Happy Summer! Officially starting this week, the weather is warming across the region, and our kinda-sorta Atlantic Bubble is in effect (should be complete as of next Wednesday). Plenty of new beer news to tell you about, so we’ll get right to it. A programming note, we’ll be taking next week off, so you’ll have to fend for yourselves in what to drink. We’ll still try to share and amplify what we come across on Twitter and Instagram, so be sure to check us out there. Tag us if there’s anything cool you think we should know about, or just what you’re drinking! LOL (Lots of Love)
Let’s kick off this week’s news with a beer from North Brewing Co, who collaborated with Black Lives Matter Golf, a group founded by the Black members of Grandview Golf Club located in East Preston. Their mission is to break down economic and social barriers to create a more inclusive environment for BIPOC in golf, foster mentorship within the community, and create a scholarship fund. Their second annual golf tournament is happening at Grandview August 21st, with more details available on the BLMG website. BLMG is the collaborative beer, a 3.8% Light Beer, with $1 from each can going to support BLMG’s missions. Available now at both of North’s retail locations, as well as online and at Grandview for enjoyment between swings of the club!
Up at Port Rexton Brewing on NL’s Bonavista Peninsula, they’ve got a newish beer on the go that we evidently missed telling you about last week (bad bloggers, BAD!). Oliver’s Twist is a “quick” lager designed around herbal and floral hop flavors and a dry finish and using a non-traditional (for a lager, anyway) blend of Kveik yeast strains to accomplish a turnaround of only 2 weeks or so. Named for co-owner Sonja Mills’s grandfather, who passed away with ALS in 2015, its release also coincided with PR’s first annual “Walk to End ALS” event that took place last Saturday. Two dollars from every pint sold was donated to the ALS Society of Newfoundland and Labrador and the ALS Society of Canada and, along with additional donations from the public, a donation from the brewery, and CD sales from Jeff Pittman, who played the taproom after the walk, $1,040 was donated; a great job by everyone involved!! Although you may have missed the walk, we believe you can still grab the beer at the taproom, where they’ve announced that starting this weekend and lasting until the end of Labour Day weekend, they’ll be open every day from 12 – 10 PM!!
It is very often the case that when 2 Crows Brewing has news to share there’s a lot of it, and this week is no exception. First up is the release of a collaboration several months in the making with Bogside Brewing out of Montague, PE. Dubbed Bubble Breaker, it was intended for release to celebrate the reopening of the Atlantic Bubble, but since that whole thing got confusing and drama-filled this past week, they’re going to release it today and y’all can decide when it’s apropos. The beer started with Bogside brewing an “ultra fresh, ultra crispy little lager” based on a grist of malted barley, wheat, and rye. That beer was fermented slowly and lowly for a while and then given a proper several weeks of lagering before making a road trip across the Confederation Bridge to 2 Crows’ facility where it was lovingly transferred into foedre along with a selection of their house cultures and allowed to condition for several months. It was then packaged and can-conditioned for another several months. A hybrid beer, where the crisp and refreshing nature of a lager meets the drying funkyness of a Brett saison, you can expect this one to be very refreshing, but also to provide a lot of interest in the aroma and on the palate. We’ll warn you, however, you’ll want to get this one extra cold before opening it, as the carbonation is quite lively! Available today from 2 Crows and also from Bogside, so folks in both Provinces can try this one without any border entanglements.
Next up for the gang at 2C is a pop up plus beer (re-)release event Saturday, July 10, with Luke’s Small Goods (Fried Foods Division) who will be slinging tasty goodness all afternoon from noon to 5 PM (or earlier if they sell out) at the brewery. The menu posted to LSG Ig lists Nachos, Nashville Hot Chicken Sammies, Fried Fish, and Bologna Katsu. Sounds pretty tasty to us! Also available that day as a special treat will be a new version of a classic collaboration between 2 Crows and the late, great Niche Brewing out of Hanwell, NB, Cool Kid. This version was brewed the same way the last one was, with Pilsner malt, wheat, spelt and a touch of rye, Hallertau Blanc in the kettle, soured with Lactobacilllus before fermentation, and then fermented in foedre with a mix of house and commercial cultures. It also received the same fruiting treatment, with cherry and raspberry purées being added in turn and refermented. The result is 4.3% ABV, 14 IBU, funky, tart, and fruity. If you remember this one, you very probably want more. And if you don’t, you should really make an effort to get your hands on it before those who are in the know swiping it all up (it’s worth mentioning that the last edition cellared beautifully). (Ed note: The pop-up and release were rescheduled from July 1st)
And lastly, if you’re like us, you’re occasionally on the lookout for something to drink that’s refreshing and that maybe reminds you of beer but that doesn’t have the same alcoholic (or, in some cases, caloric) content. If so, you might remember the Hop Water that 2 Crows put together for just those kind of occasions over the last year. Well they’re back at it, and this time they’ve branched out a little bit. In addition to regular Hop Water, they’ve now got Hop Water Lime and Hop Water Tropical available. Described drily as, “Hop water, but kinda limey,” and “Hop water, but kinda tropical,” respectively, the former features Motueka hops and some lime zest, the latter Galaxy hops. Both allegedly contain some “secrets” but we’ve been assured it’s NOTHING WEIRD. Riiiight. Seriously, though, no alcohol, no calories, no artificial flavors, available as of now at the brewery and for online orders.
Heading to the Kenebecasis Valley in Southeastern New Brunswick, Long Bay Brewery has a new beer out today, with details of a new release hitting the taps next week… Let’s start with this week’s release, fresh off the canning line, The Half of It. Coming in at 4.0% ABV, but punching well above its weight, this New England Session IPA features a boatload of Strata and Mosaic late hops on top of a light and fluffy malt bill, including a hefty addition of both wheat and oats. The resulting beer is light and crushable, more aromatic and flavourful than bitter, and is debuting in 16oz cans at the brewery now, and across the province in ANBL locations in the coming weeks (joining their Ruckus IPA which also is now in grocery stores as part of that program).
And debuting next week at Long Bay is a decidedly smaller release, available only on tap at the brewery’s taproom. Quince-essential Sour shows its cards based on its name, but let us fill you in on the fun details… This 5.6% ABV fruited kettle sour started life simply enough, with lacto used to first lower the pH for an acidic kick, before primary fermentation with some Saccharomyces. Then came the hops, first with a dry-hopping of Mosaic, followed by a second dosing of modern German darling Mandarina Bavaria. After allowing the hops to take hold, the beer was blended with a whole lot of quince fruit. In the Rosaceae family, quince is a cousin of both apple and pear, and already has a tart character, which only enhances the base beer’s acidity. The fruit and hops come together in a tropical and citrus melding that will be a sure winner. And to be a winner yourself, you’ll need to get yourself to Long Bay’s location at 82 Marr Rd in Rothesay after its release next Friday!
Back in Nova Scotia, Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing, known for its Belgian focus, is crossing the border into Germany with the release of 349 to Munich. This 5.3% ABV Dunkel, a style which originated in Munich, features a smooth malt profile and a subtle bitterness to keep things balanced. This style is great with food, so grab your favourite Spryfield takeout (Khan’s, anyone?) and head to the Serpent patio for a pint.
Big Spruce continues to roll out the small batch beers from its original brewhouse in the Sprucetique, with two new releases this week. First up is Jötunn, a 7.2% ale named for a new yeast from Escarpment Labs, which is a hybrid of Kveik and Saison yeasts. The final beer features peppery notes from the Saison side and fruit notes from the Kveik. A Mosaic dry hop adds additional aromatics to what is sure to be a unique drinking experience. Available on tap and in cans in Nyanza now, and on the webstore soon. Sticking to the Saison family, their second release is Saison Nouveau. Brewed in the Grisette style to the tune of 5.2% ABV, expect a mix of phenolic and ester notes including pepper, banana, stone fruit and passionfruit, all leading to a crisp finish. Saison Nouveau is available in cans now in Nyanza for delivery or shipping in the online store.
Garrison Brewing has teamed up with Halifax’s Ecology Action Centre, in honour of their 50th anniversary, with the release of Bee the Change – Blueberry Braggot. A historic fermented beverage style, braggot can be considered a bit of a beer/mead hybrid, featuring a relatively equal proportion of honey and malted barley as fermentables. Garrison’s version is a nod to local, with Pilsner Malt from Horton Ridge, honey from Cosman & Whidden, blueberries from Van Dyk’s and Centennial hops from Stewiacke’s Wicked Hops. The resulting beverage comes in at 6.4% ABV and 20 IBUs. Expect a fragrant nose featuring bubblegum, banana, spice, honey and berries. The sweetness continues through to the palette with some acidity and a peppery note in the finish. Bee the Change is available now in cans at Garrison’s two Halifax locations, with a portion of sales going to the Ecology Action Centre.
We don’t know if you’ve seen pictures of Boxing Rock’s Hendry Pedro or Foghorn’s Andrew “Esty” Estabrooks lately, but suffice to say these gentlemen are looking more than a little shaggy, as both have remained unshorn during the entire pandemic. With things opening back up, and before they start to experience neck trouble from the weight of all that hair, they’re committed to rectifying that situation. But before doing so, they decided to collaborate on a special beer to remind them of this not-so-youthful rebelliousness and the pandemic experience in general, and hopefully do some good in the process. Hair of the Dog is an “Extra” IPA featuring plenty of classic IPA aromas (citrus, pine), flavors (grapefruit, lemon, pineapple), all in a golden and slightly hazy package, with a slightly dry finish and a lingering pine bitterness. A portion of the proceeds from every can sold at the breweries’ retail will go towards local SPCA initiatives.
We started the week with news of a community beer, let’s end off in the same vein. For as long as we can remember, Halifax’s Good Robot Brewing has been running Goodwill Bot, their Monday-night fundraising event where groups have been welcomed into the taproom to meet with the public, share their stories, and grab a portion of pint sales for the evening, to the tune of more than $75,000 going to those participants! With COVID shuttering GRBC’s taproom for most of the past 15 months, they’ve taken the opportunity to re-imagine their public fundraising ideas, and are starting the Goodwill Partnership Program next week. Focusing on a single organization for a full quarter of the year, they will now be brewing and distributing a collaborative beer to further amplify and share the efforts of those allies in the cause. The first partner is NOISE Information and Transition Agency, whose mandate is to help those who were/are incarcerated to transition into a better place in life with specific focus in Black and Indigenous communities. With big plans, including purchasing a venue to hold programing and peer support groups, as well as buying tech devices to improve access to jobs and resources, NOISE will benefit from the cash as well as exposure from Good Robot’s partnership. The beer being launched next Friday, July 2nd, is Goodwill Beer: Watermelon/Mango Ale, a light and refreshing 4.7% Blonde ale with fruit puree and extract, a lovely aromatic and flavourful beer to enjoy this summer. NOISE Co-Founder chose watermelon for more than the flavour, but also for personal historic reasons, saying “Watermelon signifies the entrepreneurship of my ancestors. The stereotype that black people love watermelon actually stems from when slavery was abolished and Watermelon farms were one of the main sources of income for indigenous blacks.”
In addition to the Goodwill Partnership Program, Good Robot has also introduced two other programs to support those groups and members of the public in need. Goodwill Gifts is for non-profit organizations looking for products for silent auctions and fundraisers, while Goodwill Relief Fund is for one-time donations for groups in immediate need, such as a recent donation to Change is Brewing Collective as they supported the Buy Black Birchtown effort. Goodwill Ambassadors is their effort to support both staff and patrons as they volunteer for non-profits in the province and beyond.
Only one event this week, but we’re hoping we see more as weeks go on…
Last week, we told you about Upstreet’s release of its 6th anniversary beer, DeNovo VI and teased that we’d have details on their birthday celebrations this week. Well, the big day has arrived with their anniversary officially falling on Saturday and celebrations lasting all weekend. Happy hour pricing will be in effect all weekend at the taproom and Craft Beer Corner. Friday night wil see DJ Niimo spinning tunes with free cake going around at the brewery and live music from 4:30 to 6:00 PM and 7:00 to 9:00 PM on the CBC patio. On Saturday, Cured Creations Charcuterie will be doing a pop-up at the brewery from 4:30 to 7:00 PM, with more live music on tap for the CBC patio. You can find all of the details here. Cheers to six years to the team at Upstreet!
A couple of quicker mentions before we send you on your way this week:
Saint Andrews Brewing Company has a new release, which is the first in what they are hoping will be an innovative series of hyper-local beers. Lion’s Tooth Honey Wheat uses Canadian wheat malt, local hops from Lakeview Hops, honey from several hives around Saint Andrews and even a few edible floraged foraged from the brewery grounds (you can’t bet much more local than that). The resulting beer is soft, with floral notes and some subtle honey sweetness. A few kegs have made their way into the wild and are currently available at the Red Herring Pub and Kingsbrae Garden Care, both in Saint Andrews.
Two quick newsbites from Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing Company. First up is the rerelease of Sidewalk Saision, their 4.5% session saison. Made using Pilsner Malt and wheat from Shoreline Malting, along with flaked oats and rye malt, the saison is hopped with Huell Melon and also features additions of pink peppercorns in the boil before being conditioned on sour cherry juice. And, just in time to enjoy a pint of Sidewalk Saison, Shipwright’s sidewalk seating is back for the summer, the perfect place to watch the day trippers and tourists stroll the streets of Lunenburg.
One brewery in HRM is looking for a couple of folks these days; here’s your chance to “work in beer”!
A couple of jobs at North Brewing to tell you about… They are looking to add a Server to their taproom location, filling out the number of folks able to keep the good beer flowing both inside and out. And on the brewery side of things, they are hiring a multi-position person with a driver’s license, who will be concentrating their efforts on filling and packing online orders, as well as delivering them to their thirsty customers. Some working in the brewery may be required, including filling and moving kegs, so heavy lifting could be required. Full details on both in the link above, and Ben is the person to whom you should submit your application.