2 Crows Brewing

All posts tagged 2 Crows Brewing

Happy end of January! For some of the region, this was the first time we’ve seen significant snowfall, for others, it just piled on. Wind and rain throughout the area was de rigueur, and we’re pretty sure we can expect the same weird mix in February as well. Thankfully, the region’s cideries and breweries have been keeping busy inside, giving us plenty to warm us up this time of year. Let’s start off with two big anniversaries being celebrated this weekend…

When North Brewing (known as Bridge Brewing at the time) opened their doors January 25, 2013, Rozina, Josh, and Peter were so busy with keeping up with demand that the idea of a Grand Opening fell to the wayside. 10 years later, they have moved from their original Agricola Street location to Cole Harbour, and opened a second location in Timberlea (in addition to the retail shop at Battery Park in downtown Dartmouth). And they are taking a beat to finally have that Grand Opening they deserve, in beer form! Grand Opening Saison began life back in September 2022, when they brewed a pale-coloured wort, and initiated fermentation with a mixed culture of yeast, Lactobacillus bacteria, and Brettanomyces yeast. Balancing the acidity and aromatics in a blended beer is a fine line that North has trod before, allowing both sides to shine through without either overpowering the other. After an extended 3 month fermentation period, the beer was bottled (and kegged) just before Christmas, and allowed to naturally carbonate and condition since. This 4.9% Saison is available for purchase at all of their retail locations and on-line shop now, look for orange and apricot, ginger and pepper in the glass and on the nose, with a full mouthfeel yet dry-finish on the palate.

Celebrate with the North crew at both their Portland Street and Timberlea locations until Saturday. Happy Hour runs 3 – 6 PM, there are door prize drawings today and tomorrow at 5, 6, and 7 PM, and they have special items on the menu for the fun, including a Pani Puri Party Platter (perfect pretty puff pastries), braised lamb poutine, and even a birthday cake cookie to top it off! Leveraging their foray into spirits, they are also serving up cocktails made with their Kaleidoscope Vodka, as well as their North X Compass Distillers Neighbours Whisky. Congratulations to the North family on 10 great years, and here’s to at least 10 more!

A newer kid on the block is also celebrating their anniversary this weekend, with Brunswick Street’s 2 Crows Brewing celebrating the sixth anniversary of their opening, January 28, 2017. And to celebrate this milestone, they are releasing six beers tomorrow! Talk about overachievers (and/or beer blogger haters)! The first four of the group are all related, so let’s start there… In Fall 2022, the 2C Brew Crew decided to throw caution to the wind, and go all out for a massive stout. Achieving a nearly 10% beer is no small feat, and they chose to use a reiterative mash to do that. In short, instead of sending the wort (sweet and sugary water) from the mash tun directly to the kettle, as most normal breweries would do (boring!), they instead sent it on to a second mash, to bump up the fermentable sugar level even more! The mash consisted of Maris Otter, Vienna, flaked oats, honey malt, and 6 various caramel and roast malts for colour, depth, and complexity. We can only imagine the stickiness experienced that day, and the lucky buggers who had to clean it up after. And the craziness continues, as to increase the sugar level, as well as encourage some deeper flavours, they boiled the wort for 20 hours! Whoa! During that time, they used Columbus and Bramling Cross to keep it from being too cloying, before fermenting with a robust yeast from Imperial. Post-fermentation, they just packaged the beer, and here we are… Not! Wanting the spread the madness even further, they split the batch into four, in order to explore four unique flavour profiles:

  • Mambo No. 1 is the original 9.7% base Double/Chocolate/Imperial Stout: smooth, full mouthfeel, and full of chocolate, and hints of roast and liquorice.
  • Mambo No. 2 was conditioned in the tank with a (metric?) shit ton of cocoa, as well as marshmallows and Graham crackers. Think S’mores in a glass, with all the fun things that come along with that.
  • Mambo No. 3 was also conditioned on cocoa, but in the spirit of “EVEN MOAR” saw even more toasted coconut in the tank. Chocolate and coconut, we’re thinking Bounty bars or classic choco-coconut balls.
  • Mambo No. 4 may be the most out-there of them all, as in addition to getting the cocoa treatment, this beauty saw the addition of coffee directly to the tank, as well as maple syrup. Chocolate chip pancakes with a cup of joe, natch.

Cans of the Mambos will be available tomorrow (Saturday) at noon in the taproom, or for delivery from their online shop, and are sold in a responsibly-sized 4x355ml variety four-pack. (FYI, subscribers to their newsletter were able to order and receive these a day early!)

Just when you think the 2 Crows would be taking their foot off the gas, they accelerate, and are releasing another wild and economically irresponsible beer, Squeezie. If you’ve heard the term Smoothie Sour, this is it. If you haven’t, strap in! Starting with a pale wort (grist of Pilsner, Golden Promise, and wheat), it was fermented with an acid-producing yeast to give a slightly acidic character. After fermentation was complete, the high alcohol beer was blended with an equal part of fruit puree, something that you would see at your local juicery or smoothie-ery… mango and banana in near-equal parts, with hints of passion fruit and coconut cream making up the rest. After thoroughly combining the beer and puree, the new concoction was carbonated and canned, and immediately sent through a pasteurization step to stop any (dangerous!) further fermentation in the can. Thick, juicy, a touch acidic from both the fruit and beer, and just begging for a shot of wheatgrass (resist that urge). Tall cans of  the 5% Squeezie will be available online and at the retail shop tomorrow during the celebrations.

Rounding out the half-dozen weekend releases is the return of 2C’s massive Triple IPA, Space Words. Triple the hops, triple the booze, six* times the fun! Right around 10% ABV, this beer was dry-hopped during and post-fermentation four times with Galaxy, Eclipse, and a hint of Comet (all space words, get it?), leading to a super aromatic, bold, and juicy big IPA. Also available on tap and in tall cans this weekend, it’s also joined by the latest of their Hop Water series, this one being Mojito. At 0.0% ABV, no need to worry about over-imbibing this beauty, which features lime zest and mint leaves, and a refreshing zip to clear the palate. This one is available to everyone today!

Lastly, let’s talk about 2 Crows’ party tomorrow. Open and available from noon, the folks from Coda Ramen (FKA Water and Bone) will be doing a slurpy pop-up in their space, with a couple of different ramen choices available along with some accompanying dishes. There’s only so much broth that can be transported, so this means you’ll want to get there early to avoid disappointment. And for those on the later shift (or arrive early then come back), there’s the return of Rock at the Brewery. From 7 PM til close, hear some wicked tunes from Touched, Norc, and Customer Service, to accompany your stout, smoothie sour, and TIPA imbibing. And speaking of stouts, Sunday from noon will be a Stout take-over, with seven in-house brewed stouts complemented by a trio from brewery friends: North Brewing will join Borden’s Lone Oak Brewing and Moncton’s Tide & Boar Brewing on the draught list. For those not stout-savvy, plenty of other options by the bottle and can pour will be available. Phew, what a weekend!

* or is it nine? Can we get a math ruling here?

Staying with (in?) the dark, Trailway also has a brand new release that’s available now. Sundae Best is a Chocolate Vanilla Soft-Serve Stout. This is a deep and dark but sweet stout with milk sugar (lactose) added, along with vanilla. It boasts a dominant chocolate flavour, but the beer remains soft and balanced, with just the right ABV richness ABV at 6.5%. It is available in cans now directly from the brewery in Fredericton. 

From the dark of winter to dreaming of summer days, Bannerman has teamed up with their friends and cohabitants NAMJIM for their second collaboration. Dubbed Beach Comber, it’s an IPA and features Thai tea dust, which is a mix of thai spices and Ceylon black tea. In what they’re already calling a staff favourite, this sweet, bold and juicy IPA uses Pilsner malt, toasted rice, and milk sugar in addition to a huge dry-hop of Sabro and Eclipse hops. It was then conditioned on the Thai tea dust and came out at 7% ABV. Medium-bodied, it brings some subtle flavours of citrus, coconut, cardamom and cinnamon; it’s available now directly from the brewery.

It’s been a bit of a delay to winter here, but if you’re up near Port Rexton, Newfoundland, generally, and Clarenville specifically, the White Hills Ski Resort is opening this weekend! Thankfully, the Port Rexton Brewing crew has a new brew for après ski. Golden Ale is a 4% crisp, clean, and balanced post-ski/board/work/anytime crusher. This will be available on tap or in cans at the Tips Up Lounge inside of White Hills, Port Rexton’s shops, on their website, and in distribution Newfoundland-wide next week wherever on the Rock you buy craft beer. 

In addition to the breweries celebrating anniversaries this weekend, you’ll want to head to Dartmouth tomorrow, here’s why:

Lake City Cider is in the heart of Dartmouth’s Downtown, and, in fact, their taproom is right in the centre of the action for Saturday’s Downtown Dartmouth Ice Festival Street Party! Portland Street is going car-free 12 – 5 PM, and there will be fun for all with ice carving, games, princesses, and more. Plus, nip into Lake City to grab a cup of hot cider (both alcoholic and non- so the kids can experience the delight of warm cider too), try their new cider cocktails like the Apple Spice, and maybe even grab a sweet dessert, as Antoinette’s Cheesecakes will be there with dipped cheesecakes from 12 PM until they sell out.

We’ll leave you with two final releases and a few events that fall under the “coming later” category

Up in the winter wonderland of Northern NB, Edmunston’s Microbrasserie Ateepic has a new wheat ale out. Wheatpecker comes in at 5% ABV and is infused with orange and raspberry. Grab it on tap now at the brewery. 

It’s still winter and Propeller is keeping things dark too; this week they’re releasing a new batch of their Mocha Oatmeal Stout, this one extra smooth and creamy owing to being packaged “on Nitro”. This oatmeal stout is 5.5% and brewed with chocolate and locally roasted coffee. Warm and sweet notes of brown sugar, milk chocolate and fresh espresso are all present in aroma and flavour of this 5.5% beer, which is nicely balanced at 28 IBU. It is available in cans at the three Prop Shops, for ordering on their website, and at private stores in Halifax. 

This next event is still a few weeks away, but given that it’s an annual favourite on the beer nerd calendar, we thought we’d remind you that February 18 is Péché Day. Every year, Brasserie Dieu du Ciel! rolls out kegs featuring variants of its legendary Péché Mortel imperial coffee stout, with distribution hitting a limited number of better beer bars around the world. As in previous years, Halifax’s Stillwell and Moncton’s Tide and Boar have been selected to participate in the event. We’ll have more details closer to the 18th, but we know this year’s variants will include Péché Latte, Péché Mortel Stout Mexicain, Péché Mortel Bourbon 2022 and a special coffee edition with beans from Mystique Café.

In beer venue news, we have a teaser from our friends in (on?) PEI: Lone Oak Brewing started as the beloved brewpub and brewery in Borden-Carleton’s Gateway Village. Since then, they’ve opened a second brewpub and retail location just outside of Charlottetown. In 2023, they’re taking their game to the centre of the PEI tourism universe and opening Lone Oak Beer Garden in Cavendish! More info to come, but it’s time to get excited if you’ll be hitting PEI’s north shore this summer (paging D.F.). 

One last thing before we let you go… One of the Banished Brewing family is having a tough time, and they are looking to support their own, and give you a chance to do the same. Thacker, pup of Head Brewer Duncan Tennant, is a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, that just underwent surgery to correct Intervertebral Disc Disease. He is on the mend now, with a successful recovery expected. In order to help with the (significant) bills, Banished is holding a fundraiser to pay for the surgery, and enter you into a random draw. Check out their GFM here, and every donation you make can go towards an entry into the draw. More on Thacker here!

Happy Friday the 13th, folks! And your luck is decidedly good today, as we’ve got a full complement of new beer and cider to hit you with! Eat, drink, be merry, keep your stick on the ice, and be kind to each other.

Great news for fans of spirit barrel-enhanced beer, there is a new brewery open that is right up your alley! Rackhouse Brewing Company has launched their first beer, a stout aged in a Corn Whiskey Barrel from Moonshine Creek in Waterville-Carleton, NB. Named after the traditional storage facility for barrels, this features prominently in their plans. Rather than concentrating on the brewing aspect, Rackhouse will be all about the post-fermentation conditioning and packaging of beer at their facility. Their first beer was brewed at Big Axe in Nackawic, where it is currently on tap, and may be found elsewhere soon. Look for notes of tart cherry from the 100-day barrel-aging process, along with chocolate and a hint of coffee from the underlying beer in this 8.5% BA stout. We hope to share a full Profile of Rackhouse as they develop more projects, including opening their space in Waterville-Carleton. Congratulations!

Keeping in the barrelled beer vein, Deer Lake’s Rough Waters Brewing has brought back High Tide. This time around, they have taken a light-bodied Saison, with great fruit and pepper notes, and aged it in a freshly-emptied Rum Barrel from Glenora Distillery in Cape Breton. Look for oak, vanilla, and complexity as you enjoy this 7.5% ABV beer. Look for the beautifully appointed cork and cage bottle in NLC and Ultramars in Deer Lake and Corner Brook, and on the Avalon in the next week.

Wolfville’s Annapolis Cider Co has the latest in their Something Different series this week, Cosmic Peach. This 4.7% cider features a base of Golden Russet and Cox Orange Pippin juices, fermented with a specialty yeast enhancing the tropical notes, and taken to the next level by the use of hops during fermentation too. Dosed with AV Peach juice that went through a cryo-extraction process to concentrate the flavour, this cider is out of this world! As always, the Something Different has a charitable component, with $0.50 of each bottle refill going to Ducks Unlimited Canada in Atlantic Canada, working to restore and protect the region’s wetlands for both the benefit of both animals and humans, for habitat as well as mitigating the effects of Climate Change.

Our friends in the East end of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Bannerman Brewing Co., have a new one out this week, a classic IPA variant that’s very much gone by the wayside in the modern haze craze. Mind’s Eye is a rye IPA, which means it contains a substantial portion of rye (malted, in this case) in the grist. Beer lore suggests that this lends a somewhat “spicy” character, which has been thrown into question by recent taste experiments, but regardless, it definitely gives a different character to the malt side of the beer that many people find pleasing. Also featured in this one is Golden Promise malt, a heritage Scottish variety that gives a slight sweetness, and some oats, which amplify the body a little more. Paired with dank and piney Simcoe, citrussy Centennial, and stone fruit/berry Mosaic on the hop side, you can paint a pretty good picture of how this one tastes in your mind’s eye. And if you can’t, or you need to verify, head on down to the brewery to grab one on tap or in cans to go!

Microbreasserie Ateepic at the Edmundston Golf Course has a new beer available on tap for pints and growlers, Pin Blanc. This 5.3% White Stout features coffee from Brûlerie Du Vieux Poste in Edmundston and cacao nibs, along with a touch of vanilla and lactose to complete the “Milk Stout” character. If you closed your eyes, you’d never know the beer is pale in colour! Pop by their spot from 4 PM to enjoy!

A quick hit from the North Shore this week, as Tatamagouche Brewing has brought back their First Light Czech Pilsner. At 4.8%, this beauty is packed with Noble hops and fermented with a Czech yeast, both of which help to keep it as authentic as possible. And upping that even more is the use of natural carbonation technique, harnessing those yeast farts in the can/keg/glass, for a smooth and fine level of fizziness. Grab it on tap and in cans at the brewery and around the province.

Speaking of Pilsners, 2 Crows on Brunswick Street in Halifax has a brand new one on the go themselves. Dubbed a “West Coast Pilsner,” whatever that means*, it’s a collaboration with their buds at Woodcutter’s Blanket Bar & Brewery in *checks notes* Whitehorse, YT!! Lonely Land was built on a malt base of Shoreline Malting Pilsner and wheat malts, which were put through the 2C low-oxygen multi-step mash regimen. Hops were added along the way, starting in the mash and continuing through the kettle and hopback with Saphir and Centennial. Fermentation featured Escarpment Labs’ Isar lager strain in a slow and low fashion before it was dry hopped with more Centennial along with Cashmere and Nelson Sauvin. Carbonation was largely provided through spunding and the beer was lagered for 10 weeks before packaging. Basically they pulled out all the stops and did all the things on this one and they’re pretty sure it all shows in the final product! Due to some snafus during packaging, cans of this 5.4% ABV delight are quite limited, so you’re going to want to grab some real quick now at the brewery or Bishops Cellar or your other favourite private store in the HRM. On the other hand, there are apparently quite a few kegs to go around, so hopefully you’ll keep seeing this one pop up in various places in the city and beyond!

* According to the brewery it apparently means, “lending the crisp + clean flavours of our favourite German pilsners with the hop aromatics of West Coast IPAs.” Whatever that means.

To finish this week off, a friendly reminder about our contest that closes in 5 days! If you want to join our tour of GR’s new Elmsdale Brewery/Packaging Facility/Warehouse/Battle Station post a picture/story/reel on social media of a favourite local beer/cider/mead you’ve enjoyed in 2022 or 2023, and be sure to tag us in it and use the hashtag #ElmsdaleTour. And if you’re not the social media kind, no problem, just fire us an email, fire us a text, or send us a telegram to let us know you’re interested! We’ll be drawing a whole buncha names on Jan 18 at 6 PM, so your chances are pretty good!

Happy December, y’all! Bit of disappointment as our Men’s team has exited the World Cup this week, but at least we will not have to wait another 36 years to cheer on Les Rouges, as the Women’s World Cup is in Australia and New Zealand in 2023, and then the men’s team co-hosts with Mexico and USA in 2026. Grab a beer and read along to see all of the new releases the breweries from across all four Atlantic provinces have for us this week.

Good Robot Brewing continues to flex the versatility of their new Elmsdale brewing location, complete with mash filter and expanded fermenting capacity, with plenty more new beers rolling off the line. B.F.Hef. (aka Best Friends Foreverweizen) is the latest, their foray into the German Hefeweizen Wheat Beer style. Featuring loads of wheat in the malt bill, the 4.8% beer also uses a specific Ale yeast to give off a pleasant blend of citrus and clove aromatics, with a hint of banana on the nose. Mandarina Bavaria hops enhance that citrus aroma even further. Cans are available at their original Robie Street location, as well as their newly-opened retail shop at the Elmsdale facility. Open Wed – Sun from noon (10 AM on the weekend), visitors to 14 Industrial Way will be able to purchase from the entire GRBC portfolio in can and growler fill, as well as their branded merch.

And good news for those looking to continue or start their career in beer, as Good Robot is hiring! They are looking for help both in their Elmsdale brewery and beyond, as they beef up their Brew Crew as well as those who help sell the resulting beer. They are looking to fill the following positions: a Shift Brewer, expected to have at least a couple of years professional brewing experience, a Junior Brewer (no pro experience necessary, but that’s definitely an asset), as well as a Sales Rep in the HRM/Nova Scotia region. Check out their job postings here.

Trailway has been busy this fall as well, and have a quartet of new releases available at their Main Street Fredericton location, and for local and AtlCan- & Ont-wide delivery from their website. Returning to the taps and shelves is their Beans Coffee Oatmeal Stout, a 6.8% stout brewed with a batch of freshly roasted Winter Solstice beans from their pals at Mill Town Roasters. For our coffee nerd brethren, WS is a blend dark roast blend of beans from Sumatra, Peru, and Columbia, with notes of bitter chocolate, molasses, and a warming spiciness, pairing perfectly with the beer’s malt-derived roast and full mouthfeel from the oats. Available on tap and in cans now, they have also leveraged the capabilities of Craft Coast Canning to package a Nitro version of the beer! Lower carbonation, but that means a little shake and a hard pour from height into a glass will show off a lovely cascading action as the beer settles. Due to the special nature of this version, Nitro Beans is a can-only release, but still orderable online.

Trailway has another pair of beer ready to purchase now… Merry Very is returning again for the cooler months. This is a 5.0% White Chocolate-Orange Stout… Think big chocolate, roast, coffee, a hint of citrus, but in a pale colour, something your buddy Terry would really enjoy! Locally kilned cacao nibs from McGuire Chocolate enhance the malt’s chocolate flavour, with the citrus brightening and contrasting the dark character, with a touch of vanilla. On tap and in cans now.

And finally, a debut beer from Trailway, Event Horizon. A massive 11.0% ABV imperial stout, with strong caramel, coffee, and chocolate notes, it also spent time in a 15-year Glen Breton Single Malt Whisky barrel, picking up strong vanilla and whisky notes to complement. Obviously a bit warming at 11.0% ABV, and as it’s available in 500ml bottles, we suggest grabbing a couple for sharing with friends and families a few times over the coming winter.

Uncle Leo’s Brewery in Lyons Brook has a new beer on tap, on their shelves, and for delivery, this week. Misty Morning is an aggressively-late-hopped New England IPA, absolutely brimming with tropical notes of passion fruit, citrus, and peach. All that Galaxy and Citra used late in the brewday, as well as in the tanks after the fact, mean this 6.0% beer is not bitter, but rather has a smooth mouthfeel. Their online shop has free delivery within Nova Scotia and beyond, just need to hit a very reasonable minimum value.

A pair of beers from Sydney’s Breton Brewing this week. First released is the return of an old favourite, their take on the German Kölsch. A beer where drinkability and enjoyment are top of mind, these are fermented with an ale yeast, but usually at cooler-than-normal temps, to keep the fruity esters at bay, before a long nap at even cooler temps for a conditioning/cleanup rest. At 4.0% ABV, this is low enough to pair well with appetizers, main course, or even dessert.

And debuting later in the week was Champagne IPA, wherein Breton brewed a light-bodied beer (with some rice in the grist), and used an American Ale yeast, coupled with an enzyme to extract every last bit of sugar from the wort, to finish with a bone-dry beer. Mix in the Ariana and Mosaic hops in great volume, and you’ve got a solid bitterness as well as aroma. Look for both of these limited releases in cans, on draught, and for delivery now!

Fresh off their win of the Hopyard Battle of the Breweries, Montague’s Copper Bottom Brewing is bringing back a blast from the past today, complete with a party to help celebrate! Charlie is an English-style Brown Ale, and despite being only 4.5% ABV, is brimming with malt-derived toast, biscuit, caramel, and nuttiness. To celebrate its release on draught and in festive 355ml cans, they are hosting Loaf & Ladle Food Truck serving up comfort food from 2 until 8 PM this afternoon, Craig Fair on the piano from 6 – 8 PM, and keeping the patio nice and toasty warm. Pull that Ugly Sweater from the closet and make a night of it!

In Halifax on Brunswick Street, 2 Crows has brought out the latest entry in their now long-running series of irresponsibly-hopped hazy IPAs (fun(?) party game: try to name all the previous ones!). Permanent Vacation is described as having been “absolutely saturated” with Talus, and Vic Secret hops, but with a touch of Galaxy as well. So a little bit of “the Pacific Northwest battles Australia in a tropical fruit stand, but Australia brought backup.” Expect a smooth and creamy presentation with plenty of sweetness, leading with notes of pineapple (canned), overripe mango, and a bit of coconut. Given that there’s Talus in there we’d expect a bit of the dankness as well, but you’ll have to try this 6.1% juice bomb for yourself to confirm. The 2C gang did point out that this is a smaller batch than previous entries, so if you’re a fan of the series and/or hoppy hazies in general, you’ll want to get your orders in!

On Main Street in Fredericton, NB, Half Cut Brewing has a new IPA of their own out, a double IPA, really. Continuing their trend of “juicy beers with weird f’n names” is Deep Pockets IPA. Described as being “like that uncle who never grew up,” this one’s a heavy hitter, arriving at 8% ABV and 40 IBU. You’ll find it in cans at the brewery and (soon, if not already) on the shelves of an ANBL store near you.

As is their wont, Tanner & Co Brewing in Chester Basin, NS, continues to bring beers in styles that aren’t terribly common in these parts. This week they’ve got a twist on the German style, Rauchbier. Pronounced “rowsh-beer” rather than “rock-beer”, it is traditionally made with a very large portion (up to 100%, even) of smoked malt in the grist. This can often lead to folks who are not big fans of smoke to find the beer “too smoky” so Tanner took their foot off the gas on this one and aimed for a more mellow presentation. To ensure there would still be plenty of complexity, they then took advantage of their oenological bent to age this one in oak wine barrels for a few months. The result is a 6% ABV beer that no doubt has plenty of smoke, but also some tannins and acidity for balance. Look for it packaged in bottles at both of Tanner’s locations and online for delivery.

Fans of both dessert and beer have reason to celebrate in Halifax this week as Propeller Brewing has released a beer that ticks both boxes this week. Nanaimo Imperial Dessert Stout is a pretty self-explanatory name, we think, but if you’re somehow not in the know about the classic Canadian dessert, we’d better provide some detail anyway. Built on a base of cocoa and coconut, with a layer of vanilla custard and a topping of milk chocolate, Nanaimo bars are one of the great bake sale traditions from coast to coast. Propeller’s beer version aims to hit all of those notes and meld them together with a roasty, but still sweet imperial stout. With all of that going on and it coming in at 10%, this rich and creamy number has “danger” written all over it. Grab it now directly from the source at your favourite Prop Shop, or look for it at Bishop’s Cellar or the other private stores in Metro.

Half Cocked in North Grant has a pair of returning favourites now pouring at their taproom, and in cans for the first time. Braeside Bitter showcases their English side, with lightly-coloured malt bringing out notes of biscuit and caramel, with a blend of hops showcasing lemon, tea, and honey, to complete the experience. 5.5% ABV. The Darkest One is of another category entirely, a big brash American Stout, blasting the nose with dark chocolate, and filling the palate with roast, finishing with some bitterness on the back end. 355 ml cans for this one as well, only at the brewery. Why not drop by tomorrow, December 3rd, for Holiday Market on the 245, which they are co-hosting with Teasdale Apothecary from 3 – 6 PM. And after the vendors have packed up, there will be live music from Leeboy!

Spryfield’s own Serpent Brewing has a new beer out for the festive season with a release that reflects their continued quest to bring the best of Belgian styles to Dentith Road and environs. Described as a Belgian Golden Strong Christmas Spiced Ale, it’s got a much more compact (and fun) name: Jurassic Jesus. Although it weighs in at a hefty 7.5%, it’s deceptively easy to drink, with subtle malt undertones beneath a blend of cinnamon and nutmeg spice. Cookie and caramel along with some fruity ester notes from the yeast complete the picture, as there’s little to no hop presence detected or expected in a style like this. On tap tomorrow at the brewery, you’ll also be able to grab it in 375ml bottles to go. And if you do visit, don’t forget that Spryfood, their in-house kitchen, is now up and running at full bore.

Smiths Cove is deep in the Annapolis Valley, not too far from the ferry to Saint John, so quite accessible for people in both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. And their very own Lazy Bear Brewing has a new beer on tap and in bottles this week, a big bold beer ready to be enjoyed around a cozy fire. Assassination of a Wise Man is a 10.0% Barleywine, with rich caramel notes shining through, balanced with just-enough hops to keep it from being too sweet. Finished with molasses, some dark notes of raisin, with a lighter vanilla hint also coming through on the nose. The bottles were sealed with wax, minimizing any oxygen from sneaking in during their (possible) long cellaring period. We suggest grabbing a couple, one to enjoy now, and one later, if you happen to miss it on tap. Not overly bitter, on draught and in bottles at Smiths Cove, keep your eyes peeled to their social media for availability beyond their location, but a visit out there is a great idea, during their Thursday night taproom evenings (and maybe by appointment if you reach out early enough)!

You can tell winter is coming, as Big Spruce is holding the release party for their annual Barrel-aged Imperial Stout this weekend. Battery Park will be the gracious hosts of the two variants of the 2022 edition, as well as sharing kegs dating all the way back to 2018. However, there is a major, and welcome, change in the beer name and design this year, that we’re excited to tell you about. Kobzar Imperial Stout, is named in honour of writer Taras Schevchenko, considered to be the father of modern Ukrainian literature, with profound effects on the language and culture of his home country. Banned and exiled from Ukraine due in part to his push for Ukrainian independence, still inspiring Ukrainians more than 150 years after his death. Kobzar is both a collection of poems written by Schevchenko, and the nickname given to him, meaning “bard” in Ukrainian. Kobzar the beer will be familiar to long-time Big Spruce fans, with massive coffee and dark chocolate notes with a touch of hop bitterness to balance. This year’s releases were aged in two distinctly different barrels, imparting plenty of the character of its previous residents. Jamaican Rum Kobzar and Glenora Whisky Kobzar both clock in at 11.0%, and in a change, will be available in cans this year! Making them a little easier to stack in the basement cellar, we suspect… You can enjoy the first tastes of Kobzar tomorrow at Battery Park from 11:30 AM, where they will be pouring both 2022 versions of the beer, as well as four previous releases of Ra Ra Rasputin, including 2021 Tawny Port, 2019 Cognac, 2019 Peach Brandy, and 2018 Glenora Whisky. Cans of Kobzar (as well as a few bottles of previous releases) are available at their shop in Nyanza, on their website for delivery and shipping, Bishop’s Cellar, with the 2022 Jamaican Rum Kobzar available in cans at Bar Stillwell and Stillwell Freehouse.

There’s not only breweries getting into the festive season, Tapestry Beer Bar in Lr Sackville is filling their dance card with a range of events this month. Tomorrow, Dec 3 at 5 – 9 PM, they are hosting a Christmas Market with their nextdoor neighbours Apartment 3 Espresso Bar. On Dec 8, they are hosting a Beer & Cheese Pairing with Smith & Hartlen Fine Cheese (grab your tickets ahead of time). There are plenty more events leading up to a Bar Olympics on Dec 31, check this page for more details!

Just a few more notes before we let you go this week….

Antigonish’s Candid Brewing has a new release today, which will be complemented by at least a couple more before the weekend is done. With 3 weeks out until the official celebration on December 23rd, they’re debuting Festivus IPA. A 6.5% ABV with plenty of late-addition Barbe Rouge and Belma hops, offset with a touch of lactose, drive a few of these into you before the Airing of Grievances or Feats of Strength.

Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing has a new beer on tap and for crowler fills late this week.Their first Cold IPA, they’ve named it the appropriately punny Thawless Victory. A hefty 6.5% ABV and respectable 35 IBUs, look for it on tap at their tiny taproom, and maybe downstairs at the Grand Banker too!

We’re ending this week with a bit of sad news, hopefully not a “Goodbye” but a “See You Later”, from Delta Force Brewing. The always elusive crew, brewing out of an undisclosed location in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, has announced that they are closing out Phase 1, Alpha Team if you will, of the brewery. As they say, opening a “farm shed brewery at the beginning of the brewery was a bold move”, and they have pushed through with 30 different releases over the past couple of years. To toast the possibility of Phase 2, they are holding a sale on their remaining stock, so we encourage you to grab a case and enjoy them this month. Cheers fellas!!