Island Hop Company

All posts tagged Island Hop Company

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Folks, it’s lunch time on Friday. That means it’s time for your weekly dose of too-much-beer-news-to-digest-in-one-sitting-so-you-better-grab-a-second-pint, to get you excited for the rest of your weekend plans and beers. Special thanks to Damian for stepping up and helping out on last minute notice, otherwise today’s release would have been a lot shorter and a lot duller. OK, enough navel gazing, on with the beer news!

Starting with big news and the first brew out of Propeller Brewing’s Quinpool location, Black is Beautiful, signifies the first Atlantic Canadian release of the international movement. The recipe is by initiative founder Marcus Baskerville of Weathered Souls Brewery in Texas. Over 1,000 breweries have brewed the beer with the same goal: to raise awareness of injustices faced by people of colour, as well as money to benefit Black communities. Please check out more information here: https://blackisbeautiful.beer/ Locally, Propeller will donate all proceeds from this beer to 902 ManUp, a community group working to create “lasting solutions to violence involving young black males and promote community self-empowerment, educational achievement and economic opportunities through a committed, collaborative and accountable presence within Nova Scotia.” They work with all marginalized individuals to create real change. The Prop Shops will also be offering the option to add a donation to any purchase through our stores until the beer runs out, and Propeller will match those donations to increase the benefit this beer can have. The recipe was developed to highlight the different hues and shades of black. It is a full bodied oatmeal stout with complex flavours and aromas of roasted malt, dark chocolate and coffee coming in at 5.0% ABV. The beer is available today for pints and growlers at both their Quinpool and Gottingen locations. Joining Propeller, Tatamagouche and Tidehouse will also be releasing their versions of Black is Beautiful in the coming weeks.

Our socially responsible friends from Tatamagouche Brewing have a citrus twist on their highly crushable Dekorum with the introduction of Dekorum Lime. They added organic lime juice to the original Dekorum light lager. This addition has provided a ton of lime flavor to the beer as well as some acidity from all the citrus. This beer should be nice and bright for these hot sticky days. The beer was just canned and will be hitting Tata shelves soon and then available for private stores this week. Kegs will be going out this week as well of this 2.9% ABV crusher. Keep an eye out for their release of Black is Beautiful in the coming weeks, too!

Big Spruce Brewing in Nyanza, Cape Breton, has decided the world isn’t quite hazy enough, and are being the change they want to see. They have brought back recent favourite Hotel Alpha Zulu Echo (H.A.Z.E.) Kveik Session IPA, a 5.5% ABV beer brewed using the Hornindal strain of Kveik yeast, leaving the beer that features loads of Mosaic and El Dorado hops an opaque straw hue. And debuting this week is Tuanis!, a Guava Milkshake IPA. Clocking in at 6.4% ABV, this IPA features a blend of Cryo hops from Yakima Chief (produced using a process used to bump up the potential bitterness and aroma from hops by removing extra plant material), and is kicked up even further with additions of Organic guava and vanilla. A Latin American slang for “everything is all good”, we can see pints or bottles of Tuanis! in your future! H.A.Z.E. too, as bottles of both are available this weekend, in addition to the draught options pouring now.

And a late breaking addition to the blog was the Thursday evening release of a project a couple of months in the making… What happens when you take a freshly-emptied barrel that previously held Glenora Whisky, and fill it with the award-winning Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout? Wait 2 months, and you’ll end up with great things, that’s what! Picking up a touch extra alcohol from the barrel, but more importantly lots of great vanilla, caramel, and whisky notes too. And lucky for all of us, it’s available now! Limited release on this one (there are only so many barrels!), so we suggest making a bee-line for Nyanza, or better yet, check their online store for delivery across the province, and country.

Let’s switch gears to mead, and turn to Earltown, where Nova Scotia’s Mountain Meadworks calls home. They have a trio of mead expressions available these days, on the lighter side of the alcohol scale (7% ABV or less). Solstice Sour is a 5.0% ABV sparkling dry mead that was conditioned with rhubarb fruit for a strong flavour as well as the iconic acidic hit of the pink, red, and green stalks. Arboreal is a seasonal mead that saw the addition of fresh spruce tips in the mix. These were harvested along the North Shore earlier in the summer, and offer citrus as well as a bright spruce note to the 6.0% ABV dry mead. And latestly, keep your eyes open for Valley Buzz, a 7.0% ABV Cyser. Also known as “Apple Mead”, cyster features the addition of pressed apple juice to adjust the honey sugar concentration, lending a melding of many flavours, including some crisp and tart notes, and can be enjoyed cold, or simmered with some mulling spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. These and several more from Mountain Meadworks are available at the Truro Farmers’ Market, the Halifax Brewery Market Neighbourhood Goods General Store, online through the Truro and New Glasgow Farmers’ Market or by contacting them directly through their Facebook page.

Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill Beer Co has a pair of new beers on the go right now, one marking its debut after a long hiatus, and the other a country-wide collaborative brew. Back just in time to celebrate the release of the new Bill and Ted movie at the end of the month, Myld Stallyns English Mild began life a few years ago, the brainchild of Lunn’s Mill and local homebrewer Ian Dares, who asked the question, “Which is more righteous? English Mild in a cask, or in a keg?” Well both formats are back again for us to repeat the experiment, as well as cans for those inclined to take their testing to the beach or boat. And at just 3.9% ABV, we can see this blend of toffee, biscuit, roast, and just enough hop bitterness to balance being a welcome blast from the past. If you can’t make it to the brewery in the Annapolis Valley (Bummer, Dude!), you’ll be able to partake on tap at both Battery Park and Stillwell Freehouse in the big city.

Lunn’s Mill have also released their version of the Isolation Nation Canada-wide collaboration SMaSH, an innovation courtesy of BSG Canada and Hops Connect. With the COVID-19 heavily impacting the breweries across the country, these two companies responded by rallying and providing complimentary Rahr Malting Canadian 2-Row Malt and Sasquatch hops (ICYMI, these are Canadian-grown and developed, the first of their kind!). Joining 30 breweries across the country, Lunn’s Mill’s version is 5.2% ABV, hazy straw in colour, and featuring a lovely citrus flavour and aroma, notably mandarin orange, lemon, and tea. As this is a charitable beer, Lunn’s MIll is directing the proceeds to two local dog rescues near and dear to the owners’ hearts: Marley’s Hope and Misfit Manor Dog Rescue. Joining Myld Stallyns and a handful of others, cans of Isolation Nation are available at the brewery and for delivery, as well as on draught at the source, and coming soon to other taps in the Valley and Halifax.

Speaking of Isolation Nation, Halifax’s Garrison Brewing is also taking part in this brew, and has their version for sale now as well. The wonderful thing about the collaboration is that even though breweries were provided with the same malt and hops, there’s plenty of room for brewers to put their own stamp on it. To that end, Garrison has opted to produce a light and crisp 5.0% ABV Pale Ale, with notes of pine and citrus shining through from the Sasquatch, building on the clean palette left by the malt and yeast. Garrison is going all out with a canned release of Sasquatch SMASH, cans of which hit the shelves of their retail locations at both their Seaport and Oxford Taproom locations yesterday, and at the HRM-area private liquor stores without delay. Or if you fancy a pint, both Garrison locations are pouring the beer currently. 

Just up the road, Stillwell Brewing continues their foray into canned releases with the latest batch of their Stilly Pils. Following up on the recent small-can Kompakt Kolsch and Stillwell Dry, the Stilly Pils is an ode to several European (and Euro-influenced) takes on the Pilsner, from the Czech style showing off light malt notes, to Northern German pils exhibiting a solid bitterness, and the Italian Tipopils (and the US beers it inspired) pushing the hop aroma and flavour to the next level. Made with 100% Pilsner malt from Shoreline Malting on Prince Edward Island, it features Czech-grown Saaz hops, as well as German Tettnang and Hallertau to round out the bitterness and Noble hop earth and spice. Go on your own #pilsgrimage with Stilly Pils, available *only* in cans, which can be found at all three Bar Stillwell locations, to-go from their original location on Barrington Street, as well as from Stillwell Brewing direct for local and nation-wide delivery. Speaking of Stillwell HQ, don’t forget that they are hosting an Oxbow Brewing event tomorrow, with a full raft of beers a-pouring on draught and bottles and cans! And the kitchen will have some special additions to the menu, with a carnival theme running throughout; hot dogs, smoked turkey legs, caramel corn on the cob, and deep fried ice cream! Check their Instagram feed for the latest details on the food to match the beer. 

Speaking of Shoreline Malting and Prince Edward Island, 902 BrewCast released their August 2020 Tasting Episode earlier this week, recorded while still on/in PEI, and at the end of an epic day touring Shoreline and Island Hop Company. They’ll both be featured on upcoming episodes in the next few weeks, while this week’s episode sees (hears?) Kyle, Phil, and Tony drinking through a few of the beers they grabbed during the visit (and one White Claw they must have been handed at the border into New Brunswick), teasing what’s to come, and recounting their early morning and late night shenanigans. Give it a listen! And big congratulations to Tony and Danielle and Jack on the newest arrival to their family, Evangeline Marion! 💓

Straight outta Montague, PEI, we’ve got Copper Bottom Brewing coming with a Session IPA Sabro bomb. Their latest version of Flux, their Session IPA, is now available for purchase in the Montague taproom. The grist consists of Shoreline 2 Row, Shoreline Wheat, and flaked oats, giving it a nice pillowy soft body. Hit with Sabro hops at whirlpool and again at dry-hop. Pours hazy with big notes of pineapple, coconut, and mango. It’s 4.2% ABV and 25 IBU. It’s available in the taproom in Montague, PEI Liquor’s new Notables store in Charlottetown, and should be hitting Harvest Wines locations in the next week or so. Cans spotted at Stillwell, too!

We have great news from Sheet Harbour’s Sober Island Brewing, who have been keeping busy on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore. They have released a new West Coast IPA named Wavebreaker IPA. At 6.3% ABV, it’s on the lower end of the scale, but still packs a punch with plenty of iconic West Coast hops, including Centennial to the tune of 56 IBU, with notes of tangerine balancing the beer’s malt profile. Wavebreaker joins the other three packaged offerings from Sober Island, including Beth’s Black Oyster Stout, Beachstone Bitter, and Marigold Blonde. The Stout is currently in 40 NSLC stores across the province, with Marigold and Wavebreaker hitting the shelves at select stores next month. Or, better yet, you can grab them for home delivery from their online shop, with free deliveries to HRM on Thursdays for orders of $55. You can even grab a keg for enjoyment at home that way too!

After the introduction of their fruited sour Throwin’ Blueberries last week, the gang at TrailWay Brewing in Fredericton upped the ante this week with a triple play of goodness coming out of the brewery. Now granted all three are re-releases, but they’re pretty stellar lineup regardless. First up is the return of the vaunted Velvet Fog, the Milkshake IPA they’ve been playing with for a couple of years now. Back to the raspberry variant this time, they did make a slight tweak with the addition of a little bit of lime zest to keep it perky and summer heat-friendly. Of course, you’ll still find pure vanilla, lactose, and El Dorado hops ensuring it’s smooth, sweet, and packing a tropical fruity hop punch. Cans were released Tuesday and are likely going fast.

Next up is a TrailWay favorite, Seeing Citra, their single hop Citra bomb. Fresh as all hell, it was packaged yesterday, so if you grab some cans on Friday it’ll be like slurping straight from the brite tank. And even better news on this one, it’s not just back for a weekend, not just back for a day, but you’ll be walking on this Citra sunshine for the next four months or so. You’ll also be able to find it well outside the environs of Fredericton as it’s seeing province-wide distro at ANBL stores starting early next week. 

Lastly for this week is the latest iteration of El Generico, TrailWay’s basic sour. This time around they’ve hit it with blackberry and lime for a sweet and fruity character balanced by tart fruit, a pop of citrus, and the usual sour base. Sounds like an excellent beer for the height of summer, which by our calculations is right about…now. And if you’re reading this from outside Fredericton or especially outside NB and you’re wishing you could get your hands on these beers, fret no more! Trailway is now shipping not only to their home province, but the rest of Atlantic Canada and Ontario as well! Build yourself a box of 12 or 24 and let Canada Post bring it to you! 

Down the road a little bit in Rothesay, NB, Hammond River Brewing has a new beer designed to fend off the summer heat and humidity with a little taste of the tropics. Nominally an IPA, but firmly in the “session” category at 4.7% ABV, Mango Session IPA features, you guessed it, mango in the mix. Added post-fermentation, it gives a fruit-forward taste and aroma. Meanwhile, there’s plenty of Columbus and Australian Topaz hops in the mix to provide a firm bitterness to the tune of 51 IBU and an extra citrusy kick. We’ve got no packaging details on this one, but we do know you can find it pouring at the brewery.

Let’s cross the Confederation Bridge to Lone Oak Brewing for a pair of fruit-centric releases now on their shelves in Gateway Village, Borden-Carleton. First up is a brand new iteration of their South Shore Sour, with Blueberries and Haskap. Not just the same beer dosed with fruit extract, Spencer and Co went all out to create a new mixed ferment beer, featuring blueberries and haskap harvested and juiced by their good friends at Terry’s Berries (who are also responsible for the bright pink food truck parked outside, slinging banging lobster rolls, meatball subs, and more). The 5.2% ABV beer was dry-hopped with Simcoe and Hallertau Blanc to impart even more fruit character. Available now on tap, and to take away in 4-packs of 355 ml cans. And in more Terry’s Berries news, Lone Oak helped them bring their own vodka soda beverage to reality. Terry’s Berries Blueberry Lemonade features a whole pile of hand-pressed Island blueberries, with Myriad View Vodka to the tune of 6.05% ABV. Available now at Lone Oak, it will be on the shelves at PEILCC stores within the next little bit.

From one Island to another, St. John’s Newfoundland’s Bannerman Brewing brings back Pool Bar, a lactose IPA, abundantly hopping with Sabro and Citra. This milkshake IPA brings lots of coconuts and pineapple flavours coming in at 7.0%. Bannerman is also bringing back Permanent Vacation, their Mexican Lager, mildly hopped with Motueka and a combination of Pilsner and Vienna malt with a large addition of flaked corn. Light and crisp with a hint of sweetness, this beer comes in at 5.2%.

From the fine folks in Sydney, Breton Brewing is dropping another one of their 5 anniversary beers, Reel’em In Pale Ale, the 4th installment of their Anniversary Series. This dry hopped pale ale pours a brilliant, bright gold colour with a tight white head while Chinook and Simcoe hops provide a refreshing bitterness with hints of grapefruit and citrus zest. Expect dank, piney and fruity aromas supported by a soft and pillowy mouthfeel and some light caramel; it clocks in at 4.8% and 45 IBU. Reel’em In is available in their taproom and online in CBRM now, and will be coming to Halifax next week. There is one more release left in the Five for 5 anniversary release series, any guesses as to what it may be?? 

Riverdale Orchard is creating a destination cidery in Bonshaw, PEI, now offering a full menu of food options to go with their award-winning ciders. Open Thursday through Sunday, from 11 AM until 4 PM (and usually a little later on Fridays), their expanded deck and picnic table space can see you imbibing their 2 Scots 3 Apples original recipe, or the 2 Scots Go Wild, with wild apples and the yeast that live on them were allowed to undergo a low-and-slow fermentation to turn into something special. Food menu items include Quiche Lorraine and Sundried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese Quiche, Pulled Pork Roll, and Spicy Chicken or Bean Burgers served in an apple and cheese waffle. Head out to their ciderhouse and taproom at 582 Riverdale Road, or drop them a line to learn more.

Just a handful more items before we let you go today!

From our friends in Dieppe, NB, O’Creek Brewing has a new IPA from their DUOH series. This iteration features Citra and Vic Secret hops giving a smooth mouthfeel with citrus, piney and tropical flavours. Find this new brew at Tide & Boar in Moncton and Traffik in Shippagan.

Taking things to the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland, Ninepenny Brewing is releasing Route 60 sour + Black Currant as a variant of their Berliner Weisse. Grab this brew in the taproom for takeaway or stay for a pint as other flavours are getting restocked. 

As we teased last week, Shipwright Brewing in Lunenburg has released the next beer using the KRISPY Kveik yeast from Escarpment Labs. Back Harbour is a 5.5% ABV Black Lager, fermented under pressure on the cool end of the temperature spectrum (for a kveik), and then underwent a short lagering period before release. The Munich malt base, plus dark and roasted Malta shine through, with yeast esters (fruity notes) being subdued, allowing the beer to be crisp and refreshing. Grab it at the brewery for pints and crowler fills, and kegs may also be making their way downstairs to the Grand Banker.

Another job posting in our region, for those post-secondary students looking to break into/continue their work in the world of beer. Lab City’s Iron Rock Brewing is looking to hire a Production and Packaging Assistant for the fall semester, with the possibility of a full-time permanent gig at the end of it. Assisting in all aspects of designing, producing, and packaging beer, this position will be a tough but rewarding job for someone. Relocation assistance is available for the right candidate, too! Check out all the details, and apply, here.

A stark reminder this week that despite all of the great news above, we *are* in the middle of a pandemic, and ignoring it won’t make it go away. Inverness’ Route 19 Brewing has closed the doors of their taproom for a spell after a visitor from BC failed to sufficiently quarantine, and stopped into the restaurant Sunday. While there are no suspected cases of COVID-19 arising from the breaking of self-isolation (required to enter the Atlantic Bubble), customers who were in the taproom are advised to self-monitor. We applaud Route 19’s caution and are looking forward to them being able to open their taproom safely soon! As the visitor did not interact with the brewery, and sufficient cleaning protocols are in place, their brewing operations have not been affected. You can read more here.

Happy Friday folks! The region got a dose of great news with the announcement of the Atlantic Bubble coming next Friday, but that doesn’t mean you can forget everything we’ve been doing for the last 3 months (just look South for proof). Keep being smart about how you choose to get together with friends and strangers, and above all, spread love and not the virus. We’re taking next Friday off, so we hope this dose of beer news will keep you satisfied until then. And if not, we promise a full refund. Happy Canada Day, and remember that brewery taprooms, restaurants and bars are operating under different circumstances than usual, so check before heading out, and tip as generously as you can!

We want to start this week off with two brewing initiatives that are poised to make an impact on inclusivity and equity in the local brewing community, and beyond.

Good Robot Brewing Co’s brewer Giovanni Johnson, along with members of the Nova Scotian Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour population have come together to form the Change is Brewing Collective. Their first release will be coming mid-July, named Blackberry Freedom, a Pale Ale with blackberries. The group, and beer, is a challenge to other breweries in the province, dare we say everywhere, “to consider how they can be more inclusive for the BIPOC in their communities”. We can see this as a way of encouraging more breweries to engage members of their local BIPOC community for both staffing or patrons. We can get behind that! Look for Blackberry Freedom in July, and we’ll have a ton more with Gio and the Collective then.

And in an out-of-region initiative, but of utmost importance here, is the Black is Beautiful project. Hosted by Austin’s Weathered Souls, it is a worldwide collaboration for breweries to bring awareness and efforts to overcome injustices that many people of colour face. Over 900 breweries have signed up world-wide for the project, brewing a 10.0% ABV Imperial Stout, and directing 100% of the beer’s proceeds to groups focusing on racial justice, equality, and inclusion. So far in Atlantic Canada, we see two Nova Scotian breweries have stepped up to the plate. Halifax’s Tidehouse Brewing will be donating the proceeds to GameChangers902, a group of African Nova Scotians coming together to promote and mobilize change in the province, centralizing the experience, culture, and history of Black Nova Scotians. Tatamagouche Brewing is taking part as well, as they are committed to continued education, understanding and supporting people of colour, and are directing their proceeds towards groups educating and promoting awareness in the province. We want to encourage other breweries in the region, both small and large, to take part in this collaboration, because, while conversations on and efforts to remove systemic racism may be difficult and feel overwhelming, Black Lives Matter.

We’ve got big news for the island of Cape Breton, where Island Folk Cider House opened their doors last weekend. Located at 52 Nepean St in Sydney, just a stone’s throw from the Big Fiddle, they are open for retail sales of their initial release blends. Open Thursday and Friday, 12 – 7 PM, and Saturday 11 – 4 PM, you can grab cans of their Good Company 6.5% ABV cider, and Rebel Rosé 7.0% ABV blend of cider and cranberry wine. The cans feature artwork by local illustrator and cartoonist Alison Uhma. Their third release, the smaller batch Easy Beezy featuring local honey, sold out in just a few days, sorry, but more blends are on the way! If you can’t get to their retail location, fear not, as the Good Company is available at 14 NSLC locations across the province, from Yarmouth to Sydney, and Amherst to HRM. Plus kegs of both GC and RR are at several bars and restaurants on the Island as well as the South Shore, check out their Fb page for more details. You can also keep up to date on the fun on their Ig page. We’ll have a full Profile with IFCH up in the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime, Congratulations to Jill and team!

After months of preparation and planning, Sackville’s Bagtown Brewing Co. finally opened up their new retail store at 45 Main St. last weekend. The new location is also the new home to the brewhouse, and while just across the street from where they were previously, allows them more space to sell more beer! In addition to Bagtown’s rotating offerings, you’ll also be able to grab cans and bottles from other New Brunswick breweries. If you’re in the area and would like to drop in to check out the new space/pick up some beer, they’re open today (Friday) from 12-6 pm, and Saturday 9am-3pm.  

Upstreet Brewing is celebrating a huge milestone this weekend: their brewery has now been operating for 5 years in Charlottetown, PEI. And while the ongoing need for social distancing means that they can’t throw a massive shindig for all their friends in the taproom, it’s not going to stop them from celebrating. The first aspect of that celebration is now traditional: DeNovo V is, appropriately, the 5th iteration of their mixed-fermentation saison birthday beer. Keeping it local, the grist features Island Malt House Pale, Wheat and Rye and the hop side has Island Hop Company Saaz along with some out-of-province Centennial and Ekuanot. Tasting-wise, it starts with an aroma of peppery lemon meringue accompanied by some mild funk, citrus and herbal notes. Lightly toasted sourdough comes through on the palate, leading to a very dry and crisp finish on this beer that weighs in at 6.5% ABV and 15 IBU. This year they’ve elected to bottle it in 500 mL bottles instead of the 750s used in previous years. If you’re on the Island you can definitely grab this one direct from Upstreet (whether that’s the brewery/taproom or Craft Beer Corner), but it looks like it may also make it to Halifax as well, where we’d imagine you’ll find it at some or all of the private stores in the city in the coming weeks.

The other aspect of Upstreet’s birthday celebration is a contest they announced today on social media: they’re offering folks a chance to win a $500 Upstreet gift card for themselves and $5,000 to a charity of their choice! Entering is easy: Post a photo with your favorite Upstreet beer (or Rewind Seltzer or East Coast Soda Co. Soda) on Fb or Ig, making sure to tag @upstreetbrewing and the charity of your choice and add the hashtag #cheersforcharitypei, then use the caption space to say how that charity is doing good in the community. Multiple entries per person are allowed, although each needs to nominate a different charity. There will be one winner of this contest announced July 10th at noon. So grab yourself an Upstreet beverage and your camera/phone, and get snapping for your favorite cause!

Speaking of 5th Birthdays, Breton Brewing is celebrating their own this Saturday! To help celebrate, they’re going to be releasing five beers as part of an Anniversary Series, with each beer being launched at a different date over the summer. A mixture of brand new beers and returning favourites, they’re starting off with one of the latter, Shipwreck DIPA. Hopped entirely with Mosaic, this 7.4% ABV hop bomb is hazy and pale amber in colour, with “aromas of mango, citrus, and peaches”, and lots more on the palate. Always a requested beer at the brewery, this is the first time Shipwreck has been available in cans. It’s available right now in the taproom, as well as for delivery in the CBRM; look for it to pop up at the private stores in Halifax next week, as well as home delivery in that area. And keep your eyes peeled for their next Anniversary release, which should be early July… we’ll keep you posted!

Now that the Good Robot taproom is officially up-and-running, they’re releasing some beers with feelings of summer – one new, and one returning. Seems natural to start off with the new one, so let’s begin with Fanny Pack, a dry-hopped Lager. Designing a brew for those of us looking for something light and refreshing for summer drinking, but with lots of bright hop character, Fanny Pack was brewed with a simple grist of Pale ale malt and flaked corn. Fermented with the brewery’s favourite Mexican Lager yeast strain, it was lagered appropriately and dry-hopped with Comet and Citra. The 4.8% ABV, straw yellow-coloured beer has citrus on the nose and palate, including notes of lemon and grapefruit, with low bitterness. Crushable as advertised, it’s available in cans at the brewery. And while picking up your cans for the weekend, you’ll notice that Viking Holiday is back, also in cans (and on tap)! This 4.2% ABV Pineapple Wheat beer was fermented with a Kveik strain, giving the brew notes of nectarine to complement the aromas and flavours from the pineapple added to the brew. 

Now that Ol’ Biddy’s Brewhouse is officially at full throttle (it should be noted that the taproom is still open for retail sales only), they’ve gone ahead and added some canned beers to their expanding lineup this week. Those of you who have been following the brewery since their humble, 1-bbl brewhouse days may recognize the names of two of the beers, which were originally released in 2018. The first of these is Orange American Bastard, a 4.7% ABV American Wheat beer that features late-boil additions of orange peel and coriander, as well as a touch of Cascade hops. Crisp, clean, and refreshing, a beer to pound back by your pool, or maybe share with someone ready to dip the toe into the waters of craft beer (“clever” metaphor, not insinuating that the beer is watery). The other returning brew is Call Your Bluff, a 4.9% APA originally brewed in collaboration with Todd Beal that has a “pungent grapefruit character”. 

The new beers are on the darker side of the spectrum, starting with Shady 80, a chocolate stout. Brewed with a variety of dark malts, this 6.3% ABV Sweet Stout has an addition of lactose powder to bump up the sweetness slightly, to balance the roast character in the beer. Rounding everything up is Engine 41, a 6.4% ABV Cherrywood Smoked Porter. “Big on taste, yet balanced and easy to drink”, expect some moderate smoke character, finishing with notes of chocolate and roast. All four of these beers are presently available in cans at the brewery, open regular hours this weekend, and then opening early next week on Tuesday and Wednesday (yes, July 1), 12 – 6 PM, to allow you to stock up for the Canada Day holiday.

Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing has a new beer on the radar, a hoppy, hazy APA named Beachcomber. The latest in their small batch series, the 5.5% ABV beer was intensely dry-hopped with Galaxy, Mosaic, and El Dorado. Hard to go wrong with those varieties! They’ve described it as “light-bodied, flavourful, and aromatic”. Available for delivery, and, of course, for pick-up at the brewery.

The crew at Pollen Angels have teamed up with Fils du Roy to produce Fils D’Abeille (Son of a Bee). You may be already wondering if a meadery teaming up with a distillery means mead + spirit(s), and you’d be right! Fils D’Abeille is a blend of Queen’s Nectar mead and oak-aged Gin Thuya, weighing in at a hefty 10.5% ABV. Described as a harmony of “honey, apples, Thuja occidentalis, juniper berry and coriander”, you can find this beverage at many ANBL stores across New Brunswick; be sure to continue to check the ANBL site for which stores are carrying bottles of the product.

A few more newsbites for you today before we dismiss the class…

There’s a new episode from your favourite hosted-by-three-guys, all about local beer, three digit podcast out for download and listenin’ as of earlier this morning. If you guessed 902 Brewcast, good for you! This is a tasting episode/chat about the latest news/answer social media questions episode, so all bases are covered. Download it wherever you normally download your favourite podcasts.

And in more great news, their faithful sponsor, Bishop’s Cellar Bishop’s Cellar Bishop’s Cellar, has re-opened their doors to the public, for in person shopping (Mon – Wed 10 AM – 6 PM, Thurs – Sat 10 AM – 9 PM), as well as online ordering for curbside pickup or province-wide delivery. (dm us for our address to send that cheque)

CAVOK Brewing has a very small, limited batch newly-available on tap, Dents De Lions. Brewed with local dandelions and citrus fruit, this 4.3% ABV, 6 IBUs brew can also be found online, for local delivery. As a side note, we also would like to invite CAVOK to drop by our homes later in the summer, for more dandelion harvesting. Free!

Unfiltered’s super-hoppy DIPA (well, one of them anyway), Fist of God (7.5% ABV) is back for the weekend. Described by the brewery as a “fruity, citrus, tropical, East Coast DIPA w/ West Coast roots”… well, we don’t know what else to say. On tap and in cans at the brewery now, and delivery options are also available (for orders made before 2 pm).

And with the good news happening around AtlCan, we’re seeing some spots hiring and expanding their scope. Here are two such businesses looking to bring some folks onto their team.

Way up (and we mean waaaaaaay up) in Labrador City, NL, one of the region’s newest breweries, Iron Rock, is looking to expand their team in the form of an Assistant Brewer and Cellar Person. This is potentially a combined position, however the immediate need is on the cellaring side, managing inventory and packaging while maintaining the brewery’s dedication to cleanliness and sanitation. Over time opportunities on the brewing side are expected to grow and so the applicant’s previous brewing experience is certainly a relevant factor. A full-time gig in Lab City, hours will definitely vary. If this sounds like you and you’re in town or willing to make a move, maybe check out the full details and job description and throw your hat in the ring!

Also in Newfoundland, Port au Port’s Secret Cove Brewing is looking to fill a position or two… or four, specifically! There’s a wide variety of jobs available, including working right in the brewing side of things (Brewery Operations – Canning and Distribution), into the taproom with the Taproom Manager position, as well as Bartending and Curb Shop staff, and finally, they’re looking for a cook! You need to be motivated and love everything involved with craft beer, and the cook position does require experience. For more details, check out the full info here, and if you’re interested, send a cover letter and resume to beer@secretcovebrewing.com.