Escarpment Laboratories

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We hope the first half of your week was not too disrupted by Teddy’s visit to the region. Thankfully it didn’t have nearly the dramatic effects that had been feared. Let’s celebrate that, and the official arrival of Fall, with a fresh batch of beer news, with more than a dozen debuts across the region coming at you today!

After announcing their presence through their first collaborative release in July, the Change is Brewing Collective is back with another beer release. This time, the group has teamed up with Dartmouth’s North Brewing to bring us The Cherry Brook Wheat. Named after the Cherry Brook community along Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore, the beer is a 6.6% ABV Wheat Ale featuring more than 100 kg of crushed cherries from Noggins Farm in the Annapolis Valley. Lightly hopped with El Dorado and Huell Melon, the beer allows the base of flaked and malted wheat, as well as the fresh fruit, to shine through. Sporting a beautiful label designed by Change is Brewing member Jayme-Lynn Gloade, the beer will be available next Tuesday, as part of a launch party at the North Brewing taproom. From 7:30 PM on September 29th, pints and cans will be available to enjoy in the taproom or to go, with other licensees in HRM also coming on board to sell the beer on draught shortly thereafter. The CiB group will be onsite to chat about the beer and their overall goal for better representation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour in the beverage and food industry in our region. This release supports two important movements, with 100% of the profits from all can and draught sales going toward The Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia located in Cherry Brook, as well as the CiB Brewing 101 program, where they bring the joy of beer and brewing to those communities who may not have otherwise felt welcomed. Congratulations to Change is Brewing and North on this great release!

While you’d be forgiven for thinking that this time of year is inundated with breweries releasing Pumpkin Ales and Märzens (not that there’s anything wrong with that), there are, of course, plenty of other beer styles that go great with fall weather. One example is another German style, Hefeweizen, which is definitely available in some tents during Wiesn. Sure, you may immediately picture yourself sipping on a fine local example at the peak of summer, but we feel that a delicious, refreshing Weizen is equally as appropriate on a lovely fall day, preferably out on a deck somewhere! Don’t worry, all this waxing poetic has a point – Tatamagouche Brewing has released Acolyte Weissbier, which looks like it could be their first take on the style. Brewed with lots of wheat, naturally, it was hopped lightly to 12 IBUs with Tettnanger and Huell Melon. Fermented with a dry Weizen strain, the 4.5% ABV beer is showing “aromas of pear and banana, backed by subtle clove,” with a refreshing, crisp finish. It’s available on tap at the brewery and local accounts, and they hope to have it in 650 mL bottles by mid-October. And while you’re thinking Tatamagouche and Oktoberfest, while the largest Oktoberfest east of Kitchener has been canceled (as well as the *big* one in Munich), Tata is celebrating on a smaller scale in their taproom. Visitors can enjoy $5 pours all weekend, or opt for the Maß pour (that’s 1 litre!) for $18, and you get to keep the glass! Check their IG for the latest taplist. Prost!

Speaking of styles that go great with fall weather, the team at Big Spruce Brewing has been busy harvesting from their organic hopyard for the annual release of their fresh-hopped harvest pale ale. Major Hop Lips was brewed with the freshest hops possible, added to the kettle within minutes of being picked. This year’s version was brewed with Golding, Chinook, Mt. Hood, Cascade and Centennial hops, leading to floral, apricot and pine notes. Available now for pints and fills at the brewery in Nyanza, be on the lookout for bottles in their online store next week.

Heading southwest, Tanner and Co. Brewing’s newest release is Mystery Hop Ale. The neat story behind this beer starts with Penney Hill Farm, an eighth generation farm outside of Bridgewater, the founders of which originally brought hops with them from Germany. Over time, information about which varietal(s) has been lost, but, lucky for us, the hops have thrived. Tanner hoped to make a beer with the hops last year, but the plans were derailed by Dorian. This year, luck would have it that they were able to harvest just before Teddy made its arrival. Described by the brewery as being reminiscent of a lagered ale with mild hop balance, Mystery Hop Ale comes in at 5.5% ABV, and is available at both of Tanner’s locations, and their online store. While you’re at it, grab a bottle or two of their Belgian Blonde, making its return after a six month hiatus. 

Earlier this year, when things were “normal”, Port Rexton Brewing held a Mystery Homebrew Challenge, where they chose the ingredients, leaving everything else up to those brave enough to participate. The winner of that challenge was homebrewer Ralph Pike with Sour Belgian IPA, a beer whose name tells you most of what you need to know about it! Well, to a point, anyway. While details on this beer are a bit slim, admittedly, it is a kettle sour “backed by notes of citrus rind and tropical fruit”, complemented by a refreshing tartness and finishing with a bit of earthy bitterness. Weighing in at 6.7% ABV, you can find it in cans right now at the brewery’s taproom and their St. John’s retail shop.

The air is crispy and Garrison always delivers leading up to Oktoberfest. First up, their classic Nut Brown is available in cans for the first time. This Garrison classic is rich, dark, malty and clocks in at 5.0% and 22 IBU. Next up, it’s Knuckle Puck Lucky Punk time! Lucky Punk is a Sour IPA back for a limited time in both shops and the NSLC, coming through with some peach, apricot, lemon with a zesty and puckering sour finish. Hopped with Amarillo, Mosaic, and Bru-1, this hybrid IPA is 5.4% and 40 IBU. And back just in time for Oktoberfest is their Weinerful Wheat, their 4.6% German Wheat Ale brewed in collaboration with Jack 92.9, and in support of the NS SPCA, with $0.50 from each can sold going to support wieners, schnauzers, and animals of all origins!

And what better way to enjoy (German) beer than at an Oktoberfest event? Garrison is keeping it waterfront for a 10 day Oktoberfest extravaganza! Garrison will be teamed up with the Stubborn Goat Beer Garden from Sept 25 (today!) until Oct 4th down at the waterfront for the first time. While the beer will be pouring the entire 10 days, the fun really ramps up during their Das Big Party events each Friday and Saturday, with live bands, Oktoberfest food specials and tons o’ fun! No tickets required, so show up in your favourite lederhosen and yell Prost!, and they’ll fire you a beer in no time. Check out the full details on their Facebook event page

Fresh off a Silver Medal from the Canadian Brewing Awards, the good robots from…Good Robot are releasing Friendship Island. Bringing a balanced English Pale Ale character with lime citrus and floral notes, thanks to hopping with Lemon Drop, this 5.5% ABV beer will only be available on draft at the brewery. And if you’re wondering about the name, it’s a reference to a mysterious island off the coast of Chile that is inhabited by extraterrestrial life forms who operate a UFO junkyard. The fine machines at GR are also re-releasing Leave Me Blue (4.5% ABV) and fan favourite Goseface Killah (5% ABV); both are available in cans from the brewery and online!

In Hanwell, NB, the gang at Niche is firmly back in the swing of sending out kegs to those places who are ordering them and this week they’ve got something new for those tap accounts. Red Sails is a 7% ABV Red IPA built on a grist containing a fair portion of specialty malts to provided body, color and some toffee/caramel character. From there, it was hopped with Galaxy and Ekuanot and fermented with the Ebbegarden Kveik yeast strain from Escarpment Labs. Finally, it was heavily dry-hopped with more Ekuanot, as well as Mosaic. Expect a juicy brew, a touch dank and not too sweet, despite the dark amber color. You might be surprised to find this one is also hazy, which some might find a little bit odd, but we encourage you to taste it with your mouth, not with your eyes! Look for it soon at The Joyce, Peppers Pub, 540 Kitchen & Bar, and the new Uncorked Tours tasting room at the Saint John City Market.

Fall is also the time of year for the release of wet-hop beers (beers brewed with freshly-picked hops, with “freshly-picked” oftentimes literally meaning within several hours), and Truro Brewing has their own that’s now available to start off your weekend in the best way. This brew is actually a collaboration with local homebrewer Tyler Pearson, who provided the fresh Cascade hops that were used, which they’ve named Fill Yer Boots. A 4.8% ABV American Pale Ale that they’re describing as “mild with herbal hints”, you  can grab it on tap at the brewery. Truro Brewing would also like to pass on that they will soon be holding their first bottle release event, next Friday, October 2nd. They’ve teamed up with Earltown’s Mountain Meadworks to create Siren, a “Tripel-style Braggot” (beer/mead hybrid) that we’ll have full details on for you in next week’s post. But for the sake of planning ahead, we can tell you now that the event will feature door prizes, live music, samples of the braggot, and of course bottles will be available for sale.

St. John’s Bannerman Brewing has brought back a cocktail-inspired beer to their taps and cans today, ready just in time for a liquid lunch (or supper). Mood Improvement is a 5.2% ABV fruited sour, inspired by the Moscow Mule, featuring ginger and lime, and dry-hopped with Motueka. Citrus, spicy, ginger on the nose, yet light and refreshing, Mood Improvement is pouring and ready to take away now, and sure to brighten your weekend!

In case you missed it, we told you about Topside Brewing earlier this week, who debuted on tap at the Birch & Anchor in Birch Cove on the weekend. In addition, Topside has debuted their Grab a Growler program this week, and there is still time to place your order for this weekend! And for those looking to grab a pint at a bar local to the Bedford brewery, Finbars Irish Pub in the Sunnyside Mall at 1595 Bedford Hwy, has their 5 Bells Session IPA now! Named after the line signal that a diver will send to the surface, most commonly meant to signify “I have finished my work.” So once you’ve finished your work today, head on over for this 4.6% ABV, 45 IBU beer, featuring a light hop profile and just a touch of malt base to complement.

In addition to the Oktoberfest celebrations and other events mentioned above, we’ve got one more big deal happening to tell you about this week:

Although on any given day (that they’re open, anyway) you can wander down to 2 Crows Brewing on Brunswick Street in Halifax and find a bunch of delightful liquids that they’ve made, there’s always something special about a tap takeover somewhere else. Even more special is when it’s the first ever takeover at that somewhere else, so everybody is pretty pumped that on Saturday, October 3rd, you will find 2 Crows beer flooding the taps and casks at the Stillwell Freehouse! For those who aren’t aware of the beer industry in the UK, the name “freehouse” is meaningful: it contrasts with a “tied house” where a pub is obligated to buy all or some of its beer from a particular brewery; the public house is “tied” to that brewery as opposed to being “free” to purchase from any breweries whatever. Interestingly, in Nova Scotia (and pretty much the rest of Canada, we believe), that sort of arrangement is illegal, but it’s been described as “one of the most inter‐woven industrial relationships you can identify in the UK.” Pretty interesting, huh? No? Alrighty then, on with the details. The list of offerings has been set and it looks like this:

On tap:

  • Dos Cuervos – Mexican Lager 
  • Waltz – German Pilsner
  • Milosh – Helles Lager
  • Perfect Saturation – IPA
  • Matinee – Tiny Hoppy Pale Ale
  • Fantacity – Dry-hopped Witbier
  • Deux II – Sour with Cherries
  • Run by Night – Grisette with Damson Plums
  • Bedlam Bridge – Double IPA
  • Vinello – Lagered Wild Ale with Riesling Pomace

On cask:

  • Liesse – Cask-conditioned Table Beer
  • Dulwich – Cask-conditioned English Golden Ale
  • Aquifolium – Cask-conditioned Wild Ale
  • Paper Airplanes – Cask-conditioned Brown Ale
  • Keller-Refresh – Cask-conditioned Lager

No tickets are required for this event, and we haven’t seen anything about reservations, so plan your visit accordingly. Remember that COVID-19 restrictions are still in place, bring your mask and don’t be surprised if table service! Otherwise, we think this looks amazing and we hope to see lots of you there celebrating both 2 Crows and the Stillwell Freehouse!

Here we are heading into the last week of Summer in Atlantic Canada, and what a crazy summer it’s been. And things aren’t likely to get any less crazy in Fall, what with the pandemic still being a thing, and the West coast on fire, and, oh hey, another hurricane is bearing down on NS and possibly PEI. GOOD TIMES. So hey, maybe have a read below to get some ideas about where to stock up on beer this weekend and we’ll all see where the wind blows us. Hopefully it’s not off the Eastern seaboard.

Let’s kick off today’s news with a round of congratulations for the Atlantic Canadian breweries who took home medals at this year’s Canadian Brewing Awards! While the Awards and Conference looked quite different than in previous years, it’s always great when well-crafted local beers are getting nation-wide recognition.

Bogside Brewing: Silver in German Style Kolsch for Lighthorse Lagered Ale and Silver in Wheat Beer – German Style (Weiss) for Wheat Kings County

Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault: Gold in French and Belgian Style Saison for Saison du Djâbe

Brasseux d’la Cote: Gold in Fruit / Fruit Wheat / Field / Pumpkin Beer for La Classic Rosé

Copper Bottom: Silver in American Style Imperial India Pale Ale for Parkman Ave

Garrison Brewing: Bronze in Bock – Traditional German Style for Bringing Sexy Bock

Good Robot: Silver in New England Style India Pale Ale for Creature Feature

Moosehead: Bronze in Light (Calorie-Reduced) Lager for Cracked Canoe, Gold in Experimental Beer for Shaker Tropical Pina Colada, Silver in Smoked Beer for Small Batch Rauchbier

PEI Brewing: Silver in North American Style Premium Lager for Beach Chair Lager, Bronze in Session Ale for Setting Day

Propeller Brewing: Silver in Session Ale for Azacca Session IPA

Tatamagouche Brewing: Gold in Baltic Porter for Two Rivers Baltic Porter, Silver in Belgian-Style Brett Beer for Square One, and Bronze in German-Style Sour Ale Berliner-Style Weisse or Gose for Saltwater Cowboy Gose

Tire Shack Brewing: Gold in Cream Ale for The Specialist

Uncle Leo’s Brewery: Silver in North American Style Pale Ale for Sunburst

To see how the rest of the country fared, check out the full list of winners here. Congratulations all!

Speaking of Tire Shack, there’s lots going on in their taproom the coming weekends, as they move into full-blown Oktoberfest celebration mode! They’re turning their taproom into Oktoberfest central for the next three Fridays (starting today) from 4 PM, and Saturdays from 1 PM. A German-inspired menu will be available thanks to catering from White Rabbit, and Tire Shack has brewed up a Munich Helles named Helles Yeah!, that they’ll be serving in 1-L Maß glasses, branded with their logo. For $20, you get the beer, and the glass to keep. In the mood for more than just Helles? Well, they’ve got two other beers that should be pouring just in time for the festivities: Zenith Libation, a cardamom-infused Wheat beer (the first time they’ve had it since they first opened), and Cherry Pie Sour, a kettle sour brewed with 40 kg of cherries, along with vanilla, almond, and cinnamon. Proper attire for the Oktoberfest celebration is encouraged, we understand your servers and beertenders may be partaking in the fun too! If you’re not able to make it to the brewery for a pint or Maß, worry not as these three beers will be canned next week, and available by the weekend. And if you ask nicely during your visit, you may even be able to grab cans of their Gold medal winning The Specialist Cream Ale, though it is currently sold out on tap. And full disclosure, our quip last week about the Moncton housing market was way off base, looks like plenty of folks are moving to the city (and province), with housing sales up 20%+ over last year! Colour us embarrassed!

While on the topic of great events, and a beer to pair with it, let’s hop to Newfoundland for a spell. It’s Port Rexton Pride this weekend in the Bonavista town, and the eponymous Port Rexton Brewing has once again teamed up with Queer Beer NL to brew a celebratory beer. Queer Feeling II is a 4.7% ABV Belgian Witbier, and stays true to style with addition of citrus and spice, to offer a bright hazy colour with a full mouthfeel and lingering fluffy head (thanks to all that wheat), with notes of banana and orange with a zippy coriander spice. On tap and in cans at the brewery now (with $0.50 going to PRP for future events and fun), the St. John’s Retail Shop is also fully stocked for your visit Thurs through Sat, 12 – 7 PM (closing at 5 PM Sat). And if you find yourself on the Bonavista this weekend, be sure to drop by the PR Skerwink Trail parking lot at noon on Sunday, for a BBQ and distanced walk in town, as they team up with pals Oh My Cheeses.

If you’re looking for a new New England IPA hop fix this weekend, North Brewing has you covered with their latest release, Pleasant Disposition (named in honour, we believe, of the writers of this blog). A 6.6% ABV beauty hopped with Strata, Sultana, and Amarillo, it was fermented with Escarpment Labs’ Vermont Ale yeast. Easy-drinking, juicy, and with low bitterness, it’s exactly the type of hazy brew you need to start off/end off your Friday. You can find it on tap right at the source, as well as in cans at their retail shops and online store. 

We can’t speak of pleasant dispositions without bringing up Jeremy Taylor of 2 Crows, who has filled us in on all the news that’s fit to print on the brewery’s two new beers, one of which is also a NEIPA. Let’s start with the beer that landed at 2C earlier this week, Fortitude. Billed as a “Hoppy Wild Ale”, the grist was made up of Pilsner, toasted wheat, and raw wheat, with a mash-hop addition of Sterling; further hop additions were made late in the boil (Bru-1, Galaxy, and Citra). The wort was fermented with a blend of Ebbegarden Kveik, Amalgamation (six Brett strains), and the brewery’s house Saison culture, and then dry-hopped heavily with Enigma, Mandarina Bavaria, and more Galaxy. The final 4.6% ABV, 35 IBUs beer has a perfect blend of hops (dank, tropical, fruity) and funk, with plenty of that lovely fruity Brett character you’d expect. Normally, we’d expect a beer of this nature from 2C to be canned, but they decided to bottle this batch. Instead of picking up individual units, the beer will be sold exclusively as part of a tasting pack (with Zip and Refresh), with $5 from each pack going to the ALS Society of NB and NS. Grabbing the set also gives you access to a live tasting event on Facebook on September 30th at 8 pm, where Jeremy himself will explain the creation and tasting notes of all three beers; he’ll also be signing virtual autographs after the session (ok, we made that last part up).

The next beer, as mentioned, is a brand new NEIPA, sticking with 2C’s series of “stupidly-hoppy” IPAs. Perfect Saturation was brewed with the same base as all four of the previous releases (we’d tell you all four but that would kinda ruin a question for the next ACBB trivia night, whenever that will be!), with Golden Promise, wheat malt, flaked wheat, and a touch of Carafoam. Columbus hops were used in both the mash hop and first wort hop additions, followed by a hopback full of Pacific Gem at the end of the boil. While the wort was fermenting with Foggy London from Escarpment, they threw in some Citra and HPA-016. Finally, more Citra and HPA-016 were added after fermentation was complete, along with loads of Sabro and Galaxy. Expect huge notes of tangerine and pineapple, and “a bit of creamy vanilla coconut” thanks to the Sabro. This 6.1% ABV, 44 IBUs hop bomb *should* be available on tap and in cans at the brewery today (label availability pending). 

We’ve got a new beer from Quidi Vidi to chat up today, along with a challenge for those who want to get outside. Teaming up with AMBA, the Avalon Mountain Bike Association, they have released Oceanside Sour. Featuring black currant, black cherry, and blackberries, this 5.6% ABV beer is in wide distribution at the brewery, convenience stores, and NLC locations now. And what about the challenge? Well, from September 21st to 27th, they are encouraging folks to get outside, get active, and share photos of how you are enjoying yourself with the #getoceanside hashtag. There will also be challenges during that week, with more ways to win prizes by registering through a donation to The Gathering Place. More details here

It’s the time of year for Oktoberfest / Marzen releases, so get your palates ready for some toasty, malt-forward Lagers! The folks at Breton Brewing and Saltbox Brewing like the style so much, they decided to team up and brew a collaboration Oktoberfest of their own, called… Oktoberfest Lager. Brewed with a large portion of Munich, this amber-coloured beer is tasting malt-forward as expected, with “a full, bready flavour, and hopped for balance”. Now available on tap and in cans at Breton, and in cans at Saltbox, it weighs in at 5.3% ABV and 25 IBUs. Check out Breton’s online store as well, for home delivery of cans around the province! 

Back to hoppy, hazy beers with Rough Waters, who have just launched their very first NEIPA, Morning Haze. Brewed with lots of flaked wheat and flaked oats to build up the body of the final beer, they hopped it with both Galaxy and Cashmere varieties. Coming in at 6.3% ABV, it’s showing off a “big citrus character of tangerine, peach, and pineapple”. You can find it at their taproom in Deer Lake, NL in pints and growlers; it’s also available in bottles.

If you happen to be driving around Cape Breton to pick up some Oktoberfest over the weekend, why not make a stop at Route 19 Brewing in Inverness? They’re pouring fresh pints of their latest beer, Inverness Lager, at their taproom. Brewed with Pilsner malt from Shoreline Malting, and fermented with Escarpment’s (yeesh, why aren’t these guys paying us an advertising fee?) Krispy Kveik yeast, this 4.1% ABV, 30 IBUs brew has “a perfect balance of fresh-out-of-the-oven sweet bread malt notes, and noble hop bitterness”, all with a crisp, easy-drinking finish. This one is just a pilot batch (for now), so it probably won’t last too long.

On the West side of Newfoundland you’ll find the Port au Port Peninsula, and on the East side of that, you’ll find Port au Port East, home to Secret Cove Brewing, who have released a new beer they’re calling Lingo. Although the name has been used for a previous beer from the brewery, a lemon/orange Radler, this time around they decided to brew it as a fruited kettle sour and make it part of their regular rotation. They also made a small change to the fruit component, settling on pineapple during fermentation, with a bit of orange aroma and flavor as well through an addition of zest. Unlike many small sours, which are very often extremely dry, this one was designed to have a bit of body, although you can still expect the tartness to be refreshing. Fermentation-wise, lower temperatures were used to control ester production and allow the fruit to take center stage. The result is a refreshing beer coming in at 4% ABV that should be a lovely accompaniment to the waning warm days of summer. Secret Cove is now canning their beers, which has allowed them to extend their reach throughout Western Newfoundland; they’ve got orders out now to Gander and other parts of the central part of the Province. You can expect Lingo in particular to be found at the brewery, but also in Corner Brook Deer Lake, Gander, and Stephenville. 

If you’re out and about at certain beer-friendly places this weekend, you might just be among the first to try beer from Nova Scotia’s latest brewery. Topside Brewing is a home-based brewery (for now) in Bedford, from husband and wife Blair & Erin Tobin. Taking cues from Blair’s career as a Navy Clearance Diver, Topside has a dive roster of four beers that will be making a splash in the coming weeks: 5 Bells Session IPA, Joyce’s Boy Hefeweizen, On the Bottom East Coast IPA, and Lord’s Porter. We’ll have much more from Topside in a full Profile (hopefully) Monday, and keep an eye on their IG and Facebook page for a heads up when the beer is tapped! Congratulations!

There’s no beery events on our radar this week, but here’s a few quick-ish mentions as we send you into the weekend:

Rothesay’s Long Bay Brewing has changed ownership after 3+ years of selling beer to the public, with Jon Choinard and Tim Webber taking the reins from original owner/brewer Sean Doyle. Both Jon and Tim will be sharing the brewing responsibilities, and with this change also comes the news that the brewery is now licensed to operate as a taproom. Yes, that means you’ll be able to drink your favourite Long Bay beers (and other alcohol) on site. For now, they’re mainly open to pre-arranged groups of 12 or fewer people from the same bubble, but this will hopefully change in the near future once they have proper seating and such. If you’d like to head in for a pint, give them a call at 506-847-HOPS to book a time.

And in more great news for those who like to drink beer where it’s made, Lower Sackville’s Ol’ Biddy’s Brewhouse is now set up to sell pints of their 15 (fifteen!) different offerings. Open 12 – 8 PM Thurs to Sat, and 12 – 6 PM Sun, grab a pint of 7 Day IPA, Funk Town Pale Ale, Patrick O’Neil Red, or one of the other dozen beers for enjoyment onsite before grabbing cans to go.

If you’re a fan of the beer coming out of 3Flip Brewing in Douglas, NB, you have reason to celebrate a little, especially if cans are your packaging mode of choice. The brewery is happy to announce that they’ve secured the ability to switch to canning, and that you can expect to find those cans at all ANBL and private retailer locations where you’re already buying their beer. Confirmed are their three core brands: Sassy Cow, Anonymous Amber, and Americana Track 4, all in 355 mL format. So don’t be alarmed if you don’t find the familiar bottles at your local, just have a good look and you’ll hopefully find that you just need to be searching for cans!

It was bound to happen, and after PEI Brewing broke the seal back in August, the deluge of Pumpkin beers has now reached a fever pitch! For those who like to get their gourd on, in addition to PEIBC’s Pumpkin Ale, Brasseurs du Petit-Sault has released their Bonhomme Sept-Heure, Propeller Brewing has their Pumpkin Spiced Ale out now in cans and bottles (brewed using Howard Dill’s world famous Atlantic Giant Pumpkins). And look for Digby and Kingston’s Roof Hound Brewing to release their Keltic Devil Pumpkin Spiced Coffee Porter and Miramichi’s Timber Ship has their ‘Gourd’on’s Wharf Autumn Ale just waiting in the wings. Now go forth and spice up your life!

Today marks the turn into the last month of Summer, at least as far as the Earth’s orbit around the Sun is concerned. But the realities of solar system mechanics and their impact on meteorology aside, we know that there’s still plenty of warm-weather beer drinking to be had in our region. Lucky for us, our region’s breweries and cideries are continuing to pump out top class liquids for our consumption. Read on for news about as many as we could find out about this week!

Last Friday (too late for a blog post then, sorry!), Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing dropped the latest in their Million Acres series, an ever-changing lineup of barrel-aged brews. This newest release is Million Acres – Barrel-Aged Cherry Saison, a 6.5% ABV beer brewed with malt from Island Malt House. The beer was put into barrels in January, and transferred back to steel about six months later. There, it was given a small dry-hop of Barbe Rouge (a French varietal), along with an addition of cherry purée. With a reddish colour, and aromas of cherry and leather, this bottled beer is showing off flavours of “deconstructed cherry pie”, as well as notes of grapefruit, lemongrass, orange pith, leather, straw, pie crust, and dill, according to the brewery. You can find bottles at both Upstreet locations in Charlottetown; they’re recommending that you don’t cellar this one *too* long, as it’s best-enjoyed within a few months. 

Hopping over to Newfoundland, where Landwash is excited to share details on a fresh new beer they’ve just canned, Platters Head. Billed as a hoppy Lager, the beer has a simple grist of 85% Pilsner and 15% Flaked Oats. Fermented with the Isar Lager strain from Escarpment Labs (is there a week where we DON’T mention Escarpment? [editor’s note: No]), the beer was lagered for five weeks, and dry-hopped with Amarillo and Azacca. The final 4.8% ABV brew is tasting crisp and clean, as a good Lager should, with plenty of fruit – including peaches and lemons – in the aroma, and a bit of dankness carrying over into the flavour. Congrats to recently promoted Head Brewer Alex on this release, the first he’s fully designed and brewed at Landwash! It’s available on tap and in cans; stop by the brewery for a taste this weekend (and grab some Saucy Mouth while you’re there, natch!). While you’re there, you can pick up some of their latest batch of Brackish Sour Ale, and they should have some super fresh That Much Ocean NEIPA available now as well!

Back to the mainland for New Brunswick Capital Region’s Niche Brewing’s latest release, another in their exploration of fun and exciting hop combinations. Lost in Translation is a 4.6% ABV Session IPA, with hop additions of Hallertau Blanc and Simcoe beginning in the boil, further enhanced by a heavy dry-hopping of more of the same hop pair, along with Citra. Foggy London Ale yeast from Escarpment did the heavy lifting, with the tropical and citrus vibes first and foremost, along with a touch of spiciness. As with most Niche releases, grabbing it on draught at your local watering hole is your best bet, with The Joyce in Fredericton, Peppers Pub in Saint John, and Halifax’s Bar Stillwell all the first spots to jump on kegs. And speaking of Stillwell, they are facing off against Dartmouth’s Side Hustle Snack Bar in a friendly head-to-head competition of kitchens, all in the name of raising funds for disaster relief, so we strongly encourage you to visit one or both spots this weekend. More details on their social media.

Hometown-proud Truro Brewing Co. has a couple of new beers hitting their taps over the last week, including their latest foray into the world of SMaSH (while we don’t seem to see as many of these beers these days, we figure you’re still all up to speed with what that acronym stands for), Halla Back Girl. This 5.8% ABV beer was brewed all Pale malt from Shoreline Malting, and hopped with a generous amount of Hallertau Blanc. Expect “a tropical, fruity aroma with hints of white wine and pineapple”, in a light orange, very hazy package. Also, last Friday the brewery launched Rubyfruit Grapefruit Sour, a tart and refreshing, 3.5% ABV fruited sour. Both beers are available on tap at the brewery, now.

Maybe we’ll actually be crazy and stick with one province for a moment, and move over to Route 19 Brewing, who have been experimenting on their 50 L pilot system. For those of you have been looking for a beer that tastes like peanut butter waffles covered in strawberry jelly, we guess you’re going to be excited by this one! Crunchy! is what the brewery is calling, yes, a “Peanut Butter Strawberry Jam Ale” (hey, don’t shoot the messenger, ok?). The malt used in the grist (including Biscuit, Carapils, and Honey malt) during brew day contributes biscuit and “fluffy batter flavours”, and strawberry puree was added during fermentation. What about the PB, you ask? Well, they didn’t want to overdo that aspect of the 6.5% ABV beer, so they added peanut butter extract directly into the brite tank (before carbing the beer) “one spoon at a time until the flavour was just right”. Maybe they should have named this one Goldilocks and the Peanut Butter Bears? We’ll just show ourselves out… Oh, we should also reiterate that there isn’t much of this beer around, so if you’re at all curious about what it tastes like, we recommend getting over there ASAP for a pint. And of course, those with nut allergies should avoid this one. Glad to see they’re back open after the awkward incident earlier in the month!

We go from one unusual but intriguing beer to another, stopping next at Good Robot Brewing, the place where misfit people can enjoy misfit beer 😉. Dreamed up by summer brewhouse intern Nathan, they’re going all in on a Chocolate Banana Porter named The Banana Wizard. A light 5.0% ABV Porter, fermentation was carried out by a Belgian yeast to promote banana esters and a touch of clove spiciness, on top of the rich chocolate, dark toffee, and toasted notes. To send it over the top, they dosed in some banana cream and chocolate extracts, for the full “chocolate covered frozen bananas on the boardwalk” experience (there’s always money in the banana stand!). This release is only available in cans, so fire up your Segway to head down to their Robie Street location, or order online for home delivery, and they’ll dispatch their stair car directly to your door.

Delta Force Brewing, Nova Scotia’s only Farmshed brewery, is back with a second big release after a few months creeping through the jungles and carrying out Top Secret missions. With several of the beers in this release taking months of patience to let the yeast and bugs play together, the window to grab the beers is now open! Returning are Anderlecht, their 6.0% ABV Belgian Single with Brett Lambicus, and Mean Time, their 4.8% ABV English Bitter brewed with their own shed-grown hops and fermented with Brettanomyces. They are joined by a new twist of their third release in April, the West Coast IPA Operation Stronghold, but one keg was dosed with Brett, developing some great funky notes and a touch of ester fruit character. All three of these beers are available in 500 mL bottles, at $8 apiece.

Joining those three are a trio of debut releases from Delta Force. Operation Sommar is a Dry Stout, putting an end to the trope that stouts can only be enjoyed in Winter (we also suggest anyone who thinks that should maybe reflect on the existence of Tropical Stouts). Be transported to an idyllic place in the Swedish countryside, where you can dance around the Maypole, be showered in flowers, and dress up like a bear (whether you want to or not). Chocolate, roast, but light and lively enough to be refreshing. Operation Saison is even more refreshing, harkening back to the days when Saisons were enjoyed freely by farmhands at the end (or during) a hard day’s work in the fields. Open fermented in a former milk jug, the floral and spicy character shine through, a testament to the malt, hops, and yeast working together in harmony. Both of these beers are also in 500 mL bottles, $5 each. Rounding out the beer offerings is Operation Assay, a Pale Ale fermented with Ebbergarden Kveik yeast. This is DFBC’s first foray into a “year-round elixir”, and they invite you to follow along on their journey.

So, how can you get your mitts on these beers? The best path to success is to send them an email (deltaforcebrewing@gmail.com) with your order request, and delivery address. Orders over $40 include delivery in Halifax, and arrangements may be possible for smaller orders or other areas of the region. Keep an eye on their IG page for more details as they’re released today.

Back to Newfoundland for the latest small batch release from Port Rexton Brewing. Summer vibes continue on the Bonavista peninsula, so plan your trip to PR to Wet Your Whistle. A 3.8% ABV Session NEIPA, it’s hoppy, hazy, and bursting with great citrus character. Light bodied and crushable, it’s perfect as a rehydration helper for the hot days we’ve been having. As it’s a small batch, it’s only available at the taproom in Port Rexton for pints and growler fills (still a few options at their St. John’s Retail Shop, fear not).

Dieppe’s CAVOK Brewing has teamed up with Bertrand’s Oktoberfest des Acadien to release a beer in its honour. With physical distancing requirements making the in-person Oktoberfest an impossibility, CAVOK has stepped up and brewed a beer to allow us all to celebrate the event together, apart. Keeping true to the inspiration from the original Oktoberfest in Munich, L’Oktoberfest des Acadiens is a 4.7% ABV Märzen, an easy-drinking lager with light toast and biscuit notes, and the perfect beer to fill your Maßkrug. Available in cans at the CAVOK brewery and taproom, it will see wide distribution in ANBL stores across the province.

Down the road from Dieppe and across the Confederation Bridge, Charlottetown’s Red Island Cider is launching a new cider for your enjoyment tomorrow. Part of their Ghost Ship series of limited edition beverages, Two Farmers is made with a blend of apples from two of PEI’s apple producers, one in Prince County (the Island’s “West side”), and one in Kings County (the “East side”). Together, the apples combined with yeast to produce a dry yet complex 6.5% ABV cider with a champagne color, and a bright and vinous nose. Additional tasting notes from the cidery include creamy honey, a touch of caramel, and a tannic finish. Sounds lovely to us! Even better, tomorrow’s launch will feature a special on this cider with local oysters from 4 – 7 PM on their limited space, properly socially-distanced patio. If you can’t make it, though, the Ghost Ship series does generally make its way into bottles, so you should be able to grab some to go as well!

Speaking of PEI cider (two PEI cider posts in one week? That’s got to be a record!), Caledonia’s Double Hill Cidery has a new release of their own. IslandSide was made with apples from Arlington Orchards, and was slowly-fermented and cold aged. It’s 5.5% ABV, and is tasting “fresh and crisp, with floral notes”. It’s available in cans right now at Double Hill, and should be available very soon at PEILCC stores (maybe even in time for the weekend!). 

And a couple more short mentions before we leave you to your weekend; we hope it’s a warm, sunny and beery one wherever you are!

Dartmouth’s North Brewing has the latest in their line of sour beers available now. Raspberry Plush features a whole whack of fresh raspberries pressed in-house, resulting in a beautiful bright pink colour and a beer bursting with flavour. At 4.5% ABV, it’s a perfect patio pairing partner (partner!). Grab it online or at their store on Portland Street when you’re there for some Side Hustle side action.

Quidi Vidi Brewing released an American Amber Ale earlier this week, simply-named Amber Ale. Billed as easy-drinking, with light caramel and biscuit-like flavours, as well as a touch of fruit character, it finishes dry with a firm bitterness. Coming in at 5% ABV, it’s available now at the brewery’s Hops Shop for pickup and delivery.