Horton Ridge Malt & Grain

All posts tagged Horton Ridge Malt & Grain

Long Weekend in the Maritimes, woohoo! That may mean your favourite brewery, restaurant, bar, or retail shop is closed Monday, so please reach out before you visit. Better yet, stock up now and spend the day in your jammies enjoying the best of the region. Here are a few suggestions for what to have in your glass…

Let’s begin today’s post some sad news, hitting close to home. Niche Brewing in Hanwell, NB, has announced that they have brewed and packaged their last beer and will be closing. We understand there are many factors leading to the decision, and both Rob and Shawn will certainly be a part of the New Brunswick beer scene forever, having started as avid homebrewers over a decade ago, taking the leap into opening a brewery with an impressive variety of releases, and ending on their own terms. As some may know, Shawn has also been one of the authors of this blog, and we’re reflecting on the great writing and contributions he’s made to the Atlantic Canadian beer scene over the past 8 years (!!), using his voice to help promote others in the same space as Niche. And though we’re very disappointed, we must acknowledge that Shawn has retired from the blog as well. Thanks brother, we look forward to sharing a beer together again when it’s safe.

Some thoughts from each of us…

“I remember the first time I had Niche was at The Joyce in early 2018. All I had to read was “Brett Table Beer” and I was sold on Something Different. It was only a few months later their beers showed up more and more at Stillwell and then in the fall they had an excellent tap takeover at Stillwell. I’ve been lucky to have spent some time with Shawn and the region is lucky to have had this brewery’s funky, sour and aged treats for many years. I’ll cherish my cellared Niche beers for years to come. To the cool kids!” – Damian

“When I heard that Shawn Meek was planning to open a brewery, my first thought was “who’s that?”… little did I know that Niche would become such an innovative and delicious presence in the Atlantic Canada beer scene. I’ll miss seeing the Allagash of Hanwell on the wall at Stillwell, and the bottles smuggled in from New Brunswick by he who shall not be named. All the best Shawn and cheers to what’s next.” – Devon

“Even before I was press-ganged into the blog, I was aware of Shawn’s brewing prowess thanks to his personal blog and his homebrew comp triumphs. When I heard that he was starting a brewery it seemed natural for someone so passionate and capable to take the next step. How he continued to be a family man, work a full time job and also write damn near half this blog most weeks I will never know. But I’m awfully thankful for it. I’m also thankful for so many fine beers of a quality and variety that many breweries much bigger and more established have trouble matching. I’ll miss hearing about what’s coming out of Hanwell before everyone else, but I hope we can continue to butt heads, kibitz (at Chris’ expense, when possible), and also share a beer or two when the stars align (Orval, maybe?). – Aaron

“Shawn, I can’t remember exactly when or where we met, but I’m glad we did! GDAH or FCBF, right? It’s been a wild ride, and what I do remember is the fun we’ve had together with a beer in our hand (or not!), shooting the shit, and fixing the (beer) world. Thanks for saying “Yes” when I called in the big guns to partner up for the blog, and still being crazy enough to write it while juggling everything on the go in the real world. While there may not be much more Niche coming our way, this just means the homebrew will be flowing freely soon, right? 😉😜 Looking forward to sharing another pint with you again soon, brother!” – Chris

OK, enough feeling down on ourselves…. For those of you fortunate enough to live in the Capital Region (and beyond), check out your local ANBL or Brewery Agency Store to ensure you grab bottles of Niche’s releases before they are gone (like gone, gone). Plus Niche draught is still pouring at a few spots in the region, including The Joyce, Bar Stillwell, and better beer establishments in between.

Let’s kick off the new beer news of the week with a pair that were a long time in the making, from the small town of Montague, PEI. Copper Bottom Brewing is debuting the first in their foray into barrel-fermented and -aged farmhouse ales, both brewed mid-2020, and allowed to develop plenty of character over the past 6 months.

First up is Thicket, a 5.0% Wild Ale with Blackberries. Starting from an uncomplicated malt bill of Vienna and Pilsner Malts, with some Raw Wheat and Spelt added to give the little beasties something to chew on over time, the wort saw just a small addition of Centennial hops used at the end of the boil. The hops are not the star of this show, however, with a blend of yeasts in the “tart saison” family pitched as the wort was added to a pair of white wine barrels. The yeast was allowed to do its thing over the next three months in the barrels, before being moved to a stainless conditioning tank, where a healthy serving of wild blackberries were added. A second fermentation and conditioning took place over the next two months, before the beer was bottled still, and allowed to carbonate naturally in glass. Bright, tart, and complex, with the blackberries lending a touch of sweetness to the final package.

Patina is the second release out today, and while it started with the same base wort, it was fermented with a blend of yeast blends, with Brett Sour and Saison yeasts and other beasts coming together to dutifully chew away at the sugars. Fermented directly in a pair of Pinot Grigio barrels, the beer was allowed to sit for 6 months, before packaging and allowed to finish in the bottle. This 4.8% beer is lively, funky, bright, and features just a touch of oak.

Both beers are available in the taproom and retail today, as well as for delivery through their online shop. Those in the area are seriously recommended to drop by this evening to try the two new beers, as well as take part in the pop-up by roving pizza empire Dough Boy Industries. In the taproom from 5 PM this evening, there will be 13” pies and garlies available for ordering, as well as live music from Joce Reyome. Arriving early and/or reserving a table (902-361-2337) are the best ways to avoid disappointment. Keep an eye on other events at Copper Bottom through their Events page, where they have all of their weekly Saturday and Sunday shows listed, as well as special events, including Ashley Condon’s concert March 6th, and Garrett Mason on the 20th.

Let’s head North East to Deer Lake, Newfoundland, to our friends at Rough Waters Brewing. While their brewery retail spot is currently closed (thanks COVID!), that hasn’t stopped them from continuing to put out some great beers to the province’s beer stores. Backcountry Saison is out in the wild now, just aching to be taken on an adventure in nearby Gros Morne National Park. Featuring 2-Row, Wheat, and Vienna malts, it was lightly hopped with Centennial and East Kent Golding, before being fermented with an iconic Saison yeast, lending plenty of spice and spritz to the beer. Enhancing those characteristics were additions of coriander and orange peel at the end of the boil. 6.9% with a dry finish, keep an eye out for this one! Also hitting the shelves of the Marie’s Mini Marts and other good beer shops reeeeeal soon is Plum Pint. Those in Western may recognize the name from a local spot, but anyone can enjoy this 5.0% Wheat Beer, which features an addition of plum puree post-fermentation. Smooth and fruity, tasty all way round!

Back on the mainland, Truro Brewing Company is releasing Dark Necessities. This 10% ABV Imperial Stout was aged in a “Bourbin-ish” barrel from nearby North River’s Raging Crow Distillery. Expect big, rich chocolate notes, some coffee and a smooth bourbon character in the finish. Packaged in 650 ml bottles, you can find it today at the brewery, onsite at Raging Crow and tomorrow (Saturday) at the Truro Farmers Market. Beer drinkers of Truro, consider your Valentine’s Day plans resolved. 

In other TBC news, the brewery is holding a contest to name a new Double IPA that they are planning to release at the end of February to coincide with their first anniversary. Send your most creative idea (a nod to something local would help) via DM on their social channels or to trurobrewco@gmail.com by February 25. The winner will be announced the next day, with a $50 TBC gift card and t-shirt up for grabs. 

Big Spruce is giving us ‘an early taste of summer’ (apparently they are ignoring the long-range forecast for Nyanza) with the release of Day 6. This 6.4% offering is a co-fermented blueberry sour with Brettanomyces. Expect a deep purple colour with upfront flavours of tart blueberries and lemonade, followed by some comforting notes of chamomile tea and blueberry jam. We’re told that kegs are heading to Battery Park and Primal in the city. 650 ml bottles should be available in the webstore tomorrow. And as always, you can find Day 6 on tap at the source in sunny Nyanza.

If you’re like us and enjoy the occasional hop explosion taking over all of your senses, 2 Crows is here with their first take on the aggressive style. Space Words brings the hops. At 10.1% like other Triple IPAs we’ve seen around the region, this one comes in at 70 IBU and is loaded with Galaxy, Eclipse and Comet hops. Onto the nerdy details! This ale was brewed with a base of German Pilsner malt, flaked wheat, and Golden Promise, with sucrose added to the boil to boost the ABV. Next up, this was hopped judiciously in hopback with Galaxy and Comet. This was fermented with a blend of juice-forward hazy yeasts, as well as a unique nectar specialist yeast Metschnikowia reukaufii (from the brewery – “This yeast was initially harvested from flowers in the Berkeley Hills of California, and is thought to have evolved to make flowers smell better for pollinators by altering nectar compounds like glycosides”). Think Bio-transformation in a big, big way! This IPA was quadruple dry hopped with the three featured hops and is the juiciest, boldest and hoppiest beer to date from the Brunswick Street brewers. This beer is available now in 473ml cans and you can have it delivered right to your door ordering directly from the brewery to get this as fresh as possible!

Nanobrewery O’Creek has a pair of new beers in the wild these days, on tap at several spots in the GMA. First up is The Flyer, a 6.8% NEIPA, using Talus, Citra, Centennial, and Amarillo hops to blast your senses with full on orange, tangerine, and citrus character, yet with a smooth mouthfeel. Named after one of the fastest boats used in the rum trade in Kent County, best get yourself to CAVOK or Tide & Boar for a pint before she’s gone! Also keep an eye out for Outback IPA, a 6.2% all Aussie hop-bomb, featuring Galaxy, Enigma, and Vic Secret. Dank and tropical, this can also be found on tap at CAVOK.

A blog favourite from the 2019 Stillwell Open returns again from Propeller. Sabro is a flavourful Double IPA packed with intense tropical hops. With a flavour packed with Sabro hops, you’ll get some passionfruit, pineapple and coconut. This is a hazy favourite clocking in at 65 IBU and 7.5% ABV. Available in 473ml cans at both Prop shops today, online too, and will be hitting the private stores in HRM next week.

Did you know that Trailway Brewing, Fredericton, NB’s pied pipers of hazy hopjuice, have been tickling your tastebuds with lupulin-laden delights for six years now? Well if you didn’t, then now you do! With things being what they are pandemic-wise they’re not planning anything huge to mark the occasion, but they’d be happy to see you and the gang from your 10-person bubble visit the taproom to celebrate with some pints, or just you picking up some cans to toast them with at home. And they’ve got plenty of options for you in both cases, including at least four very fresh batches, to wit:

  • Beans, their oatmeal stout with coffee and, fittingly, a keg of which was the first keg sale Tw made (to The Joyce, of course!), is back on tap and in cans.
  • Voyager, a very soft 8% ABV DIPA that they haven’t brewed in quite some time, and featuring two of the juiciest hops known to humankind: Citra and Galaxy, is available once again, this time in a double dry hopped version!
  • Green Island, which sees two fairly new hop varieties, Idaho 7 and Cashmere join forces to bring out juicy berry and pineapple characters in a hazy 6% ABV package.
  • Box Theories, another DIPA at 8% ABV, this one with new hop hotness Strata combining with old and busted (but we still love it*) Mosaic for a bright and tropical, yet still soft and juicy, flavor experience.

And if there’s anyone out there reading this in Quebec who’s a fan of Trailway and has noticed their beers in La Belle Province, you very well might be seeing the three IPAs listed above at your local dep or wherever you’ve been finding it before.

* Except Chris. But he’s weird in other ways too. Happy Birthday buddy!

The good folks at Tatamagouche Brewing are bringing out a big bodied banger for Valentine’s Day with a nice twist on their Russian Imperial Stout. They took their original RIS recipe, added some chocolate wheat and then it was racked into Bourbon barrels from two different barrels. With the addition of chocolate wheat to this release, nice rich, roasty and chocolate flavours come through with a touch of coconut. This 650ml bottle release is 10.3% and is available now. Get this directly from the brewery’s online shop, as they ship across the nation!

Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing is, like everyone else, very happy to see that Moncton is finally out of the red phase, COVID restriction-wise, and in particular they’re excited to start helping to hook you up with some of the beer they’ve been stockpiling a little during the increased protocols. Fans of the brewery will no doubt be happy to know that Parts N Labour, their 6% ABV New England IPA, is back, this time featuring a different variety of hops, namely: Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe. “A true haze bomb,” you can expect to see (and experience) the effects of biotransformation due to dry-hopping during primary fermentation. This one is already available at the brewery for pints and fills, and, canning gods willing, also in cans later this afternoon!

Meanwhile, there’s also two smaller batches done on the pilot system available for enjoyment at the taproom (and very possibly fills to go). Their Belgian Quad is a rebrew, this time with their own house made Belgian Candi Sugar. And a new one, Peanut Butter Pastry Stout, which is described as “dessert in a glass” and features a healthy dose of lactose, is expected to be on tap starting today.

Down in the Annapolis Valley, or at least at the head (tail?) of it, lies Horton Ridge Malt & Grain, home of both a local malting operation and its eponymous brewery and taproom. Just in time for Valentines Day they’ve got a couple of special editions available that have been in the works for a while. First is their Barreled Bar Dog, a barrel-aged variation of their Bar Dog stout. But instead of the typical bourbon or whisky barrel treatment, this one had a stay in a red wine barrel from Valley neighbours Luckett Vineyards. At 6.6% ABV this one maintains the roasty malt and chocolate character of the non-BA version, but adds some dark fruit character. Second is Brunch, which might put you in mind of something light and fruity, but if it didn you’d be very, very wrong. Taking its name from a special ingredient, it’s an American Barleywine weighing in at a hefty 10.6% ABV. Featuring some maple sweetness from pure maple syrup sourced from their neighbours at Hutchinson Acres as well as a smokey bacon finish that we’re not going to speculate on how they accomplished, but maaaybe if you’re vegetarian or vegan you’ll want to ask some questions before purchasing. At 10.6% ABV we don’t really recommend having more than one of these with brunch unless you’re planning an afternoon nap. We don’t know about whether they’ve got either of these on tap, but we can tell you for sure that they’re available for purchase in 375 mL bottles!

If you’ve kept an eye on local craft beer social media as of late, you may have noticed the fine folks from the Change is Brewing Collective took a trip down Shelburne way. In addition to visiting the Black Loyalist Heritage Center, they took a visit to Boxing Rock to brew a beer! Brewed on February 4th, get ready for the release of Back to Birchtown Old Stock Ale. A 6% ale that could be reminiscent of a warmer, sweet caramel of a winter warmer. The inspiration from this ale comes from traditional Birchtown brewing ingredients of raisins, brown sugar and molasses. 

This beer is actually releasing at the end of the month in 650ml bottles, but you have the opportunity to order a limited edition package with a collaboration mask and admission to the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre for future use, all for $26. The label will also be designed with Change is Brewing and likely the mask as well. 100% of the proceeds from this beer and this package will be donated to the Change Is Brewing Collective and the Black Loyalist Heritage Society. Pre-order at the link here.

A trio of short beer blasts to finish your assigned reading for today!

The fine folks at Hell Bay Brewing in Liverpool are releasing a new canned beer, Sea Sea Salted Chocolate Porter. Details on the beer are scarce at the moment, but we do know that you’ll soon be able to find this 6.0% ABV offering at NSLC locations and on tap at the brewery.

Port au Port, NL’s Secret Cove has a new beer out this week, what they’re calling a “small beer with lots of character”. Chesterfield Road may only be 4.8% ABV, but this Session IPA still packs plenty of oomph in the can, thanks to lots of late addition of Mosaic and Cashmere hops. Tropical, citrus, beery, and pine, without the headache tomorrow morning! Their first Island-wide release, check out your local good beer shop to grab some, and of course on tap for pints and growlers at the taproom too!

Heading back south, Tusket Falls Brewing Company is releasing the latest in its experimental beer series with Raspberry Milkshake IPA. This one features Citra and Mosaic hops, with a base malt of chit malt.  The milkshake aspect comes from the addition of lactose sugar, followed by conditioning on Madagascar vanilla beans and raspberry puree. Expect notes of raspberry candies and some citrusy hop notes from this 7.5% ABV offering. Check it out at their taproom today. 

 

Have you heard of the second wave? Will you ride the wave like an undercover cop pretending to be a surfer? Have you reached your point break breaking point as cases rise? The Atlantic beer scene keeps rolling along and many of our friends have kept home delivery going strong. We wish you nothing but safety, tasty beers and merry cheers as we roll into the holiday season. Stay alert (like the COVID alert app) and stay safe!

This long awaited release from Tatamagouche is finally here, adding to the global lineup of this cultural beer. Black is Beautiful (9.5%) is their take on the Weathered Souls recipe shared around the world, as other breweries have done. Our friends at Tata used Crisp Pale Malt and Horton Ridge Pale Malt for the base with oats, C-120 malt for some dark caramel malt, chocolate wheat and rye with roasted barley and a pinch of lactose. This malty beauty was bittered to 75 IBU and with Nugget and Cascade hops.
As with all of the Black is Beautiful releases, a local initiative will benefit from the sales. All proceeds will be donated to the Tatamagouche Centre to be used for bursaries and scholarships, supporting equality and inclusion. For over 60 years the Tatamagouche Center has been a meeting place for those who care deeply about spirituality, leadership, and social justice. Each year they offer over 10 programs, which cover areas such as congregational life, spirituality, community growth and development, transformational learning, social justice, youth and family, and retreats. Available now in 500ml bottles at Tatabrew HQ on Main Street in Tatamagouche, via their online store and in the city at Bishop’s Cellar real soon. Kegs in the Tata tap room will be available as well as a few licensees in HRM. Many have tried this already (including us!) at Stillwell and the Stillwell Freehouse. It is smooth and has a beautiful balance with the bittering hops. Keep an eye out for this over the winter months, support a good cause, and you may even see it on Nitro taps, too!

Straight out of Hanwell, we missed one from last week! If you’ve followed Niche (like we have), you may be aware of Hop Altered, a Northeast American Pale Ale (NEAPA!) that changes their hop schedule in the recipe. Back for a third iteration, this beer sticks with the flaked wheat and oats and Escarpment Labs’ Foggy London yeast, but goes tropical fruity with Galaxy hops in the kettle and dry-hopped with Citra and Nelson. These are 3 tasty hops that should bring a nice balance of dank, haze and citrus to this 5.2% pale ale. This will be available on draft at the usual Fredericton accounts, along with Stillwell in Halifax. 

Over in PEI, Upstreet has two new beers, both being released on the same day. First up is the latest entry in their Million Acres series of barrel aged brews, Million Acres Yuzu Farmhouse Ale. A Saison that was hopped with Kazbek and Sorachi Ace, and conditioned on yuzu (a citrus fruit of East Asian origin), it spent about 2 & ½ months in the barrel before bottling; the shorter time (compared to “usual” barrel aging) was to allow the Saison yeast character shine through. The beer is pale yellow, with aromas of “candied orange peel, hay, and farmyard goodness” and flavours of grapefruit and lemon zest, with a bit of oak and tannins coming through as well. It’s 7% ABV, and available only in 500 mL bottles at the taproom and Craft Beer Corner.

Next up is a new beer in another ongoing series, but hops instead of Farmhouse. You guessed it, it’s the latest Neon Friday, Neon Friday 3.04 NEIPA. Brewed with 2-row, Vienna, wheat, and oats, they hopped it heavily with plenty of varieties: Sabro, Cashmere, Citra, Mosaic, and Ekuanot. Hazy, golden, and bursting with big aromas of “peach, coconut, tropical fruit, and dehydrated strawberries,” along with lots of stone fruit on the palate, you can find this 6.5% ABV hop bomb on tap at all Upstreet locations, as well as in cans at their Charlottetown taproom and the CBC (no, not the news organization).

Coupla new brews coming out of Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing the last couple of weeks. Let’s start with the hoppy one, just for a change (:D). Hot Sky is the brewery’s latest American IPA, which was hopped almost exclusively with Eclipse. An Australian variety that used to be known as the less-catchy name of HPA 016 (BOR-ing!), it’s giving this particular 6.6% ABV beer notes of “sweet citrus fruits, candied orange, peach juice, papaya, Juicy Fruit gum, and pine needles”, according to TW. It’s currently available both on tap and in cans at the brewery.

And in a move away from the world of hops, TW released their newest German-style beer late last week, Alternate Side. Brewed in the Altbier style, it was fermented cool with an Ale yeast, which is traditional for the style. Exhibiting lots of malt character (specifically “honey, caramel, and multigrain toast”), it’s balanced by a firm hop bitterness, while remaining dry in the finish. Balance is key for a beer like this, not to mention drinkability; at 4.5% ABV, it sounds like TW may have hit the nail on the head. This one is only on tap at the brewery, in their 0.5 L mugs, so you’ve got to visit to try it!

Halifax’s Tidehouse has a new beer in cans available for takeaway starting today; continuing their look back at their first four years of beers, it’s a re-release, but it’s been such a long time since it was originally brewed, it’s bordering new-beer territory! The beer is El-Galaxarillo, a 7.5% ABV New England IPA that was first released way back in October, 2017, for pints and growlers at the TH taproom. Many of you may be able to look at the beer’s name and surmise what hops they went with, but just in case you’re not that hop-geeky, the varieties are El Dorado, Galaxy, and Amarillo. With a heavy amount used in the whirlpool, and multiple dry-hop additions, it’s exhibiting plenty of stone fruit, orange, and grapefruit notes in the aroma and flavour. Available in cans to grab and go today at Tidehouse, starting at 2 PM. 

Winter technically isn’t here yet, but that wouldn’t stop some breweries from getting their winter seasonals ready for release, would it? Hells, no! And really, it’s basically cold enough most of these November days/nights to warrant sipping on some stouts, barleywines, et al. In an answer to our needs, the people at Spindrift Brewing have conjured up their newest winter seasonal, Seeker Espresso Stout. Featuring additions of cocoa, toasted coconut, cinnamon bark, and – yes – espresso, it’s a complex brew with “bold flavours reminiscent of a holiday dessert”, with a silky, smooth mouthfeel. Weighing in at 6.9% ABV, you can grab some right now at the brewery in the form of pints and growlers, with cans rumoured to be hitting shelves very soon.

Experimentation is still the name of the game at Tanner & Co. with the release of their latest beer, Kuhlmann. With a grist of Pilsner and Vienna malts, along with a touch of Rye, the wort was fermented on 100 lbs of Lucie Kuhlmann grape skins from Planters Ridge Winery out of Port Williams. No yeast was pitched in the making of this beer – all of the fermentation took place from the wild yeasts naturally occurring on the grape skins. The final 7% ABV beer has “youthful grape-forward notes of blackberry, cherry, and black currant”, and can be found at the brewery on tap and in bottles, as well as on their online store (which will unlock the secret of Friday delivery in the Bridgewater to Halifax stretch of the province, if ordered before midnight Thursday).

Continuing to surpass the high bar set by their award-winning German styles, Montague PEI’s Bogside Brewing is releasing the Gladiator Doppelbock tomorrow, Saturday November 21st. This beer is truly a meeting of the minds between German-trained Head Brewer Mark Patriquin, and Island Hop Company’s Josh Mayich. Using a Mayich family recipe for Doppelbock, and their own family farm grown hops, this beer is just about as authentic as it gets outside of Munich. Heavy use of Vienna and Munich Type 2 malts, as well as a decoction mash step, bring out some lovely rich caramel notes and full mouthfeel. The use of IHC Hallertau Tradition in the beer was used to target the flavour of traditional Doppelbocks, and it underwent a controlled aging process to bring out those characteristics. Beer science and history incoming! Historical brews of this style were done a couple of months after hop harvest, due to availability of resources, and during that time a light oxidation of the hops would change the aromatic compounds (those terpenes you’ve heard so much about) ever so slightly. Mayich performed the same steps, monitoring the results often, before halting it and locking in the character. Added late in the boil, allowed more of the woody, tobacco, floral, and light citrus to stay in the final beer. A low and slow lagering over the course of two months rounded out the beer to where it stands now. Available on tap and in cans tomorrow, the release party from 2 – 5 PM will feature live music, and even a pairing of schnitzel from Thatchers Eatery kitchen onsite. Get thee to Montague tomorrow, or make an order for delivery!

It’s getting to be *that* time of year, when husbands, wives, partners, and kids struggle to find a meaningful and useful gift for loved ones. Well, if that special someone in your life loves beer, maybe we can lighten the load a little bit. Here’s a round-up of some Holiday and Gift Boxes we’ve spotted. Have we missed one? Let us know! Hit us up on twitter or instagram or via email.

In Shelburne, Boxing Rock is releasing a very-limited number of the Brewmance Box this December. A gift box that includes thirteen beers (4 x Unobtainium, 4 x Vicar’s Cross, one Temptation, and four of either IPA, Sour, or Puck Off!, your choice), it also includes a Boxing Rock toque, drinking game, and spice mix (with recipes). You can purchase yours here for $89; if you sign up for a subscription, you’ll receive a different Brewmance Box every three months for a year, and save 10% on each Box. Free local pickup or delivery in the HRM (at Local Source Market) or Shelburne area, with $15 shipping elsewhere in NS. 

North Brewing is very rarely outdone in these parts, whether that’s for quality, style, or grace, and their Holiday Beer Box is no exception – there’s a lot going on here. Non-beer wise, you’ll find a North Brewing Holiday Card and an exclusive-to-the-box 20 OZ ceramic stein with a North Snowflake design in yellow or blue. Beer-wise, there’s a can each of local favorites Lawrencetown Surf session ale, Rosy Berry saison, Pleasant Disposition IPA, Alloy Champagne IPA, Cole Harbour Red, Little Beast lagered ale, and a can of their Cranberry Clementine Seltzer as well. Where things get extra delightful is with the holiday beers and seasonals, including one brewed specifically for, and not available outside, the box. First up, a couple of returning beers that exemplify both North’s penchant for experimentation with grapes and grape skins as well as their relationship with local winery Benjamin Bridge. Blanc is a 4.5% ABV beer in the Grisette style (think “baby saison”) made with Sauvignon Blanc grape skins. Musqué is a burlier beer, an 8% ABV Double IPA made with Chardonnay Musqué grapes. From there are three very special beers not made before:

  • Cinnamon Bun and Stack o’ Pancakes are both 9% ABV “Holiday Stouts” based off the same recipe (no actual Cinnamon Buns or Pancakes were harmed in the brewing of these beers). Cinnamon Bun was given treatment with a generous dose of cinnamon bark along with vanilla and salt. Stack o’ Pancakes was fermented with “many” buckets of Nova Scotia maple syrup, which was allowed to ferment out completely to prevent a cloyingly sweet result, along with vanilla and salt as well. 
  • Down Time is at the opposite end of the spectrum from those two, an Altbier that comes in at 4% ABV. Brewed specifically for this box and not available outside of it, it’s apparently something they’ve been wanting to brew for a long time and will be an extra special treat for those who grab a box.

On sale as of yesterday (earlier for newsletter subscribers), 300 of these are being assembled and they’re selling for $89.95 (tax-in). They will be available for pickup on December 1st, but they also qualify for free shipping in North’s local delivery area but not quite free shipping within the Maritimes or Nationally (although you could always add a few things to your order, such as a second Holiday Beer Box to get to the respective $100 or $150 minimums). Wrapped in custom North Brewing holiday wrapping paper, they’ll even write a special note for you if you indicate that your purchase is a gift. There’s a good chance, we think, that these will sell out fairly quickly, so if you’re interested (and why wouldn’t you be?!) best act soon! But if the box isn’t your thing, look for all of its contents (except the steins and the Altbier) available separately via North’s online store or at the brewery. The Stack o’ Pancakes is out today and the Cinnamon Bun is coming soon, as are the Musqué and Blanc (the latter two will see a $0.50 donation per can to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust); we’ll do our best to let you know when those are all available.

Bathurst’s 13 Barrels Brewing is getting in on the fun as well, with a, you guessed it, 13 days of Christmas Advent Calendar box. Pre-orders are open now at the brewery until December 5th, with the pickup scheduled for December 9 – 12. In addition to the baker’s (brewer’s?) dozen of beers inside (some of these thirteen will be exclusively available in this box), look for some mystery gifts as well! Message 13B on social media to place your order, and then fall asleep with visions of a sugar plum gose dancing in your head. And once it’s all over, return your box in good condition and they’ll give you a bonus 14th beer!

If cider is more your speed, Lake City Cider has you covered! They have a handful of gift boxes all ready to rock, some feature just the cider in the “Spice Up Your Life” or “Mixed Three Pack”, or go all out with the Holiday and Fan packs featuring blankets, stemless glassware, tote bags, and much more! Check out their online shop and grab them today!

Brightwood Brewery in Dartmouth is also thinking of your hard-to-buy-for friends and family, with a Gift Box set ready to pick up and share in a hurry. A six-pack of Beer is complemented by a 16oz Brightwood Glass and Canvas Tote Bag. Pick from some curated options for selecting the beers (whether your giftee is into Hops, Malt, or something a bit more seasonal allowing you to grab the Christmas on Portland Street Raspberry Porter), or you can opt pick exactly the six beers you’d like if you visit their shop!

If a surprise every day of December leading up to Christmas sounds more up your alley, the Harvest Wines/RockHead/WestSide group has brought back the Maritime Craft Beer Countdown, which features 23 beers and ciders from across the Maritimes, plus a free glass to enjoy them in. The identity of the beers is secret until you open them up, and you can expect several exclusive Countdown-only bevvies, but peep the box’s website for a sneak peek at which breweries and cider producers took part! Available now in store and online if you can’t wait the two additional weeks until December 1st (or want to get them chilling ASAP).

What about gifting your beau/belle a membership in the hottest club to ever hit the shores of Spryfield? Serpent Brewing has re-jigged their Membership Clubs so that you can get in on the ground floor even easier. The benefits will start once their opening-real-soon Taproom is complete, but here’s a sneak peek: As a member of the Brew Club, every month for the next two years you’ll enjoy a free growler fill or two bottles or two pints, plus $3 off growler fills every Thursday, a Serpent shirt and a pair of glasses, plus vouchers for a handful of free pints and flights to use or share with friends. How about gifting them a full Beer Creation Experience? This will allow them to work with Head Honcho Glen O’Keefe to formulate a brand new beer recipe, work with Serpent to name and design the label, sample it throughout the brewing and maturation process, and get the first case of the finished product! And if you are feeling especially generous, gift them both as part of the Founders Club. More details and how to sign up are on their website, but don’t delay as there are only a limited number of the memberships available!

OK, enough of those “Future Holiday Boxes”, let’s get you up to speed with the events happening in our region this weekend!. It just so happens to be a little Hali-centric this time ‘round, but we know there’ll be great beer on tap no matter where you find yourself!

Propeller’s Gottingen Taproom continues their Community Cask this evening, once again highlighting and supporting a community group that inspires and improves the community. November’s recipient is Ecology Action Centre to benefit the Green Avengers Team, a group of 16 dedicated individuals who are running in this year’s Blue Nose Marathon to raise funds for the Ecology Action Centre. So, help support EAC while enjoying a pint! What can you expect in your glass, when the cask is tapped at 5 PM this evening? It’s a sneak peek of a big release coming in December, with a rum-soaked-oak-stave-conditioned Mocha Oatmeal Stout! The base 5.5% ABV beer already showcases tons of locally roasted coffee, tempered by the smooth character of the addition of oats in the malt bill, and the rum and oak are sure to bump this up to a truly special beer. Real Fake Meats will be onsite with Donair Egg Rolls (vegan, natch) for a fun pairing.

Tomorrow, Saturday November 21st, Brunswick Street’s 2 Crows Brewing will be putting a few of their favourite beers back on tap for a “Hey, it’s Saturday, let’s have a pint” event they’ve dubbed “Some of the Good Ones”. Plenty of fun collabs done with the likes of Change is Brewing Collective (Good News), Bannerman Brewing and Lightfoot & Wolfville (Vinello), Orono Brewing Company (Deux II), Kilter Brewing (Lil’ Miguel), plus a great variety of fresh & hoppy (Perfect Situation) and wild (Old & New). The doors open at noon, and you’ll also have the chance to grab the amazing fried chicken sandwiches, pastries, and more from Buttered Bliss, onsite from 12 – 4 PM (or earlier, most likely, if they sell out).

The Stillwell Freehouse at 2534 Agricola celebrates its First Anniversary next Saturday, November 28th, and they will be stacking the taps and casks with killer beer and cider options from the region, and beyond. Chef Graeme will continue to work his magic in the kitchen, preparing some lovely complementing dishes… Or will the beer be complementing the food? I’d say both are true! Open noon til 1 AM, no reservations required, just show up with an empty stomach!

A few more things to tell you about this week before you’re dismissed. Don’t forget to wash your hands and wear your mask, things are getting a bit hairy out there again!

Gahan is jumping on the holiday dessert beer wagon (or should we say sleigh?) with the rerelease of Shortest Day. Their take on a milk stout is spiced with nutmeg to get those holiday feels going. Expect notes of vanilla to go along with the spice. Coming in at 4.5%, you can find cans of Shortest Day on the Island at PEI Brewing Company, the Gahan Beer Store, and look for it next week at PEI Liquor locations and Gahan’s other outlets across the Maritimes. 

Keeping on trend, Garrison is also re-releasing one of its holiday seasonals with All Lit Up making its return. This 7.0% ABV spiced ale features Cascade hops and is available in single cans or in their Holiday Mingler 4-Pack. You’ll also find Stay The Blazes Home Ale back in stock, this time only at the Oxford Taproom and Seaport locations (or for home delivery). As before, a portion of sales will go to support Feed Nova Scotia. 

Brand new IPA from Good Robot available just in time for your Friday drinking needs! SpaceTime NaviGator is a 6% ABV brew hopped with Galaxy, Mosaic, Citra, and Mandarina Bavaria. Fruity and tropical, no doubt, you can find it at the bar for pints and takeaway cans, and online.

Back in Fredericton, Grimross is adding to its Maritime Series with Maritime Wheat Ale. Expect classic Belgian witbier flavours of clove and fruit, and a slightly cloudy appearance (can swirl anyone?). As an added bonus, this 5% ABV beer features 100% Maritime ingredients from two excellent local supplies, Shoreline Malting and Island Hop Company. Grab some today on tap or to-go in cans.

Hardisty Brewing Co. has expanded its reach beyond the Colby Village area of Dartmouth. Look for cans of their BlockParty SMaSH pale ale at Harvest Wines in Dartmouth, starting today. And they are now in rotation at Battery Park in downtown Dartmouth, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled to their IG page for the latest updates. 

Crossing the harbour, check out North Street’s Unfiltered Brewing for the release of Riddle of Steel. This 7.0% ABV IPA is back in cans and on tap next door at Charm School. 

New Scotland Brewing has released Tough Chit, a DIPA brewed with – we assume – some Chit in the grist, and bigly-hopped with late additions of Mosaic and Idaho 7, as well as a large dry-hop. Slightly sweet, with flavours and aromas of “mango, honeydew, and peach”, it weighs in at 7.5% ABV and 40 IBUs. You can find it on tap at the taproom this weekend.

Let’s end on a new beer from Quidi Vidi Brewing, for those who need a whole buncha hops in their lives (isn’t that all of us?). Simply named Imperial IPA, this small batch release is an 8.7% ABV blast of citrus, orange, and pine on the nose, along with a serious bitterness and just a touch of warmth on the finish. Fans of Calm Tom will certainly dig this one. You can grab it at their Hop Shop in QV Village, or their Home Delivery happening Friday and Saturday. More details on their website. And look for a rebrand on the line of sours QV put out this summer, now dubbed the Sofa Sour Series. The first to be released under this moniker is the Pineapple Sour Sour, a re-brew of their July debut. Other sours getting the facelift will feature passion fruit, peach & raspberry, and strawberry & guava, on shelves and out for delivery in the coming months.

Well folks, you did it, you survived your first week of school! Whether it be you, your kids, or nieces or nephews, you’ve definitely earned your end-of-week pint. We’ve got loads of new beauties to tell you about today, from all four Atlantic provinces. Big thanks to pinch writers Devon and Damian who helped us fill out this week’s post, else it would be a lot shorter due to work and travel commitments. Let’s start the week off with a shameless plug for our favourite beer podcast, perfect for listening to while you drive to your first beer destination of the weekend…

Island Hop Company‘s Josh Mayich got on the mic with the fine fellas from the 902 BrewCast this week, dropping some serious science on setting up their hop fields in Eastern PEI. If you’re a commercial brewer, homebrewer, or just a lover of beer, the episode is a must-listen! Pair that with the earlier release with John Webster of Shoreline Malting, you’ve got yourself three hours of quality Island Time with the folks behind the ingredients in your favourite local beers! On a related note, Phil Church of the 902 Brew Crew is holding a raffle to finance photography equipment to kick-start his new career path, and you can get your mitts on some very special bottles from the region and beyond by taking part. You have until October 1st to participate, check out these posts for more details.

CAVOK has teamed up with Haut-Shipagan’s Cielo Glamping, on the beautiful Acadian Peninsula, for a local collab featuring lavender harvested from Cielo’s property. The resulting beer, Cielo, is a lavender kettle sour coming in at 4.4% ABV. This thin-bodied sour features a strong acidity, prominent notes of lavender and a dry, clean finish. Stop by CAVOK in Dieppe (or order online) for a pint, growler or crowler; and, keep an eye out for it on tap following the reopening of the Cielo’s Hub, Cielo’s on-site pub/oyster bar.

After a well-deserved break last week, the team at Tidehouse Brewing is back this Friday with a new release they’ve dubbed Pull, a vanilla milkshake sour with what the brewery is calling an “absurd amount of orange zest”. In addition to the vanilla and zest, the beer also features a dose of lactose and, per the usual with Tidehouse, was brewed with 100% Horton Ridge malt. Described as the baby brother to last November’s Milk Trip DIPA, Pull comes in at 4.7% ABV. Hit up the brewery on Salter Street in Halifax for cans today beginning at 2PM and, while you’re there, grab some Hibiscus City, Tidehouse’s hibiscus lime gose, which they’ve warned you might not see again for a little while. 

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing has brought back a favourite of their 2019 small batch releases, a style-bending beer perfect for this time of year. Flat White, a “white stout”, that is, a golden coloured ale with all of the roasted coffee and chocolate notes of a stout. Using fresh cold-brewed coffee from local roasters Java Blend, and full-flavoured cacao nibs, the pale-coloured base included flaked oats in the grist to increase mouthfeel and generate a lingering head, much like the crema/foam on top of a well-made espresso drink. This 5.0% ABV beer is available today at all 3 Prop Shops (Windmill, Gottingen, and Quinpool), and will be seen at Harvest Wines, RockHead, and WestSide, as well as The Port by NSLC, in the next little while.

If you find yourself in the St. John’s area this weekend, stop by Bannerman Brewing Co. for a pint of their new frutied pale ale, Last Light. Brewed as a 4.5% APA with a Mosaic dry-hop, the beer was then conditioned on passionfruit and guava to compliment the tropical hops. Available in growlers (Bannerman glass only due to COVID rules), pints, and cans now. Be sure to include a visit in your plans tomorrow, as from noon to 6 PM (and online from 6:30 NDT), local ceramic artists are taking part in a Brewery Cup pop-up exhibition, with drinkware on display and available for purchase. More info through Alexis Templeton’s site.

In other Bannerman news, tickets are now available for Sept 17th and 18th shows at the brewery with singer-songwriter Tim Baker (former Hey Rosetta! bandmate of Bannerman co-founder Phil Maloney). In-person tickets are already sold out, but you can join the waitlist or purchase a ticket for online viewing here

Sticking to the St. John’s area, veteran brewery Quidi Vidi is once again wading into the hazier side of beer with Squeezebox New England IPA. This 6.0% ABV hazy orange beer features a full off-white head, releasing all of the goodness of the fruity hops inside. Nectarine and peach, with a touch of sticky resin, play on top of the creamy smooth body with just a touch of bitterness. It’s the perfect accompaniment to your Friday night gig with the b’ys, or whenever the mood strikes! Available now through their online ordering portal, for either Hop Shop pickup or home delivery in St. John’s and beyond, it will be heading out to NLC and convenience stores next week. If you do opt for pick up or delivery, you can get your hands on a few more recent smaller releases, including the Crooked Amber (a malty sour with notes of dried fruit), Imperial Black Forest (an 8.0% ABV Stout with cacao, cherries, vanilla, and a touch of lactose), or the Strawberry Guava Creamsicle Sour (what more do you want to know? 😉 ). And massive congratulations to QV founder David Fong, who got to start his weekend a little early yesterday, as he celebrated his retirement after 25 years with Quidi Vidi! We’ve got tons of respect for Fong and Co who saw the opportunity for an independent brewery on the island, and weathered many rough patches to be one of the bright lights in the beer industry in the province. Enjoy your retirement, David, the brewery is in good hands! 

Known more recently for their fantastic lager program, Fredericton’s Grimross is venturing into new territory with the release of their first ever West Coast IPA. Grimross’ take on the style features aromas of berry, vanilla, pine and floral notes. Expect flavours of pine and orange rind, leading to a dry finish. Available today, stop by the taproom for pints, fills and cans.

Also in Fredericton, Trailway has a brand new one out that’s like many of their other beers, but also unlike them. Anomaly is an IPA that the brewery says is, “focused on softness and fullness in terms of body and flavor.” That doesn’t sound un-Trailway-like to us, but what does is the use of a different yeast than their usual house strain (an English strain, apparently), and the use of primarily Apollo hops, a variety generally known more for its bittering properties than flavor and aroma. But treated right, it can apparently bring incredible pungent and juicy grapefruity citrus. You can find out for yourself if Trailway hit that mark with this one by picking up cans of this 6.6% ABV beer directly from the brewery or by ordering online (they ship throughout the Atlantic Provinces and to Ontario as well!).

Back to the mainland, the fine folks from Tatamagouche have an exciting new release this week from one of their foeders. The release of Foeder Two Saison, marks their first release from Foeder Two, a larger Italian red wine barrel that’s currently (mostly) filled with Saison. The remaining litres will be moved into barrels for additional aging that will support future releases. For now, today’s release is a 6.1% ABV saison, can-conditioned and a good expression of what we can expect to see down the road from Foeder Two for more tasty treats from Tata in the future.

Moving to Moncton (which is something you don’t hear a lot), Tire Shack has two new casks they are tapping today (Friday) at 4 PM. The first is a stout that they have infused with cinnamon, cloves and star anise. This should be a nice mix of spice and dark malts into a smooth drinking cask ale.  The second cask is a wet hopped pale ale with local hops. It’s loaded with some unique hops and is always nice to see how they come through with some cask pulls. The cask nights at Tire Shack have thus far been well received and they usually don’t last long, so definitely check it out if you’re in the area. We’d also like to take a second to congratulate the gang at Tire Shack on the occasion of their first Anniversary!

Taking a hop, trip and a Jump to Halifax, we’ve got a new iteration of Hop Trip from Garrison to tell you about. This version features Simcoe hops, to bring out some piney notes for the fall season. Showcasing citrus and grassy notes on the nose and some tropical, woody hop flavours, this IPA weighs in at 6.2% ABV and 35 IBU. Grab some cans this weekend at the Garrison retail shops, NSLC and ANBL

Back in New Brunswick, the team at O’Creek Brewing have released two new offerings, just in time for the weekend. First up is Foggy Pale Ale, their take on a New England Pale Ale. Coming in at 5% ABV, expect flavours of pine, citrus and tropical fruit. You can find it on tap this weekend at CAVOK, Tide & Boar and BarBu. Next up is the nanobrewery’s first take on a gose. Coming in at 4.5%, Anything Goes features the traditional additions of salt and coriander, and a refreshing fruity twist thanks to some raspberry purée. Grab a pint while you enjoy the sunny weather this weekend at Euston Park Social or New Maritime Brewing

Our government-mandated cider content this week comes from PEI, a cider that’s the direct result of an event that impacted the entire Atlantic region. Double Hill Cidery is releasing Dorian, a dry, sparkling cider at 5.4%. This cider is a great representation of the local support that many Islanders showed Double Hill by bringing in loads of orchard and backyard apples to help replace the apple crop that the cidery lost due to Hurricane Dorian last September. They rounded this out with their own Dabinett cider apples to get the flavour profile on point. Double Hill said it very well themselves, “By naming it Dorian, we pay homage to the awesome power of nature and to the community spirit of the place we live in, Prince Edward Island.” This one-time delight is only available via their online shop for direct delivery, but be aware, they ship anywhere in Canada!

And finally in terms of releases this week we’re sticking with PEI, where Montague’s Copper Bottom Brewing wins the prize for “shamefully late email of the week.” Described by the brewery as, “inspired by some of the greats from Vermont,” Juno leveraged the now-classic Vermont Ale yeast to produce an NE IPA with a pillowy-soft mouthfeel and notes of pineapple, peach, and tropical citrus. Low in bitterness at 30 IBU and weighing in at 6.5% ABV, the grist was largely PEI-grown 2-row malt and wheat, with some flaked oats added for body. Hit with recent darling of the hop industry Galaxy, and one of the darlings of the mid-2010s hop industry, Amarillo, expect plenty of juicy hop character as is de rigueur for the style. Find it at the brewery today in cans to go or pints to stay, or look for it to arrive in a couple of weeks at PEILCC locations and Bishop’s Cellar (does anyone else’s brain put an echo on that?).

Just one event to tell you about this week, fingers crossed you’re in the Saint John region and able to attend!

Uncorked Tours in the Saint John City Market is celebrating their Grand Opening tomorrow, and we’re all invited! After opening their tasting room in the market last month, they are taking over the entire North Market Street as a pedestrian way/massive patio, so that more folks can attend, and be physically distanced. Starting at 1 PM tomorrow, Jeremiah Clark from Moonshine Creek Distilling will be mixing up tiki-inspired cocktails on the patio, and Caribjam Steel Vibes will be playing sets 1 – 3 and 5 – 7 PM. As for beer, they’re keeping it super-local, celebrating the brewers of Saint John and KV, with Big Tide, Hammond River, Long Bay, Loyalist City, Picaroons General Store on offer. Plus “End of Summer” Buckets of beer from Brasseux d’la Cote! Oh, and local wine too, worry not! Lots of details are available on their FB Events page. Congratulations to Gilliane, Nat, and the whole Uncorked Family!