902 BrewCast

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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!

Great news to lead off today, as Newfoundland & Labrador have loosened restrictions to COVID Level 2, which allows restaurants and taprooms to open for in-person dining and imbibing. Be sure to support (safely) those breweries and great beer bars and restos in whatever way you can, as they surely have had a tough few months. With the recent flare-up in Northwestern NB, we know forward progress can be taken away in a moment. We’re still feeling cautiously optimistic about April 19th, with the probable re-inflation of the Atlantic Bubble. Wear a mask and take care of yourself and others. 🧡

Halifax’s Good Robot Brewing has a brand new release this week, which comes with a mystery they’d love to learn more about. Abigail Price was a widowed free Black Woman who immigrated by boat from New York to Shelburne in 1783, her name appearing in The Book of Negroes. 10 years later, she had a home built on her land in Tusket, where she lived for some 20 years, before selling the property in 1816. After the sale, she moved on, and her life afterward is currently lost from the history books. Today, that property is known as The Hatfield House, an award-winning restaurant. 

Chelsea B teamed up with local journalist (and beer enthusiast) Evelyn C White to develop the recipe and brew Abigail Was Here, a beer to honour Price’s legacy. Light amber and a touch hazy in appearance, this 5.9% ABV Saison was lightly hopped with Lemon Drop, before an extra helping of lemon zest and juice, in addition to a touch of blueberry extract to round out the fruit character. A Saison yeast offers a bit of clove spiciness. The beer’s label was designed by Brent Braaten and Sara Panchaud, and drew inspiration from the earliest photograph available of the original house, as Abigail Price may have left it 200 years ago. The beer is available on tap at the brewery, and in cans to take away or for home delivery.

Tatamagouche Brewing has a new beer designed and brewed by brewer Chad Ellis in a somewhat uncommon style for our region. Black Flower is an American Stout coming in at 5.5% ABV and Chad did his best to lean into the “aggressively hopped” aspect of the style and leveraging American varieties. Starting with some Triple Pearl from HOOH (Harvesters of Organic Hops) in BC that he describes as featuring, “some cool vanilla/black tea aromas,” he blended in some “really resinous” Centennial from local hop farm Wicked Hops in Stewiacke, NS. Completing the hop picture is classic Cascade. With a firm bitterness of 55 IBU established, most of the hops were added in the whirlpool, which should give plenty of hop aroma and flavor showing. On the grist side of things, Horton Ridge pale, some caramel malts (but not too much), and a “punchy” blend of dark malts that included barley, rye, and wheat provide balance to all those hops with roasty, chocolate, and coffee notes. Fermented with S-04 yeast, a British strain, but well-suited to the style, the resulting beer has plenty of citrus peel character, especially on the aroma, with similar flavors as well as dark chocolate, black coffee, and caramel. This one is debuting in cask-conditioned (aka naturally carbonated) firkins at the Stillwell Freehouse in the next few days, with kegs and cans coming to Tatmagouche and licensees next week. Don’t forget you can order online as well, for delivery across Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada.

If you’re feeling that Island life and the warm weather has got you in a tropical mood, Copper Bottom brings a new release available today. Field Trip: Pink Guava is their latest in a series with an eye on experimentation, unconventional and unpredictable, which tend to be tart and fruity. This iteration brings a kettle soured with a grain bill of Shoreline two-row and wheat, a bit of Warrior hops and then a lot of pink guava puree added after the kettle souring. This is available in cans today at 5.0% and it will only be available online and in their taproom, with a few choice Charlottetown accounts. If you’re around the taproom, pop in for some live music and an expanded menu to celebrate the release, with Nick Doneff starting the tunes at 5 PM this afternoon. That expanded menu, btw, has several items curated by the fine folks at HopYard, and still includes the great Handpie Company offerings, picnic baskets, and small snacks, joined by the new epic Spinach Dip, Sausage Roll, and Pepperoni and Veggie Flatbreads. 

We would also like to congratulate the team at Copper Bottom for winning the Excellence in Adaptation & Resiliency Award last night at the Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce President’s Excellence Awards. This award recognizes a business that has shown resilience in the face of adversity by introducing or improving a product/service to better fit the new environment caused by COVID-19. Congrats to the great team there and we’re happy to have been lucky enough to enjoy your fine brews over the last year. 

Rolling right into the same awards ceremony, Upstreet Brewing also took home some hardware, picking up the Workplace Excellence Award at the same Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce awards noted above. This award is given to an organization that, through its innovative human resource practices, provides employees with a positive, healthy and productive workplace. Things are upbeat at Upstreet and we know you’re worthy recipients!

This sounds like the perfect time for a new release, so they’re back with Neon Friday 3.04 New England IPA. First released in November 2020, they’ve tweaked the recipe ever so slightly, to enhance the smooth hop finish with notes of stone fruit and cherries. Still plenty (more, even!) Cashmere, Citra, Mosaic, and Sabro, they adjusted the timing of those additions, along with changes to the water and grain bill to enhance the haze and head retention. Still at 6.5%, this is available in cans and on tap at Craft Beer Corner, their Taproom and online for island wide delivery. And those in HRM/Nova Scotia should see it in the private stores soon. And no spilling the beans just yet, but fans of their Rewind Seltzer take note, as well as those who are digging their Libra line of <1% ABV beers…

Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing is saying “So Long” (well, “See You Later”) to their Aussie-hopped Dunder Pale Ale, and bringing in a brand new year-round Pale Ale. Day’s Done is a 5.0% ABV American Pale Ale, that features a hop bill of Cascade and Mosaic, but used judiciously in a well balanced and easy-drinking beer. A medium body and soft mouthfeel from the malt bill (mostly Canadian Pilsner) support the hops in this golden ale. Available on tap and in cans at the brewery now, as well as for shipping across Atlantic Canada and Ontario.

You can help them Hooroo to Dunder for the rest of the week by grabbing a pint or growler fill at the brewery, for just $5 or $10, taxes in. Also, for those looking for something in the fermented seltzer vein, best grab their Bubbly seltzer quick before it goes away. They’re not getting out of the Seltzer game completely, as TW will be back with a less-cease-and-desisty name and brand soon.

The team at North Brewing Company is giving us an early taste of summer with their release of Mango Mango, their take on the Fruited IPA style. This one starts off as a west-coast style IPA featuring Lotus and Mosaic hops. It was then referented on 200 lbs of mango pureé (the Totapuri variety of mango from India and Sri Lanka to be exact). 473 ml cans are available now through North’s two retail locations and for delivery through their webstore. You can also find it on tap now at North’s Portland Street taproom and Battery Park. In other exciting news, North posted a teaser on social media this week about their new, third location! Online sleuths quickly identified the location as the Brunello Estates neighborhood in Timberlea. We’ll have more news in the coming weeks on what is sure to be a great addition to the BLT area. 

Although no brewery puts out a new beer every single week of the year, some breweries do seem to aspire to it, which brings us, of course, to 2 Crows in Halifax. Fans of the brewery (and fruited sours) are no doubt familiar with Jamboree, a regular in the 2C lineup, and this week the gang on Brunswick is releasing a sibling beer they’re calling Jubilee. Built on a similar grist of Pilsner, malted wheat, raw wheat and some flaked oats, no hops were added to the boil. Souring was accomplished with Lactobacillus plantarum after which the wort was fermented at high temperature with the Ebbengarden Kveik strain. Post-fermentation it saw fruit, and not a little bit of it: 440 lbs of blackberry puree and 270 lbs of apricot were added to a 2,400 L batch!. After giving those extra sugars time to ferment out, the batch was dry hopped with a little bit of Bru-1 hops. The result is not unlike a smoothie, according to the brewery, as it’s, “fruity, lush, thick, and purple,” and not super sour, but, “kinda tart.” Also of note is that this beer was soured post-boil, so the bacteria used to sour are still alive; this implies that there could be a little bit of aging potential for this one, although probably not super long term as it’s only 4.8% ABV. You can find it at the brewery packaged in cans for a pint or grab some to go, or you can order on-line for delivery.

What better to celebrate Newfoundland and Labrador’s return to Level 2 than the release of a new beer!? On the west-coast, you’ll find the newest offering from Crooked Feeder Brewing Co. Powder Keg is a Cream Ale brewed with Escarpement Lab’s KRISPY Kveik yeast. Developed in collaboration with local outdoor outfitter Rugged Edge, Powder Keg comes in at 4.5% and is currently available on tap and in 500 ml bottles at the Crooked Feeder Gastropub in Corner Brook. 

Cornwall’s Village Green has not one, not two, but three new beers on tap this weekend. First up is their take on a Belgian-Style Tripel. Brewed in January to allow for sufficient conditioning, Tripel was made using Pilsner malt and Perle hops. At 9.4% ABV, it’s the strongest beer made by VIllage Green to date and is currently available in 5 oz pours at the taproom. Keep an eye out for a canned release of Tripel shortly. Next up is Hazy Pale Ale. This one started with two-row, malted wheat and a touch of crystal malt, along with Warrior hops for bittering. The beer was then hit with auditions of Amarillo, Centennial and Citra in the whirlpool and as a dry hop. Expect notes of candied citrus and spruce needs in this 5.8% hazy ale. Finally, for something on the maltier side, keep an eye out for their take on a Brown Ale, also being released at the taproom this weekend.

The Altbier style has been gaining in popularity in our region, with more breweries in the region producing examples of the beer that originated in Düsseldorf, Germany. Annapolis Brewing Company is the latest to release their take on style. Coming in at 5% ABV and 42 IBU, Altbier pours a dark copper colour with a moderate noble hop aroma. Expect malt notes of biscuit and caramel, nicely balanced by the hop bitterness. Altbier is available for pints and growler fills now at the taproom in Annapolis Royal.

Lots of fun news coming out of Moncton this week, as Tire Shack Brewing has a few exciting things on the go. 

First up, they have a special cask release tonight with 20L of their Russian Imperial Stout that has been sitting in cask for 4 months and filled it with cubes of Hungarian Oak to simulate the effects of barrel aging. The oaky flavours should come through and is definitely worth trying if you’re in the neighbourhood, but even if you’re not, it is worth the trip! It’s a doozy at 11.9% ABV, so tread carefully and have a pal take care of transportation! That way you can also enjoy… 

A new release also graces Tire Shack today, they have a Blueberry-Vanilla Milkshake IPA available now. Using Ahtanum hops for a lemony-spicy kick, the sweetness and blueberry come on the finish for an interesting release. This is available today for enjoyment onsite in pints and flights, and in growlers to go, and at just 4.5% ABV, you can certainly enjoy a couple in these warmer evenings. And if we play our cards right, there may be some cans coming in the next few days!

Lastly in some cool news, they’ve extended their Halo donut collaboration through the weekend for Moncton Craft Beer Week. They have two awesome donuts featuring some of their beers. The first features Secret Society Stout icing with Sunny Brae Coffee espresso crumble. The second donut is loaded with Parts N Labour IPA icing with lime zest. Pairing them with their parent beers in the taproom is highly recommended, though they will also be available to go from Halo’s spot at 110 St-George (open 12 – 6 PM all weekend, though no guarantee the donuts won’t sell out earlier!). Lots of great news from Tire Shack and worthy of heading out this weekend if you’re able. 

Speaking of Moncton Craft Beer Week, it wraps up tomorrow with a couple of special events.

Open Brewery Day is happening tomorrow, with free shuttle buses running a loop between connecting the downtown core, Riverview, and Dieppe, with stops along the way. From 11 AM – 5 PM, start your visits at any one of these spots and get a headstart on your Moncton Craft Beer Passport… The first bus leaves at 11:30 in this order, with the others leaving every 15 minutes: CAVOK Brewing (perfect place to grab some Acadie-Broue, Chockpish, and O’Creek), Flying Boats, Pump House Fill Station, Tire Shack Brewing, Tide & Boar Brewing, Holy Whale Beer Hall (just a 30 min walk Celtic Knot), completing the loop at City Hall in the downtown core (quick walk to Gahan Hub City, Pump House, and Tide & Boar Gastropub).

Speaking of Tide & Boar, they are hosting an All IPA Tap Takeover Saturday, with 14 hoppy beauts from the GMA pouring all day long, plus a secret IPA flight, and if you can correctly guess the identity of the beers, you’ll be entered in a draw for a $50 T&B gift card.

And today and tomorrow are your last chances to take part in the Beer Tasting Menu at Clos, the Spring Beer Garden at Euston Park, and the Mac & Cheese & Beer Restaurant Crawl.

In more great news from Newfoundland being at Level 2, if you’re not able to make it there, you can pop down to Stillwell on Saturday for your own fresh sips of Bannerman Brewing! Your fine purveyors of the good stuff bring six fresh pops from the St. John’s brewery. They’ll be open at Noon on Saturday and joining the six draft pours will be fried fish sandwiches flying out of the kitchen. Check out the full tap list below:

Early Rise – Dry-hopped sour w/ lactose, mango, pomegranate – 6.5%
Eclipse IPA – 7%
After Hours DIPA – 8%
Hill O Sips American IPA – 6.8%
Counter Productive Oatmeal Stout – 6%
Better Watch Out Barleywine – 9.5%

Speaking of Stillwell, they are looking for a Few Good Folks to join their Beergarden staff (yup, it’s that time of year!). Experienced Beer- and Food-tenders should apply by email at yo@barstillwell.com.

The job postings keep flowing as Bannerman is looking to add a few new people to their team. In the kitchen, they are looking for a Prep/Line Cook, as well as an Events Manager. In their words, “We’re looking for an energetic, organized individual to take on our ever growing event space. Experience is a must.” If you’re interested, please drop them a line with your resume to info@bannermanbrewing.com

We mentioned Village Green’s new releases already, but they are also looking to grow their team with the additions of a Trainee Brewer and part-time Beer Servers at the taproom. They are accepting resumes at villagegreenpei@gmail.com, or if you’re in the area, drop by the taproom for more info. 

In Southern New Brunswick, Hampton Brewing is preparing for the May opening of their brewery and taproom at the Fire Fly Forest Recreation area just outside of Hampton, and they are looking to hire a full-time Server. Thriving in a fast-paced work environment, and creating a great experience for those who drop by for pints or beer-to-go, the right candidate will have the opportunity to grow with the brewery. Send them an email (hamptonbrewingco@gmail.com) by April 2nd with your resume and “Taproom Server” in the subject line, and you can check out the full posting here.

Now that we’ve got you up to date with all of the latest news, how about some more beer stuff for your ears while you drink some beer this afternoon? The fellas from the 902 BrewCast are back on the mics this month after a bit of a break, and are getting you up to speed with what’s new in their beer universe, and answered questions about every little thing from their loyal listeners. Check your podcatcher for the latest ep, or go direct to the source here!

 

Good day, sweet world! As we travel down the path of the Holiday season, the beer releases are coming in strong and fast, much like all of the news below! As our Atlantic provinces do our best to combat the spread of the virus, we must stay diligent by staying home and still supporting local businesses and breweries. Make sure you check out your old favourites and new shops and restaurants for pick-up and delivery options as we all do our part to stop the spread of the virus and spread the cheers! Onto what you’re really here for… the news!

Let’s start you off with some good news from our pals in Hanwell, New Brunswick, Niche Brewing. They are dropping another in their line of “infrequent and always special” bottle releases, After the Storm. Quite the fitting name given the world’s state of affairs, and the beer inside rises to the occasion, naturally. Starting with primary fermentation in a freshly-emptied Chardonnay barrel, this Dark Sour featured the use of Lactobacillus, and then fermentation with their house culture with Brettanomyces and Saccharomyces that they’ve been using for the past 3 years. After developing in the barrel for a year and a half (!!), it was moved to a stainless tank and loads of tart cherry puree was added, and allowed to meld for another few months before bottling and conditioning was complete. Dark fruit, chocolate, oak, and more, all in a 5.5% tart beer, ready for us to enjoy this season. In addition to a select few ANBL locations in the Capital (York Street) and Moncton area, After the Storm will also be at the Picaroons Crafted NB Drinks Market this Sunday, and at Maybee Brewing and CAVOK Brewing in their to-go fridges as well.

Heading 2 hours East of Hanwell, just before you hit the Acadian Coast, you will encounter Saint-Antoine/Saint Anthony. There you will find the newest brewery to open in the region, Twin Harbour Brewing. They are operating at 18 Des Bouleaux Ave in the town, and will be open for growler sales today 5 – 9 PM, and Saturday, 2 – 5 PM. So, what can you expect when you roll up to Twin Harbour? As it is a private residence, park in their driveway and head for the side door, bringing you right into the 120 litre (1 BBL) brewhouse. Please, masks on and respect social distancing, and wait until all other customers have left. Payment can be via Cash or EMT or their new gift certificates, perfect for slipping in a holiday card. OK, enough of that stuff, what beer do they have available?? Their locally-themed beers include Bo-Soleil Pale Ale (5.0%), Côte d’Or Blonde (5.0%), Cape Enragée West Coast IPA, and two fruited beers, the Raspberry Wheat (4.3%) and Blueberry Ale (4.5%). All beers are available in their own 1L Twin Harbour growlers, and they will also fill your own 1L and 2L clean growlers as well. We hope to have lots more on their beer and the people behind Twin Harbour next week, and wish them a great and busy weekend! Salut!

Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing has recently launched a collaboration beer that is near and dear to their hearts, in appreciation of a gesture from long ago. Ok, enough with the teasing! Most residents of Nova Scotia know that after the Halifax Explosion in 1917, the city of Boston was a big help in getting the city and its residents back on their feet. As a thank you, Halifax has sent a very large (“the biggest and best” – D. Trump) Christmas tree to the city of Boston every year since 1971. Hence, From Nova Scotia With Love, a “Whiskey Barrel Aged Abbey Ale” brewed in a “Home and Home” collaboration with Boston’s Harpoon Brewery. Brewed with a grist containing a portion of oak and cherry wood smoked malts, they decided to throw in a small addition of spruce tips, and aged the beer in Glenora Single Malt Whiskey barrels from Cape Breton. Packaged in 650 mL bottles, the 8% ABV beer is “both layered and complex, with notes of dried fruit, vanilla, wood smoke, and caramel”, as well as a bit of warmth from the whiskey. Proceeds from this beer will be donated to the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia’s Tema Grant, “a non-profit dedicated to supporting the mental health of first responders, frontline workers, and allied health professionals making unprecedented sacrifices in these difficult times”. Grab your bottles at the Sprucetique, or order online for delivery all over!

If you’re wanting to hear even more about the project and more fun details on the beer, may we suggest you check out the 902 BrewCast Podcast, as their most recent episode features an interview with Jeremy White from Big Spruce Brewing. During the episode, Kyle and Tony also chat with the fine folks at North Brewing about their Holiday Box and other recent releases, and drink their way through some new and old favourite Nova Scotian beers. The 902 fellas are also running a contest on their instagram page, so be sure to order some beer and tag them in the post. And congratulations to (former?) co-host Phil Church who has launched his professional photography business, find out more here.

The other interview during that most recent episode was with Allan of Bedford’s Off Track Brewing, who have released two Bourbon Barrel-Aged beers this week, both available now for pick up or delivery. First up is the Barrel-Aged version of their Crash Course IPA, which spent 6 months in a Buffalo Trace Bourbon barrel, before being moved to a conditioning tank for an extra dry-hopping dose of Mosaic, before a low and slow keg conditioning for the past 4 months, before bottling this 9.4% beast. And a brand new recipe is the Choc-Full Chocolate Stout, a roasty-chocolately stout that was aged for 11 months in a Woodford Reserve barrel, picking up a touch of booze and plenty of vanilla and wood character, before bottling. This 9.2% beaut is available in 500 ml bottles, just like the BBA Crash Course, and both are available for delivery in their region (Hammonds Plains/Bedford/Sackville/Fall River), as well as at the brewery at 275 Rocky Lake Drive during their current retail hours, Thursday and Friday 3 – 7 PM, and Saturday 12 – 4 PM.

Let’s head North, waaaaay North, to Lab City, to tell you about the newest release from Iron Rock Brewing. In November, Nardia McGrath (most recently of Landwash Brewery) took over their brewhouse for a couple of weeks, and along with Assistant Brewer Cindy, developed Cat’s Away IPA. Using a light-coloured base malt of 2-Row, Wheat, Flaked Oats and touch of Crystal 60, the beer featured a ton of Cascade and Citra in the boil, before a round of dry-hopping with Cascade, Citra, and Mosaic. This 6.0% Deadly beer is available in the taproom and to take-away now, so grab some when you pop by for this evening’s Trivia at 7:30 PM, or tomorrow evening’s Open Mic. And for those not in Lab City, check their website for delivery, which they’re offering Canada-wide!

Big things are happening in Rothesay this week as Long Bay Brewery releases its first canned product, Double-Dragon Fly-PA. This 8% ABV New England style DIPA features Sabro, Citra and Mosaic hops, showcasing tropical notes including mango, coconut and tangerine. The team at Long Bay used two different yeast strains and a blend of English and Canadian malts. The beer was cold conditioned for a week before packaging the features the hazy appearance you’ve come to expect from the New England style. Cans are available in 355 ml (more big beers in small cans, please!) and are available now at the brewery, with pints and growler fills also an option. If you can’t make it to Rothesay, look for cans to start popping up on ANBL shelves in the coming days and weeks. Double-Dragon Fly-PA is being launched as part of Long Bay’s core brands, which means you’ll soon be able to enjoy it all year long. In other Long Bay news, construction continues on their taproom expansion with the wall officially coming down to join the current taproom with the neighboring space. Stay tuned to Long Bay’s social channels as they work towards opening the new space during the holiday season.

Have you been stuck in your province? Is the PEI ferry operating? (seriously, we don’t know!) Well, if you’ve been missing some boat traffic if your life Lone Oak is back to fill your waters. Boat Traffic 2.0 is here. The initial release was back in January, as a smooth Oatmeal Stout oak-aged in a new, locally-made foedre. Version 2.0 is here with a big body, chocolate and coconut flavours with undertones of roast and vanilla. The brewery’s first dark beer is back again at 5.0% and 27IBU and is definitely a style to keep stocked in your fridge. Cans are now available in their taproom for pick-up or online for delivery (perfect for anyone stuck quarantining in their hotel room in Charlottetown and needing a bit of a pick-me-up, for example….).

From one island to another, we skip down to Sydney for a pair of new releases from Breton Brewing. The first early christmas gift is a Kolsch, aptly named … Kolsch! A 4.0% true to style, light and refreshing lager, keep it crispy and get some of this delicious style. Staying with the German styles, we get another lager with a very underrated style, as Breton brings us Dunkel, a traditional Munich style Dark Lager. This baby was brewed with Munich and Chocolate malt, well hopped for balance and brings lots of roasty, toasty, caramel notes all come together in a 5.0% gem. Both releases are available now at the brewery, online for home delivery in the CBRM & HRM, and shipping throughout the rest of the province. 

Follow the trail, all the way to Trailway, where in Fredericton we get some new South African hops in Mt. Passion, a new IPA release. Mt (Mount) Passion, 6%, is brewed with Southern Passion and Experimental XJA2/436 hop varieties that are meant to bring out a flavour profile of bright zesty lemon and lime, passionfruit, pineapple, and guava. Southern Passion is a South African bred aroma hop whose pedigree is a diploid seedling originating from a Saaz and Hallertauer crossing. XJA2/436 is a bittering hop with an aroma profile of bergamot citrus, dried lemon zest, candied papaya, ripe cantaloupe, gooseberries, and resin. These are probably the first time these hops have been used in the region and it’s worth a try to expand your flavour profile. It’s currently available in cans at the brewery with shipping options online and will be available on tap for pints and fills later. 

Our friends at 2 Crows have taken a respite from hoppy beers and mixed-fermentation ales to bring us their latest, Hibernaculum, an “Old Barleywine Ale”. This beauty was a l-o-o-o-ng time in the making, as it was brewed almost *three* years ago! The style and recipe research were completed by local beer aficionado Matt McNair, who helped convince the brewery to  brew the beer as two separate concoctions: an Old Ale, and a Barleywine. Both of these were brewed in the traditional English style, with a large portion of Maris Otter in both grists, East Kent Golding hops in the boil, and fermented with a dry English Ale yeast strain. Also, the Old Ale featured an addition of homemade brewer’s caramel, to really help bump up the flavour complexity. After a year of conditioning separately, the beers were blended, along with a pitch of Brett C (oops, did we say a break from mixed-ferm beers? Oh well!). After another year, the final beer was bottled and allowed to condition until now, for a grand total of close to three years. It’s a huge beer at 11.9% ABV (!), and is tasting “rich, bold, and warming”, with notes of leather, dried fruit, treacle and sherry. This is the quintessential sipping-by-the-fire beer, or in front of your Christmas tree, or at your breakfast table with cereal… we won’t judge! Ok, maybe we will a little for that last one. There is an extremely-limited number of bottles available (about 200), so be sure to grab some ASAP… rest assured this is a beer that will cellar wonderfully. Available now!

Yesterday, December 10th, was National Lager Day, and Sea Level Brewing decided to celebrate with the release of their latest Small Batch beer, Schwarzbier. This Dark German Lager is a style that has become increasingly popular over the years, with quite a few local breweries creating their own take on the style. Sea Level’s version is easy-drinking at just 4.2% ABV, and has “a hint of smokiness, chocolate and molasses, and a subtle floral aroma” thanks to an unusual-for-the-style dry hop of Crystal from Fundy Hops. Finishing clean and crisp, you can find it in cans and on tap at the Millstone Harvest Brewhouse.

Tanner squeezes in a Thursday release, with Saison III.  “Best described as a saison IPA hybrid”. The Chester faithful used pilsner, Vienna, Munich and oats and fermented the beer with French saison yeast. This was generously hopped throughout with Nelson Sauvin, Motueka and Lemondrop. Coming in at 7.0% and 40 IBU, “a combination of slightly spicy fruit forward yeast character & dryness, with the exotic fruit from the hop varieties. Complex aromas of citrus and tropical fruit give way to a dry palate that balances with the light malt backbone.” Order online for delivery (deliveries go out Friday!) or pop by to grab 500ml bottles if you can. And there looks to be beer in a new format available shortly, so peep their online store for more details on that over the next few days.

The beery Christmas gifts just keep on comin’, with Propeller bringing us another two for you lucky Haligonians, both of which the brewery refers to as “special bottles a long time in the making”. Sounds like the perfect gifts to us! No, seriously, TO us, for those of you looking for a way to thank us for all of our hard work! What’s that, just get to the beers, you say? FINE. The first is Dark Saison, which was brewed in October, 2019 and aged in a single Bourbon barrel (the very same that kicked off the brewery’s barrel program!). Fermented with a blend of clean Saison yeast and Brettanomyces strains, the beer spent 11 months in the barrel before packaging. Weighing in at 8.0% ABV, the final beer is rich and dark, with “notes of figs, dark fruit, and classic Brett earthiness and funk”, as well as some Bourbon and oak, of course! 

Continuing on this little trend of dark, funky beers, the next release is the return of Brett Porter. This one they refer to as a “classic London Style Porter”, that was initially fermented with a British Ale yeast, and then transferred to oak barrels for a secondary fermentation with Brett C. Aged for over nine months, the 6.4% ABV beer was then bottled and exhibit “layers of rich, roasted malt” to go with the mild Brett characteristics. Both beers are available today for sale in the Prop Shops, and can also be ordered online for home delivery

Just a couple quick hits before we leave you this week. Stay safe and drink well, friends!

Down in Shelburne, Boxing Rock is back with a re-release from a few years ago. Rauch Star is a rauchbier, aka a smoked lager. This beer is smooth, malty and full of old-world flavour. The style may not be for everyone, but we encourage you to try it!. True to it’s Bamberg roots, this beer is brewed with Pilsner and roasted malts and just the right amount of German beech-smoked malt. 6.2% ABV and available in 473ml cans at the brewery, private stores in HRM, and in the December 8th slot in the Maritime Craft Beer Advent Calendar. 

If you could use some Holiday cheer, or Good News (a 2 Crows/Change is Brewing Collective release), North Brewing, along with their community, and along with the Change Is Brewing Collective, have raised $14,037.25 with the sales of the Cherry Brook Wheat. Keep an eye out for further releases on how you can support the collective, like the Lake City Cider Forest Glory release out, too. 

In some other celebratory news, Tire Shack out of Moncton has no beer releases this week, but there’s still something to be excited about. This brewery should be on the radar for many of you already with their latest releases, but they picked up a few medals at The US Open Beer Championship held in Ohio. They won Gold in the ‘Fruit Gose’ category for our Lime Margarita Gose . This was a beer that was released this past summer that was hugely popular. They also won Bronze in the ‘Coconut’ category for their Coco Loco. This was a Vanilla-Coconut Porter that sold quickly in the Moncton area. Both of these winners will be coming back into production, so keep an eye out. Check out the full results and medal winners here

Our friends in St. John’s have a few pieces of news to carry us home this week. Bannerman gives us seasonal re-release, Yuletide, is a jammy, delicious, tart 5% ale brewed with Pilsner and wheat malts, then conditioned on huge amounts of cranberry, raspberry and cherry puree. Get this in cans or on tap at the brewery. Also this Sunday, they’re hosting a Holiday Edition of the St. John’s Music Merch Fair. The lineup includes many merchants of clothing and or music, including Tim Baker, Hey Rosetta! Duane Andrews and more. Check it out from 11am-5pm at the brewery on Sunday. Check out the event here