We are back at full strength this week at the blog, and the breweries must have known, because we’ve got an overfilled post for you today from all 4 provinces, and plenty of events to keep you busy for the next few weekends. Let us tarry no further and get right to the good stuff!
We’re going to start this week with three returning engagements from around the region, starting in the East End of St. John’s, NL, where Bannerman Brewing has brought back Early Rise, their fruited sour IPA. Hopped with Citra and Sabro before being refermented on mango puree and pomegranate concentrate, and bolstered with an addition of lactose, the result is a full-bodied and heavy beer with lots and lots of fruit and hop character, but also a slight acidity that complements the fruit and sweetness, and a balancing bitterness on the finish. It’s both on tap and available in cans to go at the shop, but look for it to see wider distribution in the coming days and weeks.
Also returning for the second time in 2022 after a successful run in 2021 is Black Flower from Tatamagouche. An American Stout, once again the brew team leaned into the “American” aspect of that style with copious amounts of hops. In place of last year’s classic Cascade and Centennial, this year’s batch leverages piney and spicy Chinook and piney and woody Nugget (both from HOOH Hop Farms in BC) for a bit of a different feel. A medley of malts builds a solid base to balance those hops, with chocolate, caramel, dried fruit, and firm roasted flavours coming to the fore. An English yeast strain ensures plenty of body carries forward, and though it’s a fairly middling 5.5% ABV, the brewery describes it as tasting like a young RIS. You’ll just have to try it for yourself to find out! With any luck, just like last year we’ll see a cask or two of it go on at the Stillwell Freehouse for a different take on the same beer.
Last, but definitely not the least of our returning beers is one that many folks in the region might remember as a gateway to craft beer. Earlier in 2022 as part of their 25th anniversary celebrations, Propeller Brewing conducted a poll on their socials about which beer their fans would like to see brought back for a limited run and, of course, Stone Fruit won. But the runner-up? That beer was the venerable Honey Wheat, one of the breweries’ stalwart brands throughout their first 20 years, but unseen since its retirement batch in 2018. Brewery staff from past and present were invited to the brew day to celebrate this old friend. Brewed with both barley and wheat, along with Nova Scotia honey from Cosman & Whidden in Greenwich, it was fermented slightly cool to ensure a clean presentation and little distraction from the subtleties of the honey. The result is 5% ABV and is now available exclusively on tap for pints and growler fills at all Prop Shops.
And if you’re in Halifax and you’re looking for something even more retro than Prop Honey Wheat, you can check out Movie Mania at Propeller Arcade, four seasonal movies on three nights. On October 25th, Canadian cult classic “George’s Island” (1989) is playing, and on October 26th, it’ll be a “mystery movie.” On both of those nights admission is free, but we suggest reserving your spot by picking up a ticket at the Arcade today. On October 30th you’ll find the last outdoor screening of the year, a double-feature of “Ernest Scared Stupid” and “Pumpkinhead.” Gates open at 4pm, with the first flick commencing at 6 and an intermission at 7:30. Taz Records will be on-site selling horror movies, soundtracks, and merch, and Asado BBQ will have eats for the buying. And, of course, Propeller will be selling beer! Tickets for the big night are $30, also available at the Arcade. So gawan, get yer spooky on (but remember to dress warm!!)
Switching from things we’ve seen before to brand new beer, Sober Island Brewing has a new seasonal available in their Autumn Session Series that shows their continued love for traditional English styles. Hardwood Mild is what it says on the tin: a Dark Mild ale that arrives at a very sessionable 3.8% ABV. With six types of barley malt coming together for a complex malt profile, you can expect notes of roasted nuts, chocolate, and biscuits. To add to that is a lovely deep brown colour. Available from the brewery in cans, but note that they’ve switched to their winter hours: Thursdays 2 – 9pm, Fridays and Saturdays 12 – 7pm, and Sundays 12 – 5pm, with occasional later hours on any given night for events.
Following the earlier release of their hazy pale ale, Garrison is rolling out another 25th Anniversary beer, this time a Champagne IPA. This one starts off with a grain bill of 2 Row, flaked rice and oat malt, before seeing hop additions of Galaxy, Topaz, Idaho 7, and Simcoe. The champagne quality comes from the yeast used which produces a highly effervescent carbonation. Look for notes of citrus, mango and stone fruit, and a light bitterness of only 21 IBUs. The 6.0% ABV Champagne IPA is available now at the two Garrison retail locations and will see broader distribution via the government monopoly and private stores soon. While we are on the topic of Garrison, one of their Oktoberfest exclusives from a few weeks ago, Dunkel Breaking My Heart, has now been canned, and is available exclusively at the Seaport and Oxford locations.
Speaking of Oktoberfest, Saint John’s Loyalist City is releasing Bestest Mensch, their take on a German Marzen. This one features a grain bill of Vienna, Munich and Pilsner malts, imported straight from Germany by Weyermann Speciality Malts. Fermented with Global Lager yeast, it was then lagered to provide the crisp and refreshing drinking experience the style is known for. You can expect a moderate malt profile along with some classic floral hop notes from the German hops in this 5.2% Marzen. This one will see release in draught format only, on tap at the brewery this weekend.
Next up is a double release week from Cornwall’s Village Green. First up is the 7.5% ABV Double Porter. Starting off with two British malts, Marris Otter and English Brown malt, it then sees a generous addition of Centennial and Chinook, both on the hot side and via a dry hop. Find it on tap and in cans at the brewery starting at 4:00 PM today (Friday). Also keep an eye out for their Dorf Pilsner, a German Pils that made its debut at the HopYard Brewery Battle last yesterday. More details on that below!
Back on the mainland, the fine folks at Truro Brewing Company have a new release that’s joining their core lineup. Little Dyke Pilsner, is a German take on the style with a moderate hop presence that’s been fermented to a sessionable 5.0% ABV. You can find it on tap and in cans at the brewery now. And, just in time for spooky season, the brewery will be showing Evil Dead II at the taproom tonight at 7:00 PM. Tickets are $5 at the door.
We here at ACBB appreciate all forms of fermented beverages, including the non-alcoholic variety. Upsreet spin-off Libra is releasing a new beer in collaboration with Juno-winning musician Serena Ryder, Libra Lavender Sage Cream Ale. Expect a balanced drinking experience with notes of, you guessed it, lavender and sage, along with a mild honey character. Check out the Libra online store for ordering info.
Bogside out of Montague, PEI is back with another fundraiser for the PEI Humane Society. Last year they raised over $4,000 for the society and this year, six pack sales of Gimme Shelter (a Blonde ale) will provide $6 to PEI’s only animal shelter. The beer itself is a crisp, approachable 5% North American blonde ale which will satisfy many beer drinkers all across PEI. Pick this up directly from the brewery, or order online for delivery.
If you’re near Antigonish and things have calmed down post-Fiona, Half Cocked has an exciting beer release available now. NOBO is a Norwegian Farmhouse Ale that uses a no-boil technique and features the Voss strain from the Kveik family of Norwegian farmhouse yeasts. Additions of juniper berries, Pinot (Grigio, we think) and butterfly pea blossom give this a purple hue and herbaceous flavours and atoms. There is a touch of acidity, it’s dry on the finish, and it’s 4.5% ABV. Check this one out on tap or in 355ml cans directly from the brewery.
Mauzy Cider, currently based in Paradise, Newfoundland and Labrador, has their second release this week, making the most of a bad situation. When hurricane Larry hit Newfoundland in September 2021, the apple trees were full of apples in various stages of ripening. Of course, Larry had other ideas, and millions of these were sent off the trees whether they were ready or not. Enter the Mauzy team, who quickly sprang into action and collected the “feral” fruit from around town so that they did not go to waste. Aided by some honey from Baccalieu Trail Honey Bees, this spontaneously fermented cider was aged for 8 months before bottling. Tannin- and acid-forward, the 7.0% cider has been packaged in just 30 cases of 750ml bottles, and is available to purchase now. And downtown cocktail bar Papillon is holding a release party this Sunday at their 152 Water Street location. 8 PM until late, with Shuck NL there providing oysters to pair.
While Mauzy hangs out in their space, host brewery Banished has been ramping up their production as they now offer Canada-wide shipping. And new today is Skelephone, a shocking 6.0% ABV IPA. Starting from the glow in the dark can, you can tell this is going to be a different beer… Starting from one of their established IPA recipes, they used the Cryo Pop hop blend from Yakima Chief for a stone fruit and tropical character. But most shocking will be the appearance of the beer, which is blueish-green, thanks to the addition of blue spirulina algae. While odourless and flavourless, it lends its colours in a big way, making this beer impossible to miss! Skelephone is debuting in the taproom today (fresh off the canning line), and out to their normal retail partners next week.
Sticking to the Rock, Port Rexton has released their annual celebration of St. John’s The Adelaide Oyster House, It’s a Vibe! Celebrating 8 years in business, AOH has been a long time supporter of PRBC, so it’s only fitting that the brewery returns the favour. This year’s edition is a kettle sour with Mango and Guava, resulting in a tropical cocktail that will have you dreaming of down south. Available exclusively on tap at the brewery and Adelaide currently, if there’s any left, they’ll send cans out to the rest of the Island!
In “coming soon” beer news, 2 Crows Brewing has teased a new release coming in a couple of weeks, but we wanted to help spill the beans early to ensure you don’t miss out. Starting life during a November 2021 brewday, the malt bill consisted of 69% Shoreline Pilsner, 16% Flaked Rye, and 15% Flaked Rice. Hopped in the mash with Chinook, then early with Sterling before a hefty dose in the whirlpool (while cooling after the boil) with Bru-1. Fermented with Verdant yeast (commonly used for NEIPAs) and the 2Crows House Funky Foedre Culture™, cultivated from many batches passing through their large wooden fermenters. After fermentation completed and the yeast were just starting to nap, they added 200 kilos of Apricot puree to call them into duty once again. After that second round of fermentation was completed, the mad scientists in the brewery added fresh lime juice and zest to up the ante. Once the extra natural sugars were chewed up, the beer was transferred to a stainless steel fermenter, where a soupcon of locally-harvest sea salt was added, care of OK Sea Salt in LaHave. This final addition marked the end of intervention, as the beer was packaged and allowed to carbonate naturally in the can, before its upcoming release. The resultant OK OK OK is a lovely melding of juiciness, tart, and funk, with a hint of salinity drawing you back for more. First dibs of this limited release will be going to 2C Newsletter subscribers next Friday, so be sure to sign up in the next day or two. We’ve saved you some clicking to find the link. Those of you who miss out on the early access will be able to grab it online, their retail shop, or local private store(s) November 8th.
Where to go and have a beer-y blast this weekend? Read below to learn more!
Charlottetown’s HopYard is once again holding their Battle of the Breweries, taking place over the next several weeks. On now is the fierce head to head to head battle between Lone Oak, Double Hill Cidery and Village Green, as each producer brings forth new releases and core brands, in the effort to sell the most pints Thursday through Saturday. The winner of this weekend will move onto a Semi Final before the big Finals, November 24-26. Next weekend’s competitors, Barnone, Moth Lane, and PEI Brewing, kick off their fun at 11:30 October 27, with the final first round of breweries, Bogside, Labatt, and Upstreet, duke it out November 3 – 5.
Here’s something you don’t see a lot, a brewery having a yard sale! Both Good Robot locations (Elmsdale and Halifax) will be having beer on sale, with up to 50% off some of their lineup. They’re doing a mass clear out to make room for a lot of new products and we’re sure their new production out of Elmsdale is pumping out some tasty treats. The yard sale will be on today at both locations, so if you’re an early reader of this, get on over if you can, while supplies last!
Next weekend is the return of the Cox & Palmer Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Fest, happening at the Moncton Coliseum October 29th. There are still tickets available for both the afternoon (2-4:30 PM) or evening (7:30-10 PM) sessions, and your ticket includes unlimited beer, cider, mead, and spirit samples from more than 20 producers. There are also a handful of food vendors to keep you perked up and satiated. There will also be some Electric Vehicles on display for those who want to learn more about them. Grab your tickets at the link above before they’re gone!
This is as close we’ll get to posting “urgent” news on the blog, but the 12 Beers of Christmas in St. John’s only has tickets left for one of their days! This event is a fun one for Newfoundland craft beer fans, and the Saturday session is all sold out! There are still tickets left for Friday November 25th and all of the local breweries will be there and of course, way more than 12 beers! They’ll be food, ugly sweaters and more! It’s a month before Christmas, so it’s a good time to start spreading the cheer and drinking beer! Check out the link for tickets here, if you can be at the St. John’s Farmers Market on that date, of course.
A few more things before we dismiss you this afternoon…
A bit of news out of Bishop’s Cellar and their latest offerings, they’ve got some Bellwoods brews for the Halifax locals. Original Jelly King is now a core beer at Bishop’s and this will ALWAYS BE IN STOCK*. What a time to be alive.
Other Bellwoods offerings available for a limited time starting today:
- PIG IPA
- Jelly King Plum
They’ve also got some recently released local beers available now as well:
Tanner Brewing – Altbier
North Brewing – Sweater Weather
Propeller – Porter
* except when it’s not, because people bought it all, because of course sometimes they will, because it’s awesome!
Big things are happening for Roof Hound, as they’ve bought the roof! They’ve bought their building where their Kingston taproom and restaurant reside, as they are building towards their future, Roof Hound Public House. Shifting away from Digby and taking over the former space of The Crossing restaurant in Kingston, they’re going to be working on a huge new project in the heart of Kingston by expanding their current space and adding accommodations, too! Stay tuned to their socials and we’ll be sure to keep you updated here, too!
And as a service to our homebrewing readers to close out the blog today, a heads up that Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill Beer is hosting their first Homebrew Competition! Dubbed the Winter Home Brew Challenge, they are looking for your best seasonal ale, in the Amber to Brown colour spectrum, and 4.5 – 6.5% ABV. They’re teaming up with Noble Grape for this competition, and the beers will be judged blindly by their team of experts, and the winning entry will see their beer brewed and distributed! You have until December 8th to submit your 6-pack of entries at one of their drop-points in HRM, Annapolis or Kings Counties. Fire them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info, including details on the post-judging party where the winners will be announced, where your $25 brewing entry fee is your ticket to food, beer, and fun!