Beer. Diversity.

All posts tagged Beer. Diversity.

Happy Friday beer, cider, and mead fans! It’s getting to be the season of celebration and reflection, as we look back on the ”Year of Beer 2021” that was, and how beer (and life) will look in 2022. Your faithful ACBB authors will be taking a little pause during the next couple weeks to spend with family (growing family, in a couple of our cases!) and friends, and do our own reflecting on what is to come. Here be the last ACBB Friday Wrap-Up of 2021, and we’ll chat again soon!

Delta Force Brewing in Greenwich, Nova Scotia, has a fresh new beer available this week, Bap, a Korean toasted rice lager. Inspired by the Korean scorched sticky rice dish Nurungji, the fellas behind DFB actually toasted their own rice before adding it to the grain bill of this 4.5% ABV lager. The resulting copper lager features a touch of toasting from the process, but still remains refreshing, and the perfect pairing for Korean food, including fried chicken. Grab Bap, and everything from Delta Force, from their online shop, which is featuring a 10% discount for orders of 6+ bottles, or from an increasing number of spots in HRM, including Bishop’s Cellar, The Other Bean, and Pizzatown Cobequid.

Breton Brewing has visions of (sugar) plums dancing through our heads with their latest release, Let’s Jam Plum Sour. Building on their previous Let’s Jam releases, it features loads of plum to complement the acidity from the base beer. Available direct from the brewery and online, as well as in the Maritime Craft Beer Advent Calendar.

Back with another release in their rotating IPA Series, 2 Crows Brewing brings out Quiet Contemplation, a juicy, tropical, and lush IPA available now. They use the same malt base as the other IPAs in the series (Golden Promise, wheat, oats and dextrin malt) along with lots of mash hops, some hopback hops and massive amounts of dry-hopping.  This one is loaded with Vic Secret and Citra hops and brings a flavours and aromas of mango, mandarin, pineapple and passionfruit in a smooth 6.1% and 44 IBU package. It’s available now, online and in the taproom in 473ml cans. 

Cornwall, PEI’s Village Green has two new releases to round out 2021. Weird Clouds 8 is their latest in their IPA series featuring loads of Galaxy, Simcoe and Idaho 7, bringing lots of citrus, peach skin and some nice allium flavour from Simcoe. It’s 6.9% and is available in cans now. Second up is a Winter Warmer, brewed with Charlottetown good beer joint Hopyard. A seasonal favourite, it was brewed with brown sugar and a fine selection of warming spices to bring this dark and tasty style to life at 7.7%. Now available in cans and kegs, it will be pouring at Hopyard on PEI over the holidays. 

Port Rexton Brewing is celebrating Tibb’s Eve in style next week, with their taproom open Dec 23rd, 4 – 10 PM. Plenty of fun things planned for the evening (including a cask of their Gluten Free Porter with a ton of orange zest added), so let’s tell you about their annual celebratory beer that accompanies it! Tibbs the Saison is a 5.8% ABV Saison brewed with Fruit Bomb Saison from Escarpment Labs, displaying plenty of fruit and herbal character in a non-adjunct beer. Available now at the brewery, their St. John’s Retail Shop, as well as Urban Market 1919, Maries Mini Marts across the island, and local NLCs.

In the spirit of holiday get-togethers, two of Dartmouth’s breweries partnered up on a couple of beers for the holidays. Brightwood Brewing and New Scotland are releasing Fritz, a West Coast IPA inspired by the “father” of that style, Fritz Maytag (of Anchor Brewing, donchaknow!), and Wallonia Cranberry Farmhouse Ale, inspired by the birthplace of the Belgian Farmhouse Style. Exclusively available in 4-packs (two of each, of course) for an even $20 (tax and deposit included) at both breweries.

Across the Northwest Arm from peninsular Halifax, Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing decided to pound out some holiday brews for us all. Up first is Rusty Compass, the latest output of their Beer Creation Experience program. A 5.6% cream ale, it includes flaked corn in the grist to keep the body light and the finish crisp; it’s available in 500ml bottles or for fills and pints at the taproom. Next up is Pilot Boat, a collaboration with local espresso bar/grocery/art gallery Pavia. Nominally a “coffee ESB” it of course contains some coffee, but also a selection of specialty malts specifically selected to create a coffee-like character that could be enhanced by the addition of actual beans in the secondary. Coming in at 5.3% ABV and 33 IBU, you find this one on tap and for fills at Serpent, or in bottles exclusively at Pavia. Lastly but not leastly is Slowrider, Serpent’s latest foray into the New England/hazy IPA realm since Pavo. Somewhat slight, even for the style, at 5.3% ABV and 28 IBU, a little bit of Magnum for bittering gives way to whirlpool additions of Amarillo and Sabro, followed by a huge dose of Sabro in the dry hop. Plenty of high-protein adjuncts paired with the London Fog yeast strain make for a delightfully opaque presentation of hop goodness, but you’ll have to go to the brewery to get it, as it’s not packaged. In non-new release news, Serpent’s Eden is now available on tap at the Armview on the roundabout and White Mountain Witbier is available at Bishop’s Cellar for the first time.

Pulling the opposite trick from a couple weeks ago, we go Spryfield to Sackville (or is that Spryville to Sackfield?) this time, where Ol’ Biddy’s has a small batch coming out next Thursday just in time for your Xmas weekend. Available at the taproom for pints and growler fills only, it’s a bit of a big one, at 7.6% and 22 IBU. Aged on Madagascar vanilla and bourbon, look for big chocolate flavour and a smooth vanilla and bourbon finish. A fine pint to sip on after your shopping is done and you’re ready to relax.

On the Eastern side of PEI, Bogside Brewing has a couple new things this week as well, starting with a beer for a cause: Gimme Shelter is a blonde ale, crisp and refreshing at 5% ABV, and with $6 from every 6-pack sold going to the PEI Humane Society. On the (much!) heavier side is Bourbon Street Barrel Aged Porter, a big ol’ smooth, rich, and velvety concoction matured in Kentucky Bourbon barrels and weighing in at a hefty 10%. On draught at the taproom, but also available in a limited number of bottles to go.

Dildo, NL’s eponymous Dildo Brewing has a collaboration beer out with PEI’s Lone Oak, using their respective Provinces’ favourite root vegetables. Starky Bunch is a 5% lager using PEI Potatoes and Newfoundland turnips to produce 20% of the extract in this well-hopped clean and crisp American Pilsner. This is available in 473ml cans from Dildo now, and we hear Islanders will see it at Lone Oak as well in the coming weeks.

Deep in the Annapolis Valley, Smiths Cove’s Lazy Bear Brewing has debuted something a little different this week, a gruit! The Descendent uses juniper for flavouring and bitterness, rather than hops, producing a nice light coniferous character. Flexing the versatility of Kveik yeast to ferment just about anything thrown at it, The Descendent is available now at the brewery, as well as at their Market presence this weekend.

Staying in the Valley, where Annapolis Brewing Company has a brand new beer available as well. Left Coast Double IPA is ABC’s first DIPA and they’ve aimed to make it a classic example of the West Coast style. Mashed high to encourage some non-fermentable sugars that in turn lend some extra body, it was bittered with Magnum and hopped in the whirlpool with classic American varieties Amarillo and Centennial. Finished with a “whopping” dry hop of more Centennial, you can expect plenty of pine and citrus from this one, which is available on tap and in cans from the brewery.

Staying in Annapolis Royal, East Coast Cider Company has a new seasonal cider available today. Ambrosia Raspberry Cider is a semi-sweet, semi-dry cider offering using a base of their Ambrosia cider, with raspberry added in for a nice tart and sweet flavour. This 6% offering is available on tap and in cans at the taproom, or available to order online. 

Continuing West down the 101 highway, we come to Roof Hound down Digby way where they’ve put together a Chocolate Stout collection for the holidays. All built off the same base beer (we think!), each got a different holiday treatment: Wasted Days will be reminiscent of Peanut Butter Balls, Cinna-Bone will give you your chicken bones fix, Cherry Brandy will get you that liquor-filled cherry bon bons vibe, and the cleverly named 8:05 Mint will make you think of a green box, paper wrappers, and peppermint. Sounds like an awesome chance to share some fun beers with friends and/or family. Or four nights of contemplating a particular beer. You’ll find these in bottles, available as singles, as a Chocolate Stout Collection 4-pack, or as part of Roof Hound’s Holiday Box all on sale at the brewery.

Lots of news out of Halifax’s Good Robot Brewing this week. Firstly, they’re dipping their toes into the big lager market after their success with 10,000lb Pilsner with the release of Good Robot American Lager. Designed to be a “good, honest, cold lager,” at 5% ABV and available in 6-packs, maybe you’ll like it, or maybe it’ll just save you a trip elsewhere to get beer for your non-craftian party guests. Either way that’s a win! GR is also joining the throngs with the availability of Holiday Boxes. Two are available, the “Essential” box with eight GR beers and two pieces of custom GR holiday merch, and the “Deluxe” with eighteen brews and twice the merch content (four pieces). All come with a Holiday Card that they’ll fill out any way you like – GR does the work, you get the credit. And lastly, if you’re heading down there, GR is running a “Swabs for Pints” program to encourage folks to be smart and get tested. You show your evidence of a negative COVID test, either via a pic of your home test result or a text message from the testing program and they’ll sell you a pint at the lowest legal price. Wins for everyone!!

Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing have been happy little beer elves all year long and they’re bringing some holiday cheer with some new and returning releases. Golden Vanilla Latte is a favourite of TS fans, a blonde ale with lots of coffee and vanilla, brewed in collaboration with Epoch Chemistry coffee shop. Using lightly roasted coffee beans with lactose and vanilla, 3,000 litres of beer was aged, giving a vanilla latte flavour in the 5.0% ABV brew. Next up is another canned release, Pear Chai Sour, a sour ale using a tonne of Chai tea and 100 litres of pears. Pitched with Lactobacillus, you’ll get a fruity, sweet and sour notes at 6%. These two beers are available today in cans, growlers and pints at the brewery. Next Wednesday (December 22) there will be a limited release of FaceMelter, a Wee Heavy style beer coming in at 10%. A perfect style for the season, you get some boozy, malty, caramel flavours, but thanks to the use of honey dates in this brew, you’ll get some fruit notes as well. This was first brewed two years ago, but the honey dates are a new addition for 2021. There are only 100 bottles of this, and last time it sold out in one hour; only available at the brewery, of course.

Nyanza’s finest, Big Spruce Brewing, is back with a winter themed release making it’s return. Shrediquette is a New England IPA that is juicy, bold and fruity. Originally released in March 2020, this beer was going to debut at the Vermont Brewers Fest, but sadly, COVID cancelled that plan. This NEIPA is packed with El Dorado hops and uses Ebbegarden Kveik yeast to bring pineapple, guava and mango flavours to the soft and fruity esters from the yeast. This is available now in cans from the brewery and online. Also, like so many other breweries this year, Big Spruce has a special holiday box featuring 12 cans of 6 Big Spruce staples! Featuring 2 each of Kitchen Party, Cereal Killer, Ready Yer Knot Regatta Red, Guava Get Me Some, Tag! You’re It and Silver Tart, you can get this for $50 including free shipping in Canada!

Lake City Cider has a new release for the end of the year, adding to their Vine series of wine and cider mixes. Sparkling Apple Pinot Grigio is the latest release, featuring Pinot Grigio with a bit of freshly pressed Nova Scotian apples for the cider side. It’s light, delicate with notes of apple and pear with a very dry finish. Available in store or online in 750ml bottles at 9.6%. 

The news keeps coming out of North Brewing, this week in the form of a brand new one brewed with a shining light in the industry. Ren Navarro of Beer. Diversity. and Do Better. Be Better. is both a beer expert and a leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Who better to team up with on a collaboration beer? Pip Pip Cheerio is an English Porter at 4.5% ABV featuring a blend of specialty malts and a fermentation with the Sterling Ale yeast strain from Escarpment Labs. Expect a toasty brew, with nutty overtones and a soupçon of caramel and cherry. Grab it at any of North’s three retail locations or order it online. And consider giving do give Ren an Instagram follow at Beer Diversity if you don’t already!

Antigonish’s Candid Brewing really wants to do something to ease the mental and emotional load of the negative light cast on their town over the past couple of weeks. What better way to do that than beer and a spirit of giving? Over the holidays when you place an order that qualifies for free local delivery ($50 and up), you’ll find an extra beer in the box when it arrives: a can of their Kanpai rice lager in friendly community spirit with the Antigonish Townhouse. They ask that you “beer it forward” to someone deserving, be it a friend, colleague, or just someone who needs a pick me up. If you take a picture of that paying it forward and share it to social media (tagging Candid, natch), you’ll be entered to win a private tasting for six at the brewery. The draw will be held Christmas Eve at noon, so you’ve got a few days to get this done. So get thee to their brand new online ordering system and order up some beer, including a couple more brand new debuts that have hit the virtual shelves in the last seven days. Especially important for those in the HRM is that they will be doing a run to the big city next Tuesday (Dec 21), so submit your orders before 8 PM Dec 20 to get in on the action. $60 order minimum, and an order over $100 will get you free shipping, so grab a friend or two and get to clicking!

Heading down the road we’ll end our year in beer news in Stellarton, where Backstage Brewing is releasing Fare Thee Well, a Champagne IPA. This is on tap at the brewery now and bottles will be available early next week. Expect an effervescent beer with a dry finish and plenty of hop character. 

A couple of events to tell you about coming to a beer bar or podcast near you!

Obviously subject to change according to whatever might happen restrictions-wise in the next couple of weeks, if you’re looking for a beery NYE pre-party by all means head on down to the Stillwell Freehouse, where they’ll be running from 12 to 10PM giving you plenty of time to enjoy one-off kegs, staff favorites, and special snacks before you head on out to do your countdown thing elsewhere.

Whether you’ve got some time off coming up and you’re looking for some things to pique your interest, or you’re looking for some new content to help you get through the commute during this slow time of year, 902BrewCast has you covered. Tune in to their latest episode, recorded yesterday, but coming to a Tuesday near you (we suspect this coming one, December 21st), when they sat down with Lucas Mader from Bishop’s Cellar (Bishop’s Cellar! Bishop’s Cellar! Bishop’s Cellar!) to catch up on what’s in stock, what’s coming soon, and beery plans for the future. Grab it from their website or wait for it to appear in your favourite podcast app.

In a year full of ups and downs, let’s leave you with some happy news today… TAPestry Beer Bar is celebrating 6 months of bringing the best beers of the province to the fine folks in Lr. Sackville. Thousands of pints poured, Flight School Fridays to launch the weekend, and Kaisers subs consumed onsite, and there will be many more of those to come. Pop by their spot at 833 Sackville Drive to support those folks bringing great beer to great people!

It kinda feels like one of those Fridays that doesn’t feel like a Friday, y’know? Maybe it’s because this was the week of Blue Monday (cue New Order), but more probably it’s the dead of winter and there’s some weather in the region and COVID is still a thing. Or maybe the internationally auspicious events in the US this week haven’t completely sunk in yet, although ACBB are all extremely happy about a potential return to something like normalcy down there. So whether you’re toasting to another week of winter gone, or a new administration for our nearest neighbours, or whatever else brings you joy, see below for some notes on some of the beers that our region’s breweries have for you this week and how you can get them!

Those of you in the HRM were most likely at 2 Crows last weekend, picking up your share of their latest brews. We hope you don’t mind making a return trip, as there’s a couple more hitting their shelves today, a newbie and a returning fave. The new beer is Soft Fruits, a beer that makes good use of a brewing technique that has been gaining steam over the last few years. When sour beers are conditioned on fruit and then packaged, there is still quite often a good amount of character remaining in what’s left behind. In this specific case, we’re talking about the raspberry and blackcurrant used in last year’s Zap and Zop, fruited Berliner Weisses. The leftover fruit was transferred to a stainless tank, along with a pitch of malolactic bacteria to soften the acidity of the fruit. While all this sounds wonderful, of course we need BEER to go on there, right? So, they added a low-ABV Lager (brewed with Shoreline Pilsner malt, and flaked rice) onto the fruit, where it underwent a second fermentation (remember, the fruit also had the yeast from the barrel cultures) and seven months of conditioning before bottling. Super drinkable at just 3.8% ABV, this unique beer is “surprisingly clean and bright, with a subdued fruit character and incredible soft acidity”. Very limited supply, so best to grab some while you can. 

And if you like your IPAs Brett-y and extra fruity, there’s a supply of fresh cans (and pints!) of Brettango, 2C’s Brett IPA w/ mango. With a tweaked water chemistry, increased dry-hopping (Citra and Mandarina Bavaria), and a small addition of orange zest in this year’s batch (along with the maybe-pushing-it amount of 420 lbs of mango), this 7.9% ABV brew is plenty tropical, citrusy, and juicy for your needs, along with “a nice little pineapple funk” thanks to the blend of Brettanomyces strains used for fermentation. And keep your eyes peeled here next week for even more releases… The 2C Crew has big plans for what is normally their anniversary party and release, and while things may be a little less “let’s get together and drink” this year, does not mean they’ve done any less work behind the scenes.

Let’s pop over to the Rock for the next announcement, where we hope you were able to shovel your way from your bed to your beer fridge this morning! Quidi Vidi Brewery has released the third installment of their Newfermenters X QV mixed 4-pack this week. This annual competition sees amateur brewers from across Newfoundland and Labrador putting together some epic beers and sharing with their fellow enthusiasts in a massive bottle share and judging event. The all-new mixed pack features:

  • Brothers Scuff, a 4.5% ABV Session IPA from Ben Hussey
  • Lost in Time, a 5.5% Roggenbier from Mark Courish
  • Darkstar, a 6% Coffee Extra Special Bitter by Ralph Pike
  • Sabby Sour, a 4.2% Sour Kveik by Jordan Blake

The mixed pack is available today from QV’s new Hops Shop at 16 Harbour View Ave, and at NLCs and the better convenience stores next week. (Home deliveries are on pause for the time being, but will be returning soon)

And congratulations to the Quidi Vidi family who are celebrating 25 years in business, having opened in 1996. The beer landscape in Newfoundland was quite different back then (all over the country, really!), so while their 1892 Traditional Ale may have been a bit of a shock to the light-lager-drinking public back then, they have stuck it out through thick and thin, and are rocking along in the 2020’s. From one independently-owned brewery to just-under 20, things are looking great in the Newfoundland and Labrador beer scene.

Speaking of Homebrew Competitions, big congratulations to Halifax’s Tim Gregory, who took home Gold in the Eighth Annual Big Spruce Home Brew Competition. From 25 entries, his Sticke Alt recipe and beer grabbed the judges’ attention for its take on the “secret” version of the classic German style. You’ll be able to drink the winner yourself later in the year, once Gregory heads up (down? I can never remember…) to Nyanza and takes part in the brewing of a large batch suitable for distribution. And yes, this “Tim” is the same from the very first Home Brew Competition that brought us Tim’s (Dirty) American IPA, clearly he knows what he’s doing! 

Oh, and speaking of judging, for those looking to get into the homebrewing or judging game in Atlantic Canada, the Brewnosers Homebrew Club will be hosting Tasting and Written exams for the BJCP in the Spring and Summer. If you are looking to start, continue, or elevate your beer brewing and/or enjoyment, the Beer Judge Certification Program, and the studying and tasting sessions surrounding it, are a great way to go. Check out the thread on the Brewnosers, and sign up there or fire us an email to get on the list! While usually self-directed, drinking and filling out scoresheets with pals (even remotely) helps to keep the enthusiasm up!

We’d also be remiss if we didn’t mention that Big Spruce also has a couple of returning brewskies for your drinking pleasure. The first is The Hour of Sour, their 6.2% ABV mixed-fermentation raspberry sour. Conditioned on organic raspberries, the brewery likes to describe it as the “cool, grownup cousin of The Silver Tart”. With all sorts of complex flavours and aromas (including watermelon candy, bumbleberry pie, citrus, and funk, to name a few of the descriptors) to go along with the raspberry, it may be just what you need to break out of the winter blues. If hops are more your thing, the delicious-but-not-fun-to-pronounce Brobdingnagian Mosaic DIPA is also back. A big beer at 8.5% ABV, it’s exclusively hopped with the wonderful Mosaic, and boasts “arousing aromas of ripe peaches, apricots, and sticky marmalade”. You can grab both at the Sprucetique while quantities last.

Not to fret if you’re over in St. John’s, reading about DIPAs… your own Bannerman Brewing has actually just released a brand-spanking-new DIPA of their own. After Hours was brewed with lots of wheat malt and toasted wheat flakes, and hopped very heavily with Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy. Notes of “stone fruit, pineapple, and white grape” abound, and the body is full and creamy thanks to all of that wheat. At 8% ABV, just be sure to imbibe carefully! You can drop by the brewery for growlers of this one right now; no cans yet, but it sounds like they hope to have those out at some point soon.

Continuing on the DIPA train, let’s move over to New Scotland Brewing, whose latest beer may have just the hazy, hoppy goodness you’re looking for in the Dartmouth area. Tough Chit is brewed with a grist made with a majority of… can you guess? That’s right, Chit malt, how did you know? Usually used to boost a beer’s body and improve head retention, the chit likely also contributed to the heavy haziness in this brew… especially considering that a higher-than-normal percentage of the grist incorporated it. With heavy late additions of Mosaic and Idaho 7 hops, this 7.5% ABV DIPA has flavours and aromas of “mango, honeydew melon, and pineapple”, along with some dank notes. Available today at the brewery in pints and cans, you may see a few kegs pop up at better beer locations in the area. 

Finally – did we miss a memo or something? – Unfiltered also has a DIPA that just became available at Charm School yesterday. It’s a returning favourite, Here it Comes…, a 7.5% ABV DIPA hopped entirely with Chinook. Available for pours, growlers, and cans just in time for the weekend. 

Making sure we hear a little bit from beleaguered New Brunswick today (hang in there folks!) is Trailway Brewing, who are happy to say that they’ve got cans of their collaboration brew with Lagabière out of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC, on the shelves. Originally brewed at the end of 2019/beginning of 2020, De L’Autre Boutte to Here is a 7% ABV Double Dry-hopped IPA brewed with Citra, Simcoe, and Motueka at rates that even Trailway themselves describe as “incredibly high.” The massive level of hops along with extra time cold conditioning results in a very drinkable and soft beer familiar to those who’ve had IPAs from Lagabière before, with zesty citrus, plenty of tropical fruit, and a dank and piney hop backbone. Only available in these parts from Trailway themselves (as far as we know right now), submit an online order for contactless curbside pickup or for shipping anywhere in the Maritimes or Ontario.

A few events on the go, plus a couple more things we want to leave you with today. Happy Friday!

Borden-Carleton PEI’s Lone Oak Brewery is also celebrating their anniversary this month, marking their first year around the sun next week with lots of what they do best: great beer, and hosting amazing artists and serving up excellent food. Two ticketed musical events are on the go from 2 – 6 and 7 – 11 PM, with details available here (and grab your tickets via email here). We’ll have the scoop on the food and beer for you next week, natch!

A quick update to last week’s call out of the Moncton Craft Beer Week. Due to the *ahem* goings ons in the province, it has been pushed back by a month, to March 22 – 27. However, those folks who were eying up the Extreme Homebrew competition are advised that the submission date is still the same, with beers due by Feb 22nd, drop off at the Tide & Boar.

For those who like to consume beery-things with their ears as well as their mouths, Beer.Diversity.’s Ren Navarro has launched a podcast Ren Likes to Talk. The first two episodes are available now, one of which is with North Brewing’s Co-Founder and -Owner Rozina Darvesh! Grab those episodes and subscribe today! (In case you strike out by searching by the name, try including ”Liquid Culture Podcast Network”, or just add it via this direct RSS link: http://liquidculturenet.com/category/ren-likes-to-talk/feed/ [we got you!] )

Copper Bottom is looking to add to its growing production team, specifically someone to operate the canning line and support other production duties in the brewery. If you have a passion for great beer (of course you do, you’re reading this blog!) and are interested in working in picturesque Montague, check out their posting here

We’re back! Did you miss us? We missed you! That week of vacation has e-invigorated us to keep spreading the gospel of good local beer, and we even managed to switch our web-hosting provider to something that fits our criteria better (ie, cheaper, seeing as we do this for nothing). So grab a coffee or pint and get back up to speed with the beers goings on (going ons? goings ons?)  in the region.

Happy 7th Anniversary to Shelburne Nova Scotia’s Boxing Rock Brewing! The landscape has certainly changed in the region in the last seven years, with the number of breweries operating in the region increasing 5-fold since their launch in 2013. You missed this week’s cake at their taproom, but the good vibes continue with a brand new release of theirs, Aldeia Portuguese Pilsner. At 5.2% ABV,  this straw coloured clear pilsner is a “modern interpretation of an old world classic style”. Taking its time fermenting at low temperature, this crisp beer features a light dry-hopping of “modern varietals of old world hops” (we’re not exactly sure what that means either 😉). In all seriousness, this ode to Portugal is celebrating the country’s embracing of modernity with human rights and environmentalism, while still maintaining respect for the ancient architecture and traditions. But good news, you don’t have to just read about the beer, you can find out for yourself by dropping into the Boxing Rock Taproom at 218 Water Street in Shelburne for a pint or grab some cans to go! They’ve also let us know about Indigo, a sour beer with blueberries from the Parrsboro region to be released in the next little bit. 5.2% ABV, mildly tart, and showing a lovely bright colour. And they are now introducing a few other neat things on the go, including getting your own Taproom Experience, with several options including a guided tasting and pairing with food, Beer 101, or a look at the barrel aging program. Congratulations to the Boxing Rock team!

So, this is what happens when you take a week off… Jeremy and the crew at 2 Crows in Halifax decide to release three new beers. We really need to get our calendars synced up! 😘 OK, let’s get you up to date with these new beers they’ve got on offer. First released was Dreamworld, a 5.6% ABV foedre Saison. Starting from a base of Shoreline Malting Pilsner, Wheat malt and raw wheat, as well as spelt malt, it was whirlpool (aka, after the boil, but before transferring to the fermenter) hopped with Galaxy and Huell Melon, and underwent primary fermentation in one of their foedres, with a blend of house Brettanomyces cultures. More Galaxy and HM were added during active fermentation (biotransformation galore), and hung out in the foedre for another 4 months. At that point, the beer was dry-hopped yet again, and transferred to cans where it spent the last 7 months carbonating and conditioning. Bright and zesty, with grapefruit on the nose with passion fruit and spiciness, on a juicy base thanks to the adjunct malts. This one is in 473 mL cans now.

A pair of bottles also debuted at 2 Crows late last week, from their barrels prominently displayed in the brewery’s taproom. Monarch is a 5.5% ABV golden sour that spent seven months fermenting in freshly-emptied Pinot Grigio barrels, before a round of Enigma and Bramling Cross hopping just before being bottled back in May. This one definitely has plenty of grapey goodness in the bottle, with the refreshing acidity helping the grape and honeysuckle notes dance and meld. Also debuting was Delight, a 5.6% ABV blended sour with sea buckthorn. This beer is actually a blend of two separate beers, the first beginning life from a 100% heirloom German pilsner malt, aged for a year and a half in Sauvignon Blanc barrels (with a mixed culture of Brettanomyces, Saccharomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus), mixed with a golden sour base beer aged for about a year in neutral (aka, already used a few times) wine barrels. When combined, they received a dose of cold-pressed sea buckthorn juice from New Brunswick, and received a dry-hopping addition of aged Noble hops (think preservation rather than bitterness or aroma), before bottling and conditioning for two months. The fruit’s oils serve to knock out the head retention, but more than make up for it in massive pineapple, fuzzy peaches, and mango character. Both are available for purchase now at the brewery, and online, in 375 mL format. And while you’re checking out their online shop, be sure to grab your raffle ticket for a massive raffle they are holding at this time. Supporting the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre, the prize pack is an amazing assortment of 25 unique beer offerings from their cellar, including many historic beers that are long “out-of-print”, as well as sneak peeks at beers yet to be released, worth at least $275 (full bottle and can list available here). You can grab your tickets for the raffle here, with the drawing taking place next Wednesday, July 15th. Enter today, enter often!

There are no areas in the world that haven’t experienced a surge in heartbreak over the past few, difficult months, but Nova Scotia is one area that seems to have received an-even-heavier-than-expected blow. Paying homage to those lives lost in the Canadian Armed Forces Cyclone and Snowbirds crashes that claimed the lives of seven Canadian Armed Forces personnel, Spindrift released NS Love Lager late last week. Described as a 5% ABV, crean, crisp Lager, 100% of the profits of every case sold will go directly to the families of those who were tragically killed in the accidents. The label was designed by Jampy Furniture’s Chris Smith; note that Jampy had previously designed wooden signs with the NS Love logo, with those profits being donated to families of victims of the Portapique mass shooting earlier in the year. Cans are available at the brewery for pick-up, as well as on their online store. 

If you’re a bit overwhelmed with endless releases of hoppy beers, sour beers, big beers, etc., we recommend you head over to Propeller this weekend for a very limited release of Lotus Lager, a “Lagered Ale” inspired by the delicious Kölsch beers of Cologne, Germany. Fermented with an Ale yeast strain at cooler temperatures, as is typical for the style, the brewery added Lotus hops in the boil, providing “a burst of orange, berries, and tropical citrus”, backed by a hint of honey malt flavour. Light, crisp, and refreshing, you can find it on tap for pints at all three Prop stores, as well as in cans (note that growler fills are not available for this one). And in more great news, there’s been a rare sighting of their Sasquatch Pale Ale (this is the first 100% Canadian hop) in cans only at their three retail shops (as well as home delivery), and there’s not much of it, so jump on that while you can. And lastly with the great Prop news, their Quinpool Tap Room location, in The Keep complex, has opened their taps and tables for onsite enjoyment! Open at 10 AM daily (noon Sundays), until 8 PM Mon and Tues, 10 PM Wed, Thurs, and Sun, and 11 PM Fri and Sat.

More Tidehouse cans available this week, as they continue their series of well-received Milkshake IPAs with Big Rent Money. Brewed with malt from Horton Ridge, the beer was hopped with Hammerhead Hops varieties. Cascade, Centennial, and Idaho 7 are the hops in this one, lending a touch of bitterness with a whole heap of fruit character. As always with a Milkshake IPA, it’s not just about hops and vanilla addition, but also the fruit… in this case, plenty of pineapple and mango, as well as orange zest. Thick, creamy, and fruity, cans of this 8.8% ABV beauty are available today at 2 PM at the brewery (and we don’t expect it to last the day), along with a few others, including Sotil 2 (5% ABV Saison with Marquette grape skins), and Two Can Win (7.5% ABV Imperial saison with Loral and Saaz hops). 

Now that Prince Edward Island is open to visitors from the other Atlantic provinces again, most of you will likely be crossing over to the Island via the Confederation Bridge. Conveniently, Lone Oak Brewing is located *right* there when you touch down, so why not stop by their tasting room to have a pint and pick up some growlers/cans? And to celebrate your arrival, they’ve just released a brand new mixed-fermentation Saison, Duet. Brewed with all PEI grain (barley, wheat, and oats from Island Malt House), it was hopped with Saaz and Centennial to 22 IBUs, and fermented with a blend of two strains of Saccharomyces and two of Brettanomyces. Aged for six months in Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc barrels, the final beer is tasting very dry and complex, with some “lemon zest and noble hop characteristics” in the background. Super drinkable at just 4.5% ABV, it’s currently available on tap, and now in 750 mL bottles too! Expect to see other barrel-aged offerings from Lone Oak in the near future, now that the beers have had some time to develop; we’ve heard a rumour that a foedre-aged Grisette could be next!

Elsewhere in PEI, Charlottetown’s Upstreet is keeping local residents hoppy, as they continue to release new entries in their Neon Friday series; maybe not weekly, but pretty darn regular! Today they’re putting out Neon Friday 3.03 DIPA, an 8% ABV beer brewed with Pale and Vienna malts, along with Wheat, Oats and Rye. Hopped with lots of Sabro, Citra and Mosaic, this sandy-gold-coloured beer has aromas and flavours of “toasted coconut, pineapple, and freshly-squeezed orange and clementine”. You can find it on tap and in cans at one of your favourite downtown Upstreet locations. 

A couple weeks ago, we wrote about the first of five 5th Birthday beers from Breton Brewing, and this week they’ve released the second in the line-up. Right Some Good is a kettle sour that was dry-hopped with Idaho 7 and Sabro varieties, giving notes of “pineapple, lime zest, and berries”, complemented by the accompanying tartness. Described as full-bodied despite the 4.2% ABV, it’s hazy-gold in colour and quite refreshing. Like all beers in this series, it will be available in a limited quantity; currently, you can grab it at their taproom or have it delivered if you live in the CBRM, and you should be able to see it around Halifax late next week. Stay tuned for their third birthday beer, dropping two weeks!

Between their brewery operations and their taproom, Halifax’s Good Robot Brewing boasts one of the most diverse staffs in our region’s brewing scene and are way, way above the (admittedly low) bar in that regard. They also continue to be behind some of the most inclusive beer-related events in our region. So it’s no surprise that their Brewer, Giovanni Johnson, one of the few BIPOC brewers in Eastern Canada and one of the folks behind the Limestone Group who have repeatedly brought a taste of Bahamian food and culture to the Halifax, is one of the folks behind the newly formed Change Is Brewing Collective, a group of BIPOC Nova Scotians in the food and beverage industry, to benefit BIPOC youth and community groups and to raise awareness of BIPOC issues. The first fruit of this labor is, appropriately, a fruited beer they’re calling Blackberry Freedom. Available starting tomorrow for takeout and in the taproom, this 5.5% ABV pale ale is designed to, “awaken the senses,” according to GR’s own LaMeia Reddick, a founding member of the collective and one of the folks involved in its design. Gio himself says, “This beer was made to honour the black experience. In collaboration with Good Robot we call for unity and justice at this time.” GR has pledged that 50% of the proceeds from this beer will be donated to BIPOC youth and community groups. The press release for Change is Brewing and Blackberry Freedom begins with the phrase, “Black Lives are Essential.” We believe this is a valid and vital position and they’re making it pretty easy to show your support for it through the purchase of this beer (but hopefully we can all find ways to do more). And look for more information about Change is Brewing and what they’re all about in a future post right here.

In other Good Robot beer news, Little Creature, the “Li’l Sister” to their popular Creature Feature series of NEIPAs is back on the go. Smoother than it is bitter, like its older sibling it features the much ballyhooed and also much debated biotransformation process of hopping during active fermentation, but in a more sessionable 4.5% ABV package. Look for it at brewery and taproom as well as online orders for delivery.

Down in Lunenburg, Shipwright Brewing has just tapped Citrus Got Real, a 4.5% ABV kettle sour. Brewed with Pilsner, Wheat, and Acid malts, the wort was soured with Lactobacillus before fermentation. Once complete, they added fresh lime juice and zest, as well as some raw coconut, giving lots of citrus and, naturally, coconut, backed by some “pleasant bready notes and an overall crisp grain profile”. This is the brewery’s first kettle sour, so make sure you get over there for a pint or crowler fill! It should be on tap, soon, at the Grand Banker as well. 

Couple new and interesting beers available this week from Bannerman Brewing in St. John’s; first they’ve got Good Vibes Only, an American Pale Ale with a twist. Hopped with a blend of South African hop varieties, it was fermented with a “Brettanomyces-like” yeast strain (homebrewers out there, name that strain!). Hops and yeast combine to bring notes of tropical and overripe fruit to this 5.5% ABV beer; it’s available on tap for pints and growlers, and in cans, at the brewery. And if kettle sours are more your bag, they’ve got you covered with their other newbie, Punch Drunk Love. Fruited with a mix of raspberry, pink guava, sweet cherry, and pineapple, you can bet that it’s a tart and fruity flavour bomb! Also available on tap, with cans just hitting their shelves today. 

Moving on to Secret Cove, who have re-released their Newfoundland Light & Sour, which they originally launched last summer. This 3.8% ABV take on the Berliner Weisse style has a change this time around – the first iteration featured an addition of locally-foraged marsh berries, but the newest version crams in local rhubarb, partridgeberry, and strawberries. It’s still tart, light, and easy-drinking, but with a different fruit profile than what you may remember from last year, if you were lucky enough to grab some then. Drop by the taproom this weekend for a pour, with cans coming in the near future.

O’Creek Brewing has updated us on two returning favourites of theirs, one beer on tap, and the other back in cans. For draught beer, their Berry Mango Sour IPA – a 4.5% ABV kettle sour hopped with Citra and Sabro, with some Nelson Sauvin in the dry-hop, conditioned on raspberry and mango puree – is back, and currently on tap at Dieppe’s CAVOK Brewing (remember, CAVOK lets you take home crowlers of guest taps!). And speaking of CAVOK, O’Creek contract brewed another batch of their Route 117 IPA at the brewery, and it’s now canned and ready to go! Hazy and juicy, it’s 6.5% ABV, and available at CAVOK and several ANBL stores (including Moncton North and Mountain Rd.). 

In brewing, as in the rest of life, timing can be everything. And sometimes you think you’ve got your timing dead on and circumstances seem to conspire against you. Such was the case for Hanwell, NB’s Niche Brewing, who released a new beer called Hop Altered right in early March, just before the Government told us all to go home and stay there. As a brewery without a retail outlet, this put quite a crimp in Niche’s ability to move beer. When a big part of your oeuvre is hoppy ales best enjoyed fresh, there’s also no real opportunity to “sit on” such beers for later release. The good news is that Niche is here on the other side of the first (and only, we hope) lockdown and they’ve made that beer again, only a little different. Keeping the grist the same as well as the yeast (Escarpment Labs’ Foggy London blend) and the kettle hops (El Dorado and Mosaic), but tweaking the dry hop a little with Mosaic and Citra, the result is a fairly sessionable (5% ABV) hoppy, juicy hazebomb. Or is that a hazy, hoppy juicebomb? You’ll have to decide for yourself. Grab a pint at one of Niche’s tap accounts; we’ve confirmed that they’ve shipped kegs to The Joyce, Peppers Pub, and the Pump House Fill Station, with the balance on its way to Stillwell (which Stillwell? Hopefully all of them!). And if hops aren’t your thing, but you like a nice German Pilsner on a hot summer’s day, check out The Pickle Jar (at the Hilton Garden Inn) in Fredericton, who have laid claim to the last keg of Lanai.

We’ve actually got a pair of events to tell you about today, for the first time in a few minutes!

One of the most consistent and consistently popular series of beer-related events in our region over the last couple years has been the Craft Draught Showdowns at The Carleton in Halifax. Many music lovers know the Carleton as the best place in the city for intimate and respectful concerts by a wide range of Canadian and International acts, but especially since their relaunch a couple years ago, they’ve cemented their reputation as a destination for excellent food and local beer. CDS events pit two breweries and brewmasters against each other, pairing 4oz pours of their creations with five courses from Chef Mathias Probst. The audience votes on whose beer was a better match for each course and a winner is announced at the end of the night. Just under two weeks from now, on July 22nd, the Craft Draught Showdown returns from exile with two local breweries, Brightwood Brewery and Propeller Brewing, head-to-head with a soundtrack to the evening provided by Almasy (Michael Dalton). Spots are extra-limited due to seating restrictions, but we’ve been told that tickets are still available for this one; cost is $65 ($74.75 with HST) and includes gratuity and can be purchased online.

For our Nova Scotia brewery employee readers, we want to be sure you are aware of this important event coming August 10th. Ren Navarro is Beer. Diversity., consulting those in the beer industry on how to improve diversity in hiring practices, community outreach, in-person interactions, and how to make each more welcoming to all. She will be holding a teleseminar August 10th, 1 -3 PM AST (not EST as originally pormoted), “Committing to Diversity in Our Beer Industry”, welcoming any and all members of the Nova Scotia brewing community to take part, from owners, to brewers, to social media folk, to taproom bartenders. This interactive event will include local brewery folks Christopher Reynolds of Stillwell, Nick Ogden of 2 Crows, and Rozina Darvesh of North Brewing helping moderate the two-hour event. Those in the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia may have already seen the notice, but for those breweries not members (or maybe haven’t seen the call yet), you can check out the tickets at the 2 Crows webshop. Because of the extremely limited number, you’ll need to grab a password from one of the moderators above. 

A few more newsbites for you, and we’ll take this time to mention that the Hard Seltzer Invasion continues unabated in our region, with new releases from Good Robot (Grapefruit and Moon Mist [which sold out in minutes] joining Mint Berry, fermented malt, gluten-reduced), North Brewing (Strawberry Rhubarb, blended seltzer, not from fermented malt, and gluten free), and the return of Big Spruce’s Zesty Lime and Red Raspberry Bliss (fermented malt, but filtered to remove malt flavor and gluten). We’d also like to add that you’re not likely to see too many more mentions of hard seltzers in our future blog posts. We absolutely get it, but between beer (our first love), cider, and the occasional mead, along with brewery openings, events (hah! Remember events?!), and job postings, we already have more than enough to write about on a weekly basis. So we’re tapping out and we’ll simply recommend you stay tuned to your favorite breweries’ social media for information about their alcopop offerings. And with that, let’s wrap this up for another week with a couple of quick hits and a job(s) posting:

Dildo Brewing Co. has a new summer beer for those of you in the area – Island Sunrise is a 5.2% ABV “Blood Orange and Mango Ale”. We’re extremely short on details, but rest assured it must have blood orange and mango in it! Available on tap at the brewery, and in cans. Also, the Dildo Outport Heritage Museum, located in the building, is now open for the summer, so you can drop in and enlighten yourself while buying beer!

Last week Moncton’s Grand Monk Artisan Ales dropped a new one off at Euston Park Social. Little Queenie Pale Ale is a lightweight (4.5% ABV) number with plenty of classic American hops: Chinook, Columbus, and Cascade. Described as “citrus, grassy goodness” you’ll find it on tap now at the aforementioned Euston Park, with a few other spots in the area receiving kegs this weekend.

Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing has brought back their big bad German daddy Hellevator Bock. Featuring German everything (except water, for obvious reasons), it’s on the maltier side for an Unfiltered beer, but still with plenty of Continental hop kick. Get your fills or cans of this 7% ABV Teutonic banger at the brewery from opening today.

Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing has three openings available, but if you’re interested and you haven’t yet applied, your time is limited as the postings close today! First up is a Brewer to operate under the Head Brewer, helping pump out the beer that is the core of their operation. Next is Cellar Person, responsible for the path the beer takes from grain, hops, water, and yeast, to the point where the customer walks it out the door. And lastly, but certainly not leastly, a Warehousing/Packaging Operator who can help make sure that beer packaging is sound and sanitary, ensuring the customer is getting the freshest product possible. Check out the full details of each job posting here and then get your resumes in by email to joel@upstreet.ca. Applicants chosen for an interview will be contacted in the next couple of weeks.