North Brewing

All posts tagged North Brewing

We come to you with mixed emotions this week, as it was a big week in news for our Maritime region with COVID restrictions. With target dates for all restrictions being announced for all 4 of our provinces, you, me and all of our friends and family will feel some type of way. Regardless, we’re here to bring you the news from ales, lagers, ciders, meads and events as we try to do every week and a pandemic hasn’t changed that. More than ever, you’ll need to check your provincial restrictions but also the business’ own restrictions, as some establishments may still choose to keep their own policies. Be kind, be prepared and support your favourites and newly discovered places as safely and comfortably as you can! 

Some great, if unexpected news, from Rose Valley, PEI, this week, as Barnone (Bar None? Barn One? That joke never gets old) has announced they are back in business! After closing in 2021, Don Campbell teamed up with a group of local beer fans to bring life back into the hop farm-based brewery and the fruit of their labour is hitting taps around Charlottetown now! Their IPA, decidedly bitter and in the West Coast style, as well as their Milk Stout, are available on tap at The Olde Dublin Pub, The Claddaugh Oyster House, and The Local Pub, with plans underway to re-open the taproom (aka, the second floor of the brewery/barn), expand their brewery capacity, and get into canning in order to bring the good beer to you! Keep up to date on their progress on their Fb page, and we hope to have a full Profile with Campbell and Co once they are fully open and ready to rock!

Getting together for their second collaboration, Change is Brewing Collective and North Brewing have a new release you can get today. Deep Rooted is a 5.7% Brown Ale inspired by the classic African Nova Scotian cookbook, “In the Africville Kitchen: The Comforts of Home”. A brown ale made with brown sugar and molasses, it has sweetness from honey malt as well, bringing the classic malt flavour and smoothness from a brown ale.  North will be donation a portion of each sale of the can directly to Change is Brewing Collective and also offering 2 specials in the North Kitchen (Molasses BBQ Wings and Ice Cream Sandwiches with ginger molasses cookies and rum raisin ice cream), with proceeds from those sales going to the collective, as well. This is available in cans and on tap at North. 

Staying in Dartmouth, but switching to cider, Lake City has their annual seasonal coming out to get you excited for the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Green Ginger starts with their dry cider and sees additions of fresh pressed ginger root and a touch of chlorophyll to give it a festive green hue. Check out their webstore for a St. Patrick’s Day special featuring the 5.5% ABV Green Ginger and their Mac G fresh pressed cider. 

Staying close to Lake City (literally, next door), Brightwood Brewery released two new test batches on Tuesday, a.k.a. Twosday, a.k.a. 2/22/2022. Named after the infamous Top Guns, Maverick and Goose IPAs use the same recipe, except for the single hop varieties that they each showcase. Maverick features the Idaho 7 hop, leading to citrusy aromas like tangerine. Goose uses the Ella hop and leans more towards stone fruit notes such as apricot.  Both beers come in at 6% ABV and are only available on tap on Portland Street. Brightwood plans to iterate on this single hop series, with next week’s version showcasing Aramis hops, and future plans to use Bravo and Ariana. 

Let’s finish off this Dartmouth streak with a new release from Spindrift. Cardinal Red IPA features 100% Red X Malt, giving a deep crimson hue. Brewed in the west coast style (more malt character and bitterness), it uses a combo of Centennial, Citra, Comet and Vic Secret hops. Coming in at 5.5% ABV, you can expect notes of piney resin and citrus, all wrapped around a firm malt backbone and topped off with some fruity esters from the ferment.  Cardinal is currently available at the original Burnside location and their new taproom in Downtown Antigonish. 

Bringing a spin to a previous release, Landwash has made a sweater treat out of their Hazures Rock stout, adding an inspired sweetness to the coffee and ice cream or gelato Italian Affogato dessert. Affogato Hazures Rock is a 7% Coffee and Ice Cream Stout, featuring coffee from Cafe Terra Nova with lactose and vanilla additions. Do we need to say anything else? This sounds sweet and delicious. Adding to the fun, Landwash will be serving beer floats with this beer using ice cream from Cove Creamery. Cans are available now from the brewery, along with the usual Landwash retailers such as Marie’s, NLCs, Needs, Orange Stores, Urban Market, and more!

In “Coming Soon” news, Shelburne’s Boxing Rock has announced that they will be expanding their Halifax Test Kitchen in the spring, when Local Source opens their second location at the corner of Windsor and Almon. This will be a new and expanded space for both businesses, and allow BR more room for brewing up their small (120 litre) experimental brews, homebase for their extremely popular local delivery service, as well as a new hybrid e-commerce/in-person retail model. Keep an eye here, and on BR’s social media (IG/Fb), to be the first to know when their doors are open. Congratulations to Emily, Henry, and the entire BR team!

Let’s get you back to Newfoundland for this week’s Upcoming Events features!

Bar Brewdock, in St. John’s East Duck area, is hosting a trio of West Coast breweries this weekend, to give the East a better introduction to the West. Boomstick Brewing, Bootleg Brew Co, both of Corner Brook, and Deer Lake’s Rough Waters Brewing, have sent ten beer between them to showcase the best offerings in the region. Joining them is Chef David Vatcher of Best Coast Restaurant in Corner Brook, who is doing a Brunch Takeover of the kitchen 10 AM – 3 PM today and Saturday. Featuring his famous Eggs Benedict, Vatcher and Co will share his passion with those in the big city, who may even want to book a visit out to CB. To sweeten the pot, those visiting Brewdock today and tomorrow can enter in a draw for a prize package from the breweries, restaurant, Hew and Draw Hotel, and Marble Mountain, for a full weekend of fun!

And those in Corner Brook will be able to taste Brewdock without the travel, as Chef Chris Mercer will be making the trip to Best Coast Restaurant, March 4 & 5. And to return the favour, he and the Brewdock Crew will be bringing a van-load of East Coast beers to sling in the restaurant and Boomstick taproom. Mark your calendars now!

One of the signs of things starting to get back to normal-ish is the return of beer festivals and the Newfoundland Craft Beer Festival is leading the charge, starting with their East Coast event at the St. John’s Farmer’s Market on Friday, March 25th, and Saturday, March 26th from 7-10 PM. There are still tickets available for both sessions, and they’re hoping for some nice weather to ring in the spring season. Both days have a VIP option, which includes an extra hour of tasting starting earlier at 6 PM. All tickets include your beer samples (including new-to-market beers) and tasting glassware for you to use and take home afterwards. Tickets are $65 plus fees for the standard session and $75 plus fees for the VIP session and can be purchased through Eventzilla. There are also Designated Driver tickets (sold out for the Saturday session, sadly) at $10 plus fees. And if you’re a beer fan in NL but nowhere near St. John’s, look for the NLCBF West Coast version to happen in Corner Brook and the NLCBF Big Land edition to happen in Lab City on June 4th and June 11th, respectively; both are already 50% sold, so if you’re interested you should probably click the ticket purchase link above sooner rather than later.

In the grandest of grand traditions, here are this week’s quick hit newsbites:

Kicking off the quick hits to end this week’s post, Tusket Falls Brewing has a new batch of their excellent Hazy IPA, Control The Tempo. Typically brewed with a hop bill of Cascade and Citra, this time they’ve added some Simcoe to the recipe. This is 6.2% and available in cans at both of their locations. 

Unfiltered is back with a tasty re-release, Isolator, an oak-aged Doppelbock is back in cans and on tap. At 11.5% this is a slow sipper (or drink it however you please!) bringing warmth, sweet rich and malty flavour. Get it while you can!

No stranger to this blog in 2022, Delta Force Brewing is keeping up with the quick newsbites. The farmshed crew has put together a sale for the next 5 weeks on their take on a classic West Coast IPA, Operation Stronghold. If you buy a 4 pack, you get $6, bringing it to $22. Visit their website or email them to place an order now, or before the end of March. 

Fredericton’s Trailway Brewing has brought back their Stormy Weather IPA, just in time for this week’s next round of the white stuff… At 6.0% ABV, this hazy beaut features loads of Vic Secret, with the assist by Mosaic, for a face full of tropical fruit in the name of peach, pineapple, and berries. Available on tap at the brewery now, with cans and growlers to go, plus look for it on the rotating taps at better beer bars in the region soon.

It’s that time of year, as breweries are in build-up mode, getting ready for what will surely be an extremely busy spring and summer. We’re keeping our eyes peeled for job openings, and encourage those with job postings, or looking to get hired at a brewery to reach out, maybe we can help make a connection!

The crews at 2 Crows Brewing are looking to fill a part-time position as soon as possible. Helping with Packaging and Bartending at the taproom is the job and they are full on board with accessibility and inclusivity. Check out the full info from the Crows here or check the Careers page on their website

And back to Mount Pearl, where Landwash Brewery are gearing up for more fun in the taproom, and bringing on a Taproom and Events Manager. Juggling those all-important Beertenders as well as scheduling the fun events and activities that bring folks in, and back, for pints, it’s no small feat! Check the job listing and apply today!

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!