Big Spruce Brewing

All posts tagged Big Spruce Brewing

Folks, it’s lunch time on Friday. That means it’s time for your weekly dose of too-much-beer-news-to-digest-in-one-sitting-so-you-better-grab-a-second-pint, to get you excited for the rest of your weekend plans and beers. Special thanks to Damian for stepping up and helping out on last minute notice, otherwise today’s release would have been a lot shorter and a lot duller. OK, enough navel gazing, on with the beer news!

Starting with big news and the first brew out of Propeller Brewing’s Quinpool location, Black is Beautiful, signifies the first Atlantic Canadian release of the international movement. The recipe is by initiative founder Marcus Baskerville of Weathered Souls Brewery in Texas. Over 1,000 breweries have brewed the beer with the same goal: to raise awareness of injustices faced by people of colour, as well as money to benefit Black communities. Please check out more information here: https://blackisbeautiful.beer/ Locally, Propeller will donate all proceeds from this beer to 902 ManUp, a community group working to create “lasting solutions to violence involving young black males and promote community self-empowerment, educational achievement and economic opportunities through a committed, collaborative and accountable presence within Nova Scotia.” They work with all marginalized individuals to create real change. The Prop Shops will also be offering the option to add a donation to any purchase through our stores until the beer runs out, and Propeller will match those donations to increase the benefit this beer can have. The recipe was developed to highlight the different hues and shades of black. It is a full bodied oatmeal stout with complex flavours and aromas of roasted malt, dark chocolate and coffee coming in at 5.0% ABV. The beer is available today for pints and growlers at both their Quinpool and Gottingen locations. Joining Propeller, Tatamagouche and Tidehouse will also be releasing their versions of Black is Beautiful in the coming weeks.

Our socially responsible friends from Tatamagouche Brewing have a citrus twist on their highly crushable Dekorum with the introduction of Dekorum Lime. They added organic lime juice to the original Dekorum light lager. This addition has provided a ton of lime flavor to the beer as well as some acidity from all the citrus. This beer should be nice and bright for these hot sticky days. The beer was just canned and will be hitting Tata shelves soon and then available for private stores this week. Kegs will be going out this week as well of this 2.9% ABV crusher. Keep an eye out for their release of Black is Beautiful in the coming weeks, too!

Big Spruce Brewing in Nyanza, Cape Breton, has decided the world isn’t quite hazy enough, and are being the change they want to see. They have brought back recent favourite Hotel Alpha Zulu Echo (H.A.Z.E.) Kveik Session IPA, a 5.5% ABV beer brewed using the Hornindal strain of Kveik yeast, leaving the beer that features loads of Mosaic and El Dorado hops an opaque straw hue. And debuting this week is Tuanis!, a Guava Milkshake IPA. Clocking in at 6.4% ABV, this IPA features a blend of Cryo hops from Yakima Chief (produced using a process used to bump up the potential bitterness and aroma from hops by removing extra plant material), and is kicked up even further with additions of Organic guava and vanilla. A Latin American slang for “everything is all good”, we can see pints or bottles of Tuanis! in your future! H.A.Z.E. too, as bottles of both are available this weekend, in addition to the draught options pouring now.

And a late breaking addition to the blog was the Thursday evening release of a project a couple of months in the making… What happens when you take a freshly-emptied barrel that previously held Glenora Whisky, and fill it with the award-winning Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout? Wait 2 months, and you’ll end up with great things, that’s what! Picking up a touch extra alcohol from the barrel, but more importantly lots of great vanilla, caramel, and whisky notes too. And lucky for all of us, it’s available now! Limited release on this one (there are only so many barrels!), so we suggest making a bee-line for Nyanza, or better yet, check their online store for delivery across the province, and country.

Let’s switch gears to mead, and turn to Earltown, where Nova Scotia’s Mountain Meadworks calls home. They have a trio of mead expressions available these days, on the lighter side of the alcohol scale (7% ABV or less). Solstice Sour is a 5.0% ABV sparkling dry mead that was conditioned with rhubarb fruit for a strong flavour as well as the iconic acidic hit of the pink, red, and green stalks. Arboreal is a seasonal mead that saw the addition of fresh spruce tips in the mix. These were harvested along the North Shore earlier in the summer, and offer citrus as well as a bright spruce note to the 6.0% ABV dry mead. And latestly, keep your eyes open for Valley Buzz, a 7.0% ABV Cyser. Also known as “Apple Mead”, cyster features the addition of pressed apple juice to adjust the honey sugar concentration, lending a melding of many flavours, including some crisp and tart notes, and can be enjoyed cold, or simmered with some mulling spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. These and several more from Mountain Meadworks are available at the Truro Farmers’ Market, the Halifax Brewery Market Neighbourhood Goods General Store, online through the Truro and New Glasgow Farmers’ Market or by contacting them directly through their Facebook page.

Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill Beer Co has a pair of new beers on the go right now, one marking its debut after a long hiatus, and the other a country-wide collaborative brew. Back just in time to celebrate the release of the new Bill and Ted movie at the end of the month, Myld Stallyns English Mild began life a few years ago, the brainchild of Lunn’s Mill and local homebrewer Ian Dares, who asked the question, “Which is more righteous? English Mild in a cask, or in a keg?” Well both formats are back again for us to repeat the experiment, as well as cans for those inclined to take their testing to the beach or boat. And at just 3.9% ABV, we can see this blend of toffee, biscuit, roast, and just enough hop bitterness to balance being a welcome blast from the past. If you can’t make it to the brewery in the Annapolis Valley (Bummer, Dude!), you’ll be able to partake on tap at both Battery Park and Stillwell Freehouse in the big city.

Lunn’s Mill have also released their version of the Isolation Nation Canada-wide collaboration SMaSH, an innovation courtesy of BSG Canada and Hops Connect. With the COVID-19 heavily impacting the breweries across the country, these two companies responded by rallying and providing complimentary Rahr Malting Canadian 2-Row Malt and Sasquatch hops (ICYMI, these are Canadian-grown and developed, the first of their kind!). Joining 30 breweries across the country, Lunn’s Mill’s version is 5.2% ABV, hazy straw in colour, and featuring a lovely citrus flavour and aroma, notably mandarin orange, lemon, and tea. As this is a charitable beer, Lunn’s MIll is directing the proceeds to two local dog rescues near and dear to the owners’ hearts: Marley’s Hope and Misfit Manor Dog Rescue. Joining Myld Stallyns and a handful of others, cans of Isolation Nation are available at the brewery and for delivery, as well as on draught at the source, and coming soon to other taps in the Valley and Halifax.

Speaking of Isolation Nation, Halifax’s Garrison Brewing is also taking part in this brew, and has their version for sale now as well. The wonderful thing about the collaboration is that even though breweries were provided with the same malt and hops, there’s plenty of room for brewers to put their own stamp on it. To that end, Garrison has opted to produce a light and crisp 5.0% ABV Pale Ale, with notes of pine and citrus shining through from the Sasquatch, building on the clean palette left by the malt and yeast. Garrison is going all out with a canned release of Sasquatch SMASH, cans of which hit the shelves of their retail locations at both their Seaport and Oxford Taproom locations yesterday, and at the HRM-area private liquor stores without delay. Or if you fancy a pint, both Garrison locations are pouring the beer currently. 

Just up the road, Stillwell Brewing continues their foray into canned releases with the latest batch of their Stilly Pils. Following up on the recent small-can Kompakt Kolsch and Stillwell Dry, the Stilly Pils is an ode to several European (and Euro-influenced) takes on the Pilsner, from the Czech style showing off light malt notes, to Northern German pils exhibiting a solid bitterness, and the Italian Tipopils (and the US beers it inspired) pushing the hop aroma and flavour to the next level. Made with 100% Pilsner malt from Shoreline Malting on Prince Edward Island, it features Czech-grown Saaz hops, as well as German Tettnang and Hallertau to round out the bitterness and Noble hop earth and spice. Go on your own #pilsgrimage with Stilly Pils, available *only* in cans, which can be found at all three Bar Stillwell locations, to-go from their original location on Barrington Street, as well as from Stillwell Brewing direct for local and nation-wide delivery. Speaking of Stillwell HQ, don’t forget that they are hosting an Oxbow Brewing event tomorrow, with a full raft of beers a-pouring on draught and bottles and cans! And the kitchen will have some special additions to the menu, with a carnival theme running throughout; hot dogs, smoked turkey legs, caramel corn on the cob, and deep fried ice cream! Check their Instagram feed for the latest details on the food to match the beer. 

Speaking of Shoreline Malting and Prince Edward Island, 902 BrewCast released their August 2020 Tasting Episode earlier this week, recorded while still on/in PEI, and at the end of an epic day touring Shoreline and Island Hop Company. They’ll both be featured on upcoming episodes in the next few weeks, while this week’s episode sees (hears?) Kyle, Phil, and Tony drinking through a few of the beers they grabbed during the visit (and one White Claw they must have been handed at the border into New Brunswick), teasing what’s to come, and recounting their early morning and late night shenanigans. Give it a listen! And big congratulations to Tony and Danielle and Jack on the newest arrival to their family, Evangeline Marion! 💓

Straight outta Montague, PEI, we’ve got Copper Bottom Brewing coming with a Session IPA Sabro bomb. Their latest version of Flux, their Session IPA, is now available for purchase in the Montague taproom. The grist consists of Shoreline 2 Row, Shoreline Wheat, and flaked oats, giving it a nice pillowy soft body. Hit with Sabro hops at whirlpool and again at dry-hop. Pours hazy with big notes of pineapple, coconut, and mango. It’s 4.2% ABV and 25 IBU. It’s available in the taproom in Montague, PEI Liquor’s new Notables store in Charlottetown, and should be hitting Harvest Wines locations in the next week or so. Cans spotted at Stillwell, too!

We have great news from Sheet Harbour’s Sober Island Brewing, who have been keeping busy on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore. They have released a new West Coast IPA named Wavebreaker IPA. At 6.3% ABV, it’s on the lower end of the scale, but still packs a punch with plenty of iconic West Coast hops, including Centennial to the tune of 56 IBU, with notes of tangerine balancing the beer’s malt profile. Wavebreaker joins the other three packaged offerings from Sober Island, including Beth’s Black Oyster Stout, Beachstone Bitter, and Marigold Blonde. The Stout is currently in 40 NSLC stores across the province, with Marigold and Wavebreaker hitting the shelves at select stores next month. Or, better yet, you can grab them for home delivery from their online shop, with free deliveries to HRM on Thursdays for orders of $55. You can even grab a keg for enjoyment at home that way too!

After the introduction of their fruited sour Throwin’ Blueberries last week, the gang at TrailWay Brewing in Fredericton upped the ante this week with a triple play of goodness coming out of the brewery. Now granted all three are re-releases, but they’re pretty stellar lineup regardless. First up is the return of the vaunted Velvet Fog, the Milkshake IPA they’ve been playing with for a couple of years now. Back to the raspberry variant this time, they did make a slight tweak with the addition of a little bit of lime zest to keep it perky and summer heat-friendly. Of course, you’ll still find pure vanilla, lactose, and El Dorado hops ensuring it’s smooth, sweet, and packing a tropical fruity hop punch. Cans were released Tuesday and are likely going fast.

Next up is a TrailWay favorite, Seeing Citra, their single hop Citra bomb. Fresh as all hell, it was packaged yesterday, so if you grab some cans on Friday it’ll be like slurping straight from the brite tank. And even better news on this one, it’s not just back for a weekend, not just back for a day, but you’ll be walking on this Citra sunshine for the next four months or so. You’ll also be able to find it well outside the environs of Fredericton as it’s seeing province-wide distro at ANBL stores starting early next week. 

Lastly for this week is the latest iteration of El Generico, TrailWay’s basic sour. This time around they’ve hit it with blackberry and lime for a sweet and fruity character balanced by tart fruit, a pop of citrus, and the usual sour base. Sounds like an excellent beer for the height of summer, which by our calculations is right about…now. And if you’re reading this from outside Fredericton or especially outside NB and you’re wishing you could get your hands on these beers, fret no more! Trailway is now shipping not only to their home province, but the rest of Atlantic Canada and Ontario as well! Build yourself a box of 12 or 24 and let Canada Post bring it to you! 

Down the road a little bit in Rothesay, NB, Hammond River Brewing has a new beer designed to fend off the summer heat and humidity with a little taste of the tropics. Nominally an IPA, but firmly in the “session” category at 4.7% ABV, Mango Session IPA features, you guessed it, mango in the mix. Added post-fermentation, it gives a fruit-forward taste and aroma. Meanwhile, there’s plenty of Columbus and Australian Topaz hops in the mix to provide a firm bitterness to the tune of 51 IBU and an extra citrusy kick. We’ve got no packaging details on this one, but we do know you can find it pouring at the brewery.

Let’s cross the Confederation Bridge to Lone Oak Brewing for a pair of fruit-centric releases now on their shelves in Gateway Village, Borden-Carleton. First up is a brand new iteration of their South Shore Sour, with Blueberries and Haskap. Not just the same beer dosed with fruit extract, Spencer and Co went all out to create a new mixed ferment beer, featuring blueberries and haskap harvested and juiced by their good friends at Terry’s Berries (who are also responsible for the bright pink food truck parked outside, slinging banging lobster rolls, meatball subs, and more). The 5.2% ABV beer was dry-hopped with Simcoe and Hallertau Blanc to impart even more fruit character. Available now on tap, and to take away in 4-packs of 355 ml cans. And in more Terry’s Berries news, Lone Oak helped them bring their own vodka soda beverage to reality. Terry’s Berries Blueberry Lemonade features a whole pile of hand-pressed Island blueberries, with Myriad View Vodka to the tune of 6.05% ABV. Available now at Lone Oak, it will be on the shelves at PEILCC stores within the next little bit.

From one Island to another, St. John’s Newfoundland’s Bannerman Brewing brings back Pool Bar, a lactose IPA, abundantly hopping with Sabro and Citra. This milkshake IPA brings lots of coconuts and pineapple flavours coming in at 7.0%. Bannerman is also bringing back Permanent Vacation, their Mexican Lager, mildly hopped with Motueka and a combination of Pilsner and Vienna malt with a large addition of flaked corn. Light and crisp with a hint of sweetness, this beer comes in at 5.2%.

From the fine folks in Sydney, Breton Brewing is dropping another one of their 5 anniversary beers, Reel’em In Pale Ale, the 4th installment of their Anniversary Series. This dry hopped pale ale pours a brilliant, bright gold colour with a tight white head while Chinook and Simcoe hops provide a refreshing bitterness with hints of grapefruit and citrus zest. Expect dank, piney and fruity aromas supported by a soft and pillowy mouthfeel and some light caramel; it clocks in at 4.8% and 45 IBU. Reel’em In is available in their taproom and online in CBRM now, and will be coming to Halifax next week. There is one more release left in the Five for 5 anniversary release series, any guesses as to what it may be?? 

Riverdale Orchard is creating a destination cidery in Bonshaw, PEI, now offering a full menu of food options to go with their award-winning ciders. Open Thursday through Sunday, from 11 AM until 4 PM (and usually a little later on Fridays), their expanded deck and picnic table space can see you imbibing their 2 Scots 3 Apples original recipe, or the 2 Scots Go Wild, with wild apples and the yeast that live on them were allowed to undergo a low-and-slow fermentation to turn into something special. Food menu items include Quiche Lorraine and Sundried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese Quiche, Pulled Pork Roll, and Spicy Chicken or Bean Burgers served in an apple and cheese waffle. Head out to their ciderhouse and taproom at 582 Riverdale Road, or drop them a line to learn more.

Just a handful more items before we let you go today!

From our friends in Dieppe, NB, O’Creek Brewing has a new IPA from their DUOH series. This iteration features Citra and Vic Secret hops giving a smooth mouthfeel with citrus, piney and tropical flavours. Find this new brew at Tide & Boar in Moncton and Traffik in Shippagan.

Taking things to the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland, Ninepenny Brewing is releasing Route 60 sour + Black Currant as a variant of their Berliner Weisse. Grab this brew in the taproom for takeaway or stay for a pint as other flavours are getting restocked. 

As we teased last week, Shipwright Brewing in Lunenburg has released the next beer using the KRISPY Kveik yeast from Escarpment Labs. Black Harbour is a 5.5% ABV Black Lager, fermented under pressure on the cool end of the temperature spectrum (for a kveik), and then underwent a short lagering period before release. The Munich malt base, plus dark and roasted Malta shine through, with yeast esters (fruity notes) being subdued, allowing the beer to be crisp and refreshing. Grab it at the brewery for pints and crowler fills, and kegs may also be making their way downstairs to the Grand Banker.

Another job posting in our region, for those post-secondary students looking to break into/continue their work in the world of beer. Lab City’s Iron Rock Brewing is looking to hire a Production and Packaging Assistant for the fall semester, with the possibility of a full-time permanent gig at the end of it. Assisting in all aspects of designing, producing, and packaging beer, this position will be a tough but rewarding job for someone. Relocation assistance is available for the right candidate, too! Check out all the details, and apply, here.

A stark reminder this week that despite all of the great news above, we *are* in the middle of a pandemic, and ignoring it won’t make it go away. Inverness’ Route 19 Brewing has closed the doors of their taproom for a spell after a visitor from BC failed to sufficiently quarantine, and stopped into the restaurant Sunday. While there are no suspected cases of COVID-19 arising from the breaking of self-isolation (required to enter the Atlantic Bubble), customers who were in the taproom are advised to self-monitor. We applaud Route 19’s caution and are looking forward to them being able to open their taproom safely soon! As the visitor did not interact with the brewery, and sufficient cleaning protocols are in place, their brewing operations have not been affected. You can read more here.

Here we are heading into the the last week of July in Atlantic Canada and despite the strangeness brought on by COVID-19, the beer certainly still seems to be flowing, just via some different routes than we’ve been used to in previous years. While it’s still a bit of a complicated undertaking to sit and have a pint in a taproom or beer bar, with so many breweries keeping delivery offerings available, it’s gotten a whole lot easier to get beer to your home. We encourage folks to take advantage of this by maybe putting in an order from a further away brewery that they haven’t tried, maybe even across a Provincial border? Even better, get some friends together and do a few orders from a few breweries and have a little beer tasting party! THE FUN NEVER ENDS!! But seriously, ordering beer helps keep breweries afloat during times when tap room and keg sales are hurting. Ordering for pickup or delivery is convenient, usually quite quick, and a great way to help keep your thirst slaked and our scene surviving.

Sydney, Nova Scotia’s Breton Brewing celebrated their 5th Anniversary at the end of June, and are releasing five new beers to celebrate! The third in the series was released yesterday, joining Shipwreck DIPA and Right Some Good Dry-Hopped Sour. Ol’ Mick’s Grapefruit IPA is a 5.8% ABV American IPA which uses a splash of grapefruit juice to bump up the citrus and pithy character. Homebrewer Mike Morrison helped brew a similar beer with the Breton crew back in 2014, and now the rest of us can enjoy it too! Using malted wheat and oats on top of the base barley to get that soft mouthfeel, bittered in the kettle to about 45 IBU with a blend of American hops, and dry-hopped during active fermentation, Ol’ Mick’s pours like orange juice, with a brilliant colour and solid body. The beer is available at their 364 Keltic Drive taproom and retail shop, as well as online ordering for pickup, next day delivery within the CBRM, Halifax next week, and available province-wide as well (along with the last bit of Right Some Good).

If you’re making a break for the mainland from Sydney, you’ll be well-served to make a quick detour up the Yankee Line Road in Nyanza to Big Spruce Brewing. They are pouring two brand new beers this week, sub-5% ABV, perfect for enjoying in quantity. The first is The Inhaled Affirmative, lovingly named after the Cape Breton practice. This 4.1% ABV is firmly rooted in the Czech tradition, using Pilsner malt, natch, and plenty of Saaz hops for a blend of spicy and herbaceous aromatics on a base of bread and crust. Available on tap at the brewery, and soon at licensees around the province, it will also be on the shelves at Bishop’s Cellar in a cute 330 ml bottle, which means those across Nova Scotia will be able to partake (free shipping province-wide for orders over $150!).

And speaking of a cute beer, the Spruce has released Lilliputian, a Nano IPA weighing in at a very crushable 3.5% ABV. Speaking of “crushable”, we’re not sure how many Lilluputians were crushed in Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, but we can assure you they won’t be as tasty as the 6” tall bottles coming this weekend. Despite its diminutive stature, this is a bold expression of pineapple, candied fruit, and more, thanks to the Idaho Gem and Citra hops used in the brew. In addition to the brewery, look for it to be pouring at Battery Park before too long! 

Hanwell’s hometown brewery is bringing back a couple of favourites these days, including one from the archives that’s been months in the making. First up from Niche Brewing is Empty Garden, their 5.4% ABV Kveik-fermented APA, which they had the misfortune of releasing mid-April, when the province was pretty much closed. Their timing this batch is much better, now that most restaurants and bars have re-opened to safely serve customers. Featuring Nelson Sauvin and Enigma hops in the boil, with more of these, plus Galaxy, in a dry-hopping addition, the Ebbegarden strain of Kveik yeast (care of Escarpment Labs) was allowed to play in the wort at a toasty warm temperature, meaning a quick fermentation and lots of fruity character. Kegs of Empty Garden are at The Joyce Pub and 540 Kitchen and Bar in Fredericton, as well as Peppers Pub and Cask & Kettle in Saint John, and at CAVOK Brewing in Moncton, with a couple slipping across the border to Halifax’s Stillwell.

The second returning Niche beer is Golden Flair, their collaborative brew with Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing. First released in April 2019, this is a 5.9% ABV Saison fermented with a blend of the house cultures from both breweries. After primary, the beer was dry-hopped with El Dorado and Ekaunot, and conditioned on apricot puree for a spell, before spending 6 months in a Chardonnay barrel to round out and pick up a touch more character. A natural bottle conditioning interval allowed it to carbonate before release, with everything coming together in a tart, fruity, funky, and dry package. So, enough chatter, how can you grab the beer? They can be found at your local ANBL, with Fredericton’s York Street and the Moncton North locations jumping on the orders right away. If you don’t see it at your shop, see if they’ll order it in, as the managers have plenty of discretion for what is added to the shelves. CAVOK will also be selling some bottles at their taproom next week. For those who’d rather not leave home, DrinkNB will be adding Golden Flair to their roster very soon, check to see if you are within their delivery area! And for those wondering, that Chard barrel has already been filled with another beer, hanging out for a few months before release this fall.

Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery recently released a special beer that has been flying off the shelves since it became available. Brewed in honour of Captain Brenden Ian MacDonald, who was aboard the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter that crashed in April of this year, BMac Hazy IPA is a Session IPA that was hopped with one of the newer experimental varieties, HBC-692. Developed from a hybrid pollination from Sabro and open pollination, HBC-692 has been reported as showing “intense flavours of citrus, flowers, and wood”. Brightwood has confirmed lots of grapefruit flavours throughout BMac, all in a sessionable package. With $1 from each can and 15% of all draught sales going to the MacDonald family, the first run of cans sold out very quickly; luckily, more have been packaged and are now available at the brewery (and on their online shop any minute now, where you can also make a directed donation to the MacDonald family). Drop in quickly to pick up yours, and support a great cause while also being able to enjoy a tasty beer!

Testing your ability (and more importantly, your desire) to throw yourself back into the late 1990s, Secret Cove Brewing tries to pull you back with their latest beer, which they’ve named A Night at the Raspberry (fine, if you’re too young… here). This 4% ABV kettle sour was conditioned on lots of wild raspberries, with two additions – during the latter part of fermentation, and again once fermentation was completed. “Slightly tart and very crushable”, with some pleasant raspberry notes on the nose, you can find it pouring for pints and growlers at the brewery, and it’s also available in cans (some of which are being distributed to several NLC stores in the area).

In more sessionable beer news (summer is great for these low-ABV beers; heck, it’s awesome having them all year long!), Tanner & Co. has their very own to share with you thirsty Chester, NS folks. Hello Session Rye IPA is a 4.5% ABV SIPA brewed with – we feel safe assuming – a portion of Rye malt in the grist. Hopped with Simcoe, Cascade and Mosaic, the beer has aromas and flavours of pineapple, mango, and orange. Easy-drinking and lightly bitter, it’s available for purchase in growlers and bottles at the brewery and the Duke St. taproom. They’re also still doing home deliveries in the area, and are bringing the beer to the Lunenburg Farmers’ Market

In St. John’s, Bannerman Brewing has released their take/twist on an American Blonde Ale with their latest beer, Neon Lights. Brewed with a grist of Pilsner, Pale and Wheat malts, they lightly hopped the wort with Mosaic (not exactly commonplace for a Blonde Ale, but we doubt that anyone is complaining!). The final beer was conditioned on a large amount of lime, lemon, and orange zest, giving this light-bodied brew plenty of fruity flavours to bump up the refreshment factor. Very drinkable at 4.5% ABV, it’s available at the brewery on tap now, and should be in cans either today or over the weekend. 

Just in time for PEI’s 2020 Pride Week, Upstreet is re-releasing their annually-brewed Lavender Saison, Rainbrew. This popular beer is brewed with ingredients that represent the colours of the pride flag: strawberries (red), orange (PEI 2-row and Vienna malt), yellow (yeast), green (Belma hops), blue (water), and purple (lavender). The lavender and strawberries come through lightly in the aroma of this 5.5% ABV bright purple beer (come on, Anne, give it a try!), and this time around it is being released in cans! Drop by Upstreet or Craft Beer Corner to grab yours, so you can celebrate Pride in style. 

Keeping in the fruit-forward vein, there’s a new collaborative brew out from Dartmouth’s Lake City Cider and North Brewing. North’s B.Y.O.B, a light beer with lemon and lime zest, met Lake City’s Cider and blueberry and dark currant wines in a dark alley secondary fermenter and the result is Burst, a 5.3% ABV snakebite. Unlike a standard snakebite, which is a 1:1 blend of beer (usually lager) and cider each poured from the taps and possibly dosed with liqueur or cordial, the co-fermentation on this one could potentially make for a deeper integration of cider and beer flavors. You can be the judge of that; this one is available in cans from both Lake City and North as of this morning.

Bar Stillwell is hosting a 12-tap takeover from Quebec’s Brasserie Dunham tomorrow, July 25th. In addition to tasty, funky, hoppy, fruity, and sour beers, Stilly HQ is also turning over the keys to their kitchen to the fine folks behind CODA Ramen. Previously operating at Water & Bone, CODA has been doing at-home Ramen kits for a few months, and are popping up on Barrington to offer a few options for ramen as well as the necessary accompaniments. Due to physical distancing requirements, seating is being done by reservation only, in 2 hour slots, beginning at noon. Reserve your place at the table by emailing Sam with your party size and preferred arrival time. We hear there may not be many spots available, but maybe ask if there’s a waitlist? 😬

A few beer and cider notes before we call it quits today:

Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing has brought back their Dump Run Saves, the 4.0% ABV summer ale, featuring loads of peach, mango, and passion fruit, bumped up just a touch with a subtle El Dorado addition. Available on tap and in cans at the brewery right now!

Also in Freddy Beach, Coastliner Cider has done a major re-branding and introduced several new blends of cider, now in cans,  including the Maritime Original, Raspberry Rose, and Cherry Vanilla. Their full offering is available through DrinkNB, pop over there for satisfaction.

We’ll leave you with a tale of two provinces this week… New Brunswick opening up the ability for small breweries without a Brewers Agency Store license, to sell direct to customers. Details are still trickling out, but opening up avenues for producers to get their product in front of consumers is definitely a step in the right direction. A bit more info here, we’ll have more soon.

On the other hand…. The NSLC has changed the markup structure to aid one industrial brewery. The latest version of the Local Beer Production Policy, available here along with all of the Manufacturers’ Policies, now leads with the following text “To ensure fairness amongst all local beer producers, it is the policy of the Corporation that beer produced within the province by commercial, craft, and nano breweries, shall be subject to the same markup structure.” The problem is, the playing field is never fair when dealing with multi-national, multi-billion-dollar corporations, who have immense buying power, their claws into all aspects of the supply chain (anyone remember the South African hop fiasco a few years back?), and deep pockets to entice/induce sales of their product. It’s almost like the NSLC is thumbing their nose at the Auditor General’s report released last month. We’ll share more on this real soon, but encourage reading the new policies, and a good article and quick CBC bit from this week’s news.

Happy Friday everyone! Another week in the bubble, and we hope to give you a few solid ideas on what/where to enjoy a beer or cider this weekend! Be sure to say “Hi!” if you see us out, or tag us in your beery posts this weekend, we love to see what you get up to! Now, without further ado, today’s post!

Let’s start off with our fine friends at Tatamagouche Brewing, where they continue to experiment with Kveik yeast strains (is there any better way to experiment than with yeast? Serious question…). Their latest Kveik (or is it Kviek😘) beer is On Task Export, a beer brewed with Pilsner malt and a bit of Vienna, and hopped with Tettnanger and Hallertau Mittelfruh. This one was fermented with Escarpment’s KRISPY, a blend of two Kveik strains rumoured to produce “Lager-like beer in Ale time”. Lagered for a couple of weeks, the beer definitely still has some fruity Kveik characteristics, so while not completely Lager-ish, it’s tasty and easy-drinking. Designed by the brewery’s cellar crew – with a special shoutout to “packaging wizard” Jony Riley – with the idea of brewing a new beer perfect for summer work around the house, it’s a reasonable 5.5% ABV. Available in cans and kegs at the brewery now, with the same heading to the HRM next week, and always available at their online shop

And if classic English beers are more your cup of Earl Grey, we encourage you to seek out some of Tata’s English Bitter, a 4.1% brew with Pale malt for the base, a mixture of caramel malts, and a little bit of Chocolate malt, and hopped with East Kent Goldings and Fuggles. A beer just made for being served on cask, you can indeed find it just so at your favourite cask-serving-location (we’ve seen it at the Stillwell Freehouse recently), and kegs will be also hitting bars this week. Finally, Tata is also re-releasing Salt Water Cowboy, their 4.4% ABV Tequila barrel-aged Gose w/ lemon zest; look for kegs and 500 mL bottles to make their appearance over the coming weeks. 

For those of you who adore your hoppy Belgian beers (which truly are a beautiful thing, when you find a proper one), you’ll be happy to read about Stillwell Brewing’s latest beer, Dry. Designed with the intention of bringing you a low-ABV (4.2%, specifically), bone dry beer, it’s a mixed-ferm Saison that was dry-hopped with plenty of fresh Saphir. Packaged and can-conditioned in April, the dry-hop character is coming through at its peak now, giving the beer “a big, grassy, herbaceous character that plays well with the floral Saison fermentation notes”. A touch of tartness is present as well, with a firm bitterness in the finish. All three Stillwell locations will have cans of Dry available to drink on site, with HQ having plenty on hand for retail sale so you can enjoy one or six on your deck some hot, sunny day. Go!

Continuing with more mixed-fermentation fun elsewhere in Halifax, 2 Crows has the latest in their series of cocktail-inspired beers with Negroni. Named after and based on the dark red, Italian cocktail of the same name, this particular beer is actually a blend of three unique beers (very fitting, considering a proper Negroni cocktail typically is made with three different liquors/liqueurs). All three beers feature a golden sour base, but here’s where they differ: one was aged for 9 months in a freshly-emptied Amaro (ex-Bourbon) barrels; one aged in fresh Vermouth barrels; and finally, one aged in a gin barrel. Once all three were blended, 2C conditioned the final beer on a “complex” combination of botanicals (we think they’re being modest with the word complex!): fresh bitter orange peel and lemon peel, dried wormwood, calamus, fennel, sage, orris root, rosemary, cinnamon, clove, thyme, marjoram, juniper, coriander, as well as some hibiscus from World Tea House. At 5.5% ABV, this brilliant red beer is meant to resemble a proper Negroni cocktail, and it sure sounds like it does – the brewery describes the final product has having “orange and grapefruit zest leading the aroma, followed by a serious bitter kick and subtle herbal and woody aromatics”. Look for bottles of this beauty at the taproom starting tomorrow; they’ll also have a single keg pouring, which we recommend trying as well! You didn’t need us to recommend that, but we’re sticking to it.

There’s still plenty of summer left, and Spindrift has announced the details on their summer seasonal for this year, Sundaze Session Ale. Featuring a grist of Pilsner, Maris Otter, and Chit malt, it was hopped late in the boil with a healthy amount of Centennial and Galaxy, and whirlpool-hopped with Galaxy and Sabro. Fermented at cool temps with a neutral ale yeast, the beer was dry-hopped (midway through fermentation) with Centennial and Sabro. Coming in at a sessionable 4.5% ABV, the resulting beer shows off both the malt side (with biscuity characteristics) and the hop side (with “big notes of passion fruit, coconut, and tangerine”); expect little bitterness in the finish (20 IBUs, if that’s your thing). You can find 6-packs of Sundaze at the brewery, and in NSLC stores soon. If you’re nearby, they’re having an official launch party at the brewery tomorrow from 11 AM – 3 PM, with Buttered Bliss joining them to pair some scrumptious chicken sandwiches with their beer ($5 pints all day, and $1 off all sixers and growlers). 

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Milkshake IPAs are still a thing, and Big Spruce has brewed some tasty ones in the past. They’ve got a brand new one out right now, Tiguido, which is the French Canadian phrase for “just peachy” (we’ll have to trust them on that one). As you may have guessed, this release is a Peach Milkshake IPA, which was hopped and dry-hopped with a proprietary blend of Cryo hops from Yakima Chief (that means it’s a blend where we’re not exactly sure which varieties are used!). Brewed with lactose powder, and conditioned on vanilla and peaches (all organic, natch), it weighs in at 7% ABV and is “super fragrant, bursting with fresh peach flavour, and finishes soft and sweet”. Available right now at the Sprucetique in growlers, pints, and bottles, you can also find it on tap at Battery Park and the Stillwell Beer Garden. And if you’re looking for more fruity IPAs, Big Spruce has also got a new batch of Guava Get Me Some available in a limited supply; El Dorado and Mosaic hops, and lots of guava, all in a 6.4% ABV package.

Douglas, NB’s 3Flip Brewing has just launched the latest in their Rock God of Summer beer series, Limes Ulrich. This 6.5% American Wheat Ale was brewed exclusively with malt from PEI’s Island Malt House, and late-hopped in the boil with Amarillo. Conditioned on fresh lime zest in the fermentor, the final beer is light and crisp, “with a bright citrus lime flavour and aroma”. It’s billed as a crusher, but we recommend going easy at that ABV! Kegs should be hitting accounts any day now, and bottles will be available as well; keep an eye on their social media accounts for more details. 

We just told you about Shipwright’s first kettle sour last week, and they’re keeping the train rolling in that department, as their second sour just went on tap a couple of days ago! Surf Side is a 5% ABV kettle sour that was brewed with Pale Ale, Wheat, and Honey malt, and once soured and fermented, was dry-hopped with a 50:50 blend of Bru-1 and Citra. Featuring “aromas of grapefruit and lychee, leading to pleasantly-tart flavours of peach, citrus and pineapple”, it’s currently pouring at Shipwright’s taproom, and available to take-away in crowler format. 

Dieppe’s O’Creek has three brand new beers being released this week, providing two completely different tastes for the senses. First up are two of the latest in their DUOH series (NEIPA hopped with two varieties), DUOH: Nelson/Galaxy and DUOH: Sabro/Enigma. Both beers were fermented with the Foggy London strain, and hopped and dry-hopped with Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy, and Sabro and Enigma, respectively. Both are 6% ABV, hazy af, and showing off big hop aromas and flavours (of course, with those varieties!). Look for DUOH: Nelson/Galaxy at CAVOK Brewing and Euston Park Social, DUOH: Sabro/Enigma at Traffik in Shippagan. And if hoppy beers aren’t your thing, their next beer is Czech Affaire, a 5.5% ABV Czech Pilsner brewed with Pilsner malt and a bit of Munich and Carapils. Hopped with Sladek and Saaz, it was fermented with Escarpment’s Premium Pils, and lagered for over 2 months. Tasting clean and crisp, with a “fresh, bready aroma” and a firm bitterness, you can find it on tap soon at CAVOK. 

Propeller has gone ahead and released their IPA Day (Aug 6 this year) beer a little early, and it’s a tweaked version of one of their classics. They’ve taken their IPA recipe and double-dry-hopped it with Ekuanot and Citra, to give you DDHIPA. It’s still 6.5% ABV like before, but with the dry-hop additions it’s showing off aromas and flavours of pine, mango, and citrus, with a “slightly herbal taste and smooth, citrus finish”. It comes in their 360° cans, where the lid can be removed and the can used as a glass, and should be available at all three Prop shops today (and online for home delivery).

Head a bit further North in Halifax, and you’ll pass Good Robot Brewing on Robie Street. They are taking full advantage of their new canning system by packaging up another fresh batch of their award-winning El Espinazo Del Diablo Jalapeno and Lime Mexican Lager, as well as a brand new release, Purple Haze. The latter is a 5.9% American Pale Ale starting life as any other, but received a dosing of terpenes at packaging to skyrocket the smell and flavour to the next level. What are terpenes, you may be asking? These are the super-aromatic naturally occurring compounds that give pine needles, citrus fruit, lavender, etc, etc, their distinctive character. They’re also found in hops (a lot of the time when we talk about “biotransformation”, it’s these terpenes being transformed into another form), and its funkier and more potent cousin, cannabis. Centering on these, a blend of terpenes was used in this beer to mimic the distinctive aroma of the Purple Haze and Grandaddy Purp strains of weed, producing great aroma but without the high (sorry!). Think pine, citrus, melon, field berry on the nose, bumping up the contribution from the hops already in the beer. Cans of Purple Haze are available now in their retail shop, and online. And while you’re checking them out, keep in mind that there’s still a bit of their Blackberry Freedom Ale available, brewed with the Change is Brewing Collective, and benefiting BIPOC groups in the community. And there are more great beers coming from the Collective, but we’ll keep those under wraps for now.

Let’s hop across the water for our last brewery visit this week. In Deer Lake, Rough Waters Brewing celebrated the opening of their patio yesterday, at their 83 Wights Road location. Expanding their seating capacity just means more room for you all to visit on your way to/from Gros Morne, but also worthy of a visit specifically, of course! Plus, you can bring your pup to hang out with Ruffwaters’ own mascot. So, what can you be enjoying while there? Well, they released Wanderlust, a 5.0% Blonde Ale, featuring delicate floral aroma dancing on the light malt, in a crisp and refreshing package. Next up is the continuation of their Sour Series, this being Sour IPA. Galaxy hops lend a load of citrus and tropical fruit to the beer, with the clean acidity cleans the palate and keeps you coming back for more! This fella is 5.3% ABV, and available both on tap and in bottles, but for sale only at the brewery. And finally, just back today is Down South, their Pineapple Pale Ale, featuring 20 kilograms of pineapple puree added during conditioning. Again, exclusively available at the brewery, so we think you’d better start making your plans now! The retail, taproom, and patio (weather depending, unless you bring your ‘brelly) is Thursday through Monday, 2 – 10 PM.

On the cider side of things, Annapolis Cider has the details on the latest one-off in their Something Different series, Strawberry & Mint. Created with the intention of celebrating the Valley’s berry harvest season, it’s a blend of their dry-fermented cider with a “splash” of Perry, along with freshly-pressed strawberry and apple juices. Infused with locally-grown mint, this 6.2% ABV sparkling cider has “a bright effervescence and balanced acidity”, and is chock-full of strawberry and mint flavours for a very refreshing beverage. For this week’s release, they will be donating $0.50 from each refill of Strawberry & Mint to the Valley Regional Hospital Foundation

Not one, but TWO Beer Gardens opened this week!

Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery has opened up their Waterfront Beer Garden at Alderney Landing, adjacent to the Alderney Gate ferry terminal. Featuring seating for 64 (plus dogs!), the converted shipping container has both a draft system for draught sales to be enjoyed on-site, as well as a retail side with cans to take-away. For those grabbing pints, it is a BYOF establishment, with Brightwood is teaming up with Port City Cafe to offer bar snacks like nachos and dips to be ordered from their website and enjoyed there. In addition to Brightwood’s full complement of beers, the container bar will also be serving their new house cider, Brightyard. This single varietal (Northern Spy) is a semi-dry cider produced with Chain Yard Urban Cidery, where the cider starts life in Halifax before finishing up in Dartmouth. And look for super-special releases coming from the water-side ½ barrel, 60 litre, system also hanging out in the shipping container. The Waterfront Beer Garden is open 11:30 AM til 11 PM daily until the end of September, weather-dependent, of course.

And Bedford just got a little more beer-y with the opening of Birch and Anchor yesterday. Open 11 – 11 daily, the former site of China Town restaurant has been transformed into a sprawling beer garden with 15,000 square feet of space, a dozen draught taps (Breton, Garrison, Propeller are on the board currently) and two dozen varieties of bottles and cans. The food is prepared on-site, with pizzas, charcuteries boards, and BBQ courtesy of Asado Wood Fired Grill.

Just one event to tell you about this week!

Normally held in March, Péché Day is the celebration of Dieu Du Ciel!’s Péché Mortel, a 9.5% ABV Russian Imperial Stout with coffee. Since *something* got in the way of celebrating 4 months ago, the Stillwell Freehouse is taking another stab at it tomorrow, July 18th. Pouring PM plus 5 variations, including a Bourbon-barrel aged version, “Mexican Stout” (ancho & guajillo peppers with cinnamon and vanilla), Cassis (black currants), “Sidama” (infused with Ethiopian Sidama Howolso coffee), and Nanatsu No Taizai which is Péché Mortel fermented with lager yeast, rather than ale. Complementing these big coffee beers will be another touch of Montreal, with Smoked Meat Toasties, and a bring-your-own vinyl DJ situation, all kicking off at noon. No tickets, no reservations, so we suggest arriving promptly to secure your spot!

A couple more beer and brewing related job postings this week, for those looking to get into the industry!

Inverness, Nova Scotia’s Route 19 Brewing is looking for a motivated individual to join their team, working in two key roles as both a Brewery Assistant and Delivery Driver. In the brewery, assisting Head Brewer Dallas in all aspects of brewing, including recipe planning, ingredient handling, brewing, fermenting, conditioning, packaging, and everything in between. And then you’ll be able to help get that beer to customers across the province as a cargo van delivery driver, servicing Cape Breton and the Halifax region. While no formal brewing training is required, a thirst for knowledge is key! Fire an email with your resume and questions to Stefan Gagliardi. And for those who recognize that name, Stefan has joined Route 19 as the CBO, Chief Beer Officer, overseeing all things beer from Brewing Operations to Sales & Marketing. Congratulations, Stefan!

And on the serving side of things, Dartmouth’s Battery Park Beer Bar is looking to add some permanent part- and full-time servers to their team. Must love beer! Learn more here, and send along your resume!

And in “so you want even more beer details and information in your life” for this week

The fellas of the 902 BrewCast made a run for the border (and bridge) last weekend, visiting the other 902 province, Prince Edward Island. While there, they managed to fit in a handful of brewery, malting, and hop operation visits and interviews in just a couple of days. The first interview, with Spencer Gallant of Lone Oak Brewing in Borden-Carleton, hit the virtual airwaves earlier this week. Learn about his progression through the local brewing industry, the latest release of theirs (the Duet Saison that we are still in search of), and what can be expected from the tanks and barrels the rest of this year. Better than waiting for us to tell you about the latest Eps (or in this case, forgetting!), be sure to subscribe however you listen to podcasts. Find out how on the link above!