HopYard Halifax

All posts tagged HopYard Halifax

Bubble bobble, it’s time for our weekly hobble! Terrible jokes aside, we’re all looking forward to the reestablishment of the Atlantic Bubble in a month. There have been many tasty treats through our great region and we’re happy to have it coincide with the warmer weather (those in Nova Scotia ignore that part). Hope is in the air and beer news is down below!

After a pop-up retail tease in the fall, Spryfield’s brewery, Serpent Brewing, is opening on a permanent basis this weekend. Located at 16 Dentith Rd, the taproom and retail spot is located just off Sussex Street under the Canadian Tire (and next door to the future home of Mary Brown’s Chicken). While they received some less-than-great news that their taproom permits have been delayed due to a hand-off from the NSLC to Alcohol and Gaming (thanks NS gummint!), there is beer in kegs and bottles so they are opening their retail store for take-away Saturday at noon, and Sunday at 2 PM. Next week and going forward, they are open Wednesdays 2 – 8 PM, Thursdays through Saturdays 12 – 10 PM, and Sundays 2 – 8 PM. Their 5 BBL (600 litre) brewhouse has been working overtime to prepare the 7 Belgian-inspired beers available on draught and in bottles. Those who visited the pop-up in 2020 have already had a chance to try their Patey’s Bier, their 4.6% ABV Singel/Patersbier, Eden, their 6.0% ABV Belgian IPA, and White Mountain Witbier, coming in at 5.5% ABV. These three are available to go in bottles as well as growler fills (and pints soon enough). Add to that Medusa, a 7.4% ABV Dubbel, and 33, their 8.0% ABV Tripel, completing the trifecta of Monastic beers. Both of these, as well as The Bite cider are available in bottles this weekend.

Serpent’s first Founders Club release is also available, this one being a taproom exclusive due to its limited nature… Chocolate Lake Chili Porter was brewed with Rob, one of the early adopters to their Beer Creation Experience, allowing members to conceive the beer, help with the brew day, and even work with their designer on the label artwork. While all of those memberships for the 2021 edition have been snapped up, there are still some spots in their Brew Club, the 24 month membership which provides you with a Serpent growler and your choice of a growler fill, two bottles, or two pints per month, discounts on growler fills on Thursdays, a t-shirt, 2 beer glasses, and vouchers for 4 pints and 4 flights to be used personally or shared with friends. Details on this can be found on their website. Look for more Beer Experience releases in the coming months, as well as plenty more Belgian-, and non-Belgian-, inspired brews to be pouring. Keep an eye on their social media (Fb/Ig/Tw), and we’ll be sure to give you lots of fun information about their taproom once it opens in a few weeks. 

In more opening news, Moncton’s Tide & Boar Brewing has finally opened their doors this week, after months of delays due to the COVID pandemic. However, they soldiered on and have had a very successful launch just in time for Moncton Craft Beer Week (more on that below). While owner Chad Steeves began brewing on a small kit in the basement of the Tide & Boar Gastropub at 700 Main Street, they have graduated to a much larger brewhouse down the road at 1355 Main Street. Their attitude has not changed, however, concentrating on modern hazy New England IPAs such as Uncut Hops, Special Blend #10, Pow Pillow Rakau, as well as their Sour Otis line of fruited sours. This expanded capacity has allowed them to offer cans to go on a permanent basis, in addition to being enjoyed at their space. The taproom is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 4 PM (until 11 or later), features a full kitchen (open from 4 – 10 PM during the week and from noon to 10 PM Saturdays), and the Duo Cafe is open 7 AM – 1:30 PM Mon – Fri (can also buy retail beer during those hours). Congratulations to Steeves and family on the opening!

And in coming soon “new” brewery news, the fine folks near Fundy, Alma’s finest, Holy Whale is the second New Brunswick brewery to purchase a bowling alley! The owners have taken possession of the Parklane Bowling Alley at 28 Biggs Drive in Riverview, New Brunswick. Not too far from their beer garden location, the lanes are located about 70km from their spot in Alma. They will be starting renovations shortly and aiming to have a beer garden and lanes open in August. For the Parklane fans, fear not, the lanes will definitely remain the focal point of the space, with the beer hall taking over other space in the building. They’ll also be moving their pilot system from Alma for on-location brewing, so you can expect some fun beers to come from there. Beer and bowling, yes please! Throughout the process of idea to realization, the Holy Whale gang have had a number of people help them, none more than the TrailWay Brewing crew who successfully opened The Drome in Fredericton a couple of years back, but keep an eye on their Facebook for further details and their full list of shout outs. Their Beer Hall down the way at 391 Coverdale Road in Riverview will remain open during the construction.

Big Spruce Brewing has released a brand new and important beer this week, as part of Black is Beautiful, a world-wide collaboration to raise awareness of the injustices that People of Colour face daily. Breweries take part to lift up, empower, and give real (aka monetary) support to Black organizations to continue the fight. Big Spruce has has pledged to donate 100% of the proceeds of their release to the The African Nova Scotian Decade for People of African Descent Coalition, whose member groups work in the province to see that African Nova Scotians have a voice in the planning of, and access to, improved community services, health care, and reform of the justice system. Big Spruce’s version of Black is Beautiful is a Whiskey Barrel Aged Foreign Extra Stout coming in at 6.9% ABV. Beginning life as a bold black beer featuring dominant notes of chocolate and roast coffee, the barrel aging process brings vanilla, red fruit-like cherry, and a lovely whiskey nose. The beer finishes dry and with a touch of bitterness, and leaves you wanting more. Available in cans from their retail shop in Nyanza and online for delivery in Nova Scotia and beyond, several restaurants and bars across Nova Scotia have also taken kegs to help expand the reach (including Bar Stillwell, Battery Park, Bitten Moon Pub in Glace Bay, Grand Banker in Lunenburg, Maritime Express in Kentville, Nook and Cranny in Truro, and The Townhouse in Antigonish). Be sure to grab some cans or pints to support this important initiative!

It’s been a few weeks since its initial release, but for those who’ve yet to come across it, Boxing Rock has a new Best Bitter available called Perfect Pint. This 4.3% ABV take on the style features Maris Otter and crystal malts, and is hopped with the classic English Goldings hop. Expect some fruity esters, with caramel and stone fruit coming through on the palate. Perfect Pint is available now in 491 mL cans through Boxing Rock’s sales channels, including their Local Source Market location. 

Moving on to a slightly larger rock, Landwash Brewery is releasing the first beer in its new Limited Series, with Cuslett. This IPA pays homage to the west coast version of the style with a malty backbone and hefty bitterness. Named after the village along the Cape Shore of the Avalon, Cuslett comes in at 7.0% ABV and is available now in cans for pick-up at the brewery in Mount Pearl, as well as the better corner stores in the region.

Joining Cuslett is Landwash Dark, a pitch-black Lager reminiscent of the Schwarzbier style, featuring plenty of chocolate and dark malt character, but with a crisp and dry finish, setting it apart from stouts and porters. This 5.0% ABV beer lets the malts shine through, giving the hops a rest for another day… With the current Level 4 restrictions on the Avalon, their taproom remains closed, but the retail side is still able to sell fresh cans to go, and check out your local corner store too!

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing has something new for those who both like their hoppy beer and who also are trying to satisfy their craving for hops without getting into big and heavy IPA territory. Taking the notion of “Session IPA” almost to an extreme, or at least as far as we’ve seen it taken around these parts, Micro IPA weighs in at a paltry 2.8% ABV. That said, it still manages to be hazy and full-bodied, and, of course, hoppy! Featuring Nelson Sauvin and Idaho 7 hop varieties for aroma and flavor notes of “mango, gooseberry, and stone fruit, with a subtle backdrop of black tea and spice,” this one was a small batch on their Quinpool pilot system, so quantities are limited. Available in 500 mL bottles from all Prop Shops and through online ordering for pickup or home delivery.

And meanwhile, with COVID restrictions starting to ease up a little more (but please, let’s keep up with the mask-wearing and social distancing where appropriate!), the Prop gang is happy to announce the return of Community Cask Nights. Twice a month at their old school tap room location on Gottingen Street, you’ll find a special cask tapped on Friday evenings starting at 5 PM with proceeds going to a local charity. Check it out today, when you’ll find a cask of their S’Mores Imperial Dessert Stout (a special treat, as cans of that one are sold out) with Marshmallow Fluff. This one will be pouring in support of the Canadian Mental Health Association of Halifax Dartmouth.

Truro Brewing Co has a new release this Friday straight out of the Hub! Released in collaboration with nearby Mountain Meadworks, Ostara is a Saison-style Braggot (a beer and mead blend). Brewed with Shoreline Malting pale malt, honey, and juniper berries, it is the second collaboration between the two companies and should please all types of drinkers, bringing flavours of spice, honey, banana and juniper. Coming in at 7.6% ABV, it’s available in 650 mL bottles today directly from the brewery, and this weekend from Mountain Meadworks’ table at the Truro Farmers Market as well as the online Truro and New Glasgow Farmers Markets.

Delta Force Brewing is back with its fourth release, featuring some returning favorites, new twists on previous releases, and some brand new beers for their fans to try.
First up is a fun two-pack that provides the opportunity to compare and contrast two different strains of Kveik yeast in the same base beer. Operation Assay is an American-style pale ale coming in at 4.6% and 4.9% ABV for the two strains. These versions feature the Ebbegarden and Voss strains of the yeast. We recommend finding a pal and opening both bottles at once for a side-by-side.
Staying with pale ales, Operation Jolt combines three loves of many a beer drinker – hops, coffee and funk! This 4.9% APA with Brett also features an addition of brewed coffee.
Next up, we have Baurenhofschuppen with Brett. This one started life as a Märzen, which appropriately enough is German for March Beer, but was also fermented with Brett to a final ABV of 6.6%. Expect the bready malt notes you’d usually find in a Märzen, with a funky finish from the Brett.
We also see a new twist on Wessex, the barleywine from their third release. Wessex with Brett is, you guessed it, a version of their original barleywine with an addition of Brett to add some funk that compliments the rich malt notes.
This release also sees the return of their ‘traditional farmshed ale’ Anderlect. This Trappist single-style beer is available as a two pack the features vintages 1 and 2, or as single bottles of the second release. Finally, Mean Time, their English Bitter with Brett, also makes a return. Like Anderlect, you can choose a two-pack of multiple vintages or singles of the newest release.
All beers are available for weekend deliveries within 1 hour of HRM. Contact the boys at deltaforcebrewing@gmail.com to place an order or for more info, and to be added to the mailing list and be the first to learn of when new beers are available. 

Today’s weather got you craving a rich, warming stout? Look no further than Tatamagouche Brewing’s release of Solitude, a 12.6 ABV% cognac barrel aged imperial stout. This one starts with a base of Horton Ridge Pale malt and Munich malt, with smaller additions of chocolate wheat and Caraaroma malt. To balance the sweetness from the big malt bill, Centennial hop bittering additions were added to the tune of 70 IBUs. For more sweetness and a creamy mouthfeel, lactose was used during the boil, with the final addition of Cholaca liquid cacao once fermentation was complete. The beer then spent 10 months in cognac barrels before packaging. Expect big chocolate notes, dark fruit and a notable barrel character, all balanced nicely by the higher bitterness. Solitude is available now in 500 ml bottles and also found its way into a few kegs (including one being tapped in the Tata taproom at some point in the upcoming week). If you’re looking to grab a bottle in the HRM, they should be available at Bishop’s Cellar shortly. 

New from the South Shore of Nova Scotia this week, Home Port is a pale ale that is available now from Shipwright Brewing Company. This hazy pale ale has a grain bill of Shoreline Pale, Munich and Weyermann Dark Wheat was hopped in the kettle with Citra and Loral, and dry hopped with Idaho 7. Fermented with their house Kölsch yeast, it has a great profile and should be crisp, stone-fruity and showing some great bitterness at 5.2% and 45 IBU. Only be available on tap at the brewery and for growler fills and crowlers to go. 

It may not be very Summer- (or even Spring-) like out there today in the HRM, but Cole Harbour’s North Brewing is (re-)releasing a beer that should put you in mind of better weather: Sparrow Pilsner, their classic German-style lager, is available again now at the tap room, Battery Park, and online for pickup or delivery orders. Joining it is a new package for their Strollin’ Down Baldwin Street New Zealand Grisette, now available in 6-pack 355 ml cans, perfect for one or two of the 3.0% ABV refreshers at the end of the day.

Rounding out the news this week is New Scotland Brewing in Dartmouth, who have put together a special brew for a special cause. Those familiar with New Scotland may know that they have a particular connection with Multiple Sclerosis and that they’ve released exclusive products in the past with the goal of raising $10,000 for the MS Society of Canada. This year on the brewery side they’ve brewed up a special batch of beer they’re calling All Together, an easy-drinking red ale with a graham-crackery malt character and fruit-forward hop presence from Amarillo and Galaxy hops. You’ll find this available in 4-packs at the taproom and online for pickup, local delivery, or shipping. And on the apparel side, they’ve got brand new Red Lion t-shirts and hoodies available from their online store. Says New Scotland co-founder Kevin Saccary, who brewed this beer with Mike Gillespie in February and who himself was diagnosed with MS 12 years ago, “In Atlantic Canada, we rank higher than anywhere else in the world with over 7,000 diagnosed cases. Tremendous progress is being made – and we want to keep the momentum going in the right direction. We really do believe that we can make a difference in understanding, awareness, compassion and quality of life for those affected.” We don’t know about you, but we certainly appreciate the opportunity to support a noble cause, and when that can involve beer, even better! And congratulations to the other Saccary brother, Scott, who was part of Team Nova Scotia at the 2021 Brier Cup in Calgary earlier this month!

Late addition to the blog is a new one from TrailWay that has us looking forward to spring, but available now… Brewed for JH Sports, the region’s first indoor golf center, perfect for keeping on your game while the fairways and greens take a break, Mully is a 4.0% ABV light beer brewed to be super crisp and refreshing, and perfect for a sip in between holes. On tap exclusively at JH Sports for now, it will soon be in cans, featuring a label sporting a local golf course, so you’ll be able to Take a Mully at local courses once they start opening this spring. 

The Moncton Craft Beer Week is happening March 22 – 27, with more than a dozen breweries, restaurants, and bars getting in on the fun. There are events happening all over the GMA, with the Moncton Craft Brewery Passport debuting Monday, and running all year long. CAVOK, Flying Boats, Gahan House Hub City, Holy Whale, Pump House, Tide and Boar, and Tire Shack Brewing are all taking part in this initiative, with visitors getting a stamp after they grab a pint at these taprooms, and a full passport earning an entry to win a massive prize pack. Monday evening, drop by CAVOK to Meet the Nano Brewers in the area, with the folks behind Acadie-Broue, Chockpish, Grand Monk, and O’Creek Brewing on hand with their beers pouring. Tuesday’s Yoga and Beer event at Holy Whale is sold out, but that’ll be a great chance to check out either the Mac n Cheese n Beer Restaurant Crawl or the Moncton Craft Beer Tap Takeover at The Furnace Room, both of which are running the entire week. Wednesday is busy with a Halo Donuts pop-up at Tire Shack Brewing, and then Beer Geek Trivia that evening at The Furnace Room (sadly, due to COVID restrictions, acbbchris will not be able to host this, but did send along some questions for the capable crew!). Wednesday also marks the start of the Moncton Craft Beer Tasting Menu at Clos, which runs until Saturday (RSVP here). Thursday sees another fun event with a Beer and Cheesecake pairing at Flying Boats, who are having Cheesecake Garage pop up in their space that evening. Friday is a comedy and beer evening at Pink Flamingos, Craft Beers and Laughing Tears, with the Winter Beer Garden kicking off at Euston Park earlier that day. The Beer Garden continues Saturday, which also marks Open Brewery Day, with buses taking visitors to the breweries and taprooms in the Greater Moncton Area. It is also made for hopheads at Tide & Boar Gastropub is hosting an All IPA Tap Takeover starting at noon. As you can see, there’s something for everyone who’s into beer, so be sure to check their website, Facebook, and Instagram pages for more details and take part in one or more events to celebrate the great things brewing in Moncton!

Another few job postings for you this week, breweries and beer bars looking to round out their crews for the spring and summer.

The fine people at Truro Brewing Company are looking to hire a few taproom servers for the summer. These are part time positions and no prior experience or beer expertise is required. If you’re interested please email your resume to TruroBrewCo@gmail.com

In other seasonal staffing news, Dildo Brewing is hiring kitchen Staff, taproom Servers, cashiers, and host and hostess roles. Big stuff! Included in there are cashier roles for the St. John’s store. If you’re Interested, please email your resume to dildobrewingcompany@gmail.com and specify the location you are applying to.

HopYard Hali is looking for more Front of House staff at their Gottingen Street location, perfect for the beer enthusiast, or someone interested in learning more. Fire them an email at hopyardhalifax@gmail.com with your resume to learn more and apply!

And finally today, massive congratulations to Shekara Grant on being named to the first Board of Directors of Pink Boots Society Canada! You will recognize Shekara’s name as one of the founders of the Change is Brewing Collective, who have done several beer and cider collaborations in Nova Scotia, partnering to inspire and increase representation of the BIPOC community in the industry. She is also part of the Road to 100 Initiative, led by Black Beer Chick Eugenia Brown to increase representation of Women of Colour in beer. Follow Shekara as she continues to disrupt the current beer industry, opening doors and breaking down barriers. Congratulations again, Shekara!

 

It’s been a chilly one in our region this week, but fortunately not as bad as in some other places. Even more fortunately (we think), we’re used to it and generally prepared for it, also unlike some other places. But most fortunate of all, at least for beer geeks like us, our local producers are on top of making sure we’ve got plenty of fresh and interesting beverages to see us through the dead of winter. We’ve got news from all four Atlantic Provinces to share with you this week, including big beers, little beers, boozy beers, no-boozy beers, malty beers, hoppy beers, collaboration beers, at least one cider, and more! Read on for information to inform your beer buying excursion(s) this weekend and beyond!!

Let’s kick off the week with a four-way Nova Scotian collaboration beer that, chances are, you’ll only be able to enjoy this weekend. The Old Black Forest is a German restaurant located in Lunenburg, NS, and like the rest of the hospitality industry, has been hit hard during the last 12 months. They have launched a Kickstarter Campaign to help develop their patio, extend seating, and get back up and running fully this spring. Local breweries Tanner & Co in Chester, Saltbox Brewing (through their King Street Bridgewater location), together with donated ingredients courtesy of Canadian ingredient supplier Brew Culture, each stepped up to create Hopfenweizen, a German beer and are releasing them today in support of Old Black Forest. In Chester, Tanner & Co started from their traditional German Wheat beer base, and dry-hopped it with Idaho 7. In Bridgewater, Brew Culture’s Stefan Gagliardi joined Saltbox’s Jon Rains for a small batch of the brand new Hopfenweizen, using an equal blend of IREKS Pilsner and Wheat, complemented by a touch of Melanoidin malts. Hopping was a blend of modern and traditional, just as the beer is a hybrid of the two, with Spalter Select and Hallertau Mittlefruh in the kettle (including a third of the hopping pair added during first wort. Amarillo was added at flame out, with more of the Spalter and Idaho 7 added during a double dry-hop. Using the traditional WLP300 Hefeweizen yeast, expect plenty of banana and clove throughout, with tropical pineapple, herbal, and woody notes from the Old and New World hops.

So, how can you enjoy these new beers? Well, the new beer is currently pouring at Tanner’s 59 Duke St. location, with the crew from Old Black Forest serving up brezeln and dip. After you get a couple of those into you, your designated driver can deliver you to 463 King Street in Bridgewater for 6 PM, when the Brew Culture X King Street release hits the taps. OBF will be onsite there too, slinging more brezeln & dip, as well as Schnitzel sandwiches! Every pint helps the Old Black Forest achieve their goal, and for those not able to make it down tonight, check out their Kickstarter and grab a sweet reward for a meal or special night in the spring/summer.

From one collaboration to another, Port Rexton Brewing teamed up with St John’s Alpine Country Lodge to release Fresh Tracks in celebration of 27 years in business. This American Pale Ale features a classic malt-forward grain and cracker character, hopped up with a solid bitterness and a great citrus and piney hop bite. And at only 4.0% ABV, you won’t get too lost if you imbibe while on the trail! You can grab it in Port Rexton at the Foodex, several Marie’s Mini Marts, as well as PR’s online shop for curbside pick up in town. This new beer joins Happy Little Clouds, a new release that hit the shelves last week (oops!), a slightly sour, fruit-forward Pale Ale. Tons of dry-hopping in here for an ester overload with white wine grapes, peach, nectarine and apricot. The 4.6% beer is low in bitterness, so ready to be enjoyed in quantity. Keep an eye out for it at your favourite shop in town and off the Avalon, and also online.

The near-beer / low alcohol beer trend continues to gain momentum in our region. We are all for breweries providing tasty and locally made options for those seeking these products. The latest comes from Borden Carleton’s Lone Oak Brewing Co. with their release of Noble. Taking its name from the ‘noble experiment’ that was prohibition, this ultra light pale ale comes in at 0.7% ABV. Oats were added to the grain bill to boost mouthfeel followed by additions of Columbus and Simcoe hops. The lack of alcohol also keeps the calories lower, with one pint equaling out to about 65 calories. Head to the brewery to try this one out today. And those in town are well-advised to head to John Browne on Richmond, as Lone Oak has taken over the taps there this weekend, with Noble and their Anniversary releases also pouring.

If you haven’t had your fill of Tatamagoodness™ recently, Tatamagouche Brewing is back with three exciting releases. 

First up is Šero, a Czech dark lager and cousin to the previously released German dark lager, Dusk. Malt forward, with a grain bill based primarily on a Pilsner/Munich blend with CaraMunich and CaraAroma, a dash of Carafa capped the mash during recirculation (vorlauf) to get that rich brown color. Using characteristic Saaz hops to the tune 25 IBU, this 5.1% lager is a wonderful malt showcase that is slightly bitter, sweet and very crisp and clean. 

Sticking with lagers (yes please!), Pausa Pranzo is an Italian Pilsner named after the prolonged Italian lunch break. With a base malt of Weyermann Pilsner malt and hopped to 35 IBU with Saaz, Mittlefruh and Callista (and a small Callista dry hop to boot!), we get a pronounced bitterness to this 5% Pils. Both Pausa Pranzo and Sero are available today in cans and growlers from the brewery and kegs are also heading out to tap accounts around HRM.

Third in this week’s release train is Collusion a 7.9% Double IPA. With 85% pale malt from Horton Ridge, the other 15% is made up of chit malt, oats and wheat. The extensive hop bill starts with Nugget for bittering, Cascade and Centennial late additions and Citra, Mosaic and Incognito in the whirlpool before a dry hop of MORE Citra and Mosaic. This one is truly packed with hops and you can safely expect it to be full bodied, bright and refreshing with low bitterness. Kegs are available today at Stillwell, Battery Park and HopYard in HRM, but will only be canned next week. 

Village Green by Modern Brewer in Cornwall, PE, have been gearing up for their tap takeover next weekend at HopYard Charlottetown by releasing a couple of new beers. First on the docket is a classic English ale that’s one of the most sessionable beer styles in existence. Village Green’s Dark Mild doesn’t have a creative name, but it represents all that is good about the style: the marriage of English malts and hops to produce a very low 3% ABV and gentle 15 IBU but still carrying plenty of flavor and balance of bitterness and body to invite another sip. Perfect for those evenings when you want to keep your whistle wet but not wake up wondering who drove a bulldozer through your brain the night before. This one is draught-only for now so you’re limited to pints on site and fills; best to bring your own (clean) growler, though, as they’re running out!

Also on the go this week is their new Hazy IPA. Brewed with Pilsner malt and malted wheat for a light color and body, it was hopped in the kettle with “heaps” of Chinook, Centennial, and Citra, before being hit hard with a dry hop of Simcoe and Amarillo. It might take more than a few sips to decide which is more potent, the hop aroma or the hop flavor! You can expect notes of ripe stone fruit, pithy citrus, and hop resin backed by a firm bitterness in this 6.8% ABV and “all the IBUs” beer. There were a few cans of this one around last Friday when the beer was released, but we would advise that you don’t bank on those having survived until now, so you’ll be limited (for now) to having a pint in the taproom or bringing a growler in for a fill. 

Did we say two new beers? We was wrong (again)!! Turns out they’ve got yet another new one up and on tap starting today. Lagered Ale is just that, a beer fermented warm-ish with a top-fermenting yeast strain, before being given a nice cool conditioning period at lager temperatures. Brewed with continental Pilsner malt, along with some flaked corn and Carapils, it was hopped exclusively with the classic German hop, Perle throughout the boil. Arriving at 5.8% ABV and 20 IBU, you can expect this to be a crispy and refreshing beverage while carrying a touch more body and sweetness than a true lager. Look for it on tap at Village Green today where you can order it for a pint or bring a growler for a fill (or maybe bring a few so that you can try the Dark Mild and/or the Hazy IPA too). We’ve also been led to believe there’s a couple more releases coming this week in advance of the HY takeover, so keep your eye on their SM (Fb/Ig/Tw) for early details! Rest assured, though, we’ll have the relevant info along with a full taplist for the takeover next Friday.

Never a brewery to shy away from new releases, 2 Crows is back with another new one that will follow you into the dark. Pimedus is an 8.8% Baltic Porter coming out today. We’re going deep (deep!) into the nerdy details here, so we’ll start with an easy one: Pimedus is the Estonian word for darkness, to pay tribute to the three states along the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Starting with a single decoction mash using a base of Weyermann Munich I, Pilsner, Carafa II, Crystal 65, Extra Special Malt and a touch of Chocolate malt, it saw late hop additions of Tettnanger and EKG join the fray before a low, slow, and cool fermentation with German lager yeast. Naturally carbonated using a spunding process (in contrast to their normal krausening regime for lagers), this was lagered for 7 weeks and then packaged into 355mL cans (hooray for single servings of big beers!).

The flavour should be very smooth and clean, with some nice roasted notes and a bit of toasted marshmallow. The brew team are very happy with the soft carbonation and it comes in at 33 IBU. Pick this one up directly from 2 Crows, or get it shipped from them to get your hands on them. A few cans may be going to other retail locations as well. 

Many of us have been inside of our hooms for almost a year now and it’s about time someone named a beer appropriately! The Middle English name for “home” is “hoom” and Big Spruce is releasing Hoom is Where the Heart Is, an English Bitter. They’re paying homage to the traditional local brewing in England when beer and brewing would be a practice of getting barley and hops from the fields around one’s home. Nyanza’s finest kept this theme for this beer, using Horton Ridge’s Organic Pale Malt for 40% of the grist and the spoils of their own hop yard for 100% of the hops. Challenger, Goldings and Fuggles bring the floral flavour with bitterness to this ale. Traditionally easy to drink, this beer is only available in kegs and firkins, with no cans or bottles from this batch. Sounds like we’ll all have to head to Nyanza to get this one or look for it at one Big Spruce’s tap accounts. 

Down Wolfville way, Annapolis Cider Company has a new entry in their Something Different series that they teased on social media the other week. Haskap and Cardamom is a pretty self-explanatory name for this sparkling cider that features notes of dried berries from haskap juice, citrus aromatics from green cardamom pods and a solid tannic structure thanks to the base apple cider. Ruby red in color, it was blended with fresh juice yielding a medium-bodied tipple that weighs in at 7.7% ABV. As with all entries in the Something Different series, $0.50 from each refill sold at the cidery goes to a charitable cause, this time it’s the Acadia University BLM/TRC (Black Lives Matter/Truth and Reconciliation Commission) Awards. You can learn more about these awards here.

News from Fredericton has brought reports of a first from Trailway, as they are releasing their first Sour IPA ever! Threads is an exciting release for a style that combines soft and juicy hops with some tartness. The base beer was kettle soured to a moderately tart pH and then handed over to typical IPA brewing and hopping rate, packed with Strata, Citra and Idaho 7. The resulting flavour should be a refreshing, tart 5.5% IPA with notes of citrus zest and peach. This is available in 473ml cans directly from the brewery, so stop by or order online!

Despite the local lockdown measures, Quidi Vidi Brewery is doing it’s best to keep beer drinkers of the Avalon Peninsula happy and hydrated with the release of two new beers this week! First up is their take on a Rye IPA. Coming in at 6.6% ABV, expect citrusy notes, a mild rye spiciness and a clean bitterness to finish. Next up is a 5.2% ABV American Pale Ale. Expect more tropical hop aromas to compliment a significant malt backbone. Check out QV’s webstore for more details on how to get your hands on these limited releases. They are currently doing curbside pickup seven days/week and home deliveries from Thursday to Saturday. 

Up in Bathurst, Four Rivers Brewing has a few new offerings out and upcoming. First up is the Vanilla Rum Porter. Expect aromas of caramel and vanilla, complemented by coffee and dark chocolate on the palate. At only 4.5% ABV and 30 IBU, it packs plenty of flavour in a completely quaffable package. Four Rivers has been busy lately, also releasing a British Mild and Extra Special Bitter. And keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming release of Raglan Red, their take on a red ale.

It’s Cask Night in Moncton again! Tire Shack Brewing has a potent treat on the bartop today, the perfect remedy to these cold days and nights. Starting with a base of their already-chock-full-of-flavour 11.9% Russian Imperial Stout, they added Arbol chilis in a pin of it for about 4 weeks. The resultant beer is full-on spicy dark chocolate, and sounds perfect to us on a day like today! And even better is that the OG RIS, Into The Void, is available on tap currently as well, for the very necessary comparison, or maybe to do some blending for science! Expect more experiments in this theme are coming soon, watch this space!

Just one more event to tell you about this week. Stay safe and wear a mask!

Bar Stillwell’s annual Belgianfest is coming next weekend, February 27 and 28. From 12 to 10 PM daily (COVID == early closure times), they’ll be sharing the best and brightest beers from one of the most beer-centric European countries. And with all non-essential travel halted for the last year, this will be the only way most of us have to drink something fresh from Belgium for a while! Lambics not seen before in the region, plus modern and cutting edge styles too. Belgian food is on the table, natch, featuring the country’s famous croquettes, moules frites (aka mussels and fries), Liege waffles, and some cheese to pair with your favourite draught or bottle pour. No reservations for this event, so do be sure to arrive early to avoid seating (and beer) disappointments. Check this post for a tease of what’s to come.

 

Oh hey, it’s February already! Or should that be, “it’s February, FINALLY?” Depending on which side of that you come down on, we think it calls for a celebratory and/or therapeutic beer! And wouldn’t you know it, our breweries and cideries in the region are all ready to bring some new (or perhaps just new to you) libations this week. We’ve got a little bit from every province this week, but we’ll start it off in New Brunswick, who seem to have mostly turned the corner on the latest wave of COVID restrictions and are largely back to threat level orange.

A bit of news out of Hanwell’s finest (no offence to the golf course!), Niche Brewing is here with a tasty new release and a fresh batch of a not-so-old favourite. First up, not to be outdone by the massive New England IPAs from last week, On My Way is a hoppy beer out today! This New England IPA is hopped with two of our favourite hops, Galaxy and Citra. Added late in the boil and in the whirlpool, we also get a massive addition of Citra after fermentation for some delectable dry hopping with that lovely amazing aroma. This 6.5% NEIPA brings delicious citrus and grapefruit notes on the palate and orange notes through the flavour and aroma. This will be available in kegs at some of the main Niche establishments (The Joyce, Uncorked, Cask & Kettle and Peppers Pub). And for those lucky enough to be within Bar Stillwell’s reach, they’ve got In Other Words NEAPA with Galaxy, Mosaic, and Sabro pouring now!

Secondly, the tasty barrel-aged tropical fruit saison is back! A new batch of Pau Hana will be released over the next week, with a few tweaks from the original release. This Chardonnay barrel-aged beer keeps the same barrel with the same house culture, but instead of pink-guava and pineapple, this batch was conditioned on passionfruit puree. The first one was 5.8% and 500ml bottles of this will be at ANBL stores and some other places around Fredericton/Sussex/Saint John. 

Chester’s Tanner & Co. is expanding their hours again, which is very good news for you thirsty beer lovers in the area! Their taproom will now be open Wednesday to Sunday, and they have a brand new beer available to celebrate, and it’s their first kettle sour brewed on a large scale. Simply named Sour IPA, it was brewed with Maris Otter, Vienna, and Munich malts, along with a small amount of wheat and oats to help build up the body. After souring, the wort was hopped with several additions of an experimental South African variety, KJA2/436 (someone get this hop a real name, STAT!). While the hop may not exactly be music to your ears, it’s giving this beer lovely aromas and flavours of “lemon zest, papaya, cantaloupe and gooseberries, as well as grapefruit rind and a bit of rosewater.” Sounds nice, no? Bottles are available now at the taproom, and can be ordered online as well (order before midnight Thursday for a Friday delivery, between Bridgewater and Halifax).

Not to be outdone on the fruited sour IPA front, Bannerman Brewing in downtown St. John’s has brought one of their own out this week that they’re describing as, “a big, bold glass of juice.” Early Morning started with plenty of dry-hopped Citra and Sabro for those orange-y citrus and tropical coconut vibes, it also features lots of mango and pomegranate as well as a touch of lactose to ensure some balancing body. Part of a balanced breakfast*, it sounds like this one was pretty popular, with the cans selling out rather quickly, but there’s still a chance you’ll find this one available at the brewery for pints on site and growler fills for your drinking elsewhere needs. And if you’re intrigued but missed this batch, do let the brewery know you hope they make another!

* Depending on your definitions of both “balanced” and “breakfast” but also we’re absolutely not judging anyone.

Moving back into New England IPA territory, O’Creek Brewing has a new brew of their favourite style hitting taps this weekend. Outback IPA is your classic O’Creek beer, a super hazy, yellow-coloured beer with a whole whack of tropical and dank flavours thanks to multiple additions of Australian varieties, including Galaxy, Enigma, and Vic Secret. The grist of 2-row, wheat malt, flaked oats and Carapils keeps the hops front and centre where they belong, with the bitterness being quite low thanks to the hop additions being concentrated in the whirlpool and dry-hop. It weighs in at 6.2% ABV, and can be found first at Fredericton’s The Joyce Pub this weekend. 

Over at Lunn’s Mill, they’ve brought back a beverage that we haven’t seen in over a year, and this time it’s available in cans! It’s a Double IPA they’ve named 2×4, and it was brewed with “a sturdy base” that includes some rye malt, for those of you who are craving a bit of that spicy character that the malt can sometimes impart in a beer (paging Tony Important!). Double-dry-hopped with hefty amounts of four different varieties, you’ll notice notes of “resin, orange pith, tropical fruit, and pine” to go along with the big, 8% ABV. You can find it pouring for pints and growler fills at the brewery’s taproom in Lawrencetown, and as mentioned it’s also available in cans for takeaway. 

Flip-flopping back to New Brunswick, where Long Bay Brewing continues their trend of one-off beer releases with Maiden Voyage, their latest. Brewed with a grist made up of Pilsner malt and flaked wheat, it features a large addition of Strata hops in the whirlpool. Lots of bright hop flavours come through with this beer, with their goal being to create a beer that was a “thin-bodied, easy to drink New England style Pale Ale”. It comes in at 5.7% ABV, on the higher end for a Pale Ale, and about 40 IBUs. Grab it on tap at Long Bay’s taproom; it’ll also be pouring at a number of bars and restaurants across the province over the weekend. 

Winter is finally here (maybe?) and we all love our tasty stouts, don’t we? Maybe not, but if you are among those who do, our friends at Propeller have delivered some supply for that demand with S’Mores Imperial Dessert Stout. This limited edition Imperial Stout features roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla beans and lactose to bring that s’mores flavour of sweet, toasty and chocolate treats. This one comes in cans (and at 9% ABV) and is available today at the Prop Shops, in addition to the local HRM private stores.

We also have more info on Propeller’s gruit we teased last week, now that it has been released (and we believe still available). In the grand tradition of historic beers it forgoes hops in place of herbs and botanicals to offer a balance to the malt sweetness, Gruit Ale features sweet fern (foraged by Production Manager Aeneas in Hubbards) and bog myrtle primarily, which lend an earthy aroma, as well as herbal spicy notes and a touch of bitterness. An addition of rose hips imparts some berry esters on the nose. And while a touch of hops were used in the beer for boil stability, the botanicals are certainly the star of the show. The 5.0% brew is available in all three Prop Shops (and online for delivery) in 500 mL bottles.

And big congratulations to the Propeller Arcade who celebrated (safely) their Second Anniversary last weekend. Their recent expansion continues to grow as they bring in more ticket-dispensing games in the second bar area, as well as cycling through more than twenty pinball and cabinet arcade games new and old. 

Tusket Falls Brewing has released a new experimental beer on tap at the brewery, Pina Colada Gose. We’re pretty sure you know what to expect from this one from the name, but hey, we’ll tell you anyway! Or, more accurately, the brewery will: “An initial blast of toasted coconut on the nose, followed by ripe pineapple and citrusy lime”… <checks pina colada info sheet>… yep, checks out. It also has a tartness to it, naturally, which balances the tropical character quite nicely. Pretty big beer, especially for a Gose, at 7.5% ABV, so approach it accordingly! 

Two all-weekend events to tell you about, from sibling HopYard bars in Charlottetown (on Charlottetown? I can never remember) and Halifax: firstly, continuing their first anniversary celebrations from last week, Borden-Carleton’s Lone Oak Brewing has taken over the taps at HopYard Charlottetown, with 9 beers and 1 cider of theirs a-flowin’. Their pals from the Wheelhouse in Georgetown are doing a food pop-up in the space this evening, 4 – 10 PM, with Trivia with Dan & Spencer starting at 8 PM. Due to COVID restrictions, making a reso (902-367-2599) is the way to go… And at HopYard Halifax, they are welcoming a pair of producers from Wolfville to take over their taps starting today. Covering the beer bases is Church Brewing, who are bringing a handful of their flavourful beers, reinvigorated under new Head Brewer Steve Crane. Fellow Main Street business Annapolis Cider Company are also bringing their A (for Apple) game, with a bevy of bevvies available for enjoyment all weekend long. (Give them a shout to book your table too! 902-444-2467)

A few more newsbites and important links to check out before we leave you today. Hope you have a SUPER weekend!

A quick shout out to Annapolis Royal, where the local theatre is celebrating their 100th year. Annapolis Brewing has released a 4-pack of King’s Theatre Centennial Cream Ale in honour of the great milestone. Available only in 4 packs directly from the brewery, $3 from every 4-pack is donated directly to the theatre.

As teased last week, Ol’ Biddy’s has brought back Kicked in the Hops, a 7.7% ABV, heavily-hopped DIPA that has “intense hop flavours with aromas of pine, and tropical and citrus fruits.” Available on tap only, you can find it right now at the brewery for pints and growlers. 

We reported last week that Tatamagouche Brewing had re-released Baltic Porter, originally from their Giant Beer Series. This week, they’re following up with another favourite from the series, Russian Imperial Stout. Dark, rich, and roasty, with flavours of chocolate and coffee, it is indeed big at 8.5% ABV. Perfect for sipping on a cold winter’s night, and a beer style that will age beautifully, grab your bottles at the brewery today.

We leave you today with news from our friends Change is Brewing Collective, who made the trip down the South Shore to Shelburne this week, brewing a collaborative beer at Boxing Rock Brewing. While details on that release are a closely guarded secret until its debut Feb 27, we wanted to highlight another important reason for their trip. The Collective is supporting BIPOC South Shore in their work to create a Retreat and Learning Centre to be located in Birchtown. Incorporating 8 acres of forest, waterfront, and trails, it also includes a stone wall and house foundations likely belonging to original Black settlers of the area, whose history dates back more than 200 years. The Centre will host retreats and learning workshops, classes, and events, led by, and for, BIPOC and 2SLGBTQ+ communities. You can learn more and take part by contributing to their GoFundMe fundraising effort.