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Happy Labour Day Weekend! As visions of Back to School dance through your heads, we hope you enjoy your mostly-clear-looking 3 days off, before going back to the grindstone Tuesday. Be sure to check the opening hours at your local brewery or ciderhouse, just in case they are taking a much-needed break Monday. Just in case, stock up/place your online orders now to avoid disappointment! Here are a few new and returning beer, ciders, and everything in between, to get you through the next week. And stay tuned all the way to the end for details on how you can win your way into a beer fest later this month. Cheers!

Half Cut Brewing has been slinging beer (and Detroit-style pies thanks to their taproom pals Coastline Pizza) from their Northside Fredericton taproom for just about a month now, and are ready to release their newest one-off beer. Joining the Charlie Horse Kolsch, Jackhammer APA, and Tickle Fight IPA is Moustache Ride. This 6.5% New England IPA is brimming with hops on both the tongue and nose with citrus and stone fruit taking centre stage. Straw in colour with the iconic hop-full haze, the pillowy head keeps all those volatile terpenes and fruity esters locked in until you’re ready to imbibe. This is a taproom draught exclusive, so you’ll have to head over to 67 Main Street at 4 PM for a Ride and a slab to kick off your long weekend.

Big week for the folks on the North Shore, as Tatamagouche kicks off the long weekend with a trio of releases. Returning is the Intertidal: Idaho Gem, their continued exploration of hop-feature IPA recipes. Planting itself firmly in the traditional American IPA category at 6.4% ABV, it stays true to that style with North American-grown Idaho Gem and Chinook hops (with assists with some other old school varieties). Layering berry and citrus on top of pine and resinous, thanks to the multiple cones added throughout the process, including both hot- and warm-temperature whirlpool additions (post-boil/pre-transfer), before two rounds of IG dry-hopping late and then after fermentation. Pale, wheat, chit, and oat malts from Horton Ridge Malt & Grain support the hops with a full mouthfeel without getting bogged down. 

Switching gears completely is a pair of bottled releases months (years?) is the making. Starting from a blend of multi-month- and multi-barrel-aged Golden Sours (with a never-to-be-replicated amalgam of yeast and bacteria), it was then blended with many kilos of raspberry, strawberry, and dark cherry purees. The sugar introduced by the fruit kicked off another round of fermentation, with the Brettanomyces waking up and chewing through that, while giving off some more lovely berry notes of its own, as well as some light hay. The acidity from the bacteria keeps it zippy and clears the palate for a clean finish. Bottles of Monarch have been corked and caged for a while now, allowing them to condition and carb in the bottle, so we suggest grabbing a couple: one to enjoy now, and another one (or more) to try in a few months.

The second mixed fermentation sour from Tata this week is Iphias, a blend of older and new barrel-aged Golden Sours, which were combined and then conditioned with peach puree and ginger juice for a secondary fermentation period. Solid funk and barnyard from the oldest beer meld with the peach fruitiness and spice from the ginger, along with the young beer to soften the blend. This 6.3% ABV beauty has also been allowed to bottle condition for a few months, and with cork and cage, will keep for years. Cans and bottles of all three new releases are available in Tata’s retail store, as well as online for NS delivery and nationwide shipping.

Propeller’s 25th Anniversary year continues with another new release that sees the brewery exploring the area between truly low-alcohol (as defined by the gummint, anyway) and the 3 – 3.5% ABV range we used to call “sessionable.” Coming in at 2.5% is this new one “sub-sessionable”? That doesn’t sound right because it would be more sessionable, right? Maybe “super-sessionable”? Or you could just call it what Prop does, given that it’s a hop-forward beer with smooth mouthfeel and pleasant bitterness, and go with “Nano IPA.” Officially dubbed Big Tiny, it’s available now in 473ml cans from all Prop locations; look out for flavours of melon, grapefruit, and maybe even a soupçon of gooseberry. We’ll also remind you that Prop has cask nights at their Gottingen Street location every Friday starting at 6 PM where you’ll find a cask of one of their beers that’s usually undergone some sort of experimental addition. This week it’s their Prime Lager treated with watermelon and hibiscus. Head on down and enjoy one on their new patio!

The pride of Burnside and Antigonish, Spindrift Brewing, has two new releases to ring in September. First up is Soundtrack Peach and Apricot Sour. This kettle sour started with a base of Pilsner malt and malted wheat and saw additions of Magnum hops before fermenting on peach and apricot puree. Expect notes of tropical and stone fruit to compliment the tart character produced by the Lactobacillus. Soundtrack comes in at 5% ABV and 10 IBUs.  Also out is a new spin on their flagship Toller lager, Toller Red. Taking inspiration from the German Rotbier style originating in Nuremberg, it sees the addition of Munich and Caramel Munich to the usual Pilsner malt, giving it a darker colour, some fruit character and a hint of caramel. Also hopped with Magnum, Toller Red comes in at a sessionable 5.0% ABV and 19 IBUs. Both are out now in cans or for fills at Spindrift’s two locations, with Toller Red also seeing distribution through the NSLC in the coming weeks.

Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing has a few new and returning goodies this upcoming week. First up is their first Irish Red, being released tomorrow (Sept. 3). Their take on the style, it uses Red-X malt to deliver the di rigueur toasty and caramel notes. Can-conditioned this one will be available for taproom pours or to-go. Tuesday (Sept. 6) will see the release of Long Lake Lager, their take on a Czech-style lager using Pilsner malt with a touch of crystal malt, and a lager yeast propagated from their friends at Church Brewing. This one will be on tap and available to-go in cans. Finally, this week also saw the return of their Farmhouse Cider, The Bite. This batch is slightly different, with the saison yeast they used leading to a drier cider with some tart and funky notes and a 5% ABV. It’s available now at the brewery on tap and in cans.

Sticking with cidery news, Sydney’s Breton Brewing and Island Folk Cider House have teamed up once again to create Moxie Graf, a co-fermented apple juice beer. Graf is a style of beverage with 9,000 (!) year-old origins, that involves blending apple juice with beer wort and then fermenting with an ale yeast. The name is a homage to Moxham Castle, the creepy castle in downtown Sydney that was destroyed by fire in the 1960s. Expect a crisp drinking experience with notes of baked apple and caramel. Moxie Graf is available now at the Breton and Island Folk taprooms, and for delivery via Breton’s online store.

Does it feel like Fall to you? It was certainly cooler in Halifax this morning, but we wouldn’t go so far as to hasten the coming of the Autumn season when there’s officially three weeks left of Summer and hopefully even more weeks of patio beer viability yet to come. That said, though some will celebrate while others shake their fists in scorn, the first of the region’s harbingers of Fall is here, and it’s a two-fer: Upstreet now has both their Gravedigger Pumpkin Ale and their Libra Pumpkin Spice available as of yesterday. Gravedigger has been a stalwart since Upstreet’s first year, we believe, and features a deep copper color and aromas of pumpkin pie in a 6.5% package. It’s little sibling, as with all Libra brands, is a low-alcohol brew at 0.4% ABV and aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg. Look for these wherever you usually buy your Upstreet and/or your Libra.

Speaking of Libra, Kyle and Tony (or is it Tony and Kyle?) from the 902 BrewCast sat down with Mike Hogan (“Hogie”) of Upstreet and Libra to talk about the Libra brand, how it came to be, and how it’s doing in the market along with some discussion about no-/low-alcohol beers and Upstreet in general. You can check it out on your favorite podcast app or get it directly from the source. (Pumpkin beer haters worry not, we have reason to believe that this was recorded a little while ago and should be free of any gourdian content).

And speaking of Fall, that’s when the world’s largest celebration of beer takes place, in Germany and across the world: Oktoberfest! To celebrate their own Oktoberfest being held at the Beer Garden on the Waterfront (Sept 23 – Oct 2), Garrison has released their Hefe Weizen this week. Leveraging a bit of Aussie Cascade in this Wheat- and Yeast-driven brew, it features a touch of clove spice and banana on the nose and palate, perfect for enjoying a Maß or three. Cans and pints are available now at their Seaport and Oxford locations.

This week’s Newfoundland content comes to us from Boomstick Brewing in Corner Brook who partnered with music industry and community group Music NL to bring you Every Inch a Sailor, a blood orange and tangerine sour with a name that’s sure to resonate not only with Newfoundlanders, but with anyone who’s lived in Atlantic Canada for very long (or grew up listening to Sharon, Lois, & Bram and/or Fred Penner). Pretty much what it says on the tin, this is a kettle sour to which the team added blood orange and tangerine, producing a beer that is, “bright, light, and drinkable!” Surely one to enjoy while you’re doing some toe tappin’ to the strains of some Newfoundland music. Look for this one packaged in cans at the brewery, the Ultramar next store, and at Humber NLC. And don’t forget Music NL’s Music Celebration Week 2022 coming in late October to Corner Brook!

After a couple of years off (I wonder why??), the Nova Scotia Craft Beer Festival is back! Presented by the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia, which represents breweries from all across the province, 40 breweries from Yarmouth to Sydney, Amherst to Sheet Harbour, will be putting their best foot, and beer, forward, September 16 and 17 on the Halifax Waterfront. Taking place at the Salter Block at 1521 Lower Water Street, this outdoor event will have something for everyone into well-made local beer, plus live music and DJ sets, axe throwing, and with the new ticketing system, the ability to exit and grab food from the Salt Yard vendors next door. There are three sessions (Friday evening, and Saturday afternoon and evening), and we are looking to give away a pair of tickets to the session of your choosing! All you need to do is post a picture, video, reel, whatever you prefer, of the NS craft beer you’re enjoying this weekend on Instagram, and be sure to tag the brewery, us, and CBANS (@ACBeerBlog and @NSCraftBrewers). No limit to those entries, but be sure that we can see it and share! We will do a random draw Tuesday at 9 AM. But for those of you who may not win, please be sure to grab your tickets soon to avoid missing out!

Ending off the week with a job posting, for those looking to join, or supplement, their Career in Beer. Lower Sackville’s TAPestry Beer Bar is looking for a beer slinger to join their ranks in a weekend part-time position (with more shifts as biz increases). A love of beer (hey, if you’re reading this, you’re already part way there) and preferably with some industry experience already, are key to success. Drop by the bar at 833 Sackville Drive to drop your resume and chat with Ian and the gang.

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!