Benjamin Bridge

All posts tagged Benjamin Bridge

Let us be the last to welcome you to December, folks. In a year that feels a decade long, we’re rounding the corner to what wild and wonderful things 2021 has in store for us. No matter what, there will be great beer and cider, so at least we’ve got that going for us! A full complement of new and returning options for you to seek out this weekend, and remember that many places are on reduced operations due to COVID restriction, so you’ll want to do a double-check before hopping in your car to visit. Better yet, when possible choose contact-less delivery from those breweries and restaurants offer it, and tip generously. Be kind and drink well, friends!

The Change is Brewing Collective is back with their latest collaborative release, this time with Dartmouth’s Lake City Cider. Forest Glory is a 6.8% ABV blend of many different fruits and herbs all grown or foraged in Nova Scotia and featuring contributions from Stirling Fruit Farms, Terra Beata, East Coast Wild Foods, and Riverview Herbs. Starting with a blend of apple and cranberry juices fermented dry, it was infused with a tincture of juniper, thyme, and rosemary — we hear that the blending and herb selection day was a feast for the senses, as evidenced by the social media posts. Not only does the cider taste great, but it looks great too! Collective member Amber Zaza created a festive and meaningful design featuring the ingredients in a repeating wreath pattern, inclusive of the season, and for whatever reason you choose to celebrate. Proceeds of sales are going to a local non-profit supporting BIPOC youth and community-building.

From Change is Brewing, they “are more motivated than ever to continue promoting diversity & inclusion in the craft beverage industry, and exploring the different opportunities available to BIPOC folks in this province,” so keep your eyes peeled here and on their Social Media (Fb/Ig) for their next Brewing 101 and other events and releases. Grab Forest Glory at Lake City’s retail location, and/or for delivery in HRM, right now! Their in-person event planned for this Sunday is on hold due to COVID restrictions, but they’ll be doing a virtual event later in the month.

Like several areas of New Brunswick, the Moncton region remains in the Orange zone, but that isn’t stopping some of the local breweries from helping you get your beer fix! CAVOK Brewing, still open for pints with your bubble members, as well as takeaway beers, has a brand new New England IPA for the weekend. Got Wings? was brewed with a grist of 2-row and CaraRed malts, along with some oats, and was hopped with a wide variety of hops, including Chinook, Magnum, Citra, Mosaic, and Amarillo. Conditioned on tangerine and pineapple purée “for a sharp, upfront taste of bitter oranges and some fruit sweetness”, you can naturally expect even more citrus, fruity, dank aromas and flavours from the hop additions. With a fairly-low-for-an-IPA ABV of 5.8% ABV, you can find this medium-bodied hop bomb right now at CAVOK on tap and in cans.

Mount Pearl, Newfoundland’s Landwash Brewery is celebrating their Second Anniversary this weekend, and are releasing two new beers to mark the occasion. Awesome! Fresh off the canning line just this morning is the latest in their exploration of the American IPA style, Anchor Rode. This 7.2% IPA features a heavy dose of Strata hops, a newer variety related to Perle, and features a dank character along with plenty of juicy tropical notes of passion fruit, grapefruit, and strawberry. Cans, pints, and fills are available now!

And for those digging a big bold barreled beer, enter Landwash’s The Barrelman. Locals will recognize who this is referring to, but for the rest of us, The Barrelman was the name adopted by Joey Smallwood during his history and culture radio show broadcast in the 1930s and 40s. The beer stands as tall as the man, an American Barley Wine that spent 8 months in Bourbon barrels (American Oak, natch), taking on plenty of vanilla and a touch of booze, along with plenty of toffee and dried fruit character from the base beer. At 10% ABV, it’s perfect for nights huddled around the radio. Cans are also available in their retail shop now, and it’ll also be on draught when the taproom opens at 3 PM. Congratulations on your first two years, Landwash Crew, you have lots to celebrate, and more great things coming! Check their Social Media for details of events they’re holding over the next few weeks, including Slay Belles Drag Brunch next Sunday, as well as plenty of live music.

Tonight you will be visited by three spirits … ok, maybe it’s too early to start reciting Christmas Carol lines, but if you’re in the mood for a spooky beer, check out Good Robot’s release of Uncle Giggle’s Hazy APA. This 5.1% juicy pale ale is an homage to Disney’s Haunted Mansion which inspired the many of the design aspects of GR’s upstairs bar, the MouseTrap. Expect citrusy aromas with floral and grapefruit flavours from the Magnum, Citra and Equinox hops, which were paired with a grist bill featuring pale malt and flaked wheat. Grab some today from the Robots at their retail store on Robie Street or stay home and order delivery through their webstore

Over in PEI, Montague’s Copper Bottom is happy to announce the latest entry in their Field Trip series, consisting of kettle-soured, fruited beers. Field Trip: Tangerine was brewed with a very simple recipe of Shoreline Malting 2-row, soured with Lactobacillus, and fermented with a clean ale yeast strain. Conditioned on loads of tangerine puree, the resulting 5% ABV brew is tart and sessionable, with “a moderate tangerine and tangerine pith character”. You can find it in the brewery’s taproom, online for pickup and delivery options, and in this year’s Advent Calendar from Harvest Wines. And if you were a fan of CB’s NorthPaw Rye IPA (6.5% ABV) when they first launched it, good news, as a fresh batch is now available! Hopped with Amarillo and Cascade to 40 IBUs, this time around it’ll be available at select PEILCC locations, as well as at the brewery and online.

If you’re feeling more in a Lager-ish kinda mood, Tatamagouche Brewing has you covered with their latest, Arvo, a Helles Lager. A style brewed to be clean, easy-drinking, and a showcase for good malt and noble hops, Tata’s take on the style features a grist of mostly Pilsner malt, with a little bit of Honey malt and Carapils thrown in for good measure. Mash-hopped with Czech Saaz, more Saaz and some Hallertau Mittlefruh were added in the boil, for a total calculated IBUs of 26. Fermented with the Isar Lager strain from Escarpment Labs, the final beer is right where you’d want it at 4.6% ABV, and is just what you’re looking for when you need a beer that is approachable, sessionable, and flavourful… without smacking you in the face too hard with, well, anything! Available at the brewery store for growlers and cans, and of course you can order it online (lots of great shipping options for all around the country!).

TataBrew also has a couple of other favourites returning: Elixir, their Pale Ale fermented with the Krispy Kveik yeast and hopped with Elixir and Mistral, two French varieties, is currently available on tap and in cans; and Giantess, their award-winning Barley Wine, a big (11% ABV!!), bold, delicious beer, can be found in store/online in 650 mL bottles. Two completely-different beers, yet both tasty as all get out!

Cole Harbour’s North Brewing has had a big couple of weeks, what with the release of Stack o’ Pancakes and their new and vintage collaboration beers with Benjamin Bridge, all of which we’ve mentioned over the past couple of weeks. This week saw the release of another beer we mentioned two weeks ago as on-the-way, SoP’s “sister” beer, Cinnamon Bun Stout. But they haven’t stopped there! Out today is a very special version of their original pastry stout, Twinkle Pony. For those who remember, this was a stout brewed with Tiramisu components, including ladyfinger cookies, vanilla, and coffee, as well as plenty of chocolate malt. As a special treat for all those folks who continue to ask for it, they not only made more, they made it MORE. Two barrels worth of a previous batch of this beer were socked into whiskey barrels for a solid 10 months before being blended with some newer stout then conditioned further on toasted coconut, cocoa nibs from Rousseau Chocolatier, and more vanilla. The result is a 9% ABV beer that will no doubt twinkle your pony. They’re calling it Coco Pony and if you’re into it, you should act quickly: only 900 cans have been produced! Grab it through on-line ordering for curbside pickup or delivery, or responsible socially distanced retail!

This is the time of year when some of you start craving certain Christmas candies, which inevitably means that similarly-themed beers will follow. With Dieppe’s Flying Boats, they’ve added a new beer to their Small Batch Brewing series, Midnight Express, a “Double Chocolate Orange Porter” which most likely is inspired by the popular stocking stuffer, Terry’s Chocolate Orange. The beer is brewed in the English Porter style, with a grist that contains two different Chocolate malt varieties. East Kent Goldings hops were added in the boil, along with additions of bitter orange peel. More orange was added to the beer in the form of orange puree during the conditioning phase, with the end product showing off a “full-bodied dark chocolate flavour, hints of orange zest, and a nice, creamy finish”. It’s 6.2% and 28 IBUs, and was packaged in 750 mL bottles for purchase at the brewery, as well as select ANBL stores. 

Need a break from beer? Well, don’t forget that there’s lots of great, local cideries around Atlantic Canada now, with Halifax’s ChainYard being an excellent option. And hey, they’ve got a brand new cider currently available in cans, Cran’d Ole Hopry. This one is a cider made with Northern Spy apples that was dry-hopped with Cascade and Mosaic, and then aged on the cidery’s house-made cranberry wine. Lots of hop aromatics with this beauty, as well as a tart, refreshing finish of cranberry. It weighs in at 6.4% ABV; grab your 4-packs at CY right now!

Quidi Vidi has a few new beers in their Hop Shop and hitting NLCs and convenience stores this week. First up is Infinity Skull IPA, a juicy Idaho 7-heavy American IPA, featuring notes of apricot, lime, and pineapple. This collaboration was done with local tattoo artist Murray Brokenshire from Trouble Bound Studio, and of course features a pretty sick can design. Their Sofa Sours Series continues with the return of Strawberry Guava Creamsicle. Bright ripe strawberry and guava, with a touch of lactose to balance the acidity, makes for a refreshing, light, and fruity extension of the beer line. And finally, Imperial Black Forest Stout! As the name implies, lots of chocolate in the can, along with cherry and vanilla that will have you thinking of this heavenly dessert. Check their website for availability for pickup and delivery, in addition to those sent to the other retail locations.

As the holidays draw nearer, Atlantic Canadian beer drinkers collectively seek out a beer that is socially acceptable to crack open before noon (or is that just us?). Look no further, as Propeller is rereleasing its Mocha Oatmeal Stout. Brewed with chocolate and locally roasted coffee, expect flavors of espresso, milk chocolate and brown sugar in a 5.5% ABV package. As an added bonus, this year’s cans are of the nitro variety, leading to a creamier, smooth mouthfeel and the classic cascading head caused by the nitrogen. The kegged version was carbed using CO2, so grab a growler while you’re at it to compare and contrast the two styles. Available today at Prop’s three HRM locations are via home delivery through their webstore.

Not to be outdone by all the other breweries doing some kinda boxy bundley thingy for the holidays (just a little late to the party 😘), 2 Crows Brewing in Halifax is stepping up the local content with theirs, calling it the Local Crate. Of course you’re going to get some lovely liquids from Brunswick Street, including 8 beers, 2 cans each of Refresh and Fantacity, 1 Laurel, 1 I Love You, and a bottle of Terry (the last two are exclusive early releases!) as well as 4 cans of Hop Water and a lovely limited release 2 Crows Arome beer glass to enjoy them all with. But you’ll also get a loaf of sourdough bread, a bag of granola, and an enamel pin from Birdies Bread Co., and Milosh Mustard (yep, mustard made with 2 Crows Milosh Helles-style lager) and Apple-Shallot Chutney from Good Luck Café & Pantry. Check out the pretty pictures at their web store, but don’t spend too long fawning, if you want one of these you need to place your order by December 10th; they’ll be ready for pickup or delivery on December 12th. 

Nothin’ doin’ this week in terms of beer-related events, but let’s be honest, that’s very much the way it should be. As we adapt to increased restrictions, though hopefully not for too long, we’ll likely see some virtual beer events pop up again, which we’ll be happy to tell you about. And with that, here’s the traditional batch of shorter items to send you on your way to plan your weekend beer(s)!

Breton Brewing’s latest seasonal is a NEIPA named Into the Haze (6.6% ABV) that was brewed with Wheat malt from Shoreline Malting and plenty of delicious hops to give “notes of pineapple on the nose, and flavours of grapefruit, lemon, mango, and cantaloupe.” Available for pickup at the brewery, and online for delivery/shipping across Nova Scotia. 

If you’re interested in trying some cellared beers, particularly those of the higher ABV variety, check out Garrison’s Cellar Celebration.  Featuring releases going as far back as 2015, you’ll find long-time favorites like Spruce Beer, Ol’Fog Burner Barleywine, Wintervention and Baltic Porter. Check out Garrison’s webstore for all of the details.   

Grimross Brewing has brought back their Abbey Dubbel (pronounced “double”, not “doobel”!), but this time, the Belgian Dubbel is available in cans. At 7.2% ABV, and with “notes of dark fruit, banana, and allspice with toasty malt and a drying finish”, it’s just what you need for sipping on a cold (or, lukewarm?) late-fall night. 

Maybee Brewing has their own returning Belgian staple, Stone House Tripel. This pale-coloured, 8.4% ABV Belgian Tripel was originally one of the brewery’s flagship beers; if you’ve been missing it, you can grab it on tap and in cans at the brewery.

Halifax hop heads rejoice! Double Orange Ale is back at Unfiltered Brewing. The 7.5% DIPA you know and love is available now in cans and growler fills (Unfiltered glass only) on North Street, or via home delivery.  

This has been a tough week for our region, with localized spikes in the number of COVID cases bursting the Atlantic Bubble, and now the forced closing of in-person dining and drinking in Halifax and Hants County Zones. All is not lost, however, as most of your favourite breweries, cider houses, and Good Beer Restos are transitioning (back) to delivery and curbside take-away options. Or if your fridge is already full, consider picking up another set of gift certificates to help your local spot. Black Friday/Cyber Monday be damned, we’ll repeat here what we’ve seen elsewhere, “Buy Local, or Bye Local”. We’ll get our butts in gear with a full updated COVID list soon, but in the meantime, here’s the latest news on drinks to guide you to and through the weekend. As always, stay safe, stay kind, and drink well.

One of those affected breweries is Dartmouth’s North Brewing, who has closed their taproom at 899 Portland Street, though their retail shop is open (may we suggest Delivery and Curbside Click and Collect?), with the Side Hustle Snack Bar pivoting to Take Out only (Fri & Sat, 4 – 8 PM, menu here, must order by phone 902-444-7765). Hitting the shelves today is the latest in their series of collaborations with Benjamin Bridge, using a new variety of grape in the continuing hybrid releases. 2020 Saison de Lucie started life as a Saison base beer, to which 500 kg of freshly crushed, whole Lucie Kuhlmann grapes (juice, pomace, and skins) were added for a secondary fermentation. After sufficient tannic structure from the pomace and skins developed, the 7.4% ABV beer/wine hybrid was transferred a second time into bottles to complete conditioning, and carbonate naturally. The resulting bevvy is a wonderful melding of a crisp and effervescent Saison with a bold fruitiness from the Hazuki Vineyards grapes. Bottles of 2020 SdL are available for delivery (nation-wide, btw), and pickup at their Portland Street and Battery Park locations.

Also on shelves today is the Barrel-aged version of their 2019 Saison de Petite Pearl, which was allowed to build some oak character while sitting in a barrel for 10 months, before undergoing final maturation and natural carbonation in the bottle. Just one barrel was prepared, meaning this is a small release of just 25 cases, so seek it out today if you’re interested.

Adding to these two brand new releases are a dive in the cellar for the un-oaked 2019 Saison de Petite Pearl, as well as the Barrel-aged 2018 Saison de Chardonnay, both 7.4% ABV, and available online.

For those of you isolated in St. John’s (hey, there’s way worse places to be stuck!), you may want to mosey on over to Bannerman Brewing, where they have a pretty new beer on tap. Strange Overtones is a 7.5% ABV Sour IPA that was brewed with lots of flaked oats to increase haziness and give the beer a smooth, creamy mouthfeel, as well as a little lactose powder for some sweetness to balance the tartness. We’re unsure exactly what hop varieties were used in this one, but they’re describing the beer as “jammy, with flavours of berry, pine and candied citrus”. Oh, did we mention that it was also conditioned on plenty of blackberries? Yeah, that may explain at least a portion of the jammy descriptor! This one is available on tap only, so pop by for a pint and/or a growler.

Delta Force Brewing, Nova Scotia’s most clandestine brewery, has popped up again with another set of releases this week, and we’ve got the scoop for you! First up is Wessex, a 7.8% ABV English Barley Wine, featuring plenty of caramel and bread crust with a balancing bitterness to keep it from being too sweet. Full mouthfeel and maybe a touch of alcohol heat will reward those bold enough to take it on. Word on the street is that this one is in very short supply, so this may only be a tease for some readers (sorry not sorry, you can get on the shortlist for future releases by signing up to their mailing list via email, deltaforcebrewing@gmail.com). We understand there should be some Operation Barrow left at this point, however, so let’s expound on this one! This 7.0% English IPA started out traditional enough, using English malts and hops, but was instead fermented with Brettanomyces for a more funk-forward take on the style. While there is little doubt yeasts would have had some extra funky bugs in there due to a lack of modern sanitation practices, this is definitely a doubling down on this fact to gain complexity and character in the final product. Sounds like a winner to us!

Delta Force also has a trio of bottles from their previous releases with less-than-waterproof labels, which means they may not exactly be pretty, but the beers inside are still damn tasty. And with a bit of a discount, that’s pretty sweet!

  • Anderlecht is their Trappist Single-inspired ale, with a touch of Brett funkiness, a 6.0% ABV ode to Guy of Anderlecht, the patron saint of sheds. Delta Force is a Farmshed brewery, after all!
  • Mean Time is a 5.6% ABV English Bitter with a touch of Brett, featuring their own Greenwich-grown hops! Bit of funk, a bit of floral from the hops, all good.
  • Operation Assay is their Kveik Pale Ale, a 6.3% ABV quaffable elixir with just a smattering of hops.

All of the Delta Force Brewing beers can be ordered via email (deltaforcebrewing@gmail.com), $40 minimum for free contactless delivery within HRM (or so), and they’ll fill you in on anything else necessary.

Chester’s finest and pride of Lunenburg County, Tanner Brewing, have an Old Black Forest restaurant pop-up this weekend, as part of the Chester Village Christmas. Their latest release is right on theme, as Black Forest Milk Stout is available today!  From the brewery, “Inspired by the delicious cake itself, this stout was finished with milk sugar towards the end of the boil and then fermented with cherry puree, vanilla & chocolate.”  This 6.9% ABV and 25 IBU stout can also be ordered with a slice of Black Forest cake, available at the brewery or even online as part of their delivery. Online slice of cake orders? Welcome to 2020! We encourage you to follow local guidelines when placing in person and online orders, as they will deliver as far down as Bridgewater. Typical delivery days are Fridays if you can’t make it to the brewery. For those in Halifax, keep an eye on the online store and when local guidelines allow you to get this tasty new release.

After all the fantastic news this week (if your sarcasm meter isn’t going off, you’d better check its batteries), you may find yourself craving something a little on the stronger side. Those of you in Moncton are covered by Tire Shack’s latest bottle release, Into the Void, a Russian Imperial Stout weighing in at a whopping 11.9% ABV. No doubt brewed with a complex grist of multiple specialty grains, it’s showing off “prominent flavours of dried fruits (dates and figs) and some molasses, followed by espresso and a tinge of bitter chocolate.” Accompanied by a smooth, heavy body, the alcohol is warming, yet not one bit harsh. The perfect beer for sipping by a fire, or chugging in an attempt to escape reality (that being said, nobody really recommends that approach!). Lots of bottles at the brewery for the weekend, drop by to stock up, as this one should be a great beer for cellaring.

If you’re looking to scratch the spiced holiday beer itch, check out Good Robot this weekend for their release of El Zorro Spiced Dark Lager. Coming in at 4.4% ABV, expect the familiar spice notes of a winter warmer. This one is also gluten reduced, with less than 20 PPM of gluten. While their beer store is open for pickup, the Robots are encouraging you to stay home by doubling down on their BeerMiles delivery rewards this weekend, and Tripling them today only! Check out their webstore for more info. 

Just one event on the books for this week, but it’s a good one:

Borden-Carleton’s Lone Oak Brewing is celebrating the opening of their onsite kitchen today, The Abby. Run by the very capable folks behind the Wheelhouse in Georgetown and the bright pink Terry’s Berries food truck outside the brewery this summer. Think handhelds and sides, with plenty of pairing opportunities with the Lone Oak beers on tap. This kitchen opens today at 4 PM, and is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11:30 until 7 or later, all winter. And what better way to celebrate than with the return of Trivia with Dan and Spencer, starting at 7 PM. And from 9 PM until close, Fraser McCallum will take the stage for some live music. Tomorrow evening will see Brad Milligan & Griffen Arsenault playing 7 – 10 PM, and Sunday Brian Dunn ft John MacAllar,  1 – 4 PM. What a full weekend, jam packed with great beer, food, and fun!

This is where we usually say, “A few short things before we leave you to your weekend,” but really this week there’s a lot. So, enjoy a lot of short things (plus a bonus feature) before we leave you to your weekend!!

In Dieppe, NB, CAVOK Brewing has a brand new beer on tap, Pear”adise”. A 5.9% ABV Saison brewed with local, fresh pears (from Crooked River Farm, out of Memramcook), as well as an addition of Grains of Paradise, you can grab it in pints, crowlers, and growlers, for on-site drinking (in your bubble, naturally), takeaway, or delivery.

Also in Dieppe, we get a new IPA release from O’Creek Brewing, SOLOH IPA. Featuring Talus hops, a cultivated daughter of Sabro, this should come with big aromas of citrus, floral and fruit aromas, with big orange and tangerine flavours. Available on tap right now at CAVOK. 

Back in the big city, check out Garrison Brewing for their annual release of Spruce Beer. This year’s version features spruce and fir tips from their friends at Meander River Farm and the usual addition of Blackstrap molasses. In response to the current conditions, Garrison is also expanding its home delivery options. And have started a “Save the Tax” offering for all of their merch, on now until the end of the year. Check out their webstore for more info. 

Hopping over to St. John’s, Quidi Vidi Brewing Co. is releasing the second of their Sofa Sour Series with Peach Raspberry Sour. This 5.6% ABV fruited sour is available now at the QV Hop Shop in cans. Check out QV’s web store for local delivery, available today and Saturday. 

Upstreet has brought back their popular DIPA, Third Place, an 8.5% ABV hop bomb featuring additions of Galaxy, Azacca, Mosaic, and Citra. Lots of tropical fruit and citrus in this one, as well as notes of “caramelized brown sugar”, likely from the use of some Victory malt in the grist. Available on tap and in cans at Upstreet and Craft Beer Corner, it’ll also be seen at Dartmouth’s Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse soon, as well as in select ANBL stores in New Brunswick in the New Year.

And finally, In the grand tradition of holiday cheer venturing northwards from our neighbours to the south, no doubt combined with so many taprooms shutting down due to lockdown and affecting on-site sales, many of the providers in our region, but especially in Halifax, are adding a bit of incentive to their online ordering this weekend (and, in some cases, beyond). If you’re looking to take advantage, PLEASE do read the details carefully on the brewery’s/cidery’s website for full details (limits, timeframe, etc.) before placing your order:

  • 2 Crows has lowered their minimum for free shipping to $30 and is including a 4-pack of Hop Water with every order until December 9th.
  • Annapolis Cider is ceasing shipping for the Winter months (cider can freeze in transit, which is a Bad Thing™) so they’ve set a flat shipping charge of $15 on orders over $100 anywhere in Canada (with some exceptions) until November 29th.
  • Lake City Cider is offering 20% off on all orders over $70 this weekend; as always, order by 1 PM for sameday delivery.
  • Murphy Hospitality Group are offering a $10 cash card when you buy a $50 in MHG gift cards via the MHG Gift Cards site from November 27th to December 31st. A reminder that MHG cards can be used at any MHG property, which includes PEI Brewing Company, PEIBC Beer Station, and the Gahan Beer Store. The cash card will be for use in January and February, 2021. Today (Black Friday) only, you get 2 x $10 cards for your purchase. On Cyber Monday you can get free shipping by using the code “CYBER MONDAY.”
  • Propeller Brewing has a sale on their Lime Lite lime-infused light lager all weekend long, with a flat of 24 cans going for $60.
  • Tatamagouche Brewing is having a buy 5 Get (Square) One Free promotion on where if you order 5 bottles of tasty Tata brews they’ll throw in a bottle of their Canadian Beer Awards Silver Medal winning Square One Saison.
  • As mentioned above, Good Robot is doubling your BeerMiles reward miles if you order online this weekend, tripling them today only.
  • Also mentioned above, Garrison Brewing has a “save the tax” deal on Garrison merchandise running until the end of the year.

We trust that everybody’s now comfortably back at work after the holidays, rested and refreshed and ready for whatever winter can dole out (residents of Northern NS, Cape Breton and Newfoundland may have already been well-tested on that front, but we trust we’ll all get our share before the season’s over). And a big shout out to all of those doing that whole Dry January thing; you’re now a third of the way to insanity success! For the rest of you, we’ve got plenty of news as always about new breweries, new beers, and all the other news we could gather.

Let’s kick off this week’s news with another opening in our region, New Maritime Beer. After launching their brand with a pair of beers this summer, they are now ready to welcome folks to their taproom at 55 Newcastle Blvd in Miramichi. The taproom is opening Saturday at 1 PM (until 11 or later if the party is still rockin’!), and open daily going forward (except for Mondays). They will be pouring an American Pale Ale, IPA, and Stout, brewed elsewhere while they complete the installation and commision of their brewhouse. The new equipment was manufactured by Saint John’s Copper Leaf Brewing Equipment, an 1800 litre brewhouse, and should be in full force next month. The 90 seat taproom features plenty of cozy touches like a fireplace, and plenty of comfortable seating. While they do not yet have food onsite, you can feel free to bring or order your own in. Keep an eye here, and on their Social Media (Fb/IG) for news of new releases (we’ve already heard tell of Juicy and West Coast IPAs, as well as more Pale Ales, Stouts, and Session IPAs coming down the pipeline once they are fully open).

Sea Level Brewing at Millstone Harvest Brewhouse in Sheffield Mills has a brand new release on the taps (and coming soon to cans) these days. A Light in the Dark is a 4.0% ABV Kolsch Ale, the latest of their beer releases to use barley grown at their farm, and malted at nearby Horton Ridge Malt & Grain. Opting for a light-coloured and sessionable beer at a time many seasonals are going dark and heavy, there is still plenty going on in the glass. The beer also features Cascade grown at the farm, complemented by Glacier grown by Fundy Hops. The beer is available now on draught at the Brewhouse (for onsite enjoyment or to go), with growlers, and soon cans, at their Port Williams location as well.

Speaking of Horton Ridge, they have a new beer available this week as well. When you’re a combination malt house/brewery and you’re looking to use up a previous crop of grain, you build a beer around it! That’s exactly what they’ve done with The Ridge Rosé, a Farmhouse-inspired Pale Ale. The grist was made up mostly of Queens Pale Malt, a variety of barley developed in PEI that gives an earthy malt profile, which works well in Farmhouse styles, according to Horton Ridge. Also brewed with a touch of Rye malt, and hopped with Saaz, the goal was to brew a base beer that would provide a good amount of malt character, yet also allow the secondary ingredient to shine through – in this beer, Muscat grape skins from Benjamin Bridge and Luckett Vineyards. After aging on the skins for close to two months, the 5% ABV beer has taken on tart, fruity flavours, as well as a subtle maltiness. It’s pouring on tap at the brewery, where you can also pick up some cans to take home.

Last summer, Off Track Brewing released a pilot batch of Boatload of Nerve, an experimental DIPA. Availability was obviously quite limited, and the beer went over very well, so luckily for us they’ve scaled it up and brewed a full batch! Hopped with a blend of El Dorado and Mosaic, this 8% ABV, 95 IBUs DIPA sports “notes of pear and mango, with a slight hint of pine”, as well as a touch of herbal/earthy character. Slightly hazy, it’s only available on tap… however, future batches MAY be bottled if the demand is there. For now, your best bet to find it is at the brewery .

Halifax’s Garrison Brewing has a new release out this week, sure to satisfy the hop lover on your list (in addition to yourself, of course!). The latest in their Hop Trip series, Southern Hemisphere IPA is 6.0% ABV, and while it is 30 IBU on paper, the hops are certainly the star of the show. Using loads of Galaxy, Topaz, and Vic Secret, three Australian-grown hops. Intense aromatics of passion fruit, melon, grapefruit, and pineapple come through thanks to the generous use of hops throughout. The beer is available on draught for samples, pints, and growler fills at their brewery at the Seaport, as well as the Oxford Taproom, with cans available at those locations as well as a few NSLC and private stores. And for the month of January, all sales/donations through Popcorn with a Purpose, a charitable endeavour at the Oxford where popcorn sales are donated, will be going towards the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery.

Friendly alert for those of you in or around Liverpool NS: local brewery Hell Bay has just released Barrel-Aged Brown Ale, a 9.5% ABV Brown that was aged for six months in Bourbon and rum barrels from Lunenburg’s Ironworks Distillery. Featuring a “rich, brown malt body with distinctive rum flavour”, it’s sure to pack a punch with that high ABV, despite the alcohol character being nicely hidden. Bottles are limited, so don’t wait to pick up a couple, as no doubt they’ll age in your cellar perfectly!

Something new and hoppy fresh out of 2 Crows this week, a 5.4% ABV, 31 IBUs New England IPA named Merida. Hopped very heavily with Mandarina Bavaria, Huell Melon, and experimental hop Bru-1, you can expect plenty of juiciness in this one, along with “Tang, pineapple, stone fruit, and cantaloupe vibes”. Available on tap and in cans right now at the brewery. And hey, even more good news – while there, why not grab some cans of the latest batch of Waltz, their German Pilsner? This batch was tweaked slightly, as the beer was brewed with 100% PEI grown-and-malted Shoreline Malting Pils malt. They’ve played with the dry-hopping technique as well, making this iteration “extra bright”, with more floral and lemon notes than usual.

Hanging nearby Rothesay, NB this weekend? Pop on over to the Hammond River taproom, where they’ve tapped a brand new experimental beer. Another entry in the brewery’s Dry-Hopped series, Dry Hopped Sour (Sorachi Ace). The base beer is a Berliner Weisse, kettle-soured with HR’s house Lactobacillus strain. This particular batch was dry-hopped entirely with Sorachi Ace from local Moose Mountain Hop Farm, giving the beer plenty of lemon notes in the aroma and flavour, to complement the tartness in the finish. And hey, if you can’t get to Rothesay, you should be able to find it on tap at The Joyce in Fredericton. And at only 3.5% ABV, you can have a couple and not feel too guilty!

If you’re feeling more cidery this weekend (is that a thing? It should be!), Annapolis Cider Company has you covered. They’ve launched the latest in their Something Different series, a sparkling cider and wine blend named Harvest Rosé. Marechal Foch (a hybrid French red wine grape) was locally harvested, with the juice co-fermented with fresh-pressed Gravenstein apple juice. This dry, cider-wine blend was then FURTHER blended with small batch, dry Gravenstein ciders which were prepared by the Annapolis Cider retail staff, fermented using four different yeast strains. Still following along ok? Great! Finally, fresh-pressed Geneva Crab apple juice, a “red-fleshed apple variety”, was added to finish it all off. The result? An “elegant, off-dry rosé cider with bright acidity, and notes of red berries and fresh apples”. It comes in at 7.2% ABV, and $0.50 from each refillable bottle purchases will go towards Ronald McDonald House Charities Atlantic

Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing isn’t slowing down one bit as we’ve moved into 2020, and they’ve got two new beers pouring at their taproom to prove it. The first is Captain’s Orders Hopfenweizen, their take on the hoppy Hefeweizen style. Brewed with a 50/50 blend of German Pale and Wheat malt, it was hopped with Magnum and Hallertau Blanc in the boil (to 35 IBUs). Fermented with a Weizen strain, the 6.5% ABV beer was then lightly dry-hopped with Amarillo. It’s showing classic Weizen aromas of banana and clove, along with some citrus thanks to the dry-hop addition. Medium-bodied and refreshing, it’s a great reminder of why this style shouldn’t only be brewed during warmer seasons! The next brew is Cross Island Common, a “modern take” on the California Common style. The malt bill includes Munich, Vienna, English Cara and Flaked Barley, with Perle hops going in the boil (to the tune of 30 IBUs). Dry-hopped with Eureka, the 5.5% ABV brew is exhibiting “herbaceous, hop-forward aromatics, with a candied orange undertone that leads to a palate of red berry fruits and toffee”. Finishing bitter and crisp, it joins the several other beers currently on tap at Shipwright. 

And in more Lunenburg brewery news, Saltbox Brewing will be opening a taproom and pilot brewery in the town this summer, under the moniker Lightship Beer and Cider. Located at 93 Tannery Road, the brewery and taproom will have an unobstructed view of Lunenburg Harbour from its place on the point. While the building design is still being finalized, we can tell you that it will feature indoor seating for 50 people, and a large deck with space for four times that number. A 2 BBL (230 litre) pilot brewhouse will be onsite, focusing on traditional German and other European styles, as an ode to the countries of origin of the early settlers in the region. In addition to those, a complement of beer from Saltbox’s main brewery in Mahone Bay will also be available on tap. The brewery space will also house some foeders which are perfect for long-term aging of some special brews. While the details of the kitchen and food offerings are still being ironed out, there will certainly be tasty offerings to pair with the beers pouring. We’ll keep you up to date on Lightship’s progress over the next months, and you can sign up to learn more on their website.

And in “a brewery we haven’t spoken about in a little while” news, we have some updates for you thirsty New Brunswickers looking for more beer (and info) regarding Valonray Brewing in the Shediac River area. Just over a year ago, they switched focus from clean European- (mostly Belgian-) inspired beers to those with mixed cultures and taking much longer to produce, and therefore their regular debuts stopped. The first of that line was Rouge Provision, a 5.0% ABV light-coloured beer first fermented with a clean ale yeast strain (familiar friend US-05), but underwent a secondary (and tertiary, etc, etc) ferm with a pitch of both Escarpment Labs’ Belgian sour blend, as well as a house culture of other Brett and Lacto strains built up onsite. The beer spent twelve months in a second-use Bourbon American Oak barrel, and then 6 months conditioning in the bottle. Available exclusively at the Picaroons shops in Fredericton and Saint John, we believe there are still a few bottles left on the shelves there. Bottles of their previous releases may still be available at your local ANBL locations. Future releases by Valonray are in the barrel and bottle now, as they continue their exploration of the Flanders Red Ale style. 

Don’t go waiting until Tuesday to wander over to Good Robot for a taste of their latest Beta Brew, as they’ll be closed for a staff day. However, they will be releasing Alternative Roots, their latest BB, on Sunday, January 12th. This one is billed as a Fruit Beer, with beet chiffonade added at the end of the boil, giving the final beer a “wild pink colour and a deep, earthy aroma”. Coming in at 5% ABV and 20 IBUs, drop in at the end of the weekend for your taste.

There are some very cool beer-focused events coming up over the next little while that we thought you should know about:

Halifax’s Stillwell Beer Bar is hosting an event with Toronto’s Burdock Brewery tomorrow, Jan 11th, at their Barrington Street location. Featuring 3 draught offerings, and more than a dozen canned and bottled brews available as well, there will be something to satisfy everyone’s palate. And as is routine for Stilly, they will have some special menu items on the go, including Mac & Cheese Arancini. The featured beers are available from opening at noon tomorrow, and around until… well, we’re not exactly sure, so your best bet is to visit earlier in the day!

If you instead find yourself 260km Northwest of Halifax tomorrow, may we suggest dropping into Moncton’s Tide & Boar Gastropub for their own takeover/feature, where they are showcasing the beers of Alberta. The Alberta Craft Beer Tap Takeover will have beers from more than a half-dozen breweries across the province, including Alley Kat, Banded Peak, Blindman, Brewsters, Grizzly Paw, New Level, and Troubled Monk

HopYard’s original location in Charlottetown, PEI, is hosting a Battle of the PEI Breweries 2020 event over the course of the next couple of months that will see eight breweries compete for Island supremacy, with the champion being crowned at the Finale on Thursday, February 20th. But to get to that point there first needs to be a tournament, and that tournament started last night as recent ACBA Brewery of the Year Bogside Brewing squared off against PEI’s OG brewery, PEI Brewing Co, with Bogside pulling out a slim victory by 9 glasses. The next 3 Thursdays will see the remaining battles in the first round, with Moth Lane taking on Copper Bottom on January 16th, Lone Oak battling Evermoore on January 23rd, and Barnone taking on Upstreet on January 30th. The two Thursdays after that (February 6th and 13th) will be the two semi-finals before the final showdown a week later. So whether you’re local to Charlottetown or just find yourself on the Island on a Thursday night over the next six weeks, HopYard will be an excellent place for a fun night of drinking beer and voting with your tastebuds.

And speaking of PEI beer and Lone Oak in particular, the brewery and taproom have been open for a little while now, but they haven’t had themselves a proper party to make it all official-like. That will change on Saturday, January 25th, starting at 4 PM when they’ll be hosting a big Grand Opening celebration. One musical act, Max Koughan and The Poets has been confirmed, with two more surprise musical headliners to be announced the evening of. Cover charge will be $20 per person at the door, and the beer will also be flowing, of course. So make your plans to be in Borden-Carleton in two week’s time (but we’ll very likely give you a reminder nudge the day before).

And we leave you, as always, with a few brief beery mentions:

Firkenstein Brewing has a new brew joining their regular tap lineup – Chili & SubLime (6%) is “light and refreshing, with a bit of zest, along with just a hint of chili spice”.

Flying Boats may still be pouring Black Currant Blonde Ale at their taproom; this latest one-keg-only Brewer’s Test Recipe is brewed with local black currants.

Iron Rock Brewing has a pilot batch available exclusively at their taproom – Farmer’s Junction Red Saison is their Railbender Red fermented with Old World Saison yeast from Escarpment Labs. Caramel and toffee notes abound, along with spice and herbal character; only two kegs available, so get in, quickly!

Team TataBrew has released Triple Beam Lagerbier, a 6% ABV Lager dry-hopped with Cascade and Aramis. Easy-drinking and crisp, you can find it at homebase in Tatamagouche, and we hear that it’s been spotted at the Stillwell Freehouse as well!