2 Crows Brewing

All posts tagged 2 Crows Brewing

We’re officially halfway through April, and halfway through Nova Scotia Craft Beer Month (COVID-limited edition), but that doesn’t mean there’s not a bunch of news from the other provinces in Atlantic Canada. So while the weather isn’t exactly screaming “Spring is here” this weekend in much of the region, there’s still plenty of good beer to explore, including the annual return of a hoppy beast, some cool collaborations, and a new option for good beer drinking in St. John’s.

After years of planning, and months of anticipation from thirsty patrons, the East Duckworth area of St. John’s is about to welcome another beery establishment! Bar Brewdock is the brainchild of Craig Farewell and Steve Martin, the busy fellas behind the Newfoundland Craft Beer Festival and plenty of other beer-centric events. Their love of craft beer is more than a decade old, and they are ready to share the passion in a permanent establishment with their fellow Newfoundlanders. With 24 rotating taps (including 2 Czech side-pull faucets for that silky-smooth beer with a tight creamy head) and the province’s first Beer Engine (perfect for casks!), Brewdock will be pouring beer from independent breweries across the province and beyond. Chef Chris Mercer is the brains in the kitchen, whose team is whipping up beer-pairing-worthy snacks and plates for those visiting, with veggie and vegan dishes available too. Benefiting from, and building upon, the great distribution breweries from across the province are seeing to the Avalon, their debut tap list features beers from Bootleg, Boomstick, Rough Waters, Port Rexton, Baccalieu Trail, Ninepenny, Landwash, and Quidi Vidi, with kegs from more craft breweries in Newfoundland and Labrador, the rest of the Atlantic provinces, and beyond to be following along in short order. Look for their collaboration brew with Toslow at Bannerman Brewing to be released in the next couple of weeks, securing the camaraderie of the East Duck Beer District. Named Block Party, this Hibiscus Saison has a lovely pink hue owing to the flower, and is reminiscent of both Brewdock’s iconic 24 Flavors sign and Toslow’s ambient lighting. Sounds perfect outside on a warm day, which is fitting as in addition to their indoor seating for about 40, their Beer Garden will feature even more very soon. Brewdock opens their doors to the public next Thursday, April 22nd, and operates Wed (4 – 11 PM), Thurs (4 – 12 AM), Fri – Sun (12 PM – 12 AM). Congratulations to Farewell, Martin, Mercer, and the whole Brewdock team!

From one three-way collaboration to another, let’s head to Nova Scotia, where its breweries are celebrating Nova Scotia Craft Beer Month. While COVID has put a damper on any big events, it is still an opportunity for some conspiring, with Organic breweries Big Spruce and Tatamagouche once again teaming up for their Cerberus American IPA. But this duet is even better as a trio, and they have enlisted Cole Harbour’s North Brewing to complete the team. Heavily hopped late in the boil with Simcoe, El Dorado, and Mosaic, and further enhanced with a big biotransformation addition (mid-ferment to have the yeast help convert some terpenes), as well as a pair of dry hoppings, this will satisfy any hop head who dares take on the beast. From Big Spruce’s big spruce Jeremy White, “Every year Tata and Big Spruce get together to remind the NS craft beer world of what it means to be an organic brewer:  sustainability, environment and ecology. Cerberus also happens to be one monstrous, haze driven, hop forward aroma bomb as well! Last year we invited North to the dance, and the foot stomps felt just right with them around, so we decided to double up and have them to dinner again!” Cerberus is out today in cans and draught at all three breweries, with growler fills available at both Big Spruce and Tata.

And if you’re looking for a way to celebrate the release (or celebrate Friday, who are we to judge), get yourself to Downtown Dartmouth’s Battery Park today for their Three-Headed Tap Takeover, with each brewery bringing 5 bangin’ beers to the taps, and it may be the only way to experience both the Cerberus on draught and on cask side by side, which is sure to change the flavour profile. The beers are pouring from their opening at 11:30 AM, with the full details on who’s pouring what available here.

morALE Brewsters is a service member- and veteran-owned nano brewery in Oromocto, New Brunswick, and due to their small production size, primarily serve the local area bars and restaurants. Wanting to expand their reach, the morALE team worked with the fine folks at Dieppe’s CAVOK Brewing to upscale one of their brands to serve a larger audience. Pte Bloggins is a 5.0% ABV Blonde Ale, light on the bitterness at 14 IBU, and perfect for enjoying in volume after a long day doing drill on the tarmac (or lazing around on the deck). Kegs have been delivered to their locals Griffin’s Pub and Mingler’s in Oromocto, as well as to the Pics Roundhouse, Grimross, and host brewery CAVOK, with cans also available at CAVOK as well as the ANBL locations Fredericton York Street, Corvette Centre, and Oromocto. And don’t be shy asking for it at your own ANBL or local bar if you’d like to see it on tap. The morALE team is thrilled for the experience, and very thankful to Serges Basque and Nadeau, and the brewing team of Ben and Guillaume.

In some Nova Scotian collaboration news, Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing and Mahone Bay’s Saltbox have come together for a special release! Salty Lion is a hoppy, hazy Double IPA coming in at 8.2%. Generously hopped with Ekuanot and Citra, it brings that orange citrus flavour with notes of peach as well. Watch for this release available now on tap at the Saltbox and New Scotland taprooms and it will also be available in cans from both locations as well. 

We’ve got a new one from the Do Gooders (Good Doers?) at Upstreet as they have a brand new crisp and refreshing 4% ABV crusher they’re calling Cavalier. A light lager with a light body and grassy notes, sweetness on the nose and flavour, that has well balanced bitterness and is very crisp. Leveraging some rice in the grain bill to keep the body in check and Ekuanot to hop, the result is a very refreshing lager. Get this one in 355 mL cans from Upstreet directly (in store and online) with 12-packs going for just over $23! And if you give them the secret password when you head into the brewery to grab a case, they may even let you try the pilot batch of their next Libra non-alcoholic beer, a Hazy IPA.

Halifax’s 2 Crows has decided this won’t be one of the (very) few weeks of the year when they don’t release something new as they are releasing Roble today. Billed as an “oak-fermented wild Witbier” coming in at 4.2% ABV, those with long beer memories – like our own @acbbchris – may recognize some shared DNA with Ramble, their 2.9% ABV “wild table Witbier” from the summer of 2018. Originally brewed in late 2020 on a base of Shoreline Malting Pilsner, wheat malt, raw wheat, and some flaked wheat, it was mash hopped with plenty of Sterling and kettle hopped with more Sterling and some Citra. Traditional coriander and fresh orange zest were added via the hopback before the beer was shipped into a foedre for fermentation with the 2C house culture on a pile of sliced oranges. The oranges were removed after fermentation was complete, but the beer remained in foedre to condition for several months before it was finished with a dry hop of Bru-1 hops and can-conditioned with Champagne yeast. Described as, “dry, super-orangey, zippy, fun, funky, and fresh,” you almost certainly won’t find it too bitter at 19 IBU. Look for it at the brewery now, and according to the 2C team, there’s another (slightly tweaked) batch conditioning in foedre right now as this one is slated to be a semi-regular member of their lineup!

Keeping it cool in PEI, we’ve got some bad mother shuckers from Bogside giving us a new release. Shucker’s Select West Coast IPA is a 7.1% hop forward, bitter release that is layered with hop aroma and flavour at 55 IBU. Available on tap at the brewery now, look for kegs across the province, and cans to go or for Island-wide delivery!

Straight outta Stellarock, there is some exciting from Backstage Brewing. Although they’ve previously done some limited bottling runs since their opening in 2017, this week they’ve gotten themselves some swank new bottle branding thanks to Task at Hand Illustration & Design. Also responsible for the Backstage logo, Task at Hand has produced a new run of 4 labels (with more to come, we hope) for some of Backstage’s core beers. 

And what better way to celebrate the new labels than with a new beer?! Off the Hop is a 4.3% ABV Golden Ale featuring Shoreline Malting Pilsner malt and balanced out nicely with Mosaic and Centennial hops. Fermented with a British ale yeast, this is a fun style that can range from more British-centric, with more malt presence and earthy, herbal hops, to more New World, with a lighter body and American hops; this one seems to aim for a nice balance. Try it yourself and see what you think; it’s available now in 500 mL bottles from the brewery on Bridge Ave. 

Jumping across the Northumberland, Village Green has another hop-forward release this week with Antipode. This 6.2% IPA features some of our favourite southern hemisphere hops, with additions of Galaxy, the elusive Nelson Sauvin and Motueka. Expect lots of fruit-forward notes from the hops, including cantaloupe, strawberry, and according to the brewer “white gummy bears that have been smuggled into movie theatres.” Antipode is available in cans and on tap now at the brewery in Cornwall. 

Always bringing the hits and fan favourites, there is some summery and exciting news out of Propeller. First up, we see the re-release of Lime Lite lager. If you remember this from last year, this was a canned hit that was popular for those summer months and it’s back this year with the same light lager infused with real fresh limes but in shorter 355 mL cans. Bringing some nice citrus aroma and a very crisp, clean and refreshing finish at 4.5% ABV and 10 IBU it is is available today at all the Prop Shops and online for delivery; it will also be stocked at Bishop’s Cellar and NSLCs starting in May and available throughout the summer. 

In other news from their Quinpool location, there is a new Small Batch that will be available today! Mosaic Pale Ale was made on the on-site pilot system so the quantities are quite limited. This refreshing pale ale style is hopped generously with Mosaic which should bring a well balanced flavour of fresh berries with a bit of piney-resin. It’s on tap only (no growlers) as of today at Quinpool, Prop Arcade, and you’ll find some popping up at Battery Park later as well. 

For a few other quick hitters from Propeller, Common Lager is retiring but will be available for $40 per flat while supplies last. It’s never a bad idea to have a good stock beer around and that’s a great deal for 24 cans. 

Also, Community Cask Night is back next Friday, so be sure to check out the Facebook event here

In addition to the three-way Tap Takeover at Battery Park today, here’s what else is on our radar…

Moncton’s Euston Park Social is popping up in the Tire Shack Brewery taproom this weekend, for a preview and Test Kitchen version of what’s to come to their spot this summer. From 3 PM today, and noon both Saturday and Sunday, you’ll be able to try out the cool dishes to come before anyone else!

Down the Eastern Shore (or is it up?), Sober Island is celebrating its 5th anniversary with a COVID-friendly day of beer, food and music. From noon to 6:00 PM tomorrow, the brewery will be offering brewery tours and free flights to accompany live music and food available for purchase from the Ground Search and Rescue food truck. If you can’t make it on Saturday, the taproom is now open on Wednesday through Sunday, and as temperatures rise, keep an eye out for the opening of their outdoor beer garden. Congrats to Sober Island on 5 years!

Next week, Hopyard Charlottetown is kicking off the second annual Battle of the Breweries. Every Thursday, for nine weeks, HopYard will feature a keg from two breriews who will face-off, with the winner determined by which keg kicks first. This year’s battle will include local favourites such as Lone Oak, Village Green, Red Island Cider, Moth Lane, Evermoore, Upstreet, Bogside, Copper Bottom and PEI Brewing Co. Let the games begin!  

And a few quick mentions as we wrap up the beer news:

On April 1, we profiled Bluenose Lager, a collab between Garrison and Shipwright Brewing to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Bluenose. Cans are now available through both of the breweries’ retail channels and at private liquor stores.

Earlier this month we told you about the grand opening of Serpent Brewing’s taproom in Spryfield. We’re happy to report that Serpent’s kegs are now starting to make their way into beer slinging establishments across HRM. Look for keg or their Belgian IPA and Belgian Single at Battery Park, with the Single also making an appearance at The Other Bean

Trailway continues to glance back while moving forward and putting out updated versions of some older brews. This week it’s More Better, an IPA that features dank and resinous Simcoe hops, this time complemented by some Citra. Grab it fresh at the brewery today.

A couple more breweries in the region are looking for some help around their breweries and taprooms for the summer and perhaps beyond:

Bedford’s Off Track Brewing is looking to grow their team and they have a part-time opening for a server/bartender who will also be called on to handle retail sales. As with all serving positions, it’s 19+ only, and in addition, a valid driver’s license is required along with the ability to do some occasional lifting (50lbs+), availability for days, evenings, and weekends, and, as the brewery is dog-friendly, comfort with working around puppers. Folks with relevant experience and a strong customer focus are welcome to apply, but please send in your resume to allan@offtrackbrewing.ca rather than bringing it in person due to current COVID protocols. Off Track is an inclusive place, and folks from all races, sexual orientations, religions, and cultures are welcome to apply. 

Fredericton’s Trailway Brewing is looking to staff a summer position largely centered on their canning and bottling lines, but with additional duties supporting the brewers and cellar folks as required. An entry-level position, they’re expecting it to run 25 – 40 hours per week, depending on production levels and starting ASAP. Resumes will be reviewed as early as this week, so if you’re interested, best get your resume into the brewery in a hurry by sending it to info@trailwaybrewing.com!

Oy, we’re a little late today and apologies for that, but what are you going to do when there’s so much going on in the Atlantic Canada beer (and cider!) scene? It’s looking like a lovely day throughout most of the region, with a high chance of continued loveliness through the weekend – it’s almost enough to make you think that Spring is something you can believe in. Whether you choose to let yourself be lulled into a state of hopefulness or not, one thing that goes wonderfully with nice weather is beer! And, well, we can tell you a little bit about that…

Great news for beer fans in downtown Halifax, the Tiny Taproom rises again! After closing their spot for in-person enjoyment in March 2020 (you know, because of this pandemic), Tidehouse Brewing shifted their focus to curbside sales of their beer in cans. In the before times, grabbing a barstool at the 6-7 person bar top could kick off or wind down your night, physical distancing was definitely not a thing. Taking advantage of this not-completely-voluntary opportunity, the Tidehouse Team has completely renovated their space, and are now open again to all of us. Making their production space out back more efficient and streamlined (taking out their original plastic fermenters and replacing with four 500 litre tanks was a big help in that regard), put them in the position to extend the public space significantly. Capacity is now 16 (22 in a post-COVID world), which may mean them losing the title of smallest brewery taproom in the country, but we think they’re OK with that… So, what can you expect when you visit? In addition to being significantly larger, the space has a refreshed look thanks to B.A. Built (behind the Edna and Bar Stillwell looks and designs), and several tables so your bubble buddies can enjoy a pint or samples at low tops. 5 taps are flowing these days, with fresh Sotil, Hibiscus City, Bitchin Camaro IPA, Goth Stout, and Mars Imperial Stout, with a small number of cans available as well. That last one is their massive 11.5% ABV ImpStout with lactose, blackberries, and yes, Mars bars. Small pours on this one, fam!

Congratulations again to Shean and Peter and the entire Tidehouse Crew for weathering the storm and using it as an opportunity to expand their space and offerings! Pop by 4 PM – midnight, Wednesday to Saturday, 5187 Salter Street.

With last weekend’s ice all melted and some bluer skies in the forecast, now seems like the perfect time for a trip to Cape Breton for the release of Big Spruce Brewing’s newest beer, Début. This marks the first beer to spend time in their recently acquired 500 litre foeders. Brewed in the grisette style, Début also saw a dry hopping with Huell Melon hops and completed its entire fermentation in the foeders. Expect aromas of spice from the fermentation and melon from the hops, with notes of vanilla and honey on the palette. This one is making its debut (zing!) in kegs at the Sprucetique in Nyanza and in Downtown Dartmouth at Battery Park

The grass is always greener, they say and in PEI, Village Green is back with a new beer available today. Amarillo Pale is a Pale Ale brewed exclusively with Amarillo hops which gives it a great citrus flavour with some snappy bitterness. This 5.2% treat  is available today at the Cornwall brewery on tap and also in cans to go. 

Keeping up with new releases and news week after week, Bannerman Brewing is dropping two new releases today. First, Nothing But Time, is a new IPA that brings a unique flavour profile. With a grain bill consisting mostly of flaked and malted wheat, they massively dry-hopped this 7.5% IPA with El Dorado and Citra giving it a character that might remind you of candy and more specifically, Rockets! Available now on tap and in 473ml cans from the brewery; it will be at Marie’s this weekend. 

The second big release from Bannerman this week is a Thai-inspired lager with help from Namjim, a Thai based dining experience that serves out of different restaurants around St. John’s. Paradise Lost is a light and complex lager brewer with Pilsner malt, flaked rice and lemongrass. After being generously dry-hopped with Motueka and Sorachi Ace, this 5.0% ABV beer was conditioned on toasted coconut, lime leaf and lime zest. 

To celebrate the release, Namjim will be doing a kitchen takeover at Bannerman for Friday and Saturday (April 9th and 10th). The beer will be available only in 473ml cans from the brewery in limited quantities, so grab it while you can!

Down Lunenburg way, Shipwright Brewing is back to making some small batches for limited distribution (or at least we’re back to finding out about them in a timely fashion). The latest is one they’re calling Njǫrd Jötunn Saison, a 6.7% ABV saison at 30 IBU with a bit of a Scandanavian bent. Built on a grist of Shoreline Malting Pilsner and wheat malts, with a touch of acidulated malt in the mix as well, you can expect a balanced malt profile with some light graininess and a touch of honey sweetness. The hopping featured Eureka in the kettle for bittering, with late additions of Citra and Amarillo cryo hops for plenty of citrusy hop character. Completing the picture was a warm ferment with the Jötunn yeast blend from Escarpment Labs, which is a blend of a Norwegian Kveik strain and a saison strain designed to have a Viking deathmatch in the wort. Expect a bright and fruity beer with plenty of minerality and a touch of funk. Available on tap only at the brewery, and for growler fills and crowlers to go.

In cider news, Annapolis Cider Company in Wolfville dropped a new one last week, but a little too late for our pre-long weekend Thursday post. That’s okay, though, because it’s still showing in their online shop, so it’s still available! The latest in their Something Different series, Grape Mint has a pretty self-explanatory name, as it was blended with cryo-extracted grape juice and infused with plenty of fresh mint. Landing at 7.4% ABV, this sparkling cider leads with acidity, brings tropical pineapple and mango mid-palate, and then finishes clean with a cooling sensation from the mint, which is also present in the aroma. Sounds like this one would have gone well with Easter lamb dinner, but we’re sure it’s plenty tasty on its own too! As with all Something Different ciders from Annapolis, this one is in growlers only, and $0.50 from each fill will go to support a charity, in this case Campaign for Kids.

Fredericton’s Trailway continues to revisit some of their previous offerings, review them, revise them, and re-release them in a renewed form. This time it’s one called Imagination, an IPA brewed originally with Ekuanot and Loral (HBC 291), it now boasts so-new-it-doesn’t-have-a-name-yet HBC 630, Cashmere, Idaho 7, Sultana, and Columbus. But what’s more, this one has been upgraded to full DDH (that’s “double dry hopped”) status. This super hop-saturated fruity monster isn’t so monstrous when it comes to ABV, rolling in at 6%, which means you can almost certainly have two. Look for it on tap and canned at the brewery alongside a fresh batch of another of their hoppiest brews, Green Island. Act fast though, as both of these are in limited quantities and won’t be seen again for a while! Lastly, we told you about Trailway’s new light ale, Mully, a couple weeks back, a crisp and refreshing easy drinker at a paltry 4.0% ABV. That one is now in cans in addition to being on tap exclusively at JH Sports.

We mentioned back in March that Annapolis Brewing did a Pink Boots collaboration brew with folks from Church Brewing, Lunn’s Mill, and Sea Level for International Women’s Day 2021, and we promised you more details when it was released, so, well, here we are. Coming out this weekend is Glass Ceiling, a hazy IPA in the New England/Northeast style. At 5.5% ABV you could consider it on the more sessionable end of the style, with plenty of pineapple, mango, and coconut coming across from the Pink Boots hop blend, while a pleasant bitterness provides balance and a wheat-heavy grain bill brings the haze. Of course, proceeds from the sales will go to the Pink Boots Society, which provides scholarships for women in beer education around the world. We’re not sure exactly who’s going to have this one available, but we’d guess Annapolis for sure, so if you’re looking for some check there first!

Truro Brewing Company has a brand new light and crushable beer flowing from the taps today, Endless Summer. This 5.0% ABV Kolsch-style lagered ale is their answer to the “lawnmower” beers that many of us turn to as the weather warms and we may want a beer that refreshes first, without needing to think about it too much. While you probably won’t be grabbing ES by the flat, growler fills are certainly available at their spot and are a bit easier to juggle. 

Nova Scotian Homebrewers, fire up those kettles again (as if you need us to tell you that)! Truro Brewing has announced their Hubtown Homebrew Competition. They are looking for your best and most creative Patio Beer! Your $20 entry gets you a t-shirt, as well as a pitch of Escarpment’s Krispy Kveik liquid yeast, a perfect way to ferment something quick and crispy-ly. Judging takes place at the end of May (BJCP-Sanctioned, btw, so scoresheets with real feedback provided!), and the winning brewer will come in to TBC for a brew day with Jana and see their beer get a full release. There are only 20 spots for entries, so if you are keen, best fire them an email (trurobrewco@gmail.com) now!

Obviously a full slate of events still can’t really be a thing right now, but there are still a few things going on with proper social distancing and masking up and the hey-hey, so check them out!

Propeller Brewing is happy to announce that their Community Cask Night event will be supporting Prescott Group this month, with April’s events scheduled for tonight and two weeks from tonight. You can read more at their website for more details, but the short version is that they’ve been a non-profit organization in the area since 1962 and current support 160+ adults with disabilities through development of work and life skills. The cask for this evening will be Prop’s venerable ESB with an addition of coffee, while the April 23rd event will feature their Prime Lager dry-hopped with African Queen. As always, the casks will be tapped at 5 PM and will be served until they’re gone.

The last 12 months have seen far fewer beer nerds travelling outside of our bubble in search of new brews. Luckily, the good people at Stillwell continue to bring in the goods from elsewhere in Canada and beyond. This Saturday at HQ, they’ll be tapping three mixed ferm treats from Toronto’s Bellwoods Brewery. Beginning at noon, you’ll find a Farmageddon variant with Niagara Montmorency and Morello cherries, the peach version of White Picket Fence, and Grandma, a foeder fermented golden sour. 

Are you a pro brewer looking to expand your knowledge of Berliner Weisse production? Maybe you’re just a curious homebrewer looking to get your lacto on? Whatever the case, check out the upcoming webinar from Escarpment Labs, livestreaming on April 20th at 12:00 PM (CBC voice: “12:30 in Newfoundland”). Escarpment will be joined by German brewer and beer historian Benedikt Koch, who will cover topics including the history and culture of the beer, and various production methods. Reserve your spot here. If you can’t make the livestream, look for the recording to be added to Escaprment’s YouTube channel on April 21. 

Our usual round-up of quick hits is right here:

North Brewing is switching things up this week with the release of a cider. Core Values, first made last spring on North’s smaller system, is made with Stirling’s Farms apples. Fermented with a Chardonnay yeast strain to the tune of 6.1% ABV, it spent six weeks undergoing a cold ferment/conditioning, resulting in a drier cider with notes of melon, citus, and you guessed it, apple. Cans of Core Value are available now through North’s retail channels and on tap at the Portland Street taproom and Battery Park.

Staying with Dartmouth ciders, Lake City Cider has a new one out this week that features a variety of methods and fruits. Strawberry Rhubarb is a 7.8% cider made from house-fermented strawberry rhubarb fruit wine, blended with apples. Expect prominent berry notes and a tart finish. Cans are available now through Lake City’s retail channels. 

This Saturday will see the return of the acclaimed Commissar Russian Imperial Stout at Unfiltered Brewing. The 2021 release comes in at 11.2% ABV and will be available in bottles and on tap next door at Charm School. Drink some now, and buy bottles for when the end of the world truly comes into focus…

We know plenty of folks who’ve missed Propeller’s Azacca session IPA and wish it were a full-year beer and not a seasonal, but life’s like that. The good news for that set is that the season is upon us and the 4.5% ABV and 30 IBU single-hop (Azacca, duh) beer is back at the Prop Shops and six packs are heading to the private stores, then NSLC in May, where you’ll be able to find it all summer long.

And speaking of the return of sessionable hoppy beers for the summer, 2 Crows has also brought back theirs! Matinee is just 3.1% ABV, but it packs plenty of flavor owing to being loaded with Citra, Galaxy, and Idaho 7 hops. Find it at the brewery now and coming next week to select NSLC stores.

A couple of jobs in beer on our radars this week, and expect to see these more and more as taprooms and breweries beef up their staff in preparation for the coming traveling season. Let’s go Bubble!

Lunn’s Mill in Lawrencetown, and their sister The Station location in Bridgetown, are hiring Servers, Bartenders, and Cooks to round out their FOH and BOH crew. Open to all with an interest in beer, wine, cider, and spirits or designing, preparing, and serving great food to pair, they’re looking for those with great customer service and working with a team. Tidy up that cover letter and resume, and send it through those tubes to info@lunnsmill.beer.

And if getting your feet (and probably hands and knees) wet in a brewery is more your speed, Chester Basin’s Tanner & Co Brewing is looking for an Assistant Brewer to join their team. With more production capacity coming soon, they’re looking to double production staff with a full-time Asst Brewer position. No previous commercial experience is required, though homebrewing and a thirst to learn more are both big assets to the job. While a seasonal job now, this could become permanent. Check out their Careers page to learn more and how to apply!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A couple more quick hits on the beer side:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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