Happy Last Friday of November to you and yours! And/or Happy Black Friday Deals if you’re into that kind of thing. Though the big holiday is south of the border and most of the really good deals with it, you might find your local producers and retailers throwing a cheeky bone in the form of a modest sale, so be sure to check your social feeds for opportunities. With that said, it’s a somewhat quiet weekend in regional beer news (not that we’re complaining!) but we expect it’s just one of those “calm before the storm” weeks before the big holiday season is upon us.
We’re starting the week with a bunch of beers in Halifax from a brewery we haven’t featured much in the blog. Opening just over a year ago, we wrote about The Brewery by Quinn’s opening up with their own beer and other local fare. The other locations for Quinn’s beers, under the Revelry Beer Company brand, at Quinn’s Arms and the two Brown Hound Locations (Agricola Street and Hollis Street), under the same ownership. Primarily, all of the Revelry beer will always be available at The Brewery by Quinn’s, while Quinn’s Arm and the Brown Hound locations serve a smaller selection, but still feature other local breweries.
Now with that covered, let’s hit you with four new beers releasing on December 1st at The Brewery by Quinn’s (anyone else want some BBQ after reading this?):
- Sailors Delight – Fruited sour with Raspberry, Passion Fruit, & Ginger – 4.4%
- Pyrocumulus – Strong stout with Toasted Coconut and Tonka Bean – 9.0%
- City of Stone – Dry Stout (on nitro) – 4.0%
- Nomitomodachi – Rice Lager 5.0%
On top of this, they are aiming to keep a rotating small batch Farmhouse ale on tap from Wild Sour to their Classic Saison. For an upcoming tease, the brewer is currently working on a longer term production of a Wild Sour after a successful stint as a test batch. We have a lot of details on this one that we will save for later, but it will feature fruit, a mixed yeast culture that’s been propagated and kept up for almost 15 years, and some cellarring for at least 3-6 months, maybe longer. We will keep you updated on this brewery for future releases to come as these beers will be more available around their Halifax locations in the coming months.
Bannerman Brewing, in St. John’s, NL, has a couple of things to talk about this week. Up first is Spice World 2, a place where the Munich Dunkel style meets lemongrass and ginger giving you an opportunity to spice up your life. Deep malty flavors of molasses, caramel, and bread crust meet subtle lemongrass and not-so-subtle ginger, yielding an overall impression that you might find reminiscent of ginger snap cookies. An ABV of 5.3% gives you some room to have a couple and appreciate the composition. Grab it in cans from the brewery and the usual spots. Also new from BB this week, and of particular note, is the first beer to come out of their long in-the-works aged beer program. The first beers to be released will be a series they’re calling “Epiphany” and the first release will be, fittingly, Epiphany No. 1. A simple Golden Ale that has matured in white wine barrels for six months, it is the tabula rasa upon which the future releases in the series will be based. You can expect notes of pepper, stone fruit, and lemon peel, a gentle bitterness, dry finish, and some barrel notes as well. They’re doing a very limited release of this OG ale, so if you’re looking to get in on the ground floor of the Epiphany series, you’ll want to act fast; it’s been packaged in 750ml bottles and is only available at Bannerman.
Fredericton’s Trailway Brewing has a pair of new releases for you this week, so let’s get you up to speed! Vibe Check is a 6.0% American IPA, brewed with a touch of wheat to round out the mouthfeel, and a bit of haze. Of course, the hops take centre stage, with big citrus notes of orange, some apricot and pear, with a medium bitterness finish. Available in pints and in cans to go at both their Main Street Fredericton taproom, as well as the Union House in Saint John. And vibing along with this new release the return of the seasonal Hu Jon Holiday, their ode to the festive season. Think of their flagship Hu Jon Hops, but with the added flavours of locally-harvested fresh spruce tips lending a resiny and sprucey character. Cans are available today!
Headed way up to Lab City, Iron Rock Brewing has a big release to share. Bringing a local spin to their pale ale, this one features hops grown in Labrador. Fresh Hop is a Labrador Pale Ale (not to be confused with their Large Day American Pale Ale) that uses hops grown in their Community Gardens over the summer. Some community members grew the hops and then helped with the brewing, too. The hops were harvested by the Iron Rock team and used in a wet hop brewing method of using the whole cone, fresh hops directly in the brewing process. This is test batch number one from them and it’s available on tap at the brewery. Go give it a try! As a sneak peek, test batch number two will be another wet hop release, but featuring hops from Goose Bay.
The little cidery in Portugal Cove, NL, Mauzy Cider, has another small batch complex concoction for the enjoyment of those who can get their hands on it. Starting with feral Russet and Mcintosh apples from the Southern Shore and Mount Pearl, respectively, fermentation took place on lees of Williams Pride from Jefford’s Orchard. Once complete, golden plums from Campbellton’s Farm were introduced and eight months of maceration later, it was bottled in 750ml bottles and conditioned with Baccalieu Trail honey. Arriving at 6.3% ABV, only 33 cases of Diabolically Quenched were produced. It’s only available for local delivery or shipping from their website.
Out in Bay Roberts, Baccalieu Trail Brewing has a new release this week, perfect for enjoying in front of a roaring fire, for those of us adventurous enough to get out and enjoy the brisk fall evenings. Campout is a 6.0% S’mores Stout, brewed using Mecca Grade Opal 22 malt, known to impart both graham cracker and cocoa character to the final beer. Enhancing it even further is the addition of real cacao, for an even bigger nose and flavour of chocolate. Homebrewer Ralph Pike partnered with BaccTrail for this brew, which is out now on draught and in cans at the brewery and St John’s Maries too!
Great news for those in Dartmouth, or nearby, as 2 Crows Brewing are taking over the taps at Battery Park Beer Bar all day today. Sixteen draught and cask taps will be a-flowing all day and night, with OG favourites like Pollyanna, Fantacity, three different variants of their Jamboree Fruited Sour (Blueberry & Lemon, Strawberry & Guava, Watermelon & Kiwi), as well as the newly released Home and Home Hazy IPA with Grapes collab with Banished Brewing (as well as the non-graped Battery Power that debuted last week). And never stopping, never stopping, there are a pair of brand new beers on the board today, Guv Dark Mild and Feral Fawn Wild Ale with Apricot. Full draught and cask list available here. Battery Park is open 11:30 AM until late, and you’ll have a good chance of running into some of the Crows themselves when you pop by to embibe!
Big congratulations are in order to the team at Sea Level Brewing, as they celebrate their Sixteenth Anniversary this weekend! The beer scene was quite different back in 2007, with Sea Level (and their partners at Port Pub) being one of only a handful independent breweries in the province. There have been plenty of changes since then, both at Sea Level, and in the region, so this seems like a great reason to celebrate! Drop by both their Sea Level and Millstone Harvest Brewhouse locations to toast the crew in person!
The wait is just about over for folks thirsty for more beer in Truro, as The Common by Burnside Brewing is super-close to being fully open. While their retail shop at The Hub Shopping Mall has been open for a couple of weeks, their ability to pour pints has been delayed by various levels of red tape. We have word that samples can now be poured, and pints will soon be possible in their cozy space too. Located near Philthy Philly’s and Wung Express, The Common welcomes folks to bring in food to enjoy while in the space. In addition to their standard lineup of beer, look for pilot batch brews done onsite, by long-term and multi-award winning homebrewer Mark MacKay, who has been brewing for more than a decade in the province. Keep your eyes on their social media for the announcement, expected before the end of next week.
Down on the Halifax waterfront, Bishop’s Cellar has a fresh drop of Bellwoods Brewery treats. In addition to the somewhat regular classics on offer, namely, Bellwether Pilsner, Jelly King (OG version), and Roman Candle, they’ve now got three new non-alcoholic brews as well, Jelly King NA Blackberry/Raspberry Sour, Jelly King NA Dry Hopped Sour, and Stay Classy NA IPA. But wait! There’s more!! Also on the shelves are Cat Lady IPA, a less bitter, juicy and tropical answer to Roman Candle, and the beloved and rare Milkshark Tripleberry Milkshake IPA. These are all available now, but we expect many of them will go quickly; if you’re in the area from 1 – 3pm today you can drop by the shop and try them with Bishop’s Beer Baron Lucas Mader!