O’Creek Brewing

All posts tagged O’Creek Brewing

Greetings, June bugs. Outside (and really, inside) of beer, it’s an important month for inclusivity, equity, celebration and learning. It’s National Indigenous History Month in Canada and Pride Month is widely-celebrated in North America in June as well. We don’t want to get on the soap-box too much here, but supporting your local, independent, craft brewers is always important, but we do encourage you to know where you’re putting your dollars. Some may use this special month as a chance to change a can design or change their branding or logos to have rainbows or Indigenous support, but please try and support those that really want to make a change for their communities, their breweries, their employees and everyone they serve. Some breweries just simply care, and we know most of our readers do, too. Now, onto the sunshine and beer news!

As we like to do, let’s kick off the post with details of a new brewery opening in our region. Banished Brewing, located in Paradise, Newfoundland, has sent the first few kegs of their beer out this week. Kegs of the initial trio of releases are pouring now at Bar Brewdock in East Duck, with cans coming to local distribution at Marie’s, Ultramar, and NLC locations next week (and soon their own retail shop at 9 Maverick Place, but keep an eye on IG for those details). So, what can you expect to drink from Banished? First up is Out The Gate, the fittingly-named Belgian Single/Singel, at 5.3% ABV, with a light malt and hop character, with a nice yeast-derived bubblegum note, while remaining refreshing. Up next is Space Puffin, a 6.0% ABV New England IPA, juicy, hazy, and full of citrus and tropical goodness for the warmer months ahead. This is the first in the “Puffin” line, keep an eye out for many more! And the newest kid on the block is NO NO NO NO YES NO. Cheeky label, eh? Big props to Paul George Hammond for this and all of Banished’s branding! This EI (Employment Insurance) Pale Ale is 4.5% ABV, light enough in alcohol to warrant having a few in the afternoon while you wait for your check to come in! These are all pouring now at Brewdock, with the Out The Gate making its way to Port Rexton Brewing on their guest tap in the next few days. And those on the West Coast will be able to get their first tastes of Banished at tomorrow’s Newfoundland & Labrador Craft Beer Festival in Corner Brook. And those in Lab City still have time to grab tickets for June 11th’s Big Land beer festival at the Legion. Congratulations to Craig and the team at Banished, we’ll have plenty more from them next week (more new beer and nerdy details and their plans for the summer!).

And speaking of new breweries, we have word that the under-new-ownership BarNone Brewing will be holding their first event at Barn One tomorrow! Doc MacLean will be blowing the roof off the joint, and there will be plenty of beer pouring to accompany that. They may even be set up to fill some growlers, just like the old days! This is a ticketed event, so email them for more details and to get your name on the list!

Bannerman Brewing, fresh off its inclusion in the list of the Top 50 Bars in Canada, is releasing a new pale ale, in collaboration with Iceberg Quest. Designed as a more sessionable offering, Undertow comes in at 5.5% ABV, perfect for sipping while out on the water searching for bergies (did we mention it will be available on-board Iceberg Quest’s tour boats?). Flaked and malted oats were added to the malt bill to give a soft mouthfeel, with dry-hop additions of Galaxy and Strata leading to hop notes of tropical and overripe fruit. In addition to being available onboard, cans and pints of Undertow can also be found at Bannerman’s taproom.

Tanner Brewing is back and these Chester brewers never disappoint with new styles, flavours and doing their own thing. They’re featuring a new hop variety, Harlequin, in their new beer of the same name. A UK hop that is very fruity with big passionfruit, peach and pineapple flavours and aromas, the Harlequin IPA features this hop in the boil and for dry-hopping. It is available in 500ml bottles and is 6.5% and 60 IBU. Get it from their stores and online for their weekly deliveries. 

Quidi Vidi is partnering with Jordan Blake, a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Homebrew Club, the Newfermenters, for the release of Catharina Sour. The crew is getting creative with flavours and styles, concotting what they are calling a strawberry coffee sour. Cans of this 5.5% ABV sour are available today at the hop shop in Quidi Vidi and will see broader distribution to QV’s other retail partners next week.

In Sydney, Breton Brewing has a new seasonal release available now. Bringing the classic style to Nova Scotia (and we want more of it, whenever we can get it), West Coast Pale Ale is exactly as advertised. This clear, golden, fruity, citrus, hoppy and bitter pale ale is a treat, popping with a generous dry hop of Simcoe and Cascade. This 5.4% and 45 IBU IPA is available in 473ml cans from the taproom and also on tap; it’s also available online for delivery in CBRM and HRM. 

Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing is staying busy over the upcoming week with three new releases! Each release is a small batch run that will be available in cans only (no kegs or bottles). First up is Crystal Crescent Strawberry Kolsch. Named for the famous beach(es) (IYKYK) in nearby Sambro, this 5.9% take on the style sees an addition of strawberries to their Days End Kolsch. Next up is Cosmic, a Strawberry Guava IPA. Also coming in at 5.9%, this ale features a blench of kolsch and English yeasts to amp up the fruity esters. Expect lots of guava character along with grapefruit and jammy berries. Finally, we have Foiliole, a 5.9% hoppy witbier. This one combines a Belgian Witbier yeast with large dry hop additions of Citra and Simcoe. Expect the classic spice notes from the yeast, along with plenty of fruit character from the dry hop. Keep your eyes on Serpent’s social channels for the exact release dates throughout the week as these small batches are likely to move quickly. 

Would you believe that Fredericton’s favourite hop hustlers, Trailway Brewing, have now turned SIX? We do because we found out about it last weekend after we posted our Friday Wrap-up, and as punishment/penance, they’ve given us a fully 2 Crows-sized release to write up. The short version is, they released FOUR new beers (IPA variants, natch) all with a bit of a naming theme, and packaged them as a four-pack for maximum delight.

Up first is Tubesock Tanline, a West-coast IPA weighing in at 6.4% ABV. Not in the usual TW wheelhouse of juicy hazies, this one presents prominent biscuity and toasty notes that balance a dank, floral, and spicy hop profile and, of course, a firm old school bitterness. Sounds pretty textbook to us!

Next comes Soul Patch, an IPA made with newish hop variety Zappa and arriving at a hefty 7%. Also not in the totally typical Tw style, this one saw additions of tangerine purée and lactose to bring it into the Milkshake IPA territory. Featuring notes of passionfruit, stone fruit, and sweet citrus (maybe even reminiscent of fruity pebbles) thanks to the aforementioned Zappa plus some Citra and Cashmere, you can expect it to be pillowy soft and sweet-ish, with plenty of pungent hops.

Third in the mix is Turtleneck Tanline, representing a style they’re calling Piña Colada IPA. This 5.9% juice bomb (almost literally) was hopped nearly to death with Sabro and Vic Secret before being refermented on pineapple juice and then cold conditioned on coconut flakes. The result does what it says on the tin, and you might even think about pouring it into a poco grande glass and garnishing it with fruit!

Last in the four-pack comes Rattail Tanline, a double dry hopped IPA with one of the highest hopping rates that the gang at Trailway has ever smashed into a beer (and folks, that’s saying something!). With stalwart hazebomb varieties Citra, Galaxy, and Sultana, leading the way, there’s also a brand new variety from South Africa called Southern Sublime in the mix. Look for notes of Juicy Fruit™ gum and tropical fruit alongside floral and dank kush-like notes from this 6.5% hopjuice.

We know that these four-packs were sent out to Picaroons Saint John and CAVOK Brewing in Dieppe last weekend, but we don’t know how much is left there or at Trailway’s own taproom. You’ll just have to hope on your drive over. Meanwhile, kegs of all of these beers have been sent around the province, including Attepic in Edmundston. Hopefully those of us in the other Atlantic Provinces will get a chance to sample some of these hoppy delights as well! Happy Birthday to Trailway and here’s to another six years!

In Halifax, 2 Crows has a new beer out this week that’s intended to both represent and give back to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. In order to do that, they teamed up with queer members on their staff, Mairi, Mairi, and Tessa, who helped put it together. The Agenda is a grapefruit and basil Radler with a splash of orange and 100% of the proceeds from its sale will be donated to South House Halifax, Kjipuktuk/Halifax’s only full time gender justice center. To celebrate this release in style, the brewery will be having a party with a Rhinestone Cowboy theme next Saturday, June 11th, with tasty morsels from Cafe Aroma Latino and DJ EFFA spinning (country-tinged?) tunes from 7PM to close. So grab your favourite stetson and a bolo tie and head on down to maybe do some line dancing and familiarise yourself with The Agenda.

Nyanza’s finest, Big Spruce Brewing,  is back with a new brew for June! Saison Opener is a perfectly named beer as we roll into summer. A foedre-fermented Saison brings classic saison flavours with a touch of funk. Finished off with a dry-hopping of Huell Melon, you’ll get nice aromas of melon and spice in this lovely 4.9% summer sipper. This is available on top now at the brewery, different outlets and will be canned next week. 

Island-hopping from Cape Breton to Newfoundland, up on the Avalon Peninsula in Mount Pearl Landwash Brewery has brought back their Prickly Fish “tiny” pale ale for the summer. Named for the wee little stickleback fish that heavily populate the brackish waters and tidepools around Newfoundland, the beer is as adorable as the little fishies it’s named after. Coming in at 3.2%, it’s got some hop pop with a lemon/pineapple/fruit cup vibe and a hazy appearance. Rolling out to all the regular spots where you find Landwash beers, including their own spot, this is a limited release, so don’t wait too too long before grabbing yourself some!

Further north on the Rock, we find Port Rexton Brewing, where they’re releasing a brand new beer in a brand new packaging format. Small Trek is a 4% ABV light lager that they’re calling “the perfect summer sipper”. You can safely expect this one to be clean, crisp, and refreshing, but also convenient. Available, like most other PR brews in 473 mL cans, this one is also being packaged in 355 mL cans that are available in 6-packs (with compostable rings!), a first for the brewery. Already available at the tap room, it should also have appeared on the shelves of their Saint John’s Retail Shop by the time you read this, and will see wider distro through the usual channels in the coming days and weeks.

Sticking with the island theme a little longer, Montague, PEI’s Copper Bottom Brewing is celebrating the arrival of patio season with their new Sour IPA. Part of their Field Trip series of fruited sour beers, this one also brings some hops. Which one(s)? You’ll have to taste yourself and try to figure it out. Bright, tart, and tropical, this beer is 5.0% ABV and available at the taproom for pints, and in 473 mL cans to go, for online orders, and at select PEILCC locations starting this weekend.

Wolfville’s Church Brewing Co. is jumping on the easy drinking lager train in time for summer. Atlantic Lager is a 5% ABV lager that features Pilsen malt alongside Magnum and Saphir hops. Expect herbal notes, alongside floral or lemony aromas. Keep an eye on Church’s social channels for release details.

O’Creek Brewing in Dieppe, New Brunswick, has a new canned product out this week! Paradox Ale is a New England IPA, full of big tropical punch notes of citrus, mango, and pineapple, with a touch of coconut in for good measure. This is a limited release, so head to CAVOK Brewing and Dieppe and Greater Moncton-area ANBL stores to grab cans of this 6.0% summer sipper today! And we may be letting the cat out of the bag a little early, but big things are oming for O’Creek in 2022, with a larger system, larger space of their own, and wider distribution of more beer on the horizon! We’ll be sure to pass along the important information as soon as we have it!

While we here at ACBB like to focus on informing you about locally produced beverages from across the Atlantic Provinces, we’d be remiss not to occasionally mention when some really cool beer from outside of the region becomes available (especially when it is purveyed by fine folks like Bishops Cellar). Average weeks of anticipation (you’re damn right we are constantly checking the new releases page), three releases from Toronto’s Bellwoods Brewery are hitting the shelves in 473 ml cans. Head on down to BIshops (or order online) for your chance to grab Ratclops Pale Ale, Roman Candle IPA and Jelly King today. It’s a real treat to be able to enjoy fresh hoppy beers from Bellwoods without making the trip to the Big Smoke. Kudos to Bishops for figuring out the logistics of getting the freshies here under cold storage, which is more than we can say for a certain government monopoly. For a more local option, Tanner’s Wheat Beer is making its return to Bishops as well.

If you’re reading this before Sunday, June 5th, Candid Brewing has a contest and a new beer to go along with it! First up, the beer (of course)! Twist My Arm is a 5% pale ale, starring Cascade hops that is intended to be easy-drinking with a nice punch of flavour. The contest is for an upcoming show on Saturday June 11, as The Fabulously Rich play a 3-hour set dedicated to The Tragically Hip. The winner will also win a prize pack from the brewery in addition to the tickets. Check out their social media for contest details.

Just in time for summer, tourists, and NBers travelling around their own province, the lovely St. Andrews in New Brunswick is home to a brand new brewery space and taproom that is now open. Right downtown, Saint Andrews Brewing  is open with 12 taps, a big patio and some snacks. Don’t worry, though, they will also still be on tap at other local establishments in Saint Andrews. While we will have more news coming, we can tell you they’re open 7 days a week with their favourite English-inspired ales and more.

Staying in New Brunswick, Off Grid Ales changed ownership after the the former owners followed through on plans to sell the brewery about a year ago. While Off Grid is known for being entirely self-sufficient (and tasty!), their 15-barrel production system powered by solar panels and wind turbines will be moving into a bigger space and switching to cans later this month. The move to Magaguadavic (only 20min west from the current Harvey Station location) will also see an increase to a 30-barrel system. The move is planned to be complete in early August following the New Brunswick long weekend. Check out the full news article here

A few bits of news out of Boxing Rock, as they’ve rebranded their 6.6% IPA and it’s available now at most NSLCs in 4x473ml packs. Also, those of you in Halifax may not have known about their location on Agricola within Local Source. The pairing has been hard at work moving to their bigger and better location at the corner of Windsor and Almon, so keep an eye out for their official opening date. 

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.