Boxing Rock Brewing

All posts tagged Boxing Rock Brewing

Good day, sweet world! As we travel down the path of the Holiday season, the beer releases are coming in strong and fast, much like all of the news below! As our Atlantic provinces do our best to combat the spread of the virus, we must stay diligent by staying home and still supporting local businesses and breweries. Make sure you check out your old favourites and new shops and restaurants for pick-up and delivery options as we all do our part to stop the spread of the virus and spread the cheers! Onto what you’re really here for… the news!

Let’s start you off with some good news from our pals in Hanwell, New Brunswick, Niche Brewing. They are dropping another in their line of “infrequent and always special” bottle releases, After the Storm. Quite the fitting name given the world’s state of affairs, and the beer inside rises to the occasion, naturally. Starting with primary fermentation in a freshly-emptied Chardonnay barrel, this Dark Sour featured the use of Lactobacillus, and then fermentation with their house culture with Brettanomyces and Saccharomyces that they’ve been using for the past 3 years. After developing in the barrel for a year and a half (!!), it was moved to a stainless tank and loads of tart cherry puree was added, and allowed to meld for another few months before bottling and conditioning was complete. Dark fruit, chocolate, oak, and more, all in a 5.5% tart beer, ready for us to enjoy this season. In addition to a select few ANBL locations in the Capital (York Street) and Moncton area, After the Storm will also be at the Picaroons Crafted NB Drinks Market this Sunday, and at Maybee Brewing and CAVOK Brewing in their to-go fridges as well.

Heading 2 hours East of Hanwell, just before you hit the Acadian Coast, you will encounter Saint-Antoine/Saint Anthony. There you will find the newest brewery to open in the region, Twin Harbour Brewing. They are operating at 18 Des Bouleaux Ave in the town, and will be open for growler sales today 5 – 9 PM, and Saturday, 2 – 5 PM. So, what can you expect when you roll up to Twin Harbour? As it is a private residence, park in their driveway and head for the side door, bringing you right into the 120 litre (1 BBL) brewhouse. Please, masks on and respect social distancing, and wait until all other customers have left. Payment can be via Cash or EMT or their new gift certificates, perfect for slipping in a holiday card. OK, enough of that stuff, what beer do they have available?? Their locally-themed beers include Bo-Soleil Pale Ale (5.0%), Côte d’Or Blonde (5.0%), Cape Enragée West Coast IPA, and two fruited beers, the Raspberry Wheat (4.3%) and Blueberry Ale (4.5%). All beers are available in their own 1L Twin Harbour growlers, and they will also fill your own 1L and 2L clean growlers as well. We hope to have lots more on their beer and the people behind Twin Harbour next week, and wish them a great and busy weekend! Salut!

Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing has recently launched a collaboration beer that is near and dear to their hearts, in appreciation of a gesture from long ago. Ok, enough with the teasing! Most residents of Nova Scotia know that after the Halifax Explosion in 1917, the city of Boston was a big help in getting the city and its residents back on their feet. As a thank you, Halifax has sent a very large (“the biggest and best” – D. Trump) Christmas tree to the city of Boston every year since 1971. Hence, From Nova Scotia With Love, a “Whiskey Barrel Aged Abbey Ale” brewed in a “Home and Home” collaboration with Boston’s Harpoon Brewery. Brewed with a grist containing a portion of oak and cherry wood smoked malts, they decided to throw in a small addition of spruce tips, and aged the beer in Glenora Single Malt Whiskey barrels from Cape Breton. Packaged in 650 mL bottles, the 8% ABV beer is “both layered and complex, with notes of dried fruit, vanilla, wood smoke, and caramel”, as well as a bit of warmth from the whiskey. Proceeds from this beer will be donated to the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia’s Tema Grant, “a non-profit dedicated to supporting the mental health of first responders, frontline workers, and allied health professionals making unprecedented sacrifices in these difficult times”. Grab your bottles at the Sprucetique, or order online for delivery all over!

If you’re wanting to hear even more about the project and more fun details on the beer, may we suggest you check out the 902 BrewCast Podcast, as their most recent episode features an interview with Jeremy White from Big Spruce Brewing. During the episode, Kyle and Tony also chat with the fine folks at North Brewing about their Holiday Box and other recent releases, and drink their way through some new and old favourite Nova Scotian beers. The 902 fellas are also running a contest on their instagram page, so be sure to order some beer and tag them in the post. And congratulations to (former?) co-host Phil Church who has launched his professional photography business, find out more here.

The other interview during that most recent episode was with Allan of Bedford’s Off Track Brewing, who have released two Bourbon Barrel-Aged beers this week, both available now for pick up or delivery. First up is the Barrel-Aged version of their Crash Course IPA, which spent 6 months in a Buffalo Trace Bourbon barrel, before being moved to a conditioning tank for an extra dry-hopping dose of Mosaic, before a low and slow keg conditioning for the past 4 months, before bottling this 9.4% beast. And a brand new recipe is the Choc-Full Chocolate Stout, a roasty-chocolately stout that was aged for 11 months in a Woodford Reserve barrel, picking up a touch of booze and plenty of vanilla and wood character, before bottling. This 9.2% beaut is available in 500 ml bottles, just like the BBA Crash Course, and both are available for delivery in their region (Hammonds Plains/Bedford/Sackville/Fall River), as well as at the brewery at 275 Rocky Lake Drive during their current retail hours, Thursday and Friday 3 – 7 PM, and Saturday 12 – 4 PM.

Let’s head North, waaaaay North, to Lab City, to tell you about the newest release from Iron Rock Brewing. In November, Nardia McGrath (most recently of Landwash Brewery) took over their brewhouse for a couple of weeks, and along with Assistant Brewer Cindy, developed Cat’s Away IPA. Using a light-coloured base malt of 2-Row, Wheat, Flaked Oats and touch of Crystal 60, the beer featured a ton of Cascade and Citra in the boil, before a round of dry-hopping with Cascade, Citra, and Mosaic. This 6.0% Deadly beer is available in the taproom and to take-away now, so grab some when you pop by for this evening’s Trivia at 7:30 PM, or tomorrow evening’s Open Mic. And for those not in Lab City, check their website for delivery, which they’re offering Canada-wide!

Big things are happening in Rothesay this week as Long Bay Brewery releases its first canned product, Double-Dragon Fly-PA. This 8% ABV New England style DIPA features Sabro, Citra and Mosaic hops, showcasing tropical notes including mango, coconut and tangerine. The team at Long Bay used two different yeast strains and a blend of English and Canadian malts. The beer was cold conditioned for a week before packaging the features the hazy appearance you’ve come to expect from the New England style. Cans are available in 355 ml (more big beers in small cans, please!) and are available now at the brewery, with pints and growler fills also an option. If you can’t make it to Rothesay, look for cans to start popping up on ANBL shelves in the coming days and weeks. Double-Dragon Fly-PA is being launched as part of Long Bay’s core brands, which means you’ll soon be able to enjoy it all year long. In other Long Bay news, construction continues on their taproom expansion with the wall officially coming down to join the current taproom with the neighboring space. Stay tuned to Long Bay’s social channels as they work towards opening the new space during the holiday season.

Have you been stuck in your province? Is the PEI ferry operating? (seriously, we don’t know!) Well, if you’ve been missing some boat traffic if your life Lone Oak is back to fill your waters. Boat Traffic 2.0 is here. The initial release was back in January, as a smooth Oatmeal Stout oak-aged in a new, locally-made foedre. Version 2.0 is here with a big body, chocolate and coconut flavours with undertones of roast and vanilla. The brewery’s first dark beer is back again at 5.0% and 27IBU and is definitely a style to keep stocked in your fridge. Cans are now available in their taproom for pick-up or online for delivery (perfect for anyone stuck quarantining in their hotel room in Charlottetown and needing a bit of a pick-me-up, for example….).

From one island to another, we skip down to Sydney for a pair of new releases from Breton Brewing. The first early christmas gift is a Kolsch, aptly named … Kolsch! A 4.0% true to style, light and refreshing lager, keep it crispy and get some of this delicious style. Staying with the German styles, we get another lager with a very underrated style, as Breton brings us Dunkel, a traditional Munich style Dark Lager. This baby was brewed with Munich and Chocolate malt, well hopped for balance and brings lots of roasty, toasty, caramel notes all come together in a 5.0% gem. Both releases are available now at the brewery, online for home delivery in the CBRM & HRM, and shipping throughout the rest of the province. 

Follow the trail, all the way to Trailway, where in Fredericton we get some new South African hops in Mt. Passion, a new IPA release. Mt (Mount) Passion, 6%, is brewed with Southern Passion and Experimental XJA2/436 hop varieties that are meant to bring out a flavour profile of bright zesty lemon and lime, passionfruit, pineapple, and guava. Southern Passion is a South African bred aroma hop whose pedigree is a diploid seedling originating from a Saaz and Hallertauer crossing. XJA2/436 is a bittering hop with an aroma profile of bergamot citrus, dried lemon zest, candied papaya, ripe cantaloupe, gooseberries, and resin. These are probably the first time these hops have been used in the region and it’s worth a try to expand your flavour profile. It’s currently available in cans at the brewery with shipping options online and will be available on tap for pints and fills later. 

Our friends at 2 Crows have taken a respite from hoppy beers and mixed-fermentation ales to bring us their latest, Hibernaculum, an “Old Barleywine Ale”. This beauty was a l-o-o-o-ng time in the making, as it was brewed almost *three* years ago! The style and recipe research were completed by local beer aficionado Matt McNair, who helped convince the brewery to  brew the beer as two separate concoctions: an Old Ale, and a Barleywine. Both of these were brewed in the traditional English style, with a large portion of Maris Otter in both grists, East Kent Golding hops in the boil, and fermented with a dry English Ale yeast strain. Also, the Old Ale featured an addition of homemade brewer’s caramel, to really help bump up the flavour complexity. After a year of conditioning separately, the beers were blended, along with a pitch of Brett C (oops, did we say a break from mixed-ferm beers? Oh well!). After another year, the final beer was bottled and allowed to condition until now, for a grand total of close to three years. It’s a huge beer at 11.9% ABV (!), and is tasting “rich, bold, and warming”, with notes of leather, dried fruit, treacle and sherry. This is the quintessential sipping-by-the-fire beer, or in front of your Christmas tree, or at your breakfast table with cereal… we won’t judge! Ok, maybe we will a little for that last one. There is an extremely-limited number of bottles available (about 200), so be sure to grab some ASAP… rest assured this is a beer that will cellar wonderfully. Available now!

Yesterday, December 10th, was National Lager Day, and Sea Level Brewing decided to celebrate with the release of their latest Small Batch beer, Schwarzbier. This Dark German Lager is a style that has become increasingly popular over the years, with quite a few local breweries creating their own take on the style. Sea Level’s version is easy-drinking at just 4.2% ABV, and has “a hint of smokiness, chocolate and molasses, and a subtle floral aroma” thanks to an unusual-for-the-style dry hop of Crystal from Fundy Hops. Finishing clean and crisp, you can find it in cans and on tap at the Millstone Harvest Brewhouse.

Tanner squeezes in a Thursday release, with Saison III.  “Best described as a saison IPA hybrid”. The Chester faithful used pilsner, Vienna, Munich and oats and fermented the beer with French saison yeast. This was generously hopped throughout with Nelson Sauvin, Motueka and Lemondrop. Coming in at 7.0% and 40 IBU, “a combination of slightly spicy fruit forward yeast character & dryness, with the exotic fruit from the hop varieties. Complex aromas of citrus and tropical fruit give way to a dry palate that balances with the light malt backbone.” Order online for delivery (deliveries go out Friday!) or pop by to grab 500ml bottles if you can. And there looks to be beer in a new format available shortly, so peep their online store for more details on that over the next few days.

The beery Christmas gifts just keep on comin’, with Propeller bringing us another two for you lucky Haligonians, both of which the brewery refers to as “special bottles a long time in the making”. Sounds like the perfect gifts to us! No, seriously, TO us, for those of you looking for a way to thank us for all of our hard work! What’s that, just get to the beers, you say? FINE. The first is Dark Saison, which was brewed in October, 2019 and aged in a single Bourbon barrel (the very same that kicked off the brewery’s barrel program!). Fermented with a blend of clean Saison yeast and Brettanomyces strains, the beer spent 11 months in the barrel before packaging. Weighing in at 8.0% ABV, the final beer is rich and dark, with “notes of figs, dark fruit, and classic Brett earthiness and funk”, as well as some Bourbon and oak, of course! 

Continuing on this little trend of dark, funky beers, the next release is the return of Brett Porter. This one they refer to as a “classic London Style Porter”, that was initially fermented with a British Ale yeast, and then transferred to oak barrels for a secondary fermentation with Brett C. Aged for over nine months, the 6.4% ABV beer was then bottled and exhibit “layers of rich, roasted malt” to go with the mild Brett characteristics. Both beers are available today for sale in the Prop Shops, and can also be ordered online for home delivery

Just a couple quick hits before we leave you this week. Stay safe and drink well, friends!

Down in Shelburne, Boxing Rock is back with a re-release from a few years ago. Rauch Star is a rauchbier, aka a smoked lager. This beer is smooth, malty and full of old-world flavour. The style may not be for everyone, but we encourage you to try it!. True to it’s Bamberg roots, this beer is brewed with Pilsner and roasted malts and just the right amount of German beech-smoked malt. 6.2% ABV and available in 473ml cans at the brewery, private stores in HRM, and in the December 8th slot in the Maritime Craft Beer Advent Calendar. 

If you could use some Holiday cheer, or Good News (a 2 Crows/Change is Brewing Collective release), North Brewing, along with their community, and along with the Change Is Brewing Collective, have raised $14,037.25 with the sales of the Cherry Brook Wheat. Keep an eye out for further releases on how you can support the collective, like the Lake City Cider Forest Glory release out, too. 

In some other celebratory news, Tire Shack out of Moncton has no beer releases this week, but there’s still something to be excited about. This brewery should be on the radar for many of you already with their latest releases, but they picked up a few medals at The US Open Beer Championship held in Ohio. They won Gold in the ‘Fruit Gose’ category for our Lime Margarita Gose . This was a beer that was released this past summer that was hugely popular. They also won Bronze in the ‘Coconut’ category for their Coco Loco. This was a Vanilla-Coconut Porter that sold quickly in the Moncton area. Both of these winners will be coming back into production, so keep an eye out. Check out the full results and medal winners here

Our friends in St. John’s have a few pieces of news to carry us home this week. Bannerman gives us seasonal re-release, Yuletide, is a jammy, delicious, tart 5% ale brewed with Pilsner and wheat malts, then conditioned on huge amounts of cranberry, raspberry and cherry puree. Get this in cans or on tap at the brewery. Also this Sunday, they’re hosting a Holiday Edition of the St. John’s Music Merch Fair. The lineup includes many merchants of clothing and or music, including Tim Baker, Hey Rosetta! Duane Andrews and more. Check it out from 11am-5pm at the brewery on Sunday. Check out the event here

Have you heard of the second wave? Will you ride the wave like an undercover cop pretending to be a surfer? Have you reached your point break breaking point as cases rise? The Atlantic beer scene keeps rolling along and many of our friends have kept home delivery going strong. We wish you nothing but safety, tasty beers and merry cheers as we roll into the holiday season. Stay alert (like the COVID alert app) and stay safe!

This long awaited release from Tatamagouche is finally here, adding to the global lineup of this cultural beer. Black is Beautiful (9.5%) is their take on the Weathered Souls recipe shared around the world, as other breweries have done. Our friends at Tata used Crisp Pale Malt and Horton Ridge Pale Malt for the base with oats, C-120 malt for some dark caramel malt, chocolate wheat and rye with roasted barley and a pinch of lactose. This malty beauty was bittered to 75 IBU and with Nugget and Cascade hops.
As with all of the Black is Beautiful releases, a local initiative will benefit from the sales. All proceeds will be donated to the Tatamagouche Centre to be used for bursaries and scholarships, supporting equality and inclusion. For over 60 years the Tatamagouche Center has been a meeting place for those who care deeply about spirituality, leadership, and social justice. Each year they offer over 10 programs, which cover areas such as congregational life, spirituality, community growth and development, transformational learning, social justice, youth and family, and retreats. Available now in 500ml bottles at Tatabrew HQ on Main Street in Tatamagouche, via their online store and in the city at Bishop’s Cellar real soon. Kegs in the Tata tap room will be available as well as a few licensees in HRM. Many have tried this already (including us!) at Stillwell and the Stillwell Freehouse. It is smooth and has a beautiful balance with the bittering hops. Keep an eye out for this over the winter months, support a good cause, and you may even see it on Nitro taps, too!

Straight out of Hanwell, we missed one from last week! If you’ve followed Niche (like we have), you may be aware of Hop Altered, a Northeast American Pale Ale (NEAPA!) that changes their hop schedule in the recipe. Back for a third iteration, this beer sticks with the flaked wheat and oats and Escarpment Labs’ Foggy London yeast, but goes tropical fruity with Galaxy hops in the kettle and dry-hopped with Citra and Nelson. These are 3 tasty hops that should bring a nice balance of dank, haze and citrus to this 5.2% pale ale. This will be available on draft at the usual Fredericton accounts, along with Stillwell in Halifax. 

Over in PEI, Upstreet has two new beers, both being released on the same day. First up is the latest entry in their Million Acres series of barrel aged brews, Million Acres Yuzu Farmhouse Ale. A Saison that was hopped with Kazbek and Sorachi Ace, and conditioned on yuzu (a citrus fruit of East Asian origin), it spent about 2 & ½ months in the barrel before bottling; the shorter time (compared to “usual” barrel aging) was to allow the Saison yeast character shine through. The beer is pale yellow, with aromas of “candied orange peel, hay, and farmyard goodness” and flavours of grapefruit and lemon zest, with a bit of oak and tannins coming through as well. It’s 7% ABV, and available only in 500 mL bottles at the taproom and Craft Beer Corner.

Next up is a new beer in another ongoing series, but hops instead of Farmhouse. You guessed it, it’s the latest Neon Friday, Neon Friday 3.04 NEIPA. Brewed with 2-row, Vienna, wheat, and oats, they hopped it heavily with plenty of varieties: Sabro, Cashmere, Citra, Mosaic, and Ekuanot. Hazy, golden, and bursting with big aromas of “peach, coconut, tropical fruit, and dehydrated strawberries,” along with lots of stone fruit on the palate, you can find this 6.5% ABV hop bomb on tap at all Upstreet locations, as well as in cans at their Charlottetown taproom and the CBC (no, not the news organization).

Coupla new brews coming out of Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing the last couple of weeks. Let’s start with the hoppy one, just for a change (:D). Hot Sky is the brewery’s latest American IPA, which was hopped almost exclusively with Eclipse. An Australian variety that used to be known as the less-catchy name of HPA 016 (BOR-ing!), it’s giving this particular 6.6% ABV beer notes of “sweet citrus fruits, candied orange, peach juice, papaya, Juicy Fruit gum, and pine needles”, according to TW. It’s currently available both on tap and in cans at the brewery.

And in a move away from the world of hops, TW released their newest German-style beer late last week, Alternate Side. Brewed in the Altbier style, it was fermented cool with an Ale yeast, which is traditional for the style. Exhibiting lots of malt character (specifically “honey, caramel, and multigrain toast”), it’s balanced by a firm hop bitterness, while remaining dry in the finish. Balance is key for a beer like this, not to mention drinkability; at 4.5% ABV, it sounds like TW may have hit the nail on the head. This one is only on tap at the brewery, in their 0.5 L mugs, so you’ve got to visit to try it!

Halifax’s Tidehouse has a new beer in cans available for takeaway starting today; continuing their look back at their first four years of beers, it’s a re-release, but it’s been such a long time since it was originally brewed, it’s bordering new-beer territory! The beer is El-Galaxarillo, a 7.5% ABV New England IPA that was first released way back in October, 2017, for pints and growlers at the TH taproom. Many of you may be able to look at the beer’s name and surmise what hops they went with, but just in case you’re not that hop-geeky, the varieties are El Dorado, Galaxy, and Amarillo. With a heavy amount used in the whirlpool, and multiple dry-hop additions, it’s exhibiting plenty of stone fruit, orange, and grapefruit notes in the aroma and flavour. Available in cans to grab and go today at Tidehouse, starting at 2 PM. 

Winter technically isn’t here yet, but that wouldn’t stop some breweries from getting their winter seasonals ready for release, would it? Hells, no! And really, it’s basically cold enough most of these November days/nights to warrant sipping on some stouts, barleywines, et al. In an answer to our needs, the people at Spindrift Brewing have conjured up their newest winter seasonal, Seeker Espresso Stout. Featuring additions of cocoa, toasted coconut, cinnamon bark, and – yes – espresso, it’s a complex brew with “bold flavours reminiscent of a holiday dessert”, with a silky, smooth mouthfeel. Weighing in at 6.9% ABV, you can grab some right now at the brewery in the form of pints and growlers, with cans rumoured to be hitting shelves very soon.

Experimentation is still the name of the game at Tanner & Co. with the release of their latest beer, Kuhlmann. With a grist of Pilsner and Vienna malts, along with a touch of Rye, the wort was fermented on 100 lbs of Lucie Kuhlmann grape skins from Planters Ridge Winery out of Port Williams. No yeast was pitched in the making of this beer – all of the fermentation took place from the wild yeasts naturally occurring on the grape skins. The final 7% ABV beer has “youthful grape-forward notes of blackberry, cherry, and black currant”, and can be found at the brewery on tap and in bottles, as well as on their online store (which will unlock the secret of Friday delivery in the Bridgewater to Halifax stretch of the province, if ordered before midnight Thursday).

Continuing to surpass the high bar set by their award-winning German styles, Montague PEI’s Bogside Brewing is releasing the Gladiator Doppelbock tomorrow, Saturday November 21st. This beer is truly a meeting of the minds between German-trained Head Brewer Mark Patriquin, and Island Hop Company’s Josh Mayich. Using a Mayich family recipe for Doppelbock, and their own family farm grown hops, this beer is just about as authentic as it gets outside of Munich. Heavy use of Vienna and Munich Type 2 malts, as well as a decoction mash step, bring out some lovely rich caramel notes and full mouthfeel. The use of IHC Hallertau Tradition in the beer was used to target the flavour of traditional Doppelbocks, and it underwent a controlled aging process to bring out those characteristics. Beer science and history incoming! Historical brews of this style were done a couple of months after hop harvest, due to availability of resources, and during that time a light oxidation of the hops would change the aromatic compounds (those terpenes you’ve heard so much about) ever so slightly. Mayich performed the same steps, monitoring the results often, before halting it and locking in the character. Added late in the boil, allowed more of the woody, tobacco, floral, and light citrus to stay in the final beer. A low and slow lagering over the course of two months rounded out the beer to where it stands now. Available on tap and in cans tomorrow, the release party from 2 – 5 PM will feature live music, and even a pairing of schnitzel from Thatchers Eatery kitchen onsite. Get thee to Montague tomorrow, or make an order for delivery!

It’s getting to be *that* time of year, when husbands, wives, partners, and kids struggle to find a meaningful and useful gift for loved ones. Well, if that special someone in your life loves beer, maybe we can lighten the load a little bit. Here’s a round-up of some Holiday and Gift Boxes we’ve spotted. Have we missed one? Let us know! Hit us up on twitter or instagram or via email.

In Shelburne, Boxing Rock is releasing a very-limited number of the Brewmance Box this December. A gift box that includes thirteen beers (4 x Unobtainium, 4 x Vicar’s Cross, one Temptation, and four of either IPA, Sour, or Puck Off!, your choice), it also includes a Boxing Rock toque, drinking game, and spice mix (with recipes). You can purchase yours here for $89; if you sign up for a subscription, you’ll receive a different Brewmance Box every three months for a year, and save 10% on each Box. Free local pickup or delivery in the HRM (at Local Source Market) or Shelburne area, with $15 shipping elsewhere in NS. 

North Brewing is very rarely outdone in these parts, whether that’s for quality, style, or grace, and their Holiday Beer Box is no exception – there’s a lot going on here. Non-beer wise, you’ll find a North Brewing Holiday Card and an exclusive-to-the-box 20 OZ ceramic stein with a North Snowflake design in yellow or blue. Beer-wise, there’s a can each of local favorites Lawrencetown Surf session ale, Rosy Berry saison, Pleasant Disposition IPA, Alloy Champagne IPA, Cole Harbour Red, Little Beast lagered ale, and a can of their Cranberry Clementine Seltzer as well. Where things get extra delightful is with the holiday beers and seasonals, including one brewed specifically for, and not available outside, the box. First up, a couple of returning beers that exemplify both North’s penchant for experimentation with grapes and grape skins as well as their relationship with local winery Benjamin Bridge. Blanc is a 4.5% ABV beer in the Grisette style (think “baby saison”) made with Sauvignon Blanc grape skins. Musqué is a burlier beer, an 8% ABV Double IPA made with Chardonnay Musqué grapes. From there are three very special beers not made before:

  • Cinnamon Bun and Stack o’ Pancakes are both 9% ABV “Holiday Stouts” based off the same recipe (no actual Cinnamon Buns or Pancakes were harmed in the brewing of these beers). Cinnamon Bun was given treatment with a generous dose of cinnamon bark along with vanilla and salt. Stack o’ Pancakes was fermented with “many” buckets of Nova Scotia maple syrup, which was allowed to ferment out completely to prevent a cloyingly sweet result, along with vanilla and salt as well. 
  • Down Time is at the opposite end of the spectrum from those two, an Altbier that comes in at 4% ABV. Brewed specifically for this box and not available outside of it, it’s apparently something they’ve been wanting to brew for a long time and will be an extra special treat for those who grab a box.

On sale as of yesterday (earlier for newsletter subscribers), 300 of these are being assembled and they’re selling for $89.95 (tax-in). They will be available for pickup on December 1st, but they also qualify for free shipping in North’s local delivery area but not quite free shipping within the Maritimes or Nationally (although you could always add a few things to your order, such as a second Holiday Beer Box to get to the respective $100 or $150 minimums). Wrapped in custom North Brewing holiday wrapping paper, they’ll even write a special note for you if you indicate that your purchase is a gift. There’s a good chance, we think, that these will sell out fairly quickly, so if you’re interested (and why wouldn’t you be?!) best act soon! But if the box isn’t your thing, look for all of its contents (except the steins and the Altbier) available separately via North’s online store or at the brewery. The Stack o’ Pancakes is out today and the Cinnamon Bun is coming soon, as are the Musqué and Blanc (the latter two will see a $0.50 donation per can to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust); we’ll do our best to let you know when those are all available.

Bathurst’s 13 Barrels Brewing is getting in on the fun as well, with a, you guessed it, 13 days of Christmas Advent Calendar box. Pre-orders are open now at the brewery until December 5th, with the pickup scheduled for December 9 – 12. In addition to the baker’s (brewer’s?) dozen of beers inside (some of these thirteen will be exclusively available in this box), look for some mystery gifts as well! Message 13B on social media to place your order, and then fall asleep with visions of a sugar plum gose dancing in your head. And once it’s all over, return your box in good condition and they’ll give you a bonus 14th beer!

If cider is more your speed, Lake City Cider has you covered! They have a handful of gift boxes all ready to rock, some feature just the cider in the “Spice Up Your Life” or “Mixed Three Pack”, or go all out with the Holiday and Fan packs featuring blankets, stemless glassware, tote bags, and much more! Check out their online shop and grab them today!

Brightwood Brewery in Dartmouth is also thinking of your hard-to-buy-for friends and family, with a Gift Box set ready to pick up and share in a hurry. A six-pack of Beer is complemented by a 16oz Brightwood Glass and Canvas Tote Bag. Pick from some curated options for selecting the beers (whether your giftee is into Hops, Malt, or something a bit more seasonal allowing you to grab the Christmas on Portland Street Raspberry Porter), or you can opt pick exactly the six beers you’d like if you visit their shop!

If a surprise every day of December leading up to Christmas sounds more up your alley, the Harvest Wines/RockHead/WestSide group has brought back the Maritime Craft Beer Countdown, which features 23 beers and ciders from across the Maritimes, plus a free glass to enjoy them in. The identity of the beers is secret until you open them up, and you can expect several exclusive Countdown-only bevvies, but peep the box’s website for a sneak peek at which breweries and cider producers took part! Available now in store and online if you can’t wait the two additional weeks until December 1st (or want to get them chilling ASAP).

What about gifting your beau/belle a membership in the hottest club to ever hit the shores of Spryfield? Serpent Brewing has re-jigged their Membership Clubs so that you can get in on the ground floor even easier. The benefits will start once their opening-real-soon Taproom is complete, but here’s a sneak peek: As a member of the Brew Club, every month for the next two years you’ll enjoy a free growler fill or two bottles or two pints, plus $3 off growler fills every Thursday, a Serpent shirt and a pair of glasses, plus vouchers for a handful of free pints and flights to use or share with friends. How about gifting them a full Beer Creation Experience? This will allow them to work with Head Honcho Glen O’Keefe to formulate a brand new beer recipe, work with Serpent to name and design the label, sample it throughout the brewing and maturation process, and get the first case of the finished product! And if you are feeling especially generous, gift them both as part of the Founders Club. More details and how to sign up are on their website, but don’t delay as there are only a limited number of the memberships available!

OK, enough of those “Future Holiday Boxes”, let’s get you up to speed with the events happening in our region this weekend!. It just so happens to be a little Hali-centric this time ‘round, but we know there’ll be great beer on tap no matter where you find yourself!

Propeller’s Gottingen Taproom continues their Community Cask this evening, once again highlighting and supporting a community group that inspires and improves the community. November’s recipient is Ecology Action Centre to benefit the Green Avengers Team, a group of 16 dedicated individuals who are running in this year’s Blue Nose Marathon to raise funds for the Ecology Action Centre. So, help support EAC while enjoying a pint! What can you expect in your glass, when the cask is tapped at 5 PM this evening? It’s a sneak peek of a big release coming in December, with a rum-soaked-oak-stave-conditioned Mocha Oatmeal Stout! The base 5.5% ABV beer already showcases tons of locally roasted coffee, tempered by the smooth character of the addition of oats in the malt bill, and the rum and oak are sure to bump this up to a truly special beer. Real Fake Meats will be onsite with Donair Egg Rolls (vegan, natch) for a fun pairing.

Tomorrow, Saturday November 21st, Brunswick Street’s 2 Crows Brewing will be putting a few of their favourite beers back on tap for a “Hey, it’s Saturday, let’s have a pint” event they’ve dubbed “Some of the Good Ones”. Plenty of fun collabs done with the likes of Change is Brewing Collective (Good News), Bannerman Brewing and Lightfoot & Wolfville (Vinello), Orono Brewing Company (Deux II), Kilter Brewing (Lil’ Miguel), plus a great variety of fresh & hoppy (Perfect Situation) and wild (Old & New). The doors open at noon, and you’ll also have the chance to grab the amazing fried chicken sandwiches, pastries, and more from Buttered Bliss, onsite from 12 – 4 PM (or earlier, most likely, if they sell out).

The Stillwell Freehouse at 2534 Agricola celebrates its First Anniversary next Saturday, November 28th, and they will be stacking the taps and casks with killer beer and cider options from the region, and beyond. Chef Graeme will continue to work his magic in the kitchen, preparing some lovely complementing dishes… Or will the beer be complementing the food? I’d say both are true! Open noon til 1 AM, no reservations required, just show up with an empty stomach!

A few more things to tell you about this week before you’re dismissed. Don’t forget to wash your hands and wear your mask, things are getting a bit hairy out there again!

Gahan is jumping on the holiday dessert beer wagon (or should we say sleigh?) with the rerelease of Shortest Day. Their take on a milk stout is spiced with nutmeg to get those holiday feels going. Expect notes of vanilla to go along with the spice. Coming in at 4.5%, you can find cans of Shortest Day on the Island at PEI Brewing Company, the Gahan Beer Store, and look for it next week at PEI Liquor locations and Gahan’s other outlets across the Maritimes. 

Keeping on trend, Garrison is also re-releasing one of its holiday seasonals with All Lit Up making its return. This 7.0% ABV spiced ale features Cascade hops and is available in single cans or in their Holiday Mingler 4-Pack. You’ll also find Stay The Blazes Home Ale back in stock, this time only at the Oxford Taproom and Seaport locations (or for home delivery). As before, a portion of sales will go to support Feed Nova Scotia. 

Brand new IPA from Good Robot available just in time for your Friday drinking needs! SpaceTime NaviGator is a 6% ABV brew hopped with Galaxy, Mosaic, Citra, and Mandarina Bavaria. Fruity and tropical, no doubt, you can find it at the bar for pints and takeaway cans, and online.

Back in Fredericton, Grimross is adding to its Maritime Series with Maritime Wheat Ale. Expect classic Belgian witbier flavours of clove and fruit, and a slightly cloudy appearance (can swirl anyone?). As an added bonus, this 5% ABV beer features 100% Maritime ingredients from two excellent local supplies, Shoreline Malting and Island Hop Company. Grab some today on tap or to-go in cans.

Hardisty Brewing Co. has expanded its reach beyond the Colby Village area of Dartmouth. Look for cans of their BlockParty SMaSH pale ale at Harvest Wines in Dartmouth, starting today. And they are now in rotation at Battery Park in downtown Dartmouth, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled to their IG page for the latest updates. 

Crossing the harbour, check out North Street’s Unfiltered Brewing for the release of Riddle of Steel. This 7.0% ABV IPA is back in cans and on tap next door at Charm School. 

New Scotland Brewing has released Tough Chit, a DIPA brewed with – we assume – some Chit in the grist, and bigly-hopped with late additions of Mosaic and Idaho 7, as well as a large dry-hop. Slightly sweet, with flavours and aromas of “mango, honeydew, and peach”, it weighs in at 7.5% ABV and 40 IBUs. You can find it on tap at the taproom this weekend.

Let’s end on a new beer from Quidi Vidi Brewing, for those who need a whole buncha hops in their lives (isn’t that all of us?). Simply named Imperial IPA, this small batch release is an 8.7% ABV blast of citrus, orange, and pine on the nose, along with a serious bitterness and just a touch of warmth on the finish. Fans of Calm Tom will certainly dig this one. You can grab it at their Hop Shop in QV Village, or their Home Delivery happening Friday and Saturday. More details on their website. And look for a rebrand on the line of sours QV put out this summer, now dubbed the Sofa Sour Series. The first to be released under this moniker is the Pineapple Sour Sour, a re-brew of their July debut. Other sours getting the facelift will feature passion fruit, peach & raspberry, and strawberry & guava, on shelves and out for delivery in the coming months.

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.