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With the summer rush officially behind us, breweries across Atlantic Canada are turning their attention back to new releases and fun events to keep thirsty beer fans across the region happy.  Last weekend saw many breweries and beer drinkers partaking in the final Oktoberfest celebrations, soaking up the great weather and general good vibes. This week, we’ve got a bunch more new releases and some great events in Halifax and St. John’s to help you plan your weekend. This week is also the kickoff of the infamous Burger Week in HRM. A friendly reminder – be courteous and patient as your favourite beer bars and taproom restaurants deal with the onslaught of burger fans and do their part to keep us safe with the new vaccination mandates. Take a look below at what’s new this week and make some plans to grab some burgers, peep some leaves, and drink some tasty fermented beverages from your favourite breweries and cideries this weekend. 

Starting out on one of our favourite islands, Dildo Brewing had a few new releases over the last few weeks. We’re here to get you caught up to speed and help you quench your thirst for Atlantic Canadian beer! First up is Lassie, a Dildo take on a classic Northern English Brown ale. This dark ale has caramel hues of reddish-brown but well balanced with hop flavour and malt character. Very light and drinkable at 4.5% this beer uses a mix of English pale, biscuit, brown and caramel malts, all blending for a nice roasty flavour with some nutty and biscuit malt notes. Additions of fancy molasses helped develop a deeper colour and balance of sweetness, producing a lovely beer that pairs well with this season.

Second up from Dildo, Bitter Cold is another malt forward, easy-drinking ale. A 4.0% ordinary bitter, it has classic English flavour notes of orange pekoe tea and toasted biscuits. Both of these new brews are available in 473ml cans at the brewery, St. John’s store, and Marie’s, this should also be popping up at Orangestores around the province. 

Heading to another island (and another beer release last week), Big Spruce Brewing has a canned release of a beer that was at the Stillwell Beer Garden Oktoberfest. Festfriends is a German Festbier perfect for the time of year. This German-style lager is just what you’d want for your crisp beergarden bevvy taking you straight over to Germany. Featuring some toasted malt and biscuity notes from Pilsner malt, this 5.8% beer is available now in 473 mL cans directly from Big Spruce at the brewery or online. 

Back to the Rock, where just west of Stephenville, you’ll find lovely Port au Port and Secret Cove Brewing. Flake & Gunnels is a Double IPA named after classic Atlantic fishing terms (a “flake” is a platform to dry and preserve your catch and, if you were lucky, you were loaded to the Gunnels) this beer represents the families that harvest from the sea. Packed with those classic American “C” hops (Cascade, Centennial, Columbus, Chinook and Citra) and adding creaminess and body with flaked oats and flaked barley, this hop-forward, smooth beer brings flavours of juice, citrus, resin and pine. At 7.6% ABV with high juiciness and bitterness, cans should be available today from the brewery. We’ll end this blurb with a note straight from the brewery (and because this beer sounds so delicious) “Cod may be God, but We Love and Pray Hops.

Aaaand back to the mainland for a pair of new releases from Nova Scotia’s North Shore at Tatamagouche Brewing. Their Intertidal line of hop-centric beers continues with Intertidal Eclipse + Galaxy Pale Ale, leveraging both of these tropical and citrus hops in a Pale Ale. Available on draught at the brewery, and soon at better bars in HRM and beyond, cans should be hitting their shelves (virtually and on Main Street Tatamagouche) in the next week.

Available now in bottles is another in Tata’s exploration of barrel-aged beer, Petite Milo. Beginning life as a Golden Ale that was fermented and conditioned in some funky barrels for several months, it underwent a secondary fermentation with the addition of locally-grown Petite Milo grapes. More time means more character when it comes to these mixed fermentation beers, and PM is no exception. A touch of barrel pokes through the bright and tart beer, with vinous character from the grapes also making their presence known. Bottles are now available at the brewery and online, with just a few kegs available, so it should be popping up in the wild soon.

Never one to shy away from our weekly updates, Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing has a very special release for a good cause today. A special freshly picked wet-hopped IPA is a brew for goodwill with all profits from sales being donated to the Moncton SPCA. It’s is 6% and the hops were hand-picked locally in Moncton by Tire Shack employees. While you can never be sure with backyard hops, the fine folks at the brewery believe it is mostly Cascade. There are only 100 litres of this beer and it will be available for pints only at the brewery, so stop by this weekend if you get the chance! 

On to another island, Montague, PE’s Copper Bottom is back with a fresh entry in their Flux series, a single hop feature constantly changing with new releases. This edition is Flux: Azacca a Session IPA clocking in at 4.2% and 20 IBU. This is hazy and sessionable, with the Azacca hops bringing out bright citrus notes along with stone fruits like mango and peach. Soft and smooth it has just enough bitterness to balance the grain bill of 2-row malt, wheat, and flaked oats and it’s available today in 473ml cans only at the brewery. 

Staying on PEI, another brewery with frequent releases is back with another one (DJ Khaled!). Village Green brings us Wheelie’s Hazy Pale Ale, a hop filled pale ale named after PEI’s famous haunted childrens toy (this is news to us, but it’s definitely creepy!), it features Citra, Mosaic, and Chinook hops (enchanted by the brewers to make it extra spooky). With that combo you can safely expect bold fruity, citrus-y, and piney flavours and a strong hop aroma. This beer release is paired with an event today at the brewery from 4:30 – 6:30 PM where you can see Wheelie there in the flesh (!) and $1 from every sale of the beer will go towards the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation

And one more time up to NL, where Ninepenny Brewing in CBS has also released an ode to a local celebrity (of sorts) this week, in collaboration with the Manuels River Interpretation Centre. MR1 is a 500 million year old trilobite fossil found along Manuels River by Dr. Riccardo Levi-Setti in the 1970s; it is one of the best preserved specimens of this species, and is proudly displayed at Manuels River. The beer is a kettle sour, conditioned on locally grown blackberries and blueberries from Walsh’s Farms in Colliers, as well as wild river mint foraged from near the site of the fossil discovery. At 4.9%, it’s tart, fruit, and refreshing, reminiscent of a fruited mojito. You can grab it on tap and in cans at the brewery, and can even grab cans at the Manuels River Interpretation Centre. And speaking of, the Centre is hosting their own Oktoberfest next Friday, Oktober 22, with a German-inspired menu, flights of Ninepenny, and live music. Check out their events page for more information and to book your spot!

As we transition from Oktoberfest to Spooky Season all across the region, Fredericton’s Trailway Brewing has decided that St. Patrick’s Day shouldn’t be the only holiday to have questionably colored beer and have accordingly released a Halloween-themed beer that looks like a witches’ brew! Spooky is a Raspberry sour that is very green (in colour, not flavour!), a 6% sour ale that is dosed with blue Spirulina powder to turn it into a hazy shade of green. Tasting both sweet and sour, reminding you of Halloween candy, it’s full of raspberry flavour and a bit of acidity and it’s available now in 473ml cans only from the brewery. 

Big news out of Greenwich/Halifax’s most clandestine brewery, Delta Force. For the first time, their beers are available via retail. The fine folks at Bishops Cellar will be stocking Anderlecht Farmshed Ale and Atlantic Time Bitter. Anderlecht is their Brett-forward nod to Orval, in the Trappist single style. Atlantic Time is an English-style bitter featuring PEI-grown malt and Delta Force’s own hops from the Greenwich area. To celebrate their retail debut, DF is offering a limited quantity 6-pack of some of their greatest hits, spanning several styles for your drinking pleasure. Home deliveries are available within a 1 hour radius of HRM. Hit up their online store for more details on how to order. 

And lastly for our news section (but bleeding into our events section), did you think you were going to get through a Friday Wrap-up without news from 2 Crows? Psshhhht; silly beer lover. We told you a couple weeks ago about the home and home collaboration between 2C and Bellwoods Brewery, including teasing you about the BW side of the release, the Crowbar IPA that was only available in Ontario. We also talked last week about the recent trend in lagers at 2C and specifically the Harrington released last week that was named after the variety of barley malted by Shoreline Malting and used in that beer. Would you believe all that naturally leads us to this week’s new release, almost as if someone had cunningly planned it that way?

Birds and the Bells is a “New Zealand Pilsner” which is the recent industry term for a Pilsner that’s hopped a little more than average, often late, and always with New Zealand hop varieties. Leveraging the same hop combo that was used in the Crowbar, this beer also exclusively uses the Shoreline Harrington malt. Mashed with their recently adopted regimen that promotes big and long-lasting foam, they really leaned into the hop side of things, with Rakau and Motueka added in the mash, at first wort, and then late. Fermented low and slow with Escarpment Labs’ Isar Lager, it was krausened and assertively dry hopped with plenty more Motueka and Pacifica plus a little bit more Rakau before being lagered for 5 weeks. At 4.4% ABV and 35 IBU, the result is a maximally crushable ultra crisp beer with some lovely and zippy hop notes, including lime and apricot, and big beautiful foam. Find it at the brewery or for online orders via their web shop, or, you could head down to 2C tomorrow (Saturday, October 15) from noon to 5 PM for the release party! There will be hand pies from Humble Pie Kitchen, bottle pours of some Bellwoods bangers courtesy of Bishop’s Cellar, and, of course, plenty of fluffy-capped Birds and the Bells streaming from the side pour tap.

A couple of things to tell you about today before we send you off to the great unknown…

St John’s Brewdock Beer Bar has always had gluten-free options on tap and on the food menu, but they are pulling out all of the stops this weekend, dedicating three of their draught lines to GF options (which is infinitely easier these days, with Port Rexton having a dedicated line of truly gluten-free options, including the recent Gluten-Free IPA and the newest Gluten-Free Sour, featuring a boat-load of Haskap berries). And Chef Chris Mercer and team in the kitchen have created more than a dozen GF food items, including baking and refining their own potato bun that is the base of either a beef or spicy cod burger. And in chatting with the Brewdock team, they expect to have a few of these items (and beer) on all the time going forward, giving those who live with Celiac Disease, or who just want to reduce their gluten ingestion, more options in their glasses or on their plates.

Mark your calendars for next Saturday, October 23, as the Stillwell Freehouse will be welcoming Microbrasserie Les Grands Bois, located in Saint-Casimir, Quebec. Founded in 2016 in a movie theatre built in the 1940s, Les Grands Bois has a wide portfolio of beer in house, and are sending ten of them to Agricola Street. From Grisettes, Kolsch, Pils, to New England and American IPAs, there promises to be something for everyone that day. And with it being the last day of Burger Week, you can try Chef Graeme’s house-made-beef-bacon- and cheddar-sauce-topped creation one last time… And in “It’s That Time of Year Again”, remember that the Stillwell Beergarden on Spring Garden is winding down for the season Sunday, October 17, so grab those afternoon and evening pints and Beverly Taco Service eats before they close the metal gates for another year. The good news is that Beverly are expected to be back slinging tacos from Sourwood Cider’s location on Cornwallis later this month.

On Saturday September 18, 2021, the Canadian Brewing Awards and Conference got back to business with their 19th annual ceremony. This year’s event was held in Quebec City and breweries from all across Canada were represented. While we congratulate all breweries from across our great nation (and look forward to visiting many of the winners), we’re going to highlight our medalists from our Atlantic Region. Below is a summary of categories and winning beers from our Atlantic Canadian friends:

Wheat Beer – North American Style

GOLD – BarramBrasseux d’la Cote

SILVER – SelkieRough Waters Brewing

North American Style Pale Ale

GOLD – BroadsideCopper Bottom Brewing

American Style Imperial IPA

GOLD – Parkman AveCopper Bottom Brewing

Smoked Beer

GOLD – Smoked PorterUncle Leo’s Brewery

German-Style Sour Ale

SILVER – Sou’WesterRough Waters Brewing

Sweet or Cream Stout

SILVER – Deja Moo!Garrison Brewing Company

Gluten-Free Beer

SILVER – Gluten-Free PorterPort Rexton Brewing

New England Style IPA

SILVER – Galaxy IPAPropeller Brewing

Oatmeal Stout

BRONZE – Ken’s StoutCopper Bottom Brewing

North American Style Amber/Red Ale

BRONZE – Havre St-PierreFour Rivers Brewing Co

Baltic Porter

BRONZE – Baltic PorterGrimross Brewing

French and Belgian Style Saison

BRONZE – Cheval D’orGrimross Brewing

Cream Ale

BRONZE – Maritime Cream AleGrimross Brewing

Belgian-Style Tripel

BRONZE – TripelModern Brewer’s Village Green

Imperial Stout

BRONZE – Russian Imperial StoutQuidi Vidi Brewery

Barley Wine-Style Ale

BRONZE – Giantess Barley WineTatamagouche Brewing

 

What a showing! We are proud of our region and encourage you to get out to try any of these if and when possible. For those keeping track, that’s 5 medals (1 Gold and 4 Bronze) for New Brunswick breweries, 4 medals (2 Gold and 2 Bronze) for Prince Edward Island Breweries, 4 medals (1 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze) for Nova Scotian breweries, and 4 medals (3 Silver and 1 Bronze) for Newfoundland and Labrador breweries.

If you want to check out a full event livestream (Runtime: 80min, hosted by Garrison Brewing’s own Daniel Girard), check out the link here.

Also be sure to check out the CBA website for all the winners from years past as well. The full list of 2021 Winners has not yet been published as of the timing of this post, but we expect them any minute.

In 2022, the CBAs will return to their regular May timing with Calgary as the host city.

Happy Friday! Hoping you all stayed safe and dry over the past couple of days as Hurricane Ida’s last gasps were felt in the region. With Labour Day coming Monday, many of us will be enjoying the day off, which means your favourite brewery taproom could be on reduced hours as well, to give employees a break. So be sure to check in before making the trek out. The Nova Scotia and PEI Provincial Liquor stores will be closed, fyi, no tweets from ANBL for 4 months…

Let’s kick off this week’s news in Moncton, New Brunswick, where Tire Shack Brewery has brought back their US Open Beer Championship Gold Medal winning Tiki Bar Lime Margarita Gose. At 6.0% ABV, it features massive lime flavour and aroma, with a touch of salinity to keep it refreshing, all on a lovely tart base. Look for that on draught, and should be in cans to go as well. If you time your visit today after work just right, you’ll also be able to try two brand new casks that are hitting the bar top at 5 PM: The first is a Hazelnut Stout, think of Nutella with nice roast coffee accentuating the chocolate notes. The second cask is a Cream Ale, aged on Green Tea, which should lend some lovely floral notes without any tannins. These are both one-offs, so be sure to pop in if you like the sound of them!! 

And on Sunday, Tire Shack is opening their kitchen space to Birria Dave’s, who is a frequent pop-up at Riverfront Market, and will be bringing some great Mexican street food options to John Street from 1 PM. While Birria is right in their name, other options include corn and mushroom, as well as other cool flavours. We can think of a few cool pairings to be done with Dave’s food and Tire Shack’s beer! Remember, Tire Shack’s taproom is Bring Your Own Food the rest of the time, so feel free to bring a meal from one of the many take-out spots nearby, or have something ordered in.

The great folks from the Change is Brewing Collective returned to Boxing Rock this week, to brew up the second version of their Back to Birchtown Stock Ale collaboration, in support of the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre, located in Birchtown, just outside of Shelburne. Look for that to be released in the coming weeks, and in the meantime, those who are interested in learning how to make your own beer should subscribe to Change is Brewing’s YouTube page, where they have posted the first in their Brew 101 series, helping you make some great beer at home. They are joined by Stefan of BrewCulture, a familiar face to those familiar with the NS Beer Scene 🙂 BrewCulture has donated a few kits that Change is Brewing is passing along to those members of the community. Contact them to start your journey into homebrewing!

Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing Company is bringing the hops this week with the release of Triple Threat, a 9.9% ABV triple dry-hopped TIPA (that’s Triple IPA!). This one starts off with Citivia hops in the boil and whirlpool. A newer hop on the Atlantic Canada brew scene, Citivia was bred specifically for use in hazy styles of IPA and features prominent stone fruit notes. The triple dry-hop comes from three separate additions of, in order, Talus, Centennial, and finally, Galaxy. This hazy Triple IPA is available today at the Downtown Dartmouth taproom and in cans to-go.

Down in the ‘other Lawrencetown’ Lunn’s Mill is releasing Au Bout Dah, their take on a Belgian Golden Strong Ale. Coming in at 8.0% ABV, expect floral hop notes and from the St. Lucifer yeast, some fruity banana esters This style is known for its scrubbing and effervescent carbonation which also makes it a great companion for richer, fattier foods. Cans of Au Bout Dah are available now at the taproom and through the brewery’s online store.

Jumping up to Newfoundland, Baccalieu Trail Brewing is releasing Undertow, its take on a Strong Dark Mild. Expect some cozy flavours of dark fruit, toffee and molasses, in a style that is made for enjoying as the evenings get colder. If a trip to the brewery in Bay Roberts is not in the cards, you can find cans of Undertow at Marie’s Mini Marts in the greater St. John’s area.   

The Pride of Spryfield, Serpent Brewing, continues their Beer Creation Experience releases with Derailleur Helles. Dreamt up by avid cyclist and local Jon, who was looking for the perfect beer to enjoy after tackling the Sambro Loop on two wheels. This 4.6% German Lager is light and refreshing, with enough character to keep you coming back for more. Available on draught for pints and growlers, and in bottles very shortly. And don’t forget, the Mary Brown’s next door is now open, as Serpent’s taproom is perfect for a BYOF session.

Antigonish’s Candid Brewing Company is sharing a sentiment posed by this blog a few weeks ago – “would someone please tell all of these pumpkin beers that it is still summer?” Their ode to summer not being over is Glory Days, a 4% ale brewers with Pilsner malt from Shoreline Malting and hopped exclusively with Sabro, giving those signature notes of coconut and pineapple. Glory Days is a taproom only release and will be available just in time for their Sunday Celtic session, happening at the taproom from 7:00 to 9:00 PM, with onsite food also available from the Boneyard.

East Duck’s Bannerman Brewing has released a special beer this morning, partnering with Nevaeh’s Angel Foundation, releasing an adult version of Nevaeh’s Lemonade. A lemon and lime sour, with a wheat-heavy base, this 5.0% beer is available now on tap and in cans, and keep your eyes open for news on upcoming events to celebrate Nevaeh’s Lemonade Stand.

Tusket Falls Brewing, way down the South Shore of Nova Scotia in Tusket, of all places, has a brand new beer and some big news to boot this week. First, the beer. The name Creamsicle Sour is pretty self-explanatory, we think, but for those who didn’t have a childhood (or don’t remember it), it’s a sour that gets a distinct orange citrus and slightly tropical vibe from generous dry hopping with Citra and El Dorado hops and a sweet and creamy vanilla presence from lactose and vanilla beans. Sound like a cream-filled orange frozen treat to you? This one is far less likely to drip down your hands, and we wouldn’t advise putting a popsicle stick in it, but by all means enjoy it on a hot day! It’s available at the brewery on tap and in cans to go.

As for the big news, keep your eyes on their Socials (Fb/Ig), as they’re mere hours away from announcing the opening of their North End Halifax Taproom and retail location, at 2220 Gottingen Street. Like, any second now, we figure! With a dozen taps, retail and merch to go, this will give fans of Tusket Falls in HRM somewhere to call home, without needing to make the 2.5 hour drive!

Events continue to slowly spring up around the region; here’s hoping that trend is able to continue throughout September!

Just when you thought you didn’t need another excuse to drink some delicious 2 Crows beers this weekend, the brewery has decided to throw a thank you to all of its thirsty customers with a sale on flats of 24 cans. For this weekend only, flats of Dos Cuervos (their take on a Mexican Lager), Tiny Dancer (hoppy table beer), and Matinee (tiny pale ale) are $50 each. Take advantage by dropping by the taproom on Brunswick Street or ordering online for home delivery. 

Speaking of 2 Crows, a reminder that they will be skipping across the water to St. John’s in a couple of weeks, when they take over the taps at Bar Brewdock in East Duck, St. John’s Sept 17. With 24 taps a-flowin’, including at least 2 one-offs only available that evening, and a great menu to pair, it’s sure to be a great time. As space is limited with COVID and all that, this will be a ticketed event, and those tickets are on sale now! Head to Brewdock to grab your tickets, which include the first pour in your own glass to take home at the end of the evening.

Lunenburg’s Lightship Brewery, with arguably the best view of the iconic South Shore town, is continuing their series of live concerts with a massive long weekend of outdoor shows, including Matt Mays, Jenn Grant, and Tim Baker, so scoop up the remaining tickets or ask to be added to the waitlist… And just announced is the September 24 Ashley MacIsaac show, which is sure to be a crowd pleaser, given his high intensity performances. Open for Ashley is Steve MacIntyre, a songwriter and storyteller from Cape Breton. Grab those tickets here!

Is it just us or are our quick hits never really that quick? Oh well, here’s this week’s lone entry:

Halifax’s Garrison Brewing has brought back their Lucky Punk Sour IPA, and is giving it a wider distribution than ever! This tart, hazy, golden IPA features loads of Amarillo, Mosaic, and Bru-1 hops on a sour base, for a cool melding of tropical and citrus hop character with a zippy finish. Available at Garrison’s Seaport and Oxford retail shops, it is also on the shelves at the NSLC and private stores in town, and in ANBL locations from Saint John to Miramichi!

And we finish up the week with a single brewery job to tell you about, but it’s a juicy one!

Are you an experienced commercial brewer in the Atlantic Region (or willing to relocate here) who’s always wondered what it would be like to frolic, Scrooge McDuck-like, in a vault full of hops? Well you might be in luck. Trailway Brewing, who have been growing consistently since they opened in 2014, are known above all for their wide array of hop bombs, and they’re also looking for a new Lead Brewer. Based on the published job description, the job won’t be limited to brewing hoppy styles though: this position will be in charge of managing the funky and sour side of the house as well! If smashing out hoppy bangers while slowly developing well-cultured beers on the side sounds like your jam, you can indicate your interest by emailing your resume and cover letter to info@trailwaybrewing.com or dropping it off at the tasting room in Fredericton.