Benjamin Bridge

All posts tagged Benjamin Bridge

While it’s still January (how?!), there continues to be updates and changes with guidelines and restrictions across Atlantic Canada. Breweries are opening taprooms again, upgrading their online stores and may have changed deliveries. As always, it’s important to check out the social media from your favourite breweries and keep an eye out for any deals, as our breweries are trying to keep business going. Please support as you can and live within your means! Lastly, if you’ve been saving up your drinks for Dry January (that’s how it works right?), hopefully you’ll enjoy these updates below so you can line up your Wet February. 

Let’s kick off the week’s news with some cider from Halifax, courtesy of Sourwood Cider. Kissabel is a red-fleshed apple that the Sourwood crew have used in ciders before, namely their Kissabel Pet-Nat, a low intervention spritzy cider made with the 2020 harvest and released last year. After removing the cider for that release, Jake wasn’t done with the leftover fruits just yet, adding some water to the pomace and allowing another fermentation to take place. The result is Kissabel Piquette, a 3.0% low abv release that is bubbly and light, while still allowing the fruit flavour to shine through. Grab this at their store on Cornwallis, or for local delivery or shipping.

We’ve got a pair of treats coming out of Cornwall, PEI. Village Green brings out two new ones, marking their first releases of 2022. Starting out, we’re going with a throwback to the west coast days of C-hops and Crystal malt. Winter Classic IPA is a Classic IPA at 6.5% featuring Crystal malt and Chinook and Centennial hops. With plenty of IBUs and 6.5%. Featuring citrus and pine notes with a great hop bite. This is available in cans now from the brewery.

Second up, a nice alternate to the West Coast IPA, we get a Vanilla Milk Stout also available now. A sweet and roasty Milk Stout, conditions on Madagascan Vanilla Beans for a nice sweetness, this comes in at 5.6% available in cans today. And a big HBD to Head Brewer and Keg Washer Bryan Carver, who celebrates the big 4-0 today. While you can’t enjoy a pint at VG this weekend, at least pop by for some growler and can fills and toast the fella!

From Sussex, New Brunswick, the crew at Sussex Ale Works is re-releasing a hit from last year’s Valentine’s Day with Tarts Content, a raspberry sour taken after the Berliner Weisse style.Using the classic German-style ale recipe with added raspberry puree gives a nice sweet and tart flavour, with the right amount of pucker. This is 5% and 8 IBU. This is available today in crowlers for pickup and delivery from the brewery. 

Another brewery bringing back an old favourite is Dildo Brewing, straight out of Dildo, Newfoundland. Bitter Cold is an Ordinary Bitter style that is light, malt forward and delicious. At 4%, this brings notes of orange pekoe tea, sweetness like marmalade and toasted biscuits. Highly drinkable at anytime, this is available in cans today from the brewery and their St. John’s shop, along with a few NL Liquor Express, Marie’s and Orangestores.

Berwick’s Smokehouse Nano Brewery celebrated Robbie Burns day this week with a release paying tribute to the Scottish poet, Grandfather’s Tartan. Delving into the Scottish Wee Heavy style, this 7.8% beer is malt-forward, with plenty of rich caramel and toasted notes, while remaining smooth, despite its higher alcohol content. You’ll have to find your way to the Annapolis Valley for this one, as it’s only available on tap at their spot at 134 Union Street!

Straight out of Shelburne, but available province- and Canada-wide, is the latest offering from Boxing Rock Brewing. Perfect for the apres-shovelling crowd and cold nights we’re experiencing, is a big and hearty stout, and it doesn’t get much bigger than 9.0% ABV. Proletariat Russian Imperial Stout is full of dark malts to bring massive notes of roast, coffee, chocolate, with a fine level of bitterness to balance its full mouthfeel. Released in 473 ml cans, it’s joined on the shelves by the returning Unobtanium Intrepid Amber Ale, ready for pickup or delivery. Speaking of, a reminder that Boxing Rock is doing free daily delivery in HRM and Shelburne, on a minimum order of just $50. And those who live between Halifax and Shelburne can take advantage of free weekly delivery with orders over $80. Check their website for more details.

From the South Shore to the North Shore of Nova Scotia, we head to Tatamagouche Brewing, who have a brand new beer coming out that’s been a little while in the making. Starting its life as a pale ale built on pale malt and both raw and malted rye, hopped quite heavily with classic Cascade and Centennial late in the boil, it was initially fermented with wine yeast to encourage biotransformation, the release of bound hop oils, and ester production. It was then transferred to neutral wine barrels where it was further inoculated with Escarpment Labs’ Mothership Blend of Brettanomyces strains and allowed to condition for six months, giving the brett time to convert the majority of the banana and bubblegum esters to more desirable pineapple and citrus aromas. A dry hop with new variety Elixir completed the picture before packaging. Sounds like some science! to us, so it’s fitting that it’s been named Glad Alchemy. Coming in at 6.1% ABV, it’s funky, with citrus and pineapple up front and a little lingering banana in the background, with a suitably dry brett finish. You should be able to buy it early next week in cans from the Tata web shop, and possibly at other places that carry your favourite Tata brews in the coming weeks. Also, look for the returns of fan-favourites Sero Czech Dark Lager, Haywain English Bitter, Après Cream Ale, and First Light Czech Pilsner all either newly- or soon-to-be-canned and available for purchase.

The gang at 2 Crows Brewing in Halifax has been in the news (sometimes literally) over the past couple of weeks talking about the way they’ve managed to minimize some of the effects of the beer ingredient supply chain issues that have been affecting the industry. It’s nothing complicated, they just started sourcing more things locally! If you’ve been following the brewery for the past few years you already know that they’ve not been shy about integrating local ingredients, but they’ve now taken that to the nth degree and made a mainline beer using Shoreline Malting Pilsner malt from PEI, Lakeview Hops from New Brunswick, and crisp, clean Halifax water. AC Lager is maybe your new go-to for a light and refreshing banger, perfect for après ski/hockey/softball/etc., watching sportsball on a Sunday afternoon, lawn mowing, or any other traditional or non-traditional beer time!! At 4% it’s not going to knock you over if you have a couple, and at $2.09 per 355mL can (that’s $12.51 for a six, or $50 for 24), it’s not going to break the bank either. And look at that label: puffins!! Read more about the journey to this beer on the 2C website and then put your order in!

Also coming out of Brunswick Street this weekend is the return of Space Words, or, as those who remember the first batch might refer to it, Rocket Fuel!! A 10.1% trip to parts unknown, it’s packed with Galaxy, Eclipse, and Comet hops and it was co-fermented with a yeast that evolved to make nectar attract pollinating insects (Metschnikowia reukaufii). To quote the brewery, “Tastes like some kind of galactic mango juice.” We don’t think much more needs to be said. Find it in 473mL cans at the brewery now.

We also mentioned that this would be the weekend of the 2 Crows 5th Anniversary Celebration at the brewery and boy howdy are they planning some things. Bearing in mind that all in-person events are subject to Provincial COVID regulations, including social distancing requirements, you might still want to head down and check out what’s going on at the taproom this weekend. Saturday will see NS Winery and frequent 2C collaborators Lightfoot & Wolfville in the house from noon to 2 PM for beer/flight pairings, followed by R&B Kitchen with some sweet, sweet soul food from 2 – 7 PM. The first 50 folks in the door will receive a free anniversary glass as well. Then on Sunday is the return of SOUR SUNDAY. There will be 8 rotating taps of sour beers, including Five Petals, Terry (2018), Dandy, Good Air, Cloud 9, Deux II, Surefire, and Hoopla, with complimentary shots of Pepto Bismol available at the bar. For your snacking pleasure, Gingerbread Haus will have Bavarian soft pretzels on the go. This is all from noon to close; maybe some of us will see some of you there!!

Some parting shots with returning beers …

We’re happy to report that St. Johns’ Bannerman Brewing has opened their doors once again for in-person dining and drinking. Open 7:30 AM – 11 PM weekdays, and 8:30 AM – 12 AM on the weekends, start your day with a pour-over and scone, and then transition to beer and food from the talented Nam Jim crew preparing Thai-inspired plates in the kitchen. Local delivery (of both food and beer) is still available, including the freshly-canned Only Shadows, a light, toasty, and chocolatey Dark Lager, also pouring for pints, of course!

A bit of news from the Farmshed crew at Delta Force, as they updated their website with a new online store and payment portal. They’re “How to Buy” section is always very useful with where to buy their beer and now there’s a link to their online store with direct delivery, where you can grab their latest releases like Tom Hardy English Barley Wine and Bap – Nurungji Lager, inspired (and featuring) Korean toasted rice. Use those mice and keyboards, or thumbs to check it out!

Deer Lake’s Rough Waters Brewing is thinking back to summer with this week’s re-release of Lock and Key. A mojito-inspired beer, it features mint and lime on a tart refreshing base. No need to wait 4 months to be drinking in summer when you can grab some now! Available at their taproom and Corner Brook NLC.

Speaking of returning beers, Truro Brewing has a fresh batch of their Cobequid Bay IPA on tap now. At 6.3% ABV and brimming with bright citrus and pine hoppy goodness, you can grab a pint or fill your growler today at their spot on Inglis Place!

A few job postings for you as we settle up this week’s news, plus a bonus for your ears …

The fine folks at Upstreet are putting out a call to hire a Lead Production Brewer as they’re looking to expand in 2022. Check out the link here for the full job description and how to apply. 

The fine folks at Field Guide in the North End of Halifax are looking for an experienced bartender to fill their Head Bartender position. They’ve got a great reputation for cocktails and their drinks, so it’s a good opportunity for someone with a lot of passion. They’re encouraging people to reach out in person, email or send a DM on Instagram, but be sure to have a resume and cover letter on hand. 

Another one in the North End is the second location from Tusket Falls. Their Beer Project on Gottingen is looking for an Assistant Kitchen Manager! Check out the full details in the post here, and send them an email if you’re interested along with your resume and a bit about yourself. 

We mentioned it at the top of the post, so let’s close out with a movement that’s been gaining momentum over the last few years, Dry January. If that’s your thing, know that your bloggers support you 100%. And so do the fellas over at the 902 BrewCast, who did a deep dive into all things non-alcoholic this week. Their latest tasting episode features non-alcoholic beer from Propeller and Upstreet, as well as Benjamin Bridge Piquette Zero, and Bulwark’s Original NA cider. Give it a listen for inspiration on what you could keep in your fridge for when you’re feeling like drinking a beer, but don’t exactly want a *beer*.

 

Well, you’ve done it! You’ve survived another month of wild weather in the region, with snow, rain, wind, rain, snow, and even t-shirt weather for a short blink of the eye. As the weather turns and stays colder, the breweries and ciderhouses continue to change their focus to products with a bit more heft, so keep those eyes peeled for the bottles and cans below, as well as the many others on the shelves and taps in Atlantic Canada this month!

Why not start this week with some cider love? Beausoleil Farmstead Cidery & Vineyard is located on Church Street in Port Williams, a short drive from the centre of town. A small but mighty family team oversees the cider (and wines) coming together, from tree (and vine) to fruit to glass, keeping true to their philosophy of sustainable farming and cellar experimentation. They are celebrating their First Anniversary this weekend, and releasing two new blends to mark the occasion. Oak’d is a 6.8% barrel-aged cider made from a blend of Annapolis Valley-grown apples, including McIntosh, Cortland, and Golden Russet. After six months of aging in French oak barrels, it was finished with just a touch of fresh-pressed juice, to bring some soft tannins and hint of acidity to the rich notes of toasted spice and baked apple in the base cider. Taking a different approach for the second new release is Mimosa, Beausoleil’s take on the popular brunch (or anytime!) drink. Starting with base of Chardonnay wine, it was infused with fresh oranges, blended with Annapolis Valley cider, and given a touch of effervescence to enhance the experience. Wine, cider, and citrus never tasted so good! Both Oak’d and Mimosa are available this weekend at their tasting room (open 1 – 4 PM both Saturday and Sunda), as well as their online shop for local delivery.

Dark beer lovers rejoice! Propeller Brewing is continuing their foray into the dark and festive beers with the latest take on their Porter, Chocolate Orange Porter. Building on the full-bodied and roast-filled original, the addition of chocolate and orange makes this a lovely festive beer. Available on tap now at the two Propeller tap rooms, cans are also available at their retail locations, online for local delivery and Canada-wide shipping, as well as the private stores in town and at the airport (including in the Harvest Beer and Cider Advent Calendar, where you’ll be drinking that later today [sorry for the spoiler!]).

Back to cider, as Wolfville’s Annapolis Cider Company has the latest in their Something Different Series this week, Arctic Kiwi Rosé. Locally-grown Arctic Kiwis (think miniature hairless kiwis that are capable of handling the local cooler climate) were juiced and fermented with ACC’s signature dry-fermented base, offering bright tropical notes and a little body. This blend was finished off with fresh-pressed Geneva crab apple juice for a bit of acidity and astringency, as well as the signature rosé colour. Available now at their tasting room on Main Street, each bottle refill of the 6.1% sparkling Arctic Kiwi Rosé sees $0.50 donated to support the Wolfville Area Food Bank.

Sackville, Nova Scotia’s very own brewery, Ol’ Biddy’s, has both brew and news for you this week. On the beer side, Merry Rye-solution is, beyond its tortured name, a re-release of a holiday treat from years past. Featuring plenty of rye for a characteristic spiciness along with some demerara sugar to provide seasonal notes of molasses and toffee, it was bittered to 26 IBU to ensure some balance and has a drying finish. Deep copper in color and weighing in at a burly 9.4% ABV, it’s not to be trifled with; you’ll find it at the brewery, of course, along with select NSLC locations. On the news side, the gang at OB is happy to report that they’re going to be making it easier for you to get their beer this busy season by bringing it directly to you! For the next three Saturdays, starting tomorrow, if you’re within 10km of the brewery, you’ll be able to place an order for local delivery. In addition to the 10km limit, you’ve got to be spending $24 to qualify for $5 delivery or $50 for free delivery (we don’t know about you, but we don’t find it difficult to turn a $25 order into a $50 order when beer is involved!!) You’ll also need to be of appropriate drinking age (19, last we checked) and home, with ID handy to accept the delivery. Your order must be received by 6 PM the Friday before the delivery date to qualify. Look for the new “delivery” option when ordering on their site and follow the prompts! You can also order kegs for delivery, but you’ll need to call them brewery directly and talk to Chris about that. Lastly, if you do decide to drop down to their taproom for a pint or to pick some stuff up, why not bring a donation for Feed Nova Scotia? You’ll be doing needy folks some good and meanwhile enter to win a Weber Kettle BBQ.

From Sackville to Spryfield, where Serpent Brewing is releasing a big holiday brew of their own in the next week. Three Kings is a rum barrel aged beer in the Belgian Dark Strong style. “What’s a Belgian Dark Strong,” you ask? Well, it uses Belgian yeast for characteristic spicy and estery character, it’s dark in color, and b’y, she’s strong, at 11% ABV. Aged in barrels from Compass Distillers, it’s got notes of pepper, dark fruits, wood-aged rum, and plenty of warmth. There are three different labels coming for this, and by all means, collect them all, but we wouldn’t recommend drinking them all in one night. Or even one weekend, really. Check Serpent socials (Ig/Fb/Tw) for more on when this one is released.

Dartmouth’s Lake City Cider is celebrating the season with the return of their collaboration with Change is Brewing Collective. A little refresher on this one, the fine folks of Change is Brewing visited the Portland Street taproom to put together a winter seasonal to perfectly pair with a hearty holiday meal. Enter Forest Glory, a blend of all Nova Scotian apples and cranberries, infused with locally-grown rosemary, thyme, and juniper. Herbaceous and tart, this 6.8% cider is available again for purchase in the retail store as well as online for local delivery or shipping. All proceeds of sales go toward community-lead non profit organizations working to create space and opportunities for the BIPOC community, both in and out of the drinks industry.

It’s a Big Week for Big Spruce, as they have two new releases to tell us, and y’all, about! Building on the popularity of last year’s From Nova Scotia with Love Collaboration with Boston’s Harpoon Brewery, they’ve done it all over again! For anyone not in the know, after the Halifax Explosion, hundreds of support workers from Northeast US came to help with medical treatment and support. In recognition of that, each year the province of Nova Scotia sends down a Christmas tree to the city of Boston. In 2020, Big Spruce and Harpoon came together for an epid Whiskey Barrel Aged Abbey Ale (read more about it here), and they are one-upping themselves this year, with the Bûche de Nöel Imperial Milk Stout. Taking cues from the holiday Yule Log dessert, the beer itself is big and bold, with plenty of rich Belgian chocolate and fresh-roasted coffee, with cacao nibs and a hint of juniper. Oh, and all of that was aged in a Glenora Single Malt Whiskey Barrel! Cans are available at the Sprucetique and online for delivery now, with kegs delivered and pouring now/shortly at Battery Park, HopYard Halifax, and Bar Stillwell!

Returning favourite, and only available on draught, is Fou D’Amour, a Barbe Rouge-solo-hopped Double IPA. Weighing in at a hefty 8.0% and XXX IBU (your guess is as good as ours!), this French-grown hop is known for tropical and citrus notes, think strawberry and grapefruit and kumquat! Built on a hazy and pillowy base, you’ll be able to grab a pint in Nyanza this weekend, and coming soon to Battery Park and Stillwell at any moment.

Heading from one island to another, up on The Rock in Mt. Pearl, Newfoundland (& Labrador!) Landwash Brewery has a hoppy new brew hitting the taps this week. Frozen Coves is a DIPA in their Limited Series that they’ve hopped generously with Bru-1, Ekuanot, and HBC 586 to give this 7.2% banger a fruity punch of peach, pineapple and tangerine. Available at the brewery for pints to stay and in cans to go, it’ll also be showing up at Marie’s Mini Mart locations and NLC over the next week or so. If hops aren’t your thing, and you lean towards the deeper, darker beers, have no fear, Landwash has you covered there too. Cake Tray, 2021 edition, was inspired by the good old classic Newfoundland Snowball, which if you’re not familiar means you ought to expect lots of chocolatey and coconut character. A stout, of course, plenty of dark malts give it color and body and coconut gives it, well, what you’d expect. At 7% it should have a touch of holiday warmth for you as well. Available now at retail, but if you’ve got a few minutes to sit and enjoy one in the taproom you’ll be rewarded by a pour off the nitro tap, which will impart a super-creamy body that you can’t get any other way. You’ll see this one at Marie’s soon as well.

Now is the time to enjoy the fruits of the annual collaboration between North Brewing and Benjamin Bridge Winery. We told you about these a couple weeks ago (did we jump the gun on that? Ooops!) but we’re sure they’re both available now at all North retail locations. Musqué is a big ‘ol double IPA at 8% fermented on Musqué grape skins, of course, and Blanc is a much smaller and more delicate Grisette fermented on Sauvignon Blanc skins. We recommend experiencing both yin and yang by grabbing both of them. Even better, $0.50 from each can sold of both beers goes to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. Meanwhile, North also has two other beers back this week for repeat engagements. Midnight Figgy Pudding is a batch of Midnight, their strong dark Belgian that was split between 4 Glenora Distillery whiskey barrels for over two years before being blended with figs, dates, and vanilla. Be gentle with this one as it’s 10.5% ABV, perfect for an evening by the fire wrapping presents, we’d bet! And if you’re looking for something a little more breakfast-y, Stack o’ Pancakes might have you covered. Nominally a pastry stout (we all agree pancakes are pastry, right? Like, “cake” is right in the name and everything!!) this imperial-strength (9% ABV) beer featured plenty of chocolate malt in the grist for roasty chocolate flavors as well as maple syrup (of course), vanilla, and salt! Grab these two beasts from North the next time you’re there or order for curbside pickup, local delivery, or nation-wide shipping. If you’re a fan of North you may also want to grab one of their Holiday Boxes: 12 North beers (oh, fine, eleven beers and one seltzer), including the exclusive Eisbock, a lovely glass stein from which to enjoy them, and a holiday card and some custom wrapping paper.

Moncton’s Tide & Boar Brewing has a big and bold beer out today, their first special release from their new brewhouse at 1355 Main Street. In A Beautiful House continues their tradition of massive pastry stouts first started from their 1 BBL brewhouse in their original Gastropub location. Brewed with lactose (aka milk sugar), this 11.9% ABV beer was conditioned on toasted marshmallows and Madagascar vanilla beans, to get all of the sticky sweetness and bold flavours. Only a few flats available at the time of publishing, you’ll want to get down there ASAP to avoid disappointment!

Annapolis Brewing in Annapolis Royal has brought back their Fundy Haze, their house New England IPA. Absolutely overflowing with Galaxy, Sabro, and Mosaic, this hazy beer is juicy, tropical, and ready to go now! And their sister cider company, East Coast Cider Company has released a new perry this week named Pear Cider. Made with locally-grown pears, the perry features delicate floral and fruity notes, with a touch of honey-like sweetness. Available at their taproom on draught and in cans.

Good Robot Brewing is celebrating a mainstay of Enfield, Curly Portables, with their new Curly’s Amber. Building on the legend of woodsman Curly, born in Rawdon Hills in 1895, who went on to invent the triple-bit axe and other fantastical feats, Curly’s features biscuit and caramel malts to balance the light hop bitterness, and made for enjoying a few after splitting and stacking wood. Keep your eyes here and on their IG for more details on Good Robot’s progress in Elmsdale, just down the road from Curly’s. And if you are looking to give back this holiday season, drop off donations for the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre at their Robie Street taproom, full details available in this post. And check out their Holiday Gift Pack for the person who has everything/nothing!

A reminder that both of the recent Ontario Collaborations hosted by 2 Crows in Halifax are now available, the L’Acadie Draw Sauvignon Blanc IPA with Willibald Farm Brewery and Molten Mirrors Saison/Lager hybrid with BeerLab!. And if you need a reminder on what exactly those are, we gave you all the info you need in last week’s post. Also worth your time is that 2C is having a sale on select 355ml cans in their fridge, which means you can get a flat of Matinee, Tiny Dancer, or Dos Cuervos for just $50. Create your own Advent Calendar on the cheap! Deal is available at the taproom, as well as their online shop, which means free HRM delivery!

Dartmouth’s Spindrift has engaged in a bit of a reinvention over the last year or so, as they pivoted from being the “(almost) all lager, (almost) all the time” brewery to a bit more of an industry standard product range where the primary focus is on ales (don’t worry, though, folks, we’re pretty sure your Toller, Toller Gold, and Toller Light aren’t going anywhere). In the process of these moves they’ve also taken the time to reinvent their branding; you may have noticed their slick designs on the shelves and not realized, at least right away, that you were looking at Spindrift offerings (their old branding was pretty iconic too). Anyways, a few of the things they’ve had come out in the last while that you might keep your eyes out for include:

  • Horizon Blonde Bitter – a light and approachable beer in the classic style, coming in at 4.3% ABV and 27 IBU, with classic British hopping from Northdown and Challenger and notes of orange, tea, and a touch of stone fruit.
  • Grapefruit Spaceship Grapefruit IPA – does what it says on the tin, of course, at 6% ABV, with some very tropical and citrusy hops, namely Galaxy, Comet, and Eureka, boosted by plenty of grapefruit juice, and all balanced with classic West Coast IPA-style sweetness from caramel malt and a blast of bitterness (53 IBU). 
  • Queen Bee Honey Brown – lots of “honey browns” out there, but this one distinguishes itself by being both properly brown and through the use of actual Canadian honey; expect this 4.8% ABV and 25 IBU easy-drinker to be lighter in body than the appearance would suggest, with notes of coffee, toffee, chocolate, and nuts along with a bit of honey on the finish.

Antigonish powerhouses Candid Brewing and Townhouse Pub have come together for a fun collaboration. Kanpai is a Japanese-style Rice Lager, weighing in at a respectable 4.0% ABV. Light, refreshing, and super-crushable, it has a clean and dry finish, making it the perfect accompaniment to a wide variety of dishes, which is right up the alley of these two neighbouring businesses. Find it on tap now at both locations, with cans dropping mid-month.

Back to Portland Street for a new release from Brightwood Brewery. Shy Guy is a flavoured Gose dreamed up and executed by Assistant Brewer Noah, who took a base of a belgian-yeast-fermented wheat ale, with the addition of blackberry puree, orange peels, and a touch of Himalayan salt. Pouring now in their taproom, cans of Shy Guy should be hitting the shelves any minute now!

The great news keeps rolling out in our region, with New Brunswick entering Phase 1, and almost immediately Phase 2, of their Path to Green, with Nova Scotia allowing in-person dining and drinking Wednesday, allowing many of our favourite watering holes to re-open. And the re-imagined Atlantic (and Maine?) Bubble looks to become a reality next week as vaccine uptake and recoveries trend up, and case numbers trend down. We’re doing it folks, it’s happening! Let’s celebrate with more than a dozen new beer, plenty of events, and new openings to tell you about this week!

One of the spots that has been able to open this week is a brand new Nova Scotia-only beer bar in Lower Sackville, years in development and months in the construction. Tapestry Beer Bar is located at 833 Sackville Drive, just up from the Beaverbank Connector Road at Exit 2 of the 101. Concentrating on “the smaller breweries around the Province that don’t have a footprint in the HRM”, Tapestry owner Ian Smith is a long-time beer fan, and has driven across the province seeking out breweries that may not otherwise be pouring in the area. The 20-tap draught system features beer and cider from Yarmouth to Sydney, with Heritage Brewing, Hell Bay, Horton Ridge, Tanner & Co, Smokehouse Nano, Hilltop Hops, Harbour, and Big Spruce showcasing the best from away on their initial tap list, as well as locals such as Off Track, Lake City, Unfiltered, and fellow Sackville establishment Ol’ Biddy’s. Even with COVID restrictions, there is plenty of room for those looking to pop in for a pint, with seating for 50 in 10 bubbles in booths, lounging spaces, and stools at the bar. Beer and cider is the focus at Tapestry, with visitors allowed to bring their own food if they’d like, taking advantage of their great location, with Pizzadelic and Apt 3 Coffee in the same building, and Mary Brown’s and Kaiser’s Subs just a quick walk away. Open Tuesday to Friday 2 – 11 PM, and Saturday and Sunday 12 – 11 PM, be sure to pop by and support the Tapestry crew in their quest to bring more great beer to Lower Sackville!

If you’ve been paying attention to your beery social media this week, you may have noticed that TrailWay has been hyping a collaboration with an Ontario brewery that they recently did (virtually, of course) and would be releasing this week. That beer – and the info to go with it! – has finally dropped as of yesterday, so here’s the scoop to get you fired up on your way over to TW’s taproom in Fredericton to grab some cans. The beer, The Big Dance, was brewed with Town Brewery from Whitby, ON. Like TrailWay, Town has a majority of their beers in the “hazy and hoppy” category, and is definitely well-regarded in that particular area (at least). The two breweries discovered that they have more in common than just their tastes – a staff member at Town has a parent who went to prom with a parent of one of the TW co-owners, hence the name of the beer! The beer itself is an APA that was hopped with no-doubt large amounts of Amarillo, Strata, and Eclipse, with hibiscus flowers and passion fruit also added during the brewing process. The beer is looking hazy and pink, giving off “notes of passion fruit, freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice, red beers, and tropical fruit, with some floral and herbal character”, all thanks to the hibiscus, fruit and hop additions. You can find it on tap and in cans at the brewery, but don’t wait to pick some up, as it likely won’t be around too long.

Time flies at Upstreet Brewing, where they’re releasing the 6th version of their annual De Novo series. De Novo VI – Dry Hopped Pineapple Tangerine Saison will be available next week, and for the first time, is being packaged in cans. This one starts with pilsner malt and wheat from Island Malt House, plus an addition of Simpsons Golden Naked Oats.  It was then dry-hopped with Bru-1 and Mandarina Bavaria before additions of pineapple and tangerine concentrates. De Novo VI pours a light orange color with notes of banana, stone fruit, tropical fruit and bubblegum. Some slightly spicy yeast notes round out the 5% ABV Saison. Although De Novo is being released next week, Upstreet’s sixth anniversary is not until June 26. Check this space next week for more details on their planned celebration. 

We mentioned last week that Tatamagouche Brewing is celebrating their 7th anniversary this week and that they’d be releasing some new beers to celebrate, and sure enough, they’ve delivered! Four brand new beers hit the taps and retail this week, two smaller and lighter, and two of the bigger and more complex variety. Starting with the summer refresher side of the spectrum, we have Ketch, a classic Berliner Weiße coming in at 3.1% ABV. 355 mL can- and keg-conditioned, it was fermented with a combination of lactobacillus and a traditional German Kölsch yeast in the primary before a secondary fermentation spell with the Berliner brettanomyces strain from Escarpment Labs. Bright and acidic, but also featuring some funk, this could very well be one of the rare small beers that benefits from some time in the cellar. That said, we’re pretty confident that it’ll be pretty dang tasty right away, on it’s own or with traditional woodruff or other fruit syrups!

The other “light and lively” beer this week is Wherry, a 3.8% grisette. Fermented with Escarpment Labs’ New World Saison yeast blend, which contains both saccharomyces and brettanomyces strains for a rustic charm, the beer itself is also a blend of barrel-aged and stainless steel conditioned versions of the same base beer, with the neutral oak of the barrel side really popping in the finished beer. Continuing with the trend of packaging smaller beers in smaller formats, this one is also in 355 mL cans.

On to the bigger, bolder beers, the first new offering is actually a variation on one of the brewery’s longest-running beers, an award-winning IPA that’s been going strong since September of 2015: Deception Bay. Still very much in the West Coast style for IPA, featuring Huell Melon, Mandarina Bavaria, and Citra hops, it provided a suitably hoppy base for Resurgence a new barrel-aged Brett IPA. Basically DB packed into a barrel with some brettanomyces for a while, before a quick and modest dry hop of Huell Melon, this 6.8% beer was then can- and keg-conditioned to produce a drier, funkier, and somewhat fruitier version of the original. Contributing to the character as well were the previous two hoppy residents of the barrel (and there’s another one in there now, so stay tuned!). Look for this one in 473 mL cans.

And the last of the four new releases this week is Vintage Lane, a barrel-aged saison that was aged on Muscat grape skins and in barrels both from Jost Vineyards. A blend of two saisons, one of which is essentially the Edel from a few years ago, this beer celebrates the brewery’s connection with “the vineyard down the road.” Coming in at 6.6% ABV, it was (500 mL) bottle- and keg-conditioned, with the bottle artwork echoing that connection. Look for all of these beers to be available in packaged format direct from the brewery in the coming days, at various Tata tap accounts throughout the province, and potentially at some of the private stores. We’ve been advised that Stillwell HQ should have all four of these on tap at some point, The Freehouse Ketch and Wherry, and on the packaged side, Bishop’s Cellar is expected to have the Ketch. If you wish to go direct, you can grab pints at the taproom or get free shipping all weekend long by using the promo code 7YEARS at checkout at the Tata Online Store. And a very happy Anniversary from all of us here to Matt and Christiane and the rest of the gang!!

North Brewing has teamed up with a trio of local partners for their newest release, Twice the Wild, a barrel aged Belgian Dubbel. The beer was brewed in September 2020 with help from the guys at A for Adventure, using base malts sourced from PEI’s Shoreline Malting. The brew day also saw the addition of Lucie Kuhlmann grapes from the 2nd partner in the collaboration, Benjamin Bridge. The beer was then fermented with Sacch. Trois and barrel aged for six months in neutral wine barrels, before refermentation in stainless tanks using local honey from Casman & Widden. The result is a bottle conditioned, 8.0% Dubbel that also offers great cellaring potential. Which brings us to the final partner in the collab, the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. NSNT is currently in the midst of its Twice the Wild campaign, where a group of funders have agreed to match donations at four times their value! $5 from every bottle of Twice the Wild will go to the campaign, which means every bottle you buy leads to $25 that will be used to protect and conserve lands in Nova Scotia. Grab it today at North’s two retail locations in Dartmouth or for delivery via their online store. And if you’re there in-person, why not stay for a smashie from their taproom restaurant, Side Hustle, which is now open for indoor and patio dining.

With a big weekend of returning to in-person indoor service in Nova Scotia, you had to expect 2 Crows would decide to gift everyone* with a couple of exciting new releases that are the result of an exciting new collaboration between 2C and Lightfoot & Wolfville vineyard. First up is Vitis, a lager beer that was brewed with Riesling piquette. In the grand tradition of 2C making some of the most ambitious (read: complicated) beers in the region, this one takes a little explaining. It all started with a Pilsner that was brewed with a little bit of wheat, hopped in the kettle with Hallertau Blanc and fermented cool with Mexican Lager yeast. Towards the end of fermentation a small amount of that beer was used to make a piquette along with water and a “whole lot” of fresh Riesling pomace from L&W. The piquette was allowed to pass peak sugar content, but not to fully ferment out by the natural yeasts present on the grape skins, before being transferred to tank with the remainder of the lager, where the whole shebang was capped and, essentially, krausened with the remaining grape sugars instead of wort. Once target gravity was reached, the temperature was dropped and the beer was lagered for eight weeks. The result is a “crisp and lively” light lager that also features Riesling character in the form of pear, melon, and honeyed citrus. Complex, yes, nuanced, sure! but crushable too at 4.6% ABV and 11 IBU! Look for it on tap and in 355 mL cans at the brewery right away, and likely some other places as time goes on.

Part two of this collaboration is a true Piquette, one that doesn’t contain any beer, but definitely has a brewer’s touch to it. This one started with Scheurebe grapes, a lesser-known variety grown largely in Germany and Austria that’s known for being highly aromatic and being used to produce sweeter wines. For this piquette, L&W picked and crushed the grapes, then 2 Crows grabbed the resulting pomace and trucked it back to the brewery where it was macerated in water for several weeks. From there, the water chemistry was adjusted and the natural yeasts present on the skins were allowed to ferment it out before a light dry hop of Saphir and Mandarina Bavaria provided the finishing aromatic touches. Conditioned with local honey, the result is Scheurebe Piquette, a 4.3% ABV refreshing  beverage with notes of grapefruit and a bit of ginger on top of a soft minerality. You can find it for in-person enjoyment at release parties this afternoon at Lightfoot & Wolfville and tomorrow at 2 Crows. You’ll be able to purchase 355 mL cans to go on-site at L&W this weekend or next week at Bishop’s Cellar. Unfortunately, due to NSLC regulations†, 2 Crows can’t actually sell this one to go in packaged form.

* Ed.: except maybe those of us who have to write it all up

† Ed.: Fucking SERIOUSLY?!

After major renovations, a few can-sales-only weekends, and a pause to right themselves, Tidehouse Brewing’s Slightly-Less-Tiny-Tasting-Taproom is open once again. Open Wednesday through Saturday, 4 – 11 PM, owner/brewer Shean Higgins is concentrating efforts on getting the good stuff in your glass at their spot at 5187 Salter Street, with less of a focus on packaging for the time being. Growlers are on pause, with can sales winding down, so that the offerings from their small brewhouse keep the taps stocked. Those taps are full right now, with 6 beers flowing, including Chrysalis Cream Ale (5.5%), Hibiscus City Sour w/ lime and hibiscus (4.5%), Saddle Up IPA w/ Enigma, Eclipse, and Citra (7.0%), Peachy Fuzzies Sour w/ Peach Rooibos Tea from World Tea House (4.5%), Mars Imperial Stout w/ blackberries & Mars bars (11.0%), and Goth Stout American Stout (5.0%). Learn more about the renovations, beers, and everything else in the latest 902 BrewCast which dropped on #902Tuesday.

Remember when 902 BrewCast used to interview brewers and other beer industry professionals?! We promise, that was a thing. Well, they are back in business this week with a 2+ hour interview with Tidehouse’s Shean Higgins and Sprindrift’s Jeff Green. Updates from both breweries, changes at CBANS, and what they’re looking forward to drinking this summer. Check out the episode here, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Speaking of Spindrift Brewing, let’s get you up to date with all of the news coming out of Burnside… Firstly, as mentioned in the 902BC, they’ve just completed an expansion/beautifying of their outdoor seating area, The Spinyard, where folks can lap up the sun while enjoying samples and pints from the brewery at 21 Frazee Avenue, open Tuesday – Friday 11 – 5:30 and Saturday 11 – 4:30. One of the new offerings you can find on tap is a new addition to their core offerings, Sea Glass IPA, a NEIPA weighing in at 7.0% ABV, featuring a light and pale malt bill, with plenty of late- and dry-hopping of Amarillo, Azacca, and Vic Secret, resulting in a soft mouthfeel and blast of pineapple, mango, and lemon. Joining the core lineup is SunDaze, a 4.8% ABV Pale Ale, featuring the lovely Galaxy and Centennial hops, giving great notes of pine, grapefruit, and passion fruit. Both are on tap now for growler fills and pints, and cans to go (SunDaze is coming reeeeeal soon to cans), and hitting the NSLC in the coming weeks.

Spindrift also has a new seasonal on tap, Strawberry Run, a 5.0% ABV Ale, lightly- hopped with Comet, before undergoing a secondary fermentation on Strawberry puree, with Key Lime juice which delivers plenty of acidity to keep it refreshing. Pints and growlers now, cans coming soon to Burnside and NSLC locations. And they have let us know that their Spindrift Oak Manor location in downtown Antigonish will be opening soon, almost certainly (probably maybe) before the end of June! Pair that with the massive expansion at their Burnside location, and a brand refresh, there’s plenty of new excitement from the crew.

Cornwall’s Village Green is back at it with two new releases. First up is Milk Stout, which starts with a mix of English malts and includes the addition of lactose, per the style. Milk Stout comes in at a sessionable 4.2% ABV and with just enough bitterness at 20 IBUs. Check it out today on tap in Cornwall, where it is also available to-go in cans. Next up is A Lager Bier, Village Green’s first foray into the world of bottom-fermenting. This one uses Vienna malt, which gives a nice bready note, and is hopped with German Tettnanger. A Lager Bier is on tap now at the brewery.

Antigonish’s Candid Brewing continues its run of new Friday releases with a pair of entries to their core lineup. First announced is Lagerish, a 4.8% Kolsch-style lagered ale, brewed to be bright, crisp, clean, and refreshing. Joining it is Town Crier, named in celebration of the former newspaper and publisher tenant of their 88 College Street location. A 5.0% Altbier-style bier, this clear copper beer is brewed to let the malt shine through, without hops taking centre stage. Six different beers are available to go today 1 – 6 PM and again tomorrow from 1 – 4 PM. And those in HRM will soon be able to enjoy Candid in their mugs, as kegs are being sent to Dartmouth’s Battery Park in the coming weeks.

Hey hey, check it out! Events can kinda be a thing again!!

The Saint John area is celebrating Craft Beverage Week, with a full load of events wrapping up tomorrow. But before they do, you still have time to:

Get on out and support those producers in the region!

Also on the go today in New Brunswick is the launch of CAVOK Brewing’s new satellite taproom and retail spot in Cap-Pelé. Located at 150 Allée du Parc, it’s just steps from Aboiteau Beach, and shares the building with Restaurant à la Dune. While their neighbours handle your food needs, CAVOK’s 12 taps and retail fridge can handle everything else! Their location features a large deck overlooking the beach and water with seating for more than 50 people, and if the weather isn’t lovely, there’s room for the same inside. They even fill growlers, but if you’re headed to the beach, no glass, eh! The beach location is open from noon until late every day this summer, and pouring favourites and new arrivals like the Red Knight Hibiscus IPA and Echo Saison, light and refreshing and with a robust amount of hops. More good beer in more places, we can dig that!

Coming to your screens this week is the latest project from the duo behind the very successful Beerocracy New Brunswick beer movie released a few years ago. Shauna and Alex hit the road across the Maritimes again last year, producing Maritime Spirits, profiling craft alcohol producers across the region. The first Season is now available on Bell TV1 (either through your TV or online portal), and features visits to Moonshine Creek Distillery, Upstreet Craft Brewing, Red Rover Craft Cider, New Scotland Brewing., Deep Roots Distillery, Tire Shack Brewery, Dunhams Run Estate Winery, Trailway Brewing, Jost Vineyards, and Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault. You can check out the trailer here, and see plenty of behind-the-scenes fun on their Facebook page.

And a last few quick hits on our way out the door for a lunchtime beer:

Corner Brook’s Boomstick Brewing has a pair of new beer out this week, the first is the latest in their Drawing Board Series, debuting in a 4-can Boombox mixer pack that is available across the province now. Rosemary Hibiscus Gose pretty much describes itself, with the 4.5% lightly tart sour ale featuring a touch of salinity, and using rosemary as a complement to the coriander the traditional German recipe employs. And drawing inspiration from their own Hew and Draw hotel at 55 West Street, Hewers Light Lager is a 3.9% American Light Lager, light bodied, crisp, and refreshing. Available on-site as well as in NLC, Maries Mini Mart, and Orange Stores across the province (on its own and in the aforementioned Boombox Mixer packs).

Garrison Brewing has brought back the first winner of their Home Brew-Off competition,Nit Wit Belgian Style Wheat beer. Brewed in the Witbier style, this O.G. hazy beer style features orange peel and coriander to lend some citrus and spice to the character the yeast has already imparted. Cans are available now at both their Seaport and Oxford locations, and can be enjoyed on tap there as well.

Hopheads in Conception Bay Stout can treat themselves to the newest release from Ninepenny Brewing, The Devil’s Jackstone. This 8.9% DIPA is now available in the taproom and on select taps around St. John’s. Look for it to make its way into cans next week.

Rounding off the news this week is the Return of the Mack, DOA (aka Double Orange Ale), from Unfiltered Brewing. Single-hopped with boatloads of Citra, the blast of citrus entering every one of your orifices is enough to power up your weekend. Grab it in cans to go, or even better, their new corral on North Street, allowing them to serve pints onsite at Charm School for the first time in way too long.