Here we are heading into the last week of Summer in Atlantic Canada, and what a crazy summer it’s been. And things aren’t likely to get any less crazy in Fall, what with the pandemic still being a thing, and the West coast on fire, and, oh hey, another hurricane is bearing down on NS and possibly PEI. GOOD TIMES. So hey, maybe have a read below to get some ideas about where to stock up on beer this weekend and we’ll all see where the wind blows us. Hopefully it’s not off the Eastern seaboard.
Let’s kick off today’s news with a round of congratulations for the Atlantic Canadian breweries who took home medals at this year’s Canadian Brewing Awards! While the Awards and Conference looked quite different than in previous years, it’s always great when well-crafted local beers are getting nation-wide recognition.
Bogside Brewing: Silver in German Style Kolsch for Lighthorse Lagered Ale and Silver in Wheat Beer – German Style (Weiss) for Wheat Kings County
Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault: Gold in French and Belgian Style Saison for Saison du Djâbe
Brasseux d’la Cote: Gold in Fruit / Fruit Wheat / Field / Pumpkin Beer for La Classic Rosé
Copper Bottom: Silver in American Style Imperial India Pale Ale for Parkman Ave
Garrison Brewing: Bronze in Bock – Traditional German Style for Bringing Sexy Bock
Good Robot: Silver in New England Style India Pale Ale for Creature Feature
Moosehead: Bronze in Light (Calorie-Reduced) Lager for Cracked Canoe, Gold in Experimental Beer for Shaker Tropical Pina Colada, Silver in Smoked Beer for Small Batch Rauchbier
PEI Brewing: Silver in North American Style Premium Lager for Beach Chair Lager, Bronze in Session Ale for Setting Day
Propeller Brewing: Silver in Session Ale for Azacca Session IPA
Tatamagouche Brewing: Gold in Baltic Porter for Two Rivers Baltic Porter, Silver in Belgian-Style Brett Beer for Square One, and Bronze in German-Style Sour Ale Berliner-Style Weisse or Gose for Saltwater Cowboy Gose
Tire Shack Brewing: Gold in Cream Ale for The Specialist
Uncle Leo’s Brewery: Silver in North American Style Pale Ale for Sunburst
To see how the rest of the country fared, check out the full list of winners here. Congratulations all!
Speaking of Tire Shack, there’s lots going on in their taproom the coming weekends, as they move into full-blown Oktoberfest celebration mode! They’re turning their taproom into Oktoberfest central for the next three Fridays (starting today) from 4 PM, and Saturdays from 1 PM. A German-inspired menu will be available thanks to catering from White Rabbit, and Tire Shack has brewed up a Munich Helles named Helles Yeah!, that they’ll be serving in 1-L Maß glasses, branded with their logo. For $20, you get the beer, and the glass to keep. In the mood for more than just Helles? Well, they’ve got two other beers that should be pouring just in time for the festivities: Zenith Libation, a cardamom-infused Wheat beer (the first time they’ve had it since they first opened), and Cherry Pie Sour, a kettle sour brewed with 40 kg of cherries, along with vanilla, almond, and cinnamon. Proper attire for the Oktoberfest celebration is encouraged, we understand your servers and beertenders may be partaking in the fun too! If you’re not able to make it to the brewery for a pint or Maß, worry not as these three beers will be canned next week, and available by the weekend. And if you ask nicely during your visit, you may even be able to grab cans of their Gold medal winning The Specialist Cream Ale, though it is currently sold out on tap. And full disclosure, our quip last week about the Moncton housing market was way off base, looks like plenty of folks are moving to the city (and province), with housing sales up 20%+ over last year! Colour us embarrassed!
While on the topic of great events, and a beer to pair with it, let’s hop to Newfoundland for a spell. It’s Port Rexton Pride this weekend in the Bonavista town, and the eponymous Port Rexton Brewing has once again teamed up with Queer Beer NL to brew a celebratory beer. Queer Feeling II is a 4.7% ABV Belgian Witbier, and stays true to style with addition of citrus and spice, to offer a bright hazy colour with a full mouthfeel and lingering fluffy head (thanks to all that wheat), with notes of banana and orange with a zippy coriander spice. On tap and in cans at the brewery now (with $0.50 going to PRP for future events and fun), the St. John’s Retail Shop is also fully stocked for your visit Thurs through Sat, 12 – 7 PM (closing at 5 PM Sat). And if you find yourself on the Bonavista this weekend, be sure to drop by the PR Skerwink Trail parking lot at noon on Sunday, for a BBQ and distanced walk in town, as they team up with pals Oh My Cheeses.
If you’re looking for a new New England IPA hop fix this weekend, North Brewing has you covered with their latest release, Pleasant Disposition (named in honour, we believe, of the writers of this blog). A 6.6% ABV beauty hopped with Strata, Sultana, and Amarillo, it was fermented with Escarpment Labs’ Vermont Ale yeast. Easy-drinking, juicy, and with low bitterness, it’s exactly the type of hazy brew you need to start off/end off your Friday. You can find it on tap right at the source, as well as in cans at their retail shops and online store.
We can’t speak of pleasant dispositions without bringing up Jeremy Taylor of 2 Crows, who has filled us in on all the news that’s fit to print on the brewery’s two new beers, one of which is also a NEIPA. Let’s start with the beer that landed at 2C earlier this week, Fortitude. Billed as a “Hoppy Wild Ale”, the grist was made up of Pilsner, toasted wheat, and raw wheat, with a mash-hop addition of Sterling; further hop additions were made late in the boil (Bru-1, Galaxy, and Citra). The wort was fermented with a blend of Ebbegarden Kveik, Amalgamation (six Brett strains), and the brewery’s house Saison culture, and then dry-hopped heavily with Enigma, Mandarina Bavaria, and more Galaxy. The final 4.6% ABV, 35 IBUs beer has a perfect blend of hops (dank, tropical, fruity) and funk, with plenty of that lovely fruity Brett character you’d expect. Normally, we’d expect a beer of this nature from 2C to be canned, but they decided to bottle this batch. Instead of picking up individual units, the beer will be sold exclusively as part of a tasting pack (with Zip and Refresh), with $5 from each pack going to the ALS Society of NB and NS. Grabbing the set also gives you access to a live tasting event on Facebook on September 30th at 8 pm, where Jeremy himself will explain the creation and tasting notes of all three beers; he’ll also be signing virtual autographs after the session (ok, we made that last part up).
The next beer, as mentioned, is a brand new NEIPA, sticking with 2C’s series of “stupidly-hoppy” IPAs. Perfect Saturation was brewed with the same base as all four of the previous releases (we’d tell you all four but that would kinda ruin a question for the next ACBB trivia night, whenever that will be!), with Golden Promise, wheat malt, flaked wheat, and a touch of Carafoam. Columbus hops were used in both the mash hop and first wort hop additions, followed by a hopback full of Pacific Gem at the end of the boil. While the wort was fermenting with Foggy London from Escarpment, they threw in some Citra and HPA-016. Finally, more Citra and HPA-016 were added after fermentation was complete, along with loads of Sabro and Galaxy. Expect huge notes of tangerine and pineapple, and “a bit of creamy vanilla coconut” thanks to the Sabro. This 6.1% ABV, 44 IBUs hop bomb *should* be available on tap and in cans at the brewery today (label availability pending).
We’ve got a new beer from Quidi Vidi to chat up today, along with a challenge for those who want to get outside. Teaming up with AMBA, the Avalon Mountain Bike Association, they have released Oceanside Sour. Featuring black currant, black cherry, and blackberries, this 5.6% ABV beer is in wide distribution at the brewery, convenience stores, and NLC locations now. And what about the challenge? Well, from September 21st to 27th, they are encouraging folks to get outside, get active, and share photos of how you are enjoying yourself with the #getoceanside hashtag. There will also be challenges during that week, with more ways to win prizes by registering through a donation to The Gathering Place. More details here!
It’s the time of year for Oktoberfest / Marzen releases, so get your palates ready for some toasty, malt-forward Lagers! The folks at Breton Brewing and Saltbox Brewing like the style so much, they decided to team up and brew a collaboration Oktoberfest of their own, called… Oktoberfest Lager. Brewed with a large portion of Munich, this amber-coloured beer is tasting malt-forward as expected, with “a full, bready flavour, and hopped for balance”. Now available on tap and in cans at Breton, and in cans at Saltbox, it weighs in at 5.3% ABV and 25 IBUs. Check out Breton’s online store as well, for home delivery of cans around the province!
Back to hoppy, hazy beers with Rough Waters, who have just launched their very first NEIPA, Morning Haze. Brewed with lots of flaked wheat and flaked oats to build up the body of the final beer, they hopped it with both Galaxy and Cashmere varieties. Coming in at 6.3% ABV, it’s showing off a “big citrus character of tangerine, peach, and pineapple”. You can find it at their taproom in Deer Lake, NL in pints and growlers; it’s also available in bottles.
If you happen to be driving around Cape Breton to pick up some Oktoberfest over the weekend, why not make a stop at Route 19 Brewing in Inverness? They’re pouring fresh pints of their latest beer, Inverness Lager, at their taproom. Brewed with Pilsner malt from Shoreline Malting, and fermented with Escarpment’s (yeesh, why aren’t these guys paying us an advertising fee?) Krispy Kveik yeast, this 4.1% ABV, 30 IBUs brew has “a perfect balance of fresh-out-of-the-oven sweet bread malt notes, and noble hop bitterness”, all with a crisp, easy-drinking finish. This one is just a pilot batch (for now), so it probably won’t last too long.
On the West side of Newfoundland you’ll find the Port au Port Peninsula, and on the East side of that, you’ll find Port au Port East, home to Secret Cove Brewing, who have released a new beer they’re calling Lingo. Although the name has been used for a previous beer from the brewery, a lemon/orange Radler, this time around they decided to brew it as a fruited kettle sour and make it part of their regular rotation. They also made a small change to the fruit component, settling on pineapple during fermentation, with a bit of orange aroma and flavor as well through an addition of zest. Unlike many small sours, which are very often extremely dry, this one was designed to have a bit of body, although you can still expect the tartness to be refreshing. Fermentation-wise, lower temperatures were used to control ester production and allow the fruit to take center stage. The result is a refreshing beer coming in at 4% ABV that should be a lovely accompaniment to the waning warm days of summer. Secret Cove is now canning their beers, which has allowed them to extend their reach throughout Western Newfoundland; they’ve got orders out now to Gander and other parts of the central part of the Province. You can expect Lingo in particular to be found at the brewery, but also in Corner Brook Deer Lake, Gander, and Stephenville.
If you’re out and about at certain beer-friendly places this weekend, you might just be among the first to try beer from Nova Scotia’s latest brewery. Topside Brewing is a home-based brewery (for now) in Bedford, from husband and wife Blair & Erin Tobin. Taking cues from Blair’s career as a Navy Clearance Diver, Topside has a dive roster of four beers that will be making a splash in the coming weeks: 5 Bells Session IPA, Joyce’s Boy Hefeweizen, On the Bottom East Coast IPA, and Lord’s Porter. We’ll have much more from Topside in a full Profile (hopefully) Monday, and keep an eye on their IG and Facebook page for a heads up when the beer is tapped! Congratulations!
There’s no beery events on our radar this week, but here’s a few quick-ish mentions as we send you into the weekend:
Rothesay’s Long Bay Brewing has changed ownership after 3+ years of selling beer to the public, with Jon Choinard and Tim Webber taking the reins from original owner/brewer Sean Doyle. Both Jon and Tim will be sharing the brewing responsibilities, and with this change also comes the news that the brewery is now licensed to operate as a taproom. Yes, that means you’ll be able to drink your favourite Long Bay beers (and other alcohol) on site. For now, they’re mainly open to pre-arranged groups of 12 or fewer people from the same bubble, but this will hopefully change in the near future once they have proper seating and such. If you’d like to head in for a pint, give them a call at 506-847-HOPS to book a time.
And in more great news for those who like to drink beer where it’s made, Lower Sackville’s Ol’ Biddy’s Brewhouse is now set up to sell pints of their 15 (fifteen!) different offerings. Open 12 – 8 PM Thurs to Sat, and 12 – 6 PM Sun, grab a pint of 7 Day IPA, Funk Town Pale Ale, Patrick O’Neil Red, or one of the other dozen beers for enjoyment onsite before grabbing cans to go.
If you’re a fan of the beer coming out of 3Flip Brewing in Douglas, NB, you have reason to celebrate a little, especially if cans are your packaging mode of choice. The brewery is happy to announce that they’ve secured the ability to switch to canning, and that you can expect to find those cans at all ANBL and private retailer locations where you’re already buying their beer. Confirmed are their three core brands: Sassy Cow, Anonymous Amber, and Americana Track 4, all in 355 mL format. So don’t be alarmed if you don’t find the familiar bottles at your local, just have a good look and you’ll hopefully find that you just need to be searching for cans!
It was bound to happen, and after PEI Brewing broke the seal back in August, the deluge of Pumpkin beers has now reached a fever pitch! For those who like to get their gourd on, in addition to PEIBC’s Pumpkin Ale, Brasseurs du Petit-Sault has released their Bonhomme Sept-Heure, Propeller Brewing has their Pumpkin Spiced Ale out now in cans and bottles (brewed using Howard Dill’s world famous Atlantic Giant Pumpkins). And look for Digby and Kingston’s Roof Hound Brewing to release their Keltic Devil Pumpkin Spiced Coffee Porter and Miramichi’s Timber Ship has their ‘Gourd’on’s Wharf Autumn Ale just waiting in the wings. Now go forth and spice up your life!