Great news to lead off today, as Newfoundland & Labrador have loosened restrictions to COVID Level 2, which allows restaurants and taprooms to open for in-person dining and imbibing. Be sure to support (safely) those breweries and great beer bars and restos in whatever way you can, as they surely have had a tough few months. With the recent flare-up in Northwestern NB, we know forward progress can be taken away in a moment. We’re still feeling cautiously optimistic about April 19th, with the probable re-inflation of the Atlantic Bubble. Wear a mask and take care of yourself and others. 🧡
Halifax’s Good Robot Brewing has a brand new release this week, which comes with a mystery they’d love to learn more about. Abigail Price was a widowed free Black Woman who immigrated by boat from New York to Shelburne in 1783, her name appearing in The Book of Negroes. 10 years later, she had a home built on her land in Tusket, where she lived for some 20 years, before selling the property in 1816. After the sale, she moved on, and her life afterward is currently lost from the history books. Today, that property is known as The Hatfield House, an award-winning restaurant.
Chelsea B teamed up with local journalist (and beer enthusiast) Evelyn C White to develop the recipe and brew Abigail Was Here, a beer to honour Price’s legacy. Light amber and a touch hazy in appearance, this 5.9% ABV Saison was lightly hopped with Lemon Drop, before an extra helping of lemon zest and juice, in addition to a touch of blueberry extract to round out the fruit character. A Saison yeast offers a bit of clove spiciness. The beer’s label was designed by Brent Braaten and Sara Panchaud, and drew inspiration from the earliest photograph available of the original house, as Abigail Price may have left it 200 years ago. The beer is available on tap at the brewery, and in cans to take away or for home delivery.
Tatamagouche Brewing has a new beer designed and brewed by brewer Chad Ellis in a somewhat uncommon style for our region. Black Flower is an American Stout coming in at 5.5% ABV and Chad did his best to lean into the “aggressively hopped” aspect of the style and leveraging American varieties. Starting with some Triple Pearl from HOOH (Harvesters of Organic Hops) in BC that he describes as featuring, “some cool vanilla/black tea aromas,” he blended in some “really resinous” Centennial from local hop farm Wicked Hops in Stewiacke, NS. Completing the hop picture is classic Cascade. With a firm bitterness of 55 IBU established, most of the hops were added in the whirlpool, which should give plenty of hop aroma and flavor showing. On the grist side of things, Horton Ridge pale, some caramel malts (but not too much), and a “punchy” blend of dark malts that included barley, rye, and wheat provide balance to all those hops with roasty, chocolate, and coffee notes. Fermented with S-04 yeast, a British strain, but well-suited to the style, the resulting beer has plenty of citrus peel character, especially on the aroma, with similar flavors as well as dark chocolate, black coffee, and caramel. This one is debuting in cask-conditioned (aka naturally carbonated) firkins at the Stillwell Freehouse in the next few days, with kegs and cans coming to Tatmagouche and licensees next week. Don’t forget you can order online as well, for delivery across Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada.
If you’re feeling that Island life and the warm weather has got you in a tropical mood, Copper Bottom brings a new release available today. Field Trip: Pink Guava is their latest in a series with an eye on experimentation, unconventional and unpredictable, which tend to be tart and fruity. This iteration brings a kettle soured with a grain bill of Shoreline two-row and wheat, a bit of Warrior hops and then a lot of pink guava puree added after the kettle souring. This is available in cans today at 5.0% and it will only be available online and in their taproom, with a few choice Charlottetown accounts. If you’re around the taproom, pop in for some live music and an expanded menu to celebrate the release, with Nick Doneff starting the tunes at 5 PM this afternoon. That expanded menu, btw, has several items curated by the fine folks at HopYard, and still includes the great Handpie Company offerings, picnic baskets, and small snacks, joined by the new epic Spinach Dip, Sausage Roll, and Pepperoni and Veggie Flatbreads.
We would also like to congratulate the team at Copper Bottom for winning the Excellence in Adaptation & Resiliency Award last night at the Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce President’s Excellence Awards. This award recognizes a business that has shown resilience in the face of adversity by introducing or improving a product/service to better fit the new environment caused by COVID-19. Congrats to the great team there and we’re happy to have been lucky enough to enjoy your fine brews over the last year.
Rolling right into the same awards ceremony, Upstreet Brewing also took home some hardware, picking up the Workplace Excellence Award at the same Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce awards noted above. This award is given to an organization that, through its innovative human resource practices, provides employees with a positive, healthy and productive workplace. Things are upbeat at Upstreet and we know you’re worthy recipients!
This sounds like the perfect time for a new release, so they’re back with Neon Friday 3.04 New England IPA. First released in November 2020, they’ve tweaked the recipe ever so slightly, to enhance the smooth hop finish with notes of stone fruit and cherries. Still plenty (more, even!) Cashmere, Citra, Mosaic, and Sabro, they adjusted the timing of those additions, along with changes to the water and grain bill to enhance the haze and head retention. Still at 6.5%, this is available in cans and on tap at Craft Beer Corner, their Taproom and online for island wide delivery. And those in HRM/Nova Scotia should see it in the private stores soon. And no spilling the beans just yet, but fans of their Rewind Seltzer take note, as well as those who are digging their Libra line of <1% ABV beers…
Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing is saying “So Long” (well, “See You Later”) to their Aussie-hopped Dunder Pale Ale, and bringing in a brand new year-round Pale Ale. Day’s Done is a 5.0% ABV American Pale Ale, that features a hop bill of Cascade and Mosaic, but used judiciously in a well balanced and easy-drinking beer. A medium body and soft mouthfeel from the malt bill (mostly Canadian Pilsner) support the hops in this golden ale. Available on tap and in cans at the brewery now, as well as for shipping across Atlantic Canada and Ontario.
You can help them Hooroo to Dunder for the rest of the week by grabbing a pint or growler fill at the brewery, for just $5 or $10, taxes in. Also, for those looking for something in the fermented seltzer vein, best grab their Bubbly seltzer quick before it goes away. They’re not getting out of the Seltzer game completely, as TW will be back with a less-cease-and-desisty name and brand soon.
The team at North Brewing Company is giving us an early taste of summer with their release of Mango Mango, their take on the Fruited IPA style. This one starts off as a west-coast style IPA featuring Lotus and Mosaic hops. It was then referented on 200 lbs of mango pureé (the Totapuri variety of mango from India and Sri Lanka to be exact). 473 ml cans are available now through North’s two retail locations and for delivery through their webstore. You can also find it on tap now at North’s Portland Street taproom and Battery Park. In other exciting news, North posted a teaser on social media this week about their new, third location! Online sleuths quickly identified the location as the Brunello Estates neighborhood in Timberlea. We’ll have more news in the coming weeks on what is sure to be a great addition to the BLT area.
Although no brewery puts out a new beer every single week of the year, some breweries do seem to aspire to it, which brings us, of course, to 2 Crows in Halifax. Fans of the brewery (and fruited sours) are no doubt familiar with Jamboree, a regular in the 2C lineup, and this week the gang on Brunswick is releasing a sibling beer they’re calling Jubilee. Built on a similar grist of Pilsner, malted wheat, raw wheat and some flaked oats, no hops were added to the boil. Souring was accomplished with Lactobacillus plantarum after which the wort was fermented at high temperature with the Ebbengarden Kveik strain. Post-fermentation it saw fruit, and not a little bit of it: 440 lbs of blackberry puree and 270 lbs of apricot were added to a 2,400 L batch!. After giving those extra sugars time to ferment out, the batch was dry hopped with a little bit of Bru-1 hops. The result is not unlike a smoothie, according to the brewery, as it’s, “fruity, lush, thick, and purple,” and not super sour, but, “kinda tart.” Also of note is that this beer was soured post-boil, so the bacteria used to sour are still alive; this implies that there could be a little bit of aging potential for this one, although probably not super long term as it’s only 4.8% ABV. You can find it at the brewery packaged in cans for a pint or grab some to go, or you can order on-line for delivery.
What better to celebrate Newfoundland and Labrador’s return to Level 2 than the release of a new beer!? On the west-coast, you’ll find the newest offering from Crooked Feeder Brewing Co. Powder Keg is a Cream Ale brewed with Escarpement Lab’s KRISPY Kveik yeast. Developed in collaboration with local outdoor outfitter Rugged Edge, Powder Keg comes in at 4.5% and is currently available on tap and in 500 ml bottles at the Crooked Feeder Gastropub in Corner Brook.
Cornwall’s Village Green has not one, not two, but three new beers on tap this weekend. First up is their take on a Belgian-Style Tripel. Brewed in January to allow for sufficient conditioning, Tripel was made using Pilsner malt and Perle hops. At 9.4% ABV, it’s the strongest beer made by VIllage Green to date and is currently available in 5 oz pours at the taproom. Keep an eye out for a canned release of Tripel shortly. Next up is Hazy Pale Ale. This one started with two-row, malted wheat and a touch of crystal malt, along with Warrior hops for bittering. The beer was then hit with auditions of Amarillo, Centennial and Citra in the whirlpool and as a dry hop. Expect notes of candied citrus and spruce needs in this 5.8% hazy ale. Finally, for something on the maltier side, keep an eye out for their take on a Brown Ale, also being released at the taproom this weekend.
The Altbier style has been gaining in popularity in our region, with more breweries in the region producing examples of the beer that originated in Düsseldorf, Germany. Annapolis Brewing Company is the latest to release their take on style. Coming in at 5% ABV and 42 IBU, Altbier pours a dark copper colour with a moderate noble hop aroma. Expect malt notes of biscuit and caramel, nicely balanced by the hop bitterness. Altbier is available for pints and growler fills now at the taproom in Annapolis Royal.
Lots of fun news coming out of Moncton this week, as Tire Shack Brewing has a few exciting things on the go.
First up, they have a special cask release tonight with 20L of their Russian Imperial Stout that has been sitting in cask for 4 months and filled it with cubes of Hungarian Oak to simulate the effects of barrel aging. The oaky flavours should come through and is definitely worth trying if you’re in the neighbourhood, but even if you’re not, it is worth the trip! It’s a doozy at 11.9% ABV, so tread carefully and have a pal take care of transportation! That way you can also enjoy…
A new release also graces Tire Shack today, they have a Blueberry-Vanilla Milkshake IPA available now. Using Ahtanum hops for a lemony-spicy kick, the sweetness and blueberry come on the finish for an interesting release. This is available today for enjoyment onsite in pints and flights, and in growlers to go, and at just 4.5% ABV, you can certainly enjoy a couple in these warmer evenings. And if we play our cards right, there may be some cans coming in the next few days!
Lastly in some cool news, they’ve extended their Halo donut collaboration through the weekend for Moncton Craft Beer Week. They have two awesome donuts featuring some of their beers. The first features Secret Society Stout icing with Sunny Brae Coffee espresso crumble. The second donut is loaded with Parts N Labour IPA icing with lime zest. Pairing them with their parent beers in the taproom is highly recommended, though they will also be available to go from Halo’s spot at 110 St-George (open 12 – 6 PM all weekend, though no guarantee the donuts won’t sell out earlier!). Lots of great news from Tire Shack and worthy of heading out this weekend if you’re able.
Speaking of Moncton Craft Beer Week, it wraps up tomorrow with a couple of special events.
Open Brewery Day is happening tomorrow, with free shuttle buses running a loop between connecting the downtown core, Riverview, and Dieppe, with stops along the way. From 11 AM – 5 PM, start your visits at any one of these spots and get a headstart on your Moncton Craft Beer Passport… The first bus leaves at 11:30 in this order, with the others leaving every 15 minutes: CAVOK Brewing (perfect place to grab some Acadie-Broue, Chockpish, and O’Creek), Flying Boats, Pump House Fill Station, Tire Shack Brewing, Tide & Boar Brewing, Holy Whale Beer Hall (just a 30 min walk Celtic Knot), completing the loop at City Hall in the downtown core (quick walk to Gahan Hub City, Pump House, and Tide & Boar Gastropub).
Speaking of Tide & Boar, they are hosting an All IPA Tap Takeover Saturday, with 14 hoppy beauts from the GMA pouring all day long, plus a secret IPA flight, and if you can correctly guess the identity of the beers, you’ll be entered in a draw for a $50 T&B gift card.
In more great news from Newfoundland being at Level 2, if you’re not able to make it there, you can pop down to Stillwell on Saturday for your own fresh sips of Bannerman Brewing! Your fine purveyors of the good stuff bring six fresh pops from the St. John’s brewery. They’ll be open at Noon on Saturday and joining the six draft pours will be fried fish sandwiches flying out of the kitchen. Check out the full tap list below:
Early Rise – Dry-hopped sour w/ lactose, mango, pomegranate – 6.5%
Eclipse IPA – 7%
After Hours DIPA – 8%
Hill O Sips American IPA – 6.8%
Counter Productive Oatmeal Stout – 6%
Better Watch Out Barleywine – 9.5%
Speaking of Stillwell, they are looking for a Few Good Folks to join their Beergarden staff (yup, it’s that time of year!). Experienced Beer- and Food-tenders should apply by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The job postings keep flowing as Bannerman is looking to add a few new people to their team. In the kitchen, they are looking for a Prep/Line Cook, as well as an Events Manager. In their words, “We’re looking for an energetic, organized individual to take on our ever growing event space. Experience is a must.” If you’re interested, please drop them a line with your resume to email@example.com.
We mentioned Village Green’s new releases already, but they are also looking to grow their team with the additions of a Trainee Brewer and part-time Beer Servers at the taproom. They are accepting resumes at firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you’re in the area, drop by the taproom for more info.
In Southern New Brunswick, Hampton Brewing is preparing for the May opening of their brewery and taproom at the Fire Fly Forest Recreation area just outside of Hampton, and they are looking to hire a full-time Server. Thriving in a fast-paced work environment, and creating a great experience for those who drop by for pints or beer-to-go, the right candidate will have the opportunity to grow with the brewery. Send them an email (email@example.com) by April 2nd with your resume and “Taproom Server” in the subject line, and you can check out the full posting here.
Now that we’ve got you up to date with all of the latest news, how about some more beer stuff for your ears while you drink some beer this afternoon? The fellas from the 902 BrewCast are back on the mics this month after a bit of a break, and are getting you up to speed with what’s new in their beer universe, and answered questions about every little thing from their loyal listeners. Check your podcatcher for the latest ep, or go direct to the source here!