HopYard

All posts tagged HopYard

Great news to lead off today, as Newfoundland & Labrador have loosened restrictions to COVID Level 2, which allows restaurants and taprooms to open for in-person dining and imbibing. Be sure to support (safely) those breweries and great beer bars and restos in whatever way you can, as they surely have had a tough few months. With the recent flare-up in Northwestern NB, we know forward progress can be taken away in a moment. We’re still feeling cautiously optimistic about April 19th, with the probable re-inflation of the Atlantic Bubble. Wear a mask and take care of yourself and others. 🧡

Halifax’s Good Robot Brewing has a brand new release this week, which comes with a mystery they’d love to learn more about. Abigail Price was a widowed free Black Woman who immigrated by boat from New York to Shelburne in 1783, her name appearing in The Book of Negroes. 10 years later, she had a home built on her land in Tusket, where she lived for some 20 years, before selling the property in 1816. After the sale, she moved on, and her life afterward is currently lost from the history books. Today, that property is known as The Hatfield House, an award-winning restaurant. 

Chelsea B teamed up with local journalist (and beer enthusiast) Evelyn C White to develop the recipe and brew Abigail Was Here, a beer to honour Price’s legacy. Light amber and a touch hazy in appearance, this 5.9% ABV Saison was lightly hopped with Lemon Drop, before an extra helping of lemon zest and juice, in addition to a touch of blueberry extract to round out the fruit character. A Saison yeast offers a bit of clove spiciness. The beer’s label was designed by Brent Braaten and Sara Panchaud, and drew inspiration from the earliest photograph available of the original house, as Abigail Price may have left it 200 years ago. The beer is available on tap at the brewery, and in cans to take away or for home delivery.

Tatamagouche Brewing has a new beer designed and brewed by brewer Chad Ellis in a somewhat uncommon style for our region. Black Flower is an American Stout coming in at 5.5% ABV and Chad did his best to lean into the “aggressively hopped” aspect of the style and leveraging American varieties. Starting with some Triple Pearl from HOOH (Harvesters of Organic Hops) in BC that he describes as featuring, “some cool vanilla/black tea aromas,” he blended in some “really resinous” Centennial from local hop farm Wicked Hops in Stewiacke, NS. Completing the hop picture is classic Cascade. With a firm bitterness of 55 IBU established, most of the hops were added in the whirlpool, which should give plenty of hop aroma and flavor showing. On the grist side of things, Horton Ridge pale, some caramel malts (but not too much), and a “punchy” blend of dark malts that included barley, rye, and wheat provide balance to all those hops with roasty, chocolate, and coffee notes. Fermented with S-04 yeast, a British strain, but well-suited to the style, the resulting beer has plenty of citrus peel character, especially on the aroma, with similar flavors as well as dark chocolate, black coffee, and caramel. This one is debuting in cask-conditioned (aka naturally carbonated) firkins at the Stillwell Freehouse in the next few days, with kegs and cans coming to Tatmagouche and licensees next week. Don’t forget you can order online as well, for delivery across Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada.

If you’re feeling that Island life and the warm weather has got you in a tropical mood, Copper Bottom brings a new release available today. Field Trip: Pink Guava is their latest in a series with an eye on experimentation, unconventional and unpredictable, which tend to be tart and fruity. This iteration brings a kettle soured with a grain bill of Shoreline two-row and wheat, a bit of Warrior hops and then a lot of pink guava puree added after the kettle souring. This is available in cans today at 5.0% and it will only be available online and in their taproom, with a few choice Charlottetown accounts. If you’re around the taproom, pop in for some live music and an expanded menu to celebrate the release, with Nick Doneff starting the tunes at 5 PM this afternoon. That expanded menu, btw, has several items curated by the fine folks at HopYard, and still includes the great Handpie Company offerings, picnic baskets, and small snacks, joined by the new epic Spinach Dip, Sausage Roll, and Pepperoni and Veggie Flatbreads. 

We would also like to congratulate the team at Copper Bottom for winning the Excellence in Adaptation & Resiliency Award last night at the Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce President’s Excellence Awards. This award recognizes a business that has shown resilience in the face of adversity by introducing or improving a product/service to better fit the new environment caused by COVID-19. Congrats to the great team there and we’re happy to have been lucky enough to enjoy your fine brews over the last year. 

Rolling right into the same awards ceremony, Upstreet Brewing also took home some hardware, picking up the Workplace Excellence Award at the same Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce awards noted above. This award is given to an organization that, through its innovative human resource practices, provides employees with a positive, healthy and productive workplace. Things are upbeat at Upstreet and we know you’re worthy recipients!

This sounds like the perfect time for a new release, so they’re back with Neon Friday 3.04 New England IPA. First released in November 2020, they’ve tweaked the recipe ever so slightly, to enhance the smooth hop finish with notes of stone fruit and cherries. Still plenty (more, even!) Cashmere, Citra, Mosaic, and Sabro, they adjusted the timing of those additions, along with changes to the water and grain bill to enhance the haze and head retention. Still at 6.5%, this is available in cans and on tap at Craft Beer Corner, their Taproom and online for island wide delivery. And those in HRM/Nova Scotia should see it in the private stores soon. And no spilling the beans just yet, but fans of their Rewind Seltzer take note, as well as those who are digging their Libra line of <1% ABV beers…

Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing is saying “So Long” (well, “See You Later”) to their Aussie-hopped Dunder Pale Ale, and bringing in a brand new year-round Pale Ale. Day’s Done is a 5.0% ABV American Pale Ale, that features a hop bill of Cascade and Mosaic, but used judiciously in a well balanced and easy-drinking beer. A medium body and soft mouthfeel from the malt bill (mostly Canadian Pilsner) support the hops in this golden ale. Available on tap and in cans at the brewery now, as well as for shipping across Atlantic Canada and Ontario.

You can help them Hooroo to Dunder for the rest of the week by grabbing a pint or growler fill at the brewery, for just $5 or $10, taxes in. Also, for those looking for something in the fermented seltzer vein, best grab their Bubbly seltzer quick before it goes away. They’re not getting out of the Seltzer game completely, as TW will be back with a less-cease-and-desisty name and brand soon.

The team at North Brewing Company is giving us an early taste of summer with their release of Mango Mango, their take on the Fruited IPA style. This one starts off as a west-coast style IPA featuring Lotus and Mosaic hops. It was then referented on 200 lbs of mango pureé (the Totapuri variety of mango from India and Sri Lanka to be exact). 473 ml cans are available now through North’s two retail locations and for delivery through their webstore. You can also find it on tap now at North’s Portland Street taproom and Battery Park. In other exciting news, North posted a teaser on social media this week about their new, third location! Online sleuths quickly identified the location as the Brunello Estates neighborhood in Timberlea. We’ll have more news in the coming weeks on what is sure to be a great addition to the BLT area. 

Although no brewery puts out a new beer every single week of the year, some breweries do seem to aspire to it, which brings us, of course, to 2 Crows in Halifax. Fans of the brewery (and fruited sours) are no doubt familiar with Jamboree, a regular in the 2C lineup, and this week the gang on Brunswick is releasing a sibling beer they’re calling Jubilee. Built on a similar grist of Pilsner, malted wheat, raw wheat and some flaked oats, no hops were added to the boil. Souring was accomplished with Lactobacillus plantarum after which the wort was fermented at high temperature with the Ebbengarden Kveik strain. Post-fermentation it saw fruit, and not a little bit of it: 440 lbs of blackberry puree and 270 lbs of apricot were added to a 2,400 L batch!. After giving those extra sugars time to ferment out, the batch was dry hopped with a little bit of Bru-1 hops. The result is not unlike a smoothie, according to the brewery, as it’s, “fruity, lush, thick, and purple,” and not super sour, but, “kinda tart.” Also of note is that this beer was soured post-boil, so the bacteria used to sour are still alive; this implies that there could be a little bit of aging potential for this one, although probably not super long term as it’s only 4.8% ABV. You can find it at the brewery packaged in cans for a pint or grab some to go, or you can order on-line for delivery.

What better to celebrate Newfoundland and Labrador’s return to Level 2 than the release of a new beer!? On the west-coast, you’ll find the newest offering from Crooked Feeder Brewing Co. Powder Keg is a Cream Ale brewed with Escarpement Lab’s KRISPY Kveik yeast. Developed in collaboration with local outdoor outfitter Rugged Edge, Powder Keg comes in at 4.5% and is currently available on tap and in 500 ml bottles at the Crooked Feeder Gastropub in Corner Brook. 

Cornwall’s Village Green has not one, not two, but three new beers on tap this weekend. First up is their take on a Belgian-Style Tripel. Brewed in January to allow for sufficient conditioning, Tripel was made using Pilsner malt and Perle hops. At 9.4% ABV, it’s the strongest beer made by VIllage Green to date and is currently available in 5 oz pours at the taproom. Keep an eye out for a canned release of Tripel shortly. Next up is Hazy Pale Ale. This one started with two-row, malted wheat and a touch of crystal malt, along with Warrior hops for bittering. The beer was then hit with auditions of Amarillo, Centennial and Citra in the whirlpool and as a dry hop. Expect notes of candied citrus and spruce needs in this 5.8% hazy ale. Finally, for something on the maltier side, keep an eye out for their take on a Brown Ale, also being released at the taproom this weekend.

The Altbier style has been gaining in popularity in our region, with more breweries in the region producing examples of the beer that originated in Düsseldorf, Germany. Annapolis Brewing Company is the latest to release their take on style. Coming in at 5% ABV and 42 IBU, Altbier pours a dark copper colour with a moderate noble hop aroma. Expect malt notes of biscuit and caramel, nicely balanced by the hop bitterness. Altbier is available for pints and growler fills now at the taproom in Annapolis Royal.

Lots of fun news coming out of Moncton this week, as Tire Shack Brewing has a few exciting things on the go. 

First up, they have a special cask release tonight with 20L of their Russian Imperial Stout that has been sitting in cask for 4 months and filled it with cubes of Hungarian Oak to simulate the effects of barrel aging. The oaky flavours should come through and is definitely worth trying if you’re in the neighbourhood, but even if you’re not, it is worth the trip! It’s a doozy at 11.9% ABV, so tread carefully and have a pal take care of transportation! That way you can also enjoy… 

A new release also graces Tire Shack today, they have a Blueberry-Vanilla Milkshake IPA available now. Using Ahtanum hops for a lemony-spicy kick, the sweetness and blueberry come on the finish for an interesting release. This is available today for enjoyment onsite in pints and flights, and in growlers to go, and at just 4.5% ABV, you can certainly enjoy a couple in these warmer evenings. And if we play our cards right, there may be some cans coming in the next few days!

Lastly in some cool news, they’ve extended their Halo donut collaboration through the weekend for Moncton Craft Beer Week. They have two awesome donuts featuring some of their beers. The first features Secret Society Stout icing with Sunny Brae Coffee espresso crumble. The second donut is loaded with Parts N Labour IPA icing with lime zest. Pairing them with their parent beers in the taproom is highly recommended, though they will also be available to go from Halo’s spot at 110 St-George (open 12 – 6 PM all weekend, though no guarantee the donuts won’t sell out earlier!). Lots of great news from Tire Shack and worthy of heading out this weekend if you’re able. 

Speaking of Moncton Craft Beer Week, it wraps up tomorrow with a couple of special events.

Open Brewery Day is happening tomorrow, with free shuttle buses running a loop between connecting the downtown core, Riverview, and Dieppe, with stops along the way. From 11 AM – 5 PM, start your visits at any one of these spots and get a headstart on your Moncton Craft Beer Passport… The first bus leaves at 11:30 in this order, with the others leaving every 15 minutes: CAVOK Brewing (perfect place to grab some Acadie-Broue, Chockpish, and O’Creek), Flying Boats, Pump House Fill Station, Tire Shack Brewing, Tide & Boar Brewing, Holy Whale Beer Hall (just a 30 min walk Celtic Knot), completing the loop at City Hall in the downtown core (quick walk to Gahan Hub City, Pump House, and Tide & Boar Gastropub).

Speaking of Tide & Boar, they are hosting an All IPA Tap Takeover Saturday, with 14 hoppy beauts from the GMA pouring all day long, plus a secret IPA flight, and if you can correctly guess the identity of the beers, you’ll be entered in a draw for a $50 T&B gift card.

And today and tomorrow are your last chances to take part in the Beer Tasting Menu at Clos, the Spring Beer Garden at Euston Park, and the Mac & Cheese & Beer Restaurant Crawl.

In more great news from Newfoundland being at Level 2, if you’re not able to make it there, you can pop down to Stillwell on Saturday for your own fresh sips of Bannerman Brewing! Your fine purveyors of the good stuff bring six fresh pops from the St. John’s brewery. They’ll be open at Noon on Saturday and joining the six draft pours will be fried fish sandwiches flying out of the kitchen. Check out the full tap list below:

Early Rise – Dry-hopped sour w/ lactose, mango, pomegranate – 6.5%
Eclipse IPA – 7%
After Hours DIPA – 8%
Hill O Sips American IPA – 6.8%
Counter Productive Oatmeal Stout – 6%
Better Watch Out Barleywine – 9.5%

Speaking of Stillwell, they are looking for a Few Good Folks to join their Beergarden staff (yup, it’s that time of year!). Experienced Beer- and Food-tenders should apply by email at yo@barstillwell.com.

The job postings keep flowing as Bannerman is looking to add a few new people to their team. In the kitchen, they are looking for a Prep/Line Cook, as well as an Events Manager. In their words, “We’re looking for an energetic, organized individual to take on our ever growing event space. Experience is a must.” If you’re interested, please drop them a line with your resume to info@bannermanbrewing.com

We mentioned Village Green’s new releases already, but they are also looking to grow their team with the additions of a Trainee Brewer and part-time Beer Servers at the taproom. They are accepting resumes at villagegreenpei@gmail.com, or if you’re in the area, drop by the taproom for more info. 

In Southern New Brunswick, Hampton Brewing is preparing for the May opening of their brewery and taproom at the Fire Fly Forest Recreation area just outside of Hampton, and they are looking to hire a full-time Server. Thriving in a fast-paced work environment, and creating a great experience for those who drop by for pints or beer-to-go, the right candidate will have the opportunity to grow with the brewery. Send them an email (hamptonbrewingco@gmail.com) by April 2nd with your resume and “Taproom Server” in the subject line, and you can check out the full posting here.

Now that we’ve got you up to date with all of the latest news, how about some more beer stuff for your ears while you drink some beer this afternoon? The fellas from the 902 BrewCast are back on the mics this month after a bit of a break, and are getting you up to speed with what’s new in their beer universe, and answered questions about every little thing from their loyal listeners. Check your podcatcher for the latest ep, or go direct to the source here!

 

Seeing as how we’re running a little behind, most folks reading this will already be past the halfway point on their last Friday of February, which in a normal year would feel like enough of an accomplishment in our region, but where March will also mark an entire year of pandemic, it feels even more like something to celebrate. Fortunately, there’s lots to tell you about this week in regards to boozy beverages in our region that can help you with any celebrations you choose to do. With community spread in evidence, folks in NS are encouraged to consider the possibility that we may see some tightening up of the restrictions again in the coming week and to add that to the factors that inform their purchasing this weekend. Producers in all four provinces are doing a great job making their products available through responsible means, whether that’s Atlantic-, province-, or local area-wide shipping, curbside pickup, or socially distanced retail. We’re all for rewarding that consideration and effort whenever possible and helping all these breweries, cideries, and meaderies survive to see the end of this madness!

The Change is Brewing Collective is launching their 5th collaborative product this weekend, partnering with Boxing Rock in Shelburne to release Back to Birchtown, a 6.4% ABV Old Stock Ale. Amber in colour, this is a modern take on what may have been available during the days of the Black Loyalists who settled in the region – malty and smooth now, and designed to stand up to aging quite well. The beer is being debuted at the Boxing Rock Taproom at 218 Water Street in Shelburne, with the event kicking off at noon on Saturday, February 27th. Members of Change is Brewing will be joined by Emily Tipton of Boxing Rock, Sheila Scott of the Black Loyalist Heritage Society, Vanessa Hartley of SEED Shelburne, Lauryn Guest of the Buy Black Birchtown Campaign, to learn about their groups’ history and future. All proceeds from the collaboration are being donated in support of Change is Brewing and the Black Loyalist Heritage Society.

Due to COVID restrictions, reserving a seat in advance is required, 902-875-2282. And for those not able to join in person, the event will be live-streamed through the Collective’s Instagram and Facebook pages, so be sure to tune in! Those in attendance are invited to visit the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre in nearby Birchtown, who are opening their doors that afternoon, 2 – 4 PM. The beer can also be ordered today on the Boxing Rock webstore, where the full package includes a fabric mask commemorating the collaborative brew, and a ticket for entry to the Heritage Centre to be used in the future.

Don’t forget that this is also the last week to donate to Change is Brewing in their support of BIPOC South Shore’s “Buy Black Birchtown” campaign, in support of an 8-acre Retreat and Learning Centre in the community, a place for people of colour to “rest, resist, and organize for Black liberation and Indigenous sovereignty”. They are ¾ of the way to their goal of raising $20,000 (as of publishing), which has allowed the CiBCollective to become full members in the Centre, and sponsor membership for two more groups, working towards a third, before the end of February. If you have the means to donate, or just want to learn more, please check this link.

First opening their brewery and retail space in 2019, Smokehouse Nano Brewery has now opened a taproom in the heart of Berwick, Nova Scotia. Located at 134 Union Street, the taproom and retail spot is open from noon daily, closing at 6PM Sunday through Thursday, and 8PM Wednesday through Saturday. A full dozen beers are on tap for enjoyment in house, with most available in growlers or cans to go once you’ve chosen your favourites. One of those favourites may be Noonan’s Pride, a 4.2% ABV Dry Irish Stout, featuring massive coffee flavour and aroma, with a smooth mouthfeel and dry finish. Sadly, due to its small batch size, this one is an in-house-only treat! Smokehouse’s website social media (Fb/Ig) has their latest offerings, perfect to get you salivating now!

With several successful breweries and cideries already present on Prince Edward Island, it was only a matter of time before somebody got the mead bug (bee? Hah!). And while we don’t have our finger on the pulse so much with honey beverages, we did manage to notice the opening of Horns of Odin Craft Brewery on St. Peter’s Road in Mount Stewart (sharing a building with the Bedford Irving). Owner Chuck Gallison decided to start the business after a fateful trip to Iceland a few years ago, and as you may be able to tell from the name, he’s very much aware of the connection between Vikings/Norsemen and mead. The term “mead” at its most basic means a fermented honey beverage and covers a fairly wide variety of liquids ranging from still to sparkling and dry to sweet, possibly containing herbs, spices, and/or fruits, and with ABVs from low single digits all the way up into the teens. That said, for the pedants amongst us there are usually specific terms for these variations. Right now the brewery is focussed on producing melomels, which generally refers to fruited meads (although there’s even more terminology for particular fruits), and currently they’re coming out in a wine-like 8 – 12% ABV. Their current lineup of available products includes Hopped Crabapple, Strawberry, Mixed Berry, Hopped Mixed Berry Beet, and Cherry, but they’ve also had Mountain Ash and a Pomegranate is said to be in the works! You can read more about the brewery in this Saltwire article, or stay tuned to this space where we hope to continue to cover new and interesting products coming from Horns of Odin. Skol!

Amazingly, we’ve got even more mead news for you this week, as Mountain Meadworks has teamed up with Compass Distillers in Halifax on a special collaboration brew that takes mead making to the Nth degree with the assistance of distillation. The starting point was a Mountain Meadworks mead that was sent to Compass to be distilled with a variety of Nova Scotia botanicals, including juniper, spruce tips, yarrow, and chanterelle mushrooms. The result was then used to fortify a new mead that had itself been infused with rhubarb, lemongrass, and spruce tips. The result is “a complex and harmonious drink” that comes in at an ABV of 7.5% and features a variety of flavor and aroma notes including citrus, juniper, and rhubarb. They’ve called this beverage Ouroboros, after an ancient symbol dating back to the Egyptians, but also found in many other traditions including Norse, Hindu, and Mesoamerican, among others. Usually a snake (or a dragon!) swallowing its own tail, it is sometimes also depicted as two (or more!) creatures swallowing each others’ tails in a loop. Intended to reference eternal renewal and how things may change form and yet never disappear, we think this is a poetic name for a very intriguing mead. To get it you’ll want to check out their Facebook page to see whether they might be at a farmers market in your area any time soon or to contact them to place an order.

An annual fall release from Trailway has been their Rascal Imperial Stout. Sadly, the beer’s namesake, a very good doggo, passed away this year. In a fitting tribute to a brewery dog, TW took their existing recipe and made it even more awesomer: after making the base beer, they aged it in Heaven Hill bourbon barrel for 7 months! Ode to Rascal was barrel aged with coffee from Milltown Roasters and some vanilla. This beer is full, complex and filled with notes of oak, dark chocolate, and espresso with a sweet vanilla finish. This 8% ABV tasty treat is only available from the brewery (no shipping options) and is only in 500ml bottles. 

In other news from Trailway, they’re hiring a full time marketing and digital content manager. Check out the complete job posting on Career Beacon

The new releases keep coming from Tatamagouche Brewing and they continue to draw inspiration from across the Atlantic, this time with an English Bitter. Haywain is a 5.3% ABV take on the style that starts with Horton Ridge pale malt, Caramel 60 and CaraAroma.  Bramling Cross and EKG hops were used to the tune of 37 IBUS, with some non-traditional late and whirlpool additions to amp up the aroma. There are a variety of ways to try out this beer, but we suggest trying to track this down on cask for the optimal drinking experience. Pins have been sent to the Stillwell Freehouse. You can also find it at other Tata tap accounts and at the brewery in cans and for fills.

Your visits to the Saint John City Market are about to get even better! Uncorked Tours opened their tasting room and meeting space in the market last year, with a patio and dedicated entrance at the corner of Germain and North Market streets. They’ve just announced they will be releasing their own branded Howlers (0.95 litre growlers) next month, and kicking off their Growler program. After coming in and enjoying a sample flight or pint, visitors can fill a growler of their favourite beer for enjoyment at home. Pair that with some fresh produce, cheese, or cured meats from one of the other Market vendors, and you’ve got yourself a perfect afternoon or evening in! In addition to the sweet howler designed by Owner and Tasting Room Manager Nathalie Nadeau, featuring their doggos Penny and Ruby, visitors can bring their own clean 0.95 or 1.89 litre (32 and 64 oz) growlers to fill. And if you’re in a pinch, they have 1 litre plastic containers to fill too. Pre-order your howler now for its first fill March 17th, or if you can’t wait that long, pop by next week for a fill of your own vessel.

To Moncton! To The Shack! Tire Shack Brewing has a few new goodies for those of you in the area. First up, their Hip Hop Series returns with its fifth iteration, each of which showcases a Double IPA that’s massively dry hopped with a single hop variety. Hip Hop Series: Volume 5 showcases Cashmere, a hop that brings great flavours of melon, peach, lemon, lime and a hint of coconut. It comes in at 8% ABV but the smooth drinkability makes it very (dangerously) crushable. This is available for cans, pints and growlers from the taproom today.

Also out this week, they are bringing the spice to the taproom releasing Mango-Habanero Sour, a 3.5% ABV fruity sour with a touch of heat. This one is only available for pints and growler fills at the taproom. 

Staying near Moncton, Flying Boats Brewing is releasing Red Cap, a Peanut Butter Stout. This was a taproom favourite that is now coming out in 473ml cans. Using as its base an English-style double oatmeal stout, it adds the natural peanut butter flavour in the final stages of fermentation. With a strong peanut butter aroma and notes of chocolate, it’s a sweet sipper at 4.8% ABV. Find it at select ANBL locations and the brewery; enjoy it while it lasts!

The City of Lakes’ own Lake City Cider brings a few pieces of news this week. Cardi P is a cider with Nova Scotia plums house-fermented to a rich wine and then blended with a selection of Nova Scotia apples before being rested with cardamom spice. This cider is 6.8% ABV and available in 750ml bottles from the brewery or online for delivery today. 

Also releasing this week is Green Ginger, a cider collaboration with Pop Culture Brew Co. This cider release is a blend of their Darkside Dry cider and the Ginger Kombucha from Pop Culture. This will have flavours of fresh apple with some floral notes and slight ginger spice on the finish. It is also available in 750ml bottles and is a 5.5% ABV blend available only from Lake City’s Dartmouth shop.

Back to a Nova Scotian cider for our next release, as Halifax’s Sourwood Cider has a funky new apple/wine hybrid available this week. And when the perfect name appears, why fight it? Hence, Hybrid, a blend of apples from a 100-year old Golden Delicious that underwent a 4-week maceration period, along with Marquette grapes picked from a vineyard on the Northumberland Strait that underwent an 8-week maceration period before pressing. Neither ferment saw any external yeast added, it was all thanks to the wild beasties already living on the fruits. After blending, a small amount of actively fermenting Northern Spy juice was added to allow a natural carbonation in the bottle. Only 50 cases of this special 10% ABV cider and wine hybrid were produced, so best make your way to their retail/taproom today to secure yours!

Over to Newfoundland, as we continue our journey across the region, for a re-release of a favourite beer, but with a new name and label to support an important cause. Port Rexton Brewing has teamed up with St. John’s Toslow for a few years now, producing a collaborative Sea Buckthorn Sour celebrating the downtown cafe/good beer bar. For this release, however, their efforts have shifted to supporting a group looking to make major changes in the food security of Newfoundlanders. Food First NL works with communities in Newfoundland and Labrador to improve access to affordable, healthy, and culturally-appropriate food. $2.00 from each can of Hold Fast will be going to Food First, with the goal to raise over $5,000. And of course a special release deserves a special label, which was designed by talented local artist Jenna-Wade. You can do your part by grabbing the beer from PRBC’s St. John’s Retail Shop, or at the Foodex in Port Rexton, this weekend, with more locations in between receiving deliveries in the next couple of weeks. You can also donate directly to a food bank or support group in your local region, check out their partners here (also the same list if you are experiencing food insecurity yourself). 

Staple of the rock, Quidi Vidi Brewing brings a new release to their Brewers’ Original series. Nathan’s Kveik Pale Ale is a dry-hopped pale ale with great flavours of honeydew melon and pineapple. Balanced, with a nice graham cracker malt flavour, it is fruity and easy drinking at 5.5% ABV. Available in 473ml cans from the brewery and online, it’s available today.

And speaking of Newfoundland Craft Breweries, their taprooms are currently closed due to the province being in COVID Level 5 (aka, now in the “Restore the Arse” phase), but that does *not* mean they aren’t able to get some tasty beverages in your hands!

  • Bannerman Brewing has recently commissioned a high-speed 16oz/473ml canning machine, meaning they won’t be running out of offerings any time soon. Hit up this page for curbside pickup options.
  • Landwash Brewery is also doing curbside pickup, and have been delivering to many locations on the Avalon. Check their Distro map to find a spot near you!
  • Baccalieu Trail has a pair of newbies on their virtual shelves this week, with Ediacaran Fuse NEIPA and Love Potion 709, a mixed-ferm champagne-inspired Brut ale both available at their retail as well as Marie’s Mini Marts in the area.

In Coming Soon news, Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing is closing in on the completion of their tap room located at 16 Dentith Road, which features plenty of seating, a dozen taps, a stage for live music, and a Mary Brown’s Chicken opening soon next door! To keep the beer a-flowin’, they are looking to hire both Full- and Part-Time Servers to round out their team. Beer knowledge, or willing and interested in learning some, is a major plus, as is being able to work on your feet to keep everyone happy in a soon-to-be-busy spot. The full details of the positions is on their website, and you can fire off your cover letter and resume to Matt@Serpentbrewing.com before the end of the weekend. 

A couple of rare in-person events to mention this week along with a more typically 2021 virtual one!

Modern Brewer’s Village Green is taking over the taps at HopYard Charlottetown today, showcasing 9 fresh and fun beers from the small brewery in downtown Cornwall. The taplist includes favourites found on tap already, like the Sabro Pale Ale and Bitter, as well as plenty of new beauties like NorCal Pale Ale, Dark Mild, and Lagered Ale, and will even mark the debut of the brand new New Zealand Pale Ale. As the name implies, this 5.0% Pale Ale features hops from the land of the kiwis, namely Nelson Sauvin and Motueka. This brew won’t be available in Cornwall until next week, even! On the “what to eat to pair with your beer” tip, HopYard has debuted the “Hola Amigo” menu this week – check out this post for the latest food options! And with just one keg of each offering on tap at the ‘Yard, you’re well advised to head there sooner rather than later!

We told you about this event last week, but a quick reminder about Belgianfest 2021 at Stillwell HQ this Saturday and Sunday. From noon til 10:00 PM both days, Stilly will be pouring some classic and rare Belgian treats with a great mix of kegs and bottles. The team in the kitchen will also be pushing out some Belgian dishes. Check out Stillwell’s social channels for more info.  If you happen to drop in on Saturday you may even see a few of your favorite intrepid bloggers.

For something a little different, tune into a free public lecture from the Nova Scotia Institute of Science this Monday, March 1st. Dr. Gordon McOuat, Director of the History of Science and Technology Program at University of King’s College, will be presenting The Science and Culture of Beer. From McOuat, “This talk will explore those key moments in the long relationship between beer, civilization, and science”. The full details of how to tune in are on their website, so grab a can or bottle of your favourite beer from your local brewery, and get your beer learnin’ on!

And a last few items for your perusal before you get on with your day:

If you’re more in the mood for cider this weekend, head to Truro Brewing Company to check out Cide Hustle. Using freshly pressed juice from Stirling Farms in Greenwich, Cide Hustle comes in at 6.0% ABV, features a hazy appearance and a semi-dry body. Find it on tap at the brewery on Inglis Place today. 

St. Patrick’s Day is mere weeks away, which can only mean one thing – the return of the Irish seasonals! Propeller is first out of the gate with their Irish Red Ale. Their take on the style comes in at a sessionable 5% ABV and combines roasty malt notes with an earthy hop character. Look for it through Propeller’s online store and three taproom locations this weekend.

Fans of good beer in the environs of Windsor, NS, have reason to cheer this week, as the Schoolhouse Brewing taproom is back after a COVID-related hiatus. Look for new things coming out of both the brewery and the kitchen as they get back to business, including a new Russian Imperial Stout on tap that will be benefiting their local food bank. 

Over at Unfiltered, Fist of God is making its return. This 8% DIPA is available now on North Street in cans and via fills if you have Unfiltered glass to exchange.

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.