Canadian Brewing Awards

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Here we are heading into the last week of Summer in Atlantic Canada, and what a crazy summer it’s been. And things aren’t likely to get any less crazy in Fall, what with the pandemic still being a thing, and the West coast on fire, and, oh hey, another hurricane is bearing down on NS and possibly PEI. GOOD TIMES. So hey, maybe have a read below to get some ideas about where to stock up on beer this weekend and we’ll all see where the wind blows us. Hopefully it’s not off the Eastern seaboard.

Let’s kick off today’s news with a round of congratulations for the Atlantic Canadian breweries who took home medals at this year’s Canadian Brewing Awards! While the Awards and Conference looked quite different than in previous years, it’s always great when well-crafted local beers are getting nation-wide recognition.

Bogside Brewing: Silver in German Style Kolsch for Lighthorse Lagered Ale and Silver in Wheat Beer – German Style (Weiss) for Wheat Kings County

Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault: Gold in French and Belgian Style Saison for Saison du Djâbe

Brasseux d’la Cote: Gold in Fruit / Fruit Wheat / Field / Pumpkin Beer for La Classic Rosé

Copper Bottom: Silver in American Style Imperial India Pale Ale for Parkman Ave

Garrison Brewing: Bronze in Bock – Traditional German Style for Bringing Sexy Bock

Good Robot: Silver in New England Style India Pale Ale for Creature Feature

Moosehead: Bronze in Light (Calorie-Reduced) Lager for Cracked Canoe, Gold in Experimental Beer for Shaker Tropical Pina Colada, Silver in Smoked Beer for Small Batch Rauchbier

PEI Brewing: Silver in North American Style Premium Lager for Beach Chair Lager, Bronze in Session Ale for Setting Day

Propeller Brewing: Silver in Session Ale for Azacca Session IPA

Tatamagouche Brewing: Gold in Baltic Porter for Two Rivers Baltic Porter, Silver in Belgian-Style Brett Beer for Square One, and Bronze in German-Style Sour Ale Berliner-Style Weisse or Gose for Saltwater Cowboy Gose

Tire Shack Brewing: Gold in Cream Ale for The Specialist

Uncle Leo’s Brewery: Silver in North American Style Pale Ale for Sunburst

To see how the rest of the country fared, check out the full list of winners here. Congratulations all!

Speaking of Tire Shack, there’s lots going on in their taproom the coming weekends, as they move into full-blown Oktoberfest celebration mode! They’re turning their taproom into Oktoberfest central for the next three Fridays (starting today) from 4 PM, and Saturdays from 1 PM. A German-inspired menu will be available thanks to catering from White Rabbit, and Tire Shack has brewed up a Munich Helles named Helles Yeah!, that they’ll be serving in 1-L Maß glasses, branded with their logo. For $20, you get the beer, and the glass to keep. In the mood for more than just Helles? Well, they’ve got two other beers that should be pouring just in time for the festivities: Zenith Libation, a cardamom-infused Wheat beer (the first time they’ve had it since they first opened), and Cherry Pie Sour, a kettle sour brewed with 40 kg of cherries, along with vanilla, almond, and cinnamon. Proper attire for the Oktoberfest celebration is encouraged, we understand your servers and beertenders may be partaking in the fun too! If you’re not able to make it to the brewery for a pint or Maß, worry not as these three beers will be canned next week, and available by the weekend. And if you ask nicely during your visit, you may even be able to grab cans of their Gold medal winning The Specialist Cream Ale, though it is currently sold out on tap. And full disclosure, our quip last week about the Moncton housing market was way off base, looks like plenty of folks are moving to the city (and province), with housing sales up 20%+ over last year! Colour us embarrassed!

While on the topic of great events, and a beer to pair with it, let’s hop to Newfoundland for a spell. It’s Port Rexton Pride this weekend in the Bonavista town, and the eponymous Port Rexton Brewing has once again teamed up with Queer Beer NL to brew a celebratory beer. Queer Feeling II is a 4.7% ABV Belgian Witbier, and stays true to style with addition of citrus and spice, to offer a bright hazy colour with a full mouthfeel and lingering fluffy head (thanks to all that wheat), with notes of banana and orange with a zippy coriander spice. On tap and in cans at the brewery now (with $0.50 going to PRP for future events and fun), the St. John’s Retail Shop is also fully stocked for your visit Thurs through Sat, 12 – 7 PM (closing at 5 PM Sat). And if you find yourself on the Bonavista this weekend, be sure to drop by the PR Skerwink Trail parking lot at noon on Sunday, for a BBQ and distanced walk in town, as they team up with pals Oh My Cheeses.

If you’re looking for a new New England IPA hop fix this weekend, North Brewing has you covered with their latest release, Pleasant Disposition (named in honour, we believe, of the writers of this blog). A 6.6% ABV beauty hopped with Strata, Sultana, and Amarillo, it was fermented with Escarpment Labs’ Vermont Ale yeast. Easy-drinking, juicy, and with low bitterness, it’s exactly the type of hazy brew you need to start off/end off your Friday. You can find it on tap right at the source, as well as in cans at their retail shops and online store. 

We can’t speak of pleasant dispositions without bringing up Jeremy Taylor of 2 Crows, who has filled us in on all the news that’s fit to print on the brewery’s two new beers, one of which is also a NEIPA. Let’s start with the beer that landed at 2C earlier this week, Fortitude. Billed as a “Hoppy Wild Ale”, the grist was made up of Pilsner, toasted wheat, and raw wheat, with a mash-hop addition of Sterling; further hop additions were made late in the boil (Bru-1, Galaxy, and Citra). The wort was fermented with a blend of Ebbegarden Kveik, Amalgamation (six Brett strains), and the brewery’s house Saison culture, and then dry-hopped heavily with Enigma, Mandarina Bavaria, and more Galaxy. The final 4.6% ABV, 35 IBUs beer has a perfect blend of hops (dank, tropical, fruity) and funk, with plenty of that lovely fruity Brett character you’d expect. Normally, we’d expect a beer of this nature from 2C to be canned, but they decided to bottle this batch. Instead of picking up individual units, the beer will be sold exclusively as part of a tasting pack (with Zip and Refresh), with $5 from each pack going to the ALS Society of NB and NS. Grabbing the set also gives you access to a live tasting event on Facebook on September 30th at 8 pm, where Jeremy himself will explain the creation and tasting notes of all three beers; he’ll also be signing virtual autographs after the session (ok, we made that last part up).

The next beer, as mentioned, is a brand new NEIPA, sticking with 2C’s series of “stupidly-hoppy” IPAs. Perfect Saturation was brewed with the same base as all four of the previous releases (we’d tell you all four but that would kinda ruin a question for the next ACBB trivia night, whenever that will be!), with Golden Promise, wheat malt, flaked wheat, and a touch of Carafoam. Columbus hops were used in both the mash hop and first wort hop additions, followed by a hopback full of Pacific Gem at the end of the boil. While the wort was fermenting with Foggy London from Escarpment, they threw in some Citra and HPA-016. Finally, more Citra and HPA-016 were added after fermentation was complete, along with loads of Sabro and Galaxy. Expect huge notes of tangerine and pineapple, and “a bit of creamy vanilla coconut” thanks to the Sabro. This 6.1% ABV, 44 IBUs hop bomb *should* be available on tap and in cans at the brewery today (label availability pending). 

We’ve got a new beer from Quidi Vidi to chat up today, along with a challenge for those who want to get outside. Teaming up with AMBA, the Avalon Mountain Bike Association, they have released Oceanside Sour. Featuring black currant, black cherry, and blackberries, this 5.6% ABV beer is in wide distribution at the brewery, convenience stores, and NLC locations now. And what about the challenge? Well, from September 21st to 27th, they are encouraging folks to get outside, get active, and share photos of how you are enjoying yourself with the #getoceanside hashtag. There will also be challenges during that week, with more ways to win prizes by registering through a donation to The Gathering Place. More details here

It’s the time of year for Oktoberfest / Marzen releases, so get your palates ready for some toasty, malt-forward Lagers! The folks at Breton Brewing and Saltbox Brewing like the style so much, they decided to team up and brew a collaboration Oktoberfest of their own, called… Oktoberfest Lager. Brewed with a large portion of Munich, this amber-coloured beer is tasting malt-forward as expected, with “a full, bready flavour, and hopped for balance”. Now available on tap and in cans at Breton, and in cans at Saltbox, it weighs in at 5.3% ABV and 25 IBUs. Check out Breton’s online store as well, for home delivery of cans around the province! 

Back to hoppy, hazy beers with Rough Waters, who have just launched their very first NEIPA, Morning Haze. Brewed with lots of flaked wheat and flaked oats to build up the body of the final beer, they hopped it with both Galaxy and Cashmere varieties. Coming in at 6.3% ABV, it’s showing off a “big citrus character of tangerine, peach, and pineapple”. You can find it at their taproom in Deer Lake, NL in pints and growlers; it’s also available in bottles.

If you happen to be driving around Cape Breton to pick up some Oktoberfest over the weekend, why not make a stop at Route 19 Brewing in Inverness? They’re pouring fresh pints of their latest beer, Inverness Lager, at their taproom. Brewed with Pilsner malt from Shoreline Malting, and fermented with Escarpment’s (yeesh, why aren’t these guys paying us an advertising fee?) Krispy Kveik yeast, this 4.1% ABV, 30 IBUs brew has “a perfect balance of fresh-out-of-the-oven sweet bread malt notes, and noble hop bitterness”, all with a crisp, easy-drinking finish. This one is just a pilot batch (for now), so it probably won’t last too long.

On the West side of Newfoundland you’ll find the Port au Port Peninsula, and on the East side of that, you’ll find Port au Port East, home to Secret Cove Brewing, who have released a new beer they’re calling Lingo. Although the name has been used for a previous beer from the brewery, a lemon/orange Radler, this time around they decided to brew it as a fruited kettle sour and make it part of their regular rotation. They also made a small change to the fruit component, settling on pineapple during fermentation, with a bit of orange aroma and flavor as well through an addition of zest. Unlike many small sours, which are very often extremely dry, this one was designed to have a bit of body, although you can still expect the tartness to be refreshing. Fermentation-wise, lower temperatures were used to control ester production and allow the fruit to take center stage. The result is a refreshing beer coming in at 4% ABV that should be a lovely accompaniment to the waning warm days of summer. Secret Cove is now canning their beers, which has allowed them to extend their reach throughout Western Newfoundland; they’ve got orders out now to Gander and other parts of the central part of the Province. You can expect Lingo in particular to be found at the brewery, but also in Corner Brook Deer Lake, Gander, and Stephenville. 

If you’re out and about at certain beer-friendly places this weekend, you might just be among the first to try beer from Nova Scotia’s latest brewery. Topside Brewing is a home-based brewery (for now) in Bedford, from husband and wife Blair & Erin Tobin. Taking cues from Blair’s career as a Navy Clearance Diver, Topside has a dive roster of four beers that will be making a splash in the coming weeks: 5 Bells Session IPA, Joyce’s Boy Hefeweizen, On the Bottom East Coast IPA, and Lord’s Porter. We’ll have much more from Topside in a full Profile (hopefully) Monday, and keep an eye on their IG and Facebook page for a heads up when the beer is tapped! Congratulations!

There’s no beery events on our radar this week, but here’s a few quick-ish mentions as we send you into the weekend:

Rothesay’s Long Bay Brewing has changed ownership after 3+ years of selling beer to the public, with Jon Choinard and Tim Webber taking the reins from original owner/brewer Sean Doyle. Both Jon and Tim will be sharing the brewing responsibilities, and with this change also comes the news that the brewery is now licensed to operate as a taproom. Yes, that means you’ll be able to drink your favourite Long Bay beers (and other alcohol) on site. For now, they’re mainly open to pre-arranged groups of 12 or fewer people from the same bubble, but this will hopefully change in the near future once they have proper seating and such. If you’d like to head in for a pint, give them a call at 506-847-HOPS to book a time.

And in more great news for those who like to drink beer where it’s made, Lower Sackville’s Ol’ Biddy’s Brewhouse is now set up to sell pints of their 15 (fifteen!) different offerings. Open 12 – 8 PM Thurs to Sat, and 12 – 6 PM Sun, grab a pint of 7 Day IPA, Funk Town Pale Ale, Patrick O’Neil Red, or one of the other dozen beers for enjoyment onsite before grabbing cans to go.

If you’re a fan of the beer coming out of 3Flip Brewing in Douglas, NB, you have reason to celebrate a little, especially if cans are your packaging mode of choice. The brewery is happy to announce that they’ve secured the ability to switch to canning, and that you can expect to find those cans at all ANBL and private retailer locations where you’re already buying their beer. Confirmed are their three core brands: Sassy Cow, Anonymous Amber, and Americana Track 4, all in 355 mL format. So don’t be alarmed if you don’t find the familiar bottles at your local, just have a good look and you’ll hopefully find that you just need to be searching for cans!

It was bound to happen, and after PEI Brewing broke the seal back in August, the deluge of Pumpkin beers has now reached a fever pitch! For those who like to get their gourd on, in addition to PEIBC’s Pumpkin Ale, Brasseurs du Petit-Sault has released their Bonhomme Sept-Heure, Propeller Brewing has their Pumpkin Spiced Ale out now in cans and bottles (brewed using Howard Dill’s world famous Atlantic Giant Pumpkins). And look for Digby and Kingston’s Roof Hound Brewing to release their Keltic Devil Pumpkin Spiced Coffee Porter and Miramichi’s Timber Ship has their ‘Gourd’on’s Wharf Autumn Ale just waiting in the wings. Now go forth and spice up your life!

Welcome to our first Friday Wrap-up of 2019 (Whoot! Got the year right!!). Although we took last week off, it’s clear that the breweries in our region did no such thing, giving us plenty to catch up on from the holidays as well as news of a few new releases hitting the taps and the shelves this weekend. We’ve also got a couple new breweries open in Nova Scotia and the sad news of the demise of Fredericton’s stalwart craft beer destination, the King Street Ale House. So have a read and plan your purchases for the weekend; it’s fixing to be a snowy one in much of Atlantic Canada, so maybe grab a couple extra this afternoon to help soothe yourself after any shovelling that needs to be done. And breweries take note! Entries are now open for the 2019 Canadian Brewing Awards. This year’s event will be in Toronto, but judging takes place in April. Atlantic Canadian breweries had a strong showing at last year’s event; hopefully we’ll see some of the fantastic brews being produced out East continue that trend in 2019!

Let’s kick off the news with the details of two new breweries opening in Nova Scotia since our last Wrap-up…

Hill Top Hops has operated as a hop farm in Scotch Village, Nova Scotia, since 2016, supplying hops for two  Alexander Keith’s Historic Brewery annual harvest brews (Hants County Wet Hopped Pale Ale in 2016 and Annapolis Hop Field Pale Ale in 2017). Now, the family behind the farm have opened a small brewery to showcase their hops and love of the industry. Located at 7232 Hwy 14 in Newport, their brewery and taproom is now open for pints and growler fills. Operating on a 2 BBL (240 litre) brewhouse, they have currently have six beers available: Blonde Ale, Cream Ale, IPA, American Pale Ale, Pilsner, and Red Ale, as well as a full complement of merch to show your HTH pride. They will be celebrating their Grand Opening January 19th from noon, and until then, the taproom and brewery is open on a “by chance” status as they complete small renos and brew. Best to check with them on social media (Fb / IG / Tw) or by phone (902-791-0776) to be sure. They are currently operating by cash/EMT for the moment, and will update their social media when that changes. Congratulations to the Peters family on the opening, and we look forward to sharing a full Profile with them soon.

Congratulations also go out to the crew at Shipwright Brewing who opened their doors in Lunenburg on December 30th. Owner Adam Bower has long been a fan and promoter of local beer while managing, and then buying, the Grand Banker at 82 Montague Street in Lunenburg. Shipwright Brewing is located in the same building, and Brewer Kellye Robertson is using a 1 BBL (120 litre) system to create their own beers. The brewery and taproom is open 12 – 10 PM daily, and they are currently serving three beers to enjoy onsite or to take away in growler or crowler fills. They can also be enjoyed at the Grand Banker, who recently expanded their all-local draught offerings. Cutwater is a 4.8% ABV and 18 IBU traditional German Kolsch (hybrid of lager and ale), First Sail Banker Roast is a 4.5% ABV and 21 IBU Blonde Ale with coffee beans added, and Icebreaker is a 5.3% ABV and 40 IBU New England Pale Ale. Congratulations to Adam, Kellye, and the entire Shipwright family on their opening! Keep an eye on their social media (Fb / IG / Tw) for more updates.

Let’s get caught up with a few beers that were launched over the last two weeks…

Brightwood Brewery released John’s Punch at their brewery taproom last Friday. This 7.5% ABV NEIPA was generously hopped with Mandarina Bavaria and Huell Melon, and is full of citrus and juicy bright notes on the nose and palate. It is currently on tap at the Brightwood Market, with kegs on their way to The Auction House, Battery Park, and HopYard, with cans coming later this month.

Corner Brook’s Bootleg Brew Co released a pair of new beers late last year (we can say that!) that should still be around for your liquid enjoyment. First up is Gin & Spruce, a 5.0% ABV kettle sour, dry-hopped with Citra. However, the real fun is in the other ingredients added to the beer, which were spruce tips and juniper berries, soaked in gin from the Newfoundland Distillery Company in Clarke’s Beach. They followed that release up with another the following day, a style they’ve nicknamed “Snowball Stout”, after the eponymous cookies. In keeping with the rap theme, this one is named Untitled 02 | 12.28.18. The 5.0% ABV stout was brewed with plenty of cocoa powder and coconut to match the baked treat’s flavour profile, on a creamy smooth base. Look for these on draught at their taproom, and keep your eyes peeled in St. John’s at your favourite good beer spot.

Speaking of stouts, Quidi Vidi Brewing released their own back in December, which is back now in a limited re-release. Cappuccino Stout is a 6.5% ABV stout featuring 2-Row and Crystal malts, accented with Flaked Barley, Chocolate Malt and Roasted Barley for a smooth mouthfeel and dark brown appearance, but brought to the next level with the use of lactose (milk sugar) and coffee from Trinity Roastery. These extra ingredients balance each other with sweetness, a touch of bitterness, and nutty dark roast, like a well pulled and blended capp. The beer is available at the brewery now, and at NLCs this weekend.

Earlier in December, Dartmouth’s Spindrift Brewing released Beaufort 10, a 10% ABV, Doppelbock. This traditional German style is malt-forward, taking advantage of the roast, bread, and dark fruit character of the malts used in the mash, while keeping it lightly hopped to just over 20 IBU. A long fermentation period followed by more than a month of lagering lead to a smooth and deceptively easy-drinking beer for the alcohol level, a solid choice for these colder months. Beaufort 10 is available at the brewery and HRM private stores in cans.

Chester’s Tanner & Co. released a new beer over the holidays that’s actually a bit of an older beer, but in a good way. Bottle-aged Wheat Wine is similar to a barleywine in style, big and boozy, but with 50% wheat malt in the grist. Fermented with an American Ale yeast strain, the result is a 10% ABV bruiser with plenty of molasses, caramel and toffee character. Brewed way back in February of 2018, it was bottled and set aside until now, giving it some time to smooth out and for the flavors to come together. There wasn’t a ton of this one available to begin with and it was released just before Christmas, so you might want to check with the brewery before heading down, as that’s the only place to grab this one.

After that wrap-up of previous releases, let’s share some brand new releases with you…

PEI’s Upstreet Brewing has a new beer called Third Place that has nothing to do with winning a bronze medal. When talking about the places in your life, your first place is home, your second place is work, and your third place is “that special haunt where you come together with your community.” Released on January 1st, this beer celebrates those special places that we all (hopefully) have in our lives. An Imperial IPA at 8.5% ABV and 60 IBU, it boasts aromas of mango, clementine and peach, with a distinct piney note thanks to hop additions of Ella, Ekuanot, Azacca, and Simcoe. Look for it both in bottles and on tap at Craft Beer Corner and the Upstreet Taproom, on tap at the Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse and select tap accounts, and in bottles at select PEI Liquor stores. And if you’re at the taproom or CBC, you should check out the available bottles, currently including DeNovos I, II and III, and, from their Million Acres series, Bourbon Barrel-aged Apple Brett Blonde, Chocolate Salted Lager, Spruce Tip Wee Heavy, and Chardonnay Barrel-aged IIPA with Belma, Imperial Saison with Nelson Sauvin, Peach Cream Witbier, and Apricot Cream Witbier.

Halifax’s Good Robot has some big news this week as it has been officially announced that they are getting their first listing with the NSLC. El Espinazo del Diablo Mexican Lager is a fan favorite beer for the brewery with an ABV of 5.7% and 14 IBUs and featuring lime and jalapeño peppers on top of a grist that contains a “perfectly reasonable” amount of flaked corn. Like getting your salsa and your chips in a glass. Look for it at NSLC locations across the province and don’t be surprised if you see it joined by other Good Robot beers as 2019 rolls on.

Meanwhile, back at the farm on Robie Street, there’s plenty in the hopper for the first couple weeks of the year, starting with yesterday’s release of the latest in the Creature Feature series of biotransformation IPAs. Creature Feature III was hit with Columbus, Simcoe, and Nelson Sauvin hops for an assertive bitterness and a dank aroma. It’s 6.4% ABV and 51 IBUs and available now in the taproom. The first BetaBrew of the year will be released on Tuesday, January 8th, and it’s one made by GR staffer Drella and her father, Tim. An homage to their family’s Russian heritage and love of spicy things, it’s a chili stout they’re calling A Chili Night in Minsk. Big and bold at 7.5% ABV and 32 IBU, it’s rich, roasty, and spicy thanks to an addition of Bird’s Eye chilis after primary fermentation. And two days after that beer is tapped you’ll see another new one hit the lines at GR: The Humans Are Dead is their latest India Pale Lager with a twist of New Zealand hops, namely Azacca, Rakau, and Topaz. A calculated IBU level of 60 provides firm bitterness to this 6.8% ABV beer. Will it be the perfect accompaniment to your favorite binary solo and/or dancing the Robot or the Robo-boogie (which will be the only remaining dances in the distant future)? Affirmative!

A short distance away, on Gottingen Street comes the latest in the Propeller Small Batch series. A black lager in the Schwarzbier style it is called, most appropriately, Schwarzbier. It’s light in body, but with a flavorful punch of chocolate and toasted brown and finished off with noble hops for a subtle earthiness. Moderately dry, with a crisp and clean finish, it’s 5% ABV and is available in limited quantities for pints and growler fills only. Also in limited supply from Propeller is their El Dorado Brett IPA, which has been aging for the past nine months in red wine barrels. A mixed fermentation of classic ale yeast and Brettanomyces Claussenii have created a beer that is complex, funky, spicy, and a little earthy. Finished with a healthy dry hop of El Dorado for a tropical burst, it’s 6% ABV. We’ve confirmed that some of the very few kegs of this have gone to Hopyard Halifax, Stillwell and Battery Park, so keep an eye out for it at those places. Propeller also intends to tap a keg at their own tasting room on Monday (pints only). And lastly, the team has installed a beer engine in the Tasting Room that’ll be perfect for a traditional cask experience! So it makes sense that tonight’s Friday cask will be twist on a British style, their ESB aged on oak. Look for it to be tapped at 5 PM and to keep pouring through the weekend, as long as it lasts, anyway.

Unfortunately, we close out the news portion of today’s Wrap-up with some sad news. It was announced yesterday that Fredericton’s iconic beer-centric restaurant King Street Ale House, has closed. Opening 10 years ago as the Garrison District Ale House, Doug Williams and then-partner Shane Fraser saw that there was a big hole in the market for beer-focused establishments, and curated an impressive tap and bottle list well before the craft beer explosion hit our shores. After a fire destroyed the GDAH in January 2013, they rose from the ashes on King Street that November, with a renewed focus on local beer and great food. Having poured over 400 different beers from the Maritimes and beyond, the Garrison District and King Street Ale Houses were many first people’s introduction to well-made local beer. In fact, it’s where Shawn and Chris first met all of those years ago; we’ve conducted trivia nights during Fredericton Craft Beer Festival for several years; met countless other beery friends there over the years, and so we sincerely thank Doug, Shane, and the entire crew there for the many years of great beer. We wish them all the best in their next endeavours. For more details, check out this CBC article.

Only a couple of events to mention this week, but they’re a couple of doozies:

There are a handful of tickets still available for next Thursday’s, Jan 10th, Eat. Drink. Local. event at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront. Formerly known as the The Craft Beer & Local Food Celebration, this is an all-inclusive evening of local beer and cider, with fresh and innovative food pairings from local restaurants. The event also serves as the launch to several new beers in our region, including the winner of Big Spruce’s Home Brew-Off, this year’s will be Ian Wheatley’s Hefeweizen. 30 different stations of food and drink, along with live music all evening, will surely keep you happy. Grab your tickets now before they disappear!

Do try to keep your wits about you after Thursday’s event, as you’ll definitely want to pop up to Bar Stillwell on Barrington Street for their Belgian Beer Fest on Saturday, January 12th. From noon, the Stilly crew will be pouring Lambics, Saisons, Flanders Red, and a bevy of style-breaking beers from one of the best beer-making regions in the world. A full dozen taps, as well as more than double that in bottles, will give any novice or veteran beer fan something to fawn over. Check out the full list here, and we’ll see you there!

A few more notes before we leave you today…

Boxing Rock released a new beer brewed in their Halifax Test Kitchen in mid-December. Knitwise is a Christmas Cake- Inspired Scotch Ale, weighing in a 7.5% ABV. It was brewed with Kim Hart Macneill, a home brewer and beer writer for Halifax Magazine. Brewed with Nova Scotia cranberries, blueberries and raisins to enhance that Christmas Cake character. It’s on tap for pints in Shelburne and growler fills at their Bottle Shop at Local Source Market in Halifax!

Distillerie Fils du Roy released a new beer in December, in a style they are calling “Sour Mash Brut”. At 10% ABV, Biere Brut is a heavy hitter, and started using the sour mash technique usually reserved for whisky. Also fermented with whisky yeast, and finished extremely dry, at 1.000 gravity. Described as hazy, with a sourness reminiscent of green olives, light body and high carbonation. Bottles are available at the brewery in Petit-Paquetville.

Sussex Ale Works has a new beer pouring in their taproom these days. Piccadilly Pale Ale is a 5.8% ABV American Pale Ale with notes of citrusy Chinook and Cascade hops. Grab a sample or pint at their spot this weekend!

St. John’s YellowBelly Brewery has released this ode to the season with Twelfth Night Porter. This 6.5% ABV porter features traditional English ingredients such as Bairds Crystal malt and Thomas Fawcett Roast Barley, along with East Kent Goldings used in the boil and dry-hopping. As described by the brewery, it is “spicy, earthy, warming, roasty, and full bodied with a slight hint of phenol/smokiness”. On tap at the brewery restaurant, in growlers at the YB Takeaway, and in bottles shortly.

Well, now that the Canadian Brewing Awards are officially over, it looks like things have died down – slightly – in the beer world this week, as brewers and beer lovers recuperate from all of the celebrations in Halifax last weekend. But it IS June 1st, and this time of year means that things are going to be picking up sharply, very soon… so we know we’re going to enjoy this slight lull while we can! And there’s still a fair amount to talk about, so here we go…

Speaking of the CBAs, in case you missed our live tweeting of the results, breweries in the Atlantic Provinces had a great showing at the awards, earning 20 total medals in a wide variety of categories. The full results are available on the CBA website, and here are the local winners for your perusal:

Foghorn Brewing earned Bronze for Golden Grover in English-style Pale Ale and Bronze for Esty Special Bitter in English Bitters – Best Bitter or ESB.
Grimross Brewing earned Gold for their Apres Lager in the European Style Amber to Dark Lager, Bronze for their Pugnacious Porter in Porter, Bronze for Maritime Cream Ale in Cream Ale, and Silver in American-style Black Ale for their Maritime Black IPA.
Brasseurs Petit-Sault earned Gold for Col. John Baker Dubbel in Belgian-Style Dubbel.
Pump House Brewing captured Bronze for their Muddy River Stout in the Dry Stout category.

2 Crows Brewing earned a trio of medals that evening: Silver for their Dynamo Rustic Saison in the French and Belgian Style Saison category, Silver for Never Again (Foedre-Aged Brett Pale with Peaches), and Gold for Bonanza! (Foedre-Aged Wheat Wine).
Boxing Rock captured Silver for their Temptation Red in North American Style Amber/Red Ale.
North Brewing Company captured Silver for their Little Beast in the Kellerbier/Zwickelbier category, Silver in the Belgian Style Abbey Ale/Pale Ale category for their Gus’ 65m Ale, Bronze in American-style Brett Beer for Oh My Darlin’-Clementine Brett Pale Ale
Meander River grabbed Bronze for their Smoky Chipotle Porter in Experimental Beer.
Tatamagouche Brewing took Silver for their Giantess Barley Wine in Barley Wine-Style Ale – American-Style.

PEI Brewing Company earned a pair of awards: Bronze for their Hell Street in the Bock – Traditional German Style category and Bronze for their Vic Park in the Session India Pale Ale category.

Quidi Vidi Brewing earned Silver in the Dry Stout category for their Cry Havoc.

After some delays over the winter, Gander, Newfoundland finally has a brewery they can call their own. Scudrunner Brewery opened earlier this week on Roe Avenue right by the airport (fitting for a brewery owned by pilots!), with their initial offering of four beers being offered for samples and pints. Stop by to grab their Frequent Flyer Ordinary Bitter (3.8% ABV), Good Morning Shanwick Irish Amber (5% ABV), Scudrunner Red (5% ABV), and Test Flight #1 American Bitter (5% ABV). Growlers are in the works, but not *yet* available (soon, we understand!). The taproom is open from 11AM every day (except closed Mondays for the time being). Congratulations!

Tidehouse released a new beer last Friday, and we missed it! It actually can’t be blamed entirely on them (THIS time), as things got pretty hairy with all the CBA stuff going on, but better late than never, right? And there’s still some left, so we’re happy to mention it now! Keep Your Chin Up is an American IPA with a grain bill of Wheat malt, Vienna, and Kiln Coffee malt, that was hopped late in the boil (and in the dry-hop, of course) with Chinook. Fermented with a neutral American yeast strain, it weighs in pretty high at 7.7% ABV, and has lots of pine and spice flavours from the Chinook, along with a “slight” presence of coffee from the Kiln Coffee malt. You can find it on tap now for 4 oz pours and growler fills at the Tidehouse TinyTastyBeverageRoom on Salter St.

Sorry, you other guys (you know who you are!), but it looks like North Brewing is the first out of the gate with a Champagne IPA brewed professionally in Nova Scotia! Also known as Extra Brut IPA, it’s a new style that is going up against the popular hazy version, NEIPA. Incorporating the addition of extra enzymes to break the sugars in wort down even more, which allows the yeast to do their job better, creating a higher alcohol level and a very dry beer. The grist is usually very simple, and the beer should be light-coloured and very clear. North’s first attempt is Alloy, and it sounds like they’ve ticked all the boxes in the Champagne IPA category with this one. Featuring a grist of all-Pilsner malt, enzymes were added to allow the yeast to ferment the wort all the way down to a final gravity of 1.000. Whirlpool-hopped with Ariana (a new German variety that exhibits characteristics of grapefruit, gooseberry, citrus, and vanilla) and Citra, it was further dry-hopped with plenty more Ariana. With a minimal grist and a bone-dry beer, the hops – in theory – are allowed to shine even more, and the bitterness is perceived more (Alloy’s IBUs come in at 23). This 6% ABV beer is being released today in cans (at both bottle shops) and kegs (at Battery Park, and likely other accounts soon); make sure you grab a taste somewhere/somehow, as this is a style that is sure to evolve!

Spindrift Brewing is branching off their Seventh Wave series, those pilots beers only appearing on tap at their retail location for growler fills, with the Ride the Wave series, inviting in guest brewers to take part in the fun. The first in that series launched yesterday, and  is named Ocean Perle, a low-ABV Belgian Saison. At 4.5% ABV and 22 IBU, this extremely quaffable beer is the brainchild of homebrewer Ian Wheatley, who is familiar to our readers from his frequent work with the Tidehouse crew under the Lil’ Wheatey moniker. Named after his dog and one of his favourite hop varietals, OP is nice and dry, and highly carbonated for a refreshing and spritzy mouthfeel. As with all of the beers in this series, the only spot to grab it is at Spindrift’s Frazee Ave location, so stop by this afternoon to grab it before it sails away.

The latest Neon Friday release from Upstreet is out today, NEIPA with Simcoe. True to its name, it’s a New England IPA brewed entirely with the classic Simcoe hop, a much-loved American variety that has managed to hold onto its popularity over the years, despite the barrage of new hops being released every day (ok, maybe not that often, but you get it). At 7% ABV an 40 IBUs, it’s a pale-straw coloured, hazy brew with “notes of heavy citrus and a piney dankness”… yep, sounds like Simcoe to us! Available as of today, on tap and in cans at Upstreet and the Craft Beer Corner.

Two beers from TrailWay are hitting cans and taps this week, one new and one returning. The new brew comes out today, and is a 6.5% ABV American IPA released in honour of the Scrum Lurkers segment of the Jay and Dan show. Through the constant tweaking with the many one-off IPAs released by TrailWay, Scrumlurkers was brewed with a hop schedule that gives “intense tropical and citrus fruit, with a sweet candy and vanilla character that ‘lurks’ in the background”, according to the brewery. And returning is Emerald, TW’s 5% ABV New Zealand Pilsner that is hopped with Wakatu, and has “generous” additions of both lime juice and zest, giving a “dry tartness and complementary candied lime” character. Drop by the brewery today to pick up some of each, and maybe stick around for their anniversary celebration (more on that in the events section below).

For those of you who are fans of Hammond River’s ongoing series of Berliner Weisses, you’ll be happy to hear that they have a new entry that they released this week. Fragarian Fields uses the same kettle-soured base recipe, with this iteration being fruited with strawberry and mango. Coming in at their usual 3.2% ABV for this series, it pours slightly hazy with a light orange colour and is lightly fruity, refreshing, and definitely easy-drinking. Available now at the taproom for pints and growlers.

Good Robot has kindly passed on the info on next week’s new beers for us to tweak to perfection, to pass on to you! Tuesday’s Beta Brew is Wort the Weight, an American Stout brewed by Adam Boone and Emma Cloutier. Brewed with 2-row, Chocolate malt, Roasted Barley and Flaked Oats, it was hopped with Warrior, Saaz, and Hallertauer to 42 IBUs. A “dusting” of lactose powder was also added to the boil, to help balance out the hop bitterness slightly. It comes in a bit lower than expected for the style, at just 4.5% ABV, so that you can enjoy it in quantity. Following on Thursday is Yuk’em Ups, their latest experiment in biotransformation dry-hopping (i.e. adding dry hops when fermentation isn’t quite complete). This 6.6% ABV IPA has a grain bill containing 2-row, Red X, and a little bit o’ Wheat, and was hopped with Mosaic and Ekuanot to a mighty 91 IBUs. It exhibits some “pear and other orchard fruit on the nose”, with plenty of citrus character in the taste. Finally, their latest batch of Espinazo Del Diablo was kegged this week… try it and see if you notice more heat this go-around, as the seeds from the jalapenos were added to the beer. Just try not to get any in your teeth! 😉

Those crazy kids at Niche Brewing have yet another beer coming early next week (does their recipe file have no end?!). Ofelia is an American Pale Ale described to us as reminiscent of many people’s favorite childhood orange drink (that the astronauts took to the moon!). Fermented with a blend of Saccharomyces strains well-geared for IPAs, it’s slightly dank with tropical notes thanks to additions of Centennial, Chinook, and Simcoe hops. At 5.4% ABV and 32 IBU expect an easy drinking light orange beer with a smooth mouthfeel and a light bitterness in the finish. If you’re enjoying one in a quiet moment, see if you can guess where the name came from – we can tell you it’s inspired by the name of one of Rob and Shawn’s favourite movie heroines, but nothing to do with Shakespeare.

After closing for a couple of months for major renovations, the bar at Quidi Vidi Brewery is opening tomorrow. While previously only open during brewery tours and their Friday night Kitchen Party, it has transformed into a full-time Tap Room space, open from noon daily. The Grand Opening Party will be kicking off at 7PM Saturday, featuring food from Mallard Cottage and live music from Dave Whitty. There will be plenty of Q.V. beers flowing, including a fresh batch of Calm Tom’s Double IPA, and we suspect some other goodies from their newly installed pilot system. Learn more by checking out their social media.

Next week, Boxing Rock will be releasing the commercial version of the winning beer in their latest Black Box Challenge, which was held in March. Brewed by the ACBB’s own Aaron Spanik, Oh, Snap! was brewed with a variety of malts, including Pale, Chocolate, Aromatic, and Medium Crystal. Belgian Dark Candi syrup was also added in the boil, and the wort was hopped with Magnum for bittering, Cascade for flavour additions in the boil, and some Amarillo at flameout as well as in the dry hop. One of the ingredients in the Black Box was “ginger-infused green tea”. Aaron wanted the ginger without the tea, so painstakingly separated the two, and added the ginger to his beer (worry not, he’s still seeking medication for this disorder). On a large scale, this practice would be, of course, insane, so Boxing Rock obtained some straight ginger from World Tea House (the original provider of the ginger tea blend), which they used to make their own ginger “tea” to add at the whirlpool stage. Fermented with the American strain US-05, it comes in at 6.1% ABV, slightly higher than the homebrew version. Expect it to drink as a fairly dry and refreshing hoppy brown, with a subtle ginger undertone, especially as it warms. Scheduled for release on Wednesday, June 6th, look for this one to hit the taps at BR, private wine store shelves, farmer’s markets, and possibly some tap accounts as well.

And speaking of homebrewers, there’s a new game in town, regionally speaking, for those into the hobby. BrewHQ came online last week with beer and cider kits, brewing equipment, and brewing ingredients available for purchase and shipping anywhere in Canada. They’ve got a BrewHQ Club where purchases earn points that can be used towards discounts as well as an area of the site, the BrewHQ Academy, with tutorials, beer history and style information. For the month of June they’ve got a free shipping promotion on orders over $75 (pre-tax total) until June 30th. Even better, they’re offering our readers 15% off from today until June 14th through the use of the code ACBB15. Check out the new site and follow their social media presence as well (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for news on upcoming promotions.

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing has their Summer seasonal all ready to go. Stone Fruit Summer Ale features some wheat in the grist along with additions of fruit, including peach, apricot and mango, for a light and slightly hazy 5.0% ABV spritzy summer refresher. Look for a special cask with peach purée to be tapped this evening at their Gottingen Street Tasting Room. The beer is available now at Propeller locations and will be available at NSLC stores and the private stores in Halifax as well. And for those who were fans of their Spring seasonal, the pale and hoppy XPA, the last batch is now available in super shiny cans and on tap, but only through Propeller’s stores.

In Liverpool, Hell Bay has a new IPA on the taps that they’re calling Tarnation. Coming in at a healthy 6.2% ABV, it features Millennium hops, a high-alpha variety known for imparting an herbal character. Hopped to 70 IBU, this one definitely packs a bitter punch, with a resinous and almost spicy character complementing an overall dry body. It’s available at the brewery now but will be making its way to tap accounts along the South Shore and in Halifax in the coming weeks.

There’s some news to share about Antigonish’s Townhouse Pub this week: After 6 years of ownership, Rosemary and Terry are handing over the reigns to Caitlin and Ryan Shimozawa, who bring years of experience in the food and drink world to the East Coast. While the Shimozawas are sure to put their own touches into the Townhouse, we have been assured that they share the same passion for local beer as Rose and Terry, and will continue to focus their bar menu the same way. And for those of us fortunate to get to the Townhouse for a pint of Terry’s Best Bitter, fear not, he is passing along his knowledge to the new owners, so expect the house-made beers to continue flowing.

We’ve spotted a few events on the go this weekend (and beyond) that you’re not going to want to miss!

After extensive renovations over the past several weeks, the beer bar in the Crowne Plaza hotel on Queen Street in Fredericton is re-opening today. With a slight change of name to The Joyce, the number of taps with NB beer, cider, and mead has expanded to 36 plus a hand pump, to keep pace with their lofty goal of carrying something from every brewery in the province. You can be amongst the first to test out the taps if you head down today, as they’re re-opening at 12PM. Learn a little bit more from their FB Event page, and enjoy happy hour from 3PM until midnight tomorrow to keep the celebration going.

After, or before, checking out The Joyce on Queen Street today, head across the water to TrailWay Brewing’s 280 Main Street location, to help celebrate their second anniversary of being “ALL IN”. While Dan and Jake opened the brewery in December of 2014, the brewery as it is now opened in June 2016 after both left other jobs to pursue it full time. Pop in from 5-9PM for $5 pints to celebrate their success and plans for the future. Milda’s Pizza will be on hand keeping your tummy satisfied all evening.

It’s already been a year since Horton Ridge opened their brewery and taproom, and they’re celebrating next Saturday, June 9th with a Horton Ridge Turns 1! Event. It’s an all-day party, starting at noon, and will feature plenty (2500 lbs worth of plenty!) of BBQ from Asado Wood Fired Grill, beer, and a variety of live music (starting at 3 pm).

Interested in learning more about brewing science? Well, there’s always plenty to learn, and the Maritime Brewing Science Conference may be just what you’re looking for. It’s being held in Moncton on Friday, June 15th, and will feature plenty of topics and discussions throughout the day, including yeast handling and selection, brewing water, wild hops in Atlantic Canada, and Wild Beers. Your $30 ticket (available here) includes breakfast, lunch, and a wild beer tasting at the end of the day.

Just a bit more before we go…

– If you missed their debut at last weekend’s Atlantic Beer Festival, fear not – kegs of O’Creek Brewing’s Route 117 (a 6.5% ABV NEIPA) are now pouring at Marky’s Laundromat and Tide & Boar in Moncton.
Unfiltered is bringing back their Warning Label, a 10% ABV monster of a DIPA, today at noon. This batch was aged on Spanish cedar, so expect a slightly different profile than what you may be used to.
Big Spruce has a new one pouring called Reboot Ginger Beer, brewed as a witbier with 100% Cape Breton grown ginger in the the boil and as well as in the dry hop, which also included “huge” amounts of Mosaic.