Warning, while it is September 1st at the time of writing, below you may experience shock and surprise due to the releases of multiple styles of Pumpkin & Fall type beer releases. We don’t blame you if you want to hold onto the last bits of summer before conceding to the grips of the orange crush, but we’re just here to deliver the news! It seems like these Pumpkin Spice releases are coming earlier each year, is that because of global warming or just September starting on a Friday? We invite you to pour yourself a beer and contemplate. Onto the beer-y news!
Straight outta Burnside (and their Antigonish location), Burnside Brewing has a brand new release from this past week. Beer Can Square Pants is a Pineapple IPA that’s hazy, sweet and tasty with a smooth and creamy pineapple flavour. With a slight addition of real pineapple juice, the main pineapple aroma is from the mix of hops in the boil and the dry-hopping from Azacca, El Dorado and Bru-1. The grain bill of Pilsner malt, flaked oats and honey malted oats brings the sweet and creamy mouthfeel and flavour while Kveik yeast brings all the smooth, tropical flavours together. Coming in at 6.1% ABV, this tasty IPA is available now from both Burnside locations and will be available at private stores all across Halifax (including Liquid Assets!). See below for your chance to work with the Burnside team at their soon-to-open location in Truro!
Hopping over to the Rock, Landwash’s first release of the week was the return of their newsletter after 2 years! Check out their socials and website for how to sign up for their news right from the source. The Landwash Dispatch was packed with content this week, starting with one release available now.
Froze Det is a Cold IPA that brings a light bodied, dry, and crisp IPA to your tastebuds. Featuring some big double dry hopping (DDH!) of Columbus and Cascade, you’ll get grapefruit, citrus, hop spice, and a bit of dankness as well. Fermented with a Kolsch yeast, this one is canned and 6.5% and only available in their taproom and retail shop.
We’re gonna take this next bit right from their newsletter, hinting at three big releases coming this month. We’ll be there to fill in the blanks as they hit the taps and shelves!
Festbier – new release!
A smooth, malty German lager that’s deep gold in color with an ivory head. Brewed with high quality pilsner and Munich malt. Subtle toasty notes and light, sweet bready flavors are delicately balanced by German noble hops, with mild floral and spice notes rounding out this soft, approachable beer. 5% ABV
Make/Shift Kraken IPA – this is a new one in the Make/Shift series.
A throwback to the classic West Coast IPA, additions of Chinook and Simcoe hops give healthy notes of pine and citrus, while the generous dry hop addition of Evergreen hops delivers punchy stone fruit and orange zest. This hoppy profile is complemented by a subtly sweet base of Golden Promise and crystal malt. 6% ABV
Smiling Land Lagered Ale – this is a returning release.
Inspired by German Kölsch, Smiling Land is our Lagered Ale. Fermented warm with Kölsch yeast, conditioned cold with love, this crisp and bright beer is hopped with Czech Saaz and German Saphir for notes of spice and citrus. 4.5% ABV
Let us wait no longer, and hit you with a sextet of Pumpkin-related releases from across the region. As they’ve all hit the taps in the last couple of days, let’s get these to you in alphabetical order:
- Brasseurs du Petit-Sault is bucking the trend with their La Bonhomme Sept-Heures, opting for a higher alcohol content in their pumpkin beer. At 8.5% ABV, this one will warm you from the inside out! Look for it at the brewery shop and taproom in Edmundston, and making its way to your local ANBL reeeeeal soon!
- Breton Brewing has brought back Spiced Up, their 5.5% ABV amber ale, brewed with more than 75 kg of roasted pumpkin in the mash, with spices added to give the full pumpkin pie experience. Available at their taproom and home delivery, and at NSLCs too.
- Garrison Brewing released Oh My Gourd! this week as well, their 5.0% ode to the orangest of veggies. Pumpkin puree keeps it authentic, and their use of the spices that many of us love, make for a great fall drink. So good, it was awarded best in the Herb & Spice category at last year’s Canada Beer Cup!. Available now at their two Halifax locations on tap and in cans, with delivery an option as well. Private and government shops in NS, NB, and NL will also be carrying the beer shortly.
- PEI Brewing Company has brought back their Pumpkin Ale, featuring real pumpkin, a touch of brown sugar, and great spicing to the glass. Available at their PEIBC and Gahan locations across the Atlantic provinces, and on shelves at ANBL and NLC before the end of the month.
- Back to Halifax, where Propeller continues the tradition of using Howard Dill’s world famous giant pumpkins in their beer for a true taste of the region. Spicing with cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove, caps off the experience. Available today at their three shops (as well as delivery and shipping across the country), private stores in HRM, and select NSLC locations across the province.
- And finally, we’re back to the gentle island, where Upstreet Brewing has brought back the spookiest of their offerings, Gravedigger Pumpkin Ale. Amber in colour, and weighing in at 6.5% ABV, the full body and heavy-but-just-right spicing reminds us that maybe pumpkin beers are pretty darn good after all! Hitting the shelves at noon today!
The unstoppable duo of Banished Brewing and Lone Oak have released the first of a Home and Home pair of collaboration brews this week. A tongue-in-cheek ode to their collected history gave rise to the name of a Hazy Triple IPA hitting the taps in Paradise recently, Mustard Pickles. Bright yellow in colour, with a hint of green (thanks to all those Citra and Talus hops used, no doubt!). This bitter, yet smooth, dank, yet citrusy, 10.1% ABV beer is a blast in a glass! It made its debut just in time for last weekend’s Newfoundland Craft Beer Festival in Banished’s newly-opened Beer Garden at their Maverick Place location. The BG will stay open as long into the fall as the weather allows. Speaking of the NLCBF, their 12 Beers of Christmas has been announced for November 17 – 18, with tickets available today! And if you’re into NFL and football pools, you’ll want to check out this page for your way to win free Banished beer for a year, in addition to some sweet perks at their taproom every Sunday during the season. Late breaking news: Lone Oak released their own batch of Mustard Pickles Friday after publishing, so those near Borden can get their fix now too!
Mauzy Cider has another small batch release out now, featuring the use of hyper-local ingredients from Thimble’s Cottage at O’Brien Farm in St. John’s. Thimble’s Own was made with 2022 Season apples from an unknown varietal tree in front of the cottage, affectionately known as Kate’s Apples. Added to that were hops, also of unknown variety, grown at the farm and aged before co-fermentation. Syrup made from maple sap collected at the farm, along with honeycomb from their resident bees added to both the fermentable sugar used in and overall character. Fewer than one hundred 750ml bottles were produced, and they are only available at Thimble’s Cottage, so make your way to this oasis in the city to enjoy a taste of O’Brien Farm.
Fredericton’s Trailway Brewing is continuing their Land series of Belgian beers, with a foray back into the monastic styles. Wood Land is a Belgian Dubbel, a style known for caramel, dark fruit, a bit of spice character, and raisin/date notes from the combination of malt, sugars, and yeast. Darker malts sit on the base grains, with the yeast lending some spice character to complement the Noble-like earthy hop choice. Natural carbonation helps to soften the mouthfeel, and keep the mouthfeel from being too cloying, despite the 7.5% alcohol content. To that end, the Tw Crew made their own dark candi sugar, taking advantage of the science behind the Maillard reaction for a bit “more” from the carbonating yeast and sugar, during the months-long process. Available now at their Main Street location in Fredericton, as well as Saint John’s Union House, plus delivery and shipping through their website.
On the North Shore of Nova Scotia, Tatamagouche Brewing has released a couple of new beers this week, both with a Belgian bent. First up, in a truly classic style, is Waterlily, a Belgian Witbier. Brewed with raw wheat and treated with curaçao orange peel, fresh cracked coriander, and elderflower, though it’s bright and slightly citrusy, you can also expect the soft mouthfeel that a large proportion of wheat brings to a beer. Look for aromas of citrus, pear, and spice, no doubt with some contribution from the yeast. At 4.4% ABV, this one has “a couple” written all over it, especially with this weekend’s pending weather. On the slightly less traditional Belgian side is the latest in the Intertidal series of IPAs: Intertidal White IPA. Pairing juicy tropical hops with the fruit-forward nature of Belgian yeast strains, this one is easy drinking at 5.8% and boasting flavours of pineapple, mango, and mandarin. You can grab both of these beers from the source in cans, via online order, and (maybe not immediately, but soon) from other places where you find Tata brews. Note that these are both seasonals, however, and when they’re gone they won’t be back for a while.
Down in the Annapolis Valley, Sea Level Brewing has a new one on the taps, so new that it doesn’t actually have a name. Going by The New Unnamed Light One for now (we won’t be surprised if that sticks, minus the “new” and maybe the “unnamed”), it’s a clean and crushable American-style light ale. Consistent with American-style lagers, this one is very light in flavour and body, with no significant hop aroma or flavour, and a slight malt flavor. No doubt fermented with a clean yeast, so there’s not likely to be much in the way of esters, what you’re going to find here is “beer flavored beer” in a very crushable 4% ABV package. If this sounds like your jam, check it out on tap for pints and fills or in cans to go at both Sea Level locations.
There’s a couple of beery events on the go for the long weekend in Nova Scotia:
The gang down at Horton Ridge Malt & Grain Co. have big things going on all weekend in the Annapolis Valley with a four-day festival they’re calling the Beer of Fundy Festival that celebrates Nova Scotia’s grain-to-glass experience. Uniquely poised to do so as the producers of the malt, they’ve got quite the line up of events starting tonight, and going right through ‘til Monday. Key to the weekend’s events are six different beers from six different breweries, all of which have been made with Horton Ridge malt, which itself is malted from grain grown along the Bay of Fundy:
- Keith’s Blonde Ale – 5% Blonde Ale – A. Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery
- Fundy Haze – 6% New England IPA – Annapolis Brewing Company
- Belgian Pale Ale – 5% Belgian Pale Ale – Horton Ridge
- Lager Driver – 5.5% Vienna Lager – Lunn’s Mill Beer Company
- Fundy FOG – 4% Session IPA – Sea Level Brewing
- Sauvage – 6% Saison – Tanner & Co. Brewing
There are several ticketed events over the course of the weekend, beginning with the Beer Makers’ Circle tonight, and finishing with the Beer at the Bottom of the Bay event early Monday afternoon, which will see folks transported to the seafloor of the Bay of Fundy during low tide (weather dependent, of course). In between will be a wide variety of talks and workshops, including one on brewing and another on foraging and elixir-making, and musical events. We can’t do them all justice here, so we encourage you to check out the full program. There will also no doubt be updates and additional details available on Horton Ridge’s socials (Fb, Ig). Tickets can be purchased on-site, which will help you avoid some fees. If you’re not up for any of the ticketed events, but want to try the beer, you’re free to come by the taproom all weekend where the featured beers above will be pouring alongside Horton’s regular lineup, with seafood-focused fare from Mega Munchies Food Truck.
[ed. We’d just like to take a moment to give a big shout to Horton Ridge, not just for putting on such a big and varied weekend slate, but for how much info they’re providing, especially the full listing of events with ticket prices and all fees clearly spelled out, and the ability for people to just come by and have a beer as normal at the taproom.]
For those in Halifax (or planning to be in Halifax) tomorrow afternoon, Saturday, September 2nd from noon to close (or sellout), there’s a bit of a thing going on down on Spring Garden Road. Stillwell Beergarden is celebrating the Labour Day weekend with a lovely pairing of liquids and solids. Pouring from the taps will be a delightful mix of hoppy things and sour & fruity things from one of Canada’s best breweries, Bellwoods:
- Cat Lady IPA
- Jelly King Cherry
- Jelly King Pineapple, Tangerine & Grapefruit
- Jelly King Spicy Margarita
- Jutsu Pale Ale
- Roman Candle IPA
To satisfy your need for sustenance, there will also be Korean BBQ Street Food coming off the grill. Dubbed “Bell-Gogi”, no tickets are required, but this event is likely to be pretty popular given the beer and food and the nice weather that’s forecast, so think hard about when you want to get down there to ensure you and your crew get seats!
Lots of jobs for those looking to start, or mix up, their career in the art and science of brewing. Hopefully you’ll find something close to you!
A few quicker mentions to lead into your long weekend:
Moncton’s Tire Shack has a couple customer favourite beers back after some time away. Killed by Death is a massive Triple IPA weighing in at 10% ABV and featuring irresponsible amounts of Citra, Mosaic, and Vic Secret. Having won a silver at the US Open Brewing Championships and a gold at the Canada Beer Cup, it’s earned a spiffy new all-black package. You’ll also find a much lighter brew, the cardamom witbier Zenith Libation available. One of the first beers the brewery ever made, it’s smooth and creamy and 5% ABV with a touch of cardamom spice.
With fall just around the corner, that means “fall beers” other than pumpkin ales (<insert cheering from the anti-gourd crowd here>) are coming around as well. Quidi Vidi’s got their 5.5% Oktoberfest Märzen, featuring a toasty malt profile and a dash of herbal bitterness, available from the source, at NLC locations, and in your favorite convenience stores that stock QV brews.
Halifax’s Unfiltered has a returning engagement for you this weekend: Inducement, their ode to shitty sales practices in the industry, is a classic 7.5% NASH DIPA full of tropical hop flavors. It’ll mostly induce you to have another one. Grab a pint at Charm School (live chill techno Sunday afternoon, 2 – 5pm) or have your growler filled to go, because cans of this won’t happen until next week (but there’s still plenty of DOA cans available, and no doubt other stuff too).
Sad news to end the post this week, but we wanted to pass along our good wishes and kudos to the staff of Hopyard Halifax, who learned of the closing of the establishment at the same time as the rest of us earlier this week. After five years at the Gottingen Street location, there is not (yet) a lot of information on the reasons for the closing, but from our outside view, the staff were always gracious and knowledgeable, most recently demonstrated during this week’s “One Pint at a Time” event co-hosted by the Change is Brewing Collective and Boxing Rock. We’re hoping for quick recovery from this set back, and for bigger and better things for all involved.