Let us be the last to welcome you to December, folks. In a year that feels a decade long, we’re rounding the corner to what wild and wonderful things 2021 has in store for us. No matter what, there will be great beer and cider, so at least we’ve got that going for us! A full complement of new and returning options for you to seek out this weekend, and remember that many places are on reduced operations due to COVID restriction, so you’ll want to do a double-check before hopping in your car to visit. Better yet, when possible choose contact-less delivery from those breweries and restaurants offer it, and tip generously. Be kind and drink well, friends!
The Change is Brewing Collective is back with their latest collaborative release, this time with Dartmouth’s Lake City Cider. Forest Glory is a 6.8% ABV blend of many different fruits and herbs all grown or foraged in Nova Scotia and featuring contributions from Stirling Fruit Farms, Terra Beata, East Coast Wild Foods, and Riverview Herbs. Starting with a blend of apple and cranberry juices fermented dry, it was infused with a tincture of juniper, thyme, and rosemary — we hear that the blending and herb selection day was a feast for the senses, as evidenced by the social media posts. Not only does the cider taste great, but it looks great too! Collective member Amber Zaza created a festive and meaningful design featuring the ingredients in a repeating wreath pattern, inclusive of the season, and for whatever reason you choose to celebrate. Proceeds of sales are going to a local non-profit supporting BIPOC youth and community-building.
From Change is Brewing, they “are more motivated than ever to continue promoting diversity & inclusion in the craft beverage industry, and exploring the different opportunities available to BIPOC folks in this province,” so keep your eyes peeled here and on their Social Media (Fb/Ig) for their next Brewing 101 and other events and releases. Grab Forest Glory at Lake City’s retail location, and/or for delivery in HRM, right now! Their in-person event planned for this Sunday is on hold due to COVID restrictions, but they’ll be doing a virtual event later in the month.
Like several areas of New Brunswick, the Moncton region remains in the Orange zone, but that isn’t stopping some of the local breweries from helping you get your beer fix! CAVOK Brewing, still open for pints with your bubble members, as well as takeaway beers, has a brand new New England IPA for the weekend. Got Wings? was brewed with a grist of 2-row and CaraRed malts, along with some oats, and was hopped with a wide variety of hops, including Chinook, Magnum, Citra, Mosaic, and Amarillo. Conditioned on tangerine and pineapple purée “for a sharp, upfront taste of bitter oranges and some fruit sweetness”, you can naturally expect even more citrus, fruity, dank aromas and flavours from the hop additions. With a fairly-low-for-an-IPA ABV of 5.8% ABV, you can find this medium-bodied hop bomb right now at CAVOK on tap and in cans.
Mount Pearl, Newfoundland’s Landwash Brewery is celebrating their Second Anniversary this weekend, and are releasing two new beers to mark the occasion. Awesome! Fresh off the canning line just this morning is the latest in their exploration of the American IPA style, Anchor Rode. This 7.2% IPA features a heavy dose of Strata hops, a newer variety related to Perle, and features a dank character along with plenty of juicy tropical notes of passion fruit, grapefruit, and strawberry. Cans, pints, and fills are available now!
And for those digging a big bold barreled beer, enter Landwash’s The Barrelman. Locals will recognize who this is referring to, but for the rest of us, The Barrelman was the name adopted by Joey Smallwood during his history and culture radio show broadcast in the 1930s and 40s. The beer stands as tall as the man, an American Barley Wine that spent 8 months in Bourbon barrels (American Oak, natch), taking on plenty of vanilla and a touch of booze, along with plenty of toffee and dried fruit character from the base beer. At 10% ABV, it’s perfect for nights huddled around the radio. Cans are also available in their retail shop now, and it’ll also be on draught when the taproom opens at 3 PM. Congratulations on your first two years, Landwash Crew, you have lots to celebrate, and more great things coming! Check their Social Media for details of events they’re holding over the next few weeks, including Slay Belles Drag Brunch next Sunday, as well as plenty of live music.
Tonight you will be visited by three spirits … ok, maybe it’s too early to start reciting Christmas Carol lines, but if you’re in the mood for a spooky beer, check out Good Robot’s release of Uncle Giggle’s Hazy APA. This 5.1% juicy pale ale is an homage to Disney’s Haunted Mansion which inspired the many of the design aspects of GR’s upstairs bar, the MouseTrap. Expect citrusy aromas with floral and grapefruit flavours from the Magnum, Citra and Equinox hops, which were paired with a grist bill featuring pale malt and flaked wheat. Grab some today from the Robots at their retail store on Robie Street or stay home and order delivery through their webstore.
Over in PEI, Montague’s Copper Bottom is happy to announce the latest entry in their Field Trip series, consisting of kettle-soured, fruited beers. Field Trip: Tangerine was brewed with a very simple recipe of Shoreline Malting 2-row, soured with Lactobacillus, and fermented with a clean ale yeast strain. Conditioned on loads of tangerine puree, the resulting 5% ABV brew is tart and sessionable, with “a moderate tangerine and tangerine pith character”. You can find it in the brewery’s taproom, online for pickup and delivery options, and in this year’s Advent Calendar from Harvest Wines. And if you were a fan of CB’s NorthPaw Rye IPA (6.5% ABV) when they first launched it, good news, as a fresh batch is now available! Hopped with Amarillo and Cascade to 40 IBUs, this time around it’ll be available at select PEILCC locations, as well as at the brewery and online.
If you’re feeling more in a Lager-ish kinda mood, Tatamagouche Brewing has you covered with their latest, Arvo, a Helles Lager. A style brewed to be clean, easy-drinking, and a showcase for good malt and noble hops, Tata’s take on the style features a grist of mostly Pilsner malt, with a little bit of Honey malt and Carapils thrown in for good measure. Mash-hopped with Czech Saaz, more Saaz and some Hallertau Mittlefruh were added in the boil, for a total calculated IBUs of 26. Fermented with the Isar Lager strain from Escarpment Labs, the final beer is right where you’d want it at 4.6% ABV, and is just what you’re looking for when you need a beer that is approachable, sessionable, and flavourful… without smacking you in the face too hard with, well, anything! Available at the brewery store for growlers and cans, and of course you can order it online (lots of great shipping options for all around the country!).
TataBrew also has a couple of other favourites returning: Elixir, their Pale Ale fermented with the Krispy Kveik yeast and hopped with Elixir and Mistral, two French varieties, is currently available on tap and in cans; and Giantess, their award-winning Barley Wine, a big (11% ABV!!), bold, delicious beer, can be found in store/online in 650 mL bottles. Two completely-different beers, yet both tasty as all get out!
Cole Harbour’s North Brewing has had a big couple of weeks, what with the release of Stack o’ Pancakes and their new and vintage collaboration beers with Benjamin Bridge, all of which we’ve mentioned over the past couple of weeks. This week saw the release of another beer we mentioned two weeks ago as on-the-way, SoP’s “sister” beer, Cinnamon Bun Stout. But they haven’t stopped there! Out today is a very special version of their original pastry stout, Twinkle Pony. For those who remember, this was a stout brewed with Tiramisu components, including ladyfinger cookies, vanilla, and coffee, as well as plenty of chocolate malt. As a special treat for all those folks who continue to ask for it, they not only made more, they made it MORE. Two barrels worth of a previous batch of this beer were socked into whiskey barrels for a solid 10 months before being blended with some newer stout then conditioned further on toasted coconut, cocoa nibs from Rousseau Chocolatier, and more vanilla. The result is a 9% ABV beer that will no doubt twinkle your pony. They’re calling it Coco Pony and if you’re into it, you should act quickly: only 900 cans have been produced! Grab it through on-line ordering for curbside pickup or delivery, or responsible socially distanced retail!
This is the time of year when some of you start craving certain Christmas candies, which inevitably means that similarly-themed beers will follow. With Dieppe’s Flying Boats, they’ve added a new beer to their Small Batch Brewing series, Midnight Express, a “Double Chocolate Orange Porter” which most likely is inspired by the popular stocking stuffer, Terry’s Chocolate Orange. The beer is brewed in the English Porter style, with a grist that contains two different Chocolate malt varieties. East Kent Goldings hops were added in the boil, along with additions of bitter orange peel. More orange was added to the beer in the form of orange puree during the conditioning phase, with the end product showing off a “full-bodied dark chocolate flavour, hints of orange zest, and a nice, creamy finish”. It’s 6.2% and 28 IBUs, and was packaged in 750 mL bottles for purchase at the brewery, as well as select ANBL stores.
Need a break from beer? Well, don’t forget that there’s lots of great, local cideries around Atlantic Canada now, with Halifax’s ChainYard being an excellent option. And hey, they’ve got a brand new cider currently available in cans, Cran’d Ole Hopry. This one is a cider made with Northern Spy apples that was dry-hopped with Cascade and Mosaic, and then aged on the cidery’s house-made cranberry wine. Lots of hop aromatics with this beauty, as well as a tart, refreshing finish of cranberry. It weighs in at 6.4% ABV; grab your 4-packs at CY right now!
Quidi Vidi has a few new beers in their Hop Shop and hitting NLCs and convenience stores this week. First up is Infinity Skull IPA, a juicy Idaho 7-heavy American IPA, featuring notes of apricot, lime, and pineapple. This collaboration was done with local tattoo artist Murray Brokenshire from Trouble Bound Studio, and of course features a pretty sick can design. Their Sofa Sours Series continues with the return of Strawberry Guava Creamsicle. Bright ripe strawberry and guava, with a touch of lactose to balance the acidity, makes for a refreshing, light, and fruity extension of the beer line. And finally, Imperial Black Forest Stout! As the name implies, lots of chocolate in the can, along with cherry and vanilla that will have you thinking of this heavenly dessert. Check their website for availability for pickup and delivery, in addition to those sent to the other retail locations.
As the holidays draw nearer, Atlantic Canadian beer drinkers collectively seek out a beer that is socially acceptable to crack open before noon (or is that just us?). Look no further, as Propeller is rereleasing its Mocha Oatmeal Stout. Brewed with chocolate and locally roasted coffee, expect flavors of espresso, milk chocolate and brown sugar in a 5.5% ABV package. As an added bonus, this year’s cans are of the nitro variety, leading to a creamier, smooth mouthfeel and the classic cascading head caused by the nitrogen. The kegged version was carbed using CO2, so grab a growler while you’re at it to compare and contrast the two styles. Available today at Prop’s three HRM locations are via home delivery through their webstore.
Not to be outdone by all the other breweries doing some kinda boxy bundley thingy for the holidays (just a little late to the party 😘), 2 Crows Brewing in Halifax is stepping up the local content with theirs, calling it the Local Crate. Of course you’re going to get some lovely liquids from Brunswick Street, including 8 beers, 2 cans each of Refresh and Fantacity, 1 Laurel, 1 I Love You, and a bottle of Terry (the last two are exclusive early releases!) as well as 4 cans of Hop Water and a lovely limited release 2 Crows Arome beer glass to enjoy them all with. But you’ll also get a loaf of sourdough bread, a bag of granola, and an enamel pin from Birdies Bread Co., and Milosh Mustard (yep, mustard made with 2 Crows Milosh Helles-style lager) and Apple-Shallot Chutney from Good Luck Café & Pantry. Check out the pretty pictures at their web store, but don’t spend too long fawning, if you want one of these you need to place your order by December 10th; they’ll be ready for pickup or delivery on December 12th.
Nothin’ doin’ this week in terms of beer-related events, but let’s be honest, that’s very much the way it should be. As we adapt to increased restrictions, though hopefully not for too long, we’ll likely see some virtual beer events pop up again, which we’ll be happy to tell you about. And with that, here’s the traditional batch of shorter items to send you on your way to plan your weekend beer(s)!
Breton Brewing’s latest seasonal is a NEIPA named Into the Haze (6.6% ABV) that was brewed with Wheat malt from Shoreline Malting and plenty of delicious hops to give “notes of pineapple on the nose, and flavours of grapefruit, lemon, mango, and cantaloupe.” Available for pickup at the brewery, and online for delivery/shipping across Nova Scotia.
If you’re interested in trying some cellared beers, particularly those of the higher ABV variety, check out Garrison’s Cellar Celebration. Featuring releases going as far back as 2015, you’ll find long-time favorites like Spruce Beer, Ol’Fog Burner Barleywine, Wintervention and Baltic Porter. Check out Garrison’s webstore for all of the details.
Grimross Brewing has brought back their Abbey Dubbel (pronounced “double”, not “doobel”!), but this time, the Belgian Dubbel is available in cans. At 7.2% ABV, and with “notes of dark fruit, banana, and allspice with toasty malt and a drying finish”, it’s just what you need for sipping on a cold (or, lukewarm?) late-fall night.
Maybee Brewing has their own returning Belgian staple, Stone House Tripel. This pale-coloured, 8.4% ABV Belgian Tripel was originally one of the brewery’s flagship beers; if you’ve been missing it, you can grab it on tap and in cans at the brewery.
Halifax hop heads rejoice! Double Orange Ale is back at Unfiltered Brewing. The 7.5% DIPA you know and love is available now in cans and growler fills (Unfiltered glass only) on North Street, or via home delivery.