Boomstick Brewing

All posts tagged Boomstick Brewing

The great news keeps rolling out in our region, with New Brunswick entering Phase 1, and almost immediately Phase 2, of their Path to Green, with Nova Scotia allowing in-person dining and drinking Wednesday, allowing many of our favourite watering holes to re-open. And the re-imagined Atlantic (and Maine?) Bubble looks to become a reality next week as vaccine uptake and recoveries trend up, and case numbers trend down. We’re doing it folks, it’s happening! Let’s celebrate with more than a dozen new beer, plenty of events, and new openings to tell you about this week!

One of the spots that has been able to open this week is a brand new Nova Scotia-only beer bar in Lower Sackville, years in development and months in the construction. Tapestry Beer Bar is located at 833 Sackville Drive, just up from the Beaverbank Connector Road at Exit 2 of the 101. Concentrating on “the smaller breweries around the Province that don’t have a footprint in the HRM”, Tapestry owner Ian Smith is a long-time beer fan, and has driven across the province seeking out breweries that may not otherwise be pouring in the area. The 20-tap draught system features beer and cider from Yarmouth to Sydney, with Heritage Brewing, Hell Bay, Horton Ridge, Tanner & Co, Smokehouse Nano, Hilltop Hops, Harbour, and Big Spruce showcasing the best from away on their initial tap list, as well as locals such as Off Track, Lake City, Unfiltered, and fellow Sackville establishment Ol’ Biddy’s. Even with COVID restrictions, there is plenty of room for those looking to pop in for a pint, with seating for 50 in 10 bubbles in booths, lounging spaces, and stools at the bar. Beer and cider is the focus at Tapestry, with visitors allowed to bring their own food if they’d like, taking advantage of their great location, with Pizzadelic and Apt 3 Coffee in the same building, and Mary Brown’s and Kaiser’s Subs just a quick walk away. Open Tuesday to Friday 2 – 11 PM, and Saturday and Sunday 12 – 11 PM, be sure to pop by and support the Tapestry crew in their quest to bring more great beer to Lower Sackville!

If you’ve been paying attention to your beery social media this week, you may have noticed that TrailWay has been hyping a collaboration with an Ontario brewery that they recently did (virtually, of course) and would be releasing this week. That beer – and the info to go with it! – has finally dropped as of yesterday, so here’s the scoop to get you fired up on your way over to TW’s taproom in Fredericton to grab some cans. The beer, The Big Dance, was brewed with Town Brewery from Whitby, ON. Like TrailWay, Town has a majority of their beers in the “hazy and hoppy” category, and is definitely well-regarded in that particular area (at least). The two breweries discovered that they have more in common than just their tastes – a staff member at Town has a parent who went to prom with a parent of one of the TW co-owners, hence the name of the beer! The beer itself is an APA that was hopped with no-doubt large amounts of Amarillo, Strata, and Eclipse, with hibiscus flowers and passion fruit also added during the brewing process. The beer is looking hazy and pink, giving off “notes of passion fruit, freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice, red beers, and tropical fruit, with some floral and herbal character”, all thanks to the hibiscus, fruit and hop additions. You can find it on tap and in cans at the brewery, but don’t wait to pick some up, as it likely won’t be around too long.

Time flies at Upstreet Brewing, where they’re releasing the 6th version of their annual De Novo series. De Novo VI – Dry Hopped Pineapple Tangerine Saison will be available next week, and for the first time, is being packaged in cans. This one starts with pilsner malt and wheat from Island Malt House, plus an addition of Simpsons Golden Naked Oats.  It was then dry-hopped with Bru-1 and Mandarina Bavaria before additions of pineapple and tangerine concentrates. De Novo VI pours a light orange color with notes of banana, stone fruit, tropical fruit and bubblegum. Some slightly spicy yeast notes round out the 5% ABV Saison. Although De Novo is being released next week, Upstreet’s sixth anniversary is not until June 26. Check this space next week for more details on their planned celebration. 

We mentioned last week that Tatamagouche Brewing is celebrating their 7th anniversary this week and that they’d be releasing some new beers to celebrate, and sure enough, they’ve delivered! Four brand new beers hit the taps and retail this week, two smaller and lighter, and two of the bigger and more complex variety. Starting with the summer refresher side of the spectrum, we have Ketch, a classic Berliner Weiße coming in at 3.1% ABV. 355 mL can- and keg-conditioned, it was fermented with a combination of lactobacillus and a traditional German Kölsch yeast in the primary before a secondary fermentation spell with the Berliner brettanomyces strain from Escarpment Labs. Bright and acidic, but also featuring some funk, this could very well be one of the rare small beers that benefits from some time in the cellar. That said, we’re pretty confident that it’ll be pretty dang tasty right away, on it’s own or with traditional woodruff or other fruit syrups!

The other “light and lively” beer this week is Wherry, a 3.8% grisette. Fermented with Escarpment Labs’ New World Saison yeast blend, which contains both saccharomyces and brettanomyces strains for a rustic charm, the beer itself is also a blend of barrel-aged and stainless steel conditioned versions of the same base beer, with the neutral oak of the barrel side really popping in the finished beer. Continuing with the trend of packaging smaller beers in smaller formats, this one is also in 355 mL cans.

On to the bigger, bolder beers, the first new offering is actually a variation on one of the brewery’s longest-running beers, an award-winning IPA that’s been going strong since September of 2015: Deception Bay. Still very much in the West Coast style for IPA, featuring Huell Melon, Mandarina Bavaria, and Citra hops, it provided a suitably hoppy base for Resurgence a new barrel-aged Brett IPA. Basically DB packed into a barrel with some brettanomyces for a while, before a quick and modest dry hop of Huell Melon, this 6.8% beer was then can- and keg-conditioned to produce a drier, funkier, and somewhat fruitier version of the original. Contributing to the character as well were the previous two hoppy residents of the barrel (and there’s another one in there now, so stay tuned!). Look for this one in 473 mL cans.

And the last of the four new releases this week is Vintage Lane, a barrel-aged saison that was aged on Muscat grape skins and in barrels both from Jost Vineyards. A blend of two saisons, one of which is essentially the Edel from a few years ago, this beer celebrates the brewery’s connection with “the vineyard down the road.” Coming in at 6.6% ABV, it was (500 mL) bottle- and keg-conditioned, with the bottle artwork echoing that connection. Look for all of these beers to be available in packaged format direct from the brewery in the coming days, at various Tata tap accounts throughout the province, and potentially at some of the private stores. We’ve been advised that Stillwell HQ should have all four of these on tap at some point, The Freehouse Ketch and Wherry, and on the packaged side, Bishop’s Cellar is expected to have the Ketch. If you wish to go direct, you can grab pints at the taproom or get free shipping all weekend long by using the promo code 7YEARS at checkout at the Tata Online Store. And a very happy Anniversary from all of us here to Matt and Christiane and the rest of the gang!!

North Brewing has teamed up with a trio of local partners for their newest release, Twice the Wild, a barrel aged Belgian Dubbel. The beer was brewed in September 2020 with help from the guys at A for Adventure, using base malts sourced from PEI’s Shoreline Malting. The brew day also saw the addition of Lucie Kuhlmann grapes from the 2nd partner in the collaboration, Benjamin Bridge. The beer was then fermented with Sacch. Trois and barrel aged for six months in neutral wine barrels, before refermentation in stainless tanks using local honey from Casman & Widden. The result is a bottle conditioned, 8.0% Dubbel that also offers great cellaring potential. Which brings us to the final partner in the collab, the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. NSNT is currently in the midst of its Twice the Wild campaign, where a group of funders have agreed to match donations at four times their value! $5 from every bottle of Twice the Wild will go to the campaign, which means every bottle you buy leads to $25 that will be used to protect and conserve lands in Nova Scotia. Grab it today at North’s two retail locations in Dartmouth or for delivery via their online store. And if you’re there in-person, why not stay for a smashie from their taproom restaurant, Side Hustle, which is now open for indoor and patio dining.

With a big weekend of returning to in-person indoor service in Nova Scotia, you had to expect 2 Crows would decide to gift everyone* with a couple of exciting new releases that are the result of an exciting new collaboration between 2C and Lightfoot & Wolfville vineyard. First up is Vitis, a lager beer that was brewed with Riesling piquette. In the grand tradition of 2C making some of the most ambitious (read: complicated) beers in the region, this one takes a little explaining. It all started with a Pilsner that was brewed with a little bit of wheat, hopped in the kettle with Hallertau Blanc and fermented cool with Mexican Lager yeast. Towards the end of fermentation a small amount of that beer was used to make a piquette along with water and a “whole lot” of fresh Riesling pomace from L&W. The piquette was allowed to pass peak sugar content, but not to fully ferment out by the natural yeasts present on the grape skins, before being transferred to tank with the remainder of the lager, where the whole shebang was capped and, essentially, krausened with the remaining grape sugars instead of wort. Once target gravity was reached, the temperature was dropped and the beer was lagered for eight weeks. The result is a “crisp and lively” light lager that also features Riesling character in the form of pear, melon, and honeyed citrus. Complex, yes, nuanced, sure! but crushable too at 4.6% ABV and 11 IBU! Look for it on tap and in 355 mL cans at the brewery right away, and likely some other places as time goes on.

Part two of this collaboration is a true Piquette, one that doesn’t contain any beer, but definitely has a brewer’s touch to it. This one started with Scheurebe grapes, a lesser-known variety grown largely in Germany and Austria that’s known for being highly aromatic and being used to produce sweeter wines. For this piquette, L&W picked and crushed the grapes, then 2 Crows grabbed the resulting pomace and trucked it back to the brewery where it was macerated in water for several weeks. From there, the water chemistry was adjusted and the natural yeasts present on the skins were allowed to ferment it out before a light dry hop of Saphir and Mandarina Bavaria provided the finishing aromatic touches. Conditioned with local honey, the result is Scheurebe Piquette, a 4.3% ABV refreshing  beverage with notes of grapefruit and a bit of ginger on top of a soft minerality. You can find it for in-person enjoyment at release parties this afternoon at Lightfoot & Wolfville and tomorrow at 2 Crows. You’ll be able to purchase 355 mL cans to go on-site at L&W this weekend or next week at Bishop’s Cellar. Unfortunately, due to NSLC regulations†, 2 Crows can’t actually sell this one to go in packaged form.

* Ed.: except maybe those of us who have to write it all up

† Ed.: Fucking SERIOUSLY?!

After major renovations, a few can-sales-only weekends, and a pause to right themselves, Tidehouse Brewing’s Slightly-Less-Tiny-Tasting-Taproom is open once again. Open Wednesday through Saturday, 4 – 11 PM, owner/brewer Shean Higgins is concentrating efforts on getting the good stuff in your glass at their spot at 5187 Salter Street, with less of a focus on packaging for the time being. Growlers are on pause, with can sales winding down, so that the offerings from their small brewhouse keep the taps stocked. Those taps are full right now, with 6 beers flowing, including Chrysalis Cream Ale (5.5%), Hibiscus City Sour w/ lime and hibiscus (4.5%), Saddle Up IPA w/ Enigma, Eclipse, and Citra (7.0%), Peachy Fuzzies Sour w/ Peach Rooibos Tea from World Tea House (4.5%), Mars Imperial Stout w/ blackberries & Mars bars (11.0%), and Goth Stout American Stout (5.0%). Learn more about the renovations, beers, and everything else in the latest 902 BrewCast which dropped on #902Tuesday.

Remember when 902 BrewCast used to interview brewers and other beer industry professionals?! We promise, that was a thing. Well, they are back in business this week with a 2+ hour interview with Tidehouse’s Shean Higgins and Sprindrift’s Jeff Green. Updates from both breweries, changes at CBANS, and what they’re looking forward to drinking this summer. Check out the episode here, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Speaking of Spindrift Brewing, let’s get you up to date with all of the news coming out of Burnside… Firstly, as mentioned in the 902BC, they’ve just completed an expansion/beautifying of their outdoor seating area, The Spinyard, where folks can lap up the sun while enjoying samples and pints from the brewery at 21 Frazee Avenue, open Tuesday – Friday 11 – 5:30 and Saturday 11 – 4:30. One of the new offerings you can find on tap is a new addition to their core offerings, Sea Glass IPA, a NEIPA weighing in at 7.0% ABV, featuring a light and pale malt bill, with plenty of late- and dry-hopping of Amarillo, Azacca, and Vic Secret, resulting in a soft mouthfeel and blast of pineapple, mango, and lemon. Joining the core lineup is SunDaze, a 4.8% ABV Pale Ale, featuring the lovely Galaxy and Centennial hops, giving great notes of pine, grapefruit, and passion fruit. Both are on tap now for growler fills and pints, and cans to go (SunDaze is coming reeeeeal soon to cans), and hitting the NSLC in the coming weeks.

Spindrift also has a new seasonal on tap, Strawberry Run, a 5.0% ABV Ale, lightly- hopped with Comet, before undergoing a secondary fermentation on Strawberry puree, with Key Lime juice which delivers plenty of acidity to keep it refreshing. Pints and growlers now, cans coming soon to Burnside and NSLC locations. And they have let us know that their Spindrift Oak Manor location in downtown Antigonish will be opening soon, almost certainly (probably maybe) before the end of June! Pair that with the massive expansion at their Burnside location, and a brand refresh, there’s plenty of new excitement from the crew.

Cornwall’s Village Green is back at it with two new releases. First up is Milk Stout, which starts with a mix of English malts and includes the addition of lactose, per the style. Milk Stout comes in at a sessionable 4.2% ABV and with just enough bitterness at 20 IBUs. Check it out today on tap in Cornwall, where it is also available to-go in cans. Next up is A Lager Bier, Village Green’s first foray into the world of bottom-fermenting. This one uses Vienna malt, which gives a nice bready note, and is hopped with German Tettnanger. A Lager Bier is on tap now at the brewery.

Antigonish’s Candid Brewing continues its run of new Friday releases with a pair of entries to their core lineup. First announced is Lagerish, a 4.8% Kolsch-style lagered ale, brewed to be bright, crisp, clean, and refreshing. Joining it is Town Crier, named in celebration of the former newspaper and publisher tenant of their 88 College Street location. A 5.0% Altbier-style bier, this clear copper beer is brewed to let the malt shine through, without hops taking centre stage. Six different beers are available to go today 1 – 6 PM and again tomorrow from 1 – 4 PM. And those in HRM will soon be able to enjoy Candid in their mugs, as kegs are being sent to Dartmouth’s Battery Park in the coming weeks.

Hey hey, check it out! Events can kinda be a thing again!!

The Saint John area is celebrating Craft Beverage Week, with a full load of events wrapping up tomorrow. But before they do, you still have time to:

Get on out and support those producers in the region!

Also on the go today in New Brunswick is the launch of CAVOK Brewing’s new satellite taproom and retail spot in Cap-Pelé. Located at 150 Allée du Parc, it’s just steps from Aboiteau Beach, and shares the building with Restaurant à la Dune. While their neighbours handle your food needs, CAVOK’s 12 taps and retail fridge can handle everything else! Their location features a large deck overlooking the beach and water with seating for more than 50 people, and if the weather isn’t lovely, there’s room for the same inside. They even fill growlers, but if you’re headed to the beach, no glass, eh! The beach location is open from noon until late every day this summer, and pouring favourites and new arrivals like the Red Knight Hibiscus IPA and Echo Saison, light and refreshing and with a robust amount of hops. More good beer in more places, we can dig that!

Coming to your screens this week is the latest project from the duo behind the very successful Beerocracy New Brunswick beer movie released a few years ago. Shauna and Alex hit the road across the Maritimes again last year, producing Maritime Spirits, profiling craft alcohol producers across the region. The first Season is now available on Bell TV1 (either through your TV or online portal), and features visits to Moonshine Creek Distillery, Upstreet Craft Brewing, Red Rover Craft Cider, New Scotland Brewing., Deep Roots Distillery, Tire Shack Brewery, Dunhams Run Estate Winery, Trailway Brewing, Jost Vineyards, and Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault. You can check out the trailer here, and see plenty of behind-the-scenes fun on their Facebook page.

And a last few quick hits on our way out the door for a lunchtime beer:

Corner Brook’s Boomstick Brewing has a pair of new beer out this week, the first is the latest in their Drawing Board Series, debuting in a 4-can Boombox mixer pack that is available across the province now. Rosemary Hibiscus Gose pretty much describes itself, with the 4.5% lightly tart sour ale featuring a touch of salinity, and using rosemary as a complement to the coriander the traditional German recipe employs. And drawing inspiration from their own Hew and Draw hotel at 55 West Street, Hewers Light Lager is a 3.9% American Light Lager, light bodied, crisp, and refreshing. Available on-site as well as in NLC, Maries Mini Mart, and Orange Stores across the province (on its own and in the aforementioned Boombox Mixer packs).

Garrison Brewing has brought back the first winner of their Home Brew-Off competition,Nit Wit Belgian Style Wheat beer. Brewed in the Witbier style, this O.G. hazy beer style features orange peel and coriander to lend some citrus and spice to the character the yeast has already imparted. Cans are available now at both their Seaport and Oxford locations, and can be enjoyed on tap there as well.

Hopheads in Conception Bay Stout can treat themselves to the newest release from Ninepenny Brewing, The Devil’s Jackstone. This 8.9% DIPA is now available in the taproom and on select taps around St. John’s. Look for it to make its way into cans next week.

Rounding off the news this week is the Return of the Mack, DOA (aka Double Orange Ale), from Unfiltered Brewing. Single-hopped with boatloads of Citra, the blast of citrus entering every one of your orifices is enough to power up your weekend. Grab it in cans to go, or even better, their new corral on North Street, allowing them to serve pints onsite at Charm School for the first time in way too long.

Happy May Long Weekend, beer pals! While not every brewery can be open and welcoming folks in their taprooms and patios, we do hope you’re able to support them with curbside and delivery purchases. In Nova Scotia, many restaurants and bars are struggling due to being quick to follow government regulations and closing in-person service for everyone’s safety, but inaction and lack of support from the Province could see them suffering permanent losses. Be sure to check in to see if your favorite spot is offering ordering and delivery or curbside pickup and try to support them however you can; it could make the difference between them reopening when this mess is all over and, well, not.

And more universally, there has been a reckoning of late, bringing to the forefront shocking events of harassment and assault directed toward women, non-binary folks, people of colour, and others under-represented in the beer business. Those in positions of power, whether they be brewery owners or management, festival organizers, or patrons in bars, breweries, or at festivals, have been the beneficiaries of a “code of silence,” but we say with some hope that it appears that silence is starting to break thanks to a myriad of people stepping forward to report, support, and amplify. We believe when people tell us what they have experienced, and we support them. We believe that all businesses and organizations in this industry should have guidelines on conduct and safety posted in their establishment and online, so that all can feel safe and free from reprisal in reporting any of these acts. And now is the time for those in the beer (and wider) world to speak out about this topic and take action if witnessing any harassment. We believe that these actions will improve Beer for everyone, allowing more to feel welcome and bring their passion to the industry.

Let’s start the news with a one-two punch of new and returning breweries in the Antigonish area. After closing in early 2020 to complete major renovations in their brewery and taproom, Half Cocked Brewing in North Grant has opened their doors once again. Located 7 minutes north of downtown, Half Cocked is located in a former chicken farm building on Highway 245. Expanding their brewing capacity from 50 litres to 1200, they have fully stocked their fridge, ready for their thirsty fans. They have eight beers currently available for draught sales via growler purchase (either bring your own clean glassware, or you can purchase one of theirs): returning favourites are Pete’s Sake Blonde (4.7%), Darkest One American Stout (6.0%), XPA American Pale Ale (6.0%), and Cock of the Walk Black IPA (6.5%). And debuting this week are Sunrise Session Ale, a 4.4% crushable lawn mower beer; White Whale Pale Ale, at 6.6%, floral, punchy, and dry; Haze Fatigue IPA, a 7.7% bitter and brite IPA with a citrus finish; Wait For It Double IPA, 8.3% well worth the wait! Half Cocked’s retail spot is open 4 – 7 PM from Wednesday – Friday and 12 – 7 PM Saturday and Sunday. When restrictions are lifted, you’ll be able to sit inside or out on their massively expanded taproom and patio, with some special pop-ups and events planned, as well as enjoy pints at the local beer hotspots, including the Townhouse, so keep your eyes peeled here and on their Social Media (Fb/Ig/Tw)! Congratulations to Greg, Matt, and the whole Half Cocked Crew!

Back in the heart of town, Candid Brewing is not quite ready to open their retail location, but they *are* ready to get some beer in your hands! Located at 88 College Street in downtown Antigonish, they are doing a Pop Up today 3 – 6 PM, and again tomorrow 1 – 4 PM, slinging two canned beers curbside. First up is Humdinger a 6.7% West Coast IPA, featuring bold citrus and pine flavour with a full body that balances the bitterness. It is the first of Candid’s five core beers available in the coming weeks. Also available is a collaboration with their pals at Big Spruce Brewing in Nyanza, Skeptical Vibes. This 4.9% red lager was cold conditioned before receiving a generous dry-hopping with New Zealand’s Motueka, for a bright citrus nose on a crisp and dry base. Available in cans at both participating breweries, as well as online for delivery and shipping from the Big Spruce store. We’ve heard tell of lots more from Candid, and we’ll be sure to share when we can! Their space will feature a large taproom with plenty of room for bubble distancing and events galore. Those in the area should sign up for their Membership to get early access to the news and releases, plus some slick deals when the taproom and retail are open full-time. Congratulations Bryan and team!

Off to Mount Pearl for another new release, this one from Landwash Brewery. Their first bottle-conditioned beer, Saison Da Pearl is reminiscent of when Brewster Christina Coady was heading up the program at Toronto’s Folly Brewing, where Farmhouse beers were the focus. Now they’re bringing that to Da Pearl! The focus is on the yeast, with the pale malt and muted hops taking the backseat, giving rise to notes of pepper, spice, and even a touch of vanilla, thanks to a warm fermentation allowing the yeast to express itself. That yeast also plays double-duty, after finishing the beer fermentation, a dose of sugar just before bottling brings it back to life, and has the yeast naturally carbonating the packaged Saison. Closing your eyes, you may even be transported to a Wallounian farm after a hard day’s work! This 7.0% 500 mL bottle is available exclusively at the brewery’s retail location (for now, it may be available elsewhere if there’s any left in June).

O’Creek Brewing may be most known for their super hazy, super hoppy IPAs (and with good reason!), but sometimes they like to branch out a bit and play with other beer styles. One beer in particular was brewed back in March, and is finally hitting taps any day now. The beer is Doppelbock, and we’re betting you can probably guess the style! That’s right, this one is a Doppelbock, a high alcohol, dark brown, malty Lager that originated in Germany many years ago. O’Creek’s version was brewed with lots of Munich malt as the base, along with Pils, and Carapils, CaraMunich and Chocolate malt thrown in for colour and character. Hopped with Saaz and East Kent Goldings, it was fermented low and slow with Isar Lager yeast from Escarpment Labs, and allowed to lager for weeks longer. Coming in at 7.6% ABV, it’s sweet and malty, with “hints of dark fruits and light toast”, with very low bitterness. It’s currently on deck at CAVOK and The Joyce, so keep your eyes peeled for when it goes on tap!

Wait wait, don’t worry hopheads, O’Creek has you covered as well! Their latest hop bomb is Elevated, a 7.6% ABV DIPA that is bright, hazy, and flavourful. Hopped with Nelson Sauvin, Idaho 7, Mosaic, and Centennial, it’s smelling and tasting exactly as you probably expect – tropical and citrusy, with notes of mango and passion fruit. First kegs of that one will be popping up at The Joyce, Euston Park, and Au Bootlegger (if it’s not on tap already).

Camping season is fast-approaching/here – YMMV! – and Boomstick Brewing has thus been inspired to brew a beer that they feel pairs perfectly with the great outdoors: a Session IPA named Gravel Pit. An easy-drinking-yet-flavourful beer hopped with a large amount of Galaxy, it’s got tropical fruit aromas abound, and at just 4.8% ABV, is a great brew to enjoy during or after a hike, campfire, etc. It’s available right now at the brewery’s West St. location in Corner Brook on tap and in cans, and should already be on NLC shelves by now as well. 

Out Port Rexton Brewing way, they have teamed up with Toporama Prints in nearby English Harbour for a beer and art collaboration. An artist-run screen printing and design shop, Toporama has designed a unique piece that melds perfectly with beer, and limited prints of it will be available in posters, t-shirts, and on glassware, as well as adorning cans of a new beer release. Although we don’t know what it’s called yet, coming out today at noon is a 5.3% combo of sour ale and New England IPA, featuring a blast of mango and peach, and everything tropical, with a moderate acidity and light bitterness. A limited run, it’s available exclusively from their taproom in Port Rexton this weekend (maybe elsewhere in the off chance it’s not all gone!). We think planning a visit out is a super-great idea, as Toporama will be setting up their screen printing gear Sunday afternoon and creating tote bags right in the taproom!

After a super-successful launch earlier in the month, Saint Andrews Brewing is back with another new release this weekend, in celebration of Paddlefest 2021. That’s a Paddlin’ is a kölsch-style lagered ale that has been allow to cellar condition for 3 months, allowing the iconic yeast to do its thing and bring together notes of both lager and ale, on a German Pilsner base with plenty of Czech Saaz to balance. Cracker malt character with some spicy hoppiness, all in a spritzy package. It joins Wharfbound Hazy Pale Ale and Herringbone Pub Ale at the Red Herring Pub, where all three will be pouring this weekend. As with all SABC releases, these are quite small, so be sure to show up early (and often) to avoid disappointment!

Heading north up the Acadian Peninsula, four breweries in North-Eastern New Brunswick have collaborated with their own local mountain biking club. Brewed at host Distillerie Fils du Roy, brewers from Brasseux d’la Cote, Microbrasserie Houblon-Pêcheur, and Brasserie Retro Brewing were brought together by Mountain Bike Atlantic and local bike clubs. Sirène is the brewery’s take on a Vienna Lager, which they are calling a Vienna Acadienne in a nod to the local barley used to make the beer. Sirène is technically a SMaSH beer as it showcases 100% Vienna malt and Saaz hops. The malt comes from the Fils du Roy maltery in Petit-Paquetville and uses barley grown exclusively on the Acadian Peninsula (hence the Vienna Acadienne). The malt lends a copper red colour and a rich malt character, with notes of caramel, that are complemented by a medium hop bitterness that comes in at 20 IBU. With an ABV of 4.5%, Sirène is plenty sessionable to enjoy after a nice mountain bike ride. The beer is named after the collaborating bike club, Sirènes en Cavale, a women’s mountain biking club on the Acadian Peninsula. Cans are available now through the collaborating breweries and look out for more releases in the series in the coming weeks. 

Continuing the beer and biking collaborations theme is Sussex Ale Works in Southeastern New Brunswick, who teamed up with the neighbours at The Outdoor Elements to brew a beer fit for enjoying after (or while) hitting the local trails. LBS Kölsch is clean and refreshing lagered ale that comes in just shy of 5% ABV. The name is a nod to Local Bike Shop, and Outdoor Elements can’t get much more local as it shares a building with Sussex Ale Works. LBS Kölsch is available this weekend at the taproom on Main Street. 

And would you believe we’re not yet done with the brewery and cycling connections in New Brunswick? In Fredericton, Grimross Brewing is releasing Monkey Business, a Session IPA brewed in collaboration with River Valley Cycling, Mountain Bike Atlantic, and NB Brews. Named after a well-known mountain bike trail in the city (well-known to mountain bikers, anyway!), it’s a light and sessionable 4.5% ABV brew, built on a grist of pale malt and rolled oats, with low bitterness (6 IBU) and plenty of hop aroma (Vic Secret, Mosaic, and Idaho 7), designed to be the perfect cap to a hard session on the trails; but best be sure you’re finished your ride, as it’s likely that the first one will quickly lead to another. If this sounds on-brand for you, you’d best get on your (chromoly) horse, as this is a summer seasonal and once it’s gone, it’s gone! 

In other news out of Grimross, they’ve got another new small batch from their Scratch Series hitting the taps today, and it’s a special one for the brewery. It would seem that some extra microbiology has been going on within the walls at the brewery, as they’ve managed to discover a yeast strain unique to their premises. And what’s a brewery going to do when they discover a new yeast in their brewery? They’re going to brew with it, dammit!! SMaSH House is a single-malt and single-hop (well, sorta) beer using pale malt from Shoreline Malting and the Grimross Hop Blend from  Island Hop Company. Fermented with the aforementioned yeast (name and trademark to be determined, no doubt 😉 ), it has a subtle malt presence and notes of citrus and spice all leading to a crisp finish; perfect for all things summer. Check it out at the brewery today when you’re stocking up for the long weekend.

Edmundston’s Brasseurs du Petit-Sault has a new release in their Epic Series this week, chock full of bright and vibrant fruit. Simply named Ale aux Fraises et aux Framboises, the most learned among us recognize that it features strawberry and raspberry on a smooth and velvety, yet slightly tart base. Cans of the 5.2% beer are available at the Brewtique now, with growler fills next week.

Back in Halifax, Unfiltered Brewing is doing their best to lift the lockdown blues for thirsty beer drinkers, courtesy of a brand new release! Positively Shocking is a new SMaSH DIPA featuring Idaho 7 hops, that follows the same technique of Greg Nash’s other beloved SMaSH DIPAs. Look for piney and tropical notes from the hops with a pithy and bitter finish. Cans and fills of the 7.5% DIPA are available today on North Street. 

New Brew from Baccalieu! Hitting their shelf in Bay Roberts today is Hot Spot, a 5.5% Tropical Smoothie Sour, absolutely chock-full of dragonfruit, passion fruit, and pineapple on a tart base. And kicking it up to the next level is a generous dry-hop of citrus darling Mandarina Bavaria. Cans are available today and all weekend at 1 Conception Bay Highway in Bay Roberts, keep your eyes peeled at the better beer retail spots across the Island to snag yours later.

Inception, Trailway’s ode to the Falconer’s Flight hop blend, is making its return this weekend, this time as a 6.5% DDH IPA. Look for lemon-lime citrus notes, subtle notes of pine and a punch of dank hop character. Cans are available now at the taproom and through Trailway’s online store. 

A few weeks ago we teased a new Belgian Saison from Lone Oak Brewing Co. Lupin comes in at 6.5% and features classic Belgian notes of bubblegum, clove and spice. It is now available in bottles at the taproom in Borden Carleton and for island-wide delivery. 

And in another “reminder of a previous beer”, the 2 Crows Czech Pilsner, Letná, has been released to the masses this week. Available at the brewery in cans for retail, curbside, and delivery now, it is also available at Bishop’s Cellar for the same treatment. Joining the 355 mL can is a branded 500 mL mug, tall enough to be able to give it a proper pour with a couple of inches of tight foam to protect the liquid’s refreshing carbonation. Delivery and curbside pre-ordering is the way to go for this and other 2C orders, given the current restrictions.

Spryfield’s latest addition, Serpent Brewing, has a new beer and a virtual event on the go this long weekend. First up is the beer: Days End is a top-fermented, cold conditioned beer in the style and spirit of the city of Köln in Germany (such beers produced there are properly called Kölsch, of course). A perfect beer to cap a long day of work or to sip on a warm summer patio, it comes in at 4.6% and, we’re sure, has a slightly grainy malt backbone, with a slight fruity presence and a balancing bitterness. They’ll be celebrating the release of this one with a Virtual Tasting Event via Facebook Live tomorrow evening at 7 PM (time subject to change, so keep an eye on that event page). Growler fills and crowlers of this one are available, but bottles are still listed as “coming soon.” So make some plans to grab some Days End and/or some of the other Serpent offerings, and plan to hunker down tomorrow evening to share it virtually with other like-minded folks while learning a little from the team about the beers and how they’re made. 

Spring is in the air in Newfoundland. And at the Northern tip of the island, at the end of Highway 430, you’ll find Saint Anthony, home of RagnaRöck Northern Brewing Company. While they’ve been churning out the great beer non-stop since their opening in 2019, they did pause the taproom for the winter to re-configure and add a canning line to the mix. Well, with this unofficially official start to summer, they are looking to welcome folks back in the taproom starting Thursday, May 27. Open Thursday through Saturday from 5 PM til 11 PM (10 PM Thursday), they’ll be pouring a half dozen beers from the taps, plus have a great selection of beers to takeaway in cans. With a summer perfect for domestic/close to home travel, this is the time to get out and see *all* of your home province, so be sure to make all the way North! Located at 223-227 West Street, pop in while exploring L’Anse-Aux-Meadows or Grenfell Museum

And rounding out the news this week is Mirimachi’s New Maritime Beer Company, who are releasing a brand new beer inspired both by a trip to Mount Everest Basecamp by two of the brewery’s owners as well as their experience navigating the difficult waters as a new brewery during this past year’s pandemic craziness. Three Little Birds is named after the Bob Marley song, and if you know it, you’re probably already singing softly to yourself that every little thing gonna be alright. Considered by the brewery to be a New Zealand Pale Ale, owning to the exclusive use of NZ hop varieties Rakau and Motueka, it features aromas and flavors of stone fruit and citrus zest along with some tropical vibes. At 5.5%, it’s pretty light and crushable, and perfect for a carefree summer afternoon on a patio somewhere. Get it now at the brewery, on tap for pints, or to go in growlers or crowlers.

Not a whole lot of events going on in the region, for obvious reasons, and we encourage you to stay home, stay cool, and drink some beer; meanwhile, if you’re an experienced brewer looking for a job in and you’re in the St. John’s area (or willing to go there), check this opportunity out:

Banished Brewing is the brainchild of the folks behind the newly opened and busy as heck Bar Brewdock, in St John’s East Duck area. Banished, however, will be found in a beautiful location in Paradise, and slated to open in 2022. Wanting to start things off running, they are looking to hire an experienced Head Brewer to join and lead the production team. Check out the job posting on their website, and drop them a line if you’re the right person for the job!

Happy mid-May everyone! We hope you’re all keeping well, staying safe, getting a pop-up test occasionally if your provincial government is offering them (looks like only NS residents at the moment, but they *do* have the highest active cases currently), and maybe even enjoying a local beer or two when you have a chance. There are still plenty of new beers to tell you about, but first some very important internal news. Big congratulations to our own co-author Damian whose wife Leah gave birth to Lewis Brian Bertram Daniels this week! We’ll give Lewis a couple of years of rest before he gets roped into writing for the blog… Massive thanks to Shawn for stepping in and exercising those blog-writing-fingers for us to bring you the beer news in a timely fashion!

Let’s kick off this week’s news sharing news that the call for applications to North Brewing’s 2021 Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship is now open! Recognizing the “need for better representation within the craft beer and hospitality communities”, the crew at North are awarding a scholarship, $1500 per year for up to four years of education at an HRM College or University, for local students entering programs related directly or indirectly to the brewing industry. Highlighting the many hands that work together to bring great beer to fruition, that could be in sciences, hospitality, engineering, art and design, fabrication and trades, and business, to name a few. In addition, the successful candidate will have guaranteed summer employment (if they choose) in the taproom, retail, or production areas at the brewery, during their schooling. Assisting North in going through the many worthy applicants are Ren Navarro of Beer. Diversity., and members of the wonderful and local Change is Brewing Collective. Applications are open now until July 31st, please check out the details on their website.

We hope we’re not too late in passing on some important beer news from Corner Brook’s Boomstick Brewing, but just in case there’s some bottles of their latest release yet for those of you in Newfoundland not in the know, it’s better late than never! The beer is Time Scientist, a barrel-aged Breakfast Stout. With a grain bill that is the largest of any beer they’ve brewed so far (and it shows, coming in at a hefty 10% ABV), likely representing a myriad of specialty grains, there was also an addition of lots and lots of beautiful coffee from Gros Morne Coffee Roasters. The next ingredient was time, with the beer allowed to condition for nine months in two types of imported barrels: four previously containing Buffalo Trace Bourbon, and four others Jack Daniel’s Whiskey. Those of you experienced even slightly with barrel-aged beer will recognize that individual barrels can impart anywhere from small to large differences in a beer, and this is the case here, as well. Allowing those similarities and complementary notes to remain intact, the four bourbon barrels were blended together, but packaged separately from its four whiskey brethren, in different-hued takes on the same image of local Tablelands hiking trail in Gros Morne National Park. Both resulting beers exhibit “notes of coffee, vanilla, and toasty oak”, coming across as hearty and rich, with different subtleties from the barrels. As supplies have been quite limited, there’s a very good chance they’re getting low on stock by now, so be sure to contact them ahead of time if you’re planning a run over to the taproom. All is not lost for those who are a bit further afield, as the Time Scientist will be making its way East starting Monday, with NLC locations and Marie’s Mini Marts receiving stock Monday and Tuesday. And great news if this is your cup of beer, as they are planning more Time Scientist releases for the rest of 2021, so keep your eyes peeled for more versions!

Meanwhile, back on the mainland – Hampton, NB, to be exact – Gridiron Brewing has a brand new beer that should be hitting taps and cans just in time for the weekend. Highland Maple Amber Ale was brewed with a not-unusual grain bill of barley, toasted wheat, and Amber malt (all from Island Malt House), but instead of using water for the mash, they incorporated maple sap (here’s hoping the heat helped liquify all of that a little bit!) that was produced at Highfield Maples, located very close to the brewery. Approximately 12 L of maple syrup from the same source was added once fermentation began, giving the final 5.1% ABV beer “a nice, delicate maple finish”. You can find it on tap and in cans at the brewery from Thursday to Sunday 3-6 pm, or by appointment (check out their social media for more details on that front); it should also be available at other friendly beer spots in the area. And stay tuned for more updates on their new brewery, with their taproom set to open in the not-too-distant future!

It’s been a long time coming, but Fredericton’s Maybee Brewing has finally opened their taproom expansion, almost doubling their drinking space with a new room adjacent to the original space. The new lounge continues the same motif, with barn board, barn red doors, and plants, but adds some super comfy chairs and couches, as well as TVs, darts, and board games. There’s also a separate bar in the new space that will be open during busy times, as well as private functions. To celebrate the new space, they’ve also launched a brand new American IPA, Hole in the Wall. This 5.8% ABV, 55 IBUs crystal-clear beer was hopped with Galena, Mosaic, Galaxy and Citra, giving aromas of “mango, pineapple, and juicy citrus, with floral hints of pine needle”. Expect more of the same on the palate, with a mild bitterness in the finish. We suggest dropping by the new space this weekend, to enjoy both the atmosphere AND the beer(s)! Note that they’ve also expanded their taproom hours, as they’re now open every day of the week from noon to 11 pm.

Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing has a whole bevy of bevvies hitting the shelves at home and to a new market this month. First up, Limelight is back, their 4.0% ABV lager with real lime juice added to the brew. Coming in at 100 calories, it’s also great for those keeping track while they imbibe. Now at the taproom and Craft Beer Corner retail shops, it will be hitting the shelves at the PEILCC next week. Speaking of next week, they’ll be debuting Go Go Gose, a 4.0% ABV Golden Plum Sour that is a slightly tweaked version of the Beta Brew that appeared in a local Advent Calendar. Featuring a significant addition of golden plum purée and a touch of salinity, the sour will be on shelves at 41 Allen Street and 156 Great George Street before the end of next week, and on draught there and at licensees before too long. The Go Go Gose and Limelight will be joining their new Cavalier Lager in a Beach Day Essentials mixed 12-pack debuting next week as well, available at Upstreet and PEILCC locations. And from one Island to another, a big order of Limelight, Commons Lager, White Noize White IPA, and Go Devil will soon be appearing on shelves at Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Commission. We’ll be sure to let our faithful readers know when they can grab them!

The creative minds at Serpent Brewing are at it again. Fresh off installing their awesome curbside drive-thru, the team is rolling out a new packaging format and using the occasion to thank the frontline workers who have been ensuring we all continue to have access to essential goods and services. On the packaging front, Serpent is now offering 32 oz crowlers, starting off with three of their core brands. We are big fans of this format, perfect for sharing and preventing our basements from accruing more glass growlers. To top it off, they are offering a limited-time promo to help you get your hands on some crowlers and show your appreciation for frontline workers. Between now and 2:00 PM tomorrow (Saturday), if you buy two crowlers, a third will be provided to a well-deserving frontline worker, compliments of the good people at Serpent. To sweeten the offer, Serpent will deliver your crowlers directly to your door. Grab your favourites at their online shop now! And keep your eyes peeled here and their Social Media for details on the release of a new beer next week, which will include a virtual tasting event on Saturday May 22.

Stillwell Brewing is back with a new batch of SOOK now in the wild. First released in August 2019, SOOK is a 4.1% ABV grissette, brewed with Stillwell’s house mixed fermentation strain. A mix of pale barley and wheat malts are combined with noble hops to produce a dry, zippy, farmhouse-style grisette with light floral notes. You can get your hands on SOOK in HRM through weekly Friday deliveries. Orders of $30 or more placed by midnight Thursday will be delivered right to your door. Stillwell’s beers are also available for Canada-wide shipping. We noticed that a few oldies/goodies have also been restocked, giving you the chance to order some other tasty treats while you’re at it. And while we’re talking about Stillwell, we’d be remiss not to mention that the beer bar side of the business has relaunched its online store. To keep you safe during this last (right? please?) wave of the pandemic, they are putting together make-at-home kits featuring some classic menu items. That’s right – you can now get your smash on at home and prepare your very own diner burger. The store is also stocked with all sorts of liquid treats from elsewhere in Canada, the USA and Europe. Next-day HRM deliveries are available Thursday through Saturday.

Lake City Cider has a special tasting event planned this evening for their In-Ciders this evening. And great news, if you’re in the HRM, you can be an In-Cider too! Featuring a 750ml bottle each of their Raspberry Dry (8.0%, featuring Noggins Farm raspberries), Exit 6 Blueberry (5.5%, Oxford wild blueberries), Mac G Cider (6.5%, 50% Macintosh 50% Gravenstein), plus you’ll be receiving a Mystery Bottle only available in this In-Cider pack. We’re in the dark to its identity as much as you, but we’re sure it will be a tasty and unique blend! Your $65 pack (delivery included!) also includes a Lake City unbreakable Silipint glass. Tune into their Instagram at 7 PM to drink along with Poet of Lake City as she chats about the development, production, and final flavours in the ciders in your glass. There is a 1 PM cutoff for delivery today to ensure you don’t miss out, otherwise you can grab it yourself at their curbside take-away window at 35 Portland Street in downtown Dartmouth, open 11 – 8 PM.

Down the coast in Chester, Tanner Brewing snuck in a new release after posting time last week. Half Nelson is a lighter take on their ever popular Nelson Saison. With a name inspired by the Nelson Sauvin hop, this 5.2% saison features notes of passion fruit, pineapple and lemon, to go along with a subtle sauvignon blanc character. 500 ml bottles are now available at Tanner’s two Chester-area locations. 

If y’all like yourself some Czech Lager, we’ve got some good news to cheer you up if you’re in the HRM… or heck, even if you want some beer delivered to your door outside of that area! 2 Crows has passed on some early details on a beer they’re releasing next Friday (May 21st), a Czech Lager named Letna. In true 2C form, it was brewed with the classic style in mind, with a base of floor-malted Pilsner from Island Malt House, and a little bit of Acid malt for mash pH adjustment. They used low-oxygen brewing techniques (pretty much standard for all of the brewery’s Lagers now), as well as a double decoction mash (obviously suckers for punishment!). Hopped to the max with Saaz hops, including in the mash, at first wort, 10 minutes remaining in the boil, and in the whirlpool. Fermented low and slow with Escarpment Lab’s Czech Lager strain, they also krausened the beer at the end of fermentation with a smaller batch of the same beer. Once the beer was ready for the temp to be dropped, they did so slowly, all the way down to -0.5 Celsius, where it was left to lager for 10 weeks. And now, it’s finally ready for you (in a week!), and is tasting “crisp and crunchy, herbal, bready, and bitter”, and weighs in at a supremely drinkable 4.9% ABV and 38 IBUs. Hell, they’re even calling it the best thing they’ve ever made… we think that may be subjective, but are inclined to take their word on it! Letna is going to be available in 355 mL cans, which we love to hear. Keep watch on the brewery’s social media early next week, as they plan to announce a pre-order package that includes a sixer of the beer, a Lager stein, Czech-style sausages, buns, meats… the whole nine yards.

Brightwood Brewery has a new release from their summertime ‘crushable’ series. Berry Crushable is a kettle sour developed in collaboration with Dartmouth’s Pop Culture Brew Co. Kombucha. This ‘kombucha sour’ was kettled soured with the scoby probiotic which is used to make kombucha. The fermentation included additions of elderberries and hibiscus for a bright red color. The final beer comes in at 4.7% ABV and features red fruit flavours and a tart finish. Berry Crushable is available now at the brewery on Portland Street and in Brightwood’s online store.

Sticking with Dartmouth sours, North Brewing is releasing a new iteration in its Plush series with Peach Plush. This 4.5% ale sees a fermentation featuring both Lacto 2.0 and Vermont ale yeast from Escarpment Labs. This 10 barrel batch was then hit with 300 pounds of Nova Scotia peaches  Cans are now available through North’s delivery, curbside pick-up, and shipping options, all accessible on their website.

A few last minute beers to tell you about before we let you go this week!

Sussex Ale Works has a brand new sour on tap and in cans this weekend, featuring locally grown and harvested rhubarb. Homestead Rhubarb Sour is 4.8% ABV, and in addition to the local vegetable that thrives in the region, Sussex also added in a spice featured in their family’s rhubarb pie recipe. Pop by Thurs – Sat 12 – 8 PM, 2 – 6 PM Sundays.

Two warm weather favourites are making their return at Trailway Brewing. First up is Beyond Reality Raspberry Wheat Ale. Coming in at a sessionable 4% ABV, the base wheat beer features El Dorado hops and an addition of raspberries. We also have Velvet Fog Milkshake IPA. This one sticks with the raspberries and El Dorado hops, but in the milkshake style also includes additions of lactose and vanilla, as well as a little bit of lime zest this time around. Both beers are now available in cans and on tap at the brewery. In other timely news, Trailway has also expanded the patio area at its Fredericton taproom and has upgraded the outdoor seating options for your lounging pleasure. 

Shipwright Brewing and Uncle Leo’s Brewery have teamed up to create Off Course, a 5.7% ABV German Smoked Lager. Light and refreshing yet displaying plenty of smoke character, this beer is a throwback to the days when even non “intentionally” smoked beers showed that character due to the barley kilning process using low-burning smokey fires. Available now at both breweries, and at Uncle Leo’s website for delivery in Pictou County, or nation-wide shipping (free in NS!).