Gridiron Brewing

All posts tagged Gridiron Brewing

Welcome to September! And welcome to the Long Weekend! For those going back to school (or who have kids going back to school), we wish you all the best as the new year of classes begin, whether they’re online or in person! And for those in neither of those situations, enjoy a Monday to soak up the late summer vibes in our region. We’ve got plenty of new beers and ciders for you to grab while you are out and about this weekend (or ordering delivery, remember that is still a thing!). Do be sure to check in advance for those spots that may not be open Labour Day Monday, to avoid disappointment. 

Lots of news coming out of Meander River this week, with beer and cider releases, as well as info on this year’s hop harvest! Let’s start with the beer, since we’re kinda biased that way. Lazy Dazy started off as your fairly typical American Wheat Ale, but features an addition of fresh grapefruit zest and pith midway through fermentation. Once fermentation was all-the-way completed, they tossed in a healthy dry-hop addition of Citra, giving this 4% ABV brew even more juicy, tropical character. Light and refreshing, it sounds like a great beer to finish off your summer with. In cider world, MR has released two new ones in their Small Lot series, Small Lot Blueberry and Small Lot Cranberry. All Small Lot ciders are made with fresh local or farm-grown fruits, herbs, flowers, etc.; in the case of these two newbies, fresh-pressed valley blueberry and cranberry juice were added (we’ll let you figure out which one was used in which!). Quantities are always limited, with both products available on tap and in bottles. If you drop by to do some shopping, you may even be lucky enough to be around for yet another Small Lot cider, Lavandula, a honey lavender cider that will be available in 750 mL bottles only. 

Finally, Meander River is calling for help with their annual hop harvest, which will be taking place this Sunday at 9 AM. This socially-distanced event doesn’t require you to sign up in advance, as they’ve assured us there is plenty of space to safely pick the aromatic hop bines. The hops harvested will be used in brewing their Homegrown Wet-Hop Ale, which should be released sometime around Thanksgiving. 

Attention Halifax: if you like hazy, hoppy beers, if you like Nelson Sauvin hops, and if you like supporting a good cause, Propeller Brewing has the beer for you! They’ve teamed up with the Ladies Beer League to brew NZ IPA, a New England IPA that was heavily dry-hopped with the wonderful, pricey, elusive New Zealand hop variety, Nelson Sauvin. Featuring aromas of “fresh crushed gooseberry and tropical fruit”, and low bitterness, this 6.5% ABV beer will be available today at all three Prop Shops for growler fills (and pints at Gottingen and Quinpool). The brewery will be donating $1 from every pint or 1-L growler fill – and $2 for each 2-L growler – to the Halifax Sexual Health Centre. This organization provides a wide range of care options, and are currently working beyond capacity, so let’s do what we can to help, yeah?

Over in Big Spruce-ville (that’s Nyanza, for those of you not in the know), they’ve got a brand new, big beer hitting taps and bottles for the long weekend. Brobdingnagian (no, that’s not a typo) is an all-Mosaic, 8.5% ABV Double IPA. All of those delicious, delightful Mosaic hops provide “clean flavours of mango, citrus and pine”, with peaches, apricots and marmalade on the nose. And at that ABV, it’s going to pack a bit of a punch, so take your time! Available in 650 mL bottles and on tap at Big Spruce and some of their fine licensees, grab it while you can. You’ll also probably see bottles of the latest batch of One Hundred, Nova Scotia’s first beer brewed with all NS ingredients, including a wild yeast strain BS harvested from one of the pin cherries growing on their farm. 

In the Hub of Nova Scotia, the eponymous Truro Brewing Company has released a brand new SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) beer, showcasing their local hop producer. Wicked Game is a 5.5% ABV Pale Ale, featuring generous additions of Centennial hops from Stewiacke’s Wicked Hops Farm. Notes of pine and herbal from the hops balance the light malt character. On tap for samples, pints, and growlers, it joins 4 other options on draught at the 53 Inglis Place taproom, open noon to ten.

Anyone old enough to remember the glory days of situation comedies (that’s ‘sitcoms’ for you whippersnappers out there) know that one of the most common tropes was the ‘kooky’ or ‘wacky’ neighbour. From Ethel Mertz and Eddie Haskell, to Rhoda Morgenstern and the Fonz, to Larry and the two Darryls, to Kimmy Gibler, Steve Urkel, Cosmo Kramer and beyond (we’re sure there were more after those, but we’re kinda old), it’s a story as old as time, or at least television. In Digby, NS, Roof Hound Brewing has released a beer this week called (of course) Kooky Neighbour in honor of their own real-life neighbour, Amy, who owns the spa next door to their Kingston, NS, taproom and who has been welcoming, generous, and supportive to the Roof Hound family in their newest venture. A low-ABV coconut cream ale (apropos, as Amy has a tanning salon), coming in at 3.8% ABV, it’s light and sparkling, with a bit of corn on the finish and just a hint of coconut. In short, a perfect beer for the dying days of summer. Being a limited edition of only 500 bottles we suspect you’ll have to get to the Kingston Taproom to try it; if you do, maybe you’ll get a chance to meet Amy herself!

Whether the following five words excite you or make you want to do yourself bodily harm, they need to be typed: Pumpkin Ale season is back. Sorry/Yay? Anyway, Boxing Rock knows that many of you are bored by the typical Pumpkin Ale brewed with pumpkin spices, so they’ve got their own take on the style with Fuego Habanero Pumpkin Ale. Instead of the usual spices, they’ve added habanero peppers to the beer, along with a little bit of cinnamon and black pepper. Full-bodied, golden-coloured, with aromas and flavours of pepper and pumpkin, it has some heat thanks to the peppers, but not TOO much, we assume, since the brewery also claims the beer is “surprisingly drinkable”. You can find it at the brewery, naturally, with cans also making their way to the HRM private stores. Those of you in New Brunswick should also be able to track some down at select ANBL locations next week. 

In PEI, Montague’s Bogside Brewing has a new American Pale Ale on tap, Tailgate APA. Billed as a classic West Coast Pale Ale, with actual clarity, as well as a moderate bitterness accompanied by some malt character in the background, it was hopped with Amarillo and Simcoe to give it aromas of “citrus and light pine”. Coming in at 5.7% ABV and 35 IBUs, you can expect to see cans of this one as well, soon. And for those of you who are also into cider, they’ve got their latest there, too, with Buckle Up, a blueberry cider that was made by blending their base, dry cider with blueberry wine from the Rossignol Estate Winery, located in Murray River. Also at the brewery (in cans), it weighs in at 6.5% ABV.

Since moving to their new location, Sackville, NB’s Bagtown Brewing has been keeping up with the one-off brews, and they have their latest, Helium, available now. Brewed with a base of Pilsner malt, it was fermented with sparkling wine yeast. While we’re not 100% certain what beer style this falls into, the brewery is describing it as “light and bubbly, with a subtle honey sweetness and floral aroma”. It finishes fairly dry, and at 5% ABV is intended to be consumed in quantity, if so desired! 

Your hard-working crew at Horton Ridge have put their brewhouse to work recently, and conjured up an “old school” IPA (think a fairly bitter IPA that has a bit of sweetness to balance the hops) that they’ve named 500 Miles. If you’re thinking that they’ve named this beer with a nod towards The Proclaimers, you’d be wrong! The malting process that occurs at Horton Ridge involves many, many instances of raking, and around the time that this beer was brewed, the company’s raking odometer (that’s a thing?!?) reached 500 miles. They figured that was as good a name as any for a beer (they’re right!), so there it is. But back to the beer – they’re describing it as having a balance “of grapefruit citrus and piney resinous flavours”. Brewed with some Honey malt in the grist, it also has a “subtle burnt sugar sweetness” as a result. You can find it on tap at their taproom in Hortonville.

Back in New Brunswick, Gridiron has brewed up their very first New England IPA, Hazy Tuesday. With a grist that is heavy on oats and wheat from Island Malt House, the rest is made up with grain from Shoreline Malting. Hopped with plenty of Citra and Mosaic (to 65 IBUs), it comes in towards the higher end of the style, at 7.3% ABV. Only a few kegs of this juicy, tropical NEIPA were brewed, and it’s available only at the brewery in Hampton; drop by this long weekend for your pour! They are open daily, 4 – 6 PM, and may be available by appointment if you reach out via FB.

Let’s catch up on a few releases that were announced after our early release last Thursday, we figure there’s still a few bottles and cans around for your consumption…

Newfoundland’s Rough Waters Brewing has released a new Blonde Ale, albeit one with a bit of a twist. Hot Damn was brewed along the lines of your standard beers in the Blonde style, but features an addition of red thai chili peppers. The mild heat in the finish is enough to remind you that there’s more to this 5.5% ABV beer than meets the eye. Available at the brewery in growlers and pints; they were calling for bottles soon, as of last week, so those could very well be ready for this weekend. 

Inverness’s Route 19 Brewing dropped a new beer last Saturday, and it’s sounding super tasty, so let’s hope they still have some left! Crew Brew is their latest kettle sour, brewed with the same base (2-row malt) as their previous release, Dog Daze. Soured with their house culture, the resulting beer was dry-hopped with the delicious Sabro variety. The final 5% product has “intense Fuzzy Peach sour candy, green apple, Jolly Ranger, and ripe mango aromas”, all accompanied by a bright, lemon-like acidity, and “coconut cream, smooth finish”. Named to show the brewery’s appreciation for their brewpub staff, all proceeds of the beer will go towards this hardworking bunch, who they say lost a week of work earlier in the summer due to a pandemic-related incident. Drop by the brewery today to give this beverage a taste, and support the crew!

Everybody who’s in the know knows that 2 Crows commonly has weeks where they hit hard with two or three or even more releases and leave us wondering why we got into the (incredibly lucrative, natch) beer blogging game. But last week everything hit so hard that they knocked themselves for a loop and totally neglected to let us know what was coming. We’ve got those deets for you this week, though, starting with Surefire, a foedre-aged fruited sour that’s been nearly a year in the making. Beginning with a grist of Shoreline Malting Pilsner and wheat malt, along with some spelt and rye, it was hopped lightly with Nelson Sauvin hops before fermentation in oak with a blend of 2C’s delightful house cultures. After hanging out an additional five months in the barrel to condition, over 800 lbs of blackberry and 420 lbs of sour cherry were added and allowed to ferment out before a bit of vanilla was added to the mix and the beer was packaged in cans, where it’s been hanging out since June. Described as “deeply jammy, funky, zippy, and complex,” this is no small sour even though it only tips the scales at 4.8% ABV.

Also new and available is Camellia, a lagered wild ale with buckwheat and green tea. Pulling in some floor malted ingredients from the other PEI maltster, Island Malt House, the mash included Pilsner, wheat, oat and rye malts, with malted buckwheat taking center stage. On the hop side, Chinook, Sterling, and Azacca were used at various stages in the kettle before the beer was transferred to foedre and inoculated with a blend of house cultures. Five months later, it was sent to stainless where it was dry-hopped (dry-tea’ed?) with some Sencha Green Tea from Phil Holmans at Halifax’s awesome independent World Tea House. A krausening with lager yeast and some fresh wort before a further seven weeks of cold lagering were the final steps before packaging. We’re going to be honest, beyond the tasting notes from the brewery, which include, “earthy, fresh, zippy,” and, “lightly tart,” we don’t have any idea what to expect from this beer, which is a wonderful place to be when you love to try new things.

Both of these beers have been packaged in cans (and, we don’t doubt, some kegs for pouring at the brewery, at least, and hopefully beyond) so your best bet to grab them is on Brunswick Street in Halifax. If you happen to be by between 10 AM and 2 PM on Saturday or Sunday, remember that they’ll be hosting their Maker’s Market again this weekend. And keep your eyes peeled for more new things from 2 Crows down the road; social media this week had some awesome photos of the team from the Change is Brewing Collective in the 2C house for some collaborative goings-on. We’re very much looking forward to seeing what they came up with together!

Hooray for the continued return of actual events! Just remember, folks, be smart and play safe if you’re planning to attend any large gatherings of people; we’re in one of the safest regions in the world right now COVID-wise, let’s keep it that way!

Luckily for Atlantic Canadian homebrewers, this year’s annual Gahan Maritime Homebrew Challenge is still a go! This is the third year for the event, with all homebrewers invited to do their darndest to brew up the finest example of a West Coast or New England IPA, and enter it for judging. Submit it to your local Gahan House restaurant (of which there are several in the Maritimes) by October 30th; the winner will be announced November 14th at the Charlottetown Gahan House. But what do I win, you may ask? The “Grand Champion” gets $500 cash, and a special edition of their beer will be brewed and canned with help from Gahan/PEI Brewing Co. brewers, for retail sale. There’s other prizes as well (up to $3000 worth); for more of the nitty gritty, check out their site, or email homebrewchallenge@gahan.ca. Good luck, entrants!

And let’s stick with PEI for a couple more events this week. PEI Burger Love usually consumes all of April, but the pandemic put the kaibosh on the Spring event. However, they have switched the dates, without losing any enthusiasm, and are holding it during the six weeks beginning September 1st. Many brewery and beer-friendly spots are taking part, and for the first time in its ten year history, the Burger Love is expanding from just PEI Beef to Chicken, Pork, Seafood, and Veggie options. Grab your checklist of the 70+ burgers on offer

PEI Brewing Company is going ahead with their fall Oktoberfeast Event later this month, September 25th and 26th. Each day offers something different to visitors, with lawn games, growler holding competition, washer toss and cornhole, and live music and plenty of German-inspired food. Your $15 entry per day includes a filled 1 litre Maß to keep, and entrance to the competitions and fun. Grab your tickets in advance to avoid missing out!

A couple more quick mentions before you leave you to your long and hopefully super-sunny weekend!

Halifax will see the return of a Garrison Brewing favorite this week, with Sour to the People back in a slightly modified form. Still 5.5% ABV, still extremely tart and lemony, the change in this year’s batch is that it isn’t dry-hopped. Look for it on tap at both the Seaport and Oxford locations and also available to go in 473 mL cans.

Hanwell, NB’s Niche Brewing has their hibiscus kettle sour back on tap this week for those who’ve missed it (which we figure is probably most of the people who’ve tried it). Ruby Tuesday is 4% ABV, tart, fruity, and refreshing. You’ll find it at The Joyce and Peppers Pub for sure, with other Niche tap accounts hopefully picking it up soon as well. It’ll also likely be pouring on Maybee Brewing’s guest tap sometime late next week.

Welp, this is it, the end of January. It felt like it lasted 6 weeks, what with the epic snow seen across the region shutting down entire cities, but we’re emerging from our snow forts and thirsty as heck! Thankfully the brewers didn’t miss a beat and have plenty to satiate our thirst. Let’s get your weekend started now with brand new releases across the region this week, and what’s on the horizon.

Thanks very much to those of you who entered our giveaway for tickets to next weekend’s Craft Beer Cottage Party as part of Savour Food & Wine. Congratulations to Andy L who won the two tickets with his picture of Propeller Sabro on IG. For the rest of us, tickets are still available for the Feb 8 event at Halifax Seaport Beer Festival, with more than 30 breweries and cideries from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI donning their best cottage ware and pouring goodies from their booths. We hope to see you there!

Let’s ease you out of Dry January with a beer hitting the shelves in New Brunswick at the beginning of next week. Niche Brewing is continuing their limited bottle releases with a debut almost two years in the making. Taking inspiration from the Oud Bruin/Flanders Brown style originating in the Flemish region of Belgium, Quintessential is a 6.4% ABV beer with plenty of history. Beginning life in April 2018, this Brown Ale underwent primary fermentation in a Cab Sauv barrel with Niche’s house blend of Sacch and Brett yeasts, aided by a new pitch of Lactobacillus and Pediococcus bacteria for a complex souring profile. Over the next 18 months, they produced not only lactic acid, the same “clean” acidity found in kettle souring, but also some acetic acid character thanks to extra bugs. After bottle conditioning for a few more months, the beer is finally ready. Think rich balsamic acid, dark plum and cherries, with a light oak character. A special beer deserves a special label, so they tapped Maine fine artist Nico Lebarge (no stranger to the beer scene as a designer with Bissell Brothers in Portland) for a painting fit for the release. Bottles of Quintessential will be available at the York Street and Corbett Fredericton ANBLs Monday, and at Dieppe Wednesday. Ask at your local location, and they may be able to bring it in (though with only one barrel of the beer available, there are only so many bottles to go around!). To keep you satisfied this weekend, thankfully, they’ve got a fresh batch of their Single Origin Sweet Coffee Stout pouring around the region. And ready your livers for a tap feature at The Joyce on February 22nd, with twelve Niche beers flowing, including several small batch one-offs brewed specifically for the event. 

Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing has one new beer and one returning beer on tap this week. Starting with the newbie, which is appropriately named Raspberry Milk Stout. This is a Sweet Stout (meaning it features an addition of lactose powder in the boil) that had raspberry puree added once fermentation was complete. The result is a dark beer with a smooth creaminess, as well as subtle notes of raspberry. Full bodied, with low bitterness, it weighs in at 5.5% ABV. It’s currently available on tap for growler/crowler fills at the Pump House Fill Station in Moncton. Returning is I.P.Address, a very popular NEIPA that was last seen back in June. Brewed with a simple grist of 2-row malt, wheat, and oats, this batch was fermented with a different yeast strain than previous batches. Hopped with Vic Secret, Centennial, El Dorado, and Mosaic, expect “smooth tropical fruit, citrus notes, and a mild bitterness”; it comes in at 6.5% ABV and 60 IBUs. Look for it at the Growler Bar at the ANBL in Dieppe on Regis St, where it should be pouring alongside Raspberry Milk Stout as well.

Despite the extra crappy weather Newfoundland has been seeing this month, Port Rexton Brewing has been keeping themselves busy, with the result being lots of beer news for this week! Let’s start with their latest bottle release, shall we? Cellar Season – 2019 Barrel-aged Gose is just what you’d expect it to be! Once brewed, the kettle-soured base beer was fermented in stainless before being transferred over to a red wine barrel. The Brett D strain from Escarpment Labs was pitched at this point, and the beer was allowed to age (and develop lots of pineapple and funk character) for 14 months. A limited amount of bottles are available (300, with a limit of 2 pp); the 4.1% ABV beer is showing “hints of oak and red wine” to go with the Brett funk, with all of it being “complemented by a touch of minerality and refreshing tartness” before finishing nice and dry. In draught news, the latest in their hoppy Continuum series is out; Continuum w/ Simcoe has a whole lotta Simcoe in the whirlpool, hop back, and dry-hop additions, accompanied by Mandarina Bavaria, giving this 5.6% ABV IPA a “candy-like sweetness on the aroma, with a distinct piney character on the palate”. Finishing moderately bitter, you can find this one right at the source and at their shop on Torbay Road. And coming tomorrow is their latest foray into Gluten-free beer, Coffee Brown. As the name implies, this 6.5% ABV Brown Ale features an addition of coffee, thanks to their neighbours at Trinity Coffee Company. A touch of malt sweetness and a light mouthfeel meld with the strong coffee aroma and flavour to round out the brew. The Retail Shop kegs will be tapped at noon tomorrow, and with the GF pilot system less than 100 litre capacity, it won’t last long, so be sure to drop by early to avoid disappointment.

We may be in the depths of winter, but the gang at Good Robot in Halifax is on a mission to bring some tropical and sunny times our way through February, beginning with a couple of new beers on the go. First up, from brewer and yeast wrangler Gio comes Boom, a “conch style Bahamian lager” at 5.4% ABV and 20 IBU. Gio wanted to make a beer that reflected his two homes, the Bahamas and Canada, and wisely chose to do so through beer. Starting with a crisp lager base reminiscent of Kalik or Sands, he added lime juice and evergreen needles to take it to another level. Expect an easy-drinking beer that still boasts an unexpected kick. And on the Beta system, Kelly was joined with longtime BetaBrew supporters Cindy and Marilyn to put together another beer with inspiration from warmer climes. Inspired by a sauce they’ve been making for years, Island Punch features grilled pineapple, mango and habaneros. No doubt sweet maybe a little smoky, and bringing some heat, this one is 5.4% ABV and 24 IBU and, in accordance with the prophecy as is traditional for BetaBrews, will no doubt be tapped this coming Tuesday afternoon.

Up in St. John’s, where they’re no longer under a state of emergency but are still no doubt digging out from two weeks ago, YellowBelly has leaned into the storm, so to speak, with a beer they’re calling Flurricane 2020. Nominally an IPA, it’s 6.5% ABV, but only 35 IBU, so maybe more of a Pale Ale? No doubt about it, though, this one contains some hops, namely Amarillo, Citra, and Mosaic, largely added as late and dry hop additions. Paired with a sturdy malt backbone, the result is a balanced beer with plenty of hop character and a lingering bitter finish. Look for this one on tap at their downtown location and with bottles to go hopefully available by the time you read this; and it will no doubt feature into the Crafternoon for Australia event you can read about below.

Halifax’s Garrison Brewing has been making their biggest beer, a barleywine they call Ol’ Fog Burner, almost every year for a decade now. This year marks the first time, however, that they’ve produced a batch on their “new” system rather than their old plant in the Seaport Taproom. Owing to that difference in production, there’s been a small change in recipe, with some crystal and roasted malt joining 2-Row Maritime Pale Ale malt for the first time. There’s nothing new about the ABV though, it’s still a big bastard at 10.5% ABV or the bitterness, at 70 IBU. Bold spicy and fruity hop flavors from American varieties Columbus and Citra balance warm brandy-like toffee flavors for a very smooth experience with a long-lasting and warming finish. Look for this one to go in the classic 650 mL bombers (maybe plan to share one with a friend) at the brewery and the Oxford Taproom, and possibly other places you go for your Garrison fix.

In the town of Sussex, NB, just about halfway between Moncton and Saint John, there’s been a bit of a hum generated as local folks played up the idea of (ex-)British Royals Prince Harry and Meghan Markle maybe choosing the town home base in Canada. After all, they are the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are they not? The tongue-in-cheek “movement” now has a liquid manifestation as in-town brewery Sussex Ale Works has put together a beer they’re calling The Duke in honor of its namesake. Featuring a grist of Maris Otter, Vienna, 2-row, and crystal malts along with a bit of roasted barley, all paired with Saaz hops, this red ale is 7% ABV and 30 IBU. To try it you’ll have to head down to Sussex and check out the awesome tap handle they’ve got for pouring it. While you’re there you can also check out their other new beer, Hindsight 2020, a Golden Pale Ale with 2-row and amber malts and Chinook and Cascade hops. Sounding like a bit of a melding of British malts and American hops, it’s 6.2% ABV and 40 IBU.

Coming out of Tatamagouche this weekend is a brand new release featuring the hottest thing going (literally) yeast-wise, but with a cool (also literally) approach. Kveik yeast is known for its ability to ferment relatively cleanly even at temperatures that would make other beer strains produce things you absolutely wouldn’t want in your beer or your mouth. But what happens if you treat Kveik differently and, say, ferment it much colder than all the cool kids have been doing? Tatamagouche Brewing decided to find out! Cripple Kveik used the Halvorsgard strain, which comes from Ål, quite a ways from the epicenters of farmhouse brewing in Norway. Interestingly, it’s not actually called Kveik there, but “Gong,” which means Tata missed a great opportunity to name this beer Gong Show (but we’ll take a reference to The Band any day!) Cold-fermented at 9°C before being bumped up briefly for a rest at 14°C, it was then lagered for four weeks. With all local malt from Horton Ridge and Willamette and Chinook hops from Wicked Hops in Stewiacke, it’s also a very locally-focused brew. Coming in at 4.7% ABV, it’s described as, “clean and crisp, with nice fruit-forward hop character [and] mango aromas.”

We’ve got some good news for you if you’ve been waiting for a new, funky, bottled release from Propeller Brewing, as their latest is just hitting shelves today. Brett Porter is described by the brewery in three words: “Rustic. Roasted. Stubborn”. Brewed in the style of your typical English Porter, it was initially fermented with a British Ale strain; the beer was then transferred to barrels for a secondary fermentation (and 9 month aging period) with Brettanomyces claussenii. Packaged in 750 mL bottles, the final 6.4% ABV, 25 IBUs beer has “layers of rich, roasted malt” with earthy, fruity, and funky characteristics thanks to the Brett. Bottles likely won’t last long, so be sure to pick yours up at either Prop shop sometime over the weekend. 

It’s been a little while since we’ve seen a release from Stillwell Brewing, no doubt owing a little bit to the craziness of cranes and pub openings and such, but also because you can’t rush beer like this, dammit! However, out this weekend is the latest iteration of their Gosh. Starting life amongst the brewery’s first releases, this was originally a red wine barrel-aged farmhouse dry hopped with Mosaic. When it came out several months later, v2 of this one was a blend of several barrels also hit hard with the hops. This time we had to wait a year and a half for v3, but we’re sure it’s worth it. Originally brewed over a year ago, it sat patiently in barrels getting tasty until September when it was dry hopped and bottled. Since then it’s been resting, waiting for the day when CPR pops a bottle, pours a glass, tastes it, considers it, and utters the fateful words, “It is ready.” Or at least that’s the way it happens in our beer dreams. (You know you have beer dreams too.) Anyways, the time is now. Go get some from their Barrington Street location, open today at noon.

What’s on the go this weekend? Here ya go!

Continuing with their trend of mini-tap-takeovers this month, Stillwell on Barrington will surely be making local cider fans happy tomorrow as they put 5 ciders on tap and serve 4 more by the glass from Guelph’s Revel Cider. Although we definitely believe that the cideries of Atlantic Canada are putting out delicious and innovative products, just as with recent beer events featuring top out-of-region producers, we think Revel’s small batch concoctions deserve your interest. Leaning towards the funky, the sour, the herbal and the unusual, there’s some definite delights to look forward to.

On draught:

  • Time & Place – Farmhouse Cider
  • Ostara Yarrow – Cider with Golden Plums and Yarrow Flower
  • Ostara Elderflower – Cider with Golden Plums and Elderflower
  • Cursive – Blend of perry on Riesling skins, cider on blueberries, and Maréchal Foch
  • Sonata – Cider with Montmorency cherries

And by the glass:

  • Soma – Pétillant Naturel apple wine
  • Petrol – Single barrel funky perry
  • Mirabelle – Cider with lemon verbena and strawberries
  • Revdock – A collaboration beer-cider hybrid with Burdock: tannic apple cider blended with an ale fermented on a sourdough culture with corn and spelt

No doubt Chef Joe Martin will have the tasty food coming out of the kitchen to pair with these, and, being a mini-takeover, there’s sure to be beer taps pouring if cider isn’t your bag (but seriously, try these ciders anyway).

Grey Rock Casino, located in Edmundston, NB, is holding a Beer Fest this Saturday, featuring a handful of breweries from New Brunswick, as well as one visiting from Quebec. On hand with be hometown brewery Petit-Sault, as well as Big Axe, Brasseux d’la Cote, Four Rivers, Grimross, SCOW Cider, and Le Caveau from Trois-Pistoles, QC. This event is a fundraising event for the local food bank, Atelier RADO, who will be receiving all of the profits. Tickets are available here, and also get you into the Izzy Ouellet concert after the beer fest is done.

Not to be outdone by their OG location in Charlottetown*, HopYard Halifax is doing their second annual Battle of the Breweries event over the course of the next couple months as a regular Thursday night thing. Fifteen Nova Scotia breweries have been invited to the dance, with three competing each time with three beers each. The opening round will take place each week from February 6th to March 12th with the winning brewery (the one who sells the most pints) moving on to the semi final round. What’s that you say? There’s 6 Thursdays there and only 15 breweries? That’s because there’s going to be a Cider battle on February 20th to change things up a little! With five winners moving forward, they’ll need a sixth for the semis, so the best of the second place finishers in the first round will also move on. We suspect you’ll see the two semis on March 19th and March 26th with the finals on April 2nd, but we’ll be sure to let you know if we find out that changes. It will surely be interesting to see how breweries play this one. Do they bring their usual retail sellers? Introduce new beers? Or debut something that’s been developing for some time? For now, we invite you to check out the upcoming first round battles below and make a plan to support your favorite breweries in this series. 

* The Battle of PEI Breweries continues the next three Thursdays with the Semi Finals and Finals on Feb 6, 13, and culminating on the 20th.

YellowBelly is holding a fundraising beer fest of their own next weekend, February 8th. The Crafternoon for Australia runs from 2 – 5 PM at the Brewery on Water Street. While Snowmageddon 2020 shut down the city temporarily, the fires, and now flooding in Australia are making life unbearable for thousands in the country. All profits from tickets sales will be going toward Australian Red Cross and WIRES Australian Wildlife Rescue Organization. With plenty of new releases and old favourites from Baccalieu Trail, Boomstick, Dildo Brewing, Iron Rock, Landwash, Ninepenny, Port Rexton, Quidi Vidi, Rough Waters, Split Rock, in addition to host YellowBelly’s beers, there are plenty of choices to help do some good. Your ticket includes your first four samples, plus admission to the silent auction of many donated items available.

We first mentioned it earlier in the month, but we have some solid details now on the Spring edition of the Certified Cicerone Exam happening in Halifax. On May 6th, at the Stillwell Freehouse, you will be tested on your knowledge of beer storage and serving, beer styles, and off-flavours. Grab your seat at the table here, and best of luck to everyone! Let us know if you need a drinking partner to help “study”.

New beer on the taps from Hampton’s own Gridiron Brewing. Blind Date Brown is a 5.1% ABV Brown Ale made with 2-Row Barley from Island Malt House, and bumped up in colour and character with Biscuit and Amber malts. Not stopping there, however, they also added dates to the brew for the full experience. Available on tap at the brewery for growler fills now. Join them in celebrating those going on Blind Dates everywhere this weekend with a toast (in fact, that’s how the owners first met)!

Just a couple more things before we let you go this week…

In case we haven’t completely filled up your weekly Beer Reading Time, let us suggest another local beer blog that’s worth your time. Especially for those looking to do that exam in May… Malty Media is written by Evan Fougere, Certified Cicerone, beer educator, and all around good guy, as a way to share information on the ingredients that go into, processes that make it taste great, and the people who make that happen. The latest post is with John Webster of Shoreline Malting, located just outside of Summerside PEI. Give it a read, and follow along with MM’s posts and announcements of classes and events through social media.

We didn’t hear about it in time for last week’s post and it already took place last night, but a big congratulations from us to North Brewing on their SEVENTH anniversary. It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years, and we don’t think we’ve seen any other brewery in the region go through so many changes in that timeframe, from their original little location at North and Agricola (under a different name), to the opening of Battery Park, to their big move to Portland Street and all the various beers they’ve given us in that time. It’s certainly been an odyssey and we’ve been lucky to be able to watch them grow and develop. We share the sentiments of those who toasted them yesterday on social media: “Good Beer made by Good People.”

Quidi Vidi Brewing is looking to hire a Brewer to join their fold, as they ramp up production for a busy spring and summer season ahead of them. Find out all of the details on their job posting. And stayed tuned here next week for the details of the Newfermenters X QV collaboration beers hitting the shelves!

Tidehouse doesn’t have a new beer this week (although they’re promising something “gorgeous” for next week), but there is some news coming out of their Tiny Tasting Room: CANS! They’ve got themselves a single-head canner and will have their first cans available next week. With any luck this will improve on the drudgery and inconvenience of bottling at least a little.

Fredericton’s Trailway  has brought back one of their fruitiest concoctions, Starblast. Sure, it’s got a smattering of El Dorado hops, but what it’s really got is tons of Peach and Raspberry puree and some orange zest as well. “Radler-esque” but still very much beer, it comes in at 5% ABV. In cans and on tap at the brewery.

Check it, we’ve got MORE RAIN coming this weekend. Whodathunkit? So grab your bee costume, queue up some Blind Melon (yes, we’re old) and grab some beer from your favorite Atlantic Canada producers. And if you’re looking for some suggestions, well, read on!

Somerset’s Bad Apple Brewhouse has a brand new beer out this week. Citronella is a 6.5% ABV amping up of the hazy New England IPA style with the essence of a bitter & resinous West Coast IPA. A base of light malts, with lots of Citra and Summit hops throughout, the beer was fermented with a blend of the Conan and Coastal Haze yeasts for an easy drinking beer with a big nose of citronella. Grab cans of this brand new killer beer at Bad Apple’s brewery in Somerset, or at their taproom in Wolfville, The Core, at 3 Elm Avenue, open from noon daily.

Hampton New Brunswick’s Matchstick Beer Factory is undergoing a name change today, so we wanted to be sure we get you up to speed. Their name is an ode to the Flewelling Saw Mill & Match Factory that used to operate in Hampton, but it being a significant landmark in town means that other businesses in the area can take inspiration from the historical building. In order to reduce confusion, the brewery is changing their name. And so, Gridiron Brewing is born! Named after the Gridiron, a small set of rapids located on the Tusket River inYarmouth County, NS, and located near the old family homestead of Head Brewer Luke MacGregor. So be sure to update your links to include their new addresses on the web and social media (Web / Fb / Ig / Tw ), as they are going live today. And be sure to follow them on social media, as they are running a contest for tickets to the Beer on the Bridge Festival in Fredericton, July 6th. Plus another exciting development coming later this month that will definitely having you pop in to Hampton for a visit!

And while we have you, let’s talk about a brand new beer that Match…. Gridiron debuted at last week’s Sussex Rotary Brew Festival. Luckily for those of us unable to attend, they’ve sent some kegs of it out in the wild to local licensees. Moose Draw Session is a Session IPA, featuring hops from nearby Moose Mountain Hops in the Upper Saint John River Valley, and grain from Island Malt House in New Glasgow, PEI. Weighing in at 4.5% ABV and a hefty 70 IBU, you can/soon find it on tap at Cask and Kettle, Peddlers Creek, Sussex Ale Works, and the Match Factory in Hampton.

Let’s head up the Number 1 Highway to Dieppe, where CAVOK Brewing calls home. They have debuted a brand new light summer sipper this week in the taproom, Soleil d’Ete. Dubbed a “New England Summer Ale”, this 4.5% ABV beer was fermented with an iconic yeast often used in NEIPAs to keep it juicy, which is only enhanced by the generous use of Mosaic and New Zealand Wakatu late in the brewing process to reduce bitterness and enhance aromatics, to the tune of about 15 IBU. The best place to grab a sample or pint is at the brewery, though we’re sure there will be kegs of it on tap at CAVOK’s accounts across NB soon.

As almost everyone knows, Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing largely makes their bones with big and bold beers, usually featuring irresponsible hopping levels. But lest you think that limits them to IPAs and West Coast Stouts, they’ve got a new beer this week that should disabuse you of that notion. Helles Bock, or Maibock, is a German style traditionally brewed in the Spring as a shift from the very malt-forward “bread-in-a-bottle” beers that dominate the winter months. Enter Hellevator, brewer Greg Nash’s take on the style. Consistent with the tradition of the style being pretty big (and perfect for Unfiltered), it comes in at 7.0% ABV and was brewed with malt, yeast and noble hops all sourced from Germany. We don’t reckon that many German brewers have ever described a Helles Bock as “juicy” but this one is, while still having a malt-forward character befitting a Maibock. Look for this one at the brewery starting today at noon, with pints, fills and cans all on offer.

Our buddies at Big Spruce have a new barrel-aged bottle release for us, and it’s one that sounds perfect for enjoying with a little hot, sunny weather. Wild Wild Wheat is a light-bodied wheat beer that was fermented with the brewery’s Farmhouse yeast (specifically, Pin Cherry 2 of their Scotia Sauvage), and aged in Chardonnay barrels for five months. Expect plenty of floral and peppery characteristics in this 4.9% ABV beer, along with some nice oak character. It’s currently available only at the Sprucetique in Nyanza, in 650 mL bottles. And while you’re there grabbing yours, Sublime – their double-dry-hopped-with-Mosaic 5% Session IPA, conditioned on organic lime juice – is back, so you might as well pick up some of that one as well!

Breaking their tradition of ping ponging between styles from release to release, Niche Brewing’s followup to last week’s Paradox is another ultralight offering coming in at an extremely sessionable 2.9% ABV. But lest you think the guys have lost their flair for changing things up, Living Reflection isn’t another Session IPA, no, it’s a fruited Brettanomyces beer that trades hops for funk. Leveraging a Niche favorite, the Amalgamation blend of 6 Brett strains from The Yeast Bay, you can absolutely expect plenty of varied Brett character from this one. Managing to avoid a too-thin body for the weight with a grist largely composed of Pilsner and wheat malt, tangerine puree was added in the secondary for a delightful citrusy and fruity kick along with a touch of tartness. This one is on its way to Niche tap accounts in New Brunswick, with a chance of an appearance at Stillwell (HQ and/or BG) in Halifax.

Over in Montague, PEI, newly-opened Bogside Brewing has a new one-off that they’ve added to their taplist, to go with their flaships. Named after the salty, sour, German style that we all know and love, Gose is a 4% ABV salty, sour… oh wait, I guess you probably figured that out from the first part of this sentence. But it is! Coriander is also typically added to this style of beer, but in Bogside’s case, the coriander presence is minimal. Easy-drinking with “some nice grainy notes”, you can grab it at the brewery’s restaurant/taproom (along with some BBQ!) over the weekend, in sample, pint, or growler form.

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing continues to surprise and delight with their willingness to bring new beers to their seasonal lineup with their summer lineup of NE IPA, Galaxy, Session IPA, Azacca, and Summer Fruit Beer, Stone Fruit, all winning plenty of fans in the region. This week, though, they’ve upped the ante even a little more with a special limited release of a beer that’s been quite a while in the making. Brett IPA doesn’t have a fancy name, but it’s sure to be a complex beer. Coming in at 6.0% ABV, with some wheat in the grist and plenty of Mosaic and Azacca, as befits the IPA aspect, it was also aged for more than 8 months in red wine barrels with Brettanomyces bruxellensis. Look for plenty of hop character, with notes of tangerine, papaya and passionfruit, some complex barnyard funk, and no doubt some further complexity and tannins from the barrel. Bottle conditioned in 750 mL bottles with cork and cage and a gorgeous label courtesy of Densley Design, only 200 of these are available in total starting tomorrow at both Propeller locations. The question is, do you drink it now and get the full effect of the hops, or do you cellar it for a year or two and let the Brett develop even further? Let’s be honest, the answer is probably to buy two and do both!! A quick warning from the brewery, though, the corks used for this bottling were somewhat sub-optimal and will likely require a corkscrew to remove; they’re addressing this issue with different corks on future limited releases. And if you’re considering hitting up Propeller (or the Propeller Arcade) tonight for a pint or two, we think that knowing that tonight’s cask is their Rye IPA with Grapefruit might help you make your decision.

Bannerman Brewing, located in St. John’s, has been up and running for a couple months now, and while they’re still working at ramping up production to keep up with demand, they DO have two brand new beer releases for us all this weekend. Let’s start with Hard Yes, a dry-hopped kettle sour. Brewed with a good percentage of wheat, this tart beer was dry-hopped with heavy amount of Citra and Galaxy, which, as you can probably imagine if you’re familiar at all with hops, results in a lot of citrus and tropical character, all supported by a biscuity finish. At 5.2% ABV, you’re probably ok to enjoy one or two of these without going overboard (results may vary)! Next up is Medium Cool, a malt-forward American IPA brewed with Golden Promise, Pilsner, and Crystal malts. Dry-hopped with large amounts of Mosaic, Simcoe and Columbus, the 7% ABV beer has “notes of honey, with a rounded bitterness and a resinous, earthy hop profile”. Both of these beers should be available at the brewery right now, for pints and growler fills. And if it happens to be nice out while you’re there, take a minute and enjoy a beer on their newly-opened deck!

New beer coming out from TrailWay today, a beer they’re referring to as an “Oatmeal IPA”. Overnight was brewed with “near maxed-out recommended dosages of both malted and flaked oats”, according to the brewery. Hopped – likely intensely with, being TrailWay and all! – with El Dorado and Citra, two American varieties that TW has used with many of their other hoppy offerings, expect “melon, berries and cantaloupe” in the aroma/flavour. The oaty grist comes through in spades in the mouthfeel, lending a creamy, soft body to the beer, without being cloyingly sweet. And as with most TW beers, there’s very little bitterness in the finish of this 6% ABV brew. It’s available right now (because there’s no way this post is published before noon… NO WAY) at the brewery on tap and in cans. While there, you can also grab some Good Weather, another of their popular summer American IPAs.

If you’re around the Corner Brook area of Newfoundland this weekend, you might just want to head over to Bootleg Brew Co. They have released a special collaboration beer they cooked up with St. John’s beer bar Toslow, kinda-sorta in time for their first anniversary. Starting from a Berliner Weisse (sour wheat beer) base, the piece de resistance was a whole whack of Newfoundland berries, donated by Toslow co-owner Chris Scott’s grandmother, with partridgeberries, blueberries, marshberries and cranberries. Hence the name, A Nan Jam, seems quite fitting to thank her! 🙂 Tart from the berries as well as the souring technique, plus aromatic from the fruits as well as a generous Galaxy dry hopping, this is a complex and beautiful pink beer that we’re sure won’t last long. It’s available right now at Bootleg’s taproom, and very soon on the other side of the province at Toslow, hopefully this weekend.

The team at Halifax’s Good Robot has certainly been enjoying the sunnier weather this week, and given the glorious space that is the Gastroturf (with more taps added this week care of Beer Tech), why wouldn’t they? They’ve got a new beer out this week that’s just right for enjoying some sun, assuming we get more at some point, and they’re calling it Viking Holiday. Fermented with a kveik yeast strain, a great choice for this time of year when temperature control gets more difficult and a quick turnaround is paramount, it was built on a grist of two-row barley and wheat and gets a delightful zing from an addition of pineapple. Reminiscent of the ever so rare Pineapple Creamsicle™, it aims to be light and refreshing at 4.2% ABV and a gentle 15 IBUs and with a fairly spritzy carbonation. Look for it on tap at the brewery for pints and fills.

Charlottetown’s Upstreet is continuing their “Do Good Resident Artist” program with the release of their newest beer, Orange Mandarin Gose. Brewed with their current RA, Peter Christenson (hailing from the state of Washington), the grist is simply made up of 2-row and malted wheat, and hopped very lightly to 5 IBUs with Herkules. While this kettle sour features the normal-for-a-Gose additions of sea salt and coriander, they’ve also added orange peel and mandarin, which contributes some nice citrus notes to go along with the tart, salty flavours of the beer. And at just 4% ABV, the refreshment factor increases even higher! If you’d like to check out Peter’s artwork, they’ll be holding an Artist Talk/Beer Release this Sunday at 2 pm, in the white building adjacent to Upstreet’s taproom, which will be followed by a trot over to the taproom to try the beer!

A couple of things to tell you about in terms of beery events coming up:

If you’re beer-motivated and looking for something to do on the evening of Saturday, June 29th, consider grabbing one of the remaining tickets for Curated Magazine’s East Coast Craft Beer Festival in the Multipurpose Room at the Halifax Forum. Tickets are $35 (plus taxes and a $1 fee) and will get you 12 tickets, each good for a 4 oz pour from 18 Nova Scotia breweries plus two out-of-province guests: Cask & Kettle Irish Gastropub from Saint John and Dominion City from Ottawa. There will also be local food on offer (cash only), live music, and taxi service. Designated Driver tickets are available for $10 at the door.

Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing Company is pleased to announce that they’ve partnered up with the team from Murphy’s on the Water to bring a weekly Brews Cruise on the Tall Ship Silva every Thursday night this summer from 9 – 11 PM featuring live music and New Scotland beer. Tickets are $15 and are available from Ambassatours. Meanwhile, keep an eye on Social Media to see who’s playing each week!

And a few last mentions of new releases, re-releases, and openings to help you figure out where you’re going to buy the beer you’re likely to be drinking inside this weekend:

In case you missed it during your morning commute, fellow beer-crazy cats 902 BrewCast have dropped their June Tasting Episode today. Highlighting their choices for their Nova Scotia Summer Slammers as published in The Coast, they once again curate and fawn over their favourite brews, wines, and news going around our little piece of the beer world. Check into your fave podcast app for the latest episode.

Boxing Rock has brought back Bravo!, their 6% ABV single-hopped American IPA featuring, you guessed it, the Bravo variety. It’s available in six-packs for those of you who enjoy this “perfectly bitter” beer and need more than one. They’ve also revealed that they’re currently building a taproom in Shelburne; stay tuned for more info on that project.

Tracadie, NB’s Brasseux d’la Cote is releasing their Barram Witbier this week, a silver medal winner at this year’s Down East Brewing Awards. Now packaged in cans, it’s a 4.5% ABV Witbier available at the brewery (where we guess you can also grab it on tap).

Congratulations are in order as Dildo Brewing Company has opened their St. John’s retail location today. Located at 332 Water Street, next door to good friend of good beer The Adelaide Oyster House, the retail location will be open from noon today, with sales of growlers, cans, and their deadly popular merchandise. No onsite samples or pints are available, but look as close as next door, or further down the street, to imbibe.

Up on the North Shore of Nova Scotia, in Grant (near Antigonish), Half Cocked Brewing has announced their summer hours and the opening of their patio. In addition to their usual Thursday Growler nights, check them out Fridays from 5 – 8 PM and Saturdays from 2 – 7 PM for fills, pints and flights. Hey, pop in today after you sign off for the work, why dontcha? Bring your own umbrellas if you dare sit on the patio!

Hell Bay has released their own take on a Gose, The Salty Piper (5% ABV). Brewed in collaboration with the White Point Beach Resort, the sea salt used in the brew was actually harvested from the resort. Drop by the brewery and resort for a taste of the final product.

Shipwright’s newest beer, released this week, is an Australian Pale Ale named Aussie Rules (5.5% ABV). Hopped with Galaxy and Enigma, expect aromas of “peach, pineapple, and cantaloupe”, with a touch of malt sweetness. Find it on tap at the brewery, or downstairs at the Grand Banker, both located at 82 Montague Street in downtown Lunenburg.