Gridiron Brewing

All posts tagged Gridiron Brewing

It’s Friday the 13th, if you’re into that thing. It’s also the second day of the Masters (in November!) if you’re into a tradition unlike any other. One thing we’re all into is beer! As we head into the Christmas season, our precious Atlantic Bubble is still churning out the new releases and events while we still can. Stay alert, stay safe and remember to support your local businesses. And if all else fails, we’ll still be here writing about beer every week! 

St. John’s is the place to be this weekend (heck, maybe every weekend, really!), as Bannerman Brewing has two new, strong beers you can grab to celebrate, or drown your sorrows in, depending on your mood (PS always drink responsibly!). The first is a 9% ABV Double IPA named New Dystopia that was brewed with a simple grist of Pilsner malt and flaked oats. Featuring a heavy dry-hop addition of Mosaic, the final beer is showing off flavours of “citrus, pineapple, and apricot”, and drinks deceptively smooth despite that high ABV. Pale, hoppy beers not quite your thing? Well, maybe you’ll be interested in beer #2, Sinister Feelings, which was released a couple of weeks ago, just in time for Spooky Season. This Stout was brewed with a blend of Caramel malts, as well as a little bit of lactose to oh-so-slightly bump the sweetness. Once fermentation was complete, the 7.5% ABV beer was conditioned on toasted coconut, vanilla beans, and coffee from Pilot Coffee Roasters. Roasty, coconut-y, with plenty of delicious coffee aromas and flavours, it may be just the beer now that temperatures are starting to drop back into normal-November range. Both beers are available on tap for pints and growlers, as well as in cans. 

Fans of Wolfville’s Church Brewing may be interested to hear that they’ve just released Heart of Gold, which besides being a pretty damn good song, is the brewery’s second Lager… more specifically, an Amber Lager. Customers and tap accounts alike were requesting a beer along these lines, and Church was more than happy to oblige. The grist was conceived to be made up of several malt types, including Pilsner, Vienna, Melanoidin, and a  bit of Carafa Special III for colour. Bittered to 22 IBUs with Summit hops, the copper-coloured, crystal-clear beer is complex, yet clean, with honey and biscuit flavours, as well as a touch of dried fruit. It finishes well-balanced and at 5.5% ABV isn’t going to knock you out too quickly. It’s available on tap directly at Church (and to go in crowlers), as well as licensees across Nova Scotia.  

Newly-opened Village Green – Cornwall, PEI’s very first brewery – have announced that they’re now pouring one of their very first hoppy beers, Village IPA. Brewed entirely with 2-row malt from Island Malt House, it was hopped with Cascade and Centennial in the boil, Amarillo in the whirlpool, and a dry-hop addition of Simcoe. This one was influenced by classic West Coast IPAs, so don’t be expecting a hazy, non-bitter juice bomb! That’s not to say you won’t find citrusy, resiny, dank flavours and aromas in this one… you most certainly will! But at 7.5% ABV and 60+ IBUs, it’s going to remind you of the days when IPAs still had some bitterness to them… and simpler names!

On the other side of the naming convention comes a tat for tit, or yang to yin, of a friendly inter-brewer play on the Dry Irish Stout style, with Foghorn’s Andrew Estabrooks. Village Stout (C’est sec Esty), is brewed with Maris Otter, more 2-row from Island Malt House, as well as enough Roasted and Flaked Barley to lend an iconic roast and chocolate character, and leaving it dry, dry, dry (it’s in the name, after all!). At 4.1% ABV, and lightly hopped to 25 IBU with East Kent Golding, this is the perfect sipper on your lunch break, or evening taking in the sights of Cornwall from their taproom. And check down below for a great excuse to get into the taproom and pair the IPA and Stout with food from Holy Fox and wines chosen by Stellar Somm.

And speaking of Stellar Somm, Bryan Carver of Village Green Brewery and Lesley Quinn of Stellar Somm Wine Experts are teaming up and throwing down in a Wine vs. Beer Challenge! The event is Thursday, November 26th at 7pm and will see a Certified Cicerone and Certified Sommelier put their skills to the test. Check out the event link here to get your tickets. 

If you’re a regular reader of this blog (come on, admit it… it’s cathartic), you’ll probably remember we mentioned details on Tire Shack’s First Anniversary, which happened early this week. Well, if you missed it, we have great news… they’ve decided to continue celebrations throughout the week and into this weekend, and they’ve even got another two new beers to join the two they’ve already released! The first is a “Vanilla Latte beer”, brewed in collaboration with local Epoch Chemistry Coffee House. Golden Latte ft. Epoch Chemistry is a White Stout – e.g. a pale-coloured beer that smells and tastes like a Stout – that Tire Shack created by adding lactose and vanilla to a Brazilian, light roast coffee. There’s only 150 L of this chock-full-of-coffee-flavours-and-vanilla bad boy brewed, so if you want to try it, you best get in to Tire Shack today or tomorrow! And you can’t celebrate without glitter, right? Well, maybe that one isn’t a given, but the next beer, Sparklepuff, is a Glitter IPA. Hopped with lots of Simcoe (most of which was added during fermentation), and with an addition of edible glitter (three versions will be available: Gold, Silver, and Rose Gold), it’s 6% ABV, “bright and fruity, with lots of apricot and passion fruit notes”, and if ya got a problem with glitter, don’t shoot the messengers!

Yarmouth, former home of The Cat and current home to Heritage Brewing, comes to you with a new release! Brewed in collaboration with local neighbours, Perky Owl Coffee, we have another White Stout (see above!). Snowy Owl Stout is brewed with plenty of oats and wheat for a delicious bready and malty profile, with big additions of chocolate, coffee, lactose and vanilla. It’s white stout season, and it sounds delicious. At 5.5% and 15 IBU, this is available now directly from the brewery. 

If you are fans of continuity, logic and delicious IPAs, you’ll be thrilled with the latest can release from those birds at 2 Crows. A re-release of Perfect Situation (it’s been 2 years!) sees the return of a smooth and juicy IPA generously hopped with Vic Secret and Idaho 7. From 2 Crows, here’s an explanation of the full series:

“For those of you following along at home, Perfect Situation was the start of a fun little hop-forward series where we utilize the same base beer but load it to the max with different combinations of fruity hops — versions to date include Perfect Situation, Second Situation, Perfect Recreation, Another Iteration, and Perfect Saturation.”

With Perfect Situation, we get a 6.1% ABV brew at 44 IBU that is “super fruity, lush, tropical, pillowy and juicy. Massive notes of pineapple, passionfruit, apricot, red grapefruit and papaya.” Mama-mia! Canned and available from the brewery and online for delivery now!

Are you down with OBB? Ol’ Biddy’s has 2 new releases currently available on-tap exclusively in Lower Sackvile. 

Kicked in the Hops is a Double IPA at 7.7%. This comes packed with intense hop flavours and aromas of pine along with some nice tropical and citrus notes, thanks to generous additions of Amarillo, Simcoe, and Centennial hops. Their second release is a Red Ale, Love It or Hate It, comes in at 5.0% and is lightly smoked. Brewed with one of their military employees (shout out to Rob Truscott), this one is worth a try to find out if you … love it or hate it. Both of these are smaller batches, and draught-only, joining thirteen other taps available at their newly opened taproom at 111 Cobequid Dr in Lower Sackville. Taproom and Retail are open Thurs – Sat, 12 – 8 PM and Sun 12 – 6 PM.

As we’ve mentioned a few times over the last month or so, this year marks the third year for the Maritime Home Brew Challenge presented by Gahan House (part of the PEI Brewing Company family) out of Charlottetown. Two of your intrepid bloggers had a great time visiting the Island last weekend with some other BJCP judges from Nova Scotia to help the local judges determine the winning beers. Unfortunately, unlike previous editions, a full gala celebration at the Gahan House location in Charlottetown is impossible due to COVID-related travel and gathering restrictions, so this year they’re going to do it virtually. Tomorrow, Saturday, November 14th, at 10:00 AM the winning entries will be revealed, with prize values ranging from $50 to $300 for the top 5 beers in each of this year’s styles (New England IPA and West Coast IPA), with a couple of special prizes available (Best Name and Best Use of Local) and an additional $500 going to to Grand Champion, who will be given an opportunity to brew a batch of their beer on the Gahan Charlottetown system and see it canned and distributed at PEI LCC locations on the Island. If you’re an entrant or just interested to see who won, feel free to join the call via Facebook tomorrow via the Gahan Charlottetown Facebook page.

Get your human bottoms ready, Copper Bottom, one of the two fine craft breweries in Montague, PEI, is turning 3 years old! They’re celebrating (and we should all be, too!) with two new releases and a birthday bash!

First up, Birthday Beer 3, their annual anniversary release. This year, this Brut IPA is brewed with 100% Shoreline Pale Malt and the fine British Columbia grown Sasquatch hops.  This should bring some floral and lemongrass flavours with a bit of woodieness and tangerine, with a nice dry finish you’d expect from a Brut IPA. 7.5% ABV and 30 IBU for this treat that will be available in the taproom, online and local accounts around PEI. 

Next up is the latest in their single-hopped Session IPA series, Flux: Galaxy.  Hopped heavily with … Galaxy and a malt bill with Shoreline Pale, Flaked Oats and Wheat, we get a 4.2% with 25 IBU. They would best describe it as Juno’s younger cousin (and Juno is delicious!) with a biig hit of pineapple, passionfruit, and peach in a nice sessionable package. Flux: Galaxy is also available in the taproom and online for home delivery this Saturday. 

On top of two new releases, they’re having a safe and fun anniversary party on Saturday November 13th with food, music and cheap beer! Starting at Noon, the first 50 guests will get a free Birthday Beer glass to take home. Admission is free and it sounds like a blast! Check out all of the details on their event page on Facebook.  

A reminder that Garrison’s Oxford Taproom is celebrating their First Anniversary this weekend, featuring prizes, drink specials, as well as a special limited-time-only Celebration beer on tap. A blend with a two year old Barrel-Aged Ol’ Fog Burner, dry hopped with Cascade, coming in around 8.8% ABV. Sounds like a winner to us! There will be plenty of other fun things on the go this weekend, so best to pop by to get the full scoop! They’re open noon to 11 PM Friday and Saturday, and noon to 10 PM the rest of the week.

And just like that… Halifax’s Bar Stillwell is turning Seven this Sunday, November 15! Celebrating Stilly’s birthday is always an amazing time (anyone remember the multi-floor party with jockey boxes of Quebec goodies one year?), and 1672 Barrington Street will once again be a focal point for awesome beer from here and away (Lambic pours!). While this year’s celebration may be a bit subdued compared to previous, there will still be plenty of great beer and cider a-pouring, as well as thoughtful food coming from their kitchen all day. Plus Free Cake! It looks like the RSVP tables are all spoken for (could check with sam@barstillwell.com to confirm/be put on the waitlist), but there will also be a few spots set aside for walk-ins all day (and it’s walk-in only after 8 PM). HBD Stilly Fam!

We’ve certainly had a lot of content from PEI this week, and we’ve got one more piece of big news from the Island for you out of Lone Oak Brewing in Borden-Carleton: coming in just one short week, on Friday, November 20th, is a full, year-round kitchen to complement their awesome tap room. Partnering with the folks behind Terry’s Berries Food Truck in B-C, sister restaurant of The Wheelhouse in Georgetown and Thatcher’s in Montague you can expect the same level of variety, quality and local focus! They’re still working on staffing the place up, so if you or someone you know lives in the area and is interested in a position as Sous Chef, Line Cook, Front of House Manager or Counter Attendant, you can drop an email to manager@wheelhouseingeorgetown.com to inquire. Keep an eye on social media (Fb/Ig/Tw) for the official name to be announced and the opening menu to be finalized. Meanwhile, we already know what one of the first big events after the restaurant opening will be, as the very next day, on Saturday, November 21st, Lone Oak will be hosting the inaugural Sweet Oyster Cup 2020 Shucking Invitational. Of course now that we’ve told you that, we also are honor bound to let you know that the in-person tickets for the event are sold out, but you can watch along starting at 6 PM via this link right here. If you’re not one of the lucky few with a ticket and are an oyster lover, though, you could stop by Lone Oak tonight for some free oysters as a warmup to next weekend’s event!

Propeller Brewing is launching a returning favourite beer today, Sasquatch Pale Ale. Focusing on the Canadian-grown Sasquatch hop variety, the 5.2% ABV, 35 IBUs beer features “juicy mango and pineapple flavours, and gentle honey and hazelnut notes”. Available on tap and in cans at all three Prop Shops, for home delivery, as well as a few of the private shops in HRM. And in more Prop news, you can now find their IPA in small cans in NSLC stores and their own shops. For those who still prefer bottles, don’t worry, those aren’t going anywhere!

The fine folks in Dartmouth (they exist) have one of their fan favourite brews back in stock this week. North Brewing brings back Malternate Reality, this 6.4%, 51 IBU New England IPA is massively aromatic with notes of mango, pineapple, guava that’s smooth with a great balance of carbonation. You’re going to want to drink this fresh, so check Battery Park, North Brewing and you can also order online from the brewery and the NSLC. No excuses!

Quidi Vidi Brewery is getting a head start on the holiday spirit by releasing their Mummers Brew this week. This 5.3% ABV Cream Ale is easy drinking with hints of hop-related floral and herbal aroma, along with a pleasant bitterness. The beer is available at the taproom, Hop Shop, as well as through their online ordering system for all your beer-y needs. And you are encouraged to take part in the 12th annual Mummers Festival, featuring wo weeks of events, Nov 28-Dec 12, celebrating the history and art of mummering. Plus you can take part in the Virtual Mummers Parade of December 12th by submitting your videos here!

We’ll leave you with a trio of new, reopening, and very soon-to-open good beer locations across Atlantic Canada, all of which can be found on our Good Beer Map, FYI! The perfect accompaniment to your Bubble travels this holiday season!

After closing their doors adjacent to the War Memorial in downtown St. John’s earlier this year, the super-cool cats at TOSLOW have moved to a brand new spot just up the road to 108 Duckworth. The espresso machine gets fired up by 8 AM, and paired with their fresh pastries and sammies every morning, will keep you going all day (well, until beer o’clock). While they put the final touches on their bar and taproom space, they are take-out only until early afternoon, but keep an eye on their IG for details on the beer spaces opening up, focusing their gaze on the great Newfoundland beers on tap and in bottles and cans, along with beer and natural wine from across the country. Word on the street is that they’ll be launching Wednesday, the 18th, with four taps from across the province, including the Port Rexton Azacca IPA, Landwash Tidepool Pilsner, Bootleg Brew Co Dream Team Partridge Berry Milkshake Sour and Iron Rock Large Day APA. But those of you keeners should def. keep your eyes peeled on their IG (hint hint).

In Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, Lunn’s Mill Beer is thrilled to launch The Station, their restaurant, pub, and speakeasy opening tomorrow in Bridgetown. Located at 73 Queen Street, The Station will be open from 9 AM daily, closing at 9 PM Sunday through Wednesday, and at midnight Thursday through Saturday. That early opening means a full breakfast will be available, and the kitchen will be serving up food all day and night from their pub menu. Reservations are required (can also phone 902-665-3069) for dinner service at 4 PM (thanks COVID!), and are encouraged for other times as well, to ensure you and your bubble can enjoy a well-spaced meal. Of course, there will be plenty of great Lunn’s Mill Beer on tap, thanks to 17 draught lines and even a handpump so they can continue their cask program onsite. For those looking for something different to imbibe, taps of cider and wine are also available, as well as a selection of bottles and cans from producers across the province. Additionally, they will feature a full bar stocked with local spirits, to be enjoyed on their own or in handcrafted cocktails. Speaking of, The Side Car Lounge is their speakeasy space open after 6 PM, in a more intimate setting featuring even more spirit options. And taking advantage of all available space, look for a second brewing space to open in the next few months, with special test and one-off brews produced exclusively for The Station, made onsite. A retail shop with bottles, cans, and growler fills will open in the next little bit, and their Lawrencetown taproom and retail shop is open Thursday through Saturday, 3 – 7 PM. Congratulations to the Lunn’s Mill team!

And in coming-shortly news, Gridiron Brewing in Hampton, New Brunswick has completed the purchase of a building in order to upgrade and expand their brewing operation. Lots of steps lie ahead for them to demolish an old kitchen and pour proper sloped concrete floors, etc, but the writing is on the wall that in the next few months their new spot will be rocking along nicely! In the meantime, their current location at 74 St. James Street in Hampton will continue to be open Thursday through Sunday, 4 – 6 PM (and also by appointment) for growler fills, cans, as well as a selection of other NB beers to take away.

Happy day-before-Halloween! Just kidding; you’re not really into that stuff, are you? Look, if you’re old enough to drink beer, you’re old enough to not get excited about a “holiday” where you’re encouraged to dress up and hand out free candy to a bunch of kids you don’t even know and… wait, where were we going with this? Oh right, this is a blog about beer in Atlantic Canada so here’s some more beer news for you. And you might need some beer to survive this weekend, and/or this coming Tuesday (and the goat rodeo that will very possibly ensue). Enjoy!

Bedford’s Topside Brewing kicked off a new series of beers last week, dubbed Around the World in 30 Beers. This ambitious project sees them highlighting indigenous and historic beer styles from across the world, showcasing the many flavours available in the malt, hops, yeast, and water profiles found universally, as well as native plants or ingredients special to those regions. The first in the series is Outlaw, a 5.4% Kottbusser, an historic German style. From Topside, “As the Reinheitsgebot spread from Bavaria through the rest of the region in the late 1800s, the style was outlawed because it was brewed with Oats, Honey and Molasses. We chose this as the first beer of the series because to set a tone for the various styles that people may not have tried or may never have heard of and it’s a lot of fun.” So, now that you know about it, how can you get your hands on it? As this is a small batch from this nano-brewery, it is only available as part of their Grab a Growler program. Head to the website for the full details, but the short version is, if you live in the Bedford area, you can sign up for growler delivery weekend afternoons, meaning you don’t even have to leave home to drink around the world!

And in Coming Soon news from Topside, they will be featuring their Rollin’ the Dice IPA on tap at Finbar’s Irish Pub in Bedford for a special event on Remembrance Day, November 11th. Named after the team motto of EOD3, roto 1-10 in Afghanistan, who suffered a catastrophic attack on May 3rd, 2010, when they were targeted after disposing of an IED, with Craig Blake killed and Chris Downey wounded that day. Rollin’ the Dice features a blend of unconventional malts, continuous hopping throughout, and a yeast strain not typical of the style. The event at Finbars on the 11th will be a way for the community to come together to enjoy great food, beer, and the company of others to reflect and remember sacrifice in times of war.

Hardisty Brewing is another nano-brewery in the region, located in the Colby Village area of the HRM. Delivery of their canned product is available in that community, as well as the occasional draught taps in Dartmouth. The latest beer delivered to Battery Park is their brand-new Stoked Pilsner. The 5.8% ABV beer has a healthy 31 IBU, but certainly deviates from the traditional, featuring the addition of crushed Juniper Berries and Coriander during the conditioning phase, inspired by their love of the botanicals found in gin. Also making an appearance at Battery Park now/soon is their Block Party Pale Ale, a 4.5% ABV SMaSH beer named after the parties in the Hardisty area so often fueled by beer brewed right on the street. For those fortunate enough to live nearby, be sure to reach out to them to place your order for any/all of their six beers currently available in cans: Heritage Rye IPA, Dark Confessions Smoked Porter, Island Gold APA, and Homestead Imperial IPA join the Stoked and Block Party.

The fine folks in Dieppe are hot off a sell-out of their latest beer, so CAVOK Brewing is back with another new release. Côte Magnétique is a wild ale that was fermented on grape skins and tailings from Magnetic Hill Winery. Pitched with a blend of Saison yeast and Brettanomyces, expect this 4.6% beer with an IBU of 8 to be easy drinking with a great flavour profile. This is currently available at the brewery and while you’re there, they will be doing an Oyster pop-up from 5-7pm on Friday October 30th with Little Shemogue Oyster Company

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing is bringing back a small batch favourite on a bigger scale today, to avoid anyone missing out. Earl Grey Pale Ale is a 5.5% ABV English Pale Ale, featuring Idaho 7 and Citra hops, to complement the citrus and floral aromatics of black tea and bergamot orange that arose from generous additions of Earl Grey tea. Choosing Cookie and Red malts in the grist helped to provide some complexity there, too, giving a “tea and biscuits” feel. Available now at the 3 Propeller retail locations (Gottingen, Quinpool, and WIndmill) in cans, and on tap at the two Halifax taprooms.

And for those of us who have been enjoying the Propeller Arcade as a way to have a Prop pint in an awesome space, you’ll love what comes next! In addition to the 8 pinball machines, and the same number of cabinet games in their current space, a full complement of carnival-style and ball games are now installed in an expanded area just a few steps away. And these games actually dispense tickets, which can be redeemed for prizes like erasers, Popeye Candy Sticks (aka Cigarettes for those of old enough to remember those), and even retro gaming systems if you save up enough tickets! By taking over more room in the space below the Gottingen Street retail and taproom location, more seating has been added to the brewing floor, with a half-dozen picnic tables now available for solo or bubble seating, so you can safely sip in between rounds of Medusa Pinball, Area 51 or Skee Ball. As always, masks on when you’re playing (beer is best enjoyed in the sitdown area), wash/sanitize your hands often, wipe the games down before/after use, and have fun! The Prop Arcade is open from 4 until 10 PM or later, Thursday through Sunday.

Speaking of returning favourites…we’ll go down the street to Tidehouse for their latest release. After a very long sabbatical, Hey Abbot! is available and ready for purchase. The folks on Salter Street are gearing up for their 4 year anniversary in December, and this re-release is the 2nd beer in their “best of” series. Hey Abbot! is a Belgian Tripel that comes in at 9.0% but like most proper Tripels, does not taste strongly of alcohol. The beer gives hints of banana and clove, followed by some light spicy notes and a bit of white pepper if you dig deep enough. Look for this new release to drop today at 2 PM, available exclusively in cans at the brewery.

We’ve got a bit of info on the not one, not two, but *three* new beers hitting New Scotland Brewing’s taps tomorrow. The first one is this year’s iteration of Heads Will Roll, a Halloween-themed Red IPA. Featuring late-addition hops (to the tune of 55 IBUs), this 6.6% ABV beer is slightly more malt-centric on the palate, but with definite pine and citrus notes coming through as well. Next up is an “American Rye Ale” named Kitsch & Sync, a “mellow and drinkable” 4.7% ABV, 22 IBUs brew. Hopped with Willamette and Centennial, it has a balance of sweet and earthy flavours. Finally, they also have a small batch of C’est Bon, a 5.3% ABV, 25 IBUs Saison that is “fruity, spicy, and dry”. As mentioned, all three will be pouring at the brewery’s taproom by tomorrow, as well as at select licensees.

Fans of Hampton Brewing Co. will be happy to hear that the brewery has finally announced that, after contract brewing at other locations since opening (including Loyalist City and Hammond River), they have broken ground on their own location in Hampton. The plan is to have a taproom and patio area along with the brewery, which will be located at Fire Fly Recreation Campground, just outside of Hampton at 64 Robertson Rd. Of course it’ll be many months before the project is complete, but naturally they’re quite excited about having a set location and plan in place! In the meantime, you can still find their beers on tap at several bars and restaurants around NB, including Peppers Pub, Britt’s Uptown, Peddlers Creek, Station 33 Cafe, The Joyce Pub, Gridiron Brewing and Grass Roots Grill.

While on the topic of expansions (not a phrase we would expect to be typing during a pandemic, but hey, it’s beer!), Spindrift Brewing has announced that they will be opening a new taproom and beer store in Antigonish. The Spindrift Oak Manor will be located at 271 Main St., with the plans to open sometime in early 2021. The brewhouse will be small, at only 1 BBL (~120 L), with several fermentors of the same size; this will allow the brewery to experiment with new and exciting beers that will be exclusive to Oak Manor. Of course, they’ll also regularly have the flagship Burnside-brewed Spindrift beers available on tap for pints and growler fills, along with cans and Spindrift merch for takeaway. As for the taproom itself, the plan is to have lots of small group seating, as well as some larger communal tables, all in a comfortable, cozy setting that locals should be happy to think of as their home away from home. And if you live in the Antigonish area (or would love to have an excuse to move there!), the brewery is currently looking for someone to manage Oak Manor; if interested, check out the details here.

In this week’s events, it’s time to declare outdoor beer drinking season officially closed (we guess, if we have to…*grumble*), and who says you can’t have a (COVID protocol compliant, socially distanced) Beer Fest in 2020? Not us!

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end… warm weather, hugging complete strangers in the middle of the sidewalk (that used to be a thing, right?), and the Stillwell Beer Garden. That’s right, tomorrow, October 31st is the last day for outdoor beers, tacos, ice cream, etc. That means you have only two more days to take advantage of their final week blowout, which includes $5 pricing for most pints, $5 cans of North hard seltzer and TrailWay Patio, hot chocolate (with bourbon or without!), and, of course, cornhole. 

Also tomorrow, Old Road BBQ is following suit and shutting down their patio for the season. Luckily, they’re going out with a party! Willie Stratton (2019 Music Nova Scotia’s “Entertainer of the Year”) will be headlining a socially-distanced music event at Old Road’s location in Truro (190 Industrial Ave.), and you know that there’ll be puh-lenty of delicious BBQ available on site as well. You can grab your ticket ($11.62) from the event link above; there’s also a two-ticket-plus-hotel-room option you may want to consider!

The Cox & Palmer Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Fest For United Way is happening next weekend. Looking quite different than in years past, the celebration of local beer is holding a pair of in-person events, while encouraging attendees to go virtual for the rest. Next Friday, November 6th, there will be a 5 course Brew Dinner at the recently opened Monk10 Taproom in downtown Moncton. And then next morning, Monk10 will host the Brewmasters’ Breakfast at 10 AM. Tickets for both events can be found at the above website. For those fortunate enough to grab tickets for the Brew Fest in a Box (sales end at noon today), you’ll be able to take part in all aspects of the virtual Fest. Your ticket will get you 4 beers from the participating breweries, as well as ingredients to prepare some paired dishes, so you can tune in and drink along! Bubble up and grab 4 tickets to try all 16 available! The Brew Fest in a Box Live Q & A will allow you to chat with brewers from around the region too, recreating some more of the fun from ACCBF years past.

And furthering the charitable aspect of the Fest is the Silent Auction which is on now. Benefitting the United Way of Greater Moncton and Southeastern NB, breweries from the region have donated swag, growler fills, gift cards, and everything in between, perfect to complete your collection. The auction closes next Sunday, November 8th, and it looks like there are some great deals to be had right now!

We’re finishing off with two notices for our Homebrewing readers, don’t sleep on either of them! If you’re looking to getting into homebrewing, check out the Brewnosers or Newfermenters, both very active groups.

Today is the last day to sign up and deliver your beer to take part in the Maritime Home Brew Challenge by Gahan. Follow that link to register yourself, and then pop down to your local Gahan to deliver your West Coast and/or North East IPA, grab your t-shirt, and you’re in it to win it! Judging will be taking place next weekend, with the Awards being announced the following weekend. With thousands of dollars in prizes up for grabs, great feedback coming your way from BJCP-certified judges, there’s really no reason not to enter!

Big Spruce has announced the details of its 8th annual Home Brew Challenge. This year, home brewers from across the region are being challenged to create their best version of a Sticke Altbier, a variant of the BJCP 2008 category 7C Düsseldorf Altbier. As always, ingredients are left to the creative minds of the brewers, but for those looking for yeast, Big Spruce will arrange for pickup or delivery of Escarpment Yeast Lab’s Koslch Style Ale. Entry fees are $25 per submission, with the beers due for drop-off by January 15, 2021 (leaving plenty of time for lagering!) at a TBD location. Email jeremy@bigspruce.ca for an entry form or more details, or check out the event’s Facebook page. Unlike previous competitions, this year’s winners will be announced virtually, but T-shirts and other swag will be available to all who participate! The top 3 judge beers will be announced, and per tradition, the winner will be invited to Nyanza to brew their beer on the 7 BBL system.

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.