Revel Cider

All posts tagged Revel Cider

As we did the rounds on social media this week and checked our messages for missives from the (much beloved) folks who send us regular updates or even just notable releases and happenings, it became pretty clear that we’ve reached that magical point in the late summer when many, if not most, of the breweries in our region are pretty much running on fumes. Sure, there’s some new releases out there (Hello 2 Crows), but there’s a definite feeling that the industry is heaving a collective sigh this week and we wouldn’t be surprised to see it stretch one more before the big push for Oktoberfest and fall beers comes on. We know that beer never really sleeps and that new beers are out there, they’ve just got to get out of their fermenters. And into packages. And labeled. And distributed. And…and…and… So while we know that nobody’s actually taking much of a rest, this is a good week to look for what’s left of your summer faves and consider what might be coming down the pike in a couple of weeks. That said, there’s definitely some news this week…

Halifax’s reigning Tiny Tasty Taproom and Good Time Emporium, Tidehouse Brewing, has announced on social media that they will be closing their doors this weekend. After 5 years of slinging the good beer and conversation on Salter Street, welcoming visitors from across the province, country, and world, they will be shutting down at the end of service Saturday night. Not ones to leave anything unsaid or undone, they are closing out with a bang(er) today. Salad Days is a celebration of Tidehouse’s heydays and foray into all sorts of fun adventures, resulting in a 10.5% Triple Milkshake IPA. Big fruit juice character thanks to the massive amount of mango, raspberry, and orange zest added, with Galaxy and Azacca hops lending even more fruity esters. The use of vanilla and lactose/milk sugar help complete the milkshake mouthfeel and sweetness. Salad Days is available on tap and in cans from 4 PM today (and again from 4 tomorrow), as friends, colleagues, and beer fans new and old are welcome to celebrate what Shean, Peter, Shannon, and everyone in the extended Tidehouse family have accomplished. Congratulations folks, plenty to be proud of!

The folks who regularly give these weekly posts a skim are probably well aware that when they see Halifax’s 2 Crows there’s likely several paragraphs afoot and this week is no exception. We don’t know what they put in their coffee over there (although we’ve seen their coffee pot and, well, be glad they sell you beer) but we’re betting it could cost someone an Olympic gold medal.

First up are a couple of beers that we should warn you are not likely to be easy to come by if you’re not planning to be in the environs of St. John’s, NL, a week from today. We previously mentioned the 2C tap takeover at Brewdock on September 17th and, as they tend to do, the gang is bringing some heavy artillery that will no doubt delight the crowd on the Rock. Nanaimo and Big Turk started out with the same base, a base that 2C’s own head brewer has termed “ridiculous.” The grist was based in pale and Vienna malts, with just a touch of specialty grains added, you know, the usual, some flaked oats, Caravienna, Caramunich, chocolate AND light chocolate, Honey malt, Extra Special malt, and Midnight Wheat. That tremendous pile of grain was then double mashed to produce a wort with a sky-high original gravity of 1.127. After fermentation was complete, the batch was split to produce the two beers: Nanaimo received a massive dose of cocoa nibs and coconut, plus a bit of honey and cinnamon. Big Turk was also treated to a massive nibbing, along with vanilla, concord grape, and black cherry. It’s not hard to see what the inspirations for these two were! Described as “super thick, super chewy, super super,” they come in at a bowl-you-over 11.9% ABV, and, for an added touch of awesomeness, will be occupying the nitro taps at Brewdock which will impart maximum smoothness. Boy howdy. Tickets are required for the event, BTW, and can be purchased at Brewdock and now through their online shop. That guarantees your spot inside, as well as your first pint in your own take-away glass.

Also pouring at Brewdock will be the latest in the 2 Crows series of incredibly hoppy NEIPAs. We’re past the point of being able to rhyme off all the various names, but we believe that this is the first new one since Cause for Celebration was released as part of a 4-pack for their 4th anniversary in January of this year. Well now comes Vivid Imagination, which began, as all the others have, with Golden Promise, flaked oats, wheat malt, and chit malt, and hopped in the mash and at first wort with something inconsequential (i.e., for brewing magic reasons, not so much for flavor or aroma). On its way to the fermenter it passed through a pretty good dose of newish hop variety BRU-1 in the hopback, but the real heavy lifting was done by “outrageous” amounts of Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy (along with a little more BRU-1) in the dry-hop. Carbonated via spunding like all the cool kids are doing to lock in the aroma and flavor, you can expect it to be really and truly juicy, with tropical and gooseberry notes. This one will be canned on Monday, at which point it’ll be available for purchase at the brewery.

Already out in the wilds of Halifax and beyond is Signals, a new smoked lagerbier that some (like us!) might consider an ideal style for the transition from summer to fall. Built on a simple grist of floor malted Pilsner and smoked malt, and using a double decoction mash to provide body and foam stability, heavy amounts of traditional Saaz hops were added in the kettle before the beer was fermented low and slow with Escarpment Labs’ Czech Lager strain, known for producing clean and crisp beers and revealing malt and hop subtleties. Coming in at 5.1% ABV and a healthy 38 IBU, the focus here was on drinkability with the smoke providing some interest. Although it’s already been seen on tap at the Stillwell Freehouse and Stilly HQ, packaging logistics won’t allow this one to be released in cans until the 24th or so, at which point you might see a beer and sausage event just about right on time for Oktoberfest. Until then, keep an eye on 2C tap accounts to give it a try! 

Would you believe there’s more? Of course you would, this is 2 Crows! Folks who’ve been fans of the brewery since they opened might remember one of their first barrel-aged offerings, a gin barrel aged sour with blackberry and lemon they called Blackberry Collins. Well there’s a new version of that beer in the offing, finally coming out tomorrow after starting its life as a batch of their standard golden sour base in May, 2020. Aged largely in gin barrels (with a soupçon in a vermouth barrel), it was fermented in oak with a wide variety of house cultures. After a year of aging, it was blended and then conditioned on 200 kg of blackberries and a whackton (3 cases worth) of lemon zest and juice. After the sugars from the fruit had fermented out, it was packaged into clear bottles and allowed to bottle condition. Fruity to the point of jamminess, zesty, and super-bright, you’ll be able to grab this one at the brewery as of this afternoon.

Continuing to put out plenty of new beers, especially considering their size, Truro Brewing Company is back with a new release you can get today. Earlier in the year they held the Hubtown Homebrew Competition and this release is the second featured beer from that event. Cool Shade Stunner was the highest scoring entry in the competition, which tasked brewers to all use the Krispy Kveik yeast from Escarpment. Chelsea Meisner (also known as Lady Scotia Brewing) brings this 5.1% IPA that is crispy, refreshing and hoppy flavour that is balanced and mild in bitterness, with the Cascade, Idaho 7, and Citra hops used late in the process. This is available on tap at the brewery and also in 650 mL bottles.

If you’re like some of us, you think of this time of year and Grimross comes to mind. But then again, we think of all the breweries all the time. First up in beer release news, Bishop Belgian IPA is a seasonal re-release that is back after its debut 2 years ago. A meeting of new world citrusy hops and old world spice, the IPA side brings bold hops and Belgian yeast character brings a beautiful balance to a great style at 50 IBU and 6.0% ABV. This is available on tap at local restaurants all around New Brunswick and 473 mL cans at ANBL locations and the brewery. 

Other news from Grimross is their Grimross Gardens is open! Think of crisp fall days at beer gardens in Europe and go right to Fredericton at 600 Bishop Drive to check out Grimross’ offering. Directly behind the brewery, they’re open from 2pm-10pm, but be sure to check their social media for the latest updates. We hope this is a trend that continues around the region and we hope to get there ourselves!

Never a stranger to new releases, Village Green in Cornwall, PEI, brings another tasty IPA release this week. Fuzzy IPA is a hop-packed, fruity, juicy and balanced IPA that should be sticking around for their regular year round selection. Featuring a malt backbone of Golden Promise with generous amounts of Galaxy hops along with Simcoe and Citra, this brings citrus and stone fruit flavours in a 6.5% tasty package! This is available on tap and in cans directly from the brewery. 

Big congratulations to Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing who brought home some big competition hardware this week! Repeating and improving on their 2020 win at the US Open Beer Championship (Gold in Fruit Gose for Lime Margarita), they have taken home three medals in 2021. The recently-returned Love at Midnight Piña Colada IPA took home Bronze in Fruit IPA, and Parts N Labour took Silver in New England/Juicy IPA (which understandably is a hard-fought category!). And in Gold medal-winning news, their soon-to-return The Wickerman Vienna Pumpkin Lager took top spot. This Best of the Best is slated for release next week on tap and in cans at the brewery, so be sure to stop in to celebrate the new winners in the region! We’ll give you even more reasons to visit next week, as we expect to have more information on a fun multi-week event coming soon!

It’s no secret that Fredericton’s Trailway Brewing makes some of the hoppiest (and haziest!) beers in this end of the country; and although they’ve spread their stylistic wings considerably since they opened, there’s always room in the rotation for a new juicy banger. Enter the rather recent Talus hop, related to Sabro, but considered to have a more robust and complete flavor profile, and one that has not been seen much in these parts, but has definitely been part of some popular beers (e.g., Propeller Brewing’s Cold IPA earlier this year). Who better to give a fresh new hop a spin through the Hopinator5000™ than Trailway? Talus Your Secrets is exactly that, a single hop IPA using Talus so you can see for yourself what the fuss is about. Look for a soft, juicy, and drinkable IPA with notes of pink grapefruit and sweet stone fruit, with elements of coconut, pine resin, and oak as well. You can grab some at the brewery on tap for pints or fills, or in cans to go. And this weekend as a special treat, they’re doing $9.99/box shipping until Monday at 5 PM! So if you’re looking to try this one and/or any of their other offerings, you can do up an order and have it sent anywhere in Atlantic Canada or Ontario for a little cheaper than usual!

It’s back to school, back to Acadia University for some, and back to Church! Two new releases from Wolfville to chat up this week, starting with Gaspereau Gold. A 5.7% Festbier (think of a stronger Oktoberfest beer), with a malty body and a bit higher ABV than your traditional lager. With notes of caramel balanced with Magnum and Tettnanger hops, it’s still an easy drinking, crisp lager that you can’t get enough of. 

Second batter up from Church is New Wave, a Kölsch brewed in the traditional lagered ale style with a North American take. Brewed in collaboration with hop supplier, Brew Culture, it features a new German hop, Callista, used for a dry-hop. The mouthfeel is crisp, but has hop-forward flavours and aromas of pineapple, stone fruit and citrus from the dry-hopping and the Spalter hops that were added to the boil. Both of these beers are available only at the brewery on tap or $10 crowlers to go.

In Bay Roberts, NL, Baccalieu Trail Brewing Company has a new beer that’s not quite available yet, but should be real soon now. Tidy was designed to fill a perceived gap on their taplist, where everything was around 5% ABV and higher. So Tidy is a tiny pale ale, coming in at 3.9% and hazy, with some apricot character from the yeast used. Large low-temperature whirlpool additions of Cashmere, Columbus, and Simcoe provide all the hop character you could want in a little beer. That said, once they figure out what they’re going to dry hop it with, it’ll have more hop aroma for sure! Look for this one to come available next week sometime, so keep an eye on the brewery’s social media accounts (Fb, Ig).

Given their penchant for throwing one of the biggest Oktoberfest bashes in the province, it’s no surprise that Halifax’s Garrison Brewing has their fest-ready beer all queued up and ready to go to get your whistle wet and your appetite set for bier und wurst. Rise ‘n’ Stein is a Hefeweizen, a yeasty (hefe) wheat beer (weizen) known for a lower ABV, hazy appearance, soft mouthfeel, and subtle hints of banana and clove. Although to some it might sound a little odd, if you’ve never had one we suspect you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how refreshing and quaffable that combo is. You can grab this one as of today at Garrison’s Seaport and Oxford locations, and don’t be surprised if it pops up at some or all of the private stores in the city. And stay tuned for more details on this year’s Oktoberfest event, which is set to run the week of September 24th to October 1st!

Plenty more events coming at you in the next couple of weeks!

Halifax’s Bar Stillwell is continuing their trend of ramping back up to some kind of normal with feel good events. This Saturday, September 11 (that’s tomorrow!), look for an all-day, all-Ontario event featuring ciders from Revel Cider, Wines from ibi Wines (also a Revel joint), and beers from Bellwoods. This is your opportunity to try some of the funkiest things being produced for your mouth in this fine country of ours. The flow starts at noon and runs all day; “no reservations, just good times.” Maybe we’ll see you there!

If your next Friday, Sept 17th, dance card isn’t already full, let’s change that! Chris Conway from Landwash Brewery, and the author of Newfoundland Beer History, will be giving a talk at the Admiralty Museum in Mount Pearl at 7 PM that evening. Chatting about the past, present, and future of beer in the province, your ticket includes a Landwash beer and charcuterie from the always excellent Chinched Meats. Grab your ticket from the Museum to take part in the fun!

Sticking in St. John’s, the following day is sure to be fun one, as Quidi Vidi Brewery continues to celebrate their 25th Anniversary all 2021-long. From noon until 9 PM on Saturday, September 18th, they are hosting a Dayboil in Bannerman Park, complete with live music, food vendors, games, and of course plenty of tasty beer! This is a ticketed event, so grab yours today!

And for those of us stuck on the mainland, Lwr Sackville’s TAPestry Beer Bar is kicking off their Oktoberfest event next Saturday, September 18th. We’ll have more details next week, but rest assured they’ll be pouring plenty of debuting and one-offs beers from breweries across Nova Scotia, all in their stylish spot at 833 Sackville Drive.

And before we let you go…

We’ve mentioned Candid Brewing’s Lagerish Blonde Ale in previous posts, but what we failed to mention was that this lagered ale is also gluten-reduced, thanks to Brewer’s Clarex. While that means different things to those on the Celiac/gluten-intolerant/-hesitant/-reducing spectrum, it is worth sharing when there are more options. Candid’s take on the classic German kölsch has been restocked and is available now on College Street, in cans and on tap for all of your beer drinking needs.

Annapolis Brewing has a new NEIPA out this week if you’re looking for something hazy and juicy. Fundy Haze is double dry-hopped with Galaxy, Sabro and Mosaic, giving notes of citrus, stone fruit and melon. You can find it on tap at the brewery in picturesque Annapolis Royal.

Thanks to those who have donated to our web hosting/beer fund. Did you know the reason that you don’t see ads on the site is because we *pay* for it? I know, it’s crazy, eh? But we think you’re worth it. 🙂

Welp, this is it, the end of January. It felt like it lasted 6 weeks, what with the epic snow seen across the region shutting down entire cities, but we’re emerging from our snow forts and thirsty as heck! Thankfully the brewers didn’t miss a beat and have plenty to satiate our thirst. Let’s get your weekend started now with brand new releases across the region this week, and what’s on the horizon.

Thanks very much to those of you who entered our giveaway for tickets to next weekend’s Craft Beer Cottage Party as part of Savour Food & Wine. Congratulations to Andy L who won the two tickets with his picture of Propeller Sabro on IG. For the rest of us, tickets are still available for the Feb 8 event at Halifax Seaport Beer Festival, with more than 30 breweries and cideries from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI donning their best cottage ware and pouring goodies from their booths. We hope to see you there!

Let’s ease you out of Dry January with a beer hitting the shelves in New Brunswick at the beginning of next week. Niche Brewing is continuing their limited bottle releases with a debut almost two years in the making. Taking inspiration from the Oud Bruin/Flanders Brown style originating in the Flemish region of Belgium, Quintessential is a 6.4% ABV beer with plenty of history. Beginning life in April 2018, this Brown Ale underwent primary fermentation in a Cab Sauv barrel with Niche’s house blend of Sacch and Brett yeasts, aided by a new pitch of Lactobacillus and Pediococcus bacteria for a complex souring profile. Over the next 18 months, they produced not only lactic acid, the same “clean” acidity found in kettle souring, but also some acetic acid character thanks to extra bugs. After bottle conditioning for a few more months, the beer is finally ready. Think rich balsamic acid, dark plum and cherries, with a light oak character. A special beer deserves a special label, so they tapped Maine fine artist Nico Lebarge (no stranger to the beer scene as a designer with Bissell Brothers in Portland) for a painting fit for the release. Bottles of Quintessential will be available at the York Street and Corbett Fredericton ANBLs Monday, and at Dieppe Wednesday. Ask at your local location, and they may be able to bring it in (though with only one barrel of the beer available, there are only so many bottles to go around!). To keep you satisfied this weekend, thankfully, they’ve got a fresh batch of their Single Origin Sweet Coffee Stout pouring around the region. And ready your livers for a tap feature at The Joyce on February 22nd, with twelve Niche beers flowing, including several small batch one-offs brewed specifically for the event. 

Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing has one new beer and one returning beer on tap this week. Starting with the newbie, which is appropriately named Raspberry Milk Stout. This is a Sweet Stout (meaning it features an addition of lactose powder in the boil) that had raspberry puree added once fermentation was complete. The result is a dark beer with a smooth creaminess, as well as subtle notes of raspberry. Full bodied, with low bitterness, it weighs in at 5.5% ABV. It’s currently available on tap for growler/crowler fills at the Pump House Fill Station in Moncton. Returning is I.P.Address, a very popular NEIPA that was last seen back in June. Brewed with a simple grist of 2-row malt, wheat, and oats, this batch was fermented with a different yeast strain than previous batches. Hopped with Vic Secret, Centennial, El Dorado, and Mosaic, expect “smooth tropical fruit, citrus notes, and a mild bitterness”; it comes in at 6.5% ABV and 60 IBUs. Look for it at the Growler Bar at the ANBL in Dieppe on Regis St, where it should be pouring alongside Raspberry Milk Stout as well.

Despite the extra crappy weather Newfoundland has been seeing this month, Port Rexton Brewing has been keeping themselves busy, with the result being lots of beer news for this week! Let’s start with their latest bottle release, shall we? Cellar Season – 2019 Barrel-aged Gose is just what you’d expect it to be! Once brewed, the kettle-soured base beer was fermented in stainless before being transferred over to a red wine barrel. The Brett D strain from Escarpment Labs was pitched at this point, and the beer was allowed to age (and develop lots of pineapple and funk character) for 14 months. A limited amount of bottles are available (300, with a limit of 2 pp); the 4.1% ABV beer is showing “hints of oak and red wine” to go with the Brett funk, with all of it being “complemented by a touch of minerality and refreshing tartness” before finishing nice and dry. In draught news, the latest in their hoppy Continuum series is out; Continuum w/ Simcoe has a whole lotta Simcoe in the whirlpool, hop back, and dry-hop additions, accompanied by Mandarina Bavaria, giving this 5.6% ABV IPA a “candy-like sweetness on the aroma, with a distinct piney character on the palate”. Finishing moderately bitter, you can find this one right at the source and at their shop on Torbay Road. And coming tomorrow is their latest foray into Gluten-free beer, Coffee Brown. As the name implies, this 6.5% ABV Brown Ale features an addition of coffee, thanks to their neighbours at Trinity Coffee Company. A touch of malt sweetness and a light mouthfeel meld with the strong coffee aroma and flavour to round out the brew. The Retail Shop kegs will be tapped at noon tomorrow, and with the GF pilot system less than 100 litre capacity, it won’t last long, so be sure to drop by early to avoid disappointment.

We may be in the depths of winter, but the gang at Good Robot in Halifax is on a mission to bring some tropical and sunny times our way through February, beginning with a couple of new beers on the go. First up, from brewer and yeast wrangler Gio comes Boom, a “conch style Bahamian lager” at 5.4% ABV and 20 IBU. Gio wanted to make a beer that reflected his two homes, the Bahamas and Canada, and wisely chose to do so through beer. Starting with a crisp lager base reminiscent of Kalik or Sands, he added lime juice and evergreen needles to take it to another level. Expect an easy-drinking beer that still boasts an unexpected kick. And on the Beta system, Kelly was joined with longtime BetaBrew supporters Cindy and Marilyn to put together another beer with inspiration from warmer climes. Inspired by a sauce they’ve been making for years, Island Punch features grilled pineapple, mango and habaneros. No doubt sweet maybe a little smoky, and bringing some heat, this one is 5.4% ABV and 24 IBU and, in accordance with the prophecy as is traditional for BetaBrews, will no doubt be tapped this coming Tuesday afternoon.

Up in St. John’s, where they’re no longer under a state of emergency but are still no doubt digging out from two weeks ago, YellowBelly has leaned into the storm, so to speak, with a beer they’re calling Flurricane 2020. Nominally an IPA, it’s 6.5% ABV, but only 35 IBU, so maybe more of a Pale Ale? No doubt about it, though, this one contains some hops, namely Amarillo, Citra, and Mosaic, largely added as late and dry hop additions. Paired with a sturdy malt backbone, the result is a balanced beer with plenty of hop character and a lingering bitter finish. Look for this one on tap at their downtown location and with bottles to go hopefully available by the time you read this; and it will no doubt feature into the Crafternoon for Australia event you can read about below.

Halifax’s Garrison Brewing has been making their biggest beer, a barleywine they call Ol’ Fog Burner, almost every year for a decade now. This year marks the first time, however, that they’ve produced a batch on their “new” system rather than their old plant in the Seaport Taproom. Owing to that difference in production, there’s been a small change in recipe, with some crystal and roasted malt joining 2-Row Maritime Pale Ale malt for the first time. There’s nothing new about the ABV though, it’s still a big bastard at 10.5% ABV or the bitterness, at 70 IBU. Bold spicy and fruity hop flavors from American varieties Columbus and Citra balance warm brandy-like toffee flavors for a very smooth experience with a long-lasting and warming finish. Look for this one to go in the classic 650 mL bombers (maybe plan to share one with a friend) at the brewery and the Oxford Taproom, and possibly other places you go for your Garrison fix.

In the town of Sussex, NB, just about halfway between Moncton and Saint John, there’s been a bit of a hum generated as local folks played up the idea of (ex-)British Royals Prince Harry and Meghan Markle maybe choosing the town home base in Canada. After all, they are the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are they not? The tongue-in-cheek “movement” now has a liquid manifestation as in-town brewery Sussex Ale Works has put together a beer they’re calling The Duke in honor of its namesake. Featuring a grist of Maris Otter, Vienna, 2-row, and crystal malts along with a bit of roasted barley, all paired with Saaz hops, this red ale is 7% ABV and 30 IBU. To try it you’ll have to head down to Sussex and check out the awesome tap handle they’ve got for pouring it. While you’re there you can also check out their other new beer, Hindsight 2020, a Golden Pale Ale with 2-row and amber malts and Chinook and Cascade hops. Sounding like a bit of a melding of British malts and American hops, it’s 6.2% ABV and 40 IBU.

Coming out of Tatamagouche this weekend is a brand new release featuring the hottest thing going (literally) yeast-wise, but with a cool (also literally) approach. Kveik yeast is known for its ability to ferment relatively cleanly even at temperatures that would make other beer strains produce things you absolutely wouldn’t want in your beer or your mouth. But what happens if you treat Kveik differently and, say, ferment it much colder than all the cool kids have been doing? Tatamagouche Brewing decided to find out! Cripple Kveik used the Halvorsgard strain, which comes from Ål, quite a ways from the epicenters of farmhouse brewing in Norway. Interestingly, it’s not actually called Kveik there, but “Gong,” which means Tata missed a great opportunity to name this beer Gong Show (but we’ll take a reference to The Band any day!) Cold-fermented at 9°C before being bumped up briefly for a rest at 14°C, it was then lagered for four weeks. With all local malt from Horton Ridge and Willamette and Chinook hops from Wicked Hops in Stewiacke, it’s also a very locally-focused brew. Coming in at 4.7% ABV, it’s described as, “clean and crisp, with nice fruit-forward hop character [and] mango aromas.”

We’ve got some good news for you if you’ve been waiting for a new, funky, bottled release from Propeller Brewing, as their latest is just hitting shelves today. Brett Porter is described by the brewery in three words: “Rustic. Roasted. Stubborn”. Brewed in the style of your typical English Porter, it was initially fermented with a British Ale strain; the beer was then transferred to barrels for a secondary fermentation (and 9 month aging period) with Brettanomyces claussenii. Packaged in 750 mL bottles, the final 6.4% ABV, 25 IBUs beer has “layers of rich, roasted malt” with earthy, fruity, and funky characteristics thanks to the Brett. Bottles likely won’t last long, so be sure to pick yours up at either Prop shop sometime over the weekend. 

It’s been a little while since we’ve seen a release from Stillwell Brewing, no doubt owing a little bit to the craziness of cranes and pub openings and such, but also because you can’t rush beer like this, dammit! However, out this weekend is the latest iteration of their Gosh. Starting life amongst the brewery’s first releases, this was originally a red wine barrel-aged farmhouse dry hopped with Mosaic. When it came out several months later, v2 of this one was a blend of several barrels also hit hard with the hops. This time we had to wait a year and a half for v3, but we’re sure it’s worth it. Originally brewed over a year ago, it sat patiently in barrels getting tasty until September when it was dry hopped and bottled. Since then it’s been resting, waiting for the day when CPR pops a bottle, pours a glass, tastes it, considers it, and utters the fateful words, “It is ready.” Or at least that’s the way it happens in our beer dreams. (You know you have beer dreams too.) Anyways, the time is now. Go get some from their Barrington Street location, open today at noon.

What’s on the go this weekend? Here ya go!

Continuing with their trend of mini-tap-takeovers this month, Stillwell on Barrington will surely be making local cider fans happy tomorrow as they put 5 ciders on tap and serve 4 more by the glass from Guelph’s Revel Cider. Although we definitely believe that the cideries of Atlantic Canada are putting out delicious and innovative products, just as with recent beer events featuring top out-of-region producers, we think Revel’s small batch concoctions deserve your interest. Leaning towards the funky, the sour, the herbal and the unusual, there’s some definite delights to look forward to.

On draught:

  • Time & Place – Farmhouse Cider
  • Ostara Yarrow – Cider with Golden Plums and Yarrow Flower
  • Ostara Elderflower – Cider with Golden Plums and Elderflower
  • Cursive – Blend of perry on Riesling skins, cider on blueberries, and Maréchal Foch
  • Sonata – Cider with Montmorency cherries

And by the glass:

  • Soma – Pétillant Naturel apple wine
  • Petrol – Single barrel funky perry
  • Mirabelle – Cider with lemon verbena and strawberries
  • Revdock – A collaboration beer-cider hybrid with Burdock: tannic apple cider blended with an ale fermented on a sourdough culture with corn and spelt

No doubt Chef Joe Martin will have the tasty food coming out of the kitchen to pair with these, and, being a mini-takeover, there’s sure to be beer taps pouring if cider isn’t your bag (but seriously, try these ciders anyway).

Grey Rock Casino, located in Edmundston, NB, is holding a Beer Fest this Saturday, featuring a handful of breweries from New Brunswick, as well as one visiting from Quebec. On hand with be hometown brewery Petit-Sault, as well as Big Axe, Brasseux d’la Cote, Four Rivers, Grimross, SCOW Cider, and Le Caveau from Trois-Pistoles, QC. This event is a fundraising event for the local food bank, Atelier RADO, who will be receiving all of the profits. Tickets are available here, and also get you into the Izzy Ouellet concert after the beer fest is done.

Not to be outdone by their OG location in Charlottetown*, HopYard Halifax is doing their second annual Battle of the Breweries event over the course of the next couple months as a regular Thursday night thing. Fifteen Nova Scotia breweries have been invited to the dance, with three competing each time with three beers each. The opening round will take place each week from February 6th to March 12th with the winning brewery (the one who sells the most pints) moving on to the semi final round. What’s that you say? There’s 6 Thursdays there and only 15 breweries? That’s because there’s going to be a Cider battle on February 20th to change things up a little! With five winners moving forward, they’ll need a sixth for the semis, so the best of the second place finishers in the first round will also move on. We suspect you’ll see the two semis on March 19th and March 26th with the finals on April 2nd, but we’ll be sure to let you know if we find out that changes. It will surely be interesting to see how breweries play this one. Do they bring their usual retail sellers? Introduce new beers? Or debut something that’s been developing for some time? For now, we invite you to check out the upcoming first round battles below and make a plan to support your favorite breweries in this series. 

* The Battle of PEI Breweries continues the next three Thursdays with the Semi Finals and Finals on Feb 6, 13, and culminating on the 20th.

YellowBelly is holding a fundraising beer fest of their own next weekend, February 8th. The Crafternoon for Australia runs from 2 – 5 PM at the Brewery on Water Street. While Snowmageddon 2020 shut down the city temporarily, the fires, and now flooding in Australia are making life unbearable for thousands in the country. All profits from tickets sales will be going toward Australian Red Cross and WIRES Australian Wildlife Rescue Organization. With plenty of new releases and old favourites from Baccalieu Trail, Boomstick, Dildo Brewing, Iron Rock, Landwash, Ninepenny, Port Rexton, Quidi Vidi, Rough Waters, Split Rock, in addition to host YellowBelly’s beers, there are plenty of choices to help do some good. Your ticket includes your first four samples, plus admission to the silent auction of many donated items available.

We first mentioned it earlier in the month, but we have some solid details now on the Spring edition of the Certified Cicerone Exam happening in Halifax. On May 6th, at the Stillwell Freehouse, you will be tested on your knowledge of beer storage and serving, beer styles, and off-flavours. Grab your seat at the table here, and best of luck to everyone! Let us know if you need a drinking partner to help “study”.

New beer on the taps from Hampton’s own Gridiron Brewing. Blind Date Brown is a 5.1% ABV Brown Ale made with 2-Row Barley from Island Malt House, and bumped up in colour and character with Biscuit and Amber malts. Not stopping there, however, they also added dates to the brew for the full experience. Available on tap at the brewery for growler fills now. Join them in celebrating those going on Blind Dates everywhere this weekend with a toast (in fact, that’s how the owners first met)!

Just a couple more things before we let you go this week…

In case we haven’t completely filled up your weekly Beer Reading Time, let us suggest another local beer blog that’s worth your time. Especially for those looking to do that exam in May… Malty Media is written by Evan Fougere, Certified Cicerone, beer educator, and all around good guy, as a way to share information on the ingredients that go into, processes that make it taste great, and the people who make that happen. The latest post is with John Webster of Shoreline Malting, located just outside of Summerside PEI. Give it a read, and follow along with MM’s posts and announcements of classes and events through social media.

We didn’t hear about it in time for last week’s post and it already took place last night, but a big congratulations from us to North Brewing on their SEVENTH anniversary. It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years, and we don’t think we’ve seen any other brewery in the region go through so many changes in that timeframe, from their original little location at North and Agricola (under a different name), to the opening of Battery Park, to their big move to Portland Street and all the various beers they’ve given us in that time. It’s certainly been an odyssey and we’ve been lucky to be able to watch them grow and develop. We share the sentiments of those who toasted them yesterday on social media: “Good Beer made by Good People.”

Quidi Vidi Brewing is looking to hire a Brewer to join their fold, as they ramp up production for a busy spring and summer season ahead of them. Find out all of the details on their job posting. And stayed tuned here next week for the details of the Newfermenters X QV collaboration beers hitting the shelves!

Tidehouse doesn’t have a new beer this week (although they’re promising something “gorgeous” for next week), but there is some news coming out of their Tiny Tasting Room: CANS! They’ve got themselves a single-head canner and will have their first cans available next week. With any luck this will improve on the drudgery and inconvenience of bottling at least a little.

Fredericton’s Trailway  has brought back one of their fruitiest concoctions, Starblast. Sure, it’s got a smattering of El Dorado hops, but what it’s really got is tons of Peach and Raspberry puree and some orange zest as well. “Radler-esque” but still very much beer, it comes in at 5% ABV. In cans and on tap at the brewery.

Eek! We’re late this week. Why? Partially because we have these pesky day jobs. But also because our region Will. Not. Stop. with the new breweries, new beers, beer re-releases, and beer-related events. Also, somethingsomething about the weather. Enjoy!!

• After a full year of construction, brewing, aging, blending, and bottle conditioning, Valonray Farmhouse Brewing in MacDougall Settlement is ready to share the fruits of their labours with you. Celebrating their Grand Opening tomorrow 10 AM – 4 PM, visitors can drop by the brewery for a tour, sample some of their initial offerings (five will be available), and grab a bottle or two to go. Available will be their flagship Saison, a Single and a Tripel, Blonde, and Pale Ale, all in the Belgian style. Learn more about Valonray in the profile we published last month, to get you excited for their opening and big plans for the future. Going forward, the brewery retail will be open every Saturday 10 AM – 6 PM, with the hours expanding in the summer. While the plan is for their beer to eventually be at local ANBL locations, it is only available at the brewery for the next while.

• After many months of planning and hard work, Dieppe’s Flying Boats Brewing is finally just-about-ready to open their new brewery (15 bbl – 1750 L – vs. their original 1 bbl brewery) to the public. They’re holding a soft launch this weekend, starting today from 11 AM – 7 PM, and continuing tomorrow from 11 AM – 5 PM, at their new location at 700 Malenfant Blvd. They’ll have seven of their beers on tap to start, and will be filling growlers (which can be purchased there, or of course you can bring your own), pouring pints and flights, and also selling 473 mL cans of their Dixie Clipper IPA and Empress Irish Red Ale for you to take home. More beers will be popping up over the next few weeks, and they’ll be updating their taproom hours once they officially open.

York County Cider in Fredericton recently celebrated their second anniversary, and used that as an excuse to release their latest seasonal cider blend, Smoky Maple. As the name implies, the base apple cider is enhanced by additions of maple syrup for an iconic taste of spring in our region, as well as light smoke to complete the full “outdoor maple boil” of this 6.3% ABV cider. This cider was primarily available during their anniversary celebrations and now only three kegs are left until next year! That said, the YCC crew is happy to let us know that their Strawberry Ciderita is now on the shelves of the local ANBL locations. This strawberry and lime cider is 5.8% ABV, and crisp and fruity. Drop by Ed’s Garage (aka, the taproom) at 38 Main Street to grab your taste of their full line-up today.

Port Rexton Brewing brought back their annual Ten Eighty Series last week with the release of Imperial Saison. This single batch is the brewery’s take on a traditional style, taking the typically-mid-strength Farmhouse Ale and dialling it to 11… or, more accurately, 9.6. Yes, it weighs in at an impressive 9.6% ABV, coming through as crisp, effervescent, and warming. Fermented with the fruity and spicy French Saison yeast strain, the beer was dry-hopped lightly with Mandarina Bavaria. There are still a few bottles left at the retail shop at 286 Torbay Road (open today from 4 – 8 PM and tomorrow from 12 – 6 PM), be sure to pick some up if you’re in the area… as we mentioned, this is a single batch only, and they won’t last long!

• And debuting at the PRB retail location today is SeaWind Saison, made with Sorrel, a Jamaican preparation of hibiscus flowers, and orange peel. At 5.4% ABV, SeaWind offers floral aromatics, low bitterness, and a light bubblegum character from the Belgian yeast. It is available exclusively in growlers at the retail spot, where you can also pick up some PRB merch. And good news for those who’ve been waiting for an excuse to go for a visit, the brewery will be opening for the season May 4th.

• The latest in PEI Brewing Company’s After Hours series is now available at their taproom and retail shops. Perseverance is a 7.0% ABV malty Belgian ale, first fermented with saison yeast, and then transferred onto three strains of Brettanomyces for several months to develop a complex blend of aroma and flavour. After fermentation was complete, the beer was dry-hopped with German Tettnanger, packaged and bottle conditioned, and now ready for your enjoyment! Rather than packaging with Brett to condition in the bottle, the beer has already developed a full complement of secondary flavour and aromatics, drying out the bigger body, and is ready to drink right now. Mark your calendars for the April 12 official-re-launch of the After Hours series, where several more beers will be pouring at the brewery taproom, and a great way to taste several of them at once, more details below.

• As has become usual for them, Good Robot has news of two brews this week, an Alpha and a Beta batch. From the Alpha system a Chocolate Porter this way comes, with origins in the last chocolate porter brewed at Good Robot. Still boasting a “rich taste, exquisite mouthfeel, and tantalizing aroma” this time it’s got a brand new name: Bingo Bronson. Coming in at a very drinkable 6% ABV, it was made with classic English Maris Otter malt, flaked oats and flaked barley, chocolate and coffee malts, and some Vienna to boot. Hopped with Belma, of all things, don’t go looking for a big hop presence, but expect an impact from the carob powder, cocoa powder and chocolate extract used to provide chocolate flavor. This one should be available for growler fills at the brewery as well as pints in the tasting room. And coming out on Tuesday next for Beta Brewsday, Beta system Queen Kelly Costello teamed with Allana Dalrymple to concoct a low-ABV Scottish Ale leaning heavily on Golden Promise malt with some CaraAroma, Crystal 60 and Roasted Barley for character. High-alpha acid Warrior hops battered the brew and some Perle provide aroma. Finished on Caldera whiskey-soaked oak chips before being racked to a cask, look for this 3.9% ABV and 20ish IBU treat to top the bar this coming Tuesday!

YellowBelly Brewing in St John’s has a new take on an old favourite beer back on tap these days. First released as a home-and-home collaboration with Australia’s Top Shed Brewery (located on Australia’s East Coast), Me Ol’ Trout (formerly East Coast Cream Ale) is back at the brewpub, as well as bottes at local NLC. At 4.8% ABV, and less than 20 IBUs, the Cream Ale style can often be considered a boring (for both brewer and drinker), so Brewmaster Liam McKenna was sure to make the style his own, opting for a significant dry hop rate to raise the hop aromatics. Grab a pint or bottle today, and those across the country will be able to enjoy the beer starting in May, as Me Ol’ Trout will be available in the Central City “Across the Nation” collaboration mix pack.

• And speaking of YellowBelly, they are teaming up with Semintha Nutraceuticals to hold a birch beverage competition, with the goal of producing a tasty and healthful drink with Birch sap at its base. Interested folks are encouraged to reach out to the Newfermenters homebrew group for more details, including sharing their recipe and technique to produce a beer, mead, or cider, or even non-fermented drink, using Semintha’s sap. Check out the Facebook group for more details, and submit your plan via email before May 1st.

Off Track Brewing is getting closer to commissioning their larger brewhouse, but in the meantime, they’ve got several new beers pouring at their taproom in Bedford. Diving right in with Wheat in the Knees, an American Wheat Ale hopped lightly with Belma and Huell Melon; at just 4.5% ABV and 23 IBUs, it’s the perfect beer for what they refer to as “soon-to-be summer”, but we’re highly skeptical today! Regardless, an easy-drinking beer with a touch of citrus, meant to be enjoyed in quantity. In the same mold, Raspberry Wheat is another wheat beer, but with fruit. An experimental batch, look for others in the “series” to follow suit, with Cherry Wheat and Mango Wheat coming soon… as in later this weekend! These are all single kegs only, so be sure to drop by for your taste.

• And in non-Wheat beers, expect to see State Capitals for $500 from Off Track this weekend. An American Pale Ale hopped with Cascade, Huell Melon and Mandarina Bavaria, it’s described by the brewery as “very melony and fruity”; it weighs in at 5.5% ABV and 43 IBUs. Finally, expect to see Pull the Pin IPA on tap as well, a 6% ABV, 58 IBUs IPA hopped mainly with Centennial, giving the beer aromas and flavours of light fruit, as well as some spicy and floral character.

• We have the details on the latest release from Brightwood Brewery, an interesting beer they’re referring to as a Rosé IPA. Dartmouth Blush is a Belgian IPA hopped with Mosaic and Hallertau Blanc late in the boil, and at flameout, to maximize the aroma and flavour characteristics of both varieties. After fermentation was complete, the beer was dry-hopped with more Hallertau Blanc, and Hibiscus and Rose Hips were also added to give the final product a pink hue.

• In Halifax, 2 Crows has two new small batch taproom-only releases to share this week put together by staff members Graeme and Nick. First, from Graeme, is another obscure Dutch ale (he was also responsible for the Dutch Bokbier late last year), this time a Luyks Bier, whatever that is. Built on a grist of predominantly spelt, with Pilsner, wheat and some flaked oats, it was bittered with Magnum and hopped with a combination of Columbus and Goldings. Fermentation with Omega Labs Hothead yeast makes Peace Train a full-bodied 5.7% ABV and 34 IBU beer that features notes of grapefruit and clementine leading to a dry, slightly bitter finish (and Cat Stevens ringing in your ears). Next up is Nick’s Blithe, a Belgian Pale Ale featuring the middle eastern spice Sumac. At 5.9% ABV and 29 IBU, it was brewed with pale malt, spelt, malted oats, and a bit of Munich malt. Hops included the spicy/fruity British hybrid Bramling Cross and the citrus/floral/fruity American Calypso. Fermented with the 2 Crows house saison culture, the sumac (sourced from East Coast Wild Foods) entered the picture during conditioning. The beer is described as “bright, fruity, floral and dry” with some yeast-based funk and some bitter orange flavors from the sumac. You’ll find both of these brews only available by the pint on Brunswick Street at the 2 Crows tasting room.

• New Brunswick’s heaviest hoppists, Trailway Brewing in Fredericton have yet another IPA dropping this Friday. Featuring one of the industry darling hops of the last year or two, Ekuanot, alongside so-new-we-had-to-look-it-up Loral (HBC 291), Imagination is a 6.5% ABV super-refreshing brew with a hint of green pepper from the Ekuanot and a very soft and floral, yet fruity finish from the Loral. You’ll find it at the brewery and possibly over the coming weeks at ANBL locations. Watch Trailway social media (FacebookTwitterInstagram) for more on that.

• On Agricola Street in Halifax, urban cidery Chain Yard has a new batch on the go they’re calling Mallow Yallow. Leveraging malolactic fermentation where bacteria other than yeast are introduced to convert malic acid to lactic acid, and, in doing so, soften the acidity of the final product, this cider was also put into oak barrels for 4 months to condition. The result is a dry cider at 6.4% ABV, with a crisp, light carbonation, some sweetness, and featuring notes of caramel, whiskey and French oak.

Beerocracy, the independent documentary on New Brunswick craft beer (how the NB beer industry started and where it’s headed, as well as what challenges could hamper its growth), is finally viewable online for the world to see! Anyone interested in the story of beer in NB can go to Vimeo to either rent the movie for less than the cost of a fresh pint, or buy it to watch anytime, anywhere. Check it out here!

• Stellarton’s Backstage Brewing has a new session pale ale on tap this week. Called Night Moves, it’s a very quaffable 5% ABV, 35 IBU beer that hopped with Citra and Mosaic. And a reminder that the taproom on Bridge Avenue is open for business and the guest are now in full force. The dozen beer currently pouring includes offerings from the Eastern Shore’s Sober Island, Antigonish’s Half Cocked, and others. So if you’re in the PC, AJ and his band have your craft beer fix; give a thought to heading down and checking it out!

Here are the events we’re excited about in the coming weeks:

• Back in 2013, Picaroons released their Plaid to the Bone, an English Pale Ale brewed with Heather tips. Don’t be too confused, but they’re releasing a new beer, named Plaid to the Bone – Scotch Ale, to continue the Scottish theme. A big (8.6% ABV), malty brew, this one-off has been bottled and will officially be released at a Launch Party today at the Picaroons Roundhouse in Fredericton. The fun starts at 4 PM, with lots of beer available in bottles and on tap, served alongside haggis samosas and Scotch eggs, with live fiddling music to jig to (or you can just sit and listen).

• First poured at the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival last month, the Tide & Boar Gastropub is releasing their Sour Otis – Peach Barrel Edition tomorrow, April 7th at 11 AM . Spontaneously fermented and aged for 7 months in a Pinot Noir barrel, this limited edition beer will be available in short supply to enjoy at the T&B, and to take home. Only 125 bottles will be available for purchase, with the remaining 57 bottles going on sale to drink in-house at the brewpub. Look for another one of their beers to be on the growler filling station at Duo Cafe as well.

• A reminder that Revel Cider from Guelph will be taking over the taps at Stillwell Beer Bar tomorrow from noon, with a dozen of their fun and funky ciders available all day. Check out the tap list here to get an idea of what you’ll be tasting. Fans of mixed fermentation and spontaneous beers will enjoy their offerings, and for those who don’t… fear not, there’ll be plenty of cool bottles from Stilly’s fridges and cellar available for tasting and comparing!

• Fredericton’s James Joyce Irish Pub has quickly lined up their next brewery-featured event, with one of New Brunswick’s newest breweries – Holy Whale, out of Alma – bringing their beers for all to enjoy! Call Me Ishmael – A Holy Whale Micro Tap Takeover will take place tomorrow, April 7th when the pub opens at 3 PM. Holy Whale is bringing four of their beers – Whitney IBUston (Witbier), Medusa’s Milk Stout, Pale Ale, and Keller Whale (Kellerbier), which you can order by the pint or flight. No charge to attend, just show up to give them a try!

• A few days later (Wednesday, April 11th) the Fredericton Ladies Beer Connection will be holding their next Ladies n’ Beers Social, at TrailWay. Join them in the TW taproom at 8 PM for a flight of beer and some beer education; just RSVP to freddyladiesbeerconnection@gmail.com to hold your spot (cost is $9 to attend). As always, feel free to show up beforehand or hang around afterwards, to enjoy an extra beer or two and socialize some more!

PEI Brewing Co. is celebrating their After Hours series with a launch at the brewery April 12, 5 – 7 PM. You will be taken on a guided tour of the production area, sample some future releases straight from the tank, and hear from the brewers about the inspiration and brewing process of each beer. It will also mark the return of Patience, the dry-hopped Brett Saison first bottled and released last year. Learn more about the event here.

• They’ve been open since last fall, but Ol’ Biddy’s Brewhouse has never had an official launch party. Luckily, they’ve found the perfect excuse to have one now, in conjunction with their upcoming tap takeover at Freeman’s Little New York, at their Sackville location. The joint event will take place next Saturday, April 14th at 552 Sackville Dr., with Ol’ Biddy’s bringing 8 beers, including the last keg of their Salty Fog, a toasted coconut Porter with pink Himalayan salt, and the latest release of their Sackvegas Sour.

• Tickets are still on sale for the Friday session of St John’s BrewFest, April 20th at Club One on New Gower Street. From 6 – 10 PM, sample your choice of more than 100 beers from across North America, with most not already available in Newfoundland. Joining the local breweries will be Brooklyn’s Other Half, as well as Canadian breweries Half Hours on Earth, Blindman Brewing, and Left Field. Plus regional favourites TrailWay and Hammond River. Secure your tickets today to avoid major FOMO that weekend!

• Early Bird Pricing is ending this Monday for the Canadian Brewing Awards and Conference, being held in Halifax May 24 – 26. The biggest gathering of brewers from across the country, there are sessions and presentations and plenty of fun events surrounding the weekend, which we’ll be sure to share in a handy-dandy gCal and map. The Keynote Speaker is Emily Tipton, co-owner and -brewer at Boxing Rock, and the President of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia. While entry to the CBAC is restricted to brewery employees, there are volunteer positions available to keep everything running smoothly. Sign up today to help make the weekend a success!

A few News Bites today:

Gahan House on the Halifax Waterfront has tapped a new cider made with fresh apples from Windsor, Nova Scotia. Hazy, pale and dry, Harbour Valley Cider finishes with “just the right amount” of tartness and is listed at 6.4% ABV.
– We mentioned last week that The Grand Banker in Lunenburg, NS, has announced that they’re opening a craft brewery called Shipwright Brewing. This week they announced that their Brewmaster will be a local Lunenburger coming back to her roots, Kellye Robertson! We’ll have more details to share about the plans for the brewery in coming weeks.
Unfiltered in Halifax has their extremely popular Citra SMaSH, DOA, back on tap for fills in the brewery and pints at Charm School as of noon today: 7.5% ABV, 100+ IBU. Rumor has it there are also still a few cans of other offerings from their last canning run available at the brewery.
Upstreet in Charlottetown has a small amount of their popular sour, Million Acres Twice-hopped Sour with Centennial and Chinook back in a limited re-release today starting at 11 AM at Craft Beer Corner. 200 bottles, limit 4 per person.