Folks, it’s lunch time on Friday. That means it’s time for your weekly dose of too-much-beer-news-to-digest-in-one-sitting-so-you-better-grab-a-second-pint, to get you excited for the rest of your weekend plans and beers. Special thanks to Damian for stepping up and helping out on last minute notice, otherwise today’s release would have been a lot shorter and a lot duller. OK, enough navel gazing, on with the beer news!
Starting with big news and the first brew out of Propeller Brewing’s Quinpool location, Black is Beautiful, signifies the first Atlantic Canadian release of the international movement. The recipe is by initiative founder Marcus Baskerville of Weathered Souls Brewery in Texas. Over 1,000 breweries have brewed the beer with the same goal: to raise awareness of injustices faced by people of colour, as well as money to benefit Black communities. Please check out more information here: https://blackisbeautiful.beer/ Locally, Propeller will donate all proceeds from this beer to 902 ManUp, a community group working to create “lasting solutions to violence involving young black males and promote community self-empowerment, educational achievement and economic opportunities through a committed, collaborative and accountable presence within Nova Scotia.” They work with all marginalized individuals to create real change. The Prop Shops will also be offering the option to add a donation to any purchase through our stores until the beer runs out, and Propeller will match those donations to increase the benefit this beer can have. The recipe was developed to highlight the different hues and shades of black. It is a full bodied oatmeal stout with complex flavours and aromas of roasted malt, dark chocolate and coffee coming in at 5.0% ABV. The beer is available today for pints and growlers at both their Quinpool and Gottingen locations. Joining Propeller, Tatamagouche and Tidehouse will also be releasing their versions of Black is Beautiful in the coming weeks.
Our socially responsible friends from Tatamagouche Brewing have a citrus twist on their highly crushable Dekorum with the introduction of Dekorum Lime. They added organic lime juice to the original Dekorum light lager. This addition has provided a ton of lime flavor to the beer as well as some acidity from all the citrus. This beer should be nice and bright for these hot sticky days. The beer was just canned and will be hitting Tata shelves soon and then available for private stores this week. Kegs will be going out this week as well of this 2.9% ABV crusher. Keep an eye out for their release of Black is Beautiful in the coming weeks, too!
Big Spruce Brewing in Nyanza, Cape Breton, has decided the world isn’t quite hazy enough, and are being the change they want to see. They have brought back recent favourite Hotel Alpha Zulu Echo (H.A.Z.E.) Kveik Session IPA, a 5.5% ABV beer brewed using the Hornindal strain of Kveik yeast, leaving the beer that features loads of Mosaic and El Dorado hops an opaque straw hue. And debuting this week is Tuanis!, a Guava Milkshake IPA. Clocking in at 6.4% ABV, this IPA features a blend of Cryo hops from Yakima Chief (produced using a process used to bump up the potential bitterness and aroma from hops by removing extra plant material), and is kicked up even further with additions of Organic guava and vanilla. A Latin American slang for “everything is all good”, we can see pints or bottles of Tuanis! in your future! H.A.Z.E. too, as bottles of both are available this weekend, in addition to the draught options pouring now.
And a late breaking addition to the blog was the Thursday evening release of a project a couple of months in the making… What happens when you take a freshly-emptied barrel that previously held Glenora Whisky, and fill it with the award-winning Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout? Wait 2 months, and you’ll end up with great things, that’s what! Picking up a touch extra alcohol from the barrel, but more importantly lots of great vanilla, caramel, and whisky notes too. And lucky for all of us, it’s available now! Limited release on this one (there are only so many barrels!), so we suggest making a bee-line for Nyanza, or better yet, check their online store for delivery across the province, and country.
Let’s switch gears to mead, and turn to Earltown, where Nova Scotia’s Mountain Meadworks calls home. They have a trio of mead expressions available these days, on the lighter side of the alcohol scale (7% ABV or less). Solstice Sour is a 5.0% ABV sparkling dry mead that was conditioned with rhubarb fruit for a strong flavour as well as the iconic acidic hit of the pink, red, and green stalks. Arboreal is a seasonal mead that saw the addition of fresh spruce tips in the mix. These were harvested along the North Shore earlier in the summer, and offer citrus as well as a bright spruce note to the 6.0% ABV dry mead. And latestly, keep your eyes open for Valley Buzz, a 7.0% ABV Cyser. Also known as “Apple Mead”, cyster features the addition of pressed apple juice to adjust the honey sugar concentration, lending a melding of many flavours, including some crisp and tart notes, and can be enjoyed cold, or simmered with some mulling spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. These and several more from Mountain Meadworks are available at the Truro Farmers’ Market, the Halifax Brewery Market Neighbourhood Goods General Store, online through the Truro and New Glasgow Farmers’ Market or by contacting them directly through their Facebook page.
Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill Beer Co has a pair of new beers on the go right now, one marking its debut after a long hiatus, and the other a country-wide collaborative brew. Back just in time to celebrate the release of the new Bill and Ted movie at the end of the month, Myld Stallyns English Mild began life a few years ago, the brainchild of Lunn’s Mill and local homebrewer Ian Dares, who asked the question, “Which is more righteous? English Mild in a cask, or in a keg?” Well both formats are back again for us to repeat the experiment, as well as cans for those inclined to take their testing to the beach or boat. And at just 3.9% ABV, we can see this blend of toffee, biscuit, roast, and just enough hop bitterness to balance being a welcome blast from the past. If you can’t make it to the brewery in the Annapolis Valley (Bummer, Dude!), you’ll be able to partake on tap at both Battery Park and Stillwell Freehouse in the big city.
Lunn’s Mill have also released their version of the Isolation Nation Canada-wide collaboration SMaSH, an innovation courtesy of BSG Canada and Hops Connect. With the COVID-19 heavily impacting the breweries across the country, these two companies responded by rallying and providing complimentary Rahr Malting Canadian 2-Row Malt and Sasquatch hops (ICYMI, these are Canadian-grown and developed, the first of their kind!). Joining 30 breweries across the country, Lunn’s Mill’s version is 5.2% ABV, hazy straw in colour, and featuring a lovely citrus flavour and aroma, notably mandarin orange, lemon, and tea. As this is a charitable beer, Lunn’s MIll is directing the proceeds to two local dog rescues near and dear to the owners’ hearts: Marley’s Hope and Misfit Manor Dog Rescue. Joining Myld Stallyns and a handful of others, cans of Isolation Nation are available at the brewery and for delivery, as well as on draught at the source, and coming soon to other taps in the Valley and Halifax.
Speaking of Isolation Nation, Halifax’s Garrison Brewing is also taking part in this brew, and has their version for sale now as well. The wonderful thing about the collaboration is that even though breweries were provided with the same malt and hops, there’s plenty of room for brewers to put their own stamp on it. To that end, Garrison has opted to produce a light and crisp 5.0% ABV Pale Ale, with notes of pine and citrus shining through from the Sasquatch, building on the clean palette left by the malt and yeast. Garrison is going all out with a canned release of Sasquatch SMASH, cans of which hit the shelves of their retail locations at both their Seaport and Oxford Taproom locations yesterday, and at the HRM-area private liquor stores without delay. Or if you fancy a pint, both Garrison locations are pouring the beer currently.
Just up the road, Stillwell Brewing continues their foray into canned releases with the latest batch of their Stilly Pils. Following up on the recent small-can Kompakt Kolsch and Stillwell Dry, the Stilly Pils is an ode to several European (and Euro-influenced) takes on the Pilsner, from the Czech style showing off light malt notes, to Northern German pils exhibiting a solid bitterness, and the Italian Tipopils (and the US beers it inspired) pushing the hop aroma and flavour to the next level. Made with 100% Pilsner malt from Shoreline Malting on Prince Edward Island, it features Czech-grown Saaz hops, as well as German Tettnang and Hallertau to round out the bitterness and Noble hop earth and spice. Go on your own #pilsgrimage with Stilly Pils, available *only* in cans, which can be found at all three Bar Stillwell locations, to-go from their original location on Barrington Street, as well as from Stillwell Brewing direct for local and nation-wide delivery. Speaking of Stillwell HQ, don’t forget that they are hosting an Oxbow Brewing event tomorrow, with a full raft of beers a-pouring on draught and bottles and cans! And the kitchen will have some special additions to the menu, with a carnival theme running throughout; hot dogs, smoked turkey legs, caramel corn on the cob, and deep fried ice cream! Check their Instagram feed for the latest details on the food to match the beer.
Speaking of Shoreline Malting and Prince Edward Island, 902 BrewCast released their August 2020 Tasting Episode earlier this week, recorded while still on/in PEI, and at the end of an epic day touring Shoreline and Island Hop Company. They’ll both be featured on upcoming episodes in the next few weeks, while this week’s episode sees (hears?) Kyle, Phil, and Tony drinking through a few of the beers they grabbed during the visit (and one White Claw they must have been handed at the border into New Brunswick), teasing what’s to come, and recounting their early morning and late night shenanigans. Give it a listen! And big congratulations to Tony and Danielle and Jack on the newest arrival to their family, Evangeline Marion! 💓
Straight outta Montague, PEI, we’ve got Copper Bottom Brewing coming with a Session IPA Sabro bomb. Their latest version of Flux, their Session IPA, is now available for purchase in the Montague taproom. The grist consists of Shoreline 2 Row, Shoreline Wheat, and flaked oats, giving it a nice pillowy soft body. Hit with Sabro hops at whirlpool and again at dry-hop. Pours hazy with big notes of pineapple, coconut, and mango. It’s 4.2% ABV and 25 IBU. It’s available in the taproom in Montague, PEI Liquor’s new Notables store in Charlottetown, and should be hitting Harvest Wines locations in the next week or so. Cans spotted at Stillwell, too!
We have great news from Sheet Harbour’s Sober Island Brewing, who have been keeping busy on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore. They have released a new West Coast IPA named Wavebreaker IPA. At 6.3% ABV, it’s on the lower end of the scale, but still packs a punch with plenty of iconic West Coast hops, including Centennial to the tune of 56 IBU, with notes of tangerine balancing the beer’s malt profile. Wavebreaker joins the other three packaged offerings from Sober Island, including Beth’s Black Oyster Stout, Beachstone Bitter, and Marigold Blonde. The Stout is currently in 40 NSLC stores across the province, with Marigold and Wavebreaker hitting the shelves at select stores next month. Or, better yet, you can grab them for home delivery from their online shop, with free deliveries to HRM on Thursdays for orders of $55. You can even grab a keg for enjoyment at home that way too!
After the introduction of their fruited sour Throwin’ Blueberries last week, the gang at TrailWay Brewing in Fredericton upped the ante this week with a triple play of goodness coming out of the brewery. Now granted all three are re-releases, but they’re pretty stellar lineup regardless. First up is the return of the vaunted Velvet Fog, the Milkshake IPA they’ve been playing with for a couple of years now. Back to the raspberry variant this time, they did make a slight tweak with the addition of a little bit of lime zest to keep it perky and summer heat-friendly. Of course, you’ll still find pure vanilla, lactose, and El Dorado hops ensuring it’s smooth, sweet, and packing a tropical fruity hop punch. Cans were released Tuesday and are likely going fast.
Next up is a TrailWay favorite, Seeing Citra, their single hop Citra bomb. Fresh as all hell, it was packaged yesterday, so if you grab some cans on Friday it’ll be like slurping straight from the brite tank. And even better news on this one, it’s not just back for a weekend, not just back for a day, but you’ll be walking on this Citra sunshine for the next four months or so. You’ll also be able to find it well outside the environs of Fredericton as it’s seeing province-wide distro at ANBL stores starting early next week.
Lastly for this week is the latest iteration of El Generico, TrailWay’s basic sour. This time around they’ve hit it with blackberry and lime for a sweet and fruity character balanced by tart fruit, a pop of citrus, and the usual sour base. Sounds like an excellent beer for the height of summer, which by our calculations is right about…now. And if you’re reading this from outside Fredericton or especially outside NB and you’re wishing you could get your hands on these beers, fret no more! Trailway is now shipping not only to their home province, but the rest of Atlantic Canada and Ontario as well! Build yourself a box of 12 or 24 and let Canada Post bring it to you!
Down the road a little bit in Rothesay, NB, Hammond River Brewing has a new beer designed to fend off the summer heat and humidity with a little taste of the tropics. Nominally an IPA, but firmly in the “session” category at 4.7% ABV, Mango Session IPA features, you guessed it, mango in the mix. Added post-fermentation, it gives a fruit-forward taste and aroma. Meanwhile, there’s plenty of Columbus and Australian Topaz hops in the mix to provide a firm bitterness to the tune of 51 IBU and an extra citrusy kick. We’ve got no packaging details on this one, but we do know you can find it pouring at the brewery.
Let’s cross the Confederation Bridge to Lone Oak Brewing for a pair of fruit-centric releases now on their shelves in Gateway Village, Borden-Carleton. First up is a brand new iteration of their South Shore Sour, with Blueberries and Haskap. Not just the same beer dosed with fruit extract, Spencer and Co went all out to create a new mixed ferment beer, featuring blueberries and haskap harvested and juiced by their good friends at Terry’s Berries (who are also responsible for the bright pink food truck parked outside, slinging banging lobster rolls, meatball subs, and more). The 5.2% ABV beer was dry-hopped with Simcoe and Hallertau Blanc to impart even more fruit character. Available now on tap, and to take away in 4-packs of 355 ml cans. And in more Terry’s Berries news, Lone Oak helped them bring their own vodka soda beverage to reality. Terry’s Berries Blueberry Lemonade features a whole pile of hand-pressed Island blueberries, with Myriad View Vodka to the tune of 6.05% ABV. Available now at Lone Oak, it will be on the shelves at PEILCC stores within the next little bit.
From one Island to another, St. John’s Newfoundland’s Bannerman Brewing brings back Pool Bar, a lactose IPA, abundantly hopping with Sabro and Citra. This milkshake IPA brings lots of coconuts and pineapple flavours coming in at 7.0%. Bannerman is also bringing back Permanent Vacation, their Mexican Lager, mildly hopped with Motueka and a combination of Pilsner and Vienna malt with a large addition of flaked corn. Light and crisp with a hint of sweetness, this beer comes in at 5.2%.
From the fine folks in Sydney, Breton Brewing is dropping another one of their 5 anniversary beers, Reel’em In Pale Ale, the 4th installment of their Anniversary Series. This dry hopped pale ale pours a brilliant, bright gold colour with a tight white head while Chinook and Simcoe hops provide a refreshing bitterness with hints of grapefruit and citrus zest. Expect dank, piney and fruity aromas supported by a soft and pillowy mouthfeel and some light caramel; it clocks in at 4.8% and 45 IBU. Reel’em In is available in their taproom and online in CBRM now, and will be coming to Halifax next week. There is one more release left in the Five for 5 anniversary release series, any guesses as to what it may be??
Riverdale Orchard is creating a destination cidery in Bonshaw, PEI, now offering a full menu of food options to go with their award-winning ciders. Open Thursday through Sunday, from 11 AM until 4 PM (and usually a little later on Fridays), their expanded deck and picnic table space can see you imbibing their 2 Scots 3 Apples original recipe, or the 2 Scots Go Wild, with wild apples and the yeast that live on them were allowed to undergo a low-and-slow fermentation to turn into something special. Food menu items include Quiche Lorraine and Sundried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese Quiche, Pulled Pork Roll, and Spicy Chicken or Bean Burgers served in an apple and cheese waffle. Head out to their ciderhouse and taproom at 582 Riverdale Road, or drop them a line to learn more.
Just a handful more items before we let you go today!
From our friends in Dieppe, NB, O’Creek Brewing has a new IPA from their DUOH series. This iteration features Citra and Vic Secret hops giving a smooth mouthfeel with citrus, piney and tropical flavours. Find this new brew at Tide & Boar in Moncton and Traffik in Shippagan.
Taking things to the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland, Ninepenny Brewing is releasing Route 60 sour + Black Currant as a variant of their Berliner Weisse. Grab this brew in the taproom for takeaway or stay for a pint as other flavours are getting restocked.
As we teased last week, Shipwright Brewing in Lunenburg has released the next beer using the KRISPY Kveik yeast from Escarpment Labs. Back Harbour is a 5.5% ABV Black Lager, fermented under pressure on the cool end of the temperature spectrum (for a kveik), and then underwent a short lagering period before release. The Munich malt base, plus dark and roasted Malta shine through, with yeast esters (fruity notes) being subdued, allowing the beer to be crisp and refreshing. Grab it at the brewery for pints and crowler fills, and kegs may also be making their way downstairs to the Grand Banker.
Another job posting in our region, for those post-secondary students looking to break into/continue their work in the world of beer. Lab City’s Iron Rock Brewing is looking to hire a Production and Packaging Assistant for the fall semester, with the possibility of a full-time permanent gig at the end of it. Assisting in all aspects of designing, producing, and packaging beer, this position will be a tough but rewarding job for someone. Relocation assistance is available for the right candidate, too! Check out all the details, and apply, here.
A stark reminder this week that despite all of the great news above, we *are* in the middle of a pandemic, and ignoring it won’t make it go away. Inverness’ Route 19 Brewing has closed the doors of their taproom for a spell after a visitor from BC failed to sufficiently quarantine, and stopped into the restaurant Sunday. While there are no suspected cases of COVID-19 arising from the breaking of self-isolation (required to enter the Atlantic Bubble), customers who were in the taproom are advised to self-monitor. We applaud Route 19’s caution and are looking forward to them being able to open their taproom safely soon! As the visitor did not interact with the brewery, and sufficient cleaning protocols are in place, their brewing operations have not been affected. You can read more here.