Candid Brewing

All posts tagged Candid Brewing

If you felt the heat wave earlier this week, we hope you were stocked up with local treats to keep you cool. Or if you live on the Avalon or Labrador, maybe something to keep you warm during yesterday’s flurries! This weekend looks like another sunny one across Atlantic Canada, so why not stock up and enjoy them safely at home or get out on a patio if you’re comfortable! Either way, we know our local libation lovers will support their own establishments as best they can and we’re back again to help spread the news!

As PEI Craft Beer Week winds down this weekend, Upstreet Brewing is launching an annual favourite collaboration with The Inn at Bay Fortune. Fireworks, named after the kitchen at Chef Michael Smith’s on-farm restaurant, is a Farmhouse Ale featuring a whole bunch of local grain, malt, and other special ingredients. Island Malt House-grown and -malted Pilsner, Biscuit, Wheat, Toasted Wheat, Buckwheat, Malted Oats, and Rye made up the grist bill, giving the yeasty beasties a whole bunch of different sugars and other carbs to munch on over the course a several months. After the boil of the wort was completed, Ekuanot and Pekko hops were added to the whirlpool (during a rest before cooling), and once fermentation subsided, Lemondrop was added to amplify a citrus character. During that conditioning time, ingredients straight from the Culinary Farm on Bay Fortune were added, including more than 200 kg of crab apples, dried marigold, and citrus basil, all hand picked and curated by the IaBF team and Upstreet crew. The resulting beer has floral and earthy notes, with barnyard and hay on the nose, with a light acidity and carbonation to keep it refreshing. The beer is debuting tomorrow at the Upstreet tap room on Allen Street in Charlottetown, with a tasting kicking off at 3 PM. Bottles will also be available at their Craft Beer Corner location downtown, and of course at The Inn at Bay Fortune. And those in HRM may soon be able to grab bottles at their Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse in Burnside and private stores as well, so keep your eyes peeled!

Upstreet is also continuing the releases today with the second in their Libra line of non-alcoholic beers, with Libra Hazy IPA. Bumping up the hops from their Libra North Cape Pale Ale, but still in a sub 0.5% ABV package, the beer features loads of Idaho 7, El Dorado, Citra, and Mosaic late in the process, to keep it from being too tongue-coating bitter, while still imparting plenty of great citrus, tropical fruit character those hops are known for. Available in short cans at the taproom, CBC, and online for delivery Canada-wide (soon), as well as other spots in the coming weeks (remember, not alc = wider availability!). Cheers to Mitch, Hogie, and the crew for providing more low- and non-alc beer alternatives to those looking to moderate their intake of alcohol while still having a flavourful drink!

Let’s keep it going with more PEICBW info, as one of the OG PEI breweries welcomes their younger pals to take over their taps tomorrow. The Gahan House will be pouring several of their own After Hours seasonal and one-off brews, while also welcoming Bogside Brewing, Copper Bottom, Lone Oak, Upstreet, and Village Green to pour their latest and greatest beers. Look for new releases, old favourites, and cool change-ups from everyone involved! The pouring starts at 11:30 AM and goes all day and night. And of course be sure to check out the cool new beers and events from Evermoore, Moth Lane, and PEI Brewing Co this weekend, and the rest of the year!

To the mainland we go, stopping in at Spryfield, Nova Scotia’s own Serpent Brewing, with two new beers to tell you about this week. Both are part of their Beer Creation Experience, where the public had a chance to design a Serpent beer, from style, recipe, ingredients, all the way to the label on the bottle. Released last weekend was Pavo Tropical IPA, and while it does not contain any actual fruit, the hops chosen, namely Amarillo, Magnum, and Mosaic, do a fine job of imparting a ton of berry and citrus, with a touch of pine too. At 5.4% and 50 IBU, the hazy IPA (XPA? Big APA?) is perfect for enjoying on their patio this weekend, or in bottles to take away. 

Debuting today is the next in the Serpent BCE, Whatermelon is Wrong Wit You? Taking a cue from NS Premier Rankin’s question to those not following COVID protocol by reducing interactions, this pun-tacularly named beer is a spin on their White Mountain Belgian Witbier, but elevated to the next level. Long-time friend-of-Serpent Nick Sanford has been sampling owner Glen O’Keefe’s homebrew for years, assisted during the brewery construction, and even stepped in to become a Founder of the brewery, and designed Whatermelon based on a homebrew he and Glen had enjoyed on a camping trip years ago. Taking the already flavourful White Mountain recipe as a starting point, even more orange peel was added to brighten the beer, with watermelon added post-fermentation to let the fruit shine through with little distraction. The 5.5% beer is available now in bottles and on draught at the brewery for imbibing on their patio this weekend (and indoors next, Strang-willing). And stop by Saturday and/or Sunday to grab some great Jamaican snacks and meals from Jamdouns Food Truck who will be parked adjacent to the patio!

Heading up to Newfoundland and in particular, Port Rexton Brewing, where the gang have managed to get their beery paws on some 355 mL silver bullets. In celebration of this minor coup (seriously, cans are in wretchedly short supply across North America right now), they’re filling them up with delightfully crushable liquids for your enjoyment. Up first is Whitecap, a bright and refreshing session NEIPA that began its life as a taproom favorite Wet Yer Whistle. With a nice light body and a “sounds like another one” ABV of 3.8%, you’ll find it available today at the PR taproom and also at their St. John’s retail shop. These are only being sold in singles right now and once they’re gone they’re gone until more can stock comes in, as they’re holding some aluminum aside for another light and tasty release next week! And if you’re into beer and outdoor activities in the PR area, you should check out the guided hike around the Skerwink Trail being hosted weekly by PR, Paul Dean and Fishers’ Loft Inn. No fee or registration required, just a desire for a lovely walk and an ear for Paul’s geologic knowledge and stories. The hike will end at Port Rexton where you’ll get your first pint at 50% off. Sounds like a pretty good deal to us! More details available from this Fishers’ Loft Ig post.

Further island vibes from Newfoundland bring a new release from Bannerman this week. Vibe Architect is a 5.0% Witbier which is the first of its kind from the St. John’s crew. Brewed with pilsner malt, flaked wheat, flaked corn and some malted wheat, the hop profile is a blend of European hops that provide great balance. With a true to style flavour profile, expect orange and coriander notes with some nice sweetness from sweet orange peel and spices. This is a renowned and respected style (see: Allagash White) that is complex, subtle and refreshing. This one is available now in cans, on tap at the brewery as well as select Marie’s locations. 

Back down to Nova Scotia, where in the Northern part of the province Tatamagouche Brewing is getting their summer on the go a little early. We told you a couple of weeks ago about the return of Dekorum Lime, which sees their ultra-sessionable Dekorum lager meet treatment with tonnes of lime flavor. Well they didn’t stop there! This week two more variants on that ABV base are available that leverage organic juice concentrates to provide a little summery pizzazz. Dekorum Mandarin and Dekorum Blood Orange are both still 2.9% ABV crushers, each with a slightly different citrus twist. Sounds like an opportunity to grab (at least) 4 cans (OG, lime, and the two debutants) and commence with Dekorum Battle 2021!! That all said, if you’re a Dekorum lover, but not interested in the new fruity variants, check out their current online-only deal, $45 of your finest Canadian dollars for 24 refreshing cans!

Meanwhile, the Tata gang is gearing up for some birthday shenanigans next week as they turn seven years old! We’ll have all the details for you in next Friday’s post, but in advance of that, know that they’ll be running happy hour pricing from Thursday to Sunday on pints at the taproom along with some other on-site promos. There will also be four new beers for you to sample, including two low-abv funky offerings. Check back here next week for the full details on those and maybe keep an eye on Tata’s socials (Fb, Ig, Tw) for more info on the celebrations.

As Halifax and Nova Scotia are getting hopeful with their re-opening plan, Garrison is bringing some new releases for everyone to enjoy. First up, they have a new series called Hop Mess, which will be a mix of summer releases where the brewers will be experimenting with hop stands (adding hops at flameout and letting the hops stand in the hot wort before chilling) and heavy handed dry-hopping. In their own words they want to “create some messy, dank & crazy flavourful IPAs.” The first release of this series is Hop Mess IPA #1:  Aussie Rules, where they’re adding Eclipse, Topaz and Australian Cascade hops post-flameout and in the fermenter. At 6.7% this is going to be hop-forward upfront with low lingering bitterness. This is a limited run that is available now in cans only at their taprooms in Halifax. 

The other new release at Garrison taprooms is a partnership with Bulwark, as their Blush cider will be available in cans at the Garrison Seaport and Oxford locations. Using the fresh juice from Bulwark, this is fermented and canned at Garrison at their locations. If you know Blush, it’s a tasty local cider that balances wild berries and apple flavours at a very drinkable and fresh 5.8%. 

The newest addition to the Antigonish beer scene continues to put out new and interesting beers during their soft opening phase. This week, Candid Brewing Company is releasing Working Joe Breakfast Stout. Described by the brewery as “if cold brew were beer”, this one features Ethiopia-sourced coffee from renowned Halifax roaster, Java Blend. Working Joe is the first release in Candid’s Side Door Series of one-off batches. You can find it today (Friday), at Candid’s weekly pop-up sale (reminder that Candid will be opening for retail hours every Friday from 1:00 to 6:00 PM until it’s grand opening), for takeaway in pre-filled 1L growlers. Cans of their Northeast IPA, Party Line, and APA with blood orange, No Brainer, will also be available. 

From one university town to another, Wolfville’s Church Brewing also has a new small batch release ready for your weekend. Pomona is a cranberry sour that comes in at 4% ABV for your summer session enjoyment. Brewed with barley, wheat, flaked wheat, and oats, and lightly hopped with Magnum to the tune of 8 IBUs, you can expect notes of rhubarb and lemon zest on the nose, with a puckering cranberry flavour and tart finish. Pomona is named after the Roman goddess of fruit trees, gardens and orchards, something Wolfville and the surrounding Annapolis Valley can boast plenty of. You can grab some today in crowlers from their onsite Beer Market, or enjoy a pint on their expansive taproom/restaurant patio. 

You may recall that we passed on some info last week concerning two brand new Saisons from Big Spruce; well, they’re continuing that trend this week with yet another Saison, Fruit Bomb. Fermented with two different Brett strains (B. anomola and B. bruxellensis), along with a “clean” Saison strain, it was hopped with organic French Barbe Rouge. The yeast and hops blend together to produce “a nose of summer strawberries spilling into a bowl of peach and nectarine”, to complement the floral and spicy flavours you’d expect from any well-brewed Saison. Refreshing and dry, and 6.8% ABV, it’s the perfect warm weather sipper. Look for it on tap right at the source, and at your favourite Big Spruce watering holes across NS; looks like there should be some bottles available, too! 

But that’s not all, as Big Spruce has been busy as usual! They’re also (re-)excited about the first beer that was fermented and aged in their 500 L foedre, which has been fittingly named Début. Now technically this one was released back in April and may have been spotted in the city at Battery Park, but it’s not been seen in the HRM since then, so you could maybe suggest that this week marks a re-debut of Debut, which is debuting at Stillwell Freehouse right now! Described as “crisp and herbaceous,” it’s Oak-fermented, dry hopped with Huell Melon, and 4.9% ABV. Sounds like a debut that’s worth checking out!

Just one event to tell you about (beside the PEI Craft Beer Week goings on above)

Despite having to navigate through closures, pivoting to online sales, reopenings, and managing one of Halifax’s most popular outdoor watering holes, Stillwell continues to bring us the goods from out of province. This Saturday at the Beergarden, they’ll be pouring seven bangers from British Columbia’s Four Winds Brewing. Your intrepid beer bloggers have had the privilege to share several Four Winds bottles over the years, and we can confidently say that the quality is up there with the best that Canada has to offer. The event will feature styles that appeal to every beer palette, including lagers, a variety of IPAs, a table saison, and their flagship dry-hopped sour, Nectarous. Check out Stillwell’s Instagram post for more details on the beers and event. While we’re talking Stillwell, a friendly reminder that the 2021 version of Preach dropped in the Stillwell Brewing webstore and is now available for Friday deliveries in HRM and shipping country-wide. Look for Preach and the newest batch of Stilly Pils on rotation at the Beergarden and the Stillwell Freehouse patio, before indoor enjoyment comes next week.

A couple more things to look out for, before you hit the patios this afternoon…

It’s Pride Month all over the world (though the parade in Halifax this year will be in August) and Truro Brewing Company has something light, fresh and bright to celebrate. Pulp’d Fiction is a Berliner Weisse with Blood Orange. Always a delicious style that is tart and refreshing, this comes in at 4.0% and is available on tap today at the brewery. 

Another quick hitter from Halifax’s own Bishop’s Cellar as they’re bringing in some bottles from Quebec’s Brasserie Dunham. Always a pleasure to see in our local shops, there are 3 new bottles now available at Bishop’s with more releases from Dunham in the coming month. You can pick up a Mata Hari Gose, Berliner Passion Weisse and the classic Saison du Pinnacle on Saturday in-store or online.

 

Happy First Friday of June! The weather is warming, vaccination rates are rising, COVID cases are waning, all of which point to a rising from the ashes of 2020/H1 2021 for the breweries, cideries, and good beer spots in the region. Patios opened province-wide in Nova Scotia this week, the first time in 9 months, and in-brewery/-bar/-restaurant enjoyment is coming soon. Let’s celebrate with a whole buncha new beers available across the region!

Let’s start off by congratulating Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing Company on their third anniversary. To celebrate, the team has brewed Maple Pecan Pie, a big pastry stout to the tune of 10.5%. Local syrup from Château Scoudouc adds a sweet maple note, with cocoa nibs adding some bitter chocolate character. The beer was conditioned on pecans, dates and vanilla beans to provide additional sweetness and flavour complexity. Bottles are in short supply due to batch size, so be sure to hit up CAVOK Brewing* tomorrow when they are officially released! If you’re more in the mood for hops, fresh kegs of their NEIPA Magnetic Ale are on tap now Euston Park’s Parlee Beach location. This 6.5% take on the style is packed with tropical fruit and citrus notes from late additions of Galaxy, Mosaic, El Dorado and Citra, followed by a dry hop of Simcoe and Mosaic. 

*New 6.8% Hibiscus IPA out now from CAVOK, btw, Red Knight. It’s available in their Dieppe taproom and for delivery and shipping online.

On Nova Scotia’s North Shore, the Tatamagouche Brewery tiny patio re-opened this week, with 3 new and returning beers released coincidentally. Returning is Guava Heist, a 3.6% Berliner Weisse (aka sour wheat beer), aged on Organic guava for an intense tropical and citrus experience on the tart base. Available now in cans and on draught at the brewery, like the next two beers, as well as for online ordering for NS and Canada-wide shipping. Brand new this week is another sour beer, but done using a modern approach. Leveraging the new Philly Sour yeast, isolated and studied by a research group in Philadelphia, it is able to create lactic acid directly, rather than needing a Lactobacillus bacteria to do the heavy lifting. This means a very controllable and consistent beer from batch to batch, without the need to hold the fermenting wort at high temperature (currently necessary with Kettle Sours), yet still delivering a moderately tart and refreshing kick we love in sours. Tata is starting their journey with this new yeast with Spark, a 5.0% Sour Pale Ale. Forgoing any fruit for the debut, Spark features a light addition of tropical hops in the kettle, with loads of Eclipse and New Zealand-grown Cascade in the dry-hop. Horton Ridge Pale and Wheat Malts, and Oats, make up the grist upon which the hops and yeast play. The light acidity in the beer brightens the hop character and keeps you coming back for more.

Taking a left turn from the sour beers is Tata’s Dawdle, a 5.8% Belgian Pale Ale. A base of Pilsner and Munich, with a touch of Honey malts, give a clean foundation to build on. A large dosing of Hallertau Mittlefruh and Ariana in the kettle is complemented by plenty more H M in the dry-hop, lending floral and herbal notes to the subtle pepper and spicy yeast character. Cans available in store and online now!

Chester’s finest has a re-release that is now available just in time for the warmer turn of weather. Session Rye IPA is back from Tanner Brewing boasting a backbone of Rye flavour throughout, generous hop additions, but stays at a nice sessionable 4.5% ABV. This Session IPA has a few changes from the original release as they used more Rye and paired it with English Maris Otter malt for the grain bill. They used some other hops this time around as well, now using Lotus, Mosaic and Idaho 7. The result brings some nice Rye spice and body through a dry, refreshing ale with notes of citrus and tropical fruits from the hopping. This is available in their standard 500ml bottles for shipping from their online store or for in-store pickup. 

In one of the the recent 902 Brewcast tasting episodes, the boys broke the news that Big Spruce has added another canner to its lineup that will allow them to can small batch beers made on the original system adjacent to the Sprucetique. Over the last week, two new offerings and a returning seasonal have found their way into cans from the new line. FIrst up is the return of She’s Maibock, a German-style lager. Hopped with Huell Melon, this 6.5% lager features notes of melon and apricot to compliment a toasted bread crust malt profile. The two new releases are both takes on Saison, with two very different interpretations to contrast. Old World Saison honors the fruit and spice yeast derived notes of the style, with an added wood character from conditioning in oak barrels. Coming in at 7.4%, it uses Hallertau Tradition hops that are known for their earthy and grassy character. Finally, New World Saison adds an element that many North American brewers of Saisons have experimented with, by incorporating Brettanomyces, in this case for a co-fermentation with a yeast strain. The funky character from the Brett plays nicely with the Citra dry-hop, which lends notes of grapefruit and tangerine. You can find all of the new canned releases now at the Sprucetique (their Food Truck opens for the season today) or for province-wide delivery and Canada-wide shipping in Big Spruce’s online store. 

You may know Hampton, New Brunswick as being between Sussex and Saint John and along the Saint John River, but now you may remember them for Gridiron Brewing. They have a new beer out now, as they keep brewing and rolling out the good stuff. Zambapalooza is a NEIPA with exclusively Zamba hops (the BSG hop blend formerly known as Samba). This new hop blend brings complex flavour and aroma with stone fruits, tangerine and pineapple. Pairing that with barley and wheat from Island Malt House, as well as some oats, a smooth mouthfeel supports and softens any bite, keeping it true to the OG NEIPA. At 4.9% it has a lighter body, but a lot of the punch of a NEIPA. They’re brewing and they’re open Thurs –  Sun 3 – 6 PM, with free local and QV deliveries happening multiple times per week, so check out their website for their full offerings.

Never a stranger to bring the summer treats, Propeller has a new release available now. Peachberry is a Sour Ale featuring (you guessed it) Peach and Strawberry. Using natural strawberry and peach additions, this lightly sour ale is a balance of sweet and tart. With an IBU of 8, the hopping is minimal and the ripe strawberry and peach sweetness shine through at 5%. This is available now in 473ml can and 4-packs online and in person at Prop Shops, private stores and The Port by NSLC shortly, and will be popping up on tap at various establishments around the province any second now (perfect for those patios now open!). And great news that Propeller is filling growlers again! Of note, they only fill their own branded growlers, but the deposit on theirs is fully refundable so you’re not out anything!

Up the Eastern Shore from HRM lies Sheet Harbour, home of Sober Island Brewing, who have quite a few things on the go this week. First up, last week they put a new beer on the taps: Old School American IPA is pretty self-explanatory, we figure, but no less interesting for being so. Featuring hints of white pepper and pine you can think of it as a sibling to their Wavebreaker; better act soon if you want to try it, though, as we’ve been advised there’s not a whole lot left. Meanwhile, those looking for a Sober Island fix that’s a little closer to the city might be excited to hear that not only do they have a new location in Musquodoboit Harbour on the grounds of the Musquodoboit Harbour Railway Museum, but they’re now able to operate as a beer garden there. Grab some beer to go or to sit and sip in the sun, Thursday to Sunday, 12 – 8 PM; it’s dog and family friendly, and The Bandwagon food truck will also be there this weekend if you’re feeling the need for a nosh. Lastly, as you can imagine, with the beer garden comes the need for some more folks to help with the pouring and the serving and such. If you’re looking for such a spot for summer employment, you can forward your resumé along with an explanation of why you’d like to work for Sober Island to rebecca@soberbrewing.ca.

Two pieces of news from Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery. Let’s start with a new beer release. Keeping up with what is now a weekly trend of low-ABV releases, Light Bright is a 3.5% light beer with a spiffy can label that can’t help but make us nostalgic for perpetually losing the small plastic pegs from the namesake toy. The beer includes a touch of Vienna malt and whirlpool and dry-hop additions of Centennial and Simcoe hops that provide a citrusy aroma. Cans of Light Bright are available now at the taproom on Portland St.  And for those who’ve been patiently watching the space on the Dartmouth waterfront, you’ll be pleased to know that Brightwood is opening their Beergarden today (weather dependent). Seating capacity will start out at 100 (with groups now larger than 10 per the public health rules). In addition to being able to get food from Evan’s Seafood, this year’s menu will also include a hotdog and ice cream vendor. Check out Brightwood’s social channels for hours of operation and any weather related closures.  

Hop lovers in HRM (and beyond, these folks ship pretty much everywhere) can rejoice, as Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing has a brand new entry in their ongoing series of ultra hop forward and hazy New England IPAs. Modern Interpretation is the 6th entry so far and features the same grist, Golden Promise malt with some wheat, dextrapils and oats for body, Columbus in the mash and at first wort, Simcoe and Huell Melon in the hopback on the way out of the kettle, and a fermentation with the Foggy London yeast strain from Escarpment Labs. For featured hops in the dry hop, which is where the various “-ations” diverge from one another, this one was positively blasted with “stupid” amounts of Enigma and Galaxy along with a “little bit” (only by comparison, we’re sure) of Citra. Expect aromas of overripe papaya, raspberry and peach along with additional notes of mango and pear. Smooth, tropical, and intense, with a definite dankness, it’s 6.1%, 44 IBU and available at the brewery now. And if massively hopped hazebombs aren’t your thing, fear not, the 2C gang might very well still have you covered. Their recently release crispy Bohemian Pils Letna is still in full effect and this week also sees the return of Jubilee, the sibling of Jamboree. A fruited summer sour with blackberry and apricot, it’s lively, lush, and full of flavor. Order online for curbside pickup or delivery, or just head down to the brewery and grab some in person to go or to sip on their patio.

Halifax’s little brewery that could is back with their can-do attitude and a bunch of cans this week. After a few weeks of shutdown Tidehouse is back with four beers available: two new ones and two return engagements. First up on the new stuff front is Chrysalis, a beer that lands somewhere between a lager and an ale, featuring Pilsner malt and Czech Saaz hops paired with the classic California Lager yeast strain. A bit bitter, bready, and crackery, with a mild noble hop note, it’s 5.5% ABV and full-bodied, but finishes nice and dry, the ideal summer crusher. In short, and in the words of the brewery themselves, it’s “[a] beery beer that beers.” Also new from the Tidehouse crew this week is Saddle Up, an IPA in the New England style. Hazy and juicy, as the style demands, this 7% ABV beer does pull a little zig and zag from what you might be used to, first with a solid bitter backbone that’s often somewhat lacking in NEIPAs, and then by replacing the slightly sweet finish that’s so common with a more dry sensation. Hopped with Eclipse, Enigma, and Citra, you can rightly expect notes of fresh pineapple, ripe mango, and grapefruit.

On the returning beer front we find a couple of very summery beers just in time for what we hope is a banger of a weekend weather-wise in the HRM. Peachy Fuzzies is up first, their 4.5% sour that features Peach Rooibos tea from another local business, World Tea House. Nominally a sour, but balanced well by plenty of peach character and a definite iced tea vibe, this is definitely a beer that would be at home on a sunny afternoon on a patio. Also returning is a fresh batch of the brewery’s stone cold classic Hibiscus City. Also a sour and 4.5%, this one features Hibiscus (of course!) and lime and a gorgeous purply-red hue. Cans of all four of these beers are available at the brewery from noon – 6 PM today for sure, but keep an eye on their socials (Fb, Ig) for more information about other days when you’ll be able to pop down and, hopefully sooner rather than later, when they’ll be able to open their taproom for pouring pints again.

Halifax’s Garrison Brewing is embracing the warmer weather with two patio-worthy beers returning this week. Their Sour to the People is sour and puckering as all get out, and while it does not feature any fruit in the beer, lemon, peach, green apple, and lemon come through thanks to the acidic kick and other ingredients. At 5.5%, cans are available at both their Seaport and Oxford retail stores, as well as on tap at both locations (patio drinking!), with limited draught to a few places around town. Also returning is Georgia Peach, a 5.0% Wheat beer featuring plenty of peach coming through on the nose and palate, on top of the light base of Maritime Pale and Wheat malts. In addition to Garrison’s spots, cans will also be available at the private stores and NSLC in the next few days/week.

Having an events section at all is suddenly a novelty; here’s hoping this is the first in a new trend:

Would you believe that things have settled down enough in PEI for there to be a PEI Craft Beer Week this year?! We didn’t either, but hey, we’re mostly (very jealous) mainlanders in these parts. Starting tomorrow, Saturday, June 5th, and extending a full week to Saturday, June 12th, this year’s event is featuring both PEI Craft Beer as well as PEI Beef, with PEI Cattle Producers, Atlantic Beef Products Inc., and PEILCC all sponsoring and pretty much all the breweries on the Island involved. Right in line with that combo of sponsors, then, is this year’s signature event, Beef & Brews, where you’ll find food featuring PEI beef paired with PEI craft beer at various tap rooms around the province. Check out the main PEICBW website for a list of who’s participating and what their combo is. Also at that link you’ll find the complete schedule of events throughout the week, including live music, trivia nights, guided tastings, tap takeovers, and more. And there’s also a contest you can enter for a prize package from PEILLC (we have a sneaking suspicion that the prizes might involve beer in some way). Islanders, know that the rest of us are pretty jelly right now.

Now that you know where to find all the appropriate details for this week of events, check out some of the new beers you’ll be enjoying at them:

First up, PEI Brewing Company has a new seasonal release from their Gahan lineup. Walker West Coast IPA is named after their second location established on Walker Drive, where they were located from 2008 until 2013. This tribute IPA has a great malt backbone with sweet caramel malt but balances nicely with big tropical and pine notes from a variety of hops bring the IBU to 70. At 7% expect a deliciously aromatic, bitter and malty classic West Coast IPA. It’s available now in cans at PEI Brew Co and Gahan locations on PEI and will be available at brewpubs and PEI Liquor stores soon. 

Not only is the whole Island celebrating PEI Beer Week this week, but Bogside Brewing in Montague is also celebrating their second birthday and tomorrow (that’s Saturday, June 5th), they’re  having a birthday party and new beer release event. Bogside Radler is exactly what a Radler should be, a light (5% ABV) beer mixed with real juice (grapefruit, tangerine, and a splash of lime); an easy drinking, refreshing combo with a crisp finish, great  for hot weather and wherever the day takes you. You’ll find it for $5 pints tomorrow and 15% off 6-packs of 355 mL cans to go. Meanwhile, you’ll also find on-site oyster shucking (11:30 – 2:30 PM and 4:30 – 8:30 PM) , thanks to a team-up with Cascumpec Bay Oyster Co., live music from Dave Woodside (4 – 7 PM) and Adam MacGregor (7 – 10 PM), and lawn games in the beer gardens. Get the full deets from the Fb Event Page. And if you can’t make the party, but would like to celebrate at home with some Bogside, online ordering is still in full effect!

Copper Bottom in Montague is kicking off Beer Week a bit early, with a sneak peek of a new barrel-aged sour coming next week. Pouring today is Bramble, a raspberry sour heavily influenced by the Belgian Framboise style. Starting out with a multi-grain grist of Pilsner, Spelt, Raw Wheat and 2-row, the beer spent its first six months in Pinot Grigio taking in a whole bunch of funk and acidity from the mixed culture yeast used to ferment. It was then transferred onto raspberry puree for another two months allowing the tart and jammy character of the fruit to meld with the beer. While the majority of the 5.1% beer was bottled a couple of months back to develop some natural carbonation and will be released this coming Thursday, a small amount was kegged and available at the brewery this weekend. Pop in, maybe grab something from The Pizza Box onsite, and kick off your PEI Craft Beer Week today! 

Fresh off their win at last night’s Hopyard Beer Bar Battle of the Breweries, Village Green has a brand new hazy IPA available on draught and in cans in Cornwall today. Weird Clouds will be a rotating NEIPA, exploring different varietals and blends of hops. Version #1 features Columbus, Citra, Amarillo, and El Dorado, coming together for a billowy blast of tropical flavour and aroma, on a 6.7% soft base of Pilsner, Vienna, Flaked Oats, and Wheat malts. Head out for a pint and can, and pop by Holy Fox Food Truck set up next door!

If you’re looking for summer work in the beer business up on the North side of the Province, have a look at this:

Antigonish’s Candid Brewing is holding another retail pop-up in their space this weekend, today 3 – 6 PM, tomorrow 1 – 4 PM. And if working with them sounds like a great time this summer, you’re in luck! Through the Canada Summer Jobs program, they are looking at hiring both a Brewery Labourer (no direct brewing experience necessary, you’re bound to learn lots while on the job) and Social Events Co-ordinator. More information on both jobs and how to apply are on their website, and closes June 10.

It’s the last Friday in May in Atlantic Canada and after a short week thanks to Victoria Day, it’s time to start thinking about the weekend. Somewhat sadly, with the pandemic still upon us, that’s not going to include much in the way of in-person socializing or even, for many, trips to the cabin or cottage or camp or whatever you call it. But there have certainly been some rays of hope this week, with Nova Scotia’s case numbers continuing to drop, recoveries increasing, and vaccinations now open to everyone 12 years of age and older throughout the entire region. And our breweries definitely seem to be getting into a more summery mood as they hope for easing of intra- and inter-province restrictions in time to be slinging suds in person and on premise before our all-too-short warm season is over. Read below for all the news we could find and type up about this week’s releases. We also encourage our Nova Scotia readers in particular to check out the information that’s come out this week regarding the Auditor General’s report on the operations of the NSLC. If you’re a fan of the smaller independent breweries in NS, consider lending your voice to the crowd that’s calling for action by the Provincial Government. We already knew that these folks have been facing an uphill battle with largely antiquated liquor laws and COVID restrictions destroying many business models, but the AG’s report seems to suggest that the operating model of the NSLC does almost nothing to help our region’s local producers, folks who have been entrepreneurial in their communities, generating employment opportunities and keeping cash local. We’d love to see more folks out there amplifying their voices as they lobby the NS Government for change to support our community breweries before we start seeing them have to close up shop.

After contract brewing for the past couple of years, Hampton Brewing Company now has a place to call their own. Located at 64 Robertson Road just outside of town, HBC has set up at Fire Fly Forest Recreation. The taproom and patio are open seven days a week, Mon – Wed 4 – 8 PM, Thurs 4 – 10 PM, today and Sat 12 PM – 12 AM, and Sun 12 – 8 PM. Brewing on a 500 litre (4 BBL) Blichmann Hybrid system, they are currently pouring 5 beers for onsite enjoyment (or to take away), Crush Session IPA, Big Shoes American Pale Ale, Black Door Porter, Chameleon Blackberry Lime Sour, and just tapped for the weekend, Misty Mountain Hops NEIPA. Make the trip out, maybe even stay the night, and support the newest brewery in our region! Congratulations Hampton Brewing Crew!

Our friends at Landwash Brewery have handed over control of their brewhouse – temporarily – to their Packaging Manager, Nardia, to create a one-off beer of her very own. After no doubt hours of deliberation, she desired to brew something inspired by her home country of Australia. April 25th was the annual Anzac Day, a national day of remembrance originally designed to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp. This reminded Nardia of the biscuits that have been produced by ANZAC, which are made with coconut, rolled oats, and golden syrup. So… where were we going with this? Oh right, so the beer, Caribou Hill, was brewed to represent these biscuits! Named after the battle of Caribou Hill in World War I, where ANZAC and Newfoundland troops fought alongside each other, the beer is a 5% “Coconut Biscuit Brown Ale”. We’re betting you can already taste it in your minds (is that a thing?), but rest assured it’s a dark brown brew with notes of coconut, and plenty of biscuity malt character throughout. Cans are available now at the brewery, and if you get there REALLY fast, you may be lucky enough to purchase some of the cookies that inspired the beer! All money raised from cookie sales will be donated to the Canadian Mental Health Association – Newfoundland.

Candid Brewing in Antigonish opened their doors last week for the first of their “retail pop-ups”, and are back at it again this weekend for even more of the same. Joining their Humdinger West Coast IPA are two more of their core beers, namely the No Brainer and Party Line. No Brainer is a 5.2% ABV Pale Ale, with blood orange juice added for an extra citrus blast on the palate. Party Line is a 6.2% ABV Northeast IPA, featuring plenty of tropical and bright citrus character from loads of hops added late in the process, for a smooth and low bitterness beer. All three beers are available at their pop-up shop at 88 College Street today 3 – 6 PM, and again tomorrow 1 – 4 PM. And keep an eye on their and neighbour The Townhouse’s Social Media (IG) for the details on a food and beer pairing take-away bundle available tomorrow and Sunday.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been bringing you news about more and more breweries embracing lower ABV styles in smaller packages, mainly 355ml cans. Trailway is the latest to embrace this trend with the release of Fetch Pale Ale. Let’s start with the packaging. For the first time, Trailway will be offering 12 packs of 355 ml cans. Starting off, you can find them at the brewery, but in a few weeks it will see province-wide distribution through ANBL. Now, onto the beer. Fetch is made using Canadian pilsner malt and hops sourced exclusively from New Brunswick producers. In another first, Trailway is saying goodbye to its trademark haze, and filtering the beer to a high degree of clarity. Expect notes of honey from the malt with floral hope notes and a mild bitterness.

Rough Waters Brewing, up in Deer Lake, NL, has released a new beer in their Neighbeerly series of beers that each support a local charity. This time, they’re benefiting the Islaview Foundation, with $1 from each bottle sold going to that organization. You’ll also find it for sale at Marie’s Mini Mart locations on the East Coast, Ultramar Corner Stores in Deer Lake and on West Street in Corner Brook, and Rudy’s Pub & Grub in Gros Morne. The swank new beer bar in St. John’s, Brewdock, also has it on tap and will also be donating proceeds. So what is the beer, you ask? It’s a fairly self-describing Strawberry Mango Milkshake India Session Ale, of course! At only 4% ABV you should be able to go through a couple of them as you decide whether it’s the Strawberry, Mango, or hops that you like the best.

Continuing to fly under the radar (at least, in our opinion) Nova Scotia bright spot and future destination once things open back up, Lunn’s Mill has a new release this week. Sour Batch Kveiks is a Sour IPA clocking in at 7% on the ABV scale and this style is always a fun one to try. Citrus and stone fruit complement a ripe orange with lime sour taste, reminiscent of Sour Patch Kids. Bringing some bitterness to the finish, this uses El Dorado for the hops and a Kveik yeast from Escarpment Labs. Available now for growler fills and pints at the brewery, cans will be available in the coming weeks at the private stores around HRM. 

Cornwall’s Village Green continues to churn out interesting styles, with two new releases over the last two weeks. First up is Centennial Black Ale. This 7.5% ale features bready notes, chocolate and orange flavours, with enough bitterness from Centennial to keep things balanced. Find this one on tap or for fills at the brewery, as well as cans to go. And brand new this week is West Coast IPA. Coming it at 7.9%, expect more malt character and bitterness than Village Green’s previous IPAs that leaned more into tropical hop notes, thanks to Columbus, Cascade, Amarillo, and Mosaic in the boil, and then a double dry-hopping from a combo of Motueka, Amarillo, and Citra, and later Idaho 7. Hops lovers will want to get out to Cornwall this weekend to snag this before it’s gone!

Chester’s Tanner & Co continues to dip their toes in the mead pool, offering more choices for fans of fermented beverages, especially those seeking a gluten-free option. Their newest release is Oak Aged Raspberry Mead. This one starts with local honey from Cosman & Whidden. Towards the end of fermentation, it was transferred to an oak barrel from Ironworks Distillery, where it finished fermentation with some raspberry purée. This 8% ABV mead has made its way into bottles that are available now at the Duke. St taproom and through Tanner’s online store. 

Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing has a stated goal of focusing on Belgian-inspired beers, and Saison certainly qualifies. Originally brewed on the farms of Wallonia in the winter months with leftover ingredients, and then conditioned for summer consumption, there has always been a wide range of characteristics to what we know as Saison. Of late, and certainly in our region, when most people think of the style they think of a fairly light-bodied spritzy beer with plenty of yeast character, including pepperiness and even some tartness. Those who experienced Serpent’s first iteration of Sprytown Saison back in March know that it was more on another part of the spectrum, with rustic malt character and some deep caramel undertones. Why are we telling you all this? Because there’s a new version available, their Summer Edition, and it’s not so much like the first one. Drier, lighter, and with some definite tart and fruit character, this new 5.5% ABV edition should be an excellent refresher on hot summer days. You can find both versions, Spring and Summer, available from the brewery, just make sure you ask for the one you want. Grabbing one of each would be an excellent way to introduce yourself to the breadth of the Saison style, while giving you something to look forward to, as they plan to brew a different version of this beer for each of the seasons of the year. Pop out to their spot behind Canadian Tire on Dentith this weekend to pick some up, and complete your visit by grabbing something from Jamdouns Food Truck, specializing in Jamaican cuisine, who are onsite 2 – 8 PM Saturday and 2 – 6 PM Sunday.

Want more tiny beers in tiny cans? Check out Tatamagouche Brewing’s newest taste of summer, Dekorum Lime. Tata has added organic lime to its 2.9% light lager for a super sessionable sipper, available in 355 ml cans. If you’re not feeling the lime, check out Arvo, their 4.6% Helles Lager, also back in stock this week. In other Tata news, the brewery’s retail store has reopened for in-person takeaway, with capacity limits in place. Pair that with a 15% discount of Tata clothing (in person and online), and your weekend is set!

Although not specifically mentioned in government reopening plans, the gradual return to normal times means that we’ll surely be seeing more beer events across the Atlantic region. Craft breweries on PEI are kicking off the summer season with PEI Craft Beer week. Running from June 5-12, the celebration of local beer features daily events that include tastings, musical entertainment and food pairings. Check out https://www.peicraftbeerweek.com/ for all of the details, and if you’re on FB, their Events pages. And while you wait for the weekend’s festivities to begin, check out Beer Trivia with the PEI Beer Guy at the Upstreet taproom on Thursday night. Trivia runs from 7-9 PM and you can call the taproom to book your team of 4-6 people.

A couple of brewery job listings for you to peruse before signing off this week.

If you’re looking for an industry job in the Moncton/Dieppe area, check out the jobs page for Flying Boats Brewing. They are currently looking for a Sales Representative to join their team.  The ideal candidate will have an outgoing attitude and a passion for craft beer. Applications for the position close on June 6.

Landwash Brewery in Mount Pearl is hiring a cellarperson to join their team. Mostly working on the “cold side” of the brewhouse, that is, everything after the brewing, tasks include cleaning, transferring, cleaning, packaging (kegs and cans), cleaning, and more cleaning. 😉 But in all seriousness, the position is open to anyone enthusiastic to get into the beer world, but does not require brewing experience, so this could be just the perfect way in for you! Check the job posting on Indeed, and give them a shout before June 1.