As we wind our way through January, Dry or not, the new beer and returning favourites, continue unabated. Whatever you’re drinking these days (or caching away in the cellar for Feb 1), we think there will be something in today’s post that will tickle your fancy. Let’s get this show on the road without any further ado!
Cornwall, PEI’s Modern Brewer’s Village Green continues to release an onslaught of new beers, as they flex their brewing chops in several different directions. This week’s new bevvy is the simply-named Simcoe Pale Ale. Taking advantage of the iconic eponymous hop’s citrus aroma and flavour (think clementine, VG encourages us), the base is made up of Island Malt House Pilsner, Wheat, and Oat malts, for a light and airy mouthfeel that keeps you going back for another sip. Simcoe is exclusively available on tap for pints or growlers, and in cans at Village Green’s location at 30 Church Street, where you can grab a meal or snack at their pals Holy Fox Food Truck too. And while you’re there, be sure to grab the details on their Draught Beer Appreciation Society, so you can become a member too!
It wouldn’t be a Friday if we didn’t have an encyclopedic amount of information to dump on you about new beers from 2 Crows… seriously, don’t those guys have anything better to do than brew beer? Apparently not, because we’ve got two new ones to report on this week, so best to stop complaining and just get on with it already!
First off is Novello, another collaboration beer brewed with the fine folks at Bannerman Brewing. While not an actual in-person collab, naturally (thanks, COVID!), both breweries were involved in crafting the recipe, which was also very much inspired by their first beer brewed together, Vinello. Originally brewed last summer with Pilsner and Rye malt from Island Malt House, the wort was hopped heavily with Sterling (to 48 IBUs), and then fermented in one of 2C’s foedres with an assortment of their house yeast cultures. It hung out in there for about five months, awaiting an addition of macerated Riesling pomace from Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards. After the pomace was added, the beer conditioned for another month before being canned and can-conditioned. The final, 4.5% ABV beer is “lively and fresh, with soft Riesling aromatics, a touch of acidity, and snappy funk”.
Next up is Colourful Language, a solo-brewed beer that also features wine from Lightfoot & Wolfville. Brewed last June with a grist of Shoreline Pilsner, Wheat malt, and unmalted wheat, it was hopped lightly with Sterling and aged noble hops. The wort was fermented and aged in another of the brewery’s foedres with a blend of Sacch and Brett yeasts, as well as Lactobacillus cultures, for approximately four months. In October, about 400 kg of fresh Marquette pomace from L&W was added directly into the foedre, along with 300 lbs of plum; the beer sat for another six weeks to allow the sugars from the fruit to ferment out, before being canned and can-conditioned. The result is a 5.6% ABV beer that is “playful and peppy, vibrant and juicy”, with no doubt some lovely wine and plum character coming through.
Both of these beauties are available at the brewery starting today. While you’re grabbing some, note that they’ve got a freshly-canned batch of Waltz in their fridges that you should also pick up! This 5.5% ABV German Pilsner is always crisp and refreshing, and a great palate cleanser for some of those more intensely-flavoured beers that are currently surrounding it at the brewery. This batch features a slightly increased dry-hop, bumping the herbal qualities a little.
Lunenburg’s brewing pride and joy, Shipwright Brewing, has two brand new beers pouring at their taproom downtown… and depending on how you look at it, maybe four beers! In this case, we’re referring to their Shifting Tides Berliner Weisse, their take on the classic German low-ABV, sour style. Shipwright brewed theirs with Shoreline Pilsner and Wheat malt, and a very light addition of Hallertau Blanc hops (to only 3 IBUs). Lactobacillus was used to provide some acidity in this 3.6% ABV beer, to go with the light funk present from fermentation. You can enjoy this one as-is, or order it with an addition of raspberry or woodruff syrup, as is often traditional for the style in Germany. Or, order all three!
Next is the brewery’s latest hoppy offering, Seafarer IPA. With a grist made up of Maris Otter, Caramel malt, Rye and Oats, and hopped heavily with Citra and Idaho 7. Weighing in at 6.7% ABV and 65 IBUs, expect some malt character to break through with notes of “light sweetness, bread, honey and spice”, complementing all of that grapefruit, pine, and tropical flavours from all of those hops. As mentioned, both beers are available at the taproom, for pints or crowlers-to-go.
Fredericton’s hop maestros Trailway Brewing are bringing new batches of a couple of their hoppiest brews today with fresh batches of Green Island and Box Theories hitting the taps and the fridges. Green Island is (one of) their ultra-juicy IPA(s) featuring Idaho 7 and Cashmere hops for notes of pineapple, peach, and sweet citrus in a hazy 6% package. On the somewhat stiffer, but no less hazy or juicy, end of the spectrum is Box Theories, a recipe developed to show off some the new hotness on the hop market, Strata. With some old hotness mixed in as well in the form of Citra and Mosaic, you can expect elements of mango, apricot, peach and nectarine, and perhaps a tinge of blueberry coming through on the finish. This one’s going to hit a little harder, though, at 8% ABV, so rather than planning anything strenuous maybe just sink a little further into that comfy chair and have another one.
In other Trailway news, is something decidedly less hoppy. Not only are they continuing with their foray into the world of German beers, they’ve announced that they are packaging one “for the first time.” We’re guessing that means they’ve forgotten all about their flagship kölsch (pouring in mass quantity at The Drome), Candlepin, and their long-running German Pilsner Yada Yada, but we’ll let that slide because we’re all lager lovers here and MOAR LAGER is a good thing. You won’t be surprised to learn, then, that we’re excited because this new beer, Ramifications is a Helles (German for “pale”) lager. Described as “clean, smooth, round, and soft,” which is everything a Helles should be, you have every right to expect this to be an immensely quaffable beer at 4.3% ABV. Look for it, the above pair of hop monsters, and everything else the gang at Trailway has available at their online shop, where you can order online for contactless curbside pickup or shipping anywhere in the Maritime provinces or Ontario via Canada Post.
It’s cold and only getting colder, but luckily your Halifax friends from Garrison are here with a seasonal release to keep you warm. Wintervention is back! A Russian Imperial Stout, it’s got a lot of chocolate character after being conditioned on cocoa nibs. Coming in at 60 IBU thanks to some well balanced hopping with Millenium, the chocolate, munich and pale ale malts bring the flavour to this 10.5% ABV release. Available in 650ml bottles, you can pick this up from Garrison at both their Seaport and Oxford retail stores.
Keeping with the theme from above, North Brewing is helping you out with another tasty stout to keep you warm. Another fan favourite is back with the re-release of Twinkle Pony Tiramisu Stout. This 7.5% stout brings sweet and smooth chocolate and coffee flavours, as it’s made with Ladyfingers, chocolate malt, lactose, vanilla and cold brew coffee. There is only a small amount of this that was canned, as the rest is going into darkness for a barrel-aged treat! Order these cans online today or find them at both of their Dartmouth shops.
Staying right on theme is Nyanza’s finest, as Big Spruce comes back with a limited edition of their Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout. This already tasty smooth and roasty stout is freshly canned for a Glenora Whiskey Barrel Aged version. Aged in local Glenora Whiskey barrels, the roasty, chocolatey & espresso-coffee aromatics are amplified with a complex layer of smooth whiskey and subtle woody notes from the barrel. This is (again) a very limited release, so we recommend ordering it online directly from Big Spruce on their online shop! Get the good stuff before it’s gone!
Traveling down from Cape Breton, Tatamagouche is back with a few fan favourites that make a very tasty duo. First on deck (appropriately) is the return of First Light, a delicious Czech Pilsner. Crispy like the weather, this 4.5% lager is naturally carbonated, brewed with Noble hops and Czech yeast. This is really a tasty, crispy treat.
First appearing on this blog about two years ago, Kitty Clyde is back! Meow! A Double IPA hopped with two of our favourite Australian varieties, Galaxy and Vic Secret, this 40 IBU hop bomb clocks in at 7.8% ABV. Both of these returning beers are available in cans online and at Tatabrew, and should make their way into the private shops as well.
Tidehouse is back with a restock with fresh cans of Sotil coming out today, which first came out just before Christmas. This second iteration is a super dry 4.5% Saison made with Horton Ridge malt, with the wort lightly soured with Escarpment labs Lactobacillus rhamnosus/plantarum blend and fermented with French Saison yeast. A late addition fermentation of Marquette grape skins from Bent Ridge Winery brings a Saison-wine like ale that could be described as a “wine-seltzer” by Tidehouse themselves. They’re very proud of this beer and it’s simple, refreshing and dry.
Just one event to let you know about at this time, but it will be a full-week affair, so strap on your drinking shoes… The Moncton Craft Beer Week is a celebration of all things beery in the GMA, with twelve breweries and scores of local pubs and restaurants taking part in the fun. Running February 22-27, there will be events every day, including the launch of the Moncton Craft Brewery Passport, an Extreme Beer homebrewing competition (more details here, and the winner will get to brew their creation at Tire Shack Brewing!), A Meet the Nano Brewer night at CAVOK, Beer Geek Trivia with acbbchris at the Furnace Room, culminating with Open Brewery Day (with free buses for those wanting to hit all of the spots in Moncton, Dieppe, and Riverview) and an all-local IPA Tap Takeover at Tide and Boar Gastropub on the 27th. Check out their website and Socials (Fb/Ig) for the latest details, and we’ll have more details on it all leading up to the event, natch!