Battery Park

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We’re officially halfway through April, and halfway through Nova Scotia Craft Beer Month (COVID-limited edition), but that doesn’t mean there’s not a bunch of news from the other provinces in Atlantic Canada. So while the weather isn’t exactly screaming “Spring is here” this weekend in much of the region, there’s still plenty of good beer to explore, including the annual return of a hoppy beast, some cool collaborations, and a new option for good beer drinking in St. John’s.

After years of planning, and months of anticipation from thirsty patrons, the East Duckworth area of St. John’s is about to welcome another beery establishment! Bar Brewdock is the brainchild of Craig Farewell and Steve Martin, the busy fellas behind the Newfoundland Craft Beer Festival and plenty of other beer-centric events. Their love of craft beer is more than a decade old, and they are ready to share the passion in a permanent establishment with their fellow Newfoundlanders. With 24 rotating taps (including 2 Czech side-pull faucets for that silky-smooth beer with a tight creamy head) and the province’s first Beer Engine (perfect for casks!), Brewdock will be pouring beer from independent breweries across the province and beyond. Chef Chris Mercer is the brains in the kitchen, whose team is whipping up beer-pairing-worthy snacks and plates for those visiting, with veggie and vegan dishes available too. Benefiting from, and building upon, the great distribution breweries from across the province are seeing to the Avalon, their debut tap list features beers from Bootleg, Boomstick, Rough Waters, Port Rexton, Baccalieu Trail, Ninepenny, Landwash, and Quidi Vidi, with kegs from more craft breweries in Newfoundland and Labrador, the rest of the Atlantic provinces, and beyond to be following along in short order. Look for their collaboration brew with Toslow at Bannerman Brewing to be released in the next couple of weeks, securing the camaraderie of the East Duck Beer District. Named Block Party, this Hibiscus Saison has a lovely pink hue owing to the flower, and is reminiscent of both Brewdock’s iconic 24 Flavors sign and Toslow’s ambient lighting. Sounds perfect outside on a warm day, which is fitting as in addition to their indoor seating for about 40, their Beer Garden will feature even more very soon. Brewdock opens their doors to the public next Thursday, April 22nd, and operates Wed (4 – 11 PM), Thurs (4 – 12 AM), Fri – Sun (12 PM – 12 AM). Congratulations to Farewell, Martin, Mercer, and the whole Brewdock team!

From one three-way collaboration to another, let’s head to Nova Scotia, where its breweries are celebrating Nova Scotia Craft Beer Month. While COVID has put a damper on any big events, it is still an opportunity for some conspiring, with Organic breweries Big Spruce and Tatamagouche once again teaming up for their Cerberus American IPA. But this duet is even better as a trio, and they have enlisted Cole Harbour’s North Brewing to complete the team. Heavily hopped late in the boil with Simcoe, El Dorado, and Mosaic, and further enhanced with a big biotransformation addition (mid-ferment to have the yeast help convert some terpenes), as well as a pair of dry hoppings, this will satisfy any hop head who dares take on the beast. From Big Spruce’s big spruce Jeremy White, “Every year Tata and Big Spruce get together to remind the NS craft beer world of what it means to be an organic brewer:  sustainability, environment and ecology. Cerberus also happens to be one monstrous, haze driven, hop forward aroma bomb as well! Last year we invited North to the dance, and the foot stomps felt just right with them around, so we decided to double up and have them to dinner again!” Cerberus is out today in cans and draught at all three breweries, with growler fills available at both Big Spruce and Tata.

And if you’re looking for a way to celebrate the release (or celebrate Friday, who are we to judge), get yourself to Downtown Dartmouth’s Battery Park today for their Three-Headed Tap Takeover, with each brewery bringing 5 bangin’ beers to the taps, and it may be the only way to experience both the Cerberus on draught and on cask side by side, which is sure to change the flavour profile. The beers are pouring from their opening at 11:30 AM, with the full details on who’s pouring what available here.

morALE Brewsters is a service member- and veteran-owned nano brewery in Oromocto, New Brunswick, and due to their small production size, primarily serve the local area bars and restaurants. Wanting to expand their reach, the morALE team worked with the fine folks at Dieppe’s CAVOK Brewing to upscale one of their brands to serve a larger audience. Pte Bloggins is a 5.0% ABV Blonde Ale, light on the bitterness at 14 IBU, and perfect for enjoying in volume after a long day doing drill on the tarmac (or lazing around on the deck). Kegs have been delivered to their locals Griffin’s Pub and Mingler’s in Oromocto, as well as to the Pics Roundhouse, Grimross, and host brewery CAVOK, with cans also available at CAVOK as well as the ANBL locations Fredericton York Street, Corvette Centre, and Oromocto. And don’t be shy asking for it at your own ANBL or local bar if you’d like to see it on tap. The morALE team is thrilled for the experience, and very thankful to Serges Basque and Nadeau, and the brewing team of Ben and Guillaume.

In some Nova Scotian collaboration news, Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing and Mahone Bay’s Saltbox have come together for a special release! Salty Lion is a hoppy, hazy Double IPA coming in at 8.2%. Generously hopped with Ekuanot and Citra, it brings that orange citrus flavour with notes of peach as well. Watch for this release available now on tap at the Saltbox and New Scotland taprooms and it will also be available in cans from both locations as well. 

We’ve got a new one from the Do Gooders (Good Doers?) at Upstreet as they have a brand new crisp and refreshing 4% ABV crusher they’re calling Cavalier. A light lager with a light body and grassy notes, sweetness on the nose and flavour, that has well balanced bitterness and is very crisp. Leveraging some rice in the grain bill to keep the body in check and Ekuanot to hop, the result is a very refreshing lager. Get this one in 355 mL cans from Upstreet directly (in store and online) with 12-packs going for just over $23! And if you give them the secret password when you head into the brewery to grab a case, they may even let you try the pilot batch of their next Libra non-alcoholic beer, a Hazy IPA.

Halifax’s 2 Crows has decided this won’t be one of the (very) few weeks of the year when they don’t release something new as they are releasing Roble today. Billed as an “oak-fermented wild Witbier” coming in at 4.2% ABV, those with long beer memories – like our own @acbbchris – may recognize some shared DNA with Ramble, their 2.9% ABV “wild table Witbier” from the summer of 2018. Originally brewed in late 2020 on a base of Shoreline Malting Pilsner, wheat malt, raw wheat, and some flaked wheat, it was mash hopped with plenty of Sterling and kettle hopped with more Sterling and some Citra. Traditional coriander and fresh orange zest were added via the hopback before the beer was shipped into a foedre for fermentation with the 2C house culture on a pile of sliced oranges. The oranges were removed after fermentation was complete, but the beer remained in foedre to condition for several months before it was finished with a dry hop of Bru-1 hops and can-conditioned with Champagne yeast. Described as, “dry, super-orangey, zippy, fun, funky, and fresh,” you almost certainly won’t find it too bitter at 19 IBU. Look for it at the brewery now, and according to the 2C team, there’s another (slightly tweaked) batch conditioning in foedre right now as this one is slated to be a semi-regular member of their lineup!

Keeping it cool in PEI, we’ve got some bad mother shuckers from Bogside giving us a new release. Shucker’s Select West Coast IPA is a 7.1% hop forward, bitter release that is layered with hop aroma and flavour at 55 IBU. Available on tap at the brewery now, look for kegs across the province, and cans to go or for Island-wide delivery!

Straight outta Stellarock, there is some exciting from Backstage Brewing. Although they’ve previously done some limited bottling runs since their opening in 2017, this week they’ve gotten themselves some swank new bottle branding thanks to Task at Hand Illustration & Design. Also responsible for the Backstage logo, Task at Hand has produced a new run of 4 labels (with more to come, we hope) for some of Backstage’s core beers. 

And what better way to celebrate the new labels than with a new beer?! Off the Hop is a 4.3% ABV Golden Ale featuring Shoreline Malting Pilsner malt and balanced out nicely with Mosaic and Centennial hops. Fermented with a British ale yeast, this is a fun style that can range from more British-centric, with more malt presence and earthy, herbal hops, to more New World, with a lighter body and American hops; this one seems to aim for a nice balance. Try it yourself and see what you think; it’s available now in 500 mL bottles from the brewery on Bridge Ave. 

Jumping across the Northumberland, Village Green has another hop-forward release this week with Antipode. This 6.2% IPA features some of our favourite southern hemisphere hops, with additions of Galaxy, the elusive Nelson Sauvin and Motueka. Expect lots of fruit-forward notes from the hops, including cantaloupe, strawberry, and according to the brewer “white gummy bears that have been smuggled into movie theatres.” Antipode is available in cans and on tap now at the brewery in Cornwall. 

Always bringing the hits and fan favourites, there is some summery and exciting news out of Propeller. First up, we see the re-release of Lime Lite lager. If you remember this from last year, this was a canned hit that was popular for those summer months and it’s back this year with the same light lager infused with real fresh limes but in shorter 355 mL cans. Bringing some nice citrus aroma and a very crisp, clean and refreshing finish at 4.5% ABV and 10 IBU it is is available today at all the Prop Shops and online for delivery; it will also be stocked at Bishop’s Cellar and NSLCs starting in May and available throughout the summer. 

In other news from their Quinpool location, there is a new Small Batch that will be available today! Mosaic Pale Ale was made on the on-site pilot system so the quantities are quite limited. This refreshing pale ale style is hopped generously with Mosaic which should bring a well balanced flavour of fresh berries with a bit of piney-resin. It’s on tap only (no growlers) as of today at Quinpool, Prop Arcade, and you’ll find some popping up at Battery Park later as well. 

For a few other quick hitters from Propeller, Common Lager is retiring but will be available for $40 per flat while supplies last. It’s never a bad idea to have a good stock beer around and that’s a great deal for 24 cans. 

Also, Community Cask Night is back next Friday, so be sure to check out the Facebook event here

In addition to the three-way Tap Takeover at Battery Park today, here’s what else is on our radar…

Moncton’s Euston Park Social is popping up in the Tire Shack Brewery taproom this weekend, for a preview and Test Kitchen version of what’s to come to their spot this summer. From 3 PM today, and noon both Saturday and Sunday, you’ll be able to try out the cool dishes to come before anyone else!

Down the Eastern Shore (or is it up?), Sober Island is celebrating its 5th anniversary with a COVID-friendly day of beer, food and music. From noon to 6:00 PM tomorrow, the brewery will be offering brewery tours and free flights to accompany live music and food available for purchase from the Ground Search and Rescue food truck. If you can’t make it on Saturday, the taproom is now open on Wednesday through Sunday, and as temperatures rise, keep an eye out for the opening of their outdoor beer garden. Congrats to Sober Island on 5 years!

Next week, Hopyard Charlottetown is kicking off the second annual Battle of the Breweries. Every Thursday, for nine weeks, HopYard will feature a keg from two breriews who will face-off, with the winner determined by which keg kicks first. This year’s battle will include local favourites such as Lone Oak, Village Green, Red Island Cider, Moth Lane, Evermoore, Upstreet, Bogside, Copper Bottom and PEI Brewing Co. Let the games begin!  

And a few quick mentions as we wrap up the beer news:

On April 1, we profiled Bluenose Lager, a collab between Garrison and Shipwright Brewing to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Bluenose. Cans are now available through both of the breweries’ retail channels and at private liquor stores.

Earlier this month we told you about the grand opening of Serpent Brewing’s taproom in Spryfield. We’re happy to report that Serpent’s kegs are now starting to make their way into beer slinging establishments across HRM. Look for keg or their Belgian IPA and Belgian Single at Battery Park, with the Single also making an appearance at The Other Bean

Trailway continues to glance back while moving forward and putting out updated versions of some older brews. This week it’s More Better, an IPA that features dank and resinous Simcoe hops, this time complemented by some Citra. Grab it fresh at the brewery today.

A couple more breweries in the region are looking for some help around their breweries and taprooms for the summer and perhaps beyond:

Bedford’s Off Track Brewing is looking to grow their team and they have a part-time opening for a server/bartender who will also be called on to handle retail sales. As with all serving positions, it’s 19+ only, and in addition, a valid driver’s license is required along with the ability to do some occasional lifting (50lbs+), availability for days, evenings, and weekends, and, as the brewery is dog-friendly, comfort with working around puppers. Folks with relevant experience and a strong customer focus are welcome to apply, but please send in your resume to allan@offtrackbrewing.ca rather than bringing it in person due to current COVID protocols. Off Track is an inclusive place, and folks from all races, sexual orientations, religions, and cultures are welcome to apply. 

Fredericton’s Trailway Brewing is looking to staff a summer position largely centered on their canning and bottling lines, but with additional duties supporting the brewers and cellar folks as required. An entry-level position, they’re expecting it to run 25 – 40 hours per week, depending on production levels and starting ASAP. Resumes will be reviewed as early as this week, so if you’re interested, best get your resume into the brewery in a hurry by sending it to info@trailwaybrewing.com!

Oy, we’re a little late today and apologies for that, but what are you going to do when there’s so much going on in the Atlantic Canada beer (and cider!) scene? It’s looking like a lovely day throughout most of the region, with a high chance of continued loveliness through the weekend – it’s almost enough to make you think that Spring is something you can believe in. Whether you choose to let yourself be lulled into a state of hopefulness or not, one thing that goes wonderfully with nice weather is beer! And, well, we can tell you a little bit about that…

Great news for beer fans in downtown Halifax, the Tiny Taproom rises again! After closing their spot for in-person enjoyment in March 2020 (you know, because of this pandemic), Tidehouse Brewing shifted their focus to curbside sales of their beer in cans. In the before times, grabbing a barstool at the 6-7 person bar top could kick off or wind down your night, physical distancing was definitely not a thing. Taking advantage of this not-completely-voluntary opportunity, the Tidehouse Team has completely renovated their space, and are now open again to all of us. Making their production space out back more efficient and streamlined (taking out their original plastic fermenters and replacing with four 500 litre tanks was a big help in that regard), put them in the position to extend the public space significantly. Capacity is now 16 (22 in a post-COVID world), which may mean them losing the title of smallest brewery taproom in the country, but we think they’re OK with that… So, what can you expect when you visit? In addition to being significantly larger, the space has a refreshed look thanks to B.A. Built (behind the Edna and Bar Stillwell looks and designs), and several tables so your bubble buddies can enjoy a pint or samples at low tops. 5 taps are flowing these days, with fresh Sotil, Hibiscus City, Bitchin Camaro IPA, Goth Stout, and Mars Imperial Stout, with a small number of cans available as well. That last one is their massive 11.5% ABV ImpStout with lactose, blackberries, and yes, Mars bars. Small pours on this one, fam!

Congratulations again to Shean and Peter and the entire Tidehouse Crew for weathering the storm and using it as an opportunity to expand their space and offerings! Pop by 4 PM – midnight, Wednesday to Saturday, 5187 Salter Street.

With last weekend’s ice all melted and some bluer skies in the forecast, now seems like the perfect time for a trip to Cape Breton for the release of Big Spruce Brewing’s newest beer, Début. This marks the first beer to spend time in their recently acquired 500 litre foeders. Brewed in the grisette style, Début also saw a dry hopping with Huell Melon hops and completed its entire fermentation in the foeders. Expect aromas of spice from the fermentation and melon from the hops, with notes of vanilla and honey on the palette. This one is making its debut (zing!) in kegs at the Sprucetique in Nyanza and in Downtown Dartmouth at Battery Park

The grass is always greener, they say and in PEI, Village Green is back with a new beer available today. Amarillo Pale is a Pale Ale brewed exclusively with Amarillo hops which gives it a great citrus flavour with some snappy bitterness. This 5.2% treat  is available today at the Cornwall brewery on tap and also in cans to go. 

Keeping up with new releases and news week after week, Bannerman Brewing is dropping two new releases today. First, Nothing But Time, is a new IPA that brings a unique flavour profile. With a grain bill consisting mostly of flaked and malted wheat, they massively dry-hopped this 7.5% IPA with El Dorado and Citra giving it a character that might remind you of candy and more specifically, Rockets! Available now on tap and in 473ml cans from the brewery; it will be at Marie’s this weekend. 

The second big release from Bannerman this week is a Thai-inspired lager with help from Namjim, a Thai based dining experience that serves out of different restaurants around St. John’s. Paradise Lost is a light and complex lager brewer with Pilsner malt, flaked rice and lemongrass. After being generously dry-hopped with Motueka and Sorachi Ace, this 5.0% ABV beer was conditioned on toasted coconut, lime leaf and lime zest. 

To celebrate the release, Namjim will be doing a kitchen takeover at Bannerman for Friday and Saturday (April 9th and 10th). The beer will be available only in 473ml cans from the brewery in limited quantities, so grab it while you can!

Down Lunenburg way, Shipwright Brewing is back to making some small batches for limited distribution (or at least we’re back to finding out about them in a timely fashion). The latest is one they’re calling Njǫrd Jötunn Saison, a 6.7% ABV saison at 30 IBU with a bit of a Scandanavian bent. Built on a grist of Shoreline Malting Pilsner and wheat malts, with a touch of acidulated malt in the mix as well, you can expect a balanced malt profile with some light graininess and a touch of honey sweetness. The hopping featured Eureka in the kettle for bittering, with late additions of Citra and Amarillo cryo hops for plenty of citrusy hop character. Completing the picture was a warm ferment with the Jötunn yeast blend from Escarpment Labs, which is a blend of a Norwegian Kveik strain and a saison strain designed to have a Viking deathmatch in the wort. Expect a bright and fruity beer with plenty of minerality and a touch of funk. Available on tap only at the brewery, and for growler fills and crowlers to go.

In cider news, Annapolis Cider Company in Wolfville dropped a new one last week, but a little too late for our pre-long weekend Thursday post. That’s okay, though, because it’s still showing in their online shop, so it’s still available! The latest in their Something Different series, Grape Mint has a pretty self-explanatory name, as it was blended with cryo-extracted grape juice and infused with plenty of fresh mint. Landing at 7.4% ABV, this sparkling cider leads with acidity, brings tropical pineapple and mango mid-palate, and then finishes clean with a cooling sensation from the mint, which is also present in the aroma. Sounds like this one would have gone well with Easter lamb dinner, but we’re sure it’s plenty tasty on its own too! As with all Something Different ciders from Annapolis, this one is in growlers only, and $0.50 from each fill will go to support a charity, in this case Campaign for Kids.

Fredericton’s Trailway continues to revisit some of their previous offerings, review them, revise them, and re-release them in a renewed form. This time it’s one called Imagination, an IPA brewed originally with Ekuanot and Loral (HBC 291), it now boasts so-new-it-doesn’t-have-a-name-yet HBC 630, Cashmere, Idaho 7, Sultana, and Columbus. But what’s more, this one has been upgraded to full DDH (that’s “double dry hopped”) status. This super hop-saturated fruity monster isn’t so monstrous when it comes to ABV, rolling in at 6%, which means you can almost certainly have two. Look for it on tap and canned at the brewery alongside a fresh batch of another of their hoppiest brews, Green Island. Act fast though, as both of these are in limited quantities and won’t be seen again for a while! Lastly, we told you about Trailway’s new light ale, Mully, a couple weeks back, a crisp and refreshing easy drinker at a paltry 4.0% ABV. That one is now in cans in addition to being on tap exclusively at JH Sports.

We mentioned back in March that Annapolis Brewing did a Pink Boots collaboration brew with folks from Church Brewing, Lunn’s Mill, and Sea Level for International Women’s Day 2021, and we promised you more details when it was released, so, well, here we are. Coming out this weekend is Glass Ceiling, a hazy IPA in the New England/Northeast style. At 5.5% ABV you could consider it on the more sessionable end of the style, with plenty of pineapple, mango, and coconut coming across from the Pink Boots hop blend, while a pleasant bitterness provides balance and a wheat-heavy grain bill brings the haze. Of course, proceeds from the sales will go to the Pink Boots Society, which provides scholarships for women in beer education around the world. We’re not sure exactly who’s going to have this one available, but we’d guess Annapolis for sure, so if you’re looking for some check there first!

Truro Brewing Company has a brand new light and crushable beer flowing from the taps today, Endless Summer. This 5.0% ABV Kolsch-style lagered ale is their answer to the “lawnmower” beers that many of us turn to as the weather warms and we may want a beer that refreshes first, without needing to think about it too much. While you probably won’t be grabbing ES by the flat, growler fills are certainly available at their spot and are a bit easier to juggle. 

Nova Scotian Homebrewers, fire up those kettles again (as if you need us to tell you that)! Truro Brewing has announced their Hubtown Homebrew Competition. They are looking for your best and most creative Patio Beer! Your $20 entry gets you a t-shirt, as well as a pitch of Escarpment’s Krispy Kveik liquid yeast, a perfect way to ferment something quick and crispy-ly. Judging takes place at the end of May (BJCP-Sanctioned, btw, so scoresheets with real feedback provided!), and the winning brewer will come in to TBC for a brew day with Jana and see their beer get a full release. There are only 20 spots for entries, so if you are keen, best fire them an email (trurobrewco@gmail.com) now!

Obviously a full slate of events still can’t really be a thing right now, but there are still a few things going on with proper social distancing and masking up and the hey-hey, so check them out!

Propeller Brewing is happy to announce that their Community Cask Night event will be supporting Prescott Group this month, with April’s events scheduled for tonight and two weeks from tonight. You can read more at their website for more details, but the short version is that they’ve been a non-profit organization in the area since 1962 and current support 160+ adults with disabilities through development of work and life skills. The cask for this evening will be Prop’s venerable ESB with an addition of coffee, while the April 23rd event will feature their Prime Lager dry-hopped with African Queen. As always, the casks will be tapped at 5 PM and will be served until they’re gone.

The last 12 months have seen far fewer beer nerds travelling outside of our bubble in search of new brews. Luckily, the good people at Stillwell continue to bring in the goods from elsewhere in Canada and beyond. This Saturday at HQ, they’ll be tapping three mixed ferm treats from Toronto’s Bellwoods Brewery. Beginning at noon, you’ll find a Farmageddon variant with Niagara Montmorency and Morello cherries, the peach version of White Picket Fence, and Grandma, a foeder fermented golden sour. 

Are you a pro brewer looking to expand your knowledge of Berliner Weisse production? Maybe you’re just a curious homebrewer looking to get your lacto on? Whatever the case, check out the upcoming webinar from Escarpment Labs, livestreaming on April 20th at 12:00 PM (CBC voice: “12:30 in Newfoundland”). Escarpment will be joined by German brewer and beer historian Benedikt Koch, who will cover topics including the history and culture of the beer, and various production methods. Reserve your spot here. If you can’t make the livestream, look for the recording to be added to Escaprment’s YouTube channel on April 21. 

Our usual round-up of quick hits is right here:

North Brewing is switching things up this week with the release of a cider. Core Values, first made last spring on North’s smaller system, is made with Stirling’s Farms apples. Fermented with a Chardonnay yeast strain to the tune of 6.1% ABV, it spent six weeks undergoing a cold ferment/conditioning, resulting in a drier cider with notes of melon, citus, and you guessed it, apple. Cans of Core Value are available now through North’s retail channels and on tap at the Portland Street taproom and Battery Park.

Staying with Dartmouth ciders, Lake City Cider has a new one out this week that features a variety of methods and fruits. Strawberry Rhubarb is a 7.8% cider made from house-fermented strawberry rhubarb fruit wine, blended with apples. Expect prominent berry notes and a tart finish. Cans are available now through Lake City’s retail channels. 

This Saturday will see the return of the acclaimed Commissar Russian Imperial Stout at Unfiltered Brewing. The 2021 release comes in at 11.2% ABV and will be available in bottles and on tap next door at Charm School. Drink some now, and buy bottles for when the end of the world truly comes into focus…

We know plenty of folks who’ve missed Propeller’s Azacca session IPA and wish it were a full-year beer and not a seasonal, but life’s like that. The good news for that set is that the season is upon us and the 4.5% ABV and 30 IBU single-hop (Azacca, duh) beer is back at the Prop Shops and six packs are heading to the private stores, then NSLC in May, where you’ll be able to find it all summer long.

And speaking of the return of sessionable hoppy beers for the summer, 2 Crows has also brought back theirs! Matinee is just 3.1% ABV, but it packs plenty of flavor owing to being loaded with Citra, Galaxy, and Idaho 7 hops. Find it at the brewery now and coming next week to select NSLC stores.

A couple of jobs in beer on our radars this week, and expect to see these more and more as taprooms and breweries beef up their staff in preparation for the coming traveling season. Let’s go Bubble!

Lunn’s Mill in Lawrencetown, and their sister The Station location in Bridgetown, are hiring Servers, Bartenders, and Cooks to round out their FOH and BOH crew. Open to all with an interest in beer, wine, cider, and spirits or designing, preparing, and serving great food to pair, they’re looking for those with great customer service and working with a team. Tidy up that cover letter and resume, and send it through those tubes to info@lunnsmill.beer.

And if getting your feet (and probably hands and knees) wet in a brewery is more your speed, Chester Basin’s Tanner & Co Brewing is looking for an Assistant Brewer to join their team. With more production capacity coming soon, they’re looking to double production staff with a full-time Asst Brewer position. No previous commercial experience is required, though homebrewing and a thirst to learn more are both big assets to the job. While a seasonal job now, this could become permanent. Check out their Careers page to learn more and how to apply!

It’s been a chilly one in our region this week, but fortunately not as bad as in some other places. Even more fortunately (we think), we’re used to it and generally prepared for it, also unlike some other places. But most fortunate of all, at least for beer geeks like us, our local producers are on top of making sure we’ve got plenty of fresh and interesting beverages to see us through the dead of winter. We’ve got news from all four Atlantic Provinces to share with you this week, including big beers, little beers, boozy beers, no-boozy beers, malty beers, hoppy beers, collaboration beers, at least one cider, and more! Read on for information to inform your beer buying excursion(s) this weekend and beyond!!

Let’s kick off the week with a four-way Nova Scotian collaboration beer that, chances are, you’ll only be able to enjoy this weekend. The Old Black Forest is a German restaurant located in Lunenburg, NS, and like the rest of the hospitality industry, has been hit hard during the last 12 months. They have launched a Kickstarter Campaign to help develop their patio, extend seating, and get back up and running fully this spring. Local breweries Tanner & Co in Chester, Saltbox Brewing (through their King Street Bridgewater location), together with donated ingredients courtesy of Canadian ingredient supplier Brew Culture, each stepped up to create Hopfenweizen, a German beer and are releasing them today in support of Old Black Forest. In Chester, Tanner & Co started from their traditional German Wheat beer base, and dry-hopped it with Idaho 7. In Bridgewater, Brew Culture’s Stefan Gagliardi joined Saltbox’s Jon Rains for a small batch of the brand new Hopfenweizen, using an equal blend of IREKS Pilsner and Wheat, complemented by a touch of Melanoidin malts. Hopping was a blend of modern and traditional, just as the beer is a hybrid of the two, with Spalter Select and Hallertau Mittlefruh in the kettle (including a third of the hopping pair added during first wort. Amarillo was added at flame out, with more of the Spalter and Idaho 7 added during a double dry-hop. Using the traditional WLP300 Hefeweizen yeast, expect plenty of banana and clove throughout, with tropical pineapple, herbal, and woody notes from the Old and New World hops.

So, how can you enjoy these new beers? Well, the new beer is currently pouring at Tanner’s 59 Duke St. location, with the crew from Old Black Forest serving up brezeln and dip. After you get a couple of those into you, your designated driver can deliver you to 463 King Street in Bridgewater for 6 PM, when the Brew Culture X King Street release hits the taps. OBF will be onsite there too, slinging more brezeln & dip, as well as Schnitzel sandwiches! Every pint helps the Old Black Forest achieve their goal, and for those not able to make it down tonight, check out their Kickstarter and grab a sweet reward for a meal or special night in the spring/summer.

From one collaboration to another, Port Rexton Brewing teamed up with St John’s Alpine Country Lodge to release Fresh Tracks in celebration of 27 years in business. This American Pale Ale features a classic malt-forward grain and cracker character, hopped up with a solid bitterness and a great citrus and piney hop bite. And at only 4.0% ABV, you won’t get too lost if you imbibe while on the trail! You can grab it in Port Rexton at the Foodex, several Marie’s Mini Marts, as well as PR’s online shop for curbside pick up in town. This new beer joins Happy Little Clouds, a new release that hit the shelves last week (oops!), a slightly sour, fruit-forward Pale Ale. Tons of dry-hopping in here for an ester overload with white wine grapes, peach, nectarine and apricot. The 4.6% beer is low in bitterness, so ready to be enjoyed in quantity. Keep an eye out for it at your favourite shop in town and off the Avalon, and also online.

The near-beer / low alcohol beer trend continues to gain momentum in our region. We are all for breweries providing tasty and locally made options for those seeking these products. The latest comes from Borden Carleton’s Lone Oak Brewing Co. with their release of Noble. Taking its name from the ‘noble experiment’ that was prohibition, this ultra light pale ale comes in at 0.7% ABV. Oats were added to the grain bill to boost mouthfeel followed by additions of Columbus and Simcoe hops. The lack of alcohol also keeps the calories lower, with one pint equaling out to about 65 calories. Head to the brewery to try this one out today. And those in town are well-advised to head to John Browne on Richmond, as Lone Oak has taken over the taps there this weekend, with Noble and their Anniversary releases also pouring.

If you haven’t had your fill of Tatamagoodness™ recently, Tatamagouche Brewing is back with three exciting releases. 

First up is Šero, a Czech dark lager and cousin to the previously released German dark lager, Dusk. Malt forward, with a grain bill based primarily on a Pilsner/Munich blend with CaraMunich and CaraAroma, a dash of Carafa capped the mash during recirculation (vorlauf) to get that rich brown color. Using characteristic Saaz hops to the tune 25 IBU, this 5.1% lager is a wonderful malt showcase that is slightly bitter, sweet and very crisp and clean. 

Sticking with lagers (yes please!), Pausa Pranzo is an Italian Pilsner named after the prolonged Italian lunch break. With a base malt of Weyermann Pilsner malt and hopped to 35 IBU with Saaz, Mittlefruh and Callista (and a small Callista dry hop to boot!), we get a pronounced bitterness to this 5% Pils. Both Pausa Pranzo and Sero are available today in cans and growlers from the brewery and kegs are also heading out to tap accounts around HRM.

Third in this week’s release train is Collusion a 7.9% Double IPA. With 85% pale malt from Horton Ridge, the other 15% is made up of chit malt, oats and wheat. The extensive hop bill starts with Nugget for bittering, Cascade and Centennial late additions and Citra, Mosaic and Incognito in the whirlpool before a dry hop of MORE Citra and Mosaic. This one is truly packed with hops and you can safely expect it to be full bodied, bright and refreshing with low bitterness. Kegs are available today at Stillwell, Battery Park and HopYard in HRM, but will only be canned next week. 

Village Green by Modern Brewer in Cornwall, PE, have been gearing up for their tap takeover next weekend at HopYard Charlottetown by releasing a couple of new beers. First on the docket is a classic English ale that’s one of the most sessionable beer styles in existence. Village Green’s Dark Mild doesn’t have a creative name, but it represents all that is good about the style: the marriage of English malts and hops to produce a very low 3% ABV and gentle 15 IBU but still carrying plenty of flavor and balance of bitterness and body to invite another sip. Perfect for those evenings when you want to keep your whistle wet but not wake up wondering who drove a bulldozer through your brain the night before. This one is draught-only for now so you’re limited to pints on site and fills; best to bring your own (clean) growler, though, as they’re running out!

Also on the go this week is their new Hazy IPA. Brewed with Pilsner malt and malted wheat for a light color and body, it was hopped in the kettle with “heaps” of Chinook, Centennial, and Citra, before being hit hard with a dry hop of Simcoe and Amarillo. It might take more than a few sips to decide which is more potent, the hop aroma or the hop flavor! You can expect notes of ripe stone fruit, pithy citrus, and hop resin backed by a firm bitterness in this 6.8% ABV and “all the IBUs” beer. There were a few cans of this one around last Friday when the beer was released, but we would advise that you don’t bank on those having survived until now, so you’ll be limited (for now) to having a pint in the taproom or bringing a growler in for a fill. 

Did we say two new beers? We was wrong (again)!! Turns out they’ve got yet another new one up and on tap starting today. Lagered Ale is just that, a beer fermented warm-ish with a top-fermenting yeast strain, before being given a nice cool conditioning period at lager temperatures. Brewed with continental Pilsner malt, along with some flaked corn and Carapils, it was hopped exclusively with the classic German hop, Perle throughout the boil. Arriving at 5.8% ABV and 20 IBU, you can expect this to be a crispy and refreshing beverage while carrying a touch more body and sweetness than a true lager. Look for it on tap at Village Green today where you can order it for a pint or bring a growler for a fill (or maybe bring a few so that you can try the Dark Mild and/or the Hazy IPA too). We’ve also been led to believe there’s a couple more releases coming this week in advance of the HY takeover, so keep your eye on their SM (Fb/Ig/Tw) for early details! Rest assured, though, we’ll have the relevant info along with a full taplist for the takeover next Friday.

Never a brewery to shy away from new releases, 2 Crows is back with another new one that will follow you into the dark. Pimedus is an 8.8% Baltic Porter coming out today. We’re going deep (deep!) into the nerdy details here, so we’ll start with an easy one: Pimedus is the Estonian word for darkness, to pay tribute to the three states along the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Starting with a single decoction mash using a base of Weyermann Munich I, Pilsner, Carafa II, Crystal 65, Extra Special Malt and a touch of Chocolate malt, it saw late hop additions of Tettnanger and EKG join the fray before a low, slow, and cool fermentation with German lager yeast. Naturally carbonated using a spunding process (in contrast to their normal krausening regime for lagers), this was lagered for 7 weeks and then packaged into 355mL cans (hooray for single servings of big beers!).

The flavour should be very smooth and clean, with some nice roasted notes and a bit of toasted marshmallow. The brew team are very happy with the soft carbonation and it comes in at 33 IBU. Pick this one up directly from 2 Crows, or get it shipped from them to get your hands on them. A few cans may be going to other retail locations as well. 

Many of us have been inside of our hooms for almost a year now and it’s about time someone named a beer appropriately! The Middle English name for “home” is “hoom” and Big Spruce is releasing Hoom is Where the Heart Is, an English Bitter. They’re paying homage to the traditional local brewing in England when beer and brewing would be a practice of getting barley and hops from the fields around one’s home. Nyanza’s finest kept this theme for this beer, using Horton Ridge’s Organic Pale Malt for 40% of the grist and the spoils of their own hop yard for 100% of the hops. Challenger, Goldings and Fuggles bring the floral flavour with bitterness to this ale. Traditionally easy to drink, this beer is only available in kegs and firkins, with no cans or bottles from this batch. Sounds like we’ll all have to head to Nyanza to get this one or look for it at one Big Spruce’s tap accounts. 

Down Wolfville way, Annapolis Cider Company has a new entry in their Something Different series that they teased on social media the other week. Haskap and Cardamom is a pretty self-explanatory name for this sparkling cider that features notes of dried berries from haskap juice, citrus aromatics from green cardamom pods and a solid tannic structure thanks to the base apple cider. Ruby red in color, it was blended with fresh juice yielding a medium-bodied tipple that weighs in at 7.7% ABV. As with all entries in the Something Different series, $0.50 from each refill sold at the cidery goes to a charitable cause, this time it’s the Acadia University BLM/TRC (Black Lives Matter/Truth and Reconciliation Commission) Awards. You can learn more about these awards here.

News from Fredericton has brought reports of a first from Trailway, as they are releasing their first Sour IPA ever! Threads is an exciting release for a style that combines soft and juicy hops with some tartness. The base beer was kettle soured to a moderately tart pH and then handed over to typical IPA brewing and hopping rate, packed with Strata, Citra and Idaho 7. The resulting flavour should be a refreshing, tart 5.5% IPA with notes of citrus zest and peach. This is available in 473ml cans directly from the brewery, so stop by or order online!

Despite the local lockdown measures, Quidi Vidi Brewery is doing it’s best to keep beer drinkers of the Avalon Peninsula happy and hydrated with the release of two new beers this week! First up is their take on a Rye IPA. Coming in at 6.6% ABV, expect citrusy notes, a mild rye spiciness and a clean bitterness to finish. Next up is a 5.2% ABV American Pale Ale. Expect more tropical hop aromas to compliment a significant malt backbone. Check out QV’s webstore for more details on how to get your hands on these limited releases. They are currently doing curbside pickup seven days/week and home deliveries from Thursday to Saturday. 

Up in Bathurst, Four Rivers Brewing has a few new offerings out and upcoming. First up is the Vanilla Rum Porter. Expect aromas of caramel and vanilla, complemented by coffee and dark chocolate on the palate. At only 4.5% ABV and 30 IBU, it packs plenty of flavour in a completely quaffable package. Four Rivers has been busy lately, also releasing a British Mild and Extra Special Bitter. And keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming release of Raglan Red, their take on a red ale.

It’s Cask Night in Moncton again! Tire Shack Brewing has a potent treat on the bartop today, the perfect remedy to these cold days and nights. Starting with a base of their already-chock-full-of-flavour 11.9% Russian Imperial Stout, they added Arbol chilis in a pin of it for about 4 weeks. The resultant beer is full-on spicy dark chocolate, and sounds perfect to us on a day like today! And even better is that the OG RIS, Into The Void, is available on tap currently as well, for the very necessary comparison, or maybe to do some blending for science! Expect more experiments in this theme are coming soon, watch this space!

Just one more event to tell you about this week. Stay safe and wear a mask!

Bar Stillwell’s annual Belgianfest is coming next weekend, February 27 and 28. From 12 to 10 PM daily (COVID == early closure times), they’ll be sharing the best and brightest beers from one of the most beer-centric European countries. And with all non-essential travel halted for the last year, this will be the only way most of us have to drink something fresh from Belgium for a while! Lambics not seen before in the region, plus modern and cutting edge styles too. Belgian food is on the table, natch, featuring the country’s famous croquettes, moules frites (aka mussels and fries), Liege waffles, and some cheese to pair with your favourite draught or bottle pour. No reservations for this event, so do be sure to arrive early to avoid seating (and beer) disappointments. Check this post for a tease of what’s to come.