Big Spruce Brewing

All posts tagged Big Spruce Brewing

M-m-m-my Fiona. Welcome to the AC Hurricane Blog where we’ll give you all the details about Hurricane Fiona! In all seriousness, we wish nothing but safety for all beer drinkers and even the non-beer drinkers in PEI, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia this coming weekend as we’ve seen lots of events and plans changed this coming weekend due to the upcoming weather impacts. Stay safe, get some beer, check on your friends and family and why not share this blog with a friend or two? There’s a bit of news this week, so we’ll get on with it. Stay alert, stay safe and like North Brewing says, Cheers Your Neighbour!

New Brewery Alert! While The Brewery by Quinns has been open at 6273 Quinpool Road for a couple of months now, they have just begun serving their own beer in the past week. Brewed on their 400 litre system located adjacent to the large taproom, there are three TBbQ beers on tap right now, thanks to Brewer Adam Campbell. Harvard St is a 4.3% Session Ale, featuring lots of ripe tropical fruit, including passion fruit, while remaining light on the palate, thanks in part to its dry finish. Tommy’s Tipple is a 5.0% Blonde Ale, with a bready malt character supporting the light ester fruitiness from the yeast, on a med-light body with a nice finish. The biggest of the bunch is the Armdale 8 IPA, a 6.0% IPA, with plenty of citrus and pine character from the hops used throughout the brew, sustained by a medium body and dry finish. Available on draught for onsite consumption only, for now. We’ll have plenty more with Adam in a profile of The Brewery by Quinns on the blog early next week, so keep your eyes peeled to this page!

Fresh off a new brewery and retail opening, Stillwell Brewing has Kompakt available now! You may recognize the name of this from its delicious 355ml Kölsch-inspired brew from 2 years ago (and the lovely branded stange glasses). Now with an even more traditional recipe and a fancy new can, Kompakt is a 4.8% lagered ale. Previously 5%, this classically cellared ale with 2 months of lagering uses German-grown and -processed Pilsner malt, complete with decoction mash now it’s possible on their new kit, is deliciously hopped with Hallertau Mittelfrüh, and Kölsch yeast that behaves just as expected in this hybrid fermentation schedule (including natural carbonation for max old school vibes). Pick this one up in 473ml cans directly from the Stillwell Brewing retail spot at 3670 Kempt Road, or order it for delivery or shipping. They’ve got 4 beers cold in the fridge, so check their hours online and swing by when you can!

New from Propeller (in a super secret limited release pilot batch) is Secret IPA. This IPA only uses late addition hops, using Vic Secret, Galaxy and Nelson Sauvin with a crispy base of Pilsner malt. These punchy hops bring the citrus, peach and passionfruit in flavour and aroma. This is 6% and 60 IBU and look for this at the brewery and there may be a few other kegs floating around some other establishments. 

There’s a new brew from the Antigonish-based Candid Brewing, as we’re in full swing with the harvest season and Oktoberfest, the brewery is releasing Tilt-a-Whirl, an Oktoberfest-inspired Amber Lager. This is 5.8% and should bring those copper, malt flavours with a very clean finish. Highly drinkable and perfectly paired with a pretzel! Tilt your glass and give this beer a whirl!

Sticking with the Bavarian inspiration, Quidi Vidi Brewing is releasing their own Oktoberfest beer. This is a Marzen and this lovely amber German lager has a touch of bitterness to join that nice toasty, sweet malt profile. This 5.5% lager is canned and available at their hops shop, NLCs and convenience stores across the lovely province of Newfoundland. 

Delta Force Brewing has some sneaky Marzen of their own out this week, available in a mixed trio: their OG Baurenhofschuppen Marzen, previously only available on draught, is now in bottles. It is joined by the returning crowd pleasing Baurenhofschuppen mit Brett, the same beer but undergoing a secondary fermentation with Brettanomyces for some funky and fruity notes (this one is available on its own, btw). These are joined by the all-new, and possibly blasphemous, Brett version with Apples, thanks to aging on apple pomace (what remains after juicing). Check out their website for ways to buy these today.

It can’t all be beer today, so let’s insert more apple content thanks to the Annapolis Cider Company. They are launching the latest in their Something Different series today, Starberry. Bright red in colour, it features plenty of fresh raspberry character, plus spicing from infusions of star anise and fennel seed. Offering a character that works perfectly for the changing of the seasons, we’re wondering if trying it warm may take it to the next level? As with all of their Something Different releases, this has a charitable component, with $0.50 of each refill will support the Micmac Benevolent Society, whose goal is to “assist Mi’kmaq/Aboriginal Peoples of Nova Scotia to flourish, prosper and live decent lives as enjoyed by the majority of non-Aboriginal Nova Scotian society, having regard to their social, cultural and economic differences”.

We’re starting a little trio of Harvest-themed beers, and we’re starting the trio with Copper Bottom Brewing and their release of Tanglewood. Brewed for the Harvest Home Festival, Hurricane Fiona has ruined the festival plans, but have no fear, the beer is still coming out! This is a 4% sessionable Harvest ale, which is really a hazy session beer, using fresh Azacca hops, a malt bill of 2-row, wheat and oats and S-04 yeast to bring it all together. This is 25 IBU and bringing those lovely Azacca flavours of pineapple, mango and citrus. Proceeds from this beer’s sales will go to support Atlantic Canadian artists through the Tanglewood Rising Tides program from the brewery. Find this beer in 473ml cans directly from the brewery.  

Next up on the harvest train is Maybee Brewing with a straight up Harvest Ale. A 6% showcase featuring local New Brunswick ingredients, this ale features 2-row malt from Monquart Maltouse and fresh, whole-cone Cascade hops from Lakeview Hops. These hops are as fresh as they come as they were picked and brought to the brewery on the same day. These hops bring this ale to 45 IBU and well balanced. Harvest Ale is canned and available from the brewery now!

Bringing up the rear of the triple-Harvest club is Big Spruce Brewing, with a 2022 update of Major Hop Lips. After a huge hop harvest day, the Nyanza folks picked a massive load of Cascade, Mt Hood, Chinook and Challenger hops and went into this IPA minutes later with some of that wet hop, fresh picked, whole cone magic. This Fresh hopped Harvest Pale ale comes in at 5.7% and is available on tap now and in cans. You’ll want to get this and drink it to make it as fresh as possible, may we suggest checking their online shop for shipping and local delivery? MHL joins Don’t Make Me Tap The Sign, the Hazy IPA collaboration with Beer. Diversity.’s Ren Navarro, now out in cans as well. And check below for details on their Tap Takeover at Battery Park scheduled for October 1st (postponed from tomorrow)!

Halifax’s Garrison Brewing has been busy preparing a trio of fall-themed releases, just in time for its Oktoberfest event that we’ll tell you about in a second. First up is Dunkel Breakin My Heart, a dark German-style lager that comes in at 5.2% ABV. Look for clean malt flavours that include notes of chocolate and coffee. Next up is their take on the Marzen style, SchitzenGiggles, a copper-hued lager that has a light hop bitterness and comes in at 5.7% ABV. Both of these German-style lagers will be available exclusively on-tap at the Seaport and Quinpool taprooms, in addition to the Oktoberfest event. Lastly, is the annual release of their HefeWeizen. This take on the Bavarian wheat ale features the traditional notes of banannance and clove, and pours with a fluffy white head. The 5% ABV hefe has been canned for those looking to bring something Oktoberfest vibes home.

Despite the poor weather during the next 24-36 hours, there are still some events we encourage folks to keep in mind if they find themselves with some extra time post-cleanup. While this weekend’s PEI Beer Festival has been re-scheduled to February 2023 (click through before Sept 30 for more details on getting your money back, if necessary), perhaps you’re close enough to check the second weekend of TAPestry Beer Bar’s Oktoberfest, or one of these other events…

More on the Garrison Oktoberfest event, taking place at The BG aka Halifax Beer Garden at Summit Place on the Halifax waterfront. Starting Sunday at 12 PM (or as soon as they can open, should there be more cleanup time needed), and running all week until next Sunday, October 2nd, there will be a full complement of Garrison German-inspired beers on the taps, joined by German food features, live music from The Roving Steins and The Swell Guys, games, and much more. We suggest showing up in time to enjoy the kickoff party and cask-tapping at 2:30 PM Sunday, a great way to shake off the Fiona Blues!

Dartmouth’s Battery Park will be kicking off their Fall with the first in the monthly Tap Takeovers October 1st, with Big Spruce taking over the space for the day. With some current favourites, cellared choices, as well as a sneak peek at a couple of “Coming Soon” offerings, there is something for everyone on the go. DJ Douvet will be on the Ones and Twos from 7 PM for some great curated tunes. Amongst the 19 taps and casks are The Inhaled Affirmative Bohemian Pilsner, Lilliputian Nano IPA, Altruism Awaits Altbier, Black is Beautiful Toasted Coconut and Jamaican Rum Barrel-Aged Stout, with the yet-to-be-released Cosecha Spiced Ale in the mix. 

Exact tap details are a bit light on this one, but mark your calendars that Stillwell Beer Garden is holding their annual Oktoberfest celebration Sunday, October 2nd. From previous years, we can attest that it’s always a blast with roving musicians encouraging thirsty attendees, plenty of games on the go, and of course some great German-style beer and food on offer, starting a noon. Peep their social media in the link above to learn more next week!

Just one job posting to tell you about this week, and it’s in the Front of House at Good Robot’s Robie Street Retail and Taproom location. They are looking for a General Manager, working with both Retail and Taproom teams, to keep everything running smoothly and everyone on both sides of the counter/bar are happy. Learn more, and apply, through their Indeed posting.

And if you’re looking to listen to something in the dark this weekend, be sure to grab the latest release from the 902 BrewCast, as Tony sat down with Richard and Joseph of Escarpment Labs during their recent trip to Halifax, to learn more about what the company has to offer its customers, and what Richard and Joseph are brewing up themselves these days. Special appearance by the disembodied voice of Kyle, too! Grab the episode here, or better yet, subscribe in your favourite podcast app.

If you’re like us, you’re enjoying this lovely time of year while the temperatures are warm, but there is a nice crispness in the air. Did that sentence make you think of a Märzen? Oktoberfest? Fall beer gardens? Yes, please, to all of that. As usual, the beer news in the region keeps flowing and you can read all of the latest below. 

From the valley of Nova Scotia, Delta Force Brewing is keeping their contributions to the Make Peace Not War beer project going, just as the war in Ukraine has been going on for over 6 months, there is always a chance to support relief efforts from afar. This sixth release of the project is a Brett Pale Ale. This one is 6% and available in 500ml bottles. As with all of these releases, Delta Force is donating 40% of sales to Red Cross Ukraine. Grab this from the Delta Force online shop today, for delivery in the HRM and Valley. 

Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing teamed up with the force of nature that is Ren Navarro for a collaboration that reminds us that there is still much to be done to improve beer (and the world) for all. Don’t Make Me Tap The Sign is a 6.3% Hazy IPA, fermented with Voss Kveik yeast, and absolutely loaded with Mosaic and Sabro hops. Navarro is the mind behind Beer. Diversity., educating breweries and the drinking public on equitable and inclusive spaces and working to make beer more open to all. One of those ways to be inclusive is to spell it out specifically through breweries posting their values and code of conduct (for employees and visitors alike). And if there was a time that a patron is not respecting themselves or others…. Well…. Don’t Make Me Tap The Sign… Joining this new release is the return of a tasty little number, Lilliputian Nano IPA. Big hop character, thanks to Idaho Gem and Citra, this little cutie is just 3.5% ABV. Both will be in cans this weekend, stop by the brewery or online shop to ensure you get a chance to take some home for yourself!

Fredericton’s Trailway Brewing has a new beer on draught and in cans this week, in the SMaSH category. For those who may not know, a SMaSH beer is brewed using a Single Malt and a Single Hop, a great way for brewers and imbibers to explore what those ingredients bring to the table. For this expression, they went with Vienna Malt and Vic Secret hops. Think a touch of melanoidin apparent sweetness with plenty of lovely tropical notes, all in a 5.7% ABV package. Ready to enjoy or take away from the brewery now, it’s joined by the Aussie fave Dunder, their 4.8% Pale Ale packed with tropical fruit, pine, with a dank and herbal undertones thanks to the Down Under hops. Cans and pints aplenty on Main Street on Fredericton’s North Side.

Down on College Street in Antigonish, it’s only fitting that Candid Brewing has a new release with back to school and hanging on to some of that summer heat. Electro Lite is a light Mango Sour using real mango purée and a bit of sea salt. This is sour, juicy and very drinkable. It’s refreshing and at only 4%, you’ll want to go back for more thanks to its kick of flavour and approachability. This is available today on tap at the brewery and in cans to go. 

Corner Brook’s Bootleg Brew Co has released a new beer in celebration of the upcoming CB Nuit Art After Dark Festival, happening next weekend, Sept 16-18. After Dark is a Dark Sour, with red currants, vanilla, and a touch of lactose to keep the mouthfeel smooth and silky. Big Cherry Cola vibes in this one, and it is available at the brewery, as well as the Humber Gardens NLC and West Street Ultramar.

And if you are looking for a part-time gig while attending college in town, Bootleg is looking for staff behind the bar. While experience is an asset, they’ll get you all trained up in the ways of the beer right quick! This is a part-time evening gig for someone looking to earn a few bucks while slinging beer. Fire them an email or drop by the brewery to learn more.

Barnone Brewery in Rose Valley, PEI, has released a new (chain) banger of a beer celebrating the Disc Golf Canadian Nationals, taking place at a few courses around the Island. Star Frame is a 5.0% ABV Festbier, and is an ode to the rare occurrence that all members of a playing group make a birdie (or better) on the same hole. We think there may be a few Star Frames this weekend, as the nation’s best are in the province to compete. Barnone has extended their hours to accommodate the visitors looking for it on draught or in cans (there’s a disc golf course in their backyard, btw), and those wanting to have a pint elsewhere, check out Charlottetown’s Hopyard, John Brown’s, and The Beer Garden, or 511 West in Summerside.

Getting to the dark stuff, Propeller has a returning beer that’s back now as a seasonal keg for now and hopefully in cans in the coming weeks. Porter  – London Style is a dark and full-flavoured release that is easy drinking with a smooth mouthfeel. This has rich flavours of chocolate and coffee, with lovely aroma and flavour from the roasted malts. This is 5% and 39 IBU and look for this around Halifax for the fall and winter seasons. 

Out in the bustling metropolis of Lower Sackville, NS, Ol’ Biddy’s Brewhouse has a couple of new beers to talk about, both in celebration. First up, local band and friends of the brewery, Callehan are playing a show at Biddy’s for the release of their new single “Canada’s Pirate Queen” and they came down to the brewery and put together a small batch to ultra-personalize their release party. An English-inspired ale with a base of Maris Otter, the grist also included Crystal 75 for some toffee and deep sweetness and chocolate malt for color and a bit of balancing roastiness. The hop side sees American Willamette meeting UK East Kent Goldings for primarily spicy and herbal notes with maybe a hint of citrus and floral overtones. At 5.1% and 23 IBU expect it to be easy drinking for a night of listening to folky Americana, which is what Callehan will be bringing tomorrow night at the brewery. Don’t expect to see too much of it left on Sunday, though. 

Next up is a beer celebrating a person, Biddy’s Brewer Keith Forbes’ Grandfather, known as “Pops,” a kind-hearted gent to whom Keith decided to pay tribute with a beer, and the brewery’s first production lager at that. Just in time for Oktoberfest, Pop’s Pilsner, a 4.7% ABV golden straw-colored lager, slightly sweet and bready, and a light floral hop character. Not too bitter at 29 IBU, a crisp finish should invite another sip. This one won’t be released for general consumption until September 16th, when you’ll find it pouring at the taproom and canned to go, but if you’re a newsletter subscriber you know how you can try it a little early (and if you’re not a newsletter subscriber yet, it’s pretty easy to become on if you just pop on over to their site). Regardless of whether you’re early or right on time to try this one, you should find an easy drinking beer, perfect for sharing with good times with family and friends.

Staying in HRM, Serpent Brewing has two new releases out this weekend. Up first is Townie Overpass Syndrome, a 6.3% ABV NEIPA. Originally brewed for a tap takeover in St. John’s that was unfortunately cancelled, expect a hazy and juicy take on the style, helped out by the London Fog Yeast strain. The hops include Simcoe and Zeus in the boil to the tune of 30 IBUs and a Simcoe and Sabro dry hop. Expect lots of coconut notes from the Sabro but also a touch of pine and other tropical fruit. Next up is Open Road, a 5% ABV lagered ale. Brewed as part of the annual Open Road fundraiser for the BLT multi-purpose trail, this one uses Perle hops and features some fruity esters from the fermentation. Check out the taproom in Spryfield for both beers this weekend. 

Chef Stephen Barrett had a busy spring and summer… he visited 30 Nova Scotia breweries, chatting with the brewers and owners about their journey into beer, and is publishing recipes to pair with the breweries offerings. Folks are encouraged to check out his Pints & Plates series on the Seasoned Plate website, where two new destinations are released every week (the latest with Hill Top Hops and Meander River are particularly spicy!). You can get a small glimpse into Chef Barrett’s process, as a mini-doc highlighting a few stops in the Valley and a day in the kitchen afterwards has been released this week. Keep your eyes peeled on the SP social media for plenty more beery content!

Rolling over to Halifax, we turn to a symbol of constantly delicious, dependably juicy and always a pleasure. Unfiltered Brewing has DOA coming back out tomorrow in cans. This Double Orange Ale, as always, is a single hop Double IPA featuring Citra. This is available Friday September 9th at Noon from the brewery and on-tap next door at Charm School. 

Port Rexton Brewing has a fresh new release celebrating this weekend’s BonRexton Granfondo. Headwind is a 4.8% Pale Ale, easy drinking (a must after a long ride around the Bonavista Peninsula) blast of dank, tropical, and citrus notes on the nose and palate, thanks to plenty of Galaxy, Mosaic, and Columbus hops. Available on tap for pints and growler fills and cans at the brewery, with cans hitting the St. John’s Retail Shop and other retailers next week.

On PEI (or willing to relocate) and interested in working in craft beer? Upstreet is looking for folks:

Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing has had a busy summer, and is looking to welcome a couple of people into the brewhouse to keep ahead of the fall and winter… For those already brewing elsewhere, or having graduated from Brewing School, you can hop right into the Brewer position. And for those looking to enter the career, and are willing to learn the ways of the beer jedi, they are also hiring a Brewery Assistant. Check those links and reach out to Hogie & Co today!

Friday, here we are again! We’ve made it another week, so let’s drink a local beer to celebrate. Here are just a few suggestions of what’s new and returning in the fridges and on draught in our region.

Unfortunately, the Russian Invasion of Ukraine marked its 6th month anniversary this week, with many casualties and more than 6.5 million Ukrainians displaced by the continuation of the Russo-Ukrainian War. On a happier note, this week also saw the Independence Day of Ukraine, celebrated on August 24th. In Halifax, that meant a flag raising ceremony to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the country’s independence from the Soviet Union. And in Dartmouth, Brightwood Brewery launched Stand with Ukraine, a lagered ale with a major charitable component. Through the UNITED 24 platform, Brightwood is donating $4 from every can of Stand with Ukraine to urgent medical aid and the rebuilding of the country, which will take decades. Currently only available in their brewery and retail shop at 35 Portland Street, it may be available for delivery or shipping on August 29th, should there be any stock remaining.

Paradise NL’s Banished Brewing is continuing their Puffin series with the baby chick version of their core Space Puffin, with this week’s release of Space Puffling. In the same hazy and juicy New England IPA vein, it forgoes a bit of alcohol in the tin (4% ABV), without sacrificing anything else. Massive mango and citrus on the tongue and in the nose, with only a hint of bitterness on the palate. Both Space Puffling and Space Puffin are available at their retail shop on Maverick Place in Paradise, and at local retailers around St. John’s and beyond.

Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing is celebrating the warmer days with the release of Tan Lines, a 6.7% Apricot Milkshake IPA. Stone fruit character abounds in this smooth beer, with a sweet finish thanks to the vanilla and milk sugar in the brew. On tap at their taproom spot, and look for it around the way this weekend too. And now for something completely different… Hoom is Where the Heart is is their 4.9% English Pub Ale, brewed with local ingredients, including a high portion of the malt coming from Horton Ridge Malt House, and all of the Challenger, Goldings, and Fuggles hops grown in Big Spruce’s own Organically-farmed hop yard. Available on tap and in cans at the brewery and online, look out for (or demand!) this on a beer engine/hand pump the next time you visit your local pub!

Tanner & Co in Chester Nova Scotia has another expression in their search for interesting and unique flavours, opting for a return to honey as the fermentable. Just Honey is 5.9% ABV sparkling mead, made with locally sourced product from The Little Bee Farm in Auburndale just a few kilometres down the 103. Light and spritzy, bottles of Just Honey are available at Tanner’s locations in town and at the brewery down Hiltz Road. At both locations you’ll also be able to enjoy the return of their dry-hopped Czech Pils, Most. Using the eponymous hop throughout the brewday, and then again for an extra burst on the nose, the 5.7% Most is available on tap and in cans for pickup at their spots, or place an order for delivery at their online shop.

Deer Lake’s Rough Waters has debuted a new beer in partnership with the upcoming Rough Waters Gravel Grind. Mechan-Enkel is a low alcohol (4.3%) beer brewed originally by monks, in the Belgian Singel/Single/Enkel style. Pilsner and Wheat Malt make up the grist, with a nice touch of citrus and spice from the belgian yeast, give complexity to this beer fit for enjoyment after a long slog on the bike. Speaking of, registration to the October 1st event is open until September 12th, so if you’re looking for a wild few hours in the woods around Humber Valley, sign up now! And if you suspect you’ll need some liquid encouragement beforehand, cans of Mechan-Enkel are available at the brewery to take-away today.

Let’s get you up to speed on a few returning beers before we let you go this week…

Staying in Newfoundland, we’ve got two returning beers from Bannerman Brewing. First up is Shore Leave, their 5.2% dry-hopped sour that features Mosaic hops and sees conditioning on blood orange and pineapple purree. Expect lots of tropical fruit flavours that meld nicely with the beer’s acidity. This week also sees the return of Negative Space, their take on a cold IPA (fermented with an ale yeast, but cold conditioned like a lager). This one has a distinct west coast hop profile using the three-C’s of Cascade, Centennial, and Citra. Both are available on tap now on Duckworth Street. The brewery’s canning line is currently down for maintenance, so keep on eye on their social channels to see when you may be able to grab these to go.

Despite the unwavering humidity, there are signs everywhere that the turn of the season is around the corner. Christmas displays are out at Costco (!), Halloween stores are popping up in abandoned Sears locations, and pumpkin beers are starting to roll out of the tanks. Potentially first to the finish line is Breton Brewing with their 5.5% ABV Spiced Up Pumpkin Ale. Expect hints of cinnamon sugar with prominent notes of pumpkin pie. Cans are available now at Breton’s two taprooms, for delivery via their online store, and should be hitting the shelves at the government monopoly next week.

Ok, so, we technically have a tie for the earliest pumpkin beer release. Propeller’s Pumpkin Spiced Ale is out today, featuring pumpkins from Windsor farmer Howard Dill. The spice mix for this 5% ABV take on the style includes cinnamon, nutmeg and clove that combine for the comforting pumpkin pie aesthetic. It’s available now at Propeller’s three retail locations, for delivery via their online store, and will also make an appearance at the aforementioned NSLC.

Just one event we heard about this week, but it’s fixing’ to be a doozy!

Last week we teased the Tatamagouche Brewing tap/cask takeover happening at the Stillwell Freehouse this Saturday (August 27). Consider this your official reminder that the Freehouse will be featuring 12 taps and 6 casks of core and special Tata brews, along with some cellared kegs of their big beers rotating through the taps. 

We have two breweries hiring this week, in Moncton and Halifax! If you’re looking to continue your brewing career, or just kicking it off, check these out!

Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewery is looking for a Brewer to join their ranks as they expand their facilities this summer and fall on John Street. They are on the search for someone who has brewing experience, and looking for a change of scenery, and flexing their creative juices. There’s always something new in the tanks at Tire Shack, and they are hoping the right candidate will fill that role right away. Offering a competitive salary and plenty of help to get situated in Moncton, they encourage anyone interested to reach out via email with a resume and any questions!

Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing is on the search for help behind the scenes, in a Bookkeeper/Admin Assistant role on a part-time basis. Additionally, there are two openings for part-time Taproom Server/Packaging Assistants, especially important jobs to ensure the beer in the taps flows smoothly into cans! Learn much more, including wages and how to apply, on their website.