Here we are at the end of July already and into the August long weekend that marks our entry into the shank of the Summer. We don’t know about you folks, but we’re hoping for some decent weather to help those folks who, enabled by the looser COVID restrictions, are moving around the region, as well as those who are staying closer to home. Whether you’re planning to hit the camp/cottage/cabin or the beach, get some yard work done, or just kick back and relax, our region’s breweries and cideries have plenty on the go to keep your thirst slaked. If you’re travelling, why not plan to swing by a brewery along the way? If you’re staying put, maybe seek out some new beers from a brewery you know well? Whatever you do, please do it safely and responsibly!
New Brewery Alert!! Update the Good Beer Map!! Happy Craft Brewing in downtown Moncton opened their doors this week, welcoming in the curious folks who have been admiring their 15 BBL (1800 litre) brewhouse front and centre at 800 Main Street. Launching with four of their own beers, including Drama Free American IPA, Oh To Be A Rainbow Passionfruit Sour, Apricot Wheat, and Good Day Bad Day Pilsner. Beers are available to enjoy onsite, as well as in growlers, with cans coming soon. No kitchen onsite, but they are welcoming food trucks to park adjacent to their off-street patio, so keep an eye on their Facebook and Instagram pages for the latest announcements. Currently open from noon until 9 or later, Wednesday to Sunday. Congratulations to Gregg and Co on the opening!
Speaking of Happy, one of the several guest beers and ciders on tap there currently is the latest release from Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing. Reminding us that we only live once (or maybe Yoda Only Lives Outdoors), YOLO is another in their exploration of the New England/Hazy IPA style, showcasing new world hops for aroma and flavour, rather than bitterness. Case in point, YOLO is best described as a Double NEIPA at 7.5% ABV, yet a lighter 25 IBU, with the Cryo Citra, El Dorado, Sabro, and Talus all being added late in the process, in the post-boil whirlpool (as the beer is partially cooled before heading to the fermenter, with the whirlpooling effect helping to collect protein and hop matter in the brew kettle rather than clogging the heat exchanger) and dry-hopping during and post-fermentation. These hops are tropical on the nose and palate with citrus, pineapple, and stone fruit to the max, so check out the taps at Happy and Le BarBu in Dieppe for a taste of this beaut. And keep your eyes on O’Creek’s IG page this weekend as they’ll be releasing Foggy Pale Ale, a 5.0% New England Pale Ale with Loral, Citra, and Sabro soon! Ask for it at your favourite watering hole so they can bring it in!
We figure many of you will be passing by Lone Oak on your way onto PEI, so don’t miss your chance to grab a new brew. Delight is their latest barrel aged release, this one being a Golden Peach Sour. Aged in Chardonnay barrels for 18 months, this was then racked to join some peaches for another 3 months. Ending up at a sweet, fuzzy-peach vibe summer sour, this 5.5% release is available today on tap only at the brewery and HopYard, where they took home the Championship Belt last night in a fierce battle with Upstreet. In two weeks time, this will be available in 500ml bottles.
And mark your calendars for August 4th, when they will be releasing Blueprint, a Foeder-aged Farmhouse Wit. In collaboration with Nine Yards Studio, who helped name the beer and design the label, the funky and tart wheat beer will be launched at Salt & Sol on the Charlottetown waterfront, with live music and comedy from 4 PM.
The Modern Brewer of Village Green continues to roll out the new releases, with this week featuring two takes on IPA. First up is West Coast IPA, a style which the brewery has dabbled in previously. This version features a base of 2-row malt, wheat and a touch of crystal-15 malt. Hops were added in three stages with Columbus during the boil, Amarillo, Cascade and Centennial as late additions, and a dry hop of Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial and Citra. WC IPA comes in at 6.9%. Next up is Chinook IPA; featuring less bitterness and malt character than its west coast counterpart, this one features 2-row and Maris Otter malts along with wheat. It is hopped exclusively with Chinook, including a generous dry hop, and finishes at 6.2% ABV. Head to the brewery’s taproom in Cornwall now to check out these two contrasting takes on IPA.
From Fredericton, Grimross brings a new release that we rarely see canned in wide distribution for the region. British Mild Ale is a classic, malt-forward British-style ale. Boasting malty aromas and flavours, this is dark, rich and complex, and balanced nicely at 22 IBU and 3.5%. It’s available now in 475 mL cans directly from the brewery but keep an eye on their social channels for further distribution.
Jumping over to the North Shore of Nova Scotia (home of the other canned (Dark) Mild in the region), the Tatamagouche brew crew has two fresh ones for everyone this week. First up is a limited and smaller test batch called Free Lunch, which is a 4.8% Cream Ale. Always a brewery to tweak and tinker, they’re using this batch to test out a new base malt. This will be available in kegs only at the brewery.
The next batter up from Tata is Vamoose (what a pleasure to say and type!). This beer features the same base as Guava Heist (Berliner Weisse style aged on guava), but using raspberry and plum as the fruit additions in a 70/30 ratio. Featuring raspberry for a lighter, refreshing summer quencher, the plums add depth of flavour in this 3.5% beer. It is shipping out in kegs to tap accounts, with growlers and pints in the taproom or you can pick up or order some 473 mL cans for delivery!
The calendar flipping to August means blueberry season is upon us in Atlantic Canada, and after a few lean years of production, our producers are expecting a bigger year this year. Annapolis Brewing is all ready to celebrate the start of a hopefully banging season with the release of Blueberry Sour Smoothy. This kettle sour features blueberry puree and a touch of lactose to accentuate the body. Per the style, the hops are kept to a minimum to let the tartness and fruit flavours steal the show, resulting in 12 IBUs. The 4% ABV sour smoothie is available now in picturesque Annapolis Royal.
If 4% sours aren’t your thing, perhaps we could interest you in a 8% ABV barleywine? Cutting across the mainland will bring you to Mahone Bay where you’ll find Go Big or Go Home from Saltbox Brewing Co. This one is a nod to the English version of the style, which focuses more on the malt and features less hop character than its American cousin. In a move we can get behind, Saltbox is releasing this heavy hitter in a smaller package, namely 355 mL cans. Head down the South Shore to grab yours this weekend.
Big Spruce continues to bring the new suds to Nyanza. This week’s release beams us up to Cologne with Kölsch Encounters of the Third Kind. This style of lagered ale is known for its crisp and refreshing drinking profile. Big Spruce’s latest version (we can’t forget Put Me In Kölsch from years past) comes in at 5.4% ABV and is available now at the Sprucetique in Nyanza.
The Salter street crew out of Halifax has two new releases this week, as Tidehouse brings us the goodies! First up is The Casual, a 3.5% dry-hopped sour. A kettle sour dry hopped with Enigma, bringing high alpha juice and notes of red berries and stone fruit. This is available on tap only at the brewery.
Their second release is Dripping Sun, a hazy Pale Ale that is loaded with Monroe hops. At 5.5% this flavourful, hoppy, and smooth pale ale brings notes of passionfruit and orange syrup. Available at the brewery now by the glass, but also in cans to go.
Keeping it Candid, news out of Antigonish keeps coming week to week! Quench is a cherry sour available now. A fruit-forward sour that’s light-bodied, tart, and refreshing, it finishes clean and dry with touches of dark and sweet cherry juice. This fruity, well-attenuated, and refreshing 5.0% sour is available today in 473 mL cans to go and for pints in the taproom, which is officially open now! Pop by from noon every day (except Monday), open until 9 PM or later (except closing at 5 PM Sunday).
Out in the back end of HRM, Ol’ Biddy’s Brewhouse and TAPestry Beer Bar are putting Sackville on the map of beer destinations (a phrase we admit we never expected to type, but here we are). This week OBB has a couple new variations for us to try, both in small batch volumes. First up is Sackville Hoppy Blonde, their nominally SMaSH blonde ale elevated to something more like American Pale Ale territory through a dry hop of Ariana, Sabro, and Mosaic. Look for notes of blackcurrants, gooseberries, tangerine, and maybe a little of that magical Sabro coconut character. With this one coming in at 4.9% ABV you’ll be able to have a couple and really search for all those elements.
On a similar scale, Pineapple Bastard is a variation on their American wheat ale, Orange American Bastard, but with 10% pineapple juice into the fermenter. Still light and refreshing at 4.2% ABV and boasting light citrus and tropical vibes, it should be a perfect crusher for the long weekend. Both of these beers are available in limited quantities and they’re not being packaged in cans so you’ll have to get down to the taproom for fills or pints! Sunday would be a great day to do so, as they’ve started what they’re calling “Sunday Funday” with $5 pints of Biddy brews all day (open from noon to 6 PM). They’ve got a patio going now, so if the weather cooperates you can play washer toss and maybe some darts.
If you’re from the Bay, or heading there this weekend, be sure to stop in at Baccalieu Trail in Bay Roberts, as they have a fresh #hazyboi on tap and in cans this weekend. Dandy is a 6.5% New England IPA, featuring economically irresponsible additions during the Whirlpool and Dry Hop of Mosaic, Idaho 7, and Sabro. That translates into major pina colada vibes of pineapple and coconut, plus a juicy citrus undertone. Cans are available to take-away from the brewery now, with a draught version available any moment now. For those unable to make the well-worth-it trip to the brewery to hang on their deck and watch the birds play in the water, look for cans on the shelves of your local Marie’s, and maybe even on tap at Bar Brewdock, before too long!
We’re a day late with this news, but Happy F#&@%$g 6th Anniversary to everyone at Unfiltered Brewing. Celebrations took place last night with the esteemed Greg Nash manning the grill, but the spoils are still available this weekend with the return of Inducement, their 7.4% ABV DIPA hopped with Mosaic and Falconer’s Flight.
The anniversaries continue, this time up Nova Scotia’s eastern shore where The Harbour Brewing Company, of Musquodoboit Harbour, is turning 3 on Sunday, August 1st. Drop by the brewery for special prices on pints and some door prizes.
We’ve got a few more short beer hits to share today before we dismiss you for the week…
A bit of news out of Cole Harbour this week from Hardisty, as they have some of their beer available around HRM. Happy Path is an American Pale Ale that’s going by keg to TAPestry Beer Bar and in cans to Harvest Wines, who will also have cans of Thirst Trap, a pride-themed amber ale. In other news, they’re adding a new unitank into the brew house reflecting increased demand. You love to hear it!
It’s been a little while since we’ve heard from 3Flip in Fredericton, but they’ve got two new seasonable releases this summer available in wide distribution across the province via ANBL. First up is Lemon Kilmister, a 5.5% ABV lemon blonde ale designed to be a super-drinkable summer quencher. Similarly in the citrus camp is Limes Ulrich, another 5.5% beer, but this one an American wheat ale with lime additions. Maybe throw some classic 80s metal on the boombox as you pound a few of these on a hot summer afternoon! They’re both available now in 355 mL cans at ANBL locations all around New Brunswick and also Uptown Bagtown Boozy Market and Sussex Ale Works.
Fans of traditional farmshed beers in NS can rejoice, as Delta Force Brewing has now reached the tipping point of having brewed enough beer to make it available on the regular instead of by announcement only. Check out the How to Buy section of their new(-ish?) website for full details and a list of what’s currently available. But sign up for/stay subscribed to their email list for new beer and multi-pack sale announcements!
Rounding out the beer news this week is the latest release from the 902 BrewCast crew, where they welcomed Phil back to the pod to sit down and (attempt) to catch up with him and Dodo as they tour around the province. Where have they been? Where are they going next? Keep up with Phil through amazing visuals on his IG page, and grab some prints of your own!
And in late-breaking news, it looks like Gahan is expanding yet again, this time they will be taking over the space on the St. John’s waterfront once occupied by Mill Street and Bier Market. No details yet on what size system they’ll be installing there, but our roving reporter did poke his head in this week and notice all of the previous equipment was gone, so there is a blank slate for re-configuration and optimizing of operations. We’ll share more once we have it, of course!