Stillwell Beer Bar

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Good afternoon, beer fans… everyone sick of Christmas music yet? Great, just making sure we’re all on the same page! As usual, there’s lots going on in the wonderful world of Atlantic Canada beer this week, with lots of new brews from all four corners of our region hitting taps and shelves, just itching to be sipped, guzzled, etc. (was about to start thinking hard of other synonyms to go along with these but it’s already getting kind of late in the day as it is), so let’s dive right into it, shall we?

Normally when we’ve got a huge slew of news from a single brewery, that brewery is 2 Crows, but although they do have something on the go this week (of course they do; see below), this week’s belles of the ball are the lovely folks from North Brewing, who have clearly been saving up to make a big ol’ splash with a new location and accompanying celebratory release, a triple-collaboration release, and a “standard” special release all happening this weekend!!

First up, we mentioned months ago that North had secured a spot to make their return to the right light West side of the Harbour after beginning their existence near North (natch) and Agricola Streets in North End Halifax. That new location is seeing a soft opening this weekend (today, in fact!!) at 501 Timberlea Village Parkway beginning at noon. The space will be retail-only for now, but rest assured there’s a taproom and kitchen under construction that they’re hoping will be ready just after the holidays (we’ll definitely keep you posted on that). You can head on over this afternoon and grab a celebratory cupcake from Delectable Desserts as you load up on your favorite North packaged beer, cider, and seltzer offerings (no growler fills until they’ve got taps in place, of course) as well as merch. They’re planning to be open noon – 8 on the daily for the foreseeable. One of North’s slogans is, “Cheers your neighbour,” we love that they seem to be on a mission to keep making new neighbours to cheers.

Of course, if you’re going to open a new retail location, it makes sense to give the people something new to come and get. Enter Timberbock, a smooth, dark, and malty German lager with plenty of nutty and caramel character. The North team has been itching to make a bock for some time and this fall opening seemed like a great time for it. Fermented with the Escarpment Labs Isar Lager strain, and lagered for two full months, this 6.2% ABV beer is ideal for the cooler weather; maybe grab a couple to enjoy after raking leaves this weekend? As you would and should expect, if you’re closer to one of North’s other retail locations, Battery Park or Cole Harbour, you can get it there too!

Next up is the “triple collaboration” that’s been quite a while in the making. Several years ago, North’s Rozina brewed Neighbours Saison with Jill from Compass Distilling (back when they were neighbours across the intersection of North and Agricola). That beer was then distilled by compass to produce Neighbours Whiskey, now on sale at Compass. Meanwhile, North brewed up a replica batch of the original saison, using wheat, spelt and oats along with a boutique yeast strain to produce a 5.0% ABV beer that they’ve packaged in cans. If that wasn’t enough, Compass also kindly took possession of some of North’s Midnight strong dark Belgian ale, which they socked away in a Neighbours whiskey barrel for a while. The result is being called Midnight Neighbours of course! We’re a day late to tell you about the release party that took place at Battery Park last night, but you can still try a flight of all three products at North’s Tasting Room on Portland Street, at Compass’ tasting room on Agricola St. Meanwhile, the beers will be available at North locations and the whiskey, should you want a bottle, from Compass.

Last but not least in North news, if you’re a fan of the brewery you already know that they love to leverage their friendly relationship with Benjamin Bridge winery and release delightful hybrid liquids for your drinking pleasure. One of those that has previously been released is Blanc, a grisette refermented on some of BB’s Sauvignon Blanc grapes. That one is back and available at North retail locations and for online orders; even better, and as always, $0.50 from each can of this one sold will be donated to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust.

For you Moncton beer drinkers that have been itching for more Tire Shack in your lives, we have some very good news! The brewery received approval from the city earlier this week, ok’ing their re-zoning plans for an expansion. Sure, this means more beer and space in general, but most importantly it means Tire Shack can finally begin work on their barrel-aging program, which they’ve been passionate about starting for some time. It’s a ways away, naturally, but it IS something to look forward to! We should also mention that the Moncton Chamber of Commerce has awarded Tire Shack with their Small Business of the Year award, so congrats to them on that as well!

Oh, don’t worry, we wouldn’t leave without also bringing some beer news from Tire Shack for the weekend. They’re re-releasing two brews today, the first being their Peanut Butter Porter (sometimes known as PBP). A 6.2% ABV Porter featuring an addition of close to 20 kg of real peanut butter, it’s perfect for those of you who crave some of that delicious spreadable in your alcoholic beverages (maybe just don’t go kissing anyone with a severe allergy directly after, mmmkay?). Second is Roman Road, a 5.5% ABV Italian Pilsner dry-hopped with Spalt Spalter and Czech Saaz, giving a crisp and refreshing beer with plenty of noble hop presence. You’ll be able to find both beers on tap and (hopefully) in cans sometime today at the brewery.

What do you get when you put two birds on ice? Don’t answer that. But 2 Crows is doing an event in support of 4 curlers, as there is a draught-only release and event in support of Team Daigle, a senior women’s curling team kicking off their season in hope’s to get to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts (we assume everyone in Atlantic Canada is familiar with this right? It’s Canada’s national women’s curling championship!). On November 25th, the brewery will release Come Around, a tropical and juicy pale ale, loaded with Galaxy and Citra hops. This beer will only be available in kegs and features the first use at 2 Crows of Verdant, a newer, juicy-friendly yeast strain to complement the tropical and juicy flavours from the hop combination. To get your hands on this first release and to support Team Daigle with their year long travel and expenses, you can buy a $20 ticket to the event which covers your first beer and gets you entered into a draw for a slew of door prizes! Hit the 2C website shop under “events” to purchase your ticket in advance. 

Moving over to PEI, Upstreet is releasing a brand new hoppy beer, one that they plan on keeping in their regular line-up throughout the coming winter months. Blue Meanie is a Blueberry Double IPA that was brewed with lots of blueberry juice, and hopped with both Mosaic and Lemondrop varieties. A definite sipper at 8% ABV (well, try to, anyway), the beer is tasting “tart and semi-sweet, with loads of juicy pineapple, blueberry, and lemon flavour”. While you’ll be able to find cans of this one at PEILCC stores in the very near future, the official launch party will be happening at Upstreet tomorrow, November 20th, with live music from Kailee McGuire from 8-9 pm, trivia with Jesse & Jeff from 9-10:30 pm, and more tunes with DJ Whaleskin directly after that, until 11:30 pm. Of course there’ll be plenty of Blue Meanie pouring on tap, and we can only assume cans to takeaway as well. Now, whether this beer was named after the wrestler, or those creepy buggers from Yellow Submarine… we leave that to you to decide.

More PEI news with Village Green with two new beers, both of the hoppy persuasion (if you’re into that sorta thing). Let’s start on the lighter side of things with Strata Pale Ale, an easy-drinking 5.3% APA hopped entirely with, yes, Strata. With descriptors including “strawberry, passion fruit, grapefruit, and dank,” Strata does appear to be an ideal candidate for a single-hop brew, at least on paper! It’s up to you brave Islanders, however, to make your way to VG to decide for sure. And while you’re there, guess you might as well sample their OTHER newbie, a 6.9% IPA they’re calling DUH IPA. Don’t overthink the name, they simply hopped it with some no-brainer hop varieties – Citra, Mosaic, and Galaxy – giving a delicious beverage that is “peachy, danky, and citrusy.” Available on tap and in cans!

If you like your hoppy beers with a little more of the “wild” in them, let’s briefly chat about the newest brew from Tanner & Co. Brux IPA was fermented with Saccharomyces brux-like Trois, a strain that isn’t technically wild (like Brett, for example), yet has “wild-like” qualities to it, helping produce beers that can be quite dry and slightly tart. These are the exact qualities that Brux IPA imparts, and with a generous dry-hopping of both Mosaic and Motueka, you can expect citrus and tropical notes to go with it (which sounds like a perfect combination to us!). Weighing in at 6.5% ABV, you can find bottles of this one at the brewery and taproom right now.

What if you’re feeling more in the mood for a low alcohol, non-hoppy brew for a change? Antigonish’s Candid Brewing has you covered with Temperance, a 3.5% ABV English Brown Ale. This isn’t your typical English Brown, however, as it has some lactose added to give it a touch of extra sweetness, as well as boosting the body somewhat (not a bad idea with a 3.5% beer!). It also features organic Earl Grey tea (HOT!) from World Tea House, to make you feel even more that you’ve travelled over the pond for a cuppa with some old relatives… see, feeling transported already and haven’t even tried the beer! Available on tap and in cans, drop by the brewery for a taste this weekend.

In Newfoundland, Bannerman has teamed up with local advocacy for the music community MusicNL, to design and brew a new beer to help kick off Music Celebration Week in the province, taking place from Nov 29th to Dec 5th. The beer, Music and Friends, is described simply as an American Pale Ale hopped with Strata and Nelson Sauvin (we’re going to assume plenty of lovely, tropical fruit aromas and flavours in the beer). Available at the brewery and select NLC stores today, so you can start to prep for the festival a little early!

Bannerman has more than one rabbit up their sleeve this week, as they’re also launching a new hoppy wonder at the brewery today. If you’re a fan of not just hops, but high ABVs as well, Obscure Reference may just be the beer for you! It’s a Triple IPA (10%!) that was dry-hopped with multiple additions of the ever-popular (to most of us, anyway) Mosaic variety. Expect juiciness, fruitiness, and likely a little bit of warmth as this one heads down into your stomach. Available in cans only; look for it to hopefully pop up on tap sometime later next week.

Sticking on the Rock, let’s move over to Landwash, who are re-releasing one beer and launching a brand new one this weekend. The returning favourite is Tidepool Pilsner, a 5% German Pilsner that undergoes an extended period of cold conditioning (Lagering!) after a cool fermentation with Escarpment Lab’s Isar Lager yeast strain. Refreshing and crisp, it’s just what you need after a long, hard day of dealing with family work. We can now do a complete 180 and move to their newest beer, Cozy Partridgeberry. Designed by head brewer Alex as a tribute to his Nan’s Partridgeberry Pie (which you can find at Twinlingate’s Cozy Tea Room and Bakery during their open season), the malt additions were crafted to mimic pie crust. Lactose powder was also added to the boil, along with Mosaic and Barbe Rouge hops. The completed beer was then conditioned on local Partridgeberries, resulting in a brew that is “very berry, but not too sweet”. Both beers are available at the brewery right now, in cans and on tap; look for them to start travelling to other outlets soon. 

And in Bay Roberts, Baccalieu Trail Brewing have collaborated with the province’s CBN T’Railway, a non-profit group formed to help open and rehabilitate the former railway bed of Conception Bay North. The hard work from these fine folks has led to the 140 km of T’Railway becoming a “vibrant, ecological, and safe route for recreational traffic”. As for the beer that the non-profit and brewery have created, Trail Minder’s Ale is a West Coast Pale Ale brewed with a malt bill containing small amounts of light Caramel and Oat malts, and hopped with Comet, Nugget, Hallertau Blanc, and Eureka. Fermented with a clean American strain, the beer is very dry, “with layers of tropical fruit, but also some classic West Coast pine character”, all followed by a restrained bitterness. You can grab cans at the brewery over the weekend, with $1 from every can being donated to CBN T’Railway to support their continued efforts.  

Would you believe that this year will mark Big Spruce Brewing’s NINTH Home Brew Challenge? While you ponder what that means about how long you’ve been drinking Big Spruce, we’ll tell you that this year’s competition has been announced and it’s a boozy doozy. A style beloved by many beer geeks but relatively uncommon in these parts is the Belgian Dubbel: falling under the category of Trappist Ales, which have been historically brewed in monasteries by Trappist monks, Dubbel is a deep coppery color with plenty of rich malt flavor, some fruity and/or dried fruity ester character, and a light alcoholic heat. Usually coming in around the high 6es for ABV, one of the key aspects of a good one is the fairly dry finish. Warming and comforting, without being cloyingly sweet, a Dubbel may just be the perfect “cold evening in front of the fire” beer and we are certainly excited to think that there will be another one released for us to try coming out of this competition.

About the competition itself, once again Big Spruce has partnered with Escarpment Labs to even the playing field with respect to yeast availability, bringing in plenty of pouches of St. Remy Abbey Ale yeast for prospective competitors (but folks are absolutely welcome to use whatever other yeast they choose to procure). Those interested in competing in this year’s challenge should send an email Real Soon Now™ to jeremy@bigspruce.ca. It costs $25 to enter, and if nothing else entrants are guaranteed a competition t-shirt, quality scoresheets per BJCP practices, and an invite to the gala. Entries must be received by February 5th, 2022 (drop off points to be confirmed), with the judging and gala taking place (with all due and necessary COVID protocols in place and as Provincial restrictions allow) from 4 – 6 PM on February 6th at The Wooden Monkey’s Dartmouth location. That’s not a long time for a style like this, so get your emails out if you’re looking to participate!!

As they’ve done several times over the past few years, members of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia have come together to brew a special beer in celebration of Craft Beer in NS and to generate revenue for #nscraftbeer initiatives. This year they did so with the sponsorship of supplier Brew Culture, a relatively new player in the local market, but who are certainly making themselves known through collaborative efforts. Together We Brew is a 5.0% lagered ale that was dry hopped with new school Continental hop Callista, one that marries some noble character with more modern fruity notes. Look for it at NSLC locations throughout the province, but don’t wait too long as this is a limited edition product.

A couple of Beery Birthdays in the region this weekend, but first:

A reminder of the Friday/Saturday tap takeover starting at Bar Brewdock today. In East Duck St. John’s, Dildo Brewing Co is teaming up with Borden-Carleton PEI’s Lone Oak Brewing to take over the 24 taps. Look for plenty of new beers from both breweries debuting this weekend, as well as the fine folks at Crumb & Pickle taking over the kitchen with burger, dips, schnitzel and more, all vegan and veggie friendly. More details in last week’s post, plus Social Media.

What do you think of when we say “the mecca of craft beer in Atlantic Canada?” If your answer isn’t Stillwell and if you’re reading this and you haven’t made friends with new humans or sampled new beers and new tastes at any of Stillwell’s various locations over the last few years, we would be surprised. (Heck, even one of us got married at the Stillwell Beergarden) Our beloved beer bar turns EIGHT YEARS OLD (!!) this month and they’re celebrating on Saturday November 20th, at Barrington Street HQ starting at Noon. Celebrating as they normally do with birthday cake (heeeey, free cake!), special bottle pours from places we can’t even mention (on and off-menu in true beer nerd fashion), and lots of featured kegs from breweries such as Willibald, Les Grands Bois, Godspeed, Dieu du Ciel, Crooked Stave, Stillwell Brewing, Bannerman and a few more! Also, Joe will be serving up special kitchen treats as well all day. This is free and fun and no advance reservations are required. 

Rothesay’s Foghorn Brewing turns the big 0-5 this weekend, and they’re inviting you to the brewery to celebrate Saturday, November 20th. Expect raffles, beer, games, beer, snacks, and beer! They’ll also have Elizabeth Nelson kicking off some live music at 5 pm, followed by Saving Sweet Polly at 7 pm. If you bring in a non-perishable food item for the KV Food Basket (no expired peas, we’re onto you!), you get a ballot for a chance to win an “epic prize”. Our guess is a ride on a stuffed black bear with owner/brewer Esty… let’s hope!

And a few last items to whet your appetite for whetting your whistle:

Always keeping us beer folk satisfied in store and online for delivery, Bishop’s Cellar is getting some goodies from Toronto’s own Bellwoods in store this Saturday. Two variants of Jelly King (their delicious dry-hopped fruited, everyday-drinking fruited sour) along with “drink now or cellar for later” options Vines Gamay and Barn Owl 25. Here’s a quick overview of the four releases:

  • Jelly King Cranberry & Tangerine is the base Jelly King conditioned on a bunch of cranberries and tangerine puree coming in at 5.6%. 
  • Jelly King Pomegranate & Lime is the base Jelly King conditioned on real pomegranate and lime at 5.6%.
  • Vines: Gamay is a 2020 wild ale release. Vines is a series of oak aged wild ales that celebrates wine grapes in all manifestations.This 8.0% blend was inoculated with the wild yeast from 2019 red grape skins, aged for a year in oak, and refermented on 2020 Niagara Gamay skins. 
  • Barn Owl 25 is a Foedre Aged Imperial Stout. This spent 2 years in secondary fermentation in new American oak and is 13.2%. 

These are all 500ml bottles and available Saturday November 25th at 10am. 

Smiths Cove’s Lazy Bear Brewing has a new Black IPA out, in memory of their former team member, Bob Allen, the brewery’s first hire. Infinity is a 7.2% ABV take on the style that is dry-hopped exclusively with Chinook. You can find it now at the brewery and tomorrow at the Annapolis Royal farmers market.  

New Ross’ Bulwark Cider is teaming up with the SPCA to raise money for furry friends in need of homes. They’ve made Applsecco Rose Cider which was released at NSLC locations earlier this week. Think a combo of cider and red wine characteristics with tartness, dark fruit flavours and some gentle tannins from the Marechal Foch wine used. $2 from every bottle will be donated to the Burnside SPCA location to help stray and abused animals. Win, win.

We’ll leave you with the always welcomed news of re-releases from Unfiltered Brewing. First up is their 7.5% ABV DIPA, Fist of God. If you’re looking for something a bit more sessionable, check out Lifesaver, their 4.25% ABV blueberry sour. Both are now available in cans and for fills at the brewery, and on tap next door at Charm School.

We’re officially a month into fall, although you might not know it with the weather in most of the region over the last couple of weeks, and our breweries seem to have firmly turned the corner from traditional end-of-summer burnout to finding a second (third? seventh?) wind and stomping into the leaf pile with fun new liquids for all of us to enjoy, especially so-called “cooler weather styles.” With all four Atlantic Provinces now requiring patrons of indoor public spaces to be vaccinated, we remind you to make sure your documentation is in order before heading out for a pint and to above all, please have patience with (often understaffed) restaurants and bars as they continue to navigate a bunch of new processes and procedures that they never asked for, but have no choice but to participate in. In HRM especially, as we come to the end of burger week, remember that it’s been extra crazy here and maybe some additional patience (and generous tips!) are in order. And with that, here’s what you need to know about this week’s new beers and upcoming beery events.

Although the news hasn’t been super regular coming out of North Brewing in Dartmouth over the past few months, that doesn’t mean things haven’t been going on! An Insta update this week shows lots of progress on their new Halifax-side-of-the-harbour location in Timberlea, fuelling hopes that folks can be buying beer there before the holidays and making it a destination for a sitdown pint in the new year. Meanwhile, at their primary facility, they’re settling into fall and continuing to put out interesting beers – two weeks ago we told you about the Coco Pony and Beernana releases (which we’ve heard blend quite nicely together) – like this week’s new one, Chai Wala Stout. Partnering with Aman Dosanj of Paisley Notebook and, more appropriate to our purposes, small batch spice blend purveyor Edible Adventures, this one does what it says on the tin, pairing warm and comforting chai spices with a deep and dark malty beverage. Starting on the malt side with healthy doses of oats for mouthfeel, chocolate malt for color and roastiness, and lactose for some residual sweetness, the first dose of chai was added in the kettle during the boil (not unlike making tea), with a second extraction taking place on the cold side. As you might imagine, the result is a “rich, spiced stout, reminiscent of a sweet cup of masala chai.” You can find it in cans to go (and pints to stay!) at North’s Portland Street location and Battery Park, or for online ordering. And if you go to the source, and you find yourself thinking, “I’d like to have some of this spice blend that’s not already in beer,” you can buy pouches of this limited release blend at the brewery.

Truro Brewing Company has released a new Hazy Pale Ale this week, and are taking part in the world-wide Brave Noise Beer collaboration. In May 2021, Brienne Allan of Notch Brewing in Salem, MA, shared her story of descrimination and misogyny while working in the beer industry, and asked other women in beer to share their own. This launched wave after wave of people sharing their experiences, and ignited a flame to call out bad actors in the industry, and make beer safer and more welcoming to all, including women, LGBTQIA, and non-binary individuals. The Women of the Bevolution, Allan (who has since left Notch to pursue other endeavours), and Notch are hosting the collaboration to continue the momentum, and make real changes by encouraging breweries around the world to brew the beer, promote the movement, and donate funds to groups supporting related organizations. TBC’s Brave Noise Beer is a 4.5% ABV Hazy Pale Ale, featuring a base of Pils malt, with Oats to bump up the mouthfeel, with Sabro and Mosaic hops added late in the boil and whirlpool to contribute more aroma and flavour than bitterness. Bottles of Brave Noise are available now on Inglis Street in Truro, where it can also be found on tap for pints. TBC is donating proceeds from this beer to The Lotus Centre, a non-profit resource for women in Truro, offering counselling, programming, clothing, hygiene products, and much more, all free to their clients. While they are the first brewery in the region to take part in collaboration, we hope they are not the last! Interested breweries can sign up at the link above, it’s not too late!

Up in Port Rexton, the eponymously named brewery has a new beer released last weekend to celebrate friends and long time PR tap account, Adelaide Oyster House in St. John’s, who are celebrating their 7th birthday. It’s a Vibe is a mango guava wheat beer, super fruit-forward and decidedly crushable. Containing both mango and guava, of course, it gets an additional citrusy tropical boost from a small dry hop of Galaxy and Azacca hops. Finishing dry and coming in at a very quaffable 4.5% ABV, it’s the kind of beer one might expect could pair very nicely with oysters. Look for it packaged in cans at both of Port Rexton’s locations (HQ and the St. John’s Retail shop), and on tap at PR and Adelaide, of course.

Fully loaded with a new release this week is Antigonish’s Half Cocked Brewing with Braeside Bitter. Named after the once famed Antigonish bowling alley, “Braeside Lanes”, the bowling alley not only lends its name to this Bitter style ale, but the wood from lane 2 was donated to the brewery to create their bar top. It sounds like it’s going to permanently join the lineup at Half Cocked as this classic style is always a crowd-pleaser, whether you’re in England or Antigonish. Using all English ingredients to stay true to style, they just had to tweak their local water a bit to get what they were looking for. Bringing traditional flavours of a biscuit and caramel malt body, you’ll get notes of honey, lemon and tea based on their hop blend. This is available now on tap and for growler fills at the brewery. 

Always keeping us on our toes (and wishing that we could get there and try their beer!) Secret Cove Brewing is releasing Scoff, a 3% table beer.  As always, they keep with Newfoundland and Labrador themes and pride with their releases, staying true to their terroir, values and traditions. Made for gathering and doing things themselves, this beer welcomes all in a true East Coast spirit. This table beer is brewed with a variety of English hops bringing herbal and earthy notes, pairing with Vienna, rye and flaked barley in the grain bill. There is a lot in here for “just a 3% beer” to pair nicely with all your fall Newfoundland traditions of Jiggs dinner, deer, moose and game season. This is available in 473 mL cans from the brewery today and will likely make its way at various locations across the island in the coming weeks.

From the Lake City (Dartmouth), Lake City Cider has a new release in their Vine Series with Strawberry Pinot Grigio Sparkling Cider. In this series, they use their normal base of Nova Scotia apples for cider, but infuse wine elements from different grapes and sometimes fruit additions. In this release, the apples are complemented with Niagara Pinot Grigio grapes and local Nova Scotia strawberries. The result is a light and refreshing sparkling cider pairing well with many different foods. It’s available now in 355 mL cans and is 9%. You can find this at the cidery or online, and they deliver 7 days a week!

Staying in Dartmouth, New Scotland Brewing is embracing the fall weather by releasing Old Buzzard, a dry Irish Stout. This is a traditional dry Irish Stout with a bit of a twist (we’d expect nothing less from these brewers!) in the addition of locally roasted organic coffee and organic cacao nibs to enhance the flavour. Light in the mouth, dark in the glass, with lovely coffee and chocolate sweetness, it’s a lovely ale for the time of year. A special shout-out to Scott, a co-founder of the brewery (Mike is another founder and Head Brewer), who brewed this beer alongside the production team. It’s been awhile since Scott has been in the brewhouse, so definitely give him a shout-out if and when you try this one on tap. This beer is a very sessionable 3.7% and is available starting today (Friday) only on tap at their Downtown D-town brewery. 

Halifax beer drinkers have been spoiled with another great taproom addition, the Gottingen Street location of Tusket Falls Brewing Co. This week sees the release of Predictable Chaos, available in cans and for pints now. This 7.1% beer is being called a Blackberry Cinnamon Sour Crunch (queue the BJCP style writers scratching their heads). The kettle sour features additions of blackberries, cinnamon, vanilla bean and their in-house baked granola, which in our books, also makes this a perfectly acceptable breakfast beer. And for those on the South Shore, their brewery location is also carrying the Chaos.

Over on the Island (Prince Edward Island, that is), Modern Brewer’s Village Green in Cornwall has a brand new IPA to tickle your tastebuds and satisfy your hop cravings. Coastal avoids the great IPA beef of the 2010s by being “not quite East Coast, not quite West Coast, but definitely wet.” Leveraging classic citrussy Cascade, pithy, piney and resinous Chinook, and stone fruity and slightly tropical Amarillo, it’s got a classic aroma and moderate bitterness in a 6.1% ABV package. It’s already on tap for pints and in cans to go at the tap room in Cornwall; and if you decide to head down and try it or grab some to go, maybe give a thought to trying/grabbing some of their super-sessionable, eminently quaffable 3% Dark Mild.

In other Village Green new, they’re looking for part time bartenders. VG’s beertender/assistant brewer/tastemaker Mark Misener is heading to the Big Smoke to work at Bar Volo, and so there are big shoes to be filled! “Celebrating inclusion and diversity in both people and beer”, all are welcome to start or continue their beer career, by reaching out via email. And Misener will be pouring his last beers in Cornwall next Friday, so be sure to pop by for a visit before then to see him off!

What’s on the go this weekend? In HRM, tomorrow is the last day of Halifax Burger Week, so be sure to get out and support your local restaurants, breweries, and Feed Nova Scotia all in one trip! 

Some Moncton news from a brewery that always has updates for our readers, Tire Shack Brewing has a new beer release and a food event on Sunday. First up, the beer! We’ve had a few white stout releases over the last few months and Tire Shack is joining the fray, releasing Lavender-Chocolate White Stout today! At 5%, this is a white stout featuring both a flavour pop and smoothness from a mix of lavender and chocolate additions. Don’t let the appearance fool you, as this isn’t a classically dark stout, but it tastes like it could be! A limited release as it was brewed on their pilot system, it is only available for pints and growlers at the brewery. Come try it out on Sunday when they’ll be hosting Birria Dave’s at 1pm for Mexican street tacos. Last time they hosted this pop-up event, all the tacos sold out in 90 minutes!  

A friendly reminder that Halifax’s Stillwell Freehouse is hosting a tap takeover by Microbrasserie Les Grands Bois tomorrow. More details on the tap list and fun are available in last week’s post, and their IG page. And keep your calendar free for next Saturday, October 30th, as Stillwell on Barrington hosts Willibald Farm Distillery & Brewery from Ayr, Ontario, bringing a full dozen taps of beer, ranging from lagers to sours, stouts to Triple IPAs, with the folks from Willibald in the house to chat all things beer. We hear there will be some special food coming out of the kitchen too, so come both thirsty *and* hungry!

Those who have attended one of the many Craft Draught Showdown events at the Carleton in Halifax over the past few years know that they’re a great way to not only sample a bunch of tasty beers and enjoy some excellent food but to also have some fun in the process. So whether you’ve been and are looking to go again or haven’t and are excited to try it, you should be aware that these events are back, with one of the HRM’s newest breweries, Serpent Brewing out of Spryfield, taking on one of the oldest craft breweries in the city (and the province, and the region, really), Propeller Brewing on Wednesday, October 27th at 7 PM. As always, five food courses from chef Mathias Probst will be paired with a 4oz pour of a beer from each brewery. Patrons will vote for the most successful pairing with each course, with a winner declared at the end of the night. Tickets are $75, which includes tip but not HST ($86.25 all in) and, conveniently, can be ordered online. Seating is limited, as always, so we’d recommend getting your tickets soon if you want to attend this one!

We have a couple of quick hits from Dieppe before we dismiss you for the week. Be sure to visit your fave local good beer bar, restaurant, or brewery this weekend, to help them keep the great stuff pouring!

Up first is Flying Boats Brewing with Evil Lover, an 8% ABV Double IPA from their Test Pilot Series. This one features large hop additions for bittering (82 IBUs), and also during the whirlpool and dry hop to amp up the aromas of citrus, berries and apricots. Cans of Evil Lover are available now at the Dieppe taproom and through their online store. 

We’ll leave you with a new kettle sour from CAVOK Brewing. Long Weekend is a low bitterness and sessionable take on the style, with only 6 IBUs and 4.7% ABV. It’s available now in cans and on tap for pints or growler fills.

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. 🙂