Happy Summer, folks! It’s the last Friday of June, which means many kids are counting down the last days of school for another year. And for those who celebrate, joyeux journée Saint-Jean-Baptiste aujourd’hui! We’ve got plenty of new brews, as well as Anniversary and Re-Opening celebrations for you to attend this weekend. With next week’s Canada Day falling on a Friday, we’ll be sending out the news to you a day early (brewery pals please take note).
The region’s newest brewery, Paradise’s Banished Brewing, has rounded out their offerings with 3 more beers since we shared the news at the beginning of the month. Let’s get you up to speed on what to drink, and where to drink them!
– Paradise Town is their 5.5% Fruited Sour, featuring Pink Guava puree added for a tropical kick. Look for more iterations of this beer as they play with the fruit additions throughout the year.
– An Elaborate Series of Mirrors is a 5.0% American Lager, crushable, quaffable, however you want to put it, this beer is made for easy enjoyment.
– Tall Trees, with a label reminiscent of the Redwoods in the Pacific Northwest, is a 7.0% West Coast IPA. Piney and citrusy, there is a serious bitterness in here to match the aromatics.
All three have been canned, and join Out The Gate Trappist-inspired Single, Space Puffin NEIPA, and NO NO NO YES NO EI Pale Ale at Avalon-area Marie’s, NLCs, and on tap at better bars in town, including Bar Brewdock.
Half Cocked Brewing in North Grant, just outside of Antigonish, is celebrating their Grand Re-Opening this weekend. After undergoing major renovations over the past two years, which saw more than a 20-fold increase in their production capacity, as well as opening a welcoming taproom and patio capable of accommodating more than 100 people, they are ready to toast how far they’ve come! They have released two new beers to toast with, including Almost Friggin’ Famous, a 8.0% Double Friggin’ IPA. The alcohol is tempered by a solid bitterness from the Simcoe and Centennial hops used throughout, which also lend big pine character to the flavour and aroma. Brewed in collaboration with Good Friggin’ Company, an apparel company based in Lower South River. Even friggin’ better is that $0.25 from each can goes to their Small Town, Big Stages bursary, an award given to High School graduates going into a Music program, with 3 awards of $1000 to be distributed this year.
Also new on tap and in cans at Half Cocked this weekend is Something Sour, a 5.0% dry-hopped Sour, featuring the lovely Idaho 7 hop. Refreshing and tart, the hops and Lacto work together for a citrus bomb of grapefruit and tangerine on the nose and palate.
The brewery is celebrating tomorrow from noon ‘til late with The Crafty Cooks food truck running a BBQ all day, and live music starting at 3 PM. The Ceilidhmen are taking the stage 3 – 5 PM, with Jason Spracklin playing 6 – 8 PM, with Mitch (of Good Friggin’ Company) & the Good Company band starting their set at 9 PM (the final set will have a $10 cover, half of which goes to the bursary). As it will be outside, bringing a lawn chair or blanket is a good idea, if you need a break from the dancing. Congratulations to Greg, Nick, and the entire Half Cocked Crew!
Another brewery celebrating this weekend is Charlottetown’s (and Burnside’s) Upstreet Brewing. Hard to believe that it’s been 7 years since they opened their doors on Allen Street, but here we are! As is tradition, they are also taking the opportunity to release their annual De Novo, taking the opportunity to begin anew. De Novo VII is a Mango Apricot Saison, taking up the mantle from last year’s introduction of fruit (absent from the 5 previous releases), and doubling the fruiting rate again. The spicy pepper character from the yeast plays well with the mango character, with the apricot offering a subtle tartness. Neither fruit takes over the beer, and is not at all sweet, as the Saison yeast dried it out nicely. Dry-hopped with German Callista for a bit more stone fruit on the nose. The 6.26% (also their birthdate!) Saison is canned again this year, for sale at all of their locations, and may even be on tap at a favourite Halifax-based bar in the next while.
Joining that is Fireworks 2022, Upstreet’s annual collaboration with The Inn at Bay Fortune, and their Fireworks kitchen. Sourcing Pilsner, Wheat, and Rye malts from Island Malt House, with lime basil and a variety of mints varietals hand picked and dried by Farmer Kevin at the The Inn’s farm. Just a little bit of estate-grown Comet hops were added in the whirlpool. The mints come through on the nose, with the basil complementing the herbal and hay notes of the saison yeast. Packaged in a 500 ml bottle, this 6.0% Saison is available now at the brewery’s spots, with some limited draught as well, and in bottle at The Inn at Bay Fortune, where Chef Michael Smith might even sabre a bottle for you!
What’s the plan for the celebratory weekend, you ask? Well, tonight, Craft Beer Corner is transforming into a late night dance party, which kicks off at 11 PM. Ramzoid and guest will be spinning tunes under the party lights until late. (The CBC will be closed 9 – 10 PM to prepare, with a $10 cover when they reopen).
Tomorrow, the taproom and parking lot on Allen Street will be alive with the sound of music, as acts from across the province will be playing all afternoon and evening, from 3 until 8:30 PM (no charge). Brackley Bay Oyster Co will be shucking all afternoon as well!
Sunday, DJ Nimo is capping the weekend with a set beginning at 9 PM at Craft Beer Corner, so get your groove on to celebrate! No cover charge for this evening’s fun.
Congratulations to Hogie, Mitch, and everyone at Upstreet on the continued success!
Big Spruce’s new releases continue to feature interesting styles, with this week’s release of Altruist showing off their take on the Altbier style. Originating in the German city of Düsseldorf, Altbier is a malt-forward but highly quaffable ale that features sufficient bitterness to keep flavours well balanced, and generally is great with food. Altruist comes in at a sessionable 5% and is available now on-tap in Nyanza. Keep an eye on their online store for a potential release in cans.
In Wolfville, Annapolis Cider is releasing the latest in its Something Different series. This one is a 6.5% wine/cider blend that they’re calling Strawberry Sangria. The cider starts with pressed apple juice and adds fresh-pressed local strawberries and cranberries, along with a dose of orange juice, a traditional sangria ingredient. It is then blended with Riesling from Sainte Famille Wines in Falmouth. The resulting drink pours with a pink salmon hue, and features a pleasing acidity and lots of berry notes. As an added bonus, $0.50 from each bottle sold will be donated to Ronald McDonald House Charities Atlantic, a great organization that provides accommodations to families with sick children while they access medical care. Bottles of Strawberry Sangria are available now.
Long Bay Brewery in Rothesay NB has a pair of new beers this week that we’re excited to tell you about. First up is Wasted Day, a hazy and flavourful New England IPA, that is the pinnacle of years of experimental brews, with recipe and technical changes made along the way. Loading up the mash with grain and hops that are full of thiol precursors, that the yeast can then liberate into strong tropical aromatics and flavour. When a dry-hop addition comes in during fermentation, this restarts the process, with the more permanent haze being produced. During a final conditioning phase, a big addition of Eclipse to complement with notes of pine and mandarin orange. All in a tidy 6.0% package, Wasted Day is on sale in cans and draught at the brewery now.
Joining it is The Big Brew, a 5.0% Golden Ale brewed in honour of the 50th Anniversary of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Saint John. Brewed using Bairds 2.0 Malt, a Kolsch-style yeast, and hopped with Mandarina Bavaria, this crisp and clean golden ale is available on tap and in cans at the brewery and select retail and tap accounts. Half of all profits of the brew go towards the organization, helping to connect kids with mentors in the community.
Let’s continue the news with another of Serpent Brewing’s Beer Creation Series releases, Inherited Taste. Chris Carrigan signed up to be part of the supporting community of Spryfield’s brewery, and chose a fruited kettle sour for his beer. The peach kettle sour is actually the brewery’s first foray into that style, and they took hold with both hands. Crisp, refreshing, and tart, with a nice level of the eponymous stone fruit on the palate. Carrigan’s daughter designed the label which adorns the 345 ml bottles, which are available now at the brewery.
Montague’s Copper Bottom is releasing a new beer that they’ve been patiently sitting on for over a year. Tandem is a flanders style brown ale, also known as an oud bruin, with a grain bill featuring 2-row, wheat, chocolate malt, light munich, carafe. This one saw a light hop addition of Centennial and Warrior hops before spending over 12 months in a chardonnay barrel, continuing to ferment with the bugs from the wood, adding a distinct tartness. You can also expect a vinous and oak quality from the barrel, along with rich malt flavours of plum, fig and raisin. Bottles of the 5.1% ABV Tandem will be available soon in Montague or for delivery through Copper Bottom’s online store.
Annapolis Brewing Company has a new beer pouring, and in cans, at their Annapolis Royal location. Summer Session Pale Ale is a light 3.0%, perfect for imbibing in volume during the warmest season. Barley and Wheat malts make up the grist, with Mandarina Bavaria and Huell Melon hops after fermentation, leading to spicy and floral aromatics, along with melon, stone fruit, and citrus in the glass. Pop by their taproom and retail shop this weekend to grab a few!
Lots of Anniversary celebrations happening in our region this weekend, so get your drinking pants on, and tag in your Designated Driver!
Head up to Sydney tomorrow to help the crew at Breton Brewing to celebrate their 7th Anniversary, complete with special guests, discounts, and music all day! Open from 12 – 10 PM, there will be giveaways happening throughout the day, with limited edition glassware on sale. Little Rolling Bistro will be set up from 2 – 8 PM with a full menu, and there will be live music from Duane Nardocchio (2 – 5 PM) and Curt Dillon & Calum MacPhee (5 – 8 PM). Be sure to pop by, grab some grub, have a pint, then buy some beer to go. One of those to-go beer could be their newly released Bottle-Conditioned Stirling Hefeweizen. The German Wheat beer was one of their earliest releases back in 2015, and they’ve gone traditional with the extra level of natural re-fermentation and carbonation right in the bottle.
A few more parting words today, and sorry for the late release!
As part of their 25th Anniversary celebrations, Propeller put out the call to their fans on what beers they would like to see return. While we were holding out for Sharp Angus, the public has spoken, and Stone Fruit has taken the prize. A can-only re-release, this 5.0% refreshing beer is bursting with notes of peach, apricot, and mango, and probably is the better choice for enjoying on a picnic or at the beach, rather than a Hemp Ale… You win!
Now fully back in the groove of things, the 902 BrewCast have delved into the world of mead for their latest release, sitting down with Eric and Ronnie of the newly-opened Eventide Mead, located in Burnside. They talk all about the sourcing of the honey from a local producer, dip their toes into the different styles of mead (and hybrids), and where they think this naturally gluten-free beverage can go in the province. Listen in for free wherever you grab podcasts (or right here). And since recording, the Eventide crew has expanded their retail store hours to Thursdays and Fridays 11 AM – 6 PM, at their 196 Joseph Zatzman Drive location.
Speaking of 902BC, their faithful sponsors Bishop’s Cellar have a bunch of tasty beers on the shelves today, including some beauties from Brasserie de Blaugies, de Ranke (yes, XX Bitter is on the list), and Drie Fonteinen. Local breweries are getting some love too, as Big Spruce’s Saison Opener Grisette, Propeller’s White Belgian Witbier, the aforementioned Bottle-Conditioned Hefeweizen from Breton, and Tatamagouche’s Cellar Slammer, now in 355 ml cans, ideal for … well… slamming.
One last thing before you go. Miramichi’s Timber Ship Brewing has been in business for 4 years, operated by two dedicated couples, pouring their heart and soul into the operation. Through community and local business support, they have managed to survive during the extremely difficult last couple of years. Given recent changes to their career and family commitments, they have had to evaluate Timber Ship, and are looking to close one chapter, and begin another with respect to the brewery. They are looking for someone to continue the Timber Ship story, whether that means on the same level, or to expand its reach even further. If you are interested, or know of a potential buyer, please check out their post and get in touch!