If you’re like us and love loving local beer, then today’s the day for you! Plenty of new releases and returning favourites are out now/coming very soon, plus a Monday holiday to nurse your headache for an extra 24 hours! Sounds like a win-win to us! Let’s get right to the new beers, and the events we think are worth your time….
After quickly selling out of their last entry in their very popular Brut IPA series at the end of 2019, Petit-Sault has decided to keep the momentum going by releasing Brut IPA #3 this week. Like the last beer, La Pêchée, this beer weighs in at a hefty 8.8% ABV, and finishes extremely dry (0° Plato, keeping the residual sugar at a bare minimum). Hopped (and dry-hopped, of course) with Mosaic, Galaxy and Amarillo, the brewery added strawberry and peach puree during fermentation. The combination of both fruit purees with the high dry-hopping makes for some intensely fruity aromas and flavours. Look for this one on tap and in bottles at the brewery now, and it should be hitting licensees and ANBL stores this weekend.
Propeller Brewing Co. in Halifax has a new beer out this week that will hopefully take you out of the mindset of a dismal February afternoon and into the mood of a crisp, yet hoppy beer on a sweltering summer day. Citra Pale Lager marries IPA darling hop Citra to a crisp and crushable base style, yielding what they’re calling a “modern lager.” Plenty of biscuity malt flavor is balanced by a firm, but approachable 38 IBU worth of bitterness, leading to a crisp, dry finish created through the use of a German yeast and a good 3 – 4 weeks of lagering time. And did we mention the hops? Aromas of melon and citrus abound where you might have expected floral, woody, and/or herbal noble hop character in a more traditional lager, giving a fruity vibe to this 5.2% ABV beer. Look for it at both Prop locations on tap, for fills to go, and in cans, with packaged product also going to private stores in Halifax and Liquid Assets at the Stanfield Airport. And if you do head down to Gottingen Street location tomorrow afternoon for a V-Day pint, look for their Galaxy dry-hopped with Sabro and Ekuanot. If you’re not able to make that, though, there’s still plenty going on this weekend with a Valentine’s Day is Dead 2020 live music show on Saturday, Family Day at the Propeller Arcade from 12 – 6 PM on Sunday (after 6 PM the Arcade will be open, but will revert to 19+), and a bonus Arcade afternoon from 2 PM onwards on the holiday Monday.
We’ve just passed the “less than a month” phase leading up to the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival, and more details are trickling out on the events and ancillary parts of the Fest. One of which is the launch of the annual Diplomatic Immunity collaboration beer, with this year’s falling under the category of Lagered APA. Brewed in early December 2019, host brewery Flying Boats in Dieppe, NB, welcomed in the good folks from Boxing Rock Brewing of Shelburne, NS, and Upstreet Brewing of Charlottetown, PEI. Brewed using primarily Weyermann heritage Barke Pilsner malt (with a touch of CaraBohemian malt for a smooth, yet lightly grainy backbone), and hopped with Pahto as a bittering addition, with whirlpool and dry hop additions of Cashmere, Amarillo, and Simcoe. The six weeks of lagering after primary fermentation by the Fermentis S-189 yeast gives a crisp and clean mouthfeel and finish, hop aromatics of melon, and a touch of coconut and grapefruit. The 5.2% ABV beer is available on draught and in cans at the host brewery now, and rolling out to the visiting breweries shortly. It will also be pouring widely around Fredericton leading up to the Fest, and be featured on the ANBL Growler program starting February 22nd.
Recently-opened Gahan Nova Centre in Halifax teamed up with another downtown brewery, 2 Crows, for a collaboration a few months ago that has now hit the shelves. The beer goes by the moniker of 5 Minute Walk, which describes the length of time needed to get between the two breweries. The first beer to go into Gahan’s PEI-built foeder (℅ New World Foeders), and brewed by Spencer G (now of Lone Oak) with Jarrett S and Jeremy T, the beer featured a simple malt bill (Pilsner with a touch of flaked oats and white wheat), a light touch of Saaz and Ella hops, and fermented with 2C’s special house yeast blend. Acidic and citrus notes abound, with notes of funk and new oak complementing. The 6.9% ABV beer is on tap now at Gahan’s location, with a limited number of bottles available to go from their retail counter onsite.
We hinted a couple of weeks ago (well, we think we did, but we’re too lazy to go back and check) that there was an event coming up at Good Robot that would help get you in a summertime mood. Well that event is nigh, we tell you, NIGH!! Brewer Gio Johnson and his pals in The Limestone Group are bringing another FlavaBot Caribbean-infused event to Good Robot on Sunday, this one entitled Heat Wave. Look for plenty of Caribbean food from Chef Ambrose, live music and dance performances throughout the day. Doors open for brunch at 10 AM and food will be served until close at 2 AM. For the first time they’ll also be serving cocktails (Sky Juice and Switcha)! But most pertinent to us here at the ACBeerBlog, is the beer, of course. And as usual, Gio has come up with some recipes that bring the best of the Caribbean to our favorite beverage. First up is one we wrote about previously (seriously, don’t even need to check), Conch-style Bahamian Lager that’s sort of a “International Light Lager meets a Christmas Tree in a dark alley and things get (lime) zesty” kinda deal at 5.4% ABV and 20 IBU. But there are also going to be three smaller batches on the go. First is the Banana Bread Ale, a spiced dark ale treated with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and sweetened slightly with a touch of lactose. Doing what it says on the tin, look for a slightly creamy brew with roasty and chocolatey elements and those spices making themselves known. Plenty sessionable at 4.5% ABV and 17 IBU as well. And speaking of sessionable, next up is Lil Cay, a tropical session stout dosed with coconut flakes that had been themselves previously soaked in coconut rum. So plenty of coconut coming at you, but also some roast and vanilla and a mild citrus note to go with it. Coming in at 5.1% ABV and 27 IBU, it should be a lovely introduction to the notion of a tropical stout if you’ve never had one. And last, but certainly not least, is the delightfully-named Gruitti Fruitti! It’s a gruit, of course, which means no hops have been used, but an herb mixture takes their place in providing balance to the malt side. In this case, it’s pine needles and basil. And the “fruitti” part of the name isn’t just there for decoration, it refers to the addition of mango to the mix. At 5.0% ABV and 0 IBU, expect something herbaceous, fragrant and balanced.
Tire Shack Brewing hasn’t really slowed down on new releases since their opening last fall and this week they’ve got two more to share with the thirsty folks in the Moncton region. Leading the charge is Abracadabra, a “Tiramisu White Stout.” With a special roast from Sunny Brae Coffee done just for Tire Shack, as well as cacao nibs and vanilla, this one has all the hallmarks of the classic Italian dessert in a creamy white-colored package. Joining it on the taps is Heat Wave, an otherwise smooth and easy-drinking porter that’s been dosed with plenty of Arbol and Chipotle peppers for a smoky flavor and “A TON” of heat. Don’t be surprised if this one comes with a bit of a warning if you’re not into the spicy things. Look for both of these on tap at the brewery this weekend.
Not to be outdone on the white stout front (or the non-traditional ingredients front, for that matter), Upstreet has their own thing on the go over on the Island, a beer dreamed up and executed by Hogie and Josh that they’re calling Cereal Milk. Starting with a concept something like a blonde ale, the grist on this one was pale malt, flaked oats, golden naked oats (not as dirty as it sounds) and wheat, with Citra and Amarillo in the kettle and dry hop for a definite hop presence. Taking it somewhere else entirely were additions of lactose for some sweetness, cacao nibs, for a bit of chocolate, toasted coconut, roasted PEI hazelnuts, nutmeg, vanilla, and salt! Weighing in at 5% ABV and a very light 10 IBU, this is a small batch with only a few kegs pouring at the tap room and Craft Beer Corner. So if this sounds like the kind of thing that’ll turn your crank on Valentine’s weekend, best head down with a quickness.
In Deer Lake, Newfoundland, Rough Waters Brewing continues their hard work towards fully opening their taproom this spring, and are taking us along for the ride. Earlier this month they received the licenses allowing them to serve onsite, and have therefore been sharing pints and samples with visitors to their 83 Wights Rd location. Currently open Wednesday to Friday from 3 – 7 PM, Saturday from 1 – 8 PM, and Sunday from 1 – 4 PM, folks can have a taste of what’s available before grabbing bottles to take away. They have already held some local artisan markets and live music events in their space, teaming up to raise over $700 for local charities, and those types of community events will only increase in frequency once the taproom is fully open.
To help get folks excited about what’s to come (and to help achieve those goals), Rough Waters has launched an Indiegogo campaign. Backers to their project can grab some slick merchandise like stickers, glassware, shirts, or prints of their nautical tattoo themed labels, and locals can grab a VIP ticket to the Grand Opening Party, sign up for their “Hard Ticket” membership (getting you a personalized glass that comes with plenty of benefits), or design and help brew the beer of your dreams! Check out the list of options in the link above.
But not all of the good news is off in the future… There are two newly available brews this week that we can tell you about, and that you can pick up this weekend! The first is Down South, best described as a Pineapple IPA. Starting life as a moderately bitter IPA, they skipped the dry-hopping, and instead opted for a secondary fermentation on a whole whack of pineapple puree from Oregon Fruit. The final beer weighs in at 5.1% ABV, and features plenty of pineapple on the nose and tongue to make you forget, if only for a minute, that we don’t live in a more tropical climate. The second newbie is also the first in their Black Cat series, which will be an occasional release that will always feature spicing of some sort. This inaugural release is Cinnamon Chai ESB, a 6.8% ABV beer started as a malty ESB, and dosed in a brewed Chai blend of spices (heavy on the cinnamon, and leaving out the tea leaves) after fermentation, to keep it full of aroma and flavour. Bottles of both beers are available to taste at the brewery all weekend, with their core line-up also available to take-away.
If you’re the kind of person who has always wondered whether you could take your passion for beer and turn it into a career, there are a couple of breweries in Nova Scotia who might be able to help you figure that out. Tatamagouche Brewing has two positions open right now. First up is a summer position that they’re getting a good head start on filling: Summer Retail Sales Associate. This one runs from May to October and is customer-facing, helping folks who come to the Tata taproom to have a positive experience by providing knowledge and recommendations about the beer, but also the town and the North Shore region of the Province. Also up for grabs is a backroom position, so backroom it’s almost underground! Known as a “Cellar Hand,” this person will be focused on all the little details of making sure that all the beer that goes out with the Tata name on it is as good as it can be. From cleaning, to testing, to monitoring, to packaging and everything in-between, this person will have eyes on Tatamagoodness from wort almost all the way to the customer’s hand. If either of these positions sound good to you, you’ll find more information in the official job postings on the Tata website.
Also looking to fill some shoes in their operation is Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing who are looking for a Production Brewer to head up their “small batch” 7 BBL system. Formerly the main system at the brewery, it’s the one that put out the first Cereal Killer and Regatta Red and Kitchen Party Pale way back when Jeremy White opened up shop. So while bigger batches have now moved to the 20 BBL system across the way, this one still remains a vital operational piece of the Big Spruce empire, especially when it comes to their seasonal offerings. As always, experience in any and all aspects of brewing are likely to be preferred, but the right candidate who’s willing to learn and willing to relocate within/to Cape Breton is likely to find a listening ear even if experience isn’t a big part of their background. So if you’re interested, check out the full details on their Fb post and maybe slide into Big Spruce’s DMs if you think you’re the person for the job.
What’s on the go this weekend? Find out right meow!
Our friends and yours at Stillwell Beer Bar on Barrington are eager to help you enjoy your Valentine’s Day whether that be happily alone with your own gosh darn self or with your pals or, if absolutely necessary, with that special someone (no, not your dog or cat, that’s not allowed, but we feel you). However you want to celebrate, head on down this afternoon/evening for the usual loverly selection of thoughtfully curated liquids along with a bunch of super cute a la carte snacks from the kitchen: spicy pepperoni pizza pockets (YES, REALLY), charcuterie and cheese for one, house-made chicken nuggets (ALSO YES, REALLY), little mortadella sammies, mini pogos, falafel with extra garlicky toum, and personal tubs of cookie dough (YES, REALLY FOR A THIRD TIME). Just like every other day of the year ain’t nobody gonna judge you for walking in alone, but if you’re nervous about it, you shouldn’t be: it’ll be cozy and welcoming all night long.
The Ladies Beer League is hosting a different kind of Galentine’s Day event tonight at the Garrison Oxford Taproom from 7 – 9 PM. I Heart Beer 2020 is going to be a “get dressed up by dressing down”, in your comfiest jammies or other lounge-around clothes, to celebrate in a casual way with snacks, games, and a surprise or two. Grab your tickets at the FB link above, and stay cozy with fellow beer pals tonight!
Down the South Shore of NS, February means lobster season and the third annual Lobster Crawl Festival. Running the entire month (with an extra day this year!) it celebrates the crustacean that is so important to the economy and lifestyle from Barrington to Peggy’s Cove and encourages potential tourists to check out the province in the winter as well as the summer. Halfway through the month comes one of the premier events of the festival, the Lobster Crawl Beer Festival going down tomorrow night at the Bridgewater Best Western & Convention Centre. Running from 8 – 11:30 PM (with a 7 PM start for VIP ticket holders), tickets are still available: $25 for Designated Drivers (soft drinks and water available), $40 for regular admission with 10 drink tokens, and $55 for VIP admission, giving you early entry, 5 more tokens, and a VIP gift (we recommend that you assume taxes and fees apply to all of those prices). Additional tokens will be available for purchase, as will food. Fifteen breweries and cideries from the South Shore will be pouring their best, and we’ve heard tell that there may be a few cool collaboration beers on tap as well. So whether you’re already planning to be in the Bridgewater area tomorrow night and looking for something to do or you just dig craft beer and lobster, grab yourself a ticket and make a plan.
Back in mid-January, we mentioned that Chain Yard Cider in Halifax would be hosting a “Snakebite” competition in February. Well lookie here, that date is upon us. In case you’re unaware, a Snakebite is a blend of 1 part cider to 1 part beer, generally served by the pint, that is popular in the United Kingdom. Apparently someone has taken notice that our region has plenty of fine breweries and plenty of fine cideries and realized that the potential for sassy snakebite shenanigans is high! Tomorrow afternoon and evening will see eight teams competing for Snakebite Supremacy from 12 – 5 PM. Tasting will be blind and the public will vote on their favorite. The breweries and cideries competing are as follows: Sourwood Cider, Tidehouse Brewing Company, Lake City Cider, Spindrift Brewing Company, Meander River Farm, Chain Yard Cider, North Brewing Company, Saltbox Brewing, Sea Level Brewing, Maritime Express Cider Co Ltd, The Church Brewing Co, Schoolhouse Brewing and Ship Builders Cider! So whether you like cider or prefer beer, this is an opportunity to find out if you like them both together!
Just a few tiny newsbites before we dismiss you today. Then go out and grab a beer!
Fredericton’s Picaroons has a new release out this week. Details are light, like super light, but for those of you looking to “Catch ‘Em All”, 506 Pale Ale is being described as “your next domestic” and “a modern, citrus forward APA”. If you’re so inclined, check it out and let us know how it tastes!
Roof Hound Brewing in Digby (and now operating their taproom daily in Kingston), has a new available today. Save Tonight is a 4.0% ABV Cherry Sour, brimming with the tart fruit character, and available on draught as well as in bottles to take home.
Halifax’s Tiny Tidehouse has brought their most frequent collaborator to the brewhouse, and have the latest Lil Wheaty’s (aka award-winning homebrewer Ian Wheatley) pouring this afternoon. Tic Lac Toe is a blueberry kettle sour, which features a wheat beer base, and 20kg of blueberries. We’re not sure how they managed to cram all of those in there, but we’re sure that you’ll be able to taste every one. Just don’t drink too many or you’ll end up looking like Violet Beauregard!
Fredericton’s Trailway has been serving their Candlepin Kölsch as a regular feature at The Drome by Trailway pretty much since it opened, but they don’t package this easy-drinking beer too often. Good news, then, for Drome denizens who have a hankering for it at home, a fresh batch is available in cans now at the brewery!