Spindrift Brewing

All posts tagged Spindrift Brewing

We are just over two weeks from Christmas and ‘tis the season as they say! As the weather turns colder, the snow starts falling and we’re all going to get busier, so if you’re like us, you may want to stock up on those holiday bevvies now. With other things going on with the blog boys (that’s us) we have a (mostly) quick-hit style update for you, so let us know what you think about the format. Like, comment and subscribe! (Trust us, you don’t want to see us on YouTube.)

News from Spindrift kicks us off this week, with Hefe Weissbier releasing today (Friday). Made with a malt bill of wheat malt, Superior Pilsen and Carapils, and balanced with Magnum and Perle hops, this is a true to style 5.4% Weißbier, bringing banana and clove flavours, as you would expect. It’s available in 473ml cans at the Dartmouth and Antigonish locations, and also on tap for pints and growler fills.

Speaking of Antigonish this weekend (beer-wise), Half Cocked is releasing two beers and hosting an all-day Christmas Celebration. On Saturday from 2 PM onwards, there will be a pop-up from Teasdale Apothecary Co, leading into live music, tree lighting, ugly christmas sweater contest and food bank donations until close. This celebration coincides with the re-release of Pete’s Sake Blonde Ale and a new release with Teasdale Apothecary Co. Nobo is a Norwegian Farmhouse Ale made with hibiscus, dried cranberries, orange blossoms, bee bread and the Voss Kviek yeast strain. It’s 4.5% ABV and very soft on the palate, with delicate flavours. Both of these ales are available in cans at the brewery, but keep an eye out in coming weeks for kegs to make it to the HRM at Stillwell and Battery Park. With all of the COVID circumstances in Antigonish over the past week or so, be sure to keep an eye on the Half Cocked social media for any event-affecting updates. 

Next up is Rothesay’s Long Bay Brewery, releasing a new Winter seasonal beer, Forest for the Trees. This is a  Black IPA, with a touch of nutty roast flavour leading into big IPA flavours of tropical hops and a bit of resin, pine and a chocolate on the finish. Available now from the brewery and ANBL’s across Southern New Brunswick, you’ll find it in 473ml cans clocking in at 6% and 60 IBU.

Happy Birthday to Rough Waters! They’re celebrating their second anniversary and have a new release to commemorate the occasion. High Tide is a bourbon barrel-aged Witbier and the first barrel release from the brewery. Using their base recipe for Wits End, the beer was transferred to a Buffalo Trace bourbon barrel for aging after primary fermentation. After six months in the barrel, it was bottle conditioned for another month before being released. Apple, oak, and some spice from the bourbon barrel should pair nicely with the coriander and citrus from the witbier. This is available in 750ml corked and caged bottles only from the Deer Lake brewery. 

For the ciderheads out there, Lake City Cider is releasing Cider Royal, a collaboration with Compass Distilling, that sees their acclaimed Gin Royal and blended with the stalwart Lake City Darkside Dry. Classic botanicals from the gin, along with honey and royal jelly notes complement the dry, crisp and citrus notes from the cider. It pours a slight purple colour that is sure to please the eye as well as the palate. A very solid 8.5% ABV, it’s been packaged in 355ml cans available at the cidery and online for delivery. 

No strangers to holiday brews and bundles, North Brewing has both for us this weekend. First, a new release, Sequence, a classic Belgian table beer, is a 3.5% full-flavoured yet crisp and refreshing beer with citrus notes that will provide a lovely low-ABV option to have on hand this season. It’s available now in 473ml cans at all the usual places. And while you’re picking that one up, this week also sees a return of the sour series, Plush! We’ve seen Plush before in Peach, Raspberry and Blackberry variants, but this release is a straight up, unfruited dry-hopped sour. Galaxy and Bru-1 feature in the dry-hop to bring a big kick as soon as you open the can and take a sip.

Lastly, as briefly mentioned last week, North is doing a Holiday Box again this year, which features 12 cans of North beverages, along with a 15oz North stein. The stein is exclusive to the holiday box, but so is one of the beers. Eisbock, (literally, “ice bock”) is made by partially freezing a bock-style beer then removing the ice crystals, thus reducing the water content and raising the richness and ABV. The recently released Timberbock was the obvious choice for this process, and this release marks the first time North has done this style (at least, on purpose according to them!) and we can’t wait to try it.  Order all of these treats and check out more details on the North website or in their Timberlea, Battery Park, and Dartmouth locations. 

A big release in time for the cold weather is here from Copper Bottom: Knox’s Dam is a bourbon barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout. Named after a local site that was once a grist mill, and later a hydroelectric dam that powered the entire town of Montague, “Knox’s Dam now lays claim to one of PEI’s only man-made waterfalls and one of Eastern PEI’s best kept secrets.” The beer was aged for 12 months and tips the scales at a hefty 9.4%, and it’s available now from the brewery only. 

So you know you’re old (and probably a former English major) when you read in your email that Delta Force is releasing a beer, an English Barleywine, no less, called Tom Hardy and you think about how they’ve got another beer called Wessex and how they’re situated in the picturesque Annapolis Valley and you’re mentally whisked away to idyllic scenes from “Far from the Madding Crowd” and “The Return of the Native” and “The Trumpet Major.” And then you keep reading and you see a reference to the movie Inception (which you’ve shamefully never seen) and you’re jarred back into a reality where Tom Hardy is an actor and you were thinking of 19th century English novelist Thomas Hardy and you weep for your lost youth. So aaaanyways, building on the quote by Hardy’s character in Inception, “You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling,” the team at DF along with their good friend (and longtime Stilly bartender) Taylor Mappin endeavoured to interpret the classic style in a large way. Bottled in mercifully-sized 330ml bottles, this 11.5% ABV monster will no doubt make a lovely fireside sipper whilst you read (or, re-read) some classic English lit over the holidays, or perhaps watch that movie about the dreams and the hey hey.

Also available this week from Delta Force is a new batch of their Operation Assay APA. Taking a cue from the turn of the seasons, they’ve subbed in the classic “Chico” American ale yeast strain for the heat-loving Kveik they were using during the warmer months. Still a lovely straight-ahead APA at 5.3% ABV, still packaged in 500ml bottles. You can grab both of these releases through the usual channels and if you throw four more beers into that order, you’ll get 10% off your order!

Sometimes, despite all the best efforts, things go a little bit sideways. Such is the case with one of the summertime releases from Good Robot Brewing in Halifax. Limeade Switcha was a Fall collaboration release with The Limestone Group in their Goodwill Beer series. Unfortunately, any remaining cans of that beer, while still safe to drink, are not safe to hang on to. You can read the full explanation in this Fb post. We’d like to commend the GR team on doing the right thing here: they’re reaching out to the public, taking ownership, providing detailed instructions on disposal, and offering refunds on the affected beer. These things can happen to any brewery; it’s how the brewery responds that makes all the difference.

If you’re anything like us, you’ve enjoyed and appreciated quite a few beers from breweries in our region over the past few years that have featured tea and/or herbal infusions (“tisanes,” apparently!) from World Tea House on Argyle Street and it’s owner/resident tea nerd, Phil Holmans. When the team at 902BrewCast realized this, they decided it would be a great idea to do an episode with Phil and sample some of those beers. That episode is now up and available at the 902BC site or wherever you get your podcasts.

We’ve got another holiday beer box hitting Nova Scotia this season, as New Scotland Brewing takes a riff off of Quality Street chocolate boxes and brings us their Quality Beers 12 Days of Christmas collection. Featured in this box are their favourite releases over the past year along with one annual re-release and three brand new small batch brews. First up is the annual release of Slowburn, a chocolate and chili porter that was found on Nitro at the brewery in years past, but this year it has been canned for the first time ever. A medium-to-full bodied porter that is “double dry-hopped” with local chillies over four weeks bring a spicy and smooth mouthfeel along with black cherry and chocolate flavours at 6.1% and 34 IBU.

For the new releases, we start with Playlist, another porter, but more approachable and in a classic Porter style that is slightly roasty and a malt-forward flavour at 4.6%. Balanced Breakfast is another new can that is made with a bunch of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal! An American Brown ale made with massive additions of the cereal in the mash, the whirlpool and in the fermenter as well, this came out at 7.6% and should have a very interesting flavour profile.

Rounding out the new releases is Merry Citrus, their beer-y take on a Christmas Day mimosa. They’re calling it a Mimosa Lager, as it was brewed as a lager, but with extra enzymes added to mimic the bone dry finish of champagne. Additions of orange peel and orange, lemon, and lime juices make this a bubbly treat for the morning or anytime. Even at 6.3% it’s still lower than your average Mimosa, but if you’re concerned about day drinking you can share with friends! 

A couple of events going on these days, in the form of contests. With prizes!

Shelburne’s Boxing Rock Brewing has a holiday contest on the go this year, partnering with Sportwheels Sports Excellence to give away $1,000 in brand new hockey gear along with a year’s supply of Puck Off Lagered Ale. How much is a year’s supply? The best way to find out would be to enter and win, we think! Check out the official contest page for all the details on entering.

Those of us who are old enough to remember the late ‘90s (or are old enough that they should remember the ‘late 90s, anyway) know that 1997 was the magical year when craft breweries became a real “thing” in Halifax. Although Granite (RIP) had been around for a decade, ‘97 was the year when Garrison and Propeller (and Maritime Beer Company, ‘member them?) managed to cut through the red tape and open up. If you’re at all good at math you’ll be able to confirm that that means 2022 marks 25 years of Garrison Brewing in Halifax. As you can imagine, they’re fixing to celebrate that, starting with a contest. Check out this Instagram post for all the details, and brace yourself, we figure this is probably the first of many #cheersto25years posts to come over the next 12 months; hopefully all of them will involve fun contests and/or tasty beer!

A quick as the quick hits above were, these quick hits are, dare we say, quicker:

Big Spruce brings two returning favourites this week! First up, Kölsch Encounters is a 5.6% lagered ale with a great malt profile and a classic sparkling, crisp, and dry finish. Secondly, The Inhaled Affirmative is a 4.1% Pilsner that is crispy and complex in flavour, with notes of wheat, biscuit and a great balancing bitterness. Both of these are available in 473ml cans directly from the brewery, in-person or online (and usually some gets to Bishop’s Cellar and the other private stores in HRM as well). 

Joining the local craft non-alcoholic release train is Propeller! NA Lager releases today at 0.5% and is crisp and clean with light flavours of citrus and peach. Available in the super-crushable 355ml can format, this is available at both Propeller locations, their online store and several private stores in HRM. 

North Street’s Unfiltered Brewing in Halifax is back with another batch of Inducement IPA! As always they won’t give you anything to encourage you to drink it, but this 7.5% IPA, packed with Simcoe and Falconer’s Flight and available in cans, growlers, pints and kegs is its own reward. Grab it any time after noon today at the brewery and/or Charm School next door.

Keeping with returning favourites, Breton Brewing has a seasonal holiday release back today: Cocoa Envy is a Chocolate Porter with creamy, sweet, roasted flavours and a touch of coffee to boot. It’s 6.5% and cans are available now in their taproom or online for delivery. 

Ninepenny in Conception Bay South, NL, has another perfect release for the season with The Dragon. A Barrel-Aged Imperial Porter at 7.8%, it features oak flavours complementing plum and cherry notes from the porter, along with some fruity apple and pear esters. This is available only at the taproom in 500ml bottles. 

Another holiday release for the fine Maritimers comes from Foghorn in Rothesay. Festivus is a blend of their Maple Rye and Winter Warmer ales, aged for 6 months in oak barrels and conditioned on local blue berries. The resulting ale is complex with dark, sweet, and oak flavours. This 7.5% ale is available in 650ml bottles only from the taproom fridge at the brewery. 

Back in NS, Chester’s Tanner Brewing has a new hybrid beer release. Gamay is a blend of their house Saison recipe and 75lbs of freshly pressed Gamay Noir skins from Lightfoot & Wolfville. There were no commercial yeast additions with this beer: it was fermented solely by the wild bacteria present on the grape skins. Expect this one to have complex flavours and some great cherry notes as well. At 7% and 25 IBU, it is available in 500ml bottles 

Some beer-adjacent kitchen positions are available with a great bunch of folks over in Cole Harbour:

As we’ve previously mentioned, there are some big changes happening at North Brewing, and 2022 will see Side Hustle moving out on their own to Downtown Dartmouth and that means North will be doing their own Indian style street food and diner classics at their Cole Harbour location! Planning to open in January 2022, the North team is looking add full-time and part-time kitchen staff for their new food offerings. Line cooks, prep cooks and dishwasher are all needed; check out North’s job postings to find out more about the positions. Candidates can contact devan@northbrewing.ca with their resumé if interested.

Well, you’ve done it! You’ve survived another month of wild weather in the region, with snow, rain, wind, rain, snow, and even t-shirt weather for a short blink of the eye. As the weather turns and stays colder, the breweries and ciderhouses continue to change their focus to products with a bit more heft, so keep those eyes peeled for the bottles and cans below, as well as the many others on the shelves and taps in Atlantic Canada this month!

Why not start this week with some cider love? Beausoleil Farmstead Cidery & Vineyard is located on Church Street in Port Williams, a short drive from the centre of town. A small but mighty family team oversees the cider (and wines) coming together, from tree (and vine) to fruit to glass, keeping true to their philosophy of sustainable farming and cellar experimentation. They are celebrating their First Anniversary this weekend, and releasing two new blends to mark the occasion. Oak’d is a 6.8% barrel-aged cider made from a blend of Annapolis Valley-grown apples, including McIntosh, Cortland, and Golden Russet. After six months of aging in French oak barrels, it was finished with just a touch of fresh-pressed juice, to bring some soft tannins and hint of acidity to the rich notes of toasted spice and baked apple in the base cider. Taking a different approach for the second new release is Mimosa, Beausoleil’s take on the popular brunch (or anytime!) drink. Starting with base of Chardonnay wine, it was infused with fresh oranges, blended with Annapolis Valley cider, and given a touch of effervescence to enhance the experience. Wine, cider, and citrus never tasted so good! Both Oak’d and Mimosa are available this weekend at their tasting room (open 1 – 4 PM both Saturday and Sunda), as well as their online shop for local delivery.

Dark beer lovers rejoice! Propeller Brewing is continuing their foray into the dark and festive beers with the latest take on their Porter, Chocolate Orange Porter. Building on the full-bodied and roast-filled original, the addition of chocolate and orange makes this a lovely festive beer. Available on tap now at the two Propeller tap rooms, cans are also available at their retail locations, online for local delivery and Canada-wide shipping, as well as the private stores in town and at the airport (including in the Harvest Beer and Cider Advent Calendar, where you’ll be drinking that later today [sorry for the spoiler!]).

Back to cider, as Wolfville’s Annapolis Cider Company has the latest in their Something Different Series this week, Arctic Kiwi Rosé. Locally-grown Arctic Kiwis (think miniature hairless kiwis that are capable of handling the local cooler climate) were juiced and fermented with ACC’s signature dry-fermented base, offering bright tropical notes and a little body. This blend was finished off with fresh-pressed Geneva crab apple juice for a bit of acidity and astringency, as well as the signature rosé colour. Available now at their tasting room on Main Street, each bottle refill of the 6.1% sparkling Arctic Kiwi Rosé sees $0.50 donated to support the Wolfville Area Food Bank.

Sackville, Nova Scotia’s very own brewery, Ol’ Biddy’s, has both brew and news for you this week. On the beer side, Merry Rye-solution is, beyond its tortured name, a re-release of a holiday treat from years past. Featuring plenty of rye for a characteristic spiciness along with some demerara sugar to provide seasonal notes of molasses and toffee, it was bittered to 26 IBU to ensure some balance and has a drying finish. Deep copper in color and weighing in at a burly 9.4% ABV, it’s not to be trifled with; you’ll find it at the brewery, of course, along with select NSLC locations. On the news side, the gang at OB is happy to report that they’re going to be making it easier for you to get their beer this busy season by bringing it directly to you! For the next three Saturdays, starting tomorrow, if you’re within 10km of the brewery, you’ll be able to place an order for local delivery. In addition to the 10km limit, you’ve got to be spending $24 to qualify for $5 delivery or $50 for free delivery (we don’t know about you, but we don’t find it difficult to turn a $25 order into a $50 order when beer is involved!!) You’ll also need to be of appropriate drinking age (19, last we checked) and home, with ID handy to accept the delivery. Your order must be received by 6 PM the Friday before the delivery date to qualify. Look for the new “delivery” option when ordering on their site and follow the prompts! You can also order kegs for delivery, but you’ll need to call them brewery directly and talk to Chris about that. Lastly, if you do decide to drop down to their taproom for a pint or to pick some stuff up, why not bring a donation for Feed Nova Scotia? You’ll be doing needy folks some good and meanwhile enter to win a Weber Kettle BBQ.

From Sackville to Spryfield, where Serpent Brewing is releasing a big holiday brew of their own in the next week. Three Kings is a rum barrel aged beer in the Belgian Dark Strong style. “What’s a Belgian Dark Strong,” you ask? Well, it uses Belgian yeast for characteristic spicy and estery character, it’s dark in color, and b’y, she’s strong, at 11% ABV. Aged in barrels from Compass Distillers, it’s got notes of pepper, dark fruits, wood-aged rum, and plenty of warmth. There are three different labels coming for this, and by all means, collect them all, but we wouldn’t recommend drinking them all in one night. Or even one weekend, really. Check Serpent socials (Ig/Fb/Tw) for more on when this one is released.

Dartmouth’s Lake City Cider is celebrating the season with the return of their collaboration with Change is Brewing Collective. A little refresher on this one, the fine folks of Change is Brewing visited the Portland Street taproom to put together a winter seasonal to perfectly pair with a hearty holiday meal. Enter Forest Glory, a blend of all Nova Scotian apples and cranberries, infused with locally-grown rosemary, thyme, and juniper. Herbaceous and tart, this 6.8% cider is available again for purchase in the retail store as well as online for local delivery or shipping. All proceeds of sales go toward community-lead non profit organizations working to create space and opportunities for the BIPOC community, both in and out of the drinks industry.

It’s a Big Week for Big Spruce, as they have two new releases to tell us, and y’all, about! Building on the popularity of last year’s From Nova Scotia with Love Collaboration with Boston’s Harpoon Brewery, they’ve done it all over again! For anyone not in the know, after the Halifax Explosion, hundreds of support workers from Northeast US came to help with medical treatment and support. In recognition of that, each year the province of Nova Scotia sends down a Christmas tree to the city of Boston. In 2020, Big Spruce and Harpoon came together for an epid Whiskey Barrel Aged Abbey Ale (read more about it here), and they are one-upping themselves this year, with the Bûche de Nöel Imperial Milk Stout. Taking cues from the holiday Yule Log dessert, the beer itself is big and bold, with plenty of rich Belgian chocolate and fresh-roasted coffee, with cacao nibs and a hint of juniper. Oh, and all of that was aged in a Glenora Single Malt Whiskey Barrel! Cans are available at the Sprucetique and online for delivery now, with kegs delivered and pouring now/shortly at Battery Park, HopYard Halifax, and Bar Stillwell!

Returning favourite, and only available on draught, is Fou D’Amour, a Barbe Rouge-solo-hopped Double IPA. Weighing in at a hefty 8.0% and XXX IBU (your guess is as good as ours!), this French-grown hop is known for tropical and citrus notes, think strawberry and grapefruit and kumquat! Built on a hazy and pillowy base, you’ll be able to grab a pint in Nyanza this weekend, and coming soon to Battery Park and Stillwell at any moment.

Heading from one island to another, up on The Rock in Mt. Pearl, Newfoundland (& Labrador!) Landwash Brewery has a hoppy new brew hitting the taps this week. Frozen Coves is a DIPA in their Limited Series that they’ve hopped generously with Bru-1, Ekuanot, and HBC 586 to give this 7.2% banger a fruity punch of peach, pineapple and tangerine. Available at the brewery for pints to stay and in cans to go, it’ll also be showing up at Marie’s Mini Mart locations and NLC over the next week or so. If hops aren’t your thing, and you lean towards the deeper, darker beers, have no fear, Landwash has you covered there too. Cake Tray, 2021 edition, was inspired by the good old classic Newfoundland Snowball, which if you’re not familiar means you ought to expect lots of chocolatey and coconut character. A stout, of course, plenty of dark malts give it color and body and coconut gives it, well, what you’d expect. At 7% it should have a touch of holiday warmth for you as well. Available now at retail, but if you’ve got a few minutes to sit and enjoy one in the taproom you’ll be rewarded by a pour off the nitro tap, which will impart a super-creamy body that you can’t get any other way. You’ll see this one at Marie’s soon as well.

Now is the time to enjoy the fruits of the annual collaboration between North Brewing and Benjamin Bridge Winery. We told you about these a couple weeks ago (did we jump the gun on that? Ooops!) but we’re sure they’re both available now at all North retail locations. Musqué is a big ‘ol double IPA at 8% fermented on Musqué grape skins, of course, and Blanc is a much smaller and more delicate Grisette fermented on Sauvignon Blanc skins. We recommend experiencing both yin and yang by grabbing both of them. Even better, $0.50 from each can sold of both beers goes to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. Meanwhile, North also has two other beers back this week for repeat engagements. Midnight Figgy Pudding is a batch of Midnight, their strong dark Belgian that was split between 4 Glenora Distillery whiskey barrels for over two years before being blended with figs, dates, and vanilla. Be gentle with this one as it’s 10.5% ABV, perfect for an evening by the fire wrapping presents, we’d bet! And if you’re looking for something a little more breakfast-y, Stack o’ Pancakes might have you covered. Nominally a pastry stout (we all agree pancakes are pastry, right? Like, “cake” is right in the name and everything!!) this imperial-strength (9% ABV) beer featured plenty of chocolate malt in the grist for roasty chocolate flavors as well as maple syrup (of course), vanilla, and salt! Grab these two beasts from North the next time you’re there or order for curbside pickup, local delivery, or nation-wide shipping. If you’re a fan of North you may also want to grab one of their Holiday Boxes: 12 North beers (oh, fine, eleven beers and one seltzer), including the exclusive Eisbock, a lovely glass stein from which to enjoy them, and a holiday card and some custom wrapping paper.

Moncton’s Tide & Boar Brewing has a big and bold beer out today, their first special release from their new brewhouse at 1355 Main Street. In A Beautiful House continues their tradition of massive pastry stouts first started from their 1 BBL brewhouse in their original Gastropub location. Brewed with lactose (aka milk sugar), this 11.9% ABV beer was conditioned on toasted marshmallows and Madagascar vanilla beans, to get all of the sticky sweetness and bold flavours. Only a few flats available at the time of publishing, you’ll want to get down there ASAP to avoid disappointment!

Annapolis Brewing in Annapolis Royal has brought back their Fundy Haze, their house New England IPA. Absolutely overflowing with Galaxy, Sabro, and Mosaic, this hazy beer is juicy, tropical, and ready to go now! And their sister cider company, East Coast Cider Company has released a new perry this week named Pear Cider. Made with locally-grown pears, the perry features delicate floral and fruity notes, with a touch of honey-like sweetness. Available at their taproom on draught and in cans.

Good Robot Brewing is celebrating a mainstay of Enfield, Curly Portables, with their new Curly’s Amber. Building on the legend of woodsman Curly, born in Rawdon Hills in 1895, who went on to invent the triple-bit axe and other fantastical feats, Curly’s features biscuit and caramel malts to balance the light hop bitterness, and made for enjoying a few after splitting and stacking wood. Keep your eyes here and on their IG for more details on Good Robot’s progress in Elmsdale, just down the road from Curly’s. And if you are looking to give back this holiday season, drop off donations for the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre at their Robie Street taproom, full details available in this post. And check out their Holiday Gift Pack for the person who has everything/nothing!

A reminder that both of the recent Ontario Collaborations hosted by 2 Crows in Halifax are now available, the L’Acadie Draw Sauvignon Blanc IPA with Willibald Farm Brewery and Molten Mirrors Saison/Lager hybrid with BeerLab!. And if you need a reminder on what exactly those are, we gave you all the info you need in last week’s post. Also worth your time is that 2C is having a sale on select 355ml cans in their fridge, which means you can get a flat of Matinee, Tiny Dancer, or Dos Cuervos for just $50. Create your own Advent Calendar on the cheap! Deal is available at the taproom, as well as their online shop, which means free HRM delivery!

Dartmouth’s Spindrift has engaged in a bit of a reinvention over the last year or so, as they pivoted from being the “(almost) all lager, (almost) all the time” brewery to a bit more of an industry standard product range where the primary focus is on ales (don’t worry, though, folks, we’re pretty sure your Toller, Toller Gold, and Toller Light aren’t going anywhere). In the process of these moves they’ve also taken the time to reinvent their branding; you may have noticed their slick designs on the shelves and not realized, at least right away, that you were looking at Spindrift offerings (their old branding was pretty iconic too). Anyways, a few of the things they’ve had come out in the last while that you might keep your eyes out for include:

  • Horizon Blonde Bitter – a light and approachable beer in the classic style, coming in at 4.3% ABV and 27 IBU, with classic British hopping from Northdown and Challenger and notes of orange, tea, and a touch of stone fruit.
  • Grapefruit Spaceship Grapefruit IPA – does what it says on the tin, of course, at 6% ABV, with some very tropical and citrusy hops, namely Galaxy, Comet, and Eureka, boosted by plenty of grapefruit juice, and all balanced with classic West Coast IPA-style sweetness from caramel malt and a blast of bitterness (53 IBU). 
  • Queen Bee Honey Brown – lots of “honey browns” out there, but this one distinguishes itself by being both properly brown and through the use of actual Canadian honey; expect this 4.8% ABV and 25 IBU easy-drinker to be lighter in body than the appearance would suggest, with notes of coffee, toffee, chocolate, and nuts along with a bit of honey on the finish.

Antigonish powerhouses Candid Brewing and Townhouse Pub have come together for a fun collaboration. Kanpai is a Japanese-style Rice Lager, weighing in at a respectable 4.0% ABV. Light, refreshing, and super-crushable, it has a clean and dry finish, making it the perfect accompaniment to a wide variety of dishes, which is right up the alley of these two neighbouring businesses. Find it on tap now at both locations, with cans dropping mid-month.

Back to Portland Street for a new release from Brightwood Brewery. Shy Guy is a flavoured Gose dreamed up and executed by Assistant Brewer Noah, who took a base of a belgian-yeast-fermented wheat ale, with the addition of blackberry puree, orange peels, and a touch of Himalayan salt. Pouring now in their taproom, cans of Shy Guy should be hitting the shelves any minute now!

It’s that time of year again! Oktoberfest is in the air and COVID cases are rising! With kids back in school, lagers in brite tanks, it feels like we’ve been here before, but this time with vaccinations. There are plenty of events to attend across the Atlantic Region over the next few weeks, but as New Brunswick now has proof-of-vaccination in place and reversal of their mask mandate both there and in Newfoundland, it’s more important than ever to check out your province and establishment protocols. We want to enjoy and celebrate our region as much as possible, so let’s all do it safely, with pretzels in hand!

Nova Scotia’s Delta Force Brewing has emerged from the shadows with a pair of releases today, two takes on an oft-overlooked traditional style. Operation Forge – Stock Ale is being released in both a base version, as well as one that hung out in a fresh oak barrel for a short time, picking up both Brett notes as well as the underlying wood character. These complement the caramel profile in the base beer, thanks to the use of invert sugar, created by converting sucrose to a mix of fructose and glucose. As they do not have a retail location, the best way to grab your Stock Ale, and any of their other 8 offerings available, is to fire them an email to order and request home delivery in HRM or the Hwy 101 Corridor. That same email will get you on the exclusive list to hear about the latest releases before the general public, so don’t sleep on that!

From the rock and one of the loveliest locations in Atlantic Canada, Dildo Brewing has 2 new releases available now. First up is Do-X, named after the series of massive flying boats with a storied past and Newfoundland and Italian connections. In the Italian Pilsner style, a delicious twist on the classic German Pils, it was dry hopped with Noble hops late into the lagering, bringing some spicy, herbal notes making it a very zippy and crisp 5% lager.

Second up this week is the collaboration between Dildo and Burchie’s Gourmet Doughnuts. Donuts for Days is a donut stout using a special donut made just for this beer release. A doughnut/pastry Imperial Stout, this beer was aged on some sweet stuff including raspberries, cocoa, marshmallows and bourbon soaked Madagascar vanilla beans. A welcoming imperial stout at 7.8% it provides rich, sweet, decadent flavours. Both of these new releases are available in 473 mL cans and on draft only at the Dildo brewery and the retail store in St. John’s. 

A few pieces of news from the Good Robot family this week as they have a new beer release and a second location on the way. Golden Juniper is a 5% pale ale brewed with juniper additions and balanced with a piney, resinous hop flavour, this is a beer to enjoy with your forest friends. Low-gluten thanks to the addition of enzymes during fermentation, it is available now for pints in the taproom, and in 473 mL cans to go from the brewery or online for delivery

While news and rumours of Good Robot’s second facility in Elmsdale has been around for a few months, they’re holding a meet (or meat) and greet today, Friday, Sept 24, from 3:30 to 7:30 PM at their new location. At 14 Industrial Way, anyone from the local community is welcome to stop by for a BBQ hosted by the Good Robots themselves. No beer just yet, but check out the Facebook event here and swing by Elmsdale if you can!

Never a stranger to putting out new releases and fresh off a Canadian Brewing Awards win (a bronze medal for their Tripel), Village Green is back with Weird Clouds. Part of an ongoing series, this is version 6, featuring a lovely hop blend with classic American stalwarts Centennial and Simcoe alongside the lovely New Zealand variety of Motueka. This one has a very sweet, fluffy, and tropical flavour and comes in at 6.2%. It’s available now on draft in Cornwall and also in 473 mL cans to go. And while you’re there, you can also grab a tasty favourite (at least of ours!), their Milk Stout, which is available now on tap and in cans. 

Hopping north to another island, St. John’s’ Bannerman is back with a new release. Scenic Route is a blueberry kettle sour ale, made with real blueberry purée and a hint of fresh mint! Dry-hopped with Mosaic, this should have a wonderful aroma and freshness. Pouring with a deep maroon-ish colour it is a 5% ale available today in 473 mL cans only at Bannerman, in addition to being on tap for pints and growler fills. 

After opening the location about 8 weeks ago, Spindrift is launching a beer in honour of Spindrift Oak Manor in downtown Antigonish. According to the brewery, X-Port Ale is an ale/lager hybrid with a lower 5.2% ABV for a more sessionable sipper. And whilst you enjoy this golden straw-coloured beer with a slight grainy and estery aroma, be sure to check out the can design, which features a lovely portrait of Antigonish. Available now in 473 mL cans and on tap in Dartmouth and Antigonish. 

Chester’s own Tanner Brewing has a returning favourite you can get now, Altbier is back and it’s mostly what you’d expect. Always a brewery to put a spin on things, this Altbier is brewed in the Sticke Alt style, a maltier and hoppier version of a traditional Altbier. With a lovely balance of caramel and molasses flavours with bitterness, this checks in at 5.7% and 40 IBU and is a welcome addition as fall arrives and many breweries have their darker seasonals coming back into the fold. Available now in 500ml bottles at both Tanner locations in Chester and Chester Basin; also, they still deliver on Fridays into HRM. 

Ahead of the Nocturne Art at Night Festival, taking place in Halifax October 13 – 16, Propeller Brewing has brought back their annual collaborative fundraising Nocturne Black IPA today. Dry-hopped with Amarillo and Falconers Flight, this black beer has a malty backbone of roast and dark chocolate, melding together for a strong 6.7% balanced brew. Available at their 3 Shops in Dartmouth and Halifax, it is joined by a new release of their Mosaic Pale Ale, now in 6 packs, and heading to select NSLC locations next week.

In mixed good/bad news, unfortunately PEI’s Harvest Home Festival has been canceled, due to rising COVID numbers, to keep everyone involved safe. However, the Copper Bottom Tanglewood Harvest Ale will be released this weekend despite the disappointing news. As they say, the show must go on, therefore the launch will coincide with their regularly scheduled Tunes on Tap event at 3 PM on the 26th. Ward MacDonald, Thomas Harrington, and a few special guests will be entertaining the taproom. Part of their GiveBack Initiative, $1 of each can or pint sold goes toward supporting emerging artists in the province through micro-grants. So, about the beer… Tanglewood is a bright and fresh 5.5% American Pale Ale, featuring freshly-picked Comet hops from Mount Albion’s Island Hop Company’s first harvest! Island Malt House Pilsner malt is at the base, along with Cara and Munich malts for more backbone, balancing some great citrus character from the hops. In addition to cans and draught at the source, keep your eyes peeled in Charlottetown and Halifax for taps pouring the good stuff this weekend.

Lots of news from Nova Scotia’s South Shore this week, with a new beer, new charitable initiative, as well as employment opportunities. Saltbox Brewing in Mahone Bay (and their sister locations King Street Beer bridgewater  in Bridgewater and Lightship in Lunenburg) are celebrating Polish Heritage Month in Nova Scotia with the release of The Big Kowalski. Named in honour of Polish-Nova Scotian author William Kowalski, this 4.7% ABV beer features honey from The Little Bee Farm, bringing floral notes on top of a crisp and light brew. TBK hit the taps at all three locations yesterday at 5 PM, so they’re all ready to accept your pint request!

Saltbox and King Street and Lightship are also looking to expand their growing team, and are in search of some full- and part-time taproom servers to add to the fold. Reach out to Tap Room Manager Natasha to learn more!

The latest in Saltbox’s quarterly charitable efforts has been in support of the Fisherman’s Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, which in turn supports the local healthcare community through bursaries and equipment finance. After donating nearly $1000 through the Fishermans Memorial Golf Tournament this month, they have installed a kindness meter at Lightship to collect donations that will be passed directly to the hospital. Think Social and Drink Local!

The year 2020 was notable and memorable for many things, one of which was the debut of a Pumpkin beer from Boxing Rock. After years of saying they’d never do it (we’ve heard that before from them!), they decided to hop in. Not wanting to drink the “same old, same old” pumpkin spice beer, they put their own spin on it, and came up with Fuego Habanero Pumpkin Ale. Habanero peppers added in the boil give massive heat character, as well as a pleasant flavour, which is complemented by the hints of cinnamon and a touch of black pepper. The result is a mouth-watering beer that is quite drinkable! Cans of Fuego are available at the brewery and retailers now, and it is joined by the latest release of their Back to Birchtown Old Stock Ale, brewed with their (and our) pals at Change is Brewing Collective, in support of the Black Loyalist Heritage Society.

Oktoberfests and events abound this weekend, with Sackville’s TAPestry holding their big celebration this week and next (with Sausages and give-aways Saturday!)…

Special delivery! St. John’s Bar Brewdock has received 6 beers from the other side of the country, with Burnaby, British Columbia’s Dageraad Brewing sending along a mix of kegs and bottles to East Duck. On draught, Dagvar Czech Pils, Burnabarian Table Beer, and Rainshine Blonde. Seven Saison, State of Nature IPA, and Maroc Ale are available in house or to go with food purchase. And keep an eye on their Social Media for more details on their Oktoberfest which kicks off Tuesday Sept 28 and runs all week.

In Dartmouth, Brightwood Brewery, their Waterfront Beergarden, as well as BrightYard will be tapping kegs and casks all weekend to celebrate the season. Sausages from Vessel Meats, special treats from the smoker, and more! Learn more here, and get out to enjoy the beautiful weather while it lasts!

While still a couple of months away, tickets for the Newfoundland Craft Beer Festival’s 12 Beer of Christmas are selling fast, so we suggest you grab yours to avoid disappointment… Your ticket for this November 27th event (with includes many more than just 12 beers, btw) gets you into the St. John’s Farmers Market to eat, drink, and be merry!

And while you’re at it, be sure to keep March 25 and 26, 2022 clear, as this is when the NL Craft Beer Festival makes their triumphant return after the setbacks the last 19 months. Tickets for that event are also on sale and will not last much longer, we reckon! Also taking place in the St. John’s Farmers Market, look for a West Coast celebration to be happening in 2022 as well!

Just a coupla quick hits before we let you go:

Concerned by the Proof of Vaccination for Non-essential Activities policy coming to Nova Scotia October 4th? Let Garrison help assuage that a little bit by dropping down to their taproom with a printed copy of your proof of vaccination, and they’ll laminate it for you! No more fears of dropping it in your beer or it getting too wrinkled to read. May we suggest also having a copy in your recent photos on your phone too, just in case…

Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewery is celebrating Oktoberfest this weekend (and next), as well as the return of their award-winning The Wicker Man Pumpkin Lager… And they have even more reason to celebrate, as co-owner Jerrica Kennedy was recognized by the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton and the Hub City Young Professionals Network as one of Moncton’s Top 20 under 40! Making a difference in the city through activities inside and out of their business pursuits is what garnered the accomplishment. Congratulations Jer and the entire Tire Shack team!

In case you missed our post Monday, the results from the 19th Annual Canadian Brewing Awards were announced on the weekend, and the region’s brewers did quite well. Punching well above their weight were Prince Edward Island’s Copper Bottom and Village Green, earning 4 medals between them, with Grimross leading the charge for New Brunswick, taking home 3 of the 6 medals in the province (Brasseux d’la Cote, Four Rivers, and Moosehead round out the NB winners). Rough Waters took home half of Newfoundland and Labrador’s 4 medals (Port Rexton and Quidi Vidi grabbed one each), and Nova Scotian medals were evenly split between Garrison, Propeller, Tatamagouche, and Uncle Leo’s. Congratulations to all of the winners!