Escarpment Laboratories

All posts tagged Escarpment Laboratories

Oy, we’re a little late today and apologies for that, but what are you going to do when there’s so much going on in the Atlantic Canada beer (and cider!) scene? It’s looking like a lovely day throughout most of the region, with a high chance of continued loveliness through the weekend – it’s almost enough to make you think that Spring is something you can believe in. Whether you choose to let yourself be lulled into a state of hopefulness or not, one thing that goes wonderfully with nice weather is beer! And, well, we can tell you a little bit about that…

Great news for beer fans in downtown Halifax, the Tiny Taproom rises again! After closing their spot for in-person enjoyment in March 2020 (you know, because of this pandemic), Tidehouse Brewing shifted their focus to curbside sales of their beer in cans. In the before times, grabbing a barstool at the 6-7 person bar top could kick off or wind down your night, physical distancing was definitely not a thing. Taking advantage of this not-completely-voluntary opportunity, the Tidehouse Team has completely renovated their space, and are now open again to all of us. Making their production space out back more efficient and streamlined (taking out their original plastic fermenters and replacing with four 500 litre tanks was a big help in that regard), put them in the position to extend the public space significantly. Capacity is now 16 (22 in a post-COVID world), which may mean them losing the title of smallest brewery taproom in the country, but we think they’re OK with that… So, what can you expect when you visit? In addition to being significantly larger, the space has a refreshed look thanks to B.A. Built (behind the Edna and Bar Stillwell looks and designs), and several tables so your bubble buddies can enjoy a pint or samples at low tops. 5 taps are flowing these days, with fresh Sotil, Hibiscus City, Bitchin Camaro IPA, Goth Stout, and Mars Imperial Stout, with a small number of cans available as well. That last one is their massive 11.5% ABV ImpStout with lactose, blackberries, and yes, Mars bars. Small pours on this one, fam!

Congratulations again to Shean and Peter and the entire Tidehouse Crew for weathering the storm and using it as an opportunity to expand their space and offerings! Pop by 4 PM – midnight, Wednesday to Saturday, 5187 Salter Street.

With last weekend’s ice all melted and some bluer skies in the forecast, now seems like the perfect time for a trip to Cape Breton for the release of Big Spruce Brewing’s newest beer, Début. This marks the first beer to spend time in their recently acquired 500 litre foeders. Brewed in the grisette style, Début also saw a dry hopping with Huell Melon hops and completed its entire fermentation in the foeders. Expect aromas of spice from the fermentation and melon from the hops, with notes of vanilla and honey on the palette. This one is making its debut (zing!) in kegs at the Sprucetique in Nyanza and in Downtown Dartmouth at Battery Park

The grass is always greener, they say and in PEI, Village Green is back with a new beer available today. Amarillo Pale is a Pale Ale brewed exclusively with Amarillo hops which gives it a great citrus flavour with some snappy bitterness. This 5.2% treat  is available today at the Cornwall brewery on tap and also in cans to go. 

Keeping up with new releases and news week after week, Bannerman Brewing is dropping two new releases today. First, Nothing But Time, is a new IPA that brings a unique flavour profile. With a grain bill consisting mostly of flaked and malted wheat, they massively dry-hopped this 7.5% IPA with El Dorado and Citra giving it a character that might remind you of candy and more specifically, Rockets! Available now on tap and in 473ml cans from the brewery; it will be at Marie’s this weekend. 

The second big release from Bannerman this week is a Thai-inspired lager with help from Namjim, a Thai based dining experience that serves out of different restaurants around St. John’s. Paradise Lost is a light and complex lager brewer with Pilsner malt, flaked rice and lemongrass. After being generously dry-hopped with Motueka and Sorachi Ace, this 5.0% ABV beer was conditioned on toasted coconut, lime leaf and lime zest. 

To celebrate the release, Namjim will be doing a kitchen takeover at Bannerman for Friday and Saturday (April 9th and 10th). The beer will be available only in 473ml cans from the brewery in limited quantities, so grab it while you can!

Down Lunenburg way, Shipwright Brewing is back to making some small batches for limited distribution (or at least we’re back to finding out about them in a timely fashion). The latest is one they’re calling Njǫrd Jötunn Saison, a 6.7% ABV saison at 30 IBU with a bit of a Scandanavian bent. Built on a grist of Shoreline Malting Pilsner and wheat malts, with a touch of acidulated malt in the mix as well, you can expect a balanced malt profile with some light graininess and a touch of honey sweetness. The hopping featured Eureka in the kettle for bittering, with late additions of Citra and Amarillo cryo hops for plenty of citrusy hop character. Completing the picture was a warm ferment with the Jötunn yeast blend from Escarpment Labs, which is a blend of a Norwegian Kveik strain and a saison strain designed to have a Viking deathmatch in the wort. Expect a bright and fruity beer with plenty of minerality and a touch of funk. Available on tap only at the brewery, and for growler fills and crowlers to go.

In cider news, Annapolis Cider Company in Wolfville dropped a new one last week, but a little too late for our pre-long weekend Thursday post. That’s okay, though, because it’s still showing in their online shop, so it’s still available! The latest in their Something Different series, Grape Mint has a pretty self-explanatory name, as it was blended with cryo-extracted grape juice and infused with plenty of fresh mint. Landing at 7.4% ABV, this sparkling cider leads with acidity, brings tropical pineapple and mango mid-palate, and then finishes clean with a cooling sensation from the mint, which is also present in the aroma. Sounds like this one would have gone well with Easter lamb dinner, but we’re sure it’s plenty tasty on its own too! As with all Something Different ciders from Annapolis, this one is in growlers only, and $0.50 from each fill will go to support a charity, in this case Campaign for Kids.

Fredericton’s Trailway continues to revisit some of their previous offerings, review them, revise them, and re-release them in a renewed form. This time it’s one called Imagination, an IPA brewed originally with Ekuanot and Loral (HBC 291), it now boasts so-new-it-doesn’t-have-a-name-yet HBC 630, Cashmere, Idaho 7, Sultana, and Columbus. But what’s more, this one has been upgraded to full DDH (that’s “double dry hopped”) status. This super hop-saturated fruity monster isn’t so monstrous when it comes to ABV, rolling in at 6%, which means you can almost certainly have two. Look for it on tap and canned at the brewery alongside a fresh batch of another of their hoppiest brews, Green Island. Act fast though, as both of these are in limited quantities and won’t be seen again for a while! Lastly, we told you about Trailway’s new light ale, Mully, a couple weeks back, a crisp and refreshing easy drinker at a paltry 4.0% ABV. That one is now in cans in addition to being on tap exclusively at JH Sports.

We mentioned back in March that Annapolis Brewing did a Pink Boots collaboration brew with folks from Church Brewing, Lunn’s Mill, and Sea Level for International Women’s Day 2021, and we promised you more details when it was released, so, well, here we are. Coming out this weekend is Glass Ceiling, a hazy IPA in the New England/Northeast style. At 5.5% ABV you could consider it on the more sessionable end of the style, with plenty of pineapple, mango, and coconut coming across from the Pink Boots hop blend, while a pleasant bitterness provides balance and a wheat-heavy grain bill brings the haze. Of course, proceeds from the sales will go to the Pink Boots Society, which provides scholarships for women in beer education around the world. We’re not sure exactly who’s going to have this one available, but we’d guess Annapolis for sure, so if you’re looking for some check there first!

Truro Brewing Company has a brand new light and crushable beer flowing from the taps today, Endless Summer. This 5.0% ABV Kolsch-style lagered ale is their answer to the “lawnmower” beers that many of us turn to as the weather warms and we may want a beer that refreshes first, without needing to think about it too much. While you probably won’t be grabbing ES by the flat, growler fills are certainly available at their spot and are a bit easier to juggle. 

Nova Scotian Homebrewers, fire up those kettles again (as if you need us to tell you that)! Truro Brewing has announced their Hubtown Homebrew Competition. They are looking for your best and most creative Patio Beer! Your $20 entry gets you a t-shirt, as well as a pitch of Escarpment’s Krispy Kveik liquid yeast, a perfect way to ferment something quick and crispy-ly. Judging takes place at the end of May (BJCP-Sanctioned, btw, so scoresheets with real feedback provided!), and the winning brewer will come in to TBC for a brew day with Jana and see their beer get a full release. There are only 20 spots for entries, so if you are keen, best fire them an email (trurobrewco@gmail.com) now!

Obviously a full slate of events still can’t really be a thing right now, but there are still a few things going on with proper social distancing and masking up and the hey-hey, so check them out!

Propeller Brewing is happy to announce that their Community Cask Night event will be supporting Prescott Group this month, with April’s events scheduled for tonight and two weeks from tonight. You can read more at their website for more details, but the short version is that they’ve been a non-profit organization in the area since 1962 and current support 160+ adults with disabilities through development of work and life skills. The cask for this evening will be Prop’s venerable ESB with an addition of coffee, while the April 23rd event will feature their Prime Lager dry-hopped with African Queen. As always, the casks will be tapped at 5 PM and will be served until they’re gone.

The last 12 months have seen far fewer beer nerds travelling outside of our bubble in search of new brews. Luckily, the good people at Stillwell continue to bring in the goods from elsewhere in Canada and beyond. This Saturday at HQ, they’ll be tapping three mixed ferm treats from Toronto’s Bellwoods Brewery. Beginning at noon, you’ll find a Farmageddon variant with Niagara Montmorency and Morello cherries, the peach version of White Picket Fence, and Grandma, a foeder fermented golden sour. 

Are you a pro brewer looking to expand your knowledge of Berliner Weisse production? Maybe you’re just a curious homebrewer looking to get your lacto on? Whatever the case, check out the upcoming webinar from Escarpment Labs, livestreaming on April 20th at 12:00 PM (CBC voice: “12:30 in Newfoundland”). Escarpment will be joined by German brewer and beer historian Benedikt Koch, who will cover topics including the history and culture of the beer, and various production methods. Reserve your spot here. If you can’t make the livestream, look for the recording to be added to Escaprment’s YouTube channel on April 21. 

Our usual round-up of quick hits is right here:

North Brewing is switching things up this week with the release of a cider. Core Values, first made last spring on North’s smaller system, is made with Stirling’s Farms apples. Fermented with a Chardonnay yeast strain to the tune of 6.1% ABV, it spent six weeks undergoing a cold ferment/conditioning, resulting in a drier cider with notes of melon, citus, and you guessed it, apple. Cans of Core Value are available now through North’s retail channels and on tap at the Portland Street taproom and Battery Park.

Staying with Dartmouth ciders, Lake City Cider has a new one out this week that features a variety of methods and fruits. Strawberry Rhubarb is a 7.8% cider made from house-fermented strawberry rhubarb fruit wine, blended with apples. Expect prominent berry notes and a tart finish. Cans are available now through Lake City’s retail channels. 

This Saturday will see the return of the acclaimed Commissar Russian Imperial Stout at Unfiltered Brewing. The 2021 release comes in at 11.2% ABV and will be available in bottles and on tap next door at Charm School. Drink some now, and buy bottles for when the end of the world truly comes into focus…

We know plenty of folks who’ve missed Propeller’s Azacca session IPA and wish it were a full-year beer and not a seasonal, but life’s like that. The good news for that set is that the season is upon us and the 4.5% ABV and 30 IBU single-hop (Azacca, duh) beer is back at the Prop Shops and six packs are heading to the private stores, then NSLC in May, where you’ll be able to find it all summer long.

And speaking of the return of sessionable hoppy beers for the summer, 2 Crows has also brought back theirs! Matinee is just 3.1% ABV, but it packs plenty of flavor owing to being loaded with Citra, Galaxy, and Idaho 7 hops. Find it at the brewery now and coming next week to select NSLC stores.

A couple of jobs in beer on our radars this week, and expect to see these more and more as taprooms and breweries beef up their staff in preparation for the coming traveling season. Let’s go Bubble!

Lunn’s Mill in Lawrencetown, and their sister The Station location in Bridgetown, are hiring Servers, Bartenders, and Cooks to round out their FOH and BOH crew. Open to all with an interest in beer, wine, cider, and spirits or designing, preparing, and serving great food to pair, they’re looking for those with great customer service and working with a team. Tidy up that cover letter and resume, and send it through those tubes to info@lunnsmill.beer.

And if getting your feet (and probably hands and knees) wet in a brewery is more your speed, Chester Basin’s Tanner & Co Brewing is looking for an Assistant Brewer to join their team. With more production capacity coming soon, they’re looking to double production staff with a full-time Asst Brewer position. No previous commercial experience is required, though homebrewing and a thirst to learn more are both big assets to the job. While a seasonal job now, this could become permanent. Check out their Careers page to learn more and how to apply!

Here we are in November and, with absolutely NOTHING going on in the world, least of all potentially strange and frightening things of a political nature, we’re free to wax poetic about the local beer scene as is our wont on Friday afternoons. Or maybe things are just heartening yet terrifying all at once, and what we really need to do is distract ourselves with good news about beer and then procure some of that beer and drink it. Whee!

You may have noticed that since changing ownership not too long ago, Rothesay’s Long Bay Brewing has been flexing their experimentation muscles a bit more, with new, small batch one-offs being released every Friday for the past month and a half. While most of these releases have been available only on tap at the brewery, this week’s newest beer was brewed on their 15 bbl system, so will definitely be seeing wider distribution across the province. The beer in question is Return to the Moon, a 7.5% ABV, 50 IBUs New England DIPA. Brewed with a blend of English and Canadian base malts, as well as some wheat and oats, it was hopped and dry-hopped with three different varieties of American hops. With big aromas of stone fruit, tangerine and coconut, you’ll notice flavours “reminiscent of pina colada, with a pre-dominate amount of coconut and pineapple, followed by a complex mixture of cream and tangerine”. Aside from at the brewery, you’ll be able to find this one at select bars and restaurants in Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John. This joins The Half of It, a 4.5% ABV Session-strength New England IPA released late October, also on tap at the brewery and at licensees around the province.

In other Long Bay news, keep your eyes and ears open for coming info on their first canned beer, which should be hitting most ANBLs sometime in December… more details to come! They also plan to be officially opening their taproom this winter (while currently licensed, their taproom right now is set up in a standing room only capacity for extremely small groups, and best to contact ahead of time to ensure there’s room for your Bubble) with enough room for 25 seats, and a second expansion hopefully by the spring that will be much larger, and include an outdoor deck. 

Moncton’s Tire Shack is celebrating their First Anniversary this coming Monday (November 9th), so be sure to drop by the taproom that day to help celebrate with $5 pints all day! “We really appreciate the amazing support we have had from everyone this past year so come down and celebrate with us.” So, what to drink Monday? Or even better, today? They have a pair of new beers on draught (and also freshly canned this morning!), so let’s get you those details…

  • Black Forest Cake Sour is a take on the excellent german dessert that features a chocolate sponge base filled with cherries and kirsch, a cherry liqueur. Playing off of the flavour components, Tire Shack has gone all in with a glass full of dark malts for chocolate flavour in spades, along with cherry taste and a touch of tartness to bring it all together. As they say, it’s the perfect beer to get you ready for winter!” At 6.0% ABV, the beer is available in samples and pints at the taproom, and in growlers (and now cans) to go.
  • Hip Hop Vol 4: Nelson Sauvin is their latest foray into their hop-centric releases, this time heading to New Zealand for one of the most unique (and rare) hops on the market, Nelson Sauvin. Citrus up front with plenty of gooseberry, Sauvignon Blanc grape character, and maybe even a touch of black pepper, this hop is the queen of the kiwi hop scene, and for good reason! The 8.0% ABV Hazy Double IPA packs a punch, and will have you dancing all night long! Samples, pints, growlers, and cans are all available at the brewery right now!

Congratulations to Jerica, Alan, Henry, and the whole Tire Shack crew on Year 1, we hope Monday is a big success! And if weekend drinking is more your thing, keep your eyes peeled here for a couple of new releases and birthday celebrations continuing next weekend, in next Friday’s post!

In Lunenburg, NS, Shipwright Brewing released a continent-spanning Wheat beer this week, taking its inspiration, and ingredients from both European and North American sources. And named after an international sailing season! We’ll explain: Great Grain Race starts with a blend of Pale Ale, Wheat, and Malted Oats for a typical wheat grist. In the boil, Saphir and Hallertau Blanc hops were added in, as well as Sweet Orange Peel and Coriander, iconic additions for a Belgian Witbier. After fermentation with their Kolsch yeast, it was dry-hopped lightly with Topaz before further conditioning. Soft mouthfeel with extra effervescence give a refreshingly clean finish, complementing the wheat and citrus character of this 4.3% ABV beer. So, what’s in a name? Well, the Great Grain Race is the name of a historical sailing route race carrying grain (usually wheat) that generally left from South Australia’s grain ports at Spencer Gulf, all the way to Cornwall, UK. A particularly good passage via Cape Horn was considered anything under 100 days, with the fastest ever being 83 days. We know that the beer will definitely not last that long, so best to get down to Shipwright’s Taproom, or the Grand Banker below, soon to enjoy a glass or crowler!

Chester, Nova Scotia’s own Tanner & Co. Brewing has a brand new beer this week, Belgian IPA. Named after the hybrid IPA sub-style, it was brewed with a grist of Pilsner, Rye, and Munich malts, along with a touch of Honey malt for a bit of extra sweet malt character. Hopped with Amarillo, Citra, Simcoe, Centennial, and a little Mandarina Bavaria, it was fermented with a Belgian Ale yeast strain. Giving off characteristics of both spice and citrus, thanks to the use of both Belgian and American ingredients, it comes in at 6.7% ABV and 60 IBUs. Available right now in 500 mL bottles at the brewery. 

Over in Dieppe, O’Creek Brewing continues their run of hazy, hoppy IPAs with the latest in their two-hop-variety DUOH series. DUOH Sabro/Galaxy is a 6% ABV, 50 IBUs American IPA hopped with heavy amounts of the not-so-easy-to-find Sabro and Galaxy varieties, giving the beer a whole lotta tropical fruit, citrus, and coconut notes. Look for it to be pouring soon at CAVOK Brewing (and remember, guest taps at CAVOK can be taken away in crowlers!), with other accounts following in the near future. And as a sneak preview for next week, O’Creek will be releasing SOLOH – Talus, another 6% ABV IPA, but hopped entirely with one variety… in this case, Talus. Talus is a new hop that is a cultivated daughter of Sabro, and gives the beer “big aromas of pink grapefruit, citrus rinds, dried roses, pine resin, tropical fruits, and sage”. Definitely some descriptors in there that we’re not used to seeing in most hops! Look for that one at the usual O’Creek accounts.

Speaking of CAVOK Brewing, they’ve got another bottle release that just hit their shelves yesterday, Béta Germinorum. We don’t have too many details, but can tell you that the beer is a 4.5% ABV oak foeder-aged blend of two different beers, a Raspberry Sour and an Oatmeal Stout. That may be enough info to give you an idea of what to expect in terms of a tasting, but best drop by the brewery to pick up a bottle to be sure! As always with these releases, there is a limited amount of 750 mL bottles available, so don’t wait too long to drop in.

Coming out of Inverness in Cape Breton this week is a new beer from Route 19 Brewing, a first foray (we think) into the Saison style. Eventide references the old english word for evening, which might be the best time of day to enjoy this one. Gaining plenty of yeast character from Escarpment Labs’ Old World Saison blend fermented at a relatively high temperature, you can expect cooked apple and pear notes on the nose with some peppery phenolic spice as well. The grist featured Munich malt from Shoreline Malting, which provided a darker color than might be expected for the style, alongside 2-row, wheat and biscuit malts, the latter two contributing some breadiness and, well, “biscuit” character. On the hop side, the beer leverages a relatively unheralded hop called Celeia that we’ve not run into before, but which has a noble lineage and sports herbal and green tea flavors. Bittered to 30ish IBU, this 6.2% ABV saison will be available from the brewery this weekend and will also be making its way to NSLC locations around Cape Breton as part of their Hyper-Local program.

Those driving to/from Prince Edward Island, or lucky Islanders who just want to try the latest release from Borden’s Lone Oak Brewing, are well-advised to hop in the car and make a drive this weekend! There’s a new special small batch on tap, a style not often seen in the region. Taking the base beer of their Fixed Link Maritime Pilsner, they pulled it from the conditioning tanks a little early, and allowed it to carbonate naturally in the kegs before tapping. Dubbed a Kellerpils, it weighs in at the same 4.7% ABV as Fixed Link, but features a softer mouthfeel and just a little different aromatics. Just a few kegs of this are available, so don’t delay! And for all of their other offerings, Lone Oak has introduced an On-Demand Beer Delivery Service in the Charlottetown area. Place an order online 10:30 AM – 9:30 PM (12 – 8 PM Sundays), and your beer will be in your hands in 45 minutes or less! There is a 4 can minimum, and $6.99 delivery fee for this service.

It’s that time of year for Propeller fans; or, more specifically, fans of their annual release of Russian Imperial Stout. This year, things are just a touch different for the release of this dark, strong (8% ABV), rich, cellarable beer, in that it will be available in bottles only. No growlers this time around, but they will still be serving bottle pours at both taproom locations. You can find bottles at NSLC stores, and of course at both Prop Shops. And in other Propeller good news, they’re bringing back Cask Nights at the Gottingen taproom. Casks will be tapped bi-weekly, with proceeds from each going to a different organization every month. Today’s release (5 pm sharpish) is Nocturne Black IPA w/ Cacao Nibs, and two weeks from now will feature a sneak peek of an upcoming release. Proceeds for this month’s events will go towards the Ecology Action Centre

Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing has been pumping out the beers nice and steady, and are putting the final push on their taproom and retail space. In preparation for that, they’ve released the details of their Growler and Founder’s Clubs. Big discounts on growlers, merch, pints, special invite-only events, the chance to choose the name and style of one of their brews? All of this, and much more, can be yours by signing up! Full details are available on their website. Best to check it out quickly, as the membership is limited in numbers!

We’re pretty lucky to be living in a region where we can even have beer-related events in a non-scary fashion. Let’s make the most of it in a safe and responsible way!

Charlottetown’s HopYard Beer Bar is hosting their latest takeover this weekend, starting… right….. Now! Hosting Dartmouth’s North Brewing Co to pour some of their core beers as well as recent releases, and have brought along Halifax’s Chain Yard Urban Cidery to ensure there’s something for everyone! From North, you’ll see: Little Beast Lagered Ale, Lawrencetown Surf Session Ale, Gold Sounds Blonde, Dartmouth Dark Lager, Headline Milk Stout, Malternate Reality IPA, Raz Plush Dry-hopped Sour with Raspberry, Strollin’ Down Baldwin Street New Zealand Grisette, and Grape and Strawberry Rhubarb Seltzers. And keeping your tummy happy too is the first pop-up from Dough Boy Industries Pizza, who will be slinging pies Friday 4 – close, and again tomorrow from noon. Margarita, Pepperoni, Canadian, Donair and vegan pizza, with fresh and local ingredients, sounds great to us! And making this all even more awesomer, North is holding a contest on FB and IG, so check it out and have a blast this weekend! Maybe we’ll see you tonight. 🙂

Congratulations are in order for St Anthony’s RagnaRöck Northern Brewing, who are celebrating their First Anniversary this weekend! Saturday evening will see Sam and Tyler jamming some live music, and the debut of a very special beer debuting especially for the event. More details are available on their Facebook page, and we highly recommend giving them a shout to reserve your table at 709-454-3136. Congratulations!!

Halifax’s Garrison Brewing is taking advantage of our Atlantic Bubble status and keeping up with some (socially-distanced) Fall events. First up is a Remembrance Day Levee going on at both their Oxford and Seaport taproom locations, from 12 – 6 PM on November 11th (of course), with a portion of sales going to The Poppy Fund. After 6 PM regular business hours and operations will resume. And next week, from Thursday, November 12th, to Sunday, November 15th, The Oxford taproom will be celebrating their first birthday. Head on down and be part of four days of celebrations that will include prizes, and “Anniversary Beer Bucket”, and more!

Happy day-before-Halloween! Just kidding; you’re not really into that stuff, are you? Look, if you’re old enough to drink beer, you’re old enough to not get excited about a “holiday” where you’re encouraged to dress up and hand out free candy to a bunch of kids you don’t even know and… wait, where were we going with this? Oh right, this is a blog about beer in Atlantic Canada so here’s some more beer news for you. And you might need some beer to survive this weekend, and/or this coming Tuesday (and the goat rodeo that will very possibly ensue). Enjoy!

Bedford’s Topside Brewing kicked off a new series of beers last week, dubbed Around the World in 30 Beers. This ambitious project sees them highlighting indigenous and historic beer styles from across the world, showcasing the many flavours available in the malt, hops, yeast, and water profiles found universally, as well as native plants or ingredients special to those regions. The first in the series is Outlaw, a 5.4% Kottbusser, an historic German style. From Topside, “As the Reinheitsgebot spread from Bavaria through the rest of the region in the late 1800s, the style was outlawed because it was brewed with Oats, Honey and Molasses. We chose this as the first beer of the series because to set a tone for the various styles that people may not have tried or may never have heard of and it’s a lot of fun.” So, now that you know about it, how can you get your hands on it? As this is a small batch from this nano-brewery, it is only available as part of their Grab a Growler program. Head to the website for the full details, but the short version is, if you live in the Bedford area, you can sign up for growler delivery weekend afternoons, meaning you don’t even have to leave home to drink around the world!

And in Coming Soon news from Topside, they will be featuring their Rollin’ the Dice IPA on tap at Finbar’s Irish Pub in Bedford for a special event on Remembrance Day, November 11th. Named after the team motto of EOD3, roto 1-10 in Afghanistan, who suffered a catastrophic attack on May 3rd, 2010, when they were targeted after disposing of an IED, with Craig Blake killed and Chris Downey wounded that day. Rollin’ the Dice features a blend of unconventional malts, continuous hopping throughout, and a yeast strain not typical of the style. The event at Finbars on the 11th will be a way for the community to come together to enjoy great food, beer, and the company of others to reflect and remember sacrifice in times of war.

Hardisty Brewing is another nano-brewery in the region, located in the Colby Village area of the HRM. Delivery of their canned product is available in that community, as well as the occasional draught taps in Dartmouth. The latest beer delivered to Battery Park is their brand-new Stoked Pilsner. The 5.8% ABV beer has a healthy 31 IBU, but certainly deviates from the traditional, featuring the addition of crushed Juniper Berries and Coriander during the conditioning phase, inspired by their love of the botanicals found in gin. Also making an appearance at Battery Park now/soon is their Block Party Pale Ale, a 4.5% ABV SMaSH beer named after the parties in the Hardisty area so often fueled by beer brewed right on the street. For those fortunate enough to live nearby, be sure to reach out to them to place your order for any/all of their six beers currently available in cans: Heritage Rye IPA, Dark Confessions Smoked Porter, Island Gold APA, and Homestead Imperial IPA join the Stoked and Block Party.

The fine folks in Dieppe are hot off a sell-out of their latest beer, so CAVOK Brewing is back with another new release. Côte Magnétique is a wild ale that was fermented on grape skins and tailings from Magnetic Hill Winery. Pitched with a blend of Saison yeast and Brettanomyces, expect this 4.6% beer with an IBU of 8 to be easy drinking with a great flavour profile. This is currently available at the brewery and while you’re there, they will be doing an Oyster pop-up from 5-7pm on Friday October 30th with Little Shemogue Oyster Company

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing is bringing back a small batch favourite on a bigger scale today, to avoid anyone missing out. Earl Grey Pale Ale is a 5.5% ABV English Pale Ale, featuring Idaho 7 and Citra hops, to complement the citrus and floral aromatics of black tea and bergamot orange that arose from generous additions of Earl Grey tea. Choosing Cookie and Red malts in the grist helped to provide some complexity there, too, giving a “tea and biscuits” feel. Available now at the 3 Propeller retail locations (Gottingen, Quinpool, and WIndmill) in cans, and on tap at the two Halifax taprooms.

And for those of us who have been enjoying the Propeller Arcade as a way to have a Prop pint in an awesome space, you’ll love what comes next! In addition to the 8 pinball machines, and the same number of cabinet games in their current space, a full complement of carnival-style and ball games are now installed in an expanded area just a few steps away. And these games actually dispense tickets, which can be redeemed for prizes like erasers, Popeye Candy Sticks (aka Cigarettes for those of old enough to remember those), and even retro gaming systems if you save up enough tickets! By taking over more room in the space below the Gottingen Street retail and taproom location, more seating has been added to the brewing floor, with a half-dozen picnic tables now available for solo or bubble seating, so you can safely sip in between rounds of Medusa Pinball, Area 51 or Skee Ball. As always, masks on when you’re playing (beer is best enjoyed in the sitdown area), wash/sanitize your hands often, wipe the games down before/after use, and have fun! The Prop Arcade is open from 4 until 10 PM or later, Thursday through Sunday.

Speaking of returning favourites…we’ll go down the street to Tidehouse for their latest release. After a very long sabbatical, Hey Abbot! is available and ready for purchase. The folks on Salter Street are gearing up for their 4 year anniversary in December, and this re-release is the 2nd beer in their “best of” series. Hey Abbot! is a Belgian Tripel that comes in at 9.0% but like most proper Tripels, does not taste strongly of alcohol. The beer gives hints of banana and clove, followed by some light spicy notes and a bit of white pepper if you dig deep enough. Look for this new release to drop today at 2 PM, available exclusively in cans at the brewery.

We’ve got a bit of info on the not one, not two, but *three* new beers hitting New Scotland Brewing’s taps tomorrow. The first one is this year’s iteration of Heads Will Roll, a Halloween-themed Red IPA. Featuring late-addition hops (to the tune of 55 IBUs), this 6.6% ABV beer is slightly more malt-centric on the palate, but with definite pine and citrus notes coming through as well. Next up is an “American Rye Ale” named Kitsch & Sync, a “mellow and drinkable” 4.7% ABV, 22 IBUs brew. Hopped with Willamette and Centennial, it has a balance of sweet and earthy flavours. Finally, they also have a small batch of C’est Bon, a 5.3% ABV, 25 IBUs Saison that is “fruity, spicy, and dry”. As mentioned, all three will be pouring at the brewery’s taproom by tomorrow, as well as at select licensees.

Fans of Hampton Brewing Co. will be happy to hear that the brewery has finally announced that, after contract brewing at other locations since opening (including Loyalist City and Hammond River), they have broken ground on their own location in Hampton. The plan is to have a taproom and patio area along with the brewery, which will be located at Fire Fly Recreation Campground, just outside of Hampton at 64 Robertson Rd. Of course it’ll be many months before the project is complete, but naturally they’re quite excited about having a set location and plan in place! In the meantime, you can still find their beers on tap at several bars and restaurants around NB, including Peppers Pub, Britt’s Uptown, Peddlers Creek, Station 33 Cafe, The Joyce Pub, Gridiron Brewing and Grass Roots Grill.

While on the topic of expansions (not a phrase we would expect to be typing during a pandemic, but hey, it’s beer!), Spindrift Brewing has announced that they will be opening a new taproom and beer store in Antigonish. The Spindrift Oak Manor will be located at 271 Main St., with the plans to open sometime in early 2021. The brewhouse will be small, at only 1 BBL (~120 L), with several fermentors of the same size; this will allow the brewery to experiment with new and exciting beers that will be exclusive to Oak Manor. Of course, they’ll also regularly have the flagship Burnside-brewed Spindrift beers available on tap for pints and growler fills, along with cans and Spindrift merch for takeaway. As for the taproom itself, the plan is to have lots of small group seating, as well as some larger communal tables, all in a comfortable, cozy setting that locals should be happy to think of as their home away from home. And if you live in the Antigonish area (or would love to have an excuse to move there!), the brewery is currently looking for someone to manage Oak Manor; if interested, check out the details here.

In this week’s events, it’s time to declare outdoor beer drinking season officially closed (we guess, if we have to…*grumble*), and who says you can’t have a (COVID protocol compliant, socially distanced) Beer Fest in 2020? Not us!

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end… warm weather, hugging complete strangers in the middle of the sidewalk (that used to be a thing, right?), and the Stillwell Beer Garden. That’s right, tomorrow, October 31st is the last day for outdoor beers, tacos, ice cream, etc. That means you have only two more days to take advantage of their final week blowout, which includes $5 pricing for most pints, $5 cans of North hard seltzer and TrailWay Patio, hot chocolate (with bourbon or without!), and, of course, cornhole. 

Also tomorrow, Old Road BBQ is following suit and shutting down their patio for the season. Luckily, they’re going out with a party! Willie Stratton (2019 Music Nova Scotia’s “Entertainer of the Year”) will be headlining a socially-distanced music event at Old Road’s location in Truro (190 Industrial Ave.), and you know that there’ll be puh-lenty of delicious BBQ available on site as well. You can grab your ticket ($11.62) from the event link above; there’s also a two-ticket-plus-hotel-room option you may want to consider!

The Cox & Palmer Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Fest For United Way is happening next weekend. Looking quite different than in years past, the celebration of local beer is holding a pair of in-person events, while encouraging attendees to go virtual for the rest. Next Friday, November 6th, there will be a 5 course Brew Dinner at the recently opened Monk10 Taproom in downtown Moncton. And then next morning, Monk10 will host the Brewmasters’ Breakfast at 10 AM. Tickets for both events can be found at the above website. For those fortunate enough to grab tickets for the Brew Fest in a Box (sales end at noon today), you’ll be able to take part in all aspects of the virtual Fest. Your ticket will get you 4 beers from the participating breweries, as well as ingredients to prepare some paired dishes, so you can tune in and drink along! Bubble up and grab 4 tickets to try all 16 available! The Brew Fest in a Box Live Q & A will allow you to chat with brewers from around the region too, recreating some more of the fun from ACCBF years past.

And furthering the charitable aspect of the Fest is the Silent Auction which is on now. Benefitting the United Way of Greater Moncton and Southeastern NB, breweries from the region have donated swag, growler fills, gift cards, and everything in between, perfect to complete your collection. The auction closes next Sunday, November 8th, and it looks like there are some great deals to be had right now!

We’re finishing off with two notices for our Homebrewing readers, don’t sleep on either of them! If you’re looking to getting into homebrewing, check out the Brewnosers or Newfermenters, both very active groups.

Today is the last day to sign up and deliver your beer to take part in the Maritime Home Brew Challenge by Gahan. Follow that link to register yourself, and then pop down to your local Gahan to deliver your West Coast and/or North East IPA, grab your t-shirt, and you’re in it to win it! Judging will be taking place next weekend, with the Awards being announced the following weekend. With thousands of dollars in prizes up for grabs, great feedback coming your way from BJCP-certified judges, there’s really no reason not to enter!

Big Spruce has announced the details of its 8th annual Home Brew Challenge. This year, home brewers from across the region are being challenged to create their best version of a Sticke Altbier, a variant of the BJCP 2008 category 7C Düsseldorf Altbier. As always, ingredients are left to the creative minds of the brewers, but for those looking for yeast, Big Spruce will arrange for pickup or delivery of Escarpment Yeast Lab’s Koslch Style Ale. Entry fees are $25 per submission, with the beers due for drop-off by January 15, 2021 (leaving plenty of time for lagering!) at a TBD location. Email jeremy@bigspruce.ca for an entry form or more details, or check out the event’s Facebook page. Unlike previous competitions, this year’s winners will be announced virtually, but T-shirts and other swag will be available to all who participate! The top 3 judge beers will be announced, and per tradition, the winner will be invited to Nyanza to brew their beer on the 7 BBL system.