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Well hey, we made it to mid-July and, even better for NSians, Phase 4! Although it’s definitely positive news and puts us one step closer to that “new normal” that we’ve been hearing about, it’s really important to remember that the lifting of restrictions in this phase don’t help everybody to the same degree!! Due to the continued need for social distancing, bigger venues get a whole lot more benefit from this than the little folks. That’s not judgement, that’s just facts. And frankly the little folks are the ones who’ve already been suffering the most. Now consider that the bulk of the craft breweries in Nova Scotia and the other Atlantic Provinces are on the smaller end of the spectrum. Now is not the time for complacency if you want your favorite local(s) to make it to the other side of this thing. While in-person space is limited, plenty of places are still doing on-line ordering for pickup and/or delivery; why not throw an order their way?

Let’s start with some news from Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula. Those who’ve been to the Landwash Brewery taproom in Mount Pearl can attest to the great vibes, cool interior design, tasty food options (care of in-house food truck Saucy Mouth) and excellent beer. However, a trip to the Pearl requires a bit of a drive, which may not be feasible for tourists or others spending time closer to downtown St. John’s. That changes this summer, as Landwash is taking its act to the Gut as part of the new Wharf at Quidi Vidi vending park and beer garden! In what’s shaping up to be a surefire summertime destination, the setup will feature outdoor seating, including a large tent to make it a rain or shine operation, an ice cream shack from the Quidi Vidi Sweet Spot, and food from Landwash mainstain, Saucy Mouth and the Bernard Stanley Gastropub. And of course, Landwash will be slinging pints from a custom built beer trailer. The Wharf is now open 7 days/week from noon to 9:00 PM, with plans to remain open until September 8th.

And while we’re talking new and exciting for the Landwash Crew, there’s also a new beer from them, a bit of an ode to their Mount Pearl home. With the City recently launching the Find Your Centre Renewal plan, and today being the first of Mount Pearl City Days, what better time to launch this collaboration! Find Your Centre is a 4.5% ABV Session Pale Ale, hazy and bursting with flavour from the massive amounts of Eclipse and Galaxy hops used late in the process, for flavour and aromas of mandarin orange and candied citrus. For the time being, the only place to grab a Find Your Centre is at the taproom at 181 Commonwealth, with cans and draught available for purchase. And until Sunday, your purchase of either will have you entered in a draw for a prize pack from the city, with plenty of goodies from local businesses. Win Win!

On the opposite side of the island, the crew at Port au Port’s Secret Cove Brewing has a new IPA out this week with the release of Citra Arse Down. This one was brewing with Canadian grown 2-row and Victory malt and was hopped exclusively with Citra from Yakima Chief Hops. Coming in at 5.6%, expect notes of orange and tropical fruit. Available now for pints at the brewery’s taproom.

Staying with IPAs, the makers of some of HRM’s favorite hoppy beers, Propeller Brewing, are back at it with the release of Pacific IPA. This one features two New Zealand hops, Pacific Sunrise and the elusive Nelson Sauvin. Look for flavours of white grapes, tropical fruit, citrus, pine and gooseberry (yes, let’s all keep pretending we know what that tastes like). Pacific IPA comes in at 6% ABV and 60 IBUs. Look for cans with the pop-top 360 Lid, last seen for Propeller’s DDH IPA, which celebrated previous years’ IPA Day. But 2021 deserves a brand new celebrator, and Pacific IPA is where it’s at! Cans will be available at Propeller’s three retail locations and home delivery today, as well as Bishop’s Cellar and other private stores and the NSLC soon. On tap for pints at Prop’s two taprooms (Gottingen and Quinpool), with kegs also heading to Battery Park and North end pals Sourwood Cider. Due to the smaller batch size, no growler fills of this beaut, sorry!

Downtown Halifax’s Tidehouse Brewing has a pair of new beers on tap and in cans this week, on opposite ends of the spectrum! Groove Delight is a Strawberry and Vanilla Sour, with plenty of lactose (milk sugar) added, the beer flirts with the “Milkshake Beer” category, but the gentle tart character from underlying sour keeps it from being too heavy and thick. Tons of strawberries added late in the process mean there’s plenty of flavour in the beer, which can be difficult. Available on tap and in cans from opening at 4 PM today. Also available is Big Swifty, a 9.5% Double IPA featuring loads and loads of Zeus hops (part of the CTZ trifecta with Columbus and Tomahawk, nearly indistinguishable from each other), for plenty of bitterness underlying the dank and resinous character of this Old School American hop. Pop by today to grab some of each, plus a few more, for samples and pints, growlers and cans!

Back to Newfoundland for some news from Quidi Vidi Brewery, who have recently opened their taproom’s patio down in the Gut, which may have the prettiest view at a brewery in the region (send corrections to @acbbchris). Celebrating more beauty is their Arts & IPA Series, where local artists’ work adorns the labels. The latest is Arts & IPAs 03 – Rye IPA, featuring The Voice of Currents by Mike Gough, born in Corner Brook. At 6.5%, Citrus and Spice come together, as the hops and especially grain shine through for a bit of complexity. Available now at their location in QV, as well as their Hop Shop at 16 Harbour View Avenue off Torbay Road, and coming soon to NLC and convenience stores across the Island next week.

Down in Lunenburg, NS, Saltbox Brewing is bringing out a new beer they’re calling Loud and Proud. A hop-forward American Pale Ale with classic notes of citrus, it is a collaboration with Lunenburg PRIDE, a non-profit advocacy organization for local 2SLGBTQ+ individuals of all ages and their allies who are, “committed to building an inclusive community on the South Shore where everyone feels safe, secure, and respected regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.” Proceeds from the beer will be donated to Lunenburg PRIDE and you can be part of that by hitting a Saltbox tap room as of this afternoon to try a pint or two!

Keeping with the Pride theme, but heading northeast to PEI, Upstreet has released their seasonal Pride-themed beer, Rainbrew. A “strawberry lavender saison,” the style is a mouthful and so is the beer, but in the best of ways. Featuring an ingredient for each color of the classic Pride flag, it was built on a base of Island Malt House 2-row, oats, wheat, and rye. Hopping is courtesy of modern continental varieties Huell Melon and Barbe Rouge, and, as you’d imagine, strawberries and lavender were used, and also butterfly pea flower. Coming in at 5.5% ABV and 15 IBU, the initial impression is dominated by its distinctive pinky/purply color that you don’t find in many beers. On the palate it’s got a minerality and tartness paired with a touch of sweetness, and aroma-wise you’ll find some classic notes of clove, spice, a bit of bubblegum, and banana, all from the saison yeast, but also a touch of that strawberry and lavender. This is the fourth year for Rainbrew, which began as 2 kegs that sold out in one night and has gotten bigger every year to this year, where a double production batch was done. Proceeds from sales will be donated to Upstreet’s collaborating organization for this beer, Pride PEI to the tune of $0.50/can and $20/keg. The launch party was last night at the brewery, and as of today you’ll find it available for pints and growler fills as well as cans to go!

Staying on the Island for a moment but heading just out of town to Cornwall, the longest-named brewery in the region, Modern Brewer’s Village Green, has the latest iteration of their Weird Clouds New England-style IPA on the go this weekend. Coming in at 6.6% ABV, the hopping is classic Centennial blended with modern Citra, Mosaic, and Galaxy. This killer combo brings notes of Creamsicles(™ Unilever) and sweet oranges backed by a firm, grippy(™ CPR) bitterness. On tap at the brewery and also available in cans to go.

And speaking of NE IPAs, back across the Northumberland Strait to Antigonish, you’ll find a brand new beer in that style from Half Cocked Brewing. Perfectly Unclear features an awesomely apt label on the can, and an aptly hazy concoction inside, with heavy floral and tropical hop notes owing, no doubt, to the two huge dry hop additions. With no real bitterness to speak of, this 6.6% ABV hop monster goes down easy, possibly too easy. Grab some cans or a growler fill to go at the brewery or sit and have a pint (or two).

And speaking of Antigonish, they’re officially a two brewery* town: Candid Brewing has opened the doors to their taproom at 88 College Street. which locals of the region will no doubt know as the longtime office of venerable newspaper The Casket. And if you visit their website, you’ll see they’re leaning into that heritage. For now, opening hours are as follows: Mondays closed, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 3 – 9 PM, Thursdays to Saturdays 3 – 10:30 PM, and Sundays 12 – 5 PM. On tap you’ll find (subject to availability, of course), their five core beers and, as brewing time allows, some seasonals as well. Growler fills are available (retail hours the same as taproom), and you’re welcome to bring in any (clean!!) growler you might have or purchase one of Candid’s own. There’s no kitchen on site, but you’re welcome to bring or order in food from other places. Look for a profile of this new concern on Nova Scotia’s North Shore in these very pages soonish!!
* [Ed: possibly still one horse though…]

Happy Third Birthday to Lake City Cider, who have been busy these last few months putting together some great blends of apple and fruit together in fun and exciting ways, including their District Pride Rose (Dry cider rose with tart berries to complement), Field of Dreams (local apples blended with NS strawberries fermented and steeped with whole vanilla beans with a splash of black currant wine), and Cardi P (NS apples and plums, with a touch of cardamom). You can take home a Birthday Bundle featuring these three cuties, along with three more options as well an LCC-branded frisbee. Congratulations to Poet and the team!

Hey folks, do you miss the pre-pandemic world where you could hang out with your friends drinking brilliant beers from far-flung places? We sure do, and we especially miss doing so at the various Bars Stillwell!! If you’re the same, and you’ve maybe been living under a rock that shields you from beer-related news, boy do we have some good tidings for you about the potential return of something that might possibly feel like just a little bit of normalcy: on Saturday, July 24th, the Stillwell Freehouse will be hosting a special event featuring one of the best breweries in Belgium (and really, the world), Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen. No fewer than 19 unique blends from 3F will be on offer that afternoon, with bottle pours, 11 beers from the Speling van het Lot (Twist of Fate) series, and, of course, Belgian-inspired treats coming out of the kitchen. And if you’re feeling more contemplative than chatty, the back room will play two screenings of episode 5 of Michael Jackson’s (no, the other one) Beer Hunter, entitled “Burgundies of Belgium.” Note that reservations are being taken for this event, and it’s strongly recommended that you try to make one. To do so, email andrew@barstillwell.com.

We’ve got a few more short beer hits to share today before we dismiss you for the week…
Iron Rock Brewing in Lab City debuted a new Pale Ale this week, which will help you strike it rich… Prospector APA weighs in at just 4.0% ABV, but thanks to a whole buncha Citra hops used late in the process (end of the boil and in the dry-hop), it is not at all light on flavour and aroma, with plenty of citrus and floral character complemented by low bitterness. On tap for pints and growler fills, and wider distribution in cans in the coming weeks.

O’Creek Brewing, the nano in Dieppe, NB, has a new beer pouring that they’ve dubbed Snap Cryo Pop. Featuring the Cryo Pop Hop Blend from Yakima Chief, it’s an NE Pale Ale with a very tropical bent. Look for citrus, stone fruit, and hints of coconut in a 5% ABV package. It’s available only at Le BarBu BeerGarden for now.

Out in Sackville, NS, the new hip beer bar, Tapestry Beer Bar, has received several inquiries about private bookings. Well good news for those folks who’ve been looking to make such a booking, they’re going to be possible! Obviously, rates and availability will vary, but you’re welcome to make contact to find out whether it’s a fit for your group. There’s some contact info on the website, but you can probably also slide into their social DMs (Fb/Ig) to ask. And keep your eyes peeled on the blog as we have a full interview with owner Ian Smith in the coming days!

Bedford’s newest brewery, Topside Brewing, has been working to get their beers out to other places beyond the brewery. Look for them on tap at Finbar’s Portland St., Finbars Bedford, HopYard Halifax, and Battery Park. Several of those locations have their newest beer, Backyard Blonde, but you also may find summer staple Joyce’s Boy Hefewëizen and core offering On the Bottom DIPA as well.

Bannerman Brewing in St. John’s is putting out some of the Rock’s finest fermented beverages, but they haven’t been packaging all of them. New to cans this week is Broad Strokes, their lagered German ale at 4.8% ABV and made with Pilsner and wheat malts. Eventually you’ll be able to grab some (while quantities last) at NLLC licensees (Marie’s Mini Mart and Urban Market 1919, we believe), but for now you’ll have to head to the brewery.

If you’re looking for a beer job in Halifax, we think you could do far worse than with our friends at 2 Crows Brewing on Brunswick Street. And now would also be a good time to be looking, as they’ve got a couple of positions that they’re looking to fill: brewery production assistant/delivery driver and part-time bartender and packaging assistant. In both cases you’ll be working with a team that puts out high quality product and cares deeply about their roles in the brewing community and the general Halifax community as well. More information, including instructions on applying, can be found by clicking the “Careers” link on their website.

Happy First Friday of June! The weather is warming, vaccination rates are rising, COVID cases are waning, all of which point to a rising from the ashes of 2020/H1 2021 for the breweries, cideries, and good beer spots in the region. Patios opened province-wide in Nova Scotia this week, the first time in 9 months, and in-brewery/-bar/-restaurant enjoyment is coming soon. Let’s celebrate with a whole buncha new beers available across the region!

Let’s start off by congratulating Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing Company on their third anniversary. To celebrate, the team has brewed Maple Pecan Pie, a big pastry stout to the tune of 10.5%. Local syrup from Château Scoudouc adds a sweet maple note, with cocoa nibs adding some bitter chocolate character. The beer was conditioned on pecans, dates and vanilla beans to provide additional sweetness and flavour complexity. Bottles are in short supply due to batch size, so be sure to hit up CAVOK Brewing* tomorrow when they are officially released! If you’re more in the mood for hops, fresh kegs of their NEIPA Magnetic Ale are on tap now Euston Park’s Parlee Beach location. This 6.5% take on the style is packed with tropical fruit and citrus notes from late additions of Galaxy, Mosaic, El Dorado and Citra, followed by a dry hop of Simcoe and Mosaic. 

*New 6.8% Hibiscus IPA out now from CAVOK, btw, Red Knight. It’s available in their Dieppe taproom and for delivery and shipping online.

On Nova Scotia’s North Shore, the Tatamagouche Brewery tiny patio re-opened this week, with 3 new and returning beers released coincidentally. Returning is Guava Heist, a 3.6% Berliner Weisse (aka sour wheat beer), aged on Organic guava for an intense tropical and citrus experience on the tart base. Available now in cans and on draught at the brewery, like the next two beers, as well as for online ordering for NS and Canada-wide shipping. Brand new this week is another sour beer, but done using a modern approach. Leveraging the new Philly Sour yeast, isolated and studied by a research group in Philadelphia, it is able to create lactic acid directly, rather than needing a Lactobacillus bacteria to do the heavy lifting. This means a very controllable and consistent beer from batch to batch, without the need to hold the fermenting wort at high temperature (currently necessary with Kettle Sours), yet still delivering a moderately tart and refreshing kick we love in sours. Tata is starting their journey with this new yeast with Spark, a 5.0% Sour Pale Ale. Forgoing any fruit for the debut, Spark features a light addition of tropical hops in the kettle, with loads of Eclipse and New Zealand-grown Cascade in the dry-hop. Horton Ridge Pale and Wheat Malts, and Oats, make up the grist upon which the hops and yeast play. The light acidity in the beer brightens the hop character and keeps you coming back for more.

Taking a left turn from the sour beers is Tata’s Dawdle, a 5.8% Belgian Pale Ale. A base of Pilsner and Munich, with a touch of Honey malts, give a clean foundation to build on. A large dosing of Hallertau Mittlefruh and Ariana in the kettle is complemented by plenty more H M in the dry-hop, lending floral and herbal notes to the subtle pepper and spicy yeast character. Cans available in store and online now!

Chester’s finest has a re-release that is now available just in time for the warmer turn of weather. Session Rye IPA is back from Tanner Brewing boasting a backbone of Rye flavour throughout, generous hop additions, but stays at a nice sessionable 4.5% ABV. This Session IPA has a few changes from the original release as they used more Rye and paired it with English Maris Otter malt for the grain bill. They used some other hops this time around as well, now using Lotus, Mosaic and Idaho 7. The result brings some nice Rye spice and body through a dry, refreshing ale with notes of citrus and tropical fruits from the hopping. This is available in their standard 500ml bottles for shipping from their online store or for in-store pickup. 

In one of the the recent 902 Brewcast tasting episodes, the boys broke the news that Big Spruce has added another canner to its lineup that will allow them to can small batch beers made on the original system adjacent to the Sprucetique. Over the last week, two new offerings and a returning seasonal have found their way into cans from the new line. FIrst up is the return of She’s Maibock, a German-style lager. Hopped with Huell Melon, this 6.5% lager features notes of melon and apricot to compliment a toasted bread crust malt profile. The two new releases are both takes on Saison, with two very different interpretations to contrast. Old World Saison honors the fruit and spice yeast derived notes of the style, with an added wood character from conditioning in oak barrels. Coming in at 7.4%, it uses Hallertau Tradition hops that are known for their earthy and grassy character. Finally, New World Saison adds an element that many North American brewers of Saisons have experimented with, by incorporating Brettanomyces, in this case for a co-fermentation with a yeast strain. The funky character from the Brett plays nicely with the Citra dry-hop, which lends notes of grapefruit and tangerine. You can find all of the new canned releases now at the Sprucetique (their Food Truck opens for the season today) or for province-wide delivery and Canada-wide shipping in Big Spruce’s online store. 

You may know Hampton, New Brunswick as being between Sussex and Saint John and along the Saint John River, but now you may remember them for Gridiron Brewing. They have a new beer out now, as they keep brewing and rolling out the good stuff. Zambapalooza is a NEIPA with exclusively Zamba hops (the BSG hop blend formerly known as Samba). This new hop blend brings complex flavour and aroma with stone fruits, tangerine and pineapple. Pairing that with barley and wheat from Island Malt House, as well as some oats, a smooth mouthfeel supports and softens any bite, keeping it true to the OG NEIPA. At 4.9% it has a lighter body, but a lot of the punch of a NEIPA. They’re brewing and they’re open Thurs –  Sun 3 – 6 PM, with free local and QV deliveries happening multiple times per week, so check out their website for their full offerings.

Never a stranger to bring the summer treats, Propeller has a new release available now. Peachberry is a Sour Ale featuring (you guessed it) Peach and Strawberry. Using natural strawberry and peach additions, this lightly sour ale is a balance of sweet and tart. With an IBU of 8, the hopping is minimal and the ripe strawberry and peach sweetness shine through at 5%. This is available now in 473ml can and 4-packs online and in person at Prop Shops, private stores and The Port by NSLC shortly, and will be popping up on tap at various establishments around the province any second now (perfect for those patios now open!). And great news that Propeller is filling growlers again! Of note, they only fill their own branded growlers, but the deposit on theirs is fully refundable so you’re not out anything!

Up the Eastern Shore from HRM lies Sheet Harbour, home of Sober Island Brewing, who have quite a few things on the go this week. First up, last week they put a new beer on the taps: Old School American IPA is pretty self-explanatory, we figure, but no less interesting for being so. Featuring hints of white pepper and pine you can think of it as a sibling to their Wavebreaker; better act soon if you want to try it, though, as we’ve been advised there’s not a whole lot left. Meanwhile, those looking for a Sober Island fix that’s a little closer to the city might be excited to hear that not only do they have a new location in Musquodoboit Harbour on the grounds of the Musquodoboit Harbour Railway Museum, but they’re now able to operate as a beer garden there. Grab some beer to go or to sit and sip in the sun, Thursday to Sunday, 12 – 8 PM; it’s dog and family friendly, and The Bandwagon food truck will also be there this weekend if you’re feeling the need for a nosh. Lastly, as you can imagine, with the beer garden comes the need for some more folks to help with the pouring and the serving and such. If you’re looking for such a spot for summer employment, you can forward your resumé along with an explanation of why you’d like to work for Sober Island to rebecca@soberbrewing.ca.

Two pieces of news from Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery. Let’s start with a new beer release. Keeping up with what is now a weekly trend of low-ABV releases, Light Bright is a 3.5% light beer with a spiffy can label that can’t help but make us nostalgic for perpetually losing the small plastic pegs from the namesake toy. The beer includes a touch of Vienna malt and whirlpool and dry-hop additions of Centennial and Simcoe hops that provide a citrusy aroma. Cans of Light Bright are available now at the taproom on Portland St.  And for those who’ve been patiently watching the space on the Dartmouth waterfront, you’ll be pleased to know that Brightwood is opening their Beergarden today (weather dependent). Seating capacity will start out at 100 (with groups now larger than 10 per the public health rules). In addition to being able to get food from Evan’s Seafood, this year’s menu will also include a hotdog and ice cream vendor. Check out Brightwood’s social channels for hours of operation and any weather related closures.  

Hop lovers in HRM (and beyond, these folks ship pretty much everywhere) can rejoice, as Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing has a brand new entry in their ongoing series of ultra hop forward and hazy New England IPAs. Modern Interpretation is the 6th entry so far and features the same grist, Golden Promise malt with some wheat, dextrapils and oats for body, Columbus in the mash and at first wort, Simcoe and Huell Melon in the hopback on the way out of the kettle, and a fermentation with the Foggy London yeast strain from Escarpment Labs. For featured hops in the dry hop, which is where the various “-ations” diverge from one another, this one was positively blasted with “stupid” amounts of Enigma and Galaxy along with a “little bit” (only by comparison, we’re sure) of Citra. Expect aromas of overripe papaya, raspberry and peach along with additional notes of mango and pear. Smooth, tropical, and intense, with a definite dankness, it’s 6.1%, 44 IBU and available at the brewery now. And if massively hopped hazebombs aren’t your thing, fear not, the 2C gang might very well still have you covered. Their recently release crispy Bohemian Pils Letna is still in full effect and this week also sees the return of Jubilee, the sibling of Jamboree. A fruited summer sour with blackberry and apricot, it’s lively, lush, and full of flavor. Order online for curbside pickup or delivery, or just head down to the brewery and grab some in person to go or to sip on their patio.

Halifax’s little brewery that could is back with their can-do attitude and a bunch of cans this week. After a few weeks of shutdown Tidehouse is back with four beers available: two new ones and two return engagements. First up on the new stuff front is Chrysalis, a beer that lands somewhere between a lager and an ale, featuring Pilsner malt and Czech Saaz hops paired with the classic California Lager yeast strain. A bit bitter, bready, and crackery, with a mild noble hop note, it’s 5.5% ABV and full-bodied, but finishes nice and dry, the ideal summer crusher. In short, and in the words of the brewery themselves, it’s “[a] beery beer that beers.” Also new from the Tidehouse crew this week is Saddle Up, an IPA in the New England style. Hazy and juicy, as the style demands, this 7% ABV beer does pull a little zig and zag from what you might be used to, first with a solid bitter backbone that’s often somewhat lacking in NEIPAs, and then by replacing the slightly sweet finish that’s so common with a more dry sensation. Hopped with Eclipse, Enigma, and Citra, you can rightly expect notes of fresh pineapple, ripe mango, and grapefruit.

On the returning beer front we find a couple of very summery beers just in time for what we hope is a banger of a weekend weather-wise in the HRM. Peachy Fuzzies is up first, their 4.5% sour that features Peach Rooibos tea from another local business, World Tea House. Nominally a sour, but balanced well by plenty of peach character and a definite iced tea vibe, this is definitely a beer that would be at home on a sunny afternoon on a patio. Also returning is a fresh batch of the brewery’s stone cold classic Hibiscus City. Also a sour and 4.5%, this one features Hibiscus (of course!) and lime and a gorgeous purply-red hue. Cans of all four of these beers are available at the brewery from noon – 6 PM today for sure, but keep an eye on their socials (Fb, Ig) for more information about other days when you’ll be able to pop down and, hopefully sooner rather than later, when they’ll be able to open their taproom for pouring pints again.

Halifax’s Garrison Brewing is embracing the warmer weather with two patio-worthy beers returning this week. Their Sour to the People is sour and puckering as all get out, and while it does not feature any fruit in the beer, lemon, peach, green apple, and lemon come through thanks to the acidic kick and other ingredients. At 5.5%, cans are available at both their Seaport and Oxford retail stores, as well as on tap at both locations (patio drinking!), with limited draught to a few places around town. Also returning is Georgia Peach, a 5.0% Wheat beer featuring plenty of peach coming through on the nose and palate, on top of the light base of Maritime Pale and Wheat malts. In addition to Garrison’s spots, cans will also be available at the private stores and NSLC in the next few days/week.

Having an events section at all is suddenly a novelty; here’s hoping this is the first in a new trend:

Would you believe that things have settled down enough in PEI for there to be a PEI Craft Beer Week this year?! We didn’t either, but hey, we’re mostly (very jealous) mainlanders in these parts. Starting tomorrow, Saturday, June 5th, and extending a full week to Saturday, June 12th, this year’s event is featuring both PEI Craft Beer as well as PEI Beef, with PEI Cattle Producers, Atlantic Beef Products Inc., and PEILCC all sponsoring and pretty much all the breweries on the Island involved. Right in line with that combo of sponsors, then, is this year’s signature event, Beef & Brews, where you’ll find food featuring PEI beef paired with PEI craft beer at various tap rooms around the province. Check out the main PEICBW website for a list of who’s participating and what their combo is. Also at that link you’ll find the complete schedule of events throughout the week, including live music, trivia nights, guided tastings, tap takeovers, and more. And there’s also a contest you can enter for a prize package from PEILLC (we have a sneaking suspicion that the prizes might involve beer in some way). Islanders, know that the rest of us are pretty jelly right now.

Now that you know where to find all the appropriate details for this week of events, check out some of the new beers you’ll be enjoying at them:

First up, PEI Brewing Company has a new seasonal release from their Gahan lineup. Walker West Coast IPA is named after their second location established on Walker Drive, where they were located from 2008 until 2013. This tribute IPA has a great malt backbone with sweet caramel malt but balances nicely with big tropical and pine notes from a variety of hops bring the IBU to 70. At 7% expect a deliciously aromatic, bitter and malty classic West Coast IPA. It’s available now in cans at PEI Brew Co and Gahan locations on PEI and will be available at brewpubs and PEI Liquor stores soon. 

Not only is the whole Island celebrating PEI Beer Week this week, but Bogside Brewing in Montague is also celebrating their second birthday and tomorrow (that’s Saturday, June 5th), they’re  having a birthday party and new beer release event. Bogside Radler is exactly what a Radler should be, a light (5% ABV) beer mixed with real juice (grapefruit, tangerine, and a splash of lime); an easy drinking, refreshing combo with a crisp finish, great  for hot weather and wherever the day takes you. You’ll find it for $5 pints tomorrow and 15% off 6-packs of 355 mL cans to go. Meanwhile, you’ll also find on-site oyster shucking (11:30 – 2:30 PM and 4:30 – 8:30 PM) , thanks to a team-up with Cascumpec Bay Oyster Co., live music from Dave Woodside (4 – 7 PM) and Adam MacGregor (7 – 10 PM), and lawn games in the beer gardens. Get the full deets from the Fb Event Page. And if you can’t make the party, but would like to celebrate at home with some Bogside, online ordering is still in full effect!

Copper Bottom in Montague is kicking off Beer Week a bit early, with a sneak peek of a new barrel-aged sour coming next week. Pouring today is Bramble, a raspberry sour heavily influenced by the Belgian Framboise style. Starting out with a multi-grain grist of Pilsner, Spelt, Raw Wheat and 2-row, the beer spent its first six months in Pinot Grigio taking in a whole bunch of funk and acidity from the mixed culture yeast used to ferment. It was then transferred onto raspberry puree for another two months allowing the tart and jammy character of the fruit to meld with the beer. While the majority of the 5.1% beer was bottled a couple of months back to develop some natural carbonation and will be released this coming Thursday, a small amount was kegged and available at the brewery this weekend. Pop in, maybe grab something from The Pizza Box onsite, and kick off your PEI Craft Beer Week today! 

Fresh off their win at last night’s Hopyard Beer Bar Battle of the Breweries, Village Green has a brand new hazy IPA available on draught and in cans in Cornwall today. Weird Clouds will be a rotating NEIPA, exploring different varietals and blends of hops. Version #1 features Columbus, Citra, Amarillo, and El Dorado, coming together for a billowy blast of tropical flavour and aroma, on a 6.7% soft base of Pilsner, Vienna, Flaked Oats, and Wheat malts. Head out for a pint and can, and pop by Holy Fox Food Truck set up next door!

If you’re looking for summer work in the beer business up on the North side of the Province, have a look at this:

Antigonish’s Candid Brewing is holding another retail pop-up in their space this weekend, today 3 – 6 PM, tomorrow 1 – 4 PM. And if working with them sounds like a great time this summer, you’re in luck! Through the Canada Summer Jobs program, they are looking at hiring both a Brewery Labourer (no direct brewing experience necessary, you’re bound to learn lots while on the job) and Social Events Co-ordinator. More information on both jobs and how to apply are on their website, and closes June 10.

Sorry to start off all Nova-Scotia-centric in this week, but that was some major BS… Earlier in the week, the province announced that all alcohol retail had to close, except the NSLC. There is no denying that for many in our region, alcohol depency is a real and serious issue, meaning access should be considered essential. But to only allow one retailer (the provincial near-monopoly, of course) and not others, is seriously problematic. Thankfully, the decision was revised within a day, but not before dozens of breweries, distilleries, wineries, and private stores had shut down, possibly set up online delivery portals or curbside ordering options (none cooler than rookie brewery Serpent Brewing creating their own drive-thru in their parking lot), and generally spent time and money all for a baseless and throw-away line from the province. If we are to come out of this mostly intact, we all need to work together, and when those making the rules favour one essential provider over others, it pulls down small businesses. Now enough of the doom and gloom, let’s get some new beers in your glasses this weekend!

Let’s start in Nova Scotia this week with a brand new one from Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing. Located on the main drag at 82 Montague Street, Shipwright’s taproom/retail may be tiny, but that hasn’t stopped Brewer Kellye Robertson from continuously churning out the good stuff! The latest release is Twin Engines Belgian Pale Ale, the first in a series of Belgian beers to be released in the coming months. A cross-continental mash up, the grist of the Pale Ale starts with Shoreline Malting Pale, Munich, and Chit malts. In the kettle, a bittering addition of Ella is complemented with a flameout dosing (more flavour than bitterness) of Sabro and Topaz, with more of the same dynamic duo after fermentation has concluded. Taking care of that fermentation is an Ardennes strain of yeast, giving some lovely spicy phenolic kick to meld with the tropical hops. Pineapple and peach dance on a dry pithy base in this 5.5%, 45 IBU beer. As in-brewery enjoyment is on pause province-wide, the best way to grab Twin Engines is by crowler at the taproom this weekend.

From one tiny brewery to another, Halifax’s Tidehouse Brewing will be open Friday and Saturday 2 – 8 PM for curbside pickup of cans only, with some returning favourites as well as the debut of Everything is Totally Fine. We appreciate the optimism (or sarcasm) the crew put into naming this release, which we think is close to an Old School / West Coast Pale Ale. Pine and resin notes abound in this heftily-hopped 5.5% beer, sticking to early boil hops for the largest additions. The beer finishes with a touch of honey from the malt, but the focus is definitely the hops.

Halifax’s 2 Crows isn’t letting the lockdown prevent them from continuing to release new and fun brews to keep things interesting for you while you’re holed up in your domicile. As is often the case, this week we’re seeing a dual release, one on the younger and fresher side, and one more aged and complex. First up is a small beer with a Belgian bent, the 3.6% ABV hoppy table beer, Tiny Dancer (although you’ll be forgiven for calling it Tony Danza). Built on a base of Shoreline Malting Pale malt, raw wheat, and some of Shoreline’s Belgian new Belgian-style biscuit malt as well, it was mash hopped with Chinook and then hit hard in the kettle with Sterling, Chinook, and Tradition. Fermentation was done with a blend of yeasts including 2C’s house saison strain and some Brett in the form of The Yeast Bay 207, a single strain of Brettanomyces bruxellensis isolated from a Belgian-inspired brewery in the Northeast United States (possibly one on a farmstead…on a hill…?) that’s known for producing flavors reminiscent of Sweet Tarts™ candy (that’s “crushed candy” if you’re @tony_important). After some time to allow the yeast and bacteria to express themselves, the beer was packaged and allowed to can condition, which should yield a tight and spritzy carb. Look for a bright and refreshing result, with plenty of hop character and bitterness at 40 IBU; we’re looking forward to crushing these in earnest when the warmer weather hits!

The other new offering from 2C this week is another collaboration with the fine folks at World Tea House in Halifax. Assamica is a barrel-aged sour that was brewed around this time in 2020 with a grist of Pilsner, spelt, wheat, oats and special aromatic malt, and hopped lightly with some aged noble hops. A “host” of yeast and bacteria were used to ferment it in barrels once used for Amaro, an Italian herbal liqueur digestif. After about 9 months of post-fermentation conditioning, World Tea House’s Phil Holmans was consulted to pair a tea with it. He chose an Assam black tea with earthiness and complexity that complements the deep and rounded character imparted by the Amaro barrel. The tea was steeped for 24 hours in the barrel, after which the beer was bottled and bottle conditioned for three months. You can expect a smooth, tannic, malty, and earthy result in this 6% ABV beer, with plenty of complexity and some herbal aspects from the barrel. Both of these new ones are available from the brewery for reduced in-person retail or curbside pickup or delivery via online ordering.

To the Annapolis Valley for this next one, where Somerset’s own Bad Apple Brewhouse has a new blended cider out this week. Strawberry Feels is a 5.0% blend of apple juice with a healthy dose of Organic strawberry puree, which comes through in the palate nicely, making for a “fun summer sipper”, as described by BAB. It can be found at the Brewhouse as well as 14 NSLC locations in the coming days, joining the Box Cutter IPA and Mosaic Double IPA.

And a few last quick hits:

The sun has been shining, the trees are budding and in another sure sign that summer is on its way, Big Spruce Brewing’s Silver Tart has made its much anticipated return. Cans of the kettle-soured raspberry wheat ale are now available at the Sprucetique and through Big Spruce’s delivery/shipping options. Cans are also headed to Bishop’s Cellar. In hoppier news, another batch of Brobdingnagian, their Mosaic hopped DIPA, is also available in bottles.

Island hopping over to St. John’s, Bannerman Brewing is releasing Block Party. This saison was brewed with French hops and an addition of hibiscus to give it a beautiful, bright red color. It was also conditioned on orange peels before packaging. Look for subtle herbal notes form those French hops and a hint of tartness. You can find Block Party at the brewery now for pints and growler fills.

Trailway is bringing the hops again this weekend with a new batch of Ooz, their 8% ABV tropical DIPA featuring Sabro, Citra and Galaxy. Cans are available now through their various sales channels. Also, the shipments of Good Weather and Hot Sky that we teased earlier this month have arrived in Nova Scotia and are now available at the Port (Hot Sky) and other NSLC locations (Good Weather).

Unfiltered Brewing has a new batch of Daytimer available, their crushable 4% ABV Berliner Weisse. It’s available in cans on North Street, with a fancy new can design to boot. 

We’ll leave you with some more positive news to end the week. Good Robot will be undergoing a massive expansion over the next 6 months, as they will be working in a second facility in Hants County that will allow them to seriously increase their production and customer delivery capacity. News of the expansion broke in AllNS this week, so check out that publication for more info (subscription required). Congratulations to the Robots on their continued growth and success! We’ll feature more news on the expansion as things progress with their new facility.