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!