Sourwood Cidery

All posts tagged Sourwood Cidery

While it’s still January (how?!), there continues to be updates and changes with guidelines and restrictions across Atlantic Canada. Breweries are opening taprooms again, upgrading their online stores and may have changed deliveries. As always, it’s important to check out the social media from your favourite breweries and keep an eye out for any deals, as our breweries are trying to keep business going. Please support as you can and live within your means! Lastly, if you’ve been saving up your drinks for Dry January (that’s how it works right?), hopefully you’ll enjoy these updates below so you can line up your Wet February. 

Let’s kick off the week’s news with some cider from Halifax, courtesy of Sourwood Cider. Kissabel is a red-fleshed apple that the Sourwood crew have used in ciders before, namely their Kissabel Pet-Nat, a low intervention spritzy cider made with the 2020 harvest and released last year. After removing the cider for that release, Jake wasn’t done with the leftover fruits just yet, adding some water to the pomace and allowing another fermentation to take place. The result is Kissabel Piquette, a 3.0% low abv release that is bubbly and light, while still allowing the fruit flavour to shine through. Grab this at their store on Cornwallis, or for local delivery or shipping.

We’ve got a pair of treats coming out of Cornwall, PEI. Village Green brings out two new ones, marking their first releases of 2022. Starting out, we’re going with a throwback to the west coast days of C-hops and Crystal malt. Winter Classic IPA is a Classic IPA at 6.5% featuring Crystal malt and Chinook and Centennial hops. With plenty of IBUs and 6.5%. Featuring citrus and pine notes with a great hop bite. This is available in cans now from the brewery.

Second up, a nice alternate to the West Coast IPA, we get a Vanilla Milk Stout also available now. A sweet and roasty Milk Stout, conditions on Madagascan Vanilla Beans for a nice sweetness, this comes in at 5.6% available in cans today. And a big HBD to Head Brewer and Keg Washer Bryan Carver, who celebrates the big 4-0 today. While you can’t enjoy a pint at VG this weekend, at least pop by for some growler and can fills and toast the fella!

From Sussex, New Brunswick, the crew at Sussex Ale Works is re-releasing a hit from last year’s Valentine’s Day with Tarts Content, a raspberry sour taken after the Berliner Weisse style.Using the classic German-style ale recipe with added raspberry puree gives a nice sweet and tart flavour, with the right amount of pucker. This is 5% and 8 IBU. This is available today in crowlers for pickup and delivery from the brewery. 

Another brewery bringing back an old favourite is Dildo Brewing, straight out of Dildo, Newfoundland. Bitter Cold is an Ordinary Bitter style that is light, malt forward and delicious. At 4%, this brings notes of orange pekoe tea, sweetness like marmalade and toasted biscuits. Highly drinkable at anytime, this is available in cans today from the brewery and their St. John’s shop, along with a few NL Liquor Express, Marie’s and Orangestores.

Berwick’s Smokehouse Nano Brewery celebrated Robbie Burns day this week with a release paying tribute to the Scottish poet, Grandfather’s Tartan. Delving into the Scottish Wee Heavy style, this 7.8% beer is malt-forward, with plenty of rich caramel and toasted notes, while remaining smooth, despite its higher alcohol content. You’ll have to find your way to the Annapolis Valley for this one, as it’s only available on tap at their spot at 134 Union Street!

Straight out of Shelburne, but available province- and Canada-wide, is the latest offering from Boxing Rock Brewing. Perfect for the apres-shovelling crowd and cold nights we’re experiencing, is a big and hearty stout, and it doesn’t get much bigger than 9.0% ABV. Proletariat Russian Imperial Stout is full of dark malts to bring massive notes of roast, coffee, chocolate, with a fine level of bitterness to balance its full mouthfeel. Released in 473 ml cans, it’s joined on the shelves by the returning Unobtanium Intrepid Amber Ale, ready for pickup or delivery. Speaking of, a reminder that Boxing Rock is doing free daily delivery in HRM and Shelburne, on a minimum order of just $50. And those who live between Halifax and Shelburne can take advantage of free weekly delivery with orders over $80. Check their website for more details.

From the South Shore to the North Shore of Nova Scotia, we head to Tatamagouche Brewing, who have a brand new beer coming out that’s been a little while in the making. Starting its life as a pale ale built on pale malt and both raw and malted rye, hopped quite heavily with classic Cascade and Centennial late in the boil, it was initially fermented with wine yeast to encourage biotransformation, the release of bound hop oils, and ester production. It was then transferred to neutral wine barrels where it was further inoculated with Escarpment Labs’ Mothership Blend of Brettanomyces strains and allowed to condition for six months, giving the brett time to convert the majority of the banana and bubblegum esters to more desirable pineapple and citrus aromas. A dry hop with new variety Elixir completed the picture before packaging. Sounds like some science! to us, so it’s fitting that it’s been named Glad Alchemy. Coming in at 6.1% ABV, it’s funky, with citrus and pineapple up front and a little lingering banana in the background, with a suitably dry brett finish. You should be able to buy it early next week in cans from the Tata web shop, and possibly at other places that carry your favourite Tata brews in the coming weeks. Also, look for the returns of fan-favourites Sero Czech Dark Lager, Haywain English Bitter, Après Cream Ale, and First Light Czech Pilsner all either newly- or soon-to-be-canned and available for purchase.

The gang at 2 Crows Brewing in Halifax has been in the news (sometimes literally) over the past couple of weeks talking about the way they’ve managed to minimize some of the effects of the beer ingredient supply chain issues that have been affecting the industry. It’s nothing complicated, they just started sourcing more things locally! If you’ve been following the brewery for the past few years you already know that they’ve not been shy about integrating local ingredients, but they’ve now taken that to the nth degree and made a mainline beer using Shoreline Malting Pilsner malt from PEI, Lakeview Hops from New Brunswick, and crisp, clean Halifax water. AC Lager is maybe your new go-to for a light and refreshing banger, perfect for après ski/hockey/softball/etc., watching sportsball on a Sunday afternoon, lawn mowing, or any other traditional or non-traditional beer time!! At 4% it’s not going to knock you over if you have a couple, and at $2.09 per 355mL can (that’s $12.51 for a six, or $50 for 24), it’s not going to break the bank either. And look at that label: puffins!! Read more about the journey to this beer on the 2C website and then put your order in!

Also coming out of Brunswick Street this weekend is the return of Space Words, or, as those who remember the first batch might refer to it, Rocket Fuel!! A 10.1% trip to parts unknown, it’s packed with Galaxy, Eclipse, and Comet hops and it was co-fermented with a yeast that evolved to make nectar attract pollinating insects (Metschnikowia reukaufii). To quote the brewery, “Tastes like some kind of galactic mango juice.” We don’t think much more needs to be said. Find it in 473mL cans at the brewery now.

We also mentioned that this would be the weekend of the 2 Crows 5th Anniversary Celebration at the brewery and boy howdy are they planning some things. Bearing in mind that all in-person events are subject to Provincial COVID regulations, including social distancing requirements, you might still want to head down and check out what’s going on at the taproom this weekend. Saturday will see NS Winery and frequent 2C collaborators Lightfoot & Wolfville in the house from noon to 2 PM for beer/flight pairings, followed by R&B Kitchen with some sweet, sweet soul food from 2 – 7 PM. The first 50 folks in the door will receive a free anniversary glass as well. Then on Sunday is the return of SOUR SUNDAY. There will be 8 rotating taps of sour beers, including Five Petals, Terry (2018), Dandy, Good Air, Cloud 9, Deux II, Surefire, and Hoopla, with complimentary shots of Pepto Bismol available at the bar. For your snacking pleasure, Gingerbread Haus will have Bavarian soft pretzels on the go. This is all from noon to close; maybe some of us will see some of you there!!

Some parting shots with returning beers …

We’re happy to report that St. Johns’ Bannerman Brewing has opened their doors once again for in-person dining and drinking. Open 7:30 AM – 11 PM weekdays, and 8:30 AM – 12 AM on the weekends, start your day with a pour-over and scone, and then transition to beer and food from the talented Nam Jim crew preparing Thai-inspired plates in the kitchen. Local delivery (of both food and beer) is still available, including the freshly-canned Only Shadows, a light, toasty, and chocolatey Dark Lager, also pouring for pints, of course!

A bit of news from the Farmshed crew at Delta Force, as they updated their website with a new online store and payment portal. They’re “How to Buy” section is always very useful with where to buy their beer and now there’s a link to their online store with direct delivery, where you can grab their latest releases like Tom Hardy English Barley Wine and Bap – Nurungji Lager, inspired (and featuring) Korean toasted rice. Use those mice and keyboards, or thumbs to check it out!

Deer Lake’s Rough Waters Brewing is thinking back to summer with this week’s re-release of Lock and Key. A mojito-inspired beer, it features mint and lime on a tart refreshing base. No need to wait 4 months to be drinking in summer when you can grab some now! Available at their taproom and Corner Brook NLC.

Speaking of returning beers, Truro Brewing has a fresh batch of their Cobequid Bay IPA on tap now. At 6.3% ABV and brimming with bright citrus and pine hoppy goodness, you can grab a pint or fill your growler today at their spot on Inglis Place!

A few job postings for you as we settle up this week’s news, plus a bonus for your ears …

The fine folks at Upstreet are putting out a call to hire a Lead Production Brewer as they’re looking to expand in 2022. Check out the link here for the full job description and how to apply. 

The fine folks at Field Guide in the North End of Halifax are looking for an experienced bartender to fill their Head Bartender position. They’ve got a great reputation for cocktails and their drinks, so it’s a good opportunity for someone with a lot of passion. They’re encouraging people to reach out in person, email or send a DM on Instagram, but be sure to have a resume and cover letter on hand. 

Another one in the North End is the second location from Tusket Falls. Their Beer Project on Gottingen is looking for an Assistant Kitchen Manager! Check out the full details in the post here, and send them an email if you’re interested along with your resume and a bit about yourself. 

We mentioned it at the top of the post, so let’s close out with a movement that’s been gaining momentum over the last few years, Dry January. If that’s your thing, know that your bloggers support you 100%. And so do the fellas over at the 902 BrewCast, who did a deep dive into all things non-alcoholic this week. Their latest tasting episode features non-alcoholic beer from Propeller and Upstreet, as well as Benjamin Bridge Piquette Zero, and Bulwark’s Original NA cider. Give it a listen for inspiration on what you could keep in your fridge for when you’re feeling like drinking a beer, but don’t exactly want a *beer*.

 

Hey hey hey, it’s 5PM on a Friday and we’re just getting you your beer news now? What gives? Well, as much as we love beer and talking about beer and writing thousands of words about beer on the weekly, Real Life™ sometimes can’t be denied and you, dear reader, end up having to wait a few extra hours for your beer news. We also know that we weren’t quite able to get everything into the post this week that we knew about; we’ll do our best to cover all those bases next week! Or maybe the week after!! By Christmas we’ll be caught up FOR SURE.

If you’re thinking a trip to PEI is in order, or if you’re in PEI and wanted to make a little getaway to Borden-Carleton, we highly recommend dropping in for a visit to Lone Oak. Ok, sure, we’d recommend that at any time, really, but this weekend they have three new beers available on tap – one that is a returning favourite, and two that are just outright brand new. Let’s get right into all three, shall we?

The first newbie is S’well, a 4.4% ABV Brett Lager. The base beer is a Lager brewed with Pilsner malt from Shoreline Malting, and hopped with noble hops. A two-year-old barrel-aged Brett beer was blended in (at about 15% volume) to give the final brew a nice hit of funk, with the whole thing getting a final dry-hop with the always-lovely New Zealand variety, Nelson Sauvin.  

Next up is one of those beers that is conveniently named in a way that really gets to the heart of the beer… Belgian Table Beer with Marquette Grapes. Another easy-drinker at just 3.8%, it has a grist of PEI Pilsner, spelt, and wheat. Hopped with Mistral, a French variety, the beer was aged on Marquette grapes locally-harvested from Carmody Cove Vineyards (Marshfield). Dry, effervescent, with plenty of citrus and sweet fruit character throughout, this and S’well are both available on tap only, at the brewery.

Finally, returning to local taps (and cans, in the near future) is Boat Traffic, a Foeder-aged Oatmeal Stout that has been tweaked slightly, since its last release. With a little less roast and a little more chocolate than last time, this 5% ABV brew was aged in oak from PEI’s own New World Foeders. Sporting a full body, some roast character, and “notes of chocolate and undertones of coconut and vanilla from the oak”, you’re not going to want to wait on picking some of this up when you can, as it’ll be just perfect for sipping on a hot Christmas morning this year!

Last week we wrote a mini-essay about North Brewing because they had so many things going on. We even took a minute to poke fun at 2 Crows for being outdone. HAHAHA. BOY ARE WE DUMB. Seems like the gang at 2C has been up to further collaborative shenanigans with a couple of Ontario breweries and now we have to type it up so you know what to get excited to drink.

First up is fermented beverage nerd alert (we are beer nerds after all). There’s a product new to the market out of New Zealand that they call “Phantasm” and it’s a powdered Sauvignon Blanc grape derivative that happens to be very rich in thiols. “But ACBB,” you say, “that sounds like a wine thing.” Well, yes, Sauvignon Blanc is grapes, but thiols are one of the (naturally occurring) chemicals that give hops (and grapes, and cannabis) their fun fruity aromatics. So what do you think 2C did when they got their hands on some of this stuff? They put it into some beer! They also had some L’Acadie grapes available from their friends at PEI’s Carmody Cove Vineyard, where the team traveled to pick about 500lbs and put it through carbonic maceration, before pressing it (thanks to a hand from Sourwood Cider’s press) and fermenting with wine yeast. The result of that went into the beer too! But what beer? Well, back to the beer brewing part, they collaborated with Ayr, Ontario’s Willibald Farm Brewery (‘member them from the Stillwell takeover a few weeks ago?) to make a super pillowy IPA from Pilsner and Golden Promise malts, raw wheat, and Golden Naked Oats, a lot of mash hops, and some late kettle hopping with Bru-1, Hallertau Blanc, and the aforementioned Phantasm. Once fermentation was complete, they hit it with intense amounts of Nelson Sauvin, Citra, and more (MOAR!) Hallertau Blanc and Nelson Sauvin. When you consider that Hallertau Blanc and Nelson are two of the hops known for their “wine-iness” you can imagine that this is an IPA that fairly reeks of that character: “grapey, [with lots of] gooseberry, citrus, and tropical punch vibes.” Cans of this one, known as L’Acadie Draw will be available to the general public tomorrow, Saturday, November 27th, at noon!

So that’s this week. Next week comes another collaboration that 2C put together with Beerlab from London, ON. Billed as a “Saison/Lager hybrid,” Molten Mirrors sees the ester profile of a Saison married to the dry crisp finish of a lager, with the overall drinkability of both styles well represented. Made from local barley, some rice, a little spelt, and hopped in a restrained fashion with “modern Continental” varieties Saphir and Huell Melon, it was fermented fairly warm with their house Saison yeast which, if you’re familiar with the properties of various yeast strains, is going to give you a rather estery and somewhat phenolic (spicy) character, but it’s not likely to be what you’d call “dry.” So then the beer was chilled down to the sort of temperature that lager yeast likes (10ºC-ish) and it was krausened, which is basically the German way of saying, “we added some more actively fermenting beer to it.” That beer was a smaller volume of the same beer, but one that had been fermenting with a nice clean German lager yeast. After giving the result time to completely ferment out, the temperature was dropped again, this time to long-term lagering temperatures, where it stayed a full 8 weeks. The result is crisp and dry, with some saison spice and fruitiness. This one will be on sale to the general public next Thursday, December 2nd at Noon, but newsletter subscribers will already have received an email with a special code allowing them to get it early by ordering online for delivery or pickup. If you’re not a subscriber, but would like to get access to new beers from 2C before everyone else does, you’d best be signing up right here.

Those of you who remember a little show called The Raccoons, raise your hands. Haha, you people are old! For the rest of you, this beloved Canadian animated show debuted in 1985, and was about the exploits of several raccoons in the wilderness and their run-ins with a local greedy industrialist, uh, aardvark… wait, what was the point of that show, again? Either way, it was truly loved there for awhile (even if it IS still difficult to get this news story out of your head, from long after the show ended), and Propeller has teamed up with their EQUALLY-beloved Propeller Arcade for a collaboration beer brewed in honour of this Canadian treasure. The beer is named Run With Us (go ahead, hum it, we won’t judge), a 4.8% “Watermelon and Cherry Sour”. Fermented with Escarpment Labs’ Lactic Magic – a wild, sour yeast strain – the beer has flavours and aromas of, yes, watermelon and cherry, complemented by some tartness. This refreshing brew is on tap exclusively at Propeller Arcade, with 500 mL bottles also available at all three Prop Shops (and online home delivery). 

We’re used to seeing collaborations between North Brewing and Benjamin Bridge; these beers have covered a wide range of styles, and sometimes some of the releases are brewed again, so that we have another chance to experience them with some light changes. This week, they’ve brought back Musqué DIPA, an 8% DIPA that is re-fermented with Chardonnay Musqué grapes from BB. This year’s batch also features some more hop varieties than last time, with Vic Secret being joined by Galaxy, Callista, and Enigma. Expect lots of tropical fruit qualities, balanced by a “delicate acidity” thanks to the grape skins. You can grab some bottles at all of the North locations (remember, there’s three of them now!); save some for Christmas gifts, and some for drinking all by your lonesome!

It’s a big weekend in Chester, as the Chester Village Christmas weekend kicks off over the next three days, Tanner Brewing has a few things on the go. On Friday, they’re releasing their annual barrel reserve beer in store on Friday. The brewery got some fresh barrels from Ironworks and this will be a taproom release on Friday and available all weekend. This year it’s Oak Aged Porter with Berries releasing in Chester and available for delivery. They used their usual recipe for their hour Porter but fermented on black currant and blueberry puree. After fermentation, they used the fresh Ironwork dark rum barrels to age through the fall and summer. Ths beer, available in 500ml bottles is 6.2% ABV and 25 IBU. They’ll also have Cove FM on-site Friday evening with Trip Hazard broadcasting in the taproom. On Sunday, their usual friends from The Old Black Forest little German restaurant will be doing a pop-up for a nice Sunday dinner. 

As Cape Breton and the Northern part of Nova Scotia still recover from the storm earlier this week, Breton Brewing is hoping to bring some Caper pride to the region. Partnering with Cape Breton University, CBU Lager is a light and crisp lager in honour of the whole CBU alumni and family. A portion of the sales from each beer is donated towards student programs and scholarships at the university. At 4.0% and 20 IBU this is crispy and refreshing and available in 473ml cans. Today (Friday) may be the last day you have to get this delivered or online, otherwise, you’ll have to check the brewery and also the Pit Lounge on CBU campus. 

Breton has another limited release available now with their first offering from their holiday lineup, Transatlantic IPA is a blend of English and American IPAs, trying to balance the malt and hop flavours, yeast flavours and bitterness for a full bodied, delicious ale. Using English ale yeast and a complimenting hop aroma, this clocks in at 5.8% and 50 IBU. This is available now in 473ml cans and pints in the taproom, but also home delivery via the online Breton shop. 

Bannerman Brewing just keeps on pumping out the new beers, with this week’s release moving away from the hoppy stuff with Rise or Shine, a Coffee Bock. Taking the standard Bock – a dark, strong Lager – and adding lots of coffee to it sounds like a perfect match to us! Speaking of the coffee, its Heritage, the signature roast from Pilot Coffee Roasters, and it’s giving Rise and Shine “notes of toffee, honey, chocolate, and coffee”, all complemented by a lovely, full body. You can find it on tap and in cans at Bannerman, very soon. 

Back in Halifax, Garrison has a very cool release for the holiday season. If you’re a fan of the classic chocolate minty, chocolatey and delicious After Eight chocolate mint thins, the team at Garrison is brewing you, After Dark, a mint chocolate porter! Using natural mint additions, real chocolate powder and cocoa nibs, you should already have a (delicious) expectation of how this should taste like! Using a malt blend of Pilsner, Munich, Chocolate and Crystal, Magnum hops join the party to balance it all out. This should be a perfect balance of dark chocolate sweetness, slight bitterness and mint freshness and bite. At 5.0% and 18 IBU this beer is available now in 473ml cans at the Oxford taproom and the seaport Garrison HQ, and check out their website for delivery right to your door!

In the wonderful world of cider, Sourwood has a delightful-sounding beverage out now, that you may want to seriously consider adding to your large assortment of beers for the weekend. Juicehoney is a cider aged on Cabernet Franc skins for three months, and was then packaged (in June, 2020!) with raw honey. Naturally carbonated and weighing in at 6.6%, they’re billing this beauty as a pure lactic acid experience: “Think Warhead candies and smooth creamed honey at a rave” was how they started the description… that should give you an idea, no? Only one way to see for yourself, so drop by Sourwood this weekend and grab some cans!

The fine Dieppe folks at CAVOK are hitting us with Reduced Visibility, a brand new New England IPA. Bringing a nice aroma of pineapple and floral notes, leading into a delicious flavour of tangerine, lime and mango with a bit of spice on the finish. With a base of Foggy London yeast to bring it all together and keeping the smooth mouthfeel, a hop profile of Azacca and Idaho 7 to bring the 6.0% IPA to fruition. Available on tap and in 473ml cans at the brewery, this will also be available at ANBL locations across the region. 

We’ve got a treat from Mount Pearl’s Storm Brewing, as they have Newfoundland & Labrador IPA (NLIPA) available now. A bright, bitter and dry-hopped IPA, strongly features homegrown hops from Storm’s our hopyard, they’re calling them Veva hops. Bringing subtle floral, and vibrant pine, citrus aroma and flavor. Bright, bitter and brilliant, this is available in 650ml bottlesat 5.5% this is available at Caine’s, Hallidays, Needs on Miltary and Urban Market.  

Whether it’s an actual Black Friday special or not, you can’t deny a good deal, especially when it comes to beer. Greenwich’s own Delta Force Brewing has got such a deal with the Oak Trio 3-pack, allowing you to grab a 500 mL bottle of each of three of their newest barrel-aged brews for $25 (that’s a savings of $5). Included in this little package is Barrel-Aged Wessex, an English Barleywine that was aged in a mixed culture barrel; Operation Forge!, a Stock Ale that was brewed with invert sugar and aged in a fresh barrel with Brett; and Quercus, a mixed-fermentation, barrel-aged “Super Saison”. Send your order requests to deltaforcebrewing@gmail.com to set up your delivery in the HRM.

Here’s your quick hits on the way out the door!

Grimross’s Abbey Dubbel is making its annual return to Fredericton residents (and across NB, as well) this week. This 7.2% Belgian Dubbel, featuring “strong dark fruit and intense brown sugar flavours” arrives just in time for the holidays, and is available in cans and on tap across the province, and directly at the brewery.

In the Annapolis region of Nova Scotia, Lunn’s Mill has a familiar beer available, SOMA, is a Single Malt and Single Hop IPA, full of juice and double-dry hopped. Using Mosaic hops and Maris Otter as the malt, this is a flavour bomb at 6.6% and 82 IBU. This is available in cans directly from the brewery. 

Tusket Falls is back with one of the tastiest treats you can imagine, as Once Blind, Now I See Clearly is back on tap. This is a Czech-style Pilsner lagered for 90 days and back and tasting better than ever. Crisp with Saaz hops and perfectly balanced at 5.0%, this is available on their side pull tap for that nice, pillowy and soft texture in both their brewery taproom as well as their Halifax location on Gottingen.

One last thing before we send you off this week. Kyle and Tony of 902 BrewCast have released not one, but two episodes this week, as they dig into their fridges and cellars to enjoy some recent, and not-so-recent, beers from North Brewing and Bad Apple Brewhouse. Grab the episodes in your favourite podcatcher, or direct from the website. Congratulations on 5 years, fellas! Here’s to another five! 😘

Happy Thanksgiving Friday! Fall has definitely sprung in the region, with the leaves changing colours and cooler evenings, and our already-short patio season quickly drawing to a close (don’t fear, there are a few outdoor events to tell you about down below…). With the holiday Monday, be sure to check ahead for the opening hours of your favourite local brewery or ciderhouse before heading out, as they may be altered for the day (Sunday too!). Solid representation from all four Atlantic Provinces this week, hopefully satisfying everyone tuning in. And remember that many breweries are shipping within, and outside of, their respective provinces, so be sure to ping them if you read about something here. Be sure to tell them the ACBB crew sent ya! As always, keep drinking the good stuff, supporting your local growers and producers, and we’ll see you again next Friday (if not sooner…)!

Church Brewing in Wolfville released a quad-fecta of new beer last weekend, so let’s get you up to date with those draught-only (pints or crowler fills) offerings. Phantom Altbier is the first of the bunch, a 5.5% Altbier, which is a traditional German hybrid or “lagered ale”. Malt-forward, the beer features some yeast-derived esters (think light apple and banana) on top of the toast and bready notes from the grain bill. A pair of beers in their new IPA Series are Saint John and Saint Paul, named after two members of the iconic Tragically Hip band. Saint John (Fay, drummer) is a 5.8% American IPA, weighing in at about 50 IBU thanks to Magnum, Azacca, Simcoe, and Amarillo added throughout the brew, lending plenty of grapefruit and lime citrus notes with a lingering pine finish. Saint Paul (Langlois, guitarist) is an in-between American and English IPA, again leaning on Magnum for bittering to 50 IBU, with Azacca, Simcoe, and El Dorado finishing off the hop-heavy-lifting. Smooth bitterness, with the sweeter malt notes poking its way through as well. And finally, in a complete left turn, Got You Bae is a 4.0% dry-hopped Sour, leveraging the citrus and tropical notes of Azacca, Simcoe, and Amarillo to differentiate from their Salt Water Joys Gose. All four are pouring at Church now, and are available to go in crowlers from their retail shop on-site.

Just in time for the long weekend, Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing is releasing a new DIPA, Battleship PM-67. Brewed in memory of Unfiltered-friend Paul McKinnon, this 7.5% DIPA is made with the Cryo Pop hop blend, giving tropical notes including pineapple, stonefruit and grapefruit, finishing with a distinct bitterness. Cans and pints (next door at Charm School) are available now. A portion of the proceeds from the beer will be donated to the Terry Fox Foundation in memory of Paul.

Although they’ve got quite a bit on the go these days, with a kitchen to set up at their Cole Harbour location and an entire new taproom going in out Tantallon way, North Brewing is still putting out the good stuff, including a brand new one, a special version of a previous seasonal, and the return of a much anticipated banger. Let’s start with the brand new one, a variation on a classic style dreamed up by Kolapo, who runs the brewery’s lab QA program, looks after the yeast stores, and is also one of the production brewers on the team. Starting with a classic German Weizen, featuring plenty of wheat and classic German noble hops, to amp up the banana character associated with the style (and no doubt the haziness!) this beer underwent a secondary fermentation on 60 kg of banana purée. The result is “banana-y, wheaty, refreshing and crisp” and comes in at 5.5% ABV. It’s name? Beernana, of course!

In the “special re-release” category, this week sees the return of Coco Pony the barrel-aged version of North’s dessert stout, Twinkle Pony. Early in 2021, they took 800 litres of the original beer, made with lady finger cookies, cold brew coffee, lactose, and vanilla, and spread it amongst 4 whisky barrels from Glenora Distillery, where it sat for several months, picking up plenty of oak and whisky notes. From there it was brought back to stainless, where it was aged on plenty of roasty cocoa nibs from Rousseau Chocolatier and toasted coconut. The result is a burly brew, where sweetness and roastiness meet big chocolate flavor, topped with boozy barrel character, all with a subtle hint of coconut all the way through. Smooth, rich, and decadent, ideal for enjoying slowly on a cool fall evening; but be careful, it packs a wallop at 9% ABV!

And lastly, fans of crispy brews can rejoice, as one of the best in the region is back this week. Sparrow is the brewery’s lovely little bird of a German Pils, a crushable 4.8% grainy beauty that still packs a bit of a punch on the hop side to help keep the finish dry and bringing you back for more. All three of these have been packaged in cans (473 mL for the first two, 355 for the Sparrow) and all are available at the brewery or for online ordering. Speaking of online ordering, they’re running a promo this weekend; if you’re a subscriber to their email list, make sure you check out this week’s email for 15% off orders placed before Sunday at 11:59pm! They’ve also got some sweet new swag up, including Dartmouth Dark socks!

Heading up to the Rock, Bannerman has another release (do we say that every week? Keep the good stuff coming!) available now. Bruised Ego is a DIPA that is smooth and fruity. Made with flaked and malted oats for a creamier, smoother mouthfeel, this used dry hops of Mosaic and Barbe Rouge. The beer was then conditioned on lots of raspberries to bring some jam and bold fruitiness. It is available today in cans, on tap and growlers at the brewery and cans at Marie’s and Urban Market.

Staying in Newfoundland, we have a pair of new brews from Quidi Vidi. Starting in the taproom, they’ve got Junior, a super session IPA that keeps it tasty and hoppy. At a paltry 2.3% it still manages to pack a punch of hop flavours bringing in candied orange, citrus fruits, some dark raisin, and a little bit of mint. This one is available only on tap in the taproom.

Reaching further onto the big screen, the brewery has partnered with the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival for the third straight year. Director’s Cut: Strawberry Kiwi Sour is a 5.8% sour that will be featured at NLCs and convenience stores across the province. For the third year in a row, the labels on the cans are done by 32 female artists from Newfoundland and Labrador, so there are 32 different pieces of artwork from female creatives for the same beer release. The Film Festival runs from the 13th until the 17th of October, but the beer is available today, and in stores starting October 11th.

Three in a row for Newfoundland, as Bay Roberts’ Baccalieu Trail Brewing has a limited release available now. Dyes for it is a lagered ale, Kolsch-style ale brewing with Pilsner and Munich malts and balanced with late additions of German Hersbrucker and French Strisslespalt hops. This 5% crispy, lager-like beer will have great Noble Hop aromas and is a label and name conceptualized by one of their employees, packaging technician extraordinaire Haley. It’s available in 473ml cans at the brewery, at Marie’s locations. 

Go for it, Connect Four with Newfoundland breweries, as Boomstick Brewing brings an Oktoberfest release to Cornerbrook. Dunkelweizen is a dark wheat beer featuring smooth, maltiness, with great aromas of fruit and spice. This is a 5% release that is well balanced and is easily drinkable. You can find this on tap at the brewery or in 473ml cans in Corner Brook and will soon make its way to the St. John’s area.  Be sure to check out the brewery’s Oktoberfest celebrations this Saturday October 9th.

Heading back down to NS, where Good Robot has a new Goodwill Partner (formerly Goodwill Bot) in the form of The Limestone Group. You may know the LG from previous Good Robot joints, or that GR’s own Giovanni Johnson is one of the prime movers of the group. In short, they’re a group of native Bahamians living in Halifax who love nothing more than to share their Caribbean culture through tropical beverages (most often beer and beer-adjacent) and good times. Based around the idea of a “switcha” which is a heat-beating citrus beverage from the Bahamas powerful enough to make you “switch up” your face, Hard Limeade Switcha is a fruited radler, which means there’s some beer in there as well. At 5.7% ABV, it’s a bit heartier than your average radler, but we’re guessing that’s to help it bear up against the citrus punch. Being part of the Goodwill Partner initiative, proceeds from this one will go towards the good work of the Limestone Group. Although you can grab cans of Switcha now, you might also want to consider checking out the official launch event happening on October 23rd at GR; keep your eyes peeled on GR/LG social media for more info on that!

The pride of Ashdale, just east of Windsor, Nova Scotia, Meander River Farm and Brewery has a fresh seasonal release, their 2021 Homegrown, a wet-hopped ale. Each year the hops in this release change and this year brings  a light, zesty, sessionable ale made solely with hops from their farm, namely the Galena and Newport varieties. Having a slightly hazy appearance and boasting zesty and wild berry aromas, this 4.5% session ale has medium bitterness with plenty of grassy notes and a crispy finish. Take a lovely fall drive to pick it up from the farm or order online. 

Tatamagouche is famous for its annual Oktoberfest celebration, and coinciding with this year’s modified events, Tatamagouche Brewing is releasing the Sepia Marzen. This version relies primarily on Munich malt with a touch of Vienna and malted wheat, plus some small volumes of speciality malts for colour. The boil stage of the brewing process was extended to extract as much malt character as possible. This is a style that requires enough hop character and bitterness to balance the delicious, bready, sweet malt. Tata used Magnum hops for bittering and some Mittelfruh and Tettnanger as late additions. A partial natural carbonation was also used to create a drinking experience that screams “one more”. Per the style, expect notes of bread crust, toast and malt. We know that this one will be on tap at the Stilly BG event this Saturday, but you’ll likely be able to find it at the brewery soon as well. Keep an eye on their online store for availability in cans later this month.

Newfoundland seekers of gluten-free beers should check out Port Rexton this weekend for a fruited take on their Gluten-Free Sour. This version includes the elusive haskap berry, giving notes of jelly beans, blueberry and some sour apple. Haskap berries are gaining popularity as a superfruit for their antioxidants and other health benefits (don’t @ us blueberry lobby groups). The sour comes in at 5% ABV and is available now in Port Rexton on tap or in cans. Look for it to hit the shelves at the St. John’s retail location next week.

We’ve only got one New Brunswick brewery to mention in this section this week, but they’re making up for the slow NB news week with the release of two beers. Up first for Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing is Killed by Death a 10% Triple IPA. This TIPA features a massive dry-hop of Mosaic, Citra and Vic Secret. Expect tons of tropical and citrus aromas in this big hazy IPA.  Up next is Cherry Pie Sour, a 6% kettle sour featuring pie cherries and the addition of some species to give a hint of graham cracker. Both beers are available now in cans/growlers to go and on tap for pints.

Although their oeuvre remains vast and varied, you may have noticed over the last year or more that Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing has put some real emphasis on their lagers. From the traditional continental stylings of Letna and Waltz and Milosh and the recent smoky Signals, to the new world and old world with a twist entries like Dos Cuervos, Vitis, and Refresh, if you’re a lager lover it’s been a great ride. And that ride continues with this week’s new entry, a “rustic lager” they’ve dubbed Harrington. What’s a rustic lager, you may ask? I’m not sure we know either, but what we can tell you is that it’s got an interesting story behind it. PEI maltster Shoreline Malting decided to explore the malt variety of the same name this year, a variety that was incredibly popular from the mid-80s to the late-90s and then all but disappeared. Interested in seeing how it compared to more modern strains, they arranged to get some, PEI grown, and put it through the malting process. And where Lagers tend to be somewhat better styles for showing off the character of malt, it should be no surprise that they chose 2 Crows to put the malt through its paces. But that wasn’t the end of the fun: 2 Crows were not alone in this brew, they brought in another one of Canada’s best breweries to share the fun, Indie Alehouse out of Toronto. Of course, all the malt in this brew was the Shoreline Harrington, to which some raw wheat was added, and the grist was mashed with a schedule designed to maximize foam and stability. A little bit of Mandarina Bavaria and Diamant hops were added to provide the requisite balance, and the resulting wort was fermented low and slow with Escarpment Labs’ Isar Lager yeast strain. Post-fermentation this was was lagered long and low, resulting in a 3.9% ABV and 20 IBU beer where fresh, bready malt is the star of the show, with some subtle floral notes, and an ultra crisp finish. Out now in cans available from the brewery, there will be a launch party for it tomorrow evening (Saturday, October 8) from 4 – 10 PM as part of the Patio Lanterns Festival, with DJ CPR, Disco Stu, DJ Douvet, playing tunes, soft pretzels for snacking from Gingerbread Haus, and plenty of Harrington to drink! 

A couple Oktoberfest reminders, an Anniversary celebration, book and cider launch, plus a few more things to get you out the door this weekend!

If you’re in Charlottetown and not ready to be done with Oktoberfest yet, we remind you that PEIBC is doing their OktoberFEAST this weekend. See our post from September 24th for the info and some links to more!

And if you’re in Halifax (or planning to be tomorrow), a reminder that the Stillwell Beergarden is celebrating Oktoberfest tomorrow, from noon until *chilly*, with ten German-inspired beers on tap, plenty more in cans and bottles, including the Tata Sepia Marzen above and plenty more from NS, NB, and PEI, plus imports from Ontario (Sonnen Hill and Tooth & Nail). Sausages and pretzels, roving live music, and plenty more! Check this IG post for the full taplist, and we’ll see you there! 

Cornwall’s Village Green is celebrating their one year anniversary this Saturday (October 9) with food, music and of course, great beer. Let’s start with the beer. In addition to their core lineup, VG will have a new release, a sneak peek at a full upcoming release, and returning favourites. Up first is a new version of Cream Ale. Coming in at 5.2% ABV, this one features Pilsner malt, malted wheat and flaked corn in the malt bill, and a touch of Perle hops to round things out. Cream Ale will be on tap and has also been canned if you’re looking to grab something to go. Look for the sneak peek at Wheelie’s Hazy Pale, inspired by the creepyful antique toy discovered in the province last year, which took the internet by storm. We’ll have full details on it, and its launch event with PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation, next week. This weekend’s celebration will also see the return of fan favourite Tripel. This one was brewed and first released back in the Spring, but one keg was cellared for the anniversary. The 9.4% take on the style recently won a Bronze medal at the Canadian Brewing Awards and will be on tap for 5 oz pours. Food will also be available on-site starting at noon care of Sneaky Cheats in the form of smoked bologna and tofu sandwiches. Freshly shucked PEI oysters will also be available. This fully-vaxxed event goes from 12 to 9:00 PM. Cheers to the Modern Brewer and everyone at Village Green!

Another event combining great food and fermented beverages is happening Saturday at the Sourwood taproom. Bryan Picard, owner of The Bite House in Big Baddeck, Cape Breton, will be releasing his new cookbook and conjunction with some new cider releases. For those who don’t know, prior to Covid, The Bite House was an extremely sought after restaurant on Picard’s property that typically sold out a year’s worth of reservations within minutes each year. Since then Picard has been focusing on catering, pop-ups, developing the cookbook and doing cool collabs, like this one with Sourwood. Let’s get to the ciders. First up are two made from an unknown variety of yellow apples from a 100-year old tree on the Bite House property. Unknown Legend is a piquete style cider made with the apples. Juice from the same apples was then combined with Bite House water to make a smaller piquette-style version, Petite Legend. Both will be available on Saturday in bottles. The release will also include Field Blend, a canned cider using a variety of apples foraged from the Bite House grounds. Swing by Sourwood from noon to 4:00 PM on Saturday to grab a cookbook, meet the author, and enjoy some interesting ciders.

Spreading joy to all and creating safe spaces is exactly what beer and society should be. Queer Garden is a cooperative in North End Halifax that is a backyard feel establishment with food, drink and more! Available by reservation only, check out their website and their Instagram page for more info. They’re currently featuring some beer from Upstreet, wine, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages. They are launching a fundraiser for a permanent more inclusive location, and are holding two events this weekend to see that come to fruition. Sunday, Oct 10, from 2 – 8 PM, they are holding a “Goodbye Summer” event at their location. DJs all day, great fun and booze!

Here’s the quick hits portion of our program for this week, with a bunch of new releases around:

The leaves are changing, which can only mean two things in Cape Breton – traffic jams on the Cabot Trail and Fall seasonal beers. Breton Brewing is getting in on the action with the return of Maple Lager and Oktoberfest Lager. The former is made with maple syrup sourced from the island, and features notes of caramel, bread and maple with a 5.5% ABV. Oktoberfest is a 5.3% Märzen-style lager brewed in collaboration with Saltbox Brewing. Per the style, look for a big bready malt profile with enough bitterness to keep things balanced. Cans of both are available at the taproom now and for delivery in HRM/CBRM.

In New Brunswick (between Quispamsis and Sussex), Hampton Brewing has a new release from their new brewery. Straddling the Fence is a Session Ale featuring their newest recipe with a low bitterness, smooth finish and flavours of passionfruit, strawberry mango and citrus. Different base malts were used here, with honey malt adding a bit of sweetness. This is available now only from the brewery. 

If you’re near Moth Lane Brewery on PEI, make sure you check out Stargazer, a new 5% seasonal fall release with fresh hops right from the Island. Well-balanced and a delicious sipper, it is available now from the brewery. 

Over in Windsor, Schoolhouse Brewery is back with a new release from their Local Hop Series, Freshman is a NEIPA in its 2021 iteration. Made with the freshest possible hops (not dried, freshly picked wet hops) is a 5.9% hazy New England IPA that is available today in 473ml cans. 

And lastly, but not leastly, there’s beer to be made and somebody’s got to do it. Could that person be you?

If you’re looking for a brewing position in our region you could do worse than the gorgeous South Shore of Nova Scotia. Fortunately, if that’s your bent, there’s one available! Saltbox is looking for someone to brew in their 10 BBL brewhouse and take part in the production of their beers, ciders, and RTD products to feed their distribution channels including local sales, the NSLC, private stores, and tap accounts. As head brewer, you’d lead recipe formulation, yeast management, ordering, and coordinating distro. There’s also a SABCO system for experimental brews, as well as the smaller systems at King Street Beer in Bridgewater and Lightship Brewery in Lunenburg. A real soup to nuts opportunity! Look for all the details, including how to apply, at this link.