O’Creek Brewing

All posts tagged O’Creek Brewing

Happy First Friday, Beer fans! We’ve made it through January, and have been welcomed into February with yet another blast of weather. As they shovel out, or contend with icy conditions, be sure to check your favourite brewery, cidery, or good beer resto’s social media to ensure they’re open before heading out. And even if they are, take your time out there! 

Good Robot Brewing has teamed up with BLK Women in Excellence to release their latest Goodwill Partnership beer. Tia Upshaw is empowering and educating Black Women in business in Nova Scotia and across Canada, through her non-profit’s courses and mentoring partnerships. The Goodwill Beer Cherry Vanilla Porter is a vehicle to spread the word of Upshaw’s efforts, it also brings in $0.50 per can for BWiE’s programs. And the folks at GRBC got in on helping directly in the community in December, as they delivered turkeys and holiday care packages to residents in Mulgrave Park, helping Upshaw in her endeavours. Working with Upshaw on the recipe formulation, the Cherry Vanilla Porter builds on a hefty 7.0% chocolatey and toasty Porter base, with light notes of vanilla and cherry completing the full package.Goodwill Beer is available online and at their retail shop in cans right now, including in their Valentine’s Day Box, and on tap as Good Robot is celebrating the re-opening of their taproom today (check their IG for any weather-related changes), we can all do our part to elevate, amplify, and make room for more voices in the beer community.

This week’s cider news of note comes from Annapolis Cider Company where they’ve released a new entry in their long-running Something Different series. Cranberry Mule is ACC’s answer to the Moscow Mule cocktail, but with a twist. All the classic components are there: a cool-fermented cider provides the booze and the bubbly base, some ginger juice and a squeeze of lime the spicy and tart notes. The departure from the norm is the addition of fresh-pressed local cranberries that provide a little more tartness and some cranberry flavour along with a lovely scarlett hue. If you want to be completist about it, floating a mint leaf or two on top wouldn’t be a bad idea, but we’re sure this 6.1% ABV light-bodied, clean-finishing cider will be plenty pleasing on its own. As with all Something Different entries, $0.50 of each growler fill will go towards a charity; this time it’s B for Kai, an organization encouraging education around Meningitis B and raising vaccination rates against it.

Dieppe’s Flying Boats has released their latest seasonal beer, British Bulldog Best Bitter. Despite the name, this is not an overly bitter beer, but rather a New World interpretation of the classic English style. At 4.6% ABV, the style is a favourite of pub goers out for a session, with a moderate malt character and a balancing hop presence (Flying Boats has opted for local- and US-grown hops for a bit of a twist). Taking the opportunity to give back to their community, sales of British Bulldog will go towards Youth Impact Jeunesse, a Moncton-based charity supporting young adults with social, emotional, and behavioural challenges. Merchandise featuring Leroy Brown, the bulldog featured on the label, will also be available to collect even more for programming at YIT. Available in cans, pints, and for growler fills at the brewery, the ANBL will be stocking cans as well.

Starting an almost unnerving run of news from breweries whose names begin with the letter ‘T’, Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing has two new ones for us this week, both of which look well-suited to a winter weekend when you’re not going much of anywhere. Up first is Banana Bread Brown Ale, which is, as you’d expect from the name, an homage to the not-quite-a-dessert-but-not-supper-either foodstuff that has saved a million bananas from the compost heap. With some spicy elements in the grain bill and some rum for good measure, it was conditioned on 35kg of puréed bananas. Expect this one to lead with maltiness, with some sweetness from the banana and a bit of zip from the specialty grains. Coming in at 6.0% it’ll probably have just a little bit of a warming kick to boot. Available from the brewery for pints as well as fills and cans to go.

Moving from a very traditional beer with a bit of a twist to a very modern beer but also with a bit of a twist we have Chocolate-Lavender White Stout. This is the second time they’ve made this beer, the first being a small batch on their pilot system last fall that led to rave reviews and justified a full production run. A basic white stout (if such a thing exists), where the light colour belies the gentle roasty character it exhibits on the palate, it was sweetened and smoothed by additions of lactose and vanilla before conditioning on 30kg of cacao nibs and lavender. How much lavender? Literally ALL the lavender that was available in the Moncton region (seriously, hope you’re not looking for lavender in Moncton right now). Not too light, but not too heavy at 6% ABV, you can rightly expect this one to provide comfort and warmth in the middle of this weekend’s weather (assuming you can get some in time). Grab some cans or a fill to go or sit and reflect on a pint in the taproom. And, having just looked at the weather, you’re probably waiting until next week on this one. But there’ll probably be another storm then? 

Things tend to slow down a bit during Atlantic Canada winters, giving some breweries a chance to experiment with new styles or to fill their tanks with something that might take a bit longer to see a glass. Chester’s Tanner & Co. Brewing is doing just that with the release of Brut IPL. This cold-fermented lager uses a special enzyme to give the carbonation a champagne quality. Expect tropical and berry hop aromas and flavours from whirlpool and dry-hop additions of Motueka & Nelson Sauvin. Tanner has packaged this one in bottles, coming in at 6.3% ABV and 20 IBUs. It’s available now at their two retail locations and for delivery via their online store. 

Bedford’s Topside Brewing has news of their latest draught release, coming to better beer bars (or possibly your home fridge!) very soon. The Old Buffer is a 5.5% English Strong Ale, named after Topside’s owner Blair Tobin’s Chief Boatswain Mate during his time in the RCN. And much like its namesake, it is strong and tough, featuring big malt notes of dried fruit, toffee, and a touch of Noble hop grassiness. In addition to kegs, we hear that a cask of The Old Buffer will be pouring at The Henry House before too long, and may even be bottled for at-home enjoyment. Reach out to Tobin to learn more about keg options for both home and restaurant!

Tusket Falls Brewing has the latest in their Experimental series this week with a 6.0% Coffee Porter now pouring both at the brewery and at their Gottingen Street Beer Project locations. Featuring plenty of Counter Culture “Fast Forward” beans in the beer, taking on a distinct flavours of roast, nutty, and even a touch of biscuit on the palate. As with all of these small batch releases, you’ll have to make your way to the source as these are draught-only and in very limited supply!

And we’ll finish spilling the ‘T’ this week with Tatamagouche Brewing, who have a super special treat for us this week, a beer in the classic Belgian Oud Bruin style they’re calling Reverie. The base for this one was brewed a couple of years ago, starting with Pilsner and Munich malts, but with plenty of specialty malts to provide deep notes of caramel, chocolate and dark fruit, a touch of Saaz hops provided the finishing touch. It was co-fermented with the clean Arset Kveik strain alongside Escarpment Labs’ Belgian Sour Blend, a mixed culture of Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus. Left to develop for over two years in red wine barrels, it was packaged and bottle conditioned for an additional six months. Tasting notes from the brewery suggest it’s developed a pleasant acidity, with deep notes of fruit, including cherries and plums, and plenty of rich malt character. Available from the brewery in 500ml bottles; we recommend getting a couple or three, as Oud Bruin is a style that tends to continue to develop in the bottle!

KV’s Hammond River Brewing is celebrating the return to Level 2 with a new beer this week. The Same One is described as a “New England Session IPA”, as it takes the best bits of the New England Style, but in a sub-5% package. Hopped exclusively with the Aussie Eclipse hop, the 4.9% ABV beer is full of citrus and fruit notes, with a lighter mouthfeel to keep you coming back for another (you know, the same one). Available on tap for pints and growlers at the brewery now, with kegs heading out across the province to their licensees shortly. If cans are more your style, they’ve got those too!

A few returning favourites to close out today…

Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing has another big, bold release in their line of pastry stouts, namely the Mascaret. Featuring cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and coconut, this 11.0% beer is a bottled-exclusive, available in limited supply at Dieppe’s CAVOK Brewing, Grimross and Picaroons in Fredericton, and Sussex Ale Works.

A new drop of fresh hoppy goodness is becoming the norm for Friday’s at Unfiltered Brewing. Cans of their Fist of God DIPA are back in stock today and it’s also pouring next door at Charm School. You know the drill: 8.0% ABV, face-punching hop character, cans, pints, fills, etc.

Not to be outdone, New Brunswick’s own hop hawkers, Trailway Brewing, are also re-releasing a well-loved IPA today in the form of the latest batch of Urban Sabrero. This time leveraging a Lupomax™ version of tropical and coconutty Sabro for maximal juicy hop character, this 6% low-bitterness beer is bursting with sweet tangerine and piña colada flavour and aroma.

Sea Level Brewing has a couple of return engagements this week: longtime brew El Rojo Diablo, a red ale at 7.666% and newer school Light in the Dark Kölsch-style session ale at 4%. Both are available at their Millstone Harvest Brewhouse location packaged in cans or available for fills to go, as well as for pints to sit and sip.

 

Happy Friday beer and cider drinkers of Atlantic Canada. We’ve reached the mid-point of November, which means you’re about to start hearing way more Boney M. on the radio and the holiday-themed beverages will be rolling out of tanks across the region. And while we certainly have a few big, wintery beers to tell you about, you’ll be comforted to know that your favourite producers are still bringing you new IPAs, sours, ciders and sessionable ales as well. Holiday-creep also means that way-too-early Black Friday sales are everywhere, which is a perfect excuse for us to remind you to buy local this holiday season. Gift cards, glassware, swag, a year-long subscription to ACBB, or just some good ol’ fashioned fermented beverages from your favourite producers all make perfect gifts. Your support helps to ensure that they can keep giving you the good stuff, and we’ll keep telling you about it every Friday.

Let’s start off with some news from the smaller producers in our region! O’Creek Brewing based in Dieppe, New Brunswick, leads us off with a banger of a beer in bottles. While known near and far for their love (and great execution) of New England IPAs, as the weather turns a bit chillier, sometimes you need something else in your glass! Enter Coffee Island, a brand new release that spent time in their oak foeder, built for them by New World Foeders on Prince Edward Island. The base Imperial Stout was aged in wood for about 9 months, before a cold-brew concoction was added shortly before bottling. This was not any old coffee, however, as these beans were aged in bourbon barrels before roasting, courtesy of Matera Brasseurs in Montreal. Notes of oak, roast, bourbon and coffee come together in this 10.4% ABV sipper, and will be available shortly at several ANBL locations, as well as the Picaroons Roundhouse Brewtique.

Located in Colby Village, Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, you’ll find another small producer serving their local community, Hardisty Brewing. Their latest release is honouring the region’s, and their own, heritage, with a spot-on name, Heritage Rye IPA. Recognizing and reflecting on Acadian roots, as well as a history of brewing in their family, they have slightly tweaked their motto “Inspired by Community” to “Inspirée par la famille”. This 6.0% ABV beer showcases the spicy and ester character of the Rye malt used in the base beer, and follows through with enough bitterness (to the tune of 48 IBU) to balance everything out. Heritage Rye will be available this weekend in Hardisty’s Winter Special, a mixed 8-pack of beer perfect for the cooler weather. And to keep your noggin warm as well as your belly, a Hardisty Brew toque is included! The Winter Special is now available for purchase on Hardisty’s website, where they have also launched their special Dartmouth-wide shipping. On Thursday November 18 and December 16, residents in Dartmouth will be able to take part in the fun that until now only folks in Cole Harbour have been able to enjoy: Hardisty Brew right to your door! Fear not, CH folks, your usual weekly deliveries are still happening. 🙂 And if you’re not lucky enough to live on the Darkside, Heritage Rye will be on the shelves at Harvest Wines in the next week or so, joining a few other Hardisty offerings..

Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing has some things on the go, starting, of course, with a new beer. Judas is a Belgian Blonde Ale, a refreshing and easy-drinking pale yellow beer with esters of plum and pear, that they’ve balanced with sweet malt and a low but still very present bitterness. Coming in at 5% ABV and 35 IBU, expect more character and body than you’d find in a pale lager, but still a fairly crisp finish. Grab it at the brewery today. You can also now order online for next day delivery or, if you’re not local to NS, nationwide shipping. Details are available on their website. And if you’d like to learn a little bit more about the brewery, owner/brewer Glen O’Keefe sat down with Tony and Kyle from the 902BrewCast (‘member them?) for their first brewery episode in over a year and that episode is online for your listening pleasure! Get it from the source or find it through your favorite podcast app. Meanwhile, if you’re like us and you’ve busted your 902BC glass, they’ve got them available again for $10; message them via Instagram to arrange.

We’re a little late to the party on this one, but Port Rexton Brewing put out a new release in their Continuum series of hazy IPAs last week. This one, however, veers away from the “hot” hops generally used in this style and takes a flyer on a couple of Continental hops largely unknown on these shores. Styrian Dragon is a Slovenian hop developed over the last number of years by the Slovenian Institute of Hop Research and Brewing in Žalec, and is known as an aroma (late-addition) hop with notes of floral citrus, grapefruit, lemon, berries, rose, and tropical fruit. Malling, on the other hand, has been around for a long time, a descendant of English hops that were imported to Austria to rebuild their hop industry after disease and the Second World War decimated it. Named for a village in Kent, where a Mr. Golding lived, it’s known for minty and peppery notes. Together these hops provide the latest Continuum with aromas of gummy candy, flavors of citrus and berries, and some minty character. It’s 5.9% ABV and is the first in the series to be packaged in cans; get it at the brewery and the St. John’s retail shop now and look for it on tap at PR tap accounts and retailers.

In nearly beer news this week, Upstreet out of Charlottetown has released a new entry under their Libra brand of non-alcoholic beers, Libra Stout. Tasting like “a light iced-mochaccino” it brings the typical characters of coffee and chocolate while being low calorie. This one was a trial batch so only available at Upstreet locations, but they’ve already hinted that they’ll be making more in the future. Which brings us to Libra Pilsner, which this week is graduating from a similar trial release back in the summer to wider distribution at Sobeys and other retail partners. Crisp and slightly malty, it’s also got some floral notes from the use of traditional Saaz hops.

Upstreet is still making not-just-nearly beer as well, and they’ve got a new IPA coming soon to replace Black Tie on the shelves of PEILLC for the Fall/Winter season. Blue Meanie marries the flavor of blueberries (thanks to blueberry concentrate) with bright Lemondrop and dank/fruity Mosaic hops, all carried by a decidedly colder-season ABV of 8%. Tart, semi-sweet, with pineapple, blueberry, and lemon notes prominent, it boasts 30 IBUs of balancing bitterness. Look for this one starting next week.

Longtime fans of Halifax’s Good Robot may remember the time they took their Mississippi Goddam American Barleywine and put it in bourbon barrels for six months, kicking off their barrel program with a bang. That was four-ish years ago now, but those who have been waiting with bated breath for the next BA beer from GR can finally heave a sigh of relief. Barrel Aged Tom is what happened when they took their stalwart Tom Waits for No One American stout and sat it in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels for 6 months. Still bringing the coffee and chocolate notes of the regular version, the barrel adds some smoky oak and sweetness to the mix. Of course, the residual spirit bumped the ABV a little, taking it from 7.9% to more like 10.5%, which no doubt also adds a little (more) alcohol warmth to the mix. Released on Wednesday in 650 mL bottles with a swank metallic label, you might want to invite a friend or two to come on up to the house to share it. Or, y’know, accept an invitation to the blues, explore the bottom of the world, and wind up sleeping on the cold cold ground with the rain dogs. Get it at the brewery or order it online for delivery.

Over in Dartmouth, Lake City Cider is making sure you’re ready for the coming season, both holiday and meteorologically speaking. Spice Up Your Life, re-released today, isn’t a paean to the Spice Girls (well, it could also be that), but mostly the self-describing name of their latest offering. Featuring your favorite winter spices, namely cinnamon, ginger, clove, and nutmeg, along with some dried orange peel, this off-dry cider comes in at 6.8% ABV and has been packaged in 750 mL bottles. Look for it at the cidery or order online for pickup or delivery.

Back across the harbour to Halifax, where Propeller Brewing is continuing to lean firmly into the “dark beers for the dark months” model. We told you last week about the return of their London Porter, which we were a little early on (sorry folks!), but it turns out there’s more than one reason for the return of that beer. First, people like it and want to drink it; second, because the fine folks at the brewery took a portion of the batch and created another beer with it. Wild Cherry Porter is out today and sees that very London Porter treated to some time in the tank with wild cherries. Still 5% and still boasting plenty of chocolate and coffee character from roasted malts, the cherries add some sweetness and richness along with the flavor you’d expect. A bit of a treat for a cold day or sock a couple away for the impending holiday season. Available in 4-packs of cans for ordering from their website; you should be able to get singles in person at the Prop shops, and we suspect you’ll see it pop up at some tap accounts for draught pours as well. It’s also available in singles on the holiday rack at select NSLC locations throughout the Province.

And keep an eye out for the London Porter itself; here’s what we wrote last week about it before redacting it in shame: “Also returning is Propeller’s London Porter, another flavourful dark beer, emphasizing the chocolate over the roast (though roast is still present), on a drier finish. These characteristics, as well as the 5.0% ABV, put it soundly in the “traditional” style for a porter, close to that of an iconic London brewery that has been brewing it for decades, carried on the historic style. On tap at Propeller locations now and cans coming soon, this beer will see distribution during the remainder of Fall and into Winter.”

For those looking for something even darker, richer, and stronger, it’s that time of year again when we see the return of what might be considered the granddaddy of big beers in our region: Revolution Russian Imperial Stout. Although it doesn’t come in those awesome 500 mL slope-shouldered bottles anymore, it still has all the intense chocolate, dark fruit, and coffee flavors you remember along with a balancing bitterness and a slightly warm alcohol finish. Weighing in at a hefty 8% ABV and 60 IBU, you’ll find it starting today at the Prop shops and available for online ordering in four-packs of 473 mL cans, and in singles from select NSLC locations, with some tap accounts pouring it as well.

We won’t fault you for thinking that maybe you were going to get through a week without having to head down to 2 Crows and grab yet another tasty release. But if you did, once again you thought wrong. Frequenters of the tap room will know Tessa, their tasting room manager and social media coordinator. Well now you can add beer designer to the list, as this week’s release is Tessa’s brainchild. As Tessa is one of the biggest proponents of sours in the building, it’s natural that this one started in mid-2019 with the standard 2C golden sour as a base, this one fermented and conditioned long and slow in the barrels used for the Megadregs project of several years ago, taking on a complex sour character with a hint of coconut. From there, the goal was to develop lemon and lavender characters; the lemon was relatively straightforward, with a small amount of fresh lemon juice added to barrel to complement the already present lemony and floral vibe created during fermentation. But the lavender was a bit of a more difficult ask, as nobody wants a soapy character to their beer. Thanks to some advice from the fine folks at Meander River Brewery, the gang learned that the lavender stems and flowers can be boiled in a small amount of water to draw out a nuttier lavender character. This water was added along with a hit of fresh lemon zest shortly before bottling, and the beer bottle conditioned for several months. The result is a 5.5% ABV beer, sour and complex, but also bright and spritzy, where the lavender is layered and subtle and the lemon provides some extra zip. You’ll find it available today in 375 mL bottles at the brewery and available via online orders for pickup or delivery as well. If you grab some, take a minute to appreciate the lovely label, also designed by Tessa, and for a triple play of Tessa-ness, maybe check out her recently released EP on Spotify too!!

If you’re in the mood for something a bit richer this weekend, check out Ol’ Biddy’s Brew House for the release of their new Double Chocolate Stout. This small batch brew was made with copious amounts of Chocolate Malt and 2 pounds of cocoa powder, for good measure. Coming in at 26 IBUS and an approachable 6.8% ABV, it showcases notes of chocolate and roasted coffee beans. Head to the taproom in Lower Sackville ASAP if you want to try it, with only two kegs being available before it’s gone.

What to drink this weekend, and where? We’ve got you covered!

A reminder that tomorrow, November 13th, Copper Bottom Brewing in Montague is marking their 4th Anniversary, complete with live music all day (noon til 9 PM), food specials by their resident food truck, The Pizza Box, plus $5 pints and beer slushies! And launching is Birthday Beer 4, a 5.6% Mango IPA. Dry-hopped with Amarillo and Simcoe, along with plenty of mango puree to really dial up the tropical fruit flavour, it will be available on draught and in cans in-house and online.

While in Montague tomorrow, you can also pop by Bogside Brewing, who is launching a new look to their Lighthorse Lagered Ale. From 12 – 9 PM, visitors will enjoy staff-priced pints of Lighthorse (just $5!), with performances by the PEI Regiment Band from 1 – 3 PM, Blizzard Goat Band 3:30 – 5:30, and Carter MacLellan closes out the evening from 6:30 on. This collaborative brew with the PEI Light Horse Regiment was first released in October 2019, and part of tomorrow’s pint and can sales will be donated to the Last Post Fund.

Newfoundlanders, your next two weeks are shaping up to be busy!

First off, Quidi Vidi Brewery has teamed up with Basho Restaurant to release the latest version of their Bog and Barrens beer, Yuzu Rice Lager. Launching next week, this beer was designed to pair perfectly with Tak Ishiwa’s cuisine at this local Japanese restaurant. So what better way to celebrate than with a pairing dinner? On November 16 and 17, Ishiwa will be bringing a 5-course pairing menu to the QV gut to showcase how well food and beer go together. While Tuesday’s event is sold out, tickets are available for Wednesday’s dinner, and available on the QV website. And keep your eyes peeled for the beer to be released in cans in the next few days!

In East Duck, Bar Brewdock is hosting an interprovincial tape takeover next week that is so big it needs two days to contain! Next Friday and Saturday, Nov 19 and 20, the fine folks from PEI’s Lone Oak Brewing are skipping the causeway and flying straight into St. John’s, pouring a full dozen of their beers. From core brands like South Shore Sour and Fixed Link Pils, as well as special and one-off releases like Blueprint and Otis, there will be plenty for folks to try. If you’re like us and know that Brewdock actually has 24 draught lines (!!), you may be wondering, “Hey, what else might I see on tap that weekend?”. Well, we can spill that joining LOB on tap for the weekend is none other than Dildo Brewing Co. With fresh releases like the DO-X Italian Pilsner, Lassie Brown Ale, to the classic I’se Da Bye PA, Dildo is sure to show up and please everyone who pops in for the swally. An event this big could use some epic food to pair, so Crumb & Pickle are taking over the kitchen! Sandwiches and more, plants are what’s for dinner on Duckworth from 12 – 9 PM Friday and Saturday! No tickets necessary, just show up early and show up often, to drink the best from our two Atlantic Canadian island provinces.

And rounding out the great events occurring this month in Newfoundland is the return of the 12 Beers of Christmas. Hosted at the St. John’s Farmers Market on November 26 and 27, while the Saturday show is sold out, there are still a few tickets for Friday’s event. Despite the name, there are waaaaay more than 12 beers pouring, with a great combination of Newfoundland and Labrador breweries, as well as those from outside of the region. Look out for the first time in Nfld history to see Boombox Brewing from Vancouver, and New Level from Calgary pouring in the province. Grab your tickets now before you’re left out in the cold!

A few more quick hits today…

Fredericton’s Trailway Brewing has a new iteration of their Velvet Fog milkshake IPA available this week. With vanilla and lactose as usual given the sweetness and body the style is known for, the fruiting this time is pineapple and mango. 6.0% ABV and available from the source.

Speaking of hazebombs, one of Quebec’s finest purveyors of that style, who collaborated with Trailway last year, is Lagabiere from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Why are we telling you this? Because the beer saints at Bishop’s Cellar have managed to bring in four beers from Lagabiere that, rumor has it, will be available tomorrow: Ta Meilleure IPA, Ta Plus Meilleure DIPA, Ta Valeur Sour IPA, and Nice ‘n Hazy APA. We recommend you move fast on these, as we suspect they won’t last long.

Over on Beer Advocate, a member of the beer exchange group known as CanBIF (Canada Beer-it-Forward) has set up an arrangement to encourage charitable giving this month. In short, if you make a $100 donation to a local (to you) charity of your choice and provide proof of same to the organizer, you will be entered in a draw for a box of lovely beers from participating breweries (mostly Ontario, local to the organizer, near as we can tell, though if you’re a brewer reading this and want to take part, we can help make that happen!). Entries must be received by November 27th, with a random draw taking place on November 28th. Full details, along with info about participating breweries, is available in this BA post. While donating to local charities is always rad, it’s especially so at this time of year, and maybe you win some beer too.

Foghorn Brewing Co.has seen the return of their Undercover Hop New England Pale Ale out this week, restocking their can and draught inventory. Each batch of this series will be brewed using an unnamed experimental hop variety, this one being HBC 586 from Yakima Valley Hops. The description from the hop producer suggests lots of fruit flavours including mango, guava and citrus. Coming in at 6% ABV, Undercover Hop is available now in cans and on tap.

Further south in Rothesay, Long Bay is releasing Brew Number 22 in their Ex-Beeriment series. For this one, Long Bay set out to create a sessionable ale with just enough hop character and bitterness to keep things interesting. Consisting of Golden Promise and Maris Otter malts, and the exclusive use of Eclipse hops, the hoppy session ale came in at 4% ABV and 25 IBUs. Find it on tap at the Long Bay taproom now.

It’s well past the midpoint of August now and we’re sitting here melting into puddles and wondering when the soothing cool nights we’re usually enjoying by this point in the year are. Thankfully, our region’s breweries are stepping up to ensure we’ve got plenty of beer to keep us refreshed and to help us forget that our planet is on fire. Wheeee! While we’re still a ways away from our target vaccination numbers for the “new normal” Phase 5 / Green / Alert Level 1, we’re definitely hearing and seeing evidence that there are more folks visiting from out of the region and more people trying to get out and enjoy themselves. We’d like to remind everyone to be smart and be kind when it comes to their interactions over the coming weeks. If you’re seeing lots of people, try to be outside about it, continue to take advantage of the free testing facilities that are still available, and try not to put vulnerable folks at risk. Most of all, be good to each other, and especially to those folks who are working in restaurants that are just opening up or just expanding service. People are adjusting to being back at work after long layoffs, restaurants are adjusting to higher demand and a different balance of takeout/delivery and in-person dining, and everyone is learning how to be out in public again. We’re still all in this together!!

We’ll start off this week with a Halifax brewery that doesn’t constantly pump out new releases, but instead focuses on consistency and quality delivered with attitude: Unfiltered Brewing. Of course, you probably figure that if we are talking about them, it’s because they do have something new, and you’d be right about that. Featuring a name you have to be old enough to appreciate, Gazoo is a 4.5% ABV key lime sour. Bright, tart and a fairly low ABV, it’ll be an excellent refresher for the awfully humid weather the HRM has been enduring. Although it won’t magically fix everything, it’s got some awfully cute little antennae on the label to boot; if you’re wondering why, you need to get more Flintstones into your life. Grab some at the brewery before it disappears back to Zetox. While you’re at it, you can also grab some Hellevator, their 7% “juicy malt bomb” with all German ingredients (save water) that has returned for another run, and also some ultra fresh DOA, the most Citra beer that ever Citra’d.

Despite being on Canada’s east coast, Newfoundland’s Split Rock Brewing Co.’s location on North Twillingate Island affords it an unobstructed westward ocean view, which means beautiful sunsets filling the summer sky. In a nod to this, Split Rock is releasing Golden Hour, a 6.5% juicy IPA. Expect big tropical, stone fruit and citrusy notes from additions of El Dorado, Galaxy and Amarillo hops, with mostly late additions keeping the bitterness low. Grab a pint now at the taproom (may we suggest around sunset time). 

Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing may be best known for their juicy and flavourful New England IPAs (Route 117 and Citra in a Galaxy come to mind), but this week they’re bringing something completely different. Has Been is a Grisette, a lighter-bodied and more delicate French/Belgian Farmhouse Saison. While low in alcohol, at just 4.3% ABV, it features plenty of lovely notes from the Lemondrop and Motueka hops used, complemented by the use of Jotünn kveik yeast from Escarpment Labs, for a dry and spritzy beer with a fruity and herbal finish. On draught only, so put Le Barbu and CAVOK in Dieppe, as well as Tide & Boar Brewing on your shortlist to visit this weekend. And if your looking for something a little different, Caffé Latte is coming to Le Barbu in the next day or two. This is a Milk Stout (a touch of lactose sugar used for body and residual sweetness) with cold-brewed coffee added to the secondary. Keep an eye on IG to see that tapping announcement!

Up on the North side of Nova Scotia, Tatamagouche Brewing has one new beer hitting the shelves this week and a couple of returning favorites as well. Up first is the newbie with a name, Herlihy, that, if you’re old and decrepit like us, you might think you recognize from early 90s Saturday Night Live (“Let the boy water your plants!”), but which is actually a reference to a road in Tabusintac, NB, and is pronounced Her-Lee-High rather than Her-Li-Hee. An Irish Stout with a fairly low ABV at 4.5%, the grist consists largely of pale malt with some crackery biscuit malt and chocolate malt to bring roasty chocolatey flavors and a deep dark color. UK hop variety Fuggle provides its classic spicy, herbal, and resiny profile, and the London ESB yeast strain ensures plenty of body and a smooth mouthfeel. Look for this one in cans at the brewery for now.

If, however, you’re looking for something at the lighter end of the spectrum, the latest batch of Pausa Pranzo Italian Pilsner is available now, this time with a little heavier hand with the Ariana on the dry hop but with the same malt side and 5.0% ABV. Lastly, if what you’re really craving is something nice and hoppy, but not too high on the ABV spectrum, we can confirm that the Cellar Slammer we mentioned last week is available once again direct from the brewery or at Bishop’s Cellar (who are also scheduled to be carrying the Pausa Pranzo) in Halifax.

Tusket Falls Brewing is bringin’ the hops this week with the release of a new DIPA, Details are Cloudy. This 8% ABV take on the style gets its cloudy mouthfeel by adding oats to a malt bill featuring German barley. Big dry hops of Citra and Amarillo give this one lots of fruit notes, including tangerine, lemon and peach. Cans are available at the taproom now and online through TFB’s webstore. HRM fans of Tusket should also keep an eye on the brewery’s social channels as they’ve teased that the opening date of their Gottingen Street taproom will be announced soon. Check below if you’re interested in becoming part of their team…

Let’s stick with cloudy and pillowy IPAs, this time at North Grant’s Half Cocked Brewery. Pillow Fort is a juicy, 7.4% NEIPA that features huge additions of Idaho 7, Eukanot and Mosaic. The photos of this one on Half Cocked’s social channels show a beautiful golden colour, with the telltale NEIPA haze. Expect lots of tropical fruit aromas and flavours, including papaya and mango, as well as some vanilla notes. Pillow Fort is available now for pints and growler fills, keep your eyes peeled for kegs in the wild in HRM next week! And those who make the visit to North Grant are well-advised to check out The Crafty Cooks, the food truck operating onsite this summer. They even open early for Brunch!

First across the post with Oktoberfest/Marzen beers this year, Grimross in Fredericton has released their eponymous beer in this style. Oktoberfest, a 5.6% ABV malt-forward beer, featuring bread and toast characters, as well as light brown sugar and toffee notes. Available on tap and in cans now. Also returning is their Grimdonk Belgian Golden Ale, 6.5% ABV, with notes of banana, clove, and coriander, also on draught and cans. These returning faves join the latest entries in their Scratch Series, Hopped Saison and Irish Red. The latter is a farmhouse ale fermented using their own house-isolated yeast, and then dry-hopped with Hallertau Blanc. The Irish Red features malt-derived notes of caramel and coffee, with a dry finish, weighing in at 4.5% ABV.

And as right… now… you can grab a pint of Grimross’ British Mild, pouring direct from a cask, where it was naturally carbonated in the traditional manner, leading to a softer mouthfeel and less bite. This is the absolute last of the Mild in-house, though ANBL still has cans for those die hard anglophiles.

If cider is more your thing this weekend, head down to Wolfville for the latest release from Annapolis Cider Company’s Something Different line. Strawberry Lime starts with the cidery’s cold fermented cider and some fresh apple juice, and sees additions of fresh-pressed local strawberries and pure lime juice. The result is a 6% ABV rose gold colored cider, with subtle berry flavours and a crisp finish. The good people at Annapolis Cider Co. are also donating $0.50 from each refill of Strawberry Line to Shelter Moves Nova Scotia, a charity that provides free moving and storage service to women and children fleeing abuse. Cheers to that.

Big news out of Spryfield, Nova Scotia this week, where the much-anticipated Mary Brown’s Chicken opened their doors yesterday. But before we go completely off-topic, we’ve got to remind you that the best spot to enjoy your Big Mary is next door at Serpent Brewing, where they’ve got a new British Dark Mild pouring these days, their 4.0% Some Mild. Notes of toast, nut, and caramel shine through, with a touch of fruity sweetness from the English yeast. On draught and in crowlers and growlers to go. And if you’re in downtown Dartmouth, you can grab it at Battery Park, where their Eden Belgian IPA is also pouring. On the Halifax side, White Mountain Witbier is at the Stillwell Freehouse. For those who are more into enjoying their beer at home or at the beach, cans of Eden and Patey’s Bier Belgian Single are both being released at Bishop’s Cellar tomorrow.

Most people know that Halifax’s Bishop’s Cellar is the place to go when it comes to finding a well-curated selection of local, regional, domestic, and imported tipples of all kinds. In addition to beers mentioned above, some new things you’ll find on the shelves there in the next week or two include Tanner & Co. Wheat, Mountain Meadworks Strawberry Arboreal, and Big Spruce Hour of Sour. Though they’ve always had Province-wide delivery available, the pandemic has certainly altered their business model and they’re now finding themselves looking for more help on the warehousing and delivery front. Folks who have a Class 5 drivers license, a desire to work in a fast-paced and friendly environment, and who are interested in getting into the bevvy industry on the distribution side are welcome to send a resume to ian@bishopscellar.com. Perks of the job include a staff discount on beer, wine, and spirits!

We teased earlier that Tusket Falls’ Halifax taproom is inching towards a grand opening. As they grow their operations, Tusket is looking to hire for both its HRM and Yarmouth County locations. They are currently on the hunt for serving and kitchen staff. If you’re interested, send a resume to info@tusketfallsbrewing.com or stop by the taproom in Tusket.

Trying to figure out what to do this weekend? Those in HRM have a couple of great options!

Last week’s post mentioned the Island Release of the Lone Oak and 2 Crows Together and Apart beers, and the time has come to let the rest of the world enjoy them as well. We’ll skip the details on the beer, and let you know that 2C’s webstore has both in stock for local delivery as well as Canada-wide shipping. And to celebrate, the fine folks at Lone Oak are making the trek off-island and will be doing a tap feature on Brunswick Street tomorrow from noon. Fixed Link German Pils, Modest Tiny Pale Ale, Yankee Gale APA, Delight Golden Sour with Peaches, and Rouge Farmhouse with Lucie Kuhlmann Grapes will be pouring alongside a handful of house-brewed beer. And to make this truly an event not to be missed, the fine folks from Tako Loko will be popping up from noon as well, providing some much-needed sustenance to keep you drinking all afternoon.

For those looking for a cider-based events (but still love tacos!), great news! Thanks to some special relationships with world-class cider makers to both the East and South, Stillwell Beergarden will be hosting a “Side by Side” tap feature of three sought after and super great ciders on draught. From Spain, Isastegi is located in the Basque region, renowned for their natural cider, and Stilly was able to finagle some of their Sagardo Naturala to pour alongside Oliver’s Cider from Herefordshire in England, and ANXO Cider from Washington, DC. Whether you are a hard-core apple-head, or new to cider, we suggest making a stop on Monday and/or Tuesday to check out the offerings on the go!