Island Folk Cider House

All posts tagged Island Folk Cider House

Welp, after a lighter blog last week, the breweries, cider houses, and mead makers have righted the ship with two dozen new and returning releases this week. All four Atlantic Provinces are well-represented, so no envious reading of new beers not available in your neck of the woods… And with many breweries shipping intra- and inter-provincially, even those concerns are things of the past. As always in these times, confirm that your local brewery or favourite beer-centric bar or restaurant is open and doing take-away or in-person enjoyment (those in NS will have to wait a while for that luxury again), but at least we can suggest what to ask for when you do sidle up to the bar.

Starting off this week, we’ve got a barrel aged version of a previous release. Last fall, 2 Crows released a Change is Brewing collaboration called Good News, a Berliner-style Weisse with raspberry and Mango additions. Yesterday, they released Great News a barrel aged sibling. The big difference with this one is that the brewers started with some Berliners that were already in barrels from the fall.

From the brewery: “Together with the members of CIB and a couple folks from the Africville Heritage Museum, we held a blending session where we sampled a number of different Berliners we had brewed to barrel in early 2020.  As a group, we decided on a blend of three different barrels – one Sauvignon Blanc, and two Mezcal Reposado barrels.” Fruit additions of Raspberry and Mango joined the blend, which used the same base for all barrels: 55% pilsner, 11% raw wheat, and 33% wheat malt, along with some aged hops in the mash. The beer was then conditioned for two months before bottle conditioning for another seven.

This beer has great jammy flavours from the raspberry, and is zippy per the style. The Mezcal barrels bring some earthiness, while the Sauvignon Blanc barrels give smooth lemongrass notes. It comes in at 3.2% ABV and is available in 375ml bottles. A limited number are available, so get it directly from the brewery while you can! 

Those in the Saint Andrews, New Brunswick area have reason to celebrate, as they now have a local brewery of their own! Saint Andrews Brewing Company is a nano brewery owned and crafted by Ian Covey, a veteran of the New Brunswick brewing scene. While SABC does not have a taproom of their own, they will be supplying local bars and restaurants with their beer, with local The Red Herring Pub the first to carry their beer this weekend. We’ve got the early scoop on what will be pouring, namely: Herringbone Pub Ale, their 4.6% take on a traditional Best Bitter, featuring a grain bill of Golden Promise and a dash of Crystal Dark, plentifully hopped with East Kent Goldings to the tune of 30 IBU. Caramel, toast, and even some Earl Grey tea qualities in the glass, and look for it to be on Cask in the future. Also on draught is Wharfbound Hazy Pale Ale, a 5.5% NEIPA with a blast of ripe tropical fruit character from the Citra and Simcoe used throughout (including in two dry-hopping additions), on a pillowy base of Golden Promise, Canadian 2-Row, wheat, and flaked oats. Think candied pineapple, mango, and even CBD gummies. In addition to these core beers that should always be on tap at the Red Herring, the first of their rotating taps is London Brown Ale, a 4.3% Brown Ale brewed in the historical style, a touch sweeter than a traditional English Brown, showcasing all the lovely brown bread, toffee, and raisin notes you’d expect. These three beers will be on tap today at noon, and given the small batch size, may not last all weekend, so do not delay in visiting to grab the first tastes! We’ll have much more from Covey and SABC soon, and in the meantime follow along on IG and Fb to learn more on future releases!

Heading back to NS, Big Spruce is re-releasing Complexified. With only 500 bottles available, this Bourbon Barrel-Aged Baltic Porter was slow lagered and conditioned in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels for over six months. Featuring complex, rich chocolate notes with a bit of nuttiness, a smooth bourbon finish, and a touch of wood, this beer is a winner. Only available at their Sprucetique in Nyanza and online in 650ml bottles, be sure to act quickly on this. They’ll ship this 10.9% ABV and 28 IBU beauty anywhere in Canada. 

And staying in Cape Breton, their new cidery on the block, Island Folk CIder House, is releasing Special Elderflower Cider. The elderflower infusion leads to slightly herbal and floral notes that compliment tannic notes from the apples. You can grab a bottle at the cider house in Sydney, or order online for local delivery and Canada-wide shipping.

From one Island to another, let’s head to Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, where Landwash Brewery can be found who have plenty to share this week. Out today is Up She Rises, the result of the collaborative brewday Head Brewer Christina Coady held on International Women’s Day in March, in which breweries from across Newfoundland and Labrador took part virtually. This 6.0% ABV IPA uses the Pink Boots Society hop blend from Yakima Chief, and features additions of passion fruit to the brew, for a massive blast of tropical, floral, and summer-esque vibes. Part of the proceeds from can and draught sales this weekend will be going to YWCA St. John’s, so be sure to support their efforts while drinking a great bevvie!

Plus we have some intel on two beers coming later this month, that we’ll spill closer to release, but we can say that the first is a Saison, reminiscent of Christina and Chris’ time brewing at Folly Brewing in Toronto, where naturally conditioned and “weird” and “funky” were the norm. And coming later in May is Packaging Manager Nardia McGrath’s Caribou Hill, an Anzac-biscuit-inspired Brown Ale beer featuring coconut. Much more then!

Where better to drink Up She Rises than at the brewery taproom, which is sporting some new seating up above the taproom proper in a space they are calling the Loft. With 30 additional seats (that will grow to 60 when restrictions ease), the space also features a second bar to reduce wait-times, and a view of the taproom and brewhouse below. It will be available for private bookings shortly, and their website also now allows for seating reservations for you and your bubble. They have a full month of events planned each Wednesday and Thursday, with fly tying (of the fishing type) each Wednesday beginning at 5 PM, and live music each Thursday starting at 6 PM. And as the weather warms, you’ll soon be able to enjoy a pint on their under-construction outdoor seating!

Wolfville’s Church Brewing has a new release this week, and best we can tell, it marks the first time they’ve packaged in bottles. Til Death Do Us Tart Sparkling Framboise is a new take on their previously released raspberry wheat ale, Til Death Do Us Tart. This time around, they’ve bottled conditioned the beer with champagne yeast to create a more sparkling and effervescent carbonation. Bottles are available now at the taproom on Main Street and for delivery locally, throughout the Valley Wednesdays (order before 8 PM Tuesday), as well as to HRM Thursdays (order by Wednesday at 8 PM). It’s also available in a special Mother’s Day gift pack that includes two tulip glasses and a bottle opener, with an optional variety of cheeses that can be added, available Sunday for pickup or local delivery. Due to the small batch size, phoning in the order for delivery is probably the way to go for this one (902-542-2337, https://churchbrewing.ca/store/shop-beer). 

And while we have you thinking of Church, they debuted a new American IPA on the weekend, aptly named Maia. Named after the Goddess of Spring, this 5.7% ABV slightly hazy golden ale features some wheat and oats in the grist to soften the mouthfeel, with the star of the show being the hops used. Magnum, Mosaic, and Vic Secret shine through with lemon and herbal notes, with plenty of other fruity ester character to stand tall on her own, or the beer’s acidity can work with the hops as a refreshing palate cleanser accompanying wings, orzo salad, or a Caprese bacon sandwich. Maia is a draught-only release, which these days means it is only available in Crowlers, but those can be added to a local or HRM delivery over the phone, or picked up in person at their location on Main Street Wolfville.

Bad Apple is back with a cider release this week, straight outta Somerset in the heart of the Annapolis Valley. Haskap Cider is 6% ABV and features the local Haskap berry added to the cider as whole fruit smashed with love. Available in 473ml cans only from the brewery, this is rich, flavourful, well carbed and sports a vibrant red colour. 

And In other Bad Apple news, if you’re reading this early enough on Friday and are in HRM, you may be able to get an order delivered in Halifax. Check out the Facebook post here for details on how to order, and choose from their Box Cutter IPA, Mosaic DIPA, Black & Tackle RIS, and Stearman APA, as well as several of their ciders.

And speaking of both cider and the Valley, Kentville’s Maritime Express has a new cider available this week as well. Lively Airs is a 5.2% fruity and herbal cider that began with a base of a juice blend from Spy and Honeycrisp apples. To that, local strawberries were blended in, before basil was added during the aging process. Named for a picnic outing sponsored by the Western Counties Railway way back in 1875 to drum up funds. Flat cars were fitted with benches and an estimated 1,200 people went on the excursion, entertained by the “lively airs” of the Milton Brass Band who were positioned at the center of the train. A lovely historical reference to a very summery-sounding cider. Get your taste of it by ordering online for pickup any time between 12 and 8 today (Friday) or between 4 and 8 on Saturday (and hopefully soon enough you’ll be sipping pints in the taproom again!) And if you’re making an order, you might also be interested to know that their Roundhouse Rhubarb is also back in stock and it’s “tarter and rhubarbier than ever!”

Bringing some good news from PEI, Copper Bottom is bringing the love, returning the support they’ve received over the past 14 months during the pandemic. Islanders have been more than kind to them and they’re taking a turn to give back. Launching today, they’re starting a Give Back Initiative, which will be a series of beer releases that will support PEI not-for-profits, community groups and local artists. 

The first release comes out today and Plover is a Helles-style lager in support of Island Nature Trust, whose mandate is to protect vital underdeveloped land and at-risk wildlife. Available in cans and pints, this style has a bit more body than a classic Pilsner, has a Noble hop flavour and aroma from the Hallertau Mittelfrüh, complementing the Island floor-malted grain used to achieve the 4.8% ABV. Cans are available from the brewery today, along with draught Plover pouring as well. $1 from every can or pint sale will go directly to the Island Nature Trust to work to protect natural assets and thrive for sustainability across the province. For those not in Montague, check their website for delivery options to your neck of the woods. If you’re lucky enough to be nearby, they’ll have some entertainment in the taproom at 6 PM tonight to celebrate the release. From Copper Bottom, “Future plans for the Give Back Initiative include releases to support mental health initiatives, local art installations, and other community-oriented projects.”

There’s a bunch of news out of Garrison Brewing in Halifax this week, as it’s clear they’re very very busy over there despite the HRM lockdown. First up is news for fans of football (no, not that one, the other one): Halifax Wanderers FC and Garrison are teaming up for a co-branded special release of Garrison’s Tall Ship Light in 473 mL cans. Merging themes from each brand into a single, unified look, you’ll be able to see it for yourself through the Seaport and Oxford retail locations, private stores around the city, and eventually at the Wanderers Grounds at a Wanderers match once this lockdown madness is all over.

There are also beers returning to the Garrison ranks this week, one that’s fairly new school and one that’s decidedly not. First up is the summer edition of their kettle sour. The 2021 edition of Pucker Up! Citrus is hazy and very orange forward, continuing to a citrus finish, all on top of the usual tartness that fans of this one enjoy. Available at the Seaport and Oxford locations now, they will also be coming to the private stores and NSLC in the coming days.

Also returning is the elusive, in-frequent, but cult-following-inducing Jalapeño Ale. Last spotted in 2018, this year’s 4.6% batch features more chilis than just its eponymous pepper, but the exact cultivars are a secret! What isn’t a secret is the kick of capsaicin evident on the nose and palate right away, making it perfect for marinating, cooking, as a base for a beer cocktail, or straight up enjoyment for those pepperheads out there. If you fall into any of these categories, we suggest you grab Jalapeño quickly, as it will be gone before you know it. (Now we need to start a petition for Garrison to bring back and equally vintage brand, Khybeer Mokka Ale!!)

And finally from Garrison is a cider collaboration with their pals at Bulwark. Core Apple Cider has been on tap at their Seaport and Oxford locations for a while now, but is available for the first time in 473 ml cans this week. At 5.8%, finishing dry, it used 1005 Annapolis Valley Apples that Bulwark helps them source and process. Gluten-free as you’d expect, and a yummy alternative for those wanting/needing an alternative to beer.

Borden-Carlton’s Lone Oak Brewing has a new beer on tap at their taproom, your first/last stop when visiting the Island (you know, assuming you aren’t supposed to be self-isolating)…Lupin is a 6.5% ABV Belgian Saison, with lots of yeast-derived notes of bubblegum, clove, spice, and herbs, on a dry effervescent base. Featuring Island-grown hay, as well as honey from Canoe Cove, there’s a hint of sweetness on the backend. Only available on draught at the taproom currently, bottles of Lupin will be available before the end of the month.

Lunn’s Mill – CM done

Lunn’s Mill Brewing, in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, has a new “Old” English IPA on tap at the brewery now. Bramle On features the English Bramling Cross hop, resulting in an earthy and floral aroma complementing the soft and well-conditioned feel of a classic British beer base (and, if you’re like some of us, a name that’ll put you in mind of Led Zeppelin). At 6.1% ABV, it is on draught at the brewery’s taproom in Lawrencetown, so growlers are the best way to go for this one. And then in-person pints there and at your local pub soon, once the lockdown lifts! In the meantime, you can request delivery to your door through their online portal.

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing is continuing their month of Small Batch Releases with a beer over a year in planning. Wild IPA is a blend of a Brettanomyces-fermented IPA that spent time in white wine barrels, before being blended with a super-fresh IPA loaded with Nelson Sauvin hops. Gooseberry and White Wine notes burst from the can, with a funky wild character from the Brett component. This 6.2% ABV blend is a can-only release, appearing on the shelves at all 3 Prop locations open 12 – 8 PM today (and everyday!), with same-day delivery available in HRM and shipping further afield. A portion of the batch will also be appearing at the four private stores in Halifax and Dartmouth this weekend. And after a mad dash to snap it up mid-April, Tropical Haze is back in cans at the Prop Shops as well, perfect for enjoyment outside as the weather warms.

Annapolis Brewing Company is going sour for their most recent release, Basin Berry Sour. Leveraging plenty of raspberry and blackberry fruit in the glass, blending perfectly with the base kettle sour beer that marks their first foray into the style, and just in time for the warmer weather. Featuring a lovely purple hue, the 4.0% sour is available in cans at the taproom in Annapolis Royal (lockdown hours, Wed – Sun, 12 – 6 PM), or for home delivery through their website.

Mountain Meadworks has a pair of new meads available this week, available from their stall Saturday from the Truro Farmers Market, as well as through the online portals from the Truro and New Glasgow Markets. Feral Nova Scotia was created with honey from Tatamagouche, and yeast harvested from a pin cherry in Cape Breton and cultured by Escarpment Labs that will be familiar to many beer fans… Finishing dry, yet showing a touch of lingering honey on the palate, the floral character shines through in spades. The second expression is a sure sign of spring, the return of grackles to the area. Featuring wildflower honey from Tatamagouche, the mead also showcases organic blueberries from North of Nuttby Farm, and Black Currants from Upperbrook Farm in Truro. Dry, yet juicy, with plenty of fruit flavour and light tannins from the fruit additions shining through.

Cornwall PEI’s Village Green has debuted their first traditional farmhouse beer this week, the simply-named Saison. Using a multi-grain grist bill, the beer finishes quite dry with notes of pepper, lemon, and a touch of spice. European and English hops complement the base with a solid bitterness. Find Saison on draught and in cans at their location on Church Street in Cornwall, and you may also be able to catch it on tap at HopYard in Charlottetown as well.

We finish off our news section today with a major development for cider in Fredericton. Red Rover Craft Cider has found a new home, at the historical Neill Family Farm, located in Devon on the Northside. Dating back to 1867, there are generations of history at that location, which Nicola Mason and Adam Clawson of Red Rover intend to continue with their own family. Their plans are far-reaching, including moving their production facility from Hanwell Road to Devon in the coming months, which will allow expansion as well as welcome guests to tour the facility once renovations are complete. A taproom and event space, the Ciderworks, will repurpose some of the existing farm buildings to better suit their new intention. Going forward, they will be planting apple and other fruit trees, including traditional cider-specific varietals, which will bear fruit in the coming years. Much more great details to share as Red Rover make the farm their own, and our congratulations to Mason and Clawson on this major milestone!

Just one event to talk about this week, but it’s a good ‘un if you happen to be in the St. John’s area!!

The East Duck area of St. John’s is getting a taste of the mainland this weekend, with both Bar Brewdock and nearby Toslow pouring some fresh kegs from Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing. Both spots are pouring a nice selection on the go/coming soon, with Waltz German Pils, Deux II Cherry Sour (collab with Orono Brewing Co), Laurel Dark Saison with plum and bay leaf, Zip! Berliner Weisse, Jamboree Fruited Sour, I Love You Brett Saison, and Space Words Triple IPA to be pouring at Brewdock, and Deux II and Laurel on at Toslow. Both spots will also be pairing some great food all weekend (and the rest of the time, natch), so maysel make an evening of it and try ‘em all!

A few last quick hits to leave you with this week:

Lovers of tiny hoppy beers rejoice! 2 Crows Matinee is back. This 3.1% crusher is now available to-go at the brewery and via 2 Crows’ shipping and delivery options on their webstore. Look for it to start popping up at select NSLC’s around the province too. 

The small can/small ABV trend continues to gain momentum, providing us with sessionable packaged options just in time for summer. Tatamagouche Brewing is the latest to adopt the format and is now selling 355ml cans of Dekorum, their 2.9% ABV light lager by the flat. Check out their webstore for some special pricing and stock up for the weekend. 

Heritage Brewing has a new English Pale Ale out this week. This one comes in at 5.4% ABV and 30 IBUs, and like any good EPA, features some malt-driven sweetness. Easy to drink, it is lightly hopped with Fuggles to balance the malt sweetness, with the combination of malt and hops giving a deliciously smooth, medium-bodied ale that is perfect for enjoying in your household bubbles. EPA is available now for growler fills at the brewery on Main Street.

Route 19 Brewing also has a new release this week with Sandcastle. Coming in at 5.0% ABV, this fruited sour ale features peach, key lime and cara cara orange. Sandcastle is available for delivery through Route 19’s online store and is also being carried at 20 NSLC locations across Cape Breton Island. 

Dartmouth pals North Brewing and Lake City Cider have teamed up for a collaborative release hitting the shelves at both spots today. Burst is a melding of beer and cider, aka Snakebite, that features the hop-forward Pleasant Disposition from North, and a blend of Lake City’s Blueberry and Dark Currant ciders that were co-secondary-fermented to finish quite dry. The resultant beverage is hoppy, tart, refreshing, and full of fruit on the palate. Grab Burst in person at both Lake City and North, or through their respective delivery portals.

We’ll leave you with some good news from Miramachi, where New Maritime Beer Co. was the recent recipient of not one, but two gold models at the European Beer Challenge. The Very Best Juicy IPA and Refined Pirate Stout both took home the medals in their respective categories. Congrats to head brewer David Draper and the rest of the team at New Maritime on the wins! And if you’d like to join this award-winning team, they are currently hiring for a full-time Sales Representative / Delivery Person to join their family. Check out the job posting and send along a resume!

Congratulations are also in order to Brasseux d’la Côte who took home an EBC Gold for their La Classic Rosé! Lots of great things brewing along the shore in New Brunswick. Well done Crew!

And speaking of job positions, Bathurst’s 13 Barrels Brewing is hiring a bar tender/server for their taproom. You can learn more and apply by reaching out via email.

As we all feel the anticipation of getting a jab in our arms and a spring in our steps, keep that hope alive and support your local bars and breweries! There’s a sense of optimism in the air and we think it’s worth celebrating. We know there have been some slower months in our news over the past few months, but as we all know, supporting local is more important than ever (if it’s within your means!) and we’re all doing a great job of getting through this together. Onto the beer!

Let’s start this week’s news with something that, frankly, we don’t see enough of in Atlantic Canada – beers with eponymous names. Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing Company is releasing Kellyerbier, their take on the German style of Kellerbier. Named after brewmaster Kellye Roberston, Kellyerbier starts with a blend of pilsner and chit malts from Shoreline Malting. Saaz and Saphir hops were used, followed by some time mingling with light Hungarian oak during secondary fermentation. Expect a light graininess, with notes of honey and some minerality. The hops add a citrusy note to round out this pale lager.  The finished beer comes in at 4.7% ABV and 22 IBUs and is available on tap and for crowlers to-go at the brewery now. 

Trailway Brewing Co. has another hazy IPA up its sleeves this week, with the release of SHADES. Coming in at 6.6% ABV, this one is a tribute to some of Trailway’s favorite hops, combining additions of Strata, Idaho 7, Callista, Sultana and Galaxy. Expect hop driven flavours that include citrus, peach  and guava, with dank and piney overtones. SHADES is available now at the brewery and for delivery or curbside pickup through their webstore

A blast from the past is making its return in Dartmouth this weekend. A fresh batch of Gus’ 65M Belgian Blonde is back on the shelves (both physical and virtual) at North Brewing Company. A quick history lesson – when North opened on Agricola Street in 2013 (remember those ceramic growlers?), their first keg account was at Gus’ Pub which just happened to be 65 meters north of North. Over the years, the beer has evolved from its original recipe, winning two Canadian Brewing Awards along the way. This batch comes in at 4.5% ABV and combines peppery Belgian phenols with citrus notes and light spiciness in the finish, and is available in cans and on tap today. 

And while we have you, North is hiring! They are looking for a part-time (3 days a week) delivery driver to service their HRM deliveries (both private citizens and licensees), with the possibility of having that job go full time in the future. No direct brewery experience is necessary, though being 19+ and having a driver’s license is. Peep the full details, and how to apply, on their jobs page. And we have several more job listings later in the post too, as breweries get ready for a busy spring and summer!

Keeping last week’s mead madness going again this week we have, coming out of Smith’s Cove, NS, Lazy Bear Brewing’s take on a mead. Appropriately named Mead, this one comes in at 8.4% ABV. Honey was sourced from Fox & The Bee Farms in nearby Clemonsport and Cosman and Whidden in Greenwich. Expect a crisp and refreshing drinking experience with a touch of tartness. You can grab this now in bottles or growlers from the brewery, and this Saturday at the Annapolis Royal Farmer’s Market. Rumour also has it, with the loosening of public health restrictions on travel, that an HRM delivery run may be in the works. 

From Smith’s Cove, let’s head East along the 101 to Berwick, where we find Smokehouse Nano Brewery. They have a brand new draught-only release pouring at their taproom this week, which will have you feeling like a sharp dressed man…. ZZ Hop is a 6.4% ABV New England IPA, featuring a whole whack of hops, but without a bitter finish. Galaxy, Mosaic, and Citra were added by the bushel-full later in the boil and in dry-hopping additions, for a hazy, juicy blast of citrus and stone fruit flavours. As this is a small release, best to pop by 134 Union St for a taste, they’re open from noon daily.

One last stop in Annapolis Valley this week, at Church Brewing in the heart of Wolfville. They have christened (see what I did there?) their pilot system, and are releasing the first in their Belief System series. Lilith is a 6.7% ABV New England IPA, featuring notes of grapefruit, melon, and hints of floral character. Simcoe and Azacca were used, as well as an addition of orange peel. As is typical for the style, hops are front and centre, but do not come through as overly bitter. As this is a small release, Lilith is only available at the taproom, though if you act quickly, you may be able to grab a crowler to-go in their adjacent Beer Market. Look for more releases in the Belief System series coming soon, allowing Church the ability to explore new styles, brew to historical timelines, and focus on their community support initiative, “Brew Good Do Good”. And if working in a church sounds like a job from heaven (come for the news, get inundated with bad puns), see below in the jobs section for a way you can join their team.

If you find yourself in Cape Breton in the next little while, head to the Westside Cafe (conveniently located on Route 19 as luck would have it) to try out the newest release from Route 19 Brewing. Town Lager is a 4.7% lager-like ale brewed with Krispy, a blend of Kveik yeasts from Escarpment Labs, and hopped with German varietals including Ariana, to the tune of 18 IBU. This one is on tap at Westside only for the time being, while the brewery’s taproom and retail remains closed for the offseason. Look for Town Lager to make an appearance again this summer in cans and for fills. 

Keeping with the signs of an optimistic Spring and the easing of restrictions, Spryfield’s Belgian-inspired Serpent Brewing takes two very big steps forward for their young brewery. Their Patey’s Bier Belgian Single is a refreshing style that is kegged and will be making its way across HRM taprooms in the coming weeks. In even bigger news, they’ll be opening their taproom on Saturday March 20th. We’ll be posting more details as we get them, but keep an eye out on Dentith Road in Spryfield behind the Canadian Tire and you can still check their website for pick-up and delivery options. 

Down in Southwest Nova, Tusket Falls Brewing are continuing their Experimental Brew series, with something dark and sweet this week. Chasing the Pastry Stout is an 8.0% ABV Dessert Beer, that they say will pair nicely with a chocolate fudge brownie. No word yet if any of those treatas are available in the taproom, but that *is* the only spot you’ll be able to grab this brew, so be sure to pop in this weekend before it disappears!

Big news for fans of beer and coffee in Rothesay: the Long Bay Brewery taproom is now also a full-service cafe, opening at 7:30 AM on weekdays, 10:00 AM on Saturdays and 11:00 AM on Sundays. Look for baked goods from Eb Coffeeshop and beans from Piccadilly Coffee Roasters out of Sussex, who’ve developed the Long Bay Morning Brew blend just for the cafe/taproom. And since they’re a licensed tap room, what’s to stop you from adding a little Baileys to that coffee, or pairing it with a beer? The correct answer is: nothing, you should totally do that.

The fine folks at Good Robot want you to know that they’ve missed seeing your face (at least the part not covered by a mask) at their taproom on Robie Street. And while, no, they’re not open yet, they’re happy to tell everyone that the planning is afoot for a resumption (conditional upon COVID-19 restrictions, of course) of in-person dining and service on Friday, March 12th!

And in “Future Beer News”, we have a couple of cool collaborations to chat up this week that see some of our local breweries partnering up with some of our region’s cultural touchstones. First up, you may be aware that The East Coast Music Association has historically seen participation by local breweries during their traditional week of events surrounding the annual East Coast Music Awards. This year they’ve announced that they’re formalizing the next five years of partnerships. Starting in May of this year, when the (largely virtual, sadly) ECMAs will be held in Sydney, NS, a partner brewery will brew up a collaboration beer called East Coast Music Ale to be released in the weeks leading up to the event, with $0.50 of each can sold going directly to the association. This year’s partner is Sydney’s own Breton Brewing, and we’re sure to have more information on their beer when its release approaches. From there, the schedule includes Fredericton’s Grimross Brewing in 2022, Halifax’s Garrison Brewing in 2023, Charlottetown’s Upstreet Craft Brewing in 2024, and up on the Rock, Quidi Vidi’s Quidi Vidi Brewing in 2025.

And down on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, folks are gearing up to celebrate one of the great icons of Nova Scotia, Atlantic Canada, and indeed, Canada itself. The famed schooner Bluenose was launched on March 26th, 1921, and, as you can imagine, there will be some commemorative activity going on. Enter Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing Company who have been officially approved to make and distribute an official commemorative ale as part of the celebrations. The brewery is working hard to ensure that the beer achieves distribution throughout the province via the NSLC, but will also be supplementing that distro on the South Shore. Consistent with Saltbox’s history of community involvement, they’ll also be donating a portion of the proceeds from the beer to the Bluenose Heritage Trust. We’ll have details on the beer once they’re available and keep you apprised of when and where you can get your landlubbing hands on it.

Obviously we’re still not in a place where big events full of lots of people are a thing that can happen in our region, but we’ve still got one humdinger to tell you about:

If you’re like us and you’ve had a bit of a taste of sunny and vaguely warmish weather in the last week and that made you think about kicking back at the Stillwell Beergarden with a pint of local lager and a plate of tacos from Beverley Taco Service, we’ve got some big news for you. Although it won’t be out in the sun with the hum of Spring Garden Road in the background, this coming Sunday, March 7th, and the Sunday after next, March 21th, from 2 PM to 10 PM, the fine folks of Bar Stillwell will be hosting Tacos & Lager at Stilly HQ on Barrington Street!! Featuring some of the best in NS lagers on tap (Tatamagouche Dekorum, Spindrift Killick and Toller, Good Robot El Espinazo del Diablo, and 2 Crows Dos Cuervos and Refresh) as well as some crushable cans, you’ll be able to pair those lovely palate refreshing liquids with Beverley Taco Service’s Carnitas or Birria Tacos, a special Stilly/Beverley collab taco, Chilaquiles, or simple Chips and Salsa. And for dessert? Churros and Chocolate con Chilli!! Consistent with summer Sunday afternoons at the BG, there will be vinyl spinning throughout the afternoon. What more could you ask for than a taste of summer in late winter?

This week, as restrictions ease and things slowly (slowly and hopefully!) get back to normal, we’re seeing three new job postings from around our region in addition to the North posting mentioned above:

First from Church Brewing, they’re looking for a Packaging Operator to work with beer packaging, quality control and preventative maintenance. If you’re looking to get a start in the great area of Wolfville, this full-time gig would be right up your alley. Check out the full job posting here

Spindrift has a new posting for a Production Brewer, working with and reporting to the Head Brewer, this is an excellent opportunity for someone with post-secondary education along with previous brewing industry experience could be a perfect fit. Or not, as we know many breweries will take passion and an ability to learn, with some relevant knowledge. It can never hurt to apply. For the full details and application instructions, check out this link

Rolling into the spring and summer, downtown Moncton favourite Tide and Boar is hiring multiple positions for taproom staff and kitchen employees for their soon-to-open stand-alone brewery and taproom location at 1355 Main Street. Shoot them an email with your resume at admin@tideandboar.com

March is International Women’s History Month, with International Women’s Day coming up on Monday, March 8th. This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge, and many breweries are taking the day and theme to heart, brewing and releasing beers over the next few days to commemorate it. 

The International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day is a worldwide annual event that takes place on IWD, open to all women “working, or interested, in beer, to learn, network, and make friends”. No requirements on style, ingredients, or packaging, only a love of beer! This year’s theme is Unite Compassion, which we can all use more of these days! As of publishing, Foghorn Brewing in Rothesay and Four Rivers in Bathurst NB, and Landwash Brewery in Mount Pearl NL have announced they will be taking part, but there’s still time for interested brewers to sign up to the event.

The women of Foghorn teamed up with those of Big Tide Brewing and Loyalist City to bring back the style-bending Sparkölsch. As a reminder, this is a 5.0% ABV Kölsch-style hybrid ale/lager, with an addition of edible sparkles for a truly shimmering final product! Available in bottles and on tap at the participating breweries now, plus other friendly spots around Saint John, Fredericton, and beyond. The full list of bars and retailers can be found here. Foghorn’s donations from sales of Sparkölsch are going toward their membership in the United Way Quarter Fund, a group of small businesses who have pledged to donate $250,000 over five years. These funds are in turn directed to organizations that support survivors of domestic/intimate partner violence and to mental health research.

In Bathurst, Becca and Lani of Four Rivers developed and brewed an Oatmeal Stout, which will be launched Monday as part of the IWD celebration. At 5.5% ABV, Dark Horse Oatmeal Stout is full of Chocolate and Sherry notes, with Coffee and Cocoa on the tongue to complement. Light mouthfeel, and not too sweet. Keep an eye on their social media for the full details on the beer Monday!

Landwash Brewery’s Christina Coady is leading the women of Newfoundland and Labrador breweries in a massive collaboration on Monday. While originally planned to have the collaboration take part in person in Mount Pearl, this time they’ll be leveraging the power of technology to stay connected. The crew thus far has representation from coast to coast to coast, with brewers from Boomstick, Bootleg BrewCo, Dildo Brewing, Iron Rock, Port Rexton, RagnaRöck, and Split Rock all taking part (and it’s not too late to message LW to join the list!). They will be using the 2021 Pink Boots hop blend from Yakima Chief (Ahtanum, Cashmere, Citra, Loral, and Sabro) to make an IPA with Passion Fruit, which will be released later in the month. Proceeds from the sale of the beer will be donated to The Gathering Place, a community centre offering meals, clothing, and health services to those in the community.

At Truro Brewing Company, owner Jana brewed up some awesome beer ladies in the province in February, and are releasing their Ginger Lime Gose today. You’ll be familiar with many of these names, with Kelly Costello, Chelsea Meisner, Kim Hart Macneill, Meg Foote, Shannon Dalberg, and some members of the Truro Pride Society. At 4.8% ABV, this slightly tart ale features a bold aroma from the fresh lime zest, and fresh ginger added, which is complemented by sea salt from Pure Atlantic Harvest in Halifax. It is on tap now, and given how well it turned out, they may be doing another batch for bottle release in the future!

You may recall that Port Rexton Brewing, a 100% women-owned business with a majority of women employees, released a beer last year for IWD that they called Violet Femmes and which sported a lovely hue due to the addition of butterfly pea flower. Well they’ve done it again this year! Once again a dry-hopped sour ale, the acidic pH influencing the shade of pink/purple expressed by the flower, this year it’s been packaged in cans (with artwork by Molly Margaret Art) for wider enjoyment. You’ll be able to find it available for purchase starting today at noon for online ordering and pick up at their St. John’s retail shop as well as in Port Rexton at the brewery and the Port Rexton Foodex. They will also be sending the beer out to some more locations, so keep an eye on social media (Fb/Ig/Tw) to find out where. Meanwhile, like last year, they’ll be donating proceeds from this beer to a worthy cause, this year it will be Transition House Association of NL.

Sydney’s Island Folk Cider House has debuted a new release this week, Choosing to Challenge. Embracing this year’s IWD theme to IFCH means “calling out gender bias and inequality”, “seeking out and celebrating women’s achievements”, and “working collectively to create an inclusive world”. The Choosing to Challenge is a 6.5% ABV Honey Lavender cider, and features a special cross-stitched theme on the label, by Alison Uhma of On Paper Books, responsible for all of their illustrations. From Island Folk, “$1 from every bottle sold will go to the Every Woman’s Centre – a non-profit organization that promotes and supports the enhancement of women’s lives in Cape Breton – Unama’ki.”

Keeping with the theme, Breton Brewing is launching a showcase ale for the great women of their brewery. A beer brewed by three of their female employees, with one of them also designing the label. Releasing Pink Boots Pale Ale for IWD, this bright and floral pale uses the Pink Boots blend which has helped to create a light and hoppy 4.6% ABV brew with fantastic floral, lemon, and citrusy aromas. It is now available in the taproom and online for home delivery in the CBRM & HRM. A portion of sales from every can sold will be donated to a local women’s charity. This is Breton’s third iteration of Pink Boots, as it was out last year for International Women’s Day and again in June of 2020, supporting scholarships for women in the brewing industry. The previous release was a Session IPA, but they’re back with a Pale Ale for 2021 and it sounds as delicious as ever.

Quidi Vidi Brewery released Stronger Together Strawberry Blonde Ale this week, with recipe, artwork, and name, all the brainchild(ren) of women who work in the brewery. “Today we raise a glass to Tiffany, Sam, Ashley, Meredith, Becca, Olivia, Vic and Grace who exemplify the spirit of Stronger Together! ♥️” Ripe strawberry aromatics with hints of cherry, supported by a light malt backbone and crisp finish in a 5.0% ABV package. The QV beer is also an opportunity to give back, with the brewery making a donation of $2000 to NLOWE. “What is NLOWE,” you might ask? From the brewery: “Founded in 1997, the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs supports and encourages women entrepreneurs to overcome challenges and take advantage of exciting opportunities to start their venture or grow their existing business.” Stronger Together is available now at their spot at 16 Harbour View Drive, as well as online for local delivery.

Let’s finish today back in Saint John, where the Picaroons General Store invited the fine folks of Big Tide and Uncorked Tours into the brewhouse in February. They brewed up an IPA, which will be hitting the taps Monday. Leaning towards the malty side, but featuring plenty of hops to balance, it will come out around 6.5% when all is said and done. In addition to the taps at Pics, it will also be available for pints and the new growler option at Uncorked’s spot in the City Market on Monday.