Saltbox Brewing

All posts tagged Saltbox Brewing

Here we are at the end of July already and into the August long weekend that marks our entry into the shank of the Summer. We don’t know about you folks, but we’re hoping for some decent weather to help those folks who, enabled by the looser COVID restrictions, are moving around the region, as well as those who are staying closer to home. Whether you’re planning to hit the camp/cottage/cabin or the beach, get some yard work done, or just kick back and relax, our region’s breweries and cideries have plenty on the go to keep your thirst slaked. If you’re travelling, why not plan to swing by a brewery along the way? If you’re staying put, maybe seek out some new beers from a brewery you know well? Whatever you do, please do it safely and responsibly!

New Brewery Alert!! Update the Good Beer Map!! Happy Craft Brewing in downtown Moncton opened their doors this week, welcoming in the curious folks who have been admiring their 15 BBL (1800 litre) brewhouse front and centre at 800 Main Street. Launching with four of their own beers, including Drama Free American IPA, Oh To Be A Rainbow Passionfruit Sour, Apricot Wheat, and Good Day Bad Day Pilsner. Beers are available to enjoy onsite, as well as in growlers, with cans coming soon. No kitchen onsite, but they are welcoming food trucks to park adjacent to their off-street patio, so keep an eye on their Facebook and Instagram pages for the latest announcements. Currently open from noon until 9 or later, Wednesday to Sunday. Congratulations to Gregg and Co on the opening!

Speaking of Happy, one of the several guest beers and ciders on tap there currently is the latest release from Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing. Reminding us that we only live once (or maybe Yoda Only Lives Outdoors), YOLO is another in their exploration of the New England/Hazy IPA style, showcasing new world hops for aroma and flavour, rather than bitterness. Case in point, YOLO is best described as a Double NEIPA at 7.5% ABV, yet a lighter 25 IBU, with the Cryo Citra, El Dorado, Sabro, and Talus all being added late in the process, in the post-boil whirlpool (as the beer is partially cooled before heading to the fermenter, with the whirlpooling effect helping to collect protein and hop matter in the brew kettle rather than clogging the heat exchanger) and dry-hopping during and post-fermentation. These hops are tropical on the nose and palate with citrus, pineapple, and stone fruit to the max, so check out the taps at Happy and Le BarBu in Dieppe for a taste of this beaut. And keep your eyes on O’Creek’s IG page this weekend as they’ll be releasing Foggy Pale Ale, a 5.0% New England Pale Ale with Loral, Citra, and Sabro soon! Ask for it at your favourite watering hole so they can bring it in!

We figure many of you will be passing by Lone Oak on your way onto PEI, so don’t miss your chance to grab a new brew. Delight is their latest barrel aged release, this one being a Golden Peach Sour. Aged in Chardonnay barrels for 18 months, this was then racked to join some peaches for another 3 months. Ending up at a sweet, fuzzy-peach vibe summer sour, this 5.5% release is available today on tap only at the brewery and HopYard, where they took home the Championship Belt last night in a fierce battle with Upstreet. In two weeks time, this will be available in 500ml bottles.

And mark your calendars for August 4th, when they will be releasing Blueprint, a Foeder-aged Farmhouse Wit. In collaboration with Nine Yards Studio, who helped name the beer and design the label, the funky and tart wheat beer will be launched at Salt & Sol on the Charlottetown waterfront, with live music and comedy from 4 PM.

The Modern Brewer of Village Green continues to roll out the new releases, with this week featuring two takes on IPA. First up is West Coast IPA, a style which the brewery has dabbled in previously. This version features a base of 2-row malt, wheat and a touch of crystal-15 malt. Hops were added in three stages with Columbus during the boil, Amarillo, Cascade and Centennial as late additions, and a dry hop of Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial and Citra. WC IPA comes in at 6.9%. Next up is Chinook IPA; featuring less bitterness and malt character than its west coast counterpart, this one features 2-row and Maris Otter malts along with wheat. It is hopped exclusively with Chinook, including a generous dry hop, and finishes at 6.2% ABV. Head to the brewery’s taproom in Cornwall now to check out these two contrasting takes on IPA.

From Fredericton, Grimross brings a new release that we rarely see canned in wide distribution for the region. British Mild Ale is a classic, malt-forward British-style ale. Boasting malty aromas and flavours, this is dark, rich and complex, and balanced nicely at 22 IBU and 3.5%. It’s available now in 475 mL cans directly from the brewery but keep an eye on their social channels for further distribution. 

Jumping over to the North Shore of Nova Scotia (home of the other canned (Dark) Mild in the region), the Tatamagouche brew crew has two fresh ones for everyone this week. First up is a limited and smaller test batch called Free Lunch, which is a 4.8% Cream Ale. Always a brewery to tweak and tinker, they’re using this batch to test out a new base malt. This will be available in kegs only at the brewery.

The next batter up from Tata is Vamoose (what a pleasure to say and type!). This beer features the same base as Guava Heist (Berliner Weisse style aged on guava), but using raspberry and plum as the fruit additions in a 70/30 ratio. Featuring raspberry for a lighter, refreshing summer quencher, the plums add depth of flavour in this 3.5% beer. It is shipping out in kegs to tap accounts, with growlers and pints in the taproom or you can pick up or order some 473 mL cans for delivery!

The calendar flipping to August means blueberry season is upon us in Atlantic Canada, and after a few lean years of production, our producers are expecting a bigger year this year. Annapolis Brewing is all ready to celebrate the start of a hopefully banging season with the release of Blueberry Sour Smoothy. This kettle sour features blueberry puree and a touch of lactose to accentuate the body. Per the style, the hops are kept to a minimum to let the tartness and fruit flavours steal the show, resulting in 12 IBUs. The 4% ABV sour smoothie is available now in picturesque Annapolis Royal.

If 4% sours aren’t your thing, perhaps we could interest you in a 8% ABV barleywine? Cutting across the mainland will bring you to Mahone Bay where you’ll find Go Big or Go Home from Saltbox Brewing Co. This one is a nod to the English version of the style, which focuses more on the malt and features less hop character than its American cousin. In a move we can get behind, Saltbox is releasing this heavy hitter in a smaller package, namely 355 mL cans. Head down the South Shore to grab yours this weekend.

Big Spruce continues to bring the new suds to Nyanza. This week’s release beams us up to Cologne with Kölsch Encounters of the Third Kind. This style of lagered ale is known for its crisp and refreshing drinking profile. Big Spruce’s latest version (we can’t forget Put Me In Kölsch from years past) comes in at 5.4% ABV and is available now at the Sprucetique in Nyanza.

The Salter street crew out of Halifax has two new releases this week, as Tidehouse brings us the goodies! First up is The Casual, a 3.5% dry-hopped sour. A kettle sour dry hopped with Enigma, bringing high alpha juice and notes of red berries and stone fruit. This is available on tap only at the brewery.

Their second release is Dripping Sun, a hazy Pale Ale that is loaded with Monroe hops. At 5.5% this flavourful, hoppy, and smooth pale ale brings notes of passionfruit and orange syrup. Available at the brewery now by the glass, but also in cans to go. 

Keeping it Candid, news out of Antigonish keeps coming week to week! Quench is a cherry sour available now. A fruit-forward sour that’s light-bodied, tart, and refreshing, it finishes clean and dry with touches of dark and sweet cherry juice. This fruity, well-attenuated, and refreshing 5.0% sour is available today in 473 mL cans to go and for pints in the taproom, which is officially open now! Pop by from noon every day (except Monday), open until 9 PM or later (except closing at 5 PM Sunday).

Out in the back end of HRM, Ol’ Biddy’s Brewhouse and TAPestry Beer Bar are putting Sackville on the map of beer destinations (a phrase we admit we never expected to type, but here we are). This week OBB has a couple new variations for us to try, both in small batch volumes. First up is Sackville Hoppy Blonde, their nominally SMaSH blonde ale elevated to something more like American Pale Ale territory through a dry hop of Ariana, Sabro, and Mosaic. Look for notes of blackcurrants, gooseberries, tangerine, and maybe a little of that magical Sabro coconut character. With this one coming in at 4.9% ABV you’ll be able to have a couple and really search for all those elements.

On a similar scale, Pineapple Bastard is a variation on their American wheat ale, Orange American Bastard, but with 10% pineapple juice into the fermenter. Still light and refreshing at 4.2% ABV and boasting light citrus and tropical vibes, it should be a perfect crusher for the long weekend. Both of these beers are available in limited quantities and they’re not being packaged in cans so you’ll have to get down to the taproom for fills or pints! Sunday would be a great day to do so, as they’ve started what they’re calling “Sunday Funday” with $5 pints of Biddy brews all day (open from noon to 6 PM). They’ve got a patio going now, so if the weather cooperates you can play washer toss and maybe some darts.

If you’re from the Bay, or heading there this weekend, be sure to stop in at Baccalieu Trail in Bay Roberts, as they have a fresh #hazyboi on tap and in cans this weekend. Dandy is a 6.5% New England IPA, featuring economically irresponsible additions during the Whirlpool and Dry Hop of Mosaic, Idaho 7, and Sabro. That translates into major pina colada vibes of pineapple and coconut, plus a juicy citrus undertone. Cans are available to take-away from the brewery now, with a draught version available any moment now. For those unable to make the well-worth-it trip to the brewery to hang on their deck and watch the birds play in the water, look for cans on the shelves of your local Marie’s, and maybe even on tap at Bar Brewdock, before too long!

We’re a day late with this news, but Happy F#&@%$g 6th Anniversary to everyone at Unfiltered Brewing. Celebrations took place last night with the esteemed Greg Nash manning the grill, but the spoils are still available this weekend with the return of Inducement, their 7.4% ABV DIPA hopped with Mosaic and Falconer’s Flight

The anniversaries continue, this time up Nova Scotia’s eastern shore where The Harbour Brewing Company, of Musquodoboit Harbour, is turning 3 on Sunday, August 1st. Drop by the brewery for special prices on pints and some door prizes.

We’ve got a few more short beer hits to share today before we dismiss you for the week…

A bit of news out of Cole Harbour this week from Hardisty, as they have some of their beer available around HRM. Happy Path is an American Pale Ale that’s going by keg to TAPestry Beer Bar and in cans to Harvest Wines, who will also have cans of Thirst Trap, a pride-themed amber ale. In other news, they’re adding a new unitank into the brew house reflecting increased demand. You love to hear it!

It’s been a little while since we’ve heard from 3Flip in Fredericton, but they’ve got two new seasonable releases this summer available in wide distribution across the province via ANBL. First up is Lemon Kilmister, a 5.5% ABV lemon blonde ale designed to be a super-drinkable summer quencher. Similarly in the citrus camp is Limes Ulrich, another 5.5% beer, but this one an American wheat ale with lime additions. Maybe throw some classic 80s metal on the boombox as you pound a few of these on a hot summer afternoon!  They’re both available now in 355 mL cans at ANBL locations all around New Brunswick and also Uptown Bagtown Boozy Market and Sussex Ale Works

Fans of traditional farmshed beers in NS can rejoice, as Delta Force Brewing has now reached the tipping point of having brewed enough beer to make it available on the regular instead of by announcement only. Check out the How to Buy section of their new(-ish?) website for full details and a list of what’s currently available. But sign up for/stay subscribed to their email list for new beer and multi-pack sale announcements!

Rounding out the beer news this week is the latest release from the 902 BrewCast crew, where they welcomed Phil back to the pod to sit down and (attempt) to catch up with him and Dodo as they tour around the province. Where have they been? Where are they going next? Keep up with Phil through amazing visuals on his IG page, and grab some prints of your own!

And in late-breaking news, it looks like Gahan is expanding yet again, this time they will be taking over the space on the St. John’s waterfront once occupied by Mill Street and Bier Market. No details yet on what size system they’ll be installing there, but our roving reporter did poke his head in this week and notice all of the previous equipment was gone, so there is a blank slate for re-configuration and optimizing of operations. We’ll share more once we have it, of course!

Well hey, we made it to mid-July and, even better for NSians, Phase 4! Although it’s definitely positive news and puts us one step closer to that “new normal” that we’ve been hearing about, it’s really important to remember that the lifting of restrictions in this phase don’t help everybody to the same degree!! Due to the continued need for social distancing, bigger venues get a whole lot more benefit from this than the little folks. That’s not judgement, that’s just facts. And frankly the little folks are the ones who’ve already been suffering the most. Now consider that the bulk of the craft breweries in Nova Scotia and the other Atlantic Provinces are on the smaller end of the spectrum. Now is not the time for complacency if you want your favorite local(s) to make it to the other side of this thing. While in-person space is limited, plenty of places are still doing on-line ordering for pickup and/or delivery; why not throw an order their way?

Let’s start with some news from Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula. Those who’ve been to the Landwash Brewery taproom in Mount Pearl can attest to the great vibes, cool interior design, tasty food options (care of in-house food truck Saucy Mouth) and excellent beer. However, a trip to the Pearl requires a bit of a drive, which may not be feasible for tourists or others spending time closer to downtown St. John’s. That changes this summer, as Landwash is taking its act to the Gut as part of the new Wharf at Quidi Vidi vending park and beer garden! In what’s shaping up to be a surefire summertime destination, the setup will feature outdoor seating, including a large tent to make it a rain or shine operation, an ice cream shack from the Quidi Vidi Sweet Spot, and food from Landwash mainstain, Saucy Mouth and the Bernard Stanley Gastropub. And of course, Landwash will be slinging pints from a custom built beer trailer. The Wharf is now open 7 days/week from noon to 9:00 PM, with plans to remain open until September 8th.

And while we’re talking new and exciting for the Landwash Crew, there’s also a new beer from them, a bit of an ode to their Mount Pearl home. With the City recently launching the Find Your Centre Renewal plan, and today being the first of Mount Pearl City Days, what better time to launch this collaboration! Find Your Centre is a 4.5% ABV Session Pale Ale, hazy and bursting with flavour from the massive amounts of Eclipse and Galaxy hops used late in the process, for flavour and aromas of mandarin orange and candied citrus. For the time being, the only place to grab a Find Your Centre is at the taproom at 181 Commonwealth, with cans and draught available for purchase. And until Sunday, your purchase of either will have you entered in a draw for a prize pack from the city, with plenty of goodies from local businesses. Win Win!

On the opposite side of the island, the crew at Port au Port’s Secret Cove Brewing has a new IPA out this week with the release of Citra Arse Down. This one was brewing with Canadian grown 2-row and Victory malt and was hopped exclusively with Citra from Yakima Chief Hops. Coming in at 5.6%, expect notes of orange and tropical fruit. Available now for pints at the brewery’s taproom.

Staying with IPAs, the makers of some of HRM’s favorite hoppy beers, Propeller Brewing, are back at it with the release of Pacific IPA. This one features two New Zealand hops, Pacific Sunrise and the elusive Nelson Sauvin. Look for flavours of white grapes, tropical fruit, citrus, pine and gooseberry (yes, let’s all keep pretending we know what that tastes like). Pacific IPA comes in at 6% ABV and 60 IBUs. Look for cans with the pop-top 360 Lid, last seen for Propeller’s DDH IPA, which celebrated previous years’ IPA Day. But 2021 deserves a brand new celebrator, and Pacific IPA is where it’s at! Cans will be available at Propeller’s three retail locations and home delivery today, as well as Bishop’s Cellar and other private stores and the NSLC soon. On tap for pints at Prop’s two taprooms (Gottingen and Quinpool), with kegs also heading to Battery Park and North end pals Sourwood Cider. Due to the smaller batch size, no growler fills of this beaut, sorry!

Downtown Halifax’s Tidehouse Brewing has a pair of new beers on tap and in cans this week, on opposite ends of the spectrum! Groove Delight is a Strawberry and Vanilla Sour, with plenty of lactose (milk sugar) added, the beer flirts with the “Milkshake Beer” category, but the gentle tart character from underlying sour keeps it from being too heavy and thick. Tons of strawberries added late in the process mean there’s plenty of flavour in the beer, which can be difficult. Available on tap and in cans from opening at 4 PM today. Also available is Big Swifty, a 9.5% Double IPA featuring loads and loads of Zeus hops (part of the CTZ trifecta with Columbus and Tomahawk, nearly indistinguishable from each other), for plenty of bitterness underlying the dank and resinous character of this Old School American hop. Pop by today to grab some of each, plus a few more, for samples and pints, growlers and cans!

Back to Newfoundland for some news from Quidi Vidi Brewery, who have recently opened their taproom’s patio down in the Gut, which may have the prettiest view at a brewery in the region (send corrections to @acbbchris). Celebrating more beauty is their Arts & IPA Series, where local artists’ work adorns the labels. The latest is Arts & IPAs 03 – Rye IPA, featuring The Voice of Currents by Mike Gough, born in Corner Brook. At 6.5%, Citrus and Spice come together, as the hops and especially grain shine through for a bit of complexity. Available now at their location in QV, as well as their Hop Shop at 16 Harbour View Avenue off Torbay Road, and coming soon to NLC and convenience stores across the Island next week.

Down in Lunenburg, NS, Saltbox Brewing is bringing out a new beer they’re calling Loud and Proud. A hop-forward American Pale Ale with classic notes of citrus, it is a collaboration with Lunenburg PRIDE, a non-profit advocacy organization for local 2SLGBTQ+ individuals of all ages and their allies who are, “committed to building an inclusive community on the South Shore where everyone feels safe, secure, and respected regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.” Proceeds from the beer will be donated to Lunenburg PRIDE and you can be part of that by hitting a Saltbox tap room as of this afternoon to try a pint or two!

Keeping with the Pride theme, but heading northeast to PEI, Upstreet has released their seasonal Pride-themed beer, Rainbrew. A “strawberry lavender saison,” the style is a mouthful and so is the beer, but in the best of ways. Featuring an ingredient for each color of the classic Pride flag, it was built on a base of Island Malt House 2-row, oats, wheat, and rye. Hopping is courtesy of modern continental varieties Huell Melon and Barbe Rouge, and, as you’d imagine, strawberries and lavender were used, and also butterfly pea flower. Coming in at 5.5% ABV and 15 IBU, the initial impression is dominated by its distinctive pinky/purply color that you don’t find in many beers. On the palate it’s got a minerality and tartness paired with a touch of sweetness, and aroma-wise you’ll find some classic notes of clove, spice, a bit of bubblegum, and banana, all from the saison yeast, but also a touch of that strawberry and lavender. This is the fourth year for Rainbrew, which began as 2 kegs that sold out in one night and has gotten bigger every year to this year, where a double production batch was done. Proceeds from sales will be donated to Upstreet’s collaborating organization for this beer, Pride PEI to the tune of $0.50/can and $20/keg. The launch party was last night at the brewery, and as of today you’ll find it available for pints and growler fills as well as cans to go!

Staying on the Island for a moment but heading just out of town to Cornwall, the longest-named brewery in the region, Modern Brewer’s Village Green, has the latest iteration of their Weird Clouds New England-style IPA on the go this weekend. Coming in at 6.6% ABV, the hopping is classic Centennial blended with modern Citra, Mosaic, and Galaxy. This killer combo brings notes of Creamsicles(™ Unilever) and sweet oranges backed by a firm, grippy(™ CPR) bitterness. On tap at the brewery and also available in cans to go.

And speaking of NE IPAs, back across the Northumberland Strait to Antigonish, you’ll find a brand new beer in that style from Half Cocked Brewing. Perfectly Unclear features an awesomely apt label on the can, and an aptly hazy concoction inside, with heavy floral and tropical hop notes owing, no doubt, to the two huge dry hop additions. With no real bitterness to speak of, this 6.6% ABV hop monster goes down easy, possibly too easy. Grab some cans or a growler fill to go at the brewery or sit and have a pint (or two).

And speaking of Antigonish, they’re officially a two brewery* town: Candid Brewing has opened the doors to their taproom at 88 College Street. which locals of the region will no doubt know as the longtime office of venerable newspaper The Casket. And if you visit their website, you’ll see they’re leaning into that heritage. For now, opening hours are as follows: Mondays closed, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 3 – 9 PM, Thursdays to Saturdays 3 – 10:30 PM, and Sundays 12 – 5 PM. On tap you’ll find (subject to availability, of course), their five core beers and, as brewing time allows, some seasonals as well. Growler fills are available (retail hours the same as taproom), and you’re welcome to bring in any (clean!!) growler you might have or purchase one of Candid’s own. There’s no kitchen on site, but you’re welcome to bring or order in food from other places. Look for a profile of this new concern on Nova Scotia’s North Shore in these very pages soonish!!
* [Ed: possibly still one horse though…]

Happy Third Birthday to Lake City Cider, who have been busy these last few months putting together some great blends of apple and fruit together in fun and exciting ways, including their District Pride Rose (Dry cider rose with tart berries to complement), Field of Dreams (local apples blended with NS strawberries fermented and steeped with whole vanilla beans with a splash of black currant wine), and Cardi P (NS apples and plums, with a touch of cardamom). You can take home a Birthday Bundle featuring these three cuties, along with three more options as well an LCC-branded frisbee. Congratulations to Poet and the team!

Hey folks, do you miss the pre-pandemic world where you could hang out with your friends drinking brilliant beers from far-flung places? We sure do, and we especially miss doing so at the various Bars Stillwell!! If you’re the same, and you’ve maybe been living under a rock that shields you from beer-related news, boy do we have some good tidings for you about the potential return of something that might possibly feel like just a little bit of normalcy: on Saturday, July 24th, the Stillwell Freehouse will be hosting a special event featuring one of the best breweries in Belgium (and really, the world), Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen. No fewer than 19 unique blends from 3F will be on offer that afternoon, with bottle pours, 11 beers from the Speling van het Lot (Twist of Fate) series, and, of course, Belgian-inspired treats coming out of the kitchen. And if you’re feeling more contemplative than chatty, the back room will play two screenings of episode 5 of Michael Jackson’s (no, the other one) Beer Hunter, entitled “Burgundies of Belgium.” Note that reservations are being taken for this event, and it’s strongly recommended that you try to make one. To do so, email andrew@barstillwell.com.

We’ve got a few more short beer hits to share today before we dismiss you for the week…
Iron Rock Brewing in Lab City debuted a new Pale Ale this week, which will help you strike it rich… Prospector APA weighs in at just 4.0% ABV, but thanks to a whole buncha Citra hops used late in the process (end of the boil and in the dry-hop), it is not at all light on flavour and aroma, with plenty of citrus and floral character complemented by low bitterness. On tap for pints and growler fills, and wider distribution in cans in the coming weeks.

O’Creek Brewing, the nano in Dieppe, NB, has a new beer pouring that they’ve dubbed Snap Cryo Pop. Featuring the Cryo Pop Hop Blend from Yakima Chief, it’s an NE Pale Ale with a very tropical bent. Look for citrus, stone fruit, and hints of coconut in a 5% ABV package. It’s available only at Le BarBu BeerGarden for now.

Out in Sackville, NS, the new hip beer bar, Tapestry Beer Bar, has received several inquiries about private bookings. Well good news for those folks who’ve been looking to make such a booking, they’re going to be possible! Obviously, rates and availability will vary, but you’re welcome to make contact to find out whether it’s a fit for your group. There’s some contact info on the website, but you can probably also slide into their social DMs (Fb/Ig) to ask. And keep your eyes peeled on the blog as we have a full interview with owner Ian Smith in the coming days!

Bedford’s newest brewery, Topside Brewing, has been working to get their beers out to other places beyond the brewery. Look for them on tap at Finbar’s Portland St., Finbars Bedford, HopYard Halifax, and Battery Park. Several of those locations have their newest beer, Backyard Blonde, but you also may find summer staple Joyce’s Boy Hefewëizen and core offering On the Bottom DIPA as well.

Bannerman Brewing in St. John’s is putting out some of the Rock’s finest fermented beverages, but they haven’t been packaging all of them. New to cans this week is Broad Strokes, their lagered German ale at 4.8% ABV and made with Pilsner and wheat malts. Eventually you’ll be able to grab some (while quantities last) at NLLC licensees (Marie’s Mini Mart and Urban Market 1919, we believe), but for now you’ll have to head to the brewery.

If you’re looking for a beer job in Halifax, we think you could do far worse than with our friends at 2 Crows Brewing on Brunswick Street. And now would also be a good time to be looking, as they’ve got a couple of positions that they’re looking to fill: brewery production assistant/delivery driver and part-time bartender and packaging assistant. In both cases you’ll be working with a team that puts out high quality product and cares deeply about their roles in the brewing community and the general Halifax community as well. More information, including instructions on applying, can be found by clicking the “Careers” link on their website.

We’re officially halfway through April, and halfway through Nova Scotia Craft Beer Month (COVID-limited edition), but that doesn’t mean there’s not a bunch of news from the other provinces in Atlantic Canada. So while the weather isn’t exactly screaming “Spring is here” this weekend in much of the region, there’s still plenty of good beer to explore, including the annual return of a hoppy beast, some cool collaborations, and a new option for good beer drinking in St. John’s.

After years of planning, and months of anticipation from thirsty patrons, the East Duckworth area of St. John’s is about to welcome another beery establishment! Bar Brewdock is the brainchild of Craig Farewell and Steve Martin, the busy fellas behind the Newfoundland Craft Beer Festival and plenty of other beer-centric events. Their love of craft beer is more than a decade old, and they are ready to share the passion in a permanent establishment with their fellow Newfoundlanders. With 24 rotating taps (including 2 Czech side-pull faucets for that silky-smooth beer with a tight creamy head) and the province’s first Beer Engine (perfect for casks!), Brewdock will be pouring beer from independent breweries across the province and beyond. Chef Chris Mercer is the brains in the kitchen, whose team is whipping up beer-pairing-worthy snacks and plates for those visiting, with veggie and vegan dishes available too. Benefiting from, and building upon, the great distribution breweries from across the province are seeing to the Avalon, their debut tap list features beers from Bootleg, Boomstick, Rough Waters, Port Rexton, Baccalieu Trail, Ninepenny, Landwash, and Quidi Vidi, with kegs from more craft breweries in Newfoundland and Labrador, the rest of the Atlantic provinces, and beyond to be following along in short order. Look for their collaboration brew with Toslow at Bannerman Brewing to be released in the next couple of weeks, securing the camaraderie of the East Duck Beer District. Named Block Party, this Hibiscus Saison has a lovely pink hue owing to the flower, and is reminiscent of both Brewdock’s iconic 24 Flavors sign and Toslow’s ambient lighting. Sounds perfect outside on a warm day, which is fitting as in addition to their indoor seating for about 40, their Beer Garden will feature even more very soon. Brewdock opens their doors to the public next Thursday, April 22nd, and operates Wed (4 – 11 PM), Thurs (4 – 12 AM), Fri – Sun (12 PM – 12 AM). Congratulations to Farewell, Martin, Mercer, and the whole Brewdock team!

From one three-way collaboration to another, let’s head to Nova Scotia, where its breweries are celebrating Nova Scotia Craft Beer Month. While COVID has put a damper on any big events, it is still an opportunity for some conspiring, with Organic breweries Big Spruce and Tatamagouche once again teaming up for their Cerberus American IPA. But this duet is even better as a trio, and they have enlisted Cole Harbour’s North Brewing to complete the team. Heavily hopped late in the boil with Simcoe, El Dorado, and Mosaic, and further enhanced with a big biotransformation addition (mid-ferment to have the yeast help convert some terpenes), as well as a pair of dry hoppings, this will satisfy any hop head who dares take on the beast. From Big Spruce’s big spruce Jeremy White, “Every year Tata and Big Spruce get together to remind the NS craft beer world of what it means to be an organic brewer:  sustainability, environment and ecology. Cerberus also happens to be one monstrous, haze driven, hop forward aroma bomb as well! Last year we invited North to the dance, and the foot stomps felt just right with them around, so we decided to double up and have them to dinner again!” Cerberus is out today in cans and draught at all three breweries, with growler fills available at both Big Spruce and Tata.

And if you’re looking for a way to celebrate the release (or celebrate Friday, who are we to judge), get yourself to Downtown Dartmouth’s Battery Park today for their Three-Headed Tap Takeover, with each brewery bringing 5 bangin’ beers to the taps, and it may be the only way to experience both the Cerberus on draught and on cask side by side, which is sure to change the flavour profile. The beers are pouring from their opening at 11:30 AM, with the full details on who’s pouring what available here.

morALE Brewsters is a service member- and veteran-owned nano brewery in Oromocto, New Brunswick, and due to their small production size, primarily serve the local area bars and restaurants. Wanting to expand their reach, the morALE team worked with the fine folks at Dieppe’s CAVOK Brewing to upscale one of their brands to serve a larger audience. Pte Bloggins is a 5.0% ABV Blonde Ale, light on the bitterness at 14 IBU, and perfect for enjoying in volume after a long day doing drill on the tarmac (or lazing around on the deck). Kegs have been delivered to their locals Griffin’s Pub and Mingler’s in Oromocto, as well as to the Pics Roundhouse, Grimross, and host brewery CAVOK, with cans also available at CAVOK as well as the ANBL locations Fredericton York Street, Corvette Centre, and Oromocto. And don’t be shy asking for it at your own ANBL or local bar if you’d like to see it on tap. The morALE team is thrilled for the experience, and very thankful to Serges Basque and Nadeau, and the brewing team of Ben and Guillaume.

In some Nova Scotian collaboration news, Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing and Mahone Bay’s Saltbox have come together for a special release! Salty Lion is a hoppy, hazy Double IPA coming in at 8.2%. Generously hopped with Ekuanot and Citra, it brings that orange citrus flavour with notes of peach as well. Watch for this release available now on tap at the Saltbox and New Scotland taprooms and it will also be available in cans from both locations as well. 

We’ve got a new one from the Do Gooders (Good Doers?) at Upstreet as they have a brand new crisp and refreshing 4% ABV crusher they’re calling Cavalier. A light lager with a light body and grassy notes, sweetness on the nose and flavour, that has well balanced bitterness and is very crisp. Leveraging some rice in the grain bill to keep the body in check and Ekuanot to hop, the result is a very refreshing lager. Get this one in 355 mL cans from Upstreet directly (in store and online) with 12-packs going for just over $23! And if you give them the secret password when you head into the brewery to grab a case, they may even let you try the pilot batch of their next Libra non-alcoholic beer, a Hazy IPA.

Halifax’s 2 Crows has decided this won’t be one of the (very) few weeks of the year when they don’t release something new as they are releasing Roble today. Billed as an “oak-fermented wild Witbier” coming in at 4.2% ABV, those with long beer memories – like our own @acbbchris – may recognize some shared DNA with Ramble, their 2.9% ABV “wild table Witbier” from the summer of 2018. Originally brewed in late 2020 on a base of Shoreline Malting Pilsner, wheat malt, raw wheat, and some flaked wheat, it was mash hopped with plenty of Sterling and kettle hopped with more Sterling and some Citra. Traditional coriander and fresh orange zest were added via the hopback before the beer was shipped into a foedre for fermentation with the 2C house culture on a pile of sliced oranges. The oranges were removed after fermentation was complete, but the beer remained in foedre to condition for several months before it was finished with a dry hop of Bru-1 hops and can-conditioned with Champagne yeast. Described as, “dry, super-orangey, zippy, fun, funky, and fresh,” you almost certainly won’t find it too bitter at 19 IBU. Look for it at the brewery now, and according to the 2C team, there’s another (slightly tweaked) batch conditioning in foedre right now as this one is slated to be a semi-regular member of their lineup!

Keeping it cool in PEI, we’ve got some bad mother shuckers from Bogside giving us a new release. Shucker’s Select West Coast IPA is a 7.1% hop forward, bitter release that is layered with hop aroma and flavour at 55 IBU. Available on tap at the brewery now, look for kegs across the province, and cans to go or for Island-wide delivery!

Straight outta Stellarock, there is some exciting from Backstage Brewing. Although they’ve previously done some limited bottling runs since their opening in 2017, this week they’ve gotten themselves some swank new bottle branding thanks to Task at Hand Illustration & Design. Also responsible for the Backstage logo, Task at Hand has produced a new run of 4 labels (with more to come, we hope) for some of Backstage’s core beers. 

And what better way to celebrate the new labels than with a new beer?! Off the Hop is a 4.3% ABV Golden Ale featuring Shoreline Malting Pilsner malt and balanced out nicely with Mosaic and Centennial hops. Fermented with a British ale yeast, this is a fun style that can range from more British-centric, with more malt presence and earthy, herbal hops, to more New World, with a lighter body and American hops; this one seems to aim for a nice balance. Try it yourself and see what you think; it’s available now in 500 mL bottles from the brewery on Bridge Ave. 

Jumping across the Northumberland, Village Green has another hop-forward release this week with Antipode. This 6.2% IPA features some of our favourite southern hemisphere hops, with additions of Galaxy, the elusive Nelson Sauvin and Motueka. Expect lots of fruit-forward notes from the hops, including cantaloupe, strawberry, and according to the brewer “white gummy bears that have been smuggled into movie theatres.” Antipode is available in cans and on tap now at the brewery in Cornwall. 

Always bringing the hits and fan favourites, there is some summery and exciting news out of Propeller. First up, we see the re-release of Lime Lite lager. If you remember this from last year, this was a canned hit that was popular for those summer months and it’s back this year with the same light lager infused with real fresh limes but in shorter 355 mL cans. Bringing some nice citrus aroma and a very crisp, clean and refreshing finish at 4.5% ABV and 10 IBU it is is available today at all the Prop Shops and online for delivery; it will also be stocked at Bishop’s Cellar and NSLCs starting in May and available throughout the summer. 

In other news from their Quinpool location, there is a new Small Batch that will be available today! Mosaic Pale Ale was made on the on-site pilot system so the quantities are quite limited. This refreshing pale ale style is hopped generously with Mosaic which should bring a well balanced flavour of fresh berries with a bit of piney-resin. It’s on tap only (no growlers) as of today at Quinpool, Prop Arcade, and you’ll find some popping up at Battery Park later as well. 

For a few other quick hitters from Propeller, Common Lager is retiring but will be available for $40 per flat while supplies last. It’s never a bad idea to have a good stock beer around and that’s a great deal for 24 cans. 

Also, Community Cask Night is back next Friday, so be sure to check out the Facebook event here

In addition to the three-way Tap Takeover at Battery Park today, here’s what else is on our radar…

Moncton’s Euston Park Social is popping up in the Tire Shack Brewery taproom this weekend, for a preview and Test Kitchen version of what’s to come to their spot this summer. From 3 PM today, and noon both Saturday and Sunday, you’ll be able to try out the cool dishes to come before anyone else!

Down the Eastern Shore (or is it up?), Sober Island is celebrating its 5th anniversary with a COVID-friendly day of beer, food and music. From noon to 6:00 PM tomorrow, the brewery will be offering brewery tours and free flights to accompany live music and food available for purchase from the Ground Search and Rescue food truck. If you can’t make it on Saturday, the taproom is now open on Wednesday through Sunday, and as temperatures rise, keep an eye out for the opening of their outdoor beer garden. Congrats to Sober Island on 5 years!

Next week, Hopyard Charlottetown is kicking off the second annual Battle of the Breweries. Every Thursday, for nine weeks, HopYard will feature a keg from two breriews who will face-off, with the winner determined by which keg kicks first. This year’s battle will include local favourites such as Lone Oak, Village Green, Red Island Cider, Moth Lane, Evermoore, Upstreet, Bogside, Copper Bottom and PEI Brewing Co. Let the games begin!  

And a few quick mentions as we wrap up the beer news:

On April 1, we profiled Bluenose Lager, a collab between Garrison and Shipwright Brewing to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Bluenose. Cans are now available through both of the breweries’ retail channels and at private liquor stores.

Earlier this month we told you about the grand opening of Serpent Brewing’s taproom in Spryfield. We’re happy to report that Serpent’s kegs are now starting to make their way into beer slinging establishments across HRM. Look for keg or their Belgian IPA and Belgian Single at Battery Park, with the Single also making an appearance at The Other Bean

Trailway continues to glance back while moving forward and putting out updated versions of some older brews. This week it’s More Better, an IPA that features dank and resinous Simcoe hops, this time complemented by some Citra. Grab it fresh at the brewery today.

A couple more breweries in the region are looking for some help around their breweries and taprooms for the summer and perhaps beyond:

Bedford’s Off Track Brewing is looking to grow their team and they have a part-time opening for a server/bartender who will also be called on to handle retail sales. As with all serving positions, it’s 19+ only, and in addition, a valid driver’s license is required along with the ability to do some occasional lifting (50lbs+), availability for days, evenings, and weekends, and, as the brewery is dog-friendly, comfort with working around puppers. Folks with relevant experience and a strong customer focus are welcome to apply, but please send in your resume to allan@offtrackbrewing.ca rather than bringing it in person due to current COVID protocols. Off Track is an inclusive place, and folks from all races, sexual orientations, religions, and cultures are welcome to apply. 

Fredericton’s Trailway Brewing is looking to staff a summer position largely centered on their canning and bottling lines, but with additional duties supporting the brewers and cellar folks as required. An entry-level position, they’re expecting it to run 25 – 40 hours per week, depending on production levels and starting ASAP. Resumes will be reviewed as early as this week, so if you’re interested, best get your resume into the brewery in a hurry by sending it to info@trailwaybrewing.com!