Half Cocked Brewing

All posts tagged Half Cocked Brewing

Well hey, we made it to mid-July and, even better for NSians, Phase 4! Although it’s definitely positive news and puts us one step closer to that “new normal” that we’ve been hearing about, it’s really important to remember that the lifting of restrictions in this phase don’t help everybody to the same degree!! Due to the continued need for social distancing, bigger venues get a whole lot more benefit from this than the little folks. That’s not judgement, that’s just facts. And frankly the little folks are the ones who’ve already been suffering the most. Now consider that the bulk of the craft breweries in Nova Scotia and the other Atlantic Provinces are on the smaller end of the spectrum. Now is not the time for complacency if you want your favorite local(s) to make it to the other side of this thing. While in-person space is limited, plenty of places are still doing on-line ordering for pickup and/or delivery; why not throw an order their way?

Let’s start with some news from Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula. Those who’ve been to the Landwash Brewery taproom in Mount Pearl can attest to the great vibes, cool interior design, tasty food options (care of in-house food truck Saucy Mouth) and excellent beer. However, a trip to the Pearl requires a bit of a drive, which may not be feasible for tourists or others spending time closer to downtown St. John’s. That changes this summer, as Landwash is taking its act to the Gut as part of the new Wharf at Quidi Vidi vending park and beer garden! In what’s shaping up to be a surefire summertime destination, the setup will feature outdoor seating, including a large tent to make it a rain or shine operation, an ice cream shack from the Quidi Vidi Sweet Spot, and food from Landwash mainstain, Saucy Mouth and the Bernard Stanley Gastropub. And of course, Landwash will be slinging pints from a custom built beer trailer. The Wharf is now open 7 days/week from noon to 9:00 PM, with plans to remain open until September 8th.

And while we’re talking new and exciting for the Landwash Crew, there’s also a new beer from them, a bit of an ode to their Mount Pearl home. With the City recently launching the Find Your Centre Renewal plan, and today being the first of Mount Pearl City Days, what better time to launch this collaboration! Find Your Centre is a 4.5% ABV Session Pale Ale, hazy and bursting with flavour from the massive amounts of Eclipse and Galaxy hops used late in the process, for flavour and aromas of mandarin orange and candied citrus. For the time being, the only place to grab a Find Your Centre is at the taproom at 181 Commonwealth, with cans and draught available for purchase. And until Sunday, your purchase of either will have you entered in a draw for a prize pack from the city, with plenty of goodies from local businesses. Win Win!

On the opposite side of the island, the crew at Port au Port’s Secret Cove Brewing has a new IPA out this week with the release of Citra Arse Down. This one was brewing with Canadian grown 2-row and Victory malt and was hopped exclusively with Citra from Yakima Chief Hops. Coming in at 5.6%, expect notes of orange and tropical fruit. Available now for pints at the brewery’s taproom.

Staying with IPAs, the makers of some of HRM’s favorite hoppy beers, Propeller Brewing, are back at it with the release of Pacific IPA. This one features two New Zealand hops, Pacific Sunrise and the elusive Nelson Sauvin. Look for flavours of white grapes, tropical fruit, citrus, pine and gooseberry (yes, let’s all keep pretending we know what that tastes like). Pacific IPA comes in at 6% ABV and 60 IBUs. Look for cans with the pop-top 360 Lid, last seen for Propeller’s DDH IPA, which celebrated previous years’ IPA Day. But 2021 deserves a brand new celebrator, and Pacific IPA is where it’s at! Cans will be available at Propeller’s three retail locations and home delivery today, as well as Bishop’s Cellar and other private stores and the NSLC soon. On tap for pints at Prop’s two taprooms (Gottingen and Quinpool), with kegs also heading to Battery Park and North end pals Sourwood Cider. Due to the smaller batch size, no growler fills of this beaut, sorry!

Downtown Halifax’s Tidehouse Brewing has a pair of new beers on tap and in cans this week, on opposite ends of the spectrum! Groove Delight is a Strawberry and Vanilla Sour, with plenty of lactose (milk sugar) added, the beer flirts with the “Milkshake Beer” category, but the gentle tart character from underlying sour keeps it from being too heavy and thick. Tons of strawberries added late in the process mean there’s plenty of flavour in the beer, which can be difficult. Available on tap and in cans from opening at 4 PM today. Also available is Big Swifty, a 9.5% Double IPA featuring loads and loads of Zeus hops (part of the CTZ trifecta with Columbus and Tomahawk, nearly indistinguishable from each other), for plenty of bitterness underlying the dank and resinous character of this Old School American hop. Pop by today to grab some of each, plus a few more, for samples and pints, growlers and cans!

Back to Newfoundland for some news from Quidi Vidi Brewery, who have recently opened their taproom’s patio down in the Gut, which may have the prettiest view at a brewery in the region (send corrections to @acbbchris). Celebrating more beauty is their Arts & IPA Series, where local artists’ work adorns the labels. The latest is Arts & IPAs 03 – Rye IPA, featuring The Voice of Currents by Mike Gough, born in Corner Brook. At 6.5%, Citrus and Spice come together, as the hops and especially grain shine through for a bit of complexity. Available now at their location in QV, as well as their Hop Shop at 16 Harbour View Avenue off Torbay Road, and coming soon to NLC and convenience stores across the Island next week.

Down in Lunenburg, NS, Saltbox Brewing is bringing out a new beer they’re calling Loud and Proud. A hop-forward American Pale Ale with classic notes of citrus, it is a collaboration with Lunenburg PRIDE, a non-profit advocacy organization for local 2SLGBTQ+ individuals of all ages and their allies who are, “committed to building an inclusive community on the South Shore where everyone feels safe, secure, and respected regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.” Proceeds from the beer will be donated to Lunenburg PRIDE and you can be part of that by hitting a Saltbox tap room as of this afternoon to try a pint or two!

Keeping with the Pride theme, but heading northeast to PEI, Upstreet has released their seasonal Pride-themed beer, Rainbrew. A “strawberry lavender saison,” the style is a mouthful and so is the beer, but in the best of ways. Featuring an ingredient for each color of the classic Pride flag, it was built on a base of Island Malt House 2-row, oats, wheat, and rye. Hopping is courtesy of modern continental varieties Huell Melon and Barbe Rouge, and, as you’d imagine, strawberries and lavender were used, and also butterfly pea flower. Coming in at 5.5% ABV and 15 IBU, the initial impression is dominated by its distinctive pinky/purply color that you don’t find in many beers. On the palate it’s got a minerality and tartness paired with a touch of sweetness, and aroma-wise you’ll find some classic notes of clove, spice, a bit of bubblegum, and banana, all from the saison yeast, but also a touch of that strawberry and lavender. This is the fourth year for Rainbrew, which began as 2 kegs that sold out in one night and has gotten bigger every year to this year, where a double production batch was done. Proceeds from sales will be donated to Upstreet’s collaborating organization for this beer, Pride PEI to the tune of $0.50/can and $20/keg. The launch party was last night at the brewery, and as of today you’ll find it available for pints and growler fills as well as cans to go!

Staying on the Island for a moment but heading just out of town to Cornwall, the longest-named brewery in the region, Modern Brewer’s Village Green, has the latest iteration of their Weird Clouds New England-style IPA on the go this weekend. Coming in at 6.6% ABV, the hopping is classic Centennial blended with modern Citra, Mosaic, and Galaxy. This killer combo brings notes of Creamsicles(™ Unilever) and sweet oranges backed by a firm, grippy(™ CPR) bitterness. On tap at the brewery and also available in cans to go.

And speaking of NE IPAs, back across the Northumberland Strait to Antigonish, you’ll find a brand new beer in that style from Half Cocked Brewing. Perfectly Unclear features an awesomely apt label on the can, and an aptly hazy concoction inside, with heavy floral and tropical hop notes owing, no doubt, to the two huge dry hop additions. With no real bitterness to speak of, this 6.6% ABV hop monster goes down easy, possibly too easy. Grab some cans or a growler fill to go at the brewery or sit and have a pint (or two).

And speaking of Antigonish, they’re officially a two brewery* town: Candid Brewing has opened the doors to their taproom at 88 College Street. which locals of the region will no doubt know as the longtime office of venerable newspaper The Casket. And if you visit their website, you’ll see they’re leaning into that heritage. For now, opening hours are as follows: Mondays closed, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 3 – 9 PM, Thursdays to Saturdays 3 – 10:30 PM, and Sundays 12 – 5 PM. On tap you’ll find (subject to availability, of course), their five core beers and, as brewing time allows, some seasonals as well. Growler fills are available (retail hours the same as taproom), and you’re welcome to bring in any (clean!!) growler you might have or purchase one of Candid’s own. There’s no kitchen on site, but you’re welcome to bring or order in food from other places. Look for a profile of this new concern on Nova Scotia’s North Shore in these very pages soonish!!
* [Ed: possibly still one horse though…]

Happy Third Birthday to Lake City Cider, who have been busy these last few months putting together some great blends of apple and fruit together in fun and exciting ways, including their District Pride Rose (Dry cider rose with tart berries to complement), Field of Dreams (local apples blended with NS strawberries fermented and steeped with whole vanilla beans with a splash of black currant wine), and Cardi P (NS apples and plums, with a touch of cardamom). You can take home a Birthday Bundle featuring these three cuties, along with three more options as well an LCC-branded frisbee. Congratulations to Poet and the team!

Hey folks, do you miss the pre-pandemic world where you could hang out with your friends drinking brilliant beers from far-flung places? We sure do, and we especially miss doing so at the various Bars Stillwell!! If you’re the same, and you’ve maybe been living under a rock that shields you from beer-related news, boy do we have some good tidings for you about the potential return of something that might possibly feel like just a little bit of normalcy: on Saturday, July 24th, the Stillwell Freehouse will be hosting a special event featuring one of the best breweries in Belgium (and really, the world), Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen. No fewer than 19 unique blends from 3F will be on offer that afternoon, with bottle pours, 11 beers from the Speling van het Lot (Twist of Fate) series, and, of course, Belgian-inspired treats coming out of the kitchen. And if you’re feeling more contemplative than chatty, the back room will play two screenings of episode 5 of Michael Jackson’s (no, the other one) Beer Hunter, entitled “Burgundies of Belgium.” Note that reservations are being taken for this event, and it’s strongly recommended that you try to make one. To do so, email andrew@barstillwell.com.

We’ve got a few more short beer hits to share today before we dismiss you for the week…
Iron Rock Brewing in Lab City debuted a new Pale Ale this week, which will help you strike it rich… Prospector APA weighs in at just 4.0% ABV, but thanks to a whole buncha Citra hops used late in the process (end of the boil and in the dry-hop), it is not at all light on flavour and aroma, with plenty of citrus and floral character complemented by low bitterness. On tap for pints and growler fills, and wider distribution in cans in the coming weeks.

O’Creek Brewing, the nano in Dieppe, NB, has a new beer pouring that they’ve dubbed Snap Cryo Pop. Featuring the Cryo Pop Hop Blend from Yakima Chief, it’s an NE Pale Ale with a very tropical bent. Look for citrus, stone fruit, and hints of coconut in a 5% ABV package. It’s available only at Le BarBu BeerGarden for now.

Out in Sackville, NS, the new hip beer bar, Tapestry Beer Bar, has received several inquiries about private bookings. Well good news for those folks who’ve been looking to make such a booking, they’re going to be possible! Obviously, rates and availability will vary, but you’re welcome to make contact to find out whether it’s a fit for your group. There’s some contact info on the website, but you can probably also slide into their social DMs (Fb/Ig) to ask. And keep your eyes peeled on the blog as we have a full interview with owner Ian Smith in the coming days!

Bedford’s newest brewery, Topside Brewing, has been working to get their beers out to other places beyond the brewery. Look for them on tap at Finbar’s Portland St., Finbars Bedford, HopYard Halifax, and Battery Park. Several of those locations have their newest beer, Backyard Blonde, but you also may find summer staple Joyce’s Boy Hefewëizen and core offering On the Bottom DIPA as well.

Bannerman Brewing in St. John’s is putting out some of the Rock’s finest fermented beverages, but they haven’t been packaging all of them. New to cans this week is Broad Strokes, their lagered German ale at 4.8% ABV and made with Pilsner and wheat malts. Eventually you’ll be able to grab some (while quantities last) at NLLC licensees (Marie’s Mini Mart and Urban Market 1919, we believe), but for now you’ll have to head to the brewery.

If you’re looking for a beer job in Halifax, we think you could do far worse than with our friends at 2 Crows Brewing on Brunswick Street. And now would also be a good time to be looking, as they’ve got a couple of positions that they’re looking to fill: brewery production assistant/delivery driver and part-time bartender and packaging assistant. In both cases you’ll be working with a team that puts out high quality product and cares deeply about their roles in the brewing community and the general Halifax community as well. More information, including instructions on applying, can be found by clicking the “Careers” link on their website.

Happy Friday all you cool cats and kittens! We hope your July has been going well, and will continue to get even better. With COVID restrictions continuing to relax, for those able to travel in (and outside of) the Atlantic region, checking in on a new or favourite brewery is a great way to support those who keep you well stocked in excellent local beer. As we took last week off (and it was glorious!), this will be a bit of a longer post, so strap in and let’s get going!

Hardisty Brewing in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, is celebrating Pride with the release of a brand new Amber Ale. Thirst Trap continues Hardisty’s mission to celebrate diversity and inclusion in all things they do, with this approachable 5.8%, 37 IBU, copper-coloured beer featuring plenty of biscuity malt character with a touch of bitterness, finishing with a dark caramel toast flavour. As with all of their releases, the cans feature a quote about the beer, with Thirst Trap’s featuring one inspired by their love of Schitt’s Creek. So, how can you get your hands on TT and other Hardisty beer? If you’re fortunate enough to live in Cole Harbour (or willing to move there), they’ll bring the beer to you, through their weekly deliveries. If not, you’ll have to make your way to Harvest Wines (or request delivery), where you can grab it. And be sure to check out Hardisty’s webstore for a big selection of merchandise, including tees and hoodies inspired by Pride and Thirst Trap.

Heading to the Hub City, Truro Brewing Company has a couple of new beers on the board, including Stone Fruit Butch, a 5.7% hazy IPA featuring big additions of mango purée and coconut, to go all-in with the tropical theme. Plenty of fruit character, with just a touch of bitterness, great for enjoying on their patio at 53 Inglis Place. Proceeds from Stone Fruit Butch are going towards Truro Pride Society, supporting the great work they do in the community. SFB joins Tenacious B, a 5.8% Black IPA that marked their 100 brew since opening in February 2020, as well as Citrus Got Real, an 8.0% West Coast Double IPA featuring tons of Citra and Idaho 7 hops.

And last weekend, Truro held a gala to announce the winners of the inaugural Hubtown Homebrew Competition, which tasked amateur brewers to come up with their best Patio Beer. A wide variety of styles were submitted, and the Best in Show was Derek Wood’s Polish Grodziskie, a light Smoked Wheat beer. You’ll soon be able to enjoy Woody’s beer on the patio at TBC, as well as a Session IPA brewed by Chelsea Meisner, which took honours as the top score-getter in the first round of judging. Congratulations to all entrants and the hard-working judges who had the difficult task of picking the winner!

Delta Force Brewing, the elusive brewery located in REDACTED Nova Scotia, has another big beer drop available for delivery within a 1 hour radius of HRM. In fact, they have two big beer drops, in the form of two Six Packs available now. The Farmshed Summer 6 Pack features a wide variety of options, including the brand new Operation Jaromir Lagr (a 6.0% Czech Dark Lager), Operation Stronghold (West Coast IPA), Operation Assay (Kveik Pale Ale), Operation Jug (a 5.6% Saison), and Operation Wessex with Brett (Brett Barley Wine). Also available is Time Travel 6 Pack, featuring a pair of bottles each of three variants of their Mean Time Brett Bitter: The original, featuring their own farmshed-grown hops and PEI Malt, Mean Time Atlantic leaves out the funky Brett yeast to allow the locally-grown ingredients to shine through on their own, and Mean Time Pacific swaps out their hops for some classic West Coast hops to better experience the left coast… In addition to these 6 packs, there are a few singles available for purchase, as well as some Anderlecht Farmshed Brett Single. You can order, pay, and arrange delivery by contacting them via email (deltaforcebrewing@gmail.com) for delivery this weekend!

Cross Creek Brewing located near Woodstock NB, has sent their beer on quite the trip this week, with it being available outside the province for the first time ever. Those of you in Charlottetown should keep an eye on the social media and taps at HopYard Beer Bar, as they’ll be pouring 5 different CCB offerings over the course of the next few weeks. In addition to their eponymous Cross Creek Pale Ale, look out for Two Divas Blonde Ale, featuring Carleton County-grown Cascade and Centennial hops, Outhouse Stout, a 4.8% Oatmeal Stout that is extremely easy-drinking and lightly hopped with Fuggles, Blueneck Kentucky Common Ale, and Headpond Cream Ale. And word on the street is that there are big things coming in CCB’s region, with major plans underway to be drinking the good stuff at a place of their own before too long!

Wolfville’s Annapolis Cider has announced their latest Something Different, and it really is a departure for them. Grapefruit Cider Radler is a lower alcohol (4.7%) cider featuring Amarillo hops to complement the Red Grapefruit and Lime juices in the blend, with bright citrus acidity being perfect to refresh after a bike ride (the original impetus for Radlers in Germany), or just to cap or start a great summer’s day. As with all Something Different releases, Annapolis partners with a local group, with $0.50 of each refill of the Radler going to the Adrian Campbell Scholarship Fund, assisting young Nova Scotian athletes to pursue post-secondary education while still engaging in their passion for sport.

Halifax charmers Tidehouse has a new release this week that is hot for the summer. Hip! Hip! is a summer crusher ale from the brewery that is their lightest beer brewed to date. This 4.8% ale brings a very neutral release from the brewery, not hoppy, crisp, a touch of white wine character. Using a base of pilsner malt, along with flaked corn and a small amount of hopping from Nelson Sauvin, this is available today from the brewery. Enjoy it to celebrate out in the sun with friends and family. 

Just outside of Antigonish is Half Cocked Brewing, located in North Grant. Since opening their expanded location and welcoming visitors into their taproom daily, they often hear “Do you have anything sour on tap?”. For the first time, the answer is now a resounding “Yes!”. Something Sour hit the taps yesterday afternoon for samples, pints, and growler fills. At a light and breezy 4.9% ABV, the sour features massive dry hopping of Citra and Idaho 7, complementing the bright citrus notes from the underlying beer, but without any bitterness. Pair a pint with food care of the Crafty Cooks food truck set up onsite, and you’re in for a wonderful evening or weekend brunch destination!

The whippersnappers at Tatamagouche always keep us on our toes with amazing releases. The latest to join the fray is Intertidal: Ekuanot Rye IPA. A first release of the Intertidal series, this one showcases the Ekuanot hop, those familiar will know it has a complex profile with some spiciness, cedar and tropical fruit flavours. First settling on the hop, the spicy-biting style of Rye IPA was chosen to play with the profile of Ekuanot. Starting with a base of Horton Ridge pale, with about 20% malted rye, there are small additions of light and medium caramel malt as well. This was mashed in at a slightly cooler temperature to try and create a drier finish for the IPA. Joining Ekuanot, El Dorado and Centennial played supporting actors in the kettle and was distributed throughout the boil. The big hop drop blend also joined in the whirlpool. Fermented with mostly English yeast for its high attenuation and a bit of wheat beer yeast. Finally (!) this ale was dry hopped with Ekuanot and El Dorado. Trying to play with all of these flavours has been a careful decision by the brewery and it sounds like a hit. The final product is a 6.7% Rye IPA that is available today from the brewery in cans and kegs, and hitting their webstore any minute now, for Canada-wide delivery.

One from last week’s release that can’t be ignored (not that we ignore anything!) is a new release in that lovely, familiar can design from Propeller. Mosaic Pale Ale joins the single hop featured lineup from the Halifax brewery. Featuring Mosaic hops exclusively, this 5% pale ale gives notes of fresh-picked berries and should have a bit of piney resin flavour as well. Crisp and clean, this 35 IBU pale ale is one to pick up for the summer. Available in 473ml cans, you can pick this up in 4-packs from Propeller online or in-store and likely around some of the private shops in HRM. 

Cornwall’s Village Green has a draught-only release this week. Nelson Table Bier is a (you guessed it) table beer,or a “session Saison” if you’re not familiar with the style. This comes in at 3.7% and has a very generous dry hop featuring Nelson Sauvin. Some peppery notes accompany this slightly herbaceous and very refreshing beer. On tap only for now, cans should be coming next week. Be sure to stop in if you’re passing through!

The new releases keep rolling out of Nyanza, with Big Spruce’s newest one-off, Tripel Belgian Pale Ale. Coming in at 9.3%, look for traditional notes of spice, banana and citrus, with a hint of residual sweetness. This one was brewed in collaboration with award-winning Halifax homebrewer Ian Wheatley, who should be no stranger to the readers of this blog, having collaborated with several Nova Scotia breweries throughout the years. The new Spruce releases continue, but for this one, you’ll need to make a trip to Sydney. Brewed for exclusive release at Governor’s Pub and the Sydney location of the Old Triangle, Bizarre Gov Triangle is a 6.4% hazy IPA with notes of tropical fruit. You can find it on tap at the two downtown Sydney watering holes today. 

We’ve got a couple of important newsworthy items from Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery today. First off, they recently debuted Hard Over Harry, a 4.5% Light Beer brewed to honour the commissioning of HMCS Harry DeWolf, an arctic and offshore patrol vessel, the first coming out of the Irving Shipyard as part of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, and the first in its class of vessels. Named after Vice Admiral Harry DeWolf, Canada’s most highly decorated naval officer, and known for aggressive ship manoeuvering while commanding the HMCS Haida during the Second World War. Available on tap and in cans now at their taproom at 35 Portland Street, as well as their Waterfront Beer Garden at Alderney Landing.

And you’ll soon be able to enjoy a third location, as the Brightwood crew are opening BrightYard in the coming days… Located at 53 ½ Portland Street in Downtown Dartmouth, this outdoor beer garden will feature plenty of Brightwood beer on tap, and feature a BBQ-inspired menu, courtesy of Emma Strubank and her team (best known for Café GoodLuck and other great spots around HRM). Centering around an authentic Southern BBQ offset smoker, look for brisket, chicken, and veggies too, prepared in the low and slow technique that has kept people happy and satisfied for years. And you too can be happy and full this afternoon, as BrightYard is holding a pop-up in Brightwood’s taproom this afternoon, 4 – 9 PM, with brisket and smoked chicken sandwiches, pulled pork, and great veggies options like charred carrots and grilled broccoli and radicchio available. Live Music from Ryan Stanley on the go from 8 PM in the taproom as well. Check out Brightwood’s social media for the full scoop, and follow both accounts to keep up with the opening date and full menu.

A few more newsbites to finish off today’s post. Stay dry but well hydrated this weekend!

A short bite out of Antigonish, Candid Brewing has updated their hours and has some beer available in HRM. Two of their beers were dropped off to Battery Park, so keep an eye out for Working Joe (4.7% Breakfast Stout) and No Brainer (5.2% Blood Orange Pale Ale) hitting the wall at the Dartmouth favourite. Their regular summer hours are currently 3 -6 PM Wednesday through Saturday, so be sure to stop by if you’re in the area. 

Always a popular destination spot, Wolfville’s Church Brewing sees a few brewery exclusive releases this week. Available now for crowler and in-person pint fills, Persephone Strawberry Pale Ale and Hades Blueberry Pale Ale should be summer-y, refreshing, fruity and slightly tart twists to crisp pale ales. 

News from Lone Oak sees Noble coming at you in cans! Noble is a 0.7% ABV ultra light pale ale with notes of field berries up front and some citrus on the finish. Perfect to add to your summer, weekday or drinking rotation, you can get this in person or online. And mark your calendars to support Lone Oak as they take on Keith’s in the semi final of the HopYard Battle of the Breweries next Thursday, July 15th. The winner of that battle faces Upstreet in the finals July 29th.

Following up from an editorial note two weeks ago, the 2 Crows & Luke’s Small Goods pop-up from July 1st is now tomorrow, July 10th, from noon until sell-out. The event sees the re-release of Cool Kid (blog favourite, RIP Niche), celebrating with a Fried Chicken pop-up! Details are in the Instagram post here and our post from last time.

A quick hitting re-release from Unfiltered sees Edgy making a return last week. Using the base recipe from DOA, this Double IPA uses Centennial instead as it’s single hop all throughout the mash, wort, kettle and dry-hopping. This is available now for growler fills, pints at Charm School and 473ml cans online or at the brewery.

 

Happy May Long Weekend, beer pals! While not every brewery can be open and welcoming folks in their taprooms and patios, we do hope you’re able to support them with curbside and delivery purchases. In Nova Scotia, many restaurants and bars are struggling due to being quick to follow government regulations and closing in-person service for everyone’s safety, but inaction and lack of support from the Province could see them suffering permanent losses. Be sure to check in to see if your favorite spot is offering ordering and delivery or curbside pickup and try to support them however you can; it could make the difference between them reopening when this mess is all over and, well, not.

And more universally, there has been a reckoning of late, bringing to the forefront shocking events of harassment and assault directed toward women, non-binary folks, people of colour, and others under-represented in the beer business. Those in positions of power, whether they be brewery owners or management, festival organizers, or patrons in bars, breweries, or at festivals, have been the beneficiaries of a “code of silence,” but we say with some hope that it appears that silence is starting to break thanks to a myriad of people stepping forward to report, support, and amplify. We believe when people tell us what they have experienced, and we support them. We believe that all businesses and organizations in this industry should have guidelines on conduct and safety posted in their establishment and online, so that all can feel safe and free from reprisal in reporting any of these acts. And now is the time for those in the beer (and wider) world to speak out about this topic and take action if witnessing any harassment. We believe that these actions will improve Beer for everyone, allowing more to feel welcome and bring their passion to the industry.

Let’s start the news with a one-two punch of new and returning breweries in the Antigonish area. After closing in early 2020 to complete major renovations in their brewery and taproom, Half Cocked Brewing in North Grant has opened their doors once again. Located 7 minutes north of downtown, Half Cocked is located in a former chicken farm building on Highway 245. Expanding their brewing capacity from 50 litres to 1200, they have fully stocked their fridge, ready for their thirsty fans. They have eight beers currently available for draught sales via growler purchase (either bring your own clean glassware, or you can purchase one of theirs): returning favourites are Pete’s Sake Blonde (4.7%), Darkest One American Stout (6.0%), XPA American Pale Ale (6.0%), and Cock of the Walk Black IPA (6.5%). And debuting this week are Sunrise Session Ale, a 4.4% crushable lawn mower beer; White Whale Pale Ale, at 6.6%, floral, punchy, and dry; Haze Fatigue IPA, a 7.7% bitter and brite IPA with a citrus finish; Wait For It Double IPA, 8.3% well worth the wait! Half Cocked’s retail spot is open 4 – 7 PM from Wednesday – Friday and 12 – 7 PM Saturday and Sunday. When restrictions are lifted, you’ll be able to sit inside or out on their massively expanded taproom and patio, with some special pop-ups and events planned, as well as enjoy pints at the local beer hotspots, including the Townhouse, so keep your eyes peeled here and on their Social Media (Fb/Ig/Tw)! Congratulations to Greg, Matt, and the whole Half Cocked Crew!

Back in the heart of town, Candid Brewing is not quite ready to open their retail location, but they *are* ready to get some beer in your hands! Located at 88 College Street in downtown Antigonish, they are doing a Pop Up today 3 – 6 PM, and again tomorrow 1 – 4 PM, slinging two canned beers curbside. First up is Humdinger a 6.7% West Coast IPA, featuring bold citrus and pine flavour with a full body that balances the bitterness. It is the first of Candid’s five core beers available in the coming weeks. Also available is a collaboration with their pals at Big Spruce Brewing in Nyanza, Skeptical Vibes. This 4.9% red lager was cold conditioned before receiving a generous dry-hopping with New Zealand’s Motueka, for a bright citrus nose on a crisp and dry base. Available in cans at both participating breweries, as well as online for delivery and shipping from the Big Spruce store. We’ve heard tell of lots more from Candid, and we’ll be sure to share when we can! Their space will feature a large taproom with plenty of room for bubble distancing and events galore. Those in the area should sign up for their Membership to get early access to the news and releases, plus some slick deals when the taproom and retail are open full-time. Congratulations Bryan and team!

Off to Mount Pearl for another new release, this one from Landwash Brewery. Their first bottle-conditioned beer, Saison Da Pearl is reminiscent of when Brewster Christina Coady was heading up the program at Toronto’s Folly Brewing, where Farmhouse beers were the focus. Now they’re bringing that to Da Pearl! The focus is on the yeast, with the pale malt and muted hops taking the backseat, giving rise to notes of pepper, spice, and even a touch of vanilla, thanks to a warm fermentation allowing the yeast to express itself. That yeast also plays double-duty, after finishing the beer fermentation, a dose of sugar just before bottling brings it back to life, and has the yeast naturally carbonating the packaged Saison. Closing your eyes, you may even be transported to a Wallounian farm after a hard day’s work! This 7.0% 500 mL bottle is available exclusively at the brewery’s retail location (for now, it may be available elsewhere if there’s any left in June).

O’Creek Brewing may be most known for their super hazy, super hoppy IPAs (and with good reason!), but sometimes they like to branch out a bit and play with other beer styles. One beer in particular was brewed back in March, and is finally hitting taps any day now. The beer is Doppelbock, and we’re betting you can probably guess the style! That’s right, this one is a Doppelbock, a high alcohol, dark brown, malty Lager that originated in Germany many years ago. O’Creek’s version was brewed with lots of Munich malt as the base, along with Pils, and Carapils, CaraMunich and Chocolate malt thrown in for colour and character. Hopped with Saaz and East Kent Goldings, it was fermented low and slow with Isar Lager yeast from Escarpment Labs, and allowed to lager for weeks longer. Coming in at 7.6% ABV, it’s sweet and malty, with “hints of dark fruits and light toast”, with very low bitterness. It’s currently on deck at CAVOK and The Joyce, so keep your eyes peeled for when it goes on tap!

Wait wait, don’t worry hopheads, O’Creek has you covered as well! Their latest hop bomb is Elevated, a 7.6% ABV DIPA that is bright, hazy, and flavourful. Hopped with Nelson Sauvin, Idaho 7, Mosaic, and Centennial, it’s smelling and tasting exactly as you probably expect – tropical and citrusy, with notes of mango and passion fruit. First kegs of that one will be popping up at The Joyce, Euston Park, and Au Bootlegger (if it’s not on tap already).

Camping season is fast-approaching/here – YMMV! – and Boomstick Brewing has thus been inspired to brew a beer that they feel pairs perfectly with the great outdoors: a Session IPA named Gravel Pit. An easy-drinking-yet-flavourful beer hopped with a large amount of Galaxy, it’s got tropical fruit aromas abound, and at just 4.8% ABV, is a great brew to enjoy during or after a hike, campfire, etc. It’s available right now at the brewery’s West St. location in Corner Brook on tap and in cans, and should already be on NLC shelves by now as well. 

Out Port Rexton Brewing way, they have teamed up with Toporama Prints in nearby English Harbour for a beer and art collaboration. An artist-run screen printing and design shop, Toporama has designed a unique piece that melds perfectly with beer, and limited prints of it will be available in posters, t-shirts, and on glassware, as well as adorning cans of a new beer release. Although we don’t know what it’s called yet, coming out today at noon is a 5.3% combo of sour ale and New England IPA, featuring a blast of mango and peach, and everything tropical, with a moderate acidity and light bitterness. A limited run, it’s available exclusively from their taproom in Port Rexton this weekend (maybe elsewhere in the off chance it’s not all gone!). We think planning a visit out is a super-great idea, as Toporama will be setting up their screen printing gear Sunday afternoon and creating tote bags right in the taproom!

After a super-successful launch earlier in the month, Saint Andrews Brewing is back with another new release this weekend, in celebration of Paddlefest 2021. That’s a Paddlin’ is a kölsch-style lagered ale that has been allow to cellar condition for 3 months, allowing the iconic yeast to do its thing and bring together notes of both lager and ale, on a German Pilsner base with plenty of Czech Saaz to balance. Cracker malt character with some spicy hoppiness, all in a spritzy package. It joins Wharfbound Hazy Pale Ale and Herringbone Pub Ale at the Red Herring Pub, where all three will be pouring this weekend. As with all SABC releases, these are quite small, so be sure to show up early (and often) to avoid disappointment!

Heading north up the Acadian Peninsula, four breweries in North-Eastern New Brunswick have collaborated with their own local mountain biking club. Brewed at host Distillerie Fils du Roy, brewers from Brasseux d’la Cote, Microbrasserie Houblon-Pêcheur, and Brasserie Retro Brewing were brought together by Mountain Bike Atlantic and local bike clubs. Sirène is the brewery’s take on a Vienna Lager, which they are calling a Vienna Acadienne in a nod to the local barley used to make the beer. Sirène is technically a SMaSH beer as it showcases 100% Vienna malt and Saaz hops. The malt comes from the Fils du Roy maltery in Petit-Paquetville and uses barley grown exclusively on the Acadian Peninsula (hence the Vienna Acadienne). The malt lends a copper red colour and a rich malt character, with notes of caramel, that are complemented by a medium hop bitterness that comes in at 20 IBU. With an ABV of 4.5%, Sirène is plenty sessionable to enjoy after a nice mountain bike ride. The beer is named after the collaborating bike club, Sirènes en Cavale, a women’s mountain biking club on the Acadian Peninsula. Cans are available now through the collaborating breweries and look out for more releases in the series in the coming weeks. 

Continuing the beer and biking collaborations theme is Sussex Ale Works in Southeastern New Brunswick, who teamed up with the neighbours at The Outdoor Elements to brew a beer fit for enjoying after (or while) hitting the local trails. LBS Kölsch is clean and refreshing lagered ale that comes in just shy of 5% ABV. The name is a nod to Local Bike Shop, and Outdoor Elements can’t get much more local as it shares a building with Sussex Ale Works. LBS Kölsch is available this weekend at the taproom on Main Street. 

And would you believe we’re not yet done with the brewery and cycling connections in New Brunswick? In Fredericton, Grimross Brewing is releasing Monkey Business, a Session IPA brewed in collaboration with River Valley Cycling, Mountain Bike Atlantic, and NB Brews. Named after a well-known mountain bike trail in the city (well-known to mountain bikers, anyway!), it’s a light and sessionable 4.5% ABV brew, built on a grist of pale malt and rolled oats, with low bitterness (6 IBU) and plenty of hop aroma (Vic Secret, Mosaic, and Idaho 7), designed to be the perfect cap to a hard session on the trails; but best be sure you’re finished your ride, as it’s likely that the first one will quickly lead to another. If this sounds on-brand for you, you’d best get on your (chromoly) horse, as this is a summer seasonal and once it’s gone, it’s gone! 

In other news out of Grimross, they’ve got another new small batch from their Scratch Series hitting the taps today, and it’s a special one for the brewery. It would seem that some extra microbiology has been going on within the walls at the brewery, as they’ve managed to discover a yeast strain unique to their premises. And what’s a brewery going to do when they discover a new yeast in their brewery? They’re going to brew with it, dammit!! SMaSH House is a single-malt and single-hop (well, sorta) beer using pale malt from Shoreline Malting and the Grimross Hop Blend from  Island Hop Company. Fermented with the aforementioned yeast (name and trademark to be determined, no doubt 😉 ), it has a subtle malt presence and notes of citrus and spice all leading to a crisp finish; perfect for all things summer. Check it out at the brewery today when you’re stocking up for the long weekend.

Edmundston’s Brasseurs du Petit-Sault has a new release in their Epic Series this week, chock full of bright and vibrant fruit. Simply named Ale aux Fraises et aux Framboises, the most learned among us recognize that it features strawberry and raspberry on a smooth and velvety, yet slightly tart base. Cans of the 5.2% beer are available at the Brewtique now, with growler fills next week.

Back in Halifax, Unfiltered Brewing is doing their best to lift the lockdown blues for thirsty beer drinkers, courtesy of a brand new release! Positively Shocking is a new SMaSH DIPA featuring Idaho 7 hops, that follows the same technique of Greg Nash’s other beloved SMaSH DIPAs. Look for piney and tropical notes from the hops with a pithy and bitter finish. Cans and fills of the 7.5% DIPA are available today on North Street. 

New Brew from Baccalieu! Hitting their shelf in Bay Roberts today is Hot Spot, a 5.5% Tropical Smoothie Sour, absolutely chock-full of dragonfruit, passion fruit, and pineapple on a tart base. And kicking it up to the next level is a generous dry-hop of citrus darling Mandarina Bavaria. Cans are available today and all weekend at 1 Conception Bay Highway in Bay Roberts, keep your eyes peeled at the better beer retail spots across the Island to snag yours later.

Inception, Trailway’s ode to the Falconer’s Flight hop blend, is making its return this weekend, this time as a 6.5% DDH IPA. Look for lemon-lime citrus notes, subtle notes of pine and a punch of dank hop character. Cans are available now at the taproom and through Trailway’s online store. 

A few weeks ago we teased a new Belgian Saison from Lone Oak Brewing Co. Lupin comes in at 6.5% and features classic Belgian notes of bubblegum, clove and spice. It is now available in bottles at the taproom in Borden Carleton and for island-wide delivery. 

And in another “reminder of a previous beer”, the 2 Crows Czech Pilsner, Letná, has been released to the masses this week. Available at the brewery in cans for retail, curbside, and delivery now, it is also available at Bishop’s Cellar for the same treatment. Joining the 355 mL can is a branded 500 mL mug, tall enough to be able to give it a proper pour with a couple of inches of tight foam to protect the liquid’s refreshing carbonation. Delivery and curbside pre-ordering is the way to go for this and other 2C orders, given the current restrictions.

Spryfield’s latest addition, Serpent Brewing, has a new beer and a virtual event on the go this long weekend. First up is the beer: Days End is a top-fermented, cold conditioned beer in the style and spirit of the city of Köln in Germany (such beers produced there are properly called Kölsch, of course). A perfect beer to cap a long day of work or to sip on a warm summer patio, it comes in at 4.6% and, we’re sure, has a slightly grainy malt backbone, with a slight fruity presence and a balancing bitterness. They’ll be celebrating the release of this one with a Virtual Tasting Event via Facebook Live tomorrow evening at 7 PM (time subject to change, so keep an eye on that event page). Growler fills and crowlers of this one are available, but bottles are still listed as “coming soon.” So make some plans to grab some Days End and/or some of the other Serpent offerings, and plan to hunker down tomorrow evening to share it virtually with other like-minded folks while learning a little from the team about the beers and how they’re made. 

Spring is in the air in Newfoundland. And at the Northern tip of the island, at the end of Highway 430, you’ll find Saint Anthony, home of RagnaRöck Northern Brewing Company. While they’ve been churning out the great beer non-stop since their opening in 2019, they did pause the taproom for the winter to re-configure and add a canning line to the mix. Well, with this unofficially official start to summer, they are looking to welcome folks back in the taproom starting Thursday, May 27. Open Thursday through Saturday from 5 PM til 11 PM (10 PM Thursday), they’ll be pouring a half dozen beers from the taps, plus have a great selection of beers to takeaway in cans. With a summer perfect for domestic/close to home travel, this is the time to get out and see *all* of your home province, so be sure to make all the way North! Located at 223-227 West Street, pop in while exploring L’Anse-Aux-Meadows or Grenfell Museum

And rounding out the news this week is Mirimachi’s New Maritime Beer Company, who are releasing a brand new beer inspired both by a trip to Mount Everest Basecamp by two of the brewery’s owners as well as their experience navigating the difficult waters as a new brewery during this past year’s pandemic craziness. Three Little Birds is named after the Bob Marley song, and if you know it, you’re probably already singing softly to yourself that every little thing gonna be alright. Considered by the brewery to be a New Zealand Pale Ale, owning to the exclusive use of NZ hop varieties Rakau and Motueka, it features aromas and flavors of stone fruit and citrus zest along with some tropical vibes. At 5.5%, it’s pretty light and crushable, and perfect for a carefree summer afternoon on a patio somewhere. Get it now at the brewery, on tap for pints, or to go in growlers or crowlers.

Not a whole lot of events going on in the region, for obvious reasons, and we encourage you to stay home, stay cool, and drink some beer; meanwhile, if you’re an experienced brewer looking for a job in and you’re in the St. John’s area (or willing to go there), check this opportunity out:

Banished Brewing is the brainchild of the folks behind the newly opened and busy as heck Bar Brewdock, in St John’s East Duck area. Banished, however, will be found in a beautiful location in Paradise, and slated to open in 2022. Wanting to start things off running, they are looking to hire an experienced Head Brewer to join and lead the production team. Check out the job posting on their website, and drop them a line if you’re the right person for the job!