CAVOK Brewing

All posts tagged CAVOK Brewing

We’re officially a month into fall, although you might not know it with the weather in most of the region over the last couple of weeks, and our breweries seem to have firmly turned the corner from traditional end-of-summer burnout to finding a second (third? seventh?) wind and stomping into the leaf pile with fun new liquids for all of us to enjoy, especially so-called “cooler weather styles.” With all four Atlantic Provinces now requiring patrons of indoor public spaces to be vaccinated, we remind you to make sure your documentation is in order before heading out for a pint and to above all, please have patience with (often understaffed) restaurants and bars as they continue to navigate a bunch of new processes and procedures that they never asked for, but have no choice but to participate in. In HRM especially, as we come to the end of burger week, remember that it’s been extra crazy here and maybe some additional patience (and generous tips!) are in order. And with that, here’s what you need to know about this week’s new beers and upcoming beery events.

Although the news hasn’t been super regular coming out of North Brewing in Dartmouth over the past few months, that doesn’t mean things haven’t been going on! An Insta update this week shows lots of progress on their new Halifax-side-of-the-harbour location in Timberlea, fuelling hopes that folks can be buying beer there before the holidays and making it a destination for a sitdown pint in the new year. Meanwhile, at their primary facility, they’re settling into fall and continuing to put out interesting beers – two weeks ago we told you about the Coco Pony and Beernana releases (which we’ve heard blend quite nicely together) – like this week’s new one, Chai Wala Stout. Partnering with Aman Dosanj of Paisley Notebook and, more appropriate to our purposes, small batch spice blend purveyor Edible Adventures, this one does what it says on the tin, pairing warm and comforting chai spices with a deep and dark malty beverage. Starting on the malt side with healthy doses of oats for mouthfeel, chocolate malt for color and roastiness, and lactose for some residual sweetness, the first dose of chai was added in the kettle during the boil (not unlike making tea), with a second extraction taking place on the cold side. As you might imagine, the result is a “rich, spiced stout, reminiscent of a sweet cup of masala chai.” You can find it in cans to go (and pints to stay!) at North’s Portland Street location and Battery Park, or for online ordering. And if you go to the source, and you find yourself thinking, “I’d like to have some of this spice blend that’s not already in beer,” you can buy pouches of this limited release blend at the brewery.

Truro Brewing Company has released a new Hazy Pale Ale this week, and are taking part in the world-wide Brave Noise Beer collaboration. In May 2021, Brienne Allan of Notch Brewing in Salem, MA, shared her story of descrimination and misogyny while working in the beer industry, and asked other women in beer to share their own. This launched wave after wave of people sharing their experiences, and ignited a flame to call out bad actors in the industry, and make beer safer and more welcoming to all, including women, LGBTQIA, and non-binary individuals. The Women of the Bevolution, Allan (who has since left Notch to pursue other endeavours), and Notch are hosting the collaboration to continue the momentum, and make real changes by encouraging breweries around the world to brew the beer, promote the movement, and donate funds to groups supporting related organizations. TBC’s Brave Noise Beer is a 4.5% ABV Hazy Pale Ale, featuring a base of Pils malt, with Oats to bump up the mouthfeel, with Sabro and Mosaic hops added late in the boil and whirlpool to contribute more aroma and flavour than bitterness. Bottles of Brave Noise are available now on Inglis Street in Truro, where it can also be found on tap for pints. TBC is donating proceeds from this beer to The Lotus Centre, a non-profit resource for women in Truro, offering counselling, programming, clothing, hygiene products, and much more, all free to their clients. While they are the first brewery in the region to take part in collaboration, we hope they are not the last! Interested breweries can sign up at the link above, it’s not too late!

Up in Port Rexton, the eponymously named brewery has a new beer released last weekend to celebrate friends and long time PR tap account, Adelaide Oyster House in St. John’s, who are celebrating their 7th birthday. It’s a Vibe is a mango guava wheat beer, super fruit-forward and decidedly crushable. Containing both mango and guava, of course, it gets an additional citrusy tropical boost from a small dry hop of Galaxy and Azacca hops. Finishing dry and coming in at a very quaffable 4.5% ABV, it’s the kind of beer one might expect could pair very nicely with oysters. Look for it packaged in cans at both of Port Rexton’s locations (HQ and the St. John’s Retail shop), and on tap at PR and Adelaide, of course.

Fully loaded with a new release this week is Antigonish’s Half Cocked Brewing with Braeside Bitter. Named after the once famed Antigonish bowling alley, “Braeside Lanes”, the bowling alley not only lends its name to this Bitter style ale, but the wood from lane 2 was donated to the brewery to create their bar top. It sounds like it’s going to permanently join the lineup at Half Cocked as this classic style is always a crowd-pleaser, whether you’re in England or Antigonish. Using all English ingredients to stay true to style, they just had to tweak their local water a bit to get what they were looking for. Bringing traditional flavours of a biscuit and caramel malt body, you’ll get notes of honey, lemon and tea based on their hop blend. This is available now on tap and for growler fills at the brewery. 

Always keeping us on our toes (and wishing that we could get there and try their beer!) Secret Cove Brewing is releasing Scoff, a 3% table beer.  As always, they keep with Newfoundland and Labrador themes and pride with their releases, staying true to their terroir, values and traditions. Made for gathering and doing things themselves, this beer welcomes all in a true East Coast spirit. This table beer is brewed with a variety of English hops bringing herbal and earthy notes, pairing with Vienna, rye and flaked barley in the grain bill. There is a lot in here for “just a 3% beer” to pair nicely with all your fall Newfoundland traditions of Jiggs dinner, deer, moose and game season. This is available in 473 mL cans from the brewery today and will likely make its way at various locations across the island in the coming weeks.

From the Lake City (Dartmouth), Lake City Cider has a new release in their Vine Series with Strawberry Pinot Grigio Sparkling Cider. In this series, they use their normal base of Nova Scotia apples for cider, but infuse wine elements from different grapes and sometimes fruit additions. In this release, the apples are complemented with Niagara Pinot Grigio grapes and local Nova Scotia strawberries. The result is a light and refreshing sparkling cider pairing well with many different foods. It’s available now in 355 mL cans and is 9%. You can find this at the cidery or online, and they deliver 7 days a week!

Staying in Dartmouth, New Scotland Brewing is embracing the fall weather by releasing Old Buzzard, a dry Irish Stout. This is a traditional dry Irish Stout with a bit of a twist (we’d expect nothing less from these brewers!) in the addition of locally roasted organic coffee and organic cacao nibs to enhance the flavour. Light in the mouth, dark in the glass, with lovely coffee and chocolate sweetness, it’s a lovely ale for the time of year. A special shout-out to Scott, a co-founder of the brewery (Mike is another founder and Head Brewer), who brewed this beer alongside the production team. It’s been awhile since Scott has been in the brewhouse, so definitely give him a shout-out if and when you try this one on tap. This beer is a very sessionable 3.7% and is available starting today (Friday) only on tap at their Downtown D-town brewery. 

Halifax beer drinkers have been spoiled with another great taproom addition, the Gottingen Street location of Tusket Falls Brewing Co. This week sees the release of Predictable Chaos, available in cans and for pints now. This 7.1% beer is being called a Blackberry Cinnamon Sour Crunch (queue the BJCP style writers scratching their heads). The kettle sour features additions of blackberries, cinnamon, vanilla bean and their in-house baked granola, which in our books, also makes this a perfectly acceptable breakfast beer. And for those on the South Shore, their brewery location is also carrying the Chaos.

Over on the Island (Prince Edward Island, that is), Modern Brewer’s Village Green in Cornwall has a brand new IPA to tickle your tastebuds and satisfy your hop cravings. Coastal avoids the great IPA beef of the 2010s by being “not quite East Coast, not quite West Coast, but definitely wet.” Leveraging classic citrussy Cascade, pithy, piney and resinous Chinook, and stone fruity and slightly tropical Amarillo, it’s got a classic aroma and moderate bitterness in a 6.1% ABV package. It’s already on tap for pints and in cans to go at the tap room in Cornwall; and if you decide to head down and try it or grab some to go, maybe give a thought to trying/grabbing some of their super-sessionable, eminently quaffable 3% Dark Mild.

In other Village Green new, they’re looking for part time bartenders. VG’s beertender/assistant brewer/tastemaker Mark Misener is heading to the Big Smoke to work at Bar Volo, and so there are big shoes to be filled! “Celebrating inclusion and diversity in both people and beer”, all are welcome to start or continue their beer career, by reaching out via email. And Misener will be pouring his last beers in Cornwall next Friday, so be sure to pop by for a visit before then to see him off!

What’s on the go this weekend? In HRM, tomorrow is the last day of Halifax Burger Week, so be sure to get out and support your local restaurants, breweries, and Feed Nova Scotia all in one trip! 

Some Moncton news from a brewery that always has updates for our readers, Tire Shack Brewing has a new beer release and a food event on Sunday. First up, the beer! We’ve had a few white stout releases over the last few months and Tire Shack is joining the fray, releasing Lavender-Chocolate White Stout today! At 5%, this is a white stout featuring both a flavour pop and smoothness from a mix of lavender and chocolate additions. Don’t let the appearance fool you, as this isn’t a classically dark stout, but it tastes like it could be! A limited release as it was brewed on their pilot system, it is only available for pints and growlers at the brewery. Come try it out on Sunday when they’ll be hosting Birria Dave’s at 1pm for Mexican street tacos. Last time they hosted this pop-up event, all the tacos sold out in 90 minutes!  

A friendly reminder that Halifax’s Stillwell Freehouse is hosting a tap takeover by Microbrasserie Les Grands Bois tomorrow. More details on the tap list and fun are available in last week’s post, and their IG page. And keep your calendar free for next Saturday, October 30th, as Stillwell on Barrington hosts Willibald Farm Distillery & Brewery from Ayr, Ontario, bringing a full dozen taps of beer, ranging from lagers to sours, stouts to Triple IPAs, with the folks from Willibald in the house to chat all things beer. We hear there will be some special food coming out of the kitchen too, so come both thirsty *and* hungry!

Those who have attended one of the many Craft Draught Showdown events at the Carleton in Halifax over the past few years know that they’re a great way to not only sample a bunch of tasty beers and enjoy some excellent food but to also have some fun in the process. So whether you’ve been and are looking to go again or haven’t and are excited to try it, you should be aware that these events are back, with one of the HRM’s newest breweries, Serpent Brewing out of Spryfield, taking on one of the oldest craft breweries in the city (and the province, and the region, really), Propeller Brewing on Wednesday, October 27th at 7 PM. As always, five food courses from chef Mathias Probst will be paired with a 4oz pour of a beer from each brewery. Patrons will vote for the most successful pairing with each course, with a winner declared at the end of the night. Tickets are $75, which includes tip but not HST ($86.25 all in) and, conveniently, can be ordered online. Seating is limited, as always, so we’d recommend getting your tickets soon if you want to attend this one!

We have a couple of quick hits from Dieppe before we dismiss you for the week. Be sure to visit your fave local good beer bar, restaurant, or brewery this weekend, to help them keep the great stuff pouring!

Up first is Flying Boats Brewing with Evil Lover, an 8% ABV Double IPA from their Test Pilot Series. This one features large hop additions for bittering (82 IBUs), and also during the whirlpool and dry hop to amp up the aromas of citrus, berries and apricots. Cans of Evil Lover are available now at the Dieppe taproom and through their online store. 

We’ll leave you with a new kettle sour from CAVOK Brewing. Long Weekend is a low bitterness and sessionable take on the style, with only 6 IBUs and 4.7% ABV. It’s available now in cans and on tap for pints or growler fills.

The great news keeps rolling out in our region, with New Brunswick entering Phase 1, and almost immediately Phase 2, of their Path to Green, with Nova Scotia allowing in-person dining and drinking Wednesday, allowing many of our favourite watering holes to re-open. And the re-imagined Atlantic (and Maine?) Bubble looks to become a reality next week as vaccine uptake and recoveries trend up, and case numbers trend down. We’re doing it folks, it’s happening! Let’s celebrate with more than a dozen new beer, plenty of events, and new openings to tell you about this week!

One of the spots that has been able to open this week is a brand new Nova Scotia-only beer bar in Lower Sackville, years in development and months in the construction. Tapestry Beer Bar is located at 833 Sackville Drive, just up from the Beaverbank Connector Road at Exit 2 of the 101. Concentrating on “the smaller breweries around the Province that don’t have a footprint in the HRM”, Tapestry owner Ian Smith is a long-time beer fan, and has driven across the province seeking out breweries that may not otherwise be pouring in the area. The 20-tap draught system features beer and cider from Yarmouth to Sydney, with Heritage Brewing, Hell Bay, Horton Ridge, Tanner & Co, Smokehouse Nano, Hilltop Hops, Harbour, and Big Spruce showcasing the best from away on their initial tap list, as well as locals such as Off Track, Lake City, Unfiltered, and fellow Sackville establishment Ol’ Biddy’s. Even with COVID restrictions, there is plenty of room for those looking to pop in for a pint, with seating for 50 in 10 bubbles in booths, lounging spaces, and stools at the bar. Beer and cider is the focus at Tapestry, with visitors allowed to bring their own food if they’d like, taking advantage of their great location, with Pizzadelic and Apt 3 Coffee in the same building, and Mary Brown’s and Kaiser’s Subs just a quick walk away. Open Tuesday to Friday 2 – 11 PM, and Saturday and Sunday 12 – 11 PM, be sure to pop by and support the Tapestry crew in their quest to bring more great beer to Lower Sackville!

If you’ve been paying attention to your beery social media this week, you may have noticed that TrailWay has been hyping a collaboration with an Ontario brewery that they recently did (virtually, of course) and would be releasing this week. That beer – and the info to go with it! – has finally dropped as of yesterday, so here’s the scoop to get you fired up on your way over to TW’s taproom in Fredericton to grab some cans. The beer, The Big Dance, was brewed with Town Brewery from Whitby, ON. Like TrailWay, Town has a majority of their beers in the “hazy and hoppy” category, and is definitely well-regarded in that particular area (at least). The two breweries discovered that they have more in common than just their tastes – a staff member at Town has a parent who went to prom with a parent of one of the TW co-owners, hence the name of the beer! The beer itself is an APA that was hopped with no-doubt large amounts of Amarillo, Strata, and Eclipse, with hibiscus flowers and passion fruit also added during the brewing process. The beer is looking hazy and pink, giving off “notes of passion fruit, freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice, red beers, and tropical fruit, with some floral and herbal character”, all thanks to the hibiscus, fruit and hop additions. You can find it on tap and in cans at the brewery, but don’t wait to pick some up, as it likely won’t be around too long.

Time flies at Upstreet Brewing, where they’re releasing the 6th version of their annual De Novo series. De Novo VI – Dry Hopped Pineapple Tangerine Saison will be available next week, and for the first time, is being packaged in cans. This one starts with pilsner malt and wheat from Island Malt House, plus an addition of Simpsons Golden Naked Oats.  It was then dry-hopped with Bru-1 and Mandarina Bavaria before additions of pineapple and tangerine concentrates. De Novo VI pours a light orange color with notes of banana, stone fruit, tropical fruit and bubblegum. Some slightly spicy yeast notes round out the 5% ABV Saison. Although De Novo is being released next week, Upstreet’s sixth anniversary is not until June 26. Check this space next week for more details on their planned celebration. 

We mentioned last week that Tatamagouche Brewing is celebrating their 7th anniversary this week and that they’d be releasing some new beers to celebrate, and sure enough, they’ve delivered! Four brand new beers hit the taps and retail this week, two smaller and lighter, and two of the bigger and more complex variety. Starting with the summer refresher side of the spectrum, we have Ketch, a classic Berliner Weiße coming in at 3.1% ABV. 355 mL can- and keg-conditioned, it was fermented with a combination of lactobacillus and a traditional German Kölsch yeast in the primary before a secondary fermentation spell with the Berliner brettanomyces strain from Escarpment Labs. Bright and acidic, but also featuring some funk, this could very well be one of the rare small beers that benefits from some time in the cellar. That said, we’re pretty confident that it’ll be pretty dang tasty right away, on it’s own or with traditional woodruff or other fruit syrups!

The other “light and lively” beer this week is Wherry, a 3.8% grisette. Fermented with Escarpment Labs’ New World Saison yeast blend, which contains both saccharomyces and brettanomyces strains for a rustic charm, the beer itself is also a blend of barrel-aged and stainless steel conditioned versions of the same base beer, with the neutral oak of the barrel side really popping in the finished beer. Continuing with the trend of packaging smaller beers in smaller formats, this one is also in 355 mL cans.

On to the bigger, bolder beers, the first new offering is actually a variation on one of the brewery’s longest-running beers, an award-winning IPA that’s been going strong since September of 2015: Deception Bay. Still very much in the West Coast style for IPA, featuring Huell Melon, Mandarina Bavaria, and Citra hops, it provided a suitably hoppy base for Resurgence a new barrel-aged Brett IPA. Basically DB packed into a barrel with some brettanomyces for a while, before a quick and modest dry hop of Huell Melon, this 6.8% beer was then can- and keg-conditioned to produce a drier, funkier, and somewhat fruitier version of the original. Contributing to the character as well were the previous two hoppy residents of the barrel (and there’s another one in there now, so stay tuned!). Look for this one in 473 mL cans.

And the last of the four new releases this week is Vintage Lane, a barrel-aged saison that was aged on Muscat grape skins and in barrels both from Jost Vineyards. A blend of two saisons, one of which is essentially the Edel from a few years ago, this beer celebrates the brewery’s connection with “the vineyard down the road.” Coming in at 6.6% ABV, it was (500 mL) bottle- and keg-conditioned, with the bottle artwork echoing that connection. Look for all of these beers to be available in packaged format direct from the brewery in the coming days, at various Tata tap accounts throughout the province, and potentially at some of the private stores. We’ve been advised that Stillwell HQ should have all four of these on tap at some point, The Freehouse Ketch and Wherry, and on the packaged side, Bishop’s Cellar is expected to have the Ketch. If you wish to go direct, you can grab pints at the taproom or get free shipping all weekend long by using the promo code 7YEARS at checkout at the Tata Online Store. And a very happy Anniversary from all of us here to Matt and Christiane and the rest of the gang!!

North Brewing has teamed up with a trio of local partners for their newest release, Twice the Wild, a barrel aged Belgian Dubbel. The beer was brewed in September 2020 with help from the guys at A for Adventure, using base malts sourced from PEI’s Shoreline Malting. The brew day also saw the addition of Lucie Kuhlmann grapes from the 2nd partner in the collaboration, Benjamin Bridge. The beer was then fermented with Sacch. Trois and barrel aged for six months in neutral wine barrels, before refermentation in stainless tanks using local honey from Casman & Widden. The result is a bottle conditioned, 8.0% Dubbel that also offers great cellaring potential. Which brings us to the final partner in the collab, the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. NSNT is currently in the midst of its Twice the Wild campaign, where a group of funders have agreed to match donations at four times their value! $5 from every bottle of Twice the Wild will go to the campaign, which means every bottle you buy leads to $25 that will be used to protect and conserve lands in Nova Scotia. Grab it today at North’s two retail locations in Dartmouth or for delivery via their online store. And if you’re there in-person, why not stay for a smashie from their taproom restaurant, Side Hustle, which is now open for indoor and patio dining.

With a big weekend of returning to in-person indoor service in Nova Scotia, you had to expect 2 Crows would decide to gift everyone* with a couple of exciting new releases that are the result of an exciting new collaboration between 2C and Lightfoot & Wolfville vineyard. First up is Vitis, a lager beer that was brewed with Riesling piquette. In the grand tradition of 2C making some of the most ambitious (read: complicated) beers in the region, this one takes a little explaining. It all started with a Pilsner that was brewed with a little bit of wheat, hopped in the kettle with Hallertau Blanc and fermented cool with Mexican Lager yeast. Towards the end of fermentation a small amount of that beer was used to make a piquette along with water and a “whole lot” of fresh Riesling pomace from L&W. The piquette was allowed to pass peak sugar content, but not to fully ferment out by the natural yeasts present on the grape skins, before being transferred to tank with the remainder of the lager, where the whole shebang was capped and, essentially, krausened with the remaining grape sugars instead of wort. Once target gravity was reached, the temperature was dropped and the beer was lagered for eight weeks. The result is a “crisp and lively” light lager that also features Riesling character in the form of pear, melon, and honeyed citrus. Complex, yes, nuanced, sure! but crushable too at 4.6% ABV and 11 IBU! Look for it on tap and in 355 mL cans at the brewery right away, and likely some other places as time goes on.

Part two of this collaboration is a true Piquette, one that doesn’t contain any beer, but definitely has a brewer’s touch to it. This one started with Scheurebe grapes, a lesser-known variety grown largely in Germany and Austria that’s known for being highly aromatic and being used to produce sweeter wines. For this piquette, L&W picked and crushed the grapes, then 2 Crows grabbed the resulting pomace and trucked it back to the brewery where it was macerated in water for several weeks. From there, the water chemistry was adjusted and the natural yeasts present on the skins were allowed to ferment it out before a light dry hop of Saphir and Mandarina Bavaria provided the finishing aromatic touches. Conditioned with local honey, the result is Scheurebe Piquette, a 4.3% ABV refreshing  beverage with notes of grapefruit and a bit of ginger on top of a soft minerality. You can find it for in-person enjoyment at release parties this afternoon at Lightfoot & Wolfville and tomorrow at 2 Crows. You’ll be able to purchase 355 mL cans to go on-site at L&W this weekend or next week at Bishop’s Cellar. Unfortunately, due to NSLC regulations†, 2 Crows can’t actually sell this one to go in packaged form.

* Ed.: except maybe those of us who have to write it all up

† Ed.: Fucking SERIOUSLY?!

After major renovations, a few can-sales-only weekends, and a pause to right themselves, Tidehouse Brewing’s Slightly-Less-Tiny-Tasting-Taproom is open once again. Open Wednesday through Saturday, 4 – 11 PM, owner/brewer Shean Higgins is concentrating efforts on getting the good stuff in your glass at their spot at 5187 Salter Street, with less of a focus on packaging for the time being. Growlers are on pause, with can sales winding down, so that the offerings from their small brewhouse keep the taps stocked. Those taps are full right now, with 6 beers flowing, including Chrysalis Cream Ale (5.5%), Hibiscus City Sour w/ lime and hibiscus (4.5%), Saddle Up IPA w/ Enigma, Eclipse, and Citra (7.0%), Peachy Fuzzies Sour w/ Peach Rooibos Tea from World Tea House (4.5%), Mars Imperial Stout w/ blackberries & Mars bars (11.0%), and Goth Stout American Stout (5.0%). Learn more about the renovations, beers, and everything else in the latest 902 BrewCast which dropped on #902Tuesday.

Remember when 902 BrewCast used to interview brewers and other beer industry professionals?! We promise, that was a thing. Well, they are back in business this week with a 2+ hour interview with Tidehouse’s Shean Higgins and Sprindrift’s Jeff Green. Updates from both breweries, changes at CBANS, and what they’re looking forward to drinking this summer. Check out the episode here, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Speaking of Spindrift Brewing, let’s get you up to date with all of the news coming out of Burnside… Firstly, as mentioned in the 902BC, they’ve just completed an expansion/beautifying of their outdoor seating area, The Spinyard, where folks can lap up the sun while enjoying samples and pints from the brewery at 21 Frazee Avenue, open Tuesday – Friday 11 – 5:30 and Saturday 11 – 4:30. One of the new offerings you can find on tap is a new addition to their core offerings, Sea Glass IPA, a NEIPA weighing in at 7.0% ABV, featuring a light and pale malt bill, with plenty of late- and dry-hopping of Amarillo, Azacca, and Vic Secret, resulting in a soft mouthfeel and blast of pineapple, mango, and lemon. Joining the core lineup is SunDaze, a 4.8% ABV Pale Ale, featuring the lovely Galaxy and Centennial hops, giving great notes of pine, grapefruit, and passion fruit. Both are on tap now for growler fills and pints, and cans to go (SunDaze is coming reeeeeal soon to cans), and hitting the NSLC in the coming weeks.

Spindrift also has a new seasonal on tap, Strawberry Run, a 5.0% ABV Ale, lightly- hopped with Comet, before undergoing a secondary fermentation on Strawberry puree, with Key Lime juice which delivers plenty of acidity to keep it refreshing. Pints and growlers now, cans coming soon to Burnside and NSLC locations. And they have let us know that their Spindrift Oak Manor location in downtown Antigonish will be opening soon, almost certainly (probably maybe) before the end of June! Pair that with the massive expansion at their Burnside location, and a brand refresh, there’s plenty of new excitement from the crew.

Cornwall’s Village Green is back at it with two new releases. First up is Milk Stout, which starts with a mix of English malts and includes the addition of lactose, per the style. Milk Stout comes in at a sessionable 4.2% ABV and with just enough bitterness at 20 IBUs. Check it out today on tap in Cornwall, where it is also available to-go in cans. Next up is A Lager Bier, Village Green’s first foray into the world of bottom-fermenting. This one uses Vienna malt, which gives a nice bready note, and is hopped with German Tettnanger. A Lager Bier is on tap now at the brewery.

Antigonish’s Candid Brewing continues its run of new Friday releases with a pair of entries to their core lineup. First announced is Lagerish, a 4.8% Kolsch-style lagered ale, brewed to be bright, crisp, clean, and refreshing. Joining it is Town Crier, named in celebration of the former newspaper and publisher tenant of their 88 College Street location. A 5.0% Altbier-style bier, this clear copper beer is brewed to let the malt shine through, without hops taking centre stage. Six different beers are available to go today 1 – 6 PM and again tomorrow from 1 – 4 PM. And those in HRM will soon be able to enjoy Candid in their mugs, as kegs are being sent to Dartmouth’s Battery Park in the coming weeks.

Hey hey, check it out! Events can kinda be a thing again!!

The Saint John area is celebrating Craft Beverage Week, with a full load of events wrapping up tomorrow. But before they do, you still have time to:

Get on out and support those producers in the region!

Also on the go today in New Brunswick is the launch of CAVOK Brewing’s new satellite taproom and retail spot in Cap-Pelé. Located at 150 Allée du Parc, it’s just steps from Aboiteau Beach, and shares the building with Restaurant à la Dune. While their neighbours handle your food needs, CAVOK’s 12 taps and retail fridge can handle everything else! Their location features a large deck overlooking the beach and water with seating for more than 50 people, and if the weather isn’t lovely, there’s room for the same inside. They even fill growlers, but if you’re headed to the beach, no glass, eh! The beach location is open from noon until late every day this summer, and pouring favourites and new arrivals like the Red Knight Hibiscus IPA and Echo Saison, light and refreshing and with a robust amount of hops. More good beer in more places, we can dig that!

Coming to your screens this week is the latest project from the duo behind the very successful Beerocracy New Brunswick beer movie released a few years ago. Shauna and Alex hit the road across the Maritimes again last year, producing Maritime Spirits, profiling craft alcohol producers across the region. The first Season is now available on Bell TV1 (either through your TV or online portal), and features visits to Moonshine Creek Distillery, Upstreet Craft Brewing, Red Rover Craft Cider, New Scotland Brewing., Deep Roots Distillery, Tire Shack Brewery, Dunhams Run Estate Winery, Trailway Brewing, Jost Vineyards, and Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault. You can check out the trailer here, and see plenty of behind-the-scenes fun on their Facebook page.

And a last few quick hits on our way out the door for a lunchtime beer:

Corner Brook’s Boomstick Brewing has a pair of new beer out this week, the first is the latest in their Drawing Board Series, debuting in a 4-can Boombox mixer pack that is available across the province now. Rosemary Hibiscus Gose pretty much describes itself, with the 4.5% lightly tart sour ale featuring a touch of salinity, and using rosemary as a complement to the coriander the traditional German recipe employs. And drawing inspiration from their own Hew and Draw hotel at 55 West Street, Hewers Light Lager is a 3.9% American Light Lager, light bodied, crisp, and refreshing. Available on-site as well as in NLC, Maries Mini Mart, and Orange Stores across the province (on its own and in the aforementioned Boombox Mixer packs).

Garrison Brewing has brought back the first winner of their Home Brew-Off competition,Nit Wit Belgian Style Wheat beer. Brewed in the Witbier style, this O.G. hazy beer style features orange peel and coriander to lend some citrus and spice to the character the yeast has already imparted. Cans are available now at both their Seaport and Oxford locations, and can be enjoyed on tap there as well.

Hopheads in Conception Bay Stout can treat themselves to the newest release from Ninepenny Brewing, The Devil’s Jackstone. This 8.9% DIPA is now available in the taproom and on select taps around St. John’s. Look for it to make its way into cans next week.

Rounding off the news this week is the Return of the Mack, DOA (aka Double Orange Ale), from Unfiltered Brewing. Single-hopped with boatloads of Citra, the blast of citrus entering every one of your orifices is enough to power up your weekend. Grab it in cans to go, or even better, their new corral on North Street, allowing them to serve pints onsite at Charm School for the first time in way too long.

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.