It’s Friday the 13th, if you’re into that thing. It’s also the second day of the Masters (in November!) if you’re into a tradition unlike any other. One thing we’re all into is beer! As we head into the Christmas season, our precious Atlantic Bubble is still churning out the new releases and events while we still can. Stay alert, stay safe and remember to support your local businesses. And if all else fails, we’ll still be here writing about beer every week!
St. John’s is the place to be this weekend (heck, maybe every weekend, really!), as Bannerman Brewing has two new, strong beers you can grab to celebrate, or drown your sorrows in, depending on your mood (PS always drink responsibly!). The first is a 9% ABV Double IPA named New Dystopia that was brewed with a simple grist of Pilsner malt and flaked oats. Featuring a heavy dry-hop addition of Mosaic, the final beer is showing off flavours of “citrus, pineapple, and apricot”, and drinks deceptively smooth despite that high ABV. Pale, hoppy beers not quite your thing? Well, maybe you’ll be interested in beer #2, Sinister Feelings, which was released a couple of weeks ago, just in time for Spooky Season. This Stout was brewed with a blend of Caramel malts, as well as a little bit of lactose to oh-so-slightly bump the sweetness. Once fermentation was complete, the 7.5% ABV beer was conditioned on toasted coconut, vanilla beans, and coffee from Pilot Coffee Roasters. Roasty, coconut-y, with plenty of delicious coffee aromas and flavours, it may be just the beer now that temperatures are starting to drop back into normal-November range. Both beers are available on tap for pints and growlers, as well as in cans.
Fans of Wolfville’s Church Brewing may be interested to hear that they’ve just released Heart of Gold, which besides being a pretty damn good song, is the brewery’s second Lager… more specifically, an Amber Lager. Customers and tap accounts alike were requesting a beer along these lines, and Church was more than happy to oblige. The grist was conceived to be made up of several malt types, including Pilsner, Vienna, Melanoidin, and a bit of Carafa Special III for colour. Bittered to 22 IBUs with Summit hops, the copper-coloured, crystal-clear beer is complex, yet clean, with honey and biscuit flavours, as well as a touch of dried fruit. It finishes well-balanced and at 5.5% ABV isn’t going to knock you out too quickly. It’s available on tap directly at Church (and to go in crowlers), as well as licensees across Nova Scotia.
Newly-opened Village Green – Cornwall, PEI’s very first brewery – have announced that they’re now pouring one of their very first hoppy beers, Village IPA. Brewed entirely with 2-row malt from Island Malt House, it was hopped with Cascade and Centennial in the boil, Amarillo in the whirlpool, and a dry-hop addition of Simcoe. This one was influenced by classic West Coast IPAs, so don’t be expecting a hazy, non-bitter juice bomb! That’s not to say you won’t find citrusy, resiny, dank flavours and aromas in this one… you most certainly will! But at 7.5% ABV and 60+ IBUs, it’s going to remind you of the days when IPAs still had some bitterness to them… and simpler names!
On the other side of the naming convention comes a tat for tit, or yang to yin, of a friendly inter-brewer play on the Dry Irish Stout style, with Foghorn’s Andrew Estabrooks. Village Stout (C’est sec Esty), is brewed with Maris Otter, more 2-row from Island Malt House, as well as enough Roasted and Flaked Barley to lend an iconic roast and chocolate character, and leaving it dry, dry, dry (it’s in the name, after all!). At 4.1% ABV, and lightly hopped to 25 IBU with East Kent Golding, this is the perfect sipper on your lunch break, or evening taking in the sights of Cornwall from their taproom. And check down below for a great excuse to get into the taproom and pair the IPA and Stout with food from Holy Fox and wines chosen by Stellar Somm.
And speaking of Stellar Somm, Bryan Carver of Village Green Brewery and Lesley Quinn of Stellar Somm Wine Experts are teaming up and throwing down in a Wine vs. Beer Challenge! The event is Thursday, November 26th at 7pm and will see a Certified Cicerone and Certified Sommelier put their skills to the test. Check out the event link here to get your tickets.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog (come on, admit it… it’s cathartic), you’ll probably remember we mentioned details on Tire Shack’s First Anniversary, which happened early this week. Well, if you missed it, we have great news… they’ve decided to continue celebrations throughout the week and into this weekend, and they’ve even got another two new beers to join the two they’ve already released! The first is a “Vanilla Latte beer”, brewed in collaboration with local Epoch Chemistry Coffee House. Golden Latte ft. Epoch Chemistry is a White Stout – e.g. a pale-coloured beer that smells and tastes like a Stout – that Tire Shack created by adding lactose and vanilla to a Brazilian, light roast coffee. There’s only 150 L of this chock-full-of-coffee-flavours-and-vanilla bad boy brewed, so if you want to try it, you best get in to Tire Shack today or tomorrow! And you can’t celebrate without glitter, right? Well, maybe that one isn’t a given, but the next beer, Sparklepuff, is a Glitter IPA. Hopped with lots of Simcoe (most of which was added during fermentation), and with an addition of edible glitter (three versions will be available: Gold, Silver, and Rose Gold), it’s 6% ABV, “bright and fruity, with lots of apricot and passion fruit notes”, and if ya got a problem with glitter, don’t shoot the messengers!
Yarmouth, former home of The Cat and current home to Heritage Brewing, comes to you with a new release! Brewed in collaboration with local neighbours, Perky Owl Coffee, we have another White Stout (see above!). Snowy Owl Stout is brewed with plenty of oats and wheat for a delicious bready and malty profile, with big additions of chocolate, coffee, lactose and vanilla. It’s white stout season, and it sounds delicious. At 5.5% and 15 IBU, this is available now directly from the brewery.
If you are fans of continuity, logic and delicious IPAs, you’ll be thrilled with the latest can release from those birds at 2 Crows. A re-release of Perfect Situation (it’s been 2 years!) sees the return of a smooth and juicy IPA generously hopped with Vic Secret and Idaho 7. From 2 Crows, here’s an explanation of the full series:
“For those of you following along at home, Perfect Situation was the start of a fun little hop-forward series where we utilize the same base beer but load it to the max with different combinations of fruity hops — versions to date include Perfect Situation, Second Situation, Perfect Recreation, Another Iteration, and Perfect Saturation.”
With Perfect Situation, we get a 6.1% ABV brew at 44 IBU that is “super fruity, lush, tropical, pillowy and juicy. Massive notes of pineapple, passionfruit, apricot, red grapefruit and papaya.” Mama-mia! Canned and available from the brewery and online for delivery now!
Are you down with OBB? Ol’ Biddy’s has 2 new releases currently available on-tap exclusively in Lower Sackvile.
Kicked in the Hops is a Double IPA at 7.7%. This comes packed with intense hop flavours and aromas of pine along with some nice tropical and citrus notes, thanks to generous additions of Amarillo, Simcoe, and Centennial hops. Their second release is a Red Ale, Love It or Hate It, comes in at 5.0% and is lightly smoked. Brewed with one of their military employees (shout out to Rob Truscott), this one is worth a try to find out if you … love it or hate it. Both of these are smaller batches, and draught-only, joining thirteen other taps available at their newly opened taproom at 111 Cobequid Dr in Lower Sackville. Taproom and Retail are open Thurs – Sat, 12 – 8 PM and Sun 12 – 6 PM.
As we’ve mentioned a few times over the last month or so, this year marks the third year for the Maritime Home Brew Challenge presented by Gahan House (part of the PEI Brewing Company family) out of Charlottetown. Two of your intrepid bloggers had a great time visiting the Island last weekend with some other BJCP judges from Nova Scotia to help the local judges determine the winning beers. Unfortunately, unlike previous editions, a full gala celebration at the Gahan House location in Charlottetown is impossible due to COVID-related travel and gathering restrictions, so this year they’re going to do it virtually. Tomorrow, Saturday, November 14th, at 10:00 AM the winning entries will be revealed, with prize values ranging from $50 to $300 for the top 5 beers in each of this year’s styles (New England IPA and West Coast IPA), with a couple of special prizes available (Best Name and Best Use of Local) and an additional $500 going to to Grand Champion, who will be given an opportunity to brew a batch of their beer on the Gahan Charlottetown system and see it canned and distributed at PEI LCC locations on the Island. If you’re an entrant or just interested to see who won, feel free to join the call via Facebook tomorrow via the Gahan Charlottetown Facebook page.
Get your human bottoms ready, Copper Bottom, one of the two fine craft breweries in Montague, PEI, is turning 3 years old! They’re celebrating (and we should all be, too!) with two new releases and a birthday bash!
First up, Birthday Beer 3, their annual anniversary release. This year, this Brut IPA is brewed with 100% Shoreline Pale Malt and the fine British Columbia grown Sasquatch hops. This should bring some floral and lemongrass flavours with a bit of woodieness and tangerine, with a nice dry finish you’d expect from a Brut IPA. 7.5% ABV and 30 IBU for this treat that will be available in the taproom, online and local accounts around PEI.
Next up is the latest in their single-hopped Session IPA series, Flux: Galaxy. Hopped heavily with … Galaxy and a malt bill with Shoreline Pale, Flaked Oats and Wheat, we get a 4.2% with 25 IBU. They would best describe it as Juno’s younger cousin (and Juno is delicious!) with a biig hit of pineapple, passionfruit, and peach in a nice sessionable package. Flux: Galaxy is also available in the taproom and online for home delivery this Saturday.
On top of two new releases, they’re having a safe and fun anniversary party on Saturday November 13th with food, music and cheap beer! Starting at Noon, the first 50 guests will get a free Birthday Beer glass to take home. Admission is free and it sounds like a blast! Check out all of the details on their event page on Facebook.
A reminder that Garrison’s Oxford Taproom is celebrating their First Anniversary this weekend, featuring prizes, drink specials, as well as a special limited-time-only Celebration beer on tap. A blend with a two year old Barrel-Aged Ol’ Fog Burner, dry hopped with Cascade, coming in around 8.8% ABV. Sounds like a winner to us! There will be plenty of other fun things on the go this weekend, so best to pop by to get the full scoop! They’re open noon to 11 PM Friday and Saturday, and noon to 10 PM the rest of the week.
And just like that… Halifax’s Bar Stillwell is turning Seven this Sunday, November 15! Celebrating Stilly’s birthday is always an amazing time (anyone remember the multi-floor party with jockey boxes of Quebec goodies one year?), and 1672 Barrington Street will once again be a focal point for awesome beer from here and away (Lambic pours!). While this year’s celebration may be a bit subdued compared to previous, there will still be plenty of great beer and cider a-pouring, as well as thoughtful food coming from their kitchen all day. Plus Free Cake! It looks like the RSVP tables are all spoken for (could check with firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm/be put on the waitlist), but there will also be a few spots set aside for walk-ins all day (and it’s walk-in only after 8 PM). HBD Stilly Fam!
We’ve certainly had a lot of content from PEI this week, and we’ve got one more piece of big news from the Island for you out of Lone Oak Brewing in Borden-Carleton: coming in just one short week, on Friday, November 20th, is a full, year-round kitchen to complement their awesome tap room. Partnering with the folks behind Terry’s Berries Food Truck in B-C, sister restaurant of The Wheelhouse in Georgetown and Thatcher’s in Montague you can expect the same level of variety, quality and local focus! They’re still working on staffing the place up, so if you or someone you know lives in the area and is interested in a position as Sous Chef, Line Cook, Front of House Manager or Counter Attendant, you can drop an email to email@example.com to inquire. Keep an eye on social media (Fb/Ig/Tw) for the official name to be announced and the opening menu to be finalized. Meanwhile, we already know what one of the first big events after the restaurant opening will be, as the very next day, on Saturday, November 21st, Lone Oak will be hosting the inaugural Sweet Oyster Cup 2020 Shucking Invitational. Of course now that we’ve told you that, we also are honor bound to let you know that the in-person tickets for the event are sold out, but you can watch along starting at 6 PM via this link right here. If you’re not one of the lucky few with a ticket and are an oyster lover, though, you could stop by Lone Oak tonight for some free oysters as a warmup to next weekend’s event!
Propeller Brewing is launching a returning favourite beer today, Sasquatch Pale Ale. Focusing on the Canadian-grown Sasquatch hop variety, the 5.2% ABV, 35 IBUs beer features “juicy mango and pineapple flavours, and gentle honey and hazelnut notes”. Available on tap and in cans at all three Prop Shops, for home delivery, as well as a few of the private shops in HRM. And in more Prop news, you can now find their IPA in small cans in NSLC stores and their own shops. For those who still prefer bottles, don’t worry, those aren’t going anywhere!
The fine folks in Dartmouth (they exist) have one of their fan favourite brews back in stock this week. North Brewing brings back Malternate Reality, this 6.4%, 51 IBU New England IPA is massively aromatic with notes of mango, pineapple, guava that’s smooth with a great balance of carbonation. You’re going to want to drink this fresh, so check Battery Park, North Brewing and you can also order online from the brewery and the NSLC. No excuses!
Quidi Vidi Brewery is getting a head start on the holiday spirit by releasing their Mummers Brew this week. This 5.3% ABV Cream Ale is easy drinking with hints of hop-related floral and herbal aroma, along with a pleasant bitterness. The beer is available at the taproom, Hop Shop, as well as through their online ordering system for all your beer-y needs. And you are encouraged to take part in the 12th annual Mummers Festival, featuring wo weeks of events, Nov 28-Dec 12, celebrating the history and art of mummering. Plus you can take part in the Virtual Mummers Parade of December 12th by submitting your videos here!
We’ll leave you with a trio of new, reopening, and very soon-to-open good beer locations across Atlantic Canada, all of which can be found on our Good Beer Map, FYI! The perfect accompaniment to your Bubble travels this holiday season!
After closing their doors adjacent to the War Memorial in downtown St. John’s earlier this year, the super-cool cats at TOSLOW have moved to a brand new spot just up the road to 108 Duckworth. The espresso machine gets fired up by 8 AM, and paired with their fresh pastries and sammies every morning, will keep you going all day (well, until beer o’clock). While they put the final touches on their bar and taproom space, they are take-out only until early afternoon, but keep an eye on their IG for details on the beer spaces opening up, focusing their gaze on the great Newfoundland beers on tap and in bottles and cans, along with beer and natural wine from across the country. Word on the street is that they’ll be launching Wednesday, the 18th, with four taps from across the province, including the Port Rexton Azacca IPA, Landwash Tidepool Pilsner, Bootleg Brew Co Dream Team Partridge Berry Milkshake Sour and Iron Rock Large Day APA. But those of you keeners should def. keep your eyes peeled on their IG (hint hint).
In Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, Lunn’s Mill Beer is thrilled to launch The Station, their restaurant, pub, and speakeasy opening tomorrow in Bridgetown. Located at 73 Queen Street, The Station will be open from 9 AM daily, closing at 9 PM Sunday through Wednesday, and at midnight Thursday through Saturday. That early opening means a full breakfast will be available, and the kitchen will be serving up food all day and night from their pub menu. Reservations are required (can also phone 902-665-3069) for dinner service at 4 PM (thanks COVID!), and are encouraged for other times as well, to ensure you and your bubble can enjoy a well-spaced meal. Of course, there will be plenty of great Lunn’s Mill Beer on tap, thanks to 17 draught lines and even a handpump so they can continue their cask program onsite. For those looking for something different to imbibe, taps of cider and wine are also available, as well as a selection of bottles and cans from producers across the province. Additionally, they will feature a full bar stocked with local spirits, to be enjoyed on their own or in handcrafted cocktails. Speaking of, The Side Car Lounge is their speakeasy space open after 6 PM, in a more intimate setting featuring even more spirit options. And taking advantage of all available space, look for a second brewing space to open in the next few months, with special test and one-off brews produced exclusively for The Station, made onsite. A retail shop with bottles, cans, and growler fills will open in the next little bit, and their Lawrencetown taproom and retail shop is open Thursday through Saturday, 3 – 7 PM. Congratulations to the Lunn’s Mill team!
And in coming-shortly news, Gridiron Brewing in Hampton, New Brunswick has completed the purchase of a building in order to upgrade and expand their brewing operation. Lots of steps lie ahead for them to demolish an old kitchen and pour proper sloped concrete floors, etc, but the writing is on the wall that in the next few months their new spot will be rocking along nicely! In the meantime, their current location at 74 St. James Street in Hampton will continue to be open Thursday through Sunday, 4 – 6 PM (and also by appointment) for growler fills, cans, as well as a selection of other NB beers to take away.