Bishop’s Cellar

All posts tagged Bishop’s Cellar

With the summer rush officially behind us, breweries across Atlantic Canada are turning their attention back to new releases and fun events to keep thirsty beer fans across the region happy.  Last weekend saw many breweries and beer drinkers partaking in the final Oktoberfest celebrations, soaking up the great weather and general good vibes. This week, we’ve got a bunch more new releases and some great events in Halifax and St. John’s to help you plan your weekend. This week is also the kickoff of the infamous Burger Week in HRM. A friendly reminder – be courteous and patient as your favourite beer bars and taproom restaurants deal with the onslaught of burger fans and do their part to keep us safe with the new vaccination mandates. Take a look below at what’s new this week and make some plans to grab some burgers, peep some leaves, and drink some tasty fermented beverages from your favourite breweries and cideries this weekend. 

Starting out on one of our favourite islands, Dildo Brewing had a few new releases over the last few weeks. We’re here to get you caught up to speed and help you quench your thirst for Atlantic Canadian beer! First up is Lassie, a Dildo take on a classic Northern English Brown ale. This dark ale has caramel hues of reddish-brown but well balanced with hop flavour and malt character. Very light and drinkable at 4.5% this beer uses a mix of English pale, biscuit, brown and caramel malts, all blending for a nice roasty flavour with some nutty and biscuit malt notes. Additions of fancy molasses helped develop a deeper colour and balance of sweetness, producing a lovely beer that pairs well with this season.

Second up from Dildo, Bitter Cold is another malt forward, easy-drinking ale. A 4.0% ordinary bitter, it has classic English flavour notes of orange pekoe tea and toasted biscuits. Both of these new brews are available in 473ml cans at the brewery, St. John’s store, and Marie’s, this should also be popping up at Orangestores around the province. 

Heading to another island (and another beer release last week), Big Spruce Brewing has a canned release of a beer that was at the Stillwell Beer Garden Oktoberfest. Festfriends is a German Festbier perfect for the time of year. This German-style lager is just what you’d want for your crisp beergarden bevvy taking you straight over to Germany. Featuring some toasted malt and biscuity notes from Pilsner malt, this 5.8% beer is available now in 473 mL cans directly from Big Spruce at the brewery or online. 

Back to the Rock, where just west of Stephenville, you’ll find lovely Port au Port and Secret Cove Brewing. Flake & Gunnels is a Double IPA named after classic Atlantic fishing terms (a “flake” is a platform to dry and preserve your catch and, if you were lucky, you were loaded to the Gunnels) this beer represents the families that harvest from the sea. Packed with those classic American “C” hops (Cascade, Centennial, Columbus, Chinook and Citra) and adding creaminess and body with flaked oats and flaked barley, this hop-forward, smooth beer brings flavours of juice, citrus, resin and pine. At 7.6% ABV with high juiciness and bitterness, cans should be available today from the brewery. We’ll end this blurb with a note straight from the brewery (and because this beer sounds so delicious) “Cod may be God, but We Love and Pray Hops.

Aaaand back to the mainland for a pair of new releases from Nova Scotia’s North Shore at Tatamagouche Brewing. Their Intertidal line of hop-centric beers continues with Intertidal Eclipse + Galaxy Pale Ale, leveraging both of these tropical and citrus hops in a Pale Ale. Available on draught at the brewery, and soon at better bars in HRM and beyond, cans should be hitting their shelves (virtually and on Main Street Tatamagouche) in the next week.

Available now in bottles is another in Tata’s exploration of barrel-aged beer, Petite Milo. Beginning life as a Golden Ale that was fermented and conditioned in some funky barrels for several months, it underwent a secondary fermentation with the addition of locally-grown Petite Milo grapes. More time means more character when it comes to these mixed fermentation beers, and PM is no exception. A touch of barrel pokes through the bright and tart beer, with vinous character from the grapes also making their presence known. Bottles are now available at the brewery and online, with just a few kegs available, so it should be popping up in the wild soon.

Never one to shy away from our weekly updates, Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing has a very special release for a good cause today. A special freshly picked wet-hopped IPA is a brew for goodwill with all profits from sales being donated to the Moncton SPCA. It’s is 6% and the hops were hand-picked locally in Moncton by Tire Shack employees. While you can never be sure with backyard hops, the fine folks at the brewery believe it is mostly Cascade. There are only 100 litres of this beer and it will be available for pints only at the brewery, so stop by this weekend if you get the chance! 

On to another island, Montague, PE’s Copper Bottom is back with a fresh entry in their Flux series, a single hop feature constantly changing with new releases. This edition is Flux: Azacca a Session IPA clocking in at 4.2% and 20 IBU. This is hazy and sessionable, with the Azacca hops bringing out bright citrus notes along with stone fruits like mango and peach. Soft and smooth it has just enough bitterness to balance the grain bill of 2-row malt, wheat, and flaked oats and it’s available today in 473ml cans only at the brewery. 

Staying on PEI, another brewery with frequent releases is back with another one (DJ Khaled!). Village Green brings us Wheelie’s Hazy Pale Ale, a hop filled pale ale named after PEI’s famous haunted childrens toy (this is news to us, but it’s definitely creepy!), it features Citra, Mosaic, and Chinook hops (enchanted by the brewers to make it extra spooky). With that combo you can safely expect bold fruity, citrus-y, and piney flavours and a strong hop aroma. This beer release is paired with an event today at the brewery from 4:30 – 6:30 PM where you can see Wheelie there in the flesh (!) and $1 from every sale of the beer will go towards the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation

And one more time up to NL, where Ninepenny Brewing in CBS has also released an ode to a local celebrity (of sorts) this week, in collaboration with the Manuels River Interpretation Centre. MR1 is a 500 million year old trilobite fossil found along Manuels River by Dr. Riccardo Levi-Setti in the 1970s; it is one of the best preserved specimens of this species, and is proudly displayed at Manuels River. The beer is a kettle sour, conditioned on locally grown blackberries and blueberries from Walsh’s Farms in Colliers, as well as wild river mint foraged from near the site of the fossil discovery. At 4.9%, it’s tart, fruit, and refreshing, reminiscent of a fruited mojito. You can grab it on tap and in cans at the brewery, and can even grab cans at the Manuels River Interpretation Centre. And speaking of, the Centre is hosting their own Oktoberfest next Friday, Oktober 22, with a German-inspired menu, flights of Ninepenny, and live music. Check out their events page for more information and to book your spot!

As we transition from Oktoberfest to Spooky Season all across the region, Fredericton’s Trailway Brewing has decided that St. Patrick’s Day shouldn’t be the only holiday to have questionably colored beer and have accordingly released a Halloween-themed beer that looks like a witches’ brew! Spooky is a Raspberry sour that is very green (in colour, not flavour!), a 6% sour ale that is dosed with blue Spirulina powder to turn it into a hazy shade of green. Tasting both sweet and sour, reminding you of Halloween candy, it’s full of raspberry flavour and a bit of acidity and it’s available now in 473ml cans only from the brewery. 

Big news out of Greenwich/Halifax’s most clandestine brewery, Delta Force. For the first time, their beers are available via retail. The fine folks at Bishops Cellar will be stocking Anderlecht Farmshed Ale and Atlantic Time Bitter. Anderlecht is their Brett-forward nod to Orval, in the Trappist single style. Atlantic Time is an English-style bitter featuring PEI-grown malt and Delta Force’s own hops from the Greenwich area. To celebrate their retail debut, DF is offering a limited quantity 6-pack of some of their greatest hits, spanning several styles for your drinking pleasure. Home deliveries are available within a 1 hour radius of HRM. Hit up their online store for more details on how to order. 

And lastly for our news section (but bleeding into our events section), did you think you were going to get through a Friday Wrap-up without news from 2 Crows? Psshhhht; silly beer lover. We told you a couple weeks ago about the home and home collaboration between 2C and Bellwoods Brewery, including teasing you about the BW side of the release, the Crowbar IPA that was only available in Ontario. We also talked last week about the recent trend in lagers at 2C and specifically the Harrington released last week that was named after the variety of barley malted by Shoreline Malting and used in that beer. Would you believe all that naturally leads us to this week’s new release, almost as if someone had cunningly planned it that way?

Birds and the Bells is a “New Zealand Pilsner” which is the recent industry term for a Pilsner that’s hopped a little more than average, often late, and always with New Zealand hop varieties. Leveraging the same hop combo that was used in the Crowbar, this beer also exclusively uses the Shoreline Harrington malt. Mashed with their recently adopted regimen that promotes big and long-lasting foam, they really leaned into the hop side of things, with Rakau and Motueka added in the mash, at first wort, and then late. Fermented low and slow with Escarpment Labs’ Isar Lager, it was krausened and assertively dry hopped with plenty more Motueka and Pacifica plus a little bit more Rakau before being lagered for 5 weeks. At 4.4% ABV and 35 IBU, the result is a maximally crushable ultra crisp beer with some lovely and zippy hop notes, including lime and apricot, and big beautiful foam. Find it at the brewery or for online orders via their web shop, or, you could head down to 2C tomorrow (Saturday, October 15) from noon to 5 PM for the release party! There will be hand pies from Humble Pie Kitchen, bottle pours of some Bellwoods bangers courtesy of Bishop’s Cellar, and, of course, plenty of fluffy-capped Birds and the Bells streaming from the side pour tap.

A couple of things to tell you about today before we send you off to the great unknown…

St John’s Brewdock Beer Bar has always had gluten-free options on tap and on the food menu, but they are pulling out all of the stops this weekend, dedicating three of their draught lines to GF options (which is infinitely easier these days, with Port Rexton having a dedicated line of truly gluten-free options, including the recent Gluten-Free IPA and the newest Gluten-Free Sour, featuring a boat-load of Haskap berries). And Chef Chris Mercer and team in the kitchen have created more than a dozen GF food items, including baking and refining their own potato bun that is the base of either a beef or spicy cod burger. And in chatting with the Brewdock team, they expect to have a few of these items (and beer) on all the time going forward, giving those who live with Celiac Disease, or who just want to reduce their gluten ingestion, more options in their glasses or on their plates.

Mark your calendars for next Saturday, October 23, as the Stillwell Freehouse will be welcoming Microbrasserie Les Grands Bois, located in Saint-Casimir, Quebec. Founded in 2016 in a movie theatre built in the 1940s, Les Grands Bois has a wide portfolio of beer in house, and are sending ten of them to Agricola Street. From Grisettes, Kolsch, Pils, to New England and American IPAs, there promises to be something for everyone that day. And with it being the last day of Burger Week, you can try Chef Graeme’s house-made-beef-bacon- and cheddar-sauce-topped creation one last time… And in “It’s That Time of Year Again”, remember that the Stillwell Beergarden on Spring Garden is winding down for the season Sunday, October 17, so grab those afternoon and evening pints and Beverly Taco Service eats before they close the metal gates for another year. The good news is that Beverly are expected to be back slinging tacos from Sourwood Cider’s location on Cornwallis later this month.

It’s well past the midpoint of August now and we’re sitting here melting into puddles and wondering when the soothing cool nights we’re usually enjoying by this point in the year are. Thankfully, our region’s breweries are stepping up to ensure we’ve got plenty of beer to keep us refreshed and to help us forget that our planet is on fire. Wheeee! While we’re still a ways away from our target vaccination numbers for the “new normal” Phase 5 / Green / Alert Level 1, we’re definitely hearing and seeing evidence that there are more folks visiting from out of the region and more people trying to get out and enjoy themselves. We’d like to remind everyone to be smart and be kind when it comes to their interactions over the coming weeks. If you’re seeing lots of people, try to be outside about it, continue to take advantage of the free testing facilities that are still available, and try not to put vulnerable folks at risk. Most of all, be good to each other, and especially to those folks who are working in restaurants that are just opening up or just expanding service. People are adjusting to being back at work after long layoffs, restaurants are adjusting to higher demand and a different balance of takeout/delivery and in-person dining, and everyone is learning how to be out in public again. We’re still all in this together!!

We’ll start off this week with a Halifax brewery that doesn’t constantly pump out new releases, but instead focuses on consistency and quality delivered with attitude: Unfiltered Brewing. Of course, you probably figure that if we are talking about them, it’s because they do have something new, and you’d be right about that. Featuring a name you have to be old enough to appreciate, Gazoo is a 4.5% ABV key lime sour. Bright, tart and a fairly low ABV, it’ll be an excellent refresher for the awfully humid weather the HRM has been enduring. Although it won’t magically fix everything, it’s got some awfully cute little antennae on the label to boot; if you’re wondering why, you need to get more Flintstones into your life. Grab some at the brewery before it disappears back to Zetox. While you’re at it, you can also grab some Hellevator, their 7% “juicy malt bomb” with all German ingredients (save water) that has returned for another run, and also some ultra fresh DOA, the most Citra beer that ever Citra’d.

Despite being on Canada’s east coast, Newfoundland’s Split Rock Brewing Co.’s location on North Twillingate Island affords it an unobstructed westward ocean view, which means beautiful sunsets filling the summer sky. In a nod to this, Split Rock is releasing Golden Hour, a 6.5% juicy IPA. Expect big tropical, stone fruit and citrusy notes from additions of El Dorado, Galaxy and Amarillo hops, with mostly late additions keeping the bitterness low. Grab a pint now at the taproom (may we suggest around sunset time). 

Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing may be best known for their juicy and flavourful New England IPAs (Route 117 and Citra in a Galaxy come to mind), but this week they’re bringing something completely different. Has Been is a Grisette, a lighter-bodied and more delicate French/Belgian Farmhouse Saison. While low in alcohol, at just 4.3% ABV, it features plenty of lovely notes from the Lemondrop and Motueka hops used, complemented by the use of Jotünn kveik yeast from Escarpment Labs, for a dry and spritzy beer with a fruity and herbal finish. On draught only, so put Le Barbu and CAVOK in Dieppe, as well as Tide & Boar Brewing on your shortlist to visit this weekend. And if your looking for something a little different, Caffé Latte is coming to Le Barbu in the next day or two. This is a Milk Stout (a touch of lactose sugar used for body and residual sweetness) with cold-brewed coffee added to the secondary. Keep an eye on IG to see that tapping announcement!

Up on the North side of Nova Scotia, Tatamagouche Brewing has one new beer hitting the shelves this week and a couple of returning favorites as well. Up first is the newbie with a name, Herlihy, that, if you’re old and decrepit like us, you might think you recognize from early 90s Saturday Night Live (“Let the boy water your plants!”), but which is actually a reference to a road in Tabusintac, NB, and is pronounced Her-Lee-High rather than Her-Li-Hee. An Irish Stout with a fairly low ABV at 4.5%, the grist consists largely of pale malt with some crackery biscuit malt and chocolate malt to bring roasty chocolatey flavors and a deep dark color. UK hop variety Fuggle provides its classic spicy, herbal, and resiny profile, and the London ESB yeast strain ensures plenty of body and a smooth mouthfeel. Look for this one in cans at the brewery for now.

If, however, you’re looking for something at the lighter end of the spectrum, the latest batch of Pausa Pranzo Italian Pilsner is available now, this time with a little heavier hand with the Ariana on the dry hop but with the same malt side and 5.0% ABV. Lastly, if what you’re really craving is something nice and hoppy, but not too high on the ABV spectrum, we can confirm that the Cellar Slammer we mentioned last week is available once again direct from the brewery or at Bishop’s Cellar (who are also scheduled to be carrying the Pausa Pranzo) in Halifax.

Tusket Falls Brewing is bringin’ the hops this week with the release of a new DIPA, Details are Cloudy. This 8% ABV take on the style gets its cloudy mouthfeel by adding oats to a malt bill featuring German barley. Big dry hops of Citra and Amarillo give this one lots of fruit notes, including tangerine, lemon and peach. Cans are available at the taproom now and online through TFB’s webstore. HRM fans of Tusket should also keep an eye on the brewery’s social channels as they’ve teased that the opening date of their Gottingen Street taproom will be announced soon. Check below if you’re interested in becoming part of their team…

Let’s stick with cloudy and pillowy IPAs, this time at North Grant’s Half Cocked Brewery. Pillow Fort is a juicy, 7.4% NEIPA that features huge additions of Idaho 7, Eukanot and Mosaic. The photos of this one on Half Cocked’s social channels show a beautiful golden colour, with the telltale NEIPA haze. Expect lots of tropical fruit aromas and flavours, including papaya and mango, as well as some vanilla notes. Pillow Fort is available now for pints and growler fills, keep your eyes peeled for kegs in the wild in HRM next week! And those who make the visit to North Grant are well-advised to check out The Crafty Cooks, the food truck operating onsite this summer. They even open early for Brunch!

First across the post with Oktoberfest/Marzen beers this year, Grimross in Fredericton has released their eponymous beer in this style. Oktoberfest, a 5.6% ABV malt-forward beer, featuring bread and toast characters, as well as light brown sugar and toffee notes. Available on tap and in cans now. Also returning is their Grimdonk Belgian Golden Ale, 6.5% ABV, with notes of banana, clove, and coriander, also on draught and cans. These returning faves join the latest entries in their Scratch Series, Hopped Saison and Irish Red. The latter is a farmhouse ale fermented using their own house-isolated yeast, and then dry-hopped with Hallertau Blanc. The Irish Red features malt-derived notes of caramel and coffee, with a dry finish, weighing in at 4.5% ABV.

And as right… now… you can grab a pint of Grimross’ British Mild, pouring direct from a cask, where it was naturally carbonated in the traditional manner, leading to a softer mouthfeel and less bite. This is the absolute last of the Mild in-house, though ANBL still has cans for those die hard anglophiles.

If cider is more your thing this weekend, head down to Wolfville for the latest release from Annapolis Cider Company’s Something Different line. Strawberry Lime starts with the cidery’s cold fermented cider and some fresh apple juice, and sees additions of fresh-pressed local strawberries and pure lime juice. The result is a 6% ABV rose gold colored cider, with subtle berry flavours and a crisp finish. The good people at Annapolis Cider Co. are also donating $0.50 from each refill of Strawberry Line to Shelter Moves Nova Scotia, a charity that provides free moving and storage service to women and children fleeing abuse. Cheers to that.

Big news out of Spryfield, Nova Scotia this week, where the much-anticipated Mary Brown’s Chicken opened their doors yesterday. But before we go completely off-topic, we’ve got to remind you that the best spot to enjoy your Big Mary is next door at Serpent Brewing, where they’ve got a new British Dark Mild pouring these days, their 4.0% Some Mild. Notes of toast, nut, and caramel shine through, with a touch of fruity sweetness from the English yeast. On draught and in crowlers and growlers to go. And if you’re in downtown Dartmouth, you can grab it at Battery Park, where their Eden Belgian IPA is also pouring. On the Halifax side, White Mountain Witbier is at the Stillwell Freehouse. For those who are more into enjoying their beer at home or at the beach, cans of Eden and Patey’s Bier Belgian Single are both being released at Bishop’s Cellar tomorrow.

Most people know that Halifax’s Bishop’s Cellar is the place to go when it comes to finding a well-curated selection of local, regional, domestic, and imported tipples of all kinds. In addition to beers mentioned above, some new things you’ll find on the shelves there in the next week or two include Tanner & Co. Wheat, Mountain Meadworks Strawberry Arboreal, and Big Spruce Hour of Sour. Though they’ve always had Province-wide delivery available, the pandemic has certainly altered their business model and they’re now finding themselves looking for more help on the warehousing and delivery front. Folks who have a Class 5 drivers license, a desire to work in a fast-paced and friendly environment, and who are interested in getting into the bevvy industry on the distribution side are welcome to send a resume to ian@bishopscellar.com. Perks of the job include a staff discount on beer, wine, and spirits!

We teased earlier that Tusket Falls’ Halifax taproom is inching towards a grand opening. As they grow their operations, Tusket is looking to hire for both its HRM and Yarmouth County locations. They are currently on the hunt for serving and kitchen staff. If you’re interested, send a resume to info@tusketfallsbrewing.com or stop by the taproom in Tusket.

Trying to figure out what to do this weekend? Those in HRM have a couple of great options!

Last week’s post mentioned the Island Release of the Lone Oak and 2 Crows Together and Apart beers, and the time has come to let the rest of the world enjoy them as well. We’ll skip the details on the beer, and let you know that 2C’s webstore has both in stock for local delivery as well as Canada-wide shipping. And to celebrate, the fine folks at Lone Oak are making the trek off-island and will be doing a tap feature on Brunswick Street tomorrow from noon. Fixed Link German Pils, Modest Tiny Pale Ale, Yankee Gale APA, Delight Golden Sour with Peaches, and Rouge Farmhouse with Lucie Kuhlmann Grapes will be pouring alongside a handful of house-brewed beer. And to make this truly an event not to be missed, the fine folks from Tako Loko will be popping up from noon as well, providing some much-needed sustenance to keep you drinking all afternoon.

For those looking for a cider-based events (but still love tacos!), great news! Thanks to some special relationships with world-class cider makers to both the East and South, Stillwell Beergarden will be hosting a “Side by Side” tap feature of three sought after and super great ciders on draught. From Spain, Isastegi is located in the Basque region, renowned for their natural cider, and Stilly was able to finagle some of their Sagardo Naturala to pour alongside Oliver’s Cider from Herefordshire in England, and ANXO Cider from Washington, DC. Whether you are a hard-core apple-head, or new to cider, we suggest making a stop on Monday and/or Tuesday to check out the offerings on the go!

 

If you felt the heat wave earlier this week, we hope you were stocked up with local treats to keep you cool. Or if you live on the Avalon or Labrador, maybe something to keep you warm during yesterday’s flurries! This weekend looks like another sunny one across Atlantic Canada, so why not stock up and enjoy them safely at home or get out on a patio if you’re comfortable! Either way, we know our local libation lovers will support their own establishments as best they can and we’re back again to help spread the news!

As PEI Craft Beer Week winds down this weekend, Upstreet Brewing is launching an annual favourite collaboration with The Inn at Bay Fortune. Fireworks, named after the kitchen at Chef Michael Smith’s on-farm restaurant, is a Farmhouse Ale featuring a whole bunch of local grain, malt, and other special ingredients. Island Malt House-grown and -malted Pilsner, Biscuit, Wheat, Toasted Wheat, Buckwheat, Malted Oats, and Rye made up the grist bill, giving the yeasty beasties a whole bunch of different sugars and other carbs to munch on over the course a several months. After the boil of the wort was completed, Ekuanot and Pekko hops were added to the whirlpool (during a rest before cooling), and once fermentation subsided, Lemondrop was added to amplify a citrus character. During that conditioning time, ingredients straight from the Culinary Farm on Bay Fortune were added, including more than 200 kg of crab apples, dried marigold, and citrus basil, all hand picked and curated by the IaBF team and Upstreet crew. The resulting beer has floral and earthy notes, with barnyard and hay on the nose, with a light acidity and carbonation to keep it refreshing. The beer is debuting tomorrow at the Upstreet tap room on Allen Street in Charlottetown, with a tasting kicking off at 3 PM. Bottles will also be available at their Craft Beer Corner location downtown, and of course at The Inn at Bay Fortune. And those in HRM may soon be able to grab bottles at their Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse in Burnside and private stores as well, so keep your eyes peeled!

Upstreet is also continuing the releases today with the second in their Libra line of non-alcoholic beers, with Libra Hazy IPA. Bumping up the hops from their Libra North Cape Pale Ale, but still in a sub 0.5% ABV package, the beer features loads of Idaho 7, El Dorado, Citra, and Mosaic late in the process, to keep it from being too tongue-coating bitter, while still imparting plenty of great citrus, tropical fruit character those hops are known for. Available in short cans at the taproom, CBC, and online for delivery Canada-wide (soon), as well as other spots in the coming weeks (remember, not alc = wider availability!). Cheers to Mitch, Hogie, and the crew for providing more low- and non-alc beer alternatives to those looking to moderate their intake of alcohol while still having a flavourful drink!

Let’s keep it going with more PEICBW info, as one of the OG PEI breweries welcomes their younger pals to take over their taps tomorrow. The Gahan House will be pouring several of their own After Hours seasonal and one-off brews, while also welcoming Bogside Brewing, Copper Bottom, Lone Oak, Upstreet, and Village Green to pour their latest and greatest beers. Look for new releases, old favourites, and cool change-ups from everyone involved! The pouring starts at 11:30 AM and goes all day and night. And of course be sure to check out the cool new beers and events from Evermoore, Moth Lane, and PEI Brewing Co this weekend, and the rest of the year!

To the mainland we go, stopping in at Spryfield, Nova Scotia’s own Serpent Brewing, with two new beers to tell you about this week. Both are part of their Beer Creation Experience, where the public had a chance to design a Serpent beer, from style, recipe, ingredients, all the way to the label on the bottle. Released last weekend was Pavo Tropical IPA, and while it does not contain any actual fruit, the hops chosen, namely Amarillo, Magnum, and Mosaic, do a fine job of imparting a ton of berry and citrus, with a touch of pine too. At 5.4% and 50 IBU, the hazy IPA (XPA? Big APA?) is perfect for enjoying on their patio this weekend, or in bottles to take away. 

Debuting today is the next in the Serpent BCE, Whatermelon is Wrong Wit You? Taking a cue from NS Premier Rankin’s question to those not following COVID protocol by reducing interactions, this pun-tacularly named beer is a spin on their White Mountain Belgian Witbier, but elevated to the next level. Long-time friend-of-Serpent Nick Sanford has been sampling owner Glen O’Keefe’s homebrew for years, assisted during the brewery construction, and even stepped in to become a Founder of the brewery, and designed Whatermelon based on a homebrew he and Glen had enjoyed on a camping trip years ago. Taking the already flavourful White Mountain recipe as a starting point, even more orange peel was added to brighten the beer, with watermelon added post-fermentation to let the fruit shine through with little distraction. The 5.5% beer is available now in bottles and on draught at the brewery for imbibing on their patio this weekend (and indoors next, Strang-willing). And stop by Saturday and/or Sunday to grab some great Jamaican snacks and meals from Jamdouns Food Truck who will be parked adjacent to the patio!

Heading up to Newfoundland and in particular, Port Rexton Brewing, where the gang have managed to get their beery paws on some 355 mL silver bullets. In celebration of this minor coup (seriously, cans are in wretchedly short supply across North America right now), they’re filling them up with delightfully crushable liquids for your enjoyment. Up first is Whitecap, a bright and refreshing session NEIPA that began its life as a taproom favorite Wet Yer Whistle. With a nice light body and a “sounds like another one” ABV of 3.8%, you’ll find it available today at the PR taproom and also at their St. John’s retail shop. These are only being sold in singles right now and once they’re gone they’re gone until more can stock comes in, as they’re holding some aluminum aside for another light and tasty release next week! And if you’re into beer and outdoor activities in the PR area, you should check out the guided hike around the Skerwink Trail being hosted weekly by PR, Paul Dean and Fishers’ Loft Inn. No fee or registration required, just a desire for a lovely walk and an ear for Paul’s geologic knowledge and stories. The hike will end at Port Rexton where you’ll get your first pint at 50% off. Sounds like a pretty good deal to us! More details available from this Fishers’ Loft Ig post.

Further island vibes from Newfoundland bring a new release from Bannerman this week. Vibe Architect is a 5.0% Witbier which is the first of its kind from the St. John’s crew. Brewed with pilsner malt, flaked wheat, flaked corn and some malted wheat, the hop profile is a blend of European hops that provide great balance. With a true to style flavour profile, expect orange and coriander notes with some nice sweetness from sweet orange peel and spices. This is a renowned and respected style (see: Allagash White) that is complex, subtle and refreshing. This one is available now in cans, on tap at the brewery as well as select Marie’s locations. 

Back down to Nova Scotia, where in the Northern part of the province Tatamagouche Brewing is getting their summer on the go a little early. We told you a couple of weeks ago about the return of Dekorum Lime, which sees their ultra-sessionable Dekorum lager meet treatment with tonnes of lime flavor. Well they didn’t stop there! This week two more variants on that ABV base are available that leverage organic juice concentrates to provide a little summery pizzazz. Dekorum Mandarin and Dekorum Blood Orange are both still 2.9% ABV crushers, each with a slightly different citrus twist. Sounds like an opportunity to grab (at least) 4 cans (OG, lime, and the two debutants) and commence with Dekorum Battle 2021!! That all said, if you’re a Dekorum lover, but not interested in the new fruity variants, check out their current online-only deal, $45 of your finest Canadian dollars for 24 refreshing cans!

Meanwhile, the Tata gang is gearing up for some birthday shenanigans next week as they turn seven years old! We’ll have all the details for you in next Friday’s post, but in advance of that, know that they’ll be running happy hour pricing from Thursday to Sunday on pints at the taproom along with some other on-site promos. There will also be four new beers for you to sample, including two low-abv funky offerings. Check back here next week for the full details on those and maybe keep an eye on Tata’s socials (Fb, Ig, Tw) for more info on the celebrations.

As Halifax and Nova Scotia are getting hopeful with their re-opening plan, Garrison is bringing some new releases for everyone to enjoy. First up, they have a new series called Hop Mess, which will be a mix of summer releases where the brewers will be experimenting with hop stands (adding hops at flameout and letting the hops stand in the hot wort before chilling) and heavy handed dry-hopping. In their own words they want to “create some messy, dank & crazy flavourful IPAs.” The first release of this series is Hop Mess IPA #1:  Aussie Rules, where they’re adding Eclipse, Topaz and Australian Cascade hops post-flameout and in the fermenter. At 6.7% this is going to be hop-forward upfront with low lingering bitterness. This is a limited run that is available now in cans only at their taprooms in Halifax. 

The other new release at Garrison taprooms is a partnership with Bulwark, as their Blush cider will be available in cans at the Garrison Seaport and Oxford locations. Using the fresh juice from Bulwark, this is fermented and canned at Garrison at their locations. If you know Blush, it’s a tasty local cider that balances wild berries and apple flavours at a very drinkable and fresh 5.8%. 

The newest addition to the Antigonish beer scene continues to put out new and interesting beers during their soft opening phase. This week, Candid Brewing Company is releasing Working Joe Breakfast Stout. Described by the brewery as “if cold brew were beer”, this one features Ethiopia-sourced coffee from renowned Halifax roaster, Java Blend. Working Joe is the first release in Candid’s Side Door Series of one-off batches. You can find it today (Friday), at Candid’s weekly pop-up sale (reminder that Candid will be opening for retail hours every Friday from 1:00 to 6:00 PM until it’s grand opening), for takeaway in pre-filled 1L growlers. Cans of their Northeast IPA, Party Line, and APA with blood orange, No Brainer, will also be available. 

From one university town to another, Wolfville’s Church Brewing also has a new small batch release ready for your weekend. Pomona is a cranberry sour that comes in at 4% ABV for your summer session enjoyment. Brewed with barley, wheat, flaked wheat, and oats, and lightly hopped with Magnum to the tune of 8 IBUs, you can expect notes of rhubarb and lemon zest on the nose, with a puckering cranberry flavour and tart finish. Pomona is named after the Roman goddess of fruit trees, gardens and orchards, something Wolfville and the surrounding Annapolis Valley can boast plenty of. You can grab some today in crowlers from their onsite Beer Market, or enjoy a pint on their expansive taproom/restaurant patio. 

You may recall that we passed on some info last week concerning two brand new Saisons from Big Spruce; well, they’re continuing that trend this week with yet another Saison, Fruit Bomb. Fermented with two different Brett strains (B. anomola and B. bruxellensis), along with a “clean” Saison strain, it was hopped with organic French Barbe Rouge. The yeast and hops blend together to produce “a nose of summer strawberries spilling into a bowl of peach and nectarine”, to complement the floral and spicy flavours you’d expect from any well-brewed Saison. Refreshing and dry, and 6.8% ABV, it’s the perfect warm weather sipper. Look for it on tap right at the source, and at your favourite Big Spruce watering holes across NS; looks like there should be some bottles available, too! 

But that’s not all, as Big Spruce has been busy as usual! They’re also (re-)excited about the first beer that was fermented and aged in their 500 L foedre, which has been fittingly named Début. Now technically this one was released back in April and may have been spotted in the city at Battery Park, but it’s not been seen in the HRM since then, so you could maybe suggest that this week marks a re-debut of Debut, which is debuting at Stillwell Freehouse right now! Described as “crisp and herbaceous,” it’s Oak-fermented, dry hopped with Huell Melon, and 4.9% ABV. Sounds like a debut that’s worth checking out!

Just one event to tell you about (beside the PEI Craft Beer Week goings on above)

Despite having to navigate through closures, pivoting to online sales, reopenings, and managing one of Halifax’s most popular outdoor watering holes, Stillwell continues to bring us the goods from out of province. This Saturday at the Beergarden, they’ll be pouring seven bangers from British Columbia’s Four Winds Brewing. Your intrepid beer bloggers have had the privilege to share several Four Winds bottles over the years, and we can confidently say that the quality is up there with the best that Canada has to offer. The event will feature styles that appeal to every beer palette, including lagers, a variety of IPAs, a table saison, and their flagship dry-hopped sour, Nectarous. Check out Stillwell’s Instagram post for more details on the beers and event. While we’re talking Stillwell, a friendly reminder that the 2021 version of Preach dropped in the Stillwell Brewing webstore and is now available for Friday deliveries in HRM and shipping country-wide. Look for Preach and the newest batch of Stilly Pils on rotation at the Beergarden and the Stillwell Freehouse patio, before indoor enjoyment comes next week.

A couple more things to look out for, before you hit the patios this afternoon…

It’s Pride Month all over the world (though the parade in Halifax this year will be in August) and Truro Brewing Company has something light, fresh and bright to celebrate. Pulp’d Fiction is a Berliner Weisse with Blood Orange. Always a delicious style that is tart and refreshing, this comes in at 4.0% and is available on tap today at the brewery. 

Another quick hitter from Halifax’s own Bishop’s Cellar as they’re bringing in some bottles from Quebec’s Brasserie Dunham. Always a pleasure to see in our local shops, there are 3 new bottles now available at Bishop’s with more releases from Dunham in the coming month. You can pick up a Mata Hari Gose, Berliner Passion Weisse and the classic Saison du Pinnacle on Saturday in-store or online.