CBANS

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Good afternoon, beer fans… everyone sick of Christmas music yet? Great, just making sure we’re all on the same page! As usual, there’s lots going on in the wonderful world of Atlantic Canada beer this week, with lots of new brews from all four corners of our region hitting taps and shelves, just itching to be sipped, guzzled, etc. (was about to start thinking hard of other synonyms to go along with these but it’s already getting kind of late in the day as it is), so let’s dive right into it, shall we?

Normally when we’ve got a huge slew of news from a single brewery, that brewery is 2 Crows, but although they do have something on the go this week (of course they do; see below), this week’s belles of the ball are the lovely folks from North Brewing, who have clearly been saving up to make a big ol’ splash with a new location and accompanying celebratory release, a triple-collaboration release, and a “standard” special release all happening this weekend!!

First up, we mentioned months ago that North had secured a spot to make their return to the right light West side of the Harbour after beginning their existence near North (natch) and Agricola Streets in North End Halifax. That new location is seeing a soft opening this weekend (today, in fact!!) at 501 Timberlea Village Parkway beginning at noon. The space will be retail-only for now, but rest assured there’s a taproom and kitchen under construction that they’re hoping will be ready just after the holidays (we’ll definitely keep you posted on that). You can head on over this afternoon and grab a celebratory cupcake from Delectable Desserts as you load up on your favorite North packaged beer, cider, and seltzer offerings (no growler fills until they’ve got taps in place, of course) as well as merch. They’re planning to be open noon – 8 on the daily for the foreseeable. One of North’s slogans is, “Cheers your neighbour,” we love that they seem to be on a mission to keep making new neighbours to cheers.

Of course, if you’re going to open a new retail location, it makes sense to give the people something new to come and get. Enter Timberbock, a smooth, dark, and malty German lager with plenty of nutty and caramel character. The North team has been itching to make a bock for some time and this fall opening seemed like a great time for it. Fermented with the Escarpment Labs Isar Lager strain, and lagered for two full months, this 6.2% ABV beer is ideal for the cooler weather; maybe grab a couple to enjoy after raking leaves this weekend? As you would and should expect, if you’re closer to one of North’s other retail locations, Battery Park or Cole Harbour, you can get it there too!

Next up is the “triple collaboration” that’s been quite a while in the making. Several years ago, North’s Rozina brewed Neighbours Saison with Jill from Compass Distilling (back when they were neighbours across the intersection of North and Agricola). That beer was then distilled by compass to produce Neighbours Whiskey, now on sale at Compass. Meanwhile, North brewed up a replica batch of the original saison, using wheat, spelt and oats along with a boutique yeast strain to produce a 5.0% ABV beer that they’ve packaged in cans. If that wasn’t enough, Compass also kindly took possession of some of North’s Midnight strong dark Belgian ale, which they socked away in a Neighbours whiskey barrel for a while. The result is being called Midnight Neighbours of course! We’re a day late to tell you about the release party that took place at Battery Park last night, but you can still try a flight of all three products at North’s Tasting Room on Portland Street, at Compass’ tasting room on Agricola St. Meanwhile, the beers will be available at North locations and the whiskey, should you want a bottle, from Compass.

Last but not least in North news, if you’re a fan of the brewery you already know that they love to leverage their friendly relationship with Benjamin Bridge winery and release delightful hybrid liquids for your drinking pleasure. One of those that has previously been released is Blanc, a grisette refermented on some of BB’s Sauvignon Blanc grapes. That one is back and available at North retail locations and for online orders; even better, and as always, $0.50 from each can of this one sold will be donated to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust.

For you Moncton beer drinkers that have been itching for more Tire Shack in your lives, we have some very good news! The brewery received approval from the city earlier this week, ok’ing their re-zoning plans for an expansion. Sure, this means more beer and space in general, but most importantly it means Tire Shack can finally begin work on their barrel-aging program, which they’ve been passionate about starting for some time. It’s a ways away, naturally, but it IS something to look forward to! We should also mention that the Moncton Chamber of Commerce has awarded Tire Shack with their Small Business of the Year award, so congrats to them on that as well!

Oh, don’t worry, we wouldn’t leave without also bringing some beer news from Tire Shack for the weekend. They’re re-releasing two brews today, the first being their Peanut Butter Porter (sometimes known as PBP). A 6.2% ABV Porter featuring an addition of close to 20 kg of real peanut butter, it’s perfect for those of you who crave some of that delicious spreadable in your alcoholic beverages (maybe just don’t go kissing anyone with a severe allergy directly after, mmmkay?). Second is Roman Road, a 5.5% ABV Italian Pilsner dry-hopped with Spalt Spalter and Czech Saaz, giving a crisp and refreshing beer with plenty of noble hop presence. You’ll be able to find both beers on tap and (hopefully) in cans sometime today at the brewery.

What do you get when you put two birds on ice? Don’t answer that. But 2 Crows is doing an event in support of 4 curlers, as there is a draught-only release and event in support of Team Daigle, a senior women’s curling team kicking off their season in hope’s to get to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts (we assume everyone in Atlantic Canada is familiar with this right? It’s Canada’s national women’s curling championship!). On November 25th, the brewery will release Come Around, a tropical and juicy pale ale, loaded with Galaxy and Citra hops. This beer will only be available in kegs and features the first use at 2 Crows of Verdant, a newer, juicy-friendly yeast strain to complement the tropical and juicy flavours from the hop combination. To get your hands on this first release and to support Team Daigle with their year long travel and expenses, you can buy a $20 ticket to the event which covers your first beer and gets you entered into a draw for a slew of door prizes! Hit the 2C website shop under “events” to purchase your ticket in advance. 

Moving over to PEI, Upstreet is releasing a brand new hoppy beer, one that they plan on keeping in their regular line-up throughout the coming winter months. Blue Meanie is a Blueberry Double IPA that was brewed with lots of blueberry juice, and hopped with both Mosaic and Lemondrop varieties. A definite sipper at 8% ABV (well, try to, anyway), the beer is tasting “tart and semi-sweet, with loads of juicy pineapple, blueberry, and lemon flavour”. While you’ll be able to find cans of this one at PEILCC stores in the very near future, the official launch party will be happening at Upstreet tomorrow, November 20th, with live music from Kailee McGuire from 8-9 pm, trivia with Jesse & Jeff from 9-10:30 pm, and more tunes with DJ Whaleskin directly after that, until 11:30 pm. Of course there’ll be plenty of Blue Meanie pouring on tap, and we can only assume cans to takeaway as well. Now, whether this beer was named after the wrestler, or those creepy buggers from Yellow Submarine… we leave that to you to decide.

More PEI news with Village Green with two new beers, both of the hoppy persuasion (if you’re into that sorta thing). Let’s start on the lighter side of things with Strata Pale Ale, an easy-drinking 5.3% APA hopped entirely with, yes, Strata. With descriptors including “strawberry, passion fruit, grapefruit, and dank,” Strata does appear to be an ideal candidate for a single-hop brew, at least on paper! It’s up to you brave Islanders, however, to make your way to VG to decide for sure. And while you’re there, guess you might as well sample their OTHER newbie, a 6.9% IPA they’re calling DUH IPA. Don’t overthink the name, they simply hopped it with some no-brainer hop varieties – Citra, Mosaic, and Galaxy – giving a delicious beverage that is “peachy, danky, and citrusy.” Available on tap and in cans!

If you like your hoppy beers with a little more of the “wild” in them, let’s briefly chat about the newest brew from Tanner & Co. Brux IPA was fermented with Saccharomyces brux-like Trois, a strain that isn’t technically wild (like Brett, for example), yet has “wild-like” qualities to it, helping produce beers that can be quite dry and slightly tart. These are the exact qualities that Brux IPA imparts, and with a generous dry-hopping of both Mosaic and Motueka, you can expect citrus and tropical notes to go with it (which sounds like a perfect combination to us!). Weighing in at 6.5% ABV, you can find bottles of this one at the brewery and taproom right now.

What if you’re feeling more in the mood for a low alcohol, non-hoppy brew for a change? Antigonish’s Candid Brewing has you covered with Temperance, a 3.5% ABV English Brown Ale. This isn’t your typical English Brown, however, as it has some lactose added to give it a touch of extra sweetness, as well as boosting the body somewhat (not a bad idea with a 3.5% beer!). It also features organic Earl Grey tea (HOT!) from World Tea House, to make you feel even more that you’ve travelled over the pond for a cuppa with some old relatives… see, feeling transported already and haven’t even tried the beer! Available on tap and in cans, drop by the brewery for a taste this weekend.

In Newfoundland, Bannerman has teamed up with local advocacy for the music community MusicNL, to design and brew a new beer to help kick off Music Celebration Week in the province, taking place from Nov 29th to Dec 5th. The beer, Music and Friends, is described simply as an American Pale Ale hopped with Strata and Nelson Sauvin (we’re going to assume plenty of lovely, tropical fruit aromas and flavours in the beer). Available at the brewery and select NLC stores today, so you can start to prep for the festival a little early!

Bannerman has more than one rabbit up their sleeve this week, as they’re also launching a new hoppy wonder at the brewery today. If you’re a fan of not just hops, but high ABVs as well, Obscure Reference may just be the beer for you! It’s a Triple IPA (10%!) that was dry-hopped with multiple additions of the ever-popular (to most of us, anyway) Mosaic variety. Expect juiciness, fruitiness, and likely a little bit of warmth as this one heads down into your stomach. Available in cans only; look for it to hopefully pop up on tap sometime later next week.

Sticking on the Rock, let’s move over to Landwash, who are re-releasing one beer and launching a brand new one this weekend. The returning favourite is Tidepool Pilsner, a 5% German Pilsner that undergoes an extended period of cold conditioning (Lagering!) after a cool fermentation with Escarpment Lab’s Isar Lager yeast strain. Refreshing and crisp, it’s just what you need after a long, hard day of dealing with family work. We can now do a complete 180 and move to their newest beer, Cozy Partridgeberry. Designed by head brewer Alex as a tribute to his Nan’s Partridgeberry Pie (which you can find at Twinlingate’s Cozy Tea Room and Bakery during their open season), the malt additions were crafted to mimic pie crust. Lactose powder was also added to the boil, along with Mosaic and Barbe Rouge hops. The completed beer was then conditioned on local Partridgeberries, resulting in a brew that is “very berry, but not too sweet”. Both beers are available at the brewery right now, in cans and on tap; look for them to start travelling to other outlets soon. 

And in Bay Roberts, Baccalieu Trail Brewing have collaborated with the province’s CBN T’Railway, a non-profit group formed to help open and rehabilitate the former railway bed of Conception Bay North. The hard work from these fine folks has led to the 140 km of T’Railway becoming a “vibrant, ecological, and safe route for recreational traffic”. As for the beer that the non-profit and brewery have created, Trail Minder’s Ale is a West Coast Pale Ale brewed with a malt bill containing small amounts of light Caramel and Oat malts, and hopped with Comet, Nugget, Hallertau Blanc, and Eureka. Fermented with a clean American strain, the beer is very dry, “with layers of tropical fruit, but also some classic West Coast pine character”, all followed by a restrained bitterness. You can grab cans at the brewery over the weekend, with $1 from every can being donated to CBN T’Railway to support their continued efforts.  

Would you believe that this year will mark Big Spruce Brewing’s NINTH Home Brew Challenge? While you ponder what that means about how long you’ve been drinking Big Spruce, we’ll tell you that this year’s competition has been announced and it’s a boozy doozy. A style beloved by many beer geeks but relatively uncommon in these parts is the Belgian Dubbel: falling under the category of Trappist Ales, which have been historically brewed in monasteries by Trappist monks, Dubbel is a deep coppery color with plenty of rich malt flavor, some fruity and/or dried fruity ester character, and a light alcoholic heat. Usually coming in around the high 6es for ABV, one of the key aspects of a good one is the fairly dry finish. Warming and comforting, without being cloyingly sweet, a Dubbel may just be the perfect “cold evening in front of the fire” beer and we are certainly excited to think that there will be another one released for us to try coming out of this competition.

About the competition itself, once again Big Spruce has partnered with Escarpment Labs to even the playing field with respect to yeast availability, bringing in plenty of pouches of St. Remy Abbey Ale yeast for prospective competitors (but folks are absolutely welcome to use whatever other yeast they choose to procure). Those interested in competing in this year’s challenge should send an email Real Soon Now™ to jeremy@bigspruce.ca. It costs $25 to enter, and if nothing else entrants are guaranteed a competition t-shirt, quality scoresheets per BJCP practices, and an invite to the gala. Entries must be received by February 5th, 2022 (drop off points to be confirmed), with the judging and gala taking place (with all due and necessary COVID protocols in place and as Provincial restrictions allow) from 4 – 6 PM on February 6th at The Wooden Monkey’s Dartmouth location. That’s not a long time for a style like this, so get your emails out if you’re looking to participate!!

As they’ve done several times over the past few years, members of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia have come together to brew a special beer in celebration of Craft Beer in NS and to generate revenue for #nscraftbeer initiatives. This year they did so with the sponsorship of supplier Brew Culture, a relatively new player in the local market, but who are certainly making themselves known through collaborative efforts. Together We Brew is a 5.0% lagered ale that was dry hopped with new school Continental hop Callista, one that marries some noble character with more modern fruity notes. Look for it at NSLC locations throughout the province, but don’t wait too long as this is a limited edition product.

A couple of Beery Birthdays in the region this weekend, but first:

A reminder of the Friday/Saturday tap takeover starting at Bar Brewdock today. In East Duck St. John’s, Dildo Brewing Co is teaming up with Borden-Carleton PEI’s Lone Oak Brewing to take over the 24 taps. Look for plenty of new beers from both breweries debuting this weekend, as well as the fine folks at Crumb & Pickle taking over the kitchen with burger, dips, schnitzel and more, all vegan and veggie friendly. More details in last week’s post, plus Social Media.

What do you think of when we say “the mecca of craft beer in Atlantic Canada?” If your answer isn’t Stillwell and if you’re reading this and you haven’t made friends with new humans or sampled new beers and new tastes at any of Stillwell’s various locations over the last few years, we would be surprised. (Heck, even one of us got married at the Stillwell Beergarden) Our beloved beer bar turns EIGHT YEARS OLD (!!) this month and they’re celebrating on Saturday November 20th, at Barrington Street HQ starting at Noon. Celebrating as they normally do with birthday cake (heeeey, free cake!), special bottle pours from places we can’t even mention (on and off-menu in true beer nerd fashion), and lots of featured kegs from breweries such as Willibald, Les Grands Bois, Godspeed, Dieu du Ciel, Crooked Stave, Stillwell Brewing, Bannerman and a few more! Also, Joe will be serving up special kitchen treats as well all day. This is free and fun and no advance reservations are required. 

Rothesay’s Foghorn Brewing turns the big 0-5 this weekend, and they’re inviting you to the brewery to celebrate Saturday, November 20th. Expect raffles, beer, games, beer, snacks, and beer! They’ll also have Elizabeth Nelson kicking off some live music at 5 pm, followed by Saving Sweet Polly at 7 pm. If you bring in a non-perishable food item for the KV Food Basket (no expired peas, we’re onto you!), you get a ballot for a chance to win an “epic prize”. Our guess is a ride on a stuffed black bear with owner/brewer Esty… let’s hope!

And a few last items to whet your appetite for whetting your whistle:

Always keeping us beer folk satisfied in store and online for delivery, Bishop’s Cellar is getting some goodies from Toronto’s own Bellwoods in store this Saturday. Two variants of Jelly King (their delicious dry-hopped fruited, everyday-drinking fruited sour) along with “drink now or cellar for later” options Vines Gamay and Barn Owl 25. Here’s a quick overview of the four releases:

  • Jelly King Cranberry & Tangerine is the base Jelly King conditioned on a bunch of cranberries and tangerine puree coming in at 5.6%. 
  • Jelly King Pomegranate & Lime is the base Jelly King conditioned on real pomegranate and lime at 5.6%.
  • Vines: Gamay is a 2020 wild ale release. Vines is a series of oak aged wild ales that celebrates wine grapes in all manifestations.This 8.0% blend was inoculated with the wild yeast from 2019 red grape skins, aged for a year in oak, and refermented on 2020 Niagara Gamay skins. 
  • Barn Owl 25 is a Foedre Aged Imperial Stout. This spent 2 years in secondary fermentation in new American oak and is 13.2%. 

These are all 500ml bottles and available Saturday November 25th at 10am. 

Smiths Cove’s Lazy Bear Brewing has a new Black IPA out, in memory of their former team member, Bob Allen, the brewery’s first hire. Infinity is a 7.2% ABV take on the style that is dry-hopped exclusively with Chinook. You can find it now at the brewery and tomorrow at the Annapolis Royal farmers market.  

New Ross’ Bulwark Cider is teaming up with the SPCA to raise money for furry friends in need of homes. They’ve made Applsecco Rose Cider which was released at NSLC locations earlier this week. Think a combo of cider and red wine characteristics with tartness, dark fruit flavours and some gentle tannins from the Marechal Foch wine used. $2 from every bottle will be donated to the Burnside SPCA location to help stray and abused animals. Win, win.

We’ll leave you with the always welcomed news of re-releases from Unfiltered Brewing. First up is their 7.5% ABV DIPA, Fist of God. If you’re looking for something a bit more sessionable, check out Lifesaver, their 4.25% ABV blueberry sour. Both are now available in cans and for fills at the brewery, and on tap next door at Charm School.

Happy April! Another quarter down and a well deserved long weekend is just a day away. There will be April 1st shenanigans out there, but aren’t we all just a bunch of fools no matter what month it is? We’ll keep this short and sweet so you can get onto the local news, but with some big changes in Ontario, we’ll remind you to keep an eye on local news before making any plans and now is not the time to get complacent (and keep an eye out for those April Fool’s Day posts or announcements from your favourite breweries!). Onto the beer, no pranks below, we promise!

Last Friday, March 26th, marked the 100th anniversary of the launch of the Bluenose schooner. A symbol of pride of Nova Scotia and her residents, the “Queen of the North Atlantic” dominated the International Fisherman’s Race for years, was immortalized on stamps and the Canadian dime, and its “daughter” continues to be an ambassador of the province’s rich ship-building history. With events happening in Lunenburg, across the province, and around the world (virtually), it’s only fitting there would be a beer or two to celebrate the Bluenose’s legacy!

Saltbox is first out of the gate with their Bluenose 100 Commemorative Ale, taking inspiration from brewing lore and recipes that date back to the 20’s, during those dark times of Prohibition. Canadian Malt and Noble hops were used to create a light, crisp, and refreshing ale weighing in at a perfect-for-enjoying-a-couple-on-the-dock 4.7% ABV. A bit of malt sweetness presents on the palate, clearing quickly thanks to a balancing bitterness from the hops. You can grab an early taste of Bluenose 100 on tap now at The Knot Pub in Lunenburg and The Nosy Crow in Mahone Bay, with cans of the ale coming to the shelves of 75 NSLC stores before the end of April. A caribou ($0.25, haha!) from every can sold will be going back to the Bluenose 100 committee, who still have plenty of events scheduled for the rest of the year, including a full Summer of Sail for Bluenose II, starting June 1st, visiting ports across the Maritimes.

For a celebration 100 years in the making, it is only fitting there are a couple of beers to celebrate, which brings us to another Bluenose celebration beer, Bluenose Lager. ShipWright Brewing in Lunenburg teamed up with Garrison Brewing in Halifax to brew a long-distance collab at their own breweries, ready to set sail in the next few weeks. This 5.0% ABV Helles Lager is bright and refreshing, and extremely quaffable. Available soon at both partnering breweries as well as cans delivered to the NSLC and private stores, a portion of each can sale will be returning to the Bluenose 100 to support their mission of sharing the story of the Bluenose.

We’ve got an excellent cross-border collaboration coming from Flying Boats and Saltbox. This idea came from the daughters of the two brewery owners who met at University and have created a beer with a cause. Breezy Belgian Saison is a classic style release at 5.5% that is crisp, dry with a slightly tart finish. With flavours of coriander with some slightly bitter orange this is available in cans. A portion of the profits from each sale of this beer will be donated to Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation.

And rounding out the Saltbox news today is word that their Lunenburg expansion, under the Lightship Brewery moniker, is set to open in one month from today. With arguably the best view of Lunenburg, their location will feature a full kitchen and coffee shop in addition to the taproom, whose interior will be highlighted by a pair of Foeders from PEI’s New World Foeders, as well as barrels for some extra special brewing experiments. Those who visit their spot at 93 Tannery Road before then may even spot their Party Bike which will allow groups to navigate the town in a fun people-powered vehicle.

As we cut across the province to the Fundy shore, Windsor’s Schoolhouse Brewery is releasing Summer DAY NEIPA. This hazy IPA features Idaho 7, Amarillo and El Dorado hops and was fermented using the Verdant IPA yeast from LalBrew. This is the first sighting (that we know of at least) of this yeast strain in our region. Developed in collaboration with Verdant Brewing Co. out of south-west England, the yeast leads to citrusy esters that compliment the citrus and fruit-forward hop notes. Cans, growlers and pints are available now at the taproom on Water Street.

Deer Lake’s Rough Waters Brewing has a new release this week, with a name inspired by their mischievous cat Opie (portrayed on the beer’s label). At Wit’s End is their take on a traditional Belgian witbier. Featuring a malt bill of primarily malted and flaked week, this one also gets the traditional addition of orange peel and coriander seeds during the boil, along with the no-so traditional addition of blood orange. The result is a refreshing 4.5% ABV witbier featuring lots of citrus notes. At Wit’s End is available now in 500 ml bottles at craft beer-friendly convenience stores and markets across the island. 

From Deer Lake, we head south-west to Port au Port for two releases from Secret Cove Brewing Company. Up first is CherryOaky, a dark tart cherry ale. This one started with aging on French oak to add some complexity from the wood. Prior to packaging, this 6.5% ABV beer was then lagered for several weeks until it was deemed ready for consumption. Expect suitable oak-derived notes and a palate reminiscent of dry red wine. Next up is Shag Island, a 6.4% breakfast coffee stout. Named for the small coastal island north of Port au Port, Shag Island combines Sumatran coffee and organic cocoa for that classic blend of coffee and chocolate notes. Expect a full body and rich mouthfeel drinking experience. Both beers are available now at the brewery. 

Tatamagouche Brewing is always up for supporting a good cause, and this week they’re taking advantage of an opportunity to support a good cause in their own backyard (as is often the case), but also to bring awareness to it on a wider basis. Alicia Simms of Truro Buzz has been nominated as a candidate for Man or Woman of the Year by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada and has partnered with several businesses in the Colchester area to raise funds for the campaign. One of those businesses is Tata, who have produced a beer they’re calling Stronger Than You Think, all proceeds from which will go towards LLS. For this special cause, brewer Chad pulled out the big guns in the form of the vaunted Sabro hop variety known for big tropical flavors and coconut aroma. To that was added “lots” of Mosaic in the whirlpool along with smaller contributions of El Dorado, Willamette, and Cascade. The Sabro came in the dry hop along with some Lotus. Nominally in the East Coast/Northeastern/New England IPA style, this one has a touch of extra bitterness that will no doubt be welcome to those who miss a bit of bite in their hazebombs. Built on a grist of Horton Ridge pale malt, it also features plenty of haze-inducing and body-building adjuncts, namely malted oats, malted wheat and chit malt (also all from Horton Ridge). Fermented with a co-pitch of S-04, an English strain known for haze production, and S-33, more known for use in Belgian wheat and trappist-style beers, but which also can bring forward tropical flavors, the packaged product ended up at 6.3% ABV. Expect this one to be hazy, juicy, and tropical, with orange, pineapple, and yes, even some coconut in the aroma. It’s being packaged in cans today, so available from the brewery as soon as they’re capped and cold, you’ll also hopefully be able to find this one at Bishop’s Cellar by the weekend! Beyond that, kegs will also be going out to various Tata tap accounts and there’s even rumors that some casks (a couple of Firkins and a Pin) have been filled, and savvy drinkers will know where those usually end up… We love seeing Tata making it easy to support Alicia and LLS in the tastiest way possible!

Sticking with IPAs, we move to Halifax where Propeller has a new IPA out that they’re calling Talus Cold IPA. We’re, uh… not quite sold on the idea that “Cold IPA” is a thing, and it is April Fool’s, but they appear to be standing by it, sooooo. Anyways, allegedly a Cold IPA is an IPA with a light body that’s been fermented at cooler temperatures to encourage, “an addictively clean and crisp finish.” The other part of the beer’s name, though, the Talus part, refers to the hop variety that was used and, in our opinion, is possibly the more interesting part. A relatively recent release from Yakima Chief Hops that might be familiar to some under it’s previous experimental name of HBC 692 (which we’ve written about more than once), it’s known for a flavor and aroma profile that includes pink grapefruit, dried roses, pine, and tropical fruits. Definitely an interesting cross-section of citrus, floral, dank, and tropical! This one-off release comes in at 80 IBU and 6.1% ABV, and has been canned; it will be available at Prop Shops as of this weekend, and then possibly a little later at Bishop’s Cellar and the other private stores in Halifax. It will also be available for online orders, which, by the by, now offer shipping via Canada Post to Alberta, BC, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Ontario, PEI, Saskatchewan, and, of course, Nova Scotia! You can read more about the new shipping areas on Propeller’s website here.

And in other Prop news from North End Halifax, If you have little ones that you’ve been dying to bring into the retro Arcade under Propeller’s Gottingen Street taproom, great news! This Sunday, April 4th, the Propeller Arcade will be open 12 – 5 PM for all ages. Now, no dropping your kids and high-tailing it outta there, they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, but you’re going to want to stick around anyway for a coupla pints and to show the young ones how to shoot the ramp *just right* on the TMNT pinball. Masks on while playing, and there is plenty of sanitizer around to keep their hands and yours nice and clean. 

Wolfville’s Church Brewing isn’t one to fool around, and today’s new release is no joke! Taking inspiration from traditional pale Czech lagers, they are releasing Svelte, a 4.1% ABV crisp beer with just a hint of malt and hops. Starting from all Pilsen malt, it uses Magnum and Saphir to offset any sweetness with a light 20 IBUs. Utilizing their 600 litre (5 BBL) pilot system, first used for Lilith NEIPA last month, the limited batch size means you’ll have to Take Yourself to Church to enjoy Svelte. Available on tap in the restaurant, and in crowlers to go in their Retail spot.

After a bit of a hectic start due to governmental bodies dropping the ball, Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing’s taproom is now officially, for real, open for in-person enjoyment. The large space features 15 tables ready to accept Bubble Buddies from across the region, and when it’s safe to do so, a stage where local musicians, comedians, and other event can take over the space. As the weather warms, there will be a patio where people and their pups will be welcome, though as Serpent does not serve food (BYO), dogs are allowed inside as well. The taproom is open Wednesday to Sunday (this weekend included), from noon until 8 PM or later, and with 7 beer and 1 cider on tap, there is something to please every taste!

Only one event to mention this week, but it’s ALL MONTH LONG!!

Congratulations to Debbi Tobin, who is the new Executive Director of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia! And just in time, as April is NS Craft Beer Month! Obviously 2021 looks quite different than in previous years, but CBANS is still helping its member breweries during this month of transitioning from winter to spring. For those with products in the NSLC, the Corp is working to put more NS-brewed beer front and centre in their locations as well as their online material, including some IG Live events with a handful of breweries this month (Thursdays at noon, with Breton Brewing, North Brewing, Church Brewing, and Saltbox Brewing all taking part). And for those who swing that way, the NSLC is offering a free-to-brewers (unlike last year) promotion that will have customers getting a 10 Air Mile bonus when purchasing 2 multi-packs.

No official list of events available just yet, but for brewery folk reading this, they are soliciting all of your going-ons and will curate a list on their site soon. Check this page for more details. And as always, use and follow the #NSCraftBeer hashtag on the socials.

A couple more quick hits on the beer side:

Fresh off a tap takeover in Halifax last weekend, Bannerman is back with a fresh release out now. Dressed to Kill is a dry-hopped fruited sour that packs a punch. This was conditioned on a bunch of blackberries and raspberries. Finishing off with a dry hop of Mosaic, this is 5.5% and available in 473ml cans from the Bannerman shop.

Halifax’s Good Robot snuck in under the wire with news of their release, Seasoned Assist Spiced Dark Lager, which they’re describing as, “like a Winter Warmer, but light and crushable,” with flavors of clove, cinnamon, and anise leading to a coffee-tinged finish. The artistic photo we received obscures the ABV and we’re sure there’s probably a story to that name (say the first two words to yourself quickly), but we suspect you’ll have to ask your server when you order a pint at the taproom to get the goods on that!!

Looking for a job in the beer industry in our region? Here’s a few possibilities for you:

Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing is looking to add a multi-tasking kind of person to their team, ready to wear several hats in and outside of the brewery. A part-time position (15-30 hours per week depending on demand), the roles will include Delivery Driver, Packaging Assistant, and Taproom Bartender. Perfect for someone who can be versatile and nimble as they take on the different roles, this is a seasonal position (at the time of posting, at least), from April – October. Check their Careers Page for more details and how to apply!

Over to PEI where Copper Bottom is also looking to add to their team. They have two full time positions available, one as a Taproom server and the other as a Front of House Manager. These are great opportunities if you’re not too far from Montague. To apply check out the Career section of their website or stop by the taproom in person to drop off a resume and have a chat!

If you’re kicking around the Windsor area, or planning on making a move, there is some new hiring from the good folks at Schoolhouse. They are hiring part-time kitchen staff, but there are plenty of growth opportunities to stay within the company. They’re looking for good people and not necessarily previous experience. If you’re interested, first off a resume and a little about yourself via email

With some bittersweet news, the Brewmaster from Spindrift is moving on. Kyle is known around the region from time at Gahan, Garrison and Spindrift and we wish him nothing but the best and I’m sure we’ll see an official announcement soon on his next undertaking.

With Kyle moving on, that means there’s a job opening in Dartmouth. If you have Brewmaster experience, this would be a big opportunity. Check out the full job posting here to see all of the details and application details. 

Rounding out the job postings this week is something a little different, but still vital to keeping the good beer flowing! The Acadia Laboratory for Agri-Food and Beverage (aka alab) is looking to hire a Lab Technician to work in their lab supporting the local beer, cider, and wine community. If getting your LC and GC-MS on sounds like something you already do on a regular basis, you may be the right person for the job! Check out the job posting and apply today!

And we leave you today with some “prepare your ears” news, the fellas from 902 BrewCast are recording another episode tonight after releasing one last week. Bittersweet, this episode will mark the last with Phil Church in the official co-host seat. While we’re sure this won’t be the last we’ve heard from Church on the podcast or in beer circles, he is leaving the position to spend more time roaming the ocean floor and frolicking shirtless with Dodo, we assume/dream. Ahead of the recording this eve, the fellas are gathering your questions and best wishes on IG, so be sure to drop one there. Be sure to keep your eyes on Church as he continues to grow his photography business, those beautiful shots you see on his IG are just a small percentage of what he does!

Well THAT month ended better than it started, at least in our opinion. Whether you’re talking about our region, where NL, NS, and PEI continue their strong stand against COVID and NB seems to be turning the corner, or internationally where there seems to be a whiff of sanity wafting northward from below the 49th parallel, we think there’s definitely some reasons to celebrate the end of the first month of 2021*. And luckily, our producers in the region are stepping up, several of them with reasons to celebrate of their own (like the staff at 2 Crows who are probably ready to sleep for the first time in…*checks calendar*…a month or so). Read on for all the news we could find, formulate, and fit this week in beer and brewery news!

* Don’t get us wrong, everything’s still screwed (especially the climate and wealth distribution!!) it just feels a little less screwed than it was.

Let’s start with the first of two breweries celebrating an anniversary in a big way this weekend. Lone Oak Brewing in Borden-Carlton, the Gateway to Prince Edward Island, has a full weekend of fun scheduled as they mark their first year in business. But first, let’s tell you about the 3 (three!) special beers debuting this Saturday to mark the celebration! 

  • Rouge is a 7.0% farmhouse ale, which began with a grain bill made exclusively from Island Malt House Pilsner, Oats, and Rye, first fermented with Lone Oak’s house culture of yeasts and other bugs, before the addition of PEI-grown Lucie Kuhlmann grapes (juice, skin, seeds and all), which melded together for 10 weeks. Oh, and all of this took place in their PEI-built (thanks to New World Foeders) Foeder! This aromatic, juicy, yet dry beer was packaged in 500 ml bottles and kegs to condition and naturally carbonate.
  • Modest is a “Tiny Pale Ale”, coming in at a crushable 3.5%, when you want all the hops flavour, but not necessarily the booze… With a base of PEI Pilsner and Oats, and enhanced with Flaked Wheat and Rice, the hops are allowed to shine through and punch above their weight class. El Dorado, Columbus, and Simcoe are there in the flavour and aroma, bursting from the 355 ml can. Available on draught as well (both versions were naturally carbed in the can/keg).
  • Golden Hour is an ambitious one, we reckon… This Double IPA was fermented solely with Brettanomyces in a pair of oak barrels, and heavily hopped with El Dorado, Simcoe, Centennial, and Mosaic. And while it is a hefty 8.0%, the melding of the wood, yeast, and hops have it much more quaffable than that number may show. All three of these characters come through with notes of stone fruit and candied pineapple esters, along with some oak tannins and a twinge of red wine. Also naturally conditioned, it is coming in 355 ml cans and kegs.

These three are only available at the brewery for on-site and retail sales, and if there’s any left after the weekend, may be available online. Sounds like a great excuse to visit this weekend!

Onto the events: This evening is a double-header of the always fun and head-scratching Trivia with Spencer and Dan from 7 – 9 PM, followed up with live music from Dave Woodside 9 – 11 PM. Best to call ahead to RSVP your bubble table (902 729 2228). Saturday is a full afternoon and evening of live music from Grass Mountain Hobos (2 – 6 PM) and The Love Junkies (7 – 11 PM). While both of those shows are sold out, their retail will remain open for your can and growler fills. And the fun continues Sunday with a matinee show with Roland Beaulieu featuring Keelin Wedge (1 – 4 PM, RSVP to ensure a spot). For those looking to fill their bellies as well as their ears, The Abby is open all weekend (11:30 AM until 9PM), and will be featuring a few extra fun things on the menu to mark the occasion. Congratulations to the Lone Oak Crew on surviving and thriving in the decade that was 2020!

Some of you may be sorry to hear that this weekend is the last of the “Anniversary Month” releases from 2 Crows, which we get, because there’s been a wide variety of tasty beers to enjoy throughout a usually-dreary month… but don’t blame us at all for having a bit of a happy-happy feeling to go along with that! Because, well, you know, writing about all of them takes time! That being said, we tip our hats to their hard work and initiative, and “happily” are here to fill you in on the re-releases and new beers you can find this weekend.

First up… hops, hops, and more hops. And even more hops. That’s right, four different New England IPAs will be available at the brewery starting today, and we think you’re going to want to get your lupulin-enriched hands on all of them. Three of these brews are returning favourites, all of which are the same base beer (brewed with Golden Promise, Wheat, Flaked Oats, and Carafoam), hopped in the mash and first wort with Columbus, and an addition of Simcoe and Huell Melon in the hopback. It’s the dry-hopping that sets them all apart: Perfect Recreation features Vic Secret, Simcoe, and Citra; Second Situation has Huell Melon, Azacca, and Citra; and Another Iteration goes with Vic Secret, Enigma, and Huell Melon. All three of these beers are big on various tropical and/or stone fruits, with very little bitterness. The fourth beer, Cause for Celebration, is new, and is similar to the first three in all but the dry-hop, with this 6.1% ABV entry featuring Enigma, Monroe, and Citra. Expect “massive dark jammy berry notes, along with mango, pinot gris, and strawberry”. All four will be available in cans. Dying to grab some on tap, you say? Well, hold off on that though, we’ll come back to it!

For those of you not as hop-inclined (also, for those of you who love variety!), not to worry, 2C naturally has some sour and funky goodies for you that will be released on Saturday. You may recall Deux II – a collab with Maine’s Orono Brewing (remember Maine? sigh) that came out for last year’s anniversary – a foedre-aged sour brewed with local cherries that was, we don’t mind saying, an extremely tasty beverage. Luckily, they tucked away some kegs from last year and have re-packaged that beer into 355 mL cans. There’s not many, granted, but they’re still showing off lots of cherry flavour and Jolly Rancher character, as well as “a bit of marzipan and cinnamon as it warms” to go with the funk. 

That’s not all… 2C also has a brand new funky Saison called Wish You Were Here (lawsuit pending). Brewed as an “in spirit” collaboration with their buddies from Ontario’s Block Three Brewing, the grist has lots of rye and raw wheat, and the wort was hopped heavily with Celia and Hallertau Mittelfrueh (to 60 IBUs) to give some herbal notes. Fermented with a blend of house cultures, the 4.6% ABV beer was canned and allowed to carbonate naturally… and carbonated it is! Cautioned by the brewery that the beer is lively, it’s also tasting “funky, earthy, bitter, and floral”… just be sure to refrigerate your cans appropriately, and have a glass nearby when opening. 

Now, moving on to this weekend’s events with 2 Crows – because of this whole pandemic thing that appears to be holding on (who knew?), a big party at the brewery is a no-go. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have a few ideas up their sleeves! Remember those IPAs we mentioned way up there? Well, you WILL be able to try them on tap, if you’re lucky – Stillwell HQ will be pouring one keg of each NEIPA on Saturday. Yes, just ONE keg, so you won’t have long to get in there to try them. They’ll also be tapping Thunderdome, a golden sour with lime leaves that is a previous collab with Small Pony Barrel Works, as well as a keg of the aforementioned Deux II.

On Sunday, Battery Park will be hosting this year’s interpretation of the brewery’s annual Sour Sunday. Lots of delicious sour beers that have made appearances over the last year; for a full tap list, keep an eye on 2C and BP’s social media stories.

Finally, of course the 2 Crows taproom will still be pouring lots of beers over the weekend, including special old foedre releases, sours, the usual favourites, and side pours of Waltz from their brand new swing faucet.

That’s it, that’s all, there ain’t no more (Islanders in their 40s may get that reference). Happy anniversary 2 Crows peoples! We love you all and we never want to do that again.

Sackville’s only brewery, Ol’ Biddy’s Brewhouse, continues to make a go of things in spite of COVID craziness, and they’re quite happy to have announced recently that you can now find one of their flagship brands, Patrick O’Neil’s Irish Red at select NSLC stores, largely in the HRM. If you’re looking for more than that offering, you can, as always, order their full slate of available brews online direct from the source for curbside pickup via their web store. Meanwhile, in the taproom, they’re serving up a full slate of beers on tap for socially distanced pints, or packaged to go. Their new Winter hours start February 1st, and will see them open Monday to Wednesday from 4 – 8 PM, Thursday to Saturday from 12 PM – 8 PM, and Sunday 12 PM to 6 PM. They’re also starting a “Beer of the Week” where every week the feature beer will be $1.00 off for pints and $5.00 for growler fills. The first of these is Biddy Light, their 4.5% ABV, 9 IBU take on what an “everyday beer” should be. Follow the brewery on their socials (Tw, Fb, Ig) for information on future features.

Ol’ Biddy’s also has a couple of new beers that bear mentioning. First up is their second pilot batch of Kicked in the Hops, this time a “double small batch.” Aiming to be what brewer Keith Forbes loves in a West Coast-style double IPA, you can expect it to be crisp while packing a pronounced bitterness and aromas and flavors of pine, grapefruit, orange, and lemon. Weighing in at a hefty 8% ABV, you’ll find it on tap for pints and growler fills as of February 1st; but act fast, the previous batch sold out quickly and many missed out. And on the already available front, Sackville Smash Blonde has been on the taps for a week or so now. A clean and crisp, easy-drinking ale, it follows the SMaSH regimen of one malt (2-row) and one hop (Huell Melon). Look for light aromas and flavors of melon on top of a slightly grainy sweet base. Grab it at the taproom for pints and/or fills to go.

Big Spruce Brewing in Nyanza Cape Breton has us dreaming of a time back when travel was not restricted, and one might be paged in the airport as you rush from one flight to another. Blue Courtesy Phone is a 7.0% New England IPA hopped solely, and generously, with Sabro hops, known for big tropical notes of pineapple, coconut, passion fruit, and citrus. The beer delivers that in spades, so close your eyes and dream of the beach while you sip on a pint. Available on draught only, you can pop by the brewery in Nyanza for a pint or fill, with kegs being delivered in HRM to Battery Park, Stillwell, and Little Oak.

We’ll head to Yarmouth next for a taste of Belgium. Heritage Brewing Co. is releasing the third beer in its lambic-style series with Funky Blackberry Lambic. The 7.5% ABV beer started with a mix of lighter malts and wheat before undergoing primary fermentation with a Belgian ale strain. It was then aged on blackberries with a mix of Brett, Lacto and Pedio built up from a few mystery Belgian beers. Expect some funk and acidity from the mixed pitch and a light blackberry flavor. Find it on tap (and only on tap) today at Heritage’s Main Street taproom. 

Sticking in Nova Scotia, Garrison Brewing is releasing an offshoot to one of their core beers with Tall Ship Light. At 4.0% it is their lightest beer ever. With no adjuncts involved, we get a light ale pouring pale yellow with a refreshingly light body and mild hop aroma. This will be available only in 12 packs of 355ml cans. Releasing today at the private shops and both Garrison locations, NSLC, ANBL and PEI Liquor will stock theirs later in February. 

Truro Brewing Company is back with their first release in a few weeks with an ode to an icon. Notorious RPA is a Rye Pale Ale that will be sure to pack a punch thanks to some of the spicy notes from the Rye. Throw on your dissent collars and enjoy a beer packed with Chinook hops, which will add piney notes and a bit of spice to go along with grapefruit notes. At 5.2%, this Pale Ale is available on tap only for pints and growler fills. 

West of St. John’s lies Ninepenny Brewing in Conception Bay South, where a new and fresh dark brew is pouring exclusively on tap. The Renown is being billed as an Imperial Porter, and while stated as to be on the “lighter side” of Imperial at 6.7% ABV, is probably still up there enough to provide a little extra warmth in your tummy crap-factory! The brewery notes that this beer was inspired by some of their favourite Baltic Porters; however, they fermented it with Ale yeast, as would be used in a “typical” Porter. With a variety of specialty malts in the grist, look for “a nutty aroma with a caramel, toffee taste, and smooth chocolate finish”. If you like your beers rich and sweet, this is the one for you. Limited quantities are available, so head over to the Ninepenny taproom for a taste.

Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing has pulled a team of taproom staff together to help design and brew a new beer, as well as assist in all the steps up to and including the packaging of said beer. That beer is Apricodabra, a 4.3% ABV kettle sour with apricots. With a noticeable-but-not-enamel-stripping sourness, and some pleasant apricot character, it’s being released on tap and in cans at the brewery today, and you’ll find it pouring at some other fine establishments in the area. If you’re dropping by for some, keep in mind that they’ve also got a couple of variety 12-packs for sale; each box contains four cans of three different Signature Series and Small Batch Series beers. The Hoppy & Bitter Box includes Kilted IPA, St. Andrew’s Cross XPA, and Rampant Lion NEIPA, while the Light & Crisp Box will give you Lockdown Lager, Alderney Dry Lager, and Bonnie Lagered Ale

New Brunswick’s Broue du Païen is keeping up their home deliveries to the Bouctouche, Saint-Antoine, Notre-Dame and Cocagne areas on Fridays, as well as the Greater Moncton Area and Shediac on Saturday afternoons. Just in time for weekend deliveries, they’ve got a brand new beer available to add to your orders. Hop Salad Hazy IPA is a 5.8% ABV, 45 IBUs American IPA that has “a mix of tropical fruit flavours and aroma, with a smooth bitterness that is not overwhelming”. They’re keeping the hop varieties used a secret for now, guess you’ll just have to try it and make a guess! Check out their social media for more delivery details. 

Dartmouth’s Lake City Cider has a new product on the go for cider lovers this week, although maybe not exactly cider lovers… Perry & Rose is not a cider, but a perry (same idea, different fruit) that started with the juice of 100% Nova Scotia cold snap pears. Once fermented it was blended with a rose petal wine, resulting in an elegant sipper where pear is definitely the feature, but the rose provides and enhanced aroma and complexity. Packaged in the 750 mL bottle format and coming in at 5.6% ABV, you can order it for same day delivery (Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat, $35 minimum) or pickup through their online shop.

A few more news bits and bites before we sign off today, plus a job opening to consider…

Fredericton’s 3Flip Brewing is releasing their oatmeal stout, Oat Cold, in cans for the first time. Available on tap only over the last two years, you’ll now be able to find it at ANBL locations or through 3Flip’s online store. While you’re at it, you can wish 3Flip a happy second anniversary by ordering some of their favourites, re-released this week to celebrate the occasion.

Halifax’s Stillwell Brewing has a new batch of their Kompact Kolsch-style beer out in the world this week. A draught-only release, this batch underwent a 3-hour long boil of the wort, leading to a rounder and fuller malt character, thanks to the caramelization, Maillard, and other reactions, changing the nature of the sugars and other carbohydrates in the liquid. Chemistry aside, it’s tasting great and helps to better balance the hop levels that Stilly will sometimes employ. Look for it on tap at Stillwell HQ and the Stillwell Freehouse right…. meow!

Tatamagouche Brewing has a new batch of their award-winning Baltic Porter, Two Rivers, just making its return. Originally part of the brewery’s Giant Beer series, it is indeed just that! Fermented with a Lager yeast strain and cold-conditioned to allow all of those rich, roasty flavours to meld, it weighs in at 8% ABV and is tasting very smooth, despite all that alcohol. One of the perfect winter sipping beers, you can grab bottles of it at the brewery, or make an order for delivery.

Tire Shack has brought back Roman Road, their dry-hopped Pilsner that features a hefty dose of Tettnang and Spalt varieties, giving this 5.5% ABV beer floral and spice aromas. Finishing crisp and smooth, it’s available in cans only (for now), and should be hitting the brewery’s shelves early this afternoon, just in time for the weekend. 

Propeller Brewing has a couple of non-beer/non-modern-beer items out now/coming soon to tell you about. Their Void Sparkling Water with Galaxy has been re-upped at their shops and online, a new batch that they’re saying is even better than the first. No alcohol or calories, and while you wouldn’t be fooled that it’s beer, it’s still refreshing as all get out, and get you in the ballpark when you’re looking for a little *something* more than just water. And as a celebration to International Gruit Day on Monday, February 1st, they will be once again dipping their toes into that ancient style. Named after the herb mixture used to bitter beer before glorious hops were used extensively, we aren’t exactly sure which blend will be used, but common ones include bog myrtle, and Propeller’s previous Gruit collab with Beau’s also featured NS-grown sumac. Keep an eye on their Social Media (Fb/Ig/Tw) for the full details!

Just one job posting to tell you about this week, but it’s kind of a big deal… The Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia is looking for a new Executive Director. This position answers to the Board of CBANS, but does not necessarily have to be someone coming from a CBANS or other brewery position. Key things to keep in mind are a sincere love and belief in local beer and producers, improving the situation both legislatively through government lobbying, and marketing-wise, which includes helping new/potential breweries in the province. For those serious about learning more, check out the posting for this part-time but permanent position, averaging about 20-25 hours a week, for a salary of $45,000. Perfect for those who want to work from home, too! We’re looking forward to what fresh blood in this position can do to revitalize CBANS and the entire beer landscape in the province, as the biggest collected voice for breweries in the province, it does have an impact on all producers (and ultimately drinkers too).