Another week of positive news in the region’s response to the pandemic, with very few new and ongoing cases, the provinces continue to relax restrictions and allow more businesses to re-open, including big news from Newfoundland, where they entered Alert Level 3 of COVID recovery this week. That means folks can enlarge their social interactions beyond their double bubble, engage in some outdoor sports and recreation, and restaurants are allowed to open (while still maintaining physical distancing for patrons). This means the local breweries are able to send beer out to licensees, and for those able, can open their own on-site dining and taproom spaces, so be sure to keep an eye on your local’s social media page.
Let’s kick off this week’s post with news from breweries across Newfoundland, including Western, Eastern, and Bonavista regions. Let’s start in Deer Lake, where Rough Waters Brewing calls home. They have just released their first Double IPA, simply named Pandemic. The label sports a picture of The Honourable John Haggie, Minister of Health and Community Services, a name Newfoundlanders have learned over the past three months, giving guidance and advice, reporting on the recovery efforts, and sometimes having to put folks in their place when looking for loopholes. The beer brewed in celebration of Haggie’s efforts is 7.7% ABV, and features loads of Azacca, Centennial, and Chinook, including 3 separate dry-hopping additions, resulting in big tropical and citrus aromatics, and a little bit of haze (that’s how you know it’s working!). This is a limited release, available at their retail shop at 83 Wights Road with new hours established today (1 – 5 PM, Tuesday to Saturday). You can organize a no-contact curbside pickup (email firstname.lastname@example.org or message them through Facebook or Instagram), or if you can’t make it there in person, via delivery to Norris Point and Rocky Harbour (reach out the same way), with this week’s deliveries going out Friday (but maybe if you get in ASAP there will be some for the next delivery). Sorry, no Pandemic DIPA heading East, though you can find five other RWBC options at St. John’s NLC locations for purchase.
Let’s head East to the Bonavista Peninsula, where Port Rexton Brewing Company has recently released their version of the All Together world-wide collaboration. Hosted by Other Half Brewing in Brooklyn, this New England IPA was conceived with the goal of supporting the service and hospitality industries in breweries’ regions, hit very hard by the closures mandated to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19. PRBC joins TrailWay in Fredericton, and 2 Crows in Halifax to take part (more info on that one below). Read more about it here. Ensuring even more proceeds go to the deserving parties, White Cactus Branding and Maritime Labels donated design and printing of the labels, which features an amazing picture of a recent visitor to Port Rexton, taken by Danielle Lethbridge. Port Rexton’s version stays true to the original, weighing in at 6.5% ABV, and featuring boatloads of whirlpool- and dry-hopping, resulting in massive tropical fruit punch flavour and aroma, with very little bitterness. They have also brought back a few favourites, including a re-stock of their Sea Buckthorn Sour, a collaboration with St. John’s Toslow restaurant. Not sitting on their laurels, the crew added an extra 25% sea buckthorn puree to the beer, giving even more character than the previous batch. And returning after a few months off is Long Trek Lager, their 5.0% ABV Munich Helles, ready to be stowed in your backpack for the adventures ahead. All of these releases are available for ordering and pick up now! A note, there are new instructions for their St. John’s Retail Shop: Online stock is refreshed each Thursday morning, so you can set your order for the weekend, and pick up at 286 Torbay Road Thursday and Friday, 12 – 7 PM, or Saturday, 12 – 5 PM. To grab it at the source, check this link, and pop by Friday and Saturday, 12 – 6 PM. And they are joined once again by Oh My Cheeses! food truck (open the same hours), giving you the perfect lunch or dinner accompaniment. No inside dining for the time being, b’ys!
Let’s head Southeast, to Mount Pearl, to be precise… where Landwash Brewery released a “Tiny Pale Ale” earlier this week, named after some very Tiny Fish. The stickleback, also known as prickly fish, are found all around Newfoundland, hanging out in brackish waters and tidepools, and have spines along their dorsal fins (you know, sticky backs…). Prickly Fish is a 4.5% ABV Session APA/IPA sorta thing, featuring hopping in the boil and conditioning tank with Sorachi Ace, Ekuanot, and Bru-1, giving great harmonious notes of coconut, orange, and other tropical fruit on a hazy base. It is joined by the return of their Green Nap Hazy IPA series, with this release featuring Simcoe and Amarillo hops, giving off dank citrus, mango skin, and dried apricots, with a bit more bite than their That Much Ocean NEIPA. Both are available for order and pickup through their online store, now open 12 – 8 PM Tuesday through Saturday, and we highly recommend coordinating your timing to grab something from Saucy Mouth, who continue their residency at the brewery the same days, 4- 8 PM. And keep your eyes open for news on the in-taproom enjoyment front, as the Landwash folks are busy making some moves in the direction, to be able to welcome you inside real soon.
One last stop on the Rock, as Quidi Vidi has a pair of small batch releases available for sale at their Hops Shop this week. First up is the Imperial Baltic Porter, an 8.0% ABV beast of a beer with plenty of chocolate and roast notes, with a bit of toffee and dried fruit character. Joining it is the Czech Pilsner, a 5.0% ABV continuation of the Continental European styles they’ve been dabbling in lately, opting for an unfiltered version, with light grain notes and a touch of bread crust and toast, with a slightly bitter finish. How do you get hold of these? Head to their online shop and choose “Pick Up Order” (both of these new ones are small batch releases, in the Hop Shop only), fill out your request, give them some time to pack it together, then head down for pick up. They are also running deliveries for other cans and bottles, Tuesday – Saturday afternoons, accessible from the same page, choosing the “Home Delivery Order” button. Be sure to keep any “Pick Up Only” items out of your cart, or you’re gonna have a bad time.
We’ve heard of a brand new beer in the wild from Hanwell’s Niche Brewing, so let’s get you up to speed on this one. A “return to hoppiness” for them, Peaks Island is a 6.0% ABV hoppy hazy NEIPA. Named after the island in Casco Bay just offshore of Portland, Maine, a town home to many well-made NEIPAs (and sometimes you just need to escape them all for an afternoon!). Starting with a base of 2-row and Pilsner malts, with additions of flaked oats and wheat, as well as a touch of CaraHell, the star of the show is definitely the hops, with a variety used throughout. First hopped in the kettle with Chinook and El Dorado, it was dry-hopped with plenty of Ekuanot and Galaxy. The combination leads to a low- to mid-range bitterness, with a ton of tropical fruit on the nose and tongue, complemented with a bit of green pepper character from the Ekuanot. You can grab the first pints of these in Fredericton at The Joyce Pub and in Saint John at Peppers Pub, and may be picked up elsewhere if you’re lucky!
The worldwide collaboration brew started by New York City’s Other Half Brewing to support hospitality professionals during COVID-19 times, All Together, continues to be brewed by breweries, and late last week 2 Crows is releasing their iteration. This 6.5% ABV American IPA was brewed with 2-row, flaked oats, and Carapils; hopped in the boil with Columbus, and lots of Mosaic and Cascade in the hopback, it was later heavily dry-hopped with more Mosaic and Cascade, along with Simcoe and Citra. As you may be guessing… hoppy juice bomb alert! Specifically, “overripe mango, passion fruit, clementine, papaya, and a touch of pine”, if you’re into that sort of thing (you are). Some of the ingredients in this brew were graciously donated by local suppliers, and a portion of the proceeds from sales will go to Halifax’s Laing House, a non-profit organization that helps youth facing mental health challenges. In addition, 2C is also giving a portion of proceeds to their taproom employees, who have seen a reduction in hours as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can grab it in cans and on tap at the brewery. And in other 2C news, their non-alcoholic carbonated water, Hop Water, is back in stock… refreshing, guilt-free, and with a nice hop presence of Citra, it’ll go down even easier in this warmer weather than it did before!
Elsewhere in the province, Roof Hound’s Kingston location is launching a new beer today when they open at noon, Fuzzy Navel IPA. Inspired by the cocktail of the same name, this hazy, juicy brew was hopped with lots of Summit, and features additions of orange juice and housemade peach purée. It comes in at 6.5% ABV, and is definitely tasting reminiscent of that drink you may have tried when you were younger, only it’s better, because it’s beer, you know? Available on tap and in bottles to go; the brewery is still doing home deliveries, so that’s an option as well.
These Kveik yeast strains are all the rage now, ain’t they? Luckily, there’s lots of good reasons for that, and Hampton Brewing is betting that you’ll love their latest beer, Koselig (pronounced “koos-uh-lee”), which was fermented with the Ebbegarden Kveik yeast from Escarpment Labs. Brewed with the malt base of a previous release of theirs, Mosaic Blonde, they’ve increased the dry hop (we’re betting it’s Mosaic!) with this beer; that and the yeast combine to give “flavours of guava and mango, and aromas of tropical and stone fruit”. Definitely not your typical Blonde Ale! Coming in around the mid-5% ABV range, the first kegs can be found pouring at Grass Roots Grill and the Hampton Golf Course.
In Lunenburg, NS, Shipwright Brewing has a new beer available that they’d love you to try. Shoreline Export Ale is a 5.2% ABV Golden Ale brewed with Pale Ale, Wheat, and Light Munich malts, and hopped with Saaz and Hallertau Blanc. Featuring notes of honey and biscuit, with a balanced bitterness (22 IBUs), it’s meant to be one of those easy-drinking styles, yet with a lovely mix of hop and malt character, all in a clean package. You can grab crowlers to go from the brewery right now, and it should be pouring on tap soon at the Grand Banker.
Riverdale Orchard in Bonshaw is open today, and this weekend, for retail sales of bottles and baked goods, and are also running a hot meal take-out special this afternoon and evening, featuring pulled pork in Scottish Rolls. The best way to success is via pre-orders on their site, and you will receive an email with a day/time confirmation. In addition to their award-winning 2 Scots 3 Apples flagship, they now have 2 Scots Go Wild, their low-intervention cider made with solely wild apples grown right on their property, and fermented with the naturally-occurring yeasts during a low and slow process, and has been maturing for 5 months before bottling. No sulphites added either! This 5.5% ABV dry cider features a heavy fruity undertone, letting the apple shine through.
Up in Northern New Brunswick, in Bathurst to be specific, Four Rivers is quite pleased to announce the availability of their first barrel-aged beers. Both based on a stout (the same one, we think), they got different barrel treatments for 7 months before 2 additional months of conditioning in the bottle: La Grande Hermine spent it’s time in a Shiraz barrel and Eau de Vie was cognac. Both beers finished at 5.5% ABV and due to the size of the barrels and the aging process, there’s only 200 (or so) 750 mL of each, so they’ll have bottle limits per customer per day and they won’t be accepting reservations. They will, however, be opening an hour early tomorrow specifically for the release, so if you’re in that area of NB and have a hankering for some barrel-aged goodness a trip to the brewery is probably better done earlier than later!
Let’s end this week’s main stories the same place we started, in Newfoundland! Split Rock Brewing in Twillingate has recently released their newest one-off brew, Dry-Hopped Rye Ale. They started with a grist chock full of rye malt, and added a hefty amount of Willamette and East Kent Goldings hops in the boil. Fermented with the brewery’s house English yeast, the final beer was dry-hopped with more Willamette and EKG, before packaging. At 6.3% ABV, it’s tasting “slick and full-bodied, with notes of spice, earth and honey”. Available right now at the brewery in 473 mL cans.
Well, the week got away from us (Chris!), and we didn’t get to put together the big list of re-openings that we had hoped to. For those in Nova Scotia, please check out Kim Hart Macneill’s guide to brewery reopenings and we aim to add our own deep dive into all Atlantic provinces this weekend. If you want to tell us if we’ve missed anything (y’know, like the entire province of New Brunswick), fire us an email! A few notable spots that popped up on our radar:
Bannerman Brewing has opened their cafe and restaurant today, with coffee and beer from 8:30 AM until midnight daily (closed Mon and Tues). Baked goods in the morning, with their kitchen operating with a reduced menu 3 – 9 PM. They have suspended their Curbside and To-Go service, as well as filling growlers (this one should just be temporary).
Dildo Brewing has opened their brewery taproom and restaurant for the year, open daily from 11 AM, closing at 8 PM Fri and Sat, 7 PM Sun – Thurs.
Bar Stillwell Barrington is now open, Tuesday – Thursday 4 – 11 PM, Friday – Sunday 12 – 11 PM. RSVP required (902-421-1672). The Spring Garden Beergarden is also open, weather permitting, 12 – 11 PM daily. No resos needed. Canned beers (and other packaged product) can be added to a takeout food order. No word yet on the Freehouse’s re-opening.
Battery Park is now open for in-person dining, from 3 PM during the week, and noon on weekends. The North Brewing shop onsite follows the same guidelines, check here for more details.
Big Spruce Brewing is opening their taproom, as well as their on-site food truck today, with pints and flights, as well as a full menu of options.
HopYard Halifax is now open for onsite and takeout, 12 – 9 PM daily. Reservations recommended.
Stubborn Goat’s location on Grafton Street is open from 11:30 AM until late Monday – Friday, and from 10:30 AM on the weekend. Their rooftop patio is open, weather permitting. The Beer Garden is open 11 – 11 daily, weather permitting.
Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse is back open for dining, from 11:30 AM until 8 PM, Tuesday through Saturday (closed between 2 and 4 PM, Tues through Thursday, and open until 9 PM Fri and Sat).
North Brewing has resumed in-store retail purchases, to complement their contact-less pickup and delivery options. The taproom is also open again, for on-site enjoyment and eats thanks to the folks at Side Hustle Snack Bar.
Prince Edward Island:
HopYard is open 11:30 AM – 11 PM daily, for sit-down or take-out options.
Bogside Brewing has re-opened their taproom and patio for onsite dining and imbibing, with The Wheelhouse providing food options for folks. They are open daily (except Monday), 12 – 7 PM.
Lone Oak Brewing has re-opened the taproom for pints and flights, and have the Terry’s Berries Food Truck set up onsite noon til 7 PM daily. And are working towards a more permanent kitchen setup inside, for year-round food service.
And if you’ve been missing the shorter newsbites section you’re in luck, as we’ve got a bunch for you today:
Grimross has a fresh batch of Hop Blonde (6% ABV, 23 IBUs) on tap at the brewery today; you can grab it in prefilled 750 mL and 1.89 L bottles/growlers, and it should also be popping up at restaurants and bars across NB. Look for the next batch to be available in cans.
Lazy Bear just released their latest beer, Balancing Rock Ale, at the brewery for growlers and pints. Brewed with a blend of Vienna malts and lightly-hopped, it weighs in at just 4.5% ABV.
Newfoundland’s Secret Cove Brewing is now canning, and have re-released their Come Home Beer, an Apricot Wheat Ale, with a temporarily-new name, Stay Home Beer (we’re sure you can figure out why). “Tart and juicy”, you can grab cans at the brewery’s Curb Shop, which means you do have to leave home…. *brain explodes*
If you’re looking for a job this summer, why not consider applying at your local brewery for a position? If you leave in or near the Chester area of Nova Scotia, Tanner & Co. is currently hiring for the summer; check out this link for more details.
Timber Ship Brewing has announced that they are re-releasing their popular How She Goin’, a “Honey Session Ale” again very soon (if not now!). Brewed with wildflower honey from My Lil’ Bee Honey Farm in Napan, NB, it’s light and crisp, with some slight aromas and flavours from the honey.
We mentioned it last week, and now it’s a reality, Upstreet Brewing continues their Million Acres series this week with the release of Gamay Noir Saison, a saison aged on grape pomace. And we also mentioned the introduction of their Rewind vodka soda line of 5% ABV and 100 calorie alcopops; these are now available in 6 packs of 355 mL cans with the initial flavors of Raspberry Lemon Zest and Key Lime Sea Salt available now with Blood Orange Grapefruit coming soon!