Happy Friday y’all! We’re as excited to start the weekend as you are, so let’s get you out the door and drinking the good stuff quickly! We have a reminder of what’s coming to our region next weekend in the Events section, so be sure to read closely!
Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing has a very special collaboration available now on tap and in cans. Born from a familial connection to Mexico, Serpent invited the crew from Cerveceria Itañeñe into the brewhouse a few months ago. And of course, Rodrigo and Lucia of Itañeñe brought gifts, in the form of their favourite coffee from roasters Ilustre. Pairing that with some locally-harvested Maple Syrup from MacRae’s, and a base English Brown Ale, they thus gave birth to Here Comes Trouble. This 5.9% beer will wake you up and keep you going all day, with the strong malt, coffee, and maple character coming through! Pop by the brewery for a taste and four-pack, and while there, you’ll be able to sample the food new menu put together by Chef Barry Samways. Having worked in kitchens at Hermitage, Elliot & Vine, and most recently at Quinn’s Arms, Chef Samways is focusing on local producers for as many ingredients as possible to ensure quality and freshness. As with any brewery menu, complementing the beer is important, so look for both share-able sizing for when your whole crew is with you, or snacking sizes for solo pop-bys to the space. Homemade pasta, tacos, microgreen salads, and several gluten-free and vegan options are also available!
On Brunswick Street in downtown Halifax, 2 Crows has a pair of new releases out this week. Let’s start hoppy, with Green World DIPA out on draught and in cans now. West Coast-inspired, this was brewed in collaboration with PEI’s Shoreline Malting, who provided the base Pale Malt, which was amped up with a touch of Crystal. This was hopped aggressively with classic American hops from Lakeview Hops throughout, including in the mash, again as the wort enters the kettle (first wort), of course throughout the boil, and again as the beer is cooled on its way to the fermenter. At that point, Escarpment Labs’ House Ale strain took over, fermenting it clean and providing natural carbonation to the finished product. It’s available today at the brewery as well as for online ordering and delivery. If you pop by the brewery, you’ll also be able to enjoy their latest tiny batch release, Multiflora. This beer/wine hybrid is the love child of a 3-year-old Wild Ale blended with fresh rosé piquette, itself made up of pomace from Riesling grapes, plus a small amount of Pinot Noir and Kekfrankos, with some quince from Head Brewer Jeremy Taylor’s backyard. This bright and funky hybrid is available on draught only, and in short supply, so if it sounds as tasty to you as it does to us…don’t delay in visiting!
HRM’s newest source of suds, Party Time Brewing in Mount Uniacke, who we profiled earlier this month, has a couple new beers and a new delivery channel for us this week. Party Time Pilsner is an American Pilsner at 30 IBU and 5% ABV that’s sure to sate your craving for a light and crispy new world crusher and Raft Up is “a beery beer” hopped with Hallertauer Mittelfrüh coming in at 4.5% ABV. Both of these are available for online ordering (althought the Party Time Pils is already in short supply!) for delivery in the general environs of Mount Uniacke, but if you’re from further afield you now have an option for pickup in the parking lot of Uniacke Pizza. You can also try the Raft Up at the Mount Uniacke Pub & Eatery.
Over on the Island, Summerside’s Bogside Brewing has a couple of new offerings this week, one of which won’t get you loaded no matter how much you drink. Bogside Zero is their first foray into the non-alcoholic beer market and they’re happy to report that it, “tastes like a real beer!” Based on their Local Legend blonde ale recipe, they’ve invested in a de-alcoholizer to take the finished beer remove the alcohol. Tasting similar enough to the original that many folks are hard-pressed to tell the difference, it’ll be a welcome option for those who want to taste a beer without having a beer. Also new on the go is a second entry in Bogside’s single hop series, this time using Belma, a bit of an unsung hop that’s been around for a decade or so, but hasn’t gained the mindshare of some of the heavy hitters. Known for providing tasting notes of strawberry and pear in particular, it also has a bit of a citrus kick on the palate and aromas of berries and melon, giving this iteration a little more of a West Coast IPA feel than the previous El Dorado version. Coming in at 6% ABV and 35 IBU, you’ll find this limited edition along with Bogside Zero available in the taproom and for online ordering.
Staying in PEI we land at Lone Oak, who, as mentioned last week, are celebrating their birthday this month. To celebrate they’ve got a brand new beer available, but so far only at Milky Way Brewpub in Charlottetown and in cans to go from their Cold Beer Store. Lone Oak Light does what it says on the tin, a North American light lager at 4% ABV that’s sure to please the beery beer drinkers out there. Simple, crisp and refreshing, it’s sure to pair well with summertime. Keep an eye on the social media for their latest location, the Lone Oak Beer Garden at Cavendish Beach, as it is set to open in the next few weeks.
From the little island we head up to the big one where, in Paradise, Banished Brewing has a brand new beer that they’re calling Baked Ziti. Why the reference to tasty noodletubes, tomato, and cheese? Because it’s an Italian Pilsner, of course! A style that’s been coming on in North America the last few years, the Italian take on a more northern European style features a light, but still malty body, with a firm bitterness and a pungent hop note, always continental and often leaning towards the floral part of the hop spectrum. Unfiltered, as is de rigueur (d’obbligo?) for the style, you’ll find this 5% delight on tap at the brewery and appearing at local retailers as well.
My, b’y, but there’s a lot of new lagers in the region this week and Port au Port’s Secret Cove Brewing has one too. A 4% American Lager they’re calling Cove Lager, it leverages rice as an adjunct to keep the body light and lagered cool to keep it crisp, it’s designed to be super easy drinking through the warmer summer months. Packaged in 355ml cans (with a super classy label) for maximum portability, it’s available now at the brewery and will see retail distribution real soon now.
We haven’t had any news out of Sheffield Mills in a few weeks, but that stops today with Sea Level’s release of Barn Yard IPA. Their take on a hazy session IPA is TRIPLE dry-hopped with Mosaic, Apollo and Comet, giving lots of topical fruit notes. The grain bill features Sea Level’s standard base malt, with an addition of Vienna for a hint of sweetness, with all of the malt coming from nearby Horton Ridge Malt House. Coming in at a sessionable 4.6% ABV, you can find Barn Yard on tap and in cans at both Sea Level locations now.
Just in time for another sunny Cape Breton weekend, Big Spruce has a new release and the return of one of their all-time crowd pleasers. First up is It Takes Two to Mango, a 5% ABV fruited sour. Look for a pleasing tangy tartness to complement the sweetness of the ripe mangos, with the mangos also imparting their colour to the final beverage. You can find this one on tap in Nyanza. And while we’re at it, the ultimate pairing for Cape Breton summer weather is making its return. Silver Tart, the sour raspberry wheat ale originally brewed in 2015, is back for another season, with its refreshing tartness, berry flavour and deep pink hue. Cans and pints are available now, with the cans already making their way to Big Spruce’s online store for shipping and delivery.
Did we mention the profusion of lagers this week? Of course we did, and there’s another one to mention from Tire Shack Brewing, the return of their Cerveza Mexican lager. Possibly the most crushable beer they’ve released to date, it’s back on tap and in cans to go as well. Meanwhile, on the “new release” side of things, Tire Shack also has a brand new “AI-designed” beer available. After prompting with the question “What will future beer trends be?” and receiving the response, “Alternative fermentables and herbs,” they further asked for a recipe, which was dutifully provided and dubbed “Garden Party.” They even got it to design a label. Regardless of how you feel about what’s being commonly referred to as “AI” these days, the gang at Tire Shack has dutifully made the 6.0% ABV honey lavender saison from the generated recipe and claim it’s a tasty beer. You’ll have to grab some at their spot in Moncton to find out for yourself!
Still in New Brunswick, but up in Fredericton this time, we see a brand new thang from Trailway. Hoppy? Sure. But this one, from their Main Land series of Belgian-inspired beers, pairs Belgian yeast character with lemony citrus and a grassy bitterness from the noble hops that were used. With a finish that features pear and apple sauce, this hoppy session ale comes in at 4.5% ABV. In returning engagement news at Trailway, their classic summer raspberry wheat, Beyond Reality is available again. At 4% ABV you can plan to enjoy a couple of these fruity delights that boast a touch of balancing tartness. Look for both of these ones, along with the rest of the Trailway oeuvre at a Trailway location near you!
Lots of beery things going on in our region these days, including a lot of summer openings!
Lots of news for you from the Stillwell Family this week, so let’s get you up to speed: The Stillwell Beer Garden at Spring Garden and South Park is open and operating daily from noon til “cold”, with a dozen taps and another dozen different cans from across the region and beyond. The grill is fired up and on the go too, with sausages and dogs, and yummy accompaniments to boot, with ice cream to cap the meal!
One of the beers you’ll find on tap there, as well as Stilly HQ, The Freehouse, and Battery Park, is Stillwell Brewing’s brand new Cream Ale. Eschewing the modern trend towards adjuncts, this is all Pils malt, with a decoction (!), and fermented cool to keep the fruity esters down, it uses a dose of Cascade and Willamette to add a firm bitterness as well as a bit of earth and citrus to the final product. Eminently crushable, you can sense the relationship to Kompact while appreciating the new world hop component. Cans will be coming to the brewery in a few weeks.
Before then, however, Stillwell Brewing is celebrating the opening of their taproom June 3rd. While having been open for retail sales since last year, they have completed the taproom and music system, so it’s time to party! Open from 11 AM to 11 PM next Saturday, Beverly Taco Service (from 4 PM) will be onsite slinging their wares, and there will be live spun records by DJ Douvet and Swee (also from 4 PM) to keep you happy.
Although most folks in the industry have known this for a while, we at ACBB have perhaps been a touch remiss in mentioning that the Canadian Brewing Awards Conference will be in town next weekend, June 1st to 3rd at the Nova Centre in Halifax. A presentation of Taps Media, the CBAC is both a brewing conference and the announcement vehicle for the Canadian Brewing Awards. Judged each spring in Toronto, the CBAs aim to celebrate the best in beer from coast to coast. What does this mean for the humble beer drinker? Mostly that there will be brewery folks from across the country descending on Halifax, sampling our local fare and especially our local beer, and making and rekindling friendships. So don’t be surprised if you find yourself at Stillwell Beer Garden or Hop Yard or any of our brewery tap rooms talking to a brewery owner from Saskatoon or Kelowna or Caledon or St-Jean-sur-Richelieu and feel free to let them know what your favorite locals are!
Meanwhile, if you’re a hard core beer nerd like us and you’re interested in taking in the conference itself, there will be plenty of sessions of both practical brewing nature and more social responsibility-focused content as well as a conference floor where equipment, ingredient, and service providers ply their wares. Limited (<15!) tickets are still available, with a full ride (conference + gala) going for $400 or separate conference ($200) and gala ($200) options on tap, so to speak. Maybe we’ll see you there!
Our friends at Canadian hop supplier Hops Connect have some news for the local industry this week, as they’re opening up a cold storage warehouse in Montréal next month. If you’re a brewer in Atlantic Canada, this means your orders will get to you that much more quickly and efficiently, and especially when you’re dealing in Southern Hemisphere hops, as Hops Connect does in volume, that can make a big difference. Homebrewers in the region who take advantage of The Brewnosers annual group buys will likely benefit as well. If you’re attending the CBAC next weekend, definitely stop by the Hops Connect booth and find out the finer details (rumor has it there will be a very sensory component to their booth this year as well!!)
Looking for work in the craft beer industry in Moncton? Check this posting out:
After a very successful launch earlier this month, O’Creek Brewing in Moncton is looking to add a Full-Time Taproom Manager to their crew, concentrating on those busy evenings and weekends! If you have experience in that sort of thing, fire Greg an email to let him know you can be the right woman or man for the job! Oh, and while we have you, their on-site kitchen is operating at full speed these days, sending out nachos, quesadillas, pulled pork sandwiches, popcorns, and even serving ice cream from nearby Lost & Found.
Here’s our quick hits this week to finish things off:
The PEI Brewing Company has a new American Pale Ale out. Gahan Longshore is a 5.5% ABV take on the style, featuring notes of citrus, pine and tropical fruit. You’ll find it at the PEIBC Taproom, Gahan Beer Store, and Gahan House locations, and look for it to appear at PEI Liquor and ANBL locations this week.
After taking the winter off, Rose Valley’s Barnone Brewery is open again for the summer. No word yet on their exact opening days/hours, but we can assure you that they are open for at least a few hours today from 5 PM. Pop by their location at 4248 Route 225, Rose Valley/Breadalbane, and let them know ACBB sent ya!
Speaking of openings, The Post Taphouse in Torbay, Newfoundland, opened their doors last weekend. Located at 1412 Torbay Road, they are just a few steps from the East Coast Trail, and offer a lovely view from their patio. Serving local beer from breweries all across Newfoundland and Labrador, they also have a full food menu. They are open 12 – 11 PM daily, rain or shine!
It’s that time of year for the Cellar Slammer to return! This annual collaboration between Tatamagouche Brewing and Bishop’s Cellar is out at both retailers now. This is the 7th year of its release, and this Session IPA / India Session Ale is bigger and better than ever! Clean, bright, citrus, with a touch of white wine grapes, the low alcohol and lighter mouthfeel means this beer can be slammed back all summer long! Just be aware that the can looks a little different this year!
And finishing up with the second in the “new collaborative Session Ale” category is a brand new release from North Brewing. Celebrating their neighbours to their new Timberlea location comes Brunello, brewed with The Links at Brunello. At just 4.5% ABV, it’s lively and bright, refreshing and fun, and perfect to enjoy on your first, ninth, and eighteenth tee-off! On tap and in cans at North’s locations, and of course at the Nineteenth hole at Brunello.