Boxing Rock Brewing

All posts tagged Boxing Rock Brewing

Welcome to September! And welcome to the Long Weekend! For those going back to school (or who have kids going back to school), we wish you all the best as the new year of classes begin, whether they’re online or in person! And for those in neither of those situations, enjoy a Monday to soak up the late summer vibes in our region. We’ve got plenty of new beers and ciders for you to grab while you are out and about this weekend (or ordering delivery, remember that is still a thing!). Do be sure to check in advance for those spots that may not be open Labour Day Monday, to avoid disappointment. 

Lots of news coming out of Meander River this week, with beer and cider releases, as well as info on this year’s hop harvest! Let’s start with the beer, since we’re kinda biased that way. Lazy Dazy started off as your fairly typical American Wheat Ale, but features an addition of fresh grapefruit zest and pith midway through fermentation. Once fermentation was all-the-way completed, they tossed in a healthy dry-hop addition of Citra, giving this 4% ABV brew even more juicy, tropical character. Light and refreshing, it sounds like a great beer to finish off your summer with. In cider world, MR has released two new ones in their Small Lot series, Small Lot Blueberry and Small Lot Cranberry. All Small Lot ciders are made with fresh local or farm-grown fruits, herbs, flowers, etc.; in the case of these two newbies, fresh-pressed valley blueberry and cranberry juice were added (we’ll let you figure out which one was used in which!). Quantities are always limited, with both products available on tap and in bottles. If you drop by to do some shopping, you may even be lucky enough to be around for yet another Small Lot cider, Lavandula, a honey lavender cider that will be available in 750 mL bottles only. 

Finally, Meander River is calling for help with their annual hop harvest, which will be taking place this Sunday at 9 AM. This socially-distanced event doesn’t require you to sign up in advance, as they’ve assured us there is plenty of space to safely pick the aromatic hop bines. The hops harvested will be used in brewing their Homegrown Wet-Hop Ale, which should be released sometime around Thanksgiving. 

Attention Halifax: if you like hazy, hoppy beers, if you like Nelson Sauvin hops, and if you like supporting a good cause, Propeller Brewing has the beer for you! They’ve teamed up with the Ladies Beer League to brew NZ IPA, a New England IPA that was heavily dry-hopped with the wonderful, pricey, elusive New Zealand hop variety, Nelson Sauvin. Featuring aromas of “fresh crushed gooseberry and tropical fruit”, and low bitterness, this 6.5% ABV beer will be available today at all three Prop Shops for growler fills (and pints at Gottingen and Quinpool). The brewery will be donating $1 from every pint or 1-L growler fill – and $2 for each 2-L growler – to the Halifax Sexual Health Centre. This organization provides a wide range of care options, and are currently working beyond capacity, so let’s do what we can to help, yeah?

Over in Big Spruce-ville (that’s Nyanza, for those of you not in the know), they’ve got a brand new, big beer hitting taps and bottles for the long weekend. Brobdingnagian (no, that’s not a typo) is an all-Mosaic, 8.5% ABV Double IPA. All of those delicious, delightful Mosaic hops provide “clean flavours of mango, citrus and pine”, with peaches, apricots and marmalade on the nose. And at that ABV, it’s going to pack a bit of a punch, so take your time! Available in 650 mL bottles and on tap at Big Spruce and some of their fine licensees, grab it while you can. You’ll also probably see bottles of the latest batch of One Hundred, Nova Scotia’s first beer brewed with all NS ingredients, including a wild yeast strain BS harvested from one of the pin cherries growing on their farm. 

In the Hub of Nova Scotia, the eponymous Truro Brewing Company has released a brand new SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) beer, showcasing their local hop producer. Wicked Game is a 5.5% ABV Pale Ale, featuring generous additions of Centennial hops from Stewiacke’s Wicked Hops Farm. Notes of pine and herbal from the hops balance the light malt character. On tap for samples, pints, and growlers, it joins 4 other options on draught at the 53 Inglis Place taproom, open noon to ten.

Anyone old enough to remember the glory days of situation comedies (that’s ‘sitcoms’ for you whippersnappers out there) know that one of the most common tropes was the ‘kooky’ or ‘wacky’ neighbour. From Ethel Mertz and Eddie Haskell, to Rhoda Morgenstern and the Fonz, to Larry and the two Darryls, to Kimmy Gibler, Steve Urkel, Cosmo Kramer and beyond (we’re sure there were more after those, but we’re kinda old), it’s a story as old as time, or at least television. In Digby, NS, Roof Hound Brewing has released a beer this week called (of course) Kooky Neighbour in honor of their own real-life neighbour, Amy, who owns the spa next door to their Kingston, NS, taproom and who has been welcoming, generous, and supportive to the Roof Hound family in their newest venture. A low-ABV coconut cream ale (apropos, as Amy has a tanning salon), coming in at 3.8% ABV, it’s light and sparkling, with a bit of corn on the finish and just a hint of coconut. In short, a perfect beer for the dying days of summer. Being a limited edition of only 500 bottles we suspect you’ll have to get to the Kingston Taproom to try it; if you do, maybe you’ll get a chance to meet Amy herself!

Whether the following five words excite you or make you want to do yourself bodily harm, they need to be typed: Pumpkin Ale season is back. Sorry/Yay? Anyway, Boxing Rock knows that many of you are bored by the typical Pumpkin Ale brewed with pumpkin spices, so they’ve got their own take on the style with Fuego Habanero Pumpkin Ale. Instead of the usual spices, they’ve added habanero peppers to the beer, along with a little bit of cinnamon and black pepper. Full-bodied, golden-coloured, with aromas and flavours of pepper and pumpkin, it has some heat thanks to the peppers, but not TOO much, we assume, since the brewery also claims the beer is “surprisingly drinkable”. You can find it at the brewery, naturally, with cans also making their way to the HRM private stores. Those of you in New Brunswick should also be able to track some down at select ANBL locations next week. 

In PEI, Montague’s Bogside Brewing has a new American Pale Ale on tap, Tailgate APA. Billed as a classic West Coast Pale Ale, with actual clarity, as well as a moderate bitterness accompanied by some malt character in the background, it was hopped with Amarillo and Simcoe to give it aromas of “citrus and light pine”. Coming in at 5.7% ABV and 35 IBUs, you can expect to see cans of this one as well, soon. And for those of you who are also into cider, they’ve got their latest there, too, with Buckle Up, a blueberry cider that was made by blending their base, dry cider with blueberry wine from the Rossignol Estate Winery, located in Murray River. Also at the brewery (in cans), it weighs in at 6.5% ABV.

Since moving to their new location, Sackville, NB’s Bagtown Brewing has been keeping up with the one-off brews, and they have their latest, Helium, available now. Brewed with a base of Pilsner malt, it was fermented with sparkling wine yeast. While we’re not 100% certain what beer style this falls into, the brewery is describing it as “light and bubbly, with a subtle honey sweetness and floral aroma”. It finishes fairly dry, and at 5% ABV is intended to be consumed in quantity, if so desired! 

Your hard-working crew at Horton Ridge have put their brewhouse to work recently, and conjured up an “old school” IPA (think a fairly bitter IPA that has a bit of sweetness to balance the hops) that they’ve named 500 Miles. If you’re thinking that they’ve named this beer with a nod towards The Proclaimers, you’d be wrong! The malting process that occurs at Horton Ridge involves many, many instances of raking, and around the time that this beer was brewed, the company’s raking odometer (that’s a thing?!?) reached 500 miles. They figured that was as good a name as any for a beer (they’re right!), so there it is. But back to the beer – they’re describing it as having a balance “of grapefruit citrus and piney resinous flavours”. Brewed with some Honey malt in the grist, it also has a “subtle burnt sugar sweetness” as a result. You can find it on tap at their taproom in Hortonville.

Back in New Brunswick, Gridiron has brewed up their very first New England IPA, Hazy Tuesday. With a grist that is heavy on oats and wheat from Island Malt House, the rest is made up with grain from Shoreline Malting. Hopped with plenty of Citra and Mosaic (to 65 IBUs), it comes in towards the higher end of the style, at 7.3% ABV. Only a few kegs of this juicy, tropical NEIPA were brewed, and it’s available only at the brewery in Hampton; drop by this long weekend for your pour! They are open daily, 4 – 6 PM, and may be available by appointment if you reach out via FB.

Let’s catch up on a few releases that were announced after our early release last Thursday, we figure there’s still a few bottles and cans around for your consumption…

Newfoundland’s Rough Waters Brewing has released a new Blonde Ale, albeit one with a bit of a twist. Hot Damn was brewed along the lines of your standard beers in the Blonde style, but features an addition of red thai chili peppers. The mild heat in the finish is enough to remind you that there’s more to this 5.5% ABV beer than meets the eye. Available at the brewery in growlers and pints; they were calling for bottles soon, as of last week, so those could very well be ready for this weekend. 

Inverness’s Route 19 Brewing dropped a new beer last Saturday, and it’s sounding super tasty, so let’s hope they still have some left! Crew Brew is their latest kettle sour, brewed with the same base (2-row malt) as their previous release, Dog Daze. Soured with their house culture, the resulting beer was dry-hopped with the delicious Sabro variety. The final 5% product has “intense Fuzzy Peach sour candy, green apple, Jolly Ranger, and ripe mango aromas”, all accompanied by a bright, lemon-like acidity, and “coconut cream, smooth finish”. Named to show the brewery’s appreciation for their brewpub staff, all proceeds of the beer will go towards this hardworking bunch, who they say lost a week of work earlier in the summer due to a pandemic-related incident. Drop by the brewery today to give this beverage a taste, and support the crew!

Everybody who’s in the know knows that 2 Crows commonly has weeks where they hit hard with two or three or even more releases and leave us wondering why we got into the (incredibly lucrative, natch) beer blogging game. But last week everything hit so hard that they knocked themselves for a loop and totally neglected to let us know what was coming. We’ve got those deets for you this week, though, starting with Surefire, a foedre-aged fruited sour that’s been nearly a year in the making. Beginning with a grist of Shoreline Malting Pilsner and wheat malt, along with some spelt and rye, it was hopped lightly with Nelson Sauvin hops before fermentation in oak with a blend of 2C’s delightful house cultures. After hanging out an additional five months in the barrel to condition, over 800 lbs of blackberry and 420 lbs of sour cherry were added and allowed to ferment out before a bit of vanilla was added to the mix and the beer was packaged in cans, where it’s been hanging out since June. Described as “deeply jammy, funky, zippy, and complex,” this is no small sour even though it only tips the scales at 4.8% ABV.

Also new and available is Camellia, a lagered wild ale with buckwheat and green tea. Pulling in some floor malted ingredients from the other PEI maltster, Island Malt House, the mash included Pilsner, wheat, oat and rye malts, with malted buckwheat taking center stage. On the hop side, Chinook, Sterling, and Azacca were used at various stages in the kettle before the beer was transferred to foedre and inoculated with a blend of house cultures. Five months later, it was sent to stainless where it was dry-hopped (dry-tea’ed?) with some Sencha Green Tea from Phil Holmans at Halifax’s awesome independent World Tea House. A krausening with lager yeast and some fresh wort before a further seven weeks of cold lagering were the final steps before packaging. We’re going to be honest, beyond the tasting notes from the brewery, which include, “earthy, fresh, zippy,” and, “lightly tart,” we don’t have any idea what to expect from this beer, which is a wonderful place to be when you love to try new things.

Both of these beers have been packaged in cans (and, we don’t doubt, some kegs for pouring at the brewery, at least, and hopefully beyond) so your best bet to grab them is on Brunswick Street in Halifax. If you happen to be by between 10 AM and 2 PM on Saturday or Sunday, remember that they’ll be hosting their Maker’s Market again this weekend. And keep your eyes peeled for more new things from 2 Crows down the road; social media this week had some awesome photos of the team from the Change is Brewing Collective in the 2C house for some collaborative goings-on. We’re very much looking forward to seeing what they came up with together!

Hooray for the continued return of actual events! Just remember, folks, be smart and play safe if you’re planning to attend any large gatherings of people; we’re in one of the safest regions in the world right now COVID-wise, let’s keep it that way!

Luckily for Atlantic Canadian homebrewers, this year’s annual Gahan Maritime Homebrew Challenge is still a go! This is the third year for the event, with all homebrewers invited to do their darndest to brew up the finest example of a West Coast or New England IPA, and enter it for judging. Submit it to your local Gahan House restaurant (of which there are several in the Maritimes) by October 30th; the winner will be announced November 14th at the Charlottetown Gahan House. But what do I win, you may ask? The “Grand Champion” gets $500 cash, and a special edition of their beer will be brewed and canned with help from Gahan/PEI Brewing Co. brewers, for retail sale. There’s other prizes as well (up to $3000 worth); for more of the nitty gritty, check out their site, or email homebrewchallenge@gahan.ca. Good luck, entrants!

And let’s stick with PEI for a couple more events this week. PEI Burger Love usually consumes all of April, but the pandemic put the kaibosh on the Spring event. However, they have switched the dates, without losing any enthusiasm, and are holding it during the six weeks beginning September 1st. Many brewery and beer-friendly spots are taking part, and for the first time in its ten year history, the Burger Love is expanding from just PEI Beef to Chicken, Pork, Seafood, and Veggie options. Grab your checklist of the 70+ burgers on offer

PEI Brewing Company is going ahead with their fall Oktoberfeast Event later this month, September 25th and 26th. Each day offers something different to visitors, with lawn games, growler holding competition, washer toss and cornhole, and live music and plenty of German-inspired food. Your $15 entry per day includes a filled 1 litre Maß to keep, and entrance to the competitions and fun. Grab your tickets in advance to avoid missing out!

A couple more quick mentions before you leave you to your long and hopefully super-sunny weekend!

Halifax will see the return of a Garrison Brewing favorite this week, with Sour to the People back in a slightly modified form. Still 5.5% ABV, still extremely tart and lemony, the change in this year’s batch is that it isn’t dry-hopped. Look for it on tap at both the Seaport and Oxford locations and also available to go in 473 mL cans.

Hanwell, NB’s Niche Brewing has their hibiscus kettle sour back on tap this week for those who’ve missed it (which we figure is probably most of the people who’ve tried it). Ruby Tuesday is 4% ABV, tart, fruity, and refreshing. You’ll find it at The Joyce and Peppers Pub for sure, with other Niche tap accounts hopefully picking it up soon as well. It’ll also likely be pouring on Maybee Brewing’s guest tap sometime late next week.

Another Friday is upon us in Atlantic Canada, and that means all kinds of news from our region’s breweries about new and returning beers, events, and other things. Right about now we’re wishing we had some beer news from Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing and the eponymously-named Tatamagouche Brewing, because if we did we’d be absolutely leading with it. Along with friend of local beer and also the blog, Truro’s Old Road BBQ, these two breweries have found themselves the target of a pretty disgusting online brigading campaign by Internet trolls. Why is this happening, you might ask? Because these businesses stuck their necks out and cancelled an event that they realized made people in their own communities uncomfortable. We don’t believe there was any malice or ill-will in their original plan. We believe that they were helped to see, however, that lack of malice doesn’t necessarily mean that it wasn’t problematic. And we also believe, all three of us, that they did the right thing in canceling the event. You can find statements from all three businesses on Instagram and Facebook; we recommend that you read all three. And if your response is to vilify or attempt to hurt these businesses, we suggest you take a minute to think about that. If the only “principled stand” you’re willing to take is one that sides with institutions that have proven to be problematic for BIPOC folks, in a societal climate that we hope, thanks to the brave folks speaking out all over the world, is finally seeing attention paid to these deeply entrenched problems, we think that makes a pretty sad statement. We stand with BIPOC people all over our region. We stand with Big Spruce and Tatamagouche and Old Road. We hope that everyone sees better days ahead.

Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing’s brewing staff have got their hands on the KRISPY Kveik yeast from Escarpment Labs, and they’re kicking off a Kveik beer series with Styrbord, what they’re billing as a “hybrid Lager”. Brewed with a blend of Pilsner and Oat malts, the wort was lightly hopped with Bru-1, and fermented with the growing-in-popularity blend of two Kveik strains. While this yeast is often pitched with the wort temp being quite warm, Shipwright tried going slightly cooler than the low-end of the recommended temperature, which resulted in a slightly-longer fermentation time (but really, not that long). After a brief lagering period, they threw in a dry-hop addition of more Bru-1, as well as some Simcoe. The final 4.4% ABV, 5 IBUs beer is very clean, and showing off flavours of honey, light banana, and melon, along with “subtle Farmhouse notes and classic Lager crispness”. You can find it on tap at Shipwright for pints and crowlers; look for future brews with this yeast in the very near future!

Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing is back with another bottled creation today, continuing their exploration into sour beers that take a little more time. Throwin’ Blueberries is a 5.5% ABV Sour beer, featuring more than 100 kilos of locally-picked wild blueberries added to the tune of 200 g/L (that’s a lot!). Starting from a pitched yeast and soured with Lacto in stainless, it was conditioned with the fruit for over two and a half months, developing beyond a simple tart character, incorporating the fruits sugars for another round of activity. After completion, the deep purple beer was allowed to bottle (and keg) condition for an additional four months, naturally carbonating and allowing everything to meld together perfectly. 750 ml bottles are available at the brewery today, but in short supply (and only at the brewery, btw), so if this sounds up your alley, we suggest making a break for the Northside today! And for those fortunate enough to live in the area, you can enjoy pints of that draught (as well as 9 other beers) on their patio this weekend! Their pals from Milda’s Pizza will be onsite at 5 PM, to fill that pizza-shaped hole in your tummy/soul.

Couple of new beers coming to you out of Tusket Falls Brewing recently, aiming to satisfy both the hophead and stout lover that reside deep, deep in your soul (well, ok, maybe not that deep). For hops, they’ve got Buy the Ticket… Take the Ride, an 8% ABV Double IPA full of Citra, Chinook, and Galaxy hops. With a full body, moderate bitterness, and lots of lemon and orange flavours to suit your needs. As for the stout, Against Better Judgment is pretty hefty itself (at 7% ABV), and is tasting creamy, full-bodied, with “a subtle vanilla flavour” thanks to the addition of Madagascar vanilla beans during the conditioning phase. Cans of both beers are available now at the brewery, as well as their online store

Speaking of DIPAs, Secret Cove Brewing, straight out of Port au Port, NL, have brought back a local favourite DIPA of theirs, Hop A Ryed In My Dory. If we’re reading this right, the beer is brewed with some Rye malt in the grist, and has plenty of late hop additions (looks like they’re keeping the varieties a secret!). Weighing in at 7.6% ABV, the brewery describes the aroma as containing “mango and citrus, with a sweet apricot finish”… but then they’ve mentioned “images of an overloaded Tall Ship filled with Rye Whiskey in its belly”, so yeah, you can see why we were confused before! Grab it on tap and in cans at the brewery today

And hey, we might as well stay on Newfoundland, since Bannerman is ALSO releasing a DIPA (oh right, it was IPA Day yesterday! It’s all coming together now…), and a brand new beer for them. Cloud City is an 8% ABV brew that was double-dry-hopped with everyone’s favourite (well, one of them, anyway) hop varieties, Galaxy. That equals a trip to Juicy Town, with flavours of “tropical fruit, pineapple, and nectarine”, specifically for this beer. Sounds delicious to us, so we have to recommend that you drop by the brewery to pick some up for the weekend, if you’re in or around St. John’s. Plus you can grab a glass or can of the latest batch of Punch Drunk Love, their kettle sour chock-full of raspberry, pink guava, sweet cherry, and pineapple.

Tidehouse, the tiniest brewery in Halifax, is open today with their latest release, this time pairing up with local flavour-guru Phil Holmans at World Tea House. Using some peach rooibos tea from Phil’s shop, they added it to a lightly-soured ale to create Peachy Fuzzies. 4.5% ABV of tart peachy goodness, kinda like those nickel gummy candies you enjoy(ed)! With an ever-so-subtle hint of tea too (for two?). While today’s release is of only 300 cans (so we suggest getting there today or tomorrow, 2 – 8 PM both days, or until sold out), we understand there are more batches in the works, and new projects with World Tea House coming soon! Tidehouse’s Hibiscus City is also available to take-away in cans today, and maybe even a couple other recent favourites… 

Oh St. John’s, what a strange week it’s been! Rather than playing Regatta Roulette on Tuesday night, and hopefully being able to enjoy another bunch of great local beers on the edge of Quidi Vidi Lake, unfortunately this year’s Royal St. John’s Regatta was canceled. Not canceled, however, was Quidi Vidi Brewery’s Crown and Anchor, the beer brewed in celebration of the event. A 3.9% ABV Light Lager, perfect for enjoying throughout the day, so maybe you can toss a few rubber duckies in the bathtub and cheer them on while enjoying a few bottles or cans? 😉 But in all seriousness, while the cancelation of the event was less than ideal, staying physically distant while socially together is most important in these trying times. Available at the brewery and for delivery, through their Hops Shop.

Crown and Anchor joins a whole bevvy of collaborative and partnership beers on the Quidi Vidi virtual shelves, including the latest with downtown’s Fogtown Barber, this time seeing light as a 4.5% ABV Session Ale. Low alcohol, but with plenty of citrus and tropical goodness from Amarillo and El Dorado, it’s sure to keep you looking and feeling fresh! And celebrating (and supporting) St. John’s Pride is their Gayboil, the newest batch of their popular Dayboil, with $0.50 from each can going direct to the event and educational activities. And teaming up with The Outhouse TV crew, they have released the The Outhouse – Homebrew Session Lager, a 4.0% ABV beer available by the case, and with a dozen unique beer labels of all your favourite characters from the series. And if you opt for curbside pickup at the Hop Shop, you have access to a few more of their small batch beers, including Peach Raspberry Sour, Krispy Lager, and Sour IPA #3, which are all available in limited quantity only at the source.

Keep your heads up for a new beer release at Good Robot next Wednesday, when they’ll be launching Marmalade Forest. A 4.1% ABV Berliner Weisse that they’re calling “slightly sour”, they added a hefty dose of yuzu puree. What IS yuzu, you ask? Well, it’s a citrus fruit that originated in China and is a hybrid of a mandarin orange and ichang pipeda. What’s an ichang pipeda? Look, we don’t have time to Google two different things, you’ll just have to look into that one on your own. Sorry. Oh, and yeah, so check out the beer next week!

In Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, on the north side of the Bay of Fundy, Two Islands Brewing has launched a new batch of their Fundy Fog APA that sees a bit of a departure from previous batches: testing the notion of using some Fermentis SafAle S-33 in a New England style (read: hazy) beer. While this is a strain predominantly used for Belgian styles and thus would tend to show some phenolic character (e.g., clove, pepper) it also is a poor flocculator, which can help make for a hazier appearance. Using a bit of this with a more standard strain is an interesting way to achieve more “fog” in the Fundy Fog. You can be the judge of how well the experiment worked by checking out the beer in and around Parrsboro at the Two Islands tap room, BlackRock Bistro, and Wild Caraway, and in Truro at Blunt Bartender, Bistro on Prince, and Frank & Gino’s.

Let’s finish up with some great news for beer and cider fans in Halifax and Saint John.

Uncorked Tours will undoubtedly be familiar to our readers in New Brunswick, known for boosting the signal of the province’s breweries, cider makers, distilleries, and wineries, through tours in Saint John, as well as further afield. They are celebrating big news in that regard this week, with the opening of their Tasting Room in the Saint John City Market. Open 10 – 8 PM daily (except Sundays, and open later during the Thursday Night Market), the tasting room is fully stocked with 8 taps of rotating local beer and cider (current list is available here), as well as wine and spirits from across the province. The knowledgeable staff are there to help you make the perfect taster or choose the right pint to pair with the food you pick up elsewhere in the market (here’s their list). Congratulations to Gilliane and Nathalie, and be sure to pop in to see their setup real soon! Read even more about the Tasting Room in Huddle.

And in Halifax, Bulwark Cider has opened their Cider House at 1518 Dresden Row. Featuring a fully-stocked retail shop with more than 20 different bottled ciders and fruit wines (can also be enjoyed in-house), their taproom will be launching this coming Tuesday with sixteen taps of Bulwark ciders and guest beer collaborations, available to enjoy onsite or to take-away. Coming soon are charcuterie and bar bite options, live music events, and a special private space upstairs. Their patio looks quite inviting as well! Congratulations Bulwark! Open Tuesday – Sunday from 11 AM – 10 PM, and an hour later Thursday through Saturday. Check their FB page for the latest news.

Have plans for next Saturday yet? If so, cancel them!

Hey hey hey, folks, during these COVID times have you missed the excitement (and comfort!) of heading down to Stillwell HQ for tap takeovers by awesome breweries from our region and beyond? We sure have. Well the good news is that it looks like things are getting back into swing. Differently of course (isn’t everything?!), but still swingy. We had the delightful Brasserie Dunham x Coda Ramen deal a couple weeks ago and now, coming up on Saturday, August 15th, we’ll see the return of Newcastle, Maine’s Oxbow Brewing to the wall. Oxbow has been putting out lovely liquids in the farmhouse and eccentric veins since 2011 and are known for their “loud beer from a quiet place.” Now with locations in Portland and Oxford as well, they’re keeping on with the keeping on. They did their first takeover at Stilly in September of 2017 and another mini-takeover last October. This time there will be 10 taps pouring Oxbow’s creations plus (*we think*) some delightful cans and bottles as well. Here’s where the different part comes in: due to social distancing restrictions, you’re going to have to make a reservation telling them how many folks you’re bringing, what time you’d like to come (the event runs noon to midnight), and how long you plan to stay; direct that information (politely!) via email to sam@barstillwell.com and see what comes back in terms of availability. Also, if that wasn’t enough to entice you, it bears mentioning that there will also be a special food menu from Joe Martin and his team for the event featuring a Coney Island Carnival theme. Hope to see you all there!!

Just a few more things before we unleash you onto the taprooms and patios today!

Boxing Rock’s latest beer is Indigo Blueberry Sour Ale, a 5.4% ABV “mildly tart and fruity” brew that features an addition of fresh blueberries from the Parrsboro region of NS. It should be available at the brewery right now.

Rothesay’s Foghorn Brewing has launched their Sour Series with a dive into a favourite citrus flavours, grapefruit. Featuring a little acidity and a little bitterness and a crisp finish, Grapefruit features plenty of real citrus in the glass, for a refreshing kick. At a quaffable 4.5% ABV, pop by their spot at 47 Clark Road for a pint and/or growler fill this weekend. And a canned version isn’t far off, perfect for toting to the lake or beach!

Heritage Brewing has announced they have a new beer on tap at the brewery, lightly bittered with Amarillo (to 20 IBUs) with a little thrown in at the end of the boil for a bit of tropical citrus aroma, as well. What’s it called? We don’t know! Just head to the taproom and say the ACBB sent you to try a 4.0% ABV new beer, that should work.

Sober Island has a new IPA available on taps and in cans, Wavebreaker. An American IPA with a bit of tangerine in the aroma and flavour, it’s 6.3% and well-balanced. Available at the brewery and for delivery.

Unfiltered has brought back their “Wild Blueberry Sour”, Lifesaver (4.2% ABV); cans and fills at the brewery today.

We’re back! Did you miss us? We missed you! That week of vacation has e-invigorated us to keep spreading the gospel of good local beer, and we even managed to switch our web-hosting provider to something that fits our criteria better (ie, cheaper, seeing as we do this for nothing). So grab a coffee or pint and get back up to speed with the beers goings on (going ons? goings ons?)  in the region.

Happy 7th Anniversary to Shelburne Nova Scotia’s Boxing Rock Brewing! The landscape has certainly changed in the region in the last seven years, with the number of breweries operating in the region increasing 5-fold since their launch in 2013. You missed this week’s cake at their taproom, but the good vibes continue with a brand new release of theirs, Aldeia Portuguese Pilsner. At 5.2% ABV,  this straw coloured clear pilsner is a “modern interpretation of an old world classic style”. Taking its time fermenting at low temperature, this crisp beer features a light dry-hopping of “modern varietals of old world hops” (we’re not exactly sure what that means either 😉). In all seriousness, this ode to Portugal is celebrating the country’s embracing of modernity with human rights and environmentalism, while still maintaining respect for the ancient architecture and traditions. But good news, you don’t have to just read about the beer, you can find out for yourself by dropping into the Boxing Rock Taproom at 218 Water Street in Shelburne for a pint or grab some cans to go! They’ve also let us know about Indigo, a sour beer with blueberries from the Parrsboro region to be released in the next little bit. 5.2% ABV, mildly tart, and showing a lovely bright colour. And they are now introducing a few other neat things on the go, including getting your own Taproom Experience, with several options including a guided tasting and pairing with food, Beer 101, or a look at the barrel aging program. Congratulations to the Boxing Rock team!

So, this is what happens when you take a week off… Jeremy and the crew at 2 Crows in Halifax decide to release three new beers. We really need to get our calendars synced up! 😘 OK, let’s get you up to date with these new beers they’ve got on offer. First released was Dreamworld, a 5.6% ABV foedre Saison. Starting from a base of Shoreline Malting Pilsner, Wheat malt and raw wheat, as well as spelt malt, it was whirlpool (aka, after the boil, but before transferring to the fermenter) hopped with Galaxy and Huell Melon, and underwent primary fermentation in one of their foedres, with a blend of house Brettanomyces cultures. More Galaxy and HM were added during active fermentation (biotransformation galore), and hung out in the foedre for another 4 months. At that point, the beer was dry-hopped yet again, and transferred to cans where it spent the last 7 months carbonating and conditioning. Bright and zesty, with grapefruit on the nose with passion fruit and spiciness, on a juicy base thanks to the adjunct malts. This one is in 473 mL cans now.

A pair of bottles also debuted at 2 Crows late last week, from their barrels prominently displayed in the brewery’s taproom. Monarch is a 5.5% ABV golden sour that spent seven months fermenting in freshly-emptied Pinot Grigio barrels, before a round of Enigma and Bramling Cross hopping just before being bottled back in May. This one definitely has plenty of grapey goodness in the bottle, with the refreshing acidity helping the grape and honeysuckle notes dance and meld. Also debuting was Delight, a 5.6% ABV blended sour with sea buckthorn. This beer is actually a blend of two separate beers, the first beginning life from a 100% heirloom German pilsner malt, aged for a year and a half in Sauvignon Blanc barrels (with a mixed culture of Brettanomyces, Saccharomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus), mixed with a golden sour base beer aged for about a year in neutral (aka, already used a few times) wine barrels. When combined, they received a dose of cold-pressed sea buckthorn juice from New Brunswick, and received a dry-hopping addition of aged Noble hops (think preservation rather than bitterness or aroma), before bottling and conditioning for two months. The fruit’s oils serve to knock out the head retention, but more than make up for it in massive pineapple, fuzzy peaches, and mango character. Both are available for purchase now at the brewery, and online, in 375 mL format. And while you’re checking out their online shop, be sure to grab your raffle ticket for a massive raffle they are holding at this time. Supporting the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre, the prize pack is an amazing assortment of 25 unique beer offerings from their cellar, including many historic beers that are long “out-of-print”, as well as sneak peeks at beers yet to be released, worth at least $275 (full bottle and can list available here). You can grab your tickets for the raffle here, with the drawing taking place next Wednesday, July 15th. Enter today, enter often!

There are no areas in the world that haven’t experienced a surge in heartbreak over the past few, difficult months, but Nova Scotia is one area that seems to have received an-even-heavier-than-expected blow. Paying homage to those lives lost in the Canadian Armed Forces Cyclone and Snowbirds crashes that claimed the lives of seven Canadian Armed Forces personnel, Spindrift released NS Love Lager late last week. Described as a 5% ABV, crean, crisp Lager, 100% of the profits of every case sold will go directly to the families of those who were tragically killed in the accidents. The label was designed by Jampy Furniture’s Chris Smith; note that Jampy had previously designed wooden signs with the NS Love logo, with those profits being donated to families of victims of the Portapique mass shooting earlier in the year. Cans are available at the brewery for pick-up, as well as on their online store. 

If you’re a bit overwhelmed with endless releases of hoppy beers, sour beers, big beers, etc., we recommend you head over to Propeller this weekend for a very limited release of Lotus Lager, a “Lagered Ale” inspired by the delicious Kölsch beers of Cologne, Germany. Fermented with an Ale yeast strain at cooler temperatures, as is typical for the style, the brewery added Lotus hops in the boil, providing “a burst of orange, berries, and tropical citrus”, backed by a hint of honey malt flavour. Light, crisp, and refreshing, you can find it on tap for pints at all three Prop stores, as well as in cans (note that growler fills are not available for this one). And in more great news, there’s been a rare sighting of their Sasquatch Pale Ale (this is the first 100% Canadian hop) in cans only at their three retail shops (as well as home delivery), and there’s not much of it, so jump on that while you can. And lastly with the great Prop news, their Quinpool Tap Room location, in The Keep complex, has opened their taps and tables for onsite enjoyment! Open at 10 AM daily (noon Sundays), until 8 PM Mon and Tues, 10 PM Wed, Thurs, and Sun, and 11 PM Fri and Sat.

More Tidehouse cans available this week, as they continue their series of well-received Milkshake IPAs with Big Rent Money. Brewed with malt from Horton Ridge, the beer was hopped with Hammerhead Hops varieties. Cascade, Centennial, and Idaho 7 are the hops in this one, lending a touch of bitterness with a whole heap of fruit character. As always with a Milkshake IPA, it’s not just about hops and vanilla addition, but also the fruit… in this case, plenty of pineapple and mango, as well as orange zest. Thick, creamy, and fruity, cans of this 8.8% ABV beauty are available today at 2 PM at the brewery (and we don’t expect it to last the day), along with a few others, including Sotil 2 (5% ABV Saison with Marquette grape skins), and Two Can Win (7.5% ABV Imperial saison with Loral and Saaz hops). 

Now that Prince Edward Island is open to visitors from the other Atlantic provinces again, most of you will likely be crossing over to the Island via the Confederation Bridge. Conveniently, Lone Oak Brewing is located *right* there when you touch down, so why not stop by their tasting room to have a pint and pick up some growlers/cans? And to celebrate your arrival, they’ve just released a brand new mixed-fermentation Saison, Duet. Brewed with all PEI grain (barley, wheat, and oats from Island Malt House), it was hopped with Saaz and Centennial to 22 IBUs, and fermented with a blend of two strains of Saccharomyces and two of Brettanomyces. Aged for six months in Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc barrels, the final beer is tasting very dry and complex, with some “lemon zest and noble hop characteristics” in the background. Super drinkable at just 4.5% ABV, it’s currently available on tap, and now in 750 mL bottles too! Expect to see other barrel-aged offerings from Lone Oak in the near future, now that the beers have had some time to develop; we’ve heard a rumour that a foedre-aged Grisette could be next!

Elsewhere in PEI, Charlottetown’s Upstreet is keeping local residents hoppy, as they continue to release new entries in their Neon Friday series; maybe not weekly, but pretty darn regular! Today they’re putting out Neon Friday 3.03 DIPA, an 8% ABV beer brewed with Pale and Vienna malts, along with Wheat, Oats and Rye. Hopped with lots of Sabro, Citra and Mosaic, this sandy-gold-coloured beer has aromas and flavours of “toasted coconut, pineapple, and freshly-squeezed orange and clementine”. You can find it on tap and in cans at one of your favourite downtown Upstreet locations. 

A couple weeks ago, we wrote about the first of five 5th Birthday beers from Breton Brewing, and this week they’ve released the second in the line-up. Right Some Good is a kettle sour that was dry-hopped with Idaho 7 and Sabro varieties, giving notes of “pineapple, lime zest, and berries”, complemented by the accompanying tartness. Described as full-bodied despite the 4.2% ABV, it’s hazy-gold in colour and quite refreshing. Like all beers in this series, it will be available in a limited quantity; currently, you can grab it at their taproom or have it delivered if you live in the CBRM, and you should be able to see it around Halifax late next week. Stay tuned for their third birthday beer, dropping two weeks!

Between their brewery operations and their taproom, Halifax’s Good Robot Brewing boasts one of the most diverse staffs in our region’s brewing scene and are way, way above the (admittedly low) bar in that regard. They also continue to be behind some of the most inclusive beer-related events in our region. So it’s no surprise that their Brewer, Giovanni Johnson, one of the few BIPOC brewers in Eastern Canada and one of the folks behind the Limestone Group who have repeatedly brought a taste of Bahamian food and culture to the Halifax, is one of the folks behind the newly formed Change Is Brewing Collective, a group of BIPOC Nova Scotians in the food and beverage industry, to benefit BIPOC youth and community groups and to raise awareness of BIPOC issues. The first fruit of this labor is, appropriately, a fruited beer they’re calling Blackberry Freedom. Available starting tomorrow for takeout and in the taproom, this 5.5% ABV pale ale is designed to, “awaken the senses,” according to GR’s own LaMeia Reddick, a founding member of the collective and one of the folks involved in its design. Gio himself says, “This beer was made to honour the black experience. In collaboration with Good Robot we call for unity and justice at this time.” GR has pledged that 50% of the proceeds from this beer will be donated to BIPOC youth and community groups. The press release for Change is Brewing and Blackberry Freedom begins with the phrase, “Black Lives are Essential.” We believe this is a valid and vital position and they’re making it pretty easy to show your support for it through the purchase of this beer (but hopefully we can all find ways to do more). And look for more information about Change is Brewing and what they’re all about in a future post right here.

In other Good Robot beer news, Little Creature, the “Li’l Sister” to their popular Creature Feature series of NEIPAs is back on the go. Smoother than it is bitter, like its older sibling it features the much ballyhooed and also much debated biotransformation process of hopping during active fermentation, but in a more sessionable 4.5% ABV package. Look for it at brewery and taproom as well as online orders for delivery.

Down in Lunenburg, Shipwright Brewing has just tapped Citrus Got Real, a 4.5% ABV kettle sour. Brewed with Pilsner, Wheat, and Acid malts, the wort was soured with Lactobacillus before fermentation. Once complete, they added fresh lime juice and zest, as well as some raw coconut, giving lots of citrus and, naturally, coconut, backed by some “pleasant bready notes and an overall crisp grain profile”. This is the brewery’s first kettle sour, so make sure you get over there for a pint or crowler fill! It should be on tap, soon, at the Grand Banker as well. 

Couple new and interesting beers available this week from Bannerman Brewing in St. John’s; first they’ve got Good Vibes Only, an American Pale Ale with a twist. Hopped with a blend of South African hop varieties, it was fermented with a “Brettanomyces-like” yeast strain (homebrewers out there, name that strain!). Hops and yeast combine to bring notes of tropical and overripe fruit to this 5.5% ABV beer; it’s available on tap for pints and growlers, and in cans, at the brewery. And if kettle sours are more your bag, they’ve got you covered with their other newbie, Punch Drunk Love. Fruited with a mix of raspberry, pink guava, sweet cherry, and pineapple, you can bet that it’s a tart and fruity flavour bomb! Also available on tap, with cans just hitting their shelves today. 

Moving on to Secret Cove, who have re-released their Newfoundland Light & Sour, which they originally launched last summer. This 3.8% ABV take on the Berliner Weisse style has a change this time around – the first iteration featured an addition of locally-foraged marsh berries, but the newest version crams in local rhubarb, partridgeberry, and strawberries. It’s still tart, light, and easy-drinking, but with a different fruit profile than what you may remember from last year, if you were lucky enough to grab some then. Drop by the taproom this weekend for a pour, with cans coming in the near future.

O’Creek Brewing has updated us on two returning favourites of theirs, one beer on tap, and the other back in cans. For draught beer, their Berry Mango Sour IPA – a 4.5% ABV kettle sour hopped with Citra and Sabro, with some Nelson Sauvin in the dry-hop, conditioned on raspberry and mango puree – is back, and currently on tap at Dieppe’s CAVOK Brewing (remember, CAVOK lets you take home crowlers of guest taps!). And speaking of CAVOK, O’Creek contract brewed another batch of their Route 117 IPA at the brewery, and it’s now canned and ready to go! Hazy and juicy, it’s 6.5% ABV, and available at CAVOK and several ANBL stores (including Moncton North and Mountain Rd.). 

In brewing, as in the rest of life, timing can be everything. And sometimes you think you’ve got your timing dead on and circumstances seem to conspire against you. Such was the case for Hanwell, NB’s Niche Brewing, who released a new beer called Hop Altered right in early March, just before the Government told us all to go home and stay there. As a brewery without a retail outlet, this put quite a crimp in Niche’s ability to move beer. When a big part of your oeuvre is hoppy ales best enjoyed fresh, there’s also no real opportunity to “sit on” such beers for later release. The good news is that Niche is here on the other side of the first (and only, we hope) lockdown and they’ve made that beer again, only a little different. Keeping the grist the same as well as the yeast (Escarpment Labs’ Foggy London blend) and the kettle hops (El Dorado and Mosaic), but tweaking the dry hop a little with Mosaic and Citra, the result is a fairly sessionable (5% ABV) hoppy, juicy hazebomb. Or is that a hazy, hoppy juicebomb? You’ll have to decide for yourself. Grab a pint at one of Niche’s tap accounts; we’ve confirmed that they’ve shipped kegs to The Joyce, Peppers Pub, and the Pump House Fill Station, with the balance on its way to Stillwell (which Stillwell? Hopefully all of them!). And if hops aren’t your thing, but you like a nice German Pilsner on a hot summer’s day, check out The Pickle Jar (at the Hilton Garden Inn) in Fredericton, who have laid claim to the last keg of Lanai.

We’ve actually got a pair of events to tell you about today, for the first time in a few minutes!

One of the most consistent and consistently popular series of beer-related events in our region over the last couple years has been the Craft Draught Showdowns at The Carleton in Halifax. Many music lovers know the Carleton as the best place in the city for intimate and respectful concerts by a wide range of Canadian and International acts, but especially since their relaunch a couple years ago, they’ve cemented their reputation as a destination for excellent food and local beer. CDS events pit two breweries and brewmasters against each other, pairing 4oz pours of their creations with five courses from Chef Mathias Probst. The audience votes on whose beer was a better match for each course and a winner is announced at the end of the night. Just under two weeks from now, on July 22nd, the Craft Draught Showdown returns from exile with two local breweries, Brightwood Brewery and Propeller Brewing, head-to-head with a soundtrack to the evening provided by Almasy (Michael Dalton). Spots are extra-limited due to seating restrictions, but we’ve been told that tickets are still available for this one; cost is $65 ($74.75 with HST) and includes gratuity and can be purchased online.

For our Nova Scotia brewery employee readers, we want to be sure you are aware of this important event coming August 10th. Ren Navarro is Beer. Diversity., consulting those in the beer industry on how to improve diversity in hiring practices, community outreach, in-person interactions, and how to make each more welcoming to all. She will be holding a teleseminar August 10th, 1 -3 PM AST (not EST as originally pormoted), “Committing to Diversity in Our Beer Industry”, welcoming any and all members of the Nova Scotia brewing community to take part, from owners, to brewers, to social media folk, to taproom bartenders. This interactive event will include local brewery folks Christopher Reynolds of Stillwell, Nick Ogden of 2 Crows, and Rozina Darvesh of North Brewing helping moderate the two-hour event. Those in the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia may have already seen the notice, but for those breweries not members (or maybe haven’t seen the call yet), you can check out the tickets at the 2 Crows webshop. Because of the extremely limited number, you’ll need to grab a password from one of the moderators above. 

A few more newsbites for you, and we’ll take this time to mention that the Hard Seltzer Invasion continues unabated in our region, with new releases from Good Robot (Grapefruit and Moon Mist [which sold out in minutes] joining Mint Berry, fermented malt, gluten-reduced), North Brewing (Strawberry Rhubarb, blended seltzer, not from fermented malt, and gluten free), and the return of Big Spruce’s Zesty Lime and Red Raspberry Bliss (fermented malt, but filtered to remove malt flavor and gluten). We’d also like to add that you’re not likely to see too many more mentions of hard seltzers in our future blog posts. We absolutely get it, but between beer (our first love), cider, and the occasional mead, along with brewery openings, events (hah! Remember events?!), and job postings, we already have more than enough to write about on a weekly basis. So we’re tapping out and we’ll simply recommend you stay tuned to your favorite breweries’ social media for information about their alcopop offerings. And with that, let’s wrap this up for another week with a couple of quick hits and a job(s) posting:

Dildo Brewing Co. has a new summer beer for those of you in the area – Island Sunrise is a 5.2% ABV “Blood Orange and Mango Ale”. We’re extremely short on details, but rest assured it must have blood orange and mango in it! Available on tap at the brewery, and in cans. Also, the Dildo Outport Heritage Museum, located in the building, is now open for the summer, so you can drop in and enlighten yourself while buying beer!

Last week Moncton’s Grand Monk Artisan Ales dropped a new one off at Euston Park Social. Little Queenie Pale Ale is a lightweight (4.5% ABV) number with plenty of classic American hops: Chinook, Columbus, and Cascade. Described as “citrus, grassy goodness” you’ll find it on tap now at the aforementioned Euston Park, with a few other spots in the area receiving kegs this weekend.

Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing has brought back their big bad German daddy Hellevator Bock. Featuring German everything (except water, for obvious reasons), it’s on the maltier side for an Unfiltered beer, but still with plenty of Continental hop kick. Get your fills or cans of this 7% ABV Teutonic banger at the brewery from opening today.

Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing has three openings available, but if you’re interested and you haven’t yet applied, your time is limited as the postings close today! First up is a Brewer to operate under the Head Brewer, helping pump out the beer that is the core of their operation. Next is Cellar Person, responsible for the path the beer takes from grain, hops, water, and yeast, to the point where the customer walks it out the door. And lastly, but certainly not leastly, a Warehousing/Packaging Operator who can help make sure that beer packaging is sound and sanitary, ensuring the customer is getting the freshest product possible. Check out the full details of each job posting here and then get your resumes in by email to joel@upstreet.ca. Applicants chosen for an interview will be contacted in the next couple of weeks.