HopYard

All posts tagged HopYard

We’ve made it to the end of another week and somehow it’s the last Friday of November, which means thousands of Atlantic Canadians will be precariously perched on ladders this weekend, stringing up holiday lights, and cracking a cold one as they step back and admire all of those randomly burnt out bulbs. As our neighbours to the south nurse their Thanksgiving hangovers, you’re likely being bombarded with countless Black Friday emails and posts. Before you buy that 3-in-1 combination air fryer, pasta maker, pizza oven that you’ll probably never use, take a scroll through the latest beer news, and consider directing your hard earned cash towards your favourite producer of fermented beverages instead. Or consider taking advantage of our one-day only ACBB sale where you can snag a one-year subscription to the blog for 50% off!

Let us catch you up on a pair of late-last-week releases that are now available throughout the Avalon craft beer convenience store. The crew from Mount Pearl’s Landwash made the trek out to Port Rexton to brew two beers from just one mash! Let us explain… At the end of the mashing period, the sugary water (wort) is separated from the barley and other malted grain in the mash tun, and transferred to the kettle for the boil. That leftover grain still has some sugary goodness left on it, and a second dose of water can be used to rinse the malt clean, giving rise to the start of another beer! This technique is known as parti-gyle brewing, and has been around for centuries. While the two resultant beers will have the same base grains, due to the concentration of sugars, they will have quite different potential alcohol levels, and can be treated with different intensities of hops and other ingredients.

Ursa Major Double IPA is the first beer to come out of that double-brew, weighing in at a hefty 8.5% ABV. Using loads of late-addition hops (low bitterness, high aroma and flavour), namely Sultana and Amarillo, it features orange, pineapple, and a hint of pine, on a slightly-sweet finish.

Ursa Minor IPA is the parti-gyled beer made from the second runnings of wort, with an ABV of just 3.9%. As it was boiled separately, a different combo of hops could be used in the kettle, in this case Lotus and Azacca, imparting citrus and stone fruit on the palate, with a dry finish.

Both of these stellar-inspired beers are available at Port Rexton and Landwash on tap for pints and growler fills, and distributed to Port Rexton’s St. John’s Retail Shop, as well as their other retail partners.

Staying in Newfoundland, Bannerman has a big weekend ahead with two new releases. First up is Red Eye, a coffee milk stout. To get the most possible coffee character into the beer, the team added coffee during every step in the brewing process, including broken beans in the mash tun, kettle and fermenter. Before packaging, some of the fermented beer was also soaked on more beans overnight, before being added back into the main batch. Combine all of that coffee with the addition of lactose and you’ve basically got your morning pick me up ready to go in beer form. The coffee for this one comes from Cape Coffee Roasters, a new roaster in Cape Broyle. Cans and pours are available now at the brewery with cans also seeing wider distribution through Bannerman’s usual channels. And what goes better with your coffee than a piece of toast with a bit of Nan’s homemade jam? Their next release, Either/Or is a fruited sour that combines big fruit flavour with some slight tartness, just like Nan’s jam. You’ll also find cans and pours of this one at the brewery, with cans seeing wider distribution later this weekend. 

Rolling over to Cape Breton, Sydney’s Breton Brewing has a brand new seasonal release for the holidays with Milk n’ Cookies Stout. Not your average stout, this one has additions of chocolate chip cookies from their friends at Not Just Cakes and lactose sugar to create a sweet, bitter and balanced brew. Easy drinking at 5% this is available on tap or in cans from the brewery and for delivery, and in select NSLCs, too. 

Back to Newfoundland for another round this week, Deer Lake’s Rough Waters Brewing teamed up with the fine folks of The Newfoundland Embassy in St. John’s for their latest release. Ambassador is a 4.7% German Pilsner, as the two teams wanted to maximize easy drinking and super refreshing as they came together. Light-bodied, crisp, clean, and able to pair with whatever you’re eating! Pints are obviously available at the Embassy now, with cans at Urban Market 1919, and wider distro through the NLC soon.

Kentville’s Maritime Express Cider has a pair of new expressions available in their shop. 2020 Sparkling Perry is an all-pear cider, aged on lees in the bottle for two years. This extended aging period in the bottle has allowed it to dry out completely (no residual sugar), and is sparkling for a bubbly rush of candied pear and tropical fruit. Joining it is 2021 Sparkling Sour Berry, their apple cider base co-fermented with raspberries and rose hips, and blended with two-year aged cranberry wine. Allowed to undergo a secondary fermentation in the bottle before an extended cellaring period. Also finishing quite dry, the fruit additions lend much to the aroma and impart a tart finish.

Beausoleil Farmstead Cider in Port Williams has a new release this month, Valley Fields. Crisp Valley-grown pears and a field blend of estate-grown Pinot Gris, Cabernet Franc, and Frontenac Gris grapes, were co-fermented to finish dry, a light carbonation enhances the aromatic and light acidity in the glass. Their tasting room and retail shop at 1469 B Church Street in Port Williams is open 1 – 4 PM Saturday for visitors, or by appointment at other times.

Speaking of Beausoleil, wine- and cider-maker extraordinaire Melanie Eelman has once again lent her knowledge to the folks at Saltbox Brewing on the South Shore, helping them to launch Rosemary. Featuring Annapolis Valley apple cider, blended with a Marquette wine, infused with rosemary, this blend features herbal notes along with ripe apple, field berries, and a touch of spice. This 6.7% hybrid is available in cans at Saltbox and its sibling breweries.

Staying in the cider-verse, Dartmouth’s finest, Lake City Cider, has a brand new release that is winter-inspired. Gingersnap is a spicy and sweet little cider that uses Annapolis Valley apples, freshly pressed ginger root, and a bit of molasses for some balance. The fresh ginger is the star here, bringing you the fragrant nose and bit of refreshing spice like that you’d expect, all in a 7% package. It’s available now from the cidery in 473ml cans and is also available online. 

Rounding out the cider news for this week is the latest from Paradise’s Mauzy Cider. Once again taking advantage of feral and undeveloped apple trees, Devil’s Acid began life during the 2021 harvest. Starting with apples from Burin Bay and Golden Hornet Crabapples from Torbay, these were co-spontaneously-fermented with the skins of Dolgo crabapples, with the combination of crabapple varieties imparting a serious acidity in the glass. This 6.8% cider was bottle conditioned with a touch of apple juice for some carbonation. Like their other releases, look for them online for pickup in Paradise, and at cider, wine, and beer friendly spots around Town.

Staying in Paradise (we’ve got two tickets after all!), if you’re able to, hit up Banished Brewing for their brand new release, a collaboration with Toslow (a cafe, but generally delicious food establishment). Crosstown Cooldown is a Coffee Porter featuring beans from the Montreal roaster Traffic Coffee Co. The result is a highly drinkable, roasty and full beer with a great balance at 5%. This is canned and available now from the brewery and next week it will be hitting retailers.

Also new this week is the final form of the Puffin! If you’ve been following along with the themed releases from Banished, there were 3 previous variations and now the 4-pack is complete. New this week is Intergalactic Puffin, a triple IPA, the clear next step up from the previous Session NEIPA, NEIPA and double NEIPA, and coming in hot at 10% ABV. Very full, juicy, and surprisingly easy drinking for the style and ABV, it features loads of Mosaic during the boil and whirlpool, and was dry-hopped with equal parts Citra and Sabro, enhancing the citrus and tropical notes seen in the rest of the Puffin family. This beer is available now in cans from the brewery and will also hit retailers next week. If you’re looking to get the full vertical of the Puffin releases, you better hurry, as there is only a limited amount of Space Pufflin (Session NEIPA) left. Get your ticket to Paradise, pack your bag and leave tonight!

At the Seaport in Halifax, Garrison Brewing has a brand new release, which we’re already picturing having around for the holidays. Night Mooves is a Coffee Milk Stout that is lower on ABV (at 4.5%) but high on roasted coffee, dark chocolate and a bitter-sweet impression from combination of coffee, roasted malts, and lactose. Here’s the fun part for many of you, let’s look at the ingredients! The malt bill here features pale, munich, caramel & chocolate malts, along with some roasted barley. The hop bill gets balance and backing from the classic German Hallertau and the brew also features additions of lactose and coffee from West Ender Coffee. This one is available in 473ml cans now at both Garrison locations, on the website for delivery, and at Liquid Assets.

Boxing Rock has two new releases that are sure to appeal to fans of stone fruit flavours. Up first is Black and Tan: Stout and Pale. This one is a 5.2% ABV  blend of ​​Patricius, their Irish Stout, and a blonde wheat ale that saw an infusion of apricot, leading to a combo of roasty and stone fruit notes. Next up is Intergalactic, an American Pale Ale. A combination of new-world hops and an infusion of apricot leads to notes of pineapple, grass, and stone fruit. Cans of both are available now through Boxing Rock’s two retail locations and their online store. In other Boxing Rock news, their much revered Double IPA, Vicar’s Cross, is making its final appearance in bomber bottles after almost 10 years and over 1 million bottles sold! This DIPA was one of the first produced in Nova Scotia that was widely available in packaged format and introduced many budding craft beer enthusiasts to the style. To celebrate the retirement of the bombers, Boxing Rock is planning a package that includes a special edition commemorative bottle and a Vicar’s Cross hat. Pre-orders for the package go live on December 6.

Tire Shack Brewing out of Moncton has a brand new release this week, too, and if you’re noticing a theme this week of sweet treat additions to beer, you’re not alone. Scoop! There It Is! is an Apple Pie Ice Cream Beer (not a stout) released with a special ice cream recipe from Lost and Found Ice Cream in Moncton. The beer features a clean malt bill with a clear, amber colour, but features big additions of 100L of fresh ice cream (loaded with whole vanilla beans and cinnamon) and then 125 kilograms of apple pie filling. Both adjuncts were added during fermentation, so expect big flavours to carry through in a clean 5% beer. This is available in pints, cans and growlers directly from the brewery. 

We’ve got a new beer from Nova Scotia’s North Shore Tatamagouche Brewing, plus a way for you to enjoy it in the big city this weekend! Collusion Double IPA started life in the mash tun with a base of Horton Ridge pale and Shoreline Pilsner malts, amped up with malted oats and wheat, and combined with some Chit malt (the last having undergone a very short germination stage, leaving plenty of complex starch and sugar to increase mouthfeel in the final beer). After mashing, this saw a heavy-handed addition of Nugget hops early in the boil for bitterness, with a post-boil addition of a blend of Cascade, Centennial, and Bravo. Really taking this big IPA to the next level of aroma was a one-two punch of Citra and Mosaic oil extract for a big blast of citrus and tropical fruit. For fermentation they used a New England-style ale yeast, playing in the “hazy” realm, while still being eye-appealing. And while the yeastie beasties were working away, more hops were added, including Citra dry hop extract, the first time the Tata crew has played with this product. Collusion is out now, with cans, pints, and growler fills available at the brewery, and for those in HRM, the perfect time to try it may be at the Tatamagouche Tap Takeover at Battery Park Saturday! With 16 draught lines filled with a mix of new releases and old favourites, including a Baltic Porter from 2017(!), and Flintshire Pub Ale on the handpump, there will certainly be something for everyone! Plus door prizes for coming out and saying hi!

HopYard Beer Bar in Charlottetown is hosting the finals of the Battle of the Breweries this weekend, which also happens to be the battle of Montague! Bogside Brewing and Copper Bottom have each put their four best beer, cider, and seltzers forward in a race to finish kegs and sell the most pints until close Saturday. Stop in to show your support, because really, we are all winners in these sorts of competitions!

Sober Island Brewing is holding a Christmas-themed Brewers Dinner next Saturday, December 3rd, at their taproom in Sheet Harbour. A multi-course meal with SIBC beer pairings, all lead by Head Brewer Tim MacLeod. Tickets are available now, and we suggest grabbing them very soon, so that you can secure your choice in one of the courses, a Humble Pie Turkey Dinner or Vegetarian handpie.

A few quick newsbites before we let you go this week…

Moncton’s Happy Craft Brewing has a new release on draught this week, German Altbier. This hybrid of ale- and lager-techniques features the inclusion of kilned malts in the grain bill for a darker colour and a lovely toast and nutty character, with a balancing bitterness. This 5.0% ABV is available now at Happy’s Main Street location.

After a several month hiatus, Lone Oak Brewing has brought back their Boat Traffic Oatmeal Stout. Big and bold roast character is complemented with undertones of chocolate, coconut, and vanilla, thanks to a weeks-long oak-aging step before packaging. It is available on draught and in cans at their Borden-Carleton Taproom, their North River Brewpub, as well as PEILCC locations across the province.

Staying on the Island, PEI Brewing Company has a new seasonal available that they’ve dubbed Hour Delay. A chocolate stout brewed with cocoa and a selection of rich roasted malts to really bump up the chocolate flavor, it’s perfect for cozy nights by the fire as you watch the weather and say a little prayer or two for an hour delay in the morning. Or maybe one to enjoy in a cozy bed in the morning as you enjoy an hour delay? We’re not going to judge! You’ll find this 6% ABV and 30 IBU beer available across the island at the PEI Brewing Company Taproom, Gahan Beer Store, and select PEILCC locations.

Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing has announced the launch of their kitchen, with today (Friday) being the first day of operation. The full menu is available here, featuring a trio of different smash burger styles, grilled panini sandwiches, as well as beer & cheese soup, brussel sprouts, and even arancini! It launches at 2 PM this afternoon, check their social media for the full schedule as it is released.

We are back at full strength this week at the blog, and the breweries must have known, because we’ve got an overfilled post for you today from all 4 provinces, and plenty of events to keep you busy for the next few weekends. Let us tarry no further and get right to the good stuff!

We’re going to start this week with three returning engagements from around the region, starting in the East End of St. John’s, NL, where Bannerman Brewing has brought back Early Rise, their fruited sour IPA. Hopped with Citra and Sabro before being refermented on mango puree and pomegranate concentrate, and bolstered with an addition of lactose, the result is a full-bodied and heavy beer with lots and lots of fruit and hop character, but also a slight acidity that complements the fruit and sweetness, and a balancing bitterness on the finish. It’s both on tap and available in cans to go at the shop, but look for it to see wider distribution in the coming days and weeks.

Also returning for the second time in 2022 after a successful run in 2021 is Black Flower from Tatamagouche. An American Stout, once again the brew team leaned into the “American” aspect of that style with copious amounts of hops. In place of last year’s classic Cascade and Centennial, this year’s batch leverages piney and spicy Chinook and piney and woody Nugget (both from HOOH Hop Farms in BC) for a bit of a different feel. A medley of malts builds a solid base to balance those hops, with chocolate, caramel, dried fruit, and firm roasted flavours coming to the fore. An English yeast strain ensures plenty of body carries forward, and though it’s a fairly middling 5.5% ABV, the brewery describes it as tasting like a young RIS. You’ll just have to try it for yourself to find out! With any luck, just like last year we’ll see a cask or two of it go on at the Stillwell Freehouse for a different take on the same beer.

Last, but definitely not the least of our returning beers is one that many folks in the region might remember as a gateway to craft beer. Earlier in 2022 as part of their 25th anniversary celebrations, Propeller Brewing conducted a poll on their socials about which beer their fans would like to see brought back for a limited run and, of course, Stone Fruit won. But the runner-up? That beer was the venerable Honey Wheat, one of the breweries’ stalwart brands throughout their first 20 years, but unseen since its retirement batch in 2018. Brewery staff from past and present were invited to the brew day to celebrate this old friend. Brewed with both barley and wheat, along with Nova Scotia honey from Cosman & Whidden in Greenwich, it was fermented slightly cool to ensure a clean presentation and little distraction from the subtleties of the honey. The result is 5% ABV and is now available exclusively on tap for pints and growler fills at all Prop Shops.

And if you’re in Halifax and you’re looking for something even more retro than Prop Honey Wheat, you can check out Movie Mania at Propeller Arcade, four seasonal movies on three nights. On October 25th, Canadian cult classic “George’s Island” (1989) is playing, and on October 26th, it’ll be a “mystery movie.” On both of those nights admission is free, but we suggest reserving your spot by picking up a ticket at the Arcade today. On October 30th you’ll find the last outdoor screening of the year, a double-feature of “Ernest Scared Stupid” and “Pumpkinhead.” Gates open at 4pm, with the first flick commencing at 6 and an intermission at 7:30. Taz Records will be on-site selling horror movies, soundtracks, and merch, and Asado BBQ will have eats for the buying. And, of course, Propeller will be selling beer! Tickets for the big night are $30, also available at the Arcade. So gawan, get yer spooky on (but remember to dress warm!!)

Switching from things we’ve seen before to brand new beer, Sober Island Brewing has a new seasonal available in their Autumn Session Series that shows their continued love for traditional English styles. Hardwood Mild is what it says on the tin: a Dark Mild ale that arrives at a very sessionable 3.8% ABV. With six types of barley malt coming together for a complex malt profile, you can expect notes of roasted nuts, chocolate, and biscuits. To add to that is a lovely deep brown colour. Available from the brewery in cans, but note that they’ve switched to their winter hours: Thursdays 2 – 9pm, Fridays and Saturdays 12 – 7pm, and Sundays 12 – 5pm, with occasional later hours on any given night for events.

Following the earlier release of their hazy pale ale, Garrison is rolling out another 25th Anniversary beer, this time a Champagne IPA. This one starts off with a grain bill of 2 Row, flaked rice and oat malt, before seeing hop additions of Galaxy, Topaz, Idaho 7, and Simcoe. The champagne quality comes from the yeast used which produces a highly effervescent carbonation. Look for notes of citrus, mango and stone fruit, and a light bitterness of only 21 IBUs. The 6.0% ABV Champagne IPA is available now at the two Garrison retail locations and will see broader distribution via the government monopoly and private stores soon. While we are on the topic of Garrison, one of their Oktoberfest exclusives from a few weeks ago, Dunkel Breaking My Heart, has now been canned, and is available exclusively at the Seaport and Oxford locations. 

Speaking of Oktoberfest, Saint John’s Loyalist City is releasing Bestest Mensch, their take on a German Marzen. This one features a grain bill of Vienna, Munich and Pilsner malts, imported straight from Germany by Weyermann Speciality Malts. Fermented with Global Lager yeast, it was then lagered to provide the crisp and refreshing drinking experience the style is known for. You can expect a moderate malt profile along with some classic floral hop notes from the German hops in this 5.2% Marzen. This one will see release in draught format only, on tap at the brewery this weekend. 

Next up is a double release week from Cornwall’s Village Green. First up is the 7.5% ABV Double Porter. Starting off with two British malts, Marris Otter and English Brown malt, it then sees a generous addition of Centennial and Chinook, both on the hot side and via a dry hop. Find it on tap and in cans at the brewery starting at 4:00 PM today (Friday). Also keep an eye out for their Dorf Pilsner, a German Pils that made its debut at the HopYard Brewery Battle last yesterday. More details on that below!

Back on the mainland, the fine folks at Truro Brewing Company have a new release that’s joining their core lineup. Little Dyke Pilsner, is a German take on the style with a moderate hop presence that’s been fermented to a sessionable 5.0% ABV. You can find it on tap and in cans at the brewery now. And, just in time for spooky season, the brewery will be showing Evil Dead II at the taproom tonight at 7:00 PM. Tickets are $5 at the door. 

We here at ACBB appreciate all forms of fermented beverages, including the non-alcoholic variety. Upsreet spin-off Libra is releasing a new beer in collaboration with Juno-winning musician Serena Ryder, Libra Lavender Sage Cream Ale. Expect a balanced drinking experience with notes of, you guessed it, lavender and sage, along with a mild honey character. Check out the Libra online store for ordering info. 

Bogside out of Montague, PEI is back with another fundraiser for the PEI Humane Society. Last year they raised over $4,000 for the society and this year, six pack sales of Gimme Shelter (a Blonde ale) will provide $6 to PEI’s only animal shelter. The beer itself is a crisp, approachable 5% North American blonde ale which will satisfy many beer drinkers all across PEI. Pick this up directly from the brewery, or order online for delivery.

If you’re near Antigonish and things have calmed down post-Fiona, Half Cocked has an exciting beer release available now. NOBO is a Norwegian Farmhouse Ale that uses a no-boil technique and features the Voss strain from the Kveik family of Norwegian farmhouse yeasts. Additions of juniper berries, Pinot (Grigio, we think) and butterfly pea blossom give this a purple hue and herbaceous flavours and atoms. There is a touch of acidity, it’s dry on the finish, and it’s 4.5% ABV. Check this one out on tap or in 355ml cans directly from the brewery.

Mauzy Cider, currently based in Paradise, Newfoundland and Labrador, has their second release this week, making the most of a bad situation. When hurricane Larry hit Newfoundland in September 2021, the apple trees were full of apples in various stages of ripening. Of course, Larry had other ideas, and millions of these were sent off the trees whether they were ready or not. Enter the Mauzy team, who quickly sprang into action and collected the “feral” fruit from around town so that they did not go to waste. Aided by some honey from Baccalieu Trail Honey Bees, this spontaneously fermented cider was aged for 8 months before bottling. Tannin- and acid-forward, the 7.0% cider has been packaged in just 30 cases of 750ml bottles, and is available to purchase now. And downtown cocktail bar Papillon is holding a release party this Sunday at their 152 Water Street location. 8 PM until late, with Shuck NL there providing oysters to pair.

While Mauzy hangs out in their space, host brewery Banished has been ramping up their production as they now offer Canada-wide shipping. And new today is Skelephone, a shocking 6.0% ABV IPA. Starting from the glow in the dark can, you can tell this is going to be a different beer… Starting from one of their established IPA recipes, they used the Cryo Pop hop blend from Yakima Chief for a stone fruit and tropical character. But most shocking will be the appearance of the beer, which is blueish-green, thanks to the addition of blue spirulina algae. While odourless and flavourless, it lends its colours in a big way, making this beer impossible to miss! Skelephone is debuting in the taproom today (fresh off the canning line), and out to their normal retail partners next week.

Sticking to the Rock, Port Rexton has released their annual celebration of St. John’s The Adelaide Oyster House, It’s a Vibe! Celebrating 8 years in business, AOH has been a long time supporter of PRBC, so it’s only fitting that the brewery returns the favour. This year’s edition is a kettle sour with Mango and Guava, resulting in a tropical cocktail that will have you dreaming of down south. Available exclusively on tap at the brewery and Adelaide currently, if there’s any left, they’ll send cans out to the rest of the Island!

In “coming soon” beer news, 2 Crows Brewing has teased a new release coming in a couple of weeks, but we wanted to help spill the beans early to ensure you don’t miss out. Starting life during a November 2021 brewday, the malt bill consisted of 69% Shoreline Pilsner, 16% Flaked Rye, and 15% Flaked Rice. Hopped in the mash with Chinook, then early with Sterling before a hefty dose in the whirlpool (while cooling after the boil) with Bru-1. Fermented with Verdant yeast (commonly used for NEIPAs) and the 2Crows House Funky Foedre Culture™, cultivated from many batches passing through their large wooden fermenters. After fermentation completed and the yeast were just starting to nap, they added 200 kilos of Apricot puree to call them into duty once again. After that second round of fermentation was completed, the mad scientists in the brewery added fresh lime juice and zest to up the ante. Once the extra natural sugars were chewed up, the beer was transferred to a stainless steel fermenter, where a soupcon of locally-harvest sea salt was added, care of OK Sea Salt in LaHave. This final addition marked the end of intervention, as the beer was packaged and allowed to carbonate naturally in the can, before its upcoming release. The resultant OK OK OK is a lovely melding of juiciness, tart, and funk, with a hint of salinity drawing you back for more. First dibs of this limited release will be going to 2C Newsletter subscribers next Friday, so be sure to sign up in the next day or two. We’ve saved you some clicking to find the link. Those of you who miss out on the early access will be able to grab it online, their retail shop, or local private store(s) November 8th.

Where to go and have a beer-y blast this weekend? Read below to learn more!

Charlottetown’s HopYard is once again holding their Battle of the Breweries, taking place over the next several weeks. On now is the fierce head to head to head battle between Lone Oak, Double Hill Cidery and Village Green, as each producer brings forth new releases and core brands, in the effort to sell the most pints Thursday through Saturday. The winner of this weekend will move onto a Semi Final before the big Finals, November 24-26. Next weekend’s competitors, Barnone, Moth Lane, and PEI Brewing, kick off their fun at 11:30 October 27, with the final first round of breweries, Bogside, Labatt, and Upstreet, duke it out November 3 – 5.

Here’s something you don’t see a lot, a brewery having a yard sale! Both Good Robot locations (Elmsdale and Halifax) will be having beer on sale, with up to 50% off some of their lineup. They’re doing a mass clear out to make room for a lot of new products and we’re sure their new production out of Elmsdale is pumping out some tasty treats. The yard sale will be on today at both locations, so if you’re an early reader of this, get on over if you can, while supplies last!

Next weekend is the return of the Cox & Palmer Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Fest, happening at the Moncton Coliseum October 29th. There are still tickets available for both the afternoon (2-4:30 PM) or evening (7:30-10 PM) sessions, and your ticket includes unlimited beer, cider, mead, and spirit samples from more than 20 producers. There are also a handful of food vendors to keep you perked up and satiated. There will also be some Electric Vehicles on display for those who want to learn more about them. Grab your tickets at the link above before they’re gone!

This is as close we’ll get to posting “urgent” news on the blog, but the 12 Beers of Christmas in St. John’s only has tickets left for one of their days! This event is a fun one for Newfoundland craft beer fans, and the Saturday session is all sold out! There are still tickets left for Friday November 25th and all of the local breweries will be there and of course, way more than 12 beers! They’ll be food, ugly sweaters and more! It’s a month before Christmas, so it’s a good time to start spreading the cheer and drinking beer! Check out the link for tickets here, if you can be at the St. John’s Farmers Market on that date, of course.

A few more things before we dismiss you this afternoon…

A bit of news out of Bishop’s Cellar and their latest offerings, they’ve got some Bellwoods brews for the Halifax locals. Original Jelly King is now a core beer at Bishop’s and this will ALWAYS BE IN STOCK*. What a time to be alive.

Other Bellwoods offerings available for a limited time starting today:

  • PIG IPA
  • Jelly King Plum
  • Bellweiser

They’ve also got some recently released local beers available now as well:

Tanner Brewing Altbier

North BrewingSweater Weather

PropellerPorter 

* except when it’s not, because people bought it all, because of course sometimes they will, because it’s awesome!

Big things are happening for Roof Hound, as they’ve bought the roof! They’ve bought their building where their Kingston taproom and restaurant reside, as they are building towards their future, Roof Hound Public House. Shifting away from Digby and taking over the former space of The Crossing restaurant in Kingston, they’re going to be working on a huge new project in the heart of Kingston by expanding their current space and adding accommodations, too! Stay tuned to their socials and we’ll be sure to keep you updated here, too!

And as a service to our homebrewing readers to close out the blog today, a heads up that Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill Beer is hosting their first Homebrew Competition! Dubbed the Winter Home Brew Challenge, they are looking for your best seasonal ale, in the Amber to Brown colour spectrum, and 4.5 – 6.5% ABV. They’re teaming up with Noble Grape for this competition, and the beers will be judged blindly by their team of experts, and the winning entry will see their beer brewed and distributed! You have until December 8th to submit your 6-pack of entries at one of their drop-points in HRM, Annapolis or Kings Counties. Fire them an email at events@lunnsmill.beer for more info, including details on the post-judging party where the winners will be announced, where your $25 brewing entry fee is your ticket to food, beer, and fun!

Happy Friday beer, cider, and mead fans! It’s getting to be the season of celebration and reflection, as we look back on the ”Year of Beer 2021” that was, and how beer (and life) will look in 2022. Your faithful ACBB authors will be taking a little pause during the next couple weeks to spend with family (growing family, in a couple of our cases!) and friends, and do our own reflecting on what is to come. Here be the last ACBB Friday Wrap-Up of 2021, and we’ll chat again soon!

Delta Force Brewing in Greenwich, Nova Scotia, has a fresh new beer available this week, Bap, a Korean toasted rice lager. Inspired by the Korean scorched sticky rice dish Nurungji, the fellas behind DFB actually toasted their own rice before adding it to the grain bill of this 4.5% ABV lager. The resulting copper lager features a touch of toasting from the process, but still remains refreshing, and the perfect pairing for Korean food, including fried chicken. Grab Bap, and everything from Delta Force, from their online shop, which is featuring a 10% discount for orders of 6+ bottles, or from an increasing number of spots in HRM, including Bishop’s Cellar, The Other Bean, and Pizzatown Cobequid.

Breton Brewing has visions of (sugar) plums dancing through our heads with their latest release, Let’s Jam Plum Sour. Building on their previous Let’s Jam releases, it features loads of plum to complement the acidity from the base beer. Available direct from the brewery and online, as well as in the Maritime Craft Beer Advent Calendar.

Back with another release in their rotating IPA Series, 2 Crows Brewing brings out Quiet Contemplation, a juicy, tropical, and lush IPA available now. They use the same malt base as the other IPAs in the series (Golden Promise, wheat, oats and dextrin malt) along with lots of mash hops, some hopback hops and massive amounts of dry-hopping.  This one is loaded with Vic Secret and Citra hops and brings a flavours and aromas of mango, mandarin, pineapple and passionfruit in a smooth 6.1% and 44 IBU package. It’s available now, online and in the taproom in 473ml cans. 

Cornwall, PEI’s Village Green has two new releases to round out 2021. Weird Clouds 8 is their latest in their IPA series featuring loads of Galaxy, Simcoe and Idaho 7, bringing lots of citrus, peach skin and some nice allium flavour from Simcoe. It’s 6.9% and is available in cans now. Second up is a Winter Warmer, brewed with Charlottetown good beer joint Hopyard. A seasonal favourite, it was brewed with brown sugar and a fine selection of warming spices to bring this dark and tasty style to life at 7.7%. Now available in cans and kegs, it will be pouring at Hopyard on PEI over the holidays. 

Port Rexton Brewing is celebrating Tibb’s Eve in style next week, with their taproom open Dec 23rd, 4 – 10 PM. Plenty of fun things planned for the evening (including a cask of their Gluten Free Porter with a ton of orange zest added), so let’s tell you about their annual celebratory beer that accompanies it! Tibbs the Saison is a 5.8% ABV Saison brewed with Fruit Bomb Saison from Escarpment Labs, displaying plenty of fruit and herbal character in a non-adjunct beer. Available now at the brewery, their St. John’s Retail Shop, as well as Urban Market 1919, Maries Mini Marts across the island, and local NLCs.

In the spirit of holiday get-togethers, two of Dartmouth’s breweries partnered up on a couple of beers for the holidays. Brightwood Brewing and New Scotland are releasing Fritz, a West Coast IPA inspired by the “father” of that style, Fritz Maytag (of Anchor Brewing, donchaknow!), and Wallonia Cranberry Farmhouse Ale, inspired by the birthplace of the Belgian Farmhouse Style. Exclusively available in 4-packs (two of each, of course) for an even $20 (tax and deposit included) at both breweries.

Across the Northwest Arm from peninsular Halifax, Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing decided to pound out some holiday brews for us all. Up first is Rusty Compass, the latest output of their Beer Creation Experience program. A 5.6% cream ale, it includes flaked corn in the grist to keep the body light and the finish crisp; it’s available in 500ml bottles or for fills and pints at the taproom. Next up is Pilot Boat, a collaboration with local espresso bar/grocery/art gallery Pavia. Nominally a “coffee ESB” it of course contains some coffee, but also a selection of specialty malts specifically selected to create a coffee-like character that could be enhanced by the addition of actual beans in the secondary. Coming in at 5.3% ABV and 33 IBU, you find this one on tap and for fills at Serpent, or in bottles exclusively at Pavia. Lastly but not leastly is Slowrider, Serpent’s latest foray into the New England/hazy IPA realm since Pavo. Somewhat slight, even for the style, at 5.3% ABV and 28 IBU, a little bit of Magnum for bittering gives way to whirlpool additions of Amarillo and Sabro, followed by a huge dose of Sabro in the dry hop. Plenty of high-protein adjuncts paired with the London Fog yeast strain make for a delightfully opaque presentation of hop goodness, but you’ll have to go to the brewery to get it, as it’s not packaged. In non-new release news, Serpent’s Eden is now available on tap at the Armview on the roundabout and White Mountain Witbier is available at Bishop’s Cellar for the first time.

Pulling the opposite trick from a couple weeks ago, we go Spryfield to Sackville (or is that Spryville to Sackfield?) this time, where Ol’ Biddy’s has a small batch coming out next Thursday just in time for your Xmas weekend. Available at the taproom for pints and growler fills only, it’s a bit of a big one, at 7.6% and 22 IBU. Aged on Madagascar vanilla and bourbon, look for big chocolate flavour and a smooth vanilla and bourbon finish. A fine pint to sip on after your shopping is done and you’re ready to relax.

On the Eastern side of PEI, Bogside Brewing has a couple new things this week as well, starting with a beer for a cause: Gimme Shelter is a blonde ale, crisp and refreshing at 5% ABV, and with $6 from every 6-pack sold going to the PEI Humane Society. On the (much!) heavier side is Bourbon Street Barrel Aged Porter, a big ol’ smooth, rich, and velvety concoction matured in Kentucky Bourbon barrels and weighing in at a hefty 10%. On draught at the taproom, but also available in a limited number of bottles to go.

Dildo, NL’s eponymous Dildo Brewing has a collaboration beer out with PEI’s Lone Oak, using their respective Provinces’ favourite root vegetables. Starky Bunch is a 5% lager using PEI Potatoes and Newfoundland turnips to produce 20% of the extract in this well-hopped clean and crisp American Pilsner. This is available in 473ml cans from Dildo now, and we hear Islanders will see it at Lone Oak as well in the coming weeks.

Deep in the Annapolis Valley, Smiths Cove’s Lazy Bear Brewing has debuted something a little different this week, a gruit! The Descendent uses juniper for flavouring and bitterness, rather than hops, producing a nice light coniferous character. Flexing the versatility of Kveik yeast to ferment just about anything thrown at it, The Descendent is available now at the brewery, as well as at their Market presence this weekend.

Staying in the Valley, where Annapolis Brewing Company has a brand new beer available as well. Left Coast Double IPA is ABC’s first DIPA and they’ve aimed to make it a classic example of the West Coast style. Mashed high to encourage some non-fermentable sugars that in turn lend some extra body, it was bittered with Magnum and hopped in the whirlpool with classic American varieties Amarillo and Centennial. Finished with a “whopping” dry hop of more Centennial, you can expect plenty of pine and citrus from this one, which is available on tap and in cans from the brewery.

Staying in Annapolis Royal, East Coast Cider Company has a new seasonal cider available today. Ambrosia Raspberry Cider is a semi-sweet, semi-dry cider offering using a base of their Ambrosia cider, with raspberry added in for a nice tart and sweet flavour. This 6% offering is available on tap and in cans at the taproom, or available to order online. 

Continuing West down the 101 highway, we come to Roof Hound down Digby way where they’ve put together a Chocolate Stout collection for the holidays. All built off the same base beer (we think!), each got a different holiday treatment: Wasted Days will be reminiscent of Peanut Butter Balls, Cinna-Bone will give you your chicken bones fix, Cherry Brandy will get you that liquor-filled cherry bon bons vibe, and the cleverly named 8:05 Mint will make you think of a green box, paper wrappers, and peppermint. Sounds like an awesome chance to share some fun beers with friends and/or family. Or four nights of contemplating a particular beer. You’ll find these in bottles, available as singles, as a Chocolate Stout Collection 4-pack, or as part of Roof Hound’s Holiday Box all on sale at the brewery.

Lots of news out of Halifax’s Good Robot Brewing this week. Firstly, they’re dipping their toes into the big lager market after their success with 10,000lb Pilsner with the release of Good Robot American Lager. Designed to be a “good, honest, cold lager,” at 5% ABV and available in 6-packs, maybe you’ll like it, or maybe it’ll just save you a trip elsewhere to get beer for your non-craftian party guests. Either way that’s a win! GR is also joining the throngs with the availability of Holiday Boxes. Two are available, the “Essential” box with eight GR beers and two pieces of custom GR holiday merch, and the “Deluxe” with eighteen brews and twice the merch content (four pieces). All come with a Holiday Card that they’ll fill out any way you like – GR does the work, you get the credit. And lastly, if you’re heading down there, GR is running a “Swabs for Pints” program to encourage folks to be smart and get tested. You show your evidence of a negative COVID test, either via a pic of your home test result or a text message from the testing program and they’ll sell you a pint at the lowest legal price. Wins for everyone!!

Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing have been happy little beer elves all year long and they’re bringing some holiday cheer with some new and returning releases. Golden Vanilla Latte is a favourite of TS fans, a blonde ale with lots of coffee and vanilla, brewed in collaboration with Epoch Chemistry coffee shop. Using lightly roasted coffee beans with lactose and vanilla, 3,000 litres of beer was aged, giving a vanilla latte flavour in the 5.0% ABV brew. Next up is another canned release, Pear Chai Sour, a sour ale using a tonne of Chai tea and 100 litres of pears. Pitched with Lactobacillus, you’ll get a fruity, sweet and sour notes at 6%. These two beers are available today in cans, growlers and pints at the brewery. Next Wednesday (December 22) there will be a limited release of FaceMelter, a Wee Heavy style beer coming in at 10%. A perfect style for the season, you get some boozy, malty, caramel flavours, but thanks to the use of honey dates in this brew, you’ll get some fruit notes as well. This was first brewed two years ago, but the honey dates are a new addition for 2021. There are only 100 bottles of this, and last time it sold out in one hour; only available at the brewery, of course.

Nyanza’s finest, Big Spruce Brewing, is back with a winter themed release making it’s return. Shrediquette is a New England IPA that is juicy, bold and fruity. Originally released in March 2020, this beer was going to debut at the Vermont Brewers Fest, but sadly, COVID cancelled that plan. This NEIPA is packed with El Dorado hops and uses Ebbegarden Kveik yeast to bring pineapple, guava and mango flavours to the soft and fruity esters from the yeast. This is available now in cans from the brewery and online. Also, like so many other breweries this year, Big Spruce has a special holiday box featuring 12 cans of 6 Big Spruce staples! Featuring 2 each of Kitchen Party, Cereal Killer, Ready Yer Knot Regatta Red, Guava Get Me Some, Tag! You’re It and Silver Tart, you can get this for $50 including free shipping in Canada!

Lake City Cider has a new release for the end of the year, adding to their Vine series of wine and cider mixes. Sparkling Apple Pinot Grigio is the latest release, featuring Pinot Grigio with a bit of freshly pressed Nova Scotian apples for the cider side. It’s light, delicate with notes of apple and pear with a very dry finish. Available in store or online in 750ml bottles at 9.6%. 

The news keeps coming out of North Brewing, this week in the form of a brand new one brewed with a shining light in the industry. Ren Navarro of Beer. Diversity. and Do Better. Be Better. is both a beer expert and a leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Who better to team up with on a collaboration beer? Pip Pip Cheerio is an English Porter at 4.5% ABV featuring a blend of specialty malts and a fermentation with the Sterling Ale yeast strain from Escarpment Labs. Expect a toasty brew, with nutty overtones and a soupçon of caramel and cherry. Grab it at any of North’s three retail locations or order it online. And consider giving do give Ren an Instagram follow at Beer Diversity if you don’t already!

Antigonish’s Candid Brewing really wants to do something to ease the mental and emotional load of the negative light cast on their town over the past couple of weeks. What better way to do that than beer and a spirit of giving? Over the holidays when you place an order that qualifies for free local delivery ($50 and up), you’ll find an extra beer in the box when it arrives: a can of their Kanpai rice lager in friendly community spirit with the Antigonish Townhouse. They ask that you “beer it forward” to someone deserving, be it a friend, colleague, or just someone who needs a pick me up. If you take a picture of that paying it forward and share it to social media (tagging Candid, natch), you’ll be entered to win a private tasting for six at the brewery. The draw will be held Christmas Eve at noon, so you’ve got a few days to get this done. So get thee to their brand new online ordering system and order up some beer, including a couple more brand new debuts that have hit the virtual shelves in the last seven days. Especially important for those in the HRM is that they will be doing a run to the big city next Tuesday (Dec 21), so submit your orders before 8 PM Dec 20 to get in on the action. $60 order minimum, and an order over $100 will get you free shipping, so grab a friend or two and get to clicking!

Heading down the road we’ll end our year in beer news in Stellarton, where Backstage Brewing is releasing Fare Thee Well, a Champagne IPA. This is on tap at the brewery now and bottles will be available early next week. Expect an effervescent beer with a dry finish and plenty of hop character. 

A couple of events to tell you about coming to a beer bar or podcast near you!

Obviously subject to change according to whatever might happen restrictions-wise in the next couple of weeks, if you’re looking for a beery NYE pre-party by all means head on down to the Stillwell Freehouse, where they’ll be running from 12 to 10PM giving you plenty of time to enjoy one-off kegs, staff favorites, and special snacks before you head on out to do your countdown thing elsewhere.

Whether you’ve got some time off coming up and you’re looking for some things to pique your interest, or you’re looking for some new content to help you get through the commute during this slow time of year, 902BrewCast has you covered. Tune in to their latest episode, recorded yesterday, but coming to a Tuesday near you (we suspect this coming one, December 21st), when they sat down with Lucas Mader from Bishop’s Cellar (Bishop’s Cellar! Bishop’s Cellar! Bishop’s Cellar!) to catch up on what’s in stock, what’s coming soon, and beery plans for the future. Grab it from their website or wait for it to appear in your favourite podcast app.

In a year full of ups and downs, let’s leave you with some happy news today… TAPestry Beer Bar is celebrating 6 months of bringing the best beers of the province to the fine folks in Lr. Sackville. Thousands of pints poured, Flight School Fridays to launch the weekend, and Kaisers subs consumed onsite, and there will be many more of those to come. Pop by their spot at 833 Sackville Drive to support those folks bringing great beer to great people!