Meander River Farm and Brewery

All posts tagged Meander River Farm and Brewery

It’s the middle of October folks, which in a normal year would probably mean lots of darker beers in the works, a decided downturn in thermometer readings, and plans afoot for Halloween festivities. This isn’t what you’d call a normal year by any stretch, though, and last week’s outbreaks in New Brunswick were a sobering reminder of that. But you’ve got to figure that the proper balance to sobering is drinking! So read on for all the beer news we could find to help you find that balance in your life! And remember that taprooms, restaurants, and bars are extending patio season, so keep that in mind as another way to maintain safe distance beer enjoyment. Just make sure you bundle up!

Great news Prince Edward Islanders! Your fair isle just got a little beery-er. Located at 30 Church Street (aka 1 Cornwall Rd) in Cornwall, the Village Green taproom has opened their doors. What is Village Green, you ask? Well, it’s the first foray into brewing for Bryan Carver in a few years, one that has been in the works for a long time. Carver has a long history in the PEI beer scene, working as the Head Brewer at PEI Brewing Company for many years, joining DME for a time, somehow finding time to become a Certified Cicerone, and now launching Modern Brewer. Village Green is just the latest piece in the overarching plan for Carver, and you’ll be able to learn much more in our Profile coming out next week. But in the meantime, head to Cornwall to check out the taproom and chat with Bryan or Mark who will be working the taps. Their own beer is slated for release later this month, but in the meantime you can enjoy six other Island beers and ciders on tap, or wine by the glass. They’re open Fri – Sat 12 – 9 PM, Sun 1 – 6 PM, and Mon – Thur 4 – 9 PM. 

Last Friday, just a little too late for that day’s Wrap-Up, TrailWay Brewing announced that they were releasing their newest bottled, barrel-aged beer. As the old folks like to say (present company included), better late than never, as we’ve got all the info on that beer for you to feast on today, if you haven’t already. The beer is named SPLIT, and it has been in the making for two years. It began its life in October of 2018, when the brewers mixed a 50:50 blend of wort that had spent the night in their coolship with beer that had already undergone a secondary fermentation with the brewery’s house culture. The resulting blend spent 18 months in a single Zinfandel barrel, was packaged in 750 mL bottles, and spent another 6 months conditioning. The final 6% ABV beer is finally ready, sporting “a deep and complex funk with a bright, subtle acidity and beautiful, oaky Zinfandel character”. They’re expecting this one to evolve over time, naturally, so do your best to hold onto some in your cellar. They’ve still got some bottles left for purchase; they’re available exclusively at the brewery while supplies last.

If you live in Moncton and feel like heading out for a beer this weekend, Tire Shack Brewing is currently pouring a new American IPA at the taproom. When they were designing the recipe for Parts & Labour, their aim was to go big on hop aroma, while keeping the bitterness low, all with easy drinkability. They feel like they’ve hit those targets with this 6% ABV brew, as they threw in plenty of Loral and Simcoe hops, resulting in a beer that is “bright and extremely refreshing, with flavours of passion fruit, lychee, and tangerine”. Though it’s limited to pints and growlers currently, it should be available in cans very soon (if not by the time you read this).

Truro Brewing Company has a new beer this afternoon, freshly tapped and ready for your enjoyment! Red Sky is a traditional Red Ale, featuring a touch of roast to complement the notes of caramel and toffee. Kicking it up a notch are the locally-grown Willamette hops from Wicked Hops Farm in Stewiacke. Brewed by, with, and in honour of fellow bad-ass women knocking down walls and ceilings in traditionally male-dominated professions, Red Sky is available at the taproom for pints, samples, and growlers.

PEI Brewing Co. is playing around with Brettanomyces again, with their latest beer, Wild Intentions: Kettle Sour. After souring with Lactobacillus, a Brett yeast strain was used to ferment the wort, giving the final beer pineapple and pear aromas. At 5% ABV and 14 IBUs, it’s tasting “dry and sessionable, with a slight sourness”. You can find it now at the PEIBC taproom and Gahan Beer Store; it should be following at Gahan House locations, PEILCC stores, and select ANBL locations next week.

The “tiny brewery that can” in the heart of downtown Halifax is back at it with another release today. Tidehouse Brewing is releasing a unique take on the hazy IPA style, by adding citrus green tea from nearby World Tea House. Green Cosmos was lovingly hopped with Amarillo, Idaho 7, and Cascade, enough to get you excited, but not so much as to drown out the tea. Expect a dry finish and the lovely notes of tea to come through. Their retail shop is open from 2 PM today and tomorrow, and if you visit early you will be able to snag some cans of Porchlight too. Keep your eyes peeled for a return of some old favourites next week, as they look back on their 4 years in business and re-release some bangers! 

Next Saturday in Halifax you’ll have a chance to experience the launch of the latest jam from the Change Is Brewing Collective of BIPOC individuals working to bring positive change in terms of diversity and inclusion to the brewing industry. This time they’ve collaborated with Halifax’s 2 Crows to produce a beer they’re calling Good News. A Berliner weiße fruited with raspberry and mango, this 3.1% ABV beer started with Pilsner and both malted and unmalted wheat in the tun before being soured with Lactobacillus plantarum and then fermented with a super fruity strain of the famed Scandinavian Kveik yeast. Conditioning took place, in typical 2 Crows style, on a huge amount of fruit: 950 lbs of raspberry and 725 lbs of mango, before the final touch was added, namely a light dry-hopping with Enigma and Huell Melon. The result is described as, “super jammy, super fruity, and super fun!” Your first chance to try this beer will be at a BIPOC Makers Market next Saturday, October 24th, from 12 – 4 PM, followed by a Food Pop-up featuring Hibiscus Specialty from 4 – 6 PM, and a spoken word poetry session by Deirdre Lee from 7 – 7:30 PM. Sounds to us like a full afternoon and evening celebrating diversity and drinking great beer!

What’s on the go in the near future? Here’s a few things bubbling up soon!

Charlottetown’s HopYard Beer Bar has a few tap takeover weekends planned in the next month, with Fredericton’s Grimross Brewing taking over the taps on the weekend of October 23 & 24th, with ten different options flowing. And HopYard will be doing double duty as they welcome Darmtouth’s North Brewing to the Island November 6th and 7th, as well as see the launch of Dough Boy Industries, with their pop-up pizza oven on the go all weekend. Keep an eye here, and on everyone’s social media, for tap/topping lists. 😉

If you happen to be hanging around Sheet Harbour, NS at all over the next couple of months, we should pass on that Sober Island Brewing will be hosting a series of Brewers Dinners, with the first starting next Saturday, October 24th. Each will consist of a 3-course meal, with each course being paired with a Sober Island brew. The food includes chowder with buttermilk biscuit and molasses beer butter, Thai chili-breaded chicken wings w/ Asian slaw, and Chocolate Stout cake. As well, head brewer Tim will be on-site to introduce each beer and food item, as well as to answer any questions you may have about the beers or general brewing process. A maximum of 20 guests for each event will be allowed in order to comply with distancing restrictions; the other dates are November 14th, November 20th, and December 11th. Tickets are $40 each (they recommend booking in groups of 4, if possible), and can be reserved by phoning 902-885-2072, or heading directly to the taproom. 

Speaking of Sober Island, they will be the host of this year’s Cask in the Sticks event, being held November 7th. They have invited a handful of breweries from across the province, as well as homebrewer David Pepper, to prep a pin of their favourite beer. You’ll be able to sip the good stuff from Big Spruce, Harbour Brewing, Lunns Mill, Tatamagouche, Uncle Leo’s, and maybe even a couple more! Your ticket gets you your first pours, a toque, and live music. Food will also be available for sale, and all proceeds will be going to a local non-profit organization. Call the brewery to grab your ticket for either the 1 – 3 or 4 – 6 PM session (or both!). Those loveable beer grumps from the 902 BrewCast will be onsite judging the onesie competition, so be sure to come dressed to impress!

Of course the Oktoberfest events continue, with Montague’s Bogside Brewing holding theirs next Saturday, October 24th. The “Oktobeer Fest” will be held from 2-5 pm, and will feature a German food menu, happy hour beer prices, and live music. You already know they are killing it with German-inspired beer, with their Lighthorse Kolsch and North Lake Lager, and their Shoreline Smash Dunkel is back on tap just in time. Oktoberfest in Atlantic Canada is definitely winding down, so this may be your last chance to partake in all the fun… and really, who can say no to Oompah music? We dare thee.

Friend of good beer Old Road BBQ in Truro has adjusted their fall hours to be open 12 – 9 PM Friday and Saturday, and have music in the taproom or on the patio almost every night. They are gearing up for a big event on October 31st, with Willie Stratton celebrating the end of patio season with a big bash. Tickets for the evening are just $10, or for those visiting from out of town, a killer deal on a room at the nearby Inn on Price hotel and a pair of tickets is just $100. Further, those who take advantage of this package will be entered in a draw for a massive platter fit for two (or more) to enjoy that evening, including beers! Details on the entertainment tickets, and hotel package, are available here.

And for those looking for some tasty Bar-B-Q, beer, and live music in Halifax should drop by Murphy’s On The Water October 29th, with Them Other Johns providing the live music, and Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing providing the beers. Details and tickets available on the NSBC Events page. Lastly on the BBQ front, for those looking to enjoy some BBQ for lunch, Old Road has been catering for businesses since they’ve opened, but are now offering a Thursday lunch option, starting October 22nd. Gather up the crew (10 order minimum), and fire them an email before Tuesday night to get on the list! More details here and via email.

We’ve got a little about a lot more beers today, enjoy!

Bad Apple Brewhouse has a new, funky pear and apple cider joining their repertoire. Pearadise of Funk was brewed with Brettanomyces yeast, as well as Pediococcus and Lactobacillus bacteria, making it “light, effervescent, and wildly unique”. Available right now at the brewery.  

Speaking of cider, Meander River has a new one of their own, from their Small Lot Cider series. Strawberry Basil is a cider made with… we’re pretty sure you can take a good guess at which two ingredients are extra special in this one! Available on tap at the brewery, as well as in bottles.

Tusket Falls Brewing have scaled up Woke Up Quick, a 7.5% ABV Brown Porter brewed with smoked malt, lactose powder, cold brew coffee, Madagascar vanilla beans, and cocoa nibs to a full, 20 BBL batch, since it was so popular when it was first released. This time around it’s available in cans, starting today.

Quidi Vidi has a brand new one-off available at the brewery – Sour Kveik (4.7% ABV) was fermented with the Laerdal Kveik strain, and has “a complex and pleasant sourness, with lemon, passion fruit, and honeydew flavours” as a result, with a touch of honey-like sweetness to balance the tartness. Also available for online orders.

And speaking of Newfoundland and Labrador Craft Breweries, they received some great news this week, when the provincial government announced that they were increasing discounts on the commission paid to the NLC. The discount is increased to 95% on the first 100,000 litres of product, which wholly encompasses the production of 15 of the 19 craft breweries in Newfoundland and Labrador. It is expected to save the industry more than $1 Million dollars annually. And in doubly good news, the commission/markup collected will be the same whether the beer is sold at the brewery, NLC, or convenience stores. Both of these steps mean more money staying with the breweries to fuel hiring, expansion, improved distribution, and countless other improvements. There’s a good article from CBC outlining some of the real-world numbers. Good on the province and the NLC to recognize their role is not only to regulate the sale and production of alcohol, but to promote businesses to thrive and improve the economy for all. With small independent beer accounting for less than 5 percent of overall sales, there’s plenty of room for growth in Newfoundland and Labrador beer!

Well lookie here, it’s October! One more month closer to this debacle of a year being over! That’s how it works, right? We get through a couple more months of this goat rodeo and then everything magically goes back to something like the normal we knew one or ten or twenty-five years ago? No? Well then, that must be why we have beer, folks. In the interest of helping you maintain your sanity (ours is a lost cause), here’s what you need to know to keep your beer levels up, thanks to all the latest news we could find this week about breweries, beers, and beery events in Atlantic Canada.

Halifax is getting a little more beery next week, when Serpent Brewing has their first beers available! While their taproom and retail shop is slated to open later this month, curbside pick-up and local delivery to the Spryfield/Armdale/Cowie Hill/further afield area will be available beginning Monday, October 5th. We’ll have a full Profile with them early next week for you to read while you sip on the beers, but in the meantime, be sure you hit their website to order their bottles. Serpent is a Belgian-inspired brewery, and their first three offerings certainly reflect that. White Mountain is a 5.5% Belgain Witbier, with strong clove spiciness, plus notes of orange and pepper thanks to the addition of bitter orange peel and coriander in the boil. Patey’s Bier is a Belgian Singel (aka, Patersbier), the lower alcohol brother of the monastic Tripel, light-coloured and 4.6% ABV with notes of floral and fruity malt and yeast. And finally, a hybrid of sorts, Eden Belgain IPA; 6.0% ABV, with a neutral Ardennes strain of yeast and a simple malt bill, allow the Amarillo hops used throughout to shinr through, with citrus and fruit in spades. All three are in 500 mL bottles, with online ordering still available!

We teased last week that we’d have more details on Siren, the “Tripel-style Braggot” collaboration between Truro Brewing and Mountain Meadworks, and since that’s right there in virtual ink on the internet… well, looks like we have to actually follow through on that promise! Brewed at TB, they mashed in with Pale malt from Shoreline Malting, and added local honey (from Tatamagouche) late in the boil, giving a 50:50 ratio between malt and honey. A splash of Hallertau Blanc hops were added in the boil, and the wort was fermented with a Belgian yeast strain. Finishing very dry and at 7.8% ABV, it’s pouring a light golden colour with aromas of “bright apple, honey, bubblegum, and banana”, with the malt coming through a bit more in the flavour, along with a bit of hop character and white wine notes. Siren officially launches at Truro Brewing today at 6 PM, with more details available on the party at the FB page

This week in “postcards from the edge” we got an update from one of our region’s most northerly breweries, RagnaRöck Northern Brewing Co. way up in St. Anthony, Newfoundland, who will be rounding the corner into their second year of operation come November. Like some other breweries that opened late in 2019, we’re sure they didn’t have any idea what was in store for 2020, but so far, thanks to the support of both their local community and the folks that found a way to make it up to the island’s Northern Peninsula, whether from the rest of the Province or from within the Atlantic Bubble. Originally opening with four ‘basic’ beers, Da Bold and Beautiful Blonde Ale, Boggy Bottom Brown Ale, Red Rover Red Ale, and Bit Snatchy Belgian Wit, they expanded the lineup to include an IPA called Hela’s Fury and a kettle sour known as Jormunder’s Sour thanks to the popularity of those two releases. Since re-opening post-COVID shutdown, they’ve also had a couple more beers on regular rotation, namely another sour, this one with cherries, called Surt’s Flaming Sabre, and a Session IPA they’ve dubbed Freyja’s Feathered Cloak. If you’re getting the feeling from these beer names that they’ve really leaned into the Norse Mythology connection implied by their name and logo, you’d be right! If you can get your hands on some of these beers, they’d make an excellent pairing for an evening of reading up on the Æsir and the Vanir. Meanwhile, some of the biggest news from the brewery is the addition of a canning system to the facility. For now they’ve been canning their Blonde and Sour and selling them from the brewery, but as we move into Winter, the system should allow the brewery’s beer to get a little bit of local distribution and possibly even travel a little further to the rest of Newfoundland and maybe even beyond!

Good news for you hopheads living in Miramichi – Timber Ship Brewing has released what they’re calling their most hop-forward beer-to-date, a New England IPA they’re calling Farewell Buoy. Named after the familiar opening words (well, familiar to those of you from Miramichi, anyway!) of the late “Hoppy” Dunn, a local sports broadcaster (“From the headwaters of the Miramichi to the farewell buoy…”), the beer features hops, hops, and more hops. Specifically, plenty of late-in-the-boil additions of Mosaic, an early dry-hop of Citra, plus a double-dry-hop of more Mosaic, as well as some Galaxy. Coming in at 6.2% ABV and 40 IBUs, expect plenty of citrus and pineapple, all in a hazy package. And in more good news, this one won’t be available just on tap; they’ve started canning some of the beers, including Farewell Buoy. Look for this one and a couple of their flagships in cans soon, at Carroll’s Distillery and Bakery in Douglastown. 

Looks like Grand Falls Brewing has added a new beer to their taproom lineup, with an American Pale Ale named High Five. Brewed with a grist of 2-Row, Oats, and Wheat, the wort was hopped with Cashmere and Vic Secret (emphasis on the Vic), before being fermented with a Norwegian Kveik yeast strain. Dry-hopped with more of both varieties, the final 5.25% ABV brew is full of citrusy, tropical flavours, with low bitterness and a soft mouthfeel. This one will be on tap only, for both pints and growlers, and is available now, so be sure to drop in over the weekend!

Dieppe’s CAVOK Brewing has just released the latest in their “Star” series, bottled beers that they’ve named after stars with Latin names. Their first, released in late December, 2019, was Alpha Canis Majoris, for example. The newest is Upsilon Ceti, a 6% ABV, 52 IBUs “Oak Aged Rye Ale”. We don’t have too many details on the beer, unfortunately, but we can assume that there was a proportion of rye malt used in the grist, and the beer was aged in oak for 3 months before being packaged in 750 mL bottles. Very limited quantities are available; you can pick yours up at the brewery today. There’s also a bit available on tap, if you’d like to give it a taste before committing to a bottle purchase!

Congratulations to Grimross Brewing owner Stephen Dixon on completing the multi-day Tri for Housing First 290 km Triathalon last weekend. Supporting the Fredericton Housing First endeavour, supporting those experiencing homelessness by providing permanent shelter first and foremost, allowing people a solid platform from which to concentrate on other aspects of their health, wellbeing, and livelihood. Just shy of $15,000 has been raised thus far, and you can continue the great work by donating at the link above. Grimross is continuing the good works by donating 100% of their cans of Radler to the cause, if you’re looking for a way to satiate your thirst while also providing assistance to those in need. And look for cans of their Oktoberfest Marzen to be hitting the shelves of their retail store and ANBL stores across the province in the next few weeks.

After the very successful launch of The Cherry Brook Wheat earlier this week, brewed in collaboration with the Change is Brewing Collective (more details in last week’s post), North Brewing has hit us with a second new release this week. Strollin’ Down Baldwin St. is a 3.0% Grisette (think Saison’s little cousin), brewed with Shoreline Malting Pilsner malt, lightly hopped with New Zealand Wai-ti and Wakatu hops, and fermented with Escarpment’s Old World Saison blend. Light and spritzy, lemon, peppery, with some tropical fruit and notes of hay, this is a lovely refresher in a tiny package. Grab both SDBS and The Cherry Brook Wheat at either North location, or for home delivery or shipping at their website.

Port Rexton Brewing is teaming up with the ever popular downtown St. John’s boutique Johnny Ruth to celebrate the store’s 15th anniversary. Win Hop Amber Ale comes in at 5% ABV and features the staple caramel malt flavours of the style (perfect for the Fall weather), with a herbal hop character that leads to a dry finish. Grab it in cans now at the brewery in Port Rexton or the St. John’s retail store. If you stop in to celebrate at Johnny Ruth, keep an eye out for the beer in a special gift pack. 

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing is bringing out their annual Nocturne Black IPA beer today, available in cans for home delivery and at the three Prop Shops in Dartmouth and Halifax. This 6.7% beer features significant dry-hopping from Amarillo and Falconer’s Flight, for tropical fruit, pine hop aromatics to complement the roast, chocolate, and coffee notes from the base beer. $1.50 from each can sold goes directly to the Nocturne: Art at Night festival, which is running October 12 – 17. While portions will be moved to the online sphere, there is an installation behind Propeller’s Gottingen Street location after 6 PM on the 17th. And there is also a mid-week Virtual party on the 15th, hosted by HEIST, featuring a DJ, live performances, Lip Sync Roulette, and prizes. It’s free, just requires advance registration.

Tis the Season for Oktoberfests! In addition to Tire Shack Brewing in Moncton and Garrison Brewing X Stubborn Goat Beer Garden events we’ve told you about previously, we have a few more to tell you about this week. However you celebrate, please do so responsibly! 

In Fredericton, TrailWay Brewing is holding their first Oktoberfest, which started yesterday and continues until Saturday, October 3rd. In addition to Milda’s Pizzas being on site (with homemade pretzels available on Saturday), TW is also debuting a new beer, Festbier. Similar to the Oktoberfest style of beer, but less richly toasted, TW’s take “has a caramel and honey-like sweetness, with some subtle breadiness” while remaining dry and crisp. No, it was not dry-hopped with 13 tons of the latest tropical hop variety, but it does have a touch of floral hop character. At 4.5% ABV, and served in pints from their new toy, a Euro-style side-pull tap, it’s intended to be consumed in quantity… hey, they ARE celebrating Oktoberfest, after all! No cans of this one, only available on tap, while it lasts. 

A reminder of the Stillwell Freehouse X 2 Crows Tiedhouse event is tomorrow, which will be the only place to grab a couple of special releases from the brewery, made especially for the slick cask facilities the Freehouse employs. While brewing into cask is outside of their normal wheelhouse, 2 Crows are never ones to back down from an opportunity for experimention. First up is Dulwich, an English Golden Ale, with a base of Shoreline Pilsner malt and a bit of flaked rice. Foggy Lodon Ale yeast did the heavy lifting, and the beer was dry-hopped with Centennial and East Kent Golding before conditioning in the cask. The result is a lower alcohol, bright fruity, floral, herbal and citrus ale, reminescent of those served across the pond. Also debuting is Aquifolium, a wild-ferment Saison, featuring captured yeast harvested from under a holly tree in Sackville, NS. After conditioning for several months, it was dry-hopped with Chinook before completing its life in the cask. Dry, light esters, earthy character, a lovely mix of features. Other casks include a Cask conditioned version of their Refresh Lager, and Paper Airplanes Brown Ale. The full draught lineup is available in last week’s post.

And the Stilly related events keep coming, so be sure to make plans to head up to the Stillwell Beergarden next Saturday, October 10th, for their annual Oktoberfest celebration. A little different than in previous years, tables must be reserved in advance, so grab your bubble buddies and set down your Euros to take part in the fun. In addition to the great food that will be available, the star of the show will be Delta Force Brewing’s first appearance on tap. After two quickly-sold-out bottle releases since Spring, this will be a great way for fans to enjoy a few pints of the brewery’s offerings. Bauernhofschuppen Märzenbier is 5.0% ABV, and as is tradition, was brewed at the end of winter (hence the name representing the month of March), and lagered ever since. This long process chilling out allows the bread and toast of the malts to shine though, but with the beer having plenty of time to develop a crisp finish to leave you wanting another! We’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to find out what that name means (first person to hit us up on twitter, Chris will buy your first pint!). Attendees will see some goodies from Toronto’s Godspeed Brewery pouring that day, but you’ll have to show up to find out which! Keep an eye on Stilly’s social media that day if there are changes to the program/last minute seats opening up!

Those wanting to experience a taste of Ocktoberfest in the Saint John area should circle October 17 on their calendars. Uncorked Tours is transforming North Market Street into a German biergarten for the day, and featuring a Bavarian inspired food menu to go along with a selection of New Brunswick’s finest German inspired beers. Expect live music, patio heaters and good times all around. Keep an eye on the Facebook event page for more details. 

Quite a few quick hits this week as we leave you to your afternoon:

Keep an eye out for Cross Creek Pale Ale. Cans of this 5% ABV APA  are starting to hit ANBL shelves. Cross Creek Brewing’s first packaged offering is now available at agency stores in Woodstock in Fredericton, with wider distribution to follow throughout the month. Expect lots of citrus notes from the Citra and Mosaic hops used.

The annual return of Meander River’s Wet-Hopped Ale is here. This year’s version features Chinook, Centennial, Fuggle, Newport, Nugget and Galena hops, all grown at Meander River’s onsite farm. Available now in bottles and growlers at the brewery in Ashdale.

O’Creek Brewing continues to add to their evergrowing list of hoppy beers that they’ve brewed with their latest NEIPA, Skyrats. Hopped with Citra, Sabro and Simcoe, along with some Nelson Sauvin in the dry-hop, it’s 6% ABV and no doubt juicy and tropical af. You can find it on tap at CAVOK, Le BarBu, and Euston Park. They’ve also got more of their Route 117 IPA available in cans at local Moncton and Dieppe ANBLs, and some even made it to Fredericton York St. ANBL this time!

Bedford’s Off Track Brewing added a new beer to its lineup this week. Bullseye Red Ale comes in at 5.4% ABV and features notes of caramel, toffee and toast.  Swing by Rocky Lake Drive to try a pint or grab a growler to go.

Secret Cove Brewing has a new beer out, affectionately named after a local mountain, The Cabox. In terms of the beer, The Cabox is an 8.1% ABV West Coast DIPA that features multiple hop additions, including Columbus in the kettle, Citra, Simcoe and more Columbus in the whirlpool, as well as some Summit (natch) in the dry-hop. Available now. 

Know anyone who loves clean beer lines and meeting a lot of great people? They might be interested in this position:

Looking for a way into the beer industry, and have a need for clean? Great news, Nova Scotia’s BeerTech is hiring! They have a couple of openings to join their ranks, to keep brewery taprooms, restaurants, and bars, draught lines squeaky clean, so you and I can keep drinking fresh beer! It’s not only cleaning, however, as installs, maintenance, and updates are also important parts of the draught world. There will be a job posting soon, but in the meantime, reach out to Ken via email or social media (Fb / Ig / Tw) to learn more. See the region, one bar at a time! 🙂

Welcome to September! And welcome to the Long Weekend! For those going back to school (or who have kids going back to school), we wish you all the best as the new year of classes begin, whether they’re online or in person! And for those in neither of those situations, enjoy a Monday to soak up the late summer vibes in our region. We’ve got plenty of new beers and ciders for you to grab while you are out and about this weekend (or ordering delivery, remember that is still a thing!). Do be sure to check in advance for those spots that may not be open Labour Day Monday, to avoid disappointment. 

Lots of news coming out of Meander River this week, with beer and cider releases, as well as info on this year’s hop harvest! Let’s start with the beer, since we’re kinda biased that way. Lazy Dazy started off as your fairly typical American Wheat Ale, but features an addition of fresh grapefruit zest and pith midway through fermentation. Once fermentation was all-the-way completed, they tossed in a healthy dry-hop addition of Citra, giving this 4% ABV brew even more juicy, tropical character. Light and refreshing, it sounds like a great beer to finish off your summer with. In cider world, MR has released two new ones in their Small Lot series, Small Lot Blueberry and Small Lot Cranberry. All Small Lot ciders are made with fresh local or farm-grown fruits, herbs, flowers, etc.; in the case of these two newbies, fresh-pressed valley blueberry and cranberry juice were added (we’ll let you figure out which one was used in which!). Quantities are always limited, with both products available on tap and in bottles. If you drop by to do some shopping, you may even be lucky enough to be around for yet another Small Lot cider, Lavandula, a honey lavender cider that will be available in 750 mL bottles only. 

Finally, Meander River is calling for help with their annual hop harvest, which will be taking place this Sunday at 9 AM. This socially-distanced event doesn’t require you to sign up in advance, as they’ve assured us there is plenty of space to safely pick the aromatic hop bines. The hops harvested will be used in brewing their Homegrown Wet-Hop Ale, which should be released sometime around Thanksgiving. 

Attention Halifax: if you like hazy, hoppy beers, if you like Nelson Sauvin hops, and if you like supporting a good cause, Propeller Brewing has the beer for you! They’ve teamed up with the Ladies Beer League to brew NZ IPA, a New England IPA that was heavily dry-hopped with the wonderful, pricey, elusive New Zealand hop variety, Nelson Sauvin. Featuring aromas of “fresh crushed gooseberry and tropical fruit”, and low bitterness, this 6.5% ABV beer will be available today at all three Prop Shops for growler fills (and pints at Gottingen and Quinpool). The brewery will be donating $1 from every pint or 1-L growler fill – and $2 for each 2-L growler – to the Halifax Sexual Health Centre. This organization provides a wide range of care options, and are currently working beyond capacity, so let’s do what we can to help, yeah?

Over in Big Spruce-ville (that’s Nyanza, for those of you not in the know), they’ve got a brand new, big beer hitting taps and bottles for the long weekend. Brobdingnagian (no, that’s not a typo) is an all-Mosaic, 8.5% ABV Double IPA. All of those delicious, delightful Mosaic hops provide “clean flavours of mango, citrus and pine”, with peaches, apricots and marmalade on the nose. And at that ABV, it’s going to pack a bit of a punch, so take your time! Available in 650 mL bottles and on tap at Big Spruce and some of their fine licensees, grab it while you can. You’ll also probably see bottles of the latest batch of One Hundred, Nova Scotia’s first beer brewed with all NS ingredients, including a wild yeast strain BS harvested from one of the pin cherries growing on their farm. 

In the Hub of Nova Scotia, the eponymous Truro Brewing Company has released a brand new SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) beer, showcasing their local hop producer. Wicked Game is a 5.5% ABV Pale Ale, featuring generous additions of Centennial hops from Stewiacke’s Wicked Hops Farm. Notes of pine and herbal from the hops balance the light malt character. On tap for samples, pints, and growlers, it joins 4 other options on draught at the 53 Inglis Place taproom, open noon to ten.

Anyone old enough to remember the glory days of situation comedies (that’s ‘sitcoms’ for you whippersnappers out there) know that one of the most common tropes was the ‘kooky’ or ‘wacky’ neighbour. From Ethel Mertz and Eddie Haskell, to Rhoda Morgenstern and the Fonz, to Larry and the two Darryls, to Kimmy Gibler, Steve Urkel, Cosmo Kramer and beyond (we’re sure there were more after those, but we’re kinda old), it’s a story as old as time, or at least television. In Digby, NS, Roof Hound Brewing has released a beer this week called (of course) Kooky Neighbour in honor of their own real-life neighbour, Amy, who owns the spa next door to their Kingston, NS, taproom and who has been welcoming, generous, and supportive to the Roof Hound family in their newest venture. A low-ABV coconut cream ale (apropos, as Amy has a tanning salon), coming in at 3.8% ABV, it’s light and sparkling, with a bit of corn on the finish and just a hint of coconut. In short, a perfect beer for the dying days of summer. Being a limited edition of only 500 bottles we suspect you’ll have to get to the Kingston Taproom to try it; if you do, maybe you’ll get a chance to meet Amy herself!

Whether the following five words excite you or make you want to do yourself bodily harm, they need to be typed: Pumpkin Ale season is back. Sorry/Yay? Anyway, Boxing Rock knows that many of you are bored by the typical Pumpkin Ale brewed with pumpkin spices, so they’ve got their own take on the style with Fuego Habanero Pumpkin Ale. Instead of the usual spices, they’ve added habanero peppers to the beer, along with a little bit of cinnamon and black pepper. Full-bodied, golden-coloured, with aromas and flavours of pepper and pumpkin, it has some heat thanks to the peppers, but not TOO much, we assume, since the brewery also claims the beer is “surprisingly drinkable”. You can find it at the brewery, naturally, with cans also making their way to the HRM private stores. Those of you in New Brunswick should also be able to track some down at select ANBL locations next week. 

In PEI, Montague’s Bogside Brewing has a new American Pale Ale on tap, Tailgate APA. Billed as a classic West Coast Pale Ale, with actual clarity, as well as a moderate bitterness accompanied by some malt character in the background, it was hopped with Amarillo and Simcoe to give it aromas of “citrus and light pine”. Coming in at 5.7% ABV and 35 IBUs, you can expect to see cans of this one as well, soon. And for those of you who are also into cider, they’ve got their latest there, too, with Buckle Up, a blueberry cider that was made by blending their base, dry cider with blueberry wine from the Rossignol Estate Winery, located in Murray River. Also at the brewery (in cans), it weighs in at 6.5% ABV.

Since moving to their new location, Sackville, NB’s Bagtown Brewing has been keeping up with the one-off brews, and they have their latest, Helium, available now. Brewed with a base of Pilsner malt, it was fermented with sparkling wine yeast. While we’re not 100% certain what beer style this falls into, the brewery is describing it as “light and bubbly, with a subtle honey sweetness and floral aroma”. It finishes fairly dry, and at 5% ABV is intended to be consumed in quantity, if so desired! 

Your hard-working crew at Horton Ridge have put their brewhouse to work recently, and conjured up an “old school” IPA (think a fairly bitter IPA that has a bit of sweetness to balance the hops) that they’ve named 500 Miles. If you’re thinking that they’ve named this beer with a nod towards The Proclaimers, you’d be wrong! The malting process that occurs at Horton Ridge involves many, many instances of raking, and around the time that this beer was brewed, the company’s raking odometer (that’s a thing?!?) reached 500 miles. They figured that was as good a name as any for a beer (they’re right!), so there it is. But back to the beer – they’re describing it as having a balance “of grapefruit citrus and piney resinous flavours”. Brewed with some Honey malt in the grist, it also has a “subtle burnt sugar sweetness” as a result. You can find it on tap at their taproom in Hortonville.

Back in New Brunswick, Gridiron has brewed up their very first New England IPA, Hazy Tuesday. With a grist that is heavy on oats and wheat from Island Malt House, the rest is made up with grain from Shoreline Malting. Hopped with plenty of Citra and Mosaic (to 65 IBUs), it comes in towards the higher end of the style, at 7.3% ABV. Only a few kegs of this juicy, tropical NEIPA were brewed, and it’s available only at the brewery in Hampton; drop by this long weekend for your pour! They are open daily, 4 – 6 PM, and may be available by appointment if you reach out via FB.

Let’s catch up on a few releases that were announced after our early release last Thursday, we figure there’s still a few bottles and cans around for your consumption…

Newfoundland’s Rough Waters Brewing has released a new Blonde Ale, albeit one with a bit of a twist. Hot Damn was brewed along the lines of your standard beers in the Blonde style, but features an addition of red thai chili peppers. The mild heat in the finish is enough to remind you that there’s more to this 5.5% ABV beer than meets the eye. Available at the brewery in growlers and pints; they were calling for bottles soon, as of last week, so those could very well be ready for this weekend. 

Inverness’s Route 19 Brewing dropped a new beer last Saturday, and it’s sounding super tasty, so let’s hope they still have some left! Crew Brew is their latest kettle sour, brewed with the same base (2-row malt) as their previous release, Dog Daze. Soured with their house culture, the resulting beer was dry-hopped with the delicious Sabro variety. The final 5% product has “intense Fuzzy Peach sour candy, green apple, Jolly Ranger, and ripe mango aromas”, all accompanied by a bright, lemon-like acidity, and “coconut cream, smooth finish”. Named to show the brewery’s appreciation for their brewpub staff, all proceeds of the beer will go towards this hardworking bunch, who they say lost a week of work earlier in the summer due to a pandemic-related incident. Drop by the brewery today to give this beverage a taste, and support the crew!

Everybody who’s in the know knows that 2 Crows commonly has weeks where they hit hard with two or three or even more releases and leave us wondering why we got into the (incredibly lucrative, natch) beer blogging game. But last week everything hit so hard that they knocked themselves for a loop and totally neglected to let us know what was coming. We’ve got those deets for you this week, though, starting with Surefire, a foedre-aged fruited sour that’s been nearly a year in the making. Beginning with a grist of Shoreline Malting Pilsner and wheat malt, along with some spelt and rye, it was hopped lightly with Nelson Sauvin hops before fermentation in oak with a blend of 2C’s delightful house cultures. After hanging out an additional five months in the barrel to condition, over 800 lbs of blackberry and 420 lbs of sour cherry were added and allowed to ferment out before a bit of vanilla was added to the mix and the beer was packaged in cans, where it’s been hanging out since June. Described as “deeply jammy, funky, zippy, and complex,” this is no small sour even though it only tips the scales at 4.8% ABV.

Also new and available is Camellia, a lagered wild ale with buckwheat and green tea. Pulling in some floor malted ingredients from the other PEI maltster, Island Malt House, the mash included Pilsner, wheat, oat and rye malts, with malted buckwheat taking center stage. On the hop side, Chinook, Sterling, and Azacca were used at various stages in the kettle before the beer was transferred to foedre and inoculated with a blend of house cultures. Five months later, it was sent to stainless where it was dry-hopped (dry-tea’ed?) with some Sencha Green Tea from Phil Holmans at Halifax’s awesome independent World Tea House. A krausening with lager yeast and some fresh wort before a further seven weeks of cold lagering were the final steps before packaging. We’re going to be honest, beyond the tasting notes from the brewery, which include, “earthy, fresh, zippy,” and, “lightly tart,” we don’t have any idea what to expect from this beer, which is a wonderful place to be when you love to try new things.

Both of these beers have been packaged in cans (and, we don’t doubt, some kegs for pouring at the brewery, at least, and hopefully beyond) so your best bet to grab them is on Brunswick Street in Halifax. If you happen to be by between 10 AM and 2 PM on Saturday or Sunday, remember that they’ll be hosting their Maker’s Market again this weekend. And keep your eyes peeled for more new things from 2 Crows down the road; social media this week had some awesome photos of the team from the Change is Brewing Collective in the 2C house for some collaborative goings-on. We’re very much looking forward to seeing what they came up with together!

Hooray for the continued return of actual events! Just remember, folks, be smart and play safe if you’re planning to attend any large gatherings of people; we’re in one of the safest regions in the world right now COVID-wise, let’s keep it that way!

Luckily for Atlantic Canadian homebrewers, this year’s annual Gahan Maritime Homebrew Challenge is still a go! This is the third year for the event, with all homebrewers invited to do their darndest to brew up the finest example of a West Coast or New England IPA, and enter it for judging. Submit it to your local Gahan House restaurant (of which there are several in the Maritimes) by October 30th; the winner will be announced November 14th at the Charlottetown Gahan House. But what do I win, you may ask? The “Grand Champion” gets $500 cash, and a special edition of their beer will be brewed and canned with help from Gahan/PEI Brewing Co. brewers, for retail sale. There’s other prizes as well (up to $3000 worth); for more of the nitty gritty, check out their site, or email homebrewchallenge@gahan.ca. Good luck, entrants!

And let’s stick with PEI for a couple more events this week. PEI Burger Love usually consumes all of April, but the pandemic put the kaibosh on the Spring event. However, they have switched the dates, without losing any enthusiasm, and are holding it during the six weeks beginning September 1st. Many brewery and beer-friendly spots are taking part, and for the first time in its ten year history, the Burger Love is expanding from just PEI Beef to Chicken, Pork, Seafood, and Veggie options. Grab your checklist of the 70+ burgers on offer

PEI Brewing Company is going ahead with their fall Oktoberfeast Event later this month, September 25th and 26th. Each day offers something different to visitors, with lawn games, growler holding competition, washer toss and cornhole, and live music and plenty of German-inspired food. Your $15 entry per day includes a filled 1 litre Maß to keep, and entrance to the competitions and fun. Grab your tickets in advance to avoid missing out!

A couple more quick mentions before you leave you to your long and hopefully super-sunny weekend!

Halifax will see the return of a Garrison Brewing favorite this week, with Sour to the People back in a slightly modified form. Still 5.5% ABV, still extremely tart and lemony, the change in this year’s batch is that it isn’t dry-hopped. Look for it on tap at both the Seaport and Oxford locations and also available to go in 473 mL cans.

Hanwell, NB’s Niche Brewing has their hibiscus kettle sour back on tap this week for those who’ve missed it (which we figure is probably most of the people who’ve tried it). Ruby Tuesday is 4% ABV, tart, fruity, and refreshing. You’ll find it at The Joyce and Peppers Pub for sure, with other Niche tap accounts hopefully picking it up soon as well. It’ll also likely be pouring on Maybee Brewing’s guest tap sometime late next week.