Bannerman Brewing

All posts tagged Bannerman Brewing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good afternoon, beer fans… everyone sick of Christmas music yet? Great, just making sure we’re all on the same page! As usual, there’s lots going on in the wonderful world of Atlantic Canada beer this week, with lots of new brews from all four corners of our region hitting taps and shelves, just itching to be sipped, guzzled, etc. (was about to start thinking hard of other synonyms to go along with these but it’s already getting kind of late in the day as it is), so let’s dive right into it, shall we?

Normally when we’ve got a huge slew of news from a single brewery, that brewery is 2 Crows, but although they do have something on the go this week (of course they do; see below), this week’s belles of the ball are the lovely folks from North Brewing, who have clearly been saving up to make a big ol’ splash with a new location and accompanying celebratory release, a triple-collaboration release, and a “standard” special release all happening this weekend!!

First up, we mentioned months ago that North had secured a spot to make their return to the right light West side of the Harbour after beginning their existence near North (natch) and Agricola Streets in North End Halifax. That new location is seeing a soft opening this weekend (today, in fact!!) at 501 Timberlea Village Parkway beginning at noon. The space will be retail-only for now, but rest assured there’s a taproom and kitchen under construction that they’re hoping will be ready just after the holidays (we’ll definitely keep you posted on that). You can head on over this afternoon and grab a celebratory cupcake from Delectable Desserts as you load up on your favorite North packaged beer, cider, and seltzer offerings (no growler fills until they’ve got taps in place, of course) as well as merch. They’re planning to be open noon – 8 on the daily for the foreseeable. One of North’s slogans is, “Cheers your neighbour,” we love that they seem to be on a mission to keep making new neighbours to cheers.

Of course, if you’re going to open a new retail location, it makes sense to give the people something new to come and get. Enter Timberbock, a smooth, dark, and malty German lager with plenty of nutty and caramel character. The North team has been itching to make a bock for some time and this fall opening seemed like a great time for it. Fermented with the Escarpment Labs Isar Lager strain, and lagered for two full months, this 6.2% ABV beer is ideal for the cooler weather; maybe grab a couple to enjoy after raking leaves this weekend? As you would and should expect, if you’re closer to one of North’s other retail locations, Battery Park or Cole Harbour, you can get it there too!

Next up is the “triple collaboration” that’s been quite a while in the making. Several years ago, North’s Rozina brewed Neighbours Saison with Jill from Compass Distilling (back when they were neighbours across the intersection of North and Agricola). That beer was then distilled by compass to produce Neighbours Whiskey, now on sale at Compass. Meanwhile, North brewed up a replica batch of the original saison, using wheat, spelt and oats along with a boutique yeast strain to produce a 5.0% ABV beer that they’ve packaged in cans. If that wasn’t enough, Compass also kindly took possession of some of North’s Midnight strong dark Belgian ale, which they socked away in a Neighbours whiskey barrel for a while. The result is being called Midnight Neighbours of course! We’re a day late to tell you about the release party that took place at Battery Park last night, but you can still try a flight of all three products at North’s Tasting Room on Portland Street, at Compass’ tasting room on Agricola St. Meanwhile, the beers will be available at North locations and the whiskey, should you want a bottle, from Compass.

Last but not least in North news, if you’re a fan of the brewery you already know that they love to leverage their friendly relationship with Benjamin Bridge winery and release delightful hybrid liquids for your drinking pleasure. One of those that has previously been released is Blanc, a grisette refermented on some of BB’s Sauvignon Blanc grapes. That one is back and available at North retail locations and for online orders; even better, and as always, $0.50 from each can of this one sold will be donated to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust.

For you Moncton beer drinkers that have been itching for more Tire Shack in your lives, we have some very good news! The brewery received approval from the city earlier this week, ok’ing their re-zoning plans for an expansion. Sure, this means more beer and space in general, but most importantly it means Tire Shack can finally begin work on their barrel-aging program, which they’ve been passionate about starting for some time. It’s a ways away, naturally, but it IS something to look forward to! We should also mention that the Moncton Chamber of Commerce has awarded Tire Shack with their Small Business of the Year award, so congrats to them on that as well!

Oh, don’t worry, we wouldn’t leave without also bringing some beer news from Tire Shack for the weekend. They’re re-releasing two brews today, the first being their Peanut Butter Porter (sometimes known as PBP). A 6.2% ABV Porter featuring an addition of close to 20 kg of real peanut butter, it’s perfect for those of you who crave some of that delicious spreadable in your alcoholic beverages (maybe just don’t go kissing anyone with a severe allergy directly after, mmmkay?). Second is Roman Road, a 5.5% ABV Italian Pilsner dry-hopped with Spalt Spalter and Czech Saaz, giving a crisp and refreshing beer with plenty of noble hop presence. You’ll be able to find both beers on tap and (hopefully) in cans sometime today at the brewery.

What do you get when you put two birds on ice? Don’t answer that. But 2 Crows is doing an event in support of 4 curlers, as there is a draught-only release and event in support of Team Daigle, a senior women’s curling team kicking off their season in hope’s to get to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts (we assume everyone in Atlantic Canada is familiar with this right? It’s Canada’s national women’s curling championship!). On November 25th, the brewery will release Come Around, a tropical and juicy pale ale, loaded with Galaxy and Citra hops. This beer will only be available in kegs and features the first use at 2 Crows of Verdant, a newer, juicy-friendly yeast strain to complement the tropical and juicy flavours from the hop combination. To get your hands on this first release and to support Team Daigle with their year long travel and expenses, you can buy a $20 ticket to the event which covers your first beer and gets you entered into a draw for a slew of door prizes! Hit the 2C website shop under “events” to purchase your ticket in advance. 

Moving over to PEI, Upstreet is releasing a brand new hoppy beer, one that they plan on keeping in their regular line-up throughout the coming winter months. Blue Meanie is a Blueberry Double IPA that was brewed with lots of blueberry juice, and hopped with both Mosaic and Lemondrop varieties. A definite sipper at 8% ABV (well, try to, anyway), the beer is tasting “tart and semi-sweet, with loads of juicy pineapple, blueberry, and lemon flavour”. While you’ll be able to find cans of this one at PEILCC stores in the very near future, the official launch party will be happening at Upstreet tomorrow, November 20th, with live music from Kailee McGuire from 8-9 pm, trivia with Jesse & Jeff from 9-10:30 pm, and more tunes with DJ Whaleskin directly after that, until 11:30 pm. Of course there’ll be plenty of Blue Meanie pouring on tap, and we can only assume cans to takeaway as well. Now, whether this beer was named after the wrestler, or those creepy buggers from Yellow Submarine… we leave that to you to decide.

More PEI news with Village Green with two new beers, both of the hoppy persuasion (if you’re into that sorta thing). Let’s start on the lighter side of things with Strata Pale Ale, an easy-drinking 5.3% APA hopped entirely with, yes, Strata. With descriptors including “strawberry, passion fruit, grapefruit, and dank,” Strata does appear to be an ideal candidate for a single-hop brew, at least on paper! It’s up to you brave Islanders, however, to make your way to VG to decide for sure. And while you’re there, guess you might as well sample their OTHER newbie, a 6.9% IPA they’re calling DUH IPA. Don’t overthink the name, they simply hopped it with some no-brainer hop varieties – Citra, Mosaic, and Galaxy – giving a delicious beverage that is “peachy, danky, and citrusy.” Available on tap and in cans!

If you like your hoppy beers with a little more of the “wild” in them, let’s briefly chat about the newest brew from Tanner & Co. Brux IPA was fermented with Saccharomyces brux-like Trois, a strain that isn’t technically wild (like Brett, for example), yet has “wild-like” qualities to it, helping produce beers that can be quite dry and slightly tart. These are the exact qualities that Brux IPA imparts, and with a generous dry-hopping of both Mosaic and Motueka, you can expect citrus and tropical notes to go with it (which sounds like a perfect combination to us!). Weighing in at 6.5% ABV, you can find bottles of this one at the brewery and taproom right now.

What if you’re feeling more in the mood for a low alcohol, non-hoppy brew for a change? Antigonish’s Candid Brewing has you covered with Temperance, a 3.5% ABV English Brown Ale. This isn’t your typical English Brown, however, as it has some lactose added to give it a touch of extra sweetness, as well as boosting the body somewhat (not a bad idea with a 3.5% beer!). It also features organic Earl Grey tea (HOT!) from World Tea House, to make you feel even more that you’ve travelled over the pond for a cuppa with some old relatives… see, feeling transported already and haven’t even tried the beer! Available on tap and in cans, drop by the brewery for a taste this weekend.

In Newfoundland, Bannerman has teamed up with local advocacy for the music community MusicNL, to design and brew a new beer to help kick off Music Celebration Week in the province, taking place from Nov 29th to Dec 5th. The beer, Music and Friends, is described simply as an American Pale Ale hopped with Strata and Nelson Sauvin (we’re going to assume plenty of lovely, tropical fruit aromas and flavours in the beer). Available at the brewery and select NLC stores today, so you can start to prep for the festival a little early!

Bannerman has more than one rabbit up their sleeve this week, as they’re also launching a new hoppy wonder at the brewery today. If you’re a fan of not just hops, but high ABVs as well, Obscure Reference may just be the beer for you! It’s a Triple IPA (10%!) that was dry-hopped with multiple additions of the ever-popular (to most of us, anyway) Mosaic variety. Expect juiciness, fruitiness, and likely a little bit of warmth as this one heads down into your stomach. Available in cans only; look for it to hopefully pop up on tap sometime later next week.

Sticking on the Rock, let’s move over to Landwash, who are re-releasing one beer and launching a brand new one this weekend. The returning favourite is Tidepool Pilsner, a 5% German Pilsner that undergoes an extended period of cold conditioning (Lagering!) after a cool fermentation with Escarpment Lab’s Isar Lager yeast strain. Refreshing and crisp, it’s just what you need after a long, hard day of dealing with family work. We can now do a complete 180 and move to their newest beer, Cozy Partridgeberry. Designed by head brewer Alex as a tribute to his Nan’s Partridgeberry Pie (which you can find at Twinlingate’s Cozy Tea Room and Bakery during their open season), the malt additions were crafted to mimic pie crust. Lactose powder was also added to the boil, along with Mosaic and Barbe Rouge hops. The completed beer was then conditioned on local Partridgeberries, resulting in a brew that is “very berry, but not too sweet”. Both beers are available at the brewery right now, in cans and on tap; look for them to start travelling to other outlets soon. 

And in Bay Roberts, Baccalieu Trail Brewing have collaborated with the province’s CBN T’Railway, a non-profit group formed to help open and rehabilitate the former railway bed of Conception Bay North. The hard work from these fine folks has led to the 140 km of T’Railway becoming a “vibrant, ecological, and safe route for recreational traffic”. As for the beer that the non-profit and brewery have created, Trail Minder’s Ale is a West Coast Pale Ale brewed with a malt bill containing small amounts of light Caramel and Oat malts, and hopped with Comet, Nugget, Hallertau Blanc, and Eureka. Fermented with a clean American strain, the beer is very dry, “with layers of tropical fruit, but also some classic West Coast pine character”, all followed by a restrained bitterness. You can grab cans at the brewery over the weekend, with $1 from every can being donated to CBN T’Railway to support their continued efforts.  

Would you believe that this year will mark Big Spruce Brewing’s NINTH Home Brew Challenge? While you ponder what that means about how long you’ve been drinking Big Spruce, we’ll tell you that this year’s competition has been announced and it’s a boozy doozy. A style beloved by many beer geeks but relatively uncommon in these parts is the Belgian Dubbel: falling under the category of Trappist Ales, which have been historically brewed in monasteries by Trappist monks, Dubbel is a deep coppery color with plenty of rich malt flavor, some fruity and/or dried fruity ester character, and a light alcoholic heat. Usually coming in around the high 6es for ABV, one of the key aspects of a good one is the fairly dry finish. Warming and comforting, without being cloyingly sweet, a Dubbel may just be the perfect “cold evening in front of the fire” beer and we are certainly excited to think that there will be another one released for us to try coming out of this competition.

About the competition itself, once again Big Spruce has partnered with Escarpment Labs to even the playing field with respect to yeast availability, bringing in plenty of pouches of St. Remy Abbey Ale yeast for prospective competitors (but folks are absolutely welcome to use whatever other yeast they choose to procure). Those interested in competing in this year’s challenge should send an email Real Soon Now™ to jeremy@bigspruce.ca. It costs $25 to enter, and if nothing else entrants are guaranteed a competition t-shirt, quality scoresheets per BJCP practices, and an invite to the gala. Entries must be received by February 5th, 2022 (drop off points to be confirmed), with the judging and gala taking place (with all due and necessary COVID protocols in place and as Provincial restrictions allow) from 4 – 6 PM on February 6th at The Wooden Monkey’s Dartmouth location. That’s not a long time for a style like this, so get your emails out if you’re looking to participate!!

As they’ve done several times over the past few years, members of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia have come together to brew a special beer in celebration of Craft Beer in NS and to generate revenue for #nscraftbeer initiatives. This year they did so with the sponsorship of supplier Brew Culture, a relatively new player in the local market, but who are certainly making themselves known through collaborative efforts. Together We Brew is a 5.0% lagered ale that was dry hopped with new school Continental hop Callista, one that marries some noble character with more modern fruity notes. Look for it at NSLC locations throughout the province, but don’t wait too long as this is a limited edition product.

A couple of Beery Birthdays in the region this weekend, but first:

A reminder of the Friday/Saturday tap takeover starting at Bar Brewdock today. In East Duck St. John’s, Dildo Brewing Co is teaming up with Borden-Carleton PEI’s Lone Oak Brewing to take over the 24 taps. Look for plenty of new beers from both breweries debuting this weekend, as well as the fine folks at Crumb & Pickle taking over the kitchen with burger, dips, schnitzel and more, all vegan and veggie friendly. More details in last week’s post, plus Social Media.

What do you think of when we say “the mecca of craft beer in Atlantic Canada?” If your answer isn’t Stillwell and if you’re reading this and you haven’t made friends with new humans or sampled new beers and new tastes at any of Stillwell’s various locations over the last few years, we would be surprised. (Heck, even one of us got married at the Stillwell Beergarden) Our beloved beer bar turns EIGHT YEARS OLD (!!) this month and they’re celebrating on Saturday November 20th, at Barrington Street HQ starting at Noon. Celebrating as they normally do with birthday cake (heeeey, free cake!), special bottle pours from places we can’t even mention (on and off-menu in true beer nerd fashion), and lots of featured kegs from breweries such as Willibald, Les Grands Bois, Godspeed, Dieu du Ciel, Crooked Stave, Stillwell Brewing, Bannerman and a few more! Also, Joe will be serving up special kitchen treats as well all day. This is free and fun and no advance reservations are required. 

Rothesay’s Foghorn Brewing turns the big 0-5 this weekend, and they’re inviting you to the brewery to celebrate Saturday, November 20th. Expect raffles, beer, games, beer, snacks, and beer! They’ll also have Elizabeth Nelson kicking off some live music at 5 pm, followed by Saving Sweet Polly at 7 pm. If you bring in a non-perishable food item for the KV Food Basket (no expired peas, we’re onto you!), you get a ballot for a chance to win an “epic prize”. Our guess is a ride on a stuffed black bear with owner/brewer Esty… let’s hope!

And a few last items to whet your appetite for whetting your whistle:

Always keeping us beer folk satisfied in store and online for delivery, Bishop’s Cellar is getting some goodies from Toronto’s own Bellwoods in store this Saturday. Two variants of Jelly King (their delicious dry-hopped fruited, everyday-drinking fruited sour) along with “drink now or cellar for later” options Vines Gamay and Barn Owl 25. Here’s a quick overview of the four releases:

  • Jelly King Cranberry & Tangerine is the base Jelly King conditioned on a bunch of cranberries and tangerine puree coming in at 5.6%. 
  • Jelly King Pomegranate & Lime is the base Jelly King conditioned on real pomegranate and lime at 5.6%.
  • Vines: Gamay is a 2020 wild ale release. Vines is a series of oak aged wild ales that celebrates wine grapes in all manifestations.This 8.0% blend was inoculated with the wild yeast from 2019 red grape skins, aged for a year in oak, and refermented on 2020 Niagara Gamay skins. 
  • Barn Owl 25 is a Foedre Aged Imperial Stout. This spent 2 years in secondary fermentation in new American oak and is 13.2%. 

These are all 500ml bottles and available Saturday November 25th at 10am. 

Smiths Cove’s Lazy Bear Brewing has a new Black IPA out, in memory of their former team member, Bob Allen, the brewery’s first hire. Infinity is a 7.2% ABV take on the style that is dry-hopped exclusively with Chinook. You can find it now at the brewery and tomorrow at the Annapolis Royal farmers market.  

New Ross’ Bulwark Cider is teaming up with the SPCA to raise money for furry friends in need of homes. They’ve made Applsecco Rose Cider which was released at NSLC locations earlier this week. Think a combo of cider and red wine characteristics with tartness, dark fruit flavours and some gentle tannins from the Marechal Foch wine used. $2 from every bottle will be donated to the Burnside SPCA location to help stray and abused animals. Win, win.

We’ll leave you with the always welcomed news of re-releases from Unfiltered Brewing. First up is their 7.5% ABV DIPA, Fist of God. If you’re looking for something a bit more sessionable, check out Lifesaver, their 4.25% ABV blueberry sour. Both are now available in cans and for fills at the brewery, and on tap next door at Charm School.

Welcome to the Spookiest weekend of the year! There will be plenty of little ghouls and goblins on the roads in colourful (and not) costumes Sunday, so please slow down and keep your eyes peeled for them. If you’re able, we figure the right play is to stay home and hand out treats from a distance to them, while enjoying the latest releases from around the region. The breweries in all four Atlantic provinces have stepped up this week in that department, and we’re tickled to share the latest offerings with you today!

Let’s kick off this week’s post with news of a pair of new beers hitting the taps in Spryfield Nova Scotia, thanks to their very own Serpent Brewing. Fresh off a win at this week’s Craft Draught Showdown at The Carleton, where this first beer made its debut, helping secure the win. Sprytown at Night is the latest version of their community brew, Sprytown Saison. Going dark in colour for the 6.0% “at Night”, it leverages the rich date and raisin character in addition to the colour of the dark malts, complementing the tart and spicy original Saison. Both are available on tap and in bottles and cans now. And debuting this weekend is Pumpkin Konig Tripel, a seasonal version of their ever-popular Tripel. Translating to “Pumpkin King”, this release saw the addition of plenty of hand-roasted Pie Pumpkins added for a little extra fermentable sugar (7.5% ABV here!), as well a soupçon of pumpkin to enhance the original clean yet complex Tripel.

And the perfect time to enjoy these two new releases is probably going to be Saturday, as they transform the brewery during “Devil’s Night Bash”, as they welcome Roadside Scarecrow and Caity & The Crowns for live music in their space, from 8 PM until midnight. And if that sounds a bit too spooky, pop by earlier in the day to enjoy wood-fired pizza from Dominic’s Cucina, who will be set up in the parking lot slinging pies that afternoon, from 2 – 9 PM. 

Fans of Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing know that they like to lean into the spooky season and this year is no different. Heads Will Roll is their returning “blood red” IPA featuring irresponsible amounts of hops, largely as late additions. As all good red IPAs (bloody or not) should be, this one has a solid malt balance and a firm, but not overpowering, 35 IBUs of bitterness. You can expect this one to be fruit forward and aromatic thanks to the Amarillo and Citra hops, and at 6.7% ABV, it’s right in the wheelhouse for the style. You can find it on tap in house or in cans to go from the brewery, and we expect it’ll pop up on their online shop for curbside pickup or local delivery any time now!

If you combine the recent renaissance of craft lagers with the seasonal shift towards darker beers, what do you get? Why schwarzbier, of course! Combining a rich malt base, roasty coffee and chocolate notes, a hint of spicy noble hops, and a crisp, dry finish, we’ve got a couple of fine examples in the region to which we’re no doubt adding another this week, this one from Lunn’s Mill. Dark Moon Lager is a small batch, session strength beer at 4.5% ABV that was brewed with the new moon and lagered for an entire lunar cycle. Premiering at the taproom in Lawrencetown in concert with tonight’s Lunn’s Mill Witches’ Ball, it will remain on tap at the taproom for pints and fills as long as it lasts, while city slickers should be able to find it on tap at Stillwell in the coming days, and for the patient, there’s a chance you’ll see some canned as well.

Sticking with the moon theme, Port Rexton Brewing up in *checks notes* Port Rexton, NL, has brought back their seasonal twist on an NEIPA theme: Chasing Moon. Although the “turn a light beer dark” trick isn’t uncommon at this time of year, PR went for extra degree-of-difficulty points by making a dark NEIPA! Maintaining the pillow-y smooth mouthfeel and prominent hop character, but taking a bit of a left turn with some dark fruit notes and, of course, a color you’d never expect, it’s got a medium bitterness and a hearty 6.7% ABV. You’ll find it on tap and in cans to go in the taproom as well as at the PR St. John’s Retail Shop; maybe grab yourself one of these and their flagship (not dark) NEIPA Chasing Sun for a little compare and contrast session. Also, a reminder that PR’s taproom hours have been updated for the rest of the year and you should check them out before heading down.

The Modern Brewer keeps churning out the good stuff at Cornwall’s Village Green where this week sees the return of two favorites. First up is a new version of Weird Clouds, their ever-changing IPA series. Version 7 comes in at 6.1% ABV and features Columbus hops for bittering and a dry-hop of Strata and Idaho 7. Expect notes of clementines and blood orange in this one. Also making a return is Modern Bitter. Brewed with Maris Otter, English Chocolate and Crystal Malts, this sessionable sipper is hopped with East Kent Goldings. Cans of both are available at the brewery now. And a reminder that VG Employee #001 Mark Misener’s last day slinging pints is today, so stop by their Cornwall location to send him off in style, before he takes on the Big Smoke next month!

Way back in September, as part of their Tap Takeover event at Bar Brewdock in East Duck, the crew from 2 Crows made the trip over to take part in the fun. Part of that fun was brewing up a special collaboration with the fine folks at Bannerman Brewing in between the laughs across the street. The fruit of that labour is out today, a beer they’ve called Before Time. Using Pilsner and spelt malts from PEI’s Shoreline Malting, as well as 2021 crop whole leaf Saaz and Mount Hood hops from Lakeview Hops of Harvey Station in New Brunswick, this is truly an all Atlantic Canadian collaboration brew. A 4.5% “Landbier” (German for “beer of the area”), this light and crisp lager was designed to be perfect for enjoyment anywhere and at any time, no matter the occasion (or none at all). Available on tap and in cans at Bannerman on Duckworth, and at select NLC and Marie’s locations around St. John’s.

Lake City Cider is celebrating the release of their latest blend, the simply-named Peaches. Featuring ripe Nova Scotia-grown peaches that were crushed and then co-fermented with local apples, both base fruits shine through in the finished product, which also features just a hint of almonds on the nose. Refreshing and juicy, this 5.5% cider is available on tap and in bottles at their downtown Dartmouth location, as well as their online shop for delivery.

If you’re a craft beer drinker in Atlantic Canada, you hopefully have experienced the glory that is the English Dark Mild style thanks to beers like Tatamagouche’s Darling, Lunn’s Mill’s Myld Stallyns, Baccalieu Trail’s Undertow (the Strong variant of the style), British Mild Ale from Grimross, and the recent Dark Mild from Village Green and Some Mild from Serpent. You may not know how lucky we are, but trust us when we tell you there are lots of places where you can’t find a single example of this style! Our luck continues this week with a new local option for Dark Mild, this one from North Brewing who have released Whirligig English Mild. A lovely low-alcohol option with plenty of comforting malt flavor for the season, it’s described as biscuity and roasty with hints of spice, making sure to bring plenty of flavor in spite of a paltry 3.2% ABV. You’ll find in cans and on tap at the brewery, at their “other” retail location at Battery Park, and available via their online shop for curbside pickup, local home delivery, or shipping.

On the north shore of Nova Scotia Candid Brewing has a brand new beer out this week, in collaboration with supplier Brew Culture. Dubbed Monster Mash, this one is big in a couple of ways, starting with a whopping ABV of 8%, continuing with a hefty 80 IBUs of bitterness, and finishing with a massive hop presence in both aroma and flavor from the exclusive use of Yakima Chief’s exclusive Cryo Pop hop blend. Super punchy and aromatic, there’s a ton of tropical character in this one, and they’re not expecting it to last long. Get it now at the Candid taproom.

Staying in the environs of Antigonish, but going in the totally opposite direction in terms of style, Half Cocked Brewing has a new beer coming out this weekend as well. Leveraging the KRISPY blend of kveik yeast strains from Escarpment Labs, Pip is a pseudo-American Lager (pseudo- in that kveik yeasts are ale yeasts) with a simple grain bill, a touch of American hops, and a 4.5% ABV. With a bit of spice and citrus complementing the crisp and dry finish, this should be an easy-drinking “tastes like another” experience. Find it starting tomorrow at the brewery, where you’ll also find Halloween at Half Cocked going down, with $1 off pints for costumed customers, food from The Crafty Cooks food truck, and door prizes as well!

Tide & Boar Brewing continues to elevate the craft with the release of their aptly-named The Pilsner, a 5.5% ABV crisp Czech-Style Pils. Although it’s been on tap for a few days, it’s now available in cans as well for your home drinking enjoyment. Sticking with tradition, they made the extra effort to lager it for a full three months before release to let the yeast perform its final slow march of cold-temperature clean-up tasks before falling out and leaving a clear and crisp product. Find this one to stay or go at T&B now!

We haven’t had the opportunity to chat about Saint Anthony Newfoundland’s RagnaRöck Northern Brewing Company in a little while, so we figured it was time for an update from this Great Northern Peninsula original. After opening their doors in November, 2019, they have been carrying on as best they can given the pandemic and all of the complications that brought everyone’s way. While they have temporarily closed their taproom for renovations and to launch their online portal, they are still brewing away, and are now stocking the shelves at Urban Market 1919 and several Marie’s Mini Marts in the St. John’s region. With ten canned offerings available at the various retailers, from Odin’s Beer Cream Ale, Boggy Bottom Brown Ale, to their Hela’s Fury IPA, there’s plenty of options for all! Congratulations to the RagnaRöck Crew, and we’ll be sure to let you know when their taproom is open again for regular service.

Our favourite podcast came back this week, with 902 BrewCast releasing the October Tasting Episode on #902sday. They invited Stephen Barrett of Seasoned Plate on to chat about all things Belgian Beer (or Belgian-inspired), food and beer pairing, and what they’ve got in the works. Stephened Plate shares his favourite local restaurants, shops, products and more daily on his IG page. One of those upcoming things is a virtual cooking event tomorrow, October 30th, where you will cook along with Stephen and a bunch of other keen folks, making Spaghetti Carbonara. Sign up now to receive the recipe and event link, and grab a great Italian Pilsner (preferably locally-brewed) to pair for the evening. “One for the sauce, one for me”. And grab the latest episode of 902BC here… perfect for listening to while you do your shopping or preparing your ingredients.

And speaking of favorites, and since we’re posting on the day of, a very Happy Birthday from us to (home?) brewer extraordinaire and overall grumpy bastard Brian Harvey. Although you may not have heard his name, if you’ve been drinking craft beer in NS for the last few years, chances are you’ve had some of his beer, owing to his many homebrew competition wins and collaborations with various breweries. He won’t read this because we’re posting after 12 PM (he’s got standards, y’know), but maybe it’s better that way!

In addition to the various events mentioned alongside beer releases above, there’s another one happening in Moncton this weekend:

Tire Shack Brewing is transforming their space into a Haunted Shack this weekend, as they get into the spirit of things. Both Friday and Saturday, costumes are welcome in the brewery (along with that proof of double-vaccination, of course!), and both evenings will see DJ Jaredactyl spinning some spooky tunes. To celebrate, they have brewed up a special beer: a Chocolate-Raspberry Jam Stout, on tap only, that pours like a goblet of blood! 

One job opportunity in the region’s brewing industry; if you’re in (or willing to relocate to) Fredericton and looking, maybe check it out!

Fredericton’s Grimross Brewing is hiring a full-time permanent person as a Brewtique and Taproom Supervisor. Managing the business aspects of the retail and taproom operations, they’ll be in change of staffing, training, inventory control, creating SOPs, and more. Grimross offers Health and Dental insurance, and this position is a tipped one as well, so could be the right fit for you! Check out the full job posting and apply here.