Iron Rock Brewing Co.

All posts tagged Iron Rock Brewing Co.

Hey hey, fellow beer aficionados in Atlantic Canada, we’ve got a rip snorter of a day going through most of the region and if it weren’t for these pesky day jobs we’d have posted earlier and bagged off down the pub for a pint or four. Sadly, day jobs pay for our beer and without beer we’d have a much harder time ignoring terrifying world events, gas prices, and inflation. Wheeeee! Although March Break is coming to an end in New Brunswick, it’s just getting underway in Nova Scotia and PEI (sorry Newfoundlanders!!) so there’s likely to be plenty more traffic in travel corridors and lots of out of towners about. Be nice, drive safe, be safe, support local (wherever you happen to be) and enjoy the new and returning beers our producers have put out as we start to believe that Spring might be a thing.

We’ll start this week’s news on Prince Edward Island, where Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing has a couple of new things on the go this week, starting with the first entry in their Million Acres series of barrel- and foeder-aged beers that we’ve seen in quite a while. Million Acres Peach Witbier is a 6% ABV and 5 IBU witbier (surprise!) featuring 2-row and wheat malts from Island Malthouse and Island-grown peaches from Bearing Fruit Acres Farm. To complete the local connection, it was aged in a foeder from New World Foeders. Dark yellow in colour, with a light haze, there’s plenty of peach and sweet aromatics on the nose along with some oak. On the palate, look for a light body and low carbonation, with subtle sweetness. Packaged in 500mL bottles, it’s available now at the brewery and Craft Beer Corner, and it’s expected to make its way to Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse in HRM by next weekend.

For those on a low- or no-alcohol program can also look forward to the latest trial batch in Upstreet’s Libra line of ultra-low ABV beers, Libra Cherry Sour. Tangy and fruity, with some elements of pie crust, and spicy cherry character courtesy of Montmorency cherries, it’s only 0.4% ABV and 30 calories (6g carbs)! Look for this one at the brewery and CBC this weekend and again, BBQ Brewhouse next weekend. And a reminder that if you’re looking for a Paddy’s Day tipple that won’t leave you painting the town green, the award-winning Libra Non-alcoholic Stout is widely available at Sobeys locations in Atlantic Canada and select liquor stores and independent retailers across the country!

Down in Chester, Nova Scotia, Tanner & Co. have a new beer available featuring everyone’s favourite regionally native yeast, Escarpment Labs x Big Spruce Brewing Scotia Sauvage. Part of a series of beers Tanner has been making with that yeast, Sauvage Gose is what it says on the tin, er, bottle, a tart and slightly saline 4.8% brew with additional hints of coriander. Also featuring local malts in the mix, with Shoreline Pilsner and wheat, you’ll find it at the brewery, at the Tanner taproom in Chester proper, and tap accounts as well. And look for another Sauvage beer to be released in a couple weeks as well!

Way (way!) up in the Big Land, Lab City’s own Iron Rock Brewing has a brand new concoction they’re calling Hyperbole and it’s no exaggeration that this one is chock full of stuff: it’s billed as a double dry hopped passion fruit milkshake IPA at 6.2% ABV. Featuring plenty of mouthfeel and creaminess from flaked oats and lactose, Citra was added in the kettle and tropical El Dorado and Sabro at dry hop, with plenty of passion fruit puree bumping up the fruity component and vanilla bean smoothing it all out. Sounds like quite a ride for your tastebuds. Degree of difficulty? This one’s only available on tap at the brewery, so only local palates need apply.

Continuing their long tradition of partnering up with local sports teams and organisations, Halifax’s Garrison Brewing has a new beer out in association with the newest league in town, the Maritime Women’s Basketball Association and also in celebration of International Women’s Day. Introduced at Garrison’s Seaport location on IWD, Courtside ISA is an India Session Ale described as a “sip of sunshine.” Built on a base of 2-row and Carapils malts, and hopped with Azacca, Topaz, and Idaho 7 varieties, it comes in with low bitterness and a lovely and light 4.3% ABV. And with $0.50 from every can sold going to the MWBA, you can doubly justify having a few! Look for it at the brewery and wherever else you get your Garrison brews.

Although you’ve already missed your chance to get it, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing brought out a very special beer yesterday with a very special cause. Free Ukraine! is/was a small-batch of 9% barrel-aged DIPA designed to be consumed both now, in solidarity, and later to celebrate the end of the conflict. Selling for $10/can, half of that was donated to Red Cross Ukraine Relief. If you didn’t get your hands on some, there’s more good news, however, as we’ve got a new batch of a single-hop DIPA from Unfiltered to tell you about as well. Featuring Idaho 7 hops, known for very tangerine-like character, slightly sweeter and more round than Citra, but still with some bite, Positively Shocking is almost certainly in the vicinity of 7.5% ABV and also no doubt a worthy entry in the series. And if you did miss the Free Ukraine!, maybe grab some Positively Shocking and throw a few bucks at Red Cross Ukraine Relief anyway!

Heading over to New Brunswick, where Gridiron Brewing in the Kennebecasis Valley has a new beer pouring. Midterm is just in time to celebrate the end of NB’s March Break, although it sounds like it’s going to be a regular brew on the roster. Tropical and hazy, it’s an NEIPA at 6.8% ABV and 36 IBU, just enough bite to keep from being cloying. You’ll find it already pouring at the brewery and it appears there are cans to go as well; look for it to also start appearing at Gridiron tap accounts in the region.

Back to NS and the North Shore of the province, where Tatamagouche Brewing has another new lager for us to enjoy. Kyral Maibock is a little early for Spring, when the Maibock style was traditionally ready after a winter of lagering, but we’re not complaining. Bigger, darker, maltier, and hoppier than most of the lagers North Americans are generally used to, it’s a burly 6.6% ABV built on German Pilsner malt with a bit of Munich and Pale malts to add some depth and then hopped for balance with Hallertauer Hersbrücker and Saaz. Fermented low and slow using a Czech yeast strain from Escarpment Labs, it’s a bright amber colour with tasting notes of cereal and honey, finishing with a restrained malty sweetness. Look for it in cans from the brewery or wherever you get your Tata, and don’t be surprised to see it on tap at your favourite Tata tap account as Spring arrives in earnest.

You may recall a few months ago that Propeller dipped its toes into the Cold IPA style with the release of Talus. This take on IPA uses a cooler fermentation temperature to mimic the crispy drinking experience more commonly associated with lagers or lagered ales. Their next iteration of the style is out today with Eclipse Cold IPA. Look for lots of citrus notes, including mandarin, and a hint of fresh pine from the Eclipse hops. Coming in at 6.1% ABV, it’s available now at all three Prop Shops, for shipping/delivery through their online store, and will also be at Bishop’s Cellar next weekend. 

Up in Fredericton, NB, Grimross Brewing has put together their first full-time IPA after several years of business. Keeping ingredients as local as possible, they’re calling it an “East Coast IPA with a Maritime and Grimross twist.” At 6.5% ABV and 60 IBU, they focused on drinkability with this one, as you’d expect for a beer they’re planning to keep available year round. Look for Maritime IPA to appear any day now at the brewery on tap and in cans to go.

We tend to focus on ale, lager and cider in our weekly posts, but there’s a fourth variety of fermented beverage that ACBB is also happy to see occasionally hit the tap lines of the Atlantic provinces. That beverage is mead, and Annapolis Brewing Company is releasing their first take on the category this weekend. Royal Mead is a sparkling standard mead that uses locally sourced honey. Drinking more like a wine, meads are often higher in alcohol than beer or cider, and this one is no exception, coming in at 9% ABV. Many meads are also served still, but this one has been well carbonated to give it that sparkling quality. Expect notes of honey, flowers, lemon and melon, and a slightly tart finish. Royal Mead is on tap now in Downtown Annapolis Royal and has also been bottled to take home with you.

Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing has a new release out this weekend from its Beer Creation experience. Mannenknot (Dutch for man bun) is their take on the Dutch style of Lentebock. A style that we can’t recall seeing released in the Maritimes before, originally quaffed for nutrition by monks during their lenten fast, Lentebock most closely resembles a Maibock, but finishes with a more pronounced bitterness. Serpent’s version comes in at 6.4%, pouring a dark caramel colour and featuring light notes of roasted malt. Find it on tap and in to-go bottles today. If you’re thinking of grabbing a pint, the Hodadds will be playing tonight (Friday) at 8:00 PM. Dominic’s food truck, serving up awesome pizza, will be there for lunch Saturday at noon, and to top it off, Sunday night will feature music trivia, beginning at 6:30 PM.

Just in time for Paddy’s Day, Ol Biddy’s is re-releasing Molly Johnson, their Dry Irish Stout. Coming in at a sessionable 4.3% ABV, look for notes of chocolate and coffee, with enough bitterness at 33 IBUs to keep things nicely balanced. Sticking with the Irish theme (and naming scheme), Patrick O’Neil Irish Red will also be returning to the taproom. Finally, keep an eye out for Biddy Light, which will soon be available at NSLC locations across HRM. 

Only one event to chat up this week, but it’s a fun-looking one!

Although we’re not quite in Phase 3 yet here in Nova Scotia, 2 Crows Brewing can’t help themselves but start bringing people together again; and what better reason to do so than to drink beer? Está bien, they’ve come up with a super novel and fun way to enable some quality beer drinking: enter The Tube Gala! Having acquired for themselves some delightful 9¼ oz (275-ish ml) glassware with a distinctive tube shape, along with some jaunty wooden carriers, their staff is ready to “keep ‘em coming.” If you’re up for participation, let your bartender know and you’ll be issued a coaster with a green crow side and a red crow side. Simply keep your green crow facing up as long as you’d like them to continue to replace your empty tube with a fresh full one and flip it over (red side up) when you’d like the tube train to stop. Your bartender will keep track of how many you’ve had and at the end of your session you’ll pay $3.50 per tube consumed. Sounds like efficient beer delivery to us!! What will be in those tubes, you might ask? Why AC Light Lager, of course! This first edition of what we expect will be many Tube Galas will take place tomorrow, Saturday, March 12th, starting at noon and running until close at 10 PM. To top it all off, Luke’s Fried Chicken (of Luke’s Small Goods fame) will be popping up to provide you with some of the finest fried chicken the city has to offer along with a few other select menu items. Running during the Tube Gala from 12 noon, they’ll stop when they sell out, which based on experience is likely to be earlier rather than later. Beer (in TUBES!!) Fried Chicken!! What more could you ask for?!

Let’s end this week’s news with word of a brewery that has opened recently, serving the thirsty folks in Saint Quentin, New Brunswick. Novum Boreas opened its doors in late February, welcoming locals and visitors alike to their taproom and retail spot at 249 Rue Canada. Launching with Feelin’ Light, a 5.0% ABV Blonde featuring all New Brunswick grown and processed at the nearby La Maison Fils du Roy malt house, and Igniferous Double-Dry Hopped 6.5% American IPA (brewed with Idaho 7, Mosaic, and Citra, and fermented with new fave Verdant yeast. And launched this week is a New England IPA Kombucha Radler, a NEIPA blended with GreenWhale Raspberry and Mint Kombucha. Also on tap currently is Petit-Sault’s Saison. Novum Boreas’ taproom is open from 4 PM Wednesdays and Thursdays, 3 PM Fridays and Saturday from noon, so pop by and wish a warm welcome to the newest brewery in our region!

Hello Friday! Plenty of great beer released this week, and while the weather continues to stay warm and roadtrips are the name of the game, remember to consider including a small brewery or cidery in your travel plans in the region. Why not check out our Good Beer Map to help with your planning, and please let us know if we’re missing anything so we can help the community.

Let’s start you off with some big news from the team behind Stillwell Brewing, who have been teasing some big news on their IG page over the past two weeks. They are on the move! Having outgrown their gracious hosts at Propeller’s original space on Gottingen Street, they have moved their operations a little further north to 3670 Kempt Road. Having their own facility will allow them greater freedom to set it up exactly as they wish, including a retail and events space, as well as a happy home to their foeders and dozens of barrels full of beer. It has also, just as importantly, afforded them the opportunity to design a brew system all their own! As they explore the intricacies of European Pilsners and other lager styles, they have ordered a 35 hectolitre (30 BBL) system optimized for decoction and other more complicated mash schedules (changing temperatures as well as recirculating during the mash to add complexity not otherwise available from a solely-pilsner malt base). 

While Stillwell’s new spot is not quite open, and delivery of their system is still months away, they are not leaving us drinkers thirsty, as they have released a batch of their Stilly Pils recently for draught at their sister locations on Barrington, Agricola, and Spring Garden, and, for the first time, in tall cans for enjoyment anywhere beer can go. As a reminder, Stilly Pils is their hybrid take on of the best characters of historic Czech Pils, with waves of malt complexity, German Pils, with a dry and bitter finish, and the modern Italian (and the North American beers it influenced) Pils with loads of Noble hop flavour on the nose and palate. However you define it, it’s a quaffable beer with plenty of flavour and aroma, great to either “crush or consider,” as they like to say. So, how to get your hands on these cans? While their retail shop isn’t quite ready to welcome you in person, you can order through their online shop for local delivery every Friday (as well as Canada-wide shipping). If you’re the kind of person who’s looking for a Pils fix right now, head to Bar Stillwell on Barrington or Bishop’s Cellar at Bishop’s Landing for some cans to go. Congratulations to the Stilly Brewing Crew on the new space, new beer, and the great news of things to come soon!

If you’ve been in the Ingonish area over the last 12 months, you’ve probably seen big things happening at Cape Smokey. The ski hill is fully operational, with a gondola set to open later this summer, and an ocean-front marina offering food, beer and live music. More big plans are in store with a treewalk opening in 2022, and of course, the brewery. While awaiting the opening of the brewery, brewmaster Jan Tzril has been busy sharing his knowledge of and passion for Czech-style pilsner brewing, including at least one earlier collaboration brew. This spring, Jan visited the team at Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing to brew Cape Smokey Pilsner. The result is a 4.9% Bohemian Pilsner that features 100% Pilsner Malt sourced from the Czech Republic, Saaz hops (also from the Czech Republic), and Czech lager yeast. In true Czech style, it was brewed using a double decoction mash to extract as much flavour and richness from the malt as possible. This method keeps DMS and acetaldehyde levels lower than an infusion mash, and has also been known to accentuate bitterness and help with head retention. If you want to sample Cape Smokey Pilsner, the only way to try it (for now) is to make a visit to the Cape Smokey Marina to enjoy a can onsite. Check out Cape Smokey’s blog to learn more about the collaboration, including an interview with the 2 Crow’s talented brewmaster, Jeremy Taylor.

Let’s skip from Cape Breton to Newfoundland and Labrador, where Lab City’s Iron Rock Brewing has recently released an oak-aged Belgian Tripel months in the making. Le Fer Du Monde was brewed with a traditional simple malt bill of Pilsen and Munich, hopped with the Tettnanger and Saaz, fermented with a Belgian yeast. The work didn’t stop there, as the beer was aged on oak for 3 months before being packaged in a cork and caged bottle and allowed to carbonate naturally. Spicy yeast on the full malt character, melds with notes of oak for a sensory experience. And now the beer is available at both their taproom on Humphrey (which is back open today with Trivia and Karaoke tonight!), as well as in St. John’s at Urban Market 1919 and a pair of Marie’s Mini Mart (Kiwanis & Frecker). We suggest grabbing a couple of bottles: one to enjoy now, and one to set aside for further development in the bottle.

The December holiday season has its fair share of beverage-centric traditions; in some parts of Atlantic Canada, one of them involves a boozy concoction, stored in the freezer, usually in a repurposed bucket (salt beef, with its trusty handle, is always a good choice). The recipe for the beloved slush varies from community to community, but usually features frozen juice concentrate, spirits (typically vodka), and some lemon/lime soda for the final drink assembly. Why are we telling you all of this? Well, because Bay Roberts’ Baccalieu Trail Brewing is releasing an ode to the frozen delicacy, in the form of a slush-inspired pale ale. Right Slushed is hopped with Mandarina Bavaria and Sultana. To hit those McCain frozen concentrate notes, it was then conditioned on blood orange, pineapple and lemon. The result is a tropical and citrusy pale ale that comes in at 5.5% ABV and is sure to have you searching for your slush bucket in July. Cans are available now at the brewery with pints and fills to follow soon. 

Over at Propeller, they’re back with a new bottle release available today. Black Forest Sour is a barrel-aged kettle sour with (you guessed it) flavours and aromas reminiscent of Black Forest Cake. A mix of different berries was used in a kettle sour base, which was then aged in bourbon barrels for over a year. Through the barrel, notes of oak, bourbon and a touch of smoke joined the fray. Further conditioning was done on fresh vanilla beans and cocoa nibs. All of that together brings that delicious mix of richness, sweetness and notes from a tasty cake, but in a 5% beer! This is a limited release in 500ml bottles available today for $10/btl at the Prop Shops, Bishop’s Cellar and for local home delivery only. Check it out while it’s still available!

In the ever increasing non-alcoholic beer archive of the blog (and also our lives and building some healthier habits), one of the best and most popular local choices has been Upstreet’s Libra brand. With Libra Hazy IPA joining the lineup earlier this month, Libra Pils is the latest release in a trial run today! Using Saaz hops and lager yeast in traditional pilsner fashion, this comes in at 0.4% and 5 IBU. Expect this to have classic Pilsner notes with a floral, grassy nose, joining a touch of bitterness with a light and crisp body. Available at Upstreet’s two Charlottetown locations (Allen Street and Craft Beer Corner), as well as on their online shop very soon for those not in town (shipping available Canada-wide).

If you do pick some of this up, be sure to hit up their social channel or website to leave feedback, as they want to make a delicious local non-alcoholic beer for the masses.

From the darkside (Dartmouth!) comes Brightwood with some great news this week. First up, Loudwater is a new release now available and is a low-bitterness IPA that features Nelson Sauvin hops. This 6% IPA will showcase some white wine flavours, pairing with notes of citrus, nicely balanced with Maris Otter malt. It’s is available in 473ml cans at the brewery or online for delivery. 

In other news, Brightyard is now open! What is Brightyard? It’s an outdoor beer garden on Portland Street in Dartmouth! This is the third location for Brightwood and you can get beer, wine, cider, snacks and BBQ from the mind of Emma Strubank. Check it out around 53 Portland Street in Dartmouth, pretty close to their other two locations! Open noon til 10 PM daily, but check that forecast before heading out, as this is an outdoor space it is weather-dependent.

There’s some big goings on this weekend on the Rock!

Over the last five years, Atlantic Canada has benefited greatly as a region from breweries opening in smaller towns and villages. These businesses create jobs, tourism, economic activity and an incredible sense of community in their local areas. Nowhere has this been more evident than Port Rexton, Newfoundland. Starting from their original taproom/production facility, Port Rexton Brewing has expanded to include a St. John’s retail location and a second larger production facility. More importantly, they have placed Port Rexton firmly on the map of beer destinations in Atlantic Canada, having consistently raised the bar in terms of quality and variety of styles, and having done so while becoming a pillar of their local community, supporting other businesses and community groups through collaborations, events, and pop-ups. This Saturday, PRB is celebrating its fifth anniversary in style with new beers, lots of food options, and a street party featuring live music. 

Let’s start with details on the party. From noon until midnight, the street area adjacent to the brewery will be shut down to create a larger, Covid-friendly space. Food vendors will include the in-house staple Oh My Cheeses and special guests Adelaide Oyster House, Old Dublin Bakery, Danger Giles Fried Chicken and Like Yer Mudders. Live music will entertain the crowd all day long and the first 50 beer drinkers will also receive a free glass. Non-alcoholic beers from Upstreet/Libra will also be available. 

And now let’s get to the beers. Three new ones will be available on-tap and for takeaway in cans. First up is Five, a blood orange IPA. Coming it at 6% ABV, expect a traditional IPA with lots of citrus notes and pithy bitterness. Next up is Summer Anthem, a 6.5% coconut lime milkshake IPA. Expect a combination of sweetness, tartness and bitterness in this one, which features additions of coconut, lime, lactose and vanilla, and a big dry hop. Summer Anthem also includes a link to a Spotify playlist that features some of PRB’s favorite taproom tunes from the last five years. Last but not least, PRB continues its support for gluten free beer drinkers with Kiwi. This 4.5% GF sour features lots of tropical aromatics and a big kiwi flavour. Cheers to everyone at Port Rexton Brewing, including founders Sonja and Alicia, on five awesome years and many more to come. 

We’ve got a few more short beer hits to share today before we dismiss you for the week…

Modern Brewer’s Village Green in Cornwall, PEI, continues their informal Comfortbier series with English IPA, a 5.9% ode to the style. Maris Otter (complemented by a few other English malts) and Bramling Cross (used in both the kettle and dry hop addition) come together for a combination of fresh-baked crusty bread, citrusy marmalade with a touch of floral tea; a quick English Breakfast! Find it on tap on Church Street this weekend, and perhaps in cans to go next week, should there be any left.

The fine folks at Breton are as happy as anyone to be opening up and welcoming guests from near and far, so people can enjoy their beer in CBRM and HRM. Beachside is a new limited release Pale Ale available today. Using a blend of hops for a burst of tropical fruit flavour and aroma, this is a 4.8% summer sipper with a crisp and dry finish. This is available in 473ml cans in the Sydney taproom and also online for delivery.

Wanna work in the world of craft beer and brewing? There’s definitely some spots available right now:

Seeing as how we were just speaking of Breton, let’s start there, where they’re on the hunt for some enthusiastic folks who’d like to join their team as a Bartender in the taproom and help serve up some of that new beer. It’s considered a part-time position, with 20 – 35 hours per week up for grabs, and, as you can imagine, the hours aren’t exactly 9-5, with evenings and weekends being prime time for tap rooms. So if you’re in the Sydney area and interested in breaking into the world of craft beer, more details are available here.

With their burgeoning taproom in full summer swing and their new beer garden now operational (see above), Brightwood is looking to staff up for the rest of the summer with kitchen and serving staff. With 2 full time (40 hrs/wk) and one part time (20 hrs/wk) position available to the end of September, they’re hoping to find some eager folks with previous experience to help them develop a new food concept in house. Check out the full details in the Careers section of their website.

One of the region’s most old school breweries is also looking to fill a position, this one on the back end: Pump House Brewery in Moncton has need of a Director of Plant Operations. This is a position with some serious responsibilities, best summed up as “planning, directing, and coordinating the maintenance and production functions of the brewery.” Given that they’re well-established and fairly sizeable, it should be no surprise that they’re hoping to find someone with significant experience to fill this role. You can find out more, including how to apply, by checking out the full job description posted on Career Beacon.

Well hey, we made it to mid-July and, even better for NSians, Phase 4! Although it’s definitely positive news and puts us one step closer to that “new normal” that we’ve been hearing about, it’s really important to remember that the lifting of restrictions in this phase don’t help everybody to the same degree!! Due to the continued need for social distancing, bigger venues get a whole lot more benefit from this than the little folks. That’s not judgement, that’s just facts. And frankly the little folks are the ones who’ve already been suffering the most. Now consider that the bulk of the craft breweries in Nova Scotia and the other Atlantic Provinces are on the smaller end of the spectrum. Now is not the time for complacency if you want your favorite local(s) to make it to the other side of this thing. While in-person space is limited, plenty of places are still doing on-line ordering for pickup and/or delivery; why not throw an order their way?

Let’s start with some news from Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula. Those who’ve been to the Landwash Brewery taproom in Mount Pearl can attest to the great vibes, cool interior design, tasty food options (care of in-house food truck Saucy Mouth) and excellent beer. However, a trip to the Pearl requires a bit of a drive, which may not be feasible for tourists or others spending time closer to downtown St. John’s. That changes this summer, as Landwash is taking its act to the Gut as part of the new Wharf at Quidi Vidi vending park and beer garden! In what’s shaping up to be a surefire summertime destination, the setup will feature outdoor seating, including a large tent to make it a rain or shine operation, an ice cream shack from the Quidi Vidi Sweet Spot, and food from Landwash mainstain, Saucy Mouth and the Bernard Stanley Gastropub. And of course, Landwash will be slinging pints from a custom built beer trailer. The Wharf is now open 7 days/week from noon to 9:00 PM, with plans to remain open until September 8th.

And while we’re talking new and exciting for the Landwash Crew, there’s also a new beer from them, a bit of an ode to their Mount Pearl home. With the City recently launching the Find Your Centre Renewal plan, and today being the first of Mount Pearl City Days, what better time to launch this collaboration! Find Your Centre is a 4.5% ABV Session Pale Ale, hazy and bursting with flavour from the massive amounts of Eclipse and Galaxy hops used late in the process, for flavour and aromas of mandarin orange and candied citrus. For the time being, the only place to grab a Find Your Centre is at the taproom at 181 Commonwealth, with cans and draught available for purchase. And until Sunday, your purchase of either will have you entered in a draw for a prize pack from the city, with plenty of goodies from local businesses. Win Win!

On the opposite side of the island, the crew at Port au Port’s Secret Cove Brewing has a new IPA out this week with the release of Citra Arse Down. This one was brewing with Canadian grown 2-row and Victory malt and was hopped exclusively with Citra from Yakima Chief Hops. Coming in at 5.6%, expect notes of orange and tropical fruit. Available now for pints at the brewery’s taproom.

Staying with IPAs, the makers of some of HRM’s favorite hoppy beers, Propeller Brewing, are back at it with the release of Pacific IPA. This one features two New Zealand hops, Pacific Sunrise and the elusive Nelson Sauvin. Look for flavours of white grapes, tropical fruit, citrus, pine and gooseberry (yes, let’s all keep pretending we know what that tastes like). Pacific IPA comes in at 6% ABV and 60 IBUs. Look for cans with the pop-top 360 Lid, last seen for Propeller’s DDH IPA, which celebrated previous years’ IPA Day. But 2021 deserves a brand new celebrator, and Pacific IPA is where it’s at! Cans will be available at Propeller’s three retail locations and home delivery today, as well as Bishop’s Cellar and other private stores and the NSLC soon. On tap for pints at Prop’s two taprooms (Gottingen and Quinpool), with kegs also heading to Battery Park and North end pals Sourwood Cider. Due to the smaller batch size, no growler fills of this beaut, sorry!

Downtown Halifax’s Tidehouse Brewing has a pair of new beers on tap and in cans this week, on opposite ends of the spectrum! Groove Delight is a Strawberry and Vanilla Sour, with plenty of lactose (milk sugar) added, the beer flirts with the “Milkshake Beer” category, but the gentle tart character from underlying sour keeps it from being too heavy and thick. Tons of strawberries added late in the process mean there’s plenty of flavour in the beer, which can be difficult. Available on tap and in cans from opening at 4 PM today. Also available is Big Swifty, a 9.5% Double IPA featuring loads and loads of Zeus hops (part of the CTZ trifecta with Columbus and Tomahawk, nearly indistinguishable from each other), for plenty of bitterness underlying the dank and resinous character of this Old School American hop. Pop by today to grab some of each, plus a few more, for samples and pints, growlers and cans!

Back to Newfoundland for some news from Quidi Vidi Brewery, who have recently opened their taproom’s patio down in the Gut, which may have the prettiest view at a brewery in the region (send corrections to @acbbchris). Celebrating more beauty is their Arts & IPA Series, where local artists’ work adorns the labels. The latest is Arts & IPAs 03 – Rye IPA, featuring The Voice of Currents by Mike Gough, born in Corner Brook. At 6.5%, Citrus and Spice come together, as the hops and especially grain shine through for a bit of complexity. Available now at their location in QV, as well as their Hop Shop at 16 Harbour View Avenue off Torbay Road, and coming soon to NLC and convenience stores across the Island next week.

Down in Lunenburg, NS, Saltbox Brewing is bringing out a new beer they’re calling Loud and Proud. A hop-forward American Pale Ale with classic notes of citrus, it is a collaboration with Lunenburg PRIDE, a non-profit advocacy organization for local 2SLGBTQ+ individuals of all ages and their allies who are, “committed to building an inclusive community on the South Shore where everyone feels safe, secure, and respected regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.” Proceeds from the beer will be donated to Lunenburg PRIDE and you can be part of that by hitting a Saltbox tap room as of this afternoon to try a pint or two!

Keeping with the Pride theme, but heading northeast to PEI, Upstreet has released their seasonal Pride-themed beer, Rainbrew. A “strawberry lavender saison,” the style is a mouthful and so is the beer, but in the best of ways. Featuring an ingredient for each color of the classic Pride flag, it was built on a base of Island Malt House 2-row, oats, wheat, and rye. Hopping is courtesy of modern continental varieties Huell Melon and Barbe Rouge, and, as you’d imagine, strawberries and lavender were used, and also butterfly pea flower. Coming in at 5.5% ABV and 15 IBU, the initial impression is dominated by its distinctive pinky/purply color that you don’t find in many beers. On the palate it’s got a minerality and tartness paired with a touch of sweetness, and aroma-wise you’ll find some classic notes of clove, spice, a bit of bubblegum, and banana, all from the saison yeast, but also a touch of that strawberry and lavender. This is the fourth year for Rainbrew, which began as 2 kegs that sold out in one night and has gotten bigger every year to this year, where a double production batch was done. Proceeds from sales will be donated to Upstreet’s collaborating organization for this beer, Pride PEI to the tune of $0.50/can and $20/keg. The launch party was last night at the brewery, and as of today you’ll find it available for pints and growler fills as well as cans to go!

Staying on the Island for a moment but heading just out of town to Cornwall, the longest-named brewery in the region, Modern Brewer’s Village Green, has the latest iteration of their Weird Clouds New England-style IPA on the go this weekend. Coming in at 6.6% ABV, the hopping is classic Centennial blended with modern Citra, Mosaic, and Galaxy. This killer combo brings notes of Creamsicles(™ Unilever) and sweet oranges backed by a firm, grippy(™ CPR) bitterness. On tap at the brewery and also available in cans to go.

And speaking of NE IPAs, back across the Northumberland Strait to Antigonish, you’ll find a brand new beer in that style from Half Cocked Brewing. Perfectly Unclear features an awesomely apt label on the can, and an aptly hazy concoction inside, with heavy floral and tropical hop notes owing, no doubt, to the two huge dry hop additions. With no real bitterness to speak of, this 6.6% ABV hop monster goes down easy, possibly too easy. Grab some cans or a growler fill to go at the brewery or sit and have a pint (or two).

And speaking of Antigonish, they’re officially a two brewery* town: Candid Brewing has opened the doors to their taproom at 88 College Street. which locals of the region will no doubt know as the longtime office of venerable newspaper The Casket. And if you visit their website, you’ll see they’re leaning into that heritage. For now, opening hours are as follows: Mondays closed, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 3 – 9 PM, Thursdays to Saturdays 3 – 10:30 PM, and Sundays 12 – 5 PM. On tap you’ll find (subject to availability, of course), their five core beers and, as brewing time allows, some seasonals as well. Growler fills are available (retail hours the same as taproom), and you’re welcome to bring in any (clean!!) growler you might have or purchase one of Candid’s own. There’s no kitchen on site, but you’re welcome to bring or order in food from other places. Look for a profile of this new concern on Nova Scotia’s North Shore in these very pages soonish!!
* [Ed: possibly still one horse though…]

Happy Third Birthday to Lake City Cider, who have been busy these last few months putting together some great blends of apple and fruit together in fun and exciting ways, including their District Pride Rose (Dry cider rose with tart berries to complement), Field of Dreams (local apples blended with NS strawberries fermented and steeped with whole vanilla beans with a splash of black currant wine), and Cardi P (NS apples and plums, with a touch of cardamom). You can take home a Birthday Bundle featuring these three cuties, along with three more options as well an LCC-branded frisbee. Congratulations to Poet and the team!

Hey folks, do you miss the pre-pandemic world where you could hang out with your friends drinking brilliant beers from far-flung places? We sure do, and we especially miss doing so at the various Bars Stillwell!! If you’re the same, and you’ve maybe been living under a rock that shields you from beer-related news, boy do we have some good tidings for you about the potential return of something that might possibly feel like just a little bit of normalcy: on Saturday, July 24th, the Stillwell Freehouse will be hosting a special event featuring one of the best breweries in Belgium (and really, the world), Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen. No fewer than 19 unique blends from 3F will be on offer that afternoon, with bottle pours, 11 beers from the Speling van het Lot (Twist of Fate) series, and, of course, Belgian-inspired treats coming out of the kitchen. And if you’re feeling more contemplative than chatty, the back room will play two screenings of episode 5 of Michael Jackson’s (no, the other one) Beer Hunter, entitled “Burgundies of Belgium.” Note that reservations are being taken for this event, and it’s strongly recommended that you try to make one. To do so, email andrew@barstillwell.com.

We’ve got a few more short beer hits to share today before we dismiss you for the week…
Iron Rock Brewing in Lab City debuted a new Pale Ale this week, which will help you strike it rich… Prospector APA weighs in at just 4.0% ABV, but thanks to a whole buncha Citra hops used late in the process (end of the boil and in the dry-hop), it is not at all light on flavour and aroma, with plenty of citrus and floral character complemented by low bitterness. On tap for pints and growler fills, and wider distribution in cans in the coming weeks.

O’Creek Brewing, the nano in Dieppe, NB, has a new beer pouring that they’ve dubbed Snap Cryo Pop. Featuring the Cryo Pop Hop Blend from Yakima Chief, it’s an NE Pale Ale with a very tropical bent. Look for citrus, stone fruit, and hints of coconut in a 5% ABV package. It’s available only at Le BarBu BeerGarden for now.

Out in Sackville, NS, the new hip beer bar, Tapestry Beer Bar, has received several inquiries about private bookings. Well good news for those folks who’ve been looking to make such a booking, they’re going to be possible! Obviously, rates and availability will vary, but you’re welcome to make contact to find out whether it’s a fit for your group. There’s some contact info on the website, but you can probably also slide into their social DMs (Fb/Ig) to ask. And keep your eyes peeled on the blog as we have a full interview with owner Ian Smith in the coming days!

Bedford’s newest brewery, Topside Brewing, has been working to get their beers out to other places beyond the brewery. Look for them on tap at Finbar’s Portland St., Finbars Bedford, HopYard Halifax, and Battery Park. Several of those locations have their newest beer, Backyard Blonde, but you also may find summer staple Joyce’s Boy Hefewëizen and core offering On the Bottom DIPA as well.

Bannerman Brewing in St. John’s is putting out some of the Rock’s finest fermented beverages, but they haven’t been packaging all of them. New to cans this week is Broad Strokes, their lagered German ale at 4.8% ABV and made with Pilsner and wheat malts. Eventually you’ll be able to grab some (while quantities last) at NLLC licensees (Marie’s Mini Mart and Urban Market 1919, we believe), but for now you’ll have to head to the brewery.

If you’re looking for a beer job in Halifax, we think you could do far worse than with our friends at 2 Crows Brewing on Brunswick Street. And now would also be a good time to be looking, as they’ve got a couple of positions that they’re looking to fill: brewery production assistant/delivery driver and part-time bartender and packaging assistant. In both cases you’ll be working with a team that puts out high quality product and cares deeply about their roles in the brewing community and the general Halifax community as well. More information, including instructions on applying, can be found by clicking the “Careers” link on their website.