Annapolis Cider Company

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Happy Friday everyone! Another week in the bubble, and we hope to give you a few solid ideas on what/where to enjoy a beer or cider this weekend! Be sure to say “Hi!” if you see us out, or tag us in your beery posts this weekend, we love to see what you get up to! Now, without further ado, today’s post!

Let’s start off with our fine friends at Tatamagouche Brewing, where they continue to experiment with Kveik yeast strains (is there any better way to experiment than with yeast? Serious question…). Their latest Kveik (or is it Kviek😘) beer is On Task Export, a beer brewed with Pilsner malt and a bit of Vienna, and hopped with Tettnanger and Hallertau Mittelfruh. This one was fermented with Escarpment’s KRISPY, a blend of two Kveik strains rumoured to produce “Lager-like beer in Ale time”. Lagered for a couple of weeks, the beer definitely still has some fruity Kveik characteristics, so while not completely Lager-ish, it’s tasty and easy-drinking. Designed by the brewery’s cellar crew – with a special shoutout to “packaging wizard” Jony Riley – with the idea of brewing a new beer perfect for summer work around the house, it’s a reasonable 5.5% ABV. Available in cans and kegs at the brewery now, with the same heading to the HRM next week, and always available at their online shop

And if classic English beers are more your cup of Earl Grey, we encourage you to seek out some of Tata’s English Bitter, a 4.1% brew with Pale malt for the base, a mixture of caramel malts, and a little bit of Chocolate malt, and hopped with East Kent Goldings and Fuggles. A beer just made for being served on cask, you can indeed find it just so at your favourite cask-serving-location (we’ve seen it at the Stillwell Freehouse recently), and kegs will be also hitting bars this week. Finally, Tata is also re-releasing Salt Water Cowboy, their 4.4% ABV Tequila barrel-aged Gose w/ lemon zest; look for kegs and 500 mL bottles to make their appearance over the coming weeks. 

For those of you who adore your hoppy Belgian beers (which truly are a beautiful thing, when you find a proper one), you’ll be happy to read about Stillwell Brewing’s latest beer, Dry. Designed with the intention of bringing you a low-ABV (4.2%, specifically), bone dry beer, it’s a mixed-ferm Saison that was dry-hopped with plenty of fresh Saphir. Packaged and can-conditioned in April, the dry-hop character is coming through at its peak now, giving the beer “a big, grassy, herbaceous character that plays well with the floral Saison fermentation notes”. A touch of tartness is present as well, with a firm bitterness in the finish. All three Stillwell locations will have cans of Dry available to drink on site, with HQ having plenty on hand for retail sale so you can enjoy one or six on your deck some hot, sunny day. Go!

Continuing with more mixed-fermentation fun elsewhere in Halifax, 2 Crows has the latest in their series of cocktail-inspired beers with Negroni. Named after and based on the dark red, Italian cocktail of the same name, this particular beer is actually a blend of three unique beers (very fitting, considering a proper Negroni cocktail typically is made with three different liquors/liqueurs). All three beers feature a golden sour base, but here’s where they differ: one was aged for 9 months in a freshly-emptied Amaro (ex-Bourbon) barrels; one aged in fresh Vermouth barrels; and finally, one aged in a gin barrel. Once all three were blended, 2C conditioned the final beer on a “complex” combination of botanicals (we think they’re being modest with the word complex!): fresh bitter orange peel and lemon peel, dried wormwood, calamus, fennel, sage, orris root, rosemary, cinnamon, clove, thyme, marjoram, juniper, coriander, as well as some hibiscus from World Tea House. At 5.5% ABV, this brilliant red beer is meant to resemble a proper Negroni cocktail, and it sure sounds like it does – the brewery describes the final product has having “orange and grapefruit zest leading the aroma, followed by a serious bitter kick and subtle herbal and woody aromatics”. Look for bottles of this beauty at the taproom starting tomorrow; they’ll also have a single keg pouring, which we recommend trying as well! You didn’t need us to recommend that, but we’re sticking to it.

There’s still plenty of summer left, and Spindrift has announced the details on their summer seasonal for this year, Sundaze Session Ale. Featuring a grist of Pilsner, Maris Otter, and Chit malt, it was hopped late in the boil with a healthy amount of Centennial and Galaxy, and whirlpool-hopped with Galaxy and Sabro. Fermented at cool temps with a neutral ale yeast, the beer was dry-hopped (midway through fermentation) with Centennial and Sabro. Coming in at a sessionable 4.5% ABV, the resulting beer shows off both the malt side (with biscuity characteristics) and the hop side (with “big notes of passion fruit, coconut, and tangerine”); expect little bitterness in the finish (20 IBUs, if that’s your thing). You can find 6-packs of Sundaze at the brewery, and in NSLC stores soon. If you’re nearby, they’re having an official launch party at the brewery tomorrow from 11 AM – 3 PM, with Buttered Bliss joining them to pair some scrumptious chicken sandwiches with their beer ($5 pints all day, and $1 off all sixers and growlers). 

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Milkshake IPAs are still a thing, and Big Spruce has brewed some tasty ones in the past. They’ve got a brand new one out right now, Tiguido, which is the French Canadian phrase for “just peachy” (we’ll have to trust them on that one). As you may have guessed, this release is a Peach Milkshake IPA, which was hopped and dry-hopped with a proprietary blend of Cryo hops from Yakima Chief (that means it’s a blend where we’re not exactly sure which varieties are used!). Brewed with lactose powder, and conditioned on vanilla and peaches (all organic, natch), it weighs in at 7% ABV and is “super fragrant, bursting with fresh peach flavour, and finishes soft and sweet”. Available right now at the Sprucetique in growlers, pints, and bottles, you can also find it on tap at Battery Park and the Stillwell Beer Garden. And if you’re looking for more fruity IPAs, Big Spruce has also got a new batch of Guava Get Me Some available in a limited supply; El Dorado and Mosaic hops, and lots of guava, all in a 6.4% ABV package.

Douglas, NB’s 3Flip Brewing has just launched the latest in their Rock God of Summer beer series, Limes Ulrich. This 6.5% American Wheat Ale was brewed exclusively with malt from PEI’s Island Malt House, and late-hopped in the boil with Amarillo. Conditioned on fresh lime zest in the fermentor, the final beer is light and crisp, “with a bright citrus lime flavour and aroma”. It’s billed as a crusher, but we recommend going easy at that ABV! Kegs should be hitting accounts any day now, and bottles will be available as well; keep an eye on their social media accounts for more details. 

We just told you about Shipwright’s first kettle sour last week, and they’re keeping the train rolling in that department, as their second sour just went on tap a couple of days ago! Surf Side is a 5% ABV kettle sour that was brewed with Pale Ale, Wheat, and Honey malt, and once soured and fermented, was dry-hopped with a 50:50 blend of Bru-1 and Citra. Featuring “aromas of grapefruit and lychee, leading to pleasantly-tart flavours of peach, citrus and pineapple”, it’s currently pouring at Shipwright’s taproom, and available to take-away in crowler format. 

Dieppe’s O’Creek has three brand new beers being released this week, providing two completely different tastes for the senses. First up are two of the latest in their DUOH series (NEIPA hopped with two varieties), DUOH: Nelson/Galaxy and DUOH: Sabro/Enigma. Both beers were fermented with the Foggy London strain, and hopped and dry-hopped with Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy, and Sabro and Enigma, respectively. Both are 6% ABV, hazy af, and showing off big hop aromas and flavours (of course, with those varieties!). Look for DUOH: Nelson/Galaxy at CAVOK Brewing and Euston Park Social, DUOH: Sabro/Enigma at Traffik in Shippagan. And if hoppy beers aren’t your thing, their next beer is Czech Affaire, a 5.5% ABV Czech Pilsner brewed with Pilsner malt and a bit of Munich and Carapils. Hopped with Sladek and Saaz, it was fermented with Escarpment’s Premium Pils, and lagered for over 2 months. Tasting clean and crisp, with a “fresh, bready aroma” and a firm bitterness, you can find it on tap soon at CAVOK. 

Propeller has gone ahead and released their IPA Day (Aug 6 this year) beer a little early, and it’s a tweaked version of one of their classics. They’ve taken their IPA recipe and double-dry-hopped it with Ekuanot and Citra, to give you DDHIPA. It’s still 6.5% ABV like before, but with the dry-hop additions it’s showing off aromas and flavours of pine, mango, and citrus, with a “slightly herbal taste and smooth, citrus finish”. It comes in their 360° cans, where the lid can be removed and the can used as a glass, and should be available at all three Prop shops today (and online for home delivery).

Head a bit further North in Halifax, and you’ll pass Good Robot Brewing on Robie Street. They are taking full advantage of their new canning system by packaging up another fresh batch of their award-winning El Espinazo Del Diablo Jalapeno and Lime Mexican Lager, as well as a brand new release, Purple Haze. The latter is a 5.9% American Pale Ale starting life as any other, but received a dosing of terpenes at packaging to skyrocket the smell and flavour to the next level. What are terpenes, you may be asking? These are the super-aromatic naturally occurring compounds that give pine needles, citrus fruit, lavender, etc, etc, their distinctive character. They’re also found in hops (a lot of the time when we talk about “biotransformation”, it’s these terpenes being transformed into another form), and its funkier and more potent cousin, cannabis. Centering on these, a blend of terpenes was used in this beer to mimic the distinctive aroma of the Purple Haze and Grandaddy Purp strains of weed, producing great aroma but without the high (sorry!). Think pine, citrus, melon, field berry on the nose, bumping up the contribution from the hops already in the beer. Cans of Purple Haze are available now in their retail shop, and online. And while you’re checking them out, keep in mind that there’s still a bit of their Blackberry Freedom Ale available, brewed with the Change is Brewing Collective, and benefiting BIPOC groups in the community. And there are more great beers coming from the Collective, but we’ll keep those under wraps for now.

Let’s hop across the water for our last brewery visit this week. In Deer Lake, Rough Waters Brewing celebrated the opening of their patio yesterday, at their 83 Wights Road location. Expanding their seating capacity just means more room for you all to visit on your way to/from Gros Morne, but also worthy of a visit specifically, of course! Plus, you can bring your pup to hang out with Ruffwaters’ own mascot. So, what can you be enjoying while there? Well, they released Wanderlust, a 5.0% Blonde Ale, featuring delicate floral aroma dancing on the light malt, in a crisp and refreshing package. Next up is the continuation of their Sour Series, this being Sour IPA. Galaxy hops lend a load of citrus and tropical fruit to the beer, with the clean acidity cleans the palate and keeps you coming back for more! This fella is 5.3% ABV, and available both on tap and in bottles, but for sale only at the brewery. And finally, just back today is Down South, their Pineapple Pale Ale, featuring 20 kilograms of pineapple puree added during conditioning. Again, exclusively available at the brewery, so we think you’d better start making your plans now! The retail, taproom, and patio (weather depending, unless you bring your ‘brelly) is Thursday through Monday, 2 – 10 PM.

On the cider side of things, Annapolis Cider has the details on the latest one-off in their Something Different series, Strawberry & Mint. Created with the intention of celebrating the Valley’s berry harvest season, it’s a blend of their dry-fermented cider with a “splash” of Perry, along with freshly-pressed strawberry and apple juices. Infused with locally-grown mint, this 6.2% ABV sparkling cider has “a bright effervescence and balanced acidity”, and is chock-full of strawberry and mint flavours for a very refreshing beverage. For this week’s release, they will be donating $0.50 from each refill of Strawberry & Mint to the Valley Regional Hospital Foundation

Not one, but TWO Beer Gardens opened this week!

Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery has opened up their Waterfront Beer Garden at Alderney Landing, adjacent to the Alderney Gate ferry terminal. Featuring seating for 64 (plus dogs!), the converted shipping container has both a draft system for draught sales to be enjoyed on-site, as well as a retail side with cans to take-away. For those grabbing pints, it is a BYOF establishment, with Brightwood is teaming up with Port City Cafe to offer bar snacks like nachos and dips to be ordered from their website and enjoyed there. In addition to Brightwood’s full complement of beers, the container bar will also be serving their new house cider, Brightyard. This single varietal (Northern Spy) is a semi-dry cider produced with Chain Yard Urban Cidery, where the cider starts life in Halifax before finishing up in Dartmouth. And look for super-special releases coming from the water-side ½ barrel, 60 litre, system also hanging out in the shipping container. The Waterfront Beer Garden is open 11:30 AM til 11 PM daily until the end of September, weather-dependent, of course.

And Bedford just got a little more beer-y with the opening of Birch and Anchor yesterday. Open 11 – 11 daily, the former site of China Town restaurant has been transformed into a sprawling beer garden with 15,000 square feet of space, a dozen draught taps (Breton, Garrison, Propeller are on the board currently) and two dozen varieties of bottles and cans. The food is prepared on-site, with pizzas, charcuteries boards, and BBQ courtesy of Asado Wood Fired Grill.

Just one event to tell you about this week!

Normally held in March, Péché Day is the celebration of Dieu Du Ciel!’s Péché Mortel, a 9.5% ABV Russian Imperial Stout with coffee. Since *something* got in the way of celebrating 4 months ago, the Stillwell Freehouse is taking another stab at it tomorrow, July 18th. Pouring PM plus 5 variations, including a Bourbon-barrel aged version, “Mexican Stout” (ancho & guajillo peppers with cinnamon and vanilla), Cassis (black currants), “Sidama” (infused with Ethiopian Sidama Howolso coffee), and Nanatsu No Taizai which is Péché Mortel fermented with lager yeast, rather than ale. Complementing these big coffee beers will be another touch of Montreal, with Smoked Meat Toasties, and a bring-your-own vinyl DJ situation, all kicking off at noon. No tickets, no reservations, so we suggest arriving promptly to secure your spot!

A couple more beer and brewing related job postings this week, for those looking to get into the industry!

Inverness, Nova Scotia’s Route 19 Brewing is looking for a motivated individual to join their team, working in two key roles as both a Brewery Assistant and Delivery Driver. In the brewery, assisting Head Brewer Dallas in all aspects of brewing, including recipe planning, ingredient handling, brewing, fermenting, conditioning, packaging, and everything in between. And then you’ll be able to help get that beer to customers across the province as a cargo van delivery driver, servicing Cape Breton and the Halifax region. While no formal brewing training is required, a thirst for knowledge is key! Fire an email with your resume and questions to Stefan Gagliardi. And for those who recognize that name, Stefan has joined Route 19 as the CBO, Chief Beer Officer, overseeing all things beer from Brewing Operations to Sales & Marketing. Congratulations, Stefan!

And on the serving side of things, Dartmouth’s Battery Park Beer Bar is looking to add some permanent part- and full-time servers to their team. Must love beer! Learn more here, and send along your resume!

And in “so you want even more beer details and information in your life” for this week

The fellas of the 902 BrewCast made a run for the border (and bridge) last weekend, visiting the other 902 province, Prince Edward Island. While there, they managed to fit in a handful of brewery, malting, and hop operation visits and interviews in just a couple of days. The first interview, with Spencer Gallant of Lone Oak Brewing in Borden-Carleton, hit the virtual airwaves earlier this week. Learn about his progression through the local brewing industry, the latest release of theirs (the Duet Saison that we are still in search of), and what can be expected from the tanks and barrels the rest of this year. Better than waiting for us to tell you about the latest Eps (or in this case, forgetting!), be sure to subscribe however you listen to podcasts. Find out how on the link above!

Okay folks, this will be your COVID-19 joke-free zone for the day, we promise not to make any below. What we will say on the subject is that some breweries are adjusting their growler policies during this time, to reduce the chance of infection of employees and patrons alike, so don’t be surprised by those when you go in looking for a fill this afternoon (some are halting completely, others will only be doing exchanges, both of which we think are smart moves). And with some members of the public going a little over the top in hoarding and needless self-isolation, this could be a trying time for your favourite brewery taproom (not to mention local bars and restaurants), so do continue to support them how/when it makes sense. Perhaps now’s the time to buy yourself or a pal a giftcard for later use? Or take advantage of those breweries that offer online shopping? Here’s what caught our eyes this week, and worth checking out!

After a quick glance through all the info we have for this week, it looks like there’s a lot of hazy-and-hoppy releases, so let’s start off with Big Spruce, because why not? They’ve just released Shrediquette, a 7.6% abv NEIPA hopped entirely with experimental hop HBC-692. There’s quite a few aroma and flavour descriptors for this variety floating around the internet (such as grapefruit, stone fruit, floral, woody, pine, and cream), but Big Spruce is describing this beer as extremely orange-y, with “a subtle, pithy bitterness lingering behind”. Guess you’ll have to taste it and make your own decisions! Look for it at the brewery, or your favourite BS tap accounts, including Auction House, Battery Park, HopYard, and Stillwell in HRM.

Continuing on with hops over in Newfoundland, where Twillingate’s Split Rock Brewing has a Double IPA pouring, Sample Port. Hopped with extremely-high amounts of Amarillo and Chinook throughout the boil, it was dry-hopped with more of the same, plus Mosaic. Medium-bodied and dry, with a hefty bitterness thanks to hefty use of hops (think West Coast style and proud of it), this 7.8% ABV brew got its name from its popularity with the brewing staff, who enjoyed the beer so much that they continued to return to the tank’s sample port for repeated samples. Still on tap at the brewery (until staff gets off for the day!), it is also pouring at Gander Airport’s Union East & Drinks (who are doing a great job showcasing taps from a great variety of the province’s breweries), and should be making an appearance at a couple of the better beer bars in St. John’s before too long. And back after a brief hiatus, and sporting their new house English yeast strain, is ABBA (aka Alli’s Big Brown Ale), their 5.6% ABV Brown Ale. Available at the brewery as well, those of you in St. John’s may have had a chance to try it at the Guv’nor Pub this past week.

Let’s take a break from hops for a moment, but stay on the Rock, East to Quidi Vidi Brewery. Delving into darker territory this week, QV has three of them out in time for next week’s St. Paddy’s Day celebrations. Let’s start light with their Dry Irish Stout. At 4.2% ABV, this beer is brimming with character from the Midnight Wheat, Pale Chocolate and Roasted Barley, complementing the base malts with notes of roast, coffee, and chocolate, with just a touch of balancing bitterness. A medium-light body with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel, and a light finish. At the other end of the spectrum is their Russian Imperial Stout, a 10% ABV brute of a beer featuring many of the same dark and roast malts as its little brother, but amped up. Aromatics of dark roast coffee, and sweet dates from the esters and a touch of alcohol, follow to a full, smooth, mouthfeel with more coffee and chocolate on the tongue. And finally, they’ve got the Imperial Coconut Porter, a 9.0% ABV beer with, you guessed it, toasted coconut added to the brew, in addition to cacao nibs for extra chocolatey goodness, as well as vanilla for a touch of sweetness. Chocolate and Pale Chocolate malts colour and flavour the brew, giving the very dark brown beer a lovely beige head, with notes of toast and nuttiness to complement the adjuncts. All three beers are available on draught in the taproom and in cans in the QV Hops Shop now, and keep your eyes open for them on the shelves of select NLCs in your ‘hood.

With their full Tap Takeover at Stillwell happening tomorrow, Tatamagouche Brewing are bringing more beauties than you can shake a stick at, including four new releases on the taps.

  • Eventide, that midway point between day and evening, is also the name of their latest lager, an amber-coloured 4.6% ABV Vienna Lager. With notes of bread and toast on the nose, and following through to the palate with touches of apricot, Eventide is a showcase of the malt variety from Vienna, rich in character but still manages to finish dry, without too much sweetness. Hops take a back seat in this brew, and the lager yeast keeps the beer crisp and refreshing. On draught now, and in cans very soon.
  • Debuting tomorrow is Tata’s Grisette, a 3.4% ABV “small Saison”, which was carbonated naturally in the keg (and bottles, soon). Dry-hopped with Callista, it features bright and fresh aromatics of mandarin with earthy undertones and light floral notes. This one was kept in Stainless Steel during the process, whereas…
  • Remused is a second take on their Muse Flanders Red-inspired beer released in the Fall. Another batch of the sour Red Ale spent another four months on the same cherries as the initial release. Look for bottles of Remused in the next couple of weeks.
  • And finally, it will also mark the debut of the Stilly X Tata collaboration Staffy Kveik Pale Ale, brewed late last month. Featuring the new and exclusive Samba hop (as well as Huell Melon), this juicy Pale Ale with everyone’s favourite Norwegian Farmhouse yeast, is a lesson in tropical and citrus character in a bright and fresh package. After tomorrow’s debut, look for a wider distro of this one, with a canning run happening next week as well.

And with any takeover, you know that Stillwell goes all out with the food, so look forward to fried clams, haddock tips, smoked mackerel dip, and scallop ceviche on the menu. All day.

Ok, back to hops! We’ll dial it back a bit with Roof Hound, who were looking for a beer with lots of hop presence, but less alcohol than your IPAs and DIPAs. Of course, that means Session IPA, so they created a recipe and named the beer Gimme a Hint. Brewed with both Citra and Mosaic hops, they upped the fruit character even more with an addition of fresh orange zest. But this isn’t your “typical” Session IPA… when we think of the style, something in the range of 3.5-5% ABV usually jumps out. Gimme a Hint comes it at an extremely-low 1% ABV, which we guess is why Roof Hound is actually referring to this beer as a “Micro IPA”. This beer isn’t exactly available yet, but look for it late this month directly at the source (we understand if you’re weirded out that we are giving you advance notice on a beer… we’re a little freaked about it, too).

Hanwell’s Niche Brewing has their latest hoppy beer hitting the taps this week after a debut last weekend. Hop Altered is a hazy NEIPA featuring a grist of 2-row, Golden Promise and Munich malts, with flaked wheat and oats providing the requisite protein component. Plenty of Mosaic and El Dorado hops were used in the kettle, with more of the same plus some Enigma in a very healthy dry hop. The picture is completed by the use of the Foggy London yeast strain from Escarpment Labs. Described as “pretty darn juicy” you can expect some tropical notes, a slight dankness and not too much bitterness on the finish of this 5.2% ABV easy drinker. Look for it first at The Joyce and Peppers Pub but we’re sure it’ll be hitting other Niche tap accounts shortly.

Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing has been tearing it up since they opened, with the taproom full most of the time (y’all are thirsty!). Not to let any slumps sneak up on them, they’re releasing a whopping FOUR new beers this weekend! We’ve got a few light details to share with you now, just to get you in the mood to head there right after work, or maybe tomorrow:

  • Dickie Dee – they’re billing this one as an “Orange Creamsicle Dry-Hopped IPA”, so expect a hoppy, slightly sweet, very orange-flavoured beer. Smooth and creamy, and 6% ABV, it has additions of orange and lactose, and was hopped mostly with Ekuanot. Shoutout for the Eighties kids on that name!
  • Weisse Squad – a German Dunkelweizen (think dark Hefeweizen), the use of Weizen yeast for fermentation has added your typical banana and clove flavours, and the use of some specialty malt helps balance with notes of caramel and toast. Just 4% ABV, so definitely safe to have one or two before responsible activity.
  • Rainy Days – a style along the lines of “je ne sais quoi”, they’re describing this as unique, and “a London Fog recreated in a pale beer”. Lots of lactose and Earl Grey tea were added, and it comes in at 4% ABV; better try this one yourself!
  • Hip Hop – the first in a series, this beer is a double-dry-hopped, hazy New England DIPA; coming in at 8% ABV to keep you firmly in your seat, they hopped this one exclusively with Mosaic. Juicy, juicy, and more juicy, don’t pound back too many of these, despite their easy-drinking nature.

All of these will be on tap at the brewery, naturally. Also a note, Tire Shack will be holding a St. Patrick’s Day party next Tuesday; they’ll be opening early (11 am), with live music by Fundy Ceilidh from 7-9 pm and green beer (yep) pouring throughout the day.

We have the latest details on the newest Something Different entry from Annapolis Cider, which is going to be available today. Arctic Kiwi Perry is a blend of a dry Perry (made from Bosc and Bartlett pears) and juice from locally-harvested arctic kiwis. Not familiar with arctic kiwis? Neither were we, but luckily the fine folks at Annapolis Cider inform us that they are “grape-sized kiwifruit grown in northern climates”. (Wiki article) They taste similar to your typical “normal” kiwi, and in this particular beverage offer pleasant tropical notes, all in a medium-bodied, crisp package. As always, $0.50 from each refill will go towards a local charity; in this case, the Free Spirit Therapeutic Riding Association.

Over on the Island, we’ve got news that the winning beer from this year’s Maritime Homebrew Challenge by Gahan/PEIBC was released this past Sunday on International Women’s Day 2020, perfect timing for winning brewer Chelsea Meisner! The beer itself is a stout with a somewhat untraditional ingredient: Sichuan peppercorns! Known for their ability to leave one’s tongue a little bit tingly (or full-on numb, depending on how much is used), they provide plenty of interest to this rich and full-bodied stout that comes in at 55 IBU and a healthy 7.5% ABV. “Tingles the tongue and warms the soul,” is printed on the can and, we suspect, very fittingly describes the experience. Our congratulations again to Chelsea on her winning beer! You can grab pints and cans of Tingles Sichuan Stout at Gahan and PEIBC, and it should also be available in both formats in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia locations as well.

North End Halifax’s Good Robot has, as always seems to be the case, a couple of things on the go this week. First up, the GR team is trying their collective hand at the hard seltzer game with an Alpha batch of one they’re calling, The Fizz. At 4.7% ABV and no IBUs to speak of, they tried to avoid the “boozy carbonated water” and challenge their brewing skills by making the lightest beer they could, cutting it with some water, and adding lemon, lime and lavender. You can try this low-calorie option at the taproom now!

And meanwhile, in BetaBrew land there’s a “baby beta” coming out this coming BetaBrewsday (Tuesday, March 17th) they’re calling Beerbliotheque. Brewed by Kelly and her longtime friend Amy Lorencz, they leaned into Amy’s librarian vocation (and calling) for this one. A big, rich stout, with notes of dried fruit, there’s also plenty of chocolate character. A bit of a big’un at 7.3% ABV and 26 IBU, it sounds perfect for curling up by the fire on one of our still chilly evenings with a lovely book. We also have a PSA for BetaBrew fans, Kelly has advised us that there will be but one remaining BetaBrew. We’ll definitely try to get the full story on that for you next week, but maybe start planning to make it out for the final edition as soon as we advise you when that will be.

Lastly, Kelly is also the guiding light behind the FemmeBrew Homebrewing Competition for Womxn, Trans, Femme, non-binary and underrepresented brewsters in Nova Scotia, and they’ll be celebrating that this coming Sunday at the taproom starting with a private event for entrants (and their +1s) starting at 4 PM. Winners will be announced after 5 PM and then the doors will open to the general public at 6 PM to celebrate the winners, the entrants, and everyone else involved.

Looks like there’s a couple of new beers pouring at Maybee in Fredericton; well, maybe 1.5 “new” beers? The first one is a lighter take on one of their flagship beers, Work Horse IPA. For those of you who have been longtime drinkers of this classic take on an American IPA (or even those of you who may have been newly introduced to it, now that it’s available in NB’s grocery stores), but would appreciate a lower ABV, they give you Work Horse Light. They say it has the same flavour and hop profile as the original, but “with a cleaner finish and less lingering bitterness”. At 5.5% ABV (and 55 IBUs), it’s a bit easier to enjoy a couple of pints. The other beer – Lakeview Amber – is a true newbie, an American Amber brewed in collaboration with Bangor, Maine’s Geaghan Bros. This isn’t the first collaboration between these two breweries, but this is the first to also include Lakeview Hops (out of Harvey, NB). This easy-drinking Amber was hopped with Magnum to 40 IBUs, giving a “short-lived bitterness” in the finish, after hits of “slight caramel on the nose, with notes of light pine and unripe pineapple”. Weighing in at 5.7% ABV, this beer (and Work Horse Light) can be found on tap now at Maybee; good chance you’ll see both beers pop up at local accounts around Fredericton.

HRM’s Propeller Brewing is continuing to play with packaging cans with nitrogen. This week their stalwart Irish Red Ale became available in nitro cans. If you’re interested but not familiar with beers packaged this way, maybe have a boo at Prop’s social media for information on how to best take advantage of this novel packaging (short form: crack it and dump it into your glass with a quickness, but make sure your glass is big enough for a whole pint!). Nitrogen tends to make beers smoother and “creamier,” which should pair nicely with the malty and earthy notes of the style. Still 5% ABV and 25 IBU as always, look for it in cans and on tap at Propeller locations, and they’ve advised us that a few kegs are also available to taprooms that have nitro capability. We’d also like the opportunity to hint that we think it would be awesome if the next beer they tried this with is their classic ESB

We mentioned back at the end of February that Garrison Brewing was brewing up an all-female developed beer for International Women’s Day 2020 and then failed to remind everyone about it in our post last week (yes, we feel appropriate shame). But we’re hoping to make up for that by reminding you about it now and telling you it’s available at both Garrison taprooms (Seaport and Oxford), as well as private stores in the HRM. A Honey Wheat Ale with honey from Meander River Farm, it’s 5.2% ABV and 25 IBUs, you can safely expect an easy-drinking beer with a doughy character, some melon notes, gentle bitterness, and some honey sweetness. And remember that every can and keg sold means donations toward the Women in Trades bursary with the NSCC (which will be more than $1300 once the batch is sold), so maybe take an opportunity to stock up on a few for a good cause, share them around, and celebrate womxn in the brewing industry!

In addition to the events we already mentioned above, just one more that we found on the calendar this weekend…

Wolfville’s Church Brewing Company is taking over the taps at Halifax’s Boxcar Social Saturday evening. From 5 PM until close, they’ll be pouring their super-refreshing Congregation Pilsner, Sanctuary Enkel (think Belgian Singel), Married to the Sea German Porter, Eight Bells Belgo Pale Ale, The Luxury Belgian Dubbel, as well as the very last keg of their Best Kind Kveik Pale Ale, their collaboration with St. John’s Bannerman Brewing. And because one can never have enough variety, they’ll be rounding out the offerings with cans of Mayflower White IPA, and Til Death Do Us Tart Framboise. To amp up the fun even more, Sun Parka will be playing from 7 PM, so be sure to drop in for a pint or two and stay a spell.

And in not-great, but entirely understandable news, the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia has made the hard decision to cancel the March 21st Nova Scotia Craft Beer Fest. Those who had purchased tickets will receive full refunds. No change to the other events planned in April for #NSCraftBeerMonth, and we’ll have lots more info on those plans in the coming weeks.

We trust that everybody’s now comfortably back at work after the holidays, rested and refreshed and ready for whatever winter can dole out (residents of Northern NS, Cape Breton and Newfoundland may have already been well-tested on that front, but we trust we’ll all get our share before the season’s over). And a big shout out to all of those doing that whole Dry January thing; you’re now a third of the way to insanity success! For the rest of you, we’ve got plenty of news as always about new breweries, new beers, and all the other news we could gather.

Let’s kick off this week’s news with another opening in our region, New Maritime Beer. After launching their brand with a pair of beers this summer, they are now ready to welcome folks to their taproom at 55 Newcastle Blvd in Miramichi. The taproom is opening Saturday at 1 PM (until 11 or later if the party is still rockin’!), and open daily going forward (except for Mondays). They will be pouring an American Pale Ale, IPA, and Stout, brewed elsewhere while they complete the installation and commision of their brewhouse. The new equipment was manufactured by Saint John’s Copper Leaf Brewing Equipment, an 1800 litre brewhouse, and should be in full force next month. The 90 seat taproom features plenty of cozy touches like a fireplace, and plenty of comfortable seating. While they do not yet have food onsite, you can feel free to bring or order your own in. Keep an eye here, and on their Social Media (Fb/IG) for news of new releases (we’ve already heard tell of Juicy and West Coast IPAs, as well as more Pale Ales, Stouts, and Session IPAs coming down the pipeline once they are fully open).

Sea Level Brewing at Millstone Harvest Brewhouse in Sheffield Mills has a brand new release on the taps (and coming soon to cans) these days. A Light in the Dark is a 4.0% ABV Kolsch Ale, the latest of their beer releases to use barley grown at their farm, and malted at nearby Horton Ridge Malt & Grain. Opting for a light-coloured and sessionable beer at a time many seasonals are going dark and heavy, there is still plenty going on in the glass. The beer also features Cascade grown at the farm, complemented by Glacier grown by Fundy Hops. The beer is available now on draught at the Brewhouse (for onsite enjoyment or to go), with growlers, and soon cans, at their Port Williams location as well.

Speaking of Horton Ridge, they have a new beer available this week as well. When you’re a combination malt house/brewery and you’re looking to use up a previous crop of grain, you build a beer around it! That’s exactly what they’ve done with The Ridge Rosé, a Farmhouse-inspired Pale Ale. The grist was made up mostly of Queens Pale Malt, a variety of barley developed in PEI that gives an earthy malt profile, which works well in Farmhouse styles, according to Horton Ridge. Also brewed with a touch of Rye malt, and hopped with Saaz, the goal was to brew a base beer that would provide a good amount of malt character, yet also allow the secondary ingredient to shine through – in this beer, Muscat grape skins from Benjamin Bridge and Luckett Vineyards. After aging on the skins for close to two months, the 5% ABV beer has taken on tart, fruity flavours, as well as a subtle maltiness. It’s pouring on tap at the brewery, where you can also pick up some cans to take home.

Last summer, Off Track Brewing released a pilot batch of Boatload of Nerve, an experimental DIPA. Availability was obviously quite limited, and the beer went over very well, so luckily for us they’ve scaled it up and brewed a full batch! Hopped with a blend of El Dorado and Mosaic, this 8% ABV, 95 IBUs DIPA sports “notes of pear and mango, with a slight hint of pine”, as well as a touch of herbal/earthy character. Slightly hazy, it’s only available on tap… however, future batches MAY be bottled if the demand is there. For now, your best bet to find it is at the brewery .

Halifax’s Garrison Brewing has a new release out this week, sure to satisfy the hop lover on your list (in addition to yourself, of course!). The latest in their Hop Trip series, Southern Hemisphere IPA is 6.0% ABV, and while it is 30 IBU on paper, the hops are certainly the star of the show. Using loads of Galaxy, Topaz, and Vic Secret, three Australian-grown hops. Intense aromatics of passion fruit, melon, grapefruit, and pineapple come through thanks to the generous use of hops throughout. The beer is available on draught for samples, pints, and growler fills at their brewery at the Seaport, as well as the Oxford Taproom, with cans available at those locations as well as a few NSLC and private stores. And for the month of January, all sales/donations through Popcorn with a Purpose, a charitable endeavour at the Oxford where popcorn sales are donated, will be going towards the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery.

Friendly alert for those of you in or around Liverpool NS: local brewery Hell Bay has just released Barrel-Aged Brown Ale, a 9.5% ABV Brown that was aged for six months in Bourbon and rum barrels from Lunenburg’s Ironworks Distillery. Featuring a “rich, brown malt body with distinctive rum flavour”, it’s sure to pack a punch with that high ABV, despite the alcohol character being nicely hidden. Bottles are limited, so don’t wait to pick up a couple, as no doubt they’ll age in your cellar perfectly!

Something new and hoppy fresh out of 2 Crows this week, a 5.4% ABV, 31 IBUs New England IPA named Merida. Hopped very heavily with Mandarina Bavaria, Huell Melon, and experimental hop Bru-1, you can expect plenty of juiciness in this one, along with “Tang, pineapple, stone fruit, and cantaloupe vibes”. Available on tap and in cans right now at the brewery. And hey, even more good news – while there, why not grab some cans of the latest batch of Waltz, their German Pilsner? This batch was tweaked slightly, as the beer was brewed with 100% PEI grown-and-malted Shoreline Malting Pils malt. They’ve played with the dry-hopping technique as well, making this iteration “extra bright”, with more floral and lemon notes than usual.

Hanging nearby Rothesay, NB this weekend? Pop on over to the Hammond River taproom, where they’ve tapped a brand new experimental beer. Another entry in the brewery’s Dry-Hopped series, Dry Hopped Sour (Sorachi Ace). The base beer is a Berliner Weisse, kettle-soured with HR’s house Lactobacillus strain. This particular batch was dry-hopped entirely with Sorachi Ace from local Moose Mountain Hop Farm, giving the beer plenty of lemon notes in the aroma and flavour, to complement the tartness in the finish. And hey, if you can’t get to Rothesay, you should be able to find it on tap at The Joyce in Fredericton. And at only 3.5% ABV, you can have a couple and not feel too guilty!

If you’re feeling more cidery this weekend (is that a thing? It should be!), Annapolis Cider Company has you covered. They’ve launched the latest in their Something Different series, a sparkling cider and wine blend named Harvest Rosé. Marechal Foch (a hybrid French red wine grape) was locally harvested, with the juice co-fermented with fresh-pressed Gravenstein apple juice. This dry, cider-wine blend was then FURTHER blended with small batch, dry Gravenstein ciders which were prepared by the Annapolis Cider retail staff, fermented using four different yeast strains. Still following along ok? Great! Finally, fresh-pressed Geneva Crab apple juice, a “red-fleshed apple variety”, was added to finish it all off. The result? An “elegant, off-dry rosé cider with bright acidity, and notes of red berries and fresh apples”. It comes in at 7.2% ABV, and $0.50 from each refillable bottle purchases will go towards Ronald McDonald House Charities Atlantic

Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing isn’t slowing down one bit as we’ve moved into 2020, and they’ve got two new beers pouring at their taproom to prove it. The first is Captain’s Orders Hopfenweizen, their take on the hoppy Hefeweizen style. Brewed with a 50/50 blend of German Pale and Wheat malt, it was hopped with Magnum and Hallertau Blanc in the boil (to 35 IBUs). Fermented with a Weizen strain, the 6.5% ABV beer was then lightly dry-hopped with Amarillo. It’s showing classic Weizen aromas of banana and clove, along with some citrus thanks to the dry-hop addition. Medium-bodied and refreshing, it’s a great reminder of why this style shouldn’t only be brewed during warmer seasons! The next brew is Cross Island Common, a “modern take” on the California Common style. The malt bill includes Munich, Vienna, English Cara and Flaked Barley, with Perle hops going in the boil (to the tune of 30 IBUs). Dry-hopped with Eureka, the 5.5% ABV brew is exhibiting “herbaceous, hop-forward aromatics, with a candied orange undertone that leads to a palate of red berry fruits and toffee”. Finishing bitter and crisp, it joins the several other beers currently on tap at Shipwright. 

And in more Lunenburg brewery news, Saltbox Brewing will be opening a taproom and pilot brewery in the town this summer, under the moniker Lightship Beer and Cider. Located at 93 Tannery Road, the brewery and taproom will have an unobstructed view of Lunenburg Harbour from its place on the point. While the building design is still being finalized, we can tell you that it will feature indoor seating for 50 people, and a large deck with space for four times that number. A 2 BBL (230 litre) pilot brewhouse will be onsite, focusing on traditional German and other European styles, as an ode to the countries of origin of the early settlers in the region. In addition to those, a complement of beer from Saltbox’s main brewery in Mahone Bay will also be available on tap. The brewery space will also house some foeders which are perfect for long-term aging of some special brews. While the details of the kitchen and food offerings are still being ironed out, there will certainly be tasty offerings to pair with the beers pouring. We’ll keep you up to date on Lightship’s progress over the next months, and you can sign up to learn more on their website.

And in “a brewery we haven’t spoken about in a little while” news, we have some updates for you thirsty New Brunswickers looking for more beer (and info) regarding Valonray Brewing in the Shediac River area. Just over a year ago, they switched focus from clean European- (mostly Belgian-) inspired beers to those with mixed cultures and taking much longer to produce, and therefore their regular debuts stopped. The first of that line was Rouge Provision, a 5.0% ABV light-coloured beer first fermented with a clean ale yeast strain (familiar friend US-05), but underwent a secondary (and tertiary, etc, etc) ferm with a pitch of both Escarpment Labs’ Belgian sour blend, as well as a house culture of other Brett and Lacto strains built up onsite. The beer spent twelve months in a second-use Bourbon American Oak barrel, and then 6 months conditioning in the bottle. Available exclusively at the Picaroons shops in Fredericton and Saint John, we believe there are still a few bottles left on the shelves there. Bottles of their previous releases may still be available at your local ANBL locations. Future releases by Valonray are in the barrel and bottle now, as they continue their exploration of the Flanders Red Ale style. 

Don’t go waiting until Tuesday to wander over to Good Robot for a taste of their latest Beta Brew, as they’ll be closed for a staff day. However, they will be releasing Alternative Roots, their latest BB, on Sunday, January 12th. This one is billed as a Fruit Beer, with beet chiffonade added at the end of the boil, giving the final beer a “wild pink colour and a deep, earthy aroma”. Coming in at 5% ABV and 20 IBUs, drop in at the end of the weekend for your taste.

There are some very cool beer-focused events coming up over the next little while that we thought you should know about:

Halifax’s Stillwell Beer Bar is hosting an event with Toronto’s Burdock Brewery tomorrow, Jan 11th, at their Barrington Street location. Featuring 3 draught offerings, and more than a dozen canned and bottled brews available as well, there will be something to satisfy everyone’s palate. And as is routine for Stilly, they will have some special menu items on the go, including Mac & Cheese Arancini. The featured beers are available from opening at noon tomorrow, and around until… well, we’re not exactly sure, so your best bet is to visit earlier in the day!

If you instead find yourself 260km Northwest of Halifax tomorrow, may we suggest dropping into Moncton’s Tide & Boar Gastropub for their own takeover/feature, where they are showcasing the beers of Alberta. The Alberta Craft Beer Tap Takeover will have beers from more than a half-dozen breweries across the province, including Alley Kat, Banded Peak, Blindman, Brewsters, Grizzly Paw, New Level, and Troubled Monk

HopYard’s original location in Charlottetown, PEI, is hosting a Battle of the PEI Breweries 2020 event over the course of the next couple of months that will see eight breweries compete for Island supremacy, with the champion being crowned at the Finale on Thursday, February 20th. But to get to that point there first needs to be a tournament, and that tournament started last night as recent ACBA Brewery of the Year Bogside Brewing squared off against PEI’s OG brewery, PEI Brewing Co, with Bogside pulling out a slim victory by 9 glasses. The next 3 Thursdays will see the remaining battles in the first round, with Moth Lane taking on Copper Bottom on January 16th, Lone Oak battling Evermoore on January 23rd, and Barnone taking on Upstreet on January 30th. The two Thursdays after that (February 6th and 13th) will be the two semi-finals before the final showdown a week later. So whether you’re local to Charlottetown or just find yourself on the Island on a Thursday night over the next six weeks, HopYard will be an excellent place for a fun night of drinking beer and voting with your tastebuds.

And speaking of PEI beer and Lone Oak in particular, the brewery and taproom have been open for a little while now, but they haven’t had themselves a proper party to make it all official-like. That will change on Saturday, January 25th, starting at 4 PM when they’ll be hosting a big Grand Opening celebration. One musical act, Max Koughan and The Poets has been confirmed, with two more surprise musical headliners to be announced the evening of. Cover charge will be $20 per person at the door, and the beer will also be flowing, of course. So make your plans to be in Borden-Carleton in two week’s time (but we’ll very likely give you a reminder nudge the day before).

And we leave you, as always, with a few brief beery mentions:

Firkenstein Brewing has a new brew joining their regular tap lineup – Chili & SubLime (6%) is “light and refreshing, with a bit of zest, along with just a hint of chili spice”.

Flying Boats may still be pouring Black Currant Blonde Ale at their taproom; this latest one-keg-only Brewer’s Test Recipe is brewed with local black currants.

Iron Rock Brewing has a pilot batch available exclusively at their taproom – Farmer’s Junction Red Saison is their Railbender Red fermented with Old World Saison yeast from Escarpment Labs. Caramel and toffee notes abound, along with spice and herbal character; only two kegs available, so get in, quickly!

Team TataBrew has released Triple Beam Lagerbier, a 6% ABV Lager dry-hopped with Cascade and Aramis. Easy-drinking and crisp, you can find it at homebase in Tatamagouche, and we hear that it’s been spotted at the Stillwell Freehouse as well!