Happy Friday y’all! We hope everyone has been enjoying the nicer weather this week, and that Hurricane Philippe decides to take even more of a westerly track this weekend! With Monday being Thanksgiving, keep in mind the provincial stores will be mostly closed, and check with your local private stores and breweries to ensure they’re open before heading there. On with the beer news!
We’ll start off this week with 2 Crows in Halifax as this is one of those weeks when they’re looking to cramp our typing fingers with news. Up first is a small-batch collaboration brew with local band Electric Spoonful, the self-proclaimed, “beer drinking, greasy ol’ rock band,” who are celebrating the release of their new EP Still 2 Poor, on Saturday with a party at the brewery. Starting with a North East IPA base, plenty of mangos and oranges were added to bump up the fruit levels in this hazy and super juicy beer. Stop by the brewery on Saturday night to try it and check the band out. This is the second such collab with a band for an album release party in as many weeks at 2 Crows (last week was Peach & Matcha Lager with Crossed Wires); if you’re a local music fan, definitely keep your eye on social media for evidence of more in the works.
Next up is the return of a 2C classic, a beer that has been missed by many for the last year or so, Letná. A Bohemian Pilsner in style, it started with a base of 100% local floor malt from Island Malt House treated to a low oxygen lager mash while also being dosed with a huge amount of Saaz hops. Double-decocted (because Stillwell Brewing’s CPR can’t be the only nutbar in the 902), plenty more Saaz was added in the boil and the whirlpool before it was fermented extra slowly at very cool temperatures with Escarpment Labs’ Czech Lager strain. Naturally carbonated via spunding, it was lagered longer than anybody wanted to have to wait. But it’s out now in tall cans, as well as being on tap at the brewery off the Lukr side-pour faucets.
Lastly, it hasn’t exactly been a well-guarded secret, but 2 Crows will be opening their second location in the coming months, which they’re calling 2 Crows West, near the corner of Oxford and Cork Streets in the West End of Halifax. As such, they’re looking to hire a General Manager to run the place. If you’ve got some hospitality management experience and an interest in beer, you might want to check out the official posting on their Careers page. Meanwhile the rest of us will quietly anticipate what is slated to be a lovely place for a pint in a lovely neighborhood.
Rolling down to the South Shore, Shipwright Brewing has a new beer in their series of Hazy IPAs. Haar and Fret is a fresh release named after the Scottish (Haar) and English (Fret) terms for a cold sea fog. In the recipe for this one, we find a malt bill with pale, Golden Promise, wheat, and honey malts along with flaked oats. The hop bill for featured generous additions in the boil of Bru-1, Citra, Topaz and Galaxy, and the same hops were also used in a dry-hop for some extra aroma and punch on the nose. Bringing it all home was the Vermont Ale strain from Escarpment Labs. If you put all of that together, you get a hazy smooth number, with stone fruit and citrus aromas and flavors coming in in at 6.5% and available at the brewery for pints and to-go crowlers.
Staying along Highway 103, Tanner & Co Brewing is known for their resurrections of historical and unique beer styles from across the globe, and this week they bring us Kuitbier, an old world beer based on a recipe from two centuries ago in the Netherlands. Traditionally, this is a three grain beer that is malty, amber, and reminiscent of cloudy wheat beers and Tanner stays true with a grist of oats, barley and wheat and maintains the tradition of no fruits or other additions allowed in this 19th century classic style. The result is cloudy, fruity, and crisp, with a distinct aroma. This is 5.3% and 28 IBU and is available at the taproom for pints and to-go.
If we could write about Oktoberfest beers every week, I think we happily would, as long as we get to drink them!
Our friends in Mount Pearl (just Southwest of St. John’s), Landwash Brewery, are releasing Herbst, their festbier, that brings a drinkable, malty, bready pilsner. Herbst is the German word for Autumn, and this is a perfect name for this Munich malt and German noble hop combination. Coming together in a 5% package, this beer is canned, on tap and available now from the brewery and across the Avalon peninsula. It will also be featured at the city’s Oktoberfest happening this weekend with many other craft breweries being featured!
Though they may be few in this region, those who know the Polish style known as grätzer, also known as Piwo Grodziskie or “Polish Champagne” have reason to celebrate this week. Propeller Brewing in Halifax has released Spark, their take on this centuries-old style, which is generally known for a low ABV, high carbonation, moderate bitterness, and a characteristic smoky flavor. Brewed with the traditional oak-smoked wheat malt, Propeller’s version aims to be, as the best examples are, surprisingly refreshing, at 3.6% ABV and with the distinctive smoky punch being accompanied by spice and floral hop notes. Whether you generally like smoked beers or not we highly recommend giving this one a go, especially paired with food like kielbasa and kapusta kiszona (Polish sausage and sauerkraut), gołąbki (cabbage rolls), or pierogies. It’s available now at your usual sources for Propeller beer.
We’ve got a new beer out of Annapolis Brewing, as they bring the people Cannonball, a Double IPA packed with Columbus, Nugget and Amarillo hops. At 8.3% and 60 IBU, it has a smooth bitterness beneatha bouquet of piney, citrus and some tropical notes. The pilsner malt base keeps it light, balanced, and smooth and it is available today on tap and in cans from the taproom. And be sure to stop into their taproom in downtown Annapolis Royal, as they celebrate their sixth anniversary this weekend! Live Music from 7 – 10 PM both Friday and Saturday, beer tastings, food, and much more! Check out more details here, and congratulations to the Annapolis Brewing team!!
The newly named and rebranded Great Roads Brewing in Lower Sackville have brought back their Vienna Lager, for a bit of a change of pace from their primarily ale-driven brewery. A delicious style, this is a perfect beer for the season. Under the new name of Cobequid Copper Lager, this is a crisp and clean lager with a slight malty sweet flavour and lovely nose. It’s 5.5% and available for pints and growlers right now. This will be canned soon! Hit up your favourite Sackville (Nova Scotia) brewery to try it out.
Back to Newfoundland, where Dildo Brewing has a new beer for your enjoyment this week, a big ‘ol double IPA they’re calling, well, Double IPA. Weighing in at a hefty 8.2% ABV, this one demands some caution as you work your way from the firm opening bitterness, to the classic citrus and floral combo of Cascade and Centennial, and then through to the modern vibrant fruitiness of Citra and Mosaic. It sounds to us like a slow savouring will reward the drinker with plenty of complexity. Head to the taproom to be amongst the first to try this one, as it won’t be packaged into cans right away!
If you’ve been out to one of Garrison Brewing’s spots, either at the Halifax Seaport or on Quinpool Road, you may have heard tell of folks ordering a blend of two of their most OG offerings, Nut Brown and Razzberry Wheat. Although a mixed pint will always remain an option, the brewing team have now taken on the challenge of making it more convenient, including being available for home consumption. With a fruity raspberry nose balanced against notes of nuts and chocolate, PB&J is a limited release at 4.7% ABV and it’s on draught at all Garrison locations as well as packaged in cans to go.
Representing New Brunswick in our pages this week are stalwarts Trailway Brewing, who have one of their favorite seasonals available this week. As always, this is a sour beer, refreshingly tart, with an out-of-this-world blue colour and the flavor of blue raspberry candy. Some folks might find it scary, but we think most will find this 6% ABV beer refreshing and tasty. We’re not big fans of the name (and if you don’t know it shouldn’t take much more than a quick web search to find out why), but if you ask for the “blue one” you’ll probably find what you need at all Trailway locations and ANBL stores in the coming weeks.
A pair of beery events are in the offing, one tonight and one this coming Wednesday.
Once upon a time, Upstreet hosted a party in their taproom every week, whose name coincided with the name of their fun and fabulous one-off Neon Friday releases. Well, the wait is over, as the party is returning this week, and running all through the fall and winter. Drink specials on pints of Commons, Rhuby Social, and Do Gooder, their Rewind Seltzers, and other mixed drinks too. DJs spinning tunes from 9 PM until close, with free cover! And what better time than that to release their latest Neon Friday, 4.01: NEIPA. This New England IPA is their juiciest yet, absolutely filled to the brim with stone fruit notes of peach and mango, and even some funny fruity pebble aromatics! At 6.5% and 25 IBU, there’s just a little bit of bitterness, with a maximum amount of soft, pillowy, texture. You can grab pints and cans at Upstreet’s two locations, and order it for delivery or shipping on their website!
Next Wednesday, October 11th, the Tusket Falls Beer Project on Gottingen Street in Halifax will be hosting a Beer Dinner. With a five course menu set by chefs Keith and Matt, with a beer paired with each course, this will surely be an evening to remember. We’ll let you read the details on the variety of dishes available here, but will tease you with two new beers that are being released that evening to coincide with the dinner. The first is My Friend, a Coffee Porter, which will see a full release on draught and in package next week as well. And those attending will get a sneak preview of Copyright Infringement, Tusket’s latest NEIPA, their first IPA to feature Nectaron hops. That beer will get a full release the following week. To avoid disappointment, call (902-434-2984) or email firstname.lastname@example.org today to secure your spot at this special event!
And a couple of final mentions before we leave you to your (hopefully long) weekend!
Halifax’s favorite source for hops and (allegedly) Bad Attitude™, Unfiltered Brewing, has a returning engagement this week, in the form of Here it Comes. A DIPA in the grand NASH tradition, it once again features Chinook hops from Québec’s Duke25 Hops, grab this citrus monster from the brewery starting today!
Unfortunately, we must end this week’s post with some sad news. Serpent Brewing, which opened in October 2020, has announced their closing. In a post on Facebook, owner Glen O’Keefe outlines some of the reasons behind the closure, which includes the difficulty with expanding their offerings at the NSLC, despite great sales numbers. No word yet on the next project for O’Keefe, or the space in the heart of the Spryfield business district, but we wish all involved well. It’s been said before, but be sure to support your favourite local brewery, restaurant, better beer bar, or other businessperson, as some are holding on by threads at this time…