Happy Labour Day Weekend! As visions of Back to School dance through your heads, we hope you enjoy your mostly-clear-looking 3 days off, before going back to the grindstone Tuesday. Be sure to check the opening hours at your local brewery or ciderhouse, just in case they are taking a much-needed break Monday. Just in case, stock up/place your online orders now to avoid disappointment! Here are a few new and returning beer, ciders, and everything in between, to get you through the next week. And stay tuned all the way to the end for details on how you can win your way into a beer fest later this month. Cheers!

Half Cut Brewing has been slinging beer (and Detroit-style pies thanks to their taproom pals Coastline Pizza) from their Northside Fredericton taproom for just about a month now, and are ready to release their newest one-off beer. Joining the Charlie Horse Kolsch, Jackhammer APA, and Tickle Fight IPA is Moustache Ride. This 6.5% New England IPA is brimming with hops on both the tongue and nose with citrus and stone fruit taking centre stage. Straw in colour with the iconic hop-full haze, the pillowy head keeps all those volatile terpenes and fruity esters locked in until you’re ready to imbibe. This is a taproom draught exclusive, so you’ll have to head over to 67 Main Street at 4 PM for a Ride and a slab to kick off your long weekend.

Big week for the folks on the North Shore, as Tatamagouche kicks off the long weekend with a trio of releases. Returning is the Intertidal: Idaho Gem, their continued exploration of hop-feature IPA recipes. Planting itself firmly in the traditional American IPA category at 6.4% ABV, it stays true to that style with North American-grown Idaho Gem and Chinook hops (with assists with some other old school varieties). Layering berry and citrus on top of pine and resinous, thanks to the multiple cones added throughout the process, including both hot- and warm-temperature whirlpool additions (post-boil/pre-transfer), before two rounds of IG dry-hopping late and then after fermentation. Pale, wheat, chit, and oat malts from Horton Ridge Malt & Grain support the hops with a full mouthfeel without getting bogged down. 

Switching gears completely is a pair of bottled releases months (years?) is the making. Starting from a blend of multi-month- and multi-barrel-aged Golden Sours (with a never-to-be-replicated amalgam of yeast and bacteria), it was then blended with many kilos of raspberry, strawberry, and dark cherry purees. The sugar introduced by the fruit kicked off another round of fermentation, with the Brettanomyces waking up and chewing through that, while giving off some more lovely berry notes of its own, as well as some light hay. The acidity from the bacteria keeps it zippy and clears the palate for a clean finish. Bottles of Monarch have been corked and caged for a while now, allowing them to condition and carb in the bottle, so we suggest grabbing a couple: one to enjoy now, and another one (or more) to try in a few months.

The second mixed fermentation sour from Tata this week is Iphias, a blend of older and new barrel-aged Golden Sours, which were combined and then conditioned with peach puree and ginger juice for a secondary fermentation period. Solid funk and barnyard from the oldest beer meld with the peach fruitiness and spice from the ginger, along with the young beer to soften the blend. This 6.3% ABV beauty has also been allowed to bottle condition for a few months, and with cork and cage, will keep for years. Cans and bottles of all three new releases are available in Tata’s retail store, as well as online for NS delivery and nationwide shipping.

Propeller’s 25th Anniversary year continues with another new release that sees the brewery exploring the area between truly low-alcohol (as defined by the gummint, anyway) and the 3 – 3.5% ABV range we used to call “sessionable.” Coming in at 2.5% is this new one “sub-sessionable”? That doesn’t sound right because it would be more sessionable, right? Maybe “super-sessionable”? Or you could just call it what Prop does, given that it’s a hop-forward beer with smooth mouthfeel and pleasant bitterness, and go with “Nano IPA.” Officially dubbed Big Tiny, it’s available now in 473ml cans from all Prop locations; look out for flavours of melon, grapefruit, and maybe even a soupçon of gooseberry. We’ll also remind you that Prop has cask nights at their Gottingen Street location every Friday starting at 6 PM where you’ll find a cask of one of their beers that’s usually undergone some sort of experimental addition. This week it’s their Prime Lager treated with watermelon and hibiscus. Head on down and enjoy one on their new patio!

The pride of Burnside and Antigonish, Spindrift Brewing, has two new releases to ring in September. First up is Soundtrack Peach and Apricot Sour. This kettle sour started with a base of Pilsner malt and malted wheat and saw additions of Magnum hops before fermenting on peach and apricot puree. Expect notes of tropical and stone fruit to compliment the tart character produced by the Lactobacillus. Soundtrack comes in at 5% ABV and 10 IBUs.  Also out is a new spin on their flagship Toller lager, Toller Red. Taking inspiration from the German Rotbier style originating in Nuremberg, it sees the addition of Munich and Caramel Munich to the usual Pilsner malt, giving it a darker colour, some fruit character and a hint of caramel. Also hopped with Magnum, Toller Red comes in at a sessionable 5.0% ABV and 19 IBUs. Both are out now in cans or for fills at Spindrift’s two locations, with Toller Red also seeing distribution through the NSLC in the coming weeks.

Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing has a few new and returning goodies this upcoming week. First up is their first Irish Red, being released tomorrow (Sept. 3). Their take on the style, it uses Red-X malt to deliver the di rigueur toasty and caramel notes. Can-conditioned this one will be available for taproom pours or to-go. Tuesday (Sept. 6) will see the release of Long Lake Lager, their take on a Czech-style lager using Pilsner malt with a touch of crystal malt, and a lager yeast propagated from their friends at Church Brewing. This one will be on tap and available to-go in cans. Finally, this week also saw the return of their Farmhouse Cider, The Bite. This batch is slightly different, with the saison yeast they used leading to a drier cider with some tart and funky notes and a 5% ABV. It’s available now at the brewery on tap and in cans.

Sticking with cidery news, Sydney’s Breton Brewing and Island Folk Cider House have teamed up once again to create Moxie Graf, a co-fermented apple juice beer. Graf is a style of beverage with 9,000 (!) year-old origins, that involves blending apple juice with beer wort and then fermenting with an ale yeast. The name is a homage to Moxham Castle, the creepy castle in downtown Sydney that was destroyed by fire in the 1960s. Expect a crisp drinking experience with notes of baked apple and caramel. Moxie Graf is available now at the Breton and Island Folk taprooms, and for delivery via Breton’s online store.

Does it feel like Fall to you? It was certainly cooler in Halifax this morning, but we wouldn’t go so far as to hasten the coming of the Autumn season when there’s officially three weeks left of Summer and hopefully even more weeks of patio beer viability yet to come. That said, though some will celebrate while others shake their fists in scorn, the first of the region’s harbingers of Fall is here, and it’s a two-fer: Upstreet now has both their Gravedigger Pumpkin Ale and their Libra Pumpkin Spice available as of yesterday. Gravedigger has been a stalwart since Upstreet’s first year, we believe, and features a deep copper color and aromas of pumpkin pie in a 6.5% package. It’s little sibling, as with all Libra brands, is a low-alcohol brew at 0.4% ABV and aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg. Look for these wherever you usually buy your Upstreet and/or your Libra.

Speaking of Libra, Kyle and Tony (or is it Tony and Kyle?) from the 902 BrewCast sat down with Mike Hogan (“Hogie”) of Upstreet and Libra to talk about the Libra brand, how it came to be, and how it’s doing in the market along with some discussion about no-/low-alcohol beers and Upstreet in general. You can check it out on your favorite podcast app or get it directly from the source. (Pumpkin beer haters worry not, we have reason to believe that this was recorded a little while ago and should be free of any gourdian content).

And speaking of Fall, that’s when the world’s largest celebration of beer takes place, in Germany and across the world: Oktoberfest! To celebrate their own Oktoberfest being held at the Beer Garden on the Waterfront (Sept 23 – Oct 2), Garrison has released their Hefe Weizen this week. Leveraging a bit of Aussie Cascade in this Wheat- and Yeast-driven brew, it features a touch of clove spice and banana on the nose and palate, perfect for enjoying a Maß or three. Cans and pints are available now at their Seaport and Oxford locations.

This week’s Newfoundland content comes to us from Boomstick Brewing in Corner Brook who partnered with music industry and community group Music NL to bring you Every Inch a Sailor, a blood orange and tangerine sour with a name that’s sure to resonate not only with Newfoundlanders, but with anyone who’s lived in Atlantic Canada for very long (or grew up listening to Sharon, Lois, & Bram and/or Fred Penner). Pretty much what it says on the tin, this is a kettle sour to which the team added blood orange and tangerine, producing a beer that is, “bright, light, and drinkable!” Surely one to enjoy while you’re doing some toe tappin’ to the strains of some Newfoundland music. Look for this one packaged in cans at the brewery, the Ultramar next store, and at Humber NLC. And don’t forget Music NL’s Music Celebration Week 2022 coming in late October to Corner Brook!

After a couple of years off (I wonder why??), the Nova Scotia Craft Beer Festival is back! Presented by the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia, which represents breweries from all across the province, 40 breweries from Yarmouth to Sydney, Amherst to Sheet Harbour, will be putting their best foot, and beer, forward, September 16 and 17 on the Halifax Waterfront. Taking place at the Salter Block at 1521 Lower Water Street, this outdoor event will have something for everyone into well-made local beer, plus live music and DJ sets, axe throwing, and with the new ticketing system, the ability to exit and grab food from the Salt Yard vendors next door. There are three sessions (Friday evening, and Saturday afternoon and evening), and we are looking to give away a pair of tickets to the session of your choosing! All you need to do is post a picture, video, reel, whatever you prefer, of the NS craft beer you’re enjoying this weekend on Instagram, and be sure to tag the brewery, us, and CBANS (@ACBeerBlog and @NSCraftBrewers). No limit to those entries, but be sure that we can see it and share! We will do a random draw Tuesday at 9 AM. But for those of you who may not win, please be sure to grab your tickets soon to avoid missing out!

Ending off the week with a job posting, for those looking to join, or supplement, their Career in Beer. Lower Sackville’s TAPestry Beer Bar is looking for a beer slinger to join their ranks in a weekend part-time position (with more shifts as biz increases). A love of beer (hey, if you’re reading this, you’re already part way there) and preferably with some industry experience already, are key to success. Drop by the bar at 833 Sackville Drive to drop your resume and chat with Ian and the gang.

Friday, here we are again! We’ve made it another week, so let’s drink a local beer to celebrate. Here are just a few suggestions of what’s new and returning in the fridges and on draught in our region.

Unfortunately, the Russian Invasion of Ukraine marked its 6th month anniversary this week, with many casualties and more than 6.5 million Ukrainians displaced by the continuation of the Russo-Ukrainian War. On a happier note, this week also saw the Independence Day of Ukraine, celebrated on August 24th. In Halifax, that meant a flag raising ceremony to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the country’s independence from the Soviet Union. And in Dartmouth, Brightwood Brewery launched Stand with Ukraine, a lagered ale with a major charitable component. Through the UNITED 24 platform, Brightwood is donating $4 from every can of Stand with Ukraine to urgent medical aid and the rebuilding of the country, which will take decades. Currently only available in their brewery and retail shop at 35 Portland Street, it may be available for delivery or shipping on August 29th, should there be any stock remaining.

Paradise NL’s Banished Brewing is continuing their Puffin series with the baby chick version of their core Space Puffin, with this week’s release of Space Puffling. In the same hazy and juicy New England IPA vein, it forgoes a bit of alcohol in the tin (4% ABV), without sacrificing anything else. Massive mango and citrus on the tongue and in the nose, with only a hint of bitterness on the palate. Both Space Puffling and Space Puffin are available at their retail shop on Maverick Place in Paradise, and at local retailers around St. John’s and beyond.

Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing is celebrating the warmer days with the release of Tan Lines, a 6.7% Apricot Milkshake IPA. Stone fruit character abounds in this smooth beer, with a sweet finish thanks to the vanilla and milk sugar in the brew. On tap at their taproom spot, and look for it around the way this weekend too. And now for something completely different… Hoom is Where the Heart is is their 4.9% English Pub Ale, brewed with local ingredients, including a high portion of the malt coming from Horton Ridge Malt House, and all of the Challenger, Goldings, and Fuggles hops grown in Big Spruce’s own Organically-farmed hop yard. Available on tap and in cans at the brewery and online, look out for (or demand!) this on a beer engine/hand pump the next time you visit your local pub!

Tanner & Co in Chester Nova Scotia has another expression in their search for interesting and unique flavours, opting for a return to honey as the fermentable. Just Honey is 5.9% ABV sparkling mead, made with locally sourced product from The Little Bee Farm in Auburndale just a few kilometres down the 103. Light and spritzy, bottles of Just Honey are available at Tanner’s locations in town and at the brewery down Hiltz Road. At both locations you’ll also be able to enjoy the return of their dry-hopped Czech Pils, Most. Using the eponymous hop throughout the brewday, and then again for an extra burst on the nose, the 5.7% Most is available on tap and in cans for pickup at their spots, or place an order for delivery at their online shop.

Deer Lake’s Rough Waters has debuted a new beer in partnership with the upcoming Rough Waters Gravel Grind. Mechan-Enkel is a low alcohol (4.3%) beer brewed originally by monks, in the Belgian Singel/Single/Enkel style. Pilsner and Wheat Malt make up the grist, with a nice touch of citrus and spice from the belgian yeast, give complexity to this beer fit for enjoyment after a long slog on the bike. Speaking of, registration to the October 1st event is open until September 12th, so if you’re looking for a wild few hours in the woods around Humber Valley, sign up now! And if you suspect you’ll need some liquid encouragement beforehand, cans of Mechan-Enkel are available at the brewery to take-away today.

Let’s get you up to speed on a few returning beers before we let you go this week…

Staying in Newfoundland, we’ve got two returning beers from Bannerman Brewing. First up is Shore Leave, their 5.2% dry-hopped sour that features Mosaic hops and sees conditioning on blood orange and pineapple purree. Expect lots of tropical fruit flavours that meld nicely with the beer’s acidity. This week also sees the return of Negative Space, their take on a cold IPA (fermented with an ale yeast, but cold conditioned like a lager). This one has a distinct west coast hop profile using the three-C’s of Cascade, Centennial, and Citra. Both are available on tap now on Duckworth Street. The brewery’s canning line is currently down for maintenance, so keep on eye on their social channels to see when you may be able to grab these to go.

Despite the unwavering humidity, there are signs everywhere that the turn of the season is around the corner. Christmas displays are out at Costco (!), Halloween stores are popping up in abandoned Sears locations, and pumpkin beers are starting to roll out of the tanks. Potentially first to the finish line is Breton Brewing with their 5.5% ABV Spiced Up Pumpkin Ale. Expect hints of cinnamon sugar with prominent notes of pumpkin pie. Cans are available now at Breton’s two taprooms, for delivery via their online store, and should be hitting the shelves at the government monopoly next week.

Ok, so, we technically have a tie for the earliest pumpkin beer release. Propeller’s Pumpkin Spiced Ale is out today, featuring pumpkins from Windsor farmer Howard Dill. The spice mix for this 5% ABV take on the style includes cinnamon, nutmeg and clove that combine for the comforting pumpkin pie aesthetic. It’s available now at Propeller’s three retail locations, for delivery via their online store, and will also make an appearance at the aforementioned NSLC.

Just one event we heard about this week, but it’s fixing’ to be a doozy!

Last week we teased the Tatamagouche Brewing tap/cask takeover happening at the Stillwell Freehouse this Saturday (August 27). Consider this your official reminder that the Freehouse will be featuring 12 taps and 6 casks of core and special Tata brews, along with some cellared kegs of their big beers rotating through the taps. 

We have two breweries hiring this week, in Moncton and Halifax! If you’re looking to continue your brewing career, or just kicking it off, check these out!

Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewery is looking for a Brewer to join their ranks as they expand their facilities this summer and fall on John Street. They are on the search for someone who has brewing experience, and looking for a change of scenery, and flexing their creative juices. There’s always something new in the tanks at Tire Shack, and they are hoping the right candidate will fill that role right away. Offering a competitive salary and plenty of help to get situated in Moncton, they encourage anyone interested to reach out via email with a resume and any questions!

Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing is on the search for help behind the scenes, in a Bookkeeper/Admin Assistant role on a part-time basis. Additionally, there are two openings for part-time Taproom Server/Packaging Assistants, especially important jobs to ensure the beer in the taps flows smoothly into cans! Learn much more, including wages and how to apply, on their website.

Happy Friday, folks! Hoping everyone has had a great work week so far, and is gearing up for rest and relaxation this weekend. Let’s give you a few things to seek out to quench that thirst we’ve been building up, from around the region.

Nova Scotia North Shore’s darling Tatamagouche Brewing has a new beer on tap and in cans this week, a zippy citrus Berliner Weiße made with Buddha’s Hand. Not common in these parts, Buddha’s Hand originated in South East Asia, and is striking in appearance, with many outstretched “fingers” of the fruit, giving plenty of surface area ripe for zesting. Using an extremely aromatic puree of the fruit, Team Tata used a low 3.8% ABV base beer, to allow the bright citrus to shine through. Cans of Buddha’s Hand Berliner Weisse are available now at the brewery and online, with draught making its way across the region as well.

And doubling down on the low-ABV but high-flavour beers is the return of their Intertidal: Sabro Session IPA. At 3.5% ABV, you could be excused and think there won’t be much going on, but you’d be sorely missing out! Big flavour and medium body, with massive tropical notes of coconut, stone fruit, and even some mint, thanks to the eponymous hop and using a new-to-Tata yeast, Hydra from Escarpment Labs. Available in cans and on draught now as well! And if you drop by before 5 PM today, you’ll be able to pair your pints with some donuts from Aroma Maya. And look below in the Events Section for even more news from Tata…

Is it IPA Day everyday at Trailway Brewing? We say, “Yes!” This week they’ve got a returning release with big, big energy: Imagination is an IPA packing a mix of IPA flavours in a 5.5% vessel. It’s got a fun mix of hops, including Southern Tropic, Sultana, and Citra Lupomax, enhanced by American Ale yeast which brings a bit of peachy character. Even better, it’s double dry hopped for your pleasure. Available now from the brewery in cans, and in the taproom and around the region on draught, too.

The near-Antigonish folks at North Grant’s Half Cocked have a very tasty release out this week with Sailor’s Delight. This is a Gose with lime leaves and hibiscus, using local salt water from Malignant Cove along with roasted coriander. It’s tart and deep red with a jammy notes and comes in at a highly drinkable 3.8%. This is only available on tap at the brewery for now!

We’re going to hop on the hibiscus train all the way up to Newfoundland with 2 tickets to Paradise! Or more tickets if you want. Banished Brewing is releasing Paddles Up, a beer in support of the community and collaboration with the Avalon Dragons. This group of amazing women have battled breast cancer and have found dragon boating as a way of healthy living, fitness, and community. This 5% beer, a hibiscus and raspberry sour, sees 50 cents from every can sold donated toward the Avalon Dragons. It’s available at the Banished retail shop now and will be available island-wide next week. 

We’ve got a returning brew from Propeller this week and it’s a style that’s been popping up more around the region the last year or so. Flat White is a White Stout that brings coffee and cocoa flavours to a more classically pale-coloured ale. Always a bit of a trick on the mind, this is a golden ale with big coffee flavours thanks to Java Blend cold brew and has lots of flaked oats in the malt bill to get a well-balanced body at 5% ABV. Also contributing to the body and providing some sweetness is lactose, which is balanced by 30 IBU. Flat White is available online and at the Prop shops and HRM private stores now, and is headed to select NSLC locations soon. 

Hot on the heels of the inaugural release of Best Bitter, Stillwell Brewing has another one of its flagships ready, with cans of Stilly Pils now available at HQ to drink on premises or to grab and go. We expect more than a few folks will be stocking up on this crusher for their weekend enjoyment. Hopefully we’ll see it available for online ordering soon, and we’re definitely looking forward to checking out their retail and event space in the fall!

Also available once again, for the first time this year, we think, is Daytimer Berliner weiße from Unfiltered Brewing. Tart and refreshing, you can enjoy this 4% ABV heat beater on its own or with an addition of traditional woodruff syrup (or any other syrup you might have around, really). For those who need to know, this batch is also gluten-reduced!

Rounding out this week’s news is a brand new release, in a brand new style, for Sea Level Brewing and their Millstone Harvest Brewhouse. Fundy Fog is a 4.5% ABV Hazy IPA, using a whole buncha Belma and Azacca hops to deliver a blast of tropical and citrus directly to your face. Making it to the taps literally this minute at their Millstone location on Highway 221 between Sheffield Mills and Canning, it will be canned and available to take away next week. Get on out for a visit and taste this weekend!

Let’s take a look at what’s on the go this weekend and next in Halifax…

After a busy weekend of rare ciders and a double Bar Volo takeover, Team Stillwell is bringing us two more events to close out the summer. This Saturday (August 20) will see St. John’s Bannerman Brewing taking over the taps at the Beergarden. Saturday is gearing up to be a busy day downtown with great weather in the forecast, the Stanley Cup parade (which goes right by the Beergarden’s Spring Garden Road entrance), and 9 taps of delicious Bannerman beer available. Check out the Beergarden’s social channels for the full tap list which features styles that are sure to please everyone’s taste buds, including lagers, sours, belgian-style ales, and a few hoppy numbers.

Next weekend will see Tatamagouche Brewing taking over the taps at the Freehouse on Agricola, on Saturday, August 27. Team Tata is bringing out the big guns, with a slew of favourites on all 12 tap lines and 6 casks on the hand pumps. Highlights include Observe, their red wine barrel aged Brett lager and Solitude, the 12.6% ABV BA imperial chocolate stout on tap, along with a cask version of their Darling mild that was aged in a second use cognac barrel with brettanomyces. If that’s not enough, they are also pulling a few kegs from the cellar to rotate through the taps during the event, including kegs of RIS, Baltic Porter, Barleywine and Bourbon BA Stouts, that have been getting even better for the past few years.