Big Spruce Brewing

All posts tagged Big Spruce Brewing

Here we are at the end of July already and into the August long weekend that marks our entry into the shank of the Summer. We don’t know about you folks, but we’re hoping for some decent weather to help those folks who, enabled by the looser COVID restrictions, are moving around the region, as well as those who are staying closer to home. Whether you’re planning to hit the camp/cottage/cabin or the beach, get some yard work done, or just kick back and relax, our region’s breweries and cideries have plenty on the go to keep your thirst slaked. If you’re travelling, why not plan to swing by a brewery along the way? If you’re staying put, maybe seek out some new beers from a brewery you know well? Whatever you do, please do it safely and responsibly!

New Brewery Alert!! Update the Good Beer Map!! Happy Craft Brewing in downtown Moncton opened their doors this week, welcoming in the curious folks who have been admiring their 15 BBL (1800 litre) brewhouse front and centre at 800 Main Street. Launching with four of their own beers, including Drama Free American IPA, Oh To Be A Rainbow Passionfruit Sour, Apricot Wheat, and Good Day Bad Day Pilsner. Beers are available to enjoy onsite, as well as in growlers, with cans coming soon. No kitchen onsite, but they are welcoming food trucks to park adjacent to their off-street patio, so keep an eye on their Facebook and Instagram pages for the latest announcements. Currently open from noon until 9 or later, Wednesday to Sunday. Congratulations to Gregg and Co on the opening!

Speaking of Happy, one of the several guest beers and ciders on tap there currently is the latest release from Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing. Reminding us that we only live once (or maybe Yoda Only Lives Outdoors), YOLO is another in their exploration of the New England/Hazy IPA style, showcasing new world hops for aroma and flavour, rather than bitterness. Case in point, YOLO is best described as a Double NEIPA at 7.5% ABV, yet a lighter 25 IBU, with the Cryo Citra, El Dorado, Sabro, and Talus all being added late in the process, in the post-boil whirlpool (as the beer is partially cooled before heading to the fermenter, with the whirlpooling effect helping to collect protein and hop matter in the brew kettle rather than clogging the heat exchanger) and dry-hopping during and post-fermentation. These hops are tropical on the nose and palate with citrus, pineapple, and stone fruit to the max, so check out the taps at Happy and Le BarBu in Dieppe for a taste of this beaut. And keep your eyes on O’Creek’s IG page this weekend as they’ll be releasing Foggy Pale Ale, a 5.0% New England Pale Ale with Loral, Citra, and Sabro soon! Ask for it at your favourite watering hole so they can bring it in!

We figure many of you will be passing by Lone Oak on your way onto PEI, so don’t miss your chance to grab a new brew. Delight is their latest barrel aged release, this one being a Golden Peach Sour. Aged in Chardonnay barrels for 18 months, this was then racked to join some peaches for another 3 months. Ending up at a sweet, fuzzy-peach vibe summer sour, this 5.5% release is available today on tap only at the brewery and HopYard, where they took home the Championship Belt last night in a fierce battle with Upstreet. In two weeks time, this will be available in 500ml bottles.

And mark your calendars for August 4th, when they will be releasing Blueprint, a Foeder-aged Farmhouse Wit. In collaboration with Nine Yards Studio, who helped name the beer and design the label, the funky and tart wheat beer will be launched at Salt & Sol on the Charlottetown waterfront, with live music and comedy from 4 PM.

The Modern Brewer of Village Green continues to roll out the new releases, with this week featuring two takes on IPA. First up is West Coast IPA, a style which the brewery has dabbled in previously. This version features a base of 2-row malt, wheat and a touch of crystal-15 malt. Hops were added in three stages with Columbus during the boil, Amarillo, Cascade and Centennial as late additions, and a dry hop of Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial and Citra. WC IPA comes in at 6.9%. Next up is Chinook IPA; featuring less bitterness and malt character than its west coast counterpart, this one features 2-row and Maris Otter malts along with wheat. It is hopped exclusively with Chinook, including a generous dry hop, and finishes at 6.2% ABV. Head to the brewery’s taproom in Cornwall now to check out these two contrasting takes on IPA.

From Fredericton, Grimross brings a new release that we rarely see canned in wide distribution for the region. British Mild Ale is a classic, malt-forward British-style ale. Boasting malty aromas and flavours, this is dark, rich and complex, and balanced nicely at 22 IBU and 3.5%. It’s available now in 475 mL cans directly from the brewery but keep an eye on their social channels for further distribution. 

Jumping over to the North Shore of Nova Scotia (home of the other canned (Dark) Mild in the region), the Tatamagouche brew crew has two fresh ones for everyone this week. First up is a limited and smaller test batch called Free Lunch, which is a 4.8% Cream Ale. Always a brewery to tweak and tinker, they’re using this batch to test out a new base malt. This will be available in kegs only at the brewery.

The next batter up from Tata is Vamoose (what a pleasure to say and type!). This beer features the same base as Guava Heist (Berliner Weisse style aged on guava), but using raspberry and plum as the fruit additions in a 70/30 ratio. Featuring raspberry for a lighter, refreshing summer quencher, the plums add depth of flavour in this 3.5% beer. It is shipping out in kegs to tap accounts, with growlers and pints in the taproom or you can pick up or order some 473 mL cans for delivery!

The calendar flipping to August means blueberry season is upon us in Atlantic Canada, and after a few lean years of production, our producers are expecting a bigger year this year. Annapolis Brewing is all ready to celebrate the start of a hopefully banging season with the release of Blueberry Sour Smoothy. This kettle sour features blueberry puree and a touch of lactose to accentuate the body. Per the style, the hops are kept to a minimum to let the tartness and fruit flavours steal the show, resulting in 12 IBUs. The 4% ABV sour smoothie is available now in picturesque Annapolis Royal.

If 4% sours aren’t your thing, perhaps we could interest you in a 8% ABV barleywine? Cutting across the mainland will bring you to Mahone Bay where you’ll find Go Big or Go Home from Saltbox Brewing Co. This one is a nod to the English version of the style, which focuses more on the malt and features less hop character than its American cousin. In a move we can get behind, Saltbox is releasing this heavy hitter in a smaller package, namely 355 mL cans. Head down the South Shore to grab yours this weekend.

Big Spruce continues to bring the new suds to Nyanza. This week’s release beams us up to Cologne with Kölsch Encounters of the Third Kind. This style of lagered ale is known for its crisp and refreshing drinking profile. Big Spruce’s latest version (we can’t forget Put Me In Kölsch from years past) comes in at 5.4% ABV and is available now at the Sprucetique in Nyanza.

The Salter street crew out of Halifax has two new releases this week, as Tidehouse brings us the goodies! First up is The Casual, a 3.5% dry-hopped sour. A kettle sour dry hopped with Enigma, bringing high alpha juice and notes of red berries and stone fruit. This is available on tap only at the brewery.

Their second release is Dripping Sun, a hazy Pale Ale that is loaded with Monroe hops. At 5.5% this flavourful, hoppy, and smooth pale ale brings notes of passionfruit and orange syrup. Available at the brewery now by the glass, but also in cans to go. 

Keeping it Candid, news out of Antigonish keeps coming week to week! Quench is a cherry sour available now. A fruit-forward sour that’s light-bodied, tart, and refreshing, it finishes clean and dry with touches of dark and sweet cherry juice. This fruity, well-attenuated, and refreshing 5.0% sour is available today in 473 mL cans to go and for pints in the taproom, which is officially open now! Pop by from noon every day (except Monday), open until 9 PM or later (except closing at 5 PM Sunday).

Out in the back end of HRM, Ol’ Biddy’s Brewhouse and TAPestry Beer Bar are putting Sackville on the map of beer destinations (a phrase we admit we never expected to type, but here we are). This week OBB has a couple new variations for us to try, both in small batch volumes. First up is Sackville Hoppy Blonde, their nominally SMaSH blonde ale elevated to something more like American Pale Ale territory through a dry hop of Ariana, Sabro, and Mosaic. Look for notes of blackcurrants, gooseberries, tangerine, and maybe a little of that magical Sabro coconut character. With this one coming in at 4.9% ABV you’ll be able to have a couple and really search for all those elements.

On a similar scale, Pineapple Bastard is a variation on their American wheat ale, Orange American Bastard, but with 10% pineapple juice into the fermenter. Still light and refreshing at 4.2% ABV and boasting light citrus and tropical vibes, it should be a perfect crusher for the long weekend. Both of these beers are available in limited quantities and they’re not being packaged in cans so you’ll have to get down to the taproom for fills or pints! Sunday would be a great day to do so, as they’ve started what they’re calling “Sunday Funday” with $5 pints of Biddy brews all day (open from noon to 6 PM). They’ve got a patio going now, so if the weather cooperates you can play washer toss and maybe some darts.

If you’re from the Bay, or heading there this weekend, be sure to stop in at Baccalieu Trail in Bay Roberts, as they have a fresh #hazyboi on tap and in cans this weekend. Dandy is a 6.5% New England IPA, featuring economically irresponsible additions during the Whirlpool and Dry Hop of Mosaic, Idaho 7, and Sabro. That translates into major pina colada vibes of pineapple and coconut, plus a juicy citrus undertone. Cans are available to take-away from the brewery now, with a draught version available any moment now. For those unable to make the well-worth-it trip to the brewery to hang on their deck and watch the birds play in the water, look for cans on the shelves of your local Marie’s, and maybe even on tap at Bar Brewdock, before too long!

We’re a day late with this news, but Happy F#&@%$g 6th Anniversary to everyone at Unfiltered Brewing. Celebrations took place last night with the esteemed Greg Nash manning the grill, but the spoils are still available this weekend with the return of Inducement, their 7.4% ABV DIPA hopped with Mosaic and Falconer’s Flight

The anniversaries continue, this time up Nova Scotia’s eastern shore where The Harbour Brewing Company, of Musquodoboit Harbour, is turning 3 on Sunday, August 1st. Drop by the brewery for special prices on pints and some door prizes.

We’ve got a few more short beer hits to share today before we dismiss you for the week…

A bit of news out of Cole Harbour this week from Hardisty, as they have some of their beer available around HRM. Happy Path is an American Pale Ale that’s going by keg to TAPestry Beer Bar and in cans to Harvest Wines, who will also have cans of Thirst Trap, a pride-themed amber ale. In other news, they’re adding a new unitank into the brew house reflecting increased demand. You love to hear it!

It’s been a little while since we’ve heard from 3Flip in Fredericton, but they’ve got two new seasonable releases this summer available in wide distribution across the province via ANBL. First up is Lemon Kilmister, a 5.5% ABV lemon blonde ale designed to be a super-drinkable summer quencher. Similarly in the citrus camp is Limes Ulrich, another 5.5% beer, but this one an American wheat ale with lime additions. Maybe throw some classic 80s metal on the boombox as you pound a few of these on a hot summer afternoon!  They’re both available now in 355 mL cans at ANBL locations all around New Brunswick and also Uptown Bagtown Boozy Market and Sussex Ale Works

Fans of traditional farmshed beers in NS can rejoice, as Delta Force Brewing has now reached the tipping point of having brewed enough beer to make it available on the regular instead of by announcement only. Check out the How to Buy section of their new(-ish?) website for full details and a list of what’s currently available. But sign up for/stay subscribed to their email list for new beer and multi-pack sale announcements!

Rounding out the beer news this week is the latest release from the 902 BrewCast crew, where they welcomed Phil back to the pod to sit down and (attempt) to catch up with him and Dodo as they tour around the province. Where have they been? Where are they going next? Keep up with Phil through amazing visuals on his IG page, and grab some prints of your own!

And in late-breaking news, it looks like Gahan is expanding yet again, this time they will be taking over the space on the St. John’s waterfront once occupied by Mill Street and Bier Market. No details yet on what size system they’ll be installing there, but our roving reporter did poke his head in this week and notice all of the previous equipment was gone, so there is a blank slate for re-configuration and optimizing of operations. We’ll share more once we have it, of course!

Happy Friday all you cool cats and kittens! We hope your July has been going well, and will continue to get even better. With COVID restrictions continuing to relax, for those able to travel in (and outside of) the Atlantic region, checking in on a new or favourite brewery is a great way to support those who keep you well stocked in excellent local beer. As we took last week off (and it was glorious!), this will be a bit of a longer post, so strap in and let’s get going!

Hardisty Brewing in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, is celebrating Pride with the release of a brand new Amber Ale. Thirst Trap continues Hardisty’s mission to celebrate diversity and inclusion in all things they do, with this approachable 5.8%, 37 IBU, copper-coloured beer featuring plenty of biscuity malt character with a touch of bitterness, finishing with a dark caramel toast flavour. As with all of their releases, the cans feature a quote about the beer, with Thirst Trap’s featuring one inspired by their love of Schitt’s Creek. So, how can you get your hands on TT and other Hardisty beer? If you’re fortunate enough to live in Cole Harbour (or willing to move there), they’ll bring the beer to you, through their weekly deliveries. If not, you’ll have to make your way to Harvest Wines (or request delivery), where you can grab it. And be sure to check out Hardisty’s webstore for a big selection of merchandise, including tees and hoodies inspired by Pride and Thirst Trap.

Heading to the Hub City, Truro Brewing Company has a couple of new beers on the board, including Stone Fruit Butch, a 5.7% hazy IPA featuring big additions of mango purée and coconut, to go all-in with the tropical theme. Plenty of fruit character, with just a touch of bitterness, great for enjoying on their patio at 53 Inglis Place. Proceeds from Stone Fruit Butch are going towards Truro Pride Society, supporting the great work they do in the community. SFB joins Tenacious B, a 5.8% Black IPA that marked their 100 brew since opening in February 2020, as well as Citrus Got Real, an 8.0% West Coast Double IPA featuring tons of Citra and Idaho 7 hops.

And last weekend, Truro held a gala to announce the winners of the inaugural Hubtown Homebrew Competition, which tasked amateur brewers to come up with their best Patio Beer. A wide variety of styles were submitted, and the Best in Show was Derek Wood’s Polish Grodziskie, a light Smoked Wheat beer. You’ll soon be able to enjoy Woody’s beer on the patio at TBC, as well as a Session IPA brewed by Chelsea Meisner, which took honours as the top score-getter in the first round of judging. Congratulations to all entrants and the hard-working judges who had the difficult task of picking the winner!

Delta Force Brewing, the elusive brewery located in REDACTED Nova Scotia, has another big beer drop available for delivery within a 1 hour radius of HRM. In fact, they have two big beer drops, in the form of two Six Packs available now. The Farmshed Summer 6 Pack features a wide variety of options, including the brand new Operation Jaromir Lagr (a 6.0% Czech Dark Lager), Operation Stronghold (West Coast IPA), Operation Assay (Kveik Pale Ale), Operation Jug (a 5.6% Saison), and Operation Wessex with Brett (Brett Barley Wine). Also available is Time Travel 6 Pack, featuring a pair of bottles each of three variants of their Mean Time Brett Bitter: The original, featuring their own farmshed-grown hops and PEI Malt, Mean Time Atlantic leaves out the funky Brett yeast to allow the locally-grown ingredients to shine through on their own, and Mean Time Pacific swaps out their hops for some classic West Coast hops to better experience the left coast… In addition to these 6 packs, there are a few singles available for purchase, as well as some Anderlecht Farmshed Brett Single. You can order, pay, and arrange delivery by contacting them via email (deltaforcebrewing@gmail.com) for delivery this weekend!

Cross Creek Brewing located near Woodstock NB, has sent their beer on quite the trip this week, with it being available outside the province for the first time ever. Those of you in Charlottetown should keep an eye on the social media and taps at HopYard Beer Bar, as they’ll be pouring 5 different CCB offerings over the course of the next few weeks. In addition to their eponymous Cross Creek Pale Ale, look out for Two Divas Blonde Ale, featuring Carleton County-grown Cascade and Centennial hops, Outhouse Stout, a 4.8% Oatmeal Stout that is extremely easy-drinking and lightly hopped with Fuggles, Blueneck Kentucky Common Ale, and Headpond Cream Ale. And word on the street is that there are big things coming in CCB’s region, with major plans underway to be drinking the good stuff at a place of their own before too long!

Wolfville’s Annapolis Cider has announced their latest Something Different, and it really is a departure for them. Grapefruit Cider Radler is a lower alcohol (4.7%) cider featuring Amarillo hops to complement the Red Grapefruit and Lime juices in the blend, with bright citrus acidity being perfect to refresh after a bike ride (the original impetus for Radlers in Germany), or just to cap or start a great summer’s day. As with all Something Different releases, Annapolis partners with a local group, with $0.50 of each refill of the Radler going to the Adrian Campbell Scholarship Fund, assisting young Nova Scotian athletes to pursue post-secondary education while still engaging in their passion for sport.

Halifax charmers Tidehouse has a new release this week that is hot for the summer. Hip! Hip! is a summer crusher ale from the brewery that is their lightest beer brewed to date. This 4.8% ale brings a very neutral release from the brewery, not hoppy, crisp, a touch of white wine character. Using a base of pilsner malt, along with flaked corn and a small amount of hopping from Nelson Sauvin, this is available today from the brewery. Enjoy it to celebrate out in the sun with friends and family. 

Just outside of Antigonish is Half Cocked Brewing, located in North Grant. Since opening their expanded location and welcoming visitors into their taproom daily, they often hear “Do you have anything sour on tap?”. For the first time, the answer is now a resounding “Yes!”. Something Sour hit the taps yesterday afternoon for samples, pints, and growler fills. At a light and breezy 4.9% ABV, the sour features massive dry hopping of Citra and Idaho 7, complementing the bright citrus notes from the underlying beer, but without any bitterness. Pair a pint with food care of the Crafty Cooks food truck set up onsite, and you’re in for a wonderful evening or weekend brunch destination!

The whippersnappers at Tatamagouche always keep us on our toes with amazing releases. The latest to join the fray is Intertidal: Ekuanot Rye IPA. A first release of the Intertidal series, this one showcases the Ekuanot hop, those familiar will know it has a complex profile with some spiciness, cedar and tropical fruit flavours. First settling on the hop, the spicy-biting style of Rye IPA was chosen to play with the profile of Ekuanot. Starting with a base of Horton Ridge pale, with about 20% malted rye, there are small additions of light and medium caramel malt as well. This was mashed in at a slightly cooler temperature to try and create a drier finish for the IPA. Joining Ekuanot, El Dorado and Centennial played supporting actors in the kettle and was distributed throughout the boil. The big hop drop blend also joined in the whirlpool. Fermented with mostly English yeast for its high attenuation and a bit of wheat beer yeast. Finally (!) this ale was dry hopped with Ekuanot and El Dorado. Trying to play with all of these flavours has been a careful decision by the brewery and it sounds like a hit. The final product is a 6.7% Rye IPA that is available today from the brewery in cans and kegs, and hitting their webstore any minute now, for Canada-wide delivery.

One from last week’s release that can’t be ignored (not that we ignore anything!) is a new release in that lovely, familiar can design from Propeller. Mosaic Pale Ale joins the single hop featured lineup from the Halifax brewery. Featuring Mosaic hops exclusively, this 5% pale ale gives notes of fresh-picked berries and should have a bit of piney resin flavour as well. Crisp and clean, this 35 IBU pale ale is one to pick up for the summer. Available in 473ml cans, you can pick this up in 4-packs from Propeller online or in-store and likely around some of the private shops in HRM. 

Cornwall’s Village Green has a draught-only release this week. Nelson Table Bier is a (you guessed it) table beer,or a “session Saison” if you’re not familiar with the style. This comes in at 3.7% and has a very generous dry hop featuring Nelson Sauvin. Some peppery notes accompany this slightly herbaceous and very refreshing beer. On tap only for now, cans should be coming next week. Be sure to stop in if you’re passing through!

The new releases keep rolling out of Nyanza, with Big Spruce’s newest one-off, Tripel Belgian Pale Ale. Coming in at 9.3%, look for traditional notes of spice, banana and citrus, with a hint of residual sweetness. This one was brewed in collaboration with award-winning Halifax homebrewer Ian Wheatley, who should be no stranger to the readers of this blog, having collaborated with several Nova Scotia breweries throughout the years. The new Spruce releases continue, but for this one, you’ll need to make a trip to Sydney. Brewed for exclusive release at Governor’s Pub and the Sydney location of the Old Triangle, Bizarre Gov Triangle is a 6.4% hazy IPA with notes of tropical fruit. You can find it on tap at the two downtown Sydney watering holes today. 

We’ve got a couple of important newsworthy items from Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery today. First off, they recently debuted Hard Over Harry, a 4.5% Light Beer brewed to honour the commissioning of HMCS Harry DeWolf, an arctic and offshore patrol vessel, the first coming out of the Irving Shipyard as part of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, and the first in its class of vessels. Named after Vice Admiral Harry DeWolf, Canada’s most highly decorated naval officer, and known for aggressive ship manoeuvering while commanding the HMCS Haida during the Second World War. Available on tap and in cans now at their taproom at 35 Portland Street, as well as their Waterfront Beer Garden at Alderney Landing.

And you’ll soon be able to enjoy a third location, as the Brightwood crew are opening BrightYard in the coming days… Located at 53 ½ Portland Street in Downtown Dartmouth, this outdoor beer garden will feature plenty of Brightwood beer on tap, and feature a BBQ-inspired menu, courtesy of Emma Strubank and her team (best known for Café GoodLuck and other great spots around HRM). Centering around an authentic Southern BBQ offset smoker, look for brisket, chicken, and veggies too, prepared in the low and slow technique that has kept people happy and satisfied for years. And you too can be happy and full this afternoon, as BrightYard is holding a pop-up in Brightwood’s taproom this afternoon, 4 – 9 PM, with brisket and smoked chicken sandwiches, pulled pork, and great veggies options like charred carrots and grilled broccoli and radicchio available. Live Music from Ryan Stanley on the go from 8 PM in the taproom as well. Check out Brightwood’s social media for the full scoop, and follow both accounts to keep up with the opening date and full menu.

A few more newsbites to finish off today’s post. Stay dry but well hydrated this weekend!

A short bite out of Antigonish, Candid Brewing has updated their hours and has some beer available in HRM. Two of their beers were dropped off to Battery Park, so keep an eye out for Working Joe (4.7% Breakfast Stout) and No Brainer (5.2% Blood Orange Pale Ale) hitting the wall at the Dartmouth favourite. Their regular summer hours are currently 3 -6 PM Wednesday through Saturday, so be sure to stop by if you’re in the area. 

Always a popular destination spot, Wolfville’s Church Brewing sees a few brewery exclusive releases this week. Available now for crowler and in-person pint fills, Persephone Strawberry Pale Ale and Hades Blueberry Pale Ale should be summer-y, refreshing, fruity and slightly tart twists to crisp pale ales. 

News from Lone Oak sees Noble coming at you in cans! Noble is a 0.7% ABV ultra light pale ale with notes of field berries up front and some citrus on the finish. Perfect to add to your summer, weekday or drinking rotation, you can get this in person or online. And mark your calendars to support Lone Oak as they take on Keith’s in the semi final of the HopYard Battle of the Breweries next Thursday, July 15th. The winner of that battle faces Upstreet in the finals July 29th.

Following up from an editorial note two weeks ago, the 2 Crows & Luke’s Small Goods pop-up from July 1st is now tomorrow, July 10th, from noon until sell-out. The event sees the re-release of Cool Kid (blog favourite, RIP Niche), celebrating with a Fried Chicken pop-up! Details are in the Instagram post here and our post from last time.

A quick hitting re-release from Unfiltered sees Edgy making a return last week. Using the base recipe from DOA, this Double IPA uses Centennial instead as it’s single hop all throughout the mash, wort, kettle and dry-hopping. This is available now for growler fills, pints at Charm School and 473ml cans online or at the brewery.

 

Happy Summer! Officially starting this week, the weather is warming across the region, and our kinda-sorta Atlantic Bubble is in effect (should be complete as of next Wednesday). Plenty of new beer news to tell you about, so we’ll get right to it. A programming note, we’ll be taking next week off, so you’ll have to fend for yourselves in what to drink. We’ll still try to share and amplify what we come across on Twitter and Instagram, so be sure to check us out there. Tag us if there’s anything cool you think we should know about, or just what you’re drinking! LOL (Lots of Love)

Let’s kick off this week’s news with a beer from North Brewing Co, who collaborated with Black Lives Matter Golf, a group founded by the Black members of Grandview Golf Club located in East Preston. Their mission is to break down economic and social barriers to create a more inclusive environment for BIPOC in golf, foster mentorship within the community, and create a scholarship fund. Their second annual golf tournament is happening at Grandview August 21st, with more details available on the BLMG website. BLMG is the collaborative beer, a 3.8% Light Beer, with $1 from each can going to support BLMG’s missions. Available now at both of North’s retail locations, as well as online and at Grandview for enjoyment between swings of the club!

Up at Port Rexton Brewing on NL’s Bonavista Peninsula, they’ve got a newish beer on the go that we evidently missed telling you about last week (bad bloggers, BAD!). Oliver’s Twist is a “quick” lager designed around herbal and floral hop flavors and a dry finish and using a non-traditional (for a lager, anyway) blend of Kveik yeast strains to accomplish a turnaround of only 2 weeks or so. Named for co-owner Sonja Mills’s grandfather, who passed away with ALS in 2015, its release also coincided with PR’s first annual “Walk to End ALS” event that took place last Saturday. Two dollars from every pint sold was donated to the ALS Society of Newfoundland and Labrador and the ALS Society of Canada and, along with additional donations from the public, a donation from the brewery, and CD sales from Jeff Pittman, who played the taproom after the walk, $1,040 was donated; a great job by everyone involved!! Although you may have missed the walk, we believe you can still grab the beer at the taproom, where they’ve announced that starting this weekend and lasting until the end of Labour Day weekend, they’ll be open every day from 12 – 10 PM!!

It is very often the case that when 2 Crows Brewing has news to share there’s a lot of it, and this week is no exception. First up is the release of a collaboration several months in the making with Bogside Brewing out of Montague, PE. Dubbed Bubble Breaker, it was intended for release to celebrate the reopening of the Atlantic Bubble, but since that whole thing got confusing and drama-filled this past week, they’re going to release it today and y’all can decide when it’s apropos. The beer started with Bogside brewing an “ultra fresh, ultra crispy little lager” based on a grist of malted barley, wheat, and rye. That beer was fermented slowly and lowly for a while and then given a proper several weeks of lagering before making a road trip across the Confederation Bridge to 2 Crows’ facility where it was lovingly transferred into foedre along with a selection of their house cultures and allowed to condition for several months. It was then packaged and can-conditioned for another several months. A hybrid beer, where the crisp and refreshing nature of a lager meets the drying funkyness of a Brett saison, you can expect this one to be very refreshing, but also to provide a lot of interest in the aroma and on the palate. We’ll warn you, however, you’ll want to get this one extra cold before opening it, as the carbonation is quite lively! Available today from 2 Crows and also from Bogside, so folks in both Provinces can try this one without any border entanglements.

Next up for the gang at 2C is a pop up plus beer (re-)release event Saturday, July 10, with Luke’s Small Goods (Fried Foods Division) who will be slinging tasty goodness all afternoon from noon to 5 PM (or earlier if they sell out) at the brewery. The menu posted to LSG Ig lists Nachos, Nashville Hot Chicken Sammies, Fried Fish, and Bologna Katsu. Sounds pretty tasty to us! Also available that day as a special treat will be a new version of a classic collaboration between 2 Crows and the late, great Niche Brewing out of Hanwell, NB, Cool Kid. This version was brewed the same way the last one was, with Pilsner malt, wheat, spelt and a touch of rye, Hallertau Blanc in the kettle, soured with Lactobacilllus before fermentation, and then fermented in foedre with a mix of house and commercial cultures. It also received the same fruiting treatment, with cherry and raspberry purées being added in turn and refermented. The result is 4.3% ABV, 14 IBU, funky, tart, and fruity. If you remember this one, you very probably want more. And if you don’t, you should really make an effort to get your hands on it before those who are in the know swiping it all up (it’s worth mentioning that the last edition cellared beautifully). (Ed note: The pop-up and release were rescheduled from July 1st)

And lastly, if you’re like us, you’re occasionally on the lookout for something to drink that’s refreshing and that maybe reminds you of beer but that doesn’t have the same alcoholic (or, in some cases, caloric) content. If so, you might remember the Hop Water that 2 Crows put together for just those kind of occasions over the last year. Well they’re back at it, and this time they’ve branched out a little bit. In addition to regular Hop Water, they’ve now got Hop Water Lime and Hop Water Tropical available. Described drily as, “Hop water, but kinda limey,” and “Hop water, but kinda tropical,” respectively, the former features Motueka hops and some lime zest, the latter Galaxy hops. Both allegedly contain some “secrets” but we’ve been assured it’s NOTHING WEIRD. Riiiight. Seriously, though, no alcohol, no calories, no artificial flavors, available as of now at the brewery and for online orders.

Heading to the Kenebecasis Valley in Southeastern New Brunswick, Long Bay Brewery has a new beer out today, with details of a new release hitting the taps next week… Let’s start with this week’s release, fresh off the canning line, The Half of It. Coming in at 4.0% ABV, but punching well above its weight, this New England Session IPA features a boatload of Strata and Mosaic late hops on top of a light and fluffy malt bill, including a hefty addition of both wheat and oats. The resulting beer is light and crushable, more aromatic and flavourful than bitter, and is debuting in 16oz cans at the brewery now, and across the province in ANBL locations in the coming weeks (joining their Ruckus IPA which also is now in grocery stores as part of that program). 

And debuting next week at Long Bay is a decidedly smaller release, available only on tap at the brewery’s taproom. Quince-essential Sour shows its cards based on its name, but let us fill you in on the fun details… This 5.6% ABV fruited kettle sour started life simply enough, with lacto used to first lower the pH for an acidic kick, before primary fermentation with some Saccharomyces. Then came the hops, first with a dry-hopping of Mosaic, followed by a second dosing of modern German darling Mandarina Bavaria. After allowing the hops to take hold, the beer was blended with a whole lot of quince fruit. In the Rosaceae family, quince is a cousin of both apple and pear, and already has a tart character, which only enhances the base beer’s acidity. The fruit and hops come together in a tropical and citrus melding that will be a sure winner. And to be a winner yourself, you’ll need to get yourself to Long Bay’s location at 82 Marr Rd in Rothesay after its release next Friday!

Back in Nova Scotia, Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing, known for its Belgian focus, is crossing the border into Germany with the release of 349 to Munich. This 5.3% ABV Dunkel, a style which originated in Munich, features a smooth malt profile and a subtle bitterness to keep things balanced. This style is great with food, so grab your favourite Spryfield takeout (Khan’s, anyone?) and head to the Serpent patio for a pint. 

Big Spruce continues to roll out the small batch beers from its original brewhouse in the Sprucetique, with two new releases this week. First up is Jötunn, a 7.2% ale named for a new yeast from Escarpment Labs, which is a hybrid of Kveik and Saison yeasts. The final beer features peppery notes from the Saison side and fruit notes from the Kveik. A Mosaic dry hop adds additional aromatics to what is sure to be a unique drinking experience. Available on tap and in cans in Nyanza now, and on the webstore soon. Sticking to the Saison family, their second release is Saison Nouveau. Brewed in the Grisette style to the tune of 5.2% ABV, expect a mix of phenolic and ester notes including pepper, banana, stone fruit and passionfruit, all leading to a crisp finish. Saison Nouveau is available in cans now in Nyanza for delivery or shipping in the online store.

Garrison Brewing has teamed up with Halifax’s Ecology Action Centre, in honour of their 50th anniversary, with the release of Bee the Change – Blueberry Braggot. A historic fermented beverage style, braggot can be considered a bit of a beer/mead hybrid, featuring a relatively equal proportion of honey and malted barley as fermentables. Garrison’s version is a nod to local, with Pilsner Malt from Horton Ridge, honey from Cosman & Whidden, blueberries from Van Dyk’s and Centennial hops from Stewiacke’s Wicked Hops. The resulting beverage comes in at 6.4% ABV and 20 IBUs. Expect a fragrant nose featuring bubblegum, banana, spice, honey and berries. The sweetness continues through to the palette with some acidity and a peppery note in the finish. Bee the Change is available now in cans at Garrison’s two Halifax locations, with a portion of sales going to the Ecology Action Centre.

We don’t know if you’ve seen pictures of Boxing Rock’s Hendry Pedro or Foghorn’s Andrew “Esty” Estabrooks lately, but suffice to say these gentlemen are looking more than a little shaggy, as both have remained unshorn during the entire pandemic. With things opening back up, and before they start to experience neck trouble from the weight of all that hair, they’re committed to rectifying that situation. But before doing so, they decided to collaborate on a special beer to remind them of this not-so-youthful rebelliousness and the pandemic experience in general, and hopefully do some good in the process. Hair of the Dog is an “Extra” IPA featuring plenty of classic IPA aromas (citrus, pine), flavors (grapefruit, lemon, pineapple), all in a golden and slightly hazy package, with a slightly dry finish and a lingering pine bitterness. A portion of the proceeds from every can sold at the breweries’ retail will go towards local SPCA initiatives. 

We started the week with news of a community beer, let’s end off in the same vein. For as long as we can remember, Halifax’s Good Robot Brewing has been running Goodwill Bot, their Monday-night fundraising event where groups have been welcomed into the taproom to meet with the public, share their stories, and grab a portion of pint sales for the evening, to the tune of more than $75,000 going to those participants! With COVID shuttering GRBC’s taproom for most of the past 15 months, they’ve taken the opportunity to re-imagine their public fundraising ideas, and are starting the Goodwill Partnership Program next week. Focusing on a single organization for a full quarter of the year, they will now be brewing and distributing a collaborative beer to further amplify and share the efforts of those allies in the cause. The first partner is NOISE Information and Transition Agency, whose mandate is to help those who were/are incarcerated to transition into a better place in life with specific focus in Black and Indigenous communities. With big plans, including purchasing a venue to hold programing and peer support groups, as well as buying tech devices to improve access to jobs and resources, NOISE will benefit from the cash as well as exposure from Good Robot’s partnership. The beer being launched next Friday, July 2nd, is Goodwill Beer: Watermelon/Mango Ale, a light and refreshing 4.7% Blonde ale with fruit puree and extract, a lovely aromatic and flavourful beer to enjoy this summer. NOISE Co-Founder chose watermelon for more than the flavour, but also for personal historic reasons, saying “Watermelon signifies the entrepreneurship of my ancestors. The stereotype that black people love watermelon actually stems from when slavery was abolished and Watermelon farms were one of the main sources of income for indigenous blacks.” 

In addition to the Goodwill Partnership Program, Good Robot has also introduced two other programs to support those groups and members of the public in need. Goodwill Gifts is for non-profit organizations looking for products for silent auctions and fundraisers, while Goodwill Relief Fund is for one-time donations for groups in immediate need, such as a recent donation to Change is Brewing Collective as they supported the Buy Black Birchtown effort. Goodwill Ambassadors is their effort to support both staff and patrons as they volunteer for non-profits in the province and beyond.

Only one event this week, but we’re hoping we see more as weeks go on…

Last week, we told you about Upstreet’s release of its 6th anniversary beer, DeNovo VI and teased that we’d have details on their birthday celebrations this week. Well, the big day has arrived with their anniversary officially falling on Saturday and celebrations lasting all weekend. Happy hour pricing will be in effect all weekend at the taproom and Craft Beer Corner. Friday night wil see DJ Niimo spinning tunes with free cake going around at the brewery and live music from 4:30 to 6:00 PM and 7:00 to 9:00 PM on the CBC patio. On Saturday, Cured Creations Charcuterie will be doing a pop-up at the brewery from 4:30 to 7:00 PM, with more live music on tap for the CBC patio. You can find all of the details here. Cheers to six years to the team at Upstreet!

A couple of quicker mentions before we send you on your way this week:

Saint Andrews Brewing Company has a new release, which is the first in what they are hoping will be an innovative series of hyper-local beers. Lion’s Tooth Honey Wheat uses Canadian wheat malt, local hops from Lakeview Hops, honey from several hives around Saint Andrews and even a few edible floraged foraged from the brewery grounds (you can’t bet much more local than that). The resulting beer is soft, with floral notes and some subtle honey sweetness. A few kegs have made their way into the wild and are currently available at the Red Herring Pub and Kingsbrae Garden Care, both in Saint Andrews. 

Two quick newsbites from Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing Company. First up is the rerelease of Sidewalk Saision, their 4.5% session saison. Made using Pilsner Malt and wheat from Shoreline Malting, along with flaked oats and rye malt, the saison is hopped with Huell Melon and also features additions of pink peppercorns in the boil before being conditioned on sour cherry juice. And, just in time to enjoy a pint of Sidewalk Saison, Shipwright’s sidewalk seating is back for the summer, the perfect place to watch the day trippers and tourists stroll the streets of Lunenburg.

One brewery in HRM is looking for a couple of folks these days; here’s your chance to “work in beer”!

A couple of jobs at North Brewing to tell you about… They are looking to add a Server to their taproom location, filling out the number of folks able to keep the good beer flowing both inside and out. And on the brewery side of things, they are hiring a multi-position person with a driver’s license, who will be concentrating their efforts on filling and packing online orders, as well as delivering them to their thirsty customers. Some working in the brewery may be required, including filling and moving kegs, so heavy lifting could be required. Full details on both in the link above, and Ben is the person to whom you should submit your application.