Garrison Brewing

All posts tagged Garrison Brewing

Folks, it’s lunch time on Friday. That means it’s time for your weekly dose of too-much-beer-news-to-digest-in-one-sitting-so-you-better-grab-a-second-pint, to get you excited for the rest of your weekend plans and beers. Special thanks to Damian for stepping up and helping out on last minute notice, otherwise today’s release would have been a lot shorter and a lot duller. OK, enough navel gazing, on with the beer news!

Starting with big news and the first brew out of Propeller Brewing’s Quinpool location, Black is Beautiful, signifies the first Atlantic Canadian release of the international movement. The recipe is by initiative founder Marcus Baskerville of Weathered Souls Brewery in Texas. Over 1,000 breweries have brewed the beer with the same goal: to raise awareness of injustices faced by people of colour, as well as money to benefit Black communities. Please check out more information here: https://blackisbeautiful.beer/ Locally, Propeller will donate all proceeds from this beer to 902 ManUp, a community group working to create “lasting solutions to violence involving young black males and promote community self-empowerment, educational achievement and economic opportunities through a committed, collaborative and accountable presence within Nova Scotia.” They work with all marginalized individuals to create real change. The Prop Shops will also be offering the option to add a donation to any purchase through our stores until the beer runs out, and Propeller will match those donations to increase the benefit this beer can have. The recipe was developed to highlight the different hues and shades of black. It is a full bodied oatmeal stout with complex flavours and aromas of roasted malt, dark chocolate and coffee coming in at 5.0% ABV. The beer is available today for pints and growlers at both their Quinpool and Gottingen locations. Joining Propeller, Tatamagouche and Tidehouse will also be releasing their versions of Black is Beautiful in the coming weeks.

Our socially responsible friends from Tatamagouche Brewing have a citrus twist on their highly crushable Dekorum with the introduction of Dekorum Lime. They added organic lime juice to the original Dekorum light lager. This addition has provided a ton of lime flavor to the beer as well as some acidity from all the citrus. This beer should be nice and bright for these hot sticky days. The beer was just canned and will be hitting Tata shelves soon and then available for private stores this week. Kegs will be going out this week as well of this 2.9% ABV crusher. Keep an eye out for their release of Black is Beautiful in the coming weeks, too!

Big Spruce Brewing in Nyanza, Cape Breton, has decided the world isn’t quite hazy enough, and are being the change they want to see. They have brought back recent favourite Hotel Alpha Zulu Echo (H.A.Z.E.) Kveik Session IPA, a 5.5% ABV beer brewed using the Hornindal strain of Kveik yeast, leaving the beer that features loads of Mosaic and El Dorado hops an opaque straw hue. And debuting this week is Tuanis!, a Guava Milkshake IPA. Clocking in at 6.4% ABV, this IPA features a blend of Cryo hops from Yakima Chief (produced using a process used to bump up the potential bitterness and aroma from hops by removing extra plant material), and is kicked up even further with additions of Organic guava and vanilla. A Latin American slang for “everything is all good”, we can see pints or bottles of Tuanis! in your future! H.A.Z.E. too, as bottles of both are available this weekend, in addition to the draught options pouring now.

And a late breaking addition to the blog was the Thursday evening release of a project a couple of months in the making… What happens when you take a freshly-emptied barrel that previously held Glenora Whisky, and fill it with the award-winning Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout? Wait 2 months, and you’ll end up with great things, that’s what! Picking up a touch extra alcohol from the barrel, but more importantly lots of great vanilla, caramel, and whisky notes too. And lucky for all of us, it’s available now! Limited release on this one (there are only so many barrels!), so we suggest making a bee-line for Nyanza, or better yet, check their online store for delivery across the province, and country.

Let’s switch gears to mead, and turn to Earltown, where Nova Scotia’s Mountain Meadworks calls home. They have a trio of mead expressions available these days, on the lighter side of the alcohol scale (7% ABV or less). Solstice Sour is a 5.0% ABV sparkling dry mead that was conditioned with rhubarb fruit for a strong flavour as well as the iconic acidic hit of the pink, red, and green stalks. Arboreal is a seasonal mead that saw the addition of fresh spruce tips in the mix. These were harvested along the North Shore earlier in the summer, and offer citrus as well as a bright spruce note to the 6.0% ABV dry mead. And latestly, keep your eyes open for Valley Buzz, a 7.0% ABV Cyser. Also known as “Apple Mead”, cyster features the addition of pressed apple juice to adjust the honey sugar concentration, lending a melding of many flavours, including some crisp and tart notes, and can be enjoyed cold, or simmered with some mulling spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. These and several more from Mountain Meadworks are available at the Truro Farmers’ Market, the Halifax Brewery Market Neighbourhood Goods General Store, online through the Truro and New Glasgow Farmers’ Market or by contacting them directly through their Facebook page.

Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill Beer Co has a pair of new beers on the go right now, one marking its debut after a long hiatus, and the other a country-wide collaborative brew. Back just in time to celebrate the release of the new Bill and Ted movie at the end of the month, Myld Stallyns English Mild began life a few years ago, the brainchild of Lunn’s Mill and local homebrewer Ian Dares, who asked the question, “Which is more righteous? English Mild in a cask, or in a keg?” Well both formats are back again for us to repeat the experiment, as well as cans for those inclined to take their testing to the beach or boat. And at just 3.9% ABV, we can see this blend of toffee, biscuit, roast, and just enough hop bitterness to balance being a welcome blast from the past. If you can’t make it to the brewery in the Annapolis Valley (Bummer, Dude!), you’ll be able to partake on tap at both Battery Park and Stillwell Freehouse in the big city.

Lunn’s Mill have also released their version of the Isolation Nation Canada-wide collaboration SMaSH, an innovation courtesy of BSG Canada and Hops Connect. With the COVID-19 heavily impacting the breweries across the country, these two companies responded by rallying and providing complimentary Rahr Malting Canadian 2-Row Malt and Sasquatch hops (ICYMI, these are Canadian-grown and developed, the first of their kind!). Joining 30 breweries across the country, Lunn’s Mill’s version is 5.2% ABV, hazy straw in colour, and featuring a lovely citrus flavour and aroma, notably mandarin orange, lemon, and tea. As this is a charitable beer, Lunn’s MIll is directing the proceeds to two local dog rescues near and dear to the owners’ hearts: Marley’s Hope and Misfit Manor Dog Rescue. Joining Myld Stallyns and a handful of others, cans of Isolation Nation are available at the brewery and for delivery, as well as on draught at the source, and coming soon to other taps in the Valley and Halifax.

Speaking of Isolation Nation, Halifax’s Garrison Brewing is also taking part in this brew, and has their version for sale now as well. The wonderful thing about the collaboration is that even though breweries were provided with the same malt and hops, there’s plenty of room for brewers to put their own stamp on it. To that end, Garrison has opted to produce a light and crisp 5.0% ABV Pale Ale, with notes of pine and citrus shining through from the Sasquatch, building on the clean palette left by the malt and yeast. Garrison is going all out with a canned release of Sasquatch SMASH, cans of which hit the shelves of their retail locations at both their Seaport and Oxford Taproom locations yesterday, and at the HRM-area private liquor stores without delay. Or if you fancy a pint, both Garrison locations are pouring the beer currently. 

Just up the road, Stillwell Brewing continues their foray into canned releases with the latest batch of their Stilly Pils. Following up on the recent small-can Kompakt Kolsch and Stillwell Dry, the Stilly Pils is an ode to several European (and Euro-influenced) takes on the Pilsner, from the Czech style showing off light malt notes, to Northern German pils exhibiting a solid bitterness, and the Italian Tipopils (and the US beers it inspired) pushing the hop aroma and flavour to the next level. Made with 100% Pilsner malt from Shoreline Malting on Prince Edward Island, it features Czech-grown Saaz hops, as well as German Tettnang and Hallertau to round out the bitterness and Noble hop earth and spice. Go on your own #pilsgrimage with Stilly Pils, available *only* in cans, which can be found at all three Bar Stillwell locations, to-go from their original location on Barrington Street, as well as from Stillwell Brewing direct for local and nation-wide delivery. Speaking of Stillwell HQ, don’t forget that they are hosting an Oxbow Brewing event tomorrow, with a full raft of beers a-pouring on draught and bottles and cans! And the kitchen will have some special additions to the menu, with a carnival theme running throughout; hot dogs, smoked turkey legs, caramel corn on the cob, and deep fried ice cream! Check their Instagram feed for the latest details on the food to match the beer. 

Speaking of Shoreline Malting and Prince Edward Island, 902 BrewCast released their August 2020 Tasting Episode earlier this week, recorded while still on/in PEI, and at the end of an epic day touring Shoreline and Island Hop Company. They’ll both be featured on upcoming episodes in the next few weeks, while this week’s episode sees (hears?) Kyle, Phil, and Tony drinking through a few of the beers they grabbed during the visit (and one White Claw they must have been handed at the border into New Brunswick), teasing what’s to come, and recounting their early morning and late night shenanigans. Give it a listen! And big congratulations to Tony and Danielle and Jack on the newest arrival to their family, Evangeline Marion! 💓

Straight outta Montague, PEI, we’ve got Copper Bottom Brewing coming with a Session IPA Sabro bomb. Their latest version of Flux, their Session IPA, is now available for purchase in the Montague taproom. The grist consists of Shoreline 2 Row, Shoreline Wheat, and flaked oats, giving it a nice pillowy soft body. Hit with Sabro hops at whirlpool and again at dry-hop. Pours hazy with big notes of pineapple, coconut, and mango. It’s 4.2% ABV and 25 IBU. It’s available in the taproom in Montague, PEI Liquor’s new Notables store in Charlottetown, and should be hitting Harvest Wines locations in the next week or so. Cans spotted at Stillwell, too!

We have great news from Sheet Harbour’s Sober Island Brewing, who have been keeping busy on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore. They have released a new West Coast IPA named Wavebreaker IPA. At 6.3% ABV, it’s on the lower end of the scale, but still packs a punch with plenty of iconic West Coast hops, including Centennial to the tune of 56 IBU, with notes of tangerine balancing the beer’s malt profile. Wavebreaker joins the other three packaged offerings from Sober Island, including Beth’s Black Oyster Stout, Beachstone Bitter, and Marigold Blonde. The Stout is currently in 40 NSLC stores across the province, with Marigold and Wavebreaker hitting the shelves at select stores next month. Or, better yet, you can grab them for home delivery from their online shop, with free deliveries to HRM on Thursdays for orders of $55. You can even grab a keg for enjoyment at home that way too!

After the introduction of their fruited sour Throwin’ Blueberries last week, the gang at TrailWay Brewing in Fredericton upped the ante this week with a triple play of goodness coming out of the brewery. Now granted all three are re-releases, but they’re pretty stellar lineup regardless. First up is the return of the vaunted Velvet Fog, the Milkshake IPA they’ve been playing with for a couple of years now. Back to the raspberry variant this time, they did make a slight tweak with the addition of a little bit of lime zest to keep it perky and summer heat-friendly. Of course, you’ll still find pure vanilla, lactose, and El Dorado hops ensuring it’s smooth, sweet, and packing a tropical fruity hop punch. Cans were released Tuesday and are likely going fast.

Next up is a TrailWay favorite, Seeing Citra, their single hop Citra bomb. Fresh as all hell, it was packaged yesterday, so if you grab some cans on Friday it’ll be like slurping straight from the brite tank. And even better news on this one, it’s not just back for a weekend, not just back for a day, but you’ll be walking on this Citra sunshine for the next four months or so. You’ll also be able to find it well outside the environs of Fredericton as it’s seeing province-wide distro at ANBL stores starting early next week. 

Lastly for this week is the latest iteration of El Generico, TrailWay’s basic sour. This time around they’ve hit it with blackberry and lime for a sweet and fruity character balanced by tart fruit, a pop of citrus, and the usual sour base. Sounds like an excellent beer for the height of summer, which by our calculations is right about…now. And if you’re reading this from outside Fredericton or especially outside NB and you’re wishing you could get your hands on these beers, fret no more! Trailway is now shipping not only to their home province, but the rest of Atlantic Canada and Ontario as well! Build yourself a box of 12 or 24 and let Canada Post bring it to you! 

Down the road a little bit in Rothesay, NB, Hammond River Brewing has a new beer designed to fend off the summer heat and humidity with a little taste of the tropics. Nominally an IPA, but firmly in the “session” category at 4.7% ABV, Mango Session IPA features, you guessed it, mango in the mix. Added post-fermentation, it gives a fruit-forward taste and aroma. Meanwhile, there’s plenty of Columbus and Australian Topaz hops in the mix to provide a firm bitterness to the tune of 51 IBU and an extra citrusy kick. We’ve got no packaging details on this one, but we do know you can find it pouring at the brewery.

Let’s cross the Confederation Bridge to Lone Oak Brewing for a pair of fruit-centric releases now on their shelves in Gateway Village, Borden-Carleton. First up is a brand new iteration of their South Shore Sour, with Blueberries and Haskap. Not just the same beer dosed with fruit extract, Spencer and Co went all out to create a new mixed ferment beer, featuring blueberries and haskap harvested and juiced by their good friends at Terry’s Berries (who are also responsible for the bright pink food truck parked outside, slinging banging lobster rolls, meatball subs, and more). The 5.2% ABV beer was dry-hopped with Simcoe and Hallertau Blanc to impart even more fruit character. Available now on tap, and to take away in 4-packs of 355 ml cans. And in more Terry’s Berries news, Lone Oak helped them bring their own vodka soda beverage to reality. Terry’s Berries Blueberry Lemonade features a whole pile of hand-pressed Island blueberries, with Myriad View Vodka to the tune of 6.05% ABV. Available now at Lone Oak, it will be on the shelves at PEILCC stores within the next little bit.

From one Island to another, St. John’s Newfoundland’s Bannerman Brewing brings back Pool Bar, a lactose IPA, abundantly hopping with Sabro and Citra. This milkshake IPA brings lots of coconuts and pineapple flavours coming in at 7.0%. Bannerman is also bringing back Permanent Vacation, their Mexican Lager, mildly hopped with Motueka and a combination of Pilsner and Vienna malt with a large addition of flaked corn. Light and crisp with a hint of sweetness, this beer comes in at 5.2%.

From the fine folks in Sydney, Breton Brewing is dropping another one of their 5 anniversary beers, Reel’em In Pale Ale, the 4th installment of their Anniversary Series. This dry hopped pale ale pours a brilliant, bright gold colour with a tight white head while Chinook and Simcoe hops provide a refreshing bitterness with hints of grapefruit and citrus zest. Expect dank, piney and fruity aromas supported by a soft and pillowy mouthfeel and some light caramel; it clocks in at 4.8% and 45 IBU. Reel’em In is available in their taproom and online in CBRM now, and will be coming to Halifax next week. There is one more release left in the Five for 5 anniversary release series, any guesses as to what it may be?? 

Riverdale Orchard is creating a destination cidery in Bonshaw, PEI, now offering a full menu of food options to go with their award-winning ciders. Open Thursday through Sunday, from 11 AM until 4 PM (and usually a little later on Fridays), their expanded deck and picnic table space can see you imbibing their 2 Scots 3 Apples original recipe, or the 2 Scots Go Wild, with wild apples and the yeast that live on them were allowed to undergo a low-and-slow fermentation to turn into something special. Food menu items include Quiche Lorraine and Sundried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese Quiche, Pulled Pork Roll, and Spicy Chicken or Bean Burgers served in an apple and cheese waffle. Head out to their ciderhouse and taproom at 582 Riverdale Road, or drop them a line to learn more.

Just a handful more items before we let you go today!

From our friends in Dieppe, NB, O’Creek Brewing has a new IPA from their DUOH series. This iteration features Citra and Vic Secret hops giving a smooth mouthfeel with citrus, piney and tropical flavours. Find this new brew at Tide & Boar in Moncton and Traffik in Shippagan.

Taking things to the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland, Ninepenny Brewing is releasing Route 60 sour + Black Currant as a variant of their Berliner Weisse. Grab this brew in the taproom for takeaway or stay for a pint as other flavours are getting restocked. 

As we teased last week, Shipwright Brewing in Lunenburg has released the next beer using the KRISPY Kveik yeast from Escarpment Labs. Black Harbour is a 5.5% ABV Black Lager, fermented under pressure on the cool end of the temperature spectrum (for a kveik), and then underwent a short lagering period before release. The Munich malt base, plus dark and roasted Malta shine through, with yeast esters (fruity notes) being subdued, allowing the beer to be crisp and refreshing. Grab it at the brewery for pints and crowler fills, and kegs may also be making their way downstairs to the Grand Banker.

Another job posting in our region, for those post-secondary students looking to break into/continue their work in the world of beer. Lab City’s Iron Rock Brewing is looking to hire a Production and Packaging Assistant for the fall semester, with the possibility of a full-time permanent gig at the end of it. Assisting in all aspects of designing, producing, and packaging beer, this position will be a tough but rewarding job for someone. Relocation assistance is available for the right candidate, too! Check out all the details, and apply, here.

A stark reminder this week that despite all of the great news above, we *are* in the middle of a pandemic, and ignoring it won’t make it go away. Inverness’ Route 19 Brewing has closed the doors of their taproom for a spell after a visitor from BC failed to sufficiently quarantine, and stopped into the restaurant Sunday. While there are no suspected cases of COVID-19 arising from the breaking of self-isolation (required to enter the Atlantic Bubble), customers who were in the taproom are advised to self-monitor. We applaud Route 19’s caution and are looking forward to them being able to open their taproom safely soon! As the visitor did not interact with the brewery, and sufficient cleaning protocols are in place, their brewing operations have not been affected. You can read more here.

We hope this week’s post finds you well, as we start the holiday weekend. Plenty of new beers to have delivered to your home this weekend, or if you’re able to venture out safely (masked up!), this is a grand time to visit a few breweries in our region. If you’re so inclined, remember that we’ve got a map listing the breweries and cideries in the region, as well as the craft-centered bars and shops. Check it out here! And remember to keep your designated driver happy at all times, to maximize your imbibing enjoyment. 🙂

Ok, we know for a fact that some of you beer geeks out there have been clamoring for an authentic Mexican Lager to be brewed in Atlantic Canada. Well, here we are smack-dab in the middle of summer (roughly), and 2 Crows has got what we need with their take on a Mexican Lager, Dos Cuervos (vetoed names include Crow-na and Crowdelo). Featuring a low oxygen mash of Pilsner and Chit malt from Shoreline Malting, plus a bit of Vienna and lots of flaked corn, they mash-hopped with Sterling, threw in some more at first wort, and finally went with a late boil addition of Motueka. Fermented nice and cool with a Mexican Lager yeast strain, they actually brewed another half batch and krausened with that one (adding some actively fermenting beer to restart the process and generate carbonation naturally). Finally adding a light dry-hop of more Motueka, they capped the tank, and eventually lowered the temperature slowly, allowing the beer to lager for 8 weeks. The final beer is tasting clean and crisp, with a little lime character thanks to the Motueka. It weighs in at a delightfully sessionable 4% ABV and 17 IBUs; you can find it on tap and in cans at the brewery, starting today.

And good news from 2C in the bakeapple world – they’ve got a brand new batch of Cloud 9 that should be ready in time for the weekend! This 5.2% ABV brew is slightly different from last year’s release, but no doubt equally as delicious. One part light hoppy base beer aged for 18 months in Sauvignon Blanc barrels with a bunch of Brett, Sacch, Lacto and Pedio cultures, another part golden sour base aged for a year in neutral ex-wine barrels, the whole blend was conditioned on the elusive bakeapple (picked by their hardworking friend Paul Smith of Conception Bay South, NL). They’re describing this batch as more wine-like than last year’s, “with smooth apricot and honey notes”. Maybe some of you even held onto a bottle or two from 2019 to compare? If not, it’s still worthwhile grabbing some, of course (try to show a little restraint this time, would ya, and hang onto some?)!

Miramichi’s Timber Ship Brewing did their best to take advantage of the slower sales period during the worst of the pandemic (well, for now, anyway), taking the opportunity to brew a beer style that requires more patience than most of your typical styles. The beer we’re talking about – Looshtauk Helles Lager – is now available on tap around town. Named after a 19th century Tall Ship that carried Irish emigrants to New Brunswick (check out the brewery’s Instagram page for more details on the history of that vessel), the beer was brewed with German-style malts, and hopped with Hallertau Mittelfruh to 18 IBUs. Fermented nice and cool, and lagered for six weeks, it’s 5% ABV and tasting clean and refreshing. You can find it on tap around Miramichi at Vera Kitchen and Bar, Apero Lounge, and possibly still at Mikes Bar and Grill

Looks like Tidehouse Brewing is back open for retail sales this week, (Thursday to Saturday) with several brand new beers available in cans for you to take home for the weekend. We may not have extreme details on these ones, but we definitely have enough to whet your thirst:

  • Turtles All the Way Up – Not to be confused with a previous Tidehouse release, Turtles All the Way Down, this is a 6.6% ABV Saison that was heavily-hopped with Saaz late in the boil, and conditioned on lychee.
  • Yankee Hotel Zulu – Billed by the brewery as a “simple and balanced” 6.3% ABV IPA hopped with Chinook.
  • Drive to the Sun –  Not 100% sure on the style of this one, they’re calling it a “5.2% ABV crusher” that they hopped with Tettnang.

In addition, they still have some cans of Two Can Win, a 7.5% ABV “India Saison” hopped with Loral and Saaz. They’re open 2 – 8 PM, head on over to stock up!

There’s a whole whack of news coming from Lunn’s Mill this week, if you’re looking for a Lawrencetown beer et al. fix. Let’s start with the beer portion of their news, shall we? They’ve got two new ones available in cans at the brewery, starting with a Berliner Weisse named Girl, Hold My Earrings. This one was actually originally brewing for the Brewster Fest in April of 2019, to celebrate women in the beer industry. Brewed with fresh rhubarb and raspberries, it’s a pinkish-red colour and comes in at just 4.3% ABV. Next up is Bang A Uey NEIPA, back again after a brief appearance last summer. This juicy 6.8% ABV NEIPA features “great tropical notes of melon and tangerine”, thanks to fermenting hot with Årset Kveik Blend from Escarpment Labs, and the heavy hop additions throughout the brew process (Bravo early in the boil; Mosaic, Huell Melon, and Mandarina Bavaria in the whirlpool; and dry-hopped with the same trio before packaging). Lovingly named after the driving technique oft-used outside of the brewery due to it being missed by visitors the first time popping in, they tell us proceeds will be going into their “sign fund”. Both beers are also available on tap for pints at the brewery, and we’re hearing reports of them both being available in HRM. In addition to these two beers, Lunn’s Mill has also created their own entry in the growing trend of hop-infused water with Hoppy Water, a non-alcoholic beverage made of carbonated water infused with freshly-squeezed lemon and Mosaic hops. Gluten-free, cans of this one are also available, if you’d like to round out your beer purchase (perfect for your fabulous Designated Driver to sip!).

If you happen to be traveling around Newfoundland this weekend, keep your eyes open for Baccalieu Trail Brewing on the Conception Bay Highway, as they’ve just released their first Double IPA, Loud Crowd. Brewed with late boil additions of Centennial and Chinook, and then dry-hopped with massive amounts of Citra and Mosaic, it’s big on bitterness, as well as juiciness, with “some floral and piney notes” to complement. Available in 500 mL bottles and on tap at the brewery, it’s on the lower end of the scale for a DIPA at 7.5% ABV, but should still be consumed responsibly!⁣

Or maybe you’re driving around beautiful PEI, and plan on traveling through Montague to check out the two craft breweries located there? If so, Bogside Brewing has cans and pints of their latest, Open Saison. With a grist made up of a large percentage of malted wheat, the wort was fermented with a Belgian Saison strain. Dry-hopped with Hersbrucker, expect the classic floral/fruity Saison characteristics, along with “some subtle herbal/orange aromas from the dry-hop”. Slightly tart, with a very dry finish (yet significant body, surprisingly), it’s quite drinkable at just 5% ABV. You can make a trip for the whole family out of it, thanks to the two food providers slinging great food onsite: Famous Peppers has moved from down the street to set up their pizza oven and provide some banging pies, and Thatcher’s Eatery, run by the folks at the Wheelhouse in Georgetown, with killer fried chicken sandwiches and lobster rolls. Open daily from noon, pop by this weekend for a pint and a scoff!

And speaking of Bogside, they were visited recently by both acbbaaron and acbbchris, but before that (possibly even before it was cool) by the motley crew of miscreants known as the 902 BrewCast, who sat down with Bogside’s Dave McGuire and Mark Patriquin for a chat during their (Prince Edward) Island getaway. Listen to it here at their podcast homesite or find it on your favorite podcast platform listed as Episode 82. And look for Episode 83 to drop in the next week or two; we believe they’ve still got some more PEI fun on tap/in the can.

If West Coast IPAs are more your thang, good news from Good Robot – they’ve brought back their Blanket Fort IPA, a classic West Coast IPA that they originally released on tap several months ago. Remember Blanket Fort? Well, it’s back… in can form*. That’s right, they’ve brewed up a fresh batch, with lots of Falconer’s Flight, Cascade, Citra, and Mandarina Bavaria hops, and they canned it just so you can enjoy it at home. Wasn’t that sweet (hoppy?) of them? This 6.9% ABV brew has “an erratic mix of bright citrus and West Coast dank”, with some malt backbone to balance (thanks to a grist of Pale Ale, Vienna, and Cara 120 malt). Cans are, of course, available directly at the source… you know, the brewery.

*If you have to click on this, shame.

Parrsboro’s Two Islands Brewing has a new beer on tap this week, calling you to make the visit to their lovely location. Named simply Blueberry Weisse Ale, this 5.3% ABV beer showcases a whole lot of locally-grown and -processed blueberries, on top of a classic wheat beer base. Rich in colour and flavour, it joins a handful of other beers available on tap and in cans at their 169 Main Street location, with the sister Rising Tides Bakery right next door. The brewery is open Friday and Saturday, 1 – 9 PM, and Sunday and Monday, 1 – 6 PM. Look for the beer on tap at Bistro on Prince in Truro, Briny Bay Cafe in Five Islands, and BlackRock Restaurant in Parrsboro.

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing has a new one out, but just because it’s new doesn’t mean it’s not old too! Spooky Saison has been in development for a year now (who do they think they are? 2 Crows? Stillwell Brewing?!) but it’s finally ready to meet you. Soured in the kettle before being fermented on apricots using a blend of Saison and Brettanomyces yeasts, it was then aged in white wine barrels for a full 12 months before packaging. Sour and funky, there’s also plenty of oak presence from the barrels, spicy yeast notes, a stone fruit presence from the apricots, and some white wine character. Despite this complexity and a 6.8% ABV, it still sounds to us like a lovely tipple for a hot summer’s day! And since those kinds of days seem to be in good supply lately, it should provide plenty of opportunity to put that theory to the test. Available today in 750 mL bottles from all three Prop shops as well as for home delivery.

Have you heard? Pilsners are all the rage in the Atlantic Canada beer scene this year after years of being somewhat of an underappreciated style in these parts. On a grander scale, our region is a little ahead of the game in that regard, which is why you may not have actually “heard” anything, but you definitely may have noticed a bunch of crisp and refreshing lagers on the shelves at your favorite brewery or other source of local independent beer. Hopefully you’ve been enjoying them too; we truly believe the overall quality has been stellar! The latest brewery to bring out a Pils is Uncle Leo’s up in Lyon’s Brook, NS. Now if you know Uncle Leo’s you no doubt know that one of their great strengths is traditional German ales like their award-winning Vohs Weizenbier and Altbier and their Ceilidh Kölsch. So you might expect their first entry into the Pilsner market to be in the German style. Well you’d be wrong about that, as they’ve decided to start with a Bohemian Pilsner they’re calling, aptly, Czech Mate. Very traditional, featuring Saaz hops and coming in at 5% ABV, you’ll find it at the brewery now in cans for takeaway or growler swaps or for home delivery via their online store!

Up in Bathurst, Four Rivers Brewing has debuted a new beer, perfect for those hitting the links, or maybe fibbing their score after the fact… Mulligan is a 5.0% ABV Golden Ale, clean, crisp,with a nice malt character and medium mouthfeel. Look for it on tap at the golf course, naturally, and of course at the brewery for pints and growler fills. If you pop into the latter, you’ll be rewarded with the opportunity to pick up their two newly released barrel-aged beers, as there are a few bottles still available (but they won’t last long!). Their first foray into barrel aging, they opted for a stout beer as the base, and chose two very different approaches to the barrels. La Grande Hermine is the stout aged in a Shiraz barrel, allowing the bold character from the wine to give the stout bold grape and lightly tannic character. Eau de Vie saw the stout aged in a Cognac barrel, with notes of vanilla and spirits enhancing the base beer. We suggest picking up a couple of bottles of each and sharing amongst your bubble! 

Miramichi’s New Maritime Beer Company has a couple of new beers pouring in their taproom this weekend, which will also be alive with music and comedy this weekend. First, the beers! Beaubears Chocolate Brown is named after nearby Beaubears Island, and features pleasant chocolate notes enhancing the base Brown Ale. New Maritime was also part of Isolation Nation, a nationwide effort by BSG Canada, Rahr Malting, and Hops Connect, to brew a beer to help out during these difficult times. Using Canadian-grown 2-row and Sasquatch hops, this 5.0% ABV SMaSH will be popping up at a few more breweries in our region over the next little bit, too. The New Maritime taproom will be hopping all weekend long, with DJ L’Arkadien spinning live on the patio tonight 5 – 9 PM, an acoustic set by Dillon Ryan tomorrow 6- 9 PM, and a double-header comedy show Sunday evening at 7 PM with Jimmy MacKinley and Matt Richardson (tickets needed for that one). And we’ve got a Profile with New Maritime coming next week, after our visit earlier this week, so stay tuned to learn more about them!

With COVID-19 ruining all the things, we are sad to report that Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing will not be holding their annual birthday party at Charm School Pub this year. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not going to celebrate. And because they love us (or at least some of us), part of that celebration is giving us a break on beer this weekend. Tomorrow at the brewery you’ll find $1 off cans, $2 off snarls, and $4 off growlers (glassware is trade-in of Unfiltered-branded jugs only), and they’ve got a full slate of beers on offer including the return of their Mosaic-laden RSMA (Ridiculously Superior Mosaic Ale because to hell with the Provincial liquor “authority” and their stealth taxes). Smooth, tropical, and 7.5% ABV, same as it ever was, which is a good thing.

A few more beers to get you excited for the weekend (is it 5 o’clock yet??)

For those who’ve been missing their fix from Hanwell, NB’s Niche Brewing, the beers are definitely starting to flow again. Up this week is the return of In Limbo, their light and refreshing 3.8% ABV mixed-ferm Grisette. An excellent showcase of their house culture and a wonderful beer to crush in the sun. Find it in Fredericton at The Joyce, in Saint John at Peppers pub, and in Moncton at the Tide & Boar.

Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing is celebrating Pride PEI with an in-person and online Trivia going down this evening. Kicking off at 7 PM, you can play along online, or reserve your table and move your bubble onto their extended patio. Check out the FB page for more info,and here’s the direct link to reserve a spot. We highly recommend making the trip in, that way you can enjoy the Rainbrew Strawberry Lavender Farmhouse Saison, coloured with the vibrant butterfly pea flower, or the latest batch of their Commons Pilsner, tasting great if we do say so ourselves!

And finally this week, back in Halifax, Garrison Brewing has brought back the modern version of one of their longest-running brews, Razzberry Wheat. Still 4.6% ABV and 12 IBU, still refreshing, and still tasting of raspberries, it’s on tap at Seaport and Oxford Taprooms, in cans, and as part of their “Summer Fun Pack” of four beers (only at their retail locations). And in other Garrison news, sales of their Stay the Blazes Home beer and glassware have managed to raise $28,158 for Feed Nova Scotia!!

Given the events of the past week or so, we would like to open this week’s post with a message of solidarity to our friends, family, brewery employees, and beer fans, acknowledging that acts of racism and marginalization, both passive and active, continue to occur in our region and in our country. We pledge to speak up and speak out condemning bigotry and hate, and submit that anything but love has no place in our communities. It is through many voices that our lives are enriched, and any oppression of these is unacceptable. “Stop being political; you’re just a beer blog,” some might say, and they’re right about the second part. But we will use our modest platform as we see fit, and right now we see fit to say #blacklivesmatter. 

On a more specifically beery note, with PEI brewery taprooms and restaurants able to open earlier this week, NS following suit today (and word coming that beer deliveries in the province will continue to be legal going forward), and Newfoundland poised to relax restrictions Monday, this is a week of transition for the region’s alcohol producers and licensees. We are anticipating the continuation of safe-distance interactions and PPE for the moments when distancing is not possible, to continue to keep all employees and imbibers safe and comfortable. As usual, it’s best to double-check directly whether your favourite taproom or bar has opened, as not all will be back up and running immediately. And we ask everyone to remember to be understanding: you might arrive at a place and find it full to its revised capacity; you might dislike or disagree with some of the social distancing measures; staff who haven’t worked in nearly three months may have some issues getting back into the swing of things. Breweries and Taprooms are going to do the best they can to remain open and vital, but they absolutely need their public to respect the measures that are in place and be understanding of the hiccups that are bound to happen. Be kind, folks.

It’s always sunny in Newfoundland… ok, not really, but the weather is even getting nicer there, meaning it’s time for some super-refreshing, tasty beers to have on hand for deck drinking. Bannerman is up to the task with Permanent Vacation, a 5.2% ABV Mexican Lager. Brewed with a combination of Pilsner and Vienna malt, along with a large addition of flaked corn, it was lightly-hopped with Motueka to provide just a hint of lime. The beer itself is “light and crisp, with a hint of sweetness”, perfect for warm, spring weather; available now in cans and for growler fills. And if you’re looking for something with a little more “kick” in the flavour department, Bannerman has also brought back Shore Leave, their kettle sour dry-hopped with Mosaic, and conditioned on blood orange and pineapple. Totally drinkable at just 5.2% ABV, expect “bright acidity with heavy tropical fruit flavours”. 

During this worldwide pandemic, the “old days” of large gatherings of people are a distant memory, meaning that many beer events have been, unfortunately, cancelled. One such event would have been the annual party TrailWay has been throwing to celebrate the anniversary of their taproom opening on Main St. in Fredericton (their 4th, this year, if you were wondering). We get you may be upset to miss out on an excuse to drink beer in the sun, but don’t fret… they’re still releasing what would have been a special anniversary beer. It’s the second entry in their wine barrel-aged series, and is named 3rd Room (like the first entry). They brewed up a lightly-hopped base beer and fermented it with a neutral ale yeast strain; once this was complete, they transferred it to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir barrels and pitched their house culture of Brettanomyces and bacteria. The beer was allowed to condition for 15 months before blending, and was then packaged in 750 mL bottles, where it was left for another 5 months to carbonate and condition further. The final 6.3% ABV beer is tasting “incredibly vinous, with Pinot’s red berry and Chardonnay’s light pear and buttery character”. The Brett and bacteria has provided some complementing funk and acidity to go with the effervescent mouthfeel and dry finish. There’s going to be about 550 bottles going on sale at the brewery only, starting tomorrow at noon. 

In hoppier news (shakes head at leaving a TrailWay post without really mentioning hops), Propeller has just released Strata Double Dry-Hopped Pale Ale. A 5.5% American Pale Ale beer that is… wait for it… double dry-hopped with Strata hops (a new-ish American variety), it’s showing aromas and flavours of passion fruit, melon, fresh berries, and some dank character as well. You can grab cans of this one at all three Prop Shops, or order online for home delivery. Note that this is a one-off release for now, so supplies are limited!

The beer is flowing regularly through the taps at Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing now, and with warm weather finally a semi-regular occurrence in New Brunswick, they’ve been wracking their brains for the perfect patio beer. After some deep contemplation, they’ve decided to bring back Roman Road, a dry-hopped Italian Pilsner that made a brief first appearance last December. Double-dry-hopped with Spalt Spalter and Hallertau Mittelfruh, it’s extremely refreshing and crisp, and 5.5% ABV. You can find it at the brewery right now in cans and on tap.

Hey, were you a fan of a couple of beers from Chester’s Tanner & Co. Brewing, specifically their French Saison and Brut series? Good news! They’ve melded together the best of both worlds into this week’s release of Mandarina Brut Saison. Starting with a base of Pilsner, Vienna, and Wheat malts, enzyme is used pre-fermentation to make as much of the sugars available to the French Saison yeast as possible, resulting in a bone-dry beer. Mandarina Bavaria hops are used throughout for bright and fresh citrus notes, and on the dry base, the 30 theoretical IBUs punch well above their weight. This 6.8% ABV beaut of a brut is available at their retail shop and taproom today.

Upstreet is another brewery missing out on celebrating with another big, annual party this month, but on the bright side they’re releasing 5 new beers to celebrate turning five! They’re not being dropped all at once, so breathe… you’ve got a reasonably good chance at trying them all. This week they’ve launched the first two beers, the first of which is Fireworks Farmhouse Ale 2020, their collaboration with Chef Michael Smith of The Inn at Bay Fortune. Not just a basic Saison (as you may have suspected), the 6% ABV, 10 IBUs beer features additions of smoked applewood and spruce tips, both of which were gathered/harvested at the Inn. The resulting beer is spicy and complex, with “notes of orange, honey, and toasty vanilla”. Next is Limelight Lime Lager, a 4% ABV refreshing lager with a hint of lime from an addition of pure lime juice as well as a touch of salt, meant to be enjoyed in quantity with (hopefully) a background of hot weather. And playing on the “Lite” name, it is only 100 calories, and contains 0 g sugar. Both beers are available now in the Upstreet taproom (in person and online), and at Craft Beer Corner. And hitting the shelves later today is the latest in Upstreet’s Neon Friday series of hoppier beers. Known internally as 3.02 (3rd year of the series, 2nd beer of the year), it’s a pale ale in the New England/Northeastern style. With lots of BC Comet, bolstered by Citra, Mosaic, and Ekuanot for plenty of hop character, it’s hazy and plenty juicy, though a little lighter than an IPA.

Moving from “currently available” to “coming soon,” next week will see the release of Gamay Noir Saison, which started its life as De Novo 4 before being aged for 10 months, before being lovingly conditioned on grape pomace (of the Gamay variety, of course), and then bottle-conditioned. Expect a very dry saison, with a delightful interplay between brettanomyces and red wine character. And if you’re on the hunt for something to provide to your non-beerloving COVID-19 bubble-approved guests this summer, Upstreet is getting into the vodka soda game (makes sense, as they’re already in the soda game) with their Refresh series. Developed in-house and targeted towards being light and refreshing, all three initial flavors, Raspberry & Lemon, Key Lime & Sea Salt, and Blood Orange & Grapefruit, come in at 100 calories or less and leverage a combination of fruit and natural flavors. Available in 6-packs of 355 mL cans some time in the next couple of weeks. Lastly, getting towards the end of June, we’ll see Neon Friday 3.03, which will hop to the other side of IPA to DIPA; we’ll get you further details on that one closer to release.

Let’s keep the fruit beers rolling with Lifesaver, the latest release from Unfiltered Brewing. A 4.2% ABV sour beer, it was re-fermented on 230 kg of wild blueberries, resulting in a bright blue-ish-purple colour, screaming out that there’s plenty of fruit and flavour inside. Tart and refreshing, with a juicy blueberryness that will have you wanting more. Cans and fills are available from noon today, and join the recently-returned DOA aka Double Orange Ale, their 7.5% ABV Citra DIPA. A note that their store hours are now 12 – 9 PM daily, with deliveries happening Tuesday through Saturday, get your order in before 2 PM for some same-day lovin’. No date yet for the re-opening of Charm School next door, btw.

Lazy Bear in Smith’s Cove brought back their First Crush last night. This Saison is fermented on wine grapes grown in their own vineyard right on the brewery grounds, with this year’s release featuring Lucie Kuhlmann grapes. After fermentation, the beer hung out in Oak barrels for a spell before release. Check their site for ordering options at this weekend’s Markets, and they’ll be open at the brewery again Thursday the 11th for bottle sales, as well as pints, for the first time in 3 months!

As friends and frequenters of New Scotland Brewing in Dartmouth are well aware, non-beer beverages get equal billing in their brewhouse and taproom, specifically ciders and meads, and this week marks the first time that they’ll be packaging one of their meads in cans for general sale. Rosehips Don’t Lie is a 5.5% ABV sparkling mead (although some folks might prefer the term “hydromel” at that ABV) that was produced with a natural fermentation: letting the microorganisms in the environment ferment the must instead of explicitly pitching yeast. Aged for 6 months with rosehips, the resulting beverage is a balance of tart acidity and a slight honey sweetness. Get yours either via a visit to the brewery or by ordering online for home delivery.

Halifax’s Garrison Brewing is excited to let everyone know that they’ll be amongst the breweries opening their taprooms today with both their Seaport (12 noon) and Oxford (3 PM) locations geared to allow 50% of their nominal capacity. And what better way to celebrate their re-opening than with the re-release of a fan-favorite beer? Georgia Peach is an APA at 5.0% ABV, with a grist of Maritime Pale malt, oats, and wheat,  hopped with Cascade, and hit with plenty of peach. Not especially bitter at 27 IBU, it’s hazy and orange and bursting with peach flavor. Grab some at either of the aforementioned Garrison locations as of today, but you can also expect to see it at select NSLC stores and private stores in Halifax in the coming weeks.

You can now count Cole Harbour’s North Brewing amongst the breweries who are getting into the hard seltzer game. Our this week is their “sparkling, spiked and fizzy” Pink Lemonade Seltzer. A blended seltzer, it’s gluten-free (tested!), and fresh frozen Nova Scotia raspberries are added, giving an all-natural lovely pink colour, with lemon juice added for a tart kick. It comes in at a light and lively 5% ABV. Available now via the webstore and at the brewery, you can rest assured that this won’t be the only seltzer coming out of North this summer.

You can expect to see a new, summery beer (seeing a pattern with today’s post?) coming from our friends at Good Robot very soon (maybe even as soon as today!). Viking Holiday is billed as a “Pineapple Wheat Ale”, a beer that was brewed with a simple grist of 2-row and Wheat malt, and fermented with a strain of Kveik yeast. Kveik can usually be counted on to offer a wide range of tropical, fruity flavours, but GR boosted that even further with an addition of pineapple puree. With bright carbonation, and pineapple and nectarine notes, it’s very sessionable at just 4.2% ABV.

Speaking of beers-that-should-be-available-very-soon-if-not-right-now, newly-opened Grand Falls Brewing is just about ready to launch their latest, a Helles Lager named Régal. Brewed with German ingredients (including a German Lager strain) and lagered appropriately, it weighs in at 4.6% ABV and 19 IBUs. There’s a bit of bready malt sweetness in this one, balanced by herbal and floral notes from the hop additions. Finishing crisp and dry, this could be a good one for those of you who appreciate a good Lager, and for sharing with your friends or family members who haven’t quite made the full leap into craft beer world yet! Keep your eyes on the Grand Falls social media pages for when exactly this beer will be available.

And a couple of quick final mentions as we leave you to your weekend:

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated…” After whispers and rumours that Somerset’s Bad Apple Brewhouse would be closing, we can report that is not the case. Fresh cans of their signature Box Cutter IPA and Stearman APA are available at the brewery retail shop, located at 515 Parker Condon Road, a stone’s throw from Exit 15 on the 101 Highway. Open 1 – 6 PM daily, you may be able to snag some of the last cans of their Apearently Funky Brett Pear Cider before it disappears.

It looks like the Rockbottom Brewpub, which closed in March like all other restaurants and taprooms, will not be re-opening. However, we hear that it will be reopening as a Nine Locks taproom in the future. Your Father’s Moustache, owned by some of the same group, will be opening their doors now that restrictions have been lifted, and are targeting a June 17th date for their return.