and are celebrating Sunday with like music from 5 PM until close, lawn games, new beer release, food and beer bucket specials, and cupcakes!! No reservations necessary (or taken), so pop by for some fun May 21st. Hey, you probably won’t have to work the next day!

And for those not fortunate enough to be on the island and take part in the fun, perhaps you’re closer to Lower Sackville’s TAPestry Beer Bar. Owner Ian Smith recently scoured the Island for its best offerings, and had to narrow that down to a reasonable ten kegs to fit in his vehicle! In addition to Lone Oak, there are also a buncha beers from Bogside Brewing and Copper Bottom. Check this post to learn exactly what is pouring.

Operating out of BrewHQ in Burnside, Arcade Brewing has been open since the fall, slinging pints to stay and growlers to go, with visitors able to become a pinball wizard in between sips. For the first time, their beer is also available outside of their space, with their Peculier now on tap at Rinaldo’s Italian American Specialties on Windsor Street Halifax. Keep your eyes peeled to Arcade’s socials as they expand their licensees!

Back in March, our own acbbaaron was interviewed as part of a Globe & Mail feature on Homebrewing, and how increasing commercial beer prices may drive more folks to make their own at home. While cost has certainly been a factor for some in brewing, there are others who are mostly into it for the thrill of the act, going so far as growing their own hops or malting their own feed grain! Check out the article here if you’re looking for a peek into the madness that is AS and other amateur Canadian brewers.

For homebrewers looking to seriously up their brewing game, or a (new or existing) brewery looking for a pilot system, we’ve spotted a very capable and versatile 65 litre (½ Barrel) brewhouse for sale. A mix of Blichmann and SS BrewTech three-vessel system is currently up on FB Marketplace. This all-electric system comes with the Brew Buddy II controller for a “Set It and Forget It” operation procedure for Hot Liquor Tank and Boil Kettle, as well as pump control.

Party Time Brewing Logo

After years of development and planning, Party Time Brewing has opened its (garage) doors to the public. Owner, brewer, cleaner, delivery driver, social media manager, and camera operator James Marshall has been documenting his progress in brewing through his YouTube Channel, amassing a couple thousand subscribers who have followed along for the ride. After a soft launch on the weekend, we were able to catch up with Marshall to hear more about Party Time, and most importantly, how the public can get their hands on his beer!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in Mount Uniacke, NS next door to the brewery. I went to University for an accounting degree and after a year of doing some super exciting mutual fund accounting, I joined the military as a pilot, and have been doing that for the last 17 years. I have three kids; three, five and ten years old, so tons of free time. When I’m not at the day job, I’m running around with the kids or brewing.

How did you get into the world of beer?
I think my first foray into the craft beer world would have been during university back in the days where you could visit Garrison’s location on Lady Hammond Rd for a “brewery tour”, which included about two hours of all you could drink. Back then, it may have been mostly for the effect, but I did love how different an IPA tasted at the time (at least for my super refined palate which was used to mostly Colt 45 and Keiths). From there, I enjoyed trying out new beers during my travels and decided to start homebrewing somewhere around 2010. I started out with the Festabrew kits from Noble Grape for the first few times, then moved on to partial mash kits. It wasn’t until 2020 that I got into all grain brewing. From there it was on! After my first few kits and watching a few YouTube videos, I decided to start my own YouTube Channel to make some not-so-serious but somewhat useful videos about homebrewing. I shared pretty much all of my brewing wins and losses for the past two years.

What made you decide to take the steps into opening a brewery?
I’ve always loved sharing the beer and opening the brewery is just a much better way to get the product out there. My other reason might be a bit selfish, but I wanted to open a brewery so that I could brew more. Brewing more batches means getting better at brewing as long as you listen to people and work on learning more about the process. The plan until retirement from my day job is to brew as much as I can with the goal of continually improving my product offerings. 

What is the culture or ethos of the brewery?
The culture can be summed up in the name. Party Time Brewing is all about having a good time! It’s all about not taking ourselves too seriously and learning what works and what doesn’t. Beer is fun! 

Party Time Blonde Can and Glass

Can you tell us about the first beers you’ve released?
The first batches are the good ol’ easy drinkers. Out now are Garage Party Blonde, Helluva Party Belgian White, Polar Dip Cold IPA, and Day Thinker Oatmeal Stout. I’ll have a Lager coming soon, and looking at adding something along the lines of German Pils to get things going. Once I’m a bit closer to packaging those, I’ll post an update on YouTube and Instagram.

What are your plans for distribution?
As of now, it is a really boring plan. I’m in a residential area, so that means no taproom or retail store. All of the distribution for now will be home delivery. I plan on doing a delivery run Fridays to the local area [B0N 1Z0] and hopefully expand that soon to include a drop-off/meetup spot for folks from outside Mt. Uniacke. Folks can buy and exchange growler fills of their favourite beers, with many of them in cans as well, thanks to a small canner.

Do you have some initial accounts in the area lined up to serve your beers?
I am looking forward to having a couple of local spots carrying my beer. I’ve been concentrating more on the beer for now, so I haven’t really started going after any accounts. Now that I have samples ready to go, I’ll start visiting a few spots, but I don’t really have the capacity to have too many accounts. The local pizza spot, Uniacke Pizza, has been extremely helpful in my progression. They gave me a 3 basin sink and even offered to give me some space if brewing in the residential area didn’t work out. They are licensed and I will send some cans their way, and in the future, I’m hoping to have some sort of event there or get them set up with a kegerator to sell draft beer. They have great donairs, so I’m hoping to have people hammering down donairs and drinking a Party Time brew there soon!  

Have you had any assistance from other breweries/people in Atlantic Canada (or elsewhere)?
I am amazed at the willingness to help that the local brewing community has. Just about every person I’ve talked to in the industry will answer questions and has helped me get to where I am today. Keith from Ol’ Biddy’s was super helpful talking about the garage or “neighbourhood” brewery as well as Laura from Hardisty Brewing Co. who I’ve bugged more than once at the Alderney Market asking all types of questions about running a small brewery. On the YouTube side of things, I’ve done a few livestreams and had the chance to talk with many brewery owners and people who love brewing, they have been a great inspiration as well.

Where do you hope to see your brewery in the next 2-3 years?
I’d like to keep expanding to eventually get somewhere in the 2-3 barrel range for the brewing system. All sales will go back into the production line to get away from the Frankensystem I’m using now!

Lets get nerdy! Tell us about your brewing system!
I’m brewing on a Grainfather based system. With this, I can produce 60L batches at a time and so far I’ve been doing way too many double brew days to fill up the fermenters. I basically brew on a Grainfather G70 and heat up the sparge water on a G30. For the fermenters, I have a mix of Grainfather, Spike and Speidel fermenters for a total fermenting capacity of 600 litres or so. On the packaging side, I’ll be initially focusing on canning, with about 60% of production going to that, the rest I will put into kegs for growler or keg sales. 

Party Time Brewery

Tell us more about your brewing experience.
I mentioned it above a bit, but I’ve been home brewing for almost 13 years now and (apparently) professional brewing for a few days. I’ve been a bit obsessed with brewing for the past two years, searching for information about brewing, researching styles, and just basically finding any education that is available and affordable without quitting my day job.

Do you have a favourite beer style, beer, or brewery you enjoy drinking?
I don’t have a very groundbreaking answer for this one. If I had to choose, it would probably just be a great Double IPA. When done right, they are amazing. Some breweries are doing a lot of fun stuff with pilsners now and I’ll never say no to an interesting Pils! I love stopping by any of the breweries to see what they have on tap. Tapestry Beer Bar in Sackville is a great place to stop by to try out a bunch of different beers.   

How about your favourite style or ingredient to brew with?
I’ll probably rock another generic answer, but brewing up IPAs is pretty fun. It’s great to play with the hopping schedules and different types of fun hops. I’m brewing at such a small scale that it’s pretty easy to try many different recipes in a pretty short period of time. On the other end of the spectrum, there are the lighter beers and they are also great for seeing how the more traditional hops in much smaller amounts can still bring out some great flavors. At the end of the day, each style has its own parts to master and I love a challenge!

After a slowdown in brewery openings in the past 3 years, we are thrilled to hear that folks are once again seeing the possibility of following their passion and making the leap to go pro. Keep up with all of Party Time’s antics through their IG, Fb, and YouTube pages, and if you’re lucky enough to live in Mount Uniacke, submit your orders through their website. Congratulations to Marshall on the launch!

Party Time Growler

Hello Beer, Cider, and Mead fans! We hope you’ve had a great week and are able to look forward to a restful weekend. For those in Nova Scotia, may we give you some insider information that this weekend’s Saltscapes Expo may be the least expensive booze-fest going, as your ticket inside will allow you access to dozens of Maritime producers pouring samples of their wares. Just watch out, you may end up buying a hot tub or booking a ticket to Saint-Pierre et Miquelon while there!

One of the attendees at Saltscapes will be Propeller Brewing, who will no doubt be featuring their brand new fruited lagered ale. Tango is a tropical twist on the Kölsch style from Cologne, fermented as an ale, but conditioned cool, a.k.a. lagered, to ensure a crisp finish. Dialing up this beer even further is the addition of tangerine and pineapple extract, along with even more tangerine goodness via concentrate. The result is a juicy and citrus fruit-forward 4.8% beer that remains light-bodied and thirst quenching. Available in cans and on tap at Propeller’s three locations. And soon to be Four locations, as construction at their new taproom and retail spot on the Bedford Highway continues at breakneck speed!

Fellow “Class of ‘97” brewery Garrison Brewing has brought back a super-popular fruited sour in the hopes of ushering summer in just a little bit early. Mango Dragon Fruit Sour pretty much lays it out in the name, but let’s get you a bit more info…starting from a light base of Pilsner and wheat malts, after the souring and fermentation, mango and dragonfruit flavours were added, along with hibiscus, for a vibrant colour, to give you a fruit-salad-worthy experience of both light acidity and a sweeter finish. Cans of this 5.0% creation are available at their shops, the private stores in town and at the airport, and coming soon to the NSLC.

A pair of new releases from Mount Pearl’s Landwash this week, starting with the release of their International Women’s Day beer, Aunt Nance. Brewed on March 8th with the many women of Landwash, this 6.0% sour IPA was hopped with Cashmere, Monroe, and Barbe Rouge. Named after Nancy Riche, a social activist and labour organizer from Newfoundland, who was recognized as an Officer of the Order of Canada, and an all-around fighter for the under-heard and -represented. Proceeds from the beer are going towards local organizations that help women and marginalized people fight barriers to success, as Aunt Nance would want. Cans and draught available now!

A two-fer from Landwash as they have another new release named after another famous Newfoundland resident, Titus the Bear. Currently residing in the Durrell Museum in Twilingate, where Head Brewer Alex hails from, who also designed the beer recipe. This Pale Ale is chock-full of Citra and Columbus for major pine, citrus, and even a bit of dank character (4/20 was yesterday!) from terpenes. Again, grab cans and draught from the brewery, and at better beer shops in the area.

Miramichi’s Timber Ship Brewing has plenty of news for us today, so let’s get right to it! First up is a brand new beer release, Sister Marie Raspberry Sour. This 4.3% sour is bright red and filled to the brim with flavour from the eponymous fruit, all on a lively tart and refreshing base. Named after Sister Marie Inconnue, who arrived at French Fort Cove to help those displaced during the Acadian Expulsion. Caring for those ill and wounded, Sister Marie was also trusted with families’ valuables, hiding them from the British. While she was ultimately caught and interrogated to give up the details, she never did, and was unfortunately murdered by beheading. It is thought that she still roams French Fort Cove in search of her head. Wherever the truth of that lies, we can tell you that her beer is available at Timber Ship’s location at 2374 King George Highway, Unit 2 (around back, aka Below Deck) now!

And big news for fans of Timber Ship is that they have recently upscaled from their original brewkit to a larger 3.5 BBL (400 litre) Blichmann Engineering system, allowing them to more than double their capacity. Look to their social media as they post updates on their first brew session (maybe even today!), as well as the build-out of a patio to soak up the sun this summer. They will be extending their hours of operation too, of course, with those coming together in May!

Continuing their Category line of IPAs, Good Robot has released Category 6 IPA this week. Think traditional American IPA, slightly hazy, and full of citrus, melon, and peach. Leaning on Idaho 7, Amarillo, and Topaz hops to do the heavy lifting in this 6.0% ABV beer, the bitterness helps to cleanse the palate, so try pairing it with spicy food or the BBQ. Keep your eyes peeled here for the details on Category 7 coming next week, completing the Perfect Storm 4-Pack!

Back to Newfoundland for a pair of Dildo releases. First up is Tropical Smoothie Sour, a 4.3% sour beer absolutely crammed full of mango, pineapple, and passion fruit purees. It also saw the addition of homemade marshmallow fluff to give it a bit of sweetness and body. Closer to drinking a fruit smoothie than beer, but we’re here for it! Grab it on tap at their spot on Front Rd in Dildo, as their St. John’s location is closed for a bit of renovation. And keep your eyes open for their new Hoppy Mixed Pack, which includes the Tie One On WC IPA, 1933 New England IPA, as well as a couple more!

Horton Ridge is known for their Malt house, and their own beers reflect that… Except when Al is out of town, then Connor and Steve can brew whatever the heck they want! Hence the birth of Al’s Away IPA. The latest version of this IPA is out now, and you can even keep tabs on Al and Jan as they enjoy Barcelona, on the Al’s Away IG page. Cheers to still having fun in the brewhouse (and away from it)!

Baccalieu Trail Brewing in Bay Roberts has a new low ABV beer on the taps and in cans today, perfect for refueling at the end of a morning of surfing or hitting the trails. Hang Tight is a 3.5% ABV hazy Session Pale Ale, inspired by the local surfing community. Featuring Mosaic, Idaho 7, Simcoe, and Sultana hops used late in the kettle, pineapple and citrus are the name of the game as you grab the next wave before the sunset. Available in cans at Marie’s and the other private shops on the Avalon.

Halifax’s Chain Yard Urban Cidery has a new cider on tap and in cans this week. Using a blend of cider apples from the Annapolis Valley, blended with a separately-fermented Dolgo crabapple, and allowed to condition for twelve months before packaging. Plenty of ripe apple aromatics meld with some floral notes, on a medium tannin base. Cans of this 6.3% cider can be purchased directly from their Agricola Street taproom today!

Finally, in Rothesay, Long Bay is releasing a hybrid beer, using a lager yeast, fermented at warmer temperatures traditionally used for ale yeasts. This beer then went back to the lager route with an extended cold conditioning, before seeing a generous dry-hop of a new experimental hop from Washington State’s Yakima Valley. The best part of all of this is that the final beer comes in a tiny 3% ABV package, meaning you can easily enjoy more than one, and all of the mango, guava and citrus notes from that dry-hop. Mild Sedation is available now at ANBL stores in the Saint John area, and should see distribution across the province later next week. 

Get out for a hike or bike ride this weekend, and bring some local craft beer along. If you’re looking for events, here are a few for ya!

Sober Island in Sheet Harbour is celebrating their 7th Anniversary tomorrow, April 22nd, with live music, a pizza truck, and plenty of great beer a-flowing! Located right on Highway 7, their taproom will be hopping from noon onward, and they are welcoming Dominic’s Cucina to set up in their lot to sling some freshly-made pies from 1:30 until 6:30 (or until sold out). Also at the brewery is Andre Pettipas, who will be playing 2 – 5 PM. Congratulations to Becky and the whole SIBC crew!

A reminder about the Godpseed & CODA Ramen takeover at the Stilly Freehouse event this Sunday, April 23rd. While the Ramen Reservations from 5PM are sold out (sorry!), those who are looking primarily for beer satisfaction can rejoice that the Freehouse will still be opening at noon and pouring draught and cans from Godspeed. And before the kitchen transforms into a boiling ramen factory, you can enjoy your faves from their regular menu too. Also, it’s Cellar Sunday, with 25% off bottles from the cellar. Gather a group to try a few of the cool lambics or stouts from away, or do your own vertical of some local beers. We may even see you there!

And next weekend, you’re going to want to be on East Duck to celebrate the Second (or is it Third?) Anniversary of Bar Brewdock. They are pulling out all of the stops for this April 29 event, as they have brought in great beer, wine, and cider from across the province and Canada, as well as lambics from Belgium, for an evening of great cheer. This is a one-price, drinks included, ticketed event, so be sure to grab yours before they are sold out!

We’ve got a few job postings today, both on the mainland and Newfoundland, so if you’re looking, hopefully something tickles your fancy!

Banished Brewing is looking to hire an Assistant Brewer to help out Head Brewer Duncan. You’ll be involved in all aspects of the beer production, including cleaning, packaging, cleaning, transferring, cleaning, brewing, and cleaning. Sounds like a great gig! You could even become a famous Instagram Star! Reach out to Banished via the interwebs, or better yet, pop by the brewery/taproom on Maverick Place this weekend to learn more and submit your resume.

Hell Bay Brewing in Liverpool has recently celebrated their 12th Anniversary (Congratulations!), and they are looking for someone to join their ranks for the summer. If you’re interested in both the Front- and Back-of-House life in a brewery, this may be just the job for you: the successful candidate will be working as a Server and working retail, assisting on packaging days during the canning, labeling, as well as filling and cleaning kegs. Reach out via email to learn more!

Just down the road in Yarmouth, Heritage Brewing is also looking to add to their team, with two positions currently open. They are looking for a versatile person to work in the brewery, as well as a delivery driver and to attend events around the province. They are also looking to add to their taproom/retail crew, to take on those responsibilities. Drop by the brewery at 250 Main Street to submit your resume.

A few more quick hits before we dismiss you for the week!

Speaking of Banished above, they have released a fresh and ever-so-slightly tweaked Space Puffling this week. Part of their Puffin New England IPA branding, this is just 4.0% ABV, but punches well above its weight in flavour and aroma, this one is on tap and in cans at their shop and at better spots around the city. Banished has also decided to release one of their brewhouse projects to the rest of us… Sparkling Water is something the folks have been enjoying for a while whilst working, taking their local Paradise water, double-filtering it, and adding some salts and a touch of acid, before carbing it up. Think of it as Newfoundland mineral water! No extra flavouring added to the current batch, but they are definitely considering that in the future.

Tatamagouche has brought back the Kitty Clyde Double IPA. At 7.8% ABV, this Double IPA is light on bitterness, but full of citrus, peach, and passion fruit from Vic Secret and Galaxy. Draught and cans from Tata’s taproom, online shop, and private stores soon.

Fredericton’s Trailway has brought back their Urban Sabrero, a 6.0% Double Dry Hopped IPA. As the name implies, this is made exclusively with Sabro hops, so think pina colada in a can! On draught and in cans at your usual haunts.

We’ve kept you long enough, Dear Reader, so please go out and enjoy your beer!