Good Robot Brewing

All posts tagged Good Robot Brewing

Happy Summer! Officially starting this week, the weather is warming across the region, and our kinda-sorta Atlantic Bubble is in effect (should be complete as of next Wednesday). Plenty of new beer news to tell you about, so we’ll get right to it. A programming note, we’ll be taking next week off, so you’ll have to fend for yourselves in what to drink. We’ll still try to share and amplify what we come across on Twitter and Instagram, so be sure to check us out there. Tag us if there’s anything cool you think we should know about, or just what you’re drinking! LOL (Lots of Love)

Let’s kick off this week’s news with a beer from North Brewing Co, who collaborated with Black Lives Matter Golf, a group founded by the Black members of Grandview Golf Club located in East Preston. Their mission is to break down economic and social barriers to create a more inclusive environment for BIPOC in golf, foster mentorship within the community, and create a scholarship fund. Their second annual golf tournament is happening at Grandview August 21st, with more details available on the BLMG website. BLMG is the collaborative beer, a 3.8% Light Beer, with $1 from each can going to support BLMG’s missions. Available now at both of North’s retail locations, as well as online and at Grandview for enjoyment between swings of the club!

Up at Port Rexton Brewing on NL’s Bonavista Peninsula, they’ve got a newish beer on the go that we evidently missed telling you about last week (bad bloggers, BAD!). Oliver’s Twist is a “quick” lager designed around herbal and floral hop flavors and a dry finish and using a non-traditional (for a lager, anyway) blend of Kveik yeast strains to accomplish a turnaround of only 2 weeks or so. Named for co-owner Sonja Mills’s grandfather, who passed away with ALS in 2015, its release also coincided with PR’s first annual “Walk to End ALS” event that took place last Saturday. Two dollars from every pint sold was donated to the ALS Society of Newfoundland and Labrador and the ALS Society of Canada and, along with additional donations from the public, a donation from the brewery, and CD sales from Jeff Pittman, who played the taproom after the walk, $1,040 was donated; a great job by everyone involved!! Although you may have missed the walk, we believe you can still grab the beer at the taproom, where they’ve announced that starting this weekend and lasting until the end of Labour Day weekend, they’ll be open every day from 12 – 10 PM!!

It is very often the case that when 2 Crows Brewing has news to share there’s a lot of it, and this week is no exception. First up is the release of a collaboration several months in the making with Bogside Brewing out of Montague, PE. Dubbed Bubble Breaker, it was intended for release to celebrate the reopening of the Atlantic Bubble, but since that whole thing got confusing and drama-filled this past week, they’re going to release it today and y’all can decide when it’s apropos. The beer started with Bogside brewing an “ultra fresh, ultra crispy little lager” based on a grist of malted barley, wheat, and rye. That beer was fermented slowly and lowly for a while and then given a proper several weeks of lagering before making a road trip across the Confederation Bridge to 2 Crows’ facility where it was lovingly transferred into foedre along with a selection of their house cultures and allowed to condition for several months. It was then packaged and can-conditioned for another several months. A hybrid beer, where the crisp and refreshing nature of a lager meets the drying funkyness of a Brett saison, you can expect this one to be very refreshing, but also to provide a lot of interest in the aroma and on the palate. We’ll warn you, however, you’ll want to get this one extra cold before opening it, as the carbonation is quite lively! Available today from 2 Crows and also from Bogside, so folks in both Provinces can try this one without any border entanglements.

Next up for the gang at 2C is a pop up plus beer (re-)release event Saturday, July 10, with Luke’s Small Goods (Fried Foods Division) who will be slinging tasty goodness all afternoon from noon to 5 PM (or earlier if they sell out) at the brewery. The menu posted to LSG Ig lists Nachos, Nashville Hot Chicken Sammies, Fried Fish, and Bologna Katsu. Sounds pretty tasty to us! Also available that day as a special treat will be a new version of a classic collaboration between 2 Crows and the late, great Niche Brewing out of Hanwell, NB, Cool Kid. This version was brewed the same way the last one was, with Pilsner malt, wheat, spelt and a touch of rye, Hallertau Blanc in the kettle, soured with Lactobacilllus before fermentation, and then fermented in foedre with a mix of house and commercial cultures. It also received the same fruiting treatment, with cherry and raspberry purées being added in turn and refermented. The result is 4.3% ABV, 14 IBU, funky, tart, and fruity. If you remember this one, you very probably want more. And if you don’t, you should really make an effort to get your hands on it before those who are in the know swiping it all up (it’s worth mentioning that the last edition cellared beautifully). (Ed note: The pop-up and release were rescheduled from July 1st)

And lastly, if you’re like us, you’re occasionally on the lookout for something to drink that’s refreshing and that maybe reminds you of beer but that doesn’t have the same alcoholic (or, in some cases, caloric) content. If so, you might remember the Hop Water that 2 Crows put together for just those kind of occasions over the last year. Well they’re back at it, and this time they’ve branched out a little bit. In addition to regular Hop Water, they’ve now got Hop Water Lime and Hop Water Tropical available. Described drily as, “Hop water, but kinda limey,” and “Hop water, but kinda tropical,” respectively, the former features Motueka hops and some lime zest, the latter Galaxy hops. Both allegedly contain some “secrets” but we’ve been assured it’s NOTHING WEIRD. Riiiight. Seriously, though, no alcohol, no calories, no artificial flavors, available as of now at the brewery and for online orders.

Heading to the Kenebecasis Valley in Southeastern New Brunswick, Long Bay Brewery has a new beer out today, with details of a new release hitting the taps next week… Let’s start with this week’s release, fresh off the canning line, The Half of It. Coming in at 4.0% ABV, but punching well above its weight, this New England Session IPA features a boatload of Strata and Mosaic late hops on top of a light and fluffy malt bill, including a hefty addition of both wheat and oats. The resulting beer is light and crushable, more aromatic and flavourful than bitter, and is debuting in 16oz cans at the brewery now, and across the province in ANBL locations in the coming weeks (joining their Ruckus IPA which also is now in grocery stores as part of that program). 

And debuting next week at Long Bay is a decidedly smaller release, available only on tap at the brewery’s taproom. Quince-essential Sour shows its cards based on its name, but let us fill you in on the fun details… This 5.6% ABV fruited kettle sour started life simply enough, with lacto used to first lower the pH for an acidic kick, before primary fermentation with some Saccharomyces. Then came the hops, first with a dry-hopping of Mosaic, followed by a second dosing of modern German darling Mandarina Bavaria. After allowing the hops to take hold, the beer was blended with a whole lot of quince fruit. In the Rosaceae family, quince is a cousin of both apple and pear, and already has a tart character, which only enhances the base beer’s acidity. The fruit and hops come together in a tropical and citrus melding that will be a sure winner. And to be a winner yourself, you’ll need to get yourself to Long Bay’s location at 82 Marr Rd in Rothesay after its release next Friday!

Back in Nova Scotia, Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing, known for its Belgian focus, is crossing the border into Germany with the release of 349 to Munich. This 5.3% ABV Dunkel, a style which originated in Munich, features a smooth malt profile and a subtle bitterness to keep things balanced. This style is great with food, so grab your favourite Spryfield takeout (Khan’s, anyone?) and head to the Serpent patio for a pint. 

Big Spruce continues to roll out the small batch beers from its original brewhouse in the Sprucetique, with two new releases this week. First up is Jötunn, a 7.2% ale named for a new yeast from Escarpment Labs, which is a hybrid of Kveik and Saison yeasts. The final beer features peppery notes from the Saison side and fruit notes from the Kveik. A Mosaic dry hop adds additional aromatics to what is sure to be a unique drinking experience. Available on tap and in cans in Nyanza now, and on the webstore soon. Sticking to the Saison family, their second release is Saison Nouveau. Brewed in the Grisette style to the tune of 5.2% ABV, expect a mix of phenolic and ester notes including pepper, banana, stone fruit and passionfruit, all leading to a crisp finish. Saison Nouveau is available in cans now in Nyanza for delivery or shipping in the online store.

Garrison Brewing has teamed up with Halifax’s Ecology Action Centre, in honour of their 50th anniversary, with the release of Bee the Change – Blueberry Braggot. A historic fermented beverage style, braggot can be considered a bit of a beer/mead hybrid, featuring a relatively equal proportion of honey and malted barley as fermentables. Garrison’s version is a nod to local, with Pilsner Malt from Horton Ridge, honey from Cosman & Whidden, blueberries from Van Dyk’s and Centennial hops from Stewiacke’s Wicked Hops. The resulting beverage comes in at 6.4% ABV and 20 IBUs. Expect a fragrant nose featuring bubblegum, banana, spice, honey and berries. The sweetness continues through to the palette with some acidity and a peppery note in the finish. Bee the Change is available now in cans at Garrison’s two Halifax locations, with a portion of sales going to the Ecology Action Centre.

We don’t know if you’ve seen pictures of Boxing Rock’s Hendry Pedro or Foghorn’s Andrew “Esty” Estabrooks lately, but suffice to say these gentlemen are looking more than a little shaggy, as both have remained unshorn during the entire pandemic. With things opening back up, and before they start to experience neck trouble from the weight of all that hair, they’re committed to rectifying that situation. But before doing so, they decided to collaborate on a special beer to remind them of this not-so-youthful rebelliousness and the pandemic experience in general, and hopefully do some good in the process. Hair of the Dog is an “Extra” IPA featuring plenty of classic IPA aromas (citrus, pine), flavors (grapefruit, lemon, pineapple), all in a golden and slightly hazy package, with a slightly dry finish and a lingering pine bitterness. A portion of the proceeds from every can sold at the breweries’ retail will go towards local SPCA initiatives. 

We started the week with news of a community beer, let’s end off in the same vein. For as long as we can remember, Halifax’s Good Robot Brewing has been running Goodwill Bot, their Monday-night fundraising event where groups have been welcomed into the taproom to meet with the public, share their stories, and grab a portion of pint sales for the evening, to the tune of more than $75,000 going to those participants! With COVID shuttering GRBC’s taproom for most of the past 15 months, they’ve taken the opportunity to re-imagine their public fundraising ideas, and are starting the Goodwill Partnership Program next week. Focusing on a single organization for a full quarter of the year, they will now be brewing and distributing a collaborative beer to further amplify and share the efforts of those allies in the cause. The first partner is NOISE Information and Transition Agency, whose mandate is to help those who were/are incarcerated to transition into a better place in life with specific focus in Black and Indigenous communities. With big plans, including purchasing a venue to hold programing and peer support groups, as well as buying tech devices to improve access to jobs and resources, NOISE will benefit from the cash as well as exposure from Good Robot’s partnership. The beer being launched next Friday, July 2nd, is Goodwill Beer: Watermelon/Mango Ale, a light and refreshing 4.7% Blonde ale with fruit puree and extract, a lovely aromatic and flavourful beer to enjoy this summer. NOISE Co-Founder chose watermelon for more than the flavour, but also for personal historic reasons, saying “Watermelon signifies the entrepreneurship of my ancestors. The stereotype that black people love watermelon actually stems from when slavery was abolished and Watermelon farms were one of the main sources of income for indigenous blacks.” 

In addition to the Goodwill Partnership Program, Good Robot has also introduced two other programs to support those groups and members of the public in need. Goodwill Gifts is for non-profit organizations looking for products for silent auctions and fundraisers, while Goodwill Relief Fund is for one-time donations for groups in immediate need, such as a recent donation to Change is Brewing Collective as they supported the Buy Black Birchtown effort. Goodwill Ambassadors is their effort to support both staff and patrons as they volunteer for non-profits in the province and beyond.

Only one event this week, but we’re hoping we see more as weeks go on…

Last week, we told you about Upstreet’s release of its 6th anniversary beer, DeNovo VI and teased that we’d have details on their birthday celebrations this week. Well, the big day has arrived with their anniversary officially falling on Saturday and celebrations lasting all weekend. Happy hour pricing will be in effect all weekend at the taproom and Craft Beer Corner. Friday night wil see DJ Niimo spinning tunes with free cake going around at the brewery and live music from 4:30 to 6:00 PM and 7:00 to 9:00 PM on the CBC patio. On Saturday, Cured Creations Charcuterie will be doing a pop-up at the brewery from 4:30 to 7:00 PM, with more live music on tap for the CBC patio. You can find all of the details here. Cheers to six years to the team at Upstreet!

A couple of quicker mentions before we send you on your way this week:

Saint Andrews Brewing Company has a new release, which is the first in what they are hoping will be an innovative series of hyper-local beers. Lion’s Tooth Honey Wheat uses Canadian wheat malt, local hops from Lakeview Hops, honey from several hives around Saint Andrews and even a few edible floraged foraged from the brewery grounds (you can’t bet much more local than that). The resulting beer is soft, with floral notes and some subtle honey sweetness. A few kegs have made their way into the wild and are currently available at the Red Herring Pub and Kingsbrae Garden Care, both in Saint Andrews. 

Two quick newsbites from Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing Company. First up is the rerelease of Sidewalk Saision, their 4.5% session saison. Made using Pilsner Malt and wheat from Shoreline Malting, along with flaked oats and rye malt, the saison is hopped with Huell Melon and also features additions of pink peppercorns in the boil before being conditioned on sour cherry juice. And, just in time to enjoy a pint of Sidewalk Saison, Shipwright’s sidewalk seating is back for the summer, the perfect place to watch the day trippers and tourists stroll the streets of Lunenburg.

One brewery in HRM is looking for a couple of folks these days; here’s your chance to “work in beer”!

A couple of jobs at North Brewing to tell you about… They are looking to add a Server to their taproom location, filling out the number of folks able to keep the good beer flowing both inside and out. And on the brewery side of things, they are hiring a multi-position person with a driver’s license, who will be concentrating their efforts on filling and packing online orders, as well as delivering them to their thirsty customers. Some working in the brewery may be required, including filling and moving kegs, so heavy lifting could be required. Full details on both in the link above, and Ben is the person to whom you should submit your application.

Sorry to start off all Nova-Scotia-centric in this week, but that was some major BS… Earlier in the week, the province announced that all alcohol retail had to close, except the NSLC. There is no denying that for many in our region, alcohol depency is a real and serious issue, meaning access should be considered essential. But to only allow one retailer (the provincial near-monopoly, of course) and not others, is seriously problematic. Thankfully, the decision was revised within a day, but not before dozens of breweries, distilleries, wineries, and private stores had shut down, possibly set up online delivery portals or curbside ordering options (none cooler than rookie brewery Serpent Brewing creating their own drive-thru in their parking lot), and generally spent time and money all for a baseless and throw-away line from the province. If we are to come out of this mostly intact, we all need to work together, and when those making the rules favour one essential provider over others, it pulls down small businesses. Now enough of the doom and gloom, let’s get some new beers in your glasses this weekend!

Let’s start in Nova Scotia this week with a brand new one from Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing. Located on the main drag at 82 Montague Street, Shipwright’s taproom/retail may be tiny, but that hasn’t stopped Brewer Kellye Robertson from continuously churning out the good stuff! The latest release is Twin Engines Belgian Pale Ale, the first in a series of Belgian beers to be released in the coming months. A cross-continental mash up, the grist of the Pale Ale starts with Shoreline Malting Pale, Munich, and Chit malts. In the kettle, a bittering addition of Ella is complemented with a flameout dosing (more flavour than bitterness) of Sabro and Topaz, with more of the same dynamic duo after fermentation has concluded. Taking care of that fermentation is an Ardennes strain of yeast, giving some lovely spicy phenolic kick to meld with the tropical hops. Pineapple and peach dance on a dry pithy base in this 5.5%, 45 IBU beer. As in-brewery enjoyment is on pause province-wide, the best way to grab Twin Engines is by crowler at the taproom this weekend.

From one tiny brewery to another, Halifax’s Tidehouse Brewing will be open Friday and Saturday 2 – 8 PM for curbside pickup of cans only, with some returning favourites as well as the debut of Everything is Totally Fine. We appreciate the optimism (or sarcasm) the crew put into naming this release, which we think is close to an Old School / West Coast Pale Ale. Pine and resin notes abound in this heftily-hopped 5.5% beer, sticking to early boil hops for the largest additions. The beer finishes with a touch of honey from the malt, but the focus is definitely the hops.

Halifax’s 2 Crows isn’t letting the lockdown prevent them from continuing to release new and fun brews to keep things interesting for you while you’re holed up in your domicile. As is often the case, this week we’re seeing a dual release, one on the younger and fresher side, and one more aged and complex. First up is a small beer with a Belgian bent, the 3.6% ABV hoppy table beer, Tiny Dancer (although you’ll be forgiven for calling it Tony Danza). Built on a base of Shoreline Malting Pale malt, raw wheat, and some of Shoreline’s Belgian new Belgian-style biscuit malt as well, it was mash hopped with Chinook and then hit hard in the kettle with Sterling, Chinook, and Tradition. Fermentation was done with a blend of yeasts including 2C’s house saison strain and some Brett in the form of The Yeast Bay 207, a single strain of Brettanomyces bruxellensis isolated from a Belgian-inspired brewery in the Northeast United States (possibly one on a farmstead…on a hill…?) that’s known for producing flavors reminiscent of Sweet Tarts™ candy (that’s “crushed candy” if you’re @tony_important). After some time to allow the yeast and bacteria to express themselves, the beer was packaged and allowed to can condition, which should yield a tight and spritzy carb. Look for a bright and refreshing result, with plenty of hop character and bitterness at 40 IBU; we’re looking forward to crushing these in earnest when the warmer weather hits!

The other new offering from 2C this week is another collaboration with the fine folks at World Tea House in Halifax. Assamica is a barrel-aged sour that was brewed around this time in 2020 with a grist of Pilsner, spelt, wheat, oats and special aromatic malt, and hopped lightly with some aged noble hops. A “host” of yeast and bacteria were used to ferment it in barrels once used for Amaro, an Italian herbal liqueur digestif. After about 9 months of post-fermentation conditioning, World Tea House’s Phil Holmans was consulted to pair a tea with it. He chose an Assam black tea with earthiness and complexity that complements the deep and rounded character imparted by the Amaro barrel. The tea was steeped for 24 hours in the barrel, after which the beer was bottled and bottle conditioned for three months. You can expect a smooth, tannic, malty, and earthy result in this 6% ABV beer, with plenty of complexity and some herbal aspects from the barrel. Both of these new ones are available from the brewery for reduced in-person retail or curbside pickup or delivery via online ordering.

To the Annapolis Valley for this next one, where Somerset’s own Bad Apple Brewhouse has a new blended cider out this week. Strawberry Feels is a 5.0% blend of apple juice with a healthy dose of Organic strawberry puree, which comes through in the palate nicely, making for a “fun summer sipper”, as described by BAB. It can be found at the Brewhouse as well as 14 NSLC locations in the coming days, joining the Box Cutter IPA and Mosaic Double IPA.

And a few last quick hits:

The sun has been shining, the trees are budding and in another sure sign that summer is on its way, Big Spruce Brewing’s Silver Tart has made its much anticipated return. Cans of the kettle-soured raspberry wheat ale are now available at the Sprucetique and through Big Spruce’s delivery/shipping options. Cans are also headed to Bishop’s Cellar. In hoppier news, another batch of Brobdingnagian, their Mosaic hopped DIPA, is also available in bottles.

Island hopping over to St. John’s, Bannerman Brewing is releasing Block Party. This saison was brewed with French hops and an addition of hibiscus to give it a beautiful, bright red color. It was also conditioned on orange peels before packaging. Look for subtle herbal notes form those French hops and a hint of tartness. You can find Block Party at the brewery now for pints and growler fills.

Trailway is bringing the hops again this weekend with a new batch of Ooz, their 8% ABV tropical DIPA featuring Sabro, Citra and Galaxy. Cans are available now through their various sales channels. Also, the shipments of Good Weather and Hot Sky that we teased earlier this month have arrived in Nova Scotia and are now available at the Port (Hot Sky) and other NSLC locations (Good Weather).

Unfiltered Brewing has a new batch of Daytimer available, their crushable 4% ABV Berliner Weisse. It’s available in cans on North Street, with a fancy new can design to boot. 

We’ll leave you with some more positive news to end the week. Good Robot will be undergoing a massive expansion over the next 6 months, as they will be working in a second facility in Hants County that will allow them to seriously increase their production and customer delivery capacity. News of the expansion broke in AllNS this week, so check out that publication for more info (subscription required). Congratulations to the Robots on their continued growth and success! We’ll feature more news on the expansion as things progress with their new facility.

Happy April! Another quarter down and a well deserved long weekend is just a day away. There will be April 1st shenanigans out there, but aren’t we all just a bunch of fools no matter what month it is? We’ll keep this short and sweet so you can get onto the local news, but with some big changes in Ontario, we’ll remind you to keep an eye on local news before making any plans and now is not the time to get complacent (and keep an eye out for those April Fool’s Day posts or announcements from your favourite breweries!). Onto the beer, no pranks below, we promise!

Last Friday, March 26th, marked the 100th anniversary of the launch of the Bluenose schooner. A symbol of pride of Nova Scotia and her residents, the “Queen of the North Atlantic” dominated the International Fisherman’s Race for years, was immortalized on stamps and the Canadian dime, and its “daughter” continues to be an ambassador of the province’s rich ship-building history. With events happening in Lunenburg, across the province, and around the world (virtually), it’s only fitting there would be a beer or two to celebrate the Bluenose’s legacy!

Saltbox is first out of the gate with their Bluenose 100 Commemorative Ale, taking inspiration from brewing lore and recipes that date back to the 20’s, during those dark times of Prohibition. Canadian Malt and Noble hops were used to create a light, crisp, and refreshing ale weighing in at a perfect-for-enjoying-a-couple-on-the-dock 4.7% ABV. A bit of malt sweetness presents on the palate, clearing quickly thanks to a balancing bitterness from the hops. You can grab an early taste of Bluenose 100 on tap now at The Knot Pub in Lunenburg and The Nosy Crow in Mahone Bay, with cans of the ale coming to the shelves of 75 NSLC stores before the end of April. A caribou ($0.25, haha!) from every can sold will be going back to the Bluenose 100 committee, who still have plenty of events scheduled for the rest of the year, including a full Summer of Sail for Bluenose II, starting June 1st, visiting ports across the Maritimes.

For a celebration 100 years in the making, it is only fitting there are a couple of beers to celebrate, which brings us to another Bluenose celebration beer, Bluenose Lager. ShipWright Brewing in Lunenburg teamed up with Garrison Brewing in Halifax to brew a long-distance collab at their own breweries, ready to set sail in the next few weeks. This 5.0% ABV Helles Lager is bright and refreshing, and extremely quaffable. Available soon at both partnering breweries as well as cans delivered to the NSLC and private stores, a portion of each can sale will be returning to the Bluenose 100 to support their mission of sharing the story of the Bluenose.

We’ve got an excellent cross-border collaboration coming from Flying Boats and Saltbox. This idea came from the daughters of the two brewery owners who met at University and have created a beer with a cause. Breezy Belgian Saison is a classic style release at 5.5% that is crisp, dry with a slightly tart finish. With flavours of coriander with some slightly bitter orange this is available in cans. A portion of the profits from each sale of this beer will be donated to Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation.

And rounding out the Saltbox news today is word that their Lunenburg expansion, under the Lightship Brewery moniker, is set to open in one month from today. With arguably the best view of Lunenburg, their location will feature a full kitchen and coffee shop in addition to the taproom, whose interior will be highlighted by a pair of Foeders from PEI’s New World Foeders, as well as barrels for some extra special brewing experiments. Those who visit their spot at 93 Tannery Road before then may even spot their Party Bike which will allow groups to navigate the town in a fun people-powered vehicle.

As we cut across the province to the Fundy shore, Windsor’s Schoolhouse Brewery is releasing Summer DAY NEIPA. This hazy IPA features Idaho 7, Amarillo and El Dorado hops and was fermented using the Verdant IPA yeast from LalBrew. This is the first sighting (that we know of at least) of this yeast strain in our region. Developed in collaboration with Verdant Brewing Co. out of south-west England, the yeast leads to citrusy esters that compliment the citrus and fruit-forward hop notes. Cans, growlers and pints are available now at the taproom on Water Street.

Deer Lake’s Rough Waters Brewing has a new release this week, with a name inspired by their mischievous cat Opie (portrayed on the beer’s label). At Wit’s End is their take on a traditional Belgian witbier. Featuring a malt bill of primarily malted and flaked week, this one also gets the traditional addition of orange peel and coriander seeds during the boil, along with the no-so traditional addition of blood orange. The result is a refreshing 4.5% ABV witbier featuring lots of citrus notes. At Wit’s End is available now in 500 ml bottles at craft beer-friendly convenience stores and markets across the island. 

From Deer Lake, we head south-west to Port au Port for two releases from Secret Cove Brewing Company. Up first is CherryOaky, a dark tart cherry ale. This one started with aging on French oak to add some complexity from the wood. Prior to packaging, this 6.5% ABV beer was then lagered for several weeks until it was deemed ready for consumption. Expect suitable oak-derived notes and a palate reminiscent of dry red wine. Next up is Shag Island, a 6.4% breakfast coffee stout. Named for the small coastal island north of Port au Port, Shag Island combines Sumatran coffee and organic cocoa for that classic blend of coffee and chocolate notes. Expect a full body and rich mouthfeel drinking experience. Both beers are available now at the brewery. 

Tatamagouche Brewing is always up for supporting a good cause, and this week they’re taking advantage of an opportunity to support a good cause in their own backyard (as is often the case), but also to bring awareness to it on a wider basis. Alicia Simms of Truro Buzz has been nominated as a candidate for Man or Woman of the Year by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada and has partnered with several businesses in the Colchester area to raise funds for the campaign. One of those businesses is Tata, who have produced a beer they’re calling Stronger Than You Think, all proceeds from which will go towards LLS. For this special cause, brewer Chad pulled out the big guns in the form of the vaunted Sabro hop variety known for big tropical flavors and coconut aroma. To that was added “lots” of Mosaic in the whirlpool along with smaller contributions of El Dorado, Willamette, and Cascade. The Sabro came in the dry hop along with some Lotus. Nominally in the East Coast/Northeastern/New England IPA style, this one has a touch of extra bitterness that will no doubt be welcome to those who miss a bit of bite in their hazebombs. Built on a grist of Horton Ridge pale malt, it also features plenty of haze-inducing and body-building adjuncts, namely malted oats, malted wheat and chit malt (also all from Horton Ridge). Fermented with a co-pitch of S-04, an English strain known for haze production, and S-33, more known for use in Belgian wheat and trappist-style beers, but which also can bring forward tropical flavors, the packaged product ended up at 6.3% ABV. Expect this one to be hazy, juicy, and tropical, with orange, pineapple, and yes, even some coconut in the aroma. It’s being packaged in cans today, so available from the brewery as soon as they’re capped and cold, you’ll also hopefully be able to find this one at Bishop’s Cellar by the weekend! Beyond that, kegs will also be going out to various Tata tap accounts and there’s even rumors that some casks (a couple of Firkins and a Pin) have been filled, and savvy drinkers will know where those usually end up… We love seeing Tata making it easy to support Alicia and LLS in the tastiest way possible!

Sticking with IPAs, we move to Halifax where Propeller has a new IPA out that they’re calling Talus Cold IPA. We’re, uh… not quite sold on the idea that “Cold IPA” is a thing, and it is April Fool’s, but they appear to be standing by it, sooooo. Anyways, allegedly a Cold IPA is an IPA with a light body that’s been fermented at cooler temperatures to encourage, “an addictively clean and crisp finish.” The other part of the beer’s name, though, the Talus part, refers to the hop variety that was used and, in our opinion, is possibly the more interesting part. A relatively recent release from Yakima Chief Hops that might be familiar to some under it’s previous experimental name of HBC 692 (which we’ve written about more than once), it’s known for a flavor and aroma profile that includes pink grapefruit, dried roses, pine, and tropical fruits. Definitely an interesting cross-section of citrus, floral, dank, and tropical! This one-off release comes in at 80 IBU and 6.1% ABV, and has been canned; it will be available at Prop Shops as of this weekend, and then possibly a little later at Bishop’s Cellar and the other private stores in Halifax. It will also be available for online orders, which, by the by, now offer shipping via Canada Post to Alberta, BC, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Ontario, PEI, Saskatchewan, and, of course, Nova Scotia! You can read more about the new shipping areas on Propeller’s website here.

And in other Prop news from North End Halifax, If you have little ones that you’ve been dying to bring into the retro Arcade under Propeller’s Gottingen Street taproom, great news! This Sunday, April 4th, the Propeller Arcade will be open 12 – 5 PM for all ages. Now, no dropping your kids and high-tailing it outta there, they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, but you’re going to want to stick around anyway for a coupla pints and to show the young ones how to shoot the ramp *just right* on the TMNT pinball. Masks on while playing, and there is plenty of sanitizer around to keep their hands and yours nice and clean. 

Wolfville’s Church Brewing isn’t one to fool around, and today’s new release is no joke! Taking inspiration from traditional pale Czech lagers, they are releasing Svelte, a 4.1% ABV crisp beer with just a hint of malt and hops. Starting from all Pilsen malt, it uses Magnum and Saphir to offset any sweetness with a light 20 IBUs. Utilizing their 600 litre (5 BBL) pilot system, first used for Lilith NEIPA last month, the limited batch size means you’ll have to Take Yourself to Church to enjoy Svelte. Available on tap in the restaurant, and in crowlers to go in their Retail spot.

After a bit of a hectic start due to governmental bodies dropping the ball, Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing’s taproom is now officially, for real, open for in-person enjoyment. The large space features 15 tables ready to accept Bubble Buddies from across the region, and when it’s safe to do so, a stage where local musicians, comedians, and other event can take over the space. As the weather warms, there will be a patio where people and their pups will be welcome, though as Serpent does not serve food (BYO), dogs are allowed inside as well. The taproom is open Wednesday to Sunday (this weekend included), from noon until 8 PM or later, and with 7 beer and 1 cider on tap, there is something to please every taste!

Only one event to mention this week, but it’s ALL MONTH LONG!!

Congratulations to Debbi Tobin, who is the new Executive Director of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia! And just in time, as April is NS Craft Beer Month! Obviously 2021 looks quite different than in previous years, but CBANS is still helping its member breweries during this month of transitioning from winter to spring. For those with products in the NSLC, the Corp is working to put more NS-brewed beer front and centre in their locations as well as their online material, including some IG Live events with a handful of breweries this month (Thursdays at noon, with Breton Brewing, North Brewing, Church Brewing, and Saltbox Brewing all taking part). And for those who swing that way, the NSLC is offering a free-to-brewers (unlike last year) promotion that will have customers getting a 10 Air Mile bonus when purchasing 2 multi-packs.

No official list of events available just yet, but for brewery folk reading this, they are soliciting all of your going-ons and will curate a list on their site soon. Check this page for more details. And as always, use and follow the #NSCraftBeer hashtag on the socials.

A couple more quick hits on the beer side:

Fresh off a tap takeover in Halifax last weekend, Bannerman is back with a fresh release out now. Dressed to Kill is a dry-hopped fruited sour that packs a punch. This was conditioned on a bunch of blackberries and raspberries. Finishing off with a dry hop of Mosaic, this is 5.5% and available in 473ml cans from the Bannerman shop.

Halifax’s Good Robot snuck in under the wire with news of their release, Seasoned Assist Spiced Dark Lager, which they’re describing as, “like a Winter Warmer, but light and crushable,” with flavors of clove, cinnamon, and anise leading to a coffee-tinged finish. The artistic photo we received obscures the ABV and we’re sure there’s probably a story to that name (say the first two words to yourself quickly), but we suspect you’ll have to ask your server when you order a pint at the taproom to get the goods on that!!

Looking for a job in the beer industry in our region? Here’s a few possibilities for you:

Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing is looking to add a multi-tasking kind of person to their team, ready to wear several hats in and outside of the brewery. A part-time position (15-30 hours per week depending on demand), the roles will include Delivery Driver, Packaging Assistant, and Taproom Bartender. Perfect for someone who can be versatile and nimble as they take on the different roles, this is a seasonal position (at the time of posting, at least), from April – October. Check their Careers Page for more details and how to apply!

Over to PEI where Copper Bottom is also looking to add to their team. They have two full time positions available, one as a Taproom server and the other as a Front of House Manager. These are great opportunities if you’re not too far from Montague. To apply check out the Career section of their website or stop by the taproom in person to drop off a resume and have a chat!

If you’re kicking around the Windsor area, or planning on making a move, there is some new hiring from the good folks at Schoolhouse. They are hiring part-time kitchen staff, but there are plenty of growth opportunities to stay within the company. They’re looking for good people and not necessarily previous experience. If you’re interested, first off a resume and a little about yourself via email

With some bittersweet news, the Brewmaster from Spindrift is moving on. Kyle is known around the region from time at Gahan, Garrison and Spindrift and we wish him nothing but the best and I’m sure we’ll see an official announcement soon on his next undertaking.

With Kyle moving on, that means there’s a job opening in Dartmouth. If you have Brewmaster experience, this would be a big opportunity. Check out the full job posting here to see all of the details and application details. 

Rounding out the job postings this week is something a little different, but still vital to keeping the good beer flowing! The Acadia Laboratory for Agri-Food and Beverage (aka alab) is looking to hire a Lab Technician to work in their lab supporting the local beer, cider, and wine community. If getting your LC and GC-MS on sounds like something you already do on a regular basis, you may be the right person for the job! Check out the job posting and apply today!

And we leave you today with some “prepare your ears” news, the fellas from 902 BrewCast are recording another episode tonight after releasing one last week. Bittersweet, this episode will mark the last with Phil Church in the official co-host seat. While we’re sure this won’t be the last we’ve heard from Church on the podcast or in beer circles, he is leaving the position to spend more time roaming the ocean floor and frolicking shirtless with Dodo, we assume/dream. Ahead of the recording this eve, the fellas are gathering your questions and best wishes on IG, so be sure to drop one there. Be sure to keep your eyes on Church as he continues to grow his photography business, those beautiful shots you see on his IG are just a small percentage of what he does!