Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Fest

All posts tagged Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Fest

Happy day-before-Halloween! Just kidding; you’re not really into that stuff, are you? Look, if you’re old enough to drink beer, you’re old enough to not get excited about a “holiday” where you’re encouraged to dress up and hand out free candy to a bunch of kids you don’t even know and… wait, where were we going with this? Oh right, this is a blog about beer in Atlantic Canada so here’s some more beer news for you. And you might need some beer to survive this weekend, and/or this coming Tuesday (and the goat rodeo that will very possibly ensue). Enjoy!

Bedford’s Topside Brewing kicked off a new series of beers last week, dubbed Around the World in 30 Beers. This ambitious project sees them highlighting indigenous and historic beer styles from across the world, showcasing the many flavours available in the malt, hops, yeast, and water profiles found universally, as well as native plants or ingredients special to those regions. The first in the series is Outlaw, a 5.4% Kottbusser, an historic German style. From Topside, “As the Reinheitsgebot spread from Bavaria through the rest of the region in the late 1800s, the style was outlawed because it was brewed with Oats, Honey and Molasses. We chose this as the first beer of the series because to set a tone for the various styles that people may not have tried or may never have heard of and it’s a lot of fun.” So, now that you know about it, how can you get your hands on it? As this is a small batch from this nano-brewery, it is only available as part of their Grab a Growler program. Head to the website for the full details, but the short version is, if you live in the Bedford area, you can sign up for growler delivery weekend afternoons, meaning you don’t even have to leave home to drink around the world!

And in Coming Soon news from Topside, they will be featuring their Rollin’ the Dice IPA on tap at Finbar’s Irish Pub in Bedford for a special event on Remembrance Day, November 11th. Named after the team motto of EOD3, roto 1-10 in Afghanistan, who suffered a catastrophic attack on May 3rd, 2010, when they were targeted after disposing of an IED, with Craig Blake killed and Chris Downey wounded that day. Rollin’ the Dice features a blend of unconventional malts, continuous hopping throughout, and a yeast strain not typical of the style. The event at Finbars on the 11th will be a way for the community to come together to enjoy great food, beer, and the company of others to reflect and remember sacrifice in times of war.

Hardisty Brewing is another nano-brewery in the region, located in the Colby Village area of the HRM. Delivery of their canned product is available in that community, as well as the occasional draught taps in Dartmouth. The latest beer delivered to Battery Park is their brand-new Stoked Pilsner. The 5.8% ABV beer has a healthy 31 IBU, but certainly deviates from the traditional, featuring the addition of crushed Juniper Berries and Coriander during the conditioning phase, inspired by their love of the botanicals found in gin. Also making an appearance at Battery Park now/soon is their Block Party Pale Ale, a 4.5% ABV SMaSH beer named after the parties in the Hardisty area so often fueled by beer brewed right on the street. For those fortunate enough to live nearby, be sure to reach out to them to place your order for any/all of their six beers currently available in cans: Heritage Rye IPA, Dark Confessions Smoked Porter, Island Gold APA, and Homestead Imperial IPA join the Stoked and Block Party.

The fine folks in Dieppe are hot off a sell-out of their latest beer, so CAVOK Brewing is back with another new release. Côte Magnétique is a wild ale that was fermented on grape skins and tailings from Magnetic Hill Winery. Pitched with a blend of Saison yeast and Brettanomyces, expect this 4.6% beer with an IBU of 8 to be easy drinking with a great flavour profile. This is currently available at the brewery and while you’re there, they will be doing an Oyster pop-up from 5-7pm on Friday October 30th with Little Shemogue Oyster Company

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing is bringing back a small batch favourite on a bigger scale today, to avoid anyone missing out. Earl Grey Pale Ale is a 5.5% ABV English Pale Ale, featuring Idaho 7 and Citra hops, to complement the citrus and floral aromatics of black tea and bergamot orange that arose from generous additions of Earl Grey tea. Choosing Cookie and Red malts in the grist helped to provide some complexity there, too, giving a “tea and biscuits” feel. Available now at the 3 Propeller retail locations (Gottingen, Quinpool, and WIndmill) in cans, and on tap at the two Halifax taprooms.

And for those of us who have been enjoying the Propeller Arcade as a way to have a Prop pint in an awesome space, you’ll love what comes next! In addition to the 8 pinball machines, and the same number of cabinet games in their current space, a full complement of carnival-style and ball games are now installed in an expanded area just a few steps away. And these games actually dispense tickets, which can be redeemed for prizes like erasers, Popeye Candy Sticks (aka Cigarettes for those of old enough to remember those), and even retro gaming systems if you save up enough tickets! By taking over more room in the space below the Gottingen Street retail and taproom location, more seating has been added to the brewing floor, with a half-dozen picnic tables now available for solo or bubble seating, so you can safely sip in between rounds of Medusa Pinball, Area 51 or Skee Ball. As always, masks on when you’re playing (beer is best enjoyed in the sitdown area), wash/sanitize your hands often, wipe the games down before/after use, and have fun! The Prop Arcade is open from 4 until 10 PM or later, Thursday through Sunday.

Speaking of returning favourites…we’ll go down the street to Tidehouse for their latest release. After a very long sabbatical, Hey Abbot! is available and ready for purchase. The folks on Salter Street are gearing up for their 4 year anniversary in December, and this re-release is the 2nd beer in their “best of” series. Hey Abbot! is a Belgian Tripel that comes in at 9.0% but like most proper Tripels, does not taste strongly of alcohol. The beer gives hints of banana and clove, followed by some light spicy notes and a bit of white pepper if you dig deep enough. Look for this new release to drop today at 2 PM, available exclusively in cans at the brewery.

We’ve got a bit of info on the not one, not two, but *three* new beers hitting New Scotland Brewing’s taps tomorrow. The first one is this year’s iteration of Heads Will Roll, a Halloween-themed Red IPA. Featuring late-addition hops (to the tune of 55 IBUs), this 6.6% ABV beer is slightly more malt-centric on the palate, but with definite pine and citrus notes coming through as well. Next up is an “American Rye Ale” named Kitsch & Sync, a “mellow and drinkable” 4.7% ABV, 22 IBUs brew. Hopped with Willamette and Centennial, it has a balance of sweet and earthy flavours. Finally, they also have a small batch of C’est Bon, a 5.3% ABV, 25 IBUs Saison that is “fruity, spicy, and dry”. As mentioned, all three will be pouring at the brewery’s taproom by tomorrow, as well as at select licensees.

Fans of Hampton Brewing Co. will be happy to hear that the brewery has finally announced that, after contract brewing at other locations since opening (including Loyalist City and Hammond River), they have broken ground on their own location in Hampton. The plan is to have a taproom and patio area along with the brewery, which will be located at Fire Fly Recreation Campground, just outside of Hampton at 64 Robertson Rd. Of course it’ll be many months before the project is complete, but naturally they’re quite excited about having a set location and plan in place! In the meantime, you can still find their beers on tap at several bars and restaurants around NB, including Peppers Pub, Britt’s Uptown, Peddlers Creek, Station 33 Cafe, The Joyce Pub, Gridiron Brewing and Grass Roots Grill.

While on the topic of expansions (not a phrase we would expect to be typing during a pandemic, but hey, it’s beer!), Spindrift Brewing has announced that they will be opening a new taproom and beer store in Antigonish. The Spindrift Oak Manor will be located at 271 Main St., with the plans to open sometime in early 2021. The brewhouse will be small, at only 1 BBL (~120 L), with several fermentors of the same size; this will allow the brewery to experiment with new and exciting beers that will be exclusive to Oak Manor. Of course, they’ll also regularly have the flagship Burnside-brewed Spindrift beers available on tap for pints and growler fills, along with cans and Spindrift merch for takeaway. As for the taproom itself, the plan is to have lots of small group seating, as well as some larger communal tables, all in a comfortable, cozy setting that locals should be happy to think of as their home away from home. And if you live in the Antigonish area (or would love to have an excuse to move there!), the brewery is currently looking for someone to manage Oak Manor; if interested, check out the details here.

In this week’s events, it’s time to declare outdoor beer drinking season officially closed (we guess, if we have to…*grumble*), and who says you can’t have a (COVID protocol compliant, socially distanced) Beer Fest in 2020? Not us!

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end… warm weather, hugging complete strangers in the middle of the sidewalk (that used to be a thing, right?), and the Stillwell Beer Garden. That’s right, tomorrow, October 31st is the last day for outdoor beers, tacos, ice cream, etc. That means you have only two more days to take advantage of their final week blowout, which includes $5 pricing for most pints, $5 cans of North hard seltzer and TrailWay Patio, hot chocolate (with bourbon or without!), and, of course, cornhole. 

Also tomorrow, Old Road BBQ is following suit and shutting down their patio for the season. Luckily, they’re going out with a party! Willie Stratton (2019 Music Nova Scotia’s “Entertainer of the Year”) will be headlining a socially-distanced music event at Old Road’s location in Truro (190 Industrial Ave.), and you know that there’ll be puh-lenty of delicious BBQ available on site as well. You can grab your ticket ($11.62) from the event link above; there’s also a two-ticket-plus-hotel-room option you may want to consider!

The Cox & Palmer Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Fest For United Way is happening next weekend. Looking quite different than in years past, the celebration of local beer is holding a pair of in-person events, while encouraging attendees to go virtual for the rest. Next Friday, November 6th, there will be a 5 course Brew Dinner at the recently opened Monk10 Taproom in downtown Moncton. And then next morning, Monk10 will host the Brewmasters’ Breakfast at 10 AM. Tickets for both events can be found at the above website. For those fortunate enough to grab tickets for the Brew Fest in a Box (sales end at noon today), you’ll be able to take part in all aspects of the virtual Fest. Your ticket will get you 4 beers from the participating breweries, as well as ingredients to prepare some paired dishes, so you can tune in and drink along! Bubble up and grab 4 tickets to try all 16 available! The Brew Fest in a Box Live Q & A will allow you to chat with brewers from around the region too, recreating some more of the fun from ACCBF years past.

And furthering the charitable aspect of the Fest is the Silent Auction which is on now. Benefitting the United Way of Greater Moncton and Southeastern NB, breweries from the region have donated swag, growler fills, gift cards, and everything in between, perfect to complete your collection. The auction closes next Sunday, November 8th, and it looks like there are some great deals to be had right now!

We’re finishing off with two notices for our Homebrewing readers, don’t sleep on either of them! If you’re looking to getting into homebrewing, check out the Brewnosers or Newfermenters, both very active groups.

Today is the last day to sign up and deliver your beer to take part in the Maritime Home Brew Challenge by Gahan. Follow that link to register yourself, and then pop down to your local Gahan to deliver your West Coast and/or North East IPA, grab your t-shirt, and you’re in it to win it! Judging will be taking place next weekend, with the Awards being announced the following weekend. With thousands of dollars in prizes up for grabs, great feedback coming your way from BJCP-certified judges, there’s really no reason not to enter!

Big Spruce has announced the details of its 8th annual Home Brew Challenge. This year, home brewers from across the region are being challenged to create their best version of a Sticke Altbier, a variant of the BJCP 2008 category 7C Düsseldorf Altbier. As always, ingredients are left to the creative minds of the brewers, but for those looking for yeast, Big Spruce will arrange for pickup or delivery of Escarpment Yeast Lab’s Koslch Style Ale. Entry fees are $25 per submission, with the beers due for drop-off by January 15, 2021 (leaving plenty of time for lagering!) at a TBD location. Email jeremy@bigspruce.ca for an entry form or more details, or check out the event’s Facebook page. Unlike previous competitions, this year’s winners will be announced virtually, but T-shirts and other swag will be available to all who participate! The top 3 judge beers will be announced, and per tradition, the winner will be invited to Nyanza to brew their beer on the 7 BBL system.

We’ve got another week chock-full of new and returning releases, as well as another new brewery opening in the region. A reminder that with Remembrance Day Monday, the provincial liquor stores will be closed, and many of the private stores will be as well. Breweries and taprooms may be adjusting their hours, to allow their employees time to observe the day, so please keep an eye on their social media to avoid disappointment.

For the second time in less than a month, we are thrilled to announce the opening of a new brewery in Newfoundland and Labrador! RagnaRöck Northern Brewing Company is opening their doors today in St Anthony, in the Northwest region of the island. Located at 223-227 West Street, the brewery features a taproom where you can enjoy a sample, flight, or pint, and then fill up a 0.95 or 1.89 litre growler for further enjoyment at home. Four of their own beers will be complemented by four more from their closest brewery neighbour, Crooked Feeder located in 400 km south in Cormack. And to keep you happy and able to go all day/night, the Northern Wings food truck will be serving burgers, wings, and a few other snacks. The taproom will be open today 2 PM – 12 AM, and open again for the rest of the weekend, keep an eye on their FB page above for details. Congratulations to the RagnaRöck family! This brings the number of breweries in the province to 16, with a couple more slated to open before the end of the year!

Hot off the heels of their tap takeover at Battery Park last night, we have further details on two new releases from Propeller Brewing this week. First up is a Propeller-only beer, NZ Pils. You’ve probably noticed a few different beers in Atlantic Canada popping up over the last year or two with the style name “New Zealand Pilsner”, and this is one of those, hopped entirely (and heavily, compared to your poppy’s Pilsner) with New Zealand varieties… in this case, Nelson Sauvin and Motueka. These wonderful hops have topped up this beer with lots of gooseberry, white wine, and fresh citrus in the aroma, with a “light malt body” to balance. Clean and refreshing, it comes in at a pretty-sessionable 5.2% ABV, and releases today at both Prop Shop locations in cans and on tap. It should be appearing in the private stores in the HRM shortly, as well as at NSLC The Port next week. Finally, NZ Pils will also be making an appearance at Propeller’s cask night at 5 pm today, accompanied by an extra Nelson Sauvin addition.

Continuing with Propeller, their next beer is a collaboration with North Brewing, Wing & Ding Lithuanian Pale Ale. This one is a 5% ABV Saison brewed with Shoreline Pale malt, hopped with Amarillo and El Dorado, and fermented with Lithuanian Farmhouse yeast, which has given the beer “aromas and flavours of passionfruit, orange zest, and guava, with a light Farmhouse funk”; they’re also describing it as “a fusion of tropical fruit and spice, with a lightly tart finish”, which sounds pretty good to us! Now, while you can find cans of this baby at both Propeller and North retail shops, North will be selling theirs under the name of Ding, and Propeller under Wing. Confused? Well, there’s a method behind their madness: there is a code on the can labels for you beer-lovers to crack, and you’ll need both cans to decode it. The first person to do this and DM either Propeller or North will win a prize pack from both breweries. The beer releases today, so get cracking!

Keeping up with collaboration news, Port Rexton Brewing teamed up with Brasserie Artisanale de l’Anse of St.Pierre-et-Miquelon, an overseas collectivity of France located near Newfoundland (just 25km!). Port Rexton believes this may be the first France-Canada craft beer collab, and we’re going to defer to them, because the thought of researching that right now is exhausting! The beer is named French Pale Ale, and was brewed with French Pale, Pilsner, and Biscuit malts. Hopped with French hop varieties (Strisselspalt, Mistral and Bouclier), the final beer has “notes of rose, melon, herb and grass with subtle spicy/floral undertones and a lingering bitterness”. Available on tap and in cans at the taproom, this 5.1% ABV brew was released yesterday; you’ll also be able to grab cans at the brewery’s St. John’s Retail Shop. And in other PR news, you should be able to find some of their beers in cans at select NLC stores across the province; availability will be limited, of course, and styles will vary from week to week.

Niche Brewing, located in the New Brunswick Capital region, has gone hazy and sweet again this week, with the release of Lush. Their latest in the Milkshake IPA theme, the 6.5% ABV Lush features lactose powder and vanilla beans, fermentation with a hazy IPA yeast strain, and conditioning on mango purée before packaging. Fruity and tropical from both the hops and fruit addition, vanilla and milk sugar keep it a bit sweet to complete the milkshake experience. Look for it on draft at The Joyce and Graystone Brewing in Fredericton, Saint John Ale House, Peddler’s Creek, and Ducky’s elsewhere in the province, The Auction House in Halifax (along with the recent batch of Niche’s Single Origin Coffee Sweet Stout), and at ANBL Moncton North for growler fills

We’ve got some news on the latest beer comin’ out of Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing, a Rye IPA named Rye’T Some Good IPA (the rye beer puns are never ending, eh, Tony?). As you probably figured, there’s a good portion of Rye malt in the grist of this one, and the classic Simcoe hop variety was used in abundance to provide aromas of grapefruit and pine, which always pair well with this style of IPA. There’s a bit of sweetness upfront as well, along with moderate bitterness and “a cleansing stone fruit counterbalance”. You can only find this one at the brewery (pints, growlers and crowlers), so those of you who are Rye IPA fans, get in your cars! Or on your horse, if you have a horse and don’t mind longer road trips.

We know that pretty much all of you don’t want to hear it, but sorry, Bootleg Brew Co. is going to remind you with their new beer… CHRISTMAS IS COMING (anyone got one of those handy Ned-from-Game of Thrones memes hanging around?). Anyway, the beer. Tis the Saison is a 5.5% ABV Farmhouse Ale that they’ve spiced with nutmeg, allspice, cloves and cinnamon. On the nose, expect “apple/orchard fruit Saison characteristics” with a touch of spice; the spices do come through more prominently on the palate, however, along with the orchard fruit and a bit of bubblegum. Available at the brewery right now on tap and in bottles, so drop on in (Santa costumes optional). 

Have you been itching for a new supremely-hoppy beer from 2 Crows Brewing? If the answer is a resounding “Of course YES so just get to the damn news about the beer already!”, then FINE, EXCUSE US FOR TRYING TO MAKE THIS A LITTLE LESS THAN MONOTONOUS. Anyway, the beer is Another Iteration, brewed with Golden Promise, Flaked Oats, and Wheat malt. Hopped with puh-lenty Simcoe and Ella in the hopback, they fermented it with an English yeast strain and then dry-hopped it twice with puhhhhhhhhh-lenty Enigma, Vic Secret, and Huell Melon (16 g/L, to be specific… and for those of you who aren’t familiar with brewing specifics, that is a lot of hops). It came out pretty juicy and tropical, as you might imagine, “with big stone fruit, passionfruit, and tangerine vibes”. Grab this 6.1% ABV beauty on tap and in cans at the tasting room starting tomorrow; fresh is best!

With Remembrance Day happening on Monday, Tatamagouche Brewing has just released a Flanders-inspired beer to honour those who have given so much in sacrifice for our country and our freedoms. Muse is a 6.5% ABV blend of sour red ales that was refermented and aged on cherries for four months. Bottle-conditioned (in 500 mL bottles), the beer has tart blackberries and crabapples in the flavour, “tempered by a slight sweetness evocative of sour candy”. Finishing with a lingering dryness, this is a fine way to enjoy now, or age for further development. Looks like you’ll have to swing by the brewery right now to get it, but let’s hope some bottles see some wider distribution, soon! Plus, look out for cans and draught of their Blue Bales, a 4.8% ABV Wheat Ale absolutely filled with early harvest Organic blubes from North of Nuttby Farm.

Halifax’s Good Robot never really stops and they’re always kind enough to let us know what’s going on during any given week. This time around they’re on a journey into darkness. First up is reminding folks that their Summer Stout brewed in collaboration with Portland, Maine’s Lone Pine Brewing Company is still pouring at the tap room for the moment, although they’re down to their last kegs. But if you happen to miss that, there’s also the impending return of Bingo Bronson, their 6% ABV, 25 IBU smooth, dark and rich Chocolate Porter. And coming back next week is a favorite of many, their Tom Waits for No One American Stout, which returns next Thursday. A big ‘un that’s been around since they opened their doors, it’s a beefy 7.9% ABV and 58 IBU.

Up in Inverness, Nova Scotia, Route 19 Brewing is on the hunt for a brewmaster. Ideally they’re looking for someone with plenty of experience in the industry and is ready to take on a wide variety of tasks in their shiny new brewhouse, including recipe research and development, ingredient selection and purchasing, inventory management, and production. If this sounds like you and you’re interested in working in a quiet, but beautiful part of the region, you’ll want to check out the full job posting and send in an application. And they’re also searching for a Salesperson, to help move all of the beer that new Brewer will be making, so check out the job posting here, and send your enquiries to evan@route19brewing.com for either opening.

We’ve got a few events to tell/remind you about today, including the Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Fest, happening tomorrow at the Moncton Coliseum. Grab tickets/sign up/mark your calendars, and we’ll see you out there!

As the local beer cognoscenti are aware, the Atlantic Canadian Brewing Awards were judged last weekend, but the results have been encrypted and hermetically sealed and are quietly awaiting revelation. When will we find out which beers are big winners this year? Next weekend, in fact. HopYard Halifax will be hosting this year’s ACBA Awards (presented by the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers – Atlantic Canada Chapter) Gala on Saturday, November 16th, from 6 – 9 PM. Changing it up from previous years, this will be a “stand-up mingling occasion” without the formality of a sit-down dinner and allowing the drinking public to attend rather than just brewery and industry folks. Tickets are $57.50 and are available through EventBrite. Come on down and find out whose beer reigned supreme in our region this year!

If one of your personal markers for November is Stillwell’s annual Birthday Party, congratulations, you’re probably beer-obsessed. But that’s okay, so are we! Going down on Sunday, November 17 from noon ‘til late, Stillwell turns SIX. You can, as always, expect tasty goodies on tap from breweries both within and without our region including some debuts. Add to that some lambic bottle pours and some cask conditioned treats as well and you’ve got a recipe for a good time. But wait, there’s more! Food-wise, pig head poutine is going to be a thing, a hoagie platter will be around to share with friends or punish yourself (or maybe both), and to the utter delight of one AC Beer Blogger, Trinidadian Doubles (with proper pepper sauce, we’ll warrant) will be coming out of the kitchen. Also, oyster happy hour from 4 – 7 PM and FREE CAKE! This is a non-ticketed event and we expect the joint to be hopping, so plan your appearance wisely. And while there’s no date yet publicized, keep an eye on social media for opening details of The Stillwell Freehouse, Team Stilly’s English Pub-inspired location opening soon on Agricola Street. Think even more beer engines/handpumps, cozy nooks and benches, and pies and pasties and even some bartop games. We’ll have lots more to say real soon, too!

Are you one of those beer drinkers who doesn’t get the attraction of wild and/or sour beers? Or are you the type who sees that certain breweries are releasing a new one and put the release date and time in your calendar? Somewhere in-between? If you’re into learning more about such beers, where they came from, how they’re made, and why you may be missing out if you avoid them, the Ladies Beer League in Halifax has an event for you. Wild & Sour Beer: A guided tasting with Jeremy Taylor is happening on Tuesday, November 19th from 7:30 to 9:30 PM at 2 Crows. As brewmaster at 2C, Jeremy has been making some of the region’s finest beers in this category since the brewery opened (and before that at other breweries) and has a wealth of knowledge to share. For $30 you’ll have a chance to glean some of this info from him as you sip 4 samples, each with cheese pairing, and a full pint from the taps. We don’t know how many tickets there are, but we’re pretty sure it’s not a ton, so if this event interests you head on over to EventBrite and grab yours ASAP. As with all of the LBL events, this is open to everyone cool, no need to be a member.

Just a few parting words before we dismiss you today. Check out the last few new and returning beers, and a heads up for some new ear-candy coming Tuesday.

While we can’t provide you with a link to the episode as it isn’t up yet, you should set a reminder to visit the 902BrewCast page (or your favorite podcast provider) this coming Tuesday, November 12. You remember earlier this fall when they did their blind tasting of local Pilsners? Well they’re doing the same thing with another style, NE IPAs. Tune in for more mirth and merriment, and Kyle talking about rolling cans (seriously, people do that?). Social media posts suggest that once again the results were a bit of a surprise to the gang themselves, which no doubt will make for an entertaining and educational listen.

Fredericton’s Trailway Brewing has a couple of beers returning this week, one dark and one light. The latest iteration of Beans, their oatmeal coffee stout, has been dosed with cholaca for an additional hit of chocolatey goodness. And the first batch of their winter session ale, Parallel, is also available, with a (for Trailway) subtle hop character of berries and stone fruit sitting pairing with a honey sweetness from a high-quality German Pils malt side. Look for both on tap and in cans shortly, with the latter going to ANBL distribution soon.

And over on PEI, in Charlottetown, Upstreet is having a release party for this year’s Black Tie Affair at the taproom tonight, from 7 PM onwards. Although not strictly black tie, you’re encouraged to dress up for this candlelit soirée where h’ors d’oeuvres will be passed around and background music will be played on piano by Brielle Ansems. Of course you’ll have the chance to enjoy some beer, including the eponymous brew, a sweet and roasty full-bodied stout coming in at 5% ABV and 15 IBU, made slightly tart by an addition of cranberries.

And lastly, staying on the Island, PEIBC has a new beer coming out in their After Hours series of limited edition one-off beers, this one entitled Dry-hopped Sour. With high-quality wheat and Pilsner malts ensuring a crisp and clean base for the sourness and hops to shine, it features citrus and tropical overtones. Low in bitterness like most sours at 14 IBU, it’s 5% ABV and will be hitting the taproom shelves today with full PEILCC distribution coming later. Meanwhile, we’re expecting the results of their Maritime Homebrew Challenge to be announced this weekend; keep an eye on the website and PEIBC and Gahan social media for news on that front!

Hey! We heard you missed us, we’re back! We trust you all kept yourselves well hydrated while we took a hiatus, and are ready to hit the ground/taps running this weekend as we round up the news of the week’s releases. There’s always a danger that when we take some time off, we’ll miss some important news, and this time was no different, so let’s skip the pleasantries and get right to the important news for your first day of November (wow times flies)!

Great news for those of you in Labrador City, you finally have a brewery that you can call your own! Iron Rock Brewing Company opened their doors on October 19th, and have been going great guns ever since! They are currently pouring five beers, for enjoyment onsite, or to go in growlers, including: Lawn Sweeper Cream Ale (4.3% ABV), Shabogamo Sour (4.0% ABV), Railbender Red Ale (5.5% ABV), Spike Maul IPA (6.9% ABV), and Overburden Oat Stout (4.9% ABV). We’ll have plenty more information on Iron Rock, and the folks behind it in the coming days, but in the meantime, get out to the brewery at 118 Humphrey Rd in Lab City this weekend to toast their arrival! Hours are Friday 4 PM – 12 AM, Saturday 2 PM – 12 AM, and Sunday 2 PM – 10 PM.

Propeller Brewing has announced that they will be opening a new location in The Keep, a mixed use building at the corner of Quinpool and Vernon Streets in Halifax. It will feature a pilot system for experimentation, a taproom where samples, flights, and pints can be enjoyed, and a full retail shop to keep the local community well stocked. They’ll be offering cans and bottles, as well as growler fills. Watch this space for more details, as they aim for an early-2020 opening. For those who can’t wait that long for their Propeller fix, tonight’s cask at their Gottingen Street taproom is their Porter on rum-aged oak.

While we were away, Nova Scotia South Shore’s Tanner & Co were able to cap their second anniversary celebrations this month with the opening of their new Tap Room, in the heart of Chester. With a small batch brewery onsite for testing out some of the wilder side of brewing, visitors to “Tanner & Co on Duke St” (that’s 59 Duke Street) can grab a flight or pint, and then take their favourites home in bottles or growlers. The tap room is open Wednesday through Sunday, 12 – 9 PM. With the opening of the tap room, the brewery at 50 Angus Hiltz in Chester Basin is adjusting its hours to be open Saturday and Sunday, 12 – 6 PM. At either location, you can pick up their latest releases, including the Barrel-Aged Porter with Berries, and Reserve Sauvage, a barrel-fermented (French oak Chardonnay barrels) version of their Sauvage, brewed with Horton Ridge Malt and the Scotian Sauvage yeast first isolated at Big Spruce.

Fredericton’s York County Cider is happy to announce their newest product to hit the shelves at ANBL, their first seasonal to be widely available. Previously only available at their taproom, Apple Pie is a spiced cider, but still crisp, with notes of cinnamon, vanilla and apple, perfect for the fall. Available in 355 mL bottles, this 5.8% ABV bevvy should pair well with an afternoon of raking leaves or a walk in the crisp fall air.

We were very sad to hear of the passing earlier this month of Jennifer Defreyne, one of the co-owners and founders of Mount Pearl’s Landwash Brewery. An Engineer, she was critical in the location searching, planning, development, and construction of the brewery, and many of her aesthetic and practical choices are part of what is making Landwash so successful to this day. In celebration of her life, raise a pint of your favourite beverage tonight. Her family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada.

Landwash has a pair of new beers out recently that we’d like to mention, to keep you Mount Pearlers happy. First up is Rock and Willow, a 6.0% Amber Saison. Featuring Munich malts for strong bread and toast character, and then fermented with Escarpment’s Saison Maison yeast, for some spicy pepper character and a dry-as-a-bone finish. The beer was brewed to showcase and pair with restaurant Fork. in Mobile, just south of Witless Bay, who are competing in the Newfoundland stop of Canada’s Great Kitchen Party this evening. Their dish features partridge, hence the name – Rock and Willow – two common breeds of ptarmigan. The beer will pair with whatever you want to drink it with, even if that’s solitude, and is available in cans and growler fills at the brewery now. And while you’re there, you can grab the other recent release, Pearliner 2019. This Munich-style Helles was dry hopped with Ekuanot (formerly Equinox), for a blend of citrus, bread, and honeysuckle vibes in a crispy 4.5% ABV package. This is the first of their rotating fall lager they’ll be releasing annually, playing on whatever they’re into at the time. Stop by the brewery for a sample, pint, growler fill, or can of the good stuff.

Shelburne’s Boxing Rock has a new big and dark beer out, one named after the local term for a big storm. Tan Toaster is a Baltic Porter, full of smooth and sweet malt character paired with elements of dark fruit with a touch of spicy Magnum hops providing balance. Brewed in early September, it’s had plenty of time to rest and relax and for the flavors to integrate. Look for it at all the private stores in Halifax as well, of course, from the brewery shops in Halifax and Shelburne themselves, but be careful, at 7.5% ABV this one could very well blow you over. 

Hanwell’s Niche Brewing is releasing a new beer to the Capital and Southern NB regions this week (and Halifax), the latest in their small line of Brettanomyces-fermented IPAs. Ramble On is a 5.9% ABV golden-orange hazy beer, late-hopped (think more aroma and flavour than bitterness) with Hallertau Blanc and Idaho 7, two hops known for tropical and fruity characteristics. That is only complemented by fermentation by a blend of Brettanomyces strains from Escarpment Labs, under the Mothership name. A further dry-hopping with these two hop varietals, as well as Vic Secret, seal the deal, with passion fruit and gooseberry notes enhanced by funky Brett notes. Grab it for pints at The Joyce and Peppers Pub, and pints & growlers(!) at Grimross Brewing; it should also be making an appearance at Stillwell very soon. As with all of their releases, they don’t tend to stick around too long, so we suggest checking in on your way home from work (or grab a quick lunch pint!).

If you’re in Saint John, you may want to drop by the Hammond River taproom, as they’re pouring a new beer that they brewed in collaboration from the fine people behind The Manatee (if you’re not sure what that is, we highly suggest clicking on the link and getting caught up!). Shauna Chase and Alex Vietinghoff, co-founders of the Maritimes’ “biggest source of satire”, joined the brewers at HR to create Burning Manatee, a Rauchbier (aka German Smoked Lager). The grist contained a “hefty” amount of Beechwood Smoked malt, to give the final product a “distinctive and extremely tasty smokey flavour”. A beer for fall that can help you move away from all those Oktoberfests and Pumpkin Ales, it weighs in at 5.7% ABV and 29 IBUs. Aside from directly at the source, you’ll also be able to find it at various Hammond River licensees.

Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing has their latest beer hitting taps this week, and we’re guessing you’re going to have an idea of what went into this one, based on its name! NB Hops Pale Ale is – wait for it – an American Pale Ale hopped with all New Brunswick-grown hops… specifically, Cascade, Chinook, and Sorachi Ace from Moose Mountain Hops. With another dry hop of all Cascade, the final beer has floral and citrus notes, along with some caramel and earthy qualities from the malt. Finishing at 5.5% ABV, look for it at Marky’s Laundromat right now, and likely at other O’Creek accounts very shortly. 

Moving back over to Newfoundland, Port Rexton Brewing has their latest, a 5.3% ABV “Black New England IPA” named Chasing Moon. Dark as dark can be, thanks to the addition of a variety of dark malts in the grist, lactose was added to the boil to help round out the hop character from dry-hop additions of Mosaic and Vic Secret. With aromas of pine, blackberry, and tropical fruit, look for “dark chocolate-covered berries/coffee beans and tropical fruit” on the palate. This one is now available on tap at the taproom and their St. John’s retail shop location. And speaking of their taproom, now is a good time to remind you about their reduced hours, which will take place until Spring returns (sob). They’re now open Fridays and Saturdays 4-10 pm. The one exception to this is this weekend, when the Ales for Trails event is happening. What’s that, you ask? Well, it’s a fundraising initiative for Hike Discovery, a non-profit committed to the development of a hiking trail network on the Bonavista Peninsula. The event is happening on Saturday, and the brewery has some live music and beer planned for everyone after the run/hike; as a result they’re open 12-10pm Saturday, and 10:30-4 on Sunday. 

In St. John’s, YellowBelly is pouring a brand new sour beer, Blueberry Cheesecake Sour. If you assumed that this beer was kettle soured with Lactobacillus, you’d be correct, but you may be wondering how exactly they went about getting the blueberry cheesecake part of the beer to work. The answer is graham flour (added to the mash), lemon zest and vanilla in the boil, and lactose and 200 lbs of blueberries added while the beer was conditioning. The final, 5.4% ABV beer is finally ready, and currently available on tap at the brewpub for pints and growlers.

Over in Good Robot Land, they’ve just released Thompson and Thomson, a beer they’re categorizing as a “Belgian Party Ale” (that sound you heard was the BJCP exploding). Originally planned as a collaboration, but cancelled when the other party couldn’t show (some party!), they started with the idea of a Belgian Tripel with fruit, and created what you’ll be seeing on tap at the brewery’s taproom… a 6.8% ABV, 32 IBUs beer with “splashes” of blueberry and kiwi. Next week will see the return of Bingo Bronson, a 6% ABV Chocolate Porter, so keep your eyes and mouths open for that one.

The launching of dark beers continues in Fredericton at Grimross Brewing, which just yesterday (hey, it was Halloween, after all) released Tmavý Pivo, named after the Czech style that is most likely unheard of by the majority of beer drinkers in Atlantic Canada. Second in popularity in the Czech Republic to the beloved Pilsner, it’s a dark Lager that’s been around that part of Europe for hundreds of years. Grimross’s take on the style involves a grist made up of floor malted Bohemian dark and pilsner malt, as well as some Carafa Special III. Hopped entirely with Czech Saaz to 20 IBUs and fermented with their house Lager yeast, the beer was lagered for five weeks before packaging. The result is a 4.8% ABV beer that is “dark, hearty and dry, with notes of baked brown bread, roasted nuts, and a touch of creaminess”. Available on tap and in cans at the brewery, with cans following shortly at ANBL stores.

Until recently, those who wanted to experience the taste of beer without risking tipsiness or ingesting too many calories only had a few options and those options weren’t so attractive to those with a taste for flavorful beer. But no such product has emerged here in Atlantic Canada that we can think of. So it’s exciting for us to report that, near as we can tell, this week PEI’s Upstreet Brewing becomes the first brewery in the region to release an ultra-low ABV beer to market. Featuring Amarillo, Citra, and Galaxy hops, Pace Pale Ale has a fresh light citrus aroma, notes of brown sugar and tangerine, and an ABV that hovers around 1%! Even better, if you care about such things, it’s estimated to carry only about 50 calories. In development since Easter of this year, it took three pilot batches dial it in; Upstreet’s Brewmaster Mike “Hogie” Hogan describes it as “a very challenging beer to brew,” especially, “mak[ing] it taste like beer and not just hop water or unfermented wort.” You’ll be able to find it at the brewery and Craft Beer Corner now, with cans expected to go to PEILC in the near future and hopefully the private stores in Halifax soon as well.

If you live in New Brunswick, you’ve probably heard that finding beer to take home has just got a lot easier! No longer limited to ANBL stores and brewery visits, you’ll now be able to find beer at 66 different Sobeys and Loblaws stores across the province. Yes, a good portion of the brands available are “big beer”, but there are a total of ten beers from seven different craft breweries that will also join the mix. These craft offerings include Brasseurs du Petit-Sault (Snap Dickie Cream Ale), Graystone (Patagonia Pale Ale), Grimross (Maritime Cream Ale, Maritime Pale Ale), Maybee (Work Horse IPA), Picaroons (Yippee IPA, Feels Good Imperial Pilsner), Pumphouse (Blueberry Ale, Crafty Radler), and TrailWay (Hu Jon Hops). The “convenience” of having these beers available to you through these outlets means that the price of all these beers is about 7% higher than what you’d pay at ANBL stores. This *is* a trial run, so naturally all of this is subject to change; the program was officially started yesterday, and we haven’t seen the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse… yet. Stay tuned!

And in “coming to New Brunswick in early 2020 news”, Uncorked Tours NB is opening a location at the Saint John City Market next year. This new home base will be where you can sign up to take part in their tours of the city, as well as sample and enjoy local beer, cider, and spirits in their space. We’ll share all of the details when they have them, but in the meantime, congratulations on the new venture, Gillian and Crew!

Though we’re all familiar with the breweries in our region and many of the suppliers that support them with things like equipment (brewhouses and tanks), ingredients (malt, hops, yeast), and facilities like canning, there are some unsung folks around who you might not think of when you consider what goes into making our beer scene what it is. Do you have a glass growler (or 6) kicking around your house? How about branded glassware from your favorite local brewery? A couple (or a dozen) tasting glasses from various beer fests and other events? Well chances are that many, if not most of those came out of one facility in the HRM: Jym Line Glassware in Elmsdale, NS. Today marks 50 years since the registration of the company, formed by Jim and Lynda Adams and now capably run by their son, Tom. We’d like to take this opportunity to recognize Jym Line’s contribution to beer culture around these parts and wish them many more successful years. We can’t think of a better way to do that than to grab a favorite glass, whether it be a Becher, a Teku, a tulip, or even a shaker pint, pour a favorite local beer into it, and raise a toast. If you’d like to do something more, why not check out the celebration they’ve got going on this Sunday, November 3rd, from 1 – 4 PM at Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse in Burnside? Stop by, grab a beer (looks like there might be some fancy celebratory branded glassware to drink it from) and say hello to the Jym Line team!

Definitely some fine looking events coming up in the next couple of weeks:

You may recall that we mentioned a Newfoundland tap takeover at Charlottetown’s HopYard a few weeks ago; if you live in Halifax and were feeling a little left out, no reason to sulk any longer! That’s right, the Halifax HopYard location will be holding their own event tomorrow, November 2nd. All ten taps (we see nine on their page, but maybe there’s an extra surprise?) will be dedicated to Newfoundland beers: four from Port Rexton, three from Quidi Vidi, and two from Landwash (check out their FB page for the actual beer list). In true HopYard fashion, they’ve got a special Newfoundland Night food menu, featuring Johnny & Mae’s Food Truck, direct from St. John’s! And if that wasn’t enough, there’ll be live entertainment from Matt Steele & The Corvette Sunset. That’s gotta be enough for you, right? It all starts when they open at noon, and continues until closing that evening.

TrailWay’s latest venture, The Drome – a bowling alley on Fredericton’s North Side that they took ownership of months ago, and recently renovated – is having it’s official Grand Opening tomorrow, November 2nd. Aside from bowling and food (if you’d like to bowl, you should likely call and reserve a lane, as they’re filling up fast), they’ll have happy hour pricing on beer all day long. And since you’ll be in the area, you might as well wander a little further down Main St. to the brewery’s taproom, where they’ve got El Generico (raspberry version) back on tap and in cans, along with last week’s new American IPA, Good As (hopped with Motueka and Citra).

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing will be taking over the taps at Dartmouth’s Battery Park next Thursday, November 7th, with a wide selection of core brands, favourites from the vault (we’ve got our fingers crossed for some Framboise, but won’t hold our breath), as well as a new collaborative brew they put together with BP’s sister North Brewing. Details are hush-hush on that right now, but we’ll have the full info next week, assuming there’s any left. Check the FB Event link to take part in a contest they’ll be launching soon. The fun goes all day, kicking off at 11:30AM, so drop by to enjoy a selection from their extensive library of offerings, as well as food to pair. 

The Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Fest is turning five this year and is set to go next weekend, on Saturday, November 9th at the Moncton Coliseum. Benefiting United Way of Greater Moncton and Southeastern NB and organized by the Moncton Beer League and Cox & Palmer, this year’s event features products pouring from more than 35 breweries, cideries, meaderies and distilleries, all from the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The regular session runs in Hall C from 7:30 to 10 PM, with tickets costing $58 (plus taxes and fees) and entitle you to unlimited samples in your event-branded glass. VIP tickets are sold out, but there’s a VVIP tier at $78 that runs from 5:45 to 10 PM, gets you a special glass, entrée to an industry panel discussion, and early entry onto the pouring floor. There’s also a designated driver ticket available for $20 that doesn’t come with a glass, but gets you into the event with access to water and non-alcoholic options. Tickets are available on the Facebook event page or via Eventbrite

The day before, on Friday, November 8th, from 8:30 to 5 PM, there will also be a Business of Brewing Conference at the Crowne Plaza Moncton Downtown geared towards industry business owners looking to transform their businesses. Featuring a full slate of speakers, plus panels and round tables, it’s an opportunity for folks to learn from others about how to grow and improve. Tickets and registration are available through Eventbrite.

This is the time of year in Nova Scotia when tourism starts to flag and harvest season is winding down, leaving our more rural areas to look forward to the next year’s flurry of activity. What better time, then, thought the folks at Sober Island and Lunn’s Mill, to start putting on an annual event? Combine that with both breweries’ love for traditional English styles served in the traditional style on cask, and you’ve got the first annual Cask in the Sticks coming up on Saturday, November 23rd from 1 – 5 PM. The event will rotate between rural breweries on a yearly basis, and the first host will be Lunn’s Mill, who will be tasked with showing off their rural location and organizing a great time. The event will be inside/outside, so dress warmly; to encourage that, they’re having a onesie competition with the prize being tickets to next year’s event. They’ll also have a s’mores station! Tickets are $25 and will get you a Cask in the Sticks branded glass (from Jym Line, of course!) you can take with you at the end of the day; there are no beer tickets at this one, just present your glass and it will be filled. Eight casks will be pouring from Lunn’s Mill, Sober Island, Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, Meander River Farm, Tatamagouche, Roof Hound, and Annapolis Brewing, with a special 9th cask from homebrewing friends the Roscoe Brothers. Only about 70 spots are available; you can pre-pay for your tickets from any of the participating breweries.