Rough Waters Brewing

All posts tagged Rough Waters Brewing

Long Weekend in the Maritimes, woohoo! That may mean your favourite brewery, restaurant, bar, or retail shop is closed Monday, so please reach out before you visit. Better yet, stock up now and spend the day in your jammies enjoying the best of the region. Here are a few suggestions for what to have in your glass…

Let’s begin today’s post some sad news, hitting close to home. Niche Brewing in Hanwell, NB, has announced that they have brewed and packaged their last beer and will be closing. We understand there are many factors leading to the decision, and both Rob and Shawn will certainly be a part of the New Brunswick beer scene forever, having started as avid homebrewers over a decade ago, taking the leap into opening a brewery with an impressive variety of releases, and ending on their own terms. As some may know, Shawn has also been one of the authors of this blog, and we’re reflecting on the great writing and contributions he’s made to the Atlantic Canadian beer scene over the past 8 years (!!), using his voice to help promote others in the same space as Niche. And though we’re very disappointed, we must acknowledge that Shawn has retired from the blog as well. Thanks brother, we look forward to sharing a beer together again when it’s safe.

Some thoughts from each of us…

“I remember the first time I had Niche was at The Joyce in early 2018. All I had to read was “Brett Table Beer” and I was sold on Something Different. It was only a few months later their beers showed up more and more at Stillwell and then in the fall they had an excellent tap takeover at Stillwell. I’ve been lucky to have spent some time with Shawn and the region is lucky to have had this brewery’s funky, sour and aged treats for many years. I’ll cherish my cellared Niche beers for years to come. To the cool kids!” – Damian

“When I heard that Shawn Meek was planning to open a brewery, my first thought was “who’s that?”… little did I know that Niche would become such an innovative and delicious presence in the Atlantic Canada beer scene. I’ll miss seeing the Allagash of Hanwell on the wall at Stillwell, and the bottles smuggled in from New Brunswick by he who shall not be named. All the best Shawn and cheers to what’s next.” – Devon

“Even before I was press-ganged into the blog, I was aware of Shawn’s brewing prowess thanks to his personal blog and his homebrew comp triumphs. When I heard that he was starting a brewery it seemed natural for someone so passionate and capable to take the next step. How he continued to be a family man, work a full time job and also write damn near half this blog most weeks I will never know. But I’m awfully thankful for it. I’m also thankful for so many fine beers of a quality and variety that many breweries much bigger and more established have trouble matching. I’ll miss hearing about what’s coming out of Hanwell before everyone else, but I hope we can continue to butt heads, kibitz (at Chris’ expense, when possible), and also share a beer or two when the stars align (Orval, maybe?). – Aaron

“Shawn, I can’t remember exactly when or where we met, but I’m glad we did! GDAH or FCBF, right? It’s been a wild ride, and what I do remember is the fun we’ve had together with a beer in our hand (or not!), shooting the shit, and fixing the (beer) world. Thanks for saying “Yes” when I called in the big guns to partner up for the blog, and still being crazy enough to write it while juggling everything on the go in the real world. While there may not be much more Niche coming our way, this just means the homebrew will be flowing freely soon, right? 😉😜 Looking forward to sharing another pint with you again soon, brother!” – Chris

OK, enough feeling down on ourselves…. For those of you fortunate enough to live in the Capital Region (and beyond), check out your local ANBL or Brewery Agency Store to ensure you grab bottles of Niche’s releases before they are gone (like gone, gone). Plus Niche draught is still pouring at a few spots in the region, including The Joyce, Bar Stillwell, and better beer establishments in between.

Let’s kick off the new beer news of the week with a pair that were a long time in the making, from the small town of Montague, PEI. Copper Bottom Brewing is debuting the first in their foray into barrel-fermented and -aged farmhouse ales, both brewed mid-2020, and allowed to develop plenty of character over the past 6 months.

First up is Thicket, a 5.0% Wild Ale with Blackberries. Starting from an uncomplicated malt bill of Vienna and Pilsner Malts, with some Raw Wheat and Spelt added to give the little beasties something to chew on over time, the wort saw just a small addition of Centennial hops used at the end of the boil. The hops are not the star of this show, however, with a blend of yeasts in the “tart saison” family pitched as the wort was added to a pair of white wine barrels. The yeast was allowed to do its thing over the next three months in the barrels, before being moved to a stainless conditioning tank, where a healthy serving of wild blackberries were added. A second fermentation and conditioning took place over the next two months, before the beer was bottled still, and allowed to carbonate naturally in glass. Bright, tart, and complex, with the blackberries lending a touch of sweetness to the final package.

Patina is the second release out today, and while it started with the same base wort, it was fermented with a blend of yeast blends, with Brett Sour and Saison yeasts and other beasts coming together to dutifully chew away at the sugars. Fermented directly in a pair of Pinot Grigio barrels, the beer was allowed to sit for 6 months, before packaging and allowed to finish in the bottle. This 4.8% beer is lively, funky, bright, and features just a touch of oak.

Both beers are available in the taproom and retail today, as well as for delivery through their online shop. Those in the area are seriously recommended to drop by this evening to try the two new beers, as well as take part in the pop-up by roving pizza empire Dough Boy Industries. In the taproom from 5 PM this evening, there will be 13” pies and garlies available for ordering, as well as live music from Joce Reyome. Arriving early and/or reserving a table (902-361-2337) are the best ways to avoid disappointment. Keep an eye on other events at Copper Bottom through their Events page, where they have all of their weekly Saturday and Sunday shows listed, as well as special events, including Ashley Condon’s concert March 6th, and Garrett Mason on the 20th.

Let’s head North East to Deer Lake, Newfoundland, to our friends at Rough Waters Brewing. While their brewery retail spot is currently closed (thanks COVID!), that hasn’t stopped them from continuing to put out some great beers to the province’s beer stores. Backcountry Saison is out in the wild now, just aching to be taken on an adventure in nearby Gros Morne National Park. Featuring 2-Row, Wheat, and Vienna malts, it was lightly hopped with Centennial and East Kent Golding, before being fermented with an iconic Saison yeast, lending plenty of spice and spritz to the beer. Enhancing those characteristics were additions of coriander and orange peel at the end of the boil. 6.9% with a dry finish, keep an eye out for this one! Also hitting the shelves of the Marie’s Mini Marts and other good beer shops reeeeeal soon is Plum Pint. Those in Western may recognize the name from a local spot, but anyone can enjoy this 5.0% Wheat Beer, which features an addition of plum puree post-fermentation. Smooth and fruity, tasty all way round!

Back on the mainland, Truro Brewing Company is releasing Dark Necessities. This 10% ABV Imperial Stout was aged in a “Bourbin-ish” barrel from nearby North River’s Raging Crow Distillery. Expect big, rich chocolate notes, some coffee and a smooth bourbon character in the finish. Packaged in 650 ml bottles, you can find it today at the brewery, onsite at Raging Crow and tomorrow (Saturday) at the Truro Farmers Market. Beer drinkers of Truro, consider your Valentine’s Day plans resolved. 

In other TBC news, the brewery is holding a contest to name a new Double IPA that they are planning to release at the end of February to coincide with their first anniversary. Send your most creative idea (a nod to something local would help) via DM on their social channels or to trurobrewco@gmail.com by February 25. The winner will be announced the next day, with a $50 TBC gift card and t-shirt up for grabs. 

Big Spruce is giving us ‘an early taste of summer’ (apparently they are ignoring the long-range forecast for Nyanza) with the release of Day 6. This 6.4% offering is a co-fermented blueberry sour with Brettanomyces. Expect a deep purple colour with upfront flavours of tart blueberries and lemonade, followed by some comforting notes of chamomile tea and blueberry jam. We’re told that kegs are heading to Battery Park and Primal in the city. 650 ml bottles should be available in the webstore tomorrow. And as always, you can find Day 6 on tap at the source in sunny Nyanza.

If you’re like us and enjoy the occasional hop explosion taking over all of your senses, 2 Crows is here with their first take on the aggressive style. Space Words brings the hops. At 10.1% like other Triple IPAs we’ve seen around the region, this one comes in at 70 IBU and is loaded with Galaxy, Eclipse and Comet hops. Onto the nerdy details! This ale was brewed with a base of German Pilsner malt, flaked wheat, and Golden Promise, with sucrose added to the boil to boost the ABV. Next up, this was hopped judiciously in hopback with Galaxy and Comet. This was fermented with a blend of juice-forward hazy yeasts, as well as a unique nectar specialist yeast Metschnikowia reukaufii (from the brewery – “This yeast was initially harvested from flowers in the Berkeley Hills of California, and is thought to have evolved to make flowers smell better for pollinators by altering nectar compounds like glycosides”). Think Bio-transformation in a big, big way! This IPA was quadruple dry hopped with the three featured hops and is the juiciest, boldest and hoppiest beer to date from the Brunswick Street brewers. This beer is available now in 473ml cans and you can have it delivered right to your door ordering directly from the brewery to get this as fresh as possible!

Nanobrewery O’Creek has a pair of new beers in the wild these days, on tap at several spots in the GMA. First up is The Flyer, a 6.8% NEIPA, using Talus, Citra, Centennial, and Amarillo hops to blast your senses with full on orange, tangerine, and citrus character, yet with a smooth mouthfeel. Named after one of the fastest boats used in the rum trade in Kent County, best get yourself to CAVOK or Tide & Boar for a pint before she’s gone! Also keep an eye out for Outback IPA, a 6.2% all Aussie hop-bomb, featuring Galaxy, Enigma, and Vic Secret. Dank and tropical, this can also be found on tap at CAVOK.

A blog favourite from the 2019 Stillwell Open returns again from Propeller. Sabro is a flavourful Double IPA packed with intense tropical hops. With a flavour packed with Sabro hops, you’ll get some passionfruit, pineapple and coconut. This is a hazy favourite clocking in at 65 IBU and 7.5% ABV. Available in 473ml cans at both Prop shops today, online too, and will be hitting the private stores in HRM next week.

Did you know that Trailway Brewing, Fredericton, NB’s pied pipers of hazy hopjuice, have been tickling your tastebuds with lupulin-laden delights for six years now? Well if you didn’t, then now you do! With things being what they are pandemic-wise they’re not planning anything huge to mark the occasion, but they’d be happy to see you and the gang from your 10-person bubble visit the taproom to celebrate with some pints, or just you picking up some cans to toast them with at home. And they’ve got plenty of options for you in both cases, including at least four very fresh batches, to wit:

  • Beans, their oatmeal stout with coffee and, fittingly, a keg of which was the first keg sale Tw made (to The Joyce, of course!), is back on tap and in cans.
  • Voyager, a very soft 8% ABV DIPA that they haven’t brewed in quite some time, and featuring two of the juiciest hops known to humankind: Citra and Galaxy, is available once again, this time in a double dry hopped version!
  • Green Island, which sees two fairly new hop varieties, Idaho 7 and Cashmere join forces to bring out juicy berry and pineapple characters in a hazy 6% ABV package.
  • Box Theories, another DIPA at 8% ABV, this one with new hop hotness Strata combining with old and busted (but we still love it*) Mosaic for a bright and tropical, yet still soft and juicy, flavor experience.

And if there’s anyone out there reading this in Quebec who’s a fan of Trailway and has noticed their beers in La Belle Province, you very well might be seeing the three IPAs listed above at your local dep or wherever you’ve been finding it before.

* Except Chris. But he’s weird in other ways too. Happy Birthday buddy!

The good folks at Tatamagouche Brewing are bringing out a big bodied banger for Valentine’s Day with a nice twist on their Russian Imperial Stout. They took their original RIS recipe, added some chocolate wheat and then it was racked into Bourbon barrels from two different barrels. With the addition of chocolate wheat to this release, nice rich, roasty and chocolate flavours come through with a touch of coconut. This 650ml bottle release is 10.3% and is available now. Get this directly from the brewery’s online shop, as they ship across the nation!

Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing is, like everyone else, very happy to see that Moncton is finally out of the red phase, COVID restriction-wise, and in particular they’re excited to start helping to hook you up with some of the beer they’ve been stockpiling a little during the increased protocols. Fans of the brewery will no doubt be happy to know that Parts N Labour, their 6% ABV New England IPA, is back, this time featuring a different variety of hops, namely: Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe. “A true haze bomb,” you can expect to see (and experience) the effects of biotransformation due to dry-hopping during primary fermentation. This one is already available at the brewery for pints and fills, and, canning gods willing, also in cans later this afternoon!

Meanwhile, there’s also two smaller batches done on the pilot system available for enjoyment at the taproom (and very possibly fills to go). Their Belgian Quad is a rebrew, this time with their own house made Belgian Candi Sugar. And a new one, Peanut Butter Pastry Stout, which is described as “dessert in a glass” and features a healthy dose of lactose, is expected to be on tap starting today.

Down in the Annapolis Valley, or at least at the head (tail?) of it, lies Horton Ridge Malt & Grain, home of both a local malting operation and its eponymous brewery and taproom. Just in time for Valentines Day they’ve got a couple of special editions available that have been in the works for a while. First is their Barreled Bar Dog, a barrel-aged variation of their Bar Dog stout. But instead of the typical bourbon or whisky barrel treatment, this one had a stay in a red wine barrel from Valley neighbours Luckett Vineyards. At 6.6% ABV this one maintains the roasty malt and chocolate character of the non-BA version, but adds some dark fruit character. Second is Brunch, which might put you in mind of something light and fruity, but if it didn you’d be very, very wrong. Taking its name from a special ingredient, it’s an American Barleywine weighing in at a hefty 10.6% ABV. Featuring some maple sweetness from pure maple syrup sourced from their neighbours at Hutchinson Acres as well as a smokey bacon finish that we’re not going to speculate on how they accomplished, but maaaybe if you’re vegetarian or vegan you’ll want to ask some questions before purchasing. At 10.6% ABV we don’t really recommend having more than one of these with brunch unless you’re planning an afternoon nap. We don’t know about whether they’ve got either of these on tap, but we can tell you for sure that they’re available for purchase in 375 mL bottles!

If you’ve kept an eye on local craft beer social media as of late, you may have noticed the fine folks from the Change is Brewing Collective took a trip down Shelburne way. In addition to visiting the Black Loyalist Heritage Center, they took a visit to Boxing Rock to brew a beer! Brewed on February 4th, get ready for the release of Back to Birchtown Old Stock Ale. A 6% ale that could be reminiscent of a warmer, sweet caramel of a winter warmer. The inspiration from this ale comes from traditional Birchtown brewing ingredients of raisins, brown sugar and molasses. 

This beer is actually releasing at the end of the month in 650ml bottles, but you have the opportunity to order a limited edition package with a collaboration mask and admission to the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre for future use, all for $26. The label will also be designed with Change is Brewing and likely the mask as well. 100% of the proceeds from this beer and this package will be donated to the Change Is Brewing Collective and the Black Loyalist Heritage Society. Pre-order at the link here.

A trio of short beer blasts to finish your assigned reading for today!

The fine folks at Hell Bay Brewing in Liverpool are releasing a new canned beer, Sea Sea Salted Chocolate Porter. Details on the beer are scarce at the moment, but we do know that you’ll soon be able to find this 6.0% ABV offering at NSLC locations and on tap at the brewery.

Port au Port, NL’s Secret Cove has a new beer out this week, what they’re calling a “small beer with lots of character”. Chesterfield Road may only be 4.8% ABV, but this Session IPA still packs plenty of oomph in the can, thanks to lots of late addition of Mosaic and Cashmere hops. Tropical, citrus, beery, and pine, without the headache tomorrow morning! Their first Island-wide release, check out your local good beer shop to grab some, and of course on tap for pints and growlers at the taproom too!

Heading back south, Tusket Falls Brewing Company is releasing the latest in its experimental beer series with Raspberry Milkshake IPA. This one features Citra and Mosaic hops, with a base malt of chit malt.  The milkshake aspect comes from the addition of lactose sugar, followed by conditioning on Madagascar vanilla beans and raspberry puree. Expect notes of raspberry candies and some citrusy hop notes from this 7.5% ABV offering. Check it out at their taproom today. 

 

Here we are heading into the last week of Summer in Atlantic Canada, and what a crazy summer it’s been. And things aren’t likely to get any less crazy in Fall, what with the pandemic still being a thing, and the West coast on fire, and, oh hey, another hurricane is bearing down on NS and possibly PEI. GOOD TIMES. So hey, maybe have a read below to get some ideas about where to stock up on beer this weekend and we’ll all see where the wind blows us. Hopefully it’s not off the Eastern seaboard.

Let’s kick off today’s news with a round of congratulations for the Atlantic Canadian breweries who took home medals at this year’s Canadian Brewing Awards! While the Awards and Conference looked quite different than in previous years, it’s always great when well-crafted local beers are getting nation-wide recognition.

Bogside Brewing: Silver in German Style Kolsch for Lighthorse Lagered Ale and Silver in Wheat Beer – German Style (Weiss) for Wheat Kings County

Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault: Gold in French and Belgian Style Saison for Saison du Djâbe

Brasseux d’la Cote: Gold in Fruit / Fruit Wheat / Field / Pumpkin Beer for La Classic Rosé

Copper Bottom: Silver in American Style Imperial India Pale Ale for Parkman Ave

Garrison Brewing: Bronze in Bock – Traditional German Style for Bringing Sexy Bock

Good Robot: Silver in New England Style India Pale Ale for Creature Feature

Moosehead: Bronze in Light (Calorie-Reduced) Lager for Cracked Canoe, Gold in Experimental Beer for Shaker Tropical Pina Colada, Silver in Smoked Beer for Small Batch Rauchbier

PEI Brewing: Silver in North American Style Premium Lager for Beach Chair Lager, Bronze in Session Ale for Setting Day

Propeller Brewing: Silver in Session Ale for Azacca Session IPA

Tatamagouche Brewing: Gold in Baltic Porter for Two Rivers Baltic Porter, Silver in Belgian-Style Brett Beer for Square One, and Bronze in German-Style Sour Ale Berliner-Style Weisse or Gose for Saltwater Cowboy Gose

Tire Shack Brewing: Gold in Cream Ale for The Specialist

Uncle Leo’s Brewery: Silver in North American Style Pale Ale for Sunburst

To see how the rest of the country fared, check out the full list of winners here. Congratulations all!

Speaking of Tire Shack, there’s lots going on in their taproom the coming weekends, as they move into full-blown Oktoberfest celebration mode! They’re turning their taproom into Oktoberfest central for the next three Fridays (starting today) from 4 PM, and Saturdays from 1 PM. A German-inspired menu will be available thanks to catering from White Rabbit, and Tire Shack has brewed up a Munich Helles named Helles Yeah!, that they’ll be serving in 1-L Maß glasses, branded with their logo. For $20, you get the beer, and the glass to keep. In the mood for more than just Helles? Well, they’ve got two other beers that should be pouring just in time for the festivities: Zenith Libation, a cardamom-infused Wheat beer (the first time they’ve had it since they first opened), and Cherry Pie Sour, a kettle sour brewed with 40 kg of cherries, along with vanilla, almond, and cinnamon. Proper attire for the Oktoberfest celebration is encouraged, we understand your servers and beertenders may be partaking in the fun too! If you’re not able to make it to the brewery for a pint or Maß, worry not as these three beers will be canned next week, and available by the weekend. And if you ask nicely during your visit, you may even be able to grab cans of their Gold medal winning The Specialist Cream Ale, though it is currently sold out on tap. And full disclosure, our quip last week about the Moncton housing market was way off base, looks like plenty of folks are moving to the city (and province), with housing sales up 20%+ over last year! Colour us embarrassed!

While on the topic of great events, and a beer to pair with it, let’s hop to Newfoundland for a spell. It’s Port Rexton Pride this weekend in the Bonavista town, and the eponymous Port Rexton Brewing has once again teamed up with Queer Beer NL to brew a celebratory beer. Queer Feeling II is a 4.7% ABV Belgian Witbier, and stays true to style with addition of citrus and spice, to offer a bright hazy colour with a full mouthfeel and lingering fluffy head (thanks to all that wheat), with notes of banana and orange with a zippy coriander spice. On tap and in cans at the brewery now (with $0.50 going to PRP for future events and fun), the St. John’s Retail Shop is also fully stocked for your visit Thurs through Sat, 12 – 7 PM (closing at 5 PM Sat). And if you find yourself on the Bonavista this weekend, be sure to drop by the PR Skerwink Trail parking lot at noon on Sunday, for a BBQ and distanced walk in town, as they team up with pals Oh My Cheeses.

If you’re looking for a new New England IPA hop fix this weekend, North Brewing has you covered with their latest release, Pleasant Disposition (named in honour, we believe, of the writers of this blog). A 6.6% ABV beauty hopped with Strata, Sultana, and Amarillo, it was fermented with Escarpment Labs’ Vermont Ale yeast. Easy-drinking, juicy, and with low bitterness, it’s exactly the type of hazy brew you need to start off/end off your Friday. You can find it on tap right at the source, as well as in cans at their retail shops and online store. 

We can’t speak of pleasant dispositions without bringing up Jeremy Taylor of 2 Crows, who has filled us in on all the news that’s fit to print on the brewery’s two new beers, one of which is also a NEIPA. Let’s start with the beer that landed at 2C earlier this week, Fortitude. Billed as a “Hoppy Wild Ale”, the grist was made up of Pilsner, toasted wheat, and raw wheat, with a mash-hop addition of Sterling; further hop additions were made late in the boil (Bru-1, Galaxy, and Citra). The wort was fermented with a blend of Ebbegarden Kveik, Amalgamation (six Brett strains), and the brewery’s house Saison culture, and then dry-hopped heavily with Enigma, Mandarina Bavaria, and more Galaxy. The final 4.6% ABV, 35 IBUs beer has a perfect blend of hops (dank, tropical, fruity) and funk, with plenty of that lovely fruity Brett character you’d expect. Normally, we’d expect a beer of this nature from 2C to be canned, but they decided to bottle this batch. Instead of picking up individual units, the beer will be sold exclusively as part of a tasting pack (with Zip and Refresh), with $5 from each pack going to the ALS Society of NB and NS. Grabbing the set also gives you access to a live tasting event on Facebook on September 30th at 8 pm, where Jeremy himself will explain the creation and tasting notes of all three beers; he’ll also be signing virtual autographs after the session (ok, we made that last part up).

The next beer, as mentioned, is a brand new NEIPA, sticking with 2C’s series of “stupidly-hoppy” IPAs. Perfect Saturation was brewed with the same base as all four of the previous releases (we’d tell you all four but that would kinda ruin a question for the next ACBB trivia night, whenever that will be!), with Golden Promise, wheat malt, flaked wheat, and a touch of Carafoam. Columbus hops were used in both the mash hop and first wort hop additions, followed by a hopback full of Pacific Gem at the end of the boil. While the wort was fermenting with Foggy London from Escarpment, they threw in some Citra and HPA-016. Finally, more Citra and HPA-016 were added after fermentation was complete, along with loads of Sabro and Galaxy. Expect huge notes of tangerine and pineapple, and “a bit of creamy vanilla coconut” thanks to the Sabro. This 6.1% ABV, 44 IBUs hop bomb *should* be available on tap and in cans at the brewery today (label availability pending). 

We’ve got a new beer from Quidi Vidi to chat up today, along with a challenge for those who want to get outside. Teaming up with AMBA, the Avalon Mountain Bike Association, they have released Oceanside Sour. Featuring black currant, black cherry, and blackberries, this 5.6% ABV beer is in wide distribution at the brewery, convenience stores, and NLC locations now. And what about the challenge? Well, from September 21st to 27th, they are encouraging folks to get outside, get active, and share photos of how you are enjoying yourself with the #getoceanside hashtag. There will also be challenges during that week, with more ways to win prizes by registering through a donation to The Gathering Place. More details here

It’s the time of year for Oktoberfest / Marzen releases, so get your palates ready for some toasty, malt-forward Lagers! The folks at Breton Brewing and Saltbox Brewing like the style so much, they decided to team up and brew a collaboration Oktoberfest of their own, called… Oktoberfest Lager. Brewed with a large portion of Munich, this amber-coloured beer is tasting malt-forward as expected, with “a full, bready flavour, and hopped for balance”. Now available on tap and in cans at Breton, and in cans at Saltbox, it weighs in at 5.3% ABV and 25 IBUs. Check out Breton’s online store as well, for home delivery of cans around the province! 

Back to hoppy, hazy beers with Rough Waters, who have just launched their very first NEIPA, Morning Haze. Brewed with lots of flaked wheat and flaked oats to build up the body of the final beer, they hopped it with both Galaxy and Cashmere varieties. Coming in at 6.3% ABV, it’s showing off a “big citrus character of tangerine, peach, and pineapple”. You can find it at their taproom in Deer Lake, NL in pints and growlers; it’s also available in bottles.

If you happen to be driving around Cape Breton to pick up some Oktoberfest over the weekend, why not make a stop at Route 19 Brewing in Inverness? They’re pouring fresh pints of their latest beer, Inverness Lager, at their taproom. Brewed with Pilsner malt from Shoreline Malting, and fermented with Escarpment’s (yeesh, why aren’t these guys paying us an advertising fee?) Krispy Kveik yeast, this 4.1% ABV, 30 IBUs brew has “a perfect balance of fresh-out-of-the-oven sweet bread malt notes, and noble hop bitterness”, all with a crisp, easy-drinking finish. This one is just a pilot batch (for now), so it probably won’t last too long.

On the West side of Newfoundland you’ll find the Port au Port Peninsula, and on the East side of that, you’ll find Port au Port East, home to Secret Cove Brewing, who have released a new beer they’re calling Lingo. Although the name has been used for a previous beer from the brewery, a lemon/orange Radler, this time around they decided to brew it as a fruited kettle sour and make it part of their regular rotation. They also made a small change to the fruit component, settling on pineapple during fermentation, with a bit of orange aroma and flavor as well through an addition of zest. Unlike many small sours, which are very often extremely dry, this one was designed to have a bit of body, although you can still expect the tartness to be refreshing. Fermentation-wise, lower temperatures were used to control ester production and allow the fruit to take center stage. The result is a refreshing beer coming in at 4% ABV that should be a lovely accompaniment to the waning warm days of summer. Secret Cove is now canning their beers, which has allowed them to extend their reach throughout Western Newfoundland; they’ve got orders out now to Gander and other parts of the central part of the Province. You can expect Lingo in particular to be found at the brewery, but also in Corner Brook Deer Lake, Gander, and Stephenville. 

If you’re out and about at certain beer-friendly places this weekend, you might just be among the first to try beer from Nova Scotia’s latest brewery. Topside Brewing is a home-based brewery (for now) in Bedford, from husband and wife Blair & Erin Tobin. Taking cues from Blair’s career as a Navy Clearance Diver, Topside has a dive roster of four beers that will be making a splash in the coming weeks: 5 Bells Session IPA, Joyce’s Boy Hefeweizen, On the Bottom East Coast IPA, and Lord’s Porter. We’ll have much more from Topside in a full Profile (hopefully) Monday, and keep an eye on their IG and Facebook page for a heads up when the beer is tapped! Congratulations!

There’s no beery events on our radar this week, but here’s a few quick-ish mentions as we send you into the weekend:

Rothesay’s Long Bay Brewing has changed ownership after 3+ years of selling beer to the public, with Jon Choinard and Tim Webber taking the reins from original owner/brewer Sean Doyle. Both Jon and Tim will be sharing the brewing responsibilities, and with this change also comes the news that the brewery is now licensed to operate as a taproom. Yes, that means you’ll be able to drink your favourite Long Bay beers (and other alcohol) on site. For now, they’re mainly open to pre-arranged groups of 12 or fewer people from the same bubble, but this will hopefully change in the near future once they have proper seating and such. If you’d like to head in for a pint, give them a call at 506-847-HOPS to book a time.

And in more great news for those who like to drink beer where it’s made, Lower Sackville’s Ol’ Biddy’s Brewhouse is now set up to sell pints of their 15 (fifteen!) different offerings. Open 12 – 8 PM Thurs to Sat, and 12 – 6 PM Sun, grab a pint of 7 Day IPA, Funk Town Pale Ale, Patrick O’Neil Red, or one of the other dozen beers for enjoyment onsite before grabbing cans to go.

If you’re a fan of the beer coming out of 3Flip Brewing in Douglas, NB, you have reason to celebrate a little, especially if cans are your packaging mode of choice. The brewery is happy to announce that they’ve secured the ability to switch to canning, and that you can expect to find those cans at all ANBL and private retailer locations where you’re already buying their beer. Confirmed are their three core brands: Sassy Cow, Anonymous Amber, and Americana Track 4, all in 355 mL format. So don’t be alarmed if you don’t find the familiar bottles at your local, just have a good look and you’ll hopefully find that you just need to be searching for cans!

It was bound to happen, and after PEI Brewing broke the seal back in August, the deluge of Pumpkin beers has now reached a fever pitch! For those who like to get their gourd on, in addition to PEIBC’s Pumpkin Ale, Brasseurs du Petit-Sault has released their Bonhomme Sept-Heure, Propeller Brewing has their Pumpkin Spiced Ale out now in cans and bottles (brewed using Howard Dill’s world famous Atlantic Giant Pumpkins). And look for Digby and Kingston’s Roof Hound Brewing to release their Keltic Devil Pumpkin Spiced Coffee Porter and Miramichi’s Timber Ship has their ‘Gourd’on’s Wharf Autumn Ale just waiting in the wings. Now go forth and spice up your life!

Welcome to September! And welcome to the Long Weekend! For those going back to school (or who have kids going back to school), we wish you all the best as the new year of classes begin, whether they’re online or in person! And for those in neither of those situations, enjoy a Monday to soak up the late summer vibes in our region. We’ve got plenty of new beers and ciders for you to grab while you are out and about this weekend (or ordering delivery, remember that is still a thing!). Do be sure to check in advance for those spots that may not be open Labour Day Monday, to avoid disappointment. 

Lots of news coming out of Meander River this week, with beer and cider releases, as well as info on this year’s hop harvest! Let’s start with the beer, since we’re kinda biased that way. Lazy Dazy started off as your fairly typical American Wheat Ale, but features an addition of fresh grapefruit zest and pith midway through fermentation. Once fermentation was all-the-way completed, they tossed in a healthy dry-hop addition of Citra, giving this 4% ABV brew even more juicy, tropical character. Light and refreshing, it sounds like a great beer to finish off your summer with. In cider world, MR has released two new ones in their Small Lot series, Small Lot Blueberry and Small Lot Cranberry. All Small Lot ciders are made with fresh local or farm-grown fruits, herbs, flowers, etc.; in the case of these two newbies, fresh-pressed valley blueberry and cranberry juice were added (we’ll let you figure out which one was used in which!). Quantities are always limited, with both products available on tap and in bottles. If you drop by to do some shopping, you may even be lucky enough to be around for yet another Small Lot cider, Lavandula, a honey lavender cider that will be available in 750 mL bottles only. 

Finally, Meander River is calling for help with their annual hop harvest, which will be taking place this Sunday at 9 AM. This socially-distanced event doesn’t require you to sign up in advance, as they’ve assured us there is plenty of space to safely pick the aromatic hop bines. The hops harvested will be used in brewing their Homegrown Wet-Hop Ale, which should be released sometime around Thanksgiving. 

Attention Halifax: if you like hazy, hoppy beers, if you like Nelson Sauvin hops, and if you like supporting a good cause, Propeller Brewing has the beer for you! They’ve teamed up with the Ladies Beer League to brew NZ IPA, a New England IPA that was heavily dry-hopped with the wonderful, pricey, elusive New Zealand hop variety, Nelson Sauvin. Featuring aromas of “fresh crushed gooseberry and tropical fruit”, and low bitterness, this 6.5% ABV beer will be available today at all three Prop Shops for growler fills (and pints at Gottingen and Quinpool). The brewery will be donating $1 from every pint or 1-L growler fill – and $2 for each 2-L growler – to the Halifax Sexual Health Centre. This organization provides a wide range of care options, and are currently working beyond capacity, so let’s do what we can to help, yeah?

Over in Big Spruce-ville (that’s Nyanza, for those of you not in the know), they’ve got a brand new, big beer hitting taps and bottles for the long weekend. Brobdingnagian (no, that’s not a typo) is an all-Mosaic, 8.5% ABV Double IPA. All of those delicious, delightful Mosaic hops provide “clean flavours of mango, citrus and pine”, with peaches, apricots and marmalade on the nose. And at that ABV, it’s going to pack a bit of a punch, so take your time! Available in 650 mL bottles and on tap at Big Spruce and some of their fine licensees, grab it while you can. You’ll also probably see bottles of the latest batch of One Hundred, Nova Scotia’s first beer brewed with all NS ingredients, including a wild yeast strain BS harvested from one of the pin cherries growing on their farm. 

In the Hub of Nova Scotia, the eponymous Truro Brewing Company has released a brand new SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) beer, showcasing their local hop producer. Wicked Game is a 5.5% ABV Pale Ale, featuring generous additions of Centennial hops from Stewiacke’s Wicked Hops Farm. Notes of pine and herbal from the hops balance the light malt character. On tap for samples, pints, and growlers, it joins 4 other options on draught at the 53 Inglis Place taproom, open noon to ten.

Anyone old enough to remember the glory days of situation comedies (that’s ‘sitcoms’ for you whippersnappers out there) know that one of the most common tropes was the ‘kooky’ or ‘wacky’ neighbour. From Ethel Mertz and Eddie Haskell, to Rhoda Morgenstern and the Fonz, to Larry and the two Darryls, to Kimmy Gibler, Steve Urkel, Cosmo Kramer and beyond (we’re sure there were more after those, but we’re kinda old), it’s a story as old as time, or at least television. In Digby, NS, Roof Hound Brewing has released a beer this week called (of course) Kooky Neighbour in honor of their own real-life neighbour, Amy, who owns the spa next door to their Kingston, NS, taproom and who has been welcoming, generous, and supportive to the Roof Hound family in their newest venture. A low-ABV coconut cream ale (apropos, as Amy has a tanning salon), coming in at 3.8% ABV, it’s light and sparkling, with a bit of corn on the finish and just a hint of coconut. In short, a perfect beer for the dying days of summer. Being a limited edition of only 500 bottles we suspect you’ll have to get to the Kingston Taproom to try it; if you do, maybe you’ll get a chance to meet Amy herself!

Whether the following five words excite you or make you want to do yourself bodily harm, they need to be typed: Pumpkin Ale season is back. Sorry/Yay? Anyway, Boxing Rock knows that many of you are bored by the typical Pumpkin Ale brewed with pumpkin spices, so they’ve got their own take on the style with Fuego Habanero Pumpkin Ale. Instead of the usual spices, they’ve added habanero peppers to the beer, along with a little bit of cinnamon and black pepper. Full-bodied, golden-coloured, with aromas and flavours of pepper and pumpkin, it has some heat thanks to the peppers, but not TOO much, we assume, since the brewery also claims the beer is “surprisingly drinkable”. You can find it at the brewery, naturally, with cans also making their way to the HRM private stores. Those of you in New Brunswick should also be able to track some down at select ANBL locations next week. 

In PEI, Montague’s Bogside Brewing has a new American Pale Ale on tap, Tailgate APA. Billed as a classic West Coast Pale Ale, with actual clarity, as well as a moderate bitterness accompanied by some malt character in the background, it was hopped with Amarillo and Simcoe to give it aromas of “citrus and light pine”. Coming in at 5.7% ABV and 35 IBUs, you can expect to see cans of this one as well, soon. And for those of you who are also into cider, they’ve got their latest there, too, with Buckle Up, a blueberry cider that was made by blending their base, dry cider with blueberry wine from the Rossignol Estate Winery, located in Murray River. Also at the brewery (in cans), it weighs in at 6.5% ABV.

Since moving to their new location, Sackville, NB’s Bagtown Brewing has been keeping up with the one-off brews, and they have their latest, Helium, available now. Brewed with a base of Pilsner malt, it was fermented with sparkling wine yeast. While we’re not 100% certain what beer style this falls into, the brewery is describing it as “light and bubbly, with a subtle honey sweetness and floral aroma”. It finishes fairly dry, and at 5% ABV is intended to be consumed in quantity, if so desired! 

Your hard-working crew at Horton Ridge have put their brewhouse to work recently, and conjured up an “old school” IPA (think a fairly bitter IPA that has a bit of sweetness to balance the hops) that they’ve named 500 Miles. If you’re thinking that they’ve named this beer with a nod towards The Proclaimers, you’d be wrong! The malting process that occurs at Horton Ridge involves many, many instances of raking, and around the time that this beer was brewed, the company’s raking odometer (that’s a thing?!?) reached 500 miles. They figured that was as good a name as any for a beer (they’re right!), so there it is. But back to the beer – they’re describing it as having a balance “of grapefruit citrus and piney resinous flavours”. Brewed with some Honey malt in the grist, it also has a “subtle burnt sugar sweetness” as a result. You can find it on tap at their taproom in Hortonville.

Back in New Brunswick, Gridiron has brewed up their very first New England IPA, Hazy Tuesday. With a grist that is heavy on oats and wheat from Island Malt House, the rest is made up with grain from Shoreline Malting. Hopped with plenty of Citra and Mosaic (to 65 IBUs), it comes in towards the higher end of the style, at 7.3% ABV. Only a few kegs of this juicy, tropical NEIPA were brewed, and it’s available only at the brewery in Hampton; drop by this long weekend for your pour! They are open daily, 4 – 6 PM, and may be available by appointment if you reach out via FB.

Let’s catch up on a few releases that were announced after our early release last Thursday, we figure there’s still a few bottles and cans around for your consumption…

Newfoundland’s Rough Waters Brewing has released a new Blonde Ale, albeit one with a bit of a twist. Hot Damn was brewed along the lines of your standard beers in the Blonde style, but features an addition of red thai chili peppers. The mild heat in the finish is enough to remind you that there’s more to this 5.5% ABV beer than meets the eye. Available at the brewery in growlers and pints; they were calling for bottles soon, as of last week, so those could very well be ready for this weekend. 

Inverness’s Route 19 Brewing dropped a new beer last Saturday, and it’s sounding super tasty, so let’s hope they still have some left! Crew Brew is their latest kettle sour, brewed with the same base (2-row malt) as their previous release, Dog Daze. Soured with their house culture, the resulting beer was dry-hopped with the delicious Sabro variety. The final 5% product has “intense Fuzzy Peach sour candy, green apple, Jolly Ranger, and ripe mango aromas”, all accompanied by a bright, lemon-like acidity, and “coconut cream, smooth finish”. Named to show the brewery’s appreciation for their brewpub staff, all proceeds of the beer will go towards this hardworking bunch, who they say lost a week of work earlier in the summer due to a pandemic-related incident. Drop by the brewery today to give this beverage a taste, and support the crew!

Everybody who’s in the know knows that 2 Crows commonly has weeks where they hit hard with two or three or even more releases and leave us wondering why we got into the (incredibly lucrative, natch) beer blogging game. But last week everything hit so hard that they knocked themselves for a loop and totally neglected to let us know what was coming. We’ve got those deets for you this week, though, starting with Surefire, a foedre-aged fruited sour that’s been nearly a year in the making. Beginning with a grist of Shoreline Malting Pilsner and wheat malt, along with some spelt and rye, it was hopped lightly with Nelson Sauvin hops before fermentation in oak with a blend of 2C’s delightful house cultures. After hanging out an additional five months in the barrel to condition, over 800 lbs of blackberry and 420 lbs of sour cherry were added and allowed to ferment out before a bit of vanilla was added to the mix and the beer was packaged in cans, where it’s been hanging out since June. Described as “deeply jammy, funky, zippy, and complex,” this is no small sour even though it only tips the scales at 4.8% ABV.

Also new and available is Camellia, a lagered wild ale with buckwheat and green tea. Pulling in some floor malted ingredients from the other PEI maltster, Island Malt House, the mash included Pilsner, wheat, oat and rye malts, with malted buckwheat taking center stage. On the hop side, Chinook, Sterling, and Azacca were used at various stages in the kettle before the beer was transferred to foedre and inoculated with a blend of house cultures. Five months later, it was sent to stainless where it was dry-hopped (dry-tea’ed?) with some Sencha Green Tea from Phil Holmans at Halifax’s awesome independent World Tea House. A krausening with lager yeast and some fresh wort before a further seven weeks of cold lagering were the final steps before packaging. We’re going to be honest, beyond the tasting notes from the brewery, which include, “earthy, fresh, zippy,” and, “lightly tart,” we don’t have any idea what to expect from this beer, which is a wonderful place to be when you love to try new things.

Both of these beers have been packaged in cans (and, we don’t doubt, some kegs for pouring at the brewery, at least, and hopefully beyond) so your best bet to grab them is on Brunswick Street in Halifax. If you happen to be by between 10 AM and 2 PM on Saturday or Sunday, remember that they’ll be hosting their Maker’s Market again this weekend. And keep your eyes peeled for more new things from 2 Crows down the road; social media this week had some awesome photos of the team from the Change is Brewing Collective in the 2C house for some collaborative goings-on. We’re very much looking forward to seeing what they came up with together!

Hooray for the continued return of actual events! Just remember, folks, be smart and play safe if you’re planning to attend any large gatherings of people; we’re in one of the safest regions in the world right now COVID-wise, let’s keep it that way!

Luckily for Atlantic Canadian homebrewers, this year’s annual Gahan Maritime Homebrew Challenge is still a go! This is the third year for the event, with all homebrewers invited to do their darndest to brew up the finest example of a West Coast or New England IPA, and enter it for judging. Submit it to your local Gahan House restaurant (of which there are several in the Maritimes) by October 30th; the winner will be announced November 14th at the Charlottetown Gahan House. But what do I win, you may ask? The “Grand Champion” gets $500 cash, and a special edition of their beer will be brewed and canned with help from Gahan/PEI Brewing Co. brewers, for retail sale. There’s other prizes as well (up to $3000 worth); for more of the nitty gritty, check out their site, or email homebrewchallenge@gahan.ca. Good luck, entrants!

And let’s stick with PEI for a couple more events this week. PEI Burger Love usually consumes all of April, but the pandemic put the kaibosh on the Spring event. However, they have switched the dates, without losing any enthusiasm, and are holding it during the six weeks beginning September 1st. Many brewery and beer-friendly spots are taking part, and for the first time in its ten year history, the Burger Love is expanding from just PEI Beef to Chicken, Pork, Seafood, and Veggie options. Grab your checklist of the 70+ burgers on offer

PEI Brewing Company is going ahead with their fall Oktoberfeast Event later this month, September 25th and 26th. Each day offers something different to visitors, with lawn games, growler holding competition, washer toss and cornhole, and live music and plenty of German-inspired food. Your $15 entry per day includes a filled 1 litre Maß to keep, and entrance to the competitions and fun. Grab your tickets in advance to avoid missing out!

A couple more quick mentions before you leave you to your long and hopefully super-sunny weekend!

Halifax will see the return of a Garrison Brewing favorite this week, with Sour to the People back in a slightly modified form. Still 5.5% ABV, still extremely tart and lemony, the change in this year’s batch is that it isn’t dry-hopped. Look for it on tap at both the Seaport and Oxford locations and also available to go in 473 mL cans.

Hanwell, NB’s Niche Brewing has their hibiscus kettle sour back on tap this week for those who’ve missed it (which we figure is probably most of the people who’ve tried it). Ruby Tuesday is 4% ABV, tart, fruity, and refreshing. You’ll find it at The Joyce and Peppers Pub for sure, with other Niche tap accounts hopefully picking it up soon as well. It’ll also likely be pouring on Maybee Brewing’s guest tap sometime late next week.