Lake City Cider

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Last Christmas,
We gave you a post
But the very next week,
There was nothing to read.

This year,
So you can drink beer,
We’ve blogged about something special. 

-fin-

We’re starting off festive this week with Village Green, because of the green, with the most news heading into the winter break. They have a bunch of new beers and a membership program!

Of course, we’ll start with the beer, where we have a trio of new beers released last weekend, including Extra Pale Ale, with a grain bill of Pilsner and 2-Row malt with a bit of wheat, floor malted via Island Malt House. We get a touch of German Perle hops with German Ale yeast! This sounds like a winner for drinkability with 4.5% ABV and 20 IBU. You can get this in cans! Staying on the session train, we get Bitter, a 3.9% crusher, with English malt, Maris Otter and some other Crystal and roasted malts, balanced with East Kent Goldings hops. This one is in growlers only and 3.9% ABV and 30 IBU. Last but not least in the holiday trio, Sabro Pale, bringing that lovely citrus, tropical and a touch of coconut from Sabro hops. This single hop star has Island Malt House 2-Row and Pilsner malt with “heaps of flaked oats”. This should be a tasty, strong pale ale coming in at 6% and 50 IBU and it’s also available in cans from the brewery. Check out their social media and site linked above for their latest hours, and peep their Insta page as they have two new beers hitting the taps at open today, Red Ale and Wheat IPA. They’re open 4 – 7 PM today (12 – 5 Saturday and 2 – 5 Sunday), with their pals at Holy Fox Food Truck open 12 – 8 PM; if you’re from the area it sounds like your evening plans might be sorted now!

Other big news from Modern Brewer’s Village Green this week is the launch of their Draught Beer Appreciation Society! This is their lifetime membership program for beer nerds/enthusiasts/supporters to get some sweet members-only deals on gift cards and mugs, as well as regular discounts and early access to beer releases. Check out their social media for the full details on the $99 deal. Also, the logo is pretty great. 

The unapologetic crew at Unfiltered Brewing is back with a banger. If you were a fan of their Lifesaver sour, they’re back with another kettle sour that they think you’ll love even more. Violet Beauregard is a kettle soured wheat ale that was refermented on 460lbs of red and black currants, cherries and wild blueberries. It’s tart and full of flavour coming in at 4.2% ABV. Pick it up from the brewery or their online shop for delivery along with a bunch more of your favorite hop-hammered brews.

You can’t celebrate the holidays without cake (or, at least, you probably SHOULDN’T), so luckily for those of you in Newfoundland, Landwash has brought back their Cake Tray just in time for days leading up to Christmas. Dubbed a “Cherry Cake Pale Ale”, it’s an APA that was brewed with lactose and cherry puree. Finished off with a light dry hop, it comes in at 7% ABV and mimics “the flavours of creamy pale Cherry Cake”. Who knew that “pastry pale ales” was a thing! <shakes fist at 2020 yet again> They also have a freshly-canned batch of That Much Ocean NEIPA, so you might as well stock up on everything.

Down Yarmouth way, Heritage Brewing is the gift that just keeps giving! They have a few re-releases this week, which we would all happily take as gifts this holiday season. First up, their Naughty or Nice Christmas Porter is back. This is a full and flavourful porter with lactose, cocoa and orange peel, and generous additions of chocolate. What does Terry’s know about Chocolate and Orange? Probably something. This treat comes in at 7% ABV and 32 IBU. 

The other re-release is a simple recipe with a delicious hop. Citra Session IPA showcases Citra hops in a lighter, drinkable style with heavy aromas of an IPA and the drinkability of a pale ale at 5% and 45 IBU. Both of these are only available at the brewery, check it out and their growler deliveries every Wednesday, too!

Niche Brewing is marking the release of their third batch of Evolution this week, with the first bottles available at the York Street ANBL in Fredericton, with more LCs and fellow breweries following soon. As a reminder, Evo is their 6.8% Chardonnay Barrel-aged Saison, fermented with their house blend of Sacch and Brett strains of yeasts, no added fruit, but still brimming with flavour and funk, and a touch of complementing oak. As it is coming from a single barrel, there’s only so many bottles out there, so if you spot them, grab them! Will make a fine cellar dweller too, as it continues to develop over time. Also out right now, to draught accounts, are fresh batches of Pineapple Persuasion (4.2% kettle sour, fermented with Brett, with tons of pineapple puree and a touch of lactose) and Single Origin (5.0% sweet stout with single origin coffee), available at purveyors of fine beer in Fredericton, and soon in Saint John and Moncton as well.

In other Niche News, they are holding a fundraising raffle in support of Black Lives Matter Fredericton, who are developing a resource website for the province’s teachers to more easily incorporate Black History of New Brunswick into their curriculum. Other initiatives include the formation of a scholarship for Black students at UNB and STU, more on both is available BLMF’s website. Your $10 ticket (or 3 for $20) has you in for a chance to win one of every bottled brand Niche has produced in the past 3 years (many no longer for sale and will not be returning), including the latest Evolution, Golden Flair (batch 2), Quintessential Dark Sour, Bridget Rhubarb Sour, Pau Hana Fruited Sour, and After the Storm Dark Sour with Cherries. All 6 bottles, plus an appropriate Niche glass to drink them in, can be yours by sending an EMT to nichebrewing@gmail.com (be sure to also send them a message or email to confirm they have a way to contact you). You have until the end of the month to enter!

If Shipwright is wrong, we don’t wanna be right. In another small batch series release, South Shore’s Shipwright Brewing brings the new stuff with The Bounty Chocolate Coconut Stout. Bounty chocolate bars are delicious and stouts are ripe for the season, so settle into this milk stout with toasted coconut additions. With a grain bill of English pale, coffee, chocolate wheat, crystal, aromatic and spelt malt, and an addition of lactose in the boil, this beer comes off smooth, nutty and satisfying. Get it in crowlers and pints (on Nitro!) at the brewery and Grand Banker. 7.2%, 25 IBU. 

Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing has been releasing some small batch beers recently, under the Beta Beers moniker, and have two more on their shelves for your weekend enjoyment. The caveat is, they’re not telling the public (or us!) too much about the beers, as they’d love to hear your unbiased input! The Ultra Light Lager is a 4.0% ABV crisp and brite lager, with just 10 IBU of bitterness, and a low-cal option at only 90 kcal (and 3 grams of carbs) per 355 mL can. And its lightly-fruited sibling is the Blueberry Ultra Light, which sports a lovely purple hue from the addition of blueberries in the batch. Both are available in 4-packs for $10, and feature a QR code asking for your feedback on the beer. Fill out the survey for a chance to win some Upstreet $$$, too — win/win! Both are available at their online shop for daily delivery in the GCA (Greater Charlottetown Area), curbside pickup, or Island-wide delivery in 1-2 days. Or, if you pop into their Allen Street location (to eat in or take with you), you can grab one of the many styles of pizza on offer, including the Margherita, Canadian, and Sweet Pig (think of Garlic Fingers taken to another level).

Two returning favourites hitting shelves just in time to stuff your stockings (or your bellies) from our pals/acquaintances at 2 Crows Brewing! Let’s start on the romantic (?) side of things with I Love You, a Brett Saison. With a portion of the beer soured with Lactobacillus, before blending with the rest of the beer, it was fermented with the brewery’s house Saison culture and a Brett strain from The Yeast Bay. Once complete, an addition of dried lemon verbena from World Tea House was chucked in, as well as a dry-hop addition of Huell Melon, to complement the herbal and funky notes.

Next is Terry, a tequila barrel aged sour with blueberries. If we didn’t have you with that succinct description, let’s dive a little deeper! Brewed in early 2019 and aged in three different tequila barrels (with a bunch of different yeast and bacteria cultures) for 16 months, all three beers were blended and conditioned on over 500 lbs of blueberries from Terry’s Berries in PEI (which had already undergone their own carbonic maceration, where the juices naturally ferment within the skin of the berry) for eight weeks. Bottled and conditioned further for 2 more months, it’s now ready, just like the baby Jesus! Just in time for Christmas, we mean; calm down! Lots of “blueberry juice and tequila earthiness” in the aroma, with tannins and tartness on the palate… also like the baby Jesus! Grab both beers at the brewery ASAP.

If you were around for Tire Shack’s 1-year anniversary celebrations a little while back, you may have been lucky enough to try their Golden Latte, which was a Blonde Ale brewed with lactose and vanilla, and lagered on coffee beans. It was a smaller test batch, and it didn’t last long. Thanks to its popularity with those who tried it, however, the brew crew has gone ahead and whipped up another batch, this time to the tune of 30 hL. Teaming up with Epoch Chemistry Coffee House again (their local coffee roasters), the batch is packed with over 30 kg of Brazilian coffee beans, along with lots of lactose and vanilla. Creamy and clear, with lots of coffee aroma and flavour, it still comes in at a drinkable 5% ABV… and this time around will be available in cans! Also pouring on tap, you can drop by the brewery today to get your fix. 

The folks at Truro Brewing have teamed up with Amherst’s Trider’s for a collaboration beer named Up in Smoke. If you guessed that this was a smoked beer of some type, you’d be correct; specifically, it’s a Rauchbier, a.k.a. a German Smoked Lager. Specific details are light, but we can confirm that Beechwood smoked malt was used in the grist to give the beer its smoky aromas and flavours, and it was fermented “slow and cool” with a Lager strain to give it a clean finish. You can grab it on tap and in 500 mL bottles at both breweries, starting today.

Back in PEI, the team at Bogside Brewing is releasing the perfect beer to get you through this holiday season, a 10% ABV barrel-aged porter. Nellie J. is named in honour of the Nellie J. Banks, one of the last rum runner vessels in Atlantic Canada, ultimately caught by authorities in 1938. The beer spent time in Carribean rum barrels, adding notes of vanilla and subtle smoke, to compliment the rich chocolatey malt notes from the base porter. Check out Bogside’s web store for info on Island deliveries and Maritime-wide shipping. 

No in-person events on the horizon, for obvious reasons, but that doesn’t mean nothing’s going on!

There are no events to tell you about this week as we head into the holidays, but keep your eye out for a great beer-related fundraiser happening this weekend. The fine people at the Ladies Beer League and Good Robot are teaming up with Dartmouth’s Jampy Furniture and East Coast Specialty Hardwoods in the sale of this year’s Good Robot holiday ornament. Check out Good Robot’s web store on Saturday to scoop up one of the 15 available. All proceeds from the sales will be donated to the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre, with each of the four participating organizations also kindly matching the total sales from the ornaments in the form of a donation.

In case our short introduction was a little cryptic, today’s post is the last before Christmas, and may be the last before we bid 2020 adieu. It was a crazy year from start to finish, and while many (all the?) things have changed in the last 12 months, one thing that hasn’t is that being kind to yourself and others is paramount. Please continue to do so, considering others, and always drink good beer.

Some very big news in the region’s beer scene this week as we have now seen our first major sale of an independent brewery. Pump House, one of the longest running brands in Atlantic Canada is changing hands. The brewery got its start in 1999 as a brewpub in Moncton, in the same “first wave” with Provincial neighbours Picaroons, Nova Scotia’s Garrison and Propeller, PEI’s Murphy’s Brewing Company (now PEIBC/Gahan), and Newfoundland’s Quidi Vidi, among others. While all of those breweries have seen change and growth over the subsequent 20-odd years, and have seen some changes in ownership, there has not been a public sale of one of our OG breweries (that we know of) until now. This is definitely a good news story for the industry: Pump House doing quite well for themselves (Crafty Radler is a major brand in our region and beyond), so this isn’t a liquidation sale of a struggling operation; it also should be acknowledged that the buyer is NOT “big beer” — members of the new ownership group do have roots in the macro side of the industry, but to this point it is an independent group purchasing an independent business and we dearly hope it stays that way! For more of the details on the sale, check your favorite “real” news sources; our take is that it’s a sign of a maturing industry and an overall positive. We’d also like to say Congratulations to Shaun Fraser, whose beer journey began in the 1980s and who built a fixture of the Atlantic Canada Beer Scene. Cheers!

Lots of folks were no doubt happy to hear this week that the NSLC has put out a tender for proposals on “Beverage Alcohol Home Delivery Services.” While we certainly think that there are good reasons to do so given the ongoing COVID-19 situation and it being the 21st century and all, because this is the NSLC we’re a little short on faith that it will be done in a way that does more good than harm. As we are all acutely aware, breweries across the region have been allowed, over the past six or seven months, to deliver beer directly to the doors of customers. In addition, bars and restaurants, with some additional restrictions (e.g., license type, food purchase), have also been allowed to sell alcohol for consumption on other premises. We’re not so much worried that those arrangements will go away if the NSLC does implement their own delivery model; what we’re definitely afraid of, though, is the in their well-established tradition, they will implement their model in such a way that it undercuts or disincentivizes consumers from purchasing from small businesses. The NSLC banks revenue on every last drop of beverage alcohol purchased in Nova Scotia regardless of whether it had literally anything to do with its procurement, production, storage, or distribution. We call on our Government to ensure that if a delivery model is adopted by the NSLC that it does so without negatively affecting the direct-to-consumer sales that are buoying the independent beverage alcohol industry and possibly keeping some of our very much struggling restaurant scene afloat. We call on all our readers who have the means to do so to continue to support their local producers in as direct a fashion as possible.

We leave you with some important reading about local groups working to improve representation in our brewing scene, through collaboration, education, and having a grand time doing it. We’re speaking of course about the Change is Brewing Collective, who have since the summer released beer and cider collaborations with Good Robot, North Brewing, 2 Crows, and most recently, Lake CIty Cider. We encourage you to read more about them, and their outreach within the brewing community as well as those not yet familiar, we encourage you to read this article by Victoria Walton in the most recent Coast, Bottling a solution. And congratulations to Vanessa, who is the recipient of North Brewing’s first Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship!

Let us be the last to welcome you to December, folks. In a year that feels a decade long, we’re rounding the corner to what wild and wonderful things 2021 has in store for us. No matter what, there will be great beer and cider, so at least we’ve got that going for us! A full complement of new and returning options for you to seek out this weekend, and remember that many places are on reduced operations due to COVID restriction, so you’ll want to do a double-check before hopping in your car to visit. Better yet, when possible choose contact-less delivery from those breweries and restaurants offer it, and tip generously. Be kind and drink well, friends!

The Change is Brewing Collective is back with their latest collaborative release, this time with Dartmouth’s Lake City Cider. Forest Glory is a 6.8% ABV blend of many different fruits and herbs all grown or foraged in Nova Scotia and featuring contributions from Stirling Fruit Farms, Terra Beata, East Coast Wild Foods, and Riverview Herbs. Starting with a blend of apple and cranberry juices fermented dry, it was infused with a tincture of juniper, thyme, and rosemary — we hear that the blending and herb selection day was a feast for the senses, as evidenced by the social media posts. Not only does the cider taste great, but it looks great too! Collective member Amber Zaza created a festive and meaningful design featuring the ingredients in a repeating wreath pattern, inclusive of the season, and for whatever reason you choose to celebrate. Proceeds of sales are going to a local non-profit supporting BIPOC youth and community-building.

From Change is Brewing, they “are more motivated than ever to continue promoting diversity & inclusion in the craft beverage industry, and exploring the different opportunities available to BIPOC folks in this province,” so keep your eyes peeled here and on their Social Media (Fb/Ig) for their next Brewing 101 and other events and releases. Grab Forest Glory at Lake City’s retail location, and/or for delivery in HRM, right now! Their in-person event planned for this Sunday is on hold due to COVID restrictions, but they’ll be doing a virtual event later in the month.

Like several areas of New Brunswick, the Moncton region remains in the Orange zone, but that isn’t stopping some of the local breweries from helping you get your beer fix! CAVOK Brewing, still open for pints with your bubble members, as well as takeaway beers, has a brand new New England IPA for the weekend. Got Wings? was brewed with a grist of 2-row and CaraRed malts, along with some oats, and was hopped with a wide variety of hops, including Chinook, Magnum, Citra, Mosaic, and Amarillo. Conditioned on tangerine and pineapple purée “for a sharp, upfront taste of bitter oranges and some fruit sweetness”, you can naturally expect even more citrus, fruity, dank aromas and flavours from the hop additions. With a fairly-low-for-an-IPA ABV of 5.8% ABV, you can find this medium-bodied hop bomb right now at CAVOK on tap and in cans.

Mount Pearl, Newfoundland’s Landwash Brewery is celebrating their Second Anniversary this weekend, and are releasing two new beers to mark the occasion. Awesome! Fresh off the canning line just this morning is the latest in their exploration of the American IPA style, Anchor Rode. This 7.2% IPA features a heavy dose of Strata hops, a newer variety related to Perle, and features a dank character along with plenty of juicy tropical notes of passion fruit, grapefruit, and strawberry. Cans, pints, and fills are available now!

And for those digging a big bold barreled beer, enter Landwash’s The Barrelman. Locals will recognize who this is referring to, but for the rest of us, The Barrelman was the name adopted by Joey Smallwood during his history and culture radio show broadcast in the 1930s and 40s. The beer stands as tall as the man, an American Barley Wine that spent 8 months in Bourbon barrels (American Oak, natch), taking on plenty of vanilla and a touch of booze, along with plenty of toffee and dried fruit character from the base beer. At 10% ABV, it’s perfect for nights huddled around the radio. Cans are also available in their retail shop now, and it’ll also be on draught when the taproom opens at 3 PM. Congratulations on your first two years, Landwash Crew, you have lots to celebrate, and more great things coming! Check their Social Media for details of events they’re holding over the next few weeks, including Slay Belles Drag Brunch next Sunday, as well as plenty of live music.

Tonight you will be visited by three spirits … ok, maybe it’s too early to start reciting Christmas Carol lines, but if you’re in the mood for a spooky beer, check out Good Robot’s release of Uncle Giggle’s Hazy APA. This 5.1% juicy pale ale is an homage to Disney’s Haunted Mansion which inspired the many of the design aspects of GR’s upstairs bar, the MouseTrap. Expect citrusy aromas with floral and grapefruit flavours from the Magnum, Citra and Equinox hops, which were paired with a grist bill featuring pale malt and flaked wheat. Grab some today from the Robots at their retail store on Robie Street or stay home and order delivery through their webstore

Over in PEI, Montague’s Copper Bottom is happy to announce the latest entry in their Field Trip series, consisting of kettle-soured, fruited beers. Field Trip: Tangerine was brewed with a very simple recipe of Shoreline Malting 2-row, soured with Lactobacillus, and fermented with a clean ale yeast strain. Conditioned on loads of tangerine puree, the resulting 5% ABV brew is tart and sessionable, with “a moderate tangerine and tangerine pith character”. You can find it in the brewery’s taproom, online for pickup and delivery options, and in this year’s Advent Calendar from Harvest Wines. And if you were a fan of CB’s NorthPaw Rye IPA (6.5% ABV) when they first launched it, good news, as a fresh batch is now available! Hopped with Amarillo and Cascade to 40 IBUs, this time around it’ll be available at select PEILCC locations, as well as at the brewery and online.

If you’re feeling more in a Lager-ish kinda mood, Tatamagouche Brewing has you covered with their latest, Arvo, a Helles Lager. A style brewed to be clean, easy-drinking, and a showcase for good malt and noble hops, Tata’s take on the style features a grist of mostly Pilsner malt, with a little bit of Honey malt and Carapils thrown in for good measure. Mash-hopped with Czech Saaz, more Saaz and some Hallertau Mittlefruh were added in the boil, for a total calculated IBUs of 26. Fermented with the Isar Lager strain from Escarpment Labs, the final beer is right where you’d want it at 4.6% ABV, and is just what you’re looking for when you need a beer that is approachable, sessionable, and flavourful… without smacking you in the face too hard with, well, anything! Available at the brewery store for growlers and cans, and of course you can order it online (lots of great shipping options for all around the country!).

TataBrew also has a couple of other favourites returning: Elixir, their Pale Ale fermented with the Krispy Kveik yeast and hopped with Elixir and Mistral, two French varieties, is currently available on tap and in cans; and Giantess, their award-winning Barley Wine, a big (11% ABV!!), bold, delicious beer, can be found in store/online in 650 mL bottles. Two completely-different beers, yet both tasty as all get out!

Cole Harbour’s North Brewing has had a big couple of weeks, what with the release of Stack o’ Pancakes and their new and vintage collaboration beers with Benjamin Bridge, all of which we’ve mentioned over the past couple of weeks. This week saw the release of another beer we mentioned two weeks ago as on-the-way, SoP’s “sister” beer, Cinnamon Bun Stout. But they haven’t stopped there! Out today is a very special version of their original pastry stout, Twinkle Pony. For those who remember, this was a stout brewed with Tiramisu components, including ladyfinger cookies, vanilla, and coffee, as well as plenty of chocolate malt. As a special treat for all those folks who continue to ask for it, they not only made more, they made it MORE. Two barrels worth of a previous batch of this beer were socked into whiskey barrels for a solid 10 months before being blended with some newer stout then conditioned further on toasted coconut, cocoa nibs from Rousseau Chocolatier, and more vanilla. The result is a 9% ABV beer that will no doubt twinkle your pony. They’re calling it Coco Pony and if you’re into it, you should act quickly: only 900 cans have been produced! Grab it through on-line ordering for curbside pickup or delivery, or responsible socially distanced retail!

This is the time of year when some of you start craving certain Christmas candies, which inevitably means that similarly-themed beers will follow. With Dieppe’s Flying Boats, they’ve added a new beer to their Small Batch Brewing series, Midnight Express, a “Double Chocolate Orange Porter” which most likely is inspired by the popular stocking stuffer, Terry’s Chocolate Orange. The beer is brewed in the English Porter style, with a grist that contains two different Chocolate malt varieties. East Kent Goldings hops were added in the boil, along with additions of bitter orange peel. More orange was added to the beer in the form of orange puree during the conditioning phase, with the end product showing off a “full-bodied dark chocolate flavour, hints of orange zest, and a nice, creamy finish”. It’s 6.2% and 28 IBUs, and was packaged in 750 mL bottles for purchase at the brewery, as well as select ANBL stores. 

Need a break from beer? Well, don’t forget that there’s lots of great, local cideries around Atlantic Canada now, with Halifax’s ChainYard being an excellent option. And hey, they’ve got a brand new cider currently available in cans, Cran’d Ole Hopry. This one is a cider made with Northern Spy apples that was dry-hopped with Cascade and Mosaic, and then aged on the cidery’s house-made cranberry wine. Lots of hop aromatics with this beauty, as well as a tart, refreshing finish of cranberry. It weighs in at 6.4% ABV; grab your 4-packs at CY right now!

Quidi Vidi has a few new beers in their Hop Shop and hitting NLCs and convenience stores this week. First up is Infinity Skull IPA, a juicy Idaho 7-heavy American IPA, featuring notes of apricot, lime, and pineapple. This collaboration was done with local tattoo artist Murray Brokenshire from Trouble Bound Studio, and of course features a pretty sick can design. Their Sofa Sours Series continues with the return of Strawberry Guava Creamsicle. Bright ripe strawberry and guava, with a touch of lactose to balance the acidity, makes for a refreshing, light, and fruity extension of the beer line. And finally, Imperial Black Forest Stout! As the name implies, lots of chocolate in the can, along with cherry and vanilla that will have you thinking of this heavenly dessert. Check their website for availability for pickup and delivery, in addition to those sent to the other retail locations.

As the holidays draw nearer, Atlantic Canadian beer drinkers collectively seek out a beer that is socially acceptable to crack open before noon (or is that just us?). Look no further, as Propeller is rereleasing its Mocha Oatmeal Stout. Brewed with chocolate and locally roasted coffee, expect flavors of espresso, milk chocolate and brown sugar in a 5.5% ABV package. As an added bonus, this year’s cans are of the nitro variety, leading to a creamier, smooth mouthfeel and the classic cascading head caused by the nitrogen. The kegged version was carbed using CO2, so grab a growler while you’re at it to compare and contrast the two styles. Available today at Prop’s three HRM locations are via home delivery through their webstore.

Not to be outdone by all the other breweries doing some kinda boxy bundley thingy for the holidays (just a little late to the party 😘), 2 Crows Brewing in Halifax is stepping up the local content with theirs, calling it the Local Crate. Of course you’re going to get some lovely liquids from Brunswick Street, including 8 beers, 2 cans each of Refresh and Fantacity, 1 Laurel, 1 I Love You, and a bottle of Terry (the last two are exclusive early releases!) as well as 4 cans of Hop Water and a lovely limited release 2 Crows Arome beer glass to enjoy them all with. But you’ll also get a loaf of sourdough bread, a bag of granola, and an enamel pin from Birdies Bread Co., and Milosh Mustard (yep, mustard made with 2 Crows Milosh Helles-style lager) and Apple-Shallot Chutney from Good Luck Café & Pantry. Check out the pretty pictures at their web store, but don’t spend too long fawning, if you want one of these you need to place your order by December 10th; they’ll be ready for pickup or delivery on December 12th. 

Nothin’ doin’ this week in terms of beer-related events, but let’s be honest, that’s very much the way it should be. As we adapt to increased restrictions, though hopefully not for too long, we’ll likely see some virtual beer events pop up again, which we’ll be happy to tell you about. And with that, here’s the traditional batch of shorter items to send you on your way to plan your weekend beer(s)!

Breton Brewing’s latest seasonal is a NEIPA named Into the Haze (6.6% ABV) that was brewed with Wheat malt from Shoreline Malting and plenty of delicious hops to give “notes of pineapple on the nose, and flavours of grapefruit, lemon, mango, and cantaloupe.” Available for pickup at the brewery, and online for delivery/shipping across Nova Scotia. 

If you’re interested in trying some cellared beers, particularly those of the higher ABV variety, check out Garrison’s Cellar Celebration.  Featuring releases going as far back as 2015, you’ll find long-time favorites like Spruce Beer, Ol’Fog Burner Barleywine, Wintervention and Baltic Porter. Check out Garrison’s webstore for all of the details.   

Grimross Brewing has brought back their Abbey Dubbel (pronounced “double”, not “doobel”!), but this time, the Belgian Dubbel is available in cans. At 7.2% ABV, and with “notes of dark fruit, banana, and allspice with toasty malt and a drying finish”, it’s just what you need for sipping on a cold (or, lukewarm?) late-fall night. 

Maybee Brewing has their own returning Belgian staple, Stone House Tripel. This pale-coloured, 8.4% ABV Belgian Tripel was originally one of the brewery’s flagship beers; if you’ve been missing it, you can grab it on tap and in cans at the brewery.

Halifax hop heads rejoice! Double Orange Ale is back at Unfiltered Brewing. The 7.5% DIPA you know and love is available now in cans and growler fills (Unfiltered glass only) on North Street, or via home delivery.  

This has been a tough week for our region, with localized spikes in the number of COVID cases bursting the Atlantic Bubble, and now the forced closing of in-person dining and drinking in Halifax and Hants County Zones. All is not lost, however, as most of your favourite breweries, cider houses, and Good Beer Restos are transitioning (back) to delivery and curbside take-away options. Or if your fridge is already full, consider picking up another set of gift certificates to help your local spot. Black Friday/Cyber Monday be damned, we’ll repeat here what we’ve seen elsewhere, “Buy Local, or Bye Local”. We’ll get our butts in gear with a full updated COVID list soon, but in the meantime, here’s the latest news on drinks to guide you to and through the weekend. As always, stay safe, stay kind, and drink well.

One of those affected breweries is Dartmouth’s North Brewing, who has closed their taproom at 899 Portland Street, though their retail shop is open (may we suggest Delivery and Curbside Click and Collect?), with the Side Hustle Snack Bar pivoting to Take Out only (Fri & Sat, 4 – 8 PM, menu here, must order by phone 902-444-7765). Hitting the shelves today is the latest in their series of collaborations with Benjamin Bridge, using a new variety of grape in the continuing hybrid releases. 2020 Saison de Lucie started life as a Saison base beer, to which 500 kg of freshly crushed, whole Lucie Kuhlmann grapes (juice, pomace, and skins) were added for a secondary fermentation. After sufficient tannic structure from the pomace and skins developed, the 7.4% ABV beer/wine hybrid was transferred a second time into bottles to complete conditioning, and carbonate naturally. The resulting bevvy is a wonderful melding of a crisp and effervescent Saison with a bold fruitiness from the Hazuki Vineyards grapes. Bottles of 2020 SdL are available for delivery (nation-wide, btw), and pickup at their Portland Street and Battery Park locations.

Also on shelves today is the Barrel-aged version of their 2019 Saison de Petite Pearl, which was allowed to build some oak character while sitting in a barrel for 10 months, before undergoing final maturation and natural carbonation in the bottle. Just one barrel was prepared, meaning this is a small release of just 25 cases, so seek it out today if you’re interested.

Adding to these two brand new releases are a dive in the cellar for the un-oaked 2019 Saison de Petite Pearl, as well as the Barrel-aged 2018 Saison de Chardonnay, both 7.4% ABV, and available online.

For those of you isolated in St. John’s (hey, there’s way worse places to be stuck!), you may want to mosey on over to Bannerman Brewing, where they have a pretty new beer on tap. Strange Overtones is a 7.5% ABV Sour IPA that was brewed with lots of flaked oats to increase haziness and give the beer a smooth, creamy mouthfeel, as well as a little lactose powder for some sweetness to balance the tartness. We’re unsure exactly what hop varieties were used in this one, but they’re describing the beer as “jammy, with flavours of berry, pine and candied citrus”. Oh, did we mention that it was also conditioned on plenty of blackberries? Yeah, that may explain at least a portion of the jammy descriptor! This one is available on tap only, so pop by for a pint and/or a growler.

Delta Force Brewing, Nova Scotia’s most clandestine brewery, has popped up again with another set of releases this week, and we’ve got the scoop for you! First up is Wessex, a 7.8% ABV English Barley Wine, featuring plenty of caramel and bread crust with a balancing bitterness to keep it from being too sweet. Full mouthfeel and maybe a touch of alcohol heat will reward those bold enough to take it on. Word on the street is that this one is in very short supply, so this may only be a tease for some readers (sorry not sorry, you can get on the shortlist for future releases by signing up to their mailing list via email, deltaforcebrewing@gmail.com). We understand there should be some Operation Barrow left at this point, however, so let’s expound on this one! This 7.0% English IPA started out traditional enough, using English malts and hops, but was instead fermented with Brettanomyces for a more funk-forward take on the style. While there is little doubt yeasts would have had some extra funky bugs in there due to a lack of modern sanitation practices, this is definitely a doubling down on this fact to gain complexity and character in the final product. Sounds like a winner to us!

Delta Force also has a trio of bottles from their previous releases with less-than-waterproof labels, which means they may not exactly be pretty, but the beers inside are still damn tasty. And with a bit of a discount, that’s pretty sweet!

  • Anderlecht is their Trappist Single-inspired ale, with a touch of Brett funkiness, a 6.0% ABV ode to Guy of Anderlecht, the patron saint of sheds. Delta Force is a Farmshed brewery, after all!
  • Mean Time is a 5.6% ABV English Bitter with a touch of Brett, featuring their own Greenwich-grown hops! Bit of funk, a bit of floral from the hops, all good.
  • Operation Assay is their Kveik Pale Ale, a 6.3% ABV quaffable elixir with just a smattering of hops.

All of the Delta Force Brewing beers can be ordered via email (deltaforcebrewing@gmail.com), $40 minimum for free contactless delivery within HRM (or so), and they’ll fill you in on anything else necessary.

Chester’s finest and pride of Lunenburg County, Tanner Brewing, have an Old Black Forest restaurant pop-up this weekend, as part of the Chester Village Christmas. Their latest release is right on theme, as Black Forest Milk Stout is available today!  From the brewery, “Inspired by the delicious cake itself, this stout was finished with milk sugar towards the end of the boil and then fermented with cherry puree, vanilla & chocolate.”  This 6.9% ABV and 25 IBU stout can also be ordered with a slice of Black Forest cake, available at the brewery or even online as part of their delivery. Online slice of cake orders? Welcome to 2020! We encourage you to follow local guidelines when placing in person and online orders, as they will deliver as far down as Bridgewater. Typical delivery days are Fridays if you can’t make it to the brewery. For those in Halifax, keep an eye on the online store and when local guidelines allow you to get this tasty new release.

After all the fantastic news this week (if your sarcasm meter isn’t going off, you’d better check its batteries), you may find yourself craving something a little on the stronger side. Those of you in Moncton are covered by Tire Shack’s latest bottle release, Into the Void, a Russian Imperial Stout weighing in at a whopping 11.9% ABV. No doubt brewed with a complex grist of multiple specialty grains, it’s showing off “prominent flavours of dried fruits (dates and figs) and some molasses, followed by espresso and a tinge of bitter chocolate.” Accompanied by a smooth, heavy body, the alcohol is warming, yet not one bit harsh. The perfect beer for sipping by a fire, or chugging in an attempt to escape reality (that being said, nobody really recommends that approach!). Lots of bottles at the brewery for the weekend, drop by to stock up, as this one should be a great beer for cellaring.

If you’re looking to scratch the spiced holiday beer itch, check out Good Robot this weekend for their release of El Zorro Spiced Dark Lager. Coming in at 4.4% ABV, expect the familiar spice notes of a winter warmer. This one is also gluten reduced, with less than 20 PPM of gluten. While their beer store is open for pickup, the Robots are encouraging you to stay home by doubling down on their BeerMiles delivery rewards this weekend, and Tripling them today only! Check out their webstore for more info. 

Just one event on the books for this week, but it’s a good one:

Borden-Carleton’s Lone Oak Brewing is celebrating the opening of their onsite kitchen today, The Abby. Run by the very capable folks behind the Wheelhouse in Georgetown and the bright pink Terry’s Berries food truck outside the brewery this summer. Think handhelds and sides, with plenty of pairing opportunities with the Lone Oak beers on tap. This kitchen opens today at 4 PM, and is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11:30 until 7 or later, all winter. And what better way to celebrate than with the return of Trivia with Dan and Spencer, starting at 7 PM. And from 9 PM until close, Fraser McCallum will take the stage for some live music. Tomorrow evening will see Brad Milligan & Griffen Arsenault playing 7 – 10 PM, and Sunday Brian Dunn ft John MacAllar,  1 – 4 PM. What a full weekend, jam packed with great beer, food, and fun!

This is where we usually say, “A few short things before we leave you to your weekend,” but really this week there’s a lot. So, enjoy a lot of short things (plus a bonus feature) before we leave you to your weekend!!

In Dieppe, NB, CAVOK Brewing has a brand new beer on tap, Pear”adise”. A 5.9% ABV Saison brewed with local, fresh pears (from Crooked River Farm, out of Memramcook), as well as an addition of Grains of Paradise, you can grab it in pints, crowlers, and growlers, for on-site drinking (in your bubble, naturally), takeaway, or delivery.

Also in Dieppe, we get a new IPA release from O’Creek Brewing, SOLOH IPA. Featuring Talus hops, a cultivated daughter of Sabro, this should come with big aromas of citrus, floral and fruit aromas, with big orange and tangerine flavours. Available on tap right now at CAVOK. 

Back in the big city, check out Garrison Brewing for their annual release of Spruce Beer. This year’s version features spruce and fir tips from their friends at Meander River Farm and the usual addition of Blackstrap molasses. In response to the current conditions, Garrison is also expanding its home delivery options. And have started a “Save the Tax” offering for all of their merch, on now until the end of the year. Check out their webstore for more info. 

Hopping over to St. John’s, Quidi Vidi Brewing Co. is releasing the second of their Sofa Sour Series with Peach Raspberry Sour. This 5.6% ABV fruited sour is available now at the QV Hop Shop in cans. Check out QV’s web store for local delivery, available today and Saturday. 

Upstreet has brought back their popular DIPA, Third Place, an 8.5% ABV hop bomb featuring additions of Galaxy, Azacca, Mosaic, and Citra. Lots of tropical fruit and citrus in this one, as well as notes of “caramelized brown sugar”, likely from the use of some Victory malt in the grist. Available on tap and in cans at Upstreet and Craft Beer Corner, it’ll also be seen at Dartmouth’s Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse soon, as well as in select ANBL stores in New Brunswick in the New Year.

And finally, In the grand tradition of holiday cheer venturing northwards from our neighbours to the south, no doubt combined with so many taprooms shutting down due to lockdown and affecting on-site sales, many of the providers in our region, but especially in Halifax, are adding a bit of incentive to their online ordering this weekend (and, in some cases, beyond). If you’re looking to take advantage, PLEASE do read the details carefully on the brewery’s/cidery’s website for full details (limits, timeframe, etc.) before placing your order:

  • 2 Crows has lowered their minimum for free shipping to $30 and is including a 4-pack of Hop Water with every order until December 9th.
  • Annapolis Cider is ceasing shipping for the Winter months (cider can freeze in transit, which is a Bad Thing™) so they’ve set a flat shipping charge of $15 on orders over $100 anywhere in Canada (with some exceptions) until November 29th.
  • Lake City Cider is offering 20% off on all orders over $70 this weekend; as always, order by 1 PM for sameday delivery.
  • Murphy Hospitality Group are offering a $10 cash card when you buy a $50 in MHG gift cards via the MHG Gift Cards site from November 27th to December 31st. A reminder that MHG cards can be used at any MHG property, which includes PEI Brewing Company, PEIBC Beer Station, and the Gahan Beer Store. The cash card will be for use in January and February, 2021. Today (Black Friday) only, you get 2 x $10 cards for your purchase. On Cyber Monday you can get free shipping by using the code “CYBER MONDAY.”
  • Propeller Brewing has a sale on their Lime Lite lime-infused light lager all weekend long, with a flat of 24 cans going for $60.
  • Tatamagouche Brewing is having a buy 5 Get (Square) One Free promotion on where if you order 5 bottles of tasty Tata brews they’ll throw in a bottle of their Canadian Beer Awards Silver Medal winning Square One Saison.
  • As mentioned above, Good Robot is doubling your BeerMiles reward miles if you order online this weekend, tripling them today only.
  • Also mentioned above, Garrison Brewing has a “save the tax” deal on Garrison merchandise running until the end of the year.