Anyone else feel like they blinked and suddenly September was gone? Fine weather followed by a straight humdinger of a hurricane will do that, we guess. Apologies for our absence last week, but everyone needs a break sometimes, and frankly we trust that y’all know how to log into Fb/Ig/Tw on your own and troll for beer news. Won’t have nearly as many crappy puns, but we guess that’s what you pay us for! We’d also be remiss not to mention the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and the fact that beer/cider pairs perfectly with preparing, eating and cleaning up after a turkey dinner. So grab your favorite local Pilsner, pale ale, saison or dry cider, start brining your bird, and scroll through for this week’s news.
The very special gang at Delta Force Brewing has something new to talk about this week, and if you guessed it was another Ukraine beer you’d actually be wrong (this time, anyway). What it is, though, is the result of leveraging the age-old technique of parti-gyle brewing whereby two (or more) batches of beer are produced from one batch of grain. The first is a “big beer,” usually high in gravity and robust in flavor, whilst the second is a “small(er) beer,” often a daily drinker type. If you’re a fan of the brewery, you’re probably familiar with Operation Wessex, ∂F’s 8.0% fireside sipper; well the new Operation Lil’ Wessex was produced by rinsing further sugars from an OW mash and fermenting the result to produce a second beer. But wait, there’s more! After undergoing a secondary fermentation with brettanomyces, it was further aged on apple pomace (the stuff leftover after apples have been pressed for cider) to produce a very light but very seasonal tipple at 4.0% ABV. And if small beer meets funk meets cider isn’t your jam, you should know that Operation Triufino, their Mexican-style Vienna Lager is also back in stock. You can buy both of these beers along with many others, including their 3-pack of Baurenhofschuppen Märzen variants (plain, Bretted, and aged on apple pomace), at their online store for delivery in Halifax.
Across the Province from the Annapolis Valley is Chester Basin’s Tanner & Co. Brewing, who are celebrating their 5th anniversary this weekend. Although there are still details remaining to be released, we know that they’re planning a little shindig at the brewery with some special beers, sausages and pretzels from Old Black Forest, and a little bit of afternoon music. You’ll find their Barrel-Fermented Saison on tap and in bottles to go, as well as their Ginger IPA and ESB, both exclusive to the taps. Do check Tanner’s socials (Fb/Ig/Tw) for more details on Saturday’s happenings. Congrats to Dan and the team at Tanner on a fruitful five years, and we look forward to seeing what they develop in the next five.
From a brewery celebrating five years to one celebrating twenty-five, we find Garrison Brewing with a brand new beer available. Twerp is a “tiny sour IPA” which seems pretty self-explanatory to us. Featuring plenty of hops, with an emphasis on southern hemisphere varieties, including Bravo, (Australian) Cascade, El Dorado, Galaxy, and Topaz, this hazy and golden beer sports a bold bitterness at 46 IBU to balance the hop flavors and the tartness from kettle souring, all in a 3.8% ABV package. You’ll find this zesty and sour brew in cans at all Garrison retail spaces as well as on tap at the Seaport and the Oxford Taproom.
The other NS brewery celebrating 25 years this year is Propeller Brewing and while they’ve not got a new one for us, they do have the return of a special seasonal. Continuing their annual tradition, Propeller is supporting Nocturne Halifax by sharing the proceeds from their annual release of Nocturne Black IPA. Hopped with Amarillo and Falconer’s Flight hops, you can expect an amalgam of tropical fruit and dank piney aromas married to a malty backbone with roasty touches of dark chocolate and coffee. Strong and balanced, but maintaining a dry finish, it tips the scales at 6.7% and is the perfect accompaniment to Art at Night. Check out the festival website to peruse the projects and plan to grab some Nocturne at Propeller’s Gottingen, Quinpool, or Windmill Road locations (or online!) and help support the art and energy of the fest.
Everyone knows that Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing sometimes takes things to extremes with their brewing, and this week is no exception, with two beers hitting the shelves, both over three years in the making. Up first is Soirée, a barrel-aged sour red beer/wine hybrid. On the beer side, it started with a base batch of Flanders-style red that was brewed in June 2019, and fermented and conditioned in oak with a melange of microorganisms. Then, in fall of 2021, the wine side began when the 2C team visited Carmody Cove Vineyard in PEI where they collected a whole bunch (well, bunches and bunches) of Petite Pearl, Marquette, and Muscat whole cluster grapes. After carbonic maceration, the grapes were pressed on-site and the juice was fermented into wine. This wine was blended with the beer and the two were allowed to get friendly for a while before bottling and bottle conditioning for several months. The result keeps the character of the Flanders Red, but adds subtle wine notes.
Next up is Grapes! which also began life as a batch of Flanders Red brewed in June of 2019. This one (or perhaps this portion) was aged extensively in port barrels until fall of 2021, when it met a large amount of Marquette pomace from Lightfoot & Wolfville. Melding with the residual sugars, tannins, and acids, and refermenting over several months, the beer was drawn off the pomace and packaged into cans, which were in turn conditioned for another seven months or so. The result is described as “zippy, jammy, [and] complex,” but also, no doubt, “Grapey.” Both of these delights are available at the brewery now, but we’ll pass on the caution from the brewery: chill them both well before opening as they are both very lively!
Boomstick Brewing in Corner Brook, NL, has a new beer in the taproom, and fans of smooth and creamy stout will no doubt rejoice to find out it’s pouring on nitro! Townsite celebrates Boomstick’s home neighborhood in Corner Brook, where you’ll also find Bootleg Brew Co., making it a very densely crafty place. An Irish Stout at a very sessionable 4.4% ABV, it’s a great after work pint, with the roasty character of the darker specialty grains playing off the velvety mouthfeel imparted by the nitro tap. Try it on tap for best results, but consider grabbing some to go from their West Street retail; it’s not quite the same, but pour it hard and drink it fairly quickly and you’ll still get some of that lovely creaminess.
It’s no surprise that one of our region’s most IPA-focused breweries has a new beer out featuring Phantasm, a Sauvignon Blanc grape-derived powder that brings piles of tropical potential to beer, but it is a little surprising that they took so long to do it! Now available from Fredericton’s Trailway Brewing is Phantasmagoria, a 5.6% ABV IPA packed with plenty of passionfruit, berry, and guava character. Dry-hopped with Nelson Sauvin and Cryo Citra, you can expect a pungent and dank aroma to go with all that fruit, and a soft mouthfeel, but also a dry finish. Grab it at the brewery in cans.
You may have heard that Stillwell Brewing is up and running and making and selling beer out of their new digs on Kempt Road in Halifax (special weekend hours this Saturday from 11 – 4 PM!). You may have even sampled some of those tasty, tasty beers for yourself. But do you have the whole story on how it’s all gone down since the halcyon days of sharing a brewhouse at Propeller’s Gottingen Street location? Probably not. But you could probably learn a lot of that stuff if you tune your podcast-ma-phone to the 902Brewcast and check out their new episode with Chris, Nikki, and Grant from the Stilly B set.
For all we know it’s sold out already, but if you’re looking for a can of something that can take your your brain away (and by away, we might mean, “permanently”), Unfiltered brewed up a batch of the aptly named 10% ABV Warning Label and released it to a post-Fiona world last Friday. Still have some storm-related angst coursing through your veins? This liquid hop candy might be just the thing to quell that. Or at least make it bearable. Available in cans, of course, but also for fills (hahaha, fuck!) to go.
It may be a holiday long weekend, but that’s not stopping breweries, cideries and better drinking establishments across the region from hosting events for their thirsty patrons; hell, it might even be encouraging them!
First up is a release party for a new cidery out of Paradise, Newfoundland focusing on spontaneous fermentation. The first release from Mauzy is Take Me Away Piquette, featuring apple pomace from feral Burin Bay apple. Naturally fermented to 4.7% ABV, this one was also bottle conditioned with Baccalieu Trail Honey. Bottle pours from the 20 cases they produced will be available throughout the evening at Brewdock on Duckworth Street. We’ll be sure to provide more info on Mauzy’s launch plans as details emerge.
Starting today, two of the lovely, but maybe somewhat lesser known breweries in Nova Scotia are trading their taps for the rest of the weekend! Serpent Brewing out of Spryfield and Lunn’s Mill in Lawrencetown (Annapolis Valley version) are making their beers available at the other’s taproom! At Lunn’s Mill, you’ll find Serpent’s Crystal Crescent Strawberry Kolsch and White Mountain Belgian Whit. At Serpent Brewing, you’ll find two tasty Lunn’s Mill brews, First Cut IPA and Pub Ale ESB. This is an excellent exchange for two breweries that really support their local communities and we hope this keeps happening throughout our region!
If you’re in Saint John, love beer, and love Oktoberfest, you’ve probably felt a small hole in your heart in past years. Well, Uncorked Tours is bringing an outdoor, open-air beer event in true Oktoberfest fashion. North Market Street in Saint John will be transformed into a beergarden (biergarten, even!) and to celebrate this inaugural event, they are giving away tickets, drink tokens, and tasting glasses for the event. Check out how to enter here.
Atlantic Canada’s northernmost brewery, Lab City’s Iron Rock, is turning 3 and to celebrate they’re hosting a party at the brewery next Saturday, October 15. The day’s events will include lots of special beers, an appearance from Hurley’s Texas BBQ, a pumpkin carving contest, and a giant jenga tournament (register by October 12 for that one), with donations going towards the Hurricane Fiona Relief Fund. The day will be capped off with an 80s dance party starting at 9:00 PM for which tickets are available at the taproom.
Halifax’s Stillwell(‘s?) continues to spoil Halifax and area beer fans with events and next week is no exception. The crew from Manhattan’s As Is Beer Bar will be in town and they’re somehow planning to sneak 12 kegs and over 25 beers/ciders into their checked luggage. The event will take place Thursday, October 13, with tickets available now. The taplist will feature ciders from New York’s East Hollow and beer styles including IPAs, Kölsch, and sours from some New York state legends, including Grimm Artisanal Ales, Threes Brewing, Evil Twin, Finback, and Hudson Valley. This is the first time that most of these breweries have graced a taplist in Atlantic Canada. Only 20L is available of each of the 12 draught offerings, and for that reason, Stillwell is including an early-bird ticketed event from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Tickets are available now on their website with the option of a seated ($20) or standing ($10) session. At 7:00 PM, the doors will open for the rest of the public to try whatever’s left (which may not be much if your favourite bloggers have anything to say about it).