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Happy April! Another quarter down and a well deserved long weekend is just a day away. There will be April 1st shenanigans out there, but aren’t we all just a bunch of fools no matter what month it is? We’ll keep this short and sweet so you can get onto the local news, but with some big changes in Ontario, we’ll remind you to keep an eye on local news before making any plans and now is not the time to get complacent (and keep an eye out for those April Fool’s Day posts or announcements from your favourite breweries!). Onto the beer, no pranks below, we promise!

Last Friday, March 26th, marked the 100th anniversary of the launch of the Bluenose schooner. A symbol of pride of Nova Scotia and her residents, the “Queen of the North Atlantic” dominated the International Fisherman’s Race for years, was immortalized on stamps and the Canadian dime, and its “daughter” continues to be an ambassador of the province’s rich ship-building history. With events happening in Lunenburg, across the province, and around the world (virtually), it’s only fitting there would be a beer or two to celebrate the Bluenose’s legacy!

Saltbox is first out of the gate with their Bluenose 100 Commemorative Ale, taking inspiration from brewing lore and recipes that date back to the 20’s, during those dark times of Prohibition. Canadian Malt and Noble hops were used to create a light, crisp, and refreshing ale weighing in at a perfect-for-enjoying-a-couple-on-the-dock 4.7% ABV. A bit of malt sweetness presents on the palate, clearing quickly thanks to a balancing bitterness from the hops. You can grab an early taste of Bluenose 100 on tap now at The Knot Pub in Lunenburg and The Nosy Crow in Mahone Bay, with cans of the ale coming to the shelves of 75 NSLC stores before the end of April. A caribou ($0.25, haha!) from every can sold will be going back to the Bluenose 100 committee, who still have plenty of events scheduled for the rest of the year, including a full Summer of Sail for Bluenose II, starting June 1st, visiting ports across the Maritimes.

For a celebration 100 years in the making, it is only fitting there are a couple of beers to celebrate, which brings us to another Bluenose celebration beer, Bluenose Lager. ShipWright Brewing in Lunenburg teamed up with Garrison Brewing in Halifax to brew a long-distance collab at their own breweries, ready to set sail in the next few weeks. This 5.0% ABV Helles Lager is bright and refreshing, and extremely quaffable. Available soon at both partnering breweries as well as cans delivered to the NSLC and private stores, a portion of each can sale will be returning to the Bluenose 100 to support their mission of sharing the story of the Bluenose.

We’ve got an excellent cross-border collaboration coming from Flying Boats and Saltbox. This idea came from the daughters of the two brewery owners who met at University and have created a beer with a cause. Breezy Belgian Saison is a classic style release at 5.5% that is crisp, dry with a slightly tart finish. With flavours of coriander with some slightly bitter orange this is available in cans. A portion of the profits from each sale of this beer will be donated to Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation.

And rounding out the Saltbox news today is word that their Lunenburg expansion, under the Lightship Brewery moniker, is set to open in one month from today. With arguably the best view of Lunenburg, their location will feature a full kitchen and coffee shop in addition to the taproom, whose interior will be highlighted by a pair of Foeders from PEI’s New World Foeders, as well as barrels for some extra special brewing experiments. Those who visit their spot at 93 Tannery Road before then may even spot their Party Bike which will allow groups to navigate the town in a fun people-powered vehicle.

As we cut across the province to the Fundy shore, Windsor’s Schoolhouse Brewery is releasing Summer DAY NEIPA. This hazy IPA features Idaho 7, Amarillo and El Dorado hops and was fermented using the Verdant IPA yeast from LalBrew. This is the first sighting (that we know of at least) of this yeast strain in our region. Developed in collaboration with Verdant Brewing Co. out of south-west England, the yeast leads to citrusy esters that compliment the citrus and fruit-forward hop notes. Cans, growlers and pints are available now at the taproom on Water Street.

Deer Lake’s Rough Waters Brewing has a new release this week, with a name inspired by their mischievous cat Opie (portrayed on the beer’s label). At Wit’s End is their take on a traditional Belgian witbier. Featuring a malt bill of primarily malted and flaked week, this one also gets the traditional addition of orange peel and coriander seeds during the boil, along with the no-so traditional addition of blood orange. The result is a refreshing 4.5% ABV witbier featuring lots of citrus notes. At Wit’s End is available now in 500 ml bottles at craft beer-friendly convenience stores and markets across the island. 

From Deer Lake, we head south-west to Port au Port for two releases from Secret Cove Brewing Company. Up first is CherryOaky, a dark tart cherry ale. This one started with aging on French oak to add some complexity from the wood. Prior to packaging, this 6.5% ABV beer was then lagered for several weeks until it was deemed ready for consumption. Expect suitable oak-derived notes and a palate reminiscent of dry red wine. Next up is Shag Island, a 6.4% breakfast coffee stout. Named for the small coastal island north of Port au Port, Shag Island combines Sumatran coffee and organic cocoa for that classic blend of coffee and chocolate notes. Expect a full body and rich mouthfeel drinking experience. Both beers are available now at the brewery. 

Tatamagouche Brewing is always up for supporting a good cause, and this week they’re taking advantage of an opportunity to support a good cause in their own backyard (as is often the case), but also to bring awareness to it on a wider basis. Alicia Simms of Truro Buzz has been nominated as a candidate for Man or Woman of the Year by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada and has partnered with several businesses in the Colchester area to raise funds for the campaign. One of those businesses is Tata, who have produced a beer they’re calling Stronger Than You Think, all proceeds from which will go towards LLS. For this special cause, brewer Chad pulled out the big guns in the form of the vaunted Sabro hop variety known for big tropical flavors and coconut aroma. To that was added “lots” of Mosaic in the whirlpool along with smaller contributions of El Dorado, Willamette, and Cascade. The Sabro came in the dry hop along with some Lotus. Nominally in the East Coast/Northeastern/New England IPA style, this one has a touch of extra bitterness that will no doubt be welcome to those who miss a bit of bite in their hazebombs. Built on a grist of Horton Ridge pale malt, it also features plenty of haze-inducing and body-building adjuncts, namely malted oats, malted wheat and chit malt (also all from Horton Ridge). Fermented with a co-pitch of S-04, an English strain known for haze production, and S-33, more known for use in Belgian wheat and trappist-style beers, but which also can bring forward tropical flavors, the packaged product ended up at 6.3% ABV. Expect this one to be hazy, juicy, and tropical, with orange, pineapple, and yes, even some coconut in the aroma. It’s being packaged in cans today, so available from the brewery as soon as they’re capped and cold, you’ll also hopefully be able to find this one at Bishop’s Cellar by the weekend! Beyond that, kegs will also be going out to various Tata tap accounts and there’s even rumors that some casks (a couple of Firkins and a Pin) have been filled, and savvy drinkers will know where those usually end up… We love seeing Tata making it easy to support Alicia and LLS in the tastiest way possible!

Sticking with IPAs, we move to Halifax where Propeller has a new IPA out that they’re calling Talus Cold IPA. We’re, uh… not quite sold on the idea that “Cold IPA” is a thing, and it is April Fool’s, but they appear to be standing by it, sooooo. Anyways, allegedly a Cold IPA is an IPA with a light body that’s been fermented at cooler temperatures to encourage, “an addictively clean and crisp finish.” The other part of the beer’s name, though, the Talus part, refers to the hop variety that was used and, in our opinion, is possibly the more interesting part. A relatively recent release from Yakima Chief Hops that might be familiar to some under it’s previous experimental name of HBC 692 (which we’ve written about more than once), it’s known for a flavor and aroma profile that includes pink grapefruit, dried roses, pine, and tropical fruits. Definitely an interesting cross-section of citrus, floral, dank, and tropical! This one-off release comes in at 80 IBU and 6.1% ABV, and has been canned; it will be available at Prop Shops as of this weekend, and then possibly a little later at Bishop’s Cellar and the other private stores in Halifax. It will also be available for online orders, which, by the by, now offer shipping via Canada Post to Alberta, BC, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Ontario, PEI, Saskatchewan, and, of course, Nova Scotia! You can read more about the new shipping areas on Propeller’s website here.

And in other Prop news from North End Halifax, If you have little ones that you’ve been dying to bring into the retro Arcade under Propeller’s Gottingen Street taproom, great news! This Sunday, April 4th, the Propeller Arcade will be open 12 – 5 PM for all ages. Now, no dropping your kids and high-tailing it outta there, they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, but you’re going to want to stick around anyway for a coupla pints and to show the young ones how to shoot the ramp *just right* on the TMNT pinball. Masks on while playing, and there is plenty of sanitizer around to keep their hands and yours nice and clean. 

Wolfville’s Church Brewing isn’t one to fool around, and today’s new release is no joke! Taking inspiration from traditional pale Czech lagers, they are releasing Svelte, a 4.1% ABV crisp beer with just a hint of malt and hops. Starting from all Pilsen malt, it uses Magnum and Saphir to offset any sweetness with a light 20 IBUs. Utilizing their 600 litre (5 BBL) pilot system, first used for Lilith NEIPA last month, the limited batch size means you’ll have to Take Yourself to Church to enjoy Svelte. Available on tap in the restaurant, and in crowlers to go in their Retail spot.

After a bit of a hectic start due to governmental bodies dropping the ball, Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing’s taproom is now officially, for real, open for in-person enjoyment. The large space features 15 tables ready to accept Bubble Buddies from across the region, and when it’s safe to do so, a stage where local musicians, comedians, and other event can take over the space. As the weather warms, there will be a patio where people and their pups will be welcome, though as Serpent does not serve food (BYO), dogs are allowed inside as well. The taproom is open Wednesday to Sunday (this weekend included), from noon until 8 PM or later, and with 7 beer and 1 cider on tap, there is something to please every taste!

Only one event to mention this week, but it’s ALL MONTH LONG!!

Congratulations to Debbi Tobin, who is the new Executive Director of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia! And just in time, as April is NS Craft Beer Month! Obviously 2021 looks quite different than in previous years, but CBANS is still helping its member breweries during this month of transitioning from winter to spring. For those with products in the NSLC, the Corp is working to put more NS-brewed beer front and centre in their locations as well as their online material, including some IG Live events with a handful of breweries this month (Thursdays at noon, with Breton Brewing, North Brewing, Church Brewing, and Saltbox Brewing all taking part). And for those who swing that way, the NSLC is offering a free-to-brewers (unlike last year) promotion that will have customers getting a 10 Air Mile bonus when purchasing 2 multi-packs.

No official list of events available just yet, but for brewery folk reading this, they are soliciting all of your going-ons and will curate a list on their site soon. Check this page for more details. And as always, use and follow the #NSCraftBeer hashtag on the socials.

A couple more quick hits on the beer side:

Fresh off a tap takeover in Halifax last weekend, Bannerman is back with a fresh release out now. Dressed to Kill is a dry-hopped fruited sour that packs a punch. This was conditioned on a bunch of blackberries and raspberries. Finishing off with a dry hop of Mosaic, this is 5.5% and available in 473ml cans from the Bannerman shop.

Halifax’s Good Robot snuck in under the wire with news of their release, Seasoned Assist Spiced Dark Lager, which they’re describing as, “like a Winter Warmer, but light and crushable,” with flavors of clove, cinnamon, and anise leading to a coffee-tinged finish. The artistic photo we received obscures the ABV and we’re sure there’s probably a story to that name (say the first two words to yourself quickly), but we suspect you’ll have to ask your server when you order a pint at the taproom to get the goods on that!!

Looking for a job in the beer industry in our region? Here’s a few possibilities for you:

Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing is looking to add a multi-tasking kind of person to their team, ready to wear several hats in and outside of the brewery. A part-time position (15-30 hours per week depending on demand), the roles will include Delivery Driver, Packaging Assistant, and Taproom Bartender. Perfect for someone who can be versatile and nimble as they take on the different roles, this is a seasonal position (at the time of posting, at least), from April – October. Check their Careers Page for more details and how to apply!

Over to PEI where Copper Bottom is also looking to add to their team. They have two full time positions available, one as a Taproom server and the other as a Front of House Manager. These are great opportunities if you’re not too far from Montague. To apply check out the Career section of their website or stop by the taproom in person to drop off a resume and have a chat!

If you’re kicking around the Windsor area, or planning on making a move, there is some new hiring from the good folks at Schoolhouse. They are hiring part-time kitchen staff, but there are plenty of growth opportunities to stay within the company. They’re looking for good people and not necessarily previous experience. If you’re interested, first off a resume and a little about yourself via email

With some bittersweet news, the Brewmaster from Spindrift is moving on. Kyle is known around the region from time at Gahan, Garrison and Spindrift and we wish him nothing but the best and I’m sure we’ll see an official announcement soon on his next undertaking.

With Kyle moving on, that means there’s a job opening in Dartmouth. If you have Brewmaster experience, this would be a big opportunity. Check out the full job posting here to see all of the details and application details. 

Rounding out the job postings this week is something a little different, but still vital to keeping the good beer flowing! The Acadia Laboratory for Agri-Food and Beverage (aka alab) is looking to hire a Lab Technician to work in their lab supporting the local beer, cider, and wine community. If getting your LC and GC-MS on sounds like something you already do on a regular basis, you may be the right person for the job! Check out the job posting and apply today!

And we leave you today with some “prepare your ears” news, the fellas from 902 BrewCast are recording another episode tonight after releasing one last week. Bittersweet, this episode will mark the last with Phil Church in the official co-host seat. While we’re sure this won’t be the last we’ve heard from Church on the podcast or in beer circles, he is leaving the position to spend more time roaming the ocean floor and frolicking shirtless with Dodo, we assume/dream. Ahead of the recording this eve, the fellas are gathering your questions and best wishes on IG, so be sure to drop one there. Be sure to keep your eyes on Church as he continues to grow his photography business, those beautiful shots you see on his IG are just a small percentage of what he does!

As we all feel the anticipation of getting a jab in our arms and a spring in our steps, keep that hope alive and support your local bars and breweries! There’s a sense of optimism in the air and we think it’s worth celebrating. We know there have been some slower months in our news over the past few months, but as we all know, supporting local is more important than ever (if it’s within your means!) and we’re all doing a great job of getting through this together. Onto the beer!

Let’s start this week’s news with something that, frankly, we don’t see enough of in Atlantic Canada – beers with eponymous names. Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing Company is releasing Kellyerbier, their take on the German style of Kellerbier. Named after brewmaster Kellye Roberston, Kellyerbier starts with a blend of pilsner and chit malts from Shoreline Malting. Saaz and Saphir hops were used, followed by some time mingling with light Hungarian oak during secondary fermentation. Expect a light graininess, with notes of honey and some minerality. The hops add a citrusy note to round out this pale lager.  The finished beer comes in at 4.7% ABV and 22 IBUs and is available on tap and for crowlers to-go at the brewery now. 

Trailway Brewing Co. has another hazy IPA up its sleeves this week, with the release of SHADES. Coming in at 6.6% ABV, this one is a tribute to some of Trailway’s favorite hops, combining additions of Strata, Idaho 7, Callista, Sultana and Galaxy. Expect hop driven flavours that include citrus, peach  and guava, with dank and piney overtones. SHADES is available now at the brewery and for delivery or curbside pickup through their webstore

A blast from the past is making its return in Dartmouth this weekend. A fresh batch of Gus’ 65M Belgian Blonde is back on the shelves (both physical and virtual) at North Brewing Company. A quick history lesson – when North opened on Agricola Street in 2013 (remember those ceramic growlers?), their first keg account was at Gus’ Pub which just happened to be 65 meters north of North. Over the years, the beer has evolved from its original recipe, winning two Canadian Brewing Awards along the way. This batch comes in at 4.5% ABV and combines peppery Belgian phenols with citrus notes and light spiciness in the finish, and is available in cans and on tap today. 

And while we have you, North is hiring! They are looking for a part-time (3 days a week) delivery driver to service their HRM deliveries (both private citizens and licensees), with the possibility of having that job go full time in the future. No direct brewery experience is necessary, though being 19+ and having a driver’s license is. Peep the full details, and how to apply, on their jobs page. And we have several more job listings later in the post too, as breweries get ready for a busy spring and summer!

Keeping last week’s mead madness going again this week we have, coming out of Smith’s Cove, NS, Lazy Bear Brewing’s take on a mead. Appropriately named Mead, this one comes in at 8.4% ABV. Honey was sourced from Fox & The Bee Farms in nearby Clemonsport and Cosman and Whidden in Greenwich. Expect a crisp and refreshing drinking experience with a touch of tartness. You can grab this now in bottles or growlers from the brewery, and this Saturday at the Annapolis Royal Farmer’s Market. Rumour also has it, with the loosening of public health restrictions on travel, that an HRM delivery run may be in the works. 

From Smith’s Cove, let’s head East along the 101 to Berwick, where we find Smokehouse Nano Brewery. They have a brand new draught-only release pouring at their taproom this week, which will have you feeling like a sharp dressed man…. ZZ Hop is a 6.4% ABV New England IPA, featuring a whole whack of hops, but without a bitter finish. Galaxy, Mosaic, and Citra were added by the bushel-full later in the boil and in dry-hopping additions, for a hazy, juicy blast of citrus and stone fruit flavours. As this is a small release, best to pop by 134 Union St for a taste, they’re open from noon daily.

One last stop in Annapolis Valley this week, at Church Brewing in the heart of Wolfville. They have christened (see what I did there?) their pilot system, and are releasing the first in their Belief System series. Lilith is a 6.7% ABV New England IPA, featuring notes of grapefruit, melon, and hints of floral character. Simcoe and Azacca were used, as well as an addition of orange peel. As is typical for the style, hops are front and centre, but do not come through as overly bitter. As this is a small release, Lilith is only available at the taproom, though if you act quickly, you may be able to grab a crowler to-go in their adjacent Beer Market. Look for more releases in the Belief System series coming soon, allowing Church the ability to explore new styles, brew to historical timelines, and focus on their community support initiative, “Brew Good Do Good”. And if working in a church sounds like a job from heaven (come for the news, get inundated with bad puns), see below in the jobs section for a way you can join their team.

If you find yourself in Cape Breton in the next little while, head to the Westside Cafe (conveniently located on Route 19 as luck would have it) to try out the newest release from Route 19 Brewing. Town Lager is a 4.7% lager-like ale brewed with Krispy, a blend of Kveik yeasts from Escarpment Labs, and hopped with German varietals including Ariana, to the tune of 18 IBU. This one is on tap at Westside only for the time being, while the brewery’s taproom and retail remains closed for the offseason. Look for Town Lager to make an appearance again this summer in cans and for fills. 

Keeping with the signs of an optimistic Spring and the easing of restrictions, Spryfield’s Belgian-inspired Serpent Brewing takes two very big steps forward for their young brewery. Their Patey’s Bier Belgian Single is a refreshing style that is kegged and will be making its way across HRM taprooms in the coming weeks. In even bigger news, they’ll be opening their taproom on Saturday March 20th. We’ll be posting more details as we get them, but keep an eye out on Dentith Road in Spryfield behind the Canadian Tire and you can still check their website for pick-up and delivery options. 

Down in Southwest Nova, Tusket Falls Brewing are continuing their Experimental Brew series, with something dark and sweet this week. Chasing the Pastry Stout is an 8.0% ABV Dessert Beer, that they say will pair nicely with a chocolate fudge brownie. No word yet if any of those treatas are available in the taproom, but that *is* the only spot you’ll be able to grab this brew, so be sure to pop in this weekend before it disappears!

Big news for fans of beer and coffee in Rothesay: the Long Bay Brewery taproom is now also a full-service cafe, opening at 7:30 AM on weekdays, 10:00 AM on Saturdays and 11:00 AM on Sundays. Look for baked goods from Eb Coffeeshop and beans from Piccadilly Coffee Roasters out of Sussex, who’ve developed the Long Bay Morning Brew blend just for the cafe/taproom. And since they’re a licensed tap room, what’s to stop you from adding a little Baileys to that coffee, or pairing it with a beer? The correct answer is: nothing, you should totally do that.

The fine folks at Good Robot want you to know that they’ve missed seeing your face (at least the part not covered by a mask) at their taproom on Robie Street. And while, no, they’re not open yet, they’re happy to tell everyone that the planning is afoot for a resumption (conditional upon COVID-19 restrictions, of course) of in-person dining and service on Friday, March 12th!

And in “Future Beer News”, we have a couple of cool collaborations to chat up this week that see some of our local breweries partnering up with some of our region’s cultural touchstones. First up, you may be aware that The East Coast Music Association has historically seen participation by local breweries during their traditional week of events surrounding the annual East Coast Music Awards. This year they’ve announced that they’re formalizing the next five years of partnerships. Starting in May of this year, when the (largely virtual, sadly) ECMAs will be held in Sydney, NS, a partner brewery will brew up a collaboration beer called East Coast Music Ale to be released in the weeks leading up to the event, with $0.50 of each can sold going directly to the association. This year’s partner is Sydney’s own Breton Brewing, and we’re sure to have more information on their beer when its release approaches. From there, the schedule includes Fredericton’s Grimross Brewing in 2022, Halifax’s Garrison Brewing in 2023, Charlottetown’s Upstreet Craft Brewing in 2024, and up on the Rock, Quidi Vidi’s Quidi Vidi Brewing in 2025.

And down on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, folks are gearing up to celebrate one of the great icons of Nova Scotia, Atlantic Canada, and indeed, Canada itself. The famed schooner Bluenose was launched on March 26th, 1921, and, as you can imagine, there will be some commemorative activity going on. Enter Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing Company who have been officially approved to make and distribute an official commemorative ale as part of the celebrations. The brewery is working hard to ensure that the beer achieves distribution throughout the province via the NSLC, but will also be supplementing that distro on the South Shore. Consistent with Saltbox’s history of community involvement, they’ll also be donating a portion of the proceeds from the beer to the Bluenose Heritage Trust. We’ll have details on the beer once they’re available and keep you apprised of when and where you can get your landlubbing hands on it.

Obviously we’re still not in a place where big events full of lots of people are a thing that can happen in our region, but we’ve still got one humdinger to tell you about:

If you’re like us and you’ve had a bit of a taste of sunny and vaguely warmish weather in the last week and that made you think about kicking back at the Stillwell Beergarden with a pint of local lager and a plate of tacos from Beverley Taco Service, we’ve got some big news for you. Although it won’t be out in the sun with the hum of Spring Garden Road in the background, this coming Sunday, March 7th, and the Sunday after next, March 21th, from 2 PM to 10 PM, the fine folks of Bar Stillwell will be hosting Tacos & Lager at Stilly HQ on Barrington Street!! Featuring some of the best in NS lagers on tap (Tatamagouche Dekorum, Spindrift Killick and Toller, Good Robot El Espinazo del Diablo, and 2 Crows Dos Cuervos and Refresh) as well as some crushable cans, you’ll be able to pair those lovely palate refreshing liquids with Beverley Taco Service’s Carnitas or Birria Tacos, a special Stilly/Beverley collab taco, Chilaquiles, or simple Chips and Salsa. And for dessert? Churros and Chocolate con Chilli!! Consistent with summer Sunday afternoons at the BG, there will be vinyl spinning throughout the afternoon. What more could you ask for than a taste of summer in late winter?

This week, as restrictions ease and things slowly (slowly and hopefully!) get back to normal, we’re seeing three new job postings from around our region in addition to the North posting mentioned above:

First from Church Brewing, they’re looking for a Packaging Operator to work with beer packaging, quality control and preventative maintenance. If you’re looking to get a start in the great area of Wolfville, this full-time gig would be right up your alley. Check out the full job posting here

Spindrift has a new posting for a Production Brewer, working with and reporting to the Head Brewer, this is an excellent opportunity for someone with post-secondary education along with previous brewing industry experience could be a perfect fit. Or not, as we know many breweries will take passion and an ability to learn, with some relevant knowledge. It can never hurt to apply. For the full details and application instructions, check out this link

Rolling into the spring and summer, downtown Moncton favourite Tide and Boar is hiring multiple positions for taproom staff and kitchen employees for their soon-to-open stand-alone brewery and taproom location at 1355 Main Street. Shoot them an email with your resume at admin@tideandboar.com

March is International Women’s History Month, with International Women’s Day coming up on Monday, March 8th. This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge, and many breweries are taking the day and theme to heart, brewing and releasing beers over the next few days to commemorate it. 

The International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day is a worldwide annual event that takes place on IWD, open to all women “working, or interested, in beer, to learn, network, and make friends”. No requirements on style, ingredients, or packaging, only a love of beer! This year’s theme is Unite Compassion, which we can all use more of these days! As of publishing, Foghorn Brewing in Rothesay and Four Rivers in Bathurst NB, and Landwash Brewery in Mount Pearl NL have announced they will be taking part, but there’s still time for interested brewers to sign up to the event.

The women of Foghorn teamed up with those of Big Tide Brewing and Loyalist City to bring back the style-bending Sparkölsch. As a reminder, this is a 5.0% ABV Kölsch-style hybrid ale/lager, with an addition of edible sparkles for a truly shimmering final product! Available in bottles and on tap at the participating breweries now, plus other friendly spots around Saint John, Fredericton, and beyond. The full list of bars and retailers can be found here. Foghorn’s donations from sales of Sparkölsch are going toward their membership in the United Way Quarter Fund, a group of small businesses who have pledged to donate $250,000 over five years. These funds are in turn directed to organizations that support survivors of domestic/intimate partner violence and to mental health research.

In Bathurst, Becca and Lani of Four Rivers developed and brewed an Oatmeal Stout, which will be launched Monday as part of the IWD celebration. At 5.5% ABV, Dark Horse Oatmeal Stout is full of Chocolate and Sherry notes, with Coffee and Cocoa on the tongue to complement. Light mouthfeel, and not too sweet. Keep an eye on their social media for the full details on the beer Monday!

Landwash Brewery’s Christina Coady is leading the women of Newfoundland and Labrador breweries in a massive collaboration on Monday. While originally planned to have the collaboration take part in person in Mount Pearl, this time they’ll be leveraging the power of technology to stay connected. The crew thus far has representation from coast to coast to coast, with brewers from Boomstick, Bootleg BrewCo, Dildo Brewing, Iron Rock, Port Rexton, RagnaRöck, and Split Rock all taking part (and it’s not too late to message LW to join the list!). They will be using the 2021 Pink Boots hop blend from Yakima Chief (Ahtanum, Cashmere, Citra, Loral, and Sabro) to make an IPA with Passion Fruit, which will be released later in the month. Proceeds from the sale of the beer will be donated to The Gathering Place, a community centre offering meals, clothing, and health services to those in the community.

At Truro Brewing Company, owner Jana brewed up some awesome beer ladies in the province in February, and are releasing their Ginger Lime Gose today. You’ll be familiar with many of these names, with Kelly Costello, Chelsea Meisner, Kim Hart Macneill, Meg Foote, Shannon Dalberg, and some members of the Truro Pride Society. At 4.8% ABV, this slightly tart ale features a bold aroma from the fresh lime zest, and fresh ginger added, which is complemented by sea salt from Pure Atlantic Harvest in Halifax. It is on tap now, and given how well it turned out, they may be doing another batch for bottle release in the future!

You may recall that Port Rexton Brewing, a 100% women-owned business with a majority of women employees, released a beer last year for IWD that they called Violet Femmes and which sported a lovely hue due to the addition of butterfly pea flower. Well they’ve done it again this year! Once again a dry-hopped sour ale, the acidic pH influencing the shade of pink/purple expressed by the flower, this year it’s been packaged in cans (with artwork by Molly Margaret Art) for wider enjoyment. You’ll be able to find it available for purchase starting today at noon for online ordering and pick up at their St. John’s retail shop as well as in Port Rexton at the brewery and the Port Rexton Foodex. They will also be sending the beer out to some more locations, so keep an eye on social media (Fb/Ig/Tw) to find out where. Meanwhile, like last year, they’ll be donating proceeds from this beer to a worthy cause, this year it will be Transition House Association of NL.

Sydney’s Island Folk Cider House has debuted a new release this week, Choosing to Challenge. Embracing this year’s IWD theme to IFCH means “calling out gender bias and inequality”, “seeking out and celebrating women’s achievements”, and “working collectively to create an inclusive world”. The Choosing to Challenge is a 6.5% ABV Honey Lavender cider, and features a special cross-stitched theme on the label, by Alison Uhma of On Paper Books, responsible for all of their illustrations. From Island Folk, “$1 from every bottle sold will go to the Every Woman’s Centre – a non-profit organization that promotes and supports the enhancement of women’s lives in Cape Breton – Unama’ki.”

Keeping with the theme, Breton Brewing is launching a showcase ale for the great women of their brewery. A beer brewed by three of their female employees, with one of them also designing the label. Releasing Pink Boots Pale Ale for IWD, this bright and floral pale uses the Pink Boots blend which has helped to create a light and hoppy 4.6% ABV brew with fantastic floral, lemon, and citrusy aromas. It is now available in the taproom and online for home delivery in the CBRM & HRM. A portion of sales from every can sold will be donated to a local women’s charity. This is Breton’s third iteration of Pink Boots, as it was out last year for International Women’s Day and again in June of 2020, supporting scholarships for women in the brewing industry. The previous release was a Session IPA, but they’re back with a Pale Ale for 2021 and it sounds as delicious as ever.

Quidi Vidi Brewery released Stronger Together Strawberry Blonde Ale this week, with recipe, artwork, and name, all the brainchild(ren) of women who work in the brewery. “Today we raise a glass to Tiffany, Sam, Ashley, Meredith, Becca, Olivia, Vic and Grace who exemplify the spirit of Stronger Together! ♥️” Ripe strawberry aromatics with hints of cherry, supported by a light malt backbone and crisp finish in a 5.0% ABV package. The QV beer is also an opportunity to give back, with the brewery making a donation of $2000 to NLOWE. “What is NLOWE,” you might ask? From the brewery: “Founded in 1997, the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs supports and encourages women entrepreneurs to overcome challenges and take advantage of exciting opportunities to start their venture or grow their existing business.” Stronger Together is available now at their spot at 16 Harbour View Drive, as well as online for local delivery.

Let’s finish today back in Saint John, where the Picaroons General Store invited the fine folks of Big Tide and Uncorked Tours into the brewhouse in February. They brewed up an IPA, which will be hitting the taps Monday. Leaning towards the malty side, but featuring plenty of hops to balance, it will come out around 6.5% when all is said and done. In addition to the taps at Pics, it will also be available for pints and the new growler option at Uncorked’s spot in the City Market on Monday.

 

Oh hey, it’s February already! Or should that be, “it’s February, FINALLY?” Depending on which side of that you come down on, we think it calls for a celebratory and/or therapeutic beer! And wouldn’t you know it, our breweries and cideries in the region are all ready to bring some new (or perhaps just new to you) libations this week. We’ve got a little bit from every province this week, but we’ll start it off in New Brunswick, who seem to have mostly turned the corner on the latest wave of COVID restrictions and are largely back to threat level orange.

A bit of news out of Hanwell’s finest (no offence to the golf course!), Niche Brewing is here with a tasty new release and a fresh batch of a not-so-old favourite. First up, not to be outdone by the massive New England IPAs from last week, On My Way is a hoppy beer out today! This New England IPA is hopped with two of our favourite hops, Galaxy and Citra. Added late in the boil and in the whirlpool, we also get a massive addition of Citra after fermentation for some delectable dry hopping with that lovely amazing aroma. This 6.5% NEIPA brings delicious citrus and grapefruit notes on the palate and orange notes through the flavour and aroma. This will be available in kegs at some of the main Niche establishments (The Joyce, Uncorked, Cask & Kettle and Peppers Pub). And for those lucky enough to be within Bar Stillwell’s reach, they’ve got In Other Words NEAPA with Galaxy, Mosaic, and Sabro pouring now!

Secondly, the tasty barrel-aged tropical fruit saison is back! A new batch of Pau Hana will be released over the next week, with a few tweaks from the original release. This Chardonnay barrel-aged beer keeps the same barrel with the same house culture, but instead of pink-guava and pineapple, this batch was conditioned on passionfruit puree. The first one was 5.8% and 500ml bottles of this will be at ANBL stores and some other places around Fredericton/Sussex/Saint John. 

Chester’s Tanner & Co. is expanding their hours again, which is very good news for you thirsty beer lovers in the area! Their taproom will now be open Wednesday to Sunday, and they have a brand new beer available to celebrate, and it’s their first kettle sour brewed on a large scale. Simply named Sour IPA, it was brewed with Maris Otter, Vienna, and Munich malts, along with a small amount of wheat and oats to help build up the body. After souring, the wort was hopped with several additions of an experimental South African variety, KJA2/436 (someone get this hop a real name, STAT!). While the hop may not exactly be music to your ears, it’s giving this beer lovely aromas and flavours of “lemon zest, papaya, cantaloupe and gooseberries, as well as grapefruit rind and a bit of rosewater.” Sounds nice, no? Bottles are available now at the taproom, and can be ordered online as well (order before midnight Thursday for a Friday delivery, between Bridgewater and Halifax).

Not to be outdone on the fruited sour IPA front, Bannerman Brewing in downtown St. John’s has brought one of their own out this week that they’re describing as, “a big, bold glass of juice.” Early Morning started with plenty of dry-hopped Citra and Sabro for those orange-y citrus and tropical coconut vibes, it also features lots of mango and pomegranate as well as a touch of lactose to ensure some balancing body. Part of a balanced breakfast*, it sounds like this one was pretty popular, with the cans selling out rather quickly, but there’s still a chance you’ll find this one available at the brewery for pints on site and growler fills for your drinking elsewhere needs. And if you’re intrigued but missed this batch, do let the brewery know you hope they make another!

* Depending on your definitions of both “balanced” and “breakfast” but also we’re absolutely not judging anyone.

Moving back into New England IPA territory, O’Creek Brewing has a new brew of their favourite style hitting taps this weekend. Outback IPA is your classic O’Creek beer, a super hazy, yellow-coloured beer with a whole whack of tropical and dank flavours thanks to multiple additions of Australian varieties, including Galaxy, Enigma, and Vic Secret. The grist of 2-row, wheat malt, flaked oats and Carapils keeps the hops front and centre where they belong, with the bitterness being quite low thanks to the hop additions being concentrated in the whirlpool and dry-hop. It weighs in at 6.2% ABV, and can be found first at Fredericton’s The Joyce Pub this weekend. 

Over at Lunn’s Mill, they’ve brought back a beverage that we haven’t seen in over a year, and this time it’s available in cans! It’s a Double IPA they’ve named 2×4, and it was brewed with “a sturdy base” that includes some rye malt, for those of you who are craving a bit of that spicy character that the malt can sometimes impart in a beer (paging Tony Important!). Double-dry-hopped with hefty amounts of four different varieties, you’ll notice notes of “resin, orange pith, tropical fruit, and pine” to go along with the big, 8% ABV. You can find it pouring for pints and growler fills at the brewery’s taproom in Lawrencetown, and as mentioned it’s also available in cans for takeaway. 

Flip-flopping back to New Brunswick, where Long Bay Brewing continues their trend of one-off beer releases with Maiden Voyage, their latest. Brewed with a grist made up of Pilsner malt and flaked wheat, it features a large addition of Strata hops in the whirlpool. Lots of bright hop flavours come through with this beer, with their goal being to create a beer that was a “thin-bodied, easy to drink New England style Pale Ale”. It comes in at 5.7% ABV, on the higher end for a Pale Ale, and about 40 IBUs. Grab it on tap at Long Bay’s taproom; it’ll also be pouring at a number of bars and restaurants across the province over the weekend. 

Winter is finally here (maybe?) and we all love our tasty stouts, don’t we? Maybe not, but if you are among those who do, our friends at Propeller have delivered some supply for that demand with S’Mores Imperial Dessert Stout. This limited edition Imperial Stout features roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla beans and lactose to bring that s’mores flavour of sweet, toasty and chocolate treats. This one comes in cans (and at 9% ABV) and is available today at the Prop Shops, in addition to the local HRM private stores.

We also have more info on Propeller’s gruit we teased last week, now that it has been released (and we believe still available). In the grand tradition of historic beers it forgoes hops in place of herbs and botanicals to offer a balance to the malt sweetness, Gruit Ale features sweet fern (foraged by Production Manager Aeneas in Hubbards) and bog myrtle primarily, which lend an earthy aroma, as well as herbal spicy notes and a touch of bitterness. An addition of rose hips imparts some berry esters on the nose. And while a touch of hops were used in the beer for boil stability, the botanicals are certainly the star of the show. The 5.0% brew is available in all three Prop Shops (and online for delivery) in 500 mL bottles.

And big congratulations to the Propeller Arcade who celebrated (safely) their Second Anniversary last weekend. Their recent expansion continues to grow as they bring in more ticket-dispensing games in the second bar area, as well as cycling through more than twenty pinball and cabinet arcade games new and old. 

Tusket Falls Brewing has released a new experimental beer on tap at the brewery, Pina Colada Gose. We’re pretty sure you know what to expect from this one from the name, but hey, we’ll tell you anyway! Or, more accurately, the brewery will: “An initial blast of toasted coconut on the nose, followed by ripe pineapple and citrusy lime”… <checks pina colada info sheet>… yep, checks out. It also has a tartness to it, naturally, which balances the tropical character quite nicely. Pretty big beer, especially for a Gose, at 7.5% ABV, so approach it accordingly! 

Two all-weekend events to tell you about, from sibling HopYard bars in Charlottetown (on Charlottetown? I can never remember) and Halifax: firstly, continuing their first anniversary celebrations from last week, Borden-Carleton’s Lone Oak Brewing has taken over the taps at HopYard Charlottetown, with 9 beers and 1 cider of theirs a-flowin’. Their pals from the Wheelhouse in Georgetown are doing a food pop-up in the space this evening, 4 – 10 PM, with Trivia with Dan & Spencer starting at 8 PM. Due to COVID restrictions, making a reso (902-367-2599) is the way to go… And at HopYard Halifax, they are welcoming a pair of producers from Wolfville to take over their taps starting today. Covering the beer bases is Church Brewing, who are bringing a handful of their flavourful beers, reinvigorated under new Head Brewer Steve Crane. Fellow Main Street business Annapolis Cider Company are also bringing their A (for Apple) game, with a bevy of bevvies available for enjoyment all weekend long. (Give them a shout to book your table too! 902-444-2467)

A few more newsbites and important links to check out before we leave you today. Hope you have a SUPER weekend!

A quick shout out to Annapolis Royal, where the local theatre is celebrating their 100th year. Annapolis Brewing has released a 4-pack of King’s Theatre Centennial Cream Ale in honour of the great milestone. Available only in 4 packs directly from the brewery, $3 from every 4-pack is donated directly to the theatre.

As teased last week, Ol’ Biddy’s has brought back Kicked in the Hops, a 7.7% ABV, heavily-hopped DIPA that has “intense hop flavours with aromas of pine, and tropical and citrus fruits.” Available on tap only, you can find it right now at the brewery for pints and growlers. 

We reported last week that Tatamagouche Brewing had re-released Baltic Porter, originally from their Giant Beer Series. This week, they’re following up with another favourite from the series, Russian Imperial Stout. Dark, rich, and roasty, with flavours of chocolate and coffee, it is indeed big at 8.5% ABV. Perfect for sipping on a cold winter’s night, and a beer style that will age beautifully, grab your bottles at the brewery today.

We leave you today with news from our friends Change is Brewing Collective, who made the trip down the South Shore to Shelburne this week, brewing a collaborative beer at Boxing Rock Brewing. While details on that release are a closely guarded secret until its debut Feb 27, we wanted to highlight another important reason for their trip. The Collective is supporting BIPOC South Shore in their work to create a Retreat and Learning Centre to be located in Birchtown. Incorporating 8 acres of forest, waterfront, and trails, it also includes a stone wall and house foundations likely belonging to original Black settlers of the area, whose history dates back more than 200 years. The Centre will host retreats and learning workshops, classes, and events, led by, and for, BIPOC and 2SLGBTQ+ communities. You can learn more and take part by contributing to their GoFundMe fundraising effort.