Serpent Brewing

All posts tagged Serpent Brewing

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.

If you felt the heat wave earlier this week, we hope you were stocked up with local treats to keep you cool. Or if you live on the Avalon or Labrador, maybe something to keep you warm during yesterday’s flurries! This weekend looks like another sunny one across Atlantic Canada, so why not stock up and enjoy them safely at home or get out on a patio if you’re comfortable! Either way, we know our local libation lovers will support their own establishments as best they can and we’re back again to help spread the news!

As PEI Craft Beer Week winds down this weekend, Upstreet Brewing is launching an annual favourite collaboration with The Inn at Bay Fortune. Fireworks, named after the kitchen at Chef Michael Smith’s on-farm restaurant, is a Farmhouse Ale featuring a whole bunch of local grain, malt, and other special ingredients. Island Malt House-grown and -malted Pilsner, Biscuit, Wheat, Toasted Wheat, Buckwheat, Malted Oats, and Rye made up the grist bill, giving the yeasty beasties a whole bunch of different sugars and other carbs to munch on over the course a several months. After the boil of the wort was completed, Ekuanot and Pekko hops were added to the whirlpool (during a rest before cooling), and once fermentation subsided, Lemondrop was added to amplify a citrus character. During that conditioning time, ingredients straight from the Culinary Farm on Bay Fortune were added, including more than 200 kg of crab apples, dried marigold, and citrus basil, all hand picked and curated by the IaBF team and Upstreet crew. The resulting beer has floral and earthy notes, with barnyard and hay on the nose, with a light acidity and carbonation to keep it refreshing. The beer is debuting tomorrow at the Upstreet tap room on Allen Street in Charlottetown, with a tasting kicking off at 3 PM. Bottles will also be available at their Craft Beer Corner location downtown, and of course at The Inn at Bay Fortune. And those in HRM may soon be able to grab bottles at their Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse in Burnside and private stores as well, so keep your eyes peeled!

Upstreet is also continuing the releases today with the second in their Libra line of non-alcoholic beers, with Libra Hazy IPA. Bumping up the hops from their Libra North Cape Pale Ale, but still in a sub 0.5% ABV package, the beer features loads of Idaho 7, El Dorado, Citra, and Mosaic late in the process, to keep it from being too tongue-coating bitter, while still imparting plenty of great citrus, tropical fruit character those hops are known for. Available in short cans at the taproom, CBC, and online for delivery Canada-wide (soon), as well as other spots in the coming weeks (remember, not alc = wider availability!). Cheers to Mitch, Hogie, and the crew for providing more low- and non-alc beer alternatives to those looking to moderate their intake of alcohol while still having a flavourful drink!

Let’s keep it going with more PEICBW info, as one of the OG PEI breweries welcomes their younger pals to take over their taps tomorrow. The Gahan House will be pouring several of their own After Hours seasonal and one-off brews, while also welcoming Bogside Brewing, Copper Bottom, Lone Oak, Upstreet, and Village Green to pour their latest and greatest beers. Look for new releases, old favourites, and cool change-ups from everyone involved! The pouring starts at 11:30 AM and goes all day and night. And of course be sure to check out the cool new beers and events from Evermoore, Moth Lane, and PEI Brewing Co this weekend, and the rest of the year!

To the mainland we go, stopping in at Spryfield, Nova Scotia’s own Serpent Brewing, with two new beers to tell you about this week. Both are part of their Beer Creation Experience, where the public had a chance to design a Serpent beer, from style, recipe, ingredients, all the way to the label on the bottle. Released last weekend was Pavo Tropical IPA, and while it does not contain any actual fruit, the hops chosen, namely Amarillo, Magnum, and Mosaic, do a fine job of imparting a ton of berry and citrus, with a touch of pine too. At 5.4% and 50 IBU, the hazy IPA (XPA? Big APA?) is perfect for enjoying on their patio this weekend, or in bottles to take away. 

Debuting today is the next in the Serpent BCE, Whatermelon is Wrong Wit You? Taking a cue from NS Premier Rankin’s question to those not following COVID protocol by reducing interactions, this pun-tacularly named beer is a spin on their White Mountain Belgian Witbier, but elevated to the next level. Long-time friend-of-Serpent Nick Sanford has been sampling owner Glen O’Keefe’s homebrew for years, assisted during the brewery construction, and even stepped in to become a Founder of the brewery, and designed Whatermelon based on a homebrew he and Glen had enjoyed on a camping trip years ago. Taking the already flavourful White Mountain recipe as a starting point, even more orange peel was added to brighten the beer, with watermelon added post-fermentation to let the fruit shine through with little distraction. The 5.5% beer is available now in bottles and on draught at the brewery for imbibing on their patio this weekend (and indoors next, Strang-willing). And stop by Saturday and/or Sunday to grab some great Jamaican snacks and meals from Jamdouns Food Truck who will be parked adjacent to the patio!

Heading up to Newfoundland and in particular, Port Rexton Brewing, where the gang have managed to get their beery paws on some 355 mL silver bullets. In celebration of this minor coup (seriously, cans are in wretchedly short supply across North America right now), they’re filling them up with delightfully crushable liquids for your enjoyment. Up first is Whitecap, a bright and refreshing session NEIPA that began its life as a taproom favorite Wet Yer Whistle. With a nice light body and a “sounds like another one” ABV of 3.8%, you’ll find it available today at the PR taproom and also at their St. John’s retail shop. These are only being sold in singles right now and once they’re gone they’re gone until more can stock comes in, as they’re holding some aluminum aside for another light and tasty release next week! And if you’re into beer and outdoor activities in the PR area, you should check out the guided hike around the Skerwink Trail being hosted weekly by PR, Paul Dean and Fishers’ Loft Inn. No fee or registration required, just a desire for a lovely walk and an ear for Paul’s geologic knowledge and stories. The hike will end at Port Rexton where you’ll get your first pint at 50% off. Sounds like a pretty good deal to us! More details available from this Fishers’ Loft Ig post.

Further island vibes from Newfoundland bring a new release from Bannerman this week. Vibe Architect is a 5.0% Witbier which is the first of its kind from the St. John’s crew. Brewed with pilsner malt, flaked wheat, flaked corn and some malted wheat, the hop profile is a blend of European hops that provide great balance. With a true to style flavour profile, expect orange and coriander notes with some nice sweetness from sweet orange peel and spices. This is a renowned and respected style (see: Allagash White) that is complex, subtle and refreshing. This one is available now in cans, on tap at the brewery as well as select Marie’s locations. 

Back down to Nova Scotia, where in the Northern part of the province Tatamagouche Brewing is getting their summer on the go a little early. We told you a couple of weeks ago about the return of Dekorum Lime, which sees their ultra-sessionable Dekorum lager meet treatment with tonnes of lime flavor. Well they didn’t stop there! This week two more variants on that ABV base are available that leverage organic juice concentrates to provide a little summery pizzazz. Dekorum Mandarin and Dekorum Blood Orange are both still 2.9% ABV crushers, each with a slightly different citrus twist. Sounds like an opportunity to grab (at least) 4 cans (OG, lime, and the two debutants) and commence with Dekorum Battle 2021!! That all said, if you’re a Dekorum lover, but not interested in the new fruity variants, check out their current online-only deal, $45 of your finest Canadian dollars for 24 refreshing cans!

Meanwhile, the Tata gang is gearing up for some birthday shenanigans next week as they turn seven years old! We’ll have all the details for you in next Friday’s post, but in advance of that, know that they’ll be running happy hour pricing from Thursday to Sunday on pints at the taproom along with some other on-site promos. There will also be four new beers for you to sample, including two low-abv funky offerings. Check back here next week for the full details on those and maybe keep an eye on Tata’s socials (Fb, Ig, Tw) for more info on the celebrations.

As Halifax and Nova Scotia are getting hopeful with their re-opening plan, Garrison is bringing some new releases for everyone to enjoy. First up, they have a new series called Hop Mess, which will be a mix of summer releases where the brewers will be experimenting with hop stands (adding hops at flameout and letting the hops stand in the hot wort before chilling) and heavy handed dry-hopping. In their own words they want to “create some messy, dank & crazy flavourful IPAs.” The first release of this series is Hop Mess IPA #1:  Aussie Rules, where they’re adding Eclipse, Topaz and Australian Cascade hops post-flameout and in the fermenter. At 6.7% this is going to be hop-forward upfront with low lingering bitterness. This is a limited run that is available now in cans only at their taprooms in Halifax. 

The other new release at Garrison taprooms is a partnership with Bulwark, as their Blush cider will be available in cans at the Garrison Seaport and Oxford locations. Using the fresh juice from Bulwark, this is fermented and canned at Garrison at their locations. If you know Blush, it’s a tasty local cider that balances wild berries and apple flavours at a very drinkable and fresh 5.8%. 

The newest addition to the Antigonish beer scene continues to put out new and interesting beers during their soft opening phase. This week, Candid Brewing Company is releasing Working Joe Breakfast Stout. Described by the brewery as “if cold brew were beer”, this one features Ethiopia-sourced coffee from renowned Halifax roaster, Java Blend. Working Joe is the first release in Candid’s Side Door Series of one-off batches. You can find it today (Friday), at Candid’s weekly pop-up sale (reminder that Candid will be opening for retail hours every Friday from 1:00 to 6:00 PM until it’s grand opening), for takeaway in pre-filled 1L growlers. Cans of their Northeast IPA, Party Line, and APA with blood orange, No Brainer, will also be available. 

From one university town to another, Wolfville’s Church Brewing also has a new small batch release ready for your weekend. Pomona is a cranberry sour that comes in at 4% ABV for your summer session enjoyment. Brewed with barley, wheat, flaked wheat, and oats, and lightly hopped with Magnum to the tune of 8 IBUs, you can expect notes of rhubarb and lemon zest on the nose, with a puckering cranberry flavour and tart finish. Pomona is named after the Roman goddess of fruit trees, gardens and orchards, something Wolfville and the surrounding Annapolis Valley can boast plenty of. You can grab some today in crowlers from their onsite Beer Market, or enjoy a pint on their expansive taproom/restaurant patio. 

You may recall that we passed on some info last week concerning two brand new Saisons from Big Spruce; well, they’re continuing that trend this week with yet another Saison, Fruit Bomb. Fermented with two different Brett strains (B. anomola and B. bruxellensis), along with a “clean” Saison strain, it was hopped with organic French Barbe Rouge. The yeast and hops blend together to produce “a nose of summer strawberries spilling into a bowl of peach and nectarine”, to complement the floral and spicy flavours you’d expect from any well-brewed Saison. Refreshing and dry, and 6.8% ABV, it’s the perfect warm weather sipper. Look for it on tap right at the source, and at your favourite Big Spruce watering holes across NS; looks like there should be some bottles available, too! 

But that’s not all, as Big Spruce has been busy as usual! They’re also (re-)excited about the first beer that was fermented and aged in their 500 L foedre, which has been fittingly named Début. Now technically this one was released back in April and may have been spotted in the city at Battery Park, but it’s not been seen in the HRM since then, so you could maybe suggest that this week marks a re-debut of Debut, which is debuting at Stillwell Freehouse right now! Described as “crisp and herbaceous,” it’s Oak-fermented, dry hopped with Huell Melon, and 4.9% ABV. Sounds like a debut that’s worth checking out!

Just one event to tell you about (beside the PEI Craft Beer Week goings on above)

Despite having to navigate through closures, pivoting to online sales, reopenings, and managing one of Halifax’s most popular outdoor watering holes, Stillwell continues to bring us the goods from out of province. This Saturday at the Beergarden, they’ll be pouring seven bangers from British Columbia’s Four Winds Brewing. Your intrepid beer bloggers have had the privilege to share several Four Winds bottles over the years, and we can confidently say that the quality is up there with the best that Canada has to offer. The event will feature styles that appeal to every beer palette, including lagers, a variety of IPAs, a table saison, and their flagship dry-hopped sour, Nectarous. Check out Stillwell’s Instagram post for more details on the beers and event. While we’re talking Stillwell, a friendly reminder that the 2021 version of Preach dropped in the Stillwell Brewing webstore and is now available for Friday deliveries in HRM and shipping country-wide. Look for Preach and the newest batch of Stilly Pils on rotation at the Beergarden and the Stillwell Freehouse patio, before indoor enjoyment comes next week.

A couple more things to look out for, before you hit the patios this afternoon…

It’s Pride Month all over the world (though the parade in Halifax this year will be in August) and Truro Brewing Company has something light, fresh and bright to celebrate. Pulp’d Fiction is a Berliner Weisse with Blood Orange. Always a delicious style that is tart and refreshing, this comes in at 4.0% and is available on tap today at the brewery. 

Another quick hitter from Halifax’s own Bishop’s Cellar as they’re bringing in some bottles from Quebec’s Brasserie Dunham. Always a pleasure to see in our local shops, there are 3 new bottles now available at Bishop’s with more releases from Dunham in the coming month. You can pick up a Mata Hari Gose, Berliner Passion Weisse and the classic Saison du Pinnacle on Saturday in-store or online.

 

It’s the last Friday in May in Atlantic Canada and after a short week thanks to Victoria Day, it’s time to start thinking about the weekend. Somewhat sadly, with the pandemic still upon us, that’s not going to include much in the way of in-person socializing or even, for many, trips to the cabin or cottage or camp or whatever you call it. But there have certainly been some rays of hope this week, with Nova Scotia’s case numbers continuing to drop, recoveries increasing, and vaccinations now open to everyone 12 years of age and older throughout the entire region. And our breweries definitely seem to be getting into a more summery mood as they hope for easing of intra- and inter-province restrictions in time to be slinging suds in person and on premise before our all-too-short warm season is over. Read below for all the news we could find and type up about this week’s releases. We also encourage our Nova Scotia readers in particular to check out the information that’s come out this week regarding the Auditor General’s report on the operations of the NSLC. If you’re a fan of the smaller independent breweries in NS, consider lending your voice to the crowd that’s calling for action by the Provincial Government. We already knew that these folks have been facing an uphill battle with largely antiquated liquor laws and COVID restrictions destroying many business models, but the AG’s report seems to suggest that the operating model of the NSLC does almost nothing to help our region’s local producers, folks who have been entrepreneurial in their communities, generating employment opportunities and keeping cash local. We’d love to see more folks out there amplifying their voices as they lobby the NS Government for change to support our community breweries before we start seeing them have to close up shop.

After contract brewing for the past couple of years, Hampton Brewing Company now has a place to call their own. Located at 64 Robertson Road just outside of town, HBC has set up at Fire Fly Forest Recreation. The taproom and patio are open seven days a week, Mon – Wed 4 – 8 PM, Thurs 4 – 10 PM, today and Sat 12 PM – 12 AM, and Sun 12 – 8 PM. Brewing on a 500 litre (4 BBL) Blichmann Hybrid system, they are currently pouring 5 beers for onsite enjoyment (or to take away), Crush Session IPA, Big Shoes American Pale Ale, Black Door Porter, Chameleon Blackberry Lime Sour, and just tapped for the weekend, Misty Mountain Hops NEIPA. Make the trip out, maybe even stay the night, and support the newest brewery in our region! Congratulations Hampton Brewing Crew!

Our friends at Landwash Brewery have handed over control of their brewhouse – temporarily – to their Packaging Manager, Nardia, to create a one-off beer of her very own. After no doubt hours of deliberation, she desired to brew something inspired by her home country of Australia. April 25th was the annual Anzac Day, a national day of remembrance originally designed to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp. This reminded Nardia of the biscuits that have been produced by ANZAC, which are made with coconut, rolled oats, and golden syrup. So… where were we going with this? Oh right, so the beer, Caribou Hill, was brewed to represent these biscuits! Named after the battle of Caribou Hill in World War I, where ANZAC and Newfoundland troops fought alongside each other, the beer is a 5% “Coconut Biscuit Brown Ale”. We’re betting you can already taste it in your minds (is that a thing?), but rest assured it’s a dark brown brew with notes of coconut, and plenty of biscuity malt character throughout. Cans are available now at the brewery, and if you get there REALLY fast, you may be lucky enough to purchase some of the cookies that inspired the beer! All money raised from cookie sales will be donated to the Canadian Mental Health Association – Newfoundland.

Candid Brewing in Antigonish opened their doors last week for the first of their “retail pop-ups”, and are back at it again this weekend for even more of the same. Joining their Humdinger West Coast IPA are two more of their core beers, namely the No Brainer and Party Line. No Brainer is a 5.2% ABV Pale Ale, with blood orange juice added for an extra citrus blast on the palate. Party Line is a 6.2% ABV Northeast IPA, featuring plenty of tropical and bright citrus character from loads of hops added late in the process, for a smooth and low bitterness beer. All three beers are available at their pop-up shop at 88 College Street today 3 – 6 PM, and again tomorrow 1 – 4 PM. And keep an eye on their and neighbour The Townhouse’s Social Media (IG) for the details on a food and beer pairing take-away bundle available tomorrow and Sunday.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been bringing you news about more and more breweries embracing lower ABV styles in smaller packages, mainly 355ml cans. Trailway is the latest to embrace this trend with the release of Fetch Pale Ale. Let’s start with the packaging. For the first time, Trailway will be offering 12 packs of 355 ml cans. Starting off, you can find them at the brewery, but in a few weeks it will see province-wide distribution through ANBL. Now, onto the beer. Fetch is made using Canadian pilsner malt and hops sourced exclusively from New Brunswick producers. In another first, Trailway is saying goodbye to its trademark haze, and filtering the beer to a high degree of clarity. Expect notes of honey from the malt with floral hope notes and a mild bitterness.

Rough Waters Brewing, up in Deer Lake, NL, has released a new beer in their Neighbeerly series of beers that each support a local charity. This time, they’re benefiting the Islaview Foundation, with $1 from each bottle sold going to that organization. You’ll also find it for sale at Marie’s Mini Mart locations on the East Coast, Ultramar Corner Stores in Deer Lake and on West Street in Corner Brook, and Rudy’s Pub & Grub in Gros Morne. The swank new beer bar in St. John’s, Brewdock, also has it on tap and will also be donating proceeds. So what is the beer, you ask? It’s a fairly self-describing Strawberry Mango Milkshake India Session Ale, of course! At only 4% ABV you should be able to go through a couple of them as you decide whether it’s the Strawberry, Mango, or hops that you like the best.

Continuing to fly under the radar (at least, in our opinion) Nova Scotia bright spot and future destination once things open back up, Lunn’s Mill has a new release this week. Sour Batch Kveiks is a Sour IPA clocking in at 7% on the ABV scale and this style is always a fun one to try. Citrus and stone fruit complement a ripe orange with lime sour taste, reminiscent of Sour Patch Kids. Bringing some bitterness to the finish, this uses El Dorado for the hops and a Kveik yeast from Escarpment Labs. Available now for growler fills and pints at the brewery, cans will be available in the coming weeks at the private stores around HRM. 

Cornwall’s Village Green continues to churn out interesting styles, with two new releases over the last two weeks. First up is Centennial Black Ale. This 7.5% ale features bready notes, chocolate and orange flavours, with enough bitterness from Centennial to keep things balanced. Find this one on tap or for fills at the brewery, as well as cans to go. And brand new this week is West Coast IPA. Coming it at 7.9%, expect more malt character and bitterness than Village Green’s previous IPAs that leaned more into tropical hop notes, thanks to Columbus, Cascade, Amarillo, and Mosaic in the boil, and then a double dry-hopping from a combo of Motueka, Amarillo, and Citra, and later Idaho 7. Hops lovers will want to get out to Cornwall this weekend to snag this before it’s gone!

Chester’s Tanner & Co continues to dip their toes in the mead pool, offering more choices for fans of fermented beverages, especially those seeking a gluten-free option. Their newest release is Oak Aged Raspberry Mead. This one starts with local honey from Cosman & Whidden. Towards the end of fermentation, it was transferred to an oak barrel from Ironworks Distillery, where it finished fermentation with some raspberry purée. This 8% ABV mead has made its way into bottles that are available now at the Duke. St taproom and through Tanner’s online store. 

Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing has a stated goal of focusing on Belgian-inspired beers, and Saison certainly qualifies. Originally brewed on the farms of Wallonia in the winter months with leftover ingredients, and then conditioned for summer consumption, there has always been a wide range of characteristics to what we know as Saison. Of late, and certainly in our region, when most people think of the style they think of a fairly light-bodied spritzy beer with plenty of yeast character, including pepperiness and even some tartness. Those who experienced Serpent’s first iteration of Sprytown Saison back in March know that it was more on another part of the spectrum, with rustic malt character and some deep caramel undertones. Why are we telling you all this? Because there’s a new version available, their Summer Edition, and it’s not so much like the first one. Drier, lighter, and with some definite tart and fruit character, this new 5.5% ABV edition should be an excellent refresher on hot summer days. You can find both versions, Spring and Summer, available from the brewery, just make sure you ask for the one you want. Grabbing one of each would be an excellent way to introduce yourself to the breadth of the Saison style, while giving you something to look forward to, as they plan to brew a different version of this beer for each of the seasons of the year. Pop out to their spot behind Canadian Tire on Dentith this weekend to pick some up, and complete your visit by grabbing something from Jamdouns Food Truck, specializing in Jamaican cuisine, who are onsite 2 – 8 PM Saturday and 2 – 6 PM Sunday.

Want more tiny beers in tiny cans? Check out Tatamagouche Brewing’s newest taste of summer, Dekorum Lime. Tata has added organic lime to its 2.9% light lager for a super sessionable sipper, available in 355 ml cans. If you’re not feeling the lime, check out Arvo, their 4.6% Helles Lager, also back in stock this week. In other Tata news, the brewery’s retail store has reopened for in-person takeaway, with capacity limits in place. Pair that with a 15% discount of Tata clothing (in person and online), and your weekend is set!

Although not specifically mentioned in government reopening plans, the gradual return to normal times means that we’ll surely be seeing more beer events across the Atlantic region. Craft breweries on PEI are kicking off the summer season with PEI Craft Beer week. Running from June 5-12, the celebration of local beer features daily events that include tastings, musical entertainment and food pairings. Check out https://www.peicraftbeerweek.com/ for all of the details, and if you’re on FB, their Events pages. And while you wait for the weekend’s festivities to begin, check out Beer Trivia with the PEI Beer Guy at the Upstreet taproom on Thursday night. Trivia runs from 7-9 PM and you can call the taproom to book your team of 4-6 people.

A couple of brewery job listings for you to peruse before signing off this week.

If you’re looking for an industry job in the Moncton/Dieppe area, check out the jobs page for Flying Boats Brewing. They are currently looking for a Sales Representative to join their team.  The ideal candidate will have an outgoing attitude and a passion for craft beer. Applications for the position close on June 6.

Landwash Brewery in Mount Pearl is hiring a cellarperson to join their team. Mostly working on the “cold side” of the brewhouse, that is, everything after the brewing, tasks include cleaning, transferring, cleaning, packaging (kegs and cans), cleaning, and more cleaning. 😉 But in all seriousness, the position is open to anyone enthusiastic to get into the beer world, but does not require brewing experience, so this could be just the perfect way in for you! Check the job posting on Indeed, and give them a shout before June 1.