North Brewing

All posts tagged North Brewing

We’re back with our weekly trip across the region and if you’re like us, you can’t wait to get back out and visit what the great breweries have to offer. In the meantime, check your local restrictions, support your breweries and before you know it, we’ll be springing forward. Wait, it’s still January? Holy Hannah, better have another beer! Onto the news from our friends, and as always, please check their websites and socials to check on in-person, delivery and pick-up options. 

Let’s kick off this week’s news with one of the smaller breweries, Rough Waters in Deer Lake, Newfoundland. Since their opening a couple of years ago, locals and visitors alike have been asking for a Red Ale. As time went on, they’ve had the chance to brew a few smaller pilot batches while they hone in on a perfect recipe, and they are now ready to share with the world! Good Intentions is a 5.0% Irish Red Ale, showcasing the malt-forward and slight roast barley character that is indicative of the style. Light body with a dry finish makes this brew perfect for enjoying one or two (or three) during a session with friends. And with cans of Good Intentions adorned with a Claddagh, the symbol of friendship, love, and loyalty, there’s no excuse not to partake! Available at the brewery for retail sales, as well as local delivery (just message them through Fb or Ig to get the full details!).

The Hub of Nova Scotia, connecting travellers, residents and all comers to the province, Truro Brewing Company looks to take inspiration from the French Heroine with their latest beer release. Joan of d’Ark is an Oatmeal Stout perfect for the season. Rich, robust and full-bodied, expect a nutty, earthy, well balanced sweetness with just a bit of added vanilla at 5.8%. This is available at the brewery in their classic stubby bottles or on tap. 

On theme with the latest storms to hit Halifax, Good Robot is back with their second release in their lineup of single hop New England IPAs. Tropical Storm: El Dorado showcases El Dorado hops that bring flavours of pear, pineapple and watermelon. It’s hazy, juicy and 7.0%. This is available now from the brewery in 473ml cans and true to form for the GR folks, it is gluten-reduced. 

Beer drinkers of Dartmouth/Woodlawn/Cole Harbour (and let’s be honest, your favourite beer bloggers have driven here from much further afield) rejoice! The North Brewing taproom on Portland Street has officially reopened. North is now operating the kitchen and after teasing some individual items over the last few weeks on social media, have released all of the details. You can expect classic pub/dinner food, but with an East Indian twist and also lots of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options to accommodate hungry beer drinkers of all dietary needs and preferences. This is just the first step in North expanding its operations further into the hospitality realm; their Timberlea taproom/kitchen is also under construction with plans to open in the coming months.

Fredericton’s own Trailway has a returning favourite this week, let’s roll the dice and see which delicious IPA will it be?! Oh hey, South Island is back! An IPA starring Nelson Sauvin hops, this IPA is bitter, soft, very fruity with grape, gooseberry and grapefruit flavours. Looking to showcase one of the most complex hops, this is a 6% single hop release available today in 473ml cans from the brewery. There is also a $9.99 shipping special from Trailway on until Monday, perfect for our readers in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland & Labrador, and Ontario.

If you could somehow pair a Newfoundland brewery with Trailway (by name only, like us), you’ll think of Landwash! “Trail” pairs with “Land” and “Way” pairs with “Wash”, right? They’re also both great breweries! Okay, onto the new beer. Branch is a Session IPA named after the “small community on the Cape Shore which is home to the beach we call the Landwash.” A 4.5% easy drinking beer, this is packed with hop flavour, aroma and bitterness and a very drinkable ABV. Using a blend of Cashmere and Citra as the main hops, Cali Ale yeast from Escarpment Labs brings this all home. It’s available now from the brewery and heading out across to their usual outlets over the weekend in 473ml cans. 

Sticking on the rock, it’s wintertime and people love to head to Marble Mountain, so Boomstick Brewing made a beer with them! Yard Sale is a West Coast Pale Ale aimed to make a 5% sessionable, flavourful and bright pale ale perfect for aprés ski.  Giving a bit of pine, citrus and fruit on the nose and in the mouth, a dry hop of Ekuanot and Simcoe helps bring the flavour forward. Look for this in cans at the brewery, at the hill, and, soon, across the island!

Returning to Nova Scotia, we head down the South Shore to Tanner Brewing. Bringing back a favourite from last Spring, Blueberry Brown is back! Originally released as a small batch, this time it’s canned (!) and available in wider release. Inspired by a blueberry crisp dessert, Tanner used the base of their malt-forward brown ale recipe and added blueberry puree, cinnamon, and vanilla after fermentation. Resulting in a 5.2% and 30 IBU balanced delicious treat, this is in 473ml cans and is available at both Tanner locations and for delivery.  

Sackville’s finest, Ol’ Biddy’s Brewhouse has an on-tap only release available in their taproom. Triple Chocolate Stout is pouring now and should be a tasty, malty, sweet, and not-too-roasty chocolate treat. We’re not sure what the titular three sources of chocolate were, but we’d bet one of them was chocolate malt. You’ll just have to head down to the brewery to grab a pint and see if your tastebuds can figure out what the other two are! Expect a smooth and delicious offering available only on tape in Lower Sackville at 7.2% and 26 IBU. 

Just a quick hitter here for those that love the crispy stuff, Stillwell Brewing has their latest release of Stilly Pils coming out soon. Be sure to follow their socials for the latest on their brewery, but in the meantime, you can grab fresh cans of this classic German-style Pilsner from Stillwell HQ, the Stillwell Freehouse, Chainyard, Cafe Good Luck, Bishops Cellar, Harvest, Rockhead and Westside!

A reminder that the month-long celebration of 2 Crows Brewing’s 5th Anniversary continues, with this week’s release of the super-limited Big Turk and Nanaimo Imperial Pastry Stouts, as well as the wider release of two other dark beers. Mountain Shadow is a 10.3% Baltic Porter that was brewed last year, and allowed to lager and develop over several months, before seeing the addition of Marquette pomace from the 2021 harvest of Lightfoot & Wolfville winery. Notes of cherry, blackcurrant, and blackberry shine through, complementing the coffee, roast, and chocolate notes (which were further enhanced by the addition of cacao nibs). Would you believe Black Forest cake vibes? because we would, and we’re salivating. Thankfully canned in the 355ml small format, it debuted on their shelves and site yesterday. 

And debuting today at noon is Dark Cuts, a collaboration with the fine folks at New Westminster BC’s Steel and Oak. This 5.1% Czech Dark Lager is an ode to this uncommon style, which started life with a decoction mash of floor-malted barley from Europe, the addition of traditional Czech-grown Saaz hops, and a loooong lagering process. Look for more nerdy details on 2C’s instagram page, if you’re like us and want to fully immerse yourselves. Online and on Brunswick Street from opening today!

These two, as well as the full complement of their celebratory beers, including two more to come next week, are also available as a bundle for taproom pickup, free local delivery, or Canada-wide shipping, next Friday. And for those who sign up for their newsletter before then, you’ll be able to join in on a live virtual tasting on the 28th, or Feb 11, as you are guided through the story of each release by the 2C crew.

As Lobster fishing is such an important part of the region’s economy, it’s no surprise there’s a month dedicated to celebrating the fact. The 2022 Lobster Crawl is being held during the month of February, highlighting those fishers, producers, and restaurants on Nova Scotia’s South Shore. And what’s a Crawl without a beer? Nothing, says we! Returning next month is Saltbox’s Crustacean Elation, a 5.5% beer that saw the addition of whole lobsters and fire-roasted lobster shells directly to the boil, imparting just a soupçon of arthropod essence to the beer, complemented by hints of citrus and a touch of salinity. While those with allergies will need to steer clear, others with a taste for crustacean will have to give it a try to wash down their lobster roll or seafood chowder!

Let’s sign off today with a pair of barrel-aged beers from Montague PEI’s Bogside Brewing. Bourbon Street is a velvety rich Porter that was aged in Kentucky Bourbon barrels (from a distillery featuring a close relative of the bison). At 10% ABV, be sure to sip slowly if you manage to find yourself atop one of these beasts! Nellie J is an ode to the Nellie J. Banks, the last rum running schooner seized in 1938, which attempted to keep those on Prince Edward Island well stocked during the province’s dark days of Prohibition, which did not end until 1948. Also 10%, this Porter has taken on notes of molasses, vanilla, dark chocolate, as well as that of the rum from the first use barrel. Both are available for retail sale in their taproom, as well as for delivery.

Happy Friday beer, cider, and mead fans! It’s getting to be the season of celebration and reflection, as we look back on the ”Year of Beer 2021” that was, and how beer (and life) will look in 2022. Your faithful ACBB authors will be taking a little pause during the next couple weeks to spend with family (growing family, in a couple of our cases!) and friends, and do our own reflecting on what is to come. Here be the last ACBB Friday Wrap-Up of 2021, and we’ll chat again soon!

Delta Force Brewing in Greenwich, Nova Scotia, has a fresh new beer available this week, Bap, a Korean toasted rice lager. Inspired by the Korean scorched sticky rice dish Nurungji, the fellas behind DFB actually toasted their own rice before adding it to the grain bill of this 4.5% ABV lager. The resulting copper lager features a touch of toasting from the process, but still remains refreshing, and the perfect pairing for Korean food, including fried chicken. Grab Bap, and everything from Delta Force, from their online shop, which is featuring a 10% discount for orders of 6+ bottles, or from an increasing number of spots in HRM, including Bishop’s Cellar, The Other Bean, and Pizzatown Cobequid.

Breton Brewing has visions of (sugar) plums dancing through our heads with their latest release, Let’s Jam Plum Sour. Building on their previous Let’s Jam releases, it features loads of plum to complement the acidity from the base beer. Available direct from the brewery and online, as well as in the Maritime Craft Beer Advent Calendar.

Back with another release in their rotating IPA Series, 2 Crows Brewing brings out Quiet Contemplation, a juicy, tropical, and lush IPA available now. They use the same malt base as the other IPAs in the series (Golden Promise, wheat, oats and dextrin malt) along with lots of mash hops, some hopback hops and massive amounts of dry-hopping.  This one is loaded with Vic Secret and Citra hops and brings a flavours and aromas of mango, mandarin, pineapple and passionfruit in a smooth 6.1% and 44 IBU package. It’s available now, online and in the taproom in 473ml cans. 

Cornwall, PEI’s Village Green has two new releases to round out 2021. Weird Clouds 8 is their latest in their IPA series featuring loads of Galaxy, Simcoe and Idaho 7, bringing lots of citrus, peach skin and some nice allium flavour from Simcoe. It’s 6.9% and is available in cans now. Second up is a Winter Warmer, brewed with Charlottetown good beer joint Hopyard. A seasonal favourite, it was brewed with brown sugar and a fine selection of warming spices to bring this dark and tasty style to life at 7.7%. Now available in cans and kegs, it will be pouring at Hopyard on PEI over the holidays. 

Port Rexton Brewing is celebrating Tibb’s Eve in style next week, with their taproom open Dec 23rd, 4 – 10 PM. Plenty of fun things planned for the evening (including a cask of their Gluten Free Porter with a ton of orange zest added), so let’s tell you about their annual celebratory beer that accompanies it! Tibbs the Saison is a 5.8% ABV Saison brewed with Fruit Bomb Saison from Escarpment Labs, displaying plenty of fruit and herbal character in a non-adjunct beer. Available now at the brewery, their St. John’s Retail Shop, as well as Urban Market 1919, Maries Mini Marts across the island, and local NLCs.

In the spirit of holiday get-togethers, two of Dartmouth’s breweries partnered up on a couple of beers for the holidays. Brightwood Brewing and New Scotland are releasing Fritz, a West Coast IPA inspired by the “father” of that style, Fritz Maytag (of Anchor Brewing, donchaknow!), and Wallonia Cranberry Farmhouse Ale, inspired by the birthplace of the Belgian Farmhouse Style. Exclusively available in 4-packs (two of each, of course) for an even $20 (tax and deposit included) at both breweries.

Across the Northwest Arm from peninsular Halifax, Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing decided to pound out some holiday brews for us all. Up first is Rusty Compass, the latest output of their Beer Creation Experience program. A 5.6% cream ale, it includes flaked corn in the grist to keep the body light and the finish crisp; it’s available in 500ml bottles or for fills and pints at the taproom. Next up is Pilot Boat, a collaboration with local espresso bar/grocery/art gallery Pavia. Nominally a “coffee ESB” it of course contains some coffee, but also a selection of specialty malts specifically selected to create a coffee-like character that could be enhanced by the addition of actual beans in the secondary. Coming in at 5.3% ABV and 33 IBU, you find this one on tap and for fills at Serpent, or in bottles exclusively at Pavia. Lastly but not leastly is Slowrider, Serpent’s latest foray into the New England/hazy IPA realm since Pavo. Somewhat slight, even for the style, at 5.3% ABV and 28 IBU, a little bit of Magnum for bittering gives way to whirlpool additions of Amarillo and Sabro, followed by a huge dose of Sabro in the dry hop. Plenty of high-protein adjuncts paired with the London Fog yeast strain make for a delightfully opaque presentation of hop goodness, but you’ll have to go to the brewery to get it, as it’s not packaged. In non-new release news, Serpent’s Eden is now available on tap at the Armview on the roundabout and White Mountain Witbier is available at Bishop’s Cellar for the first time.

Pulling the opposite trick from a couple weeks ago, we go Spryfield to Sackville (or is that Spryville to Sackfield?) this time, where Ol’ Biddy’s has a small batch coming out next Thursday just in time for your Xmas weekend. Available at the taproom for pints and growler fills only, it’s a bit of a big one, at 7.6% and 22 IBU. Aged on Madagascar vanilla and bourbon, look for big chocolate flavour and a smooth vanilla and bourbon finish. A fine pint to sip on after your shopping is done and you’re ready to relax.

On the Eastern side of PEI, Bogside Brewing has a couple new things this week as well, starting with a beer for a cause: Gimme Shelter is a blonde ale, crisp and refreshing at 5% ABV, and with $6 from every 6-pack sold going to the PEI Humane Society. On the (much!) heavier side is Bourbon Street Barrel Aged Porter, a big ol’ smooth, rich, and velvety concoction matured in Kentucky Bourbon barrels and weighing in at a hefty 10%. On draught at the taproom, but also available in a limited number of bottles to go.

Dildo, NL’s eponymous Dildo Brewing has a collaboration beer out with PEI’s Lone Oak, using their respective Provinces’ favourite root vegetables. Starky Bunch is a 5% lager using PEI Potatoes and Newfoundland turnips to produce 20% of the extract in this well-hopped clean and crisp American Pilsner. This is available in 473ml cans from Dildo now, and we hear Islanders will see it at Lone Oak as well in the coming weeks.

Deep in the Annapolis Valley, Smiths Cove’s Lazy Bear Brewing has debuted something a little different this week, a gruit! The Descendent uses juniper for flavouring and bitterness, rather than hops, producing a nice light coniferous character. Flexing the versatility of Kveik yeast to ferment just about anything thrown at it, The Descendent is available now at the brewery, as well as at their Market presence this weekend.

Staying in the Valley, where Annapolis Brewing Company has a brand new beer available as well. Left Coast Double IPA is ABC’s first DIPA and they’ve aimed to make it a classic example of the West Coast style. Mashed high to encourage some non-fermentable sugars that in turn lend some extra body, it was bittered with Magnum and hopped in the whirlpool with classic American varieties Amarillo and Centennial. Finished with a “whopping” dry hop of more Centennial, you can expect plenty of pine and citrus from this one, which is available on tap and in cans from the brewery.

Staying in Annapolis Royal, East Coast Cider Company has a new seasonal cider available today. Ambrosia Raspberry Cider is a semi-sweet, semi-dry cider offering using a base of their Ambrosia cider, with raspberry added in for a nice tart and sweet flavour. This 6% offering is available on tap and in cans at the taproom, or available to order online. 

Continuing West down the 101 highway, we come to Roof Hound down Digby way where they’ve put together a Chocolate Stout collection for the holidays. All built off the same base beer (we think!), each got a different holiday treatment: Wasted Days will be reminiscent of Peanut Butter Balls, Cinna-Bone will give you your chicken bones fix, Cherry Brandy will get you that liquor-filled cherry bon bons vibe, and the cleverly named 8:05 Mint will make you think of a green box, paper wrappers, and peppermint. Sounds like an awesome chance to share some fun beers with friends and/or family. Or four nights of contemplating a particular beer. You’ll find these in bottles, available as singles, as a Chocolate Stout Collection 4-pack, or as part of Roof Hound’s Holiday Box all on sale at the brewery.

Lots of news out of Halifax’s Good Robot Brewing this week. Firstly, they’re dipping their toes into the big lager market after their success with 10,000lb Pilsner with the release of Good Robot American Lager. Designed to be a “good, honest, cold lager,” at 5% ABV and available in 6-packs, maybe you’ll like it, or maybe it’ll just save you a trip elsewhere to get beer for your non-craftian party guests. Either way that’s a win! GR is also joining the throngs with the availability of Holiday Boxes. Two are available, the “Essential” box with eight GR beers and two pieces of custom GR holiday merch, and the “Deluxe” with eighteen brews and twice the merch content (four pieces). All come with a Holiday Card that they’ll fill out any way you like – GR does the work, you get the credit. And lastly, if you’re heading down there, GR is running a “Swabs for Pints” program to encourage folks to be smart and get tested. You show your evidence of a negative COVID test, either via a pic of your home test result or a text message from the testing program and they’ll sell you a pint at the lowest legal price. Wins for everyone!!

Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing have been happy little beer elves all year long and they’re bringing some holiday cheer with some new and returning releases. Golden Vanilla Latte is a favourite of TS fans, a blonde ale with lots of coffee and vanilla, brewed in collaboration with Epoch Chemistry coffee shop. Using lightly roasted coffee beans with lactose and vanilla, 3,000 litres of beer was aged, giving a vanilla latte flavour in the 5.0% ABV brew. Next up is another canned release, Pear Chai Sour, a sour ale using a tonne of Chai tea and 100 litres of pears. Pitched with Lactobacillus, you’ll get a fruity, sweet and sour notes at 6%. These two beers are available today in cans, growlers and pints at the brewery. Next Wednesday (December 22) there will be a limited release of FaceMelter, a Wee Heavy style beer coming in at 10%. A perfect style for the season, you get some boozy, malty, caramel flavours, but thanks to the use of honey dates in this brew, you’ll get some fruit notes as well. This was first brewed two years ago, but the honey dates are a new addition for 2021. There are only 100 bottles of this, and last time it sold out in one hour; only available at the brewery, of course.

Nyanza’s finest, Big Spruce Brewing, is back with a winter themed release making it’s return. Shrediquette is a New England IPA that is juicy, bold and fruity. Originally released in March 2020, this beer was going to debut at the Vermont Brewers Fest, but sadly, COVID cancelled that plan. This NEIPA is packed with El Dorado hops and uses Ebbegarden Kveik yeast to bring pineapple, guava and mango flavours to the soft and fruity esters from the yeast. This is available now in cans from the brewery and online. Also, like so many other breweries this year, Big Spruce has a special holiday box featuring 12 cans of 6 Big Spruce staples! Featuring 2 each of Kitchen Party, Cereal Killer, Ready Yer Knot Regatta Red, Guava Get Me Some, Tag! You’re It and Silver Tart, you can get this for $50 including free shipping in Canada!

Lake City Cider has a new release for the end of the year, adding to their Vine series of wine and cider mixes. Sparkling Apple Pinot Grigio is the latest release, featuring Pinot Grigio with a bit of freshly pressed Nova Scotian apples for the cider side. It’s light, delicate with notes of apple and pear with a very dry finish. Available in store or online in 750ml bottles at 9.6%. 

The news keeps coming out of North Brewing, this week in the form of a brand new one brewed with a shining light in the industry. Ren Navarro of Beer. Diversity. and Do Better. Be Better. is both a beer expert and a leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Who better to team up with on a collaboration beer? Pip Pip Cheerio is an English Porter at 4.5% ABV featuring a blend of specialty malts and a fermentation with the Sterling Ale yeast strain from Escarpment Labs. Expect a toasty brew, with nutty overtones and a soupçon of caramel and cherry. Grab it at any of North’s three retail locations or order it online. And consider giving do give Ren an Instagram follow at Beer Diversity if you don’t already!

Antigonish’s Candid Brewing really wants to do something to ease the mental and emotional load of the negative light cast on their town over the past couple of weeks. What better way to do that than beer and a spirit of giving? Over the holidays when you place an order that qualifies for free local delivery ($50 and up), you’ll find an extra beer in the box when it arrives: a can of their Kanpai rice lager in friendly community spirit with the Antigonish Townhouse. They ask that you “beer it forward” to someone deserving, be it a friend, colleague, or just someone who needs a pick me up. If you take a picture of that paying it forward and share it to social media (tagging Candid, natch), you’ll be entered to win a private tasting for six at the brewery. The draw will be held Christmas Eve at noon, so you’ve got a few days to get this done. So get thee to their brand new online ordering system and order up some beer, including a couple more brand new debuts that have hit the virtual shelves in the last seven days. Especially important for those in the HRM is that they will be doing a run to the big city next Tuesday (Dec 21), so submit your orders before 8 PM Dec 20 to get in on the action. $60 order minimum, and an order over $100 will get you free shipping, so grab a friend or two and get to clicking!

Heading down the road we’ll end our year in beer news in Stellarton, where Backstage Brewing is releasing Fare Thee Well, a Champagne IPA. This is on tap at the brewery now and bottles will be available early next week. Expect an effervescent beer with a dry finish and plenty of hop character. 

A couple of events to tell you about coming to a beer bar or podcast near you!

Obviously subject to change according to whatever might happen restrictions-wise in the next couple of weeks, if you’re looking for a beery NYE pre-party by all means head on down to the Stillwell Freehouse, where they’ll be running from 12 to 10PM giving you plenty of time to enjoy one-off kegs, staff favorites, and special snacks before you head on out to do your countdown thing elsewhere.

Whether you’ve got some time off coming up and you’re looking for some things to pique your interest, or you’re looking for some new content to help you get through the commute during this slow time of year, 902BrewCast has you covered. Tune in to their latest episode, recorded yesterday, but coming to a Tuesday near you (we suspect this coming one, December 21st), when they sat down with Lucas Mader from Bishop’s Cellar (Bishop’s Cellar! Bishop’s Cellar! Bishop’s Cellar!) to catch up on what’s in stock, what’s coming soon, and beery plans for the future. Grab it from their website or wait for it to appear in your favourite podcast app.

In a year full of ups and downs, let’s leave you with some happy news today… TAPestry Beer Bar is celebrating 6 months of bringing the best beers of the province to the fine folks in Lr. Sackville. Thousands of pints poured, Flight School Fridays to launch the weekend, and Kaisers subs consumed onsite, and there will be many more of those to come. Pop by their spot at 833 Sackville Drive to support those folks bringing great beer to great people!

We are just over two weeks from Christmas and ‘tis the season as they say! As the weather turns colder, the snow starts falling and we’re all going to get busier, so if you’re like us, you may want to stock up on those holiday bevvies now. With other things going on with the blog boys (that’s us) we have a (mostly) quick-hit style update for you, so let us know what you think about the format. Like, comment and subscribe! (Trust us, you don’t want to see us on YouTube.)

News from Spindrift kicks us off this week, with Hefe Weissbier releasing today (Friday). Made with a malt bill of wheat malt, Superior Pilsen and Carapils, and balanced with Magnum and Perle hops, this is a true to style 5.4% Weißbier, bringing banana and clove flavours, as you would expect. It’s available in 473ml cans at the Dartmouth and Antigonish locations, and also on tap for pints and growler fills.

Speaking of Antigonish this weekend (beer-wise), Half Cocked is releasing two beers and hosting an all-day Christmas Celebration. On Saturday from 2 PM onwards, there will be a pop-up from Teasdale Apothecary Co, leading into live music, tree lighting, ugly christmas sweater contest and food bank donations until close. This celebration coincides with the re-release of Pete’s Sake Blonde Ale and a new release with Teasdale Apothecary Co. Nobo is a Norwegian Farmhouse Ale made with hibiscus, dried cranberries, orange blossoms, bee bread and the Voss Kviek yeast strain. It’s 4.5% ABV and very soft on the palate, with delicate flavours. Both of these ales are available in cans at the brewery, but keep an eye out in coming weeks for kegs to make it to the HRM at Stillwell and Battery Park. With all of the COVID circumstances in Antigonish over the past week or so, be sure to keep an eye on the Half Cocked social media for any event-affecting updates. 

Next up is Rothesay’s Long Bay Brewery, releasing a new Winter seasonal beer, Forest for the Trees. This is a  Black IPA, with a touch of nutty roast flavour leading into big IPA flavours of tropical hops and a bit of resin, pine and a chocolate on the finish. Available now from the brewery and ANBL’s across Southern New Brunswick, you’ll find it in 473ml cans clocking in at 6% and 60 IBU.

Happy Birthday to Rough Waters! They’re celebrating their second anniversary and have a new release to commemorate the occasion. High Tide is a bourbon barrel-aged Witbier and the first barrel release from the brewery. Using their base recipe for Wits End, the beer was transferred to a Buffalo Trace bourbon barrel for aging after primary fermentation. After six months in the barrel, it was bottle conditioned for another month before being released. Apple, oak, and some spice from the bourbon barrel should pair nicely with the coriander and citrus from the witbier. This is available in 750ml corked and caged bottles only from the Deer Lake brewery. 

For the ciderheads out there, Lake City Cider is releasing Cider Royal, a collaboration with Compass Distilling, that sees their acclaimed Gin Royal and blended with the stalwart Lake City Darkside Dry. Classic botanicals from the gin, along with honey and royal jelly notes complement the dry, crisp and citrus notes from the cider. It pours a slight purple colour that is sure to please the eye as well as the palate. A very solid 8.5% ABV, it’s been packaged in 355ml cans available at the cidery and online for delivery. 

No strangers to holiday brews and bundles, North Brewing has both for us this weekend. First, a new release, Sequence, a classic Belgian table beer, is a 3.5% full-flavoured yet crisp and refreshing beer with citrus notes that will provide a lovely low-ABV option to have on hand this season. It’s available now in 473ml cans at all the usual places. And while you’re picking that one up, this week also sees a return of the sour series, Plush! We’ve seen Plush before in Peach, Raspberry and Blackberry variants, but this release is a straight up, unfruited dry-hopped sour. Galaxy and Bru-1 feature in the dry-hop to bring a big kick as soon as you open the can and take a sip.

Lastly, as briefly mentioned last week, North is doing a Holiday Box again this year, which features 12 cans of North beverages, along with a 15oz North stein. The stein is exclusive to the holiday box, but so is one of the beers. Eisbock, (literally, “ice bock”) is made by partially freezing a bock-style beer then removing the ice crystals, thus reducing the water content and raising the richness and ABV. The recently released Timberbock was the obvious choice for this process, and this release marks the first time North has done this style (at least, on purpose according to them!) and we can’t wait to try it.  Order all of these treats and check out more details on the North website or in their Timberlea, Battery Park, and Dartmouth locations. 

A big release in time for the cold weather is here from Copper Bottom: Knox’s Dam is a bourbon barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout. Named after a local site that was once a grist mill, and later a hydroelectric dam that powered the entire town of Montague, “Knox’s Dam now lays claim to one of PEI’s only man-made waterfalls and one of Eastern PEI’s best kept secrets.” The beer was aged for 12 months and tips the scales at a hefty 9.4%, and it’s available now from the brewery only. 

So you know you’re old (and probably a former English major) when you read in your email that Delta Force is releasing a beer, an English Barleywine, no less, called Tom Hardy and you think about how they’ve got another beer called Wessex and how they’re situated in the picturesque Annapolis Valley and you’re mentally whisked away to idyllic scenes from “Far from the Madding Crowd” and “The Return of the Native” and “The Trumpet Major.” And then you keep reading and you see a reference to the movie Inception (which you’ve shamefully never seen) and you’re jarred back into a reality where Tom Hardy is an actor and you were thinking of 19th century English novelist Thomas Hardy and you weep for your lost youth. So aaaanyways, building on the quote by Hardy’s character in Inception, “You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling,” the team at DF along with their good friend (and longtime Stilly bartender) Taylor Mappin endeavoured to interpret the classic style in a large way. Bottled in mercifully-sized 330ml bottles, this 11.5% ABV monster will no doubt make a lovely fireside sipper whilst you read (or, re-read) some classic English lit over the holidays, or perhaps watch that movie about the dreams and the hey hey.

Also available this week from Delta Force is a new batch of their Operation Assay APA. Taking a cue from the turn of the seasons, they’ve subbed in the classic “Chico” American ale yeast strain for the heat-loving Kveik they were using during the warmer months. Still a lovely straight-ahead APA at 5.3% ABV, still packaged in 500ml bottles. You can grab both of these releases through the usual channels and if you throw four more beers into that order, you’ll get 10% off your order!

Sometimes, despite all the best efforts, things go a little bit sideways. Such is the case with one of the summertime releases from Good Robot Brewing in Halifax. Limeade Switcha was a Fall collaboration release with The Limestone Group in their Goodwill Beer series. Unfortunately, any remaining cans of that beer, while still safe to drink, are not safe to hang on to. You can read the full explanation in this Fb post. We’d like to commend the GR team on doing the right thing here: they’re reaching out to the public, taking ownership, providing detailed instructions on disposal, and offering refunds on the affected beer. These things can happen to any brewery; it’s how the brewery responds that makes all the difference.

If you’re anything like us, you’ve enjoyed and appreciated quite a few beers from breweries in our region over the past few years that have featured tea and/or herbal infusions (“tisanes,” apparently!) from World Tea House on Argyle Street and it’s owner/resident tea nerd, Phil Holmans. When the team at 902BrewCast realized this, they decided it would be a great idea to do an episode with Phil and sample some of those beers. That episode is now up and available at the 902BC site or wherever you get your podcasts.

We’ve got another holiday beer box hitting Nova Scotia this season, as New Scotland Brewing takes a riff off of Quality Street chocolate boxes and brings us their Quality Beers 12 Days of Christmas collection. Featured in this box are their favourite releases over the past year along with one annual re-release and three brand new small batch brews. First up is the annual release of Slowburn, a chocolate and chili porter that was found on Nitro at the brewery in years past, but this year it has been canned for the first time ever. A medium-to-full bodied porter that is “double dry-hopped” with local chillies over four weeks bring a spicy and smooth mouthfeel along with black cherry and chocolate flavours at 6.1% and 34 IBU.

For the new releases, we start with Playlist, another porter, but more approachable and in a classic Porter style that is slightly roasty and a malt-forward flavour at 4.6%. Balanced Breakfast is another new can that is made with a bunch of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal! An American Brown ale made with massive additions of the cereal in the mash, the whirlpool and in the fermenter as well, this came out at 7.6% and should have a very interesting flavour profile.

Rounding out the new releases is Merry Citrus, their beer-y take on a Christmas Day mimosa. They’re calling it a Mimosa Lager, as it was brewed as a lager, but with extra enzymes added to mimic the bone dry finish of champagne. Additions of orange peel and orange, lemon, and lime juices make this a bubbly treat for the morning or anytime. Even at 6.3% it’s still lower than your average Mimosa, but if you’re concerned about day drinking you can share with friends! 

A couple of events going on these days, in the form of contests. With prizes!

Shelburne’s Boxing Rock Brewing has a holiday contest on the go this year, partnering with Sportwheels Sports Excellence to give away $1,000 in brand new hockey gear along with a year’s supply of Puck Off Lagered Ale. How much is a year’s supply? The best way to find out would be to enter and win, we think! Check out the official contest page for all the details on entering.

Those of us who are old enough to remember the late ‘90s (or are old enough that they should remember the ‘late 90s, anyway) know that 1997 was the magical year when craft breweries became a real “thing” in Halifax. Although Granite (RIP) had been around for a decade, ‘97 was the year when Garrison and Propeller (and Maritime Beer Company, ‘member them?) managed to cut through the red tape and open up. If you’re at all good at math you’ll be able to confirm that that means 2022 marks 25 years of Garrison Brewing in Halifax. As you can imagine, they’re fixing to celebrate that, starting with a contest. Check out this Instagram post for all the details, and brace yourself, we figure this is probably the first of many #cheersto25years posts to come over the next 12 months; hopefully all of them will involve fun contests and/or tasty beer!

A quick as the quick hits above were, these quick hits are, dare we say, quicker:

Big Spruce brings two returning favourites this week! First up, Kölsch Encounters is a 5.6% lagered ale with a great malt profile and a classic sparkling, crisp, and dry finish. Secondly, The Inhaled Affirmative is a 4.1% Pilsner that is crispy and complex in flavour, with notes of wheat, biscuit and a great balancing bitterness. Both of these are available in 473ml cans directly from the brewery, in-person or online (and usually some gets to Bishop’s Cellar and the other private stores in HRM as well). 

Joining the local craft non-alcoholic release train is Propeller! NA Lager releases today at 0.5% and is crisp and clean with light flavours of citrus and peach. Available in the super-crushable 355ml can format, this is available at both Propeller locations, their online store and several private stores in HRM. 

North Street’s Unfiltered Brewing in Halifax is back with another batch of Inducement IPA! As always they won’t give you anything to encourage you to drink it, but this 7.5% IPA, packed with Simcoe and Falconer’s Flight and available in cans, growlers, pints and kegs is its own reward. Grab it any time after noon today at the brewery and/or Charm School next door.

Keeping with returning favourites, Breton Brewing has a seasonal holiday release back today: Cocoa Envy is a Chocolate Porter with creamy, sweet, roasted flavours and a touch of coffee to boot. It’s 6.5% and cans are available now in their taproom or online for delivery. 

Ninepenny in Conception Bay South, NL, has another perfect release for the season with The Dragon. A Barrel-Aged Imperial Porter at 7.8%, it features oak flavours complementing plum and cherry notes from the porter, along with some fruity apple and pear esters. This is available only at the taproom in 500ml bottles. 

Another holiday release for the fine Maritimers comes from Foghorn in Rothesay. Festivus is a blend of their Maple Rye and Winter Warmer ales, aged for 6 months in oak barrels and conditioned on local blue berries. The resulting ale is complex with dark, sweet, and oak flavours. This 7.5% ale is available in 650ml bottles only from the taproom fridge at the brewery. 

Back in NS, Chester’s Tanner Brewing has a new hybrid beer release. Gamay is a blend of their house Saison recipe and 75lbs of freshly pressed Gamay Noir skins from Lightfoot & Wolfville. There were no commercial yeast additions with this beer: it was fermented solely by the wild bacteria present on the grape skins. Expect this one to have complex flavours and some great cherry notes as well. At 7% and 25 IBU, it is available in 500ml bottles 

Some beer-adjacent kitchen positions are available with a great bunch of folks over in Cole Harbour:

As we’ve previously mentioned, there are some big changes happening at North Brewing, and 2022 will see Side Hustle moving out on their own to Downtown Dartmouth and that means North will be doing their own Indian style street food and diner classics at their Cole Harbour location! Planning to open in January 2022, the North team is looking add full-time and part-time kitchen staff for their new food offerings. Line cooks, prep cooks and dishwasher are all needed; check out North’s job postings to find out more about the positions. Candidates can contact devan@northbrewing.ca with their resumé if interested.