Modern Brewer’s Village Green

All posts tagged Modern Brewer’s Village Green

Wa-hey, we’re almost halfway through February and with the little bit of unseasonably nice weather that most of the region is seeing this weekend it’s almost enough to have one believing that winter’s almost over. We suggest not falling for that, but maybe a teensy tiny little bit of joy and hope for just this weekend won’t hurt. And speaking of weekend joy, it’s both the weekend of the “Big Game” and also annual Hallmark Holiday #1, so you might find some seasonably appropriate specials going on from your favourite locals; we cover some of those below, but we might have missed something (let’s be honest, we always miss something) so do check out what’s advertised on socials!

Let’s start off in Halifax, where Propeller Brewing is releasing Earl Grey Pale Ale. The addition of Earl Grey tea adds floral and citrus aromas from the bergamot, along with some more tannic notes reminiscent of black tea. These meld nicely with the additions of cookie and red malts, which Prop says gives a ‘tea and biscuits’ experience. To remind you that this is still a pale ale, the beer features Idaho 7 and Citra hops, two hops that showcase citrus notes, complimenting the bergamot. Coming in a 5.5% AVC and 39 IBUs, Earl Grey Pale Ale. Cans are available today at the Prop shops and online for home delivery or shipping. For those outside of HRM, this one will be hitting NSLC shelves on February 21.

While our last beer featured cookie malt, Bannerman Brewing is taking things one step further, by adding ‘buckets and buckets’ of actual cookies, to its newest beer, Sweet Tooth. This “Cookie Stout” uses cookies (chocolate chip by the looks of the brew day photos) from Craig’s Cookies, dumped into the hopback allowing the beer to recirculate and pick up as much cookie essence as possible. The beer features a blend of caramel and dark malts and also saw additions of cacao nibs and Tahitian vanilla beans. Cans of this 7.5% treat are available now on Duckworth Street and for delivery through Bannerman’s online store. 

We’re going to stay in Newfoundland for the next few releases, and Baccalieu Trail is up next! With a new release available now, Hopinion Piece is a Hazy IPA that features a mix of hops, using some strong opinions of their own! This will be a recurring release, featuring different combinations of hops each time. While we’re not sure exactly which hops you’ll see in this first release, we’re sure that with a name like that they won’t be subtle. This 5.5% beer is available today from their website and taproom. It will reach their other retail locations and carriers next week.

Over to Deer Lake, Rough Waters also has a new limited release! Commander Coconut is a coconut milk stout that brings the flavour and drinkability. Using their base milk stout, coconut additions were made through the brew and also for conditioning. Due to the massive amounts of coconut used in this recipe, it was quite difficult to brew, so this one will not be coming out again anytime soon! This comes in at 5.4% and is smooth, coconut-y with a nice balance of milk chocolate flavours. This is available now from the taproom and distribution will be coming to the rest of the island over the next two weeks. 

One of the littlest breweries (in terms of size, anyway) in NS has three beers coming back to their oeuvre this week, one of which features a pretty significant change from previous batches. Delta Force Brewing, the “traditional farmshed brewery” in Greenwich, has Operation Jaromir Lagr, a Czech Dark Lager, and Operation Bap, a Nurungji Lager available once again (what’s nurungji? It’s Korean scorched rice!). Additionally, Operation Barrow, which in its previous incarnations was an English IPA with Brettanomyces added after primary fermentation, tasted so good this time that they decided against the Brett addition and to just bring it to you, dear drinker, in its pure and unadulterated form. You can order these ones up along with plenty of other δF favourites by visiting their online shop.

In Halifax, Spryfield’s finest Serpent Brewing brings Northumberland Strait Sunset to the people. A Session IPA, this was brewed with Owen, one of their Founders Club members, taking them on a quest for tropical flavour in a small package. Using tons of Mosaic for dry hopping, this 4.4% stunner features lovely stone fruit flavours and aromatics, with a touch more fruit and earthy notes from the English Ale yeast. Grab it at their spot behind Canadian Tire/adjacent to Mary Brown’s today at noon, for enjoyment onsite or to go in growlers and bottles.

It’s not just Superbowl Sunday this weekend, Valentine’s Day is Monday!  Down in Chester, Nova Scotia, Tanner Brewing has a very special release. Cranberry Amarillo is a Sparkling Mead made from their house sparkling mead recipe, but with a light hand of cranberry purée before fermentation and then dry hopped with Amarillo hops. This brew is delicate, lightly pink and a dry finishing mead available in 500ml bottles at 5.8%. 

And here’s your quick hits on the way out the door to buy beer!

Our weekly post wouldn’t be the same without something from 2 Crows! Keeping up their annual football deal, they put some of their 355ml flats on for $50. Joining Matinee and Dos Cuervos on the Deal Train is the newly released AC Light Lager. Make sure you check their delivery dates if you want to get it for SuperbOwl Sunday! Also, these are stellar “stock” beers to keep in your fridge anytime of the year. 

In St. John’s, Quidi Vidi Brewing has a big’un back on the go for your winter sipping needs. Imperial Coconut Porter, a burly brew at 9% ABV has returned, with notes of dark caramel and chestnut leading the way, with a lingering element of toasted coconut providing the back end. Available in 473ml cans now at their (new) Hops Shop, you should also see this one appear at NLC locations in the coming week.

In Montague, Bogside Brewing has a returning favourite that is back in stock. Wheat Kings County is their traditional-style Wheat Beer (remember this won silver at the 2020 Canadian Brewing Awards). Keeping with tradition, this is a classic style made true to its German roots. Using a grain bill of Wheat, Pilsner and Munich malts, along with classic hop additions of Hallertau Mittlefruh and Hersbrucker. It is 5.7% and available on tap and online in 473ml cans for pickup or delivery. 

Sydney’s Breton Brewing announced this week that it’s expanding to a second location. While their original taproom on Keltic Drive has a great atmosphere and lots of tasty beer options, it’s a bit of a hike from the downtown core. Their new location, coming later in 2022, is right in the middle of the action, located across the street from the Holiday Inn (and its epic waterslide) on the Esplinade. The plan for now is calling for a taproom and pilot system. Keep an eye on their social channels for more updates as they progress towards opening the new space.

Cornwall’s Village Green is releasing Version 9 in its series of Weird Clouds IPA. This one is showcasing notes of fruit cocktail and grapefruit thanks to hop additions of Azacca, Strata and Citra. As an added bonus, cans of Version 9 feature the full pull-back pop top, allowing more of those hoppy aromas to hit the ol’ olfactory nerve if you’re drinking straight from the can. Cans are available now at the taprom.

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 Upstreet are putting out a call to hire a Lead Production Brewer as they’re looking to expand in 2022. Check out the link here for the full job description and how to apply. 

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*.

 

Good afternoon, beer fans… everyone sick of Christmas music yet? Great, just making sure we’re all on the same page! As usual, there’s lots going on in the wonderful world of Atlantic Canada beer this week, with lots of new brews from all four corners of our region hitting taps and shelves, just itching to be sipped, guzzled, etc. (was about to start thinking hard of other synonyms to go along with these but it’s already getting kind of late in the day as it is), so let’s dive right into it, shall we?

Normally when we’ve got a huge slew of news from a single brewery, that brewery is 2 Crows, but although they do have something on the go this week (of course they do; see below), this week’s belles of the ball are the lovely folks from North Brewing, who have clearly been saving up to make a big ol’ splash with a new location and accompanying celebratory release, a triple-collaboration release, and a “standard” special release all happening this weekend!!

First up, we mentioned months ago that North had secured a spot to make their return to the right light West side of the Harbour after beginning their existence near North (natch) and Agricola Streets in North End Halifax. That new location is seeing a soft opening this weekend (today, in fact!!) at 501 Timberlea Village Parkway beginning at noon. The space will be retail-only for now, but rest assured there’s a taproom and kitchen under construction that they’re hoping will be ready just after the holidays (we’ll definitely keep you posted on that). You can head on over this afternoon and grab a celebratory cupcake from Delectable Desserts as you load up on your favorite North packaged beer, cider, and seltzer offerings (no growler fills until they’ve got taps in place, of course) as well as merch. They’re planning to be open noon – 8 on the daily for the foreseeable. One of North’s slogans is, “Cheers your neighbour,” we love that they seem to be on a mission to keep making new neighbours to cheers.

Of course, if you’re going to open a new retail location, it makes sense to give the people something new to come and get. Enter Timberbock, a smooth, dark, and malty German lager with plenty of nutty and caramel character. The North team has been itching to make a bock for some time and this fall opening seemed like a great time for it. Fermented with the Escarpment Labs Isar Lager strain, and lagered for two full months, this 6.2% ABV beer is ideal for the cooler weather; maybe grab a couple to enjoy after raking leaves this weekend? As you would and should expect, if you’re closer to one of North’s other retail locations, Battery Park or Cole Harbour, you can get it there too!

Next up is the “triple collaboration” that’s been quite a while in the making. Several years ago, North’s Rozina brewed Neighbours Saison with Jill from Compass Distilling (back when they were neighbours across the intersection of North and Agricola). That beer was then distilled by compass to produce Neighbours Whiskey, now on sale at Compass. Meanwhile, North brewed up a replica batch of the original saison, using wheat, spelt and oats along with a boutique yeast strain to produce a 5.0% ABV beer that they’ve packaged in cans. If that wasn’t enough, Compass also kindly took possession of some of North’s Midnight strong dark Belgian ale, which they socked away in a Neighbours whiskey barrel for a while. The result is being called Midnight Neighbours of course! We’re a day late to tell you about the release party that took place at Battery Park last night, but you can still try a flight of all three products at North’s Tasting Room on Portland Street, at Compass’ tasting room on Agricola St. Meanwhile, the beers will be available at North locations and the whiskey, should you want a bottle, from Compass.

Last but not least in North news, if you’re a fan of the brewery you already know that they love to leverage their friendly relationship with Benjamin Bridge winery and release delightful hybrid liquids for your drinking pleasure. One of those that has previously been released is Blanc, a grisette refermented on some of BB’s Sauvignon Blanc grapes. That one is back and available at North retail locations and for online orders; even better, and as always, $0.50 from each can of this one sold will be donated to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust.

For you Moncton beer drinkers that have been itching for more Tire Shack in your lives, we have some very good news! The brewery received approval from the city earlier this week, ok’ing their re-zoning plans for an expansion. Sure, this means more beer and space in general, but most importantly it means Tire Shack can finally begin work on their barrel-aging program, which they’ve been passionate about starting for some time. It’s a ways away, naturally, but it IS something to look forward to! We should also mention that the Moncton Chamber of Commerce has awarded Tire Shack with their Small Business of the Year award, so congrats to them on that as well!

Oh, don’t worry, we wouldn’t leave without also bringing some beer news from Tire Shack for the weekend. They’re re-releasing two brews today, the first being their Peanut Butter Porter (sometimes known as PBP). A 6.2% ABV Porter featuring an addition of close to 20 kg of real peanut butter, it’s perfect for those of you who crave some of that delicious spreadable in your alcoholic beverages (maybe just don’t go kissing anyone with a severe allergy directly after, mmmkay?). Second is Roman Road, a 5.5% ABV Italian Pilsner dry-hopped with Spalt Spalter and Czech Saaz, giving a crisp and refreshing beer with plenty of noble hop presence. You’ll be able to find both beers on tap and (hopefully) in cans sometime today at the brewery.

What do you get when you put two birds on ice? Don’t answer that. But 2 Crows is doing an event in support of 4 curlers, as there is a draught-only release and event in support of Team Daigle, a senior women’s curling team kicking off their season in hope’s to get to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts (we assume everyone in Atlantic Canada is familiar with this right? It’s Canada’s national women’s curling championship!). On November 25th, the brewery will release Come Around, a tropical and juicy pale ale, loaded with Galaxy and Citra hops. This beer will only be available in kegs and features the first use at 2 Crows of Verdant, a newer, juicy-friendly yeast strain to complement the tropical and juicy flavours from the hop combination. To get your hands on this first release and to support Team Daigle with their year long travel and expenses, you can buy a $20 ticket to the event which covers your first beer and gets you entered into a draw for a slew of door prizes! Hit the 2C website shop under “events” to purchase your ticket in advance. 

Moving over to PEI, Upstreet is releasing a brand new hoppy beer, one that they plan on keeping in their regular line-up throughout the coming winter months. Blue Meanie is a Blueberry Double IPA that was brewed with lots of blueberry juice, and hopped with both Mosaic and Lemondrop varieties. A definite sipper at 8% ABV (well, try to, anyway), the beer is tasting “tart and semi-sweet, with loads of juicy pineapple, blueberry, and lemon flavour”. While you’ll be able to find cans of this one at PEILCC stores in the very near future, the official launch party will be happening at Upstreet tomorrow, November 20th, with live music from Kailee McGuire from 8-9 pm, trivia with Jesse & Jeff from 9-10:30 pm, and more tunes with DJ Whaleskin directly after that, until 11:30 pm. Of course there’ll be plenty of Blue Meanie pouring on tap, and we can only assume cans to takeaway as well. Now, whether this beer was named after the wrestler, or those creepy buggers from Yellow Submarine… we leave that to you to decide.

More PEI news with Village Green with two new beers, both of the hoppy persuasion (if you’re into that sorta thing). Let’s start on the lighter side of things with Strata Pale Ale, an easy-drinking 5.3% APA hopped entirely with, yes, Strata. With descriptors including “strawberry, passion fruit, grapefruit, and dank,” Strata does appear to be an ideal candidate for a single-hop brew, at least on paper! It’s up to you brave Islanders, however, to make your way to VG to decide for sure. And while you’re there, guess you might as well sample their OTHER newbie, a 6.9% IPA they’re calling DUH IPA. Don’t overthink the name, they simply hopped it with some no-brainer hop varieties – Citra, Mosaic, and Galaxy – giving a delicious beverage that is “peachy, danky, and citrusy.” Available on tap and in cans!

If you like your hoppy beers with a little more of the “wild” in them, let’s briefly chat about the newest brew from Tanner & Co. Brux IPA was fermented with Saccharomyces brux-like Trois, a strain that isn’t technically wild (like Brett, for example), yet has “wild-like” qualities to it, helping produce beers that can be quite dry and slightly tart. These are the exact qualities that Brux IPA imparts, and with a generous dry-hopping of both Mosaic and Motueka, you can expect citrus and tropical notes to go with it (which sounds like a perfect combination to us!). Weighing in at 6.5% ABV, you can find bottles of this one at the brewery and taproom right now.

What if you’re feeling more in the mood for a low alcohol, non-hoppy brew for a change? Antigonish’s Candid Brewing has you covered with Temperance, a 3.5% ABV English Brown Ale. This isn’t your typical English Brown, however, as it has some lactose added to give it a touch of extra sweetness, as well as boosting the body somewhat (not a bad idea with a 3.5% beer!). It also features organic Earl Grey tea (HOT!) from World Tea House, to make you feel even more that you’ve travelled over the pond for a cuppa with some old relatives… see, feeling transported already and haven’t even tried the beer! Available on tap and in cans, drop by the brewery for a taste this weekend.

In Newfoundland, Bannerman has teamed up with local advocacy for the music community MusicNL, to design and brew a new beer to help kick off Music Celebration Week in the province, taking place from Nov 29th to Dec 5th. The beer, Music and Friends, is described simply as an American Pale Ale hopped with Strata and Nelson Sauvin (we’re going to assume plenty of lovely, tropical fruit aromas and flavours in the beer). Available at the brewery and select NLC stores today, so you can start to prep for the festival a little early!

Bannerman has more than one rabbit up their sleeve this week, as they’re also launching a new hoppy wonder at the brewery today. If you’re a fan of not just hops, but high ABVs as well, Obscure Reference may just be the beer for you! It’s a Triple IPA (10%!) that was dry-hopped with multiple additions of the ever-popular (to most of us, anyway) Mosaic variety. Expect juiciness, fruitiness, and likely a little bit of warmth as this one heads down into your stomach. Available in cans only; look for it to hopefully pop up on tap sometime later next week.

Sticking on the Rock, let’s move over to Landwash, who are re-releasing one beer and launching a brand new one this weekend. The returning favourite is Tidepool Pilsner, a 5% German Pilsner that undergoes an extended period of cold conditioning (Lagering!) after a cool fermentation with Escarpment Lab’s Isar Lager yeast strain. Refreshing and crisp, it’s just what you need after a long, hard day of dealing with family work. We can now do a complete 180 and move to their newest beer, Cozy Partridgeberry. Designed by head brewer Alex as a tribute to his Nan’s Partridgeberry Pie (which you can find at Twinlingate’s Cozy Tea Room and Bakery during their open season), the malt additions were crafted to mimic pie crust. Lactose powder was also added to the boil, along with Mosaic and Barbe Rouge hops. The completed beer was then conditioned on local Partridgeberries, resulting in a brew that is “very berry, but not too sweet”. Both beers are available at the brewery right now, in cans and on tap; look for them to start travelling to other outlets soon. 

And in Bay Roberts, Baccalieu Trail Brewing have collaborated with the province’s CBN T’Railway, a non-profit group formed to help open and rehabilitate the former railway bed of Conception Bay North. The hard work from these fine folks has led to the 140 km of T’Railway becoming a “vibrant, ecological, and safe route for recreational traffic”. As for the beer that the non-profit and brewery have created, Trail Minder’s Ale is a West Coast Pale Ale brewed with a malt bill containing small amounts of light Caramel and Oat malts, and hopped with Comet, Nugget, Hallertau Blanc, and Eureka. Fermented with a clean American strain, the beer is very dry, “with layers of tropical fruit, but also some classic West Coast pine character”, all followed by a restrained bitterness. You can grab cans at the brewery over the weekend, with $1 from every can being donated to CBN T’Railway to support their continued efforts.  

Would you believe that this year will mark Big Spruce Brewing’s NINTH Home Brew Challenge? While you ponder what that means about how long you’ve been drinking Big Spruce, we’ll tell you that this year’s competition has been announced and it’s a boozy doozy. A style beloved by many beer geeks but relatively uncommon in these parts is the Belgian Dubbel: falling under the category of Trappist Ales, which have been historically brewed in monasteries by Trappist monks, Dubbel is a deep coppery color with plenty of rich malt flavor, some fruity and/or dried fruity ester character, and a light alcoholic heat. Usually coming in around the high 6es for ABV, one of the key aspects of a good one is the fairly dry finish. Warming and comforting, without being cloyingly sweet, a Dubbel may just be the perfect “cold evening in front of the fire” beer and we are certainly excited to think that there will be another one released for us to try coming out of this competition.

About the competition itself, once again Big Spruce has partnered with Escarpment Labs to even the playing field with respect to yeast availability, bringing in plenty of pouches of St. Remy Abbey Ale yeast for prospective competitors (but folks are absolutely welcome to use whatever other yeast they choose to procure). Those interested in competing in this year’s challenge should send an email Real Soon Now™ to jeremy@bigspruce.ca. It costs $25 to enter, and if nothing else entrants are guaranteed a competition t-shirt, quality scoresheets per BJCP practices, and an invite to the gala. Entries must be received by February 5th, 2022 (drop off points to be confirmed), with the judging and gala taking place (with all due and necessary COVID protocols in place and as Provincial restrictions allow) from 4 – 6 PM on February 6th at The Wooden Monkey’s Dartmouth location. That’s not a long time for a style like this, so get your emails out if you’re looking to participate!!

As they’ve done several times over the past few years, members of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia have come together to brew a special beer in celebration of Craft Beer in NS and to generate revenue for #nscraftbeer initiatives. This year they did so with the sponsorship of supplier Brew Culture, a relatively new player in the local market, but who are certainly making themselves known through collaborative efforts. Together We Brew is a 5.0% lagered ale that was dry hopped with new school Continental hop Callista, one that marries some noble character with more modern fruity notes. Look for it at NSLC locations throughout the province, but don’t wait too long as this is a limited edition product.

A couple of Beery Birthdays in the region this weekend, but first:

A reminder of the Friday/Saturday tap takeover starting at Bar Brewdock today. In East Duck St. John’s, Dildo Brewing Co is teaming up with Borden-Carleton PEI’s Lone Oak Brewing to take over the 24 taps. Look for plenty of new beers from both breweries debuting this weekend, as well as the fine folks at Crumb & Pickle taking over the kitchen with burger, dips, schnitzel and more, all vegan and veggie friendly. More details in last week’s post, plus Social Media.

What do you think of when we say “the mecca of craft beer in Atlantic Canada?” If your answer isn’t Stillwell and if you’re reading this and you haven’t made friends with new humans or sampled new beers and new tastes at any of Stillwell’s various locations over the last few years, we would be surprised. (Heck, even one of us got married at the Stillwell Beergarden) Our beloved beer bar turns EIGHT YEARS OLD (!!) this month and they’re celebrating on Saturday November 20th, at Barrington Street HQ starting at Noon. Celebrating as they normally do with birthday cake (heeeey, free cake!), special bottle pours from places we can’t even mention (on and off-menu in true beer nerd fashion), and lots of featured kegs from breweries such as Willibald, Les Grands Bois, Godspeed, Dieu du Ciel, Crooked Stave, Stillwell Brewing, Bannerman and a few more! Also, Joe will be serving up special kitchen treats as well all day. This is free and fun and no advance reservations are required. 

Rothesay’s Foghorn Brewing turns the big 0-5 this weekend, and they’re inviting you to the brewery to celebrate Saturday, November 20th. Expect raffles, beer, games, beer, snacks, and beer! They’ll also have Elizabeth Nelson kicking off some live music at 5 pm, followed by Saving Sweet Polly at 7 pm. If you bring in a non-perishable food item for the KV Food Basket (no expired peas, we’re onto you!), you get a ballot for a chance to win an “epic prize”. Our guess is a ride on a stuffed black bear with owner/brewer Esty… let’s hope!

And a few last items to whet your appetite for whetting your whistle:

Always keeping us beer folk satisfied in store and online for delivery, Bishop’s Cellar is getting some goodies from Toronto’s own Bellwoods in store this Saturday. Two variants of Jelly King (their delicious dry-hopped fruited, everyday-drinking fruited sour) along with “drink now or cellar for later” options Vines Gamay and Barn Owl 25. Here’s a quick overview of the four releases:

  • Jelly King Cranberry & Tangerine is the base Jelly King conditioned on a bunch of cranberries and tangerine puree coming in at 5.6%. 
  • Jelly King Pomegranate & Lime is the base Jelly King conditioned on real pomegranate and lime at 5.6%.
  • Vines: Gamay is a 2020 wild ale release. Vines is a series of oak aged wild ales that celebrates wine grapes in all manifestations.This 8.0% blend was inoculated with the wild yeast from 2019 red grape skins, aged for a year in oak, and refermented on 2020 Niagara Gamay skins. 
  • Barn Owl 25 is a Foedre Aged Imperial Stout. This spent 2 years in secondary fermentation in new American oak and is 13.2%. 

These are all 500ml bottles and available Saturday November 25th at 10am. 

Smiths Cove’s Lazy Bear Brewing has a new Black IPA out, in memory of their former team member, Bob Allen, the brewery’s first hire. Infinity is a 7.2% ABV take on the style that is dry-hopped exclusively with Chinook. You can find it now at the brewery and tomorrow at the Annapolis Royal farmers market.  

New Ross’ Bulwark Cider is teaming up with the SPCA to raise money for furry friends in need of homes. They’ve made Applsecco Rose Cider which was released at NSLC locations earlier this week. Think a combo of cider and red wine characteristics with tartness, dark fruit flavours and some gentle tannins from the Marechal Foch wine used. $2 from every bottle will be donated to the Burnside SPCA location to help stray and abused animals. Win, win.

We’ll leave you with the always welcomed news of re-releases from Unfiltered Brewing. First up is their 7.5% ABV DIPA, Fist of God. If you’re looking for something a bit more sessionable, check out Lifesaver, their 4.25% ABV blueberry sour. Both are now available in cans and for fills at the brewery, and on tap next door at Charm School.