Stillwell Beer Bar

All posts tagged Stillwell Beer Bar

As we did the rounds on social media this week and checked our messages for missives from the (much beloved) folks who send us regular updates or even just notable releases and happenings, it became pretty clear that we’ve reached that magical point in the late summer when many, if not most, of the breweries in our region are pretty much running on fumes. Sure, there’s some new releases out there (Hello 2 Crows), but there’s a definite feeling that the industry is heaving a collective sigh this week and we wouldn’t be surprised to see it stretch one more before the big push for Oktoberfest and fall beers comes on. We know that beer never really sleeps and that new beers are out there, they’ve just got to get out of their fermenters. And into packages. And labeled. And distributed. And…and…and… So while we know that nobody’s actually taking much of a rest, this is a good week to look for what’s left of your summer faves and consider what might be coming down the pike in a couple of weeks. That said, there’s definitely some news this week…

Halifax’s reigning Tiny Tasty Taproom and Good Time Emporium, Tidehouse Brewing, has announced on social media that they will be closing their doors this weekend. After 5 years of slinging the good beer and conversation on Salter Street, welcoming visitors from across the province, country, and world, they will be shutting down at the end of service Saturday night. Not ones to leave anything unsaid or undone, they are closing out with a bang(er) today. Salad Days is a celebration of Tidehouse’s heydays and foray into all sorts of fun adventures, resulting in a 10.5% Triple Milkshake IPA. Big fruit juice character thanks to the massive amount of mango, raspberry, and orange zest added, with Galaxy and Azacca hops lending even more fruity esters. The use of vanilla and lactose/milk sugar help complete the milkshake mouthfeel and sweetness. Salad Days is available on tap and in cans from 4 PM today (and again from 4 tomorrow), as friends, colleagues, and beer fans new and old are welcome to celebrate what Shean, Peter, Shannon, and everyone in the extended Tidehouse family have accomplished. Congratulations folks, plenty to be proud of!

The folks who regularly give these weekly posts a skim are probably well aware that when they see Halifax’s 2 Crows there’s likely several paragraphs afoot and this week is no exception. We don’t know what they put in their coffee over there (although we’ve seen their coffee pot and, well, be glad they sell you beer) but we’re betting it could cost someone an Olympic gold medal.

First up are a couple of beers that we should warn you are not likely to be easy to come by if you’re not planning to be in the environs of St. John’s, NL, a week from today. We previously mentioned the 2C tap takeover at Brewdock on September 17th and, as they tend to do, the gang is bringing some heavy artillery that will no doubt delight the crowd on the Rock. Nanaimo and Big Turk started out with the same base, a base that 2C’s own head brewer has termed “ridiculous.” The grist was based in pale and Vienna malts, with just a touch of specialty grains added, you know, the usual, some flaked oats, Caravienna, Caramunich, chocolate AND light chocolate, Honey malt, Extra Special malt, and Midnight Wheat. That tremendous pile of grain was then double mashed to produce a wort with a sky-high original gravity of 1.127. After fermentation was complete, the batch was split to produce the two beers: Nanaimo received a massive dose of cocoa nibs and coconut, plus a bit of honey and cinnamon. Big Turk was also treated to a massive nibbing, along with vanilla, concord grape, and black cherry. It’s not hard to see what the inspirations for these two were! Described as “super thick, super chewy, super super,” they come in at a bowl-you-over 11.9% ABV, and, for an added touch of awesomeness, will be occupying the nitro taps at Brewdock which will impart maximum smoothness. Boy howdy. Tickets are required for the event, BTW, and can be purchased at Brewdock and now through their online shop. That guarantees your spot inside, as well as your first pint in your own take-away glass.

Also pouring at Brewdock will be the latest in the 2 Crows series of incredibly hoppy NEIPAs. We’re past the point of being able to rhyme off all the various names, but we believe that this is the first new one since Cause for Celebration was released as part of a 4-pack for their 4th anniversary in January of this year. Well now comes Vivid Imagination, which began, as all the others have, with Golden Promise, flaked oats, wheat malt, and chit malt, and hopped in the mash and at first wort with something inconsequential (i.e., for brewing magic reasons, not so much for flavor or aroma). On its way to the fermenter it passed through a pretty good dose of newish hop variety BRU-1 in the hopback, but the real heavy lifting was done by “outrageous” amounts of Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy (along with a little more BRU-1) in the dry-hop. Carbonated via spunding like all the cool kids are doing to lock in the aroma and flavor, you can expect it to be really and truly juicy, with tropical and gooseberry notes. This one will be canned on Monday, at which point it’ll be available for purchase at the brewery.

Already out in the wilds of Halifax and beyond is Signals, a new smoked lagerbier that some (like us!) might consider an ideal style for the transition from summer to fall. Built on a simple grist of floor malted Pilsner and smoked malt, and using a double decoction mash to provide body and foam stability, heavy amounts of traditional Saaz hops were added in the kettle before the beer was fermented low and slow with Escarpment Labs’ Czech Lager strain, known for producing clean and crisp beers and revealing malt and hop subtleties. Coming in at 5.1% ABV and a healthy 38 IBU, the focus here was on drinkability with the smoke providing some interest. Although it’s already been seen on tap at the Stillwell Freehouse and Stilly HQ, packaging logistics won’t allow this one to be released in cans until the 24th or so, at which point you might see a beer and sausage event just about right on time for Oktoberfest. Until then, keep an eye on 2C tap accounts to give it a try! 

Would you believe there’s more? Of course you would, this is 2 Crows! Folks who’ve been fans of the brewery since they opened might remember one of their first barrel-aged offerings, a gin barrel aged sour with blackberry and lemon they called Blackberry Collins. Well there’s a new version of that beer in the offing, finally coming out tomorrow after starting its life as a batch of their standard golden sour base in May, 2020. Aged largely in gin barrels (with a soupçon in a vermouth barrel), it was fermented in oak with a wide variety of house cultures. After a year of aging, it was blended and then conditioned on 200 kg of blackberries and a whackton (3 cases worth) of lemon zest and juice. After the sugars from the fruit had fermented out, it was packaged into clear bottles and allowed to bottle condition. Fruity to the point of jamminess, zesty, and super-bright, you’ll be able to grab this one at the brewery as of this afternoon.

Continuing to put out plenty of new beers, especially considering their size, Truro Brewing Company is back with a new release you can get today. Earlier in the year they held the Hubtown Homebrew Competition and this release is the second featured beer from that event. Cool Shade Stunner was the highest scoring entry in the competition, which tasked brewers to all use the Krispy Kveik yeast from Escarpment. Chelsea Meisner (also known as Lady Scotia Brewing) brings this 5.1% IPA that is crispy, refreshing and hoppy flavour that is balanced and mild in bitterness, with the Cascade, Idaho 7, and Citra hops used late in the process. This is available on tap at the brewery and also in 650 mL bottles.

If you’re like some of us, you think of this time of year and Grimross comes to mind. But then again, we think of all the breweries all the time. First up in beer release news, Bishop Belgian IPA is a seasonal re-release that is back after its debut 2 years ago. A meeting of new world citrusy hops and old world spice, the IPA side brings bold hops and Belgian yeast character brings a beautiful balance to a great style at 50 IBU and 6.0% ABV. This is available on tap at local restaurants all around New Brunswick and 473 mL cans at ANBL locations and the brewery. 

Other news from Grimross is their Grimross Gardens is open! Think of crisp fall days at beer gardens in Europe and go right to Fredericton at 600 Bishop Drive to check out Grimross’ offering. Directly behind the brewery, they’re open from 2pm-10pm, but be sure to check their social media for the latest updates. We hope this is a trend that continues around the region and we hope to get there ourselves!

Never a stranger to new releases, Village Green in Cornwall, PEI, brings another tasty IPA release this week. Fuzzy IPA is a hop-packed, fruity, juicy and balanced IPA that should be sticking around for their regular year round selection. Featuring a malt backbone of Golden Promise with generous amounts of Galaxy hops along with Simcoe and Citra, this brings citrus and stone fruit flavours in a 6.5% tasty package! This is available on tap and in cans directly from the brewery. 

Big congratulations to Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing who brought home some big competition hardware this week! Repeating and improving on their 2020 win at the US Open Beer Championship (Gold in Fruit Gose for Lime Margarita), they have taken home three medals in 2021. The recently-returned Love at Midnight Piña Colada IPA took home Bronze in Fruit IPA, and Parts N Labour took Silver in New England/Juicy IPA (which understandably is a hard-fought category!). And in Gold medal-winning news, their soon-to-return The Wickerman Vienna Pumpkin Lager took top spot. This Best of the Best is slated for release next week on tap and in cans at the brewery, so be sure to stop in to celebrate the new winners in the region! We’ll give you even more reasons to visit next week, as we expect to have more information on a fun multi-week event coming soon!

It’s no secret that Fredericton’s Trailway Brewing makes some of the hoppiest (and haziest!) beers in this end of the country; and although they’ve spread their stylistic wings considerably since they opened, there’s always room in the rotation for a new juicy banger. Enter the rather recent Talus hop, related to Sabro, but considered to have a more robust and complete flavor profile, and one that has not been seen much in these parts, but has definitely been part of some popular beers (e.g., Propeller Brewing’s Cold IPA earlier this year). Who better to give a fresh new hop a spin through the Hopinator5000™ than Trailway? Talus Your Secrets is exactly that, a single hop IPA using Talus so you can see for yourself what the fuss is about. Look for a soft, juicy, and drinkable IPA with notes of pink grapefruit and sweet stone fruit, with elements of coconut, pine resin, and oak as well. You can grab some at the brewery on tap for pints or fills, or in cans to go. And this weekend as a special treat, they’re doing $9.99/box shipping until Monday at 5 PM! So if you’re looking to try this one and/or any of their other offerings, you can do up an order and have it sent anywhere in Atlantic Canada or Ontario for a little cheaper than usual!

It’s back to school, back to Acadia University for some, and back to Church! Two new releases from Wolfville to chat up this week, starting with Gaspereau Gold. A 5.7% Festbier (think of a stronger Oktoberfest beer), with a malty body and a bit higher ABV than your traditional lager. With notes of caramel balanced with Magnum and Tettnanger hops, it’s still an easy drinking, crisp lager that you can’t get enough of. 

Second batter up from Church is New Wave, a Kölsch brewed in the traditional lagered ale style with a North American take. Brewed in collaboration with hop supplier, Brew Culture, it features a new German hop, Callista, used for a dry-hop. The mouthfeel is crisp, but has hop-forward flavours and aromas of pineapple, stone fruit and citrus from the dry-hopping and the Spalter hops that were added to the boil. Both of these beers are available only at the brewery on tap or $10 crowlers to go.

In Bay Roberts, NL, Baccalieu Trail Brewing Company has a new beer that’s not quite available yet, but should be real soon now. Tidy was designed to fill a perceived gap on their taplist, where everything was around 5% ABV and higher. So Tidy is a tiny pale ale, coming in at 3.9% and hazy, with some apricot character from the yeast used. Large low-temperature whirlpool additions of Cashmere, Columbus, and Simcoe provide all the hop character you could want in a little beer. That said, once they figure out what they’re going to dry hop it with, it’ll have more hop aroma for sure! Look for this one to come available next week sometime, so keep an eye on the brewery’s social media accounts (Fb, Ig).

Given their penchant for throwing one of the biggest Oktoberfest bashes in the province, it’s no surprise that Halifax’s Garrison Brewing has their fest-ready beer all queued up and ready to go to get your whistle wet and your appetite set for bier und wurst. Rise ‘n’ Stein is a Hefeweizen, a yeasty (hefe) wheat beer (weizen) known for a lower ABV, hazy appearance, soft mouthfeel, and subtle hints of banana and clove. Although to some it might sound a little odd, if you’ve never had one we suspect you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how refreshing and quaffable that combo is. You can grab this one as of today at Garrison’s Seaport and Oxford locations, and don’t be surprised if it pops up at some or all of the private stores in the city. And stay tuned for more details on this year’s Oktoberfest event, which is set to run the week of September 24th to October 1st!

Plenty more events coming at you in the next couple of weeks!

Halifax’s Bar Stillwell is continuing their trend of ramping back up to some kind of normal with feel good events. This Saturday, September 11 (that’s tomorrow!), look for an all-day, all-Ontario event featuring ciders from Revel Cider, Wines from ibi Wines (also a Revel joint), and beers from Bellwoods. This is your opportunity to try some of the funkiest things being produced for your mouth in this fine country of ours. The flow starts at noon and runs all day; “no reservations, just good times.” Maybe we’ll see you there!

If your next Friday, Sept 17th, dance card isn’t already full, let’s change that! Chris Conway from Landwash Brewery, and the author of Newfoundland Beer History, will be giving a talk at the Admiralty Museum in Mount Pearl at 7 PM that evening. Chatting about the past, present, and future of beer in the province, your ticket includes a Landwash beer and charcuterie from the always excellent Chinched Meats. Grab your ticket from the Museum to take part in the fun!

Sticking in St. John’s, the following day is sure to be fun one, as Quidi Vidi Brewery continues to celebrate their 25th Anniversary all 2021-long. From noon until 9 PM on Saturday, September 18th, they are hosting a Dayboil in Bannerman Park, complete with live music, food vendors, games, and of course plenty of tasty beer! This is a ticketed event, so grab yours today!

And for those of us stuck on the mainland, Lwr Sackville’s TAPestry Beer Bar is kicking off their Oktoberfest event next Saturday, September 18th. We’ll have more details next week, but rest assured they’ll be pouring plenty of debuting and one-offs beers from breweries across Nova Scotia, all in their stylish spot at 833 Sackville Drive.

And before we let you go…

We’ve mentioned Candid Brewing’s Lagerish Blonde Ale in previous posts, but what we failed to mention was that this lagered ale is also gluten-reduced, thanks to Brewer’s Clarex. While that means different things to those on the Celiac/gluten-intolerant/-hesitant/-reducing spectrum, it is worth sharing when there are more options. Candid’s take on the classic German kölsch has been restocked and is available now on College Street, in cans and on tap for all of your beer drinking needs.

Annapolis Brewing has a new NEIPA out this week if you’re looking for something hazy and juicy. Fundy Haze is double dry-hopped with Galaxy, Sabro and Mosaic, giving notes of citrus, stone fruit and melon. You can find it on tap at the brewery in picturesque Annapolis Royal.

Thanks to those who have donated to our web hosting/beer fund. Did you know the reason that you don’t see ads on the site is because we *pay* for it? I know, it’s crazy, eh? But we think you’re worth it. 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

And just like that, Nova Scotia is on a 4-week Circuit Breaker/Restore the Arse Shutdown, joining the Edmundston region in New Brunswick. It goes to show how truly tenuous our ability to stay ahead of the pandemic the region is, and the willingness for the region’s governments are to act swiftly and decisively, unlike some *other* places in the country. Despite the strengthening of border restrictions, while inter- (and some intra-) provincial travel is more difficult, and some regions are seeing another halt to in-person dining and drinking, we hope you will support your local brewery, restaurant, and bar, by taking advantage of curbside take-out and delivery options. Many spots have not stopped doing so for the past 13 months, and those returning to it will need every assistance possible to reduce food spoilage and laying off employees. Stay safe, take care of yourself and each other.

Holy Whale Brewery in Alma has released their beer as part of the Celebrating Sisters Beer Project, initiated by the Indigenous Brew Crew and aided by Do Better. Be Better.. 43 breweries across the country and in the UK signed up to the project, with the goal to raise awareness on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada, and to celebrate the strength and power of Indigenous Women. Locally, Holy Whale connected with a local Wabanaki Women’s group to learn from them and will be donating money to further their goals. The Irish Red Ale brewed as part of the project is on tap in Alma and their Riverview location now.

In Deer Lake, Newfoundland, Rough Waters Brewing is opening their taproom today, and celebrating with a new beer! Located at 83 Wights Road, the 27-seat bar will feature 7 taps, as well as a small but mighty menu of dips perfect for pairing with beer (if you want to bring in a Big Mary from down the street that’s OK too!). They also have some cool beer cocktails on the menu, perfect for when you want just a bit *more* with your beer. Retail sales of bottles, as well as a growler exchange program will let you take the beer home with you after you’ve chosen your favourites. They are launching with Friday (4 – 11 PM) and Saturday (12 – 11 PM) hours, but will expand during the warmer months. So what to drink while you’re there? Check out their latest release, Knock Out, a 6.0% Brut IPA. As the style suggests, this is a dry and light-bodied beer, with a clean bitterness, and big citrus flavours, thanks to a healthy dry-hop addition. On draught and in bottles too, if you can’t make it to Deer Lake, you can grab it at your friendly neighbourhood Marie’s Mini Mart, and on tap at the just-now-opened Bar Brewdock in St. John’s. But these all taste better on tap at the source, right? Congratulations to Jennie and Chris on the grand opening!

Continuing to step up their game with summer treats, Propeller has a brand new seasonal release available today. Tropic Haze is a 5% ABV golden blonde ale with some tropical vibes. With flavours of juicy mango, passionfruit and dragonfruit, the grain bill is pale malt and wheat malt, with a hop profile including Warrior for bittering and Citra for aroma. While not a hop forward beer at 8 IBU, the tropical impression of mango, passionfruit, and dragonfruit comes from fruit and flavouring additions. Keep an eye out for this one in cans and draught as you pop-by for a retail grab-and-go, or home delivery, until we can enjoy pints at the taprooms next month.

Our friendly neighbours across the bridge (no, not Dartmouth), Village Green in Cornwall, PEI, is releasing Golden Ale as part of their Comfortbier Series, a family of English inspired session ales. The grain bill of primarily 2-Row and Maris Otter with a bit of flaked corn and double roasted crystal joins a hop blend of EKG and Cascade to bring a nice citrus hop profile that is very well balanced. Fermented with London Ale III, this English ale should be easily drinkable, slightly dry, and slightly bitter at 4.5% ABV and 35 IBU. Look to grab it on draught and in cans directly from the brewery, and if the weather turns a bit warmer, their patio may even be open this weekend!

Keep an eye out for more news from the brewery with future food events with Sneaky Cheats popping up for a big burger cookout on May 1st, as well as the Holy Fox Food Truck returning in a couple of weeks to spend the summer at 30 Church Street. Also, if you’re in PEI and looking for work this summer in the craft beer industry, see below for some job openings with Village Green.  

Staying somewhat close to PEI (depending on your definition of close these days) is O’Creek Brewing in Dieppe, NB. First up, they have fresh kegs at Tide & Boar and CAVOK of their new Mango Oat Cream IPA. This is a full bodied beer, brewed with a huge amount of oats in the grain bill, giving it a full, smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Lactose was then added to the boil to add some sweetness. During secondary fermentation, mango was added to bring some more sweetness and a more tropical flavour at 6.5% ABV.

In other news from O’Creek, they have a Hazy IPA hitting wider distribution this week as Citra in a Galaxy is available at multiple ANBL locations. This is a tropical, juicy, hazy IPA generously hopped with Citra and Galaxy that brings citrus and stone fruit flavours with low bitterness at 6% ABV. It’s available in 473ml cans now across most of New Brunswick, specifically, Fredericton, Saint John, Greater Moncton, Shediac, Richibuctou, Miramichi, Péninsule Acadienne, Bathurst, and Kedgwick.

The fellas behind Delta Force Brewing are back this weekend with release #5 which sees four new variations on their ‘Traditional Farmshed Ale” Anderlect. The base beer is DF’s take on a Trappist single, with some funk from the Brett fermentation. The four variants feature different fruit additions for your drinking pleasure: peach, red currant, sour cherry, and rhubarb. They are available through a Farmshed Harvest pack that includes 500 ml bottles of each fruited variant, alongside the regular Anderlect and Mean TIme, DF’s take on an English Bitter with Brett. Bottles of Anderlect, Mean Time, and their English Barleywine with Brett, Wessex, are also available. As usual, email deltaforcebrewing@gmail.com for ordering details, or to be added to their email distribution list. They are starting deliveries this weekend to those who place orders within a one hour drive of HRM.

Back across the border, Trailway Brewing has a new batch of Hot Sky, a beer seeing just its second release. This hazy IPA celebrates the Aussie hop Eclipse and features flavorus of citrus, pine and a taste that’s gonna move ya (juicy fruit gum, that is). Hot Sky comes in at 6.6% ABV and is available now at the taproom and for delivery across Atlantic Canada. This weekend also sees a return of Good Weather (hopefully not just the beer variety). Look for this 6% IPA featuring Vic Secret hops at the brewery and various ANBL locations. Finally, in exciting news for Nova Scotian beer drinkers looking to satisfy their haze craze, both of these beers are on their way to the NSLC, which we believe is Trailway’s debut at the NS government liquormart.  Expect to see them on the shelves in about two weeks with Hot Sky exclusively at the Port location. 

A few weeks off of their renovation, Tidehouse has a new release for the people to enjoy. A Westward Pine is a 6.5% ABV IPA bringing true west coast IPA vibes. Using crystal malt to give a malt-heavy backbone, Warrior and Idaho 7 hops were used to balance the bitterness and bring some pine flavour and aroma leading to a dry and delicious finish! With the COVID-related closures in HRM, the best way to support Tidehouse and grab some beer is via retail cans, which opens today at 4 PM (Wednesday – Saturday, 4 PM – ?). Keep an eye on their Insta page for updates to that schedule.

Just outside of Fredericton, the fine folks at 3Flip have a seasonal can release available across the province. The Goodest Girl is a pale ale named after their own little doggo: the dog’s name is Citra (!) and so is the main hop in this 5.2% ABV pale ale. Featuring fruity and tropical flavours, it has a touch of balanced malt sweetness and a bit of juiciness as well. It’s available in 355ml cans online and across the province at select ANBL stores and local producers; you can check out the full list here of where to pick this up, as it’s available at some brand new locations for the brewery.   

Up the Acadian Peninsula, Brasseux d’la Cote is releasing a new SMaSH beer that is made with 100% local ingredients. This single malt, single hop ale comes in at 5% ABV and features local grains malted by their friends at Distillerie Fils du Roy. The hops are a locally harvested wild hop that has yet to be identified as a specific variety. Look for notes of stonefruit, specifically apricots and peaches. SMaSH is available now on-tap at the brewery.

A bit further south in Kent County, Broue du Païen is releasing two new beers. FIrst up is Dieppe IPA, the third release of their Kveik-fermented IPA. This one comes in at 6.2% ABV and features an aggressive dry hop, leading to aromas of passionfruit and pineapple. Next we have Shediac Red Ale. Brewed in the Irish Red style, this 4.9% ABV ale features caramel and roasty notes and a smooth mouthfeel. Both beers are available at three ANBL locations – in Moncton, you can find them on Elmwood Drive and Mountain Road, and further north, they’ll be available at the Tracadie-Sheila ANBL.

And last but certainly not least for our main news section this week, host Jimmy Carbone of Beer Sessions Radio sat down (virtually) with a quartet of Atlantic Canadian beer folk this week, as a way to introduce his listenership to the history, present, and future of beer in our region. Tapping Christopher Reynolds of Bar Stillwell and Stillwell Brewing, Craig Pinhey a Beer, Wine, and Spirits Writer, Jeremy White of Big Spruce Brewing, as well as our own @acbbchris, the quadrumvirate chatted up the region’s offerings to Jimmy’s primarily US-based audience. Once travel is a thing again, we’re sure at least 50% of the influx will be due to our waxing poetic on the state of beer in the Atlantic Provinces! Listen to the episode here or in your favourite podcatcher.

No events to talk about this week, for obvious reasons, but here’s your usual quick mentions to complete the beer news:

Always one to bring back nice favourites, Big Spruce has a draught-only return of Hugs Bunny. A dry-hopped gose, this bright, effervescent, salty batch of deliciousness is traditionally made with coriander and French sel de mer and then given a citrus kick with a dry hopping of (this week’s hop of the week) Citra! Lovers of this style will find a slight tartness and a small kick of salt on the tongue for a thirst quenching beer. At 3.8% ABV it’s only available on tap in Nyanza and for a short time only. 

Another returning favourite this week comes from Garrison, as their tasty Italian Pilsner, Tesoro, makes its return. First seen back in 2019, this seasonal release is inspired by the heavily-hopped German-style Pilsners of Italy. With the bitterneess coming in on the stiffer side for a Pilsner at 40 IBU, it was brewed with a base of Pilsner malt, fermented with German lager yeast and then dry-hopped with German Hallertau and Czech Saaz. You can expect this tasty eurotreat to be bready, spicy and boasting a pleasant finishing hop bitterness at 5.0% ABV. Find it in cans at all Garrison locations and keep an eye on the private shops as well.

Rounding out a trio of Nova Scotia craft beer re-releases, Tatamagouche, brings the return of Deadeye, a Double IPA. Also a 2019 initial release, this Double IPA is hopped with Hallertau Blanc giving flavours of passion fruit, grapefruit, and pineapple, with hints of pine and citrus. It was then dry hopped twice using Hallertau Blanc. Coming in at 8.0% ABV, cans are coming *very* soon, and can be ordered from the brewery for nationwide shipping, directly from the brewery, the private shops in Halifax in the next week or so, and NSLC in May. And their 2.9% ABV warm weather crusher Dekorum Lager is now available in short cans for a killer price from the brewery (even more savings!) and for delivery too.

We’ve got a new release from CAVOK in Dieppe! Always excited for this style, Touch ‘n Go (appropriate name for the times) is a Belgian-style IPA – hopped like an IPA but fermented with traditional Belgian yeast – from which you can safely expect some clove, pepper, and fruity aromas and flavours combined with a high bitterness. This 6.8% IPA is available in limited quantities in cans directly from the brewery.

A couple of job postings for you today, in New Brunswick and PEI, for those looking for Front of House positions at a brewery taproom, as well as behind the scenes making the lovely beer…

CAVOK Brewing is looking to hire staff for their Dieppe Brewery Retail and Taproom, as well as for the nearby seaside town of Cap-Pelé. Being bilingual is key, given the number of tourists and locals who speak both official languages, as well as being well-organized, enthusiastic, jovial, willing to learn about and promote local products. Plus you’ll have a blast pouring beer for thirst folks! All shifts are available, and the successful candidates should be available days, evenings, and weekends. Send them your resume to apply (taproom@cavokbrewing.ca), and who knows, you could be pouring one of us a beer before too long!

Cornwall PEI’s own Village Green is looking for some help both in front of house as well as behind the scenes. If pouring beer and chatting with visitors is more your speed, they are looking for some folks to work the taproom which is now open Wednesday through Sunday. And if you want to learn how to make beer, hang with BA in the brewery/cellar to learn the ins and outs of mashing in, vorlauf, spunding, and all the fun in between. They strongly encourage inclusion and diversity, and are looking for all who have a desire to work in the brewing industry to apply, which you can do via email: villagegreenpei@gmail.com.