Escarpment Laboratories

All posts tagged Escarpment Laboratories

We’re just over halfway through June and as we officially roll into Summer, you may be throwing a Summer Solstice party, planning something special for Father’s day (or, Fadder’s Day) or looking for some cool new things to do. While it’s hard for us to capture absolutely everything that’s going on in Atlantic Canada, hopefully we can point you in the right direction with places to try, beers and ciders to look for and help with summertime plans. Even on those rainy days, you may be listening to some Alan Jackson, and want to sip on some new and local beers. We are here to help, especially when Alan Jackson comes to the Chattahoo…erm, New Brunswick in November!

Let’s kick off this week’s news and fun with a whole lotta goodness flowing from the North Shore of Nova Scotia. There you’ll find Tatamagouche Brewing, who opened their doors in June of 2014, and are celebrating their birthday this weekend. They’ve released a whole whack of beers since they launched with Hippie Dippie Pale Ale and Butcher Block Red (shout out to us at the blog for having that info at launch!), and have won a slew of local, national, and international awards since then. You’ll be able to grab some of those award-winning beers in a Birthday Surprise Beer Box, specially curated by co-owner Matt Kenny, which includes award winning brews, special one-time releases, and early Weird Beer and Giant Beer releases from as far back as 2015! Due to the nature of the low supply, there were only 10 cases available and some have already been claimed, your best bet for success is to DM Tatabrewco on Instagram or drop by the brewery today to grab the case! Popping by the brewery will also reward your ears, thanks to Live Music from Jamie & Jonny today 5 – 7:30 PM, and tomorrow with the Brew Boys taking the stage from 1 – 4 PM.

A brewery can’t have a birthday celebration without new releases, of course, and Tata is not shying away from their “responsibility” in that department this week. First up is Tempest, a blended Imperial Stout, and a hefty one at that! Starting life as two distinct beers, the first was brewed with a traditional grain bill, and aged in peat-heavy Scotch barrels for a year, picking up smoke, vanilla, and a touch of booze from its temporary home. Blended with that is another “large and in charge stout,” this one not having spent any time in wood, but sporting a touch of smoked malt. The amalgamation of the two features the best of both worlds, in a sneaky 12.2% package! Think chocolate, toasty graham crackers, and rich dark fruits. Available now online and in store in a 500ml bottle.

Also debuting this weekend is the continuation of their Solera program, where young beer is added to a vessel when part of the aged beer is removed, to keep the hungry yeast and bacteria well fed with new starch and sugars, and extend the flavour profile of the offerings. Enter Foeder 3, the second release from one of their Red Wine foeders, which is a blend of 3-year old and 1-year old wort. There’s no shortcutting this sort of beer, as the Gueuze producers of the Zenne River Valley will attest! The red wine that was previously held in the wood is long gone, but just a touch of its essence remains, with the main character from the yeast and bacteria coming through with light notes of acidity, highlighted by plum and lychee and hay. Look for more from this vessel too!

Also fresh off the canning line this week are returning favourites Saltwater Cowboy, the 4.4% Tequila Barrel-Aged Gose, and Skiff, their 3.3% Grisette (think Saison’s little sister). And why not hit a banger of an Italian Pils, with their Pausa Pranzo available online and in the shop now, as well as Square One, the 6.1% Dry-Hopped Saison. Phew, what a list! Big congratulations to the TataBrewCrew on 8 years of fun times and great beer, and here’s to many more!

Out of their Dartmouth brewery, North Brewing, has a new release today that is not your standard release, Kem Cho? Which means “How are you?” in the Gujarati language. a 4.5% spiced Pale Ale, it’s spiced with additions of saffron, cardamom and lemon zest additions.  Using Cashmere hops to provide a delicate, but lemon-friendly flavour and smooth bitterness, it seems to be balanced in all the right places. This beer is available on tap at the brewery and Battery Park for pints, and both locations and Timberlea have 473ml cans available.

We are stoked to announce a big collaborative offering from Mount Pearl’s Landwash Brewing this week, perfect for grilling season (whether that’s in the summer or year-round!). Their Mixed BBQ Pack has been released at the brewery and Marie’s shops today, and features four crushable beers for any and all occasions. Anchoring the pack is Tidepool Pilsner, their 5.0% German-inspired pils, crisp and refreshing with just a touch of German hop bitterness. New on the scene are 3 releases, brewed in collaboration with St. John’s based restaurants and meat shops, including Newfoundland Sausage Company. Their team came out to Mount Pearl and brewed up a Vienna Lager, which at 5.2%, is the most malt-forward of the bunch, but thanks to a long, cold, conditioning, is super-smooth, with the Saaz and Spalter Select hops used keeping it bright and balanced. Vienna…Sausage… we’re not the only ones making that connection, right? 😉

Restaurant and Deli hybrid Chinched got into the game too, opting for a New Zealand Pilsner for their collab beer. Kiwi-grown Nelson Sauvin and Wakatu hops impart a Sauvignon Blanc vibe, with tropical notes, in this super-refreshing 6.0% Pils. And finally, the kitchen crew from Mallard Cottage made the trek from QV to MP, and, with guidance from Landwash’s Nardia McGrath, put together a lovely Australian Sparkling Ale: at 4.9%, it used an English Ale for primary fermentation, followed by an extended lagering period to tamp down the fruit esters. Instead, thanks to the Aussie-grown Ella, look for a touch of spice and floral on the nose, with a bright and crisp finish, super-easy drinking.

The BBQ Packs are available at the brewery right now, and rolling out to Marie’s Mini Marts as you read this, in their slick new “Can-teen” display cases, ready to grab a flat and go! Check out the fun quotes stamped on the bottom of the can with their date codes… The 8-pack joins their just-released-yesterday Bungle Rye, a 6.8% Rye IPA. Leveraging the spiciness of that malt (both flaked and malted rye were used in the mash), Galaxy, Vic Secret, and Mosaic hops were used throughout to balance that malt backbone with pine, citrus, and tropical fruit. Head Brewer Alex crafted this one, and raided the hop freezer to make it happen! FYI, the name of the beer is inspired by the ballad of the same name, the tale of being sold a baby instead of a bottle of rye! What a switcheroo! Maybe Alex will perform the song at next Wednesday’s Open Mic…. 

Let’s shine the spotlight on another island, with two new releases out of Montague, PEI, where Bogside Brewing has a few can releases from their anniversary bash a few weeks ago. First up, Lunchpail Lager! This is the first rice lager from the brewery and is crisp and easy drinking, with an IBU of 9, it’s intended as a mainstream style for all around crushability. It’s 5.5% ABV and available in cans and from the taps.

Next up, another easy drinker with some fruit and lower ABV, Strawberry Sour makes its return as a Berliner Weisse-style release, using real strawberries for a 4% small sour featuring the quintessential summery berry of PEI. Get this one in cans or on tap from the brewery as well.  

Up in Lawrencetown, NS, (no not the beach, the other one) Lunn’s Mill has a new seasonal that’s, uh, perfect for the season. Patio Saison is a Saison Table Beer that is 3.7%, perfectly sessionable and dry with a bit of spice. Using African Queen hops (the most popular South African houblon) for a dark fruit flavour, along with an Old World Saison yeast blend, the balance of smooth, sweet, and spicy pairs well with the style of beer. This is available in cans and on tap from the brewery, on tap at The Station in Bridgetown and Battery Park has a keg tapping soon, too!

Continuing with their newfound frequent release schedule and also their continued contributions to the Make Peace Not War beer project, Delta Force Brewing has a fourth release featuring two new beers available now on their online shop. Cucumber Farmshed Sour is 3.8% and Red Currant/Rhubarb Saison is 7.8%. Both of these are available in 500ml bottles today from their online store, and just like all of the previous releases, 40% of the proceeds will be donated to Red Cross Ukraine

We head to CBS (Conception Bay South, b’y) in Newfoundland for Ninepenny Brewing’s collaboration with the Baymen Rugby Club. The beer, The Baymen, is named after the team and they wanted to make a flavourful, refreshing beer and ended up making a blueberry and raspberry 5.3% fruited sour. Members of the club joined for the brew day and the label is inspired by their jerseys. Pints and cans are available now and will be available at Marie’s as well.

Moncton’s Tire Shack has some news for you this week, as they have two of their favourite and popular beers returning this week, along with a Sunday event! Love at Midnight is a returning 7% IPA, dubbed a Piña Colada IPA, this beer was conditioned on lots of pineapple and coconut. Bringing big tropical vibes this sounds delicious. Also returning is Mexican Lager Cerveza, a 5% crisp lager that is one of the favourites The Shack team has released, and, as they say “quite possibly the easiest drinking beer we have ever made”. Both of the beers are available at the brewery in pints, growlers and cans. Why not check them out on Sunday, when they are hosting Ricky Burger for a Father’s Day burger pop-up? It starts at 1 PM on Sunday June 19th and what better way to treat Dad than burgers and beer? 

Where else to drink this weekend? Let’s get you up to speed!

One of Lower Sackville’s beer destinations, TAPestry Beer Bar is celebrating their first year in business and they’ve got something planned for each day of the celebratory weekend. Today, June 17th, they’ve got Flight School Friday, where you can buy one flight and get the second one for half price. Also, for the first 25 customers of the day, there will be a special sweet treat (Vandal Doughnuts). On Saturday, music will be keeping the party going with a 3 PM to 6 PM show from Cas Rio McCrea and then 6 PM to 10 PM will feature the MacGillivray Boys.
Sunday is more beer-focused with Happy Hour through the entire day, but from 12 PM to 2 PM, there will be a private event just for their SackVegas Beer Club. Members only, as they say. When they open up to the public at 2 PM, happy hour will be there for everyone. Be sure to check out their beer bar this weekend if you have the chance!

This Sunday, Propeller is celebrating their latest collaboration with Barkeep Cocktails with a Patio Party at the (Barkeep affiliated) Dear Friend Bar in Dartmouth. Celebrating the releases of Paloma and Cucumber Rickey, these canned cocktails will be joined with food and drink specials, giveaways, music and free gifts for the first 30 people. Check it out at the bar on Sunday, June 19th, from 12 PM until 3 PM. And check out the just-released Yuzu Fruited Ale, a draught-only release at Gottingen and Quinpool, for growler or pints!

Very big news for breweries (and, assuming the lessons are learned and applied, beer drinkers!) as Escarpment Labs is headed to Nova Scotia (North Brewing in Dartmouth, specifically) for a series of one day courses about Yeast Quality Control. In July there are 2 sessions for “Quality Control in the Brewery” and will cover quality control and setting up your own yeast lab for your own brewery. Check out all of the details here.  

A few short pieces before we dismiss you this week. Have fun and take care of each other!

While it’s still Pride month (and Halifax Pride comes in July), one of the best local drinks you can buy and support for Pride is from Lake City Cider and their District Pride Rosé. This is a delicious cider that is dry with Nova Scotia applies and multiple tart berries. $0.25 from every can is donated to Egale, who focus on Legal Advocacy, and their vision of “a world, without homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and all other forms of oppression so that every person can achieve their full potential, free from hatred and bias.”

Another cider you can get now is Canoe ‘22 (named after the 2022 Canoe World Championships coming to Dartmouth in August). With this release, LCC ran a contest where local artists could design the can. The winner of the contest was the talented Anisa Francoeur, so check out the can here. The cider is Lake City’s Crisp Apple, refreshing and clean for sitting around Lake Banook in August and watching some elite talent.

Lastly for Lake City, today (Friday) is Oyster Night and Saturday afternoon is another Oyster Pop-Up! $2 per oyster or a dozen for $20. Friday is from 4 PM until sell-out and Saturday is from 4 PM until they’re all gone. To top off their weekend, Sunday features Vandal Doughnuts with $3 donuts starting at 11am. Lots on the go for the fine cider folks, so support them now, soon, or later!

One thing we love to see here is breweries teaming up and supporting their local regions and communities. In this spirit, Candid Brewing has a new collaboration out with the very fun and amazing Keppoch Mountain (only a 17 minute drive apart!). East of Awesome is an easy-drinking Cream Ale to celebrate a love of recreation and the outdoors. There is a mountain biking cross-country bike race on Sunday June 19th and the Candid crew will have a pop-shop on site. The beer is available now at the brewery for cans to go, along with growlers and pints on tap. 

Like last week, we’ll finish off with a rundown of some of the new treats hitting Bishop’s Cellar this week. A global favourite from Montreal, Dieu Du Ciel! have sent two new imports into Halifax this week. Blanche du Paradis is a 5.5% Belgian Wheat Ale and Sentinelle is a Kölsch-style Blonde Ale. Sticking in Quebec, there are 3 new fresh brews available from Lagabière. Their flagship beer is Ta Meilleure, a 7% New England IPA and brings a big bouquet of citrus and juicy hops. Second up, Ta Plus Meilleure, a twist on the aforementioned, brewed with the same base and hops, with added peach and passion fruit puree, making it an 8% Double NEIPA. Also, Tiki Sour: Cucumber and Lime Gose (an annual 4% Gose-style summer release) is also available now. On the local front, check out Gut View, a 4.9% Amber Ale from Lazy Bear Brewing. Order online or visit Bishop’s Landing in Halifax in store!

Happy Friday beer, cider, and mead fans! It’s getting to be the season of celebration and reflection, as we look back on the ”Year of Beer 2021” that was, and how beer (and life) will look in 2022. Your faithful ACBB authors will be taking a little pause during the next couple weeks to spend with family (growing family, in a couple of our cases!) and friends, and do our own reflecting on what is to come. Here be the last ACBB Friday Wrap-Up of 2021, and we’ll chat again soon!

Delta Force Brewing in Greenwich, Nova Scotia, has a fresh new beer available this week, Bap, a Korean toasted rice lager. Inspired by the Korean scorched sticky rice dish Nurungji, the fellas behind DFB actually toasted their own rice before adding it to the grain bill of this 4.5% ABV lager. The resulting copper lager features a touch of toasting from the process, but still remains refreshing, and the perfect pairing for Korean food, including fried chicken. Grab Bap, and everything from Delta Force, from their online shop, which is featuring a 10% discount for orders of 6+ bottles, or from an increasing number of spots in HRM, including Bishop’s Cellar, The Other Bean, and Pizzatown Cobequid.

Breton Brewing has visions of (sugar) plums dancing through our heads with their latest release, Let’s Jam Plum Sour. Building on their previous Let’s Jam releases, it features loads of plum to complement the acidity from the base beer. Available direct from the brewery and online, as well as in the Maritime Craft Beer Advent Calendar.

Back with another release in their rotating IPA Series, 2 Crows Brewing brings out Quiet Contemplation, a juicy, tropical, and lush IPA available now. They use the same malt base as the other IPAs in the series (Golden Promise, wheat, oats and dextrin malt) along with lots of mash hops, some hopback hops and massive amounts of dry-hopping.  This one is loaded with Vic Secret and Citra hops and brings a flavours and aromas of mango, mandarin, pineapple and passionfruit in a smooth 6.1% and 44 IBU package. It’s available now, online and in the taproom in 473ml cans. 

Cornwall, PEI’s Village Green has two new releases to round out 2021. Weird Clouds 8 is their latest in their IPA series featuring loads of Galaxy, Simcoe and Idaho 7, bringing lots of citrus, peach skin and some nice allium flavour from Simcoe. It’s 6.9% and is available in cans now. Second up is a Winter Warmer, brewed with Charlottetown good beer joint Hopyard. A seasonal favourite, it was brewed with brown sugar and a fine selection of warming spices to bring this dark and tasty style to life at 7.7%. Now available in cans and kegs, it will be pouring at Hopyard on PEI over the holidays. 

Port Rexton Brewing is celebrating Tibb’s Eve in style next week, with their taproom open Dec 23rd, 4 – 10 PM. Plenty of fun things planned for the evening (including a cask of their Gluten Free Porter with a ton of orange zest added), so let’s tell you about their annual celebratory beer that accompanies it! Tibbs the Saison is a 5.8% ABV Saison brewed with Fruit Bomb Saison from Escarpment Labs, displaying plenty of fruit and herbal character in a non-adjunct beer. Available now at the brewery, their St. John’s Retail Shop, as well as Urban Market 1919, Maries Mini Marts across the island, and local NLCs.

In the spirit of holiday get-togethers, two of Dartmouth’s breweries partnered up on a couple of beers for the holidays. Brightwood Brewing and New Scotland are releasing Fritz, a West Coast IPA inspired by the “father” of that style, Fritz Maytag (of Anchor Brewing, donchaknow!), and Wallonia Cranberry Farmhouse Ale, inspired by the birthplace of the Belgian Farmhouse Style. Exclusively available in 4-packs (two of each, of course) for an even $20 (tax and deposit included) at both breweries.

Across the Northwest Arm from peninsular Halifax, Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing decided to pound out some holiday brews for us all. Up first is Rusty Compass, the latest output of their Beer Creation Experience program. A 5.6% cream ale, it includes flaked corn in the grist to keep the body light and the finish crisp; it’s available in 500ml bottles or for fills and pints at the taproom. Next up is Pilot Boat, a collaboration with local espresso bar/grocery/art gallery Pavia. Nominally a “coffee ESB” it of course contains some coffee, but also a selection of specialty malts specifically selected to create a coffee-like character that could be enhanced by the addition of actual beans in the secondary. Coming in at 5.3% ABV and 33 IBU, you find this one on tap and for fills at Serpent, or in bottles exclusively at Pavia. Lastly but not leastly is Slowrider, Serpent’s latest foray into the New England/hazy IPA realm since Pavo. Somewhat slight, even for the style, at 5.3% ABV and 28 IBU, a little bit of Magnum for bittering gives way to whirlpool additions of Amarillo and Sabro, followed by a huge dose of Sabro in the dry hop. Plenty of high-protein adjuncts paired with the London Fog yeast strain make for a delightfully opaque presentation of hop goodness, but you’ll have to go to the brewery to get it, as it’s not packaged. In non-new release news, Serpent’s Eden is now available on tap at the Armview on the roundabout and White Mountain Witbier is available at Bishop’s Cellar for the first time.

Pulling the opposite trick from a couple weeks ago, we go Spryfield to Sackville (or is that Spryville to Sackfield?) this time, where Ol’ Biddy’s has a small batch coming out next Thursday just in time for your Xmas weekend. Available at the taproom for pints and growler fills only, it’s a bit of a big one, at 7.6% and 22 IBU. Aged on Madagascar vanilla and bourbon, look for big chocolate flavour and a smooth vanilla and bourbon finish. A fine pint to sip on after your shopping is done and you’re ready to relax.

On the Eastern side of PEI, Bogside Brewing has a couple new things this week as well, starting with a beer for a cause: Gimme Shelter is a blonde ale, crisp and refreshing at 5% ABV, and with $6 from every 6-pack sold going to the PEI Humane Society. On the (much!) heavier side is Bourbon Street Barrel Aged Porter, a big ol’ smooth, rich, and velvety concoction matured in Kentucky Bourbon barrels and weighing in at a hefty 10%. On draught at the taproom, but also available in a limited number of bottles to go.

Dildo, NL’s eponymous Dildo Brewing has a collaboration beer out with PEI’s Lone Oak, using their respective Provinces’ favourite root vegetables. Starky Bunch is a 5% lager using PEI Potatoes and Newfoundland turnips to produce 20% of the extract in this well-hopped clean and crisp American Pilsner. This is available in 473ml cans from Dildo now, and we hear Islanders will see it at Lone Oak as well in the coming weeks.

Deep in the Annapolis Valley, Smiths Cove’s Lazy Bear Brewing has debuted something a little different this week, a gruit! The Descendent uses juniper for flavouring and bitterness, rather than hops, producing a nice light coniferous character. Flexing the versatility of Kveik yeast to ferment just about anything thrown at it, The Descendent is available now at the brewery, as well as at their Market presence this weekend.

Staying in the Valley, where Annapolis Brewing Company has a brand new beer available as well. Left Coast Double IPA is ABC’s first DIPA and they’ve aimed to make it a classic example of the West Coast style. Mashed high to encourage some non-fermentable sugars that in turn lend some extra body, it was bittered with Magnum and hopped in the whirlpool with classic American varieties Amarillo and Centennial. Finished with a “whopping” dry hop of more Centennial, you can expect plenty of pine and citrus from this one, which is available on tap and in cans from the brewery.

Staying in Annapolis Royal, East Coast Cider Company has a new seasonal cider available today. Ambrosia Raspberry Cider is a semi-sweet, semi-dry cider offering using a base of their Ambrosia cider, with raspberry added in for a nice tart and sweet flavour. This 6% offering is available on tap and in cans at the taproom, or available to order online. 

Continuing West down the 101 highway, we come to Roof Hound down Digby way where they’ve put together a Chocolate Stout collection for the holidays. All built off the same base beer (we think!), each got a different holiday treatment: Wasted Days will be reminiscent of Peanut Butter Balls, Cinna-Bone will give you your chicken bones fix, Cherry Brandy will get you that liquor-filled cherry bon bons vibe, and the cleverly named 8:05 Mint will make you think of a green box, paper wrappers, and peppermint. Sounds like an awesome chance to share some fun beers with friends and/or family. Or four nights of contemplating a particular beer. You’ll find these in bottles, available as singles, as a Chocolate Stout Collection 4-pack, or as part of Roof Hound’s Holiday Box all on sale at the brewery.

Lots of news out of Halifax’s Good Robot Brewing this week. Firstly, they’re dipping their toes into the big lager market after their success with 10,000lb Pilsner with the release of Good Robot American Lager. Designed to be a “good, honest, cold lager,” at 5% ABV and available in 6-packs, maybe you’ll like it, or maybe it’ll just save you a trip elsewhere to get beer for your non-craftian party guests. Either way that’s a win! GR is also joining the throngs with the availability of Holiday Boxes. Two are available, the “Essential” box with eight GR beers and two pieces of custom GR holiday merch, and the “Deluxe” with eighteen brews and twice the merch content (four pieces). All come with a Holiday Card that they’ll fill out any way you like – GR does the work, you get the credit. And lastly, if you’re heading down there, GR is running a “Swabs for Pints” program to encourage folks to be smart and get tested. You show your evidence of a negative COVID test, either via a pic of your home test result or a text message from the testing program and they’ll sell you a pint at the lowest legal price. Wins for everyone!!

Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing have been happy little beer elves all year long and they’re bringing some holiday cheer with some new and returning releases. Golden Vanilla Latte is a favourite of TS fans, a blonde ale with lots of coffee and vanilla, brewed in collaboration with Epoch Chemistry coffee shop. Using lightly roasted coffee beans with lactose and vanilla, 3,000 litres of beer was aged, giving a vanilla latte flavour in the 5.0% ABV brew. Next up is another canned release, Pear Chai Sour, a sour ale using a tonne of Chai tea and 100 litres of pears. Pitched with Lactobacillus, you’ll get a fruity, sweet and sour notes at 6%. These two beers are available today in cans, growlers and pints at the brewery. Next Wednesday (December 22) there will be a limited release of FaceMelter, a Wee Heavy style beer coming in at 10%. A perfect style for the season, you get some boozy, malty, caramel flavours, but thanks to the use of honey dates in this brew, you’ll get some fruit notes as well. This was first brewed two years ago, but the honey dates are a new addition for 2021. There are only 100 bottles of this, and last time it sold out in one hour; only available at the brewery, of course.

Nyanza’s finest, Big Spruce Brewing, is back with a winter themed release making it’s return. Shrediquette is a New England IPA that is juicy, bold and fruity. Originally released in March 2020, this beer was going to debut at the Vermont Brewers Fest, but sadly, COVID cancelled that plan. This NEIPA is packed with El Dorado hops and uses Ebbegarden Kveik yeast to bring pineapple, guava and mango flavours to the soft and fruity esters from the yeast. This is available now in cans from the brewery and online. Also, like so many other breweries this year, Big Spruce has a special holiday box featuring 12 cans of 6 Big Spruce staples! Featuring 2 each of Kitchen Party, Cereal Killer, Ready Yer Knot Regatta Red, Guava Get Me Some, Tag! You’re It and Silver Tart, you can get this for $50 including free shipping in Canada!

Lake City Cider has a new release for the end of the year, adding to their Vine series of wine and cider mixes. Sparkling Apple Pinot Grigio is the latest release, featuring Pinot Grigio with a bit of freshly pressed Nova Scotian apples for the cider side. It’s light, delicate with notes of apple and pear with a very dry finish. Available in store or online in 750ml bottles at 9.6%. 

The news keeps coming out of North Brewing, this week in the form of a brand new one brewed with a shining light in the industry. Ren Navarro of Beer. Diversity. and Do Better. Be Better. is both a beer expert and a leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Who better to team up with on a collaboration beer? Pip Pip Cheerio is an English Porter at 4.5% ABV featuring a blend of specialty malts and a fermentation with the Sterling Ale yeast strain from Escarpment Labs. Expect a toasty brew, with nutty overtones and a soupçon of caramel and cherry. Grab it at any of North’s three retail locations or order it online. And consider giving do give Ren an Instagram follow at Beer Diversity if you don’t already!

Antigonish’s Candid Brewing really wants to do something to ease the mental and emotional load of the negative light cast on their town over the past couple of weeks. What better way to do that than beer and a spirit of giving? Over the holidays when you place an order that qualifies for free local delivery ($50 and up), you’ll find an extra beer in the box when it arrives: a can of their Kanpai rice lager in friendly community spirit with the Antigonish Townhouse. They ask that you “beer it forward” to someone deserving, be it a friend, colleague, or just someone who needs a pick me up. If you take a picture of that paying it forward and share it to social media (tagging Candid, natch), you’ll be entered to win a private tasting for six at the brewery. The draw will be held Christmas Eve at noon, so you’ve got a few days to get this done. So get thee to their brand new online ordering system and order up some beer, including a couple more brand new debuts that have hit the virtual shelves in the last seven days. Especially important for those in the HRM is that they will be doing a run to the big city next Tuesday (Dec 21), so submit your orders before 8 PM Dec 20 to get in on the action. $60 order minimum, and an order over $100 will get you free shipping, so grab a friend or two and get to clicking!

Heading down the road we’ll end our year in beer news in Stellarton, where Backstage Brewing is releasing Fare Thee Well, a Champagne IPA. This is on tap at the brewery now and bottles will be available early next week. Expect an effervescent beer with a dry finish and plenty of hop character. 

A couple of events to tell you about coming to a beer bar or podcast near you!

Obviously subject to change according to whatever might happen restrictions-wise in the next couple of weeks, if you’re looking for a beery NYE pre-party by all means head on down to the Stillwell Freehouse, where they’ll be running from 12 to 10PM giving you plenty of time to enjoy one-off kegs, staff favorites, and special snacks before you head on out to do your countdown thing elsewhere.

Whether you’ve got some time off coming up and you’re looking for some things to pique your interest, or you’re looking for some new content to help you get through the commute during this slow time of year, 902BrewCast has you covered. Tune in to their latest episode, recorded yesterday, but coming to a Tuesday near you (we suspect this coming one, December 21st), when they sat down with Lucas Mader from Bishop’s Cellar (Bishop’s Cellar! Bishop’s Cellar! Bishop’s Cellar!) to catch up on what’s in stock, what’s coming soon, and beery plans for the future. Grab it from their website or wait for it to appear in your favourite podcast app.

In a year full of ups and downs, let’s leave you with some happy news today… TAPestry Beer Bar is celebrating 6 months of bringing the best beers of the province to the fine folks in Lr. Sackville. Thousands of pints poured, Flight School Fridays to launch the weekend, and Kaisers subs consumed onsite, and there will be many more of those to come. Pop by their spot at 833 Sackville Drive to support those folks bringing great beer to great people!

As we did the rounds on social media this week and checked our messages for missives from the (much beloved) folks who send us regular updates or even just notable releases and happenings, it became pretty clear that we’ve reached that magical point in the late summer when many, if not most, of the breweries in our region are pretty much running on fumes. Sure, there’s some new releases out there (Hello 2 Crows), but there’s a definite feeling that the industry is heaving a collective sigh this week and we wouldn’t be surprised to see it stretch one more before the big push for Oktoberfest and fall beers comes on. We know that beer never really sleeps and that new beers are out there, they’ve just got to get out of their fermenters. And into packages. And labeled. And distributed. And…and…and… So while we know that nobody’s actually taking much of a rest, this is a good week to look for what’s left of your summer faves and consider what might be coming down the pike in a couple of weeks. That said, there’s definitely some news this week…

Halifax’s reigning Tiny Tasty Taproom and Good Time Emporium, Tidehouse Brewing, has announced on social media that they will be closing their doors this weekend. After 5 years of slinging the good beer and conversation on Salter Street, welcoming visitors from across the province, country, and world, they will be shutting down at the end of service Saturday night. Not ones to leave anything unsaid or undone, they are closing out with a bang(er) today. Salad Days is a celebration of Tidehouse’s heydays and foray into all sorts of fun adventures, resulting in a 10.5% Triple Milkshake IPA. Big fruit juice character thanks to the massive amount of mango, raspberry, and orange zest added, with Galaxy and Azacca hops lending even more fruity esters. The use of vanilla and lactose/milk sugar help complete the milkshake mouthfeel and sweetness. Salad Days is available on tap and in cans from 4 PM today (and again from 4 tomorrow), as friends, colleagues, and beer fans new and old are welcome to celebrate what Shean, Peter, Shannon, and everyone in the extended Tidehouse family have accomplished. Congratulations folks, plenty to be proud of!

The folks who regularly give these weekly posts a skim are probably well aware that when they see Halifax’s 2 Crows there’s likely several paragraphs afoot and this week is no exception. We don’t know what they put in their coffee over there (although we’ve seen their coffee pot and, well, be glad they sell you beer) but we’re betting it could cost someone an Olympic gold medal.

First up are a couple of beers that we should warn you are not likely to be easy to come by if you’re not planning to be in the environs of St. John’s, NL, a week from today. We previously mentioned the 2C tap takeover at Brewdock on September 17th and, as they tend to do, the gang is bringing some heavy artillery that will no doubt delight the crowd on the Rock. Nanaimo and Big Turk started out with the same base, a base that 2C’s own head brewer has termed “ridiculous.” The grist was based in pale and Vienna malts, with just a touch of specialty grains added, you know, the usual, some flaked oats, Caravienna, Caramunich, chocolate AND light chocolate, Honey malt, Extra Special malt, and Midnight Wheat. That tremendous pile of grain was then double mashed to produce a wort with a sky-high original gravity of 1.127. After fermentation was complete, the batch was split to produce the two beers: Nanaimo received a massive dose of cocoa nibs and coconut, plus a bit of honey and cinnamon. Big Turk was also treated to a massive nibbing, along with vanilla, concord grape, and black cherry. It’s not hard to see what the inspirations for these two were! Described as “super thick, super chewy, super super,” they come in at a bowl-you-over 11.9% ABV, and, for an added touch of awesomeness, will be occupying the nitro taps at Brewdock which will impart maximum smoothness. Boy howdy. Tickets are required for the event, BTW, and can be purchased at Brewdock and now through their online shop. That guarantees your spot inside, as well as your first pint in your own take-away glass.

Also pouring at Brewdock will be the latest in the 2 Crows series of incredibly hoppy NEIPAs. We’re past the point of being able to rhyme off all the various names, but we believe that this is the first new one since Cause for Celebration was released as part of a 4-pack for their 4th anniversary in January of this year. Well now comes Vivid Imagination, which began, as all the others have, with Golden Promise, flaked oats, wheat malt, and chit malt, and hopped in the mash and at first wort with something inconsequential (i.e., for brewing magic reasons, not so much for flavor or aroma). On its way to the fermenter it passed through a pretty good dose of newish hop variety BRU-1 in the hopback, but the real heavy lifting was done by “outrageous” amounts of Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy (along with a little more BRU-1) in the dry-hop. Carbonated via spunding like all the cool kids are doing to lock in the aroma and flavor, you can expect it to be really and truly juicy, with tropical and gooseberry notes. This one will be canned on Monday, at which point it’ll be available for purchase at the brewery.

Already out in the wilds of Halifax and beyond is Signals, a new smoked lagerbier that some (like us!) might consider an ideal style for the transition from summer to fall. Built on a simple grist of floor malted Pilsner and smoked malt, and using a double decoction mash to provide body and foam stability, heavy amounts of traditional Saaz hops were added in the kettle before the beer was fermented low and slow with Escarpment Labs’ Czech Lager strain, known for producing clean and crisp beers and revealing malt and hop subtleties. Coming in at 5.1% ABV and a healthy 38 IBU, the focus here was on drinkability with the smoke providing some interest. Although it’s already been seen on tap at the Stillwell Freehouse and Stilly HQ, packaging logistics won’t allow this one to be released in cans until the 24th or so, at which point you might see a beer and sausage event just about right on time for Oktoberfest. Until then, keep an eye on 2C tap accounts to give it a try! 

Would you believe there’s more? Of course you would, this is 2 Crows! Folks who’ve been fans of the brewery since they opened might remember one of their first barrel-aged offerings, a gin barrel aged sour with blackberry and lemon they called Blackberry Collins. Well there’s a new version of that beer in the offing, finally coming out tomorrow after starting its life as a batch of their standard golden sour base in May, 2020. Aged largely in gin barrels (with a soupçon in a vermouth barrel), it was fermented in oak with a wide variety of house cultures. After a year of aging, it was blended and then conditioned on 200 kg of blackberries and a whackton (3 cases worth) of lemon zest and juice. After the sugars from the fruit had fermented out, it was packaged into clear bottles and allowed to bottle condition. Fruity to the point of jamminess, zesty, and super-bright, you’ll be able to grab this one at the brewery as of this afternoon.

Continuing to put out plenty of new beers, especially considering their size, Truro Brewing Company is back with a new release you can get today. Earlier in the year they held the Hubtown Homebrew Competition and this release is the second featured beer from that event. Cool Shade Stunner was the highest scoring entry in the competition, which tasked brewers to all use the Krispy Kveik yeast from Escarpment. Chelsea Meisner (also known as Lady Scotia Brewing) brings this 5.1% IPA that is crispy, refreshing and hoppy flavour that is balanced and mild in bitterness, with the Cascade, Idaho 7, and Citra hops used late in the process. This is available on tap at the brewery and also in 650 mL bottles.

If you’re like some of us, you think of this time of year and Grimross comes to mind. But then again, we think of all the breweries all the time. First up in beer release news, Bishop Belgian IPA is a seasonal re-release that is back after its debut 2 years ago. A meeting of new world citrusy hops and old world spice, the IPA side brings bold hops and Belgian yeast character brings a beautiful balance to a great style at 50 IBU and 6.0% ABV. This is available on tap at local restaurants all around New Brunswick and 473 mL cans at ANBL locations and the brewery. 

Other news from Grimross is their Grimross Gardens is open! Think of crisp fall days at beer gardens in Europe and go right to Fredericton at 600 Bishop Drive to check out Grimross’ offering. Directly behind the brewery, they’re open from 2pm-10pm, but be sure to check their social media for the latest updates. We hope this is a trend that continues around the region and we hope to get there ourselves!

Never a stranger to new releases, Village Green in Cornwall, PEI, brings another tasty IPA release this week. Fuzzy IPA is a hop-packed, fruity, juicy and balanced IPA that should be sticking around for their regular year round selection. Featuring a malt backbone of Golden Promise with generous amounts of Galaxy hops along with Simcoe and Citra, this brings citrus and stone fruit flavours in a 6.5% tasty package! This is available on tap and in cans directly from the brewery. 

Big congratulations to Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing who brought home some big competition hardware this week! Repeating and improving on their 2020 win at the US Open Beer Championship (Gold in Fruit Gose for Lime Margarita), they have taken home three medals in 2021. The recently-returned Love at Midnight Piña Colada IPA took home Bronze in Fruit IPA, and Parts N Labour took Silver in New England/Juicy IPA (which understandably is a hard-fought category!). And in Gold medal-winning news, their soon-to-return The Wickerman Vienna Pumpkin Lager took top spot. This Best of the Best is slated for release next week on tap and in cans at the brewery, so be sure to stop in to celebrate the new winners in the region! We’ll give you even more reasons to visit next week, as we expect to have more information on a fun multi-week event coming soon!

It’s no secret that Fredericton’s Trailway Brewing makes some of the hoppiest (and haziest!) beers in this end of the country; and although they’ve spread their stylistic wings considerably since they opened, there’s always room in the rotation for a new juicy banger. Enter the rather recent Talus hop, related to Sabro, but considered to have a more robust and complete flavor profile, and one that has not been seen much in these parts, but has definitely been part of some popular beers (e.g., Propeller Brewing’s Cold IPA earlier this year). Who better to give a fresh new hop a spin through the Hopinator5000™ than Trailway? Talus Your Secrets is exactly that, a single hop IPA using Talus so you can see for yourself what the fuss is about. Look for a soft, juicy, and drinkable IPA with notes of pink grapefruit and sweet stone fruit, with elements of coconut, pine resin, and oak as well. You can grab some at the brewery on tap for pints or fills, or in cans to go. And this weekend as a special treat, they’re doing $9.99/box shipping until Monday at 5 PM! So if you’re looking to try this one and/or any of their other offerings, you can do up an order and have it sent anywhere in Atlantic Canada or Ontario for a little cheaper than usual!

It’s back to school, back to Acadia University for some, and back to Church! Two new releases from Wolfville to chat up this week, starting with Gaspereau Gold. A 5.7% Festbier (think of a stronger Oktoberfest beer), with a malty body and a bit higher ABV than your traditional lager. With notes of caramel balanced with Magnum and Tettnanger hops, it’s still an easy drinking, crisp lager that you can’t get enough of. 

Second batter up from Church is New Wave, a Kölsch brewed in the traditional lagered ale style with a North American take. Brewed in collaboration with hop supplier, Brew Culture, it features a new German hop, Callista, used for a dry-hop. The mouthfeel is crisp, but has hop-forward flavours and aromas of pineapple, stone fruit and citrus from the dry-hopping and the Spalter hops that were added to the boil. Both of these beers are available only at the brewery on tap or $10 crowlers to go.

In Bay Roberts, NL, Baccalieu Trail Brewing Company has a new beer that’s not quite available yet, but should be real soon now. Tidy was designed to fill a perceived gap on their taplist, where everything was around 5% ABV and higher. So Tidy is a tiny pale ale, coming in at 3.9% and hazy, with some apricot character from the yeast used. Large low-temperature whirlpool additions of Cashmere, Columbus, and Simcoe provide all the hop character you could want in a little beer. That said, once they figure out what they’re going to dry hop it with, it’ll have more hop aroma for sure! Look for this one to come available next week sometime, so keep an eye on the brewery’s social media accounts (Fb, Ig).

Given their penchant for throwing one of the biggest Oktoberfest bashes in the province, it’s no surprise that Halifax’s Garrison Brewing has their fest-ready beer all queued up and ready to go to get your whistle wet and your appetite set for bier und wurst. Rise ‘n’ Stein is a Hefeweizen, a yeasty (hefe) wheat beer (weizen) known for a lower ABV, hazy appearance, soft mouthfeel, and subtle hints of banana and clove. Although to some it might sound a little odd, if you’ve never had one we suspect you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how refreshing and quaffable that combo is. You can grab this one as of today at Garrison’s Seaport and Oxford locations, and don’t be surprised if it pops up at some or all of the private stores in the city. And stay tuned for more details on this year’s Oktoberfest event, which is set to run the week of September 24th to October 1st!

Plenty more events coming at you in the next couple of weeks!

Halifax’s Bar Stillwell is continuing their trend of ramping back up to some kind of normal with feel good events. This Saturday, September 11 (that’s tomorrow!), look for an all-day, all-Ontario event featuring ciders from Revel Cider, Wines from ibi Wines (also a Revel joint), and beers from Bellwoods. This is your opportunity to try some of the funkiest things being produced for your mouth in this fine country of ours. The flow starts at noon and runs all day; “no reservations, just good times.” Maybe we’ll see you there!

If your next Friday, Sept 17th, dance card isn’t already full, let’s change that! Chris Conway from Landwash Brewery, and the author of Newfoundland Beer History, will be giving a talk at the Admiralty Museum in Mount Pearl at 7 PM that evening. Chatting about the past, present, and future of beer in the province, your ticket includes a Landwash beer and charcuterie from the always excellent Chinched Meats. Grab your ticket from the Museum to take part in the fun!

Sticking in St. John’s, the following day is sure to be fun one, as Quidi Vidi Brewery continues to celebrate their 25th Anniversary all 2021-long. From noon until 9 PM on Saturday, September 18th, they are hosting a Dayboil in Bannerman Park, complete with live music, food vendors, games, and of course plenty of tasty beer! This is a ticketed event, so grab yours today!

And for those of us stuck on the mainland, Lwr Sackville’s TAPestry Beer Bar is kicking off their Oktoberfest event next Saturday, September 18th. We’ll have more details next week, but rest assured they’ll be pouring plenty of debuting and one-offs beers from breweries across Nova Scotia, all in their stylish spot at 833 Sackville Drive.

And before we let you go…

We’ve mentioned Candid Brewing’s Lagerish Blonde Ale in previous posts, but what we failed to mention was that this lagered ale is also gluten-reduced, thanks to Brewer’s Clarex. While that means different things to those on the Celiac/gluten-intolerant/-hesitant/-reducing spectrum, it is worth sharing when there are more options. Candid’s take on the classic German kölsch has been restocked and is available now on College Street, in cans and on tap for all of your beer drinking needs.

Annapolis Brewing has a new NEIPA out this week if you’re looking for something hazy and juicy. Fundy Haze is double dry-hopped with Galaxy, Sabro and Mosaic, giving notes of citrus, stone fruit and melon. You can find it on tap at the brewery in picturesque Annapolis Royal.

Thanks to those who have donated to our web hosting/beer fund. Did you know the reason that you don’t see ads on the site is because we *pay* for it? I know, it’s crazy, eh? But we think you’re worth it. 🙂