RagnaRock Northern Brewing Company

All posts tagged RagnaRock Northern Brewing Company

As we all feel the anticipation of getting a jab in our arms and a spring in our steps, keep that hope alive and support your local bars and breweries! There’s a sense of optimism in the air and we think it’s worth celebrating. We know there have been some slower months in our news over the past few months, but as we all know, supporting local is more important than ever (if it’s within your means!) and we’re all doing a great job of getting through this together. Onto the beer!

Let’s start this week’s news with something that, frankly, we don’t see enough of in Atlantic Canada – beers with eponymous names. Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing Company is releasing Kellyerbier, their take on the German style of Kellerbier. Named after brewmaster Kellye Roberston, Kellyerbier starts with a blend of pilsner and chit malts from Shoreline Malting. Saaz and Saphir hops were used, followed by some time mingling with light Hungarian oak during secondary fermentation. Expect a light graininess, with notes of honey and some minerality. The hops add a citrusy note to round out this pale lager.  The finished beer comes in at 4.7% ABV and 22 IBUs and is available on tap and for crowlers to-go at the brewery now. 

Trailway Brewing Co. has another hazy IPA up its sleeves this week, with the release of SHADES. Coming in at 6.6% ABV, this one is a tribute to some of Trailway’s favorite hops, combining additions of Strata, Idaho 7, Callista, Sultana and Galaxy. Expect hop driven flavours that include citrus, peach  and guava, with dank and piney overtones. SHADES is available now at the brewery and for delivery or curbside pickup through their webstore

A blast from the past is making its return in Dartmouth this weekend. A fresh batch of Gus’ 65M Belgian Blonde is back on the shelves (both physical and virtual) at North Brewing Company. A quick history lesson – when North opened on Agricola Street in 2013 (remember those ceramic growlers?), their first keg account was at Gus’ Pub which just happened to be 65 meters north of North. Over the years, the beer has evolved from its original recipe, winning two Canadian Brewing Awards along the way. This batch comes in at 4.5% ABV and combines peppery Belgian phenols with citrus notes and light spiciness in the finish, and is available in cans and on tap today. 

And while we have you, North is hiring! They are looking for a part-time (3 days a week) delivery driver to service their HRM deliveries (both private citizens and licensees), with the possibility of having that job go full time in the future. No direct brewery experience is necessary, though being 19+ and having a driver’s license is. Peep the full details, and how to apply, on their jobs page. And we have several more job listings later in the post too, as breweries get ready for a busy spring and summer!

Keeping last week’s mead madness going again this week we have, coming out of Smith’s Cove, NS, Lazy Bear Brewing’s take on a mead. Appropriately named Mead, this one comes in at 8.4% ABV. Honey was sourced from Fox & The Bee Farms in nearby Clemonsport and Cosman and Whidden in Greenwich. Expect a crisp and refreshing drinking experience with a touch of tartness. You can grab this now in bottles or growlers from the brewery, and this Saturday at the Annapolis Royal Farmer’s Market. Rumour also has it, with the loosening of public health restrictions on travel, that an HRM delivery run may be in the works. 

From Smith’s Cove, let’s head East along the 101 to Berwick, where we find Smokehouse Nano Brewery. They have a brand new draught-only release pouring at their taproom this week, which will have you feeling like a sharp dressed man…. ZZ Hop is a 6.4% ABV New England IPA, featuring a whole whack of hops, but without a bitter finish. Galaxy, Mosaic, and Citra were added by the bushel-full later in the boil and in dry-hopping additions, for a hazy, juicy blast of citrus and stone fruit flavours. As this is a small release, best to pop by 134 Union St for a taste, they’re open from noon daily.

One last stop in Annapolis Valley this week, at Church Brewing in the heart of Wolfville. They have christened (see what I did there?) their pilot system, and are releasing the first in their Belief System series. Lilith is a 6.7% ABV New England IPA, featuring notes of grapefruit, melon, and hints of floral character. Simcoe and Azacca were used, as well as an addition of orange peel. As is typical for the style, hops are front and centre, but do not come through as overly bitter. As this is a small release, Lilith is only available at the taproom, though if you act quickly, you may be able to grab a crowler to-go in their adjacent Beer Market. Look for more releases in the Belief System series coming soon, allowing Church the ability to explore new styles, brew to historical timelines, and focus on their community support initiative, “Brew Good Do Good”. And if working in a church sounds like a job from heaven (come for the news, get inundated with bad puns), see below in the jobs section for a way you can join their team.

If you find yourself in Cape Breton in the next little while, head to the Westside Cafe (conveniently located on Route 19 as luck would have it) to try out the newest release from Route 19 Brewing. Town Lager is a 4.7% lager-like ale brewed with Krispy, a blend of Kveik yeasts from Escarpment Labs, and hopped with German varietals including Ariana, to the tune of 18 IBU. This one is on tap at Westside only for the time being, while the brewery’s taproom and retail remains closed for the offseason. Look for Town Lager to make an appearance again this summer in cans and for fills. 

Keeping with the signs of an optimistic Spring and the easing of restrictions, Spryfield’s Belgian-inspired Serpent Brewing takes two very big steps forward for their young brewery. Their Patey’s Bier Belgian Single is a refreshing style that is kegged and will be making its way across HRM taprooms in the coming weeks. In even bigger news, they’ll be opening their taproom on Saturday March 20th. We’ll be posting more details as we get them, but keep an eye out on Dentith Road in Spryfield behind the Canadian Tire and you can still check their website for pick-up and delivery options. 

Down in Southwest Nova, Tusket Falls Brewing are continuing their Experimental Brew series, with something dark and sweet this week. Chasing the Pastry Stout is an 8.0% ABV Dessert Beer, that they say will pair nicely with a chocolate fudge brownie. No word yet if any of those treatas are available in the taproom, but that *is* the only spot you’ll be able to grab this brew, so be sure to pop in this weekend before it disappears!

Big news for fans of beer and coffee in Rothesay: the Long Bay Brewery taproom is now also a full-service cafe, opening at 7:30 AM on weekdays, 10:00 AM on Saturdays and 11:00 AM on Sundays. Look for baked goods from Eb Coffeeshop and beans from Piccadilly Coffee Roasters out of Sussex, who’ve developed the Long Bay Morning Brew blend just for the cafe/taproom. And since they’re a licensed tap room, what’s to stop you from adding a little Baileys to that coffee, or pairing it with a beer? The correct answer is: nothing, you should totally do that.

The fine folks at Good Robot want you to know that they’ve missed seeing your face (at least the part not covered by a mask) at their taproom on Robie Street. And while, no, they’re not open yet, they’re happy to tell everyone that the planning is afoot for a resumption (conditional upon COVID-19 restrictions, of course) of in-person dining and service on Friday, March 12th!

And in “Future Beer News”, we have a couple of cool collaborations to chat up this week that see some of our local breweries partnering up with some of our region’s cultural touchstones. First up, you may be aware that The East Coast Music Association has historically seen participation by local breweries during their traditional week of events surrounding the annual East Coast Music Awards. This year they’ve announced that they’re formalizing the next five years of partnerships. Starting in May of this year, when the (largely virtual, sadly) ECMAs will be held in Sydney, NS, a partner brewery will brew up a collaboration beer called East Coast Music Ale to be released in the weeks leading up to the event, with $0.50 of each can sold going directly to the association. This year’s partner is Sydney’s own Breton Brewing, and we’re sure to have more information on their beer when its release approaches. From there, the schedule includes Fredericton’s Grimross Brewing in 2022, Halifax’s Garrison Brewing in 2023, Charlottetown’s Upstreet Craft Brewing in 2024, and up on the Rock, Quidi Vidi’s Quidi Vidi Brewing in 2025.

And down on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, folks are gearing up to celebrate one of the great icons of Nova Scotia, Atlantic Canada, and indeed, Canada itself. The famed schooner Bluenose was launched on March 26th, 1921, and, as you can imagine, there will be some commemorative activity going on. Enter Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing Company who have been officially approved to make and distribute an official commemorative ale as part of the celebrations. The brewery is working hard to ensure that the beer achieves distribution throughout the province via the NSLC, but will also be supplementing that distro on the South Shore. Consistent with Saltbox’s history of community involvement, they’ll also be donating a portion of the proceeds from the beer to the Bluenose Heritage Trust. We’ll have details on the beer once they’re available and keep you apprised of when and where you can get your landlubbing hands on it.

Obviously we’re still not in a place where big events full of lots of people are a thing that can happen in our region, but we’ve still got one humdinger to tell you about:

If you’re like us and you’ve had a bit of a taste of sunny and vaguely warmish weather in the last week and that made you think about kicking back at the Stillwell Beergarden with a pint of local lager and a plate of tacos from Beverley Taco Service, we’ve got some big news for you. Although it won’t be out in the sun with the hum of Spring Garden Road in the background, this coming Sunday, March 7th, and the Sunday after next, March 21th, from 2 PM to 10 PM, the fine folks of Bar Stillwell will be hosting Tacos & Lager at Stilly HQ on Barrington Street!! Featuring some of the best in NS lagers on tap (Tatamagouche Dekorum, Spindrift Killick and Toller, Good Robot El Espinazo del Diablo, and 2 Crows Dos Cuervos and Refresh) as well as some crushable cans, you’ll be able to pair those lovely palate refreshing liquids with Beverley Taco Service’s Carnitas or Birria Tacos, a special Stilly/Beverley collab taco, Chilaquiles, or simple Chips and Salsa. And for dessert? Churros and Chocolate con Chilli!! Consistent with summer Sunday afternoons at the BG, there will be vinyl spinning throughout the afternoon. What more could you ask for than a taste of summer in late winter?

This week, as restrictions ease and things slowly (slowly and hopefully!) get back to normal, we’re seeing three new job postings from around our region in addition to the North posting mentioned above:

First from Church Brewing, they’re looking for a Packaging Operator to work with beer packaging, quality control and preventative maintenance. If you’re looking to get a start in the great area of Wolfville, this full-time gig would be right up your alley. Check out the full job posting here

Spindrift has a new posting for a Production Brewer, working with and reporting to the Head Brewer, this is an excellent opportunity for someone with post-secondary education along with previous brewing industry experience could be a perfect fit. Or not, as we know many breweries will take passion and an ability to learn, with some relevant knowledge. It can never hurt to apply. For the full details and application instructions, check out this link

Rolling into the spring and summer, downtown Moncton favourite Tide and Boar is hiring multiple positions for taproom staff and kitchen employees for their soon-to-open stand-alone brewery and taproom location at 1355 Main Street. Shoot them an email with your resume at admin@tideandboar.com

March is International Women’s History Month, with International Women’s Day coming up on Monday, March 8th. This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge, and many breweries are taking the day and theme to heart, brewing and releasing beers over the next few days to commemorate it. 

The International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day is a worldwide annual event that takes place on IWD, open to all women “working, or interested, in beer, to learn, network, and make friends”. No requirements on style, ingredients, or packaging, only a love of beer! This year’s theme is Unite Compassion, which we can all use more of these days! As of publishing, Foghorn Brewing in Rothesay and Four Rivers in Bathurst NB, and Landwash Brewery in Mount Pearl NL have announced they will be taking part, but there’s still time for interested brewers to sign up to the event.

The women of Foghorn teamed up with those of Big Tide Brewing and Loyalist City to bring back the style-bending Sparkölsch. As a reminder, this is a 5.0% ABV Kölsch-style hybrid ale/lager, with an addition of edible sparkles for a truly shimmering final product! Available in bottles and on tap at the participating breweries now, plus other friendly spots around Saint John, Fredericton, and beyond. The full list of bars and retailers can be found here. Foghorn’s donations from sales of Sparkölsch are going toward their membership in the United Way Quarter Fund, a group of small businesses who have pledged to donate $250,000 over five years. These funds are in turn directed to organizations that support survivors of domestic/intimate partner violence and to mental health research.

In Bathurst, Becca and Lani of Four Rivers developed and brewed an Oatmeal Stout, which will be launched Monday as part of the IWD celebration. At 5.5% ABV, Dark Horse Oatmeal Stout is full of Chocolate and Sherry notes, with Coffee and Cocoa on the tongue to complement. Light mouthfeel, and not too sweet. Keep an eye on their social media for the full details on the beer Monday!

Landwash Brewery’s Christina Coady is leading the women of Newfoundland and Labrador breweries in a massive collaboration on Monday. While originally planned to have the collaboration take part in person in Mount Pearl, this time they’ll be leveraging the power of technology to stay connected. The crew thus far has representation from coast to coast to coast, with brewers from Boomstick, Bootleg BrewCo, Dildo Brewing, Iron Rock, Port Rexton, RagnaRöck, and Split Rock all taking part (and it’s not too late to message LW to join the list!). They will be using the 2021 Pink Boots hop blend from Yakima Chief (Ahtanum, Cashmere, Citra, Loral, and Sabro) to make an IPA with Passion Fruit, which will be released later in the month. Proceeds from the sale of the beer will be donated to The Gathering Place, a community centre offering meals, clothing, and health services to those in the community.

At Truro Brewing Company, owner Jana brewed up some awesome beer ladies in the province in February, and are releasing their Ginger Lime Gose today. You’ll be familiar with many of these names, with Kelly Costello, Chelsea Meisner, Kim Hart Macneill, Meg Foote, Shannon Dalberg, and some members of the Truro Pride Society. At 4.8% ABV, this slightly tart ale features a bold aroma from the fresh lime zest, and fresh ginger added, which is complemented by sea salt from Pure Atlantic Harvest in Halifax. It is on tap now, and given how well it turned out, they may be doing another batch for bottle release in the future!

You may recall that Port Rexton Brewing, a 100% women-owned business with a majority of women employees, released a beer last year for IWD that they called Violet Femmes and which sported a lovely hue due to the addition of butterfly pea flower. Well they’ve done it again this year! Once again a dry-hopped sour ale, the acidic pH influencing the shade of pink/purple expressed by the flower, this year it’s been packaged in cans (with artwork by Molly Margaret Art) for wider enjoyment. You’ll be able to find it available for purchase starting today at noon for online ordering and pick up at their St. John’s retail shop as well as in Port Rexton at the brewery and the Port Rexton Foodex. They will also be sending the beer out to some more locations, so keep an eye on social media (Fb/Ig/Tw) to find out where. Meanwhile, like last year, they’ll be donating proceeds from this beer to a worthy cause, this year it will be Transition House Association of NL.

Sydney’s Island Folk Cider House has debuted a new release this week, Choosing to Challenge. Embracing this year’s IWD theme to IFCH means “calling out gender bias and inequality”, “seeking out and celebrating women’s achievements”, and “working collectively to create an inclusive world”. The Choosing to Challenge is a 6.5% ABV Honey Lavender cider, and features a special cross-stitched theme on the label, by Alison Uhma of On Paper Books, responsible for all of their illustrations. From Island Folk, “$1 from every bottle sold will go to the Every Woman’s Centre – a non-profit organization that promotes and supports the enhancement of women’s lives in Cape Breton – Unama’ki.”

Keeping with the theme, Breton Brewing is launching a showcase ale for the great women of their brewery. A beer brewed by three of their female employees, with one of them also designing the label. Releasing Pink Boots Pale Ale for IWD, this bright and floral pale uses the Pink Boots blend which has helped to create a light and hoppy 4.6% ABV brew with fantastic floral, lemon, and citrusy aromas. It is now available in the taproom and online for home delivery in the CBRM & HRM. A portion of sales from every can sold will be donated to a local women’s charity. This is Breton’s third iteration of Pink Boots, as it was out last year for International Women’s Day and again in June of 2020, supporting scholarships for women in the brewing industry. The previous release was a Session IPA, but they’re back with a Pale Ale for 2021 and it sounds as delicious as ever.

Quidi Vidi Brewery released Stronger Together Strawberry Blonde Ale this week, with recipe, artwork, and name, all the brainchild(ren) of women who work in the brewery. “Today we raise a glass to Tiffany, Sam, Ashley, Meredith, Becca, Olivia, Vic and Grace who exemplify the spirit of Stronger Together! ♥️” Ripe strawberry aromatics with hints of cherry, supported by a light malt backbone and crisp finish in a 5.0% ABV package. The QV beer is also an opportunity to give back, with the brewery making a donation of $2000 to NLOWE. “What is NLOWE,” you might ask? From the brewery: “Founded in 1997, the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs supports and encourages women entrepreneurs to overcome challenges and take advantage of exciting opportunities to start their venture or grow their existing business.” Stronger Together is available now at their spot at 16 Harbour View Drive, as well as online for local delivery.

Let’s finish today back in Saint John, where the Picaroons General Store invited the fine folks of Big Tide and Uncorked Tours into the brewhouse in February. They brewed up an IPA, which will be hitting the taps Monday. Leaning towards the malty side, but featuring plenty of hops to balance, it will come out around 6.5% when all is said and done. In addition to the taps at Pics, it will also be available for pints and the new growler option at Uncorked’s spot in the City Market on Monday.

 

Here we are in November and, with absolutely NOTHING going on in the world, least of all potentially strange and frightening things of a political nature, we’re free to wax poetic about the local beer scene as is our wont on Friday afternoons. Or maybe things are just heartening yet terrifying all at once, and what we really need to do is distract ourselves with good news about beer and then procure some of that beer and drink it. Whee!

You may have noticed that since changing ownership not too long ago, Rothesay’s Long Bay Brewing has been flexing their experimentation muscles a bit more, with new, small batch one-offs being released every Friday for the past month and a half. While most of these releases have been available only on tap at the brewery, this week’s newest beer was brewed on their 15 bbl system, so will definitely be seeing wider distribution across the province. The beer in question is Return to the Moon, a 7.5% ABV, 50 IBUs New England DIPA. Brewed with a blend of English and Canadian base malts, as well as some wheat and oats, it was hopped and dry-hopped with three different varieties of American hops. With big aromas of stone fruit, tangerine and coconut, you’ll notice flavours “reminiscent of pina colada, with a pre-dominate amount of coconut and pineapple, followed by a complex mixture of cream and tangerine”. Aside from at the brewery, you’ll be able to find this one at select bars and restaurants in Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John. This joins The Half of It, a 4.5% ABV Session-strength New England IPA released late October, also on tap at the brewery and at licensees around the province.

In other Long Bay news, keep your eyes and ears open for coming info on their first canned beer, which should be hitting most ANBLs sometime in December… more details to come! They also plan to be officially opening their taproom this winter (while currently licensed, their taproom right now is set up in a standing room only capacity for extremely small groups, and best to contact ahead of time to ensure there’s room for your Bubble) with enough room for 25 seats, and a second expansion hopefully by the spring that will be much larger, and include an outdoor deck. 

Moncton’s Tire Shack is celebrating their First Anniversary this coming Monday (November 9th), so be sure to drop by the taproom that day to help celebrate with $5 pints all day! “We really appreciate the amazing support we have had from everyone this past year so come down and celebrate with us.” So, what to drink Monday? Or even better, today? They have a pair of new beers on draught (and also freshly canned this morning!), so let’s get you those details…

  • Black Forest Cake Sour is a take on the excellent german dessert that features a chocolate sponge base filled with cherries and kirsch, a cherry liqueur. Playing off of the flavour components, Tire Shack has gone all in with a glass full of dark malts for chocolate flavour in spades, along with cherry taste and a touch of tartness to bring it all together. As they say, it’s the perfect beer to get you ready for winter!” At 6.0% ABV, the beer is available in samples and pints at the taproom, and in growlers (and now cans) to go.
  • Hip Hop Vol 4: Nelson Sauvin is their latest foray into their hop-centric releases, this time heading to New Zealand for one of the most unique (and rare) hops on the market, Nelson Sauvin. Citrus up front with plenty of gooseberry, Sauvignon Blanc grape character, and maybe even a touch of black pepper, this hop is the queen of the kiwi hop scene, and for good reason! The 8.0% ABV Hazy Double IPA packs a punch, and will have you dancing all night long! Samples, pints, growlers, and cans are all available at the brewery right now!

Congratulations to Jerica, Alan, Henry, and the whole Tire Shack crew on Year 1, we hope Monday is a big success! And if weekend drinking is more your thing, keep your eyes peeled here for a couple of new releases and birthday celebrations continuing next weekend, in next Friday’s post!

In Lunenburg, NS, Shipwright Brewing released a continent-spanning Wheat beer this week, taking its inspiration, and ingredients from both European and North American sources. And named after an international sailing season! We’ll explain: Great Grain Race starts with a blend of Pale Ale, Wheat, and Malted Oats for a typical wheat grist. In the boil, Saphir and Hallertau Blanc hops were added in, as well as Sweet Orange Peel and Coriander, iconic additions for a Belgian Witbier. After fermentation with their Kolsch yeast, it was dry-hopped lightly with Topaz before further conditioning. Soft mouthfeel with extra effervescence give a refreshingly clean finish, complementing the wheat and citrus character of this 4.3% ABV beer. So, what’s in a name? Well, the Great Grain Race is the name of a historical sailing route race carrying grain (usually wheat) that generally left from South Australia’s grain ports at Spencer Gulf, all the way to Cornwall, UK. A particularly good passage via Cape Horn was considered anything under 100 days, with the fastest ever being 83 days. We know that the beer will definitely not last that long, so best to get down to Shipwright’s Taproom, or the Grand Banker below, soon to enjoy a glass or crowler!

Chester, Nova Scotia’s own Tanner & Co. Brewing has a brand new beer this week, Belgian IPA. Named after the hybrid IPA sub-style, it was brewed with a grist of Pilsner, Rye, and Munich malts, along with a touch of Honey malt for a bit of extra sweet malt character. Hopped with Amarillo, Citra, Simcoe, Centennial, and a little Mandarina Bavaria, it was fermented with a Belgian Ale yeast strain. Giving off characteristics of both spice and citrus, thanks to the use of both Belgian and American ingredients, it comes in at 6.7% ABV and 60 IBUs. Available right now in 500 mL bottles at the brewery. 

Over in Dieppe, O’Creek Brewing continues their run of hazy, hoppy IPAs with the latest in their two-hop-variety DUOH series. DUOH Sabro/Galaxy is a 6% ABV, 50 IBUs American IPA hopped with heavy amounts of the not-so-easy-to-find Sabro and Galaxy varieties, giving the beer a whole lotta tropical fruit, citrus, and coconut notes. Look for it to be pouring soon at CAVOK Brewing (and remember, guest taps at CAVOK can be taken away in crowlers!), with other accounts following in the near future. And as a sneak preview for next week, O’Creek will be releasing SOLOH – Talus, another 6% ABV IPA, but hopped entirely with one variety… in this case, Talus. Talus is a new hop that is a cultivated daughter of Sabro, and gives the beer “big aromas of pink grapefruit, citrus rinds, dried roses, pine resin, tropical fruits, and sage”. Definitely some descriptors in there that we’re not used to seeing in most hops! Look for that one at the usual O’Creek accounts.

Speaking of CAVOK Brewing, they’ve got another bottle release that just hit their shelves yesterday, Béta Germinorum. We don’t have too many details, but can tell you that the beer is a 4.5% ABV oak foeder-aged blend of two different beers, a Raspberry Sour and an Oatmeal Stout. That may be enough info to give you an idea of what to expect in terms of a tasting, but best drop by the brewery to pick up a bottle to be sure! As always with these releases, there is a limited amount of 750 mL bottles available, so don’t wait too long to drop in.

Coming out of Inverness in Cape Breton this week is a new beer from Route 19 Brewing, a first foray (we think) into the Saison style. Eventide references the old english word for evening, which might be the best time of day to enjoy this one. Gaining plenty of yeast character from Escarpment Labs’ Old World Saison blend fermented at a relatively high temperature, you can expect cooked apple and pear notes on the nose with some peppery phenolic spice as well. The grist featured Munich malt from Shoreline Malting, which provided a darker color than might be expected for the style, alongside 2-row, wheat and biscuit malts, the latter two contributing some breadiness and, well, “biscuit” character. On the hop side, the beer leverages a relatively unheralded hop called Celeia that we’ve not run into before, but which has a noble lineage and sports herbal and green tea flavors. Bittered to 30ish IBU, this 6.2% ABV saison will be available from the brewery this weekend and will also be making its way to NSLC locations around Cape Breton as part of their Hyper-Local program.

Those driving to/from Prince Edward Island, or lucky Islanders who just want to try the latest release from Borden’s Lone Oak Brewing, are well-advised to hop in the car and make a drive this weekend! There’s a new special small batch on tap, a style not often seen in the region. Taking the base beer of their Fixed Link Maritime Pilsner, they pulled it from the conditioning tanks a little early, and allowed it to carbonate naturally in the kegs before tapping. Dubbed a Kellerpils, it weighs in at the same 4.7% ABV as Fixed Link, but features a softer mouthfeel and just a little different aromatics. Just a few kegs of this are available, so don’t delay! And for all of their other offerings, Lone Oak has introduced an On-Demand Beer Delivery Service in the Charlottetown area. Place an order online 10:30 AM – 9:30 PM (12 – 8 PM Sundays), and your beer will be in your hands in 45 minutes or less! There is a 4 can minimum, and $6.99 delivery fee for this service.

It’s that time of year for Propeller fans; or, more specifically, fans of their annual release of Russian Imperial Stout. This year, things are just a touch different for the release of this dark, strong (8% ABV), rich, cellarable beer, in that it will be available in bottles only. No growlers this time around, but they will still be serving bottle pours at both taproom locations. You can find bottles at NSLC stores, and of course at both Prop Shops. And in other Propeller good news, they’re bringing back Cask Nights at the Gottingen taproom. Casks will be tapped bi-weekly, with proceeds from each going to a different organization every month. Today’s release (5 pm sharpish) is Nocturne Black IPA w/ Cacao Nibs, and two weeks from now will feature a sneak peek of an upcoming release. Proceeds for this month’s events will go towards the Ecology Action Centre

Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing has been pumping out the beers nice and steady, and are putting the final push on their taproom and retail space. In preparation for that, they’ve released the details of their Growler and Founder’s Clubs. Big discounts on growlers, merch, pints, special invite-only events, the chance to choose the name and style of one of their brews? All of this, and much more, can be yours by signing up! Full details are available on their website. Best to check it out quickly, as the membership is limited in numbers!

We’re pretty lucky to be living in a region where we can even have beer-related events in a non-scary fashion. Let’s make the most of it in a safe and responsible way!

Charlottetown’s HopYard Beer Bar is hosting their latest takeover this weekend, starting… right….. Now! Hosting Dartmouth’s North Brewing Co to pour some of their core beers as well as recent releases, and have brought along Halifax’s Chain Yard Urban Cidery to ensure there’s something for everyone! From North, you’ll see: Little Beast Lagered Ale, Lawrencetown Surf Session Ale, Gold Sounds Blonde, Dartmouth Dark Lager, Headline Milk Stout, Malternate Reality IPA, Raz Plush Dry-hopped Sour with Raspberry, Strollin’ Down Baldwin Street New Zealand Grisette, and Grape and Strawberry Rhubarb Seltzers. And keeping your tummy happy too is the first pop-up from Dough Boy Industries Pizza, who will be slinging pies Friday 4 – close, and again tomorrow from noon. Margarita, Pepperoni, Canadian, Donair and vegan pizza, with fresh and local ingredients, sounds great to us! And making this all even more awesomer, North is holding a contest on FB and IG, so check it out and have a blast this weekend! Maybe we’ll see you tonight. 🙂

Congratulations are in order for St Anthony’s RagnaRöck Northern Brewing, who are celebrating their First Anniversary this weekend! Saturday evening will see Sam and Tyler jamming some live music, and the debut of a very special beer debuting especially for the event. More details are available on their Facebook page, and we highly recommend giving them a shout to reserve your table at 709-454-3136. Congratulations!!

Halifax’s Garrison Brewing is taking advantage of our Atlantic Bubble status and keeping up with some (socially-distanced) Fall events. First up is a Remembrance Day Levee going on at both their Oxford and Seaport taproom locations, from 12 – 6 PM on November 11th (of course), with a portion of sales going to The Poppy Fund. After 6 PM regular business hours and operations will resume. And next week, from Thursday, November 12th, to Sunday, November 15th, The Oxford taproom will be celebrating their first birthday. Head on down and be part of four days of celebrations that will include prizes, and “Anniversary Beer Bucket”, and more!

Thanksgiving 2020! We made it! A time to (safely) get together with family and friends to celebrate the changing seasons. Whether you’ll be gathered in person, or virtually, we hope you’re able to do so with some great local beer. And if you’re venturing out Sunday and/or Monday, be sure to check that the restaurant, bar, taproom, or brewery is open. As someone who’s been burned by Google Maps hours of operation suggestions a lot recently, always best to call or check social media!

Great news for those in Western New Brunswick, after a few dry years, you now have a local brewery once again! Tobique River Trading Co in Perth-Andover has been open and serving their own coffee for a few months, but have now officially released their first beers. Available now at the brewery in cans and growlers for take home enjoyment, as well as the local ANBL and nearby agency stores. So, what have they put together for you to enjoy? Great question, voice in my head!

  • The Old Highway is their 5.7% flagship, a Blonde ale with a crisp finish.
  • BeechGlen Blonde, a 5.0% “faux blonde”, bordering on a light lager, with very low bitterness.
  • Better on the Tobique, a 6.0% featuring a touch of sweetness from the Honey malt used in the grist, and a complement to all sorts of food dishes.
  • Monquat Citra, a 4.8% light and refreshing pale beer, with a serious citrus dry hop to have you thinking this could even be a radler (but it ain’t).

Pop by their spot at 694 Perth Main Street this weekend for your first tastes, and congratulations to the Tobique crew!

Staying within the bubble (don’t we always?), we head just across the PEI border where we have been treated to many …treats… Lone Oak brings us Sour Outage, a 7.0% golden sour with another throwback to Hurricane Dorian from September 2019. Sour Outage was aged on 700lbs of Cherry Plums that staff, friends and family handpicked from The Grove Orchard shortly before Dorian hit last year. After being aged for a months on the cherries, this sour gives a nod to all of the crews working to restore power to Islanders after one of the most devastating storms to hit the Atlantic. Sour Outage is now on tap for pints at the brewery with bottles-to-go available around October 16th. 

Nyanza’s Big Spruce has big news this week with an entirely new beer, a very seasonal re-release, and the annual return of a regional favorite. First up is the newbie, a style unseen in this region, we believe. If you’re at all familiar with the Alsace region of France, you’ll know that was a hotly contested area between French and Germanic states for hundreds of years and thus has heavy cultural influences from both sides. Those cultural influences obviously include language and food, but more importantly, beer! Just as Alsatians have their own versions of coq au vin (with Riesling, of course) and Sauerkraut (Choucroute), they also have their own take on the classic German Pilsner (although, somewhat ironically, it has been argued that it’s got more Czech roots than German). Generally featuring a little bit of corn, which flies in the face of the German beer purity law, and local Strisselspalt hops, it’s lighter in color and flavor and more bitter than most French beers. Big Spruce has adopted the corn aspect in their Pils d’Alsace, which they sourced from a farm in Cape Breton that dries corn to make their own grits. Crystal clear, with a big white head, the aroma is redolent of herbs, spices, and biscuit, with floral and herbal notes on the palate and a slightly bready body. The crisp finish will no doubt leave you contemplating the similarities and differences between this substyle and it’s German and Bohemian brethren, but also another sip. This one will likely also be a lovely beer for a study in contrast between pale European with amber European lager, and the folks at Big Spruce are happy to help with that too, as they’re also releasing their very seasonal Amärzen Grace. Amber in color, full-bodied, and balanced very much towards the malt side, Märzen is the OG Oktoberfest style which was served at Oktoberfest in Munich up until the 1950s when it was replaced by the lighter golden Helles Oktoberfestbier style. Big Spruce’s version is 6% ABV and has the color of burnt honey, with an ivory-colored head. Look for notes of toffee and brown bread, with dried and candied fruit notes that lead to a slightly sweet aftertaste. We don’t know that this one will be packaged for retail sale, but we don’t doubt that if you find yourself at finer taprooms around the Province in the next couple of weeks you’ll bump into it.

Also coming out of Big Spruce this week is the return of one of the classic big beers in Atlantic Canada. Ra Ra Rasputin was the brewery’s first bottled beer, announced in early 2016, and is now (we think) in its 5th iteration. In keeping with the tradition established in the past couple of years, there’s more than one version available. As always, the classic formulation is a Russian Imperial Stout that was aged in barrels from Glenora Distillery for three months and then cellared for bottle conditioning for another two months before release. We suspect at this point, with the recipe and process well-defined, that it will be consistent with everything you already love about Ra Ra. This year’s alternate version, however, is a horse of a different color. Started last year, it was aged in tawny port barrels for nine full months, hung out in stainless tanks for an additional three, and then was packaged and given the same two month bottle conditioning period. The result is apparently extremely smooth, with only a touch of alcohol on the nose despite the 10.5% ABV. Look for plenty of barrel character, in terms of both vanillins and tannins, with aromas of sweet vanilla, chocolate, fruit, and coffee, and a palate presentation that’s not unlike black forest cake. Even better, if you’re leery of buying a 650 mL bomber of ~10%-ish beer and having it stare at you from your cellar as you wait for just the right night to commit to taking it on, worry not, Big Spruce has heeded the call of beer geeks everywhere to make a big beer a little more bite-sized: both of this year’s Ra Ra variations are available only in 330 mL single-serve bottles. So you’ll be able to have one by the fire on a chilly fall evening and then walk to bed without risking life and limb!

You’ll be able to try both of these Ra Ra Rasputin variations, and probably the Pils d’Alsace and the Amärzen Grace as well, along with a host of other Big Spruce beers (including a collaboration with Chain Yard Cider) tomorrow at Battery Park in Dartmouth. In total, 19 taps of Big Spruce will be pouring along with seven different vintages of RaRa. Social distancing and mask rules apply, of course, but they can’t stop the great beer from flowing! After that, look for bottles and draught at Bishop’s Cellar and Stillwell Beer Bar.

Moncton, the hub city, rises again with a festive release from Tire Shack. Do you like lagers? Duh. Do you like Vienna? You bet your Schnitzel! Let’s throw that together for a Pumpkin Vienna Lager! The Wickerman, brings a taste of pumpkin and pumpkin spices to a drinkable beer, that doesn’t turn you into Peter Pumpkinhead. It clocks in at 5.0% ABV so you can drink it all Thanksgiving long. The beer was dosed with pumpkin puree in the boil as well as ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and ground cloves and it will be available for pints, cans and growlers as of noon Friday from the brewery. Hooray for The Wickerman! 

If you’ve been in and around the craft beer world over the last couple of years, you’ve no doubt run into the concept of a “pastry stout.” These dark beers generally sport a high ABV, a fair amount of residual sweetness, and some flavor components of whatever crazy thing they were made with (cookies, donuts, candy bars, eclairs…). Many versions have, as time has gone on, eschewed actually adding foodstuffs to the mash in favor of creating a flavor profile reminiscent of those foodstuffs, which many consider a more thoughtful and repeatable approach, not to mention usually much easier to clean up at the end of the brewday. And now that sense of innovation continues as someone thought to ask, “does it need to be a stout?” with the answer being, “Maybe? No? Let’s find out!” Enter Newfoundland breweries Landwash and Baccalieu Trail, who are releasing a collaboration they’re calling Lemon Land. Touted as a “Pastry Ale” it was inspired by the tart and bright flavors of lemon meringue pie. Lots of lemon juice, lemon peel, lactose, and vanilla were added to this brew, with the more traditionally beery side leveraging Cashmere and Sorachi Ace hops. Packaged primarily in cans, only 90 cases are available, available at the Landwash retail shop in Mount Pearl. Those feeling draughty can also grab a pint there, or at co-conspiring Baccalieu Trail this weekend. Whether you just love a new and interesting beer, or if you’re not a whiz with pie crust and you’re looking for an alternate Thanksgiving dessert, if you’re local to the brewery you might want to swing by and grab yourself a few.

Coming off their triumphant takeover at The Stillwell Freehouse last weekend, Halifax’s 2 Crows is dropping two new ones this week just in time for your long weekend beer needs. First up is Laurel, which isn’t actually a new release, at least for those who attended the “2 Crows preview party” some 4 years ago before they opened. (Although that may seem like an obscure reference there’s actually a good chance that amongst our dozen or so readers, some were actually at that event…) In classic 2C “rolls right off the tongue” style, this one is a “tart dark saison with plum and bay leaf.” Starting with a base of Pilsner, dark Munich, and caramel Munich, with some chocolate malt for color and character; dark candi sugar was also added in the boil for additional character and, no doubt, to dry the beer out a little. Hops used were Columbus and East Kent Goldings. Half the wort was soured with Lactobacillus Plantarum before joining the other half and a pitch of the 2C house saison culture. Finally, the beer was conditioned on some 760 kg of plums and then “dry hopped” with bay leaves. The result is rich and smooth, somewhat herbaceous, definitely jammy, but also dry. You can expect some saison spice and plenty of dark fruit character as well. Look for this one in cans and on tap at the brewery as of Saturday.

Next up is the latest 2 Crows iteration on a golden sour, similarly simply described, “Tequila barrel-aged sour with cucumber, sea salt, lime, and mint.” Using their usual base of Pilsner, wheat, spelt, oats and special aromatic malts, with a touch of aged hops, this one was obviously aged in tequila barrels, but a bit also spent time in gin barrels. The remarkable part, though, is that the aging process was some 14 months! Post-barrel, a touch of sea salt was added along with 80 cucumbers that were sliced and diced, and the juice and zest of a whole case of limes. This melange spent about 8 weeks conditioning before a dosing with mint, packaging, and a good four months of bottle conditioning. Fresh and zippy, bright and fun, with enough salinity to have you reaching for another sip, this 5.4% ABV beauty they’re calling Shadow Rider is a limited release with only about 750 bottles available on Saturday. You’ll also find it pouring at the taproom as long as the single keg lasts!

Taking a trip to the Darkside (maybe you’ll be doing that too on the long weekend!), New Scotland Brewing is back with a classic and tasty-looking release. A tribute to the wonderful west coast IPA, Kilted takes a traditional approach to the style using some very classic American hops, Columbus, Centennial, Cascade, and Comet, along with newer varieties that have dominated the market in the last few years, Citra and Simcoe. This hop combination creates a very layered and fruity flavour that is well balanced with Golden Promise malt. Kilted is 6.3% ABV and 65 IBU and available Friday in cans, pints and kegs. Rumour has it that Battery Park already has theirs.

Hanwell, New Brunswick’s Niche Brewing is back on a mixed-fermentation trip with their latest, Southern Accents. Brewed with Pilsner and aromatic malts along with some flaked wheat, it was hopped in the boil and whirlpool with a bit of Citra. Well we do declare, they’ve put Yankee hops in this here Saison! Fermented with a blend of Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces, the result is a funky beer with a touch of sweetness and a bit of a floral presence. You’ll find it at Niche tap accounts including The Joyce, Peppers Pub, Ringo’s Grill, and Stillwell Beer Bar.

A reminder to our homebrewing readers that if you haven’t already brewed your entry for the 2020 Maritime Home Brew Challenge, you need to do that this weekend! Hosted by Gahan, this year’s style categories are encouraging you to take a walk on the hoppier side, with West Coast IPA and New England IPA being the centre of attention. It’s always good to drink these styles fresh, so brewing now will be four weeks until judging. Your $30 entry registration gets you a free t-shirt, entry to the Gala on November 14th at Gahan House Charlottetown, and your chance at more almost $2000 in cash and cards! Plus the priceless prize of bragging rights to the best beer in the Maritimes! Drop off your entry before October 30 at your local Gahan, and good luck! And a heads up that they’re bringing out the big guns for judges this year, including close to a dozen BJCP judges from the region, so expect your feedback to be topnotch. Any questions on that part of it, or any other little thing, hit them up via email.

The Oktoberfests continue this weekend! In addition to Big Spruce’s big event at Battery Park tomorrow, don’t forget that the Stillwell Beergarden is hosting their Oktoberfest tomorrow, featuring the first draught beer from the Valley’s Delta Force Brewing, plus some imported Continental European inspired beauts from Godspeed Brewery in Toronto. Plus Uncorked Tours in Saint John is hosting their own Oktoberfest on the 17th, taking over an extended patio at the Saint John City Farmers’ Market. More on those in last week’s post.

Do you love beer (of course you do!)? Do you love curling? If you answered a resounding “hell yes!” to both questions, then Brightwood Brewery has just the event for you. They’re holding a Sip N’ Spiel Curling & Beer Release tomorrow, October 10th, at the Mayflower Curling Club in Halifax. Let’s fill you in on the beer, first. It’s a dry-hopped Pilsner named Bonspiel that was brewed with late hop additions of Barbe Rouge and Idaho 7, and then a dry-hop of more Barbe Rouge. Hazy, bright yellow, with “lots of red and stone fruit flavours” to go with the classic Pilsner crispness, it will be on tap during once the curling portion of the evening is complete, along with seven other Brightwood beers. Speaking of curling, your $20 ticket fee includes two hours of curling and curling lessons (if needed), starting at 6:30 pm. At 8:30, the party moves upstairs to the bar, where they’ll have live music, and as mentioned, beer! Your ticket also includes a sampling of Brightwood beers (probably a flight, by the sounds), but of course you’re free – and encouraged! – to purchase more. Check out the event link above to buy your ticket.

From our friends as Uncorked Tours, comes another event after their Oktoberfest weekend on the 17th, check out the “IPA and Its Variations with Craig Pinhey” where Craig will take attendees through a whirlwind of IPA styles. From Craig, “I plan to have them taste UK style (hard to find!), West Coast, NEIPA, DIPA, and other variations that are available at the time, like maybe Red, Black, White, Belgian, Sour, etc.”. Check out the Facebook event here to get registered for the Saint John event. Tickets are $50 per person for a 90 minute session at the Uncorked Tasting Room and seating is limited!

Sober Island Brewing is planning an event to scratch your cask itch (btw, you should probably get that looked at by a doctor) – Cask in the Sticks is happening at the brewery on Saturday, November 7th. Featuring eight different cask beers (from seven breweries and homebrewer David Pepper), there will be two sessions available for sampling: 1-3 pm and 4-6 pm. Due to social distancing and everything that goes with that, they have set a limit of 60 people per session, so don’t wait to grab your tickets, even though it’s four weeks away. Tickets are $40 each (tax included), and include eight 4 oz pours and an event-branded toque (DD tickets are also available, for $10). In addition to the casks, they’ll have live music, food available for purchase, and even a “Onesie competition” to encourage layering up (the event will be held outside). Our buds from the 902 Brewcast will be roaming around, judging the onesies, with the winner receiving tickets to next year’s event (take this seriously, folks, you know Phil Church will be putting a lot of thought into HIS onesie). You can purchase your tickets by calling the taproom (902-885-2072). And speaking of the 902 Bcast, be sure to check out their October Tasting episode, which dropped Tuesday. Kyle and Tony chat about what’s happened in the world over the past 3 months since their PEI Trip, new additions to the family, and even about beer for a hot minute.

A few more beers and ciders to quench that holiday weekend thirst!

Just in time for the long weekend, CAVOK Brewing Co. is dropping Champion, a wet hopped ale made with hops harvested just 3 kilometers from the brewery on Rue Champion in Dieppe. Grab this limited release on tap at the taproom, or in crowlers or growlers to-go.

Fans of artistic beer cans should check out Quidi Vidi Brewery this weekend for their release of Director’s Cut, a raspberry and blackberry creamsicle sour. The cans for this 5.5% ABV sour feature 31 (!!) different works from female artists across Newfoundland and Labrador. The artwork is part of a collaboration with the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival which runs from October 14-18. Check out their website for more info. Cans of Director’s Cut are available at the QV Hops Shop along with NLCs and convenience stores across the province. And great news for those who’ve been waiting patiently to grab a pint in QV’s taproom, they are hosting their first Kitchen Party in 6 months today! The doors open at 4 PM, and they’re keeping it local: no visitors or those who have had contact with folks off The Rock, Atlantic Bubble be damned! 😉

If you’re looking for something sessionable this weekend, check out Bannerman Brewing Co’s newest release, Comfort Zone. Coming in at 4.5%, the session ale is full bodied thanks to a heavy addition of flaked oats, to complement the Marris Otter and Caramel malts. A dry hop of Mosaic and Simcoe lends notes of peach, apricot and pear. Available at the brewery/taproom/early morning coffee spot on Duckworth Street now. 

Heading north on the island, the team at RagnaRöck is launching the first release in their Hit or Miss series, where tasters will be asked to vote on whether to keep the beer in rotation or set it adrift in the Strait of Belle Isle (ok, we made that part up). Their take on a Cream Ale is light and crisp, and comes in at 5.7% ABV. Find it on-tap now at the taproom in St. Anthony.

Lastly, for those holding out for one last (first? only?) taste of pumpkin-spice season, check out Route 19’s take on the style, Pumpkin Potion. Coming in at a warming 8.5%, this one is available on-tap at the brewpub in Inverness.

There were some updates in growler news this week, with ANBL and Good Robot making changes to their current offerings. ANBL suspended all growler fill stations in March due to the pandemic, but this program will not be returning due to declining sales. Only the flagship location in York Street, Fredericton, will have a growler program available when conditions allow. Check out the full story on CBC here

Meanwhile, Good Robot will no longer be offering growlers for purchase on their online store for delivery. From Good Robot “They are challenging to transport in our pothole-laden town, costly to replace, difficult to fill on demand to keep fresh, and even more difficult to deliver in a timely fashion.” They will still be offering on-site growler fills as usual, so pop by and get your robot fills as you normally would! The last day for growlers online will be October 16th.

Good Robot is also releasing, Crop Top Summer just in time for Thanksgiving. This 4.1% release is  “An amazingly satisfying summertime wheat beer with notes of orange, tangerine and clove.” This is available today at the brewery and available online as well. 

Two late-breaking cider additions to the blog today: Annapolis Cider Co has the latest in their Something Different series out tomorrow, Peach and Basil, a 6.3% sparkling cider, a blend of their dry cider infused with locally-grown basil and fresh pressed Valley peaches. As with all of these releases, each refill see $0.50 go to a local charity, with this batch supporting the Portal Youth Outreach Center, whose goal is to reduce youth experiencing homelessness in the Valley.

And Dartmouth’s Lake City Cider has also dabbled in a mixed-fruit blend with Nova Scotia strawberries fermented and steeped along with whole vanilla beans, blended with Valley apples. And then a splash of Blackcurrant wine was added in for a lovely luscious colour and body. Weighing in at 8.5%, cans of Field of Dreams are available in store and online for delivery right now!