Lake City Cider

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Happy Friday beer and cider drinkers of Atlantic Canada. We’ve reached the mid-point of November, which means you’re about to start hearing way more Boney M. on the radio and the holiday-themed beverages will be rolling out of tanks across the region. And while we certainly have a few big, wintery beers to tell you about, you’ll be comforted to know that your favourite producers are still bringing you new IPAs, sours, ciders and sessionable ales as well. Holiday-creep also means that way-too-early Black Friday sales are everywhere, which is a perfect excuse for us to remind you to buy local this holiday season. Gift cards, glassware, swag, a year-long subscription to ACBB, or just some good ol’ fashioned fermented beverages from your favourite producers all make perfect gifts. Your support helps to ensure that they can keep giving you the good stuff, and we’ll keep telling you about it every Friday.

Let’s start off with some news from the smaller producers in our region! O’Creek Brewing based in Dieppe, New Brunswick, leads us off with a banger of a beer in bottles. While known near and far for their love (and great execution) of New England IPAs, as the weather turns a bit chillier, sometimes you need something else in your glass! Enter Coffee Island, a brand new release that spent time in their oak foeder, built for them by New World Foeders on Prince Edward Island. The base Imperial Stout was aged in wood for about 9 months, before a cold-brew concoction was added shortly before bottling. This was not any old coffee, however, as these beans were aged in bourbon barrels before roasting, courtesy of Matera Brasseurs in Montreal. Notes of oak, roast, bourbon and coffee come together in this 10.4% ABV sipper, and will be available shortly at several ANBL locations, as well as the Picaroons Roundhouse Brewtique.

Located in Colby Village, Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, you’ll find another small producer serving their local community, Hardisty Brewing. Their latest release is honouring the region’s, and their own, heritage, with a spot-on name, Heritage Rye IPA. Recognizing and reflecting on Acadian roots, as well as a history of brewing in their family, they have slightly tweaked their motto “Inspired by Community” to “Inspirée par la famille”. This 6.0% ABV beer showcases the spicy and ester character of the Rye malt used in the base beer, and follows through with enough bitterness (to the tune of 48 IBU) to balance everything out. Heritage Rye will be available this weekend in Hardisty’s Winter Special, a mixed 8-pack of beer perfect for the cooler weather. And to keep your noggin warm as well as your belly, a Hardisty Brew toque is included! The Winter Special is now available for purchase on Hardisty’s website, where they have also launched their special Dartmouth-wide shipping. On Thursday November 18 and December 16, residents in Dartmouth will be able to take part in the fun that until now only folks in Cole Harbour have been able to enjoy: Hardisty Brew right to your door! Fear not, CH folks, your usual weekly deliveries are still happening. 🙂 And if you’re not lucky enough to live on the Darkside, Heritage Rye will be on the shelves at Harvest Wines in the next week or so, joining a few other Hardisty offerings..

Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing has some things on the go, starting, of course, with a new beer. Judas is a Belgian Blonde Ale, a refreshing and easy-drinking pale yellow beer with esters of plum and pear, that they’ve balanced with sweet malt and a low but still very present bitterness. Coming in at 5% ABV and 35 IBU, expect more character and body than you’d find in a pale lager, but still a fairly crisp finish. Grab it at the brewery today. You can also now order online for next day delivery or, if you’re not local to NS, nationwide shipping. Details are available on their website. And if you’d like to learn a little bit more about the brewery, owner/brewer Glen O’Keefe sat down with Tony and Kyle from the 902BrewCast (‘member them?) for their first brewery episode in over a year and that episode is online for your listening pleasure! Get it from the source or find it through your favorite podcast app. Meanwhile, if you’re like us and you’ve busted your 902BC glass, they’ve got them available again for $10; message them via Instagram to arrange.

We’re a little late to the party on this one, but Port Rexton Brewing put out a new release in their Continuum series of hazy IPAs last week. This one, however, veers away from the “hot” hops generally used in this style and takes a flyer on a couple of Continental hops largely unknown on these shores. Styrian Dragon is a Slovenian hop developed over the last number of years by the Slovenian Institute of Hop Research and Brewing in Žalec, and is known as an aroma (late-addition) hop with notes of floral citrus, grapefruit, lemon, berries, rose, and tropical fruit. Malling, on the other hand, has been around for a long time, a descendant of English hops that were imported to Austria to rebuild their hop industry after disease and the Second World War decimated it. Named for a village in Kent, where a Mr. Golding lived, it’s known for minty and peppery notes. Together these hops provide the latest Continuum with aromas of gummy candy, flavors of citrus and berries, and some minty character. It’s 5.9% ABV and is the first in the series to be packaged in cans; get it at the brewery and the St. John’s retail shop now and look for it on tap at PR tap accounts and retailers.

In nearly beer news this week, Upstreet out of Charlottetown has released a new entry under their Libra brand of non-alcoholic beers, Libra Stout. Tasting like “a light iced-mochaccino” it brings the typical characters of coffee and chocolate while being low calorie. This one was a trial batch so only available at Upstreet locations, but they’ve already hinted that they’ll be making more in the future. Which brings us to Libra Pilsner, which this week is graduating from a similar trial release back in the summer to wider distribution at Sobeys and other retail partners. Crisp and slightly malty, it’s also got some floral notes from the use of traditional Saaz hops.

Upstreet is still making not-just-nearly beer as well, and they’ve got a new IPA coming soon to replace Black Tie on the shelves of PEILLC for the Fall/Winter season. Blue Meanie marries the flavor of blueberries (thanks to blueberry concentrate) with bright Lemondrop and dank/fruity Mosaic hops, all carried by a decidedly colder-season ABV of 8%. Tart, semi-sweet, with pineapple, blueberry, and lemon notes prominent, it boasts 30 IBUs of balancing bitterness. Look for this one starting next week.

Longtime fans of Halifax’s Good Robot may remember the time they took their Mississippi Goddam American Barleywine and put it in bourbon barrels for six months, kicking off their barrel program with a bang. That was four-ish years ago now, but those who have been waiting with bated breath for the next BA beer from GR can finally heave a sigh of relief. Barrel Aged Tom is what happened when they took their stalwart Tom Waits for No One American stout and sat it in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels for 6 months. Still bringing the coffee and chocolate notes of the regular version, the barrel adds some smoky oak and sweetness to the mix. Of course, the residual spirit bumped the ABV a little, taking it from 7.9% to more like 10.5%, which no doubt also adds a little (more) alcohol warmth to the mix. Released on Wednesday in 650 mL bottles with a swank metallic label, you might want to invite a friend or two to come on up to the house to share it. Or, y’know, accept an invitation to the blues, explore the bottom of the world, and wind up sleeping on the cold cold ground with the rain dogs. Get it at the brewery or order it online for delivery.

Over in Dartmouth, Lake City Cider is making sure you’re ready for the coming season, both holiday and meteorologically speaking. Spice Up Your Life, re-released today, isn’t a paean to the Spice Girls (well, it could also be that), but mostly the self-describing name of their latest offering. Featuring your favorite winter spices, namely cinnamon, ginger, clove, and nutmeg, along with some dried orange peel, this off-dry cider comes in at 6.8% ABV and has been packaged in 750 mL bottles. Look for it at the cidery or order online for pickup or delivery.

Back across the harbour to Halifax, where Propeller Brewing is continuing to lean firmly into the “dark beers for the dark months” model. We told you last week about the return of their London Porter, which we were a little early on (sorry folks!), but it turns out there’s more than one reason for the return of that beer. First, people like it and want to drink it; second, because the fine folks at the brewery took a portion of the batch and created another beer with it. Wild Cherry Porter is out today and sees that very London Porter treated to some time in the tank with wild cherries. Still 5% and still boasting plenty of chocolate and coffee character from roasted malts, the cherries add some sweetness and richness along with the flavor you’d expect. A bit of a treat for a cold day or sock a couple away for the impending holiday season. Available in 4-packs of cans for ordering from their website; you should be able to get singles in person at the Prop shops, and we suspect you’ll see it pop up at some tap accounts for draught pours as well. It’s also available in singles on the holiday rack at select NSLC locations throughout the Province.

And keep an eye out for the London Porter itself; here’s what we wrote last week about it before redacting it in shame: “Also returning is Propeller’s London Porter, another flavourful dark beer, emphasizing the chocolate over the roast (though roast is still present), on a drier finish. These characteristics, as well as the 5.0% ABV, put it soundly in the “traditional” style for a porter, close to that of an iconic London brewery that has been brewing it for decades, carried on the historic style. On tap at Propeller locations now and cans coming soon, this beer will see distribution during the remainder of Fall and into Winter.”

For those looking for something even darker, richer, and stronger, it’s that time of year again when we see the return of what might be considered the granddaddy of big beers in our region: Revolution Russian Imperial Stout. Although it doesn’t come in those awesome 500 mL slope-shouldered bottles anymore, it still has all the intense chocolate, dark fruit, and coffee flavors you remember along with a balancing bitterness and a slightly warm alcohol finish. Weighing in at a hefty 8% ABV and 60 IBU, you’ll find it starting today at the Prop shops and available for online ordering in four-packs of 473 mL cans, and in singles from select NSLC locations, with some tap accounts pouring it as well.

We won’t fault you for thinking that maybe you were going to get through a week without having to head down to 2 Crows and grab yet another tasty release. But if you did, once again you thought wrong. Frequenters of the tap room will know Tessa, their tasting room manager and social media coordinator. Well now you can add beer designer to the list, as this week’s release is Tessa’s brainchild. As Tessa is one of the biggest proponents of sours in the building, it’s natural that this one started in mid-2019 with the standard 2C golden sour as a base, this one fermented and conditioned long and slow in the barrels used for the Megadregs project of several years ago, taking on a complex sour character with a hint of coconut. From there, the goal was to develop lemon and lavender characters; the lemon was relatively straightforward, with a small amount of fresh lemon juice added to barrel to complement the already present lemony and floral vibe created during fermentation. But the lavender was a bit of a more difficult ask, as nobody wants a soapy character to their beer. Thanks to some advice from the fine folks at Meander River Brewery, the gang learned that the lavender stems and flowers can be boiled in a small amount of water to draw out a nuttier lavender character. This water was added along with a hit of fresh lemon zest shortly before bottling, and the beer bottle conditioned for several months. The result is a 5.5% ABV beer, sour and complex, but also bright and spritzy, where the lavender is layered and subtle and the lemon provides some extra zip. You’ll find it available today in 375 mL bottles at the brewery and available via online orders for pickup or delivery as well. If you grab some, take a minute to appreciate the lovely label, also designed by Tessa, and for a triple play of Tessa-ness, maybe check out her recently released EP on Spotify too!!

If you’re in the mood for something a bit richer this weekend, check out Ol’ Biddy’s Brew House for the release of their new Double Chocolate Stout. This small batch brew was made with copious amounts of Chocolate Malt and 2 pounds of cocoa powder, for good measure. Coming in at 26 IBUS and an approachable 6.8% ABV, it showcases notes of chocolate and roasted coffee beans. Head to the taproom in Lower Sackville ASAP if you want to try it, with only two kegs being available before it’s gone.

What to drink this weekend, and where? We’ve got you covered!

A reminder that tomorrow, November 13th, Copper Bottom Brewing in Montague is marking their 4th Anniversary, complete with live music all day (noon til 9 PM), food specials by their resident food truck, The Pizza Box, plus $5 pints and beer slushies! And launching is Birthday Beer 4, a 5.6% Mango IPA. Dry-hopped with Amarillo and Simcoe, along with plenty of mango puree to really dial up the tropical fruit flavour, it will be available on draught and in cans in-house and online.

While in Montague tomorrow, you can also pop by Bogside Brewing, who is launching a new look to their Lighthorse Lagered Ale. From 12 – 9 PM, visitors will enjoy staff-priced pints of Lighthorse (just $5!), with performances by the PEI Regiment Band from 1 – 3 PM, Blizzard Goat Band 3:30 – 5:30, and Carter MacLellan closes out the evening from 6:30 on. This collaborative brew with the PEI Light Horse Regiment was first released in October 2019, and part of tomorrow’s pint and can sales will be donated to the Last Post Fund.

Newfoundlanders, your next two weeks are shaping up to be busy!

First off, Quidi Vidi Brewery has teamed up with Basho Restaurant to release the latest version of their Bog and Barrens beer, Yuzu Rice Lager. Launching next week, this beer was designed to pair perfectly with Tak Ishiwa’s cuisine at this local Japanese restaurant. So what better way to celebrate than with a pairing dinner? On November 16 and 17, Ishiwa will be bringing a 5-course pairing menu to the QV gut to showcase how well food and beer go together. While Tuesday’s event is sold out, tickets are available for Wednesday’s dinner, and available on the QV website. And keep your eyes peeled for the beer to be released in cans in the next few days!

In East Duck, Bar Brewdock is hosting an interprovincial tape takeover next week that is so big it needs two days to contain! Next Friday and Saturday, Nov 19 and 20, the fine folks from PEI’s Lone Oak Brewing are skipping the causeway and flying straight into St. John’s, pouring a full dozen of their beers. From core brands like South Shore Sour and Fixed Link Pils, as well as special and one-off releases like Blueprint and Otis, there will be plenty for folks to try. If you’re like us and know that Brewdock actually has 24 draught lines (!!), you may be wondering, “Hey, what else might I see on tap that weekend?”. Well, we can spill that joining LOB on tap for the weekend is none other than Dildo Brewing Co. With fresh releases like the DO-X Italian Pilsner, Lassie Brown Ale, to the classic I’se Da Bye PA, Dildo is sure to show up and please everyone who pops in for the swally. An event this big could use some epic food to pair, so Crumb & Pickle are taking over the kitchen! Sandwiches and more, plants are what’s for dinner on Duckworth from 12 – 9 PM Friday and Saturday! No tickets necessary, just show up early and show up often, to drink the best from our two Atlantic Canadian island provinces.

And rounding out the great events occurring this month in Newfoundland is the return of the 12 Beers of Christmas. Hosted at the St. John’s Farmers Market on November 26 and 27, while the Saturday show is sold out, there are still a few tickets for Friday’s event. Despite the name, there are waaaaay more than 12 beers pouring, with a great combination of Newfoundland and Labrador breweries, as well as those from outside of the region. Look out for the first time in Nfld history to see Boombox Brewing from Vancouver, and New Level from Calgary pouring in the province. Grab your tickets now before you’re left out in the cold!

A few more quick hits today…

Fredericton’s Trailway Brewing has a new iteration of their Velvet Fog milkshake IPA available this week. With vanilla and lactose as usual given the sweetness and body the style is known for, the fruiting this time is pineapple and mango. 6.0% ABV and available from the source.

Speaking of hazebombs, one of Quebec’s finest purveyors of that style, who collaborated with Trailway last year, is Lagabiere from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Why are we telling you this? Because the beer saints at Bishop’s Cellar have managed to bring in four beers from Lagabiere that, rumor has it, will be available tomorrow: Ta Meilleure IPA, Ta Plus Meilleure DIPA, Ta Valeur Sour IPA, and Nice ‘n Hazy APA. We recommend you move fast on these, as we suspect they won’t last long.

Over on Beer Advocate, a member of the beer exchange group known as CanBIF (Canada Beer-it-Forward) has set up an arrangement to encourage charitable giving this month. In short, if you make a $100 donation to a local (to you) charity of your choice and provide proof of same to the organizer, you will be entered in a draw for a box of lovely beers from participating breweries (mostly Ontario, local to the organizer, near as we can tell, though if you’re a brewer reading this and want to take part, we can help make that happen!). Entries must be received by November 27th, with a random draw taking place on November 28th. Full details, along with info about participating breweries, is available in this BA post. While donating to local charities is always rad, it’s especially so at this time of year, and maybe you win some beer too.

Foghorn Brewing Co.has seen the return of their Undercover Hop New England Pale Ale out this week, restocking their can and draught inventory. Each batch of this series will be brewed using an unnamed experimental hop variety, this one being HBC 586 from Yakima Valley Hops. The description from the hop producer suggests lots of fruit flavours including mango, guava and citrus. Coming in at 6% ABV, Undercover Hop is available now in cans and on tap.

Further south in Rothesay, Long Bay is releasing Brew Number 22 in their Ex-Beeriment series. For this one, Long Bay set out to create a sessionable ale with just enough hop character and bitterness to keep things interesting. Consisting of Golden Promise and Maris Otter malts, and the exclusive use of Eclipse hops, the hoppy session ale came in at 4% ABV and 25 IBUs. Find it on tap at the Long Bay taproom now.

We’re firmly into November now, and no doubt mostly everyone has found themselves reaching for the thermostat at least once. Whether you’re looking for something bigger and warming to make up the distance between where your heat is set and where you wish it was, or you’re looking for something cooling because your spouse demands sweat lodge room temperature, our craft breweries and cideries have you covered. There’s plenty of new and returning beers going around in all four Atlantic Provinces this weekend, so read on to find out what and where you can grab it!

We’ll start off this week on the North Shore of Nova Scotia, where Tatamagouche Brewing continues to put out entries in their hop-focused Intertidal series. Veering away a little from the New World varieties that have been featured in the last few iterations, this one hits up the “new school of the old school”, featuring French hops. “French hops?” you ask, why yes, dear beer drinker, French hops. Starting with a base of pale and Vienna malts paired with a touch of honey malt for a slightly sweet and grainy backbone, hopping began in the kettle with the original French noble hop, Strisselspalt (from Alsace, the most German part of France, natch) paired with two brand new varieties, Mistral and Aramis. An additional hit of Mistral was added as a dry hop at the end of fermentation, which was undertaken cool, with Kölsch yeast, for a clean profile that would let the hops shine. And shine they do, with the Mistral at the fore, providing notes of melon, rose, and grapefruit along with some prominent dried apricot on top of a crispy and refreshing base. Look for this one at the brewery either in person or for online orders. Meanwhile, in other Tata release news, you may be aware that at Stillwell Beer Garden’s Oktoberfest this year they were serving a Märzen that Tata provided for that celebration, Sepia, a classic, malt-driven 5.3% little number that was quaffed in quantity that day on Spring Garden Road. Whether you had some and know how good it was, or you missed it and you’d like to find out, you’re in luck. That beer has been packaged in 355 mL cans and is now available as well.

Some BIG news out of Landwash Brewery and Memorial University this week: a whale of a new beer is out from the brewery in collaboration with the university’s their Faculty of Science. To celebrate the Blue Whale skeleton hanging in their Core Science Facility, Whale of a Time is a 4.5% dry-hopped saison that was released on Wednesday. The beer is very dry with a complex fruit aromas of strawberry, grapefruit and tropical fruits due to the dry-hopping of Saaz and experimental HBC 586.  The beer is available now at the brewery on tap and cans, with cans also available at Marie’s. The whale is one of two that washed ashore on the west coast of Newfoundland in 2014 and is believed to be one of nine crushed by heavy sea ice that year. Read more about the installation here

Put on your big person pants, as the cooler weather has also brought out one of the higher-alcohol annual releases this week, with yesterday’s debut of Big Spruce’s Ra Ra Rasputin. This Certified Organic (as all of BS’s beers are) Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout poured for the first time at Downtown Dartmouth’s Battery Park yesterday, with both the “original” Glenora Whiskey version, as well as the debut of a Glenora Canadian Rye Whiskey version, the first of its kind, on tap. Sourcing barrels from the Glenora Distillery in Glenville, Cape Breton, each of the two versions weighs in at 10.5% ABV, with the bold roast and chocolate malt supporting the whiskey and spicy rye notes that complete the aroma and flavour. Available now in 330 ml bottles (thank you!) via Big Spruce’s webshop for free delivery province- and country-wide, look for them on the shelves of the private stores this weekend. Heck, we bet there are still some of these two releases, and/or the 2018 Glenora Whiskey, 2019 Peach Brandy, 2019 Cognac, 2020 Tawny Port pouring at Battery Park if you arrive early enough today for a side-by-side-by-side-by-… you get it… tasting. 

Speaking of returning favourites, Propeller has two dark and lovely releases on the shelves again today… First is their Mocha Oatmeal Stout, which sounds to us like a killer breakfast beer! Coffee, chocolate, beer, 5.5% ABV, say no more! Dark roasted malts were used judiciously to keep the base beer from being harsh or bitter, and given that the cans were carbonated with nitrogen rather than carbon dioxide, a super-smooth mouthfeel rewards the drinker. With these types of packaging, remember that giving it a fast and vigorous pour (hold it completely upside-down from height to create some activity) is the best technique. If you track us down, we can talk about the partial pressures of various gases to really drive home the science of it. 😉 Cans are available in the three Prop Shops and online for home delivery and shipping, and you should also see it at the private stores like Bishop’s Cellar and Liquid Assets shortly. [Ed note: we jumped the gun on the London Porter, stay tuned for more on that release]

Moving down to the South Shore of Nova Scotia, Tanner Brewing in Chester just released a barrel aged version of one of their core beers. Barrel Fermented Belgian Blonde is a twist on their blonde ale that traditionally has pronounced malt aromas and flavours, mixed with aromatic spicy and fruity esters from the yeast. Throwing in six months of a partial fermentation and aging in a first-use Ironworks rum barrel to the traditional golden blonde ale added flavours of molasses, caramel and vanilla has yielded a 7% beer is with 20 IBU that is available in 500ml bottles in both of their locations and their online store. 

On the cider side of the world, Lake City Cider is back with a new release from their limited edition Vine Series. Blueberry Pinot Grigio is a wine-infused cider, based on their Nova Scotian apple cider base complemented with Pinot Grigio and blueberries. The result is a light, effervescent, refreshing drink with a light blueberry flavour. Ideally served in champagne flutes it’s 8.5% and available in 4-packs of 355ml cans. A limited release you’ll want to move fast if you’d like to try it; you’ll find it available at Lake City’s Downtown Dartmouth location and on their online store for delivery. 

Good Robot continues to innovate and keep us on our toes with new releases that push the style boundaries. This week, they are dabbling in more of a mainstream style with the release of Tropical Storm, a single-hop NEIPA showcasing the Sabro hop, known for its tropical and coconut characteristics. Cans and pints of this 7% ABV NEIPA are available now. What’s more, this is the first in what they are planning to be a series of single-hop NEIPAs. We’ll be sure to keep you posted when the next one drops. 

Events…

Never a stranger to events and release celebrations, 2 Crows is re-releasing Paradise, their foedre aged sour with raspberry and passionfruit additions, originally released in October 2019. Lightly hopped in the boil with Nelson Sauvin and aged noble hops, it was conditioned on over 500lbs of raspberries and 200lbs of passionfruit for several months, allowing the sugars to fully ferment. The result is a jammy, bright, and sour beer coming in at 4.7%. To celebrate on Saturday November 6th, the brewery is teaming up with Fortune Doughnuts for a special Paradise doughnut! The doughnut is a sour lemon and passionfruit-filled number with a raspberry and passionfruit glaze; it will be available at the brewery for dine-in or take-out starting at noon until they’re all gone! Meanwhile, you can grab a pint of the matching beer on tap or get some cans to go.

Next weekend, Saturday, November 13th, Copper Bottom Brewing in Montague is marking their 4th Anniversary, and we’re all invited to take part in the fun! From noon until late, there will be live music on their stage (12 – 3 PM Thomas Harrington & Jesse Periard; 3 – 6 PM Nick Doneff; 6 – 9 PM Dan Doiron), their resident food truck, The Pizza Box, will be running specials on pizza and sandwiches, plus the taproom is featuring $5 pints and beer slushies! One beer you’ll have to try is Birthday Beer 4, which is the special anniversary beer being released for the event. A Mango IPA, this 5.6% beer started with a malt bill of pilsner, wheat, and flaked oat, and fermented with an Escarpment Labs strain of Kveik yeast. Dry-hopped with Amarillo and Simcoe, the beer also saw the addition of mango puree to really dial up the tropical fruit flavour. Low in bitterness, but big in taste, in addition to pouring at the brewery next Saturday, it will also be available in cans for retail and website sales.

Just a few more things to hit before we dismiss you this week…

As you start to see holiday goodies fill up the stores, you’ll see a returning favourite from Breton Brewing on the shelves! Gingerbread Holiday Ale is back and is a London Extra Special Bitter with Gingerbread, bringing flavours of ginger and cinnamon to the classic style. First released back in 2018, you’ll be able to find this special 5.5% and 35 IBU winter release available now at select NSLC locations around the province, or at the brewery in-store or online (for delivery too!). 

If you’re looking for something different in the Sussex area this weekend, swing by Sussex Ale Works for a pint of their newest release, Petal Pusher Chamomile Blonde.  Look for citrusy notes and an approachable drinking experience. Petal Pusher is available now for pints at the taproom or to-go in crowlers.

And rounding out the news is a big announcement from the fine folks at Trailway Brewing in Fredericton….. they’re heading South! No, we don’t mean on a vacation to Mexico, they will be opening a location in Saint John! Even better, eh? Taking over the space at the corner of Union and Dorchester Streets in the heart of Saint John, they will be operating a 3 BBL (350 litre) brewhouse to supply the 40-seat taproom with all of the experimental and style-bending beers folks in Fredericton have loved for years as well as brewing up special one-offs and even a few exclusive house beers to keep SJ locals happy, plus guest taps from other local breweries and cider producers. The space also features a kitchen to provide a well-curated menu, and a fully-stocked retail space to serve the local clientele even better. Renovations are starting now, and we’ll keep you up to date on the progress, including job posting calls, as they are looking to open mid-2022. Congratulations to the Trailway Family on the great news!

Looking for a job in #AtlCanBeer? Peep these offerings!

Lone Oak is looking for a Brewery Assistant to work with Head Brewer Spencer Gallant. This full-time position will include everything from production planning, managing raw materials inventory, and supporting brew days, to packaging and equipment maintenance. Doesn’t hurt if you’re funny too, as the last person who had the job definitely is (congrats on the album drop, Dan!). If you’re looking to get into the PEI brewing scene, check the full posting here, then send a resume to spencer@loneoakbrew.com

North Brewing is also recruiting for full and part-time retail positions at their OG location on Portland Street and the soon-to-open location on the Timberlea Village Parkway! North has been teasing lots of renovation progress at the new retail space and hiring the team is another sign that the opening is right around the corner. Check out their website for more info on the positions and how to apply.

 

Welcome to the Spookiest weekend of the year! There will be plenty of little ghouls and goblins on the roads in colourful (and not) costumes Sunday, so please slow down and keep your eyes peeled for them. If you’re able, we figure the right play is to stay home and hand out treats from a distance to them, while enjoying the latest releases from around the region. The breweries in all four Atlantic provinces have stepped up this week in that department, and we’re tickled to share the latest offerings with you today!

Let’s kick off this week’s post with news of a pair of new beers hitting the taps in Spryfield Nova Scotia, thanks to their very own Serpent Brewing. Fresh off a win at this week’s Craft Draught Showdown at The Carleton, where this first beer made its debut, helping secure the win. Sprytown at Night is the latest version of their community brew, Sprytown Saison. Going dark in colour for the 6.0% “at Night”, it leverages the rich date and raisin character in addition to the colour of the dark malts, complementing the tart and spicy original Saison. Both are available on tap and in bottles and cans now. And debuting this weekend is Pumpkin Konig Tripel, a seasonal version of their ever-popular Tripel. Translating to “Pumpkin King”, this release saw the addition of plenty of hand-roasted Pie Pumpkins added for a little extra fermentable sugar (7.5% ABV here!), as well a soupçon of pumpkin to enhance the original clean yet complex Tripel.

And the perfect time to enjoy these two new releases is probably going to be Saturday, as they transform the brewery during “Devil’s Night Bash”, as they welcome Roadside Scarecrow and Caity & The Crowns for live music in their space, from 8 PM until midnight. And if that sounds a bit too spooky, pop by earlier in the day to enjoy wood-fired pizza from Dominic’s Cucina, who will be set up in the parking lot slinging pies that afternoon, from 2 – 9 PM. 

Fans of Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing know that they like to lean into the spooky season and this year is no different. Heads Will Roll is their returning “blood red” IPA featuring irresponsible amounts of hops, largely as late additions. As all good red IPAs (bloody or not) should be, this one has a solid malt balance and a firm, but not overpowering, 35 IBUs of bitterness. You can expect this one to be fruit forward and aromatic thanks to the Amarillo and Citra hops, and at 6.7% ABV, it’s right in the wheelhouse for the style. You can find it on tap in house or in cans to go from the brewery, and we expect it’ll pop up on their online shop for curbside pickup or local delivery any time now!

If you combine the recent renaissance of craft lagers with the seasonal shift towards darker beers, what do you get? Why schwarzbier, of course! Combining a rich malt base, roasty coffee and chocolate notes, a hint of spicy noble hops, and a crisp, dry finish, we’ve got a couple of fine examples in the region to which we’re no doubt adding another this week, this one from Lunn’s Mill. Dark Moon Lager is a small batch, session strength beer at 4.5% ABV that was brewed with the new moon and lagered for an entire lunar cycle. Premiering at the taproom in Lawrencetown in concert with tonight’s Lunn’s Mill Witches’ Ball, it will remain on tap at the taproom for pints and fills as long as it lasts, while city slickers should be able to find it on tap at Stillwell in the coming days, and for the patient, there’s a chance you’ll see some canned as well.

Sticking with the moon theme, Port Rexton Brewing up in *checks notes* Port Rexton, NL, has brought back their seasonal twist on an NEIPA theme: Chasing Moon. Although the “turn a light beer dark” trick isn’t uncommon at this time of year, PR went for extra degree-of-difficulty points by making a dark NEIPA! Maintaining the pillow-y smooth mouthfeel and prominent hop character, but taking a bit of a left turn with some dark fruit notes and, of course, a color you’d never expect, it’s got a medium bitterness and a hearty 6.7% ABV. You’ll find it on tap and in cans to go in the taproom as well as at the PR St. John’s Retail Shop; maybe grab yourself one of these and their flagship (not dark) NEIPA Chasing Sun for a little compare and contrast session. Also, a reminder that PR’s taproom hours have been updated for the rest of the year and you should check them out before heading down.

The Modern Brewer keeps churning out the good stuff at Cornwall’s Village Green where this week sees the return of two favorites. First up is a new version of Weird Clouds, their ever-changing IPA series. Version 7 comes in at 6.1% ABV and features Columbus hops for bittering and a dry-hop of Strata and Idaho 7. Expect notes of clementines and blood orange in this one. Also making a return is Modern Bitter. Brewed with Maris Otter, English Chocolate and Crystal Malts, this sessionable sipper is hopped with East Kent Goldings. Cans of both are available at the brewery now. And a reminder that VG Employee #001 Mark Misener’s last day slinging pints is today, so stop by their Cornwall location to send him off in style, before he takes on the Big Smoke next month!

Way back in September, as part of their Tap Takeover event at Bar Brewdock in East Duck, the crew from 2 Crows made the trip over to take part in the fun. Part of that fun was brewing up a special collaboration with the fine folks at Bannerman Brewing in between the laughs across the street. The fruit of that labour is out today, a beer they’ve called Before Time. Using Pilsner and spelt malts from PEI’s Shoreline Malting, as well as 2021 crop whole leaf Saaz and Mount Hood hops from Lakeview Hops of Harvey Station in New Brunswick, this is truly an all Atlantic Canadian collaboration brew. A 4.5% “Landbier” (German for “beer of the area”), this light and crisp lager was designed to be perfect for enjoyment anywhere and at any time, no matter the occasion (or none at all). Available on tap and in cans at Bannerman on Duckworth, and at select NLC and Marie’s locations around St. John’s.

Lake City Cider is celebrating the release of their latest blend, the simply-named Peaches. Featuring ripe Nova Scotia-grown peaches that were crushed and then co-fermented with local apples, both base fruits shine through in the finished product, which also features just a hint of almonds on the nose. Refreshing and juicy, this 5.5% cider is available on tap and in bottles at their downtown Dartmouth location, as well as their online shop for delivery.

If you’re a craft beer drinker in Atlantic Canada, you hopefully have experienced the glory that is the English Dark Mild style thanks to beers like Tatamagouche’s Darling, Lunn’s Mill’s Myld Stallyns, Baccalieu Trail’s Undertow (the Strong variant of the style), British Mild Ale from Grimross, and the recent Dark Mild from Village Green and Some Mild from Serpent. You may not know how lucky we are, but trust us when we tell you there are lots of places where you can’t find a single example of this style! Our luck continues this week with a new local option for Dark Mild, this one from North Brewing who have released Whirligig English Mild. A lovely low-alcohol option with plenty of comforting malt flavor for the season, it’s described as biscuity and roasty with hints of spice, making sure to bring plenty of flavor in spite of a paltry 3.2% ABV. You’ll find in cans and on tap at the brewery, at their “other” retail location at Battery Park, and available via their online shop for curbside pickup, local home delivery, or shipping.

On the north shore of Nova Scotia Candid Brewing has a brand new beer out this week, in collaboration with supplier Brew Culture. Dubbed Monster Mash, this one is big in a couple of ways, starting with a whopping ABV of 8%, continuing with a hefty 80 IBUs of bitterness, and finishing with a massive hop presence in both aroma and flavor from the exclusive use of Yakima Chief’s exclusive Cryo Pop hop blend. Super punchy and aromatic, there’s a ton of tropical character in this one, and they’re not expecting it to last long. Get it now at the Candid taproom.

Staying in the environs of Antigonish, but going in the totally opposite direction in terms of style, Half Cocked Brewing has a new beer coming out this weekend as well. Leveraging the KRISPY blend of kveik yeast strains from Escarpment Labs, Pip is a pseudo-American Lager (pseudo- in that kveik yeasts are ale yeasts) with a simple grain bill, a touch of American hops, and a 4.5% ABV. With a bit of spice and citrus complementing the crisp and dry finish, this should be an easy-drinking “tastes like another” experience. Find it starting tomorrow at the brewery, where you’ll also find Halloween at Half Cocked going down, with $1 off pints for costumed customers, food from The Crafty Cooks food truck, and door prizes as well!

Tide & Boar Brewing continues to elevate the craft with the release of their aptly-named The Pilsner, a 5.5% ABV crisp Czech-Style Pils. Although it’s been on tap for a few days, it’s now available in cans as well for your home drinking enjoyment. Sticking with tradition, they made the extra effort to lager it for a full three months before release to let the yeast perform its final slow march of cold-temperature clean-up tasks before falling out and leaving a clear and crisp product. Find this one to stay or go at T&B now!

We haven’t had the opportunity to chat about Saint Anthony Newfoundland’s RagnaRöck Northern Brewing Company in a little while, so we figured it was time for an update from this Great Northern Peninsula original. After opening their doors in November, 2019, they have been carrying on as best they can given the pandemic and all of the complications that brought everyone’s way. While they have temporarily closed their taproom for renovations and to launch their online portal, they are still brewing away, and are now stocking the shelves at Urban Market 1919 and several Marie’s Mini Marts in the St. John’s region. With ten canned offerings available at the various retailers, from Odin’s Beer Cream Ale, Boggy Bottom Brown Ale, to their Hela’s Fury IPA, there’s plenty of options for all! Congratulations to the RagnaRöck Crew, and we’ll be sure to let you know when their taproom is open again for regular service.

Our favourite podcast came back this week, with 902 BrewCast releasing the October Tasting Episode on #902sday. They invited Stephen Barrett of Seasoned Plate on to chat about all things Belgian Beer (or Belgian-inspired), food and beer pairing, and what they’ve got in the works. Stephened Plate shares his favourite local restaurants, shops, products and more daily on his IG page. One of those upcoming things is a virtual cooking event tomorrow, October 30th, where you will cook along with Stephen and a bunch of other keen folks, making Spaghetti Carbonara. Sign up now to receive the recipe and event link, and grab a great Italian Pilsner (preferably locally-brewed) to pair for the evening. “One for the sauce, one for me”. And grab the latest episode of 902BC here… perfect for listening to while you do your shopping or preparing your ingredients.

And speaking of favorites, and since we’re posting on the day of, a very Happy Birthday from us to (home?) brewer extraordinaire and overall grumpy bastard Brian Harvey. Although you may not have heard his name, if you’ve been drinking craft beer in NS for the last few years, chances are you’ve had some of his beer, owing to his many homebrew competition wins and collaborations with various breweries. He won’t read this because we’re posting after 12 PM (he’s got standards, y’know), but maybe it’s better that way!

In addition to the various events mentioned alongside beer releases above, there’s another one happening in Moncton this weekend:

Tire Shack Brewing is transforming their space into a Haunted Shack this weekend, as they get into the spirit of things. Both Friday and Saturday, costumes are welcome in the brewery (along with that proof of double-vaccination, of course!), and both evenings will see DJ Jaredactyl spinning some spooky tunes. To celebrate, they have brewed up a special beer: a Chocolate-Raspberry Jam Stout, on tap only, that pours like a goblet of blood! 

One job opportunity in the region’s brewing industry; if you’re in (or willing to relocate to) Fredericton and looking, maybe check it out!

Fredericton’s Grimross Brewing is hiring a full-time permanent person as a Brewtique and Taproom Supervisor. Managing the business aspects of the retail and taproom operations, they’ll be in change of staffing, training, inventory control, creating SOPs, and more. Grimross offers Health and Dental insurance, and this position is a tipped one as well, so could be the right fit for you! Check out the full job posting and apply here.