Sober Island Brewing

All posts tagged Sober Island Brewing

Another Friday is upon us in Atlantic Canada, and that means all kinds of news from our region’s breweries about new and returning beers, events, and other things. Right about now we’re wishing we had some beer news from Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing and the eponymously-named Tatamagouche Brewing, because if we did we’d be absolutely leading with it. Along with friend of local beer and also the blog, Truro’s Old Road BBQ, these two breweries have found themselves the target of a pretty disgusting online brigading campaign by Internet trolls. Why is this happening, you might ask? Because these businesses stuck their necks out and cancelled an event that they realized made people in their own communities uncomfortable. We don’t believe there was any malice or ill-will in their original plan. We believe that they were helped to see, however, that lack of malice doesn’t necessarily mean that it wasn’t problematic. And we also believe, all three of us, that they did the right thing in canceling the event. You can find statements from all three businesses on Instagram and Facebook; we recommend that you read all three. And if your response is to vilify or attempt to hurt these businesses, we suggest you take a minute to think about that. If the only “principled stand” you’re willing to take is one that sides with institutions that have proven to be problematic for BIPOC folks, in a societal climate that we hope, thanks to the brave folks speaking out all over the world, is finally seeing attention paid to these deeply entrenched problems, we think that makes a pretty sad statement. We stand with BIPOC people all over our region. We stand with Big Spruce and Tatamagouche and Old Road. We hope that everyone sees better days ahead.

Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing’s brewing staff have got their hands on the KRISPY Kveik yeast from Escarpment Labs, and they’re kicking off a Kveik beer series with Styrbord, what they’re billing as a “hybrid Lager”. Brewed with a blend of Pilsner and Oat malts, the wort was lightly hopped with Bru-1, and fermented with the growing-in-popularity blend of two Kveik strains. While this yeast is often pitched with the wort temp being quite warm, Shipwright tried going slightly cooler than the low-end of the recommended temperature, which resulted in a slightly-longer fermentation time (but really, not that long). After a brief lagering period, they threw in a dry-hop addition of more Bru-1, as well as some Simcoe. The final 4.4% ABV, 5 IBUs beer is very clean, and showing off flavours of honey, light banana, and melon, along with “subtle Farmhouse notes and classic Lager crispness”. You can find it on tap at Shipwright for pints and crowlers; look for future brews with this yeast in the very near future!

Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing is back with another bottled creation today, continuing their exploration into sour beers that take a little more time. Throwin’ Blueberries is a 5.5% ABV Sour beer, featuring more than 100 kilos of locally-picked wild blueberries added to the tune of 200 g/L (that’s a lot!). Starting from a pitched yeast and soured with Lacto in stainless, it was conditioned with the fruit for over two and a half months, developing beyond a simple tart character, incorporating the fruits sugars for another round of activity. After completion, the deep purple beer was allowed to bottle (and keg) condition for an additional four months, naturally carbonating and allowing everything to meld together perfectly. 750 ml bottles are available at the brewery today, but in short supply (and only at the brewery, btw), so if this sounds up your alley, we suggest making a break for the Northside today! And for those fortunate enough to live in the area, you can enjoy pints of that draught (as well as 9 other beers) on their patio this weekend! Their pals from Milda’s Pizza will be onsite at 5 PM, to fill that pizza-shaped hole in your tummy/soul.

Couple of new beers coming to you out of Tusket Falls Brewing recently, aiming to satisfy both the hophead and stout lover that reside deep, deep in your soul (well, ok, maybe not that deep). For hops, they’ve got Buy the Ticket… Take the Ride, an 8% ABV Double IPA full of Citra, Chinook, and Galaxy hops. With a full body, moderate bitterness, and lots of lemon and orange flavours to suit your needs. As for the stout, Against Better Judgment is pretty hefty itself (at 7% ABV), and is tasting creamy, full-bodied, with “a subtle vanilla flavour” thanks to the addition of Madagascar vanilla beans during the conditioning phase. Cans of both beers are available now at the brewery, as well as their online store

Speaking of DIPAs, Secret Cove Brewing, straight out of Port au Port, NL, have brought back a local favourite DIPA of theirs, Hop A Ryed In My Dory. If we’re reading this right, the beer is brewed with some Rye malt in the grist, and has plenty of late hop additions (looks like they’re keeping the varieties a secret!). Weighing in at 7.6% ABV, the brewery describes the aroma as containing “mango and citrus, with a sweet apricot finish”… but then they’ve mentioned “images of an overloaded Tall Ship filled with Rye Whiskey in its belly”, so yeah, you can see why we were confused before! Grab it on tap and in cans at the brewery today

And hey, we might as well stay on Newfoundland, since Bannerman is ALSO releasing a DIPA (oh right, it was IPA Day yesterday! It’s all coming together now…), and a brand new beer for them. Cloud City is an 8% ABV brew that was double-dry-hopped with everyone’s favourite (well, one of them, anyway) hop varieties, Galaxy. That equals a trip to Juicy Town, with flavours of “tropical fruit, pineapple, and nectarine”, specifically for this beer. Sounds delicious to us, so we have to recommend that you drop by the brewery to pick some up for the weekend, if you’re in or around St. John’s. Plus you can grab a glass or can of the latest batch of Punch Drunk Love, their kettle sour chock-full of raspberry, pink guava, sweet cherry, and pineapple.

Tidehouse, the tiniest brewery in Halifax, is open today with their latest release, this time pairing up with local flavour-guru Phil Holmans at World Tea House. Using some peach rooibos tea from Phil’s shop, they added it to a lightly-soured ale to create Peachy Fuzzies. 4.5% ABV of tart peachy goodness, kinda like those nickel gummy candies you enjoy(ed)! With an ever-so-subtle hint of tea too (for two?). While today’s release is of only 300 cans (so we suggest getting there today or tomorrow, 2 – 8 PM both days, or until sold out), we understand there are more batches in the works, and new projects with World Tea House coming soon! Tidehouse’s Hibiscus City is also available to take-away in cans today, and maybe even a couple other recent favourites… 

Oh St. John’s, what a strange week it’s been! Rather than playing Regatta Roulette on Tuesday night, and hopefully being able to enjoy another bunch of great local beers on the edge of Quidi Vidi Lake, unfortunately this year’s Royal St. John’s Regatta was canceled. Not canceled, however, was Quidi Vidi Brewery’s Crown and Anchor, the beer brewed in celebration of the event. A 3.9% ABV Light Lager, perfect for enjoying throughout the day, so maybe you can toss a few rubber duckies in the bathtub and cheer them on while enjoying a few bottles or cans? 😉 But in all seriousness, while the cancelation of the event was less than ideal, staying physically distant while socially together is most important in these trying times. Available at the brewery and for delivery, through their Hops Shop.

Crown and Anchor joins a whole bevvy of collaborative and partnership beers on the Quidi Vidi virtual shelves, including the latest with downtown’s Fogtown Barber, this time seeing light as a 4.5% ABV Session Ale. Low alcohol, but with plenty of citrus and tropical goodness from Amarillo and El Dorado, it’s sure to keep you looking and feeling fresh! And celebrating (and supporting) St. John’s Pride is their Gayboil, the newest batch of their popular Dayboil, with $0.50 from each can going direct to the event and educational activities. And teaming up with The Outhouse TV crew, they have released the The Outhouse – Homebrew Session Lager, a 4.0% ABV beer available by the case, and with a dozen unique beer labels of all your favourite characters from the series. And if you opt for curbside pickup at the Hop Shop, you have access to a few more of their small batch beers, including Peach Raspberry Sour, Krispy Lager, and Sour IPA #3, which are all available in limited quantity only at the source.

Keep your heads up for a new beer release at Good Robot next Wednesday, when they’ll be launching Marmalade Forest. A 4.1% ABV Berliner Weisse that they’re calling “slightly sour”, they added a hefty dose of yuzu puree. What IS yuzu, you ask? Well, it’s a citrus fruit that originated in China and is a hybrid of a mandarin orange and ichang pipeda. What’s an ichang pipeda? Look, we don’t have time to Google two different things, you’ll just have to look into that one on your own. Sorry. Oh, and yeah, so check out the beer next week!

In Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, on the north side of the Bay of Fundy, Two Islands Brewing has launched a new batch of their Fundy Fog APA that sees a bit of a departure from previous batches: testing the notion of using some Fermentis SafAle S-33 in a New England style (read: hazy) beer. While this is a strain predominantly used for Belgian styles and thus would tend to show some phenolic character (e.g., clove, pepper) it also is a poor flocculator, which can help make for a hazier appearance. Using a bit of this with a more standard strain is an interesting way to achieve more “fog” in the Fundy Fog. You can be the judge of how well the experiment worked by checking out the beer in and around Parrsboro at the Two Islands tap room, BlackRock Bistro, and Wild Caraway, and in Truro at Blunt Bartender, Bistro on Prince, and Frank & Gino’s.

Let’s finish up with some great news for beer and cider fans in Halifax and Saint John.

Uncorked Tours will undoubtedly be familiar to our readers in New Brunswick, known for boosting the signal of the province’s breweries, cider makers, distilleries, and wineries, through tours in Saint John, as well as further afield. They are celebrating big news in that regard this week, with the opening of their Tasting Room in the Saint John City Market. Open 10 – 8 PM daily (except Sundays, and open later during the Thursday Night Market), the tasting room is fully stocked with 8 taps of rotating local beer and cider (current list is available here), as well as wine and spirits from across the province. The knowledgeable staff are there to help you make the perfect taster or choose the right pint to pair with the food you pick up elsewhere in the market (here’s their list). Congratulations to Gilliane and Nathalie, and be sure to pop in to see their setup real soon! Read even more about the Tasting Room in Huddle.

And in Halifax, Bulwark Cider has opened their Cider House at 1518 Dresden Row. Featuring a fully-stocked retail shop with more than 20 different bottled ciders and fruit wines (can also be enjoyed in-house), their taproom will be launching this coming Tuesday with sixteen taps of Bulwark ciders and guest beer collaborations, available to enjoy onsite or to take-away. Coming soon are charcuterie and bar bite options, live music events, and a special private space upstairs. Their patio looks quite inviting as well! Congratulations Bulwark! Open Tuesday – Sunday from 11 AM – 10 PM, and an hour later Thursday through Saturday. Check their FB page for the latest news.

Have plans for next Saturday yet? If so, cancel them!

Hey hey hey, folks, during these COVID times have you missed the excitement (and comfort!) of heading down to Stillwell HQ for tap takeovers by awesome breweries from our region and beyond? We sure have. Well the good news is that it looks like things are getting back into swing. Differently of course (isn’t everything?!), but still swingy. We had the delightful Brasserie Dunham x Coda Ramen deal a couple weeks ago and now, coming up on Saturday, August 15th, we’ll see the return of Newcastle, Maine’s Oxbow Brewing to the wall. Oxbow has been putting out lovely liquids in the farmhouse and eccentric veins since 2011 and are known for their “loud beer from a quiet place.” Now with locations in Portland and Oxford as well, they’re keeping on with the keeping on. They did their first takeover at Stilly in September of 2017 and another mini-takeover last October. This time there will be 10 taps pouring Oxbow’s creations plus (*we think*) some delightful cans and bottles as well. Here’s where the different part comes in: due to social distancing restrictions, you’re going to have to make a reservation telling them how many folks you’re bringing, what time you’d like to come (the event runs noon to midnight), and how long you plan to stay; direct that information (politely!) via email to sam@barstillwell.com and see what comes back in terms of availability. Also, if that wasn’t enough to entice you, it bears mentioning that there will also be a special food menu from Joe Martin and his team for the event featuring a Coney Island Carnival theme. Hope to see you all there!!

Just a few more things before we unleash you onto the taprooms and patios today!

Boxing Rock’s latest beer is Indigo Blueberry Sour Ale, a 5.4% ABV “mildly tart and fruity” brew that features an addition of fresh blueberries from the Parrsboro region of NS. It should be available at the brewery right now.

Rothesay’s Foghorn Brewing has launched their Sour Series with a dive into a favourite citrus flavours, grapefruit. Featuring a little acidity and a little bitterness and a crisp finish, Grapefruit features plenty of real citrus in the glass, for a refreshing kick. At a quaffable 4.5% ABV, pop by their spot at 47 Clark Road for a pint and/or growler fill this weekend. And a canned version isn’t far off, perfect for toting to the lake or beach!

Heritage Brewing has announced they have a new beer on tap at the brewery, lightly bittered with Amarillo (to 20 IBUs) with a little thrown in at the end of the boil for a bit of tropical citrus aroma, as well. What’s it called? We don’t know! Just head to the taproom and say the ACBB sent you to try a 4.0% ABV new beer, that should work.

Sober Island has a new IPA available on taps and in cans, Wavebreaker. An American IPA with a bit of tangerine in the aroma and flavour, it’s 6.3% and well-balanced. Available at the brewery and for delivery.

Unfiltered has brought back their “Wild Blueberry Sour”, Lifesaver (4.2% ABV); cans and fills at the brewery today.

We’ve got plenty of great news for you today, as our region continues to make excellent strides in flattening/eliminating the curve of COVID-19, restrictions are being lifted and in turn more breweries and beer bars are re-opening their doors. We all know we’re not out of hot water by any stretch of the imagination, but the recent days and weeks have been very promising. If we keep this up, that Atlantic Bubble will soon be a thing! Let us waste no more of your time and jump right into the good news, so you can enjoy the wonderful weather that we’ve waited a long time to arrive!

We’d like to kick off the main body of today’s post with a big Happy Birthday! to our wonderful friends at Tatamagouche Brewing. That’s right, they’re turning the big 0-6 this week, and when you’re a brewery and have a birthday, you’ve got to celebrate with lots of beer (it’s one of the many/few perks)! In Tata’s case, they’ve got several new brews they’re releasing, along with a great deal on a birthday sixer of new and “old” brews. Let’s start with the new beers, shall we?

Instinct is a 5.4% ABV Brett Pale Ale brewed with the base of their popular Nelson’s Park APA. This one was barrel-aged, however, with a blend of Brettanomyces strains from Escarpment Labs, and was dry-hopped twice (once before going into the barrels, and once after blending) with Vic Secret and Nelson Sauvin; tropical and funky!

Observe keeps the Brett train going, billed as a “Brett Lager”. Coming in at 4.9% ABV and described as “deceptively complex”, the wort underwent secondary fermentation in red wine barrels from Jost Vineyards, with Brett Q and Brett M.

Remused is a different take on another fairly recent release, Muse Sour Red. This time around, the beer was aged in neutral and former red wine barrels, blended, and then aged again, this time on cherries (the same cherries used for Muse). It’s 5.6% ABV, and is tasting very tart, dry and complex.

All three of these beers are available in bottles (Instinct and Remused in 500 ml, Observe is in 650 ml), and can be purchased as a special 6th Birthday 6-pack – along with Muse Sour Red, Ferry Boat Fantasy Golden Sour, and Toro (barrel-aged Quad w/ Brett) – for just $60, a savings of $15! And along with all that, they’ve re-released two popular canned beers, Guava Heist (fruited Berliner Weisse) and Kitty Clyde (DIPA), so you might as well tack those beauties onto your order as well. Happy birthday TataBrew, and here’s to many, many more!

Euston Park Social is back up and running in Moncton, and you couldn’t ask for nicer weather this weekend as an excuse to get outdoors for a local pint or two. Luckily for those of you able to do just that at Euston Park, O’Creek Brewing just released the latest in their DUOH series (that’s Duo Hopped, as in hopped with two different hop varieties), DUOH Mosaic/Idaho 7. With this version of this 6% ABV NEIPA, it’s not just the addition of Mosaic and Idaho 7 hops that’s different – the brewery also fermented this batch with a Kveik strain, to boost those lovely tropical, juicy vibes even further. If you’re a fan of super-hazy, super-hoppy IPAs, we highly suggest you get down there before the beer has kicked and the sun has disappeared!

Speaking of IPAs fermented with Kveik (this is definitely becoming more popular with breweries in our region, and we don’t expect it to change anytime soon), Newfoundland’s Bannerman Brewing has their own available at the taproom in St. John’s. Rhymes With Orange was double-dry-hopped with Citra, which combined with the Kveik fermentation leads to huge flavours of orange, grapefruit, and tropical fruit. This 6.5% ABV haze-bomb is currently available at the taproom for pints, as well as in growlers and cans (limited supply).

Those crazy buggers at Good Robot are officially back… well, ok, maybe they never went anywhere, but the Good Robot taproom and patio (aka Gastro Turf) are officially open to the public, starting today! Certainly, at a safer and more-socially distant capacity, but open just the same, and with this weekend’s weather, they couldn’t have planned it any better. They also have a new beverage to mark the occasion, Mint Berry Fizz. Available in cans only, this 4.7% ABV fermented seltzer is fruity, bubbly, and refreshing. They’ll also have all of their taps flowing, of course, so there will be lots of options!

Your newest hoppy brew, Golden Repair, is freshly available at TrailWay Brewing as of earlier this week. A pale-coloured, hazy American IPA, this 6.6% ABV beer was hopped with a combination of Strata and Vic Secret. Dry-hopped twice with equal amounts of each, the final beer is tasting pretty juicy, “saturated with tropical fruit, with pineapple being the frontrunner, along with citrus and passion fruit”. Available on tap and in cans exclusively at the brewery. 

Sober Island Brewing is celebrating the opening of their Beer Garden this weekend, featuring wide open spaces for you and your pals to enjoy the fruits of their labours. Thursday through Sunday, 12 – 7 PM, both the Beer Garden and indoor taproom are open for on-site enjoyment at 22462 Hwy 7 in Sheet Harbour (BG hours are weather-dependent, natch). Due to the nature of the current restrictions still in place, reservations are encouraged, via phone (902-885-2072), and soon a fancy app! And while you’re there, you’ll be able to enjoy their latest releases, which includes a brand-new IPA, a 6.4% ABV West Coast style IPA (stellar hops like Cascade, Centennial, and Simcoe in here), and the return of The Blueberry Express, their 5.0% ABV Blonde brewed with blueberries. Both of these, plus a few more, are also available for home delivery through their online shop.

On the Western side of Newfoundland, Port au Port’s Secret Cove Brewing has a new beer out that should be perfect for warm summer weather. Lingo is named for the well-documented “native-tongue” of the folks in Newfoundland, including their tendency towards turns of phrase not known outside the island. Taking things in a little different direction than a traditional fruited sour, where fruit or juice is added during fermentation, Lingo leverages the Radler style, where fruit juice is blended with finished beer, although generally not a sour beer. In this case, lemon and blood orange were the fruit juices of choice and the result is a refreshing and low-alcohol (3.2% ABV) beverage with plenty of sour bite. This limited batch has been canned and is not available in growlers; you’ll have to hit the Curb Shop to get a hold of this one. Meanwhile, check out Secret Cove’s Father’s Day contest on Instagram for a chance to win some sweet beer swag.

Speaking of fruited sour beers, but bringing it back down to Nova Scotia, Propeller has released Strawberry + Kiwi Sour, a beer that’s bursting with fresh fruit flavors. This was an experimental small batch brewed at the height of physical distancing, but without the taprooms to distribute it, they decided to bottle it up in 750 mL bombers and make it available for purchase hoping folks might be interested in trying it. And boy were they ever: all of the bottles that were available on the website for order have already sold out, but there’s a limited number remaining for sale in the three Prop Shops today (Windmill, Gottingen, and their new Quinpool spot). Light in body, this 4.8% ABV beer has plenty of fruit character and a tart finish. Hopefully the strong interest will lead to this one being made again, possibly in a bigger batch. On the topic of bigger batches, fans of Prop’s Common will be happy to hear that 24-packs of this California Common-style beer will be selling for $39.99 at the Prop Shops and through on-line ordering (shortly) for the duration of the summer. And in another round of great news, the Propeller Arcade in the basement of the Gottingen taproom is open again, Thursday to Sunday, 4 PM until late. Tackle modern and vintage pinball machines, as well as your fave cabinet games too. 

One more trip across the water to The Rock, where Ninepenny Brewing in CBS has released an English Brown Ale. At 5.3%, Old Glory may be a bit higher ABV than more traditional ones, but that just means more fun crammed into every bottle! Malt-forward notes of toffee, biscuit, and touch of dark chocolate, with the Foggy London yeast adding some light fruit character in there as well. Joining Old Glory are two returning favourites, the Route 60 Sour and 12 Bricks Milkshake IPA, with all three, plus a few more, available for order on their webshop for local delivery tomorrow. And if you get your order in before midnight, you’ll be entered in their Father’s Day giveaway!

Let’s say you can’t, or would rather not, make it out to the great restaurants, bars, and taprooms that continue to open this weekend. Fear not, chill you favourite beer, cider, wine, or other beverage, and tune into the Sip Into Summer Virtual Festival event tomorrow. Hosted by the fine folks at Uncorked Tours in Saint John, NB, the event is tailored to anyone, anywhere, to enjoy popping in and out, or stick around for the full 8 hour event. The full schedule is up on their FB page, but starting at 1 PM with some circuit training to get the juices flowing, and then some live music, followed by a tasting of Summer Stouts with Alyssa Donaldson at 3 PM. Craig Pinhey takes over for a New World vs Old World wine talk and tasting, before a tour and tasting at Brasseux d’la Côte and Magnetic Hill Winery. Cap it off with a beer tasting with the Moncton Beer League, and you’ve officially done a tour of the province’s beverages! Grab your tickets through that first link, and happy Sipping!

A few more newsbites for you today before we dismiss the class…

Up in Woodstock, NB, Cross Creek Brewing has a new American IPA called Over Across that features 100% Centennial hops grown locally. At 6% ABV and 60 IBU it sounds to be in the more traditional AIPA vein. Check it out soon on tap at The Joyce in Fredericton with other tap accounts surely to follow. Cross Creek is also planning their first packaged product for this summer, Cross Creek Pale Ale; we’ll let you know when that one makes its debut on the market.

If you’re in Quidi Vidi  this weekend and like sour and/or hoppy beers, you could check out the namesake brewery’s new Sour IPA #2. It’s 6% ABV and canned up for maximum portability. A small batch beer, there are only 300 cans of this one so they’re limiting customers to 2 each. Also available for ordering via their online store.

We’ve mentioned the new meads coming out of Chester Basin’s Tanner & Co. over the past few weeks and there’s another new small/experimental one available this week. Sauvage Sparkling Mead is the result of introducing the Scotia Sauvage yeast strain to Tanner’s mead base and letting it work for a few months. The result was then kegged and carbonated and is now available only at the brewery. Act fast if you’re interested though, there’s literally only the one keg!

Halifax’s tiny Tidehouse has two new ones available for curb-side pickup tomorrow. Sotil 2 is, of course, a remake of their original Sotil, a dry saison with some Marquette grape skin contact and a slight sour character. Not entirely unlike a wine cooler or even a seltzer, but maybe a little more refined. Fjort is a DIPA with plenty of weight (8.5% ABV) and lots of Citra, Mosaic, Amarillo, and Simcoe hops. Canned this week, so super fresh, low on the bitterness and high on pineapple, grapefruit, and melon notes. Give them a call at 902-407-2550 to place your order for Saturday pickup between 12 and 5 PM.

And in the “Hub of Nova Scotia” Truro Brewing Company has a new beer for you to try, a thirst-quenching Berlinner Weiße with Key Lime that they’re calling Summer Crush. Grab a pint at the brewery and/or get a growler to go and enjoy it wherever you like to sit in the sun and have a refreshing beer!

And with the good news happening around AtlCan, we’re seeing some spots hiring and expanding their scope, here are two such businesses looking to bring some folks onto their team.

Word is coming out that there’s going to be a changing of the guard at The Church Brewing Company in Wolfville, as one of Nova Scotia’s larger “rural” breweries is on the hunt for a new head brewer to operate their semi-automated 4-vessel, 35 hectolitre (~30 BBL) system including centrifuge and 6-head canning line. The successful candidate will have at least a few years’ experience in the industry and a willingness to take on the challenge of maintaining and operating the brewery, carrying on the existing brands, and setting the course for the future of the brewery’s beers. This will all take place in support of the distinctive on-site 250-seat restaurant as well as the retail channels through NSLC, other retailers, and tap accounts. If you’re interested, you can go ahead and request more details and/or submit your resume to matt.haysom@churchbrewing.com.

Good friend to great beer Old Road BBQ in Truro is re-inventing themselves yet again after 3 months dedicating their efforts supporting front line workers throughout the province, and beyond. That work continues through Cooking for Canada, and is still worthy of your time and attention. They are poised to re-open their restaurant with an expanded size and breadth of offerings in the next couple of weeks. They have a brand new massive patio, takeout offerings, including locally-produced staples like bread, milk, coffee, and ICE CREAM! To that end, they are looking for a bunch of awesome people to join their team as servers, bartenders, ice cream folks, and prep cooks. Anyone 19+ is welcome to apply, the best way to do that is hit them up via email. And of course we’ll remind you closer to their opening date, which is July 1st! Welcome back Aaron and crew!

Let us take this opportunity to be the last to wish you a Happy New Year 2020! As we kick off a new year, it’s a great time to take stock of the state of beer in our region, with the number of breweries having exploded since the Atlantic Canada Beer Blog started on January 1, 2012. As we inevitably hurtle towards 200 breweries and cideries across the region, one of the stories we continue to hear is the markets outside of the big cities being served by small breweries opening there, and serving as a gathering place for locals. We hope that trend continues in 2020, as there are still many places in the region where getting a locally made pint are near-impossible.

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing is releasing the latest in their line of “solo hop showcase” beers (think Cascade, Azacca, and Galaxy) with their Sabro Double IPA. At 7.5% ABV and more than 100 (calc) IBU, this is a hazy flavourful ode to this newer experimental hop. A very similar beer, by the same name, saw a one-time release in May 2019, as part of the “Single Hop IPA” competition at the Stillwell Open (brewed with our own acbbchris). This beer has had a few tweaks made to it, but not many! Like last year, the beer features a massive tropical nose and flavour of pineapple, passionfruit, and coconut, with a smooth body and balanced bitterness. No fruit added to this beer, that’s all from the Sabro hops! Available on draught for growler fills (both Prop Shops) and pints (at their Gottingen Street taproom, and at licensees across the province), as well as in cans at Prop both locations, plus at many NSLC locations across the province (check store availability here). And fear not fans, unlike last year, this beer will be sticking around for a spell, at least through winter and spring.

And in case you missed it, Propeller released a very different beer last week, a Rauchbier. Focussing on the malt side of things, this features a light smoke character thanks to the beechwood-smoked malt used. Melded with a pleasant toast character from medium-dark malts, the hops are there only for a balancing act. Fermented with lager yeast means this is a clean and crisp beer without anything getting in the way of the light flavour. This is a draught-only release, with growlers and pints of the 5.0% ABV beer available now. And as if you needed another reason to visit, today’s Cask at their Gottingen Street taproom is Baltic Porter on Oak aged in rum. That is tapped at 5 PM, and lasts… until it doesn’t.

Over in Miramichi, Timber Ship Brewing has released their first new beer in several months, Peabody Porter. This English Porter (usually sweeter than their American counterparts) was brewed with Maris Otter, Brown malt and Chocolate malt in the grist, and hopped with the Fuggle variety to 27 IBUs. Once fermentation was complete (it rings it at 5% ABV), the beer was allowed to condition on vanilla beans for some time, to complement the notes of coffee and dark chocolate in the flavour. Look for it on tap at your favourite Timber Ship accounts.

TrailWay is launching their latest batch of El Generico, their constantly rotating fruited kettle sour. The latest batch – released today – features a large addition of peach puree, as well as a small amount of passion fruit concentrate. Stone fruit is obviously the center of attention here, with “an overall tropical vibe” and moderate acidity. Cans and on tap at the brewery and elsewhere too! 

And while on the subject of TrailWay, they still have two new-as-of-last-week hoppy beers available at the brewery (on tap and in cans). South Island (6% ABV)  is their newest American IPA, which was single-hopped with the very difficult to source Nelson Sauvin. This New Zealand variety is well-known for the gooseberry character it imparts in beer; South Island also exhibits grape and grapefruit. Next up is Box Theories, an 8% ABV DIPA that focuses on Strata, a fairly new hop variety that gives the beer lots of tropical fruit (especially mango and melon, according to the brewery), as well as citrus and tangerine. The beer was also brewed with small amounts of Munich and Rye malt, and flaked grain, to provide a bit more malt character than is typical for TW’s hoppier offerings. Look for this one to pop up at ANBL stores in the not-too-distant future.

Finally in TrailWay news, they rang in the New Year by making full use of their taproom beer engine by “reinventing” their cask program. The plans are to brew a new beer every month, with these beers specifically designed to be served via the beer engine. Their first release was Dry Stout, their 5% ABV take on the style of the same name. Also known as an Irish Stout, the beer is “slightly roasty and coffee-forward, complemented by some chocolate sweetness”. No word yet on the next release, but we’re all for well-made beers poured via handpump (and cool to see it served in their new 10 oz British-style Nonic glassware).

Edmundston’s Petit-Sault so enjoyed the first Brut beer that they brewed (Brighid, a collaboration with Big Tide’s Wendy Papadopoulos for International Women’s Day), they’ve gone ahead and created a completely new one. La Pêchée is a Brut IPA hopped with heavy amounts of Mosaic, Galaxy and Amarillo, and features an addition of peach puree. Which the peach definitely comes through in the aroma, this 8.8% ABV beer is definitely not sweet; enzymes were added to help the yeast chew up any remaining sugars, so the beer finishes very dry, with a lingering bitterness. It’s only available at the brewery; you can pick it up there in growlers or in bottles.

Back in Nova Scotia, Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing teamed up with their pals across the bridge at Timber Lounge to release a special collaborative brew. Long-time supporters of local craft beer, the axellent people at Timber Lounge were looking to spruce things up on their taps, and New Scotland bowed their way in to help. OK, enough of my horrible puns. Timbeer is a 6.0% ABV Spruce-infused Ale, but the name alone does not tell the whole story… Using spruce bows and bark hand selected by TL’s Darren Hudson (World Champion lumberjack), the New Scotland crew did an overnight infusion of the brewing water with the wood, before sparging traditional European malt, adding Old World hops, and fermenting it with Kveik yeast. Think Norwegian farmhouse ale, but with a Nova Scotian twist. That extra effort is worth it, as the beer is brimming with spruce character on a pale base. This is a Timber Lounge / New Scotland exclusive (and limited) release, so be sure to drop by one, or both, to grab a pint of it before it makes like a tree, and leaves. (sorry, had to do it)

Out of the bustling metropolis of Hanwell, NB, comes a welcome re-release from our friends at Niche Brewing. If you love you some hops but are looking for a bit of a break from the ultra hazy, super juicy, low bitterness, soft mouthfeel NEIPAs that are currently dominating the market and are waxing sentimental for a good old West Coast IPA, then Niche has you covered. First released a few months ago, North Park harkens back to a time when nobody suspected anyone of putting flour in their beer. Piney, fruity, and a bit dank, owing to the use of some classic American hop varietals (Simcoe and Columbus in the kettle, more of the same plus Citra in the dry hop), it weighs in at 6% ABV. Not a candidate for the IBU wars, this one’s still plenty bitter at 45 IBU. Look for it at the usual Niche tap accounts as well as the ANBL Moncton North Growler Station (which is also scheduled to have their Day Tripper Belgian Tripel real soon now). And in other Niche release news, this time on the packaged side, version 2 of their barrel-aged saison, Evolution, will be available next week at select ANBL stores. Featuring the house culture that they’ve been nurturing and using since they opened, it was aged in the same Chardonnay barrel as version 1 and Golden Flair for about 6 months. Super dry, extra bubbly, and slightly tart, it comes in at 6.8% ABV. And stay tuned for more bottled Niche news as they’re pledging to package more this year and even if that doesn’t work out (bottling sucks, folks), we happen to know that the one they’ve got coming up next is pretty special.

Sober Island Brewing in Sheet Harbour has officially opened their taproom, and are continuing the celebrations this weekend and next, with the space open Saturday and Sunday afternoon, 2 – 5 PM. They are then switching to full winter hours, which means more access to their taps and crowlers on Thursday and Friday, when they are open 4 – 9 PM both days, and are featuring Trivia each Thursday night beginning at 7 PM. Those hours begin on Thursday the 16th, and will continue until they open up 7 days a week in the summer, after all of their renovations, improvements, and expansions are complete, which includes doubling their taps to eight. Pouring now are their Beth’s Black Oyster Stout, Marigold Blonde, and a fresh batch of their IPA. And they’ll soon be pouring an Old Ale that we’ll fill you in on when we have more information.

Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing released a pair of new beers over the last two weeks, on decidedly different ends of the spectrum. Due South Pina Colada Milkshake IPA features the addition of raw coconut and fresh pineapple, along with some lactose (milk sugar), complementing the massive hops addition, resulting in a 7.2% ABV, 80 IBU beer. And on the other end, Rum Row is a 9.9% ABV, 40 IBU Imperial Stout, that was aged on cranberries from Terra Beata farm and Ironworks Distillery Bluenose Rum-soaked oak cubes. Rich dark malt, tart cranberry, and dark rum notes blend together in this beer. Both should still be available on tap and in crowlers at the brewery, and also at the Grand Banker.

Montague, PEI’s Copper Bottom Brewing released their inaugural brew in their Field Trip series, featuring different fruit featured in kettle sours. The first release is Field Trip: Pomegranate, jam packed with the eponymous fruit, complementing the tart and sessionable underlying beer. This 5.0% ABV beer is still on tap at the brewery and available to go in cans.

Is it already getting to be FCBF 2020 time? Eek! Here’s the pertinent info on another related event going on in Freddie that week:

With the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival two months away (still a few tickets left for the Friday night session as well as Saturday afternoon), the other events surrounding the fun weekend are coming into focus. One of which is the Down East Brew Conference, happening on Thursday and Friday, March 5 & 6. Aimed at those in the brewing and distilling industry, or those looking to get into it, there are two full days of talks on all aspects of the craft. From malt and hops history and analysis, how to treat and test your yeast, as well as trademark and tap room operations, attendees will be sure to learn a thing or two. Speakers are coming from across the country, as well as the US, and there will be plenty of time for socializing and networking. The conference will also feature a Tradeshow floor with booths from suppliers and producers. Tickets (and the full agendas) for attendees are available here (don’t forget to use code DEBC20 to save $30 off admission if you are a member of any of the provincial brewery/alcohol associations).

And, as usual, here’s a couple more quick newsbites before you get on towards your first weekend of 2020!

Big Spruce’s Conniption Fit, a 4% ABV Golden Ale, has only been around for a very short time, but cans are already hitting NSLC stores across the province. Crisp and refreshing, it was brewed with the word “sessionable” in mind, and now it’s even easier for you to get it into your home (and then your stomachs)!

Flying Boats has a “Brewer’s Test Recipe” batch exclusively on tap at their taproom in Dieppe; Mango Wheat Ale (5.3% ABV)  was brewed with mango puree to give plenty of tropical flavour.

Our regular schedule of Friday afternoon posting has some downsides and one of them is that sometimes a small batch of special beer is released earlier in the week and we can’t tell you in time. Such is the case with CAVOK Brewing’s Alpha Canis Majoris, Cuvée 2019, a Sirius (hah!) 4.5% ABV mixed-fermentation beer with Brettanomyces and dark berries (dark cherries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries) that was aged for some 4 months before packaging. Only 80 bottles were available when it was released on the 31st of December and we’re told that there were only a few left as of yesterday morning so we don’t suspect there are any remaining at this point, but we thought we’d let you know so you can keep an eye out for more interesting releases from CAVOK in the future (Cuvée 2019 does sort of imply that there might be a Cuvée 2020, now, doesn’t it!).