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If you felt the heat wave earlier this week, we hope you were stocked up with local treats to keep you cool. Or if you live on the Avalon or Labrador, maybe something to keep you warm during yesterday’s flurries! This weekend looks like another sunny one across Atlantic Canada, so why not stock up and enjoy them safely at home or get out on a patio if you’re comfortable! Either way, we know our local libation lovers will support their own establishments as best they can and we’re back again to help spread the news!

As PEI Craft Beer Week winds down this weekend, Upstreet Brewing is launching an annual favourite collaboration with The Inn at Bay Fortune. Fireworks, named after the kitchen at Chef Michael Smith’s on-farm restaurant, is a Farmhouse Ale featuring a whole bunch of local grain, malt, and other special ingredients. Island Malt House-grown and -malted Pilsner, Biscuit, Wheat, Toasted Wheat, Buckwheat, Malted Oats, and Rye made up the grist bill, giving the yeasty beasties a whole bunch of different sugars and other carbs to munch on over the course a several months. After the boil of the wort was completed, Ekuanot and Pekko hops were added to the whirlpool (during a rest before cooling), and once fermentation subsided, Lemondrop was added to amplify a citrus character. During that conditioning time, ingredients straight from the Culinary Farm on Bay Fortune were added, including more than 200 kg of crab apples, dried marigold, and citrus basil, all hand picked and curated by the IaBF team and Upstreet crew. The resulting beer has floral and earthy notes, with barnyard and hay on the nose, with a light acidity and carbonation to keep it refreshing. The beer is debuting tomorrow at the Upstreet tap room on Allen Street in Charlottetown, with a tasting kicking off at 3 PM. Bottles will also be available at their Craft Beer Corner location downtown, and of course at The Inn at Bay Fortune. And those in HRM may soon be able to grab bottles at their Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse in Burnside and private stores as well, so keep your eyes peeled!

Upstreet is also continuing the releases today with the second in their Libra line of non-alcoholic beers, with Libra Hazy IPA. Bumping up the hops from their Libra North Cape Pale Ale, but still in a sub 0.5% ABV package, the beer features loads of Idaho 7, El Dorado, Citra, and Mosaic late in the process, to keep it from being too tongue-coating bitter, while still imparting plenty of great citrus, tropical fruit character those hops are known for. Available in short cans at the taproom, CBC, and online for delivery Canada-wide (soon), as well as other spots in the coming weeks (remember, not alc = wider availability!). Cheers to Mitch, Hogie, and the crew for providing more low- and non-alc beer alternatives to those looking to moderate their intake of alcohol while still having a flavourful drink!

Let’s keep it going with more PEICBW info, as one of the OG PEI breweries welcomes their younger pals to take over their taps tomorrow. The Gahan House will be pouring several of their own After Hours seasonal and one-off brews, while also welcoming Bogside Brewing, Copper Bottom, Lone Oak, Upstreet, and Village Green to pour their latest and greatest beers. Look for new releases, old favourites, and cool change-ups from everyone involved! The pouring starts at 11:30 AM and goes all day and night. And of course be sure to check out the cool new beers and events from Evermoore, Moth Lane, and PEI Brewing Co this weekend, and the rest of the year!

To the mainland we go, stopping in at Spryfield, Nova Scotia’s own Serpent Brewing, with two new beers to tell you about this week. Both are part of their Beer Creation Experience, where the public had a chance to design a Serpent beer, from style, recipe, ingredients, all the way to the label on the bottle. Released last weekend was Pavo Tropical IPA, and while it does not contain any actual fruit, the hops chosen, namely Amarillo, Magnum, and Mosaic, do a fine job of imparting a ton of berry and citrus, with a touch of pine too. At 5.4% and 50 IBU, the hazy IPA (XPA? Big APA?) is perfect for enjoying on their patio this weekend, or in bottles to take away. 

Debuting today is the next in the Serpent BCE, Whatermelon is Wrong Wit You? Taking a cue from NS Premier Rankin’s question to those not following COVID protocol by reducing interactions, this pun-tacularly named beer is a spin on their White Mountain Belgian Witbier, but elevated to the next level. Long-time friend-of-Serpent Nick Sanford has been sampling owner Glen O’Keefe’s homebrew for years, assisted during the brewery construction, and even stepped in to become a Founder of the brewery, and designed Whatermelon based on a homebrew he and Glen had enjoyed on a camping trip years ago. Taking the already flavourful White Mountain recipe as a starting point, even more orange peel was added to brighten the beer, with watermelon added post-fermentation to let the fruit shine through with little distraction. The 5.5% beer is available now in bottles and on draught at the brewery for imbibing on their patio this weekend (and indoors next, Strang-willing). And stop by Saturday and/or Sunday to grab some great Jamaican snacks and meals from Jamdouns Food Truck who will be parked adjacent to the patio!

Heading up to Newfoundland and in particular, Port Rexton Brewing, where the gang have managed to get their beery paws on some 355 mL silver bullets. In celebration of this minor coup (seriously, cans are in wretchedly short supply across North America right now), they’re filling them up with delightfully crushable liquids for your enjoyment. Up first is Whitecap, a bright and refreshing session NEIPA that began its life as a taproom favorite Wet Yer Whistle. With a nice light body and a “sounds like another one” ABV of 3.8%, you’ll find it available today at the PR taproom and also at their St. John’s retail shop. These are only being sold in singles right now and once they’re gone they’re gone until more can stock comes in, as they’re holding some aluminum aside for another light and tasty release next week! And if you’re into beer and outdoor activities in the PR area, you should check out the guided hike around the Skerwink Trail being hosted weekly by PR, Paul Dean and Fishers’ Loft Inn. No fee or registration required, just a desire for a lovely walk and an ear for Paul’s geologic knowledge and stories. The hike will end at Port Rexton where you’ll get your first pint at 50% off. Sounds like a pretty good deal to us! More details available from this Fishers’ Loft Ig post.

Further island vibes from Newfoundland bring a new release from Bannerman this week. Vibe Architect is a 5.0% Witbier which is the first of its kind from the St. John’s crew. Brewed with pilsner malt, flaked wheat, flaked corn and some malted wheat, the hop profile is a blend of European hops that provide great balance. With a true to style flavour profile, expect orange and coriander notes with some nice sweetness from sweet orange peel and spices. This is a renowned and respected style (see: Allagash White) that is complex, subtle and refreshing. This one is available now in cans, on tap at the brewery as well as select Marie’s locations. 

Back down to Nova Scotia, where in the Northern part of the province Tatamagouche Brewing is getting their summer on the go a little early. We told you a couple of weeks ago about the return of Dekorum Lime, which sees their ultra-sessionable Dekorum lager meet treatment with tonnes of lime flavor. Well they didn’t stop there! This week two more variants on that ABV base are available that leverage organic juice concentrates to provide a little summery pizzazz. Dekorum Mandarin and Dekorum Blood Orange are both still 2.9% ABV crushers, each with a slightly different citrus twist. Sounds like an opportunity to grab (at least) 4 cans (OG, lime, and the two debutants) and commence with Dekorum Battle 2021!! That all said, if you’re a Dekorum lover, but not interested in the new fruity variants, check out their current online-only deal, $45 of your finest Canadian dollars for 24 refreshing cans!

Meanwhile, the Tata gang is gearing up for some birthday shenanigans next week as they turn seven years old! We’ll have all the details for you in next Friday’s post, but in advance of that, know that they’ll be running happy hour pricing from Thursday to Sunday on pints at the taproom along with some other on-site promos. There will also be four new beers for you to sample, including two low-abv funky offerings. Check back here next week for the full details on those and maybe keep an eye on Tata’s socials (Fb, Ig, Tw) for more info on the celebrations.

As Halifax and Nova Scotia are getting hopeful with their re-opening plan, Garrison is bringing some new releases for everyone to enjoy. First up, they have a new series called Hop Mess, which will be a mix of summer releases where the brewers will be experimenting with hop stands (adding hops at flameout and letting the hops stand in the hot wort before chilling) and heavy handed dry-hopping. In their own words they want to “create some messy, dank & crazy flavourful IPAs.” The first release of this series is Hop Mess IPA #1:  Aussie Rules, where they’re adding Eclipse, Topaz and Australian Cascade hops post-flameout and in the fermenter. At 6.7% this is going to be hop-forward upfront with low lingering bitterness. This is a limited run that is available now in cans only at their taprooms in Halifax. 

The other new release at Garrison taprooms is a partnership with Bulwark, as their Blush cider will be available in cans at the Garrison Seaport and Oxford locations. Using the fresh juice from Bulwark, this is fermented and canned at Garrison at their locations. If you know Blush, it’s a tasty local cider that balances wild berries and apple flavours at a very drinkable and fresh 5.8%. 

The newest addition to the Antigonish beer scene continues to put out new and interesting beers during their soft opening phase. This week, Candid Brewing Company is releasing Working Joe Breakfast Stout. Described by the brewery as “if cold brew were beer”, this one features Ethiopia-sourced coffee from renowned Halifax roaster, Java Blend. Working Joe is the first release in Candid’s Side Door Series of one-off batches. You can find it today (Friday), at Candid’s weekly pop-up sale (reminder that Candid will be opening for retail hours every Friday from 1:00 to 6:00 PM until it’s grand opening), for takeaway in pre-filled 1L growlers. Cans of their Northeast IPA, Party Line, and APA with blood orange, No Brainer, will also be available. 

From one university town to another, Wolfville’s Church Brewing also has a new small batch release ready for your weekend. Pomona is a cranberry sour that comes in at 4% ABV for your summer session enjoyment. Brewed with barley, wheat, flaked wheat, and oats, and lightly hopped with Magnum to the tune of 8 IBUs, you can expect notes of rhubarb and lemon zest on the nose, with a puckering cranberry flavour and tart finish. Pomona is named after the Roman goddess of fruit trees, gardens and orchards, something Wolfville and the surrounding Annapolis Valley can boast plenty of. You can grab some today in crowlers from their onsite Beer Market, or enjoy a pint on their expansive taproom/restaurant patio. 

You may recall that we passed on some info last week concerning two brand new Saisons from Big Spruce; well, they’re continuing that trend this week with yet another Saison, Fruit Bomb. Fermented with two different Brett strains (B. anomola and B. bruxellensis), along with a “clean” Saison strain, it was hopped with organic French Barbe Rouge. The yeast and hops blend together to produce “a nose of summer strawberries spilling into a bowl of peach and nectarine”, to complement the floral and spicy flavours you’d expect from any well-brewed Saison. Refreshing and dry, and 6.8% ABV, it’s the perfect warm weather sipper. Look for it on tap right at the source, and at your favourite Big Spruce watering holes across NS; looks like there should be some bottles available, too! 

But that’s not all, as Big Spruce has been busy as usual! They’re also (re-)excited about the first beer that was fermented and aged in their 500 L foedre, which has been fittingly named Début. Now technically this one was released back in April and may have been spotted in the city at Battery Park, but it’s not been seen in the HRM since then, so you could maybe suggest that this week marks a re-debut of Debut, which is debuting at Stillwell Freehouse right now! Described as “crisp and herbaceous,” it’s Oak-fermented, dry hopped with Huell Melon, and 4.9% ABV. Sounds like a debut that’s worth checking out!

Just one event to tell you about (beside the PEI Craft Beer Week goings on above)

Despite having to navigate through closures, pivoting to online sales, reopenings, and managing one of Halifax’s most popular outdoor watering holes, Stillwell continues to bring us the goods from out of province. This Saturday at the Beergarden, they’ll be pouring seven bangers from British Columbia’s Four Winds Brewing. Your intrepid beer bloggers have had the privilege to share several Four Winds bottles over the years, and we can confidently say that the quality is up there with the best that Canada has to offer. The event will feature styles that appeal to every beer palette, including lagers, a variety of IPAs, a table saison, and their flagship dry-hopped sour, Nectarous. Check out Stillwell’s Instagram post for more details on the beers and event. While we’re talking Stillwell, a friendly reminder that the 2021 version of Preach dropped in the Stillwell Brewing webstore and is now available for Friday deliveries in HRM and shipping country-wide. Look for Preach and the newest batch of Stilly Pils on rotation at the Beergarden and the Stillwell Freehouse patio, before indoor enjoyment comes next week.

A couple more things to look out for, before you hit the patios this afternoon…

It’s Pride Month all over the world (though the parade in Halifax this year will be in August) and Truro Brewing Company has something light, fresh and bright to celebrate. Pulp’d Fiction is a Berliner Weisse with Blood Orange. Always a delicious style that is tart and refreshing, this comes in at 4.0% and is available on tap today at the brewery. 

Another quick hitter from Halifax’s own Bishop’s Cellar as they’re bringing in some bottles from Quebec’s Brasserie Dunham. Always a pleasure to see in our local shops, there are 3 new bottles now available at Bishop’s with more releases from Dunham in the coming month. You can pick up a Mata Hari Gose, Berliner Passion Weisse and the classic Saison du Pinnacle on Saturday in-store or online.

 

Happy mid-May everyone! We hope you’re all keeping well, staying safe, getting a pop-up test occasionally if your provincial government is offering them (looks like only NS residents at the moment, but they *do* have the highest active cases currently), and maybe even enjoying a local beer or two when you have a chance. There are still plenty of new beers to tell you about, but first some very important internal news. Big congratulations to our own co-author Damian whose wife Leah gave birth to Lewis Brian Bertram Daniels this week! We’ll give Lewis a couple of years of rest before he gets roped into writing for the blog… Massive thanks to Shawn for stepping in and exercising those blog-writing-fingers for us to bring you the beer news in a timely fashion!

Let’s kick off this week’s news sharing news that the call for applications to North Brewing’s 2021 Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship is now open! Recognizing the “need for better representation within the craft beer and hospitality communities”, the crew at North are awarding a scholarship, $1500 per year for up to four years of education at an HRM College or University, for local students entering programs related directly or indirectly to the brewing industry. Highlighting the many hands that work together to bring great beer to fruition, that could be in sciences, hospitality, engineering, art and design, fabrication and trades, and business, to name a few. In addition, the successful candidate will have guaranteed summer employment (if they choose) in the taproom, retail, or production areas at the brewery, during their schooling. Assisting North in going through the many worthy applicants are Ren Navarro of Beer. Diversity., and members of the wonderful and local Change is Brewing Collective. Applications are open now until July 31st, please check out the details on their website.

We hope we’re not too late in passing on some important beer news from Corner Brook’s Boomstick Brewing, but just in case there’s some bottles of their latest release yet for those of you in Newfoundland not in the know, it’s better late than never! The beer is Time Scientist, a barrel-aged Breakfast Stout. With a grain bill that is the largest of any beer they’ve brewed so far (and it shows, coming in at a hefty 10% ABV), likely representing a myriad of specialty grains, there was also an addition of lots and lots of beautiful coffee from Gros Morne Coffee Roasters. The next ingredient was time, with the beer allowed to condition for nine months in two types of imported barrels: four previously containing Buffalo Trace Bourbon, and four others Jack Daniel’s Whiskey. Those of you experienced even slightly with barrel-aged beer will recognize that individual barrels can impart anywhere from small to large differences in a beer, and this is the case here, as well. Allowing those similarities and complementary notes to remain intact, the four bourbon barrels were blended together, but packaged separately from its four whiskey brethren, in different-hued takes on the same image of local Tablelands hiking trail in Gros Morne National Park. Both resulting beers exhibit “notes of coffee, vanilla, and toasty oak”, coming across as hearty and rich, with different subtleties from the barrels. As supplies have been quite limited, there’s a very good chance they’re getting low on stock by now, so be sure to contact them ahead of time if you’re planning a run over to the taproom. All is not lost for those who are a bit further afield, as the Time Scientist will be making its way East starting Monday, with NLC locations and Marie’s Mini Marts receiving stock Monday and Tuesday. And great news if this is your cup of beer, as they are planning more Time Scientist releases for the rest of 2021, so keep your eyes peeled for more versions!

Meanwhile, back on the mainland – Hampton, NB, to be exact – Gridiron Brewing has a brand new beer that should be hitting taps and cans just in time for the weekend. Highland Maple Amber Ale was brewed with a not-unusual grain bill of barley, toasted wheat, and Amber malt (all from Island Malt House), but instead of using water for the mash, they incorporated maple sap (here’s hoping the heat helped liquify all of that a little bit!) that was produced at Highfield Maples, located very close to the brewery. Approximately 12 L of maple syrup from the same source was added once fermentation began, giving the final 5.1% ABV beer “a nice, delicate maple finish”. You can find it on tap and in cans at the brewery from Thursday to Sunday 3-6 pm, or by appointment (check out their social media for more details on that front); it should also be available at other friendly beer spots in the area. And stay tuned for more updates on their new brewery, with their taproom set to open in the not-too-distant future!

It’s been a long time coming, but Fredericton’s Maybee Brewing has finally opened their taproom expansion, almost doubling their drinking space with a new room adjacent to the original space. The new lounge continues the same motif, with barn board, barn red doors, and plants, but adds some super comfy chairs and couches, as well as TVs, darts, and board games. There’s also a separate bar in the new space that will be open during busy times, as well as private functions. To celebrate the new space, they’ve also launched a brand new American IPA, Hole in the Wall. This 5.8% ABV, 55 IBUs crystal-clear beer was hopped with Galena, Mosaic, Galaxy and Citra, giving aromas of “mango, pineapple, and juicy citrus, with floral hints of pine needle”. Expect more of the same on the palate, with a mild bitterness in the finish. We suggest dropping by the new space this weekend, to enjoy both the atmosphere AND the beer(s)! Note that they’ve also expanded their taproom hours, as they’re now open every day of the week from noon to 11 pm.

Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing has a whole bevy of bevvies hitting the shelves at home and to a new market this month. First up, Limelight is back, their 4.0% ABV lager with real lime juice added to the brew. Coming in at 100 calories, it’s also great for those keeping track while they imbibe. Now at the taproom and Craft Beer Corner retail shops, it will be hitting the shelves at the PEILCC next week. Speaking of next week, they’ll be debuting Go Go Gose, a 4.0% ABV Golden Plum Sour that is a slightly tweaked version of the Beta Brew that appeared in a local Advent Calendar. Featuring a significant addition of golden plum purée and a touch of salinity, the sour will be on shelves at 41 Allen Street and 156 Great George Street before the end of next week, and on draught there and at licensees before too long. The Go Go Gose and Limelight will be joining their new Cavalier Lager in a Beach Day Essentials mixed 12-pack debuting next week as well, available at Upstreet and PEILCC locations. And from one Island to another, a big order of Limelight, Commons Lager, White Noize White IPA, and Go Devil will soon be appearing on shelves at Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Commission. We’ll be sure to let our faithful readers know when they can grab them!

The creative minds at Serpent Brewing are at it again. Fresh off installing their awesome curbside drive-thru, the team is rolling out a new packaging format and using the occasion to thank the frontline workers who have been ensuring we all continue to have access to essential goods and services. On the packaging front, Serpent is now offering 32 oz crowlers, starting off with three of their core brands. We are big fans of this format, perfect for sharing and preventing our basements from accruing more glass growlers. To top it off, they are offering a limited-time promo to help you get your hands on some crowlers and show your appreciation for frontline workers. Between now and 2:00 PM tomorrow (Saturday), if you buy two crowlers, a third will be provided to a well-deserving frontline worker, compliments of the good people at Serpent. To sweeten the offer, Serpent will deliver your crowlers directly to your door. Grab your favourites at their online shop now! And keep your eyes peeled here and their Social Media for details on the release of a new beer next week, which will include a virtual tasting event on Saturday May 22.

Stillwell Brewing is back with a new batch of SOOK now in the wild. First released in August 2019, SOOK is a 4.1% ABV grissette, brewed with Stillwell’s house mixed fermentation strain. A mix of pale barley and wheat malts are combined with noble hops to produce a dry, zippy, farmhouse-style grisette with light floral notes. You can get your hands on SOOK in HRM through weekly Friday deliveries. Orders of $30 or more placed by midnight Thursday will be delivered right to your door. Stillwell’s beers are also available for Canada-wide shipping. We noticed that a few oldies/goodies have also been restocked, giving you the chance to order some other tasty treats while you’re at it. And while we’re talking about Stillwell, we’d be remiss not to mention that the beer bar side of the business has relaunched its online store. To keep you safe during this last (right? please?) wave of the pandemic, they are putting together make-at-home kits featuring some classic menu items. That’s right – you can now get your smash on at home and prepare your very own diner burger. The store is also stocked with all sorts of liquid treats from elsewhere in Canada, the USA and Europe. Next-day HRM deliveries are available Thursday through Saturday.

Lake City Cider has a special tasting event planned this evening for their In-Ciders this evening. And great news, if you’re in the HRM, you can be an In-Cider too! Featuring a 750ml bottle each of their Raspberry Dry (8.0%, featuring Noggins Farm raspberries), Exit 6 Blueberry (5.5%, Oxford wild blueberries), Mac G Cider (6.5%, 50% Macintosh 50% Gravenstein), plus you’ll be receiving a Mystery Bottle only available in this In-Cider pack. We’re in the dark to its identity as much as you, but we’re sure it will be a tasty and unique blend! Your $65 pack (delivery included!) also includes a Lake City unbreakable Silipint glass. Tune into their Instagram at 7 PM to drink along with Poet of Lake City as she chats about the development, production, and final flavours in the ciders in your glass. There is a 1 PM cutoff for delivery today to ensure you don’t miss out, otherwise you can grab it yourself at their curbside take-away window at 35 Portland Street in downtown Dartmouth, open 11 – 8 PM.

Down the coast in Chester, Tanner Brewing snuck in a new release after posting time last week. Half Nelson is a lighter take on their ever popular Nelson Saison. With a name inspired by the Nelson Sauvin hop, this 5.2% saison features notes of passion fruit, pineapple and lemon, to go along with a subtle sauvignon blanc character. 500 ml bottles are now available at Tanner’s two Chester-area locations. 

If y’all like yourself some Czech Lager, we’ve got some good news to cheer you up if you’re in the HRM… or heck, even if you want some beer delivered to your door outside of that area! 2 Crows has passed on some early details on a beer they’re releasing next Friday (May 21st), a Czech Lager named Letna. In true 2C form, it was brewed with the classic style in mind, with a base of floor-malted Pilsner from Island Malt House, and a little bit of Acid malt for mash pH adjustment. They used low-oxygen brewing techniques (pretty much standard for all of the brewery’s Lagers now), as well as a double decoction mash (obviously suckers for punishment!). Hopped to the max with Saaz hops, including in the mash, at first wort, 10 minutes remaining in the boil, and in the whirlpool. Fermented low and slow with Escarpment Lab’s Czech Lager strain, they also krausened the beer at the end of fermentation with a smaller batch of the same beer. Once the beer was ready for the temp to be dropped, they did so slowly, all the way down to -0.5 Celsius, where it was left to lager for 10 weeks. And now, it’s finally ready for you (in a week!), and is tasting “crisp and crunchy, herbal, bready, and bitter”, and weighs in at a supremely drinkable 4.9% ABV and 38 IBUs. Hell, they’re even calling it the best thing they’ve ever made… we think that may be subjective, but are inclined to take their word on it! Letna is going to be available in 355 mL cans, which we love to hear. Keep watch on the brewery’s social media early next week, as they plan to announce a pre-order package that includes a sixer of the beer, a Lager stein, Czech-style sausages, buns, meats… the whole nine yards.

Brightwood Brewery has a new release from their summertime ‘crushable’ series. Berry Crushable is a kettle sour developed in collaboration with Dartmouth’s Pop Culture Brew Co. Kombucha. This ‘kombucha sour’ was kettled soured with the scoby probiotic which is used to make kombucha. The fermentation included additions of elderberries and hibiscus for a bright red color. The final beer comes in at 4.7% ABV and features red fruit flavours and a tart finish. Berry Crushable is available now at the brewery on Portland Street and in Brightwood’s online store.

Sticking with Dartmouth sours, North Brewing is releasing a new iteration in its Plush series with Peach Plush. This 4.5% ale sees a fermentation featuring both Lacto 2.0 and Vermont ale yeast from Escarpment Labs. This 10 barrel batch was then hit with 300 pounds of Nova Scotia peaches  Cans are now available through North’s delivery, curbside pick-up, and shipping options, all accessible on their website.

A few last minute beers to tell you about before we let you go this week!

Sussex Ale Works has a brand new sour on tap and in cans this weekend, featuring locally grown and harvested rhubarb. Homestead Rhubarb Sour is 4.8% ABV, and in addition to the local vegetable that thrives in the region, Sussex also added in a spice featured in their family’s rhubarb pie recipe. Pop by Thurs – Sat 12 – 8 PM, 2 – 6 PM Sundays.

Two warm weather favourites are making their return at Trailway Brewing. First up is Beyond Reality Raspberry Wheat Ale. Coming in at a sessionable 4% ABV, the base wheat beer features El Dorado hops and an addition of raspberries. We also have Velvet Fog Milkshake IPA. This one sticks with the raspberries and El Dorado hops, but in the milkshake style also includes additions of lactose and vanilla, as well as a little bit of lime zest this time around. Both beers are now available in cans and on tap at the brewery. In other timely news, Trailway has also expanded the patio area at its Fredericton taproom and has upgraded the outdoor seating options for your lounging pleasure. 

Shipwright Brewing and Uncle Leo’s Brewery have teamed up to create Off Course, a 5.7% ABV German Smoked Lager. Light and refreshing yet displaying plenty of smoke character, this beer is a throwback to the days when even non “intentionally” smoked beers showed that character due to the barley kilning process using low-burning smokey fires. Available now at both breweries, and at Uncle Leo’s website for delivery in Pictou County, or nation-wide shipping (free in NS!).

 

Happy New Year? There is a lot to be reflective of today, as we started 2021 with a bit of hope, but the harsh realities of our political, social and global health landscapes come right back and slap us in the face. We need to support our friends, families, communities and businesses, as we have through 2020, and we’re hoping with bringing news about beer in our region, we can bring a bit of light and positivity to you each week. There’s a lot of things you could be concerned with, or your minds and hearts conflicted with, but we’re still here, hoping to help in what little way we can. Cheers from ours to yours.

Propeller Brewing had a busy few weeks since our last post, introducing two brand new products as they closed out 2020, and are debuting two more today. Let’s start with the newest two, so that you can beat the rush to grab them. First up is Denali IPA, another in their on-going foray into single hop IPA. Named after the highest peak in North America, the Denali hop is full of tropical and citrus notes, showcasing pineapple and citrus, with a touch of pine kicker. Rather than go all out for a highly bitter beer, this 6.0% beaut features the hops late in the process, and plenty of them, to bring out more flavour and aroma, with a smooth mouthfeel. Cans and growler fills are available at all 3 Prop Shops, with cans coming to the HRM private stores shortly.

Also debuting today is another IPA, but of a different sort entirely… Triple IPA. This 10% beast features a bale-full of hops throughout its creation, from early in the boil for an aggressive bitterness, all the way to a healthy dry-hop to solidify a whole lotta tropical fruit and dank character, courtesy of the Citra, Sabro, and Galazy hops used. Expect a bit of alcohol warming in here, but any harshness is rounded off thanks to the oats and wheat malts, as well as a touch of lactose to lend just a hint of sweetness. Seek out the Triple IPA at the 3 Prop Shops today, in a 500mL bottle format.

And in case you missed two special releases in that twilight week after Christmas and before most are back to work, Propeller made good use of that time to launch two products that are a little different for them. The first was Prime Lager, a 5.0% crisp and clean lager, while it may be light on the hops, it’s made with premium ingredients, and comes in at a “stock-your-fridge” $39.99/24 price tag (also in singles if you so desire). And if you are partaking in Dry January, your life just got a little more interesting, as they’ve released a Hoppy Sparkling Water, named Void. Featuring a favourite hop of your friendly blog authors, Galaxy, this 0.0% ABV and zero calorie drink sports a load of fruity and hops character, but with no guilt. These two are only available at the 3 Prop Shops (and like the rest of the beers today, also through their online delivery).

Heading to New Brunswick, (virtually, of course!) our good friends at Tire Shack in Moncton keep brewing up a storm, and after some great releases over 2020, they’re kicking off 2021 with another tasty treat. Mango Sour, brewed with lots of mango puree, is now available as a super tropical and delicious ale to try and brighten up some of the COVID gloom. Taking it tropical, you’ll get some mango flavours shining through followed by a nice lactic bite at 6.0%. It’s available now in cans and for growler fills. Check out their home delivery, too for the Greater Moncton Area, as their taproom will remain closed while the province remains at an Orange level. Stay alert, stay safe and check your local zones and levels!

Do you love the Flanders Red style, and/or beers inspired by Flanders Red? So do we! You probably wouldn’t be too surprised to hear that the latest brewery to tackle one of these beers is 2 Crows, and you’d be correct to trust your instincts. Releasing today is Birds of a Feather: Cherry, described by 2C as a beverage that is part beer, part cherry wine, ultimately being designated as a Flanders-style Red with Nova Scotia cherries. The base sour red beer was brewed in mid-2019, fermented and conditioned in Port barrels with wine yeast, Brettanomyces, and Pediococcus bacteria. In July, 2020, some of the 2C folks made a trip to Greenwich’s Stirling Fruit Farms to grab 800 lbs of freshly-picked cherries. The fruit underwent carbonic maceration, a technique the brewery has used before that allows the fruit to ferment inside its own skin. Once this step was complete, approximately 400 L of the blended sour red beer was transferred onto them and conditioned for several more months before being bottled in October. The final beer has a “massive rounded cherry flavour and a touch of marzipan, and is smooth, tart and complex”. A bit of tannins work their way through, as well as a touch of balsamic character. 

You may have guessed from the first part of this beer’s name that it was in a series of releases, and you’d be right. In fact, the other two beers are being released today as well, so it only makes sense to fill you in on those, no? The next is Birds of a Feather: Marquette, another Flanders-style red, features the same 2019-brewed base sour red beer as the Cherry, and was also fermented and conditioned in Port barrels with wine yeast, Brett, and Pedio. It swerves off there, though, with the addition of a huge amount (700 kg!) of freshly-pressed Marquette pomace from the Lightfoot and Wolfville Vineyards. Shortly after, the beer was bottled and allowed to condition, and is showing off “massive red wine notes of blackcurrant, cherry, leather, and tobacco”. 

Finally, we’re also getting Birds of a Feather: Bruin, the brewery’s very first attempt at the delicious Oud Bruin, another dark sour Belgian style. The base beer for this one dates way back to 2C’s Megadregs project, which was a beer brewed as a large collaboration.. of sorts. Approximately 20 Canadian breweries contributed yeast and bacteria dregs from wild/sour beers that they had produced, which were allowed to mingle together in two barrels. While most of that beer became Megadregs, released over a year ago, a portion of that was transferred to two Port barrels after 3 months, and allowed to condition for another 14 months before bottling, finally giving us Bruin. The final beer is “smooth, slightly roasty, with notes of coconut, and a touch of balsamic, cherries, and blackcurrant”. 

All three of these beers are releasing at the brewery today, and come in at 6.3% ABV. Of course supplies will be quite limited; we highly recommend grabbing all three, and holding onto at least one bottle of each to save for down the road!

New year, same Pride of Hanwell, as Niche Brewing will bring another new bottle release this weekend and rolling into next week. We’re really hoping you answered yes to the Flanders Red question above, because we asked for a reason! Neighborino is another Flanders Red-inspired beer coming to you this week. Fermented and aged in some wood, this 5.6% beer spent over a year in a single Cabernet Sauvignon barrel with Niche’s house sour culture, consisting of Sacch, Brett, Lacto and Pedio. That’s not all! If you said “this is missing raspberry puree!”, you’d be right! Secondary fermentation occurred back in stainless on raspberry puree. This one promises to be fruity and tart, with a red wine-like complexity and just flat out appetizing. Look for these bottles going out this weekend and around Fredericton at York Street ANBL, Maybee and Picaroons Drinks Market. This will hit CAVOK Brewing and some others the following week. Get your hands on this tasty treat if you can. Please check your local guidelines before heading out!

Do you love little birds? Do you love beer? We’re hoping you answered “yes” to one of those questions, because Tatamagouche is back with new take on a fan favourite, Kiskadee. This was first released two years ago (and we hope some of you enjoyed some from your cellar over the holidays!), a sour Porter aged for 14 months in barrels. This iteration was then refermented in stainless on black currants (setting it apart from the first release, which was refermented on strawberries), before bottling. This second iteration of this should have beautiful aromas of currants, some barrel characteristics, and loads of chocolate. This stronger style porter comes in at 10.8%, and is available today at the brewery (and online) in 500mL bottles (don’t worry, HRM, bottles will be heading your way soon!). Look for kegs of this one to be appearing at the taproom next month, as well as at other lucky NS tap accounts.

Halifax’s Good Robot Brewing did not take the holidays off, releasing two beers when we weren’t lookin’ (or at least weren’t writin’, because let’s be honest, we’re always lookin’ out for new beers). First up was Oatcake Computer, a “chocolate-dipped Oatcake” Stout. If you guessed that means there’s both plenty of oats and chocolate involved, give yourself a fabulous no-prize. But you may not have guessed that there’s also a portion of molasses to help provide a deep and dark base. Coming in at a fairly sessionable ABV of 4.9% and with all that oaty goodness, you can certainly justify cracking one for breakfast, but it would fit in just as nicely for Friday tea with the virtual gang. Apparently the name (and some hints in the can design) are a “vague reference to an album from a 90’s musical group.” We were about to argue about the vagueness of that reference before realizing we’re THAT OLD. *sob*

Next up is a re-release, as the delightfully named GoKart Jackass is back. Described as a “Scott-ish Red Ale,” this 4.8% ABV beer has a deep and rich amber hue and a subtle spicy hop character laid over a very smooth palate. Also allegedly blessed by the fae folk of Scotland. We wonder, does that blessing transfer through drinking? There’s only one way to find out!! But wait, there’s more! Crossing up Mario Kart with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, they’ve got a contest on the go right now: TEN very super extremely special cans are out there in the wilds of Nova Scotia that feature a GOLDEN GOOMBA. If you find one of them, send a picture of it to Nicki who will give you a secret code you can use to claim a number of special mystery beers!

A couple of quick hits before you’re dismissed today…

A pair of new canned releases Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing today, Lockdown Lager is a 4.2% light lager, and McCoy’s Contraband is an 8.5% Tropical Stout. Grab them today from their retail shop or for delivery!

Quidi Vidi has opened a new Hop Shop location, a spot to grab beers that is a little less congested than their original location. Located at 16 Harbour View Avenue, it’s open Tuesday through Sunday, for retail sales and bottle returns. And great news for those of you waiting patiently, their taproom at their brewery in the gut is reopening this afternoon at 4PM!

And finally, before you head out to grab a growler fill or pint, be sure to check that your favourite brewery or taproom is open. With COVID restrictions coming and going, it can be tough to keep on top of them all!