902 BrewCast

All posts tagged 902 BrewCast

Happy Friday beer, cider, and mead fans! It’s getting to be the season of celebration and reflection, as we look back on the ”Year of Beer 2021” that was, and how beer (and life) will look in 2022. Your faithful ACBB authors will be taking a little pause during the next couple weeks to spend with family (growing family, in a couple of our cases!) and friends, and do our own reflecting on what is to come. Here be the last ACBB Friday Wrap-Up of 2021, and we’ll chat again soon!

Delta Force Brewing in Greenwich, Nova Scotia, has a fresh new beer available this week, Bap, a Korean toasted rice lager. Inspired by the Korean scorched sticky rice dish Nurungji, the fellas behind DFB actually toasted their own rice before adding it to the grain bill of this 4.5% ABV lager. The resulting copper lager features a touch of toasting from the process, but still remains refreshing, and the perfect pairing for Korean food, including fried chicken. Grab Bap, and everything from Delta Force, from their online shop, which is featuring a 10% discount for orders of 6+ bottles, or from an increasing number of spots in HRM, including Bishop’s Cellar, The Other Bean, and Pizzatown Cobequid.

Breton Brewing has visions of (sugar) plums dancing through our heads with their latest release, Let’s Jam Plum Sour. Building on their previous Let’s Jam releases, it features loads of plum to complement the acidity from the base beer. Available direct from the brewery and online, as well as in the Maritime Craft Beer Advent Calendar.

Back with another release in their rotating IPA Series, 2 Crows Brewing brings out Quiet Contemplation, a juicy, tropical, and lush IPA available now. They use the same malt base as the other IPAs in the series (Golden Promise, wheat, oats and dextrin malt) along with lots of mash hops, some hopback hops and massive amounts of dry-hopping.  This one is loaded with Vic Secret and Citra hops and brings a flavours and aromas of mango, mandarin, pineapple and passionfruit in a smooth 6.1% and 44 IBU package. It’s available now, online and in the taproom in 473ml cans. 

Cornwall, PEI’s Village Green has two new releases to round out 2021. Weird Clouds 8 is their latest in their IPA series featuring loads of Galaxy, Simcoe and Idaho 7, bringing lots of citrus, peach skin and some nice allium flavour from Simcoe. It’s 6.9% and is available in cans now. Second up is a Winter Warmer, brewed with Charlottetown good beer joint Hopyard. A seasonal favourite, it was brewed with brown sugar and a fine selection of warming spices to bring this dark and tasty style to life at 7.7%. Now available in cans and kegs, it will be pouring at Hopyard on PEI over the holidays. 

Port Rexton Brewing is celebrating Tibb’s Eve in style next week, with their taproom open Dec 23rd, 4 – 10 PM. Plenty of fun things planned for the evening (including a cask of their Gluten Free Porter with a ton of orange zest added), so let’s tell you about their annual celebratory beer that accompanies it! Tibbs the Saison is a 5.8% ABV Saison brewed with Fruit Bomb Saison from Escarpment Labs, displaying plenty of fruit and herbal character in a non-adjunct beer. Available now at the brewery, their St. John’s Retail Shop, as well as Urban Market 1919, Maries Mini Marts across the island, and local NLCs.

In the spirit of holiday get-togethers, two of Dartmouth’s breweries partnered up on a couple of beers for the holidays. Brightwood Brewing and New Scotland are releasing Fritz, a West Coast IPA inspired by the “father” of that style, Fritz Maytag (of Anchor Brewing, donchaknow!), and Wallonia Cranberry Farmhouse Ale, inspired by the birthplace of the Belgian Farmhouse Style. Exclusively available in 4-packs (two of each, of course) for an even $20 (tax and deposit included) at both breweries.

Across the Northwest Arm from peninsular Halifax, Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing decided to pound out some holiday brews for us all. Up first is Rusty Compass, the latest output of their Beer Creation Experience program. A 5.6% cream ale, it includes flaked corn in the grist to keep the body light and the finish crisp; it’s available in 500ml bottles or for fills and pints at the taproom. Next up is Pilot Boat, a collaboration with local espresso bar/grocery/art gallery Pavia. Nominally a “coffee ESB” it of course contains some coffee, but also a selection of specialty malts specifically selected to create a coffee-like character that could be enhanced by the addition of actual beans in the secondary. Coming in at 5.3% ABV and 33 IBU, you find this one on tap and for fills at Serpent, or in bottles exclusively at Pavia. Lastly but not leastly is Slowrider, Serpent’s latest foray into the New England/hazy IPA realm since Pavo. Somewhat slight, even for the style, at 5.3% ABV and 28 IBU, a little bit of Magnum for bittering gives way to whirlpool additions of Amarillo and Sabro, followed by a huge dose of Sabro in the dry hop. Plenty of high-protein adjuncts paired with the London Fog yeast strain make for a delightfully opaque presentation of hop goodness, but you’ll have to go to the brewery to get it, as it’s not packaged. In non-new release news, Serpent’s Eden is now available on tap at the Armview on the roundabout and White Mountain Witbier is available at Bishop’s Cellar for the first time.

Pulling the opposite trick from a couple weeks ago, we go Spryfield to Sackville (or is that Spryville to Sackfield?) this time, where Ol’ Biddy’s has a small batch coming out next Thursday just in time for your Xmas weekend. Available at the taproom for pints and growler fills only, it’s a bit of a big one, at 7.6% and 22 IBU. Aged on Madagascar vanilla and bourbon, look for big chocolate flavour and a smooth vanilla and bourbon finish. A fine pint to sip on after your shopping is done and you’re ready to relax.

On the Eastern side of PEI, Bogside Brewing has a couple new things this week as well, starting with a beer for a cause: Gimme Shelter is a blonde ale, crisp and refreshing at 5% ABV, and with $6 from every 6-pack sold going to the PEI Humane Society. On the (much!) heavier side is Bourbon Street Barrel Aged Porter, a big ol’ smooth, rich, and velvety concoction matured in Kentucky Bourbon barrels and weighing in at a hefty 10%. On draught at the taproom, but also available in a limited number of bottles to go.

Dildo, NL’s eponymous Dildo Brewing has a collaboration beer out with PEI’s Lone Oak, using their respective Provinces’ favourite root vegetables. Starky Bunch is a 5% lager using PEI Potatoes and Newfoundland turnips to produce 20% of the extract in this well-hopped clean and crisp American Pilsner. This is available in 473ml cans from Dildo now, and we hear Islanders will see it at Lone Oak as well in the coming weeks.

Deep in the Annapolis Valley, Smiths Cove’s Lazy Bear Brewing has debuted something a little different this week, a gruit! The Descendent uses juniper for flavouring and bitterness, rather than hops, producing a nice light coniferous character. Flexing the versatility of Kveik yeast to ferment just about anything thrown at it, The Descendent is available now at the brewery, as well as at their Market presence this weekend.

Staying in the Valley, where Annapolis Brewing Company has a brand new beer available as well. Left Coast Double IPA is ABC’s first DIPA and they’ve aimed to make it a classic example of the West Coast style. Mashed high to encourage some non-fermentable sugars that in turn lend some extra body, it was bittered with Magnum and hopped in the whirlpool with classic American varieties Amarillo and Centennial. Finished with a “whopping” dry hop of more Centennial, you can expect plenty of pine and citrus from this one, which is available on tap and in cans from the brewery.

Staying in Annapolis Royal, East Coast Cider Company has a new seasonal cider available today. Ambrosia Raspberry Cider is a semi-sweet, semi-dry cider offering using a base of their Ambrosia cider, with raspberry added in for a nice tart and sweet flavour. This 6% offering is available on tap and in cans at the taproom, or available to order online. 

Continuing West down the 101 highway, we come to Roof Hound down Digby way where they’ve put together a Chocolate Stout collection for the holidays. All built off the same base beer (we think!), each got a different holiday treatment: Wasted Days will be reminiscent of Peanut Butter Balls, Cinna-Bone will give you your chicken bones fix, Cherry Brandy will get you that liquor-filled cherry bon bons vibe, and the cleverly named 8:05 Mint will make you think of a green box, paper wrappers, and peppermint. Sounds like an awesome chance to share some fun beers with friends and/or family. Or four nights of contemplating a particular beer. You’ll find these in bottles, available as singles, as a Chocolate Stout Collection 4-pack, or as part of Roof Hound’s Holiday Box all on sale at the brewery.

Lots of news out of Halifax’s Good Robot Brewing this week. Firstly, they’re dipping their toes into the big lager market after their success with 10,000lb Pilsner with the release of Good Robot American Lager. Designed to be a “good, honest, cold lager,” at 5% ABV and available in 6-packs, maybe you’ll like it, or maybe it’ll just save you a trip elsewhere to get beer for your non-craftian party guests. Either way that’s a win! GR is also joining the throngs with the availability of Holiday Boxes. Two are available, the “Essential” box with eight GR beers and two pieces of custom GR holiday merch, and the “Deluxe” with eighteen brews and twice the merch content (four pieces). All come with a Holiday Card that they’ll fill out any way you like – GR does the work, you get the credit. And lastly, if you’re heading down there, GR is running a “Swabs for Pints” program to encourage folks to be smart and get tested. You show your evidence of a negative COVID test, either via a pic of your home test result or a text message from the testing program and they’ll sell you a pint at the lowest legal price. Wins for everyone!!

Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing have been happy little beer elves all year long and they’re bringing some holiday cheer with some new and returning releases. Golden Vanilla Latte is a favourite of TS fans, a blonde ale with lots of coffee and vanilla, brewed in collaboration with Epoch Chemistry coffee shop. Using lightly roasted coffee beans with lactose and vanilla, 3,000 litres of beer was aged, giving a vanilla latte flavour in the 5.0% ABV brew. Next up is another canned release, Pear Chai Sour, a sour ale using a tonne of Chai tea and 100 litres of pears. Pitched with Lactobacillus, you’ll get a fruity, sweet and sour notes at 6%. These two beers are available today in cans, growlers and pints at the brewery. Next Wednesday (December 22) there will be a limited release of FaceMelter, a Wee Heavy style beer coming in at 10%. A perfect style for the season, you get some boozy, malty, caramel flavours, but thanks to the use of honey dates in this brew, you’ll get some fruit notes as well. This was first brewed two years ago, but the honey dates are a new addition for 2021. There are only 100 bottles of this, and last time it sold out in one hour; only available at the brewery, of course.

Nyanza’s finest, Big Spruce Brewing, is back with a winter themed release making it’s return. Shrediquette is a New England IPA that is juicy, bold and fruity. Originally released in March 2020, this beer was going to debut at the Vermont Brewers Fest, but sadly, COVID cancelled that plan. This NEIPA is packed with El Dorado hops and uses Ebbegarden Kveik yeast to bring pineapple, guava and mango flavours to the soft and fruity esters from the yeast. This is available now in cans from the brewery and online. Also, like so many other breweries this year, Big Spruce has a special holiday box featuring 12 cans of 6 Big Spruce staples! Featuring 2 each of Kitchen Party, Cereal Killer, Ready Yer Knot Regatta Red, Guava Get Me Some, Tag! You’re It and Silver Tart, you can get this for $50 including free shipping in Canada!

Lake City Cider has a new release for the end of the year, adding to their Vine series of wine and cider mixes. Sparkling Apple Pinot Grigio is the latest release, featuring Pinot Grigio with a bit of freshly pressed Nova Scotian apples for the cider side. It’s light, delicate with notes of apple and pear with a very dry finish. Available in store or online in 750ml bottles at 9.6%. 

The news keeps coming out of North Brewing, this week in the form of a brand new one brewed with a shining light in the industry. Ren Navarro of Beer. Diversity. and Do Better. Be Better. is both a beer expert and a leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Who better to team up with on a collaboration beer? Pip Pip Cheerio is an English Porter at 4.5% ABV featuring a blend of specialty malts and a fermentation with the Sterling Ale yeast strain from Escarpment Labs. Expect a toasty brew, with nutty overtones and a soupçon of caramel and cherry. Grab it at any of North’s three retail locations or order it online. And consider giving do give Ren an Instagram follow at Beer Diversity if you don’t already!

Antigonish’s Candid Brewing really wants to do something to ease the mental and emotional load of the negative light cast on their town over the past couple of weeks. What better way to do that than beer and a spirit of giving? Over the holidays when you place an order that qualifies for free local delivery ($50 and up), you’ll find an extra beer in the box when it arrives: a can of their Kanpai rice lager in friendly community spirit with the Antigonish Townhouse. They ask that you “beer it forward” to someone deserving, be it a friend, colleague, or just someone who needs a pick me up. If you take a picture of that paying it forward and share it to social media (tagging Candid, natch), you’ll be entered to win a private tasting for six at the brewery. The draw will be held Christmas Eve at noon, so you’ve got a few days to get this done. So get thee to their brand new online ordering system and order up some beer, including a couple more brand new debuts that have hit the virtual shelves in the last seven days. Especially important for those in the HRM is that they will be doing a run to the big city next Tuesday (Dec 21), so submit your orders before 8 PM Dec 20 to get in on the action. $60 order minimum, and an order over $100 will get you free shipping, so grab a friend or two and get to clicking!

Heading down the road we’ll end our year in beer news in Stellarton, where Backstage Brewing is releasing Fare Thee Well, a Champagne IPA. This is on tap at the brewery now and bottles will be available early next week. Expect an effervescent beer with a dry finish and plenty of hop character. 

A couple of events to tell you about coming to a beer bar or podcast near you!

Obviously subject to change according to whatever might happen restrictions-wise in the next couple of weeks, if you’re looking for a beery NYE pre-party by all means head on down to the Stillwell Freehouse, where they’ll be running from 12 to 10PM giving you plenty of time to enjoy one-off kegs, staff favorites, and special snacks before you head on out to do your countdown thing elsewhere.

Whether you’ve got some time off coming up and you’re looking for some things to pique your interest, or you’re looking for some new content to help you get through the commute during this slow time of year, 902BrewCast has you covered. Tune in to their latest episode, recorded yesterday, but coming to a Tuesday near you (we suspect this coming one, December 21st), when they sat down with Lucas Mader from Bishop’s Cellar (Bishop’s Cellar! Bishop’s Cellar! Bishop’s Cellar!) to catch up on what’s in stock, what’s coming soon, and beery plans for the future. Grab it from their website or wait for it to appear in your favourite podcast app.

In a year full of ups and downs, let’s leave you with some happy news today… TAPestry Beer Bar is celebrating 6 months of bringing the best beers of the province to the fine folks in Lr. Sackville. Thousands of pints poured, Flight School Fridays to launch the weekend, and Kaisers subs consumed onsite, and there will be many more of those to come. Pop by their spot at 833 Sackville Drive to support those folks bringing great beer to great people!

We are just over two weeks from Christmas and ‘tis the season as they say! As the weather turns colder, the snow starts falling and we’re all going to get busier, so if you’re like us, you may want to stock up on those holiday bevvies now. With other things going on with the blog boys (that’s us) we have a (mostly) quick-hit style update for you, so let us know what you think about the format. Like, comment and subscribe! (Trust us, you don’t want to see us on YouTube.)

News from Spindrift kicks us off this week, with Hefe Weissbier releasing today (Friday). Made with a malt bill of wheat malt, Superior Pilsen and Carapils, and balanced with Magnum and Perle hops, this is a true to style 5.4% Weißbier, bringing banana and clove flavours, as you would expect. It’s available in 473ml cans at the Dartmouth and Antigonish locations, and also on tap for pints and growler fills.

Speaking of Antigonish this weekend (beer-wise), Half Cocked is releasing two beers and hosting an all-day Christmas Celebration. On Saturday from 2 PM onwards, there will be a pop-up from Teasdale Apothecary Co, leading into live music, tree lighting, ugly christmas sweater contest and food bank donations until close. This celebration coincides with the re-release of Pete’s Sake Blonde Ale and a new release with Teasdale Apothecary Co. Nobo is a Norwegian Farmhouse Ale made with hibiscus, dried cranberries, orange blossoms, bee bread and the Voss Kviek yeast strain. It’s 4.5% ABV and very soft on the palate, with delicate flavours. Both of these ales are available in cans at the brewery, but keep an eye out in coming weeks for kegs to make it to the HRM at Stillwell and Battery Park. With all of the COVID circumstances in Antigonish over the past week or so, be sure to keep an eye on the Half Cocked social media for any event-affecting updates. 

Next up is Rothesay’s Long Bay Brewery, releasing a new Winter seasonal beer, Forest for the Trees. This is a  Black IPA, with a touch of nutty roast flavour leading into big IPA flavours of tropical hops and a bit of resin, pine and a chocolate on the finish. Available now from the brewery and ANBL’s across Southern New Brunswick, you’ll find it in 473ml cans clocking in at 6% and 60 IBU.

Happy Birthday to Rough Waters! They’re celebrating their second anniversary and have a new release to commemorate the occasion. High Tide is a bourbon barrel-aged Witbier and the first barrel release from the brewery. Using their base recipe for Wits End, the beer was transferred to a Buffalo Trace bourbon barrel for aging after primary fermentation. After six months in the barrel, it was bottle conditioned for another month before being released. Apple, oak, and some spice from the bourbon barrel should pair nicely with the coriander and citrus from the witbier. This is available in 750ml corked and caged bottles only from the Deer Lake brewery. 

For the ciderheads out there, Lake City Cider is releasing Cider Royal, a collaboration with Compass Distilling, that sees their acclaimed Gin Royal and blended with the stalwart Lake City Darkside Dry. Classic botanicals from the gin, along with honey and royal jelly notes complement the dry, crisp and citrus notes from the cider. It pours a slight purple colour that is sure to please the eye as well as the palate. A very solid 8.5% ABV, it’s been packaged in 355ml cans available at the cidery and online for delivery. 

No strangers to holiday brews and bundles, North Brewing has both for us this weekend. First, a new release, Sequence, a classic Belgian table beer, is a 3.5% full-flavoured yet crisp and refreshing beer with citrus notes that will provide a lovely low-ABV option to have on hand this season. It’s available now in 473ml cans at all the usual places. And while you’re picking that one up, this week also sees a return of the sour series, Plush! We’ve seen Plush before in Peach, Raspberry and Blackberry variants, but this release is a straight up, unfruited dry-hopped sour. Galaxy and Bru-1 feature in the dry-hop to bring a big kick as soon as you open the can and take a sip.

Lastly, as briefly mentioned last week, North is doing a Holiday Box again this year, which features 12 cans of North beverages, along with a 15oz North stein. The stein is exclusive to the holiday box, but so is one of the beers. Eisbock, (literally, “ice bock”) is made by partially freezing a bock-style beer then removing the ice crystals, thus reducing the water content and raising the richness and ABV. The recently released Timberbock was the obvious choice for this process, and this release marks the first time North has done this style (at least, on purpose according to them!) and we can’t wait to try it.  Order all of these treats and check out more details on the North website or in their Timberlea, Battery Park, and Dartmouth locations. 

A big release in time for the cold weather is here from Copper Bottom: Knox’s Dam is a bourbon barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout. Named after a local site that was once a grist mill, and later a hydroelectric dam that powered the entire town of Montague, “Knox’s Dam now lays claim to one of PEI’s only man-made waterfalls and one of Eastern PEI’s best kept secrets.” The beer was aged for 12 months and tips the scales at a hefty 9.4%, and it’s available now from the brewery only. 

So you know you’re old (and probably a former English major) when you read in your email that Delta Force is releasing a beer, an English Barleywine, no less, called Tom Hardy and you think about how they’ve got another beer called Wessex and how they’re situated in the picturesque Annapolis Valley and you’re mentally whisked away to idyllic scenes from “Far from the Madding Crowd” and “The Return of the Native” and “The Trumpet Major.” And then you keep reading and you see a reference to the movie Inception (which you’ve shamefully never seen) and you’re jarred back into a reality where Tom Hardy is an actor and you were thinking of 19th century English novelist Thomas Hardy and you weep for your lost youth. So aaaanyways, building on the quote by Hardy’s character in Inception, “You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling,” the team at DF along with their good friend (and longtime Stilly bartender) Taylor Mappin endeavoured to interpret the classic style in a large way. Bottled in mercifully-sized 330ml bottles, this 11.5% ABV monster will no doubt make a lovely fireside sipper whilst you read (or, re-read) some classic English lit over the holidays, or perhaps watch that movie about the dreams and the hey hey.

Also available this week from Delta Force is a new batch of their Operation Assay APA. Taking a cue from the turn of the seasons, they’ve subbed in the classic “Chico” American ale yeast strain for the heat-loving Kveik they were using during the warmer months. Still a lovely straight-ahead APA at 5.3% ABV, still packaged in 500ml bottles. You can grab both of these releases through the usual channels and if you throw four more beers into that order, you’ll get 10% off your order!

Sometimes, despite all the best efforts, things go a little bit sideways. Such is the case with one of the summertime releases from Good Robot Brewing in Halifax. Limeade Switcha was a Fall collaboration release with The Limestone Group in their Goodwill Beer series. Unfortunately, any remaining cans of that beer, while still safe to drink, are not safe to hang on to. You can read the full explanation in this Fb post. We’d like to commend the GR team on doing the right thing here: they’re reaching out to the public, taking ownership, providing detailed instructions on disposal, and offering refunds on the affected beer. These things can happen to any brewery; it’s how the brewery responds that makes all the difference.

If you’re anything like us, you’ve enjoyed and appreciated quite a few beers from breweries in our region over the past few years that have featured tea and/or herbal infusions (“tisanes,” apparently!) from World Tea House on Argyle Street and it’s owner/resident tea nerd, Phil Holmans. When the team at 902BrewCast realized this, they decided it would be a great idea to do an episode with Phil and sample some of those beers. That episode is now up and available at the 902BC site or wherever you get your podcasts.

We’ve got another holiday beer box hitting Nova Scotia this season, as New Scotland Brewing takes a riff off of Quality Street chocolate boxes and brings us their Quality Beers 12 Days of Christmas collection. Featured in this box are their favourite releases over the past year along with one annual re-release and three brand new small batch brews. First up is the annual release of Slowburn, a chocolate and chili porter that was found on Nitro at the brewery in years past, but this year it has been canned for the first time ever. A medium-to-full bodied porter that is “double dry-hopped” with local chillies over four weeks bring a spicy and smooth mouthfeel along with black cherry and chocolate flavours at 6.1% and 34 IBU.

For the new releases, we start with Playlist, another porter, but more approachable and in a classic Porter style that is slightly roasty and a malt-forward flavour at 4.6%. Balanced Breakfast is another new can that is made with a bunch of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal! An American Brown ale made with massive additions of the cereal in the mash, the whirlpool and in the fermenter as well, this came out at 7.6% and should have a very interesting flavour profile.

Rounding out the new releases is Merry Citrus, their beer-y take on a Christmas Day mimosa. They’re calling it a Mimosa Lager, as it was brewed as a lager, but with extra enzymes added to mimic the bone dry finish of champagne. Additions of orange peel and orange, lemon, and lime juices make this a bubbly treat for the morning or anytime. Even at 6.3% it’s still lower than your average Mimosa, but if you’re concerned about day drinking you can share with friends! 

A couple of events going on these days, in the form of contests. With prizes!

Shelburne’s Boxing Rock Brewing has a holiday contest on the go this year, partnering with Sportwheels Sports Excellence to give away $1,000 in brand new hockey gear along with a year’s supply of Puck Off Lagered Ale. How much is a year’s supply? The best way to find out would be to enter and win, we think! Check out the official contest page for all the details on entering.

Those of us who are old enough to remember the late ‘90s (or are old enough that they should remember the ‘late 90s, anyway) know that 1997 was the magical year when craft breweries became a real “thing” in Halifax. Although Granite (RIP) had been around for a decade, ‘97 was the year when Garrison and Propeller (and Maritime Beer Company, ‘member them?) managed to cut through the red tape and open up. If you’re at all good at math you’ll be able to confirm that that means 2022 marks 25 years of Garrison Brewing in Halifax. As you can imagine, they’re fixing to celebrate that, starting with a contest. Check out this Instagram post for all the details, and brace yourself, we figure this is probably the first of many #cheersto25years posts to come over the next 12 months; hopefully all of them will involve fun contests and/or tasty beer!

A quick as the quick hits above were, these quick hits are, dare we say, quicker:

Big Spruce brings two returning favourites this week! First up, Kölsch Encounters is a 5.6% lagered ale with a great malt profile and a classic sparkling, crisp, and dry finish. Secondly, The Inhaled Affirmative is a 4.1% Pilsner that is crispy and complex in flavour, with notes of wheat, biscuit and a great balancing bitterness. Both of these are available in 473ml cans directly from the brewery, in-person or online (and usually some gets to Bishop’s Cellar and the other private stores in HRM as well). 

Joining the local craft non-alcoholic release train is Propeller! NA Lager releases today at 0.5% and is crisp and clean with light flavours of citrus and peach. Available in the super-crushable 355ml can format, this is available at both Propeller locations, their online store and several private stores in HRM. 

North Street’s Unfiltered Brewing in Halifax is back with another batch of Inducement IPA! As always they won’t give you anything to encourage you to drink it, but this 7.5% IPA, packed with Simcoe and Falconer’s Flight and available in cans, growlers, pints and kegs is its own reward. Grab it any time after noon today at the brewery and/or Charm School next door.

Keeping with returning favourites, Breton Brewing has a seasonal holiday release back today: Cocoa Envy is a Chocolate Porter with creamy, sweet, roasted flavours and a touch of coffee to boot. It’s 6.5% and cans are available now in their taproom or online for delivery. 

Ninepenny in Conception Bay South, NL, has another perfect release for the season with The Dragon. A Barrel-Aged Imperial Porter at 7.8%, it features oak flavours complementing plum and cherry notes from the porter, along with some fruity apple and pear esters. This is available only at the taproom in 500ml bottles. 

Another holiday release for the fine Maritimers comes from Foghorn in Rothesay. Festivus is a blend of their Maple Rye and Winter Warmer ales, aged for 6 months in oak barrels and conditioned on local blue berries. The resulting ale is complex with dark, sweet, and oak flavours. This 7.5% ale is available in 650ml bottles only from the taproom fridge at the brewery. 

Back in NS, Chester’s Tanner Brewing has a new hybrid beer release. Gamay is a blend of their house Saison recipe and 75lbs of freshly pressed Gamay Noir skins from Lightfoot & Wolfville. There were no commercial yeast additions with this beer: it was fermented solely by the wild bacteria present on the grape skins. Expect this one to have complex flavours and some great cherry notes as well. At 7% and 25 IBU, it is available in 500ml bottles 

Some beer-adjacent kitchen positions are available with a great bunch of folks over in Cole Harbour:

As we’ve previously mentioned, there are some big changes happening at North Brewing, and 2022 will see Side Hustle moving out on their own to Downtown Dartmouth and that means North will be doing their own Indian style street food and diner classics at their Cole Harbour location! Planning to open in January 2022, the North team is looking add full-time and part-time kitchen staff for their new food offerings. Line cooks, prep cooks and dishwasher are all needed; check out North’s job postings to find out more about the positions. Candidates can contact devan@northbrewing.ca with their resumé if interested.

Hey hey hey, it’s 5PM on a Friday and we’re just getting you your beer news now? What gives? Well, as much as we love beer and talking about beer and writing thousands of words about beer on the weekly, Real Life™ sometimes can’t be denied and you, dear reader, end up having to wait a few extra hours for your beer news. We also know that we weren’t quite able to get everything into the post this week that we knew about; we’ll do our best to cover all those bases next week! Or maybe the week after!! By Christmas we’ll be caught up FOR SURE.

If you’re thinking a trip to PEI is in order, or if you’re in PEI and wanted to make a little getaway to Borden-Carleton, we highly recommend dropping in for a visit to Lone Oak. Ok, sure, we’d recommend that at any time, really, but this weekend they have three new beers available on tap – one that is a returning favourite, and two that are just outright brand new. Let’s get right into all three, shall we?

The first newbie is S’well, a 4.4% ABV Brett Lager. The base beer is a Lager brewed with Pilsner malt from Shoreline Malting, and hopped with noble hops. A two-year-old barrel-aged Brett beer was blended in (at about 15% volume) to give the final brew a nice hit of funk, with the whole thing getting a final dry-hop with the always-lovely New Zealand variety, Nelson Sauvin.  

Next up is one of those beers that is conveniently named in a way that really gets to the heart of the beer… Belgian Table Beer with Marquette Grapes. Another easy-drinker at just 3.8%, it has a grist of PEI Pilsner, spelt, and wheat. Hopped with Mistral, a French variety, the beer was aged on Marquette grapes locally-harvested from Carmody Cove Vineyards (Marshfield). Dry, effervescent, with plenty of citrus and sweet fruit character throughout, this and S’well are both available on tap only, at the brewery.

Finally, returning to local taps (and cans, in the near future) is Boat Traffic, a Foeder-aged Oatmeal Stout that has been tweaked slightly, since its last release. With a little less roast and a little more chocolate than last time, this 5% ABV brew was aged in oak from PEI’s own New World Foeders. Sporting a full body, some roast character, and “notes of chocolate and undertones of coconut and vanilla from the oak”, you’re not going to want to wait on picking some of this up when you can, as it’ll be just perfect for sipping on a hot Christmas morning this year!

Last week we wrote a mini-essay about North Brewing because they had so many things going on. We even took a minute to poke fun at 2 Crows for being outdone. HAHAHA. BOY ARE WE DUMB. Seems like the gang at 2C has been up to further collaborative shenanigans with a couple of Ontario breweries and now we have to type it up so you know what to get excited to drink.

First up is fermented beverage nerd alert (we are beer nerds after all). There’s a product new to the market out of New Zealand that they call “Phantasm” and it’s a powdered Sauvignon Blanc grape derivative that happens to be very rich in thiols. “But ACBB,” you say, “that sounds like a wine thing.” Well, yes, Sauvignon Blanc is grapes, but thiols are one of the (naturally occurring) chemicals that give hops (and grapes, and cannabis) their fun fruity aromatics. So what do you think 2C did when they got their hands on some of this stuff? They put it into some beer! They also had some L’Acadie grapes available from their friends at PEI’s Carmody Cove Vineyard, where the team traveled to pick about 500lbs and put it through carbonic maceration, before pressing it (thanks to a hand from Sourwood Cider’s press) and fermenting with wine yeast. The result of that went into the beer too! But what beer? Well, back to the beer brewing part, they collaborated with Ayr, Ontario’s Willibald Farm Brewery (‘member them from the Stillwell takeover a few weeks ago?) to make a super pillowy IPA from Pilsner and Golden Promise malts, raw wheat, and Golden Naked Oats, a lot of mash hops, and some late kettle hopping with Bru-1, Hallertau Blanc, and the aforementioned Phantasm. Once fermentation was complete, they hit it with intense amounts of Nelson Sauvin, Citra, and more (MOAR!) Hallertau Blanc and Nelson Sauvin. When you consider that Hallertau Blanc and Nelson are two of the hops known for their “wine-iness” you can imagine that this is an IPA that fairly reeks of that character: “grapey, [with lots of] gooseberry, citrus, and tropical punch vibes.” Cans of this one, known as L’Acadie Draw will be available to the general public tomorrow, Saturday, November 27th, at noon!

So that’s this week. Next week comes another collaboration that 2C put together with Beerlab from London, ON. Billed as a “Saison/Lager hybrid,” Molten Mirrors sees the ester profile of a Saison married to the dry crisp finish of a lager, with the overall drinkability of both styles well represented. Made from local barley, some rice, a little spelt, and hopped in a restrained fashion with “modern Continental” varieties Saphir and Huell Melon, it was fermented fairly warm with their house Saison yeast which, if you’re familiar with the properties of various yeast strains, is going to give you a rather estery and somewhat phenolic (spicy) character, but it’s not likely to be what you’d call “dry.” So then the beer was chilled down to the sort of temperature that lager yeast likes (10ºC-ish) and it was krausened, which is basically the German way of saying, “we added some more actively fermenting beer to it.” That beer was a smaller volume of the same beer, but one that had been fermenting with a nice clean German lager yeast. After giving the result time to completely ferment out, the temperature was dropped again, this time to long-term lagering temperatures, where it stayed a full 8 weeks. The result is crisp and dry, with some saison spice and fruitiness. This one will be on sale to the general public next Thursday, December 2nd at Noon, but newsletter subscribers will already have received an email with a special code allowing them to get it early by ordering online for delivery or pickup. If you’re not a subscriber, but would like to get access to new beers from 2C before everyone else does, you’d best be signing up right here.

Those of you who remember a little show called The Raccoons, raise your hands. Haha, you people are old! For the rest of you, this beloved Canadian animated show debuted in 1985, and was about the exploits of several raccoons in the wilderness and their run-ins with a local greedy industrialist, uh, aardvark… wait, what was the point of that show, again? Either way, it was truly loved there for awhile (even if it IS still difficult to get this news story out of your head, from long after the show ended), and Propeller has teamed up with their EQUALLY-beloved Propeller Arcade for a collaboration beer brewed in honour of this Canadian treasure. The beer is named Run With Us (go ahead, hum it, we won’t judge), a 4.8% “Watermelon and Cherry Sour”. Fermented with Escarpment Labs’ Lactic Magic – a wild, sour yeast strain – the beer has flavours and aromas of, yes, watermelon and cherry, complemented by some tartness. This refreshing brew is on tap exclusively at Propeller Arcade, with 500 mL bottles also available at all three Prop Shops (and online home delivery). 

We’re used to seeing collaborations between North Brewing and Benjamin Bridge; these beers have covered a wide range of styles, and sometimes some of the releases are brewed again, so that we have another chance to experience them with some light changes. This week, they’ve brought back Musqué DIPA, an 8% DIPA that is re-fermented with Chardonnay Musqué grapes from BB. This year’s batch also features some more hop varieties than last time, with Vic Secret being joined by Galaxy, Callista, and Enigma. Expect lots of tropical fruit qualities, balanced by a “delicate acidity” thanks to the grape skins. You can grab some bottles at all of the North locations (remember, there’s three of them now!); save some for Christmas gifts, and some for drinking all by your lonesome!

It’s a big weekend in Chester, as the Chester Village Christmas weekend kicks off over the next three days, Tanner Brewing has a few things on the go. On Friday, they’re releasing their annual barrel reserve beer in store on Friday. The brewery got some fresh barrels from Ironworks and this will be a taproom release on Friday and available all weekend. This year it’s Oak Aged Porter with Berries releasing in Chester and available for delivery. They used their usual recipe for their hour Porter but fermented on black currant and blueberry puree. After fermentation, they used the fresh Ironwork dark rum barrels to age through the fall and summer. Ths beer, available in 500ml bottles is 6.2% ABV and 25 IBU. They’ll also have Cove FM on-site Friday evening with Trip Hazard broadcasting in the taproom. On Sunday, their usual friends from The Old Black Forest little German restaurant will be doing a pop-up for a nice Sunday dinner. 

As Cape Breton and the Northern part of Nova Scotia still recover from the storm earlier this week, Breton Brewing is hoping to bring some Caper pride to the region. Partnering with Cape Breton University, CBU Lager is a light and crisp lager in honour of the whole CBU alumni and family. A portion of the sales from each beer is donated towards student programs and scholarships at the university. At 4.0% and 20 IBU this is crispy and refreshing and available in 473ml cans. Today (Friday) may be the last day you have to get this delivered or online, otherwise, you’ll have to check the brewery and also the Pit Lounge on CBU campus. 

Breton has another limited release available now with their first offering from their holiday lineup, Transatlantic IPA is a blend of English and American IPAs, trying to balance the malt and hop flavours, yeast flavours and bitterness for a full bodied, delicious ale. Using English ale yeast and a complimenting hop aroma, this clocks in at 5.8% and 50 IBU. This is available now in 473ml cans and pints in the taproom, but also home delivery via the online Breton shop. 

Bannerman Brewing just keeps on pumping out the new beers, with this week’s release moving away from the hoppy stuff with Rise or Shine, a Coffee Bock. Taking the standard Bock – a dark, strong Lager – and adding lots of coffee to it sounds like a perfect match to us! Speaking of the coffee, its Heritage, the signature roast from Pilot Coffee Roasters, and it’s giving Rise and Shine “notes of toffee, honey, chocolate, and coffee”, all complemented by a lovely, full body. You can find it on tap and in cans at Bannerman, very soon. 

Back in Halifax, Garrison has a very cool release for the holiday season. If you’re a fan of the classic chocolate minty, chocolatey and delicious After Eight chocolate mint thins, the team at Garrison is brewing you, After Dark, a mint chocolate porter! Using natural mint additions, real chocolate powder and cocoa nibs, you should already have a (delicious) expectation of how this should taste like! Using a malt blend of Pilsner, Munich, Chocolate and Crystal, Magnum hops join the party to balance it all out. This should be a perfect balance of dark chocolate sweetness, slight bitterness and mint freshness and bite. At 5.0% and 18 IBU this beer is available now in 473ml cans at the Oxford taproom and the seaport Garrison HQ, and check out their website for delivery right to your door!

In the wonderful world of cider, Sourwood has a delightful-sounding beverage out now, that you may want to seriously consider adding to your large assortment of beers for the weekend. Juicehoney is a cider aged on Cabernet Franc skins for three months, and was then packaged (in June, 2020!) with raw honey. Naturally carbonated and weighing in at 6.6%, they’re billing this beauty as a pure lactic acid experience: “Think Warhead candies and smooth creamed honey at a rave” was how they started the description… that should give you an idea, no? Only one way to see for yourself, so drop by Sourwood this weekend and grab some cans!

The fine Dieppe folks at CAVOK are hitting us with Reduced Visibility, a brand new New England IPA. Bringing a nice aroma of pineapple and floral notes, leading into a delicious flavour of tangerine, lime and mango with a bit of spice on the finish. With a base of Foggy London yeast to bring it all together and keeping the smooth mouthfeel, a hop profile of Azacca and Idaho 7 to bring the 6.0% IPA to fruition. Available on tap and in 473ml cans at the brewery, this will also be available at ANBL locations across the region. 

We’ve got a treat from Mount Pearl’s Storm Brewing, as they have Newfoundland & Labrador IPA (NLIPA) available now. A bright, bitter and dry-hopped IPA, strongly features homegrown hops from Storm’s our hopyard, they’re calling them Veva hops. Bringing subtle floral, and vibrant pine, citrus aroma and flavor. Bright, bitter and brilliant, this is available in 650ml bottlesat 5.5% this is available at Caine’s, Hallidays, Needs on Miltary and Urban Market.  

Whether it’s an actual Black Friday special or not, you can’t deny a good deal, especially when it comes to beer. Greenwich’s own Delta Force Brewing has got such a deal with the Oak Trio 3-pack, allowing you to grab a 500 mL bottle of each of three of their newest barrel-aged brews for $25 (that’s a savings of $5). Included in this little package is Barrel-Aged Wessex, an English Barleywine that was aged in a mixed culture barrel; Operation Forge!, a Stock Ale that was brewed with invert sugar and aged in a fresh barrel with Brett; and Quercus, a mixed-fermentation, barrel-aged “Super Saison”. Send your order requests to deltaforcebrewing@gmail.com to set up your delivery in the HRM.

Here’s your quick hits on the way out the door!

Grimross’s Abbey Dubbel is making its annual return to Fredericton residents (and across NB, as well) this week. This 7.2% Belgian Dubbel, featuring “strong dark fruit and intense brown sugar flavours” arrives just in time for the holidays, and is available in cans and on tap across the province, and directly at the brewery.

In the Annapolis region of Nova Scotia, Lunn’s Mill has a familiar beer available, SOMA, is a Single Malt and Single Hop IPA, full of juice and double-dry hopped. Using Mosaic hops and Maris Otter as the malt, this is a flavour bomb at 6.6% and 82 IBU. This is available in cans directly from the brewery. 

Tusket Falls is back with one of the tastiest treats you can imagine, as Once Blind, Now I See Clearly is back on tap. This is a Czech-style Pilsner lagered for 90 days and back and tasting better than ever. Crisp with Saaz hops and perfectly balanced at 5.0%, this is available on their side pull tap for that nice, pillowy and soft texture in both their brewery taproom as well as their Halifax location on Gottingen.

One last thing before we send you off this week. Kyle and Tony of 902 BrewCast have released not one, but two episodes this week, as they dig into their fridges and cellars to enjoy some recent, and not-so-recent, beers from North Brewing and Bad Apple Brewhouse. Grab the episodes in your favourite podcatcher, or direct from the website. Congratulations on 5 years, fellas! Here’s to another five! 😘