Happy Friday and hello Summer! The wildfires in Nova Scotia seem to be under control and our prayers for rain were answered. With a little more mental and emotional capacity, we can focus on lots of beer news as we ramp into the busy season for your favourite beer-y locations.
The beer landscape in Newfoundland is getting a little busier, as a new brewery opens on the Northern tip of the Avalon. Bay de Verde is a community of 400 people located at the mouth of Conception Bay, about 2 hours from downtown St. John’s. And on Noonan’s Lane in BdV is the Bay de Verde Brewing Company, who are opening their doors today! Launching with a handful of beer, named in honour of the area they call home: Backside Blonde (4.5% ABV) is named after one of two harbours encompassing the town of Bay de Verde (the other being the eponymous Bay de Verde); Barter House Red (5.5%), named in honour of the building that the brewery calls home. Also available is Trail Time, an Apricot Sour. These first three will be available on draught in their taproom, as well as in cans to go. Joining them on draught only is Speckle Trout Stout, for those looking for something a little darker. And launching next week is Island Pond Ale, an IPA. The brewery is open today from 3 PM, and again tomorrow 12 – 10 PM, and Sunday 2 – 8 PM. In addition to cans and growler fills to take away, you will be able to enjoy their beer in the taproom! Much more with Kim and Co of Bay de Verde soon! We\ve updated the Good Beer Map with all of the details you need to plan your weekend adventure!
This weekend the gang at Tatamagouche Brewing is celebrating nine wonderful years of providing some of our favorite barley-based liquids (and other liquids as well!), and of course that means some celebratory releases! First up is this year’s iteration of Saltwater Cowboy, their tequila barrel-aged gose. Expect perhaps a bit less acidity this year than in previous batches, but that same touch of salinity and hint of lemon to go along with the tequila character from the barrel. Next up is a pair of dark beers with a common starting point, a big, rich porter. Beginning with a grist of Horton Ridge pale malt, Munich, and Vienna, the brew team added some caramel malts for sweetness and body, and chocolate wheat and Carafa Special III for balancing roastiness. It was bittered with Magnum to the tune of about 30 IBU and dosed later in the boil with unsung hop variety Celeia before heading to the fermenter where, rather than the lager yeast used in their multi-award-winning Two Rivers Baltic Porter, it was inoculated with good ol’ US-05, but fermented cooler than usual for a still clean, but quicker result. Half the batch then went into Knob Creek Bourbon barrels while the other half was destined for Foursquare Rum barrels where they slept soundly for a year or so, picking up hints of their respective spirits and their wooden sarcophagi. After packaging, they were laid down again for a few months to take the slightly boozy edges off. At 10.1% and 9.8%, respectively, Lilith (Bourbon) and Lila (rum) are big beers, but you can still expect plenty of subtlety in their depths. Expect a smooth integration of the Bourbon in Lilith and some fruit and baking spice character in Lila, whilst both exhibit oak tannins and vanilla from the barrels. Our recommendation is to get a couple (or more!) of each, sharing and contemplating the complexity of one with friends now, and coming back again in a year or two to see how they’ve evolved. Lastly, fans of Tata’s ongoing Intertidal IPA series can rejoice, as there’s a new one hitting the shelves. Using one of the hottest new hops on the market (so new it hasn’t been given its proper name yet), this one is called Intertidal HBC 1019. While that may not quite roll off the tongue, the beer itself will likely roll smoothly down your gullet. Built off a pretty standard NEIPA grist, with pale malt and Vienna, but also haze-friendly malted oats, wheat, and rolled barley, it was mash hopped with Cascade, whirpooled with HBC 1019 along with another newer variety, Nectaron and old school Chinook, before being fermented with a yeast blend (S-33 and K-97) and then hammered in the dry hop with more HBC 1019. Expect a luscious mouthfeel, medium bitterness, and a smack in the mouth of oranges that give way to peach, melon, and hints of vanilla and coconut. All of these beers are available now at the brewery in cans or for online ordering. Even better, if you spend $95 or more within the Maritimes, or $150 or more elsewhere in Canada (except the Territories and Manitoba), you’re eligible for free birthday shipping! And if you happen to be in the environs of the brewery this weekend, definitely plan to head down and check out their on-site celebrations all weekend long.
Back in Newfoundland, Bannerman has a new tap-only release. Picture This is a cream ale that started with a base of Pilsner malt, flaked corn, caramel malt and a touch of ground coffee from Cape Broyle’s Cape Coffee roasters. It was then dry-hopped with a blend of British and French hops before being conditioned on more coffee, this time using cracked beans. Using coffee in a lighter beer allowed more subtle coffee notes like fruit and honey to come forward, without being overpowered by the roastiness. The 4.8% ABV Picture This is on tap on Duckworth Street now for pints and growler fills, with cans coming next week.
Staying with the lovely B breweries on the Rock, Banished Brewing has released Little Jim, a Session IPA, a 4% version of their Jim Time DIPA which was dedicated to their friend that helped get the brewery up and running. This smaller version keeps the same flavours of notes of citrus, melon, and mango. It is available now in cans and on draught at the brewery and will likely be available at the shops across Newfoundland as well. But we suggest getting it at the source and trying the newly opened Best Friend Burger food truck located at the brewery to feed both your mind and soul!
Hitting the treble for the Newfoundland B breweries, Bootleg Brew Co has a new brew celebrating 20 years of Cycle Solutions serving the cycling community of Corner Brook. 20 Years Sippin’ Beers is a Hazy IPA brewed for Pete and the Cycle Solutions crews. The name comes from the anniversary shirt from the store that is a play on ”20 Years Changing Gears” shirt and the beer is a New England style IPA that is very juicy and packed with Mosaic, Citra and Amarillo hops. This is canned and available on tap from the brewery.
The Tusket Falls crew has a new iteration of Next Phaze available now. A Hazy IPA release where they continually iterate, this is the second batch (can stamp is 06/05/23) and still focuses on the Phantasm additions. For this release there is no mash hop addition, but Citra and Riwaka are otherwise featured throughout. Using a base of a thiolized Cosmic Punch yeast to unlock that Phantasm, this should bring some big aromas of citrus and tropical fruit in a 6.4% This is canned and available at both locations (North End Halifax and Tusket).
We’ve got a new one from New Brunswick’s CAVOK Brewing, as they’re bringing the light and refreshing drinks for the coming season. La Coast is a light lager with lime additions at 4.3%. Perfect for the summer! This is a light lager with fresh lime puree added for secondary fermentation. This is available directly from the brewery on tap for growlers and pints and also in 473ml cans!
Chef Stephen Barrett at Seasoned Plate is kicking off the second season of Pints & Plates this week, as they release recipes for food that can be made at home, showcasing a Nova Scotian brewery and beer to pair. This week is a feature with Truro Brewing Company, using their Willow St Wheat in a cucumber salad, and pairing it with their Trackside American Pale Ale. The full recipe and story behind the brewery is out now, and check out the documentary of Pints & Plates, featuring several of this season’s breweries (plus a unique beverage with history from the other side of the world, brewed in Nova Scotia!).
Speaking of TBC, they will be moving from their current location just down the street to 72 Inglis Place in downtown Truro. Today is their last day in their current location, so help drink them dry, so they have fewer kegs to move! The new location will be opening July 8th, and therefore some events that were planned for late June have been postponed. We’ll have lots more on their new spot in early July.
For those looking to dip their toes into homebrewing, or take a breather from the tough job of making wort and stick to straightforward fermentation, BrewHQ has the answer for you! This week, they used the system at their Burnside location, which also serves as the brewhouse for Arcade Brewing in the same space, to brew up a bright and bitter wort for you to take home. Packaged in aseptic bladders, you’ll want a milk crate or other appropriate container to handle it safely for the trip back to your fermentation vessel. With an OG of 1.062, and expected FG of 1.013 (yeast and temp dependent, of course), you’ll have yourself a 6.5% ABV, 50 IBU IPA hopped with Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe, for tropical and stone fruit characteristics. They are also brewing up a wort for a Blonde Ale today, so you may be able to feed two birds with one seed with a visit to 80 Thornhill Drive this afternoon! And if you prefer to visit your local homebrew shop, you should be able grab the IPA now, and Blonde later this weekend, at Noble Grape locations in Bayers Lake, Coldbrook, and Cole Harbour.
In addition to Tata’s birthday bash this weekend there’s something afoot in NS for next weekend too.
Just one event to tell you about today, but we want to be sure you grab tickets before they sell out! Lunn’s Mill is hosting a Drag Trivia Night next Friday, June 23rd. With performances from Queera Bangs and Hellebore Mandrake in between rounds of trivia about Drag, Pride, and LGBTQ+ history and culture, it is sure to be a super fun evening. And of course, Lunn’s Mill is releasing a new beer to celebrate, Peachy Queen! Based on their Charming Molly Blonde, PQ was aged on peach puree for a vibrant colour and loads of stone fruit character. You’ll have to wait until next Friday for the beer to launch at trivia, so be sure to grab your tickets today to avoid missing out!
A couple breweries in the region are looking for staff; maybe you’re the one?
The PEI folks at Barnone are hiring a Bartender and Manager, so if you’re handy to that area of the Island and love beer, shoot them a resume here. They also appear to have a new Coffee Blonde on tap, and are open Friday night (5-10 PM) and Saturday afternoon (1-5 PM) this week.
Staying with the PEI hiring news, Upstreet Brewing is hiring in Charlottetown. They’re looking for a Brewery Assistant in a full time position, welcoming people new to the industry as well as those already having worked in beer. The job is described as having the opportunity to grow with the company and experience with brewing industry jobs. Check out the listing and full details here.
And here are your last beery bits before you go forth and stock up for the weekend:
The robots have been busy in Halifax, as their third location is ready to roll! Good Robot Commons is opening this evening directly across from the Halifax Commons specifically on North Park and Nora Bernard (formerly Cornwallis). The new, dog friendly, inclusive, outdoor, food-offering, beer-offering space opens up at 6 PM today (Friday, June 16). You can follow the fun at their location’s brand new IG handle.
Lone Oak continues their expansion across the Island on Monday, as they open their Lone Oak Beer Garden at Avonlea Village in Cavendish. The location features seating for more than 100, with most of it being outside on their partially-covered patio. All of the beer you’ve grown to love in Borden-Carleton, Charlottetown, and Fox Meadow in Stratford, is now close to the beach at Cavendish! Keep an eye on things through the Beer Garden account.
We’ve got a few needles of news dropping out of Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing this week. Guava Get Me Some is a returning favourite IPA that doesn’t shy away from the guava flavour and aroma, as it uses real guava puree along with El Dorado & Mosaic hops . This is zesty, bold and refreshing. Get this one (and it’s always lovely can design) from the brewery or online. It’s 6.4% and 62 IBU. and available now.
In other news, we’ve got the first non-alcoholic beer coming out from them with Kitchen Partly. Yes, you read that right, Kitchen Partly, not Party! This is absolutely trying to match Kitchen Party note-for-note, but in a 0.5% version. This could be pretty huge for the non-alc drinkers who struggle to find their go-to NA offering, especially on the hoppier side. Look for itonline and at the brewery now, but it will also be rolled out to restaurants and other shops across the province.
Propeller has a new pilot beer on draught at their Gottingen and Quinpool taprooms today. Brewed on the small system on Quinpool Road, Propeller Gose stays true to the German style, incorporating lots of wheat in the grain bill, light acidity from Lacto, and salt to keep the beer refreshing. Low in alcohol and bitterness, this could be a summer sipper, however it won’t last that long, so pop by either/both locations this weekend!
Chris from Brew York visited our neck of the woods last weekend, as he made a tour of a half-dozen breweries in the St. John’s area. He has highlighted them on his Instagram, as well as included a cheeky ranking of the five macro-brewed-Newfoundland-exclusive beers in this week’s Substack. Read more there!