Happy Friday y’all! We hope those who attended the Canadian Brewing Awards and Conference in Halifax enjoyed their time here, and went home with some hardware in their carry-on. And that the hangovers didn’t make this week too unbearable! There was a decent enough showing from the AC breweries (summarized here), and we can all work together to have an even better showing in Hamilton next year!
In light of the devastating fires that have been burning in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick for the past two weeks, Jym Line Glassware, provider of glasses and growlers to many Atlantic Canadian breweries, has launched a fundraiser with the Craft Brewers of Nova Scotia to launch Together for NS. At participating breweries, you can help by donating a minimum of $20, and in return you’ll receive a specially-branded glass and a large sample of beer to say thanks! All of that donation will go to the Canadian Red Cross and their Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canadian Fire Relief, with both the provincial and federal governments matching that donation as well! That one sample is worth at least $60 to those looking to rebuild their lives, with the goal to sell all of the glasses to raise more than $150,000. More details on the participating breweries is here (and is growing), there should be one in your neck of the woods!
One beer launched last weekend for the CBAC, but after blog publishing, was the Nova Scotia collaboration Fer ‘Fax Sake!. Garrison Brewing welcomed in breweries from around HRM and beyond to take part in this “Welcome to Nova Scotia” beer, with Backstage Brewing out of Stellarton, Antigonish’s Candid Brewing, Colby Village’s Hardisty Brewing, Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing, and Two Islands Brewery from Parrsboro. This 5.0% Pale Ale was formulated to be juicy and quaffable, and features plenty of late-usage hops, with Apollo, Citra, Eclipse, Idaho 7, and Simcoe filling the bill. Think tropical, with mango, papaya, and lychee notes throughout. Grab this in small cans, perfect for packing in and out on a hike, at the host brewery’s retail locations!
Fresh off of some new awards from the CBAs, Trailway Brewing has two new releases. No rest for the winners… First up is a new iteration of The Blend, their Smoothie Sour series. This one features pineapple, passion fruit and black currant, with each can having about 200 grams of pure, real fruit. With all smoothie sours, keep these cold and try to drink as fresh as possible, and a little rolling beforehand won’t hurt to even it out. There is lots of real fruit to chug down in a tasty 5.3% package. Get this in cans only, and available at Fredericton and Saint John locations.
Second up is a brand new release with a cool label that may seem familiar. Sunny C is an Orange sour made with orange juice concentrate. The concept here was a brunch beer, sort of like a mimosa. The sour style works well with the citrus and orange, pairing nicely with the tartness. This is 3.5% and totally crushable. This is available now in cans from both locations.
Paradise’s Banished Brewing is celebrating some vibrant new artwork in the brewery this week, as their long-time artistic collaborator Paul G Hammond unveiled a massive mural named Astral Puffins’ Paradise. Check out the Making Of video, as well as the finished product! And what better way to celebrate than with a new beer, and PGH label, release?! Paint With Light does just that, featuring a painter working on a canvas. When first grabbed from the freezer or backpack, the canvas is blank, ready for anything the painter (or drinker) may wish to fill in. But when brought into sunlight, the canvas springs alive with colour, thanks to the UV-activated photochromic ink used. A beautiful and fitting tribute to this relationship, named thanks to Jason Normore and his attitude towards photography. The beauty does not stop with the label, as the beer inside the can lives up to the high bar set on the outside. A 6.0% Hazy IPA, double dry hopped with Loral Cryo and the Cryo Pop blend, both offering plenty of tropical aroma with very little hop material to increase yield. Think citrus and floral, pineapple and stone fruit, both on the nose and on the tongue. Available at the brewery on tap and in cans, and coming to local retailers real soon!
Chester’s Tanner & Co Brewing is wading into the Cold IPA style, a bit of a tongue-in-cheek amping up of the traditional West Coast IPA style, and rebuff of the juicy/hazy IPAs of the past several years. Conceived as a clean IPA with a pronounced bitterness, featuring a bit of corn or rice in the malt bill to reduce the sweetness of residual sugar, keeping it crisp and easy drinking. And decidedly not hazy/thick, and not just another name for an India Pale Lager! For a fun treatise from the originators of the style, Wayfinder Beer out of Portland, OR, check this out. Back to Nova Scotia, and Tanner is rolling out 1320 Cold IPA, at 6.5% and about 50 IBU, it fits right in the pocket of the style. The name is inspired by an experimental hop, YQH-1320, which has imparted flavours and aromas of guava, grapefruit, pineapple, and even a hint of coconut in the beer. Malt from Horton Ridge is in the glass too, supporting our local malting company to boot! Cans of 1320 are available at both Tanner locations (at the brewery in Chester Basin, as well as their taproom in the town of Chester), as well as their online shop for local and HRM delivery.
North Brewing is releasing a beer this week that is of its time but also a reflection of history (but fairly recent history). It’s safe to say that IPA is still a dominant style in the craft beer world these days, but it’s also fair to say that many, if not most, of the IPAs on the market these days would be well-nigh unrecognizable as such to a craft beer drinker from, say, 2004 (although, to be fair, the opposite might be true as well for those who started drinking craft after 2015 or so). North Brewing’s new Let’s Go! IPA is a bit of a throwback to the darker, clearer, and more bitter standard that many of us cut our teeth on. Featuring pale malt, Munich, and some crystal malt for flavour and colour, they leveraged four different hop varieties (probably at least a couple of which begin with the letter ‘C’) across both the kettle and the whirlpool, yielding a well-rounded hop character. Carefully keeping the bitterness in check to ensure it’s not too foreign to the modern palate, the team is quite happy with the way it turned out. You can grab this 6.1% beer in cans at all North locations and it will also hit the shelves at the NSLC next week.
We’ve got a limited release out of Breton Brewing this week and its return to bottle-conditioned form! Stirling Hefeweizen is a core brand in cans, but like last year, Breton is featuring a limited run of 500ml bottles that have undergone a bottle conditioning process for several weeks, staying true to the style’s European roots. The recipe is their same authentic German Hefeweizen style and features the big lovely banana and clove flavours you would come to expect. Still staying at 4.6% and very delicious, this is available today from the brewery and online for delivery in CBRM and HRM.
In Annapolis Royal, the folks at Annapolis Brewing are the latest to ask an online “AI” (ChatGPT in this case) to produce a beer recipe and produce the result. As always, we recommend reserving judgement on the concept as long as the beer is good. Produced on their one barrel pilot system, the beer is a classic APA, with a full malty body and a balancing hop character. Dry hopped with a touch of Centennial that, full disclosure, wasn’t part of the recipe as written, subtle hints of pine and spice pair with citrus for an easy drinking pint. Due to the small batch nature of this one, ChatGPT Pale Ale is only available on tap at the brewery on St George Street in downtown Annapolis Royal.
The gang at Mauzy Cider, operating out of Banished Brewing in Paradise, NL, have a new release this week, and let’s just say there’s a lot going on there. Forest Farmer’s Piquette is, as is right in the name there, a piquette, meaning it is primarily made by adding water to previously pressed fruit, macerating for a period to pull out the remaining sugars, and then fermenting the result. In this case, as Mauzy is a cidery, the pomace was from apples, namely William’s Pride, Liberty, and Honeycrisp from Jefford’s Orchard in Kelligrews and additional Honeycrisp from Mt. Scio Farm. Local Paradise water (“the essence of life!”) provided the rehydration. Giving the product a bit of extra kick were Centennial hops from Jenning’s Farm, which were co-fermented in the primary. Once primary was done, a secondary fermentation was undergone that featured lees from Mauzy’s Dolgo crabapple cider and De Chaunac grape skins from Fixed Farms. Lastly, at packaging, Baccalieu Trail Honey was used to bottle condition the result, which comes in at 4.6% ABV. Only 60 cases of 341ml bottles of this ultra-local product were produced and we’ll be honest, we’re a little jealous of the folks who are going to get to try this one. Expect a refreshing and spritzy, but also slightly funky experience, with a touch of salinity to encourage that next sip. Look for it at Banished, but also at a few other places around the area, including Bar Brewdock, Chinced Meats, Papillon Cocktail Bar, Portage Restaurant, and Toslow.
From one island to another, Upstreet Brewing comes to you this week with a new iteration from their Neon Friday IPA series. This new release, in the NEIPA style, is a big tropical bomb packed with as much hops as their system can handle. Featuring big amounts of flaked wheats and oats, the hop bill features as much cryo Idaho 7 and cryo Mosaic as could be handled in the whirlpool. The hop part doesn’t stop there, as Idaho 7 and Azacca dry hopping rounds out the beer. There are big peach, pineapple and mango flavours. This one is for sale at the taproom and Craft Beer Corner and PEI Liquor stores for the summer. It may be available in Dartmouth later this summer as well.
We’ve got two beer festivals in Nova Scotia going on this weekend, check at least one of them out…
If you’re from down that way, you know exactly what the LCLC is! The South Shore Nova Scotia venue is hosting a craft beer and cider festival on Saturday, June 10th. Tickets are about $50 and the show will feature bevvies from Annapolis Brewing, Annapolis Cider, Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, Bulwark, Burnside, Breton, Firkinstein, Libra, Lunn’s Mill, Propeller, Saltbox, Sourwood, Tanner. Get your tickets here. Oh and the LCLC is the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre and it just rolls off the tongue!
And for those even further down the South Shore, the Yarmouth Craft Beer Festival is also being held tomorrow, June 10th. The Rodd Grand Hotel on Main Street will be hosting breweries, cideries, and wineries from across the province, including Boatskeg, Casa Nova, Coldstream, Corberrie, Heritage, Lunn’s Mill, Maison Meuse, Nine Locks, Rudder’s, Saltbox, and Tusket Falls. Grab your tickets now!
Gahan is hosting a cool event at their Halifax location in the Nova Centre (is this another chance to link to our CBA award winners post since Gahan is just next door). On Thursday, June 15th, at 6pm, they’re hosting a Behind the Brew event where they’ll discuss recipe design, brewing process and beer and food pairings with Gahan Nova brewer Ryan Shirtliff. This is a $40 event and you can buy tickets here.
Looking to get in the beer biz? Look no further!
Love beer and live in Montague? Love beer and want to live in Montague? Bogside Brewing has a great opportunity with an assistant brewing position. With a full-time, salaried position, the successful candidate will be helping with brewing, packaging, cellaring and logistics. Check the link here to apply.
Those looking to sling some great Nova Scotia beer in Lower Sackville, heads up! TAPestry Beer Bar is hiring! They are looking for someone to take on 3 or 4 shifts per month to start, and ramp up as things get busier. Of course, knowing beer is a big plus, as is experience already in the bar or brewery serving world. Check out this post and pop-by for a chat with Ian today!
A few more newsbites before we release you for the week!
We’ve got two returning releases from the two-headed calf brewery. Tatamagouche Brewing brings back a pair of Berliner Weiße buddies in Buddha’s Hand and Guava Heist. First up, Buddha’s Hand is a type of citrus fruit from Asia that is zesty and is quite similar to lemon. This is 3.8% and with some floral notes on top of the lemonade type flavour in a thirst quenching summer hit. Guava Heist adds real guava to the Berliner Weiße base, with the base beer aged on organic guava. Big guava flavour comes through here in a really refreshing package. These are both available from the brewery, online and will likely show up at some private stores around HRM.
Short and sweet (or tall and sweet, if you’re talking about the cans!) update from Lake City Cider. Watermelon is a brand new release from the Darkside cidery (Darkcidery?) that is a blend of their apple cider, blueberry and watermelon. It’s a bit dry, but also sweet, with a great punch of watermelon flavour for the hot summer ahead. This is 6% and available at the cidery on tap and in 473ml cans (and online, too!).
Now to a returning beer with some wider distribution for Spryfield’s finest. Serpent Brewing’s Townie Overpass Syndrome NEIPA and is the second product of Serpent’s to hit the NSLC shelves and will be available in 40 locations as of next week. As a reminder for this beer, it’s basically a Belgian New England IPA, using Belgian Witbier yeast with their New England IPA recipe. The hop bill features large helpings of Mandarina Bavaria, Amarillo, and Ahtanum. This is 6.3% and 40 IBU and if you want to try it now, you could get it from the Serpent brewery.
In other news, we are joining the celebrations for Think Brewing who are moving to a new and larger space in Moncton as of June 1st! They’ll be adding a new beer release to their core lineup and are moving to bigger and better things. There will be more news to share with Think in the future, so stay tuned here and on their social media pages.