Friday Wrap-Up

We hope everyone had a chance to enjoy the Eclipse Monday, whether you were in a part of the region to experience totality, or at least carefully observed the partial eclipse. If you’re anything like us, we’re already looking forward to the next ones occurring across the world, and figuring out how the heck you’re getting to Iceland or Australia

You’ll notice a lot of Newfoundland and Labrador content this week, but we want to let our Nova Scotian readers know that you don’t need to be envious, as our pals at Bishop’s Cellar have received a shipment of eight different beers from four different breweries. Two each from Banished Brewing (Space Puffin NE IPA and Imperial Stout), Bannerman Brewing (All Hands Helles and Eclipse NE IPA), Iron Rock Brewing (Happy Valley Hefeweizen and Lawn Sweeper Cream Ale), and Landwash Brewing (Tidepool German Pilsner and Spyhop Sour IPA). You can head down to Bishop’s Landing now (plan to be there between 2 – 4 PM for a free tasting by Beer Category Manager Lucas Mader), or order a few of each to get yourself some free delivery across the province! 

For those in Newfoundland, however, we do have plenty of new beers to shout about this week. Landwash Brewery in Mount Pearl has had their pals from Johnny and Mae’s slinging burger and fries from their taproom for quite a while, and are celebrating with a collaboration beer. Smash Daddy is a SMaSH beer (Single Malt and Single Hop), brewed with Pilsner malt as the entire grain bill, and Citra used for hopping throughout. This 5.0% ABV Pale Ale is light, bright, and full of citrus goodness in a crisp package, perfect for pairing with any and all from the food truck offerings. The beer is available now in Mount Pearl and in the wild, too!

Also in the wild from Landwash is a brand new release, and Tim’s first recipe at Landwash, a Dark Rice Lager named Kuro. Chocolate and roasted barley malts complement the rice, and are enhanced by the Sorachi Ace and Saaz hops, for multiple layers of flavour and aromatics. This 4.5% ABV beauty is streaming from the LUKR side pour at the brewery taproom, and beautifully designed cans are available in Mount Pearl and at Landwash’s retail partners as well.

We’ve also got a pair of releases for you out of Corner Brook, Newfoundland, as both Boomstick and Bootleg are pushing pale ales this week. Up first is Boomstick, with their Pack Out pale, designed as both the perfect accompaniment to some time in the woods and on the trails, and also as a reminder that you’d best be packing out what you packed in. Bright, with citrus and fruity hop flavors taking center stage, it still has plenty of body and a hazy appearance. Find this 5.3% beauty on tap for draught pours in the taproom and also in cans at Boomstick retail and across the island this weekend.

Bootleg’s version of a pale, staidly-named Pale Ale, is actually the second iteration of the beer. Originally intending to dial back the caramel malt a titch, they ended up swapping it entirely for honey malt, which also provides sweetness, but a “lighter” sort without deeper sugar flavors. The end result is a less malty, more crisp beer that’s easy to drink at 5% ABV. Where this batch was also brewed up the road at Western Newfoundland Brewing, it afforded Bootleg the opportunity to package a big batch of this in 355ml cans for easy transport. Grab some from the brewery next time you’re in town!

Let’s finish off with a one-two Non-Alcoholic punch this week. Libra, by Upstreet Brewing, has a new offering, launching across Atlantic Canada. Lemon Ginger Saison could be the first NA Saison in the country, and they were thrilled to do so with malt from Shoreline Malting, and yeast from Escarpment Labs. Quite dry, with notes of lemongrass and ginger, this saison is also quite low in calories and sugar (20 kCal and 1 gram), for those who are looking to minimize both while still drinking something flavourful. In addition to Upstreet’s retail locations, LGS will be available at Sobeys locations across Atlantic Canada, NB Liquor, and online at Well.ca and their own site. 

In further NA news, the other local sensation in the non-alcoholic beer scene is Tatamagouche’s Nomad who this week are also pushing the boundaries of NA beer by releasing an IPA. We don’t know about you, but we find hoppier low-to-no alcohol offerings pretty hit or miss, so we’ve got high hopes for the Nomad gang on this one. Using old school Crystal for bittering (and from locals Island Hop Company, no less), the flavor and aroma hops are the classic citrus bomb Citra, pineapple-y El Dorado, and melon-y modern Continental variety Huell Melon. Paired with Horton Ridge pale malt for even more local cred, you’ll hopefully find this bright beer bursting with juicy and citrusy flavors. Clean and classic, they kept the bitterness low to encourage drinkability. Grab it wherever you normally find Nomad or Tatamagouche products. Keep an eye out for the re-release of their Sunrise Trail ISA in a great new can, too!

After two thefts from them this week (a Midnight Oil Birds of Nova Scotia print was lifted from their Oxford location & cash till, camera, and beer from their brewery location on Brunswick), it’s time to show 2 Crows Brewing your love! Over and above visiting and enjoying some great beer and pizza (Yeah Yeahs Pizza shares their space on Oxford), you should think about signing up for their Ceramic Smoking Accessories Workshop, being held on April 20th. Teaching you how to make pipes and ashtrays, you’ll also be the first to try their latest release, CUSHY. A super tiny batch, available on draught only that day, it is a Pale Ale with Lemons and terpenes added. As you probably know, terpenes are the very aromatic compounds that are shared by both cannabis and hop plants, and influence the experience of both plants products significantly. An appropriate beer for an appropriate workshop, on an appropriate day! Grab your tickets from Eventbrite today!

Get ready Newfoundlanders, the NL Craft Beer Festival is coming back August 24th! Held once again at Banished Brewing, this one-session-only beerfest is a Saturday night in Paradise, with plenty of new Newfoundland and Labrador breweries and beers in attendance, with tons more coming from the mainland across Canada. There will be food from Banished’s kitchen, and live music to keep the party going. You can buy Regular and VIP tickets now, to secure your spot! There will probably be info on transport to/from Paradise coming soon, too.

Happy April to us all! Let’s hope those of us affected by the weather this week will be seeing the last snow and freezing rain to be falling for a few months. It’s looking like our region will be mostly free of cloud cover for this Monday’s eclipse, which is great for viewing, but does come with health risks. Remember to use your safety glasses up until the 2-3 minutes of totality, and immediately after, or else you can damage your eyes. And, just in case you weren’t sure, the difference between 99% coverage and 100% coverage is literally night and day! Those in big cities like St. John’s, Moncton, Charlottetown, and Halifax will want to venture North/West to take in the full eclipse, trust us! The fun kicks off around 4:30pm (5:10pm in Newfoundland), with the partial obscuring beginning about an hour earlier, and ending an hour after totality).

And happy Nova Scotia Craft Beer Month to all of us too. The Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia is officially kicking off the celebration with their Together We Brew festival at Pavillion 22 at the Halifax Seaport tomorrow, and it looks like there are still tickets together. The beer of the same name, brewed and released by more than three dozen member breweries, is out in the wild and worth picking up. We’ve been told that more events are coming this month, so keep your eyes peeled here and on the CBANS site.

O’Creek Brewing in Moncton is holding a massive event Sunday, to celebrate and support the Ukrainian population here, and back home. Kozak Lager is a 4.7% Pale Lager, brewed with Ukrainian hops, and with proceeds going to support Ukrainian efforts to defend their homeland. From 12 – 6pm, visitors to the brewery will be able to enjoy authentic Ukrainian cuisine, traditional crafts, and live performances all by Ukrainian artists, thanks to the members of the Ukrainian Club of Moncton. There will also be a drawing for beer and artwork, and live music by the Watermen.

While there on Sunday, or if you head to Barker St. now, you’ll be able to enjoy River of Fire, O’Creek’s newest IPA. West Coast in style, the hops are present in both bitterness and flavour, with a smooth flavour and crisp finish. This is actually a recipe co-owner and head brewer Patrice Daigle perfected on his smaller system at home, and has scaled up to a larger scale. Centennial, Columbus, Mosaic, and Simcoe were used in the boil, and again during a whirlpool addition, and then in the fermenter. Citrus, pine, and resiny goodness throughout! This 7.0% beer is on tap at the brewery now, and should be making its way to cans in the near future.

Bay Roberts’ Baccalieu Trail Brewing has a new beer out on draught and in cans this week, with a name tipping its cap to their location next to the Shearstown Estuary. Rare Bird celebrates the ornithological diversity that can be found just off their taproom deck, with local birds often greeting those that are migrating or have been blown off course due to adverse weather. We’re not sure if there’s ever been a sighting of a New Zealand endemic species there, but that hasn’t stopped BTB, as Rare Bird is a New Zealand Pilsner, brewed with three NZ hops, Rakau, Motueka, and Wakatu. Grab your binos and head out to Bay Roberts to see what’s new!

Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing has a new double IPA on tap this week, Two Sails. At 8.0%, and about 75 IBU, this is a beast of a bitter beer, with Galaxy, Mosaic, Simcoe, and Vic Secret used throughout. Fermented with Escarpment Labs’ House Ale dry yeast, the citrus on the nose is followed by even more citrus and resin on the palate. You can grab it in a pint to enjoy with your pizza, and then take home a growler or crowler fill to drink later! Also on tap at Grand Banker next door.

Prince Edward Island cidery Red Island Cider has a new entry in their Ghost Ship series to tell you about this week. These are one off and limited edition tipples that are often the result of aging, blending, and experimentation. In this case, Esperance started life as a Cox’s Orange Pippen-based cider that was put into an old oak wine cask several years ago. When rediscovered this past winter, it was blended with another Cox cider from a different oak barrel, and then softened with a younger cider. The result was keg-conditioned and yields citrus peel and grapefruit leading to a rounded finish. The oak is definitely present, providing some smoothing buttery character. Find this one only at the taproom for pints or growler fills.

Chester and Chester Basin’s Tanner & Co Brewing is at it again with another European-inspired beer, this time taking a page from the monasteries of Belgium and releasing Belgian Dubbel. A deep amber hue from darker malts and candi syrup, with light hopping to keep the balance in check, a style-appropriate yeast was used to lend some light spicy notes to complete the 8.0% package. Draught kegs are on the move now, and you can grab cans at either Tanner location, or for home delivery in their area.

Now in their 26th year, Propeller Brewing continues to introduce new and interesting beers to the local scene. This time around they’re hitting a style that’s relatively uncommon in the region, the American stout. Although often conflated with black IPA (a.k.a. Cascadian dark ale), the American stout maintains the bigger mouthfeel and smoothness of a more traditional stout and marries it with a kick of traditional West Coast hops that often add piney and citrusy characters. Onyx meets this description, with notes of chocolate, coffee, and a hint of smokiness paired up with pine and citrus from the hops in a 6% ABV and 40 IBU package. Find it in cans at any of the Prop Shops and, likely, other places you tend to find Propeller’s offerings.

One of the few other places that regularly offers an American stout (Flat Black Jesus, natch), is Unfiltered Brewing in Halifax. That said, they’re almost certainly more well known for their slate of IPAs and this week they’ve got a new variation on one of their single-hop DIPAs available. Positively Shocking was first brewed in 2021 and hasn’t been seen since 2022, but it’s back with a few tweaks. Slightly lighter-bodied than the original and somewhat hazy, it’s got the same piney and tropical notes from Idaho 7 hops. Still 7.5% ABV, it’s been packaged in cans and available from noon today at the brewery where you can also slip next door to Charm School for a pint or a growler fill.

If you follow 2 Crows and/or their head brewer Jeremy Taylor on social media, you might know that Jeremy is also an avid apiarist. Last fall his bees produced enough honey that he and his daughters were able to package it and sell it, with all proceeds ($1,200!!) going to the Elizabeth Fry Society. As it turns out there was a little bit of honey set aside and from that Jeremy made some mead. That mead was blended into a light lager base along with some quince, also produced on Jeremy’s property. Only one keg of the result, Linden Lea, was produced, and it’s on tap this Sunday at 2 Crows for pints only. You’ll want to fly in and try it while it lasts!

Burnside Brewing out of ….Burnside in Dartmouth, has recently expanded into a third location, in the food court at The Hub Shopping Centre in Truro. The Common by Burnside has a full taproom and retail location, and they are celebrating their Grand Opening tomorrow! From 3 – 6 PM, there will be drink specials, samples, live music from Next Exit, and door prizes and giveaways. Those in the area, or wanting to check out the latest NS Craft Beer location in the province, should definitely drop by for the fun!

As we alluded to last week, the promised purple cans have arrived from Big Spruce, with Cerberus now available at the brewery and, soon, we expect, at other places you go to for your Spruce fix. No doubt you’ll also find kegs out and about in the HRM and beyond as well. Meanwhile the BS team has another returning beer this week, Tripel, which is pretty self-explanatory in terms of style. Featuring all the characteristics you’d expect from a Belgian tripel, including hints of spicy yeast character, some banana notes, and a little bit of citrus, it’s also got a hammer of an ABV at 9.3%, so tread lightly (or don’t, but don’t say we didn’t warn you!).

Corner Brook’s Bootleg Brew Co has a new beer on draught and in cans this week, one sure to be popular with those across the province. How Now Brown Cow? is not just a way to practice your syllables and rhyming, it’s also a 5.0% chocolate milk stout. Dark, chocolatey, and a bit sweet from the addition of lactose, this beer is pouring on a nitro tap at the brewery today, with cans to go shortly, and wider distribution across the island later.

We’re going to end today’s post with word of a brand new competition for all of our Homebrewing readers. BrewHQ is holding their inaugural beer competition next month, and are looking for folks from across the Atlantic provinces Canada to enter! This is a BJCP-certified and -judged competition, with entries welcome in any category. Winners will be decided from the best of IPA/APA entries, and the best of “Everything Else”. There will be prizes for the top three in each category, with the winner of the pale ales seeing their entry brewed on a large scale for release by Arcade Brewing to be enjoyed on tap, as well as in a wort kit release for other amateur brewers to make at home! Your $20 entry fee (per category) will also get you in the door of the gala being held June 1st at Arcade, your first pint of beer, and a sub from Buddy’s Deli. To learn more, check out their FB page, and contact Jeff to grab a form to enter. Good luck to all!

Happy Thursday y’all! Thursday?? Yup! We figured we’d give ourselves a break from all of the beer writing tonight/tomorrow morning, so that we can enjoy a little break. While many breweries and your favourite taprooms and bars will be closed for Good Friday and/or Easter Sunday, it’s best to check their social media for the details on their opening days/hours if you are in need of an emergency four-pack or respite from the family. Plenty of new releases to tempt you today, so let’s jump right in!

Fredericton’s hop heads Trailway Brewing are back with another play on their flagship Hu Jon Hops, this time catering to those who like it hot… Hu Jon Heat! Keeping the hop schedule of the HJH that is beloved across the region, habanero and mango were added to give a solid infusion of capsaicin, pepper flavour, as well as a fruit sweetness to round out the beer. At 6.6% ABV, we figure this will go well with your asian-inspired dishes as well as on its own. On draught and in cans at Trailway now, with distribution coming soon!

In Halifax, Garrison Brewing is reminding all of us to Hold Fast in these wild and crazy times. This 5.5% pale ale features a straight-ahead malt bill of pale malt augmented by a portion of wheat, and was hopped in the kettle, and again post-fermentation, with Bravo, Chinook, and Lemondrop. Hazy-gold in appearance, you’ll find citrus on both the nose and palate in this medium-bodied and lightly bitter beer. It is available on tap and in cans at both their Seaport and Oxford Taproom locations, with 473ml cans also coming to the NSLC, Bishop’s Cellar, and the other private stores in HRM.

In Edmondston, NB, Microbrasserie Ateepic is celebrating sugar season with a new release this week. Camp Malin is a Maple Scotch Ale, featuring plenty of locally-sourced ingredients. The traditional grain bill was enhanced by some malt that was smoked in-house, and the beer was aged on maple chips charred on their grill. Both maple syrup from Sucrerie du Petit Camp as well as SylvAcer whiskey-infused maple syrup were added to the beer for a one-two punch of the sweet stuff. It is available at their golf course taproom on draught to enjoy onsite and in growlers, with a limited run of cans coming soon as well!

Chester Basin’s Tanner & Co Brewing has a new beer on tap and in cans this weekend, just in time for their Saturday HRM deliveries (hint, hint!). Brux IPA uses a yeast, known as Sacch Troi, that was previously thought to be Brettanomyces, due to its ability to form a pellicle and it’s significant fruity ester production (sorry, our nerd is showing). Kicking up the fruit factor another notch are Mosaic, Motueka, and Chinook. At 6.5%, this is a refreshing and easy-drinking IPA, and alo features locally grown and malted grains!

Despite the release date, we must assure you the following is not a joke!
One keg, one day only: Gahan House Nova Centre Head Brewer Ryan has thrown the Reinheitsgebot rules into the Halifax harbour, and is releasing Hot Dog Lager. Brewed well before any convenience store announced some sparkling water bullshit, this Pale Lager was brewed using hot dog water, and mashed with hot dog buns. Obviously not vegan-friendly, this 5.5% beer will only be on tap Monday, April 1st, and we imagine will go well with a burger or the chorizo penne. Sorry, no cans of this extremely limited brew, but you may be able to convince the staff to fill a growler of this glizzy beer!
Seriously, we promise that was not a joke!

Speaking of Gahan, their Atlantic Home Brew Challenge wrapped up last weekend, with judges from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia having the hard (ya right!) job of picking the best beers submitted in the (BHCP style 11B) Best Bitter and (BJCP Style 30A) Spice, Herb, and Vegetable categories. After the dust settled, Dave Gamble took top spot with his “Bitter Afterthought”, and Greg Rogers won the SHV title with his “Triple Beats”, a Belgian Tripel with Beets. Rogers’ beer was also the overall winner, which means he will be brewing up this beer at the Hub City Gahan location later this year, for a limited release. Congratulations to all of the entrants and winners, and big thanks to Gahan Beer for continuing to hold the competition and inspiring the brewers of tomorrow! More details are available here.

As we enter spring, we are seeing the return of some perennial favourites, including Big Spruce’s Cerberus IPA. Originally crafted as a three-heading conspiracy between NS Organic breweries, this year’s release is all Big Spruce, all the time! As in previous years, however, this is a one-shot deal, so you’ll be best served to grab this 7.5% ode to Galaxy, Mosaic, and Simcoe as soon as possible. Pouring at the brewery and a couple of better beer bars around the HRM today, cans will be coming next weekend to your favourite retailers.

Arcade Brewing in Burnside has been brewing up a storm recently, and have just introduced cans to their lineup. While enjoying a hand pulled pint of their real ale at their 80 Thornhill Drive location is always great, especially enjoyed while banging the flippers in their pinball room, you can now take cans of their Arcade Ale (4.1% British-style Pub Ale) and Peculier Ale (5.2% North Yorkshire-style Dark Ale) home to drink later.

Finishing off today is a heads up that Bishop’s Cellar has a quartet of new beers from Caledon, Ontario’s, Sonnen Hill. With generations of brewing experience, they take things slow and steady. On Bishop’s shelves tomorrow are the Heart Lake Pils, Frank Lager Franconian Lager, and two spontaneously-fermented offerings: No Worry and Riesling Beer.