Breton Brewing

All posts tagged Breton Brewing

It’s the most wonderful time for a beer! This week saw much of the Maritimes experiencing its first winter storm. Luckily, our wonderful local producers of fermented beverages continue to pump out tasty new ones to help keep us hydrated during all of the shovelling and cozy inside while we wait for the storms to pass. A friendly reminder that lots of breweries across the region are continuing to offer special holiday discounts in their online stores, along with seasonal gift packs featuring new brews, merch and other goodies. Be sure to keep them at the top of your list as you finish up your shopping over the next few days. A quick logistics note from the ACBB Head Office: with the festive season fully in swing, we’ll be taking a break from publishing next Friday, December 23, with December 30 being a tentative “Go”, but that may change. In the meantime, keep an eye on our Instagram account where we’ll continue to share new releases and other happenings. Happy Festivus to the Rest of Us, and read on for this week’s beer, mead and cider news. 

Congratulations to Microbrasserie Ateepic in Edmundston on now having their own beer available! The Ateepic taproom, located at the Fraser Edmundston Golf Club at 570 Rue Victoria, has been open since May, serving up 20 craft beer from across the province, and now has flexed the capabilities of their Specific Mechanical 1200 litre (10 BBL) brewhouse, and released four of their own beers. Available on draught for in-house or growler enjoyment are Little Gear Pale Ale, Big Gear IPA, Pin Noir Oatmeal Stout, and Party Kolsch, joining the Northwestern NB collab NOir Dessert Stout that Ateepic took part in with Brasseurs du Petit-Sault, Grand Falls Brewing, and Microbrasserie Novum Boreas. While hours may change slightly during the next few weeks due to the Holidays, currently they are open Wednesday 4 – 8 PM, Thursday and Friday 1 – 9 PM, Saturday 1 – 8 PM, and 1 – 5 PM Sunday. Keep an eye on their Fb and Ig pages as they announce new beers or changes in hours. Felicitations encore to Hubert and the Ateepic team!

As all our longtime readers know, the AC Beer Blog’s interest in beer doesn’t end with commercial products, we’re big supporters of the Homebrew scene as well! And with the post-COVID world opening up again we’re starting to see one of our favorite things come back: homebrew competitions. We’re happy to report that after a year off, the 4th Annual Maritime Atlantic Homebrew Challenge (Presented by Gahan House) is back! But first, in the name of unfinished business, is the release of the winner of the 3rd annual competition, held back in late fall of 2020. Hazy McHazeface, a 6.5% Hazy IPA designed by competition winner Trevor McLean, will be available soon (if not already) at all Gahan locations (except Harbourview in St. John’s) packaged in cans, but also on tap by times. Featuring flaked oats for a creamy mouthfeel and tonnes of tropical fruit aromas and flavours thanks to generous post-boil and dry hop additions, it still maintains a clean finish.

If you’re a homebrewer and you’d like to be like Trevor and see your beer brewed for limited release, the 2023 competition is your big chance. As is somewhat traditional for this competition, you’ll be able to enter one of two styles: German Pilsner and Altbier. Both German in origin, and both delicious at their best, the Pilsner sees light and crackery malt profile, a firm hop presence, and a crisp dry finish thanks to lager yeast and a cool conditioning period. At the other end of the spectrum is the Altbier, or “old beer”, not as in “stale” but as in, “the beer that we used to make before we discovered modern malting, lager yeast, and cold conditioning.” Although it’s also on the hoppier side for a Continental beer, malt is still the star of the show, both in terms of flavour and aroma and the deep red color that is a hallmark of the style. The deadline to submit your beer is March 3, 2023, which gives plenty of time to brew and condition either style. The entry fee is $30 payable through Eventbrite. Entries can be dropped off at any of the Gahan locations in the region. Judging will take place in a central location and an announcement of the winning beer will be made shortly thereafter. If you have questions for the organizers you can email them at homebrewchallenge@gahan.ca. Good luck to all who enter!

We mentioned one winner last week, but we now have the full list of Atlantic Canadian winners in the 2022 Canadian Brewers Choice Awards, presented by Brewers Journal Canada. Foghorn Brewing’s Head Brewer Andrew Estabrooks won over the judges with his nomination package to take home Brewer of the Year. In addition to winning Brewery of the Year, Tire Shack Brewing’s own Henrique Soares was shortlisted for Young Brewer of the Year. And New Beer of the Year went to Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing, for Classic Maritime Dry Stout. Congratulations to the breweries and brewers!

And now onto the new beer news, starting in Lower Sackville’s own Ol’ Biddy’s Brewhouse. If you’re trimming the tree, or watching a yule log burn, it’s always nice to have some liquid accompaniment in your glass. One of those could be their Vanilla Bourbon Christmas Stout. Weighing in at a hefty 7.6% ABV, the notes of vanilla and roast and light bourbon all meld together like a warm beer sweater, a favourite for those of us who enjoy imbibing during this time of year. Joining it is Merry Ryesolution Christmas Ale, the 9.4% ABV bigger sister, featuring rye malt that imparts a natural spiciness to the full-bodied ale. Rye-solution is available in bottles only, while the Bourbon Stout is a draught only release, both available in limited quantities to enjoy at the brewery or to take away.

From the wilds of Spryfield comes a beer with a label that is both wild and refined. Serpent Brewing’s Elementary is an oatmeal stout that arrives on the stronger side at 6% ABV. Chewy, yet still roasty and dry with an assertive bitterness, it was dry hopped with Amarillo to provide a subtle orange marmalade finish. It’s been pouring on the taps since yesterday for pints and growler fills, but you should see bottles in the fridge in the coming days.

Heading down the South Shore of NS to Lunenburg, we find Shipwright Brewing has a new beer pouring for pints to stay or crowler and growler fills to go. Cross Island Common is named for the eponymous island in the approach to Lunenburg Bay. It follows the tradition of the California Common (a.k.a. “Steam Beer”) style with spicy and woody Northern Brewer hops taking center stage on top of a toasty, slightly sweet malt base built with pale, Munich, caramel, biscuit, and chocolate malts. Highly carbonated, with a medium almost creamy mouthfeel, this one is an easy drinking 5% ABV and 30 IBU.

Back up to the North Shore of the province we find that Tatamagouche Brewing has a trio of re-releases available just in time for the holidays. First up is Eventide Vienna Lager, a 4.8% ABV amber lager that’s like a hug in a can. Brewed with all German ingredients, it’s medium-bodied with a crisp finish and flavours and aromas of lightly toasted honey oat bread. Second we have Tata’s wintertime post-activity beer, Apres. A cream ale at 4.5% ABV, it’s designed to be super-easy drinking after clearing the driveway or a day on the slopes or the local pond. And last is Ketch, their Berlinerweiße. Only 3.1% ABV, with the classic bright acidity and subtle funk that the style is known for, expect it to provide a tasty low alcohol option and/or a pleasant way to reset your palate after a bunch of heavier seasonals. Look for all of these to be available for order on the website in coming days or, if you’re in the area, at the brewery; we suspect some cans and kegs will also reach distro in the HRM at the very least.

Speaking of re-releases, in the HRM Unfiltered Brewing has a Christmas miracle on the go in the form of Sparkling Motherfucker, a 4.0% low-calorie (4.5g carbs) beer containing sodium, chloride, and potassium electrolytes. Sound like a sports drink? WELL IT’S NOT. Also gluten-reduced (<10ppm), you’ll find it in 473ml cans at the brewery, perfect for stuffing into stockings or pouring down your throat in an effort to tolerate friends, family, and the holidays in general.

Back in Paradise, Mauzy is releasing the last bottling from its 2021 season. Humbled In Love, is a 6.4% ABV blend of mead and cider . The mead portion features a spontaneous fermentation of Brown’s Family Farm Blueberries and Baccalieu Trail Honey. This was blended (30% mead, 70% cider) with Mauzy’s blend of spontaneously fermented feral and Golden Hornet Crab apples, with the resulting liquid being conditioned on freshly picked white rose petals. Expect lots of blueberry notes, baked berries and a bright acidity. Only 10 cases are available so don’t delay if you’re interested. 

Sticking with blended ciders, next up is Frontenac Gris + Ida Red, from Halifax’s Sourwood. This blend of Front Gris grapes and hand-picked organic apples showcases the complexity that can be achieved when the worlds or cider and fruit wine combine. Bottles of the 9.0% ABV Frontenac Gris + Ida Red are available now at the taproom or through their online store. 

We mentioned Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing above, but they also are celebrating the release of three beers this week in their John Street taproom. Bumbleberry Sour is a sour with a blend of berries reminiscent of the pies or “crisps” of the same name. Cranberry, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, as well as cherry and pomegranate all went into this 6.0% beer, to amp up the fruit to both complement and enhance the tart base beer. Continuing the long-running series is Hip Hop Vol 8 – Sabro Double IPA. Sabro used throughout the process of this 8.0% beer means it is overflowing with coconut, lychee, with a touch of citrus. And returning to the taps and shelves is Roman Road Italian Pilsner. Crisp and effervescent, Tire Shack’s version has just a touch of hops. If you pop into the taproom Saturday at noon, People for Animal Wellbeing will be onsite to take pictures of your pets to fundraise for their important activities, and selling tickets for The Big Draw for PAW too!

Speaking of our animal friends, PEI Brewing is helping out the PEI Humane Society with the release of Loyalty Brew, a 4.5% Blonde Ale. This limited edition beer is available at the PEIBC Taproom and the Gahan Beer Store in Atlantic Superstore, with $1 from each can going to the shelter supporting lost, homeless, and abandoned animals.

A few short things before we leave you…

Sydney’s Breton Brewing has released Bah Humbug Holiday Bitter, a 4.7% British Bitter featuring Old World/Noble hops lending citrus, berry, floral, and spicy notes, all on a smooth caramel base. Available now at the brewery in cans and on draught.

Candid Brewing in Antigonish released a couple of new beer after we posted last week, so let’s get you up to date… Space Coyote is a 7.5 % Double/Imperial IPA, featuring loads of Comet and Galaxy hops (get it?), ready to shoot you to the moon and beyond. Mango, pineapple, and guava tropical notes and complemented by a solid dank character. And in another vein completely is the 5.2% Golden Pig, a Czech Pilsner. Featuring Saaz hops, GP underwent a six week lagering process, keeping it crisp, clean, and easy drinking. Cans of both beers are available at their taproom on College Street.

Rounding out this week’s news is Good Robot’s latest release, Late Night Milk Stout. In case you were wondering what to leave out for Santa next weekend, perhaps this will fit the bill. At 5.0% ABV, this stout features a lovely addition of lactose (aka milk sugar) to soften any harsh notes, and leave a little bit of residual sweetness in the can. Available at the Robie Street location, and the now-open Elmsdale retail shop. A note on the latter, as they celebrate with a Grand Opening there tomorrow. Open 12 – 8 PM, all beer and merch is 10% off, and there are quirky prizes to be won for those who visit. At 1 PM, there is even a tour of their facility planned, grab your free tickets here. We’ll soon be sharing some info on a tour for those unable to make it tomorrow, so keep your January 21 free if you’d like to hit up a tour in the New Year.

Happy Friday everyone! We hope it’s been a good week for all of you, and we doubly hope you will be able to (responsibly) enjoy your work parties, friend get-togethers, or taking in the cheer of the season this weekend, rather than contending with the malls and traffic to buy gifts. If your loved ones are anything like us, they’ll appreciate a selection of beers from around the region, so be sure to check out the many breweries offering shipping across the region, or pop into your local good beer store for one- stop shopping!

Happy Fourth Anniversary to Mount Pearl’s Landwash Brewery! They’ve been out there on Commonwealth Ave, making and slinging the good stuff since 2018, bringing locally-made beer to their local community. And to celebrate their accomplishments over those four years, they have released Develop or Perish Belgian Double (Dubbel). Staying true to the original style by using some darker malts as well as dark-coloured Candi sugar, they also were sure to use a Belgian yeast to enhance the toast and lightly sweet notes with some banana and clove on the nose, ending in a rich finish. The 6.3% beer is available on tap and in cans now, with the latter sporting a quote from Joey Smallwood upon which the beer name was based. Much like Smallwood, Landwash is looking both back on their progress, and forward to what they will become, so be sure to be part of that future and pop out to their spot, open Wednesday through Sunday.

Landwash’s recent co-conspirators on Ursa Minor Session IPA and Ursa Major Session Double IPAs, Port Rexton Brewing has a new beer celebrating the season. Tibbs the Saison is their annual ode to the cooler months, a Belgian Saison where the yeast shines through, with notes of bubble gum, cinnamon, clove, and banana, with a hint of pepper spiciness on the palate. At 6.6%, it has a bit of a warming quality, exactly what you need for this time of year! It’s available now at the brewery, and their St. John’s Retail Shop, at the local convenience stores, and at their Online Store, which has recently begun offering Canada-wide shipping! Available across the nation, except Newfoundland for some reason, now is the time to order if you are looking to receive the beer in time for Tibbs Eve. And you can even get those two new PRBC-LB collabs included in the box.

Hot off the heels of their takeover at Battery Park, Tatamagouche Brewery has a special new beer available in cans this weekend. Old Fangled is a very special take on their Darling English mild, over a year in the making. Taking a couple hundred litres of the base beer, it was transferred to a Cognac Barrel, and a healthy pitch of Brett Lambicus yeast and bacteria blend from Escarpment Labs, where the beasties were allowed to chew away for a full 10 months. During that time, thanks to both the additional fermentation of complex sugars, as well as some residual cognac in the barrel, the beer’s level rose from 3.6% to 6.0% ABV. With that bump in potency comes a leveling up in complexity as well, with notes of cherry, date, chocolate, and light acidity as well. The beer was allowed to condition in 355ml cans to develop a natural carbonation, and they are available now at the brewery, and from the brewery’s webshop, too. And hey, if you act quickly, you can take advantage of free Canada-wide shipping this weekend!

We’ve got a few nuggets of holiday cheer coming out of Sydney, Cape Breton. Breton Brewing has a wonderful holiday release that gets you right in the mood for winter. Fireside, a Belgian Dubbel is a rich, malty treat showcasing St. Remy Belgian yeast and a mix of European specialty malts. This is hopped to balance, but overall brings sweet toffee notes and a delicious malt body with some fruity esters in a 6.6% package.  Also, the can design is fun and festive and one of their best yet. This one is available now from the taproom and online. 

Another special release from Breton is a collaboration that is even more limited. A collaboration with PRO Skates (in Halifax) sees the two companies teaming up to raise funds for Feed Nova Scotia. The beer is a limited edition can design of Black Angus IPA. There is a launch even on Saturday December 10th from 1pm-5pm. There are a few cans available at the Sydney brewery as well. $2 from every can sold will go to Feed NS. At the launch event there will be samples and t-shirts! The t-shirts are also a collaborative design and $5 from every t-shirt sale will also go to Feed NS. 

To round out the Breton tri-fecta of news, the fine folks are hiring in Sydney and Halifax. They need a part-time delivery driver in Halifax and a full-time brewer and cellar hand in Sydney. Check out their careers page to apply.

Back on the mainland, Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing has two new releases out this week. You may recall their previous release of Forbidden Fruit, a blueberry Belgian blonde. Well, it turns out they bought way too many blueberries and their blunder is paying off for their thirsty patrons. The remaining berries have been put to use in Blueberry King, a 5.3% ABV fruited sour. This one starts with a grain bill of wheat, oats and pilsner malt. It then saw an extended fermentation of about 3 months of the blueberries (nothing quick about this sour). This is a small batch release, so is only available for pints at the taproom. Next up is An Ode to Sabro, an IPA that showcases the tropical and coconut-forward Sabro hop, with some Perle also added for bittering. This one will be available for pints and growler fills. Both sound like great options to enjoy alongside Serpent’s new taproom food offerings. 

Next up are two great newsbites from Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing. First, a new release, to get you into the holiday spirit, Candy Cane Stout. Expect notes of peppermint and chocolate in this 5.5% holiday sipper, and could even be used as a complement to a cream liqueur… And you can celebrate along with Tire Shack, as they have just won Brewery of the Year in the 2022 Canadian Brewers Choice Awards! Hosted by Brewers Journal Canada, the contest was judged by an independent group of industry folk, based on nominations of the brewery’s business wins and plans for the future. Congratulations to Jerica, Alan, Henry, and the rest of the team!

In downtown Halifax, Gahan House Nova Centre has been somewhat quietly pushing out some fun stuff to augment their standard PEIBC offerings. The latest of these, from brewer Ryan Shirtliff, is one that’s been a little while in the making. Taking advantage of one of the on-site foeders and the microflora contained within, as well as bottle- and keg-conditioning, Table Beer features bright acidity, fruity tart cherry and plum notes, and a sherry and oak finish that remains smooth. Six months in the barrel yielded lots of complexity in a quaffable 3.9% ABV package. Even better, taking advantage of the other Gahan locations, the joy has been spread out around the region, with this one available at all Gahan House locations (Port City in Saint John, Riverside in Fredericton, Hub City in Moncton, and the OG Gahan Pub in Charlottetown), as well as the PEI Brewing Company taproom and the Gahan Beer Store!

Down the South Shore, Tanner Brewing is releasing Blended Chai Milk Stout. Coming in at 9.0% ABV,  this is a milk stout of the imperial variety, sure to keep you warm during the chilly, damp nights we’ve been having. The batch of beer was split on brew day, with half of it spending 6 months in rum barrels from Ironworks Distillery, and the other half fermented on chai tea from Tea Brewery. The result is a complex sipper that is now out in 500 ml bottles and also on tap at their downtown Chester taproom.

Trailway is releasing a new version of a beer we last saw about two years ago, An Anomaly. Originally brewed in the NEIPA style, this iteration is more akin to an American Pale ale, using a non-house yeast to produce a fruitier ester profile. This time around it showcases a combination of hops, Citra, Mosaic and Galaxy, that lead to lots of tropical fruit notes, berries and a touch of dankness. Cans of the 5% ABV IPA are available now at the brewery. 

Paradise NL’s, Mauzy Cider has a new release this week, another one showcasing local ingredients from the 2021 harvest. This is All Paradise features Strawberries from Lester’s Farm in St. John’s, honey from Baccalieu Trail Honey, along with Burin “Feral” Apple Pomace and Montmorency cherries. The strawberries were allowed to spontaneously ferment into a wine, and blended with Take Me Away Piquette to the tune of 4.2% ABV, before a dose of unfermented apple juice for bottle conditioning and carbonation. As such, you’ll want to chill well and open cautiously when it’s time! So, how can you get your hands on a bottle? Fire up the Sonoma and head out to Paradise, specifically at Banished Brewing’s location on Maverick Place, and you can secure your order ahead of time through their webshop.

Big Spruce is re-releasing a few of their greatest hits from 2022 this weekend. First up is Україна, a 4.9% Ukrainian Pilsner featuring the Zlato Polissya hop. Staying sessionable, they’ll also have their 4.9% English Pub Ale, Hoom Is Where the Heart Is available again. This one uses Challenger, Goldings and Fuggles hops, all grown on-site in the Big Spruce hopyard. Cans of both are available now at the brewery, in their online store, and through Bishops Cellar. 

If you find yourself, like many people, a little cash-strapped in this inflation-affected holiday season, Halifax’s (or is it Elmsdale’s now?) Good Robot Brewing has gone out of their way to try to help you have a little beery cheer on a budget. The Recession Special 8-pack is what it says on the tin(s): 8 beers for a measly $16.79. You’ll get two each Recession Special Red and Recession Special Blonde along with four Recession Special IPA. The Red is described as, “slightly nutty with a hint of dark fruit and caramel,” the blonde, “wheaty, slight citrus and low on hops,” and the IPA, “honey, stone fruit and grapefruit.” Sounds like right in the wheelhouse for those styles to us, and at an extremely affordable price. Just remember these are only available in 8-packs, and only at Good Robot locations, on Robie Street in Halifax and Industrial Way in Elmsdale. And if you are interested in being part of their new brewery in Elmsdale, or have a go in their taproom kitchen in Halifax, check out their job postings!

The denizens of West Bedford and/or commuters along Larry Uteck are no doubt aware, but other folks in the HRM may not be, that there’s a new beer bar up and running in the plaza on Bloom Lane by the roundabout. Featuring 35 taps of mostly Maritime-brewed beer & cider, along with wine and spirits of course, The Village Taphouse is intended to be, “a community hangout where we can celebrate our Canadian Spirit with the drinks we love.” Sounds like a noble cause to us! Wolfville’s Church Brewing is eager to help celebrate the new place, and have collaborated to produce Village Pillage, a Belgian Golden Strong Ale, non-filtered, that is pleasantly fruity and spiced with coriander, bittered to 45 IBU with Tomahawk and finished with a hint of noble Saaz hops. What’s “strong” about it? Wellll, you best plan to bring a DD or your bus pass with you because this one comes in at a hefty 10.9% ABV. Only available at the Taphouse and in a very limited supply at Church, it’s one more reason to check out this new spot for pints!

We’ve got some news from the downtown Halifax private liquor store just in time for the weekend, as they’ve got some new releases in the fridges and shelves. Bishop’s Cellar has a fresh local beer delivery in stock and a big Belgian order just landed as well, with all of these treats launching today! While not all of these beers are new to Bishop’s, some of the pricing on the Belgian lambics is better than you may remember, so make sure you check out their website to order online. Or, just pop right down if you can and explore IRL.

Here’s the local list which sees a few new to Halifax beers.
Serpent –  Long Lake Pilsner
Tatamagouche –  Collusion Double IPA & Old Fangled Barrel Aged Mild Ale
Big SpruceYkpaïha Ukrainian Pilsner

Next up is 5 releases from Belgium’s de Ranke

  • Guldenberg 330ml
  • Noir de Dottignies 330ml
  • XX-Bitter 330ml
  • XXX-Bitter 750ml (variation of XX-bitter, with an additional 50% more hops)
  • Cuvee de Ranke 750ml

Another five releases are available from 3 Fonteinen as well and there are a lot of cases available.
Belgian treats, aplenty!

  • Oude Gueuze 375ml
  • Golden Blend 375ml
  • Intens Rood 375ml
  • Oude Gueuze 1500ml (only 18 magnums available)
  • Oude Kriek 750ml

And a returning favourite, the Belgian powerhouse Delirium’s Delirium Tremens 5L Mini Keg is available so you can share as much of the tasty Strong Blond Ale with whomever you wish!

Just one event on the radar this weekend, be sure to send others along if you know of/see them!

One of Atlantic Canada’s better beer bars, Battery Park, is celebrating its seventh anniversary this weekend, and they’re throwing a party on Saturday (December 10th) to celebrate. Drop by for great beers from Nova Scotia’s best breweries and cideries, free cupcakes, and plenty of brewery giveaways throughout the day. Happy Anniversary to Battery Park from your friends at ACBB.

Last couple of newsbites this week before we let you go…

In a bit of interesting news, Graystone Brewing has announced the re-branding of their flagship Patagonia beers, after a request from an extremely well-known US-based clothing company. No stranger to trademark issues (remember when the brewery opened as Gray Stone, or when they were caught up in this boner?), Patagonia Outdoor Clothing Company reached out to them in 2021 asking them to stop using the “Patagonia” moniker. While another company entirely owns the “Patagonia” trademark for beer in the US, the clothing maker has been brewing since 2016 and more recently released a collaboration beer with Dogfish Head brewery in Delaware, and that could have been the prompt to reach out to Graystone. A possible name change has been planned on for quite a while, as Graystone owner Wes Ward acknowledges in this CBC interview, and Patagonia “worked with and supported” them in the transition. The new branding is available now, and will replace stock at ANBL and other stores in the coming weeks.

And finally this week, the Canadian Craft Brewers Association has announced that New Brunswick’s Christine Comeau is now their Executive Director. Formerly with Craft Alcohol NB, Comeau brings with her plenty of experience in the brewing and marketing spaces, and recently co-chaired the Canada Beer Cup. The CCBA is the national association to which provincial and territorial brewery associations are members, and advocates for modernizing the federal excise tax, promoting the Independent Craft Brewery seal, compliance with the upcoming CFIA labeling requirements. We’re most excited for improvement in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) policies in the industry, and Codes of Conduct for breweries, events, and festivals for beer, and will be reaching out to Comeau for more on both important topics.

Happy December, y’all! Bit of disappointment as our Men’s team has exited the World Cup this week, but at least we will not have to wait another 36 years to cheer on Les Rouges, as the Women’s World Cup is in Australia and New Zealand in 2023, and then the men’s team co-hosts with Mexico and USA in 2026. Grab a beer and read along to see all of the new releases the breweries from across all four Atlantic provinces have for us this week.

Good Robot Brewing continues to flex the versatility of their new Elmsdale brewing location, complete with mash filter and expanded fermenting capacity, with plenty more new beers rolling off the line. B.F.Hef. (aka Best Friends Foreverweizen) is the latest, their foray into the German Hefeweizen Wheat Beer style. Featuring loads of wheat in the malt bill, the 4.8% beer also uses a specific Ale yeast to give off a pleasant blend of citrus and clove aromatics, with a hint of banana on the nose. Mandarina Bavaria hops enhance that citrus aroma even further. Cans are available at their original Robie Street location, as well as their newly-opened retail shop at the Elmsdale facility. Open Wed – Sun from noon (10 AM on the weekend), visitors to 14 Industrial Way will be able to purchase from the entire GRBC portfolio in can and growler fill, as well as their branded merch.

And good news for those looking to continue or start their career in beer, as Good Robot is hiring! They are looking for help both in their Elmsdale brewery and beyond, as they beef up their Brew Crew as well as those who help sell the resulting beer. They are looking to fill the following positions: a Shift Brewer, expected to have at least a couple of years professional brewing experience, a Junior Brewer (no pro experience necessary, but that’s definitely an asset), as well as a Sales Rep in the HRM/Nova Scotia region. Check out their job postings here.

Trailway has been busy this fall as well, and have a quartet of new releases available at their Main Street Fredericton location, and for local and AtlCan- & Ont-wide delivery from their website. Returning to the taps and shelves is their Beans Coffee Oatmeal Stout, a 6.8% stout brewed with a batch of freshly roasted Winter Solstice beans from their pals at Mill Town Roasters. For our coffee nerd brethren, WS is a blend dark roast blend of beans from Sumatra, Peru, and Columbia, with notes of bitter chocolate, molasses, and a warming spiciness, pairing perfectly with the beer’s malt-derived roast and full mouthfeel from the oats. Available on tap and in cans now, they have also leveraged the capabilities of Craft Coast Canning to package a Nitro version of the beer! Lower carbonation, but that means a little shake and a hard pour from height into a glass will show off a lovely cascading action as the beer settles. Due to the special nature of this version, Nitro Beans is a can-only release, but still orderable online.

Trailway has another pair of beer ready to purchase now… Merry Very is returning again for the cooler months. This is a 5.0% White Chocolate-Orange Stout… Think big chocolate, roast, coffee, a hint of citrus, but in a pale colour, something your buddy Terry would really enjoy! Locally kilned cacao nibs from McGuire Chocolate enhance the malt’s chocolate flavour, with the citrus brightening and contrasting the dark character, with a touch of vanilla. On tap and in cans now.

And finally, a debut beer from Trailway, Event Horizon. A massive 11.0% ABV imperial stout, with strong caramel, coffee, and chocolate notes, it also spent time in a 15-year Glen Breton Single Malt Whisky barrel, picking up strong vanilla and whisky notes to complement. Obviously a bit warming at 11.0% ABV, and as it’s available in 500ml bottles, we suggest grabbing a couple for sharing with friends and families a few times over the coming winter.

Uncle Leo’s Brewery in Lyons Brook has a new beer on tap, on their shelves, and for delivery, this week. Misty Morning is an aggressively-late-hopped New England IPA, absolutely brimming with tropical notes of passion fruit, citrus, and peach. All that Galaxy and Citra used late in the brewday, as well as in the tanks after the fact, mean this 6.0% beer is not bitter, but rather has a smooth mouthfeel. Their online shop has free delivery within Nova Scotia and beyond, just need to hit a very reasonable minimum value.

A pair of beers from Sydney’s Breton Brewing this week. First released is the return of an old favourite, their take on the German Kölsch. A beer where drinkability and enjoyment are top of mind, these are fermented with an ale yeast, but usually at cooler-than-normal temps, to keep the fruity esters at bay, before a long nap at even cooler temps for a conditioning/cleanup rest. At 4.0% ABV, this is low enough to pair well with appetizers, main course, or even dessert.

And debuting later in the week was Champagne IPA, wherein Breton brewed a light-bodied beer (with some rice in the grist), and used an American Ale yeast, coupled with an enzyme to extract every last bit of sugar from the wort, to finish with a bone-dry beer. Mix in the Ariana and Mosaic hops in great volume, and you’ve got a solid bitterness as well as aroma. Look for both of these limited releases in cans, on draught, and for delivery now!

Fresh off their win of the Hopyard Battle of the Breweries, Montague’s Copper Bottom Brewing is bringing back a blast from the past today, complete with a party to help celebrate! Charlie is an English-style Brown Ale, and despite being only 4.5% ABV, is brimming with malt-derived toast, biscuit, caramel, and nuttiness. To celebrate its release on draught and in festive 355ml cans, they are hosting Loaf & Ladle Food Truck serving up comfort food from 2 until 8 PM this afternoon, Craig Fair on the piano from 6 – 8 PM, and keeping the patio nice and toasty warm. Pull that Ugly Sweater from the closet and make a night of it!

In Halifax on Brunswick Street, 2 Crows has brought out the latest entry in their now long-running series of irresponsibly-hopped hazy IPAs (fun(?) party game: try to name all the previous ones!). Permanent Vacation is described as having been “absolutely saturated” with Talus, and Vic Secret hops, but with a touch of Galaxy as well. So a little bit of “the Pacific Northwest battles Australia in a tropical fruit stand, but Australia brought backup.” Expect a smooth and creamy presentation with plenty of sweetness, leading with notes of pineapple (canned), overripe mango, and a bit of coconut. Given that there’s Talus in there we’d expect a bit of the dankness as well, but you’ll have to try this 6.1% juice bomb for yourself to confirm. The 2C gang did point out that this is a smaller batch than previous entries, so if you’re a fan of the series and/or hoppy hazies in general, you’ll want to get your orders in!

On Main Street in Fredericton, NB, Half Cut Brewing has a new IPA of their own out, a double IPA, really. Continuing their trend of “juicy beers with weird f’n names” is Deep Pockets IPA. Described as being “like that uncle who never grew up,” this one’s a heavy hitter, arriving at 8% ABV and 40 IBU. You’ll find it in cans at the brewery and (soon, if not already) on the shelves of an ANBL store near you.

As is their wont, Tanner & Co Brewing in Chester Basin, NS, continues to bring beers in styles that aren’t terribly common in these parts. This week they’ve got a twist on the German style, Rauchbier. Pronounced “rowsh-beer” rather than “rock-beer”, it is traditionally made with a very large portion (up to 100%, even) of smoked malt in the grist. This can often lead to folks who are not big fans of smoke to find the beer “too smoky” so Tanner took their foot off the gas on this one and aimed for a more mellow presentation. To ensure there would still be plenty of complexity, they then took advantage of their oenological bent to age this one in oak wine barrels for a few months. The result is a 6% ABV beer that no doubt has plenty of smoke, but also some tannins and acidity for balance. Look for it packaged in bottles at both of Tanner’s locations and online for delivery.

Fans of both dessert and beer have reason to celebrate in Halifax this week as Propeller Brewing has released a beer that ticks both boxes this week. Nanaimo Imperial Dessert Stout is a pretty self-explanatory name, we think, but if you’re somehow not in the know about the classic Canadian dessert, we’d better provide some detail anyway. Built on a base of cocoa and coconut, with a layer of vanilla custard and a topping of milk chocolate, Nanaimo bars are one of the great bake sale traditions from coast to coast. Propeller’s beer version aims to hit all of those notes and meld them together with a roasty, but still sweet imperial stout. With all of that going on and it coming in at 10%, this rich and creamy number has “danger” written all over it. Grab it now directly from the source at your favourite Prop Shop, or look for it at Bishop’s Cellar or the other private stores in Metro.

Half Cocked in North Grant has a pair of returning favourites now pouring at their taproom, and in cans for the first time. Braeside Bitter showcases their English side, with lightly-coloured malt bringing out notes of biscuit and caramel, with a blend of hops showcasing lemon, tea, and honey, to complete the experience. 5.5% ABV. The Darkest One is of another category entirely, a big brash American Stout, blasting the nose with dark chocolate, and filling the palate with roast, finishing with some bitterness on the back end. 355 ml cans for this one as well, only at the brewery. Why not drop by tomorrow, December 3rd, for Holiday Market on the 245, which they are co-hosting with Teasdale Apothecary from 3 – 6 PM. And after the vendors have packed up, there will be live music from Leeboy!

Spryfield’s own Serpent Brewing has a new beer out for the festive season with a release that reflects their continued quest to bring the best of Belgian styles to Dentith Road and environs. Described as a Belgian Golden Strong Christmas Spiced Ale, it’s got a much more compact (and fun) name: Jurassic Jesus. Although it weighs in at a hefty 7.5%, it’s deceptively easy to drink, with subtle malt undertones beneath a blend of cinnamon and nutmeg spice. Cookie and caramel along with some fruity ester notes from the yeast complete the picture, as there’s little to no hop presence detected or expected in a style like this. On tap tomorrow at the brewery, you’ll also be able to grab it in 375ml bottles to go. And if you do visit, don’t forget that Spryfood, their in-house kitchen, is now up and running at full bore.

Smiths Cove is deep in the Annapolis Valley, not too far from the ferry to Saint John, so quite accessible for people in both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. And their very own Lazy Bear Brewing has a new beer on tap and in bottles this week, a big bold beer ready to be enjoyed around a cozy fire. Assassination of a Wise Man is a 10.0% Barleywine, with rich caramel notes shining through, balanced with just-enough hops to keep it from being too sweet. Finished with molasses, some dark notes of raisin, with a lighter vanilla hint also coming through on the nose. The bottles were sealed with wax, minimizing any oxygen from sneaking in during their (possible) long cellaring period. We suggest grabbing a couple, one to enjoy now, and one later, if you happen to miss it on tap. Not overly bitter, on draught and in bottles at Smiths Cove, keep your eyes peeled to their social media for availability beyond their location, but a visit out there is a great idea, during their Thursday night taproom evenings (and maybe by appointment if you reach out early enough)!

You can tell winter is coming, as Big Spruce is holding the release party for their annual Barrel-aged Imperial Stout this weekend. Battery Park will be the gracious hosts of the two variants of the 2022 edition, as well as sharing kegs dating all the way back to 2018. However, there is a major, and welcome, change in the beer name and design this year, that we’re excited to tell you about. Kobzar Imperial Stout, is named in honour of writer Taras Schevchenko, considered to be the father of modern Ukrainian literature, with profound effects on the language and culture of his home country. Banned and exiled from Ukraine due in part to his push for Ukrainian independence, still inspiring Ukrainians more than 150 years after his death. Kobzar is both a collection of poems written by Schevchenko, and the nickname given to him, meaning “bard” in Ukrainian. Kobzar the beer will be familiar to long-time Big Spruce fans, with massive coffee and dark chocolate notes with a touch of hop bitterness to balance. This year’s releases were aged in two distinctly different barrels, imparting plenty of the character of its previous residents. Jamaican Rum Kobzar and Glenora Whisky Kobzar both clock in at 11.0%, and in a change, will be available in cans this year! Making them a little easier to stack in the basement cellar, we suspect… You can enjoy the first tastes of Kobzar tomorrow at Battery Park from 11:30 AM, where they will be pouring both 2022 versions of the beer, as well as four previous releases of Ra Ra Rasputin, including 2021 Tawny Port, 2019 Cognac, 2019 Peach Brandy, and 2018 Glenora Whisky. Cans of Kobzar (as well as a few bottles of previous releases) are available at their shop in Nyanza, on their website for delivery and shipping, Bishop’s Cellar, with the 2022 Jamaican Rum Kobzar available in cans at Bar Stillwell and Stillwell Freehouse.

There’s not only breweries getting into the festive season, Tapestry Beer Bar in Lr Sackville is filling their dance card with a range of events this month. Tomorrow, Dec 3 at 5 – 9 PM, they are hosting a Christmas Market with their nextdoor neighbours Apartment 3 Espresso Bar. On Dec 8, they are hosting a Beer & Cheese Pairing with Smith & Hartlen Fine Cheese (grab your tickets ahead of time). There are plenty more events leading up to a Bar Olympics on Dec 31, check this page for more details!

Just a few more notes before we let you go this week….

Antigonish’s Candid Brewing has a new release today, which will be complemented by at least a couple more before the weekend is done. With 3 weeks out until the official celebration on December 23rd, they’re debuting Festivus IPA. A 6.5% ABV with plenty of late-addition Barbe Rouge and Belma hops, offset with a touch of lactose, drive a few of these into you before the Airing of Grievances or Feats of Strength.

Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing has a new beer on tap and for crowler fills late this week.Their first Cold IPA, they’ve named it the appropriately punny Thawless Victory. A hefty 6.5% ABV and respectable 35 IBUs, look for it on tap at their tiny taproom, and maybe downstairs at the Grand Banker too!

We’re ending this week with a bit of sad news, hopefully not a “Goodbye” but a “See You Later”, from Delta Force Brewing. The always elusive crew, brewing out of an undisclosed location in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, has announced that they are closing out Phase 1, Alpha Team if you will, of the brewery. As they say, opening a “farm shed brewery at the beginning of the brewery was a bold move”, and they have pushed through with 30 different releases over the past couple of years. To toast the possibility of Phase 2, they are holding a sale on their remaining stock, so we encourage you to grab a case and enjoy them this month. Cheers fellas!!