While it’s still January (how?!), there continues to be updates and changes with guidelines and restrictions across Atlantic Canada. Breweries are opening taprooms again, upgrading their online stores and may have changed deliveries. As always, it’s important to check out the social media from your favourite breweries and keep an eye out for any deals, as our breweries are trying to keep business going. Please support as you can and live within your means! Lastly, if you’ve been saving up your drinks for Dry January (that’s how it works right?), hopefully you’ll enjoy these updates below so you can line up your Wet February.
Let’s kick off the week’s news with some cider from Halifax, courtesy of Sourwood Cider. Kissabel is a red-fleshed apple that the Sourwood crew have used in ciders before, namely their Kissabel Pet-Nat, a low intervention spritzy cider made with the 2020 harvest and released last year. After removing the cider for that release, Jake wasn’t done with the leftover fruits just yet, adding some water to the pomace and allowing another fermentation to take place. The result is Kissabel Piquette, a 3.0% low abv release that is bubbly and light, while still allowing the fruit flavour to shine through. Grab this at their store on Cornwallis, or for local delivery or shipping.
We’ve got a pair of treats coming out of Cornwall, PEI. Village Green brings out two new ones, marking their first releases of 2022. Starting out, we’re going with a throwback to the west coast days of C-hops and Crystal malt. Winter Classic IPA is a Classic IPA at 6.5% featuring Crystal malt and Chinook and Centennial hops. With plenty of IBUs and 6.5%. Featuring citrus and pine notes with a great hop bite. This is available in cans now from the brewery.
Second up, a nice alternate to the West Coast IPA, we get a Vanilla Milk Stout also available now. A sweet and roasty Milk Stout, conditions on Madagascan Vanilla Beans for a nice sweetness, this comes in at 5.6% available in cans today. And a big HBD to Head Brewer and Keg Washer Bryan Carver, who celebrates the big 4-0 today. While you can’t enjoy a pint at VG this weekend, at least pop by for some growler and can fills and toast the fella!
From Sussex, New Brunswick, the crew at Sussex Ale Works is re-releasing a hit from last year’s Valentine’s Day with Tarts Content, a raspberry sour taken after the Berliner Weisse style.Using the classic German-style ale recipe with added raspberry puree gives a nice sweet and tart flavour, with the right amount of pucker. This is 5% and 8 IBU. This is available today in crowlers for pickup and delivery from the brewery.
Another brewery bringing back an old favourite is Dildo Brewing, straight out of Dildo, Newfoundland. Bitter Cold is an Ordinary Bitter style that is light, malt forward and delicious. At 4%, this brings notes of orange pekoe tea, sweetness like marmalade and toasted biscuits. Highly drinkable at anytime, this is available in cans today from the brewery and their St. John’s shop, along with a few NL Liquor Express, Marie’s and Orangestores.
Berwick’s Smokehouse Nano Brewery celebrated Robbie Burns day this week with a release paying tribute to the Scottish poet, Grandfather’s Tartan. Delving into the Scottish Wee Heavy style, this 7.8% beer is malt-forward, with plenty of rich caramel and toasted notes, while remaining smooth, despite its higher alcohol content. You’ll have to find your way to the Annapolis Valley for this one, as it’s only available on tap at their spot at 134 Union Street!
Straight out of Shelburne, but available province- and Canada-wide, is the latest offering from Boxing Rock Brewing. Perfect for the apres-shovelling crowd and cold nights we’re experiencing, is a big and hearty stout, and it doesn’t get much bigger than 9.0% ABV. Proletariat Russian Imperial Stout is full of dark malts to bring massive notes of roast, coffee, chocolate, with a fine level of bitterness to balance its full mouthfeel. Released in 473 ml cans, it’s joined on the shelves by the returning Unobtanium Intrepid Amber Ale, ready for pickup or delivery. Speaking of, a reminder that Boxing Rock is doing free daily delivery in HRM and Shelburne, on a minimum order of just $50. And those who live between Halifax and Shelburne can take advantage of free weekly delivery with orders over $80. Check their website for more details.
From the South Shore to the North Shore of Nova Scotia, we head to Tatamagouche Brewing, who have a brand new beer coming out that’s been a little while in the making. Starting its life as a pale ale built on pale malt and both raw and malted rye, hopped quite heavily with classic Cascade and Centennial late in the boil, it was initially fermented with wine yeast to encourage biotransformation, the release of bound hop oils, and ester production. It was then transferred to neutral wine barrels where it was further inoculated with Escarpment Labs’ Mothership Blend of Brettanomyces strains and allowed to condition for six months, giving the brett time to convert the majority of the banana and bubblegum esters to more desirable pineapple and citrus aromas. A dry hop with new variety Elixir completed the picture before packaging. Sounds like some science! to us, so it’s fitting that it’s been named Glad Alchemy. Coming in at 6.1% ABV, it’s funky, with citrus and pineapple up front and a little lingering banana in the background, with a suitably dry brett finish. You should be able to buy it early next week in cans from the Tata web shop, and possibly at other places that carry your favourite Tata brews in the coming weeks. Also, look for the returns of fan-favourites Sero Czech Dark Lager, Haywain English Bitter, Après Cream Ale, and First Light Czech Pilsner all either newly- or soon-to-be-canned and available for purchase.
The gang at 2 Crows Brewing in Halifax has been in the news (sometimes literally) over the past couple of weeks talking about the way they’ve managed to minimize some of the effects of the beer ingredient supply chain issues that have been affecting the industry. It’s nothing complicated, they just started sourcing more things locally! If you’ve been following the brewery for the past few years you already know that they’ve not been shy about integrating local ingredients, but they’ve now taken that to the nth degree and made a mainline beer using Shoreline Malting Pilsner malt from PEI, Lakeview Hops from New Brunswick, and crisp, clean Halifax water. AC Lager is maybe your new go-to for a light and refreshing banger, perfect for après ski/hockey/softball/etc., watching sportsball on a Sunday afternoon, lawn mowing, or any other traditional or non-traditional beer time!! At 4% it’s not going to knock you over if you have a couple, and at $2.09 per 355mL can (that’s $12.51 for a six, or $50 for 24), it’s not going to break the bank either. And look at that label: puffins!! Read more about the journey to this beer on the 2C website and then put your order in!
Also coming out of Brunswick Street this weekend is the return of Space Words, or, as those who remember the first batch might refer to it, Rocket Fuel!! A 10.1% trip to parts unknown, it’s packed with Galaxy, Eclipse, and Comet hops and it was co-fermented with a yeast that evolved to make nectar attract pollinating insects (Metschnikowia reukaufii). To quote the brewery, “Tastes like some kind of galactic mango juice.” We don’t think much more needs to be said. Find it in 473mL cans at the brewery now.
We also mentioned that this would be the weekend of the 2 Crows 5th Anniversary Celebration at the brewery and boy howdy are they planning some things. Bearing in mind that all in-person events are subject to Provincial COVID regulations, including social distancing requirements, you might still want to head down and check out what’s going on at the taproom this weekend. Saturday will see NS Winery and frequent 2C collaborators Lightfoot & Wolfville in the house from noon to 2 PM for beer/flight pairings, followed by R&B Kitchen with some sweet, sweet soul food from 2 – 7 PM. The first 50 folks in the door will receive a free anniversary glass as well. Then on Sunday is the return of SOUR SUNDAY. There will be 8 rotating taps of sour beers, including Five Petals, Terry (2018), Dandy, Good Air, Cloud 9, Deux II, Surefire, and Hoopla, with complimentary shots of Pepto Bismol available at the bar. For your snacking pleasure, Gingerbread Haus will have Bavarian soft pretzels on the go. This is all from noon to close; maybe some of us will see some of you there!!
Some parting shots with returning beers …
We’re happy to report that St. Johns’ Bannerman Brewing has opened their doors once again for in-person dining and drinking. Open 7:30 AM – 11 PM weekdays, and 8:30 AM – 12 AM on the weekends, start your day with a pour-over and scone, and then transition to beer and food from the talented Nam Jim crew preparing Thai-inspired plates in the kitchen. Local delivery (of both food and beer) is still available, including the freshly-canned Only Shadows, a light, toasty, and chocolatey Dark Lager, also pouring for pints, of course!
A bit of news from the Farmshed crew at Delta Force, as they updated their website with a new online store and payment portal. They’re “How to Buy” section is always very useful with where to buy their beer and now there’s a link to their online store with direct delivery, where you can grab their latest releases like Tom Hardy English Barley Wine and Bap – Nurungji Lager, inspired (and featuring) Korean toasted rice. Use those mice and keyboards, or thumbs to check it out!
Deer Lake’s Rough Waters Brewing is thinking back to summer with this week’s re-release of Lock and Key. A mojito-inspired beer, it features mint and lime on a tart refreshing base. No need to wait 4 months to be drinking in summer when you can grab some now! Available at their taproom and Corner Brook NLC.
Speaking of returning beers, Truro Brewing has a fresh batch of their Cobequid Bay IPA on tap now. At 6.3% ABV and brimming with bright citrus and pine hoppy goodness, you can grab a pint or fill your growler today at their spot on Inglis Place!
A few job postings for you as we settle up this week’s news, plus a bonus for your ears …
The fine folks at Field Guide in the North End of Halifax are looking for an experienced bartender to fill their Head Bartender position. They’ve got a great reputation for cocktails and their drinks, so it’s a good opportunity for someone with a lot of passion. They’re encouraging people to reach out in person, email or send a DM on Instagram, but be sure to have a resume and cover letter on hand.
Another one in the North End is the second location from Tusket Falls. Their Beer Project on Gottingen is looking for an Assistant Kitchen Manager! Check out the full details in the post here, and send them an email if you’re interested along with your resume and a bit about yourself.
We mentioned it at the top of the post, so let’s close out with a movement that’s been gaining momentum over the last few years, Dry January. If that’s your thing, know that your bloggers support you 100%. And so do the fellas over at the 902 BrewCast, who did a deep dive into all things non-alcoholic this week. Their latest tasting episode features non-alcoholic beer from Propeller and Upstreet, as well as Benjamin Bridge Piquette Zero, and Bulwark’s Original NA cider. Give it a listen for inspiration on what you could keep in your fridge for when you’re feeling like drinking a beer, but don’t exactly want a *beer*.