Ol’ Biddy’s Brew House

All posts tagged Ol’ Biddy’s Brew House

Here we are at the end of July already and into the August long weekend that marks our entry into the shank of the Summer. We don’t know about you folks, but we’re hoping for some decent weather to help those folks who, enabled by the looser COVID restrictions, are moving around the region, as well as those who are staying closer to home. Whether you’re planning to hit the camp/cottage/cabin or the beach, get some yard work done, or just kick back and relax, our region’s breweries and cideries have plenty on the go to keep your thirst slaked. If you’re travelling, why not plan to swing by a brewery along the way? If you’re staying put, maybe seek out some new beers from a brewery you know well? Whatever you do, please do it safely and responsibly!

New Brewery Alert!! Update the Good Beer Map!! Happy Craft Brewing in downtown Moncton opened their doors this week, welcoming in the curious folks who have been admiring their 15 BBL (1800 litre) brewhouse front and centre at 800 Main Street. Launching with four of their own beers, including Drama Free American IPA, Oh To Be A Rainbow Passionfruit Sour, Apricot Wheat, and Good Day Bad Day Pilsner. Beers are available to enjoy onsite, as well as in growlers, with cans coming soon. No kitchen onsite, but they are welcoming food trucks to park adjacent to their off-street patio, so keep an eye on their Facebook and Instagram pages for the latest announcements. Currently open from noon until 9 or later, Wednesday to Sunday. Congratulations to Gregg and Co on the opening!

Speaking of Happy, one of the several guest beers and ciders on tap there currently is the latest release from Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing. Reminding us that we only live once (or maybe Yoda Only Lives Outdoors), YOLO is another in their exploration of the New England/Hazy IPA style, showcasing new world hops for aroma and flavour, rather than bitterness. Case in point, YOLO is best described as a Double NEIPA at 7.5% ABV, yet a lighter 25 IBU, with the Cryo Citra, El Dorado, Sabro, and Talus all being added late in the process, in the post-boil whirlpool (as the beer is partially cooled before heading to the fermenter, with the whirlpooling effect helping to collect protein and hop matter in the brew kettle rather than clogging the heat exchanger) and dry-hopping during and post-fermentation. These hops are tropical on the nose and palate with citrus, pineapple, and stone fruit to the max, so check out the taps at Happy and Le BarBu in Dieppe for a taste of this beaut. And keep your eyes on O’Creek’s IG page this weekend as they’ll be releasing Foggy Pale Ale, a 5.0% New England Pale Ale with Loral, Citra, and Sabro soon! Ask for it at your favourite watering hole so they can bring it in!

We figure many of you will be passing by Lone Oak on your way onto PEI, so don’t miss your chance to grab a new brew. Delight is their latest barrel aged release, this one being a Golden Peach Sour. Aged in Chardonnay barrels for 18 months, this was then racked to join some peaches for another 3 months. Ending up at a sweet, fuzzy-peach vibe summer sour, this 5.5% release is available today on tap only at the brewery and HopYard, where they took home the Championship Belt last night in a fierce battle with Upstreet. In two weeks time, this will be available in 500ml bottles.

And mark your calendars for August 4th, when they will be releasing Blueprint, a Foeder-aged Farmhouse Wit. In collaboration with Nine Yards Studio, who helped name the beer and design the label, the funky and tart wheat beer will be launched at Salt & Sol on the Charlottetown waterfront, with live music and comedy from 4 PM.

The Modern Brewer of Village Green continues to roll out the new releases, with this week featuring two takes on IPA. First up is West Coast IPA, a style which the brewery has dabbled in previously. This version features a base of 2-row malt, wheat and a touch of crystal-15 malt. Hops were added in three stages with Columbus during the boil, Amarillo, Cascade and Centennial as late additions, and a dry hop of Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial and Citra. WC IPA comes in at 6.9%. Next up is Chinook IPA; featuring less bitterness and malt character than its west coast counterpart, this one features 2-row and Maris Otter malts along with wheat. It is hopped exclusively with Chinook, including a generous dry hop, and finishes at 6.2% ABV. Head to the brewery’s taproom in Cornwall now to check out these two contrasting takes on IPA.

From Fredericton, Grimross brings a new release that we rarely see canned in wide distribution for the region. British Mild Ale is a classic, malt-forward British-style ale. Boasting malty aromas and flavours, this is dark, rich and complex, and balanced nicely at 22 IBU and 3.5%. It’s available now in 475 mL cans directly from the brewery but keep an eye on their social channels for further distribution. 

Jumping over to the North Shore of Nova Scotia (home of the other canned (Dark) Mild in the region), the Tatamagouche brew crew has two fresh ones for everyone this week. First up is a limited and smaller test batch called Free Lunch, which is a 4.8% Cream Ale. Always a brewery to tweak and tinker, they’re using this batch to test out a new base malt. This will be available in kegs only at the brewery.

The next batter up from Tata is Vamoose (what a pleasure to say and type!). This beer features the same base as Guava Heist (Berliner Weisse style aged on guava), but using raspberry and plum as the fruit additions in a 70/30 ratio. Featuring raspberry for a lighter, refreshing summer quencher, the plums add depth of flavour in this 3.5% beer. It is shipping out in kegs to tap accounts, with growlers and pints in the taproom or you can pick up or order some 473 mL cans for delivery!

The calendar flipping to August means blueberry season is upon us in Atlantic Canada, and after a few lean years of production, our producers are expecting a bigger year this year. Annapolis Brewing is all ready to celebrate the start of a hopefully banging season with the release of Blueberry Sour Smoothy. This kettle sour features blueberry puree and a touch of lactose to accentuate the body. Per the style, the hops are kept to a minimum to let the tartness and fruit flavours steal the show, resulting in 12 IBUs. The 4% ABV sour smoothie is available now in picturesque Annapolis Royal.

If 4% sours aren’t your thing, perhaps we could interest you in a 8% ABV barleywine? Cutting across the mainland will bring you to Mahone Bay where you’ll find Go Big or Go Home from Saltbox Brewing Co. This one is a nod to the English version of the style, which focuses more on the malt and features less hop character than its American cousin. In a move we can get behind, Saltbox is releasing this heavy hitter in a smaller package, namely 355 mL cans. Head down the South Shore to grab yours this weekend.

Big Spruce continues to bring the new suds to Nyanza. This week’s release beams us up to Cologne with Kölsch Encounters of the Third Kind. This style of lagered ale is known for its crisp and refreshing drinking profile. Big Spruce’s latest version (we can’t forget Put Me In Kölsch from years past) comes in at 5.4% ABV and is available now at the Sprucetique in Nyanza.

The Salter street crew out of Halifax has two new releases this week, as Tidehouse brings us the goodies! First up is The Casual, a 3.5% dry-hopped sour. A kettle sour dry hopped with Enigma, bringing high alpha juice and notes of red berries and stone fruit. This is available on tap only at the brewery.

Their second release is Dripping Sun, a hazy Pale Ale that is loaded with Monroe hops. At 5.5% this flavourful, hoppy, and smooth pale ale brings notes of passionfruit and orange syrup. Available at the brewery now by the glass, but also in cans to go. 

Keeping it Candid, news out of Antigonish keeps coming week to week! Quench is a cherry sour available now. A fruit-forward sour that’s light-bodied, tart, and refreshing, it finishes clean and dry with touches of dark and sweet cherry juice. This fruity, well-attenuated, and refreshing 5.0% sour is available today in 473 mL cans to go and for pints in the taproom, which is officially open now! Pop by from noon every day (except Monday), open until 9 PM or later (except closing at 5 PM Sunday).

Out in the back end of HRM, Ol’ Biddy’s Brewhouse and TAPestry Beer Bar are putting Sackville on the map of beer destinations (a phrase we admit we never expected to type, but here we are). This week OBB has a couple new variations for us to try, both in small batch volumes. First up is Sackville Hoppy Blonde, their nominally SMaSH blonde ale elevated to something more like American Pale Ale territory through a dry hop of Ariana, Sabro, and Mosaic. Look for notes of blackcurrants, gooseberries, tangerine, and maybe a little of that magical Sabro coconut character. With this one coming in at 4.9% ABV you’ll be able to have a couple and really search for all those elements.

On a similar scale, Pineapple Bastard is a variation on their American wheat ale, Orange American Bastard, but with 10% pineapple juice into the fermenter. Still light and refreshing at 4.2% ABV and boasting light citrus and tropical vibes, it should be a perfect crusher for the long weekend. Both of these beers are available in limited quantities and they’re not being packaged in cans so you’ll have to get down to the taproom for fills or pints! Sunday would be a great day to do so, as they’ve started what they’re calling “Sunday Funday” with $5 pints of Biddy brews all day (open from noon to 6 PM). They’ve got a patio going now, so if the weather cooperates you can play washer toss and maybe some darts.

If you’re from the Bay, or heading there this weekend, be sure to stop in at Baccalieu Trail in Bay Roberts, as they have a fresh #hazyboi on tap and in cans this weekend. Dandy is a 6.5% New England IPA, featuring economically irresponsible additions during the Whirlpool and Dry Hop of Mosaic, Idaho 7, and Sabro. That translates into major pina colada vibes of pineapple and coconut, plus a juicy citrus undertone. Cans are available to take-away from the brewery now, with a draught version available any moment now. For those unable to make the well-worth-it trip to the brewery to hang on their deck and watch the birds play in the water, look for cans on the shelves of your local Marie’s, and maybe even on tap at Bar Brewdock, before too long!

We’re a day late with this news, but Happy F#&@%$g 6th Anniversary to everyone at Unfiltered Brewing. Celebrations took place last night with the esteemed Greg Nash manning the grill, but the spoils are still available this weekend with the return of Inducement, their 7.4% ABV DIPA hopped with Mosaic and Falconer’s Flight

The anniversaries continue, this time up Nova Scotia’s eastern shore where The Harbour Brewing Company, of Musquodoboit Harbour, is turning 3 on Sunday, August 1st. Drop by the brewery for special prices on pints and some door prizes.

We’ve got a few more short beer hits to share today before we dismiss you for the week…

A bit of news out of Cole Harbour this week from Hardisty, as they have some of their beer available around HRM. Happy Path is an American Pale Ale that’s going by keg to TAPestry Beer Bar and in cans to Harvest Wines, who will also have cans of Thirst Trap, a pride-themed amber ale. In other news, they’re adding a new unitank into the brew house reflecting increased demand. You love to hear it!

It’s been a little while since we’ve heard from 3Flip in Fredericton, but they’ve got two new seasonable releases this summer available in wide distribution across the province via ANBL. First up is Lemon Kilmister, a 5.5% ABV lemon blonde ale designed to be a super-drinkable summer quencher. Similarly in the citrus camp is Limes Ulrich, another 5.5% beer, but this one an American wheat ale with lime additions. Maybe throw some classic 80s metal on the boombox as you pound a few of these on a hot summer afternoon!  They’re both available now in 355 mL cans at ANBL locations all around New Brunswick and also Uptown Bagtown Boozy Market and Sussex Ale Works

Fans of traditional farmshed beers in NS can rejoice, as Delta Force Brewing has now reached the tipping point of having brewed enough beer to make it available on the regular instead of by announcement only. Check out the How to Buy section of their new(-ish?) website for full details and a list of what’s currently available. But sign up for/stay subscribed to their email list for new beer and multi-pack sale announcements!

Rounding out the beer news this week is the latest release from the 902 BrewCast crew, where they welcomed Phil back to the pod to sit down and (attempt) to catch up with him and Dodo as they tour around the province. Where have they been? Where are they going next? Keep up with Phil through amazing visuals on his IG page, and grab some prints of your own!

And in late-breaking news, it looks like Gahan is expanding yet again, this time they will be taking over the space on the St. John’s waterfront once occupied by Mill Street and Bier Market. No details yet on what size system they’ll be installing there, but our roving reporter did poke his head in this week and notice all of the previous equipment was gone, so there is a blank slate for re-configuration and optimizing of operations. We’ll share more once we have it, of course!

Oh hey, it’s February already! Or should that be, “it’s February, FINALLY?” Depending on which side of that you come down on, we think it calls for a celebratory and/or therapeutic beer! And wouldn’t you know it, our breweries and cideries in the region are all ready to bring some new (or perhaps just new to you) libations this week. We’ve got a little bit from every province this week, but we’ll start it off in New Brunswick, who seem to have mostly turned the corner on the latest wave of COVID restrictions and are largely back to threat level orange.

A bit of news out of Hanwell’s finest (no offence to the golf course!), Niche Brewing is here with a tasty new release and a fresh batch of a not-so-old favourite. First up, not to be outdone by the massive New England IPAs from last week, On My Way is a hoppy beer out today! This New England IPA is hopped with two of our favourite hops, Galaxy and Citra. Added late in the boil and in the whirlpool, we also get a massive addition of Citra after fermentation for some delectable dry hopping with that lovely amazing aroma. This 6.5% NEIPA brings delicious citrus and grapefruit notes on the palate and orange notes through the flavour and aroma. This will be available in kegs at some of the main Niche establishments (The Joyce, Uncorked, Cask & Kettle and Peppers Pub). And for those lucky enough to be within Bar Stillwell’s reach, they’ve got In Other Words NEAPA with Galaxy, Mosaic, and Sabro pouring now!

Secondly, the tasty barrel-aged tropical fruit saison is back! A new batch of Pau Hana will be released over the next week, with a few tweaks from the original release. This Chardonnay barrel-aged beer keeps the same barrel with the same house culture, but instead of pink-guava and pineapple, this batch was conditioned on passionfruit puree. The first one was 5.8% and 500ml bottles of this will be at ANBL stores and some other places around Fredericton/Sussex/Saint John. 

Chester’s Tanner & Co. is expanding their hours again, which is very good news for you thirsty beer lovers in the area! Their taproom will now be open Wednesday to Sunday, and they have a brand new beer available to celebrate, and it’s their first kettle sour brewed on a large scale. Simply named Sour IPA, it was brewed with Maris Otter, Vienna, and Munich malts, along with a small amount of wheat and oats to help build up the body. After souring, the wort was hopped with several additions of an experimental South African variety, KJA2/436 (someone get this hop a real name, STAT!). While the hop may not exactly be music to your ears, it’s giving this beer lovely aromas and flavours of “lemon zest, papaya, cantaloupe and gooseberries, as well as grapefruit rind and a bit of rosewater.” Sounds nice, no? Bottles are available now at the taproom, and can be ordered online as well (order before midnight Thursday for a Friday delivery, between Bridgewater and Halifax).

Not to be outdone on the fruited sour IPA front, Bannerman Brewing in downtown St. John’s has brought one of their own out this week that they’re describing as, “a big, bold glass of juice.” Early Morning started with plenty of dry-hopped Citra and Sabro for those orange-y citrus and tropical coconut vibes, it also features lots of mango and pomegranate as well as a touch of lactose to ensure some balancing body. Part of a balanced breakfast*, it sounds like this one was pretty popular, with the cans selling out rather quickly, but there’s still a chance you’ll find this one available at the brewery for pints on site and growler fills for your drinking elsewhere needs. And if you’re intrigued but missed this batch, do let the brewery know you hope they make another!

* Depending on your definitions of both “balanced” and “breakfast” but also we’re absolutely not judging anyone.

Moving back into New England IPA territory, O’Creek Brewing has a new brew of their favourite style hitting taps this weekend. Outback IPA is your classic O’Creek beer, a super hazy, yellow-coloured beer with a whole whack of tropical and dank flavours thanks to multiple additions of Australian varieties, including Galaxy, Enigma, and Vic Secret. The grist of 2-row, wheat malt, flaked oats and Carapils keeps the hops front and centre where they belong, with the bitterness being quite low thanks to the hop additions being concentrated in the whirlpool and dry-hop. It weighs in at 6.2% ABV, and can be found first at Fredericton’s The Joyce Pub this weekend. 

Over at Lunn’s Mill, they’ve brought back a beverage that we haven’t seen in over a year, and this time it’s available in cans! It’s a Double IPA they’ve named 2×4, and it was brewed with “a sturdy base” that includes some rye malt, for those of you who are craving a bit of that spicy character that the malt can sometimes impart in a beer (paging Tony Important!). Double-dry-hopped with hefty amounts of four different varieties, you’ll notice notes of “resin, orange pith, tropical fruit, and pine” to go along with the big, 8% ABV. You can find it pouring for pints and growler fills at the brewery’s taproom in Lawrencetown, and as mentioned it’s also available in cans for takeaway. 

Flip-flopping back to New Brunswick, where Long Bay Brewing continues their trend of one-off beer releases with Maiden Voyage, their latest. Brewed with a grist made up of Pilsner malt and flaked wheat, it features a large addition of Strata hops in the whirlpool. Lots of bright hop flavours come through with this beer, with their goal being to create a beer that was a “thin-bodied, easy to drink New England style Pale Ale”. It comes in at 5.7% ABV, on the higher end for a Pale Ale, and about 40 IBUs. Grab it on tap at Long Bay’s taproom; it’ll also be pouring at a number of bars and restaurants across the province over the weekend. 

Winter is finally here (maybe?) and we all love our tasty stouts, don’t we? Maybe not, but if you are among those who do, our friends at Propeller have delivered some supply for that demand with S’Mores Imperial Dessert Stout. This limited edition Imperial Stout features roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla beans and lactose to bring that s’mores flavour of sweet, toasty and chocolate treats. This one comes in cans (and at 9% ABV) and is available today at the Prop Shops, in addition to the local HRM private stores.

We also have more info on Propeller’s gruit we teased last week, now that it has been released (and we believe still available). In the grand tradition of historic beers it forgoes hops in place of herbs and botanicals to offer a balance to the malt sweetness, Gruit Ale features sweet fern (foraged by Production Manager Aeneas in Hubbards) and bog myrtle primarily, which lend an earthy aroma, as well as herbal spicy notes and a touch of bitterness. An addition of rose hips imparts some berry esters on the nose. And while a touch of hops were used in the beer for boil stability, the botanicals are certainly the star of the show. The 5.0% brew is available in all three Prop Shops (and online for delivery) in 500 mL bottles.

And big congratulations to the Propeller Arcade who celebrated (safely) their Second Anniversary last weekend. Their recent expansion continues to grow as they bring in more ticket-dispensing games in the second bar area, as well as cycling through more than twenty pinball and cabinet arcade games new and old. 

Tusket Falls Brewing has released a new experimental beer on tap at the brewery, Pina Colada Gose. We’re pretty sure you know what to expect from this one from the name, but hey, we’ll tell you anyway! Or, more accurately, the brewery will: “An initial blast of toasted coconut on the nose, followed by ripe pineapple and citrusy lime”… <checks pina colada info sheet>… yep, checks out. It also has a tartness to it, naturally, which balances the tropical character quite nicely. Pretty big beer, especially for a Gose, at 7.5% ABV, so approach it accordingly! 

Two all-weekend events to tell you about, from sibling HopYard bars in Charlottetown (on Charlottetown? I can never remember) and Halifax: firstly, continuing their first anniversary celebrations from last week, Borden-Carleton’s Lone Oak Brewing has taken over the taps at HopYard Charlottetown, with 9 beers and 1 cider of theirs a-flowin’. Their pals from the Wheelhouse in Georgetown are doing a food pop-up in the space this evening, 4 – 10 PM, with Trivia with Dan & Spencer starting at 8 PM. Due to COVID restrictions, making a reso (902-367-2599) is the way to go… And at HopYard Halifax, they are welcoming a pair of producers from Wolfville to take over their taps starting today. Covering the beer bases is Church Brewing, who are bringing a handful of their flavourful beers, reinvigorated under new Head Brewer Steve Crane. Fellow Main Street business Annapolis Cider Company are also bringing their A (for Apple) game, with a bevy of bevvies available for enjoyment all weekend long. (Give them a shout to book your table too! 902-444-2467)

A few more newsbites and important links to check out before we leave you today. Hope you have a SUPER weekend!

A quick shout out to Annapolis Royal, where the local theatre is celebrating their 100th year. Annapolis Brewing has released a 4-pack of King’s Theatre Centennial Cream Ale in honour of the great milestone. Available only in 4 packs directly from the brewery, $3 from every 4-pack is donated directly to the theatre.

As teased last week, Ol’ Biddy’s has brought back Kicked in the Hops, a 7.7% ABV, heavily-hopped DIPA that has “intense hop flavours with aromas of pine, and tropical and citrus fruits.” Available on tap only, you can find it right now at the brewery for pints and growlers. 

We reported last week that Tatamagouche Brewing had re-released Baltic Porter, originally from their Giant Beer Series. This week, they’re following up with another favourite from the series, Russian Imperial Stout. Dark, rich, and roasty, with flavours of chocolate and coffee, it is indeed big at 8.5% ABV. Perfect for sipping on a cold winter’s night, and a beer style that will age beautifully, grab your bottles at the brewery today.

We leave you today with news from our friends Change is Brewing Collective, who made the trip down the South Shore to Shelburne this week, brewing a collaborative beer at Boxing Rock Brewing. While details on that release are a closely guarded secret until its debut Feb 27, we wanted to highlight another important reason for their trip. The Collective is supporting BIPOC South Shore in their work to create a Retreat and Learning Centre to be located in Birchtown. Incorporating 8 acres of forest, waterfront, and trails, it also includes a stone wall and house foundations likely belonging to original Black settlers of the area, whose history dates back more than 200 years. The Centre will host retreats and learning workshops, classes, and events, led by, and for, BIPOC and 2SLGBTQ+ communities. You can learn more and take part by contributing to their GoFundMe fundraising effort.

Well THAT month ended better than it started, at least in our opinion. Whether you’re talking about our region, where NL, NS, and PEI continue their strong stand against COVID and NB seems to be turning the corner, or internationally where there seems to be a whiff of sanity wafting northward from below the 49th parallel, we think there’s definitely some reasons to celebrate the end of the first month of 2021*. And luckily, our producers in the region are stepping up, several of them with reasons to celebrate of their own (like the staff at 2 Crows who are probably ready to sleep for the first time in…*checks calendar*…a month or so). Read on for all the news we could find, formulate, and fit this week in beer and brewery news!

* Don’t get us wrong, everything’s still screwed (especially the climate and wealth distribution!!) it just feels a little less screwed than it was.

Let’s start with the first of two breweries celebrating an anniversary in a big way this weekend. Lone Oak Brewing in Borden-Carlton, the Gateway to Prince Edward Island, has a full weekend of fun scheduled as they mark their first year in business. But first, let’s tell you about the 3 (three!) special beers debuting this Saturday to mark the celebration! 

  • Rouge is a 7.0% farmhouse ale, which began with a grain bill made exclusively from Island Malt House Pilsner, Oats, and Rye, first fermented with Lone Oak’s house culture of yeasts and other bugs, before the addition of PEI-grown Lucie Kuhlmann grapes (juice, skin, seeds and all), which melded together for 10 weeks. Oh, and all of this took place in their PEI-built (thanks to New World Foeders) Foeder! This aromatic, juicy, yet dry beer was packaged in 500 ml bottles and kegs to condition and naturally carbonate.
  • Modest is a “Tiny Pale Ale”, coming in at a crushable 3.5%, when you want all the hops flavour, but not necessarily the booze… With a base of PEI Pilsner and Oats, and enhanced with Flaked Wheat and Rice, the hops are allowed to shine through and punch above their weight class. El Dorado, Columbus, and Simcoe are there in the flavour and aroma, bursting from the 355 ml can. Available on draught as well (both versions were naturally carbed in the can/keg).
  • Golden Hour is an ambitious one, we reckon… This Double IPA was fermented solely with Brettanomyces in a pair of oak barrels, and heavily hopped with El Dorado, Simcoe, Centennial, and Mosaic. And while it is a hefty 8.0%, the melding of the wood, yeast, and hops have it much more quaffable than that number may show. All three of these characters come through with notes of stone fruit and candied pineapple esters, along with some oak tannins and a twinge of red wine. Also naturally conditioned, it is coming in 355 ml cans and kegs.

These three are only available at the brewery for on-site and retail sales, and if there’s any left after the weekend, may be available online. Sounds like a great excuse to visit this weekend!

Onto the events: This evening is a double-header of the always fun and head-scratching Trivia with Spencer and Dan from 7 – 9 PM, followed up with live music from Dave Woodside 9 – 11 PM. Best to call ahead to RSVP your bubble table (902 729 2228). Saturday is a full afternoon and evening of live music from Grass Mountain Hobos (2 – 6 PM) and The Love Junkies (7 – 11 PM). While both of those shows are sold out, their retail will remain open for your can and growler fills. And the fun continues Sunday with a matinee show with Roland Beaulieu featuring Keelin Wedge (1 – 4 PM, RSVP to ensure a spot). For those looking to fill their bellies as well as their ears, The Abby is open all weekend (11:30 AM until 9PM), and will be featuring a few extra fun things on the menu to mark the occasion. Congratulations to the Lone Oak Crew on surviving and thriving in the decade that was 2020!

Some of you may be sorry to hear that this weekend is the last of the “Anniversary Month” releases from 2 Crows, which we get, because there’s been a wide variety of tasty beers to enjoy throughout a usually-dreary month… but don’t blame us at all for having a bit of a happy-happy feeling to go along with that! Because, well, you know, writing about all of them takes time! That being said, we tip our hats to their hard work and initiative, and “happily” are here to fill you in on the re-releases and new beers you can find this weekend.

First up… hops, hops, and more hops. And even more hops. That’s right, four different New England IPAs will be available at the brewery starting today, and we think you’re going to want to get your lupulin-enriched hands on all of them. Three of these brews are returning favourites, all of which are the same base beer (brewed with Golden Promise, Wheat, Flaked Oats, and Carafoam), hopped in the mash and first wort with Columbus, and an addition of Simcoe and Huell Melon in the hopback. It’s the dry-hopping that sets them all apart: Perfect Recreation features Vic Secret, Simcoe, and Citra; Second Situation has Huell Melon, Azacca, and Citra; and Another Iteration goes with Vic Secret, Enigma, and Huell Melon. All three of these beers are big on various tropical and/or stone fruits, with very little bitterness. The fourth beer, Cause for Celebration, is new, and is similar to the first three in all but the dry-hop, with this 6.1% ABV entry featuring Enigma, Monroe, and Citra. Expect “massive dark jammy berry notes, along with mango, pinot gris, and strawberry”. All four will be available in cans. Dying to grab some on tap, you say? Well, hold off on that though, we’ll come back to it!

For those of you not as hop-inclined (also, for those of you who love variety!), not to worry, 2C naturally has some sour and funky goodies for you that will be released on Saturday. You may recall Deux II – a collab with Maine’s Orono Brewing (remember Maine? sigh) that came out for last year’s anniversary – a foedre-aged sour brewed with local cherries that was, we don’t mind saying, an extremely tasty beverage. Luckily, they tucked away some kegs from last year and have re-packaged that beer into 355 mL cans. There’s not many, granted, but they’re still showing off lots of cherry flavour and Jolly Rancher character, as well as “a bit of marzipan and cinnamon as it warms” to go with the funk. 

That’s not all… 2C also has a brand new funky Saison called Wish You Were Here (lawsuit pending). Brewed as an “in spirit” collaboration with their buddies from Ontario’s Block Three Brewing, the grist has lots of rye and raw wheat, and the wort was hopped heavily with Celia and Hallertau Mittelfrueh (to 60 IBUs) to give some herbal notes. Fermented with a blend of house cultures, the 4.6% ABV beer was canned and allowed to carbonate naturally… and carbonated it is! Cautioned by the brewery that the beer is lively, it’s also tasting “funky, earthy, bitter, and floral”… just be sure to refrigerate your cans appropriately, and have a glass nearby when opening. 

Now, moving on to this weekend’s events with 2 Crows – because of this whole pandemic thing that appears to be holding on (who knew?), a big party at the brewery is a no-go. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have a few ideas up their sleeves! Remember those IPAs we mentioned way up there? Well, you WILL be able to try them on tap, if you’re lucky – Stillwell HQ will be pouring one keg of each NEIPA on Saturday. Yes, just ONE keg, so you won’t have long to get in there to try them. They’ll also be tapping Thunderdome, a golden sour with lime leaves that is a previous collab with Small Pony Barrel Works, as well as a keg of the aforementioned Deux II.

On Sunday, Battery Park will be hosting this year’s interpretation of the brewery’s annual Sour Sunday. Lots of delicious sour beers that have made appearances over the last year; for a full tap list, keep an eye on 2C and BP’s social media stories.

Finally, of course the 2 Crows taproom will still be pouring lots of beers over the weekend, including special old foedre releases, sours, the usual favourites, and side pours of Waltz from their brand new swing faucet.

That’s it, that’s all, there ain’t no more (Islanders in their 40s may get that reference). Happy anniversary 2 Crows peoples! We love you all and we never want to do that again.

Sackville’s only brewery, Ol’ Biddy’s Brewhouse, continues to make a go of things in spite of COVID craziness, and they’re quite happy to have announced recently that you can now find one of their flagship brands, Patrick O’Neil’s Irish Red at select NSLC stores, largely in the HRM. If you’re looking for more than that offering, you can, as always, order their full slate of available brews online direct from the source for curbside pickup via their web store. Meanwhile, in the taproom, they’re serving up a full slate of beers on tap for socially distanced pints, or packaged to go. Their new Winter hours start February 1st, and will see them open Monday to Wednesday from 4 – 8 PM, Thursday to Saturday from 12 PM – 8 PM, and Sunday 12 PM to 6 PM. They’re also starting a “Beer of the Week” where every week the feature beer will be $1.00 off for pints and $5.00 for growler fills. The first of these is Biddy Light, their 4.5% ABV, 9 IBU take on what an “everyday beer” should be. Follow the brewery on their socials (Tw, Fb, Ig) for information on future features.

Ol’ Biddy’s also has a couple of new beers that bear mentioning. First up is their second pilot batch of Kicked in the Hops, this time a “double small batch.” Aiming to be what brewer Keith Forbes loves in a West Coast-style double IPA, you can expect it to be crisp while packing a pronounced bitterness and aromas and flavors of pine, grapefruit, orange, and lemon. Weighing in at a hefty 8% ABV, you’ll find it on tap for pints and growler fills as of February 1st; but act fast, the previous batch sold out quickly and many missed out. And on the already available front, Sackville Smash Blonde has been on the taps for a week or so now. A clean and crisp, easy-drinking ale, it follows the SMaSH regimen of one malt (2-row) and one hop (Huell Melon). Look for light aromas and flavors of melon on top of a slightly grainy sweet base. Grab it at the taproom for pints and/or fills to go.

Big Spruce Brewing in Nyanza Cape Breton has us dreaming of a time back when travel was not restricted, and one might be paged in the airport as you rush from one flight to another. Blue Courtesy Phone is a 7.0% New England IPA hopped solely, and generously, with Sabro hops, known for big tropical notes of pineapple, coconut, passion fruit, and citrus. The beer delivers that in spades, so close your eyes and dream of the beach while you sip on a pint. Available on draught only, you can pop by the brewery in Nyanza for a pint or fill, with kegs being delivered in HRM to Battery Park, Stillwell, and Little Oak.

We’ll head to Yarmouth next for a taste of Belgium. Heritage Brewing Co. is releasing the third beer in its lambic-style series with Funky Blackberry Lambic. The 7.5% ABV beer started with a mix of lighter malts and wheat before undergoing primary fermentation with a Belgian ale strain. It was then aged on blackberries with a mix of Brett, Lacto and Pedio built up from a few mystery Belgian beers. Expect some funk and acidity from the mixed pitch and a light blackberry flavor. Find it on tap (and only on tap) today at Heritage’s Main Street taproom. 

Sticking in Nova Scotia, Garrison Brewing is releasing an offshoot to one of their core beers with Tall Ship Light. At 4.0% it is their lightest beer ever. With no adjuncts involved, we get a light ale pouring pale yellow with a refreshingly light body and mild hop aroma. This will be available only in 12 packs of 355ml cans. Releasing today at the private shops and both Garrison locations, NSLC, ANBL and PEI Liquor will stock theirs later in February. 

Truro Brewing Company is back with their first release in a few weeks with an ode to an icon. Notorious RPA is a Rye Pale Ale that will be sure to pack a punch thanks to some of the spicy notes from the Rye. Throw on your dissent collars and enjoy a beer packed with Chinook hops, which will add piney notes and a bit of spice to go along with grapefruit notes. At 5.2%, this Pale Ale is available on tap only for pints and growler fills. 

West of St. John’s lies Ninepenny Brewing in Conception Bay South, where a new and fresh dark brew is pouring exclusively on tap. The Renown is being billed as an Imperial Porter, and while stated as to be on the “lighter side” of Imperial at 6.7% ABV, is probably still up there enough to provide a little extra warmth in your tummy crap-factory! The brewery notes that this beer was inspired by some of their favourite Baltic Porters; however, they fermented it with Ale yeast, as would be used in a “typical” Porter. With a variety of specialty malts in the grist, look for “a nutty aroma with a caramel, toffee taste, and smooth chocolate finish”. If you like your beers rich and sweet, this is the one for you. Limited quantities are available, so head over to the Ninepenny taproom for a taste.

Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing has pulled a team of taproom staff together to help design and brew a new beer, as well as assist in all the steps up to and including the packaging of said beer. That beer is Apricodabra, a 4.3% ABV kettle sour with apricots. With a noticeable-but-not-enamel-stripping sourness, and some pleasant apricot character, it’s being released on tap and in cans at the brewery today, and you’ll find it pouring at some other fine establishments in the area. If you’re dropping by for some, keep in mind that they’ve also got a couple of variety 12-packs for sale; each box contains four cans of three different Signature Series and Small Batch Series beers. The Hoppy & Bitter Box includes Kilted IPA, St. Andrew’s Cross XPA, and Rampant Lion NEIPA, while the Light & Crisp Box will give you Lockdown Lager, Alderney Dry Lager, and Bonnie Lagered Ale

New Brunswick’s Broue du Païen is keeping up their home deliveries to the Bouctouche, Saint-Antoine, Notre-Dame and Cocagne areas on Fridays, as well as the Greater Moncton Area and Shediac on Saturday afternoons. Just in time for weekend deliveries, they’ve got a brand new beer available to add to your orders. Hop Salad Hazy IPA is a 5.8% ABV, 45 IBUs American IPA that has “a mix of tropical fruit flavours and aroma, with a smooth bitterness that is not overwhelming”. They’re keeping the hop varieties used a secret for now, guess you’ll just have to try it and make a guess! Check out their social media for more delivery details. 

Dartmouth’s Lake City Cider has a new product on the go for cider lovers this week, although maybe not exactly cider lovers… Perry & Rose is not a cider, but a perry (same idea, different fruit) that started with the juice of 100% Nova Scotia cold snap pears. Once fermented it was blended with a rose petal wine, resulting in an elegant sipper where pear is definitely the feature, but the rose provides and enhanced aroma and complexity. Packaged in the 750 mL bottle format and coming in at 5.6% ABV, you can order it for same day delivery (Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat, $35 minimum) or pickup through their online shop.

A few more news bits and bites before we sign off today, plus a job opening to consider…

Fredericton’s 3Flip Brewing is releasing their oatmeal stout, Oat Cold, in cans for the first time. Available on tap only over the last two years, you’ll now be able to find it at ANBL locations or through 3Flip’s online store. While you’re at it, you can wish 3Flip a happy second anniversary by ordering some of their favourites, re-released this week to celebrate the occasion.

Halifax’s Stillwell Brewing has a new batch of their Kompact Kolsch-style beer out in the world this week. A draught-only release, this batch underwent a 3-hour long boil of the wort, leading to a rounder and fuller malt character, thanks to the caramelization, Maillard, and other reactions, changing the nature of the sugars and other carbohydrates in the liquid. Chemistry aside, it’s tasting great and helps to better balance the hop levels that Stilly will sometimes employ. Look for it on tap at Stillwell HQ and the Stillwell Freehouse right…. meow!

Tatamagouche Brewing has a new batch of their award-winning Baltic Porter, Two Rivers, just making its return. Originally part of the brewery’s Giant Beer series, it is indeed just that! Fermented with a Lager yeast strain and cold-conditioned to allow all of those rich, roasty flavours to meld, it weighs in at 8% ABV and is tasting very smooth, despite all that alcohol. One of the perfect winter sipping beers, you can grab bottles of it at the brewery, or make an order for delivery.

Tire Shack has brought back Roman Road, their dry-hopped Pilsner that features a hefty dose of Tettnang and Spalt varieties, giving this 5.5% ABV beer floral and spice aromas. Finishing crisp and smooth, it’s available in cans only (for now), and should be hitting the brewery’s shelves early this afternoon, just in time for the weekend. 

Propeller Brewing has a couple of non-beer/non-modern-beer items out now/coming soon to tell you about. Their Void Sparkling Water with Galaxy has been re-upped at their shops and online, a new batch that they’re saying is even better than the first. No alcohol or calories, and while you wouldn’t be fooled that it’s beer, it’s still refreshing as all get out, and get you in the ballpark when you’re looking for a little *something* more than just water. And as a celebration to International Gruit Day on Monday, February 1st, they will be once again dipping their toes into that ancient style. Named after the herb mixture used to bitter beer before glorious hops were used extensively, we aren’t exactly sure which blend will be used, but common ones include bog myrtle, and Propeller’s previous Gruit collab with Beau’s also featured NS-grown sumac. Keep an eye on their Social Media (Fb/Ig/Tw) for the full details!

Just one job posting to tell you about this week, but it’s kind of a big deal… The Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia is looking for a new Executive Director. This position answers to the Board of CBANS, but does not necessarily have to be someone coming from a CBANS or other brewery position. Key things to keep in mind are a sincere love and belief in local beer and producers, improving the situation both legislatively through government lobbying, and marketing-wise, which includes helping new/potential breweries in the province. For those serious about learning more, check out the posting for this part-time but permanent position, averaging about 20-25 hours a week, for a salary of $45,000. Perfect for those who want to work from home, too! We’re looking forward to what fresh blood in this position can do to revitalize CBANS and the entire beer landscape in the province, as the biggest collected voice for breweries in the province, it does have an impact on all producers (and ultimately drinkers too).