Tatamagouche Brewing

All posts tagged Tatamagouche Brewing

What will we talk about to open up this post? The weather, of course! Spring has sprung and with beer events around the corner and new beer releases continuing, we are all here for local craft beer to spring eternal. Join us on a journey as we welcome the season of renewal with a pint in hand (while watching some March Madness basketball too). Honestly the NCAA Women’s Tournament may be better than the Men’s this year!). But not all news is good news, so let’s get into it.

After finishing last week’s post with sad news, we unfortunately need to start this week’s in the same way. This week Brightwood Brewery announced that they will be closing the doors of their taproom on Sunday, March 31st. This isn’t necessarily the end of the business, as they are committing to an attempt at restructuring, but it does mean that possibly your last chance for a pint at their well-loved spot on Portland Street in downtown Dartmouth is just over a week away. As has been the case with other closures, retail sales have been down over the winter; in Brightwood’s case, they also faced forced price increases at the NSLC and the loss of two of their three listings there. Between inflation, the recent influx of ready-to-drink products, and a general trend away from alcohol consumption, small producers have the deck stacked against them these days. While galaxy-brained folks are quick to shout, “It’s just proof that we had way too many breweries, it wasn’t sustainable!” we beg to differ. The state of Maine (amongst others) has a much higher breweries per capita than any province in Canada let alone Atlantic Canada. But breweries there have more options for retail channels (although we’re sure folks still complain a little about their distro system). They don’t have to deal with the same kind of constant regulation, especially as pertains to pricing. Given the state of the post-COVID economy, everyone knew it was probably somewhat inevitable that there would be a contraction of brewery numbers in our region. But the way it’s been shaping up over the past little while, we’ve got worries that the craft breweries that are going to survive are the big ones that can withstand losses for a longer period. The smaller, more hyperlocal ones, the ones that have built vibrant tap rooms and vital communities, are the ones that are most at risk. No offense to those brands that have built themselves as (or built themselves up into) going concerns, with lots of NSLC/ANBL/NLC/PEIBC listings and maybe even out-of-province sales, but it’s the neighbourhood breweries we think folks will miss the most. So we say again, as we have said before, and yes, with full understanding of the economic climate we say it in, support your local brewery if you can, folks, they’re probably riding a knife edge right now. We also say best of luck to Brightwood: they had a great story of going from basement/garage to downtown taproom; we hope to hear of their resurgence in the not-too-distant future.

Pals from way back, the owners and brewers of Moncton’s Happy Brewing and Fredericton’s Half Cut recently got together in the Hub City to brew up a beer appropriate for this time of year… a Cold IPA! Space Case started with a base of Pilsner malt, with the addition of toasted flaked rice to help it ferment dry and keep the body light (and true to the Cold IPA style). Lager yeast kept just a touch warmer than usual means the bugs fermenting the beer keep their aromatics in check while chomping away, allowing the bitterness and big flavour from NZ-grown Nectaron to shine through in the form of pineapple and lychee. This 6.3% beer is on tap at both of the Main Street Fredericton and Main Street Moncton locations today, and will be in cans in early April in both cities (and perhaps better can shops across the province too!).

Up in Newfoundland, Dildo Brewing has brewed a special brew to celebrate a special crew. The Newfoundland Highlanders Pipe Band is celebrating 50 years of piping tradition and Dildo has produced a traditional Scottish Wee Heavy Ale to mark the occasion. Featuring a classic mahogany color and a creamy tan head, you’ll find toffee and caramel aromas leading to flavors of dark fruit and some earthy bitterness. Sip carefully, though, the “heavy” part of the name is no joke, with the beer coming in at 8.6% ABV. If you’re in Newfoundland, at least the St. John’s area, you can experience the Newfoundland Highlanders this Saturday at 7:30pm playing alongside the Royal Newfoundland Regimental Band at the Salvation Army Temple. Admission is free, but they ask that you bring a donation for local food banks. As for the beer, it’s been canned, so no doubt you can find it at the brewery and their St. John’s Water Street Bottle Shop, but also likely through retail channels in the coming days.

Speaking of big ol’ beers, we turn back to New Brunswick, where Trailway has a monster of their own that’s been some time in the making. Smoke & Mirrors is both a local and international brew, featuring malt from Distillerie Fils du Roy Malthouse along with Scottish peated barley. This 11.1% imperial smoked stout was aged for twelve weeks in whisky casks from Distillerie Fils du Roy, it picked up additional layers of flavor including more smoke and malt character as well as some oak notes. With a soft carbonation, this thick beer boasts warming alcohol that complements the smoky profile and finishes with subtle vanilla and oak. Find it in at the Trailway taprooms in Fredericton and Saint John, and cans will also see distro to ANBL locations in the coming weeks.

Monctonites! Get ready to reunite with a returning variant from Tide & Boar Brewing. Their Sour Otis series of sour ales features different fruit additions and flavours, and this week Sour Otis: Watermelon Dole Whip is back in cans. If you’re unfamiliar with Dole Whip, it’s a Disney theme park staple that featured pineapple juice and chunks, that is dairy free and and like soft serve ice cream. Available in a few flavours now, folks make this at home and the watermelon version from T&B brings a great blend of acid and sweetness, like a slightly sour watermelon candy. This is canned, 6.0% ABV, and available now from the brewpub!

There’s one other one from T&B to tell you about and this one will tickle your tastebuds in a different way. Melting Mountains is a new Triple IPA that is big and hazy. Featuring the hop trio of Citra, Mosaic, and Idaho 7 it is big on citrus and drinkability in a 10% body. Check this one from the taproom!

TataHeads (or fans of Tatamagouche Brewing, which is everyone) have a full year of enjoyment ahead of them as the brewery slow rolls their 10th anniversary celebrations over the year. On social media they’re going to be running polls for the next week in their own March Madness style showdown. They’ll be posting 16 beers from the Tata Brew Archives and followers will have a chance to vote on what beer makes a triumphant return. Check their Instagram stories and post for a little trip down memory lane. We certainly have our favourites, so go check out the contest and vote with your heart!

[ed. Once again we’re posting our Friday wrap-up on Saturday. Real Life™ is a thing; whatchagonnado?]

Happy St. Patrick’s Day weekend! There are a lot of events going on at your local bars, pubs, and breweries, so make sure you show them some love instead of just going to the provincial liquor store and grabbing some Guinness! We won’t be listing all of the events and parties for Paddy’s Day (then we would never get out of here!) but be sure to check your local spots on social media to see if they have anything on the go. Let’s dive in!

We’ll start this week in Nova Scotia where the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia has released their annual fundraising collaboration beer, Together We Brew. This year representatives from member breweries gathered at Stillwell Brewing on Kempt Road in Halifax to brew a Dortmunder-style export lager. Using all-Canadian ingredients from Brew Culture, Shoreline Malting, and Escarpment Labs, it was brewed back in January before being given eight solid weeks of lagering time. Coming in at a comfortable 5.8% ABV, it’s got plenty of malt character, floral hop aroma, and a soft balancing bitterness, and it’s an excellent everyday beer and a great one to share with friends and show off the quality of NS craft beer. It’s available now in 473ml cans at NSLC locations and select breweries around NS.

If you’re the sort who keeps track of these things, or just a long time craft beer drinker in NS, you no doubt know what’s coming next. The release of the Together We Brew beer always heralds the coming of CBANS’ signature event, also called Together We Brew. This year taking place at Pavillion 22 at the Halifax Seaport you’ll find some 40 Nova Scotia craft breweries pouring their wares. Even better, they’re doing away with the tyranny of sample tickets, so maybe you won’t have to pick and choose quite as much (although you’ll still be expected to drink responsibly). Two sessions will be held on April 6th, one in the afternoon from 2 – 4:30pm, and one in the evening from 7 – 9:00pm. As always, VIP tickets are available that allow an extra hour of early tasting and a special souvenir tasting glass, and Designated Driver tickets are also available. All the relevant information and links to ticket purchase can be found on the event page at the CBANS website. Hope to see you there!

In 2022, an open-ended collaboration called Black Is Beautiful was created to support the efforts of the National Black Brewers Association in growing Black brewers across the US (and hopefully beyond). A recipe for an imperial stout was provided to breweries who wished to participate along with additional assets (label design, collateral). Each brewery pledged $1 (or more) from every can sold to the cause. This year it’s happening again, with Weathered Souls Brewing providing the recipe for a hazy IPA, Stout Collective providing the label design, and Blue Label Packaging Co even fronting the labels (breweries need only pay shipping). Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing is the first Atlantic Canadian brewery (that we’re aware of) to sign up and take part. Their version of Black Is Beautiful Volume 2 was released this week, following the published recipe pretty closely on the malt side, with 2-row malted barley, white wheat, Vienna malt, oats, and barley flakes (all organic, natch) building a solid base. Veering a little bit from the spec, the Spruce team went 50/50 with modern classics Galaxy and Mosaic for the hops, all of them added in a post-temperature reduction whirlpool and dry hop. The result is described as, “courage, bravery, and allyship wrapped in an unbelievably badass beer.” True to the spirit of the collaboration, Big Spruce will be spreading the proceeds between NBBA and longtime Big Spruce partner the African Nova Scotian Decade for People of African Descent Coalition (ANSDPAD). Grab it in cans at the brewery and, we’d imagine, other places you’ve historically found Big Spruce beer.

Missed in last week’s round-up of beers brewed for International Women’s Day was an entry from Breton Brewing in Sydney, NS. Bearing the same name as previous IWD beers brewed at Breton, Waves Rise, it is in the champagne IPA (a.k.a. brut IPA) style, which generally describes a hoppy beer with a rather light body. Leveraging the Pink Boots hop blend from Yakima Chief, it boasts aromas of peach and stone fruit and aims to please both hop lovers and lighter beer lovers alike. Find this 5.8% gem on tap and in cans at the taproom, as well as other fine drinking establishments around the province (we spotted it at The Narrows in Halifax ourselves earlier this week!).

Another IWD beer we missed last weekend is a collab between Truro Brewing and Cole Harbour’s Hardisty Brewing. Wicked Roots is a dark ale that features root beer-inspired herbs and spices, including sarsaparilla, licorice root, star anise, and wintergreen. Hardisty even went so far as to serve it with vanilla ice cream as a float last weekend for their IWD celebration! We’re not sure if that’s still available, but this 5% beer was pouring at both breweries’ taprooms and a  portion was also canned (although we’re not sure if cans went to Hardisty).

In the Burnside Industrial Park area of Dartmouth we find the pseudonymous Burnside Brewing has a new one pouring this week, the latest in their Brew Lab series of smaller batch experimental beers. This time around the Burnside team experimented with a traditional Czech brewing process, namely single decoction, to produce a traditional Czech Pilsner. Also boasting malt from Czechia, Czech Pilsner #1 comes in at 4.6% ABV and is hopped with traditional Saaz, retro Sládek, and new school Bohemie, yielding a spicy, herbaceous, and citrus-tinged hop aroma to pair with its rich maltiness and balancing bitterness. Find this unfiltered and golden beer on tap and in cans at all three Burnside properties.

Village Green in Cornwall, PEI, released a new IPA this week, one that harkens back to the IPAs of yesteryear, with a chewy malt body, plenty of bitterness, and of course, big hop flavour and aroma courtesy of large additions of Citra in the kettle and for dry hop. Dubbed Undead IPA, you shouldn’t find it scary, but you might find it has notes of marmalade, candied citrus, and ripe stone fruit in this 6.8% beer. Find it at the brewery now on tap, and hopefully in cans to go.

Up in Newfoundland, two of the Rock’s best beer spots have teamed up for a collaboration. Bar Brewdock of East Duckworth Street in downtown St. John’s grabbed themselves some tickets to Paradise and visited Banished Brewing. On their mind was brewing up a big ol’ juice bomb to remind themselves of the summer days they hope aren’t too far away. If you’re familiar with the Banished oeuvre, this one started with a similar base to Makes Sense, but amped up to reach double IPA proportions. To that was added Citra, Nelson Sauvin, and Cascade hops, including all three in a double dry hop. Finishing at 8.5% ABV, it’s truly hazy, with bitterness on the low end, a deep orange color, and plenty of citrus character that’s maybe even a little reminiscent of Five Alive™. Find it on tap at the brewery and at Brewdock, of course, and it’s going out to retailers in cans as well.

Staying in Newfoundland, but out to Quidi Vidi, where Quidi Vidi Brewery has a light new hoppy brew available. Glad Hands is the product of the sixth annual collaboration between the QV and Newfermenters Homebrew Club. Starting with a beer competition, it turns into a bottle share where all comers can sample eachother’s wares. Jamie Osborne provided the recipe for this one and it’s an easy drinking session IPA. Smooth and refreshing, it’s got plenty of citrusy aromas from the hops in a, “it’s quite alright to have another,” 3.9% package. It’s a limited edition, so grab it on tap at the QV taproom or pick up some cans to go while you can.

Over to New Brunswick where, in Fredericton, Trailway Brewing has a beer returning that hasn’t been seen in well nigh two whole years. You may remember the moment in the sun of the milkshake IPA, which generally marries the hazy IPA style with fruit and lactose to produce something not quite beer-like, but also definitely beer-like. Not the kind of style you’d find yourself banging four of in an evening, but certainly something that can scratch a (possibly weird) itch. This iteration of Velvet Fog is 6% and features cherry and mango flavors along with the sweetness of lactose and plenty of hops; it’s soft and round, and almost smoothie-like on the finish. Available in cans at the taproom in Fredericton and Union House in Saint John, you’ll also be able to pick this up at ANBL locations in coming weeks as well.

Only one event this weekend, but it’s a doozy and it’s already started!

If you’re in Halifax, you may have seen the news of the triple tap takeover between Tatamagouche Brewing, 2 Crows Brewing, and Lone Oak Brewing a few weeks ago and have been jealous of all that great beer in one place. Well today you get your chance. Starting today at open and running all the way to close, those three breweries will be doing it all again at Battery Park in Dartmouth. Will you find green beer? Probably not. Will you find a selection of fresh and delicious beer from some of the region’s best breweries? You sure will. Maybe we’ll see you there!

And a couple more things afore we go:

You down with P-O-G? Yeah, you know me! [ed. Alrighty there, Milhouse] 2 Crows Brewing has a new version of the Jamboree Sour Series, but this one features passionfruit, orange, and guava additions. Using a puree of passion fruit, pureed mango, orange puree along with the orange zest and juice, this is really just for summer.  It’s 4.8% and canned now, available at both 2 Crows locations and with certain NSLCs will be carrying this as well. 

Moncton’s O’Creek Brewing isn’t taking their foot off the pedal any time soon: they’ve got three new beers pouring this week. Czech Affair is a returning favorite, a Czech pale lager, Kozak Lager, brewed in partnership with the Ukrainian Club of Moncton (some proceeds contributed to the Ukrainian cause), and Sunny Brae Coffee Stout, which was brewed with coffee from local roastery Sunny Brae Coffee. All three are pouring at their taproom, but if you’re in Halifax with no plans to be in Moncton this weekend, you may still be able to sample some O’Creek, as Stillwell HQ has been pouring some of their wares of late.

Unfortunately this week we again need to finish with some sadder news. Off Track Brewing in Bedford announced this week that they will be closing on April 28th (or when they run out of beer). Bedford’s only brewery, they built themselves a taproom on Rocky Lake Drive that fostered a vibrant community spirit. Additionally, The Harbour Brewing Company in Musquodoboit Harbour has announced that they are for sale and will be ceasing current operations once they run out of beer. We raise a glass to the teams at both locations wish them all the best, whatever their futures may bring.

Here we are, we’ve leapt into March, and with March Break, Easter, and March Madness, it’s a month that flies right on by. But, today is International Women’s Day and while we want to say “why do we need this day? Isn’t everything equitable and fair across all humanity?” Nope! But we would love to see more Brave Noise, Pink Boots and women-supported and-led initiatives all year round, not just for the day. In other news, there’s a time change this weekend, just in time for March Break, so does that mean we get one hour less of drinking time? No way! We’ll keep this short and sweet, but we do want to start the news with the results from a recent homebrew competition from last week.

As they have been doing since 2013, Big Spruce has once again held their Home Brew Challenge, giving the chance for Maritime homebrewers to put their skills to the test for a chance to win bragging rights, and see a commercial batch of their homebrew recipe brewed for public consumption. This year’s competition was a chance to get an early crack at two yeasts developed by Guelph’s Escarpment Labs, Elysium and Pomona. We’ll leave the nerdy details to Escarpment, and just tell you that the competition was fierce, with 34 entries in the two categories, and the brewers taking home top honours a mix of both experienced and new to the craft. “Any Given Sunday”, as they say! Top marks go to Joël Imbeau for his 124 Conch Street fermented with Pomona and Daniel Matheson & David Morgan for their West Coast Paradise produced using Elysium. Look for these to hit the local market in the coming months, once the winners have made their way up to Nyanza for a heck of a good time!

As mentioned above, Friday, March 8th, marks International Women’s Day (IWD) and we have a few releases to highlight.

In Halifax, Propeller Brewing has two new releases from the women of Propeller. First up is the Pink Boots Dry Hopped Sour. At 4.8% this is a limited edition sour with big citrus and tropical, and a sour candy apple finish. It uses this year’s Yakima Chief Pink Boots Hop Blend to prop up the nose, which boasts beautiful aromatics from the dry hopping.

Second from Propeller is Pink Books Hazy Pale Ale. At 5% this release intends to showcase the same Pink Boots Hop Blend in an approachable style and ABV. This one uses a lot of flaked wheat and pilsner malt, along with a double dry-hop of Pink Boots.  Both of these releases are on tap only at the taprooms and Propeller Arcade. 

Also with two releases this week, Tatamagouche Brewing has their own IWD beer to kick off their duo. Yolande is an India Session Ale at 4.6% brewed by the women of the brewery. Yolande means “violet flower” and is also the namesake of a ship built in Tatamagouche in the late 19th century. This beer also uses the same Yakima Chief x Pink Boots Society 7th annual Hop Blend, which brings sweet melon, orange and mango flavours. Team Tata, like Propeller’s crew, elected to use them in an approachable style to try and highlight the hops in a light and drinkable package. A portion of all sales will be donated to the Third Place Transition House in Truro, Nova Scotia. and the Pink Boots Society Canadian Chapter.

Second up from TataBrew is the returning Collusion Double IPA. It is packed with the combination of Citra and Mosaic hops to bring flavours of tangerine, pineapple and watermelon. It is juicy, very drinkable and has light bitterness in a 7.9% package. Both of these releases are canned and available from the brewery and Bishop’s Cellar (in store or delivery for both!). 

Over to Fredericton, where Trailway has their own pair of new beers. Both are timely releases, with one being re-released for IWD and the other one for St. Patrick’s Day. Starting with the returning Physica, this is a “raspberry cream IPA” brewed with proceeds of sales being donated to Sexual Violence New Brunswick and Hestia House, local organizations supporting women subject to domestic or sexual violence.  The beer itself uses raspberry puree and El Dorado and Mosaic hops for a soft and sweet impression in a 5.6% package.

Also from Trailway is Dry Irish Stout.  At 4.8% this is a traditional creamy, balanced, and roasty stout just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Canned and available from the brewery, there will be some special kegs of this released for Paddy’s Day weekend. This is the first of the style for Trailway, so make sure to grab it in cans or on tap if you can! 

In last week’s news and following up from Big Spruce above, they are one of a pair of Atlantic Canadian breweries taking part in the grassroots International Tripel Day, which was celebrated Sunday, March 3rd. Highlighting this traditional Belgian style of beer known for being malt forward, and extremely drinkable, despite often topping 9% ABV, the Spruce’s entry is one they have brewed previously, named simply Tripel – Belgian Pale Ale. At 9.3% ABV, it has some ester-y goodness from the yeast, coming through as banana bread, light spiciness, and some sunny citrus. On the palate, it is an incredibly smooth beer with a hint of sweetness.

And just a hop, skip, and a jump (aka, ferry or plane) away is Dildo, Newfoundland, where the namesake brewery released Barrel Aged Belgian Style Tripel, a beer more than a year in the making! Brewed with a simple malt bill, the traditional monastic yeast has created some great fruity esters along with touches of pepper and clove on the nose. Twelve months of aging in oak white wine barrels allowed those characteristics come through in spades, while also providing the beer extra time to ferment completely and finish drier than others in the style. Available now exclusively at their Dildo taproom and Water Street (St. John’s) Bottle Shop, in limited quantities!

We’ve got a big collaboration brew out now for Fredericton’s three-week Burger Battle bonanza! With a brand new beer called Want Fries With That? This is a Hazy IPA that is packed with Galaxy and HBC 1019, it brings big flavours of coconut, peaches and citrus. This beer was brewed at Foghorn but in collaboration with Big Spruce, Lone Oak and Hops Connect, who together designed and produced a 6.5% and 30 IBU hazy brew. You can only get this one in New Brunswick so keep an eye out at your burger places all around Fredericton. 

Continuing in the collaboration department, we’ve got a Newfoundland East meets West release. Port Rexton hosted Deer Lake’s Rough Waters to brew up a big hoppy West Coast Double IPA. Let’s Make It Weird is 8.5% and is classically West Coast with its clear, light copper colour, citrus aroma, and some pine and woodsy notes as well. This is available at the Port Rexton taproom and in cans at their St. John’s Retail shop. 

Space Jam friends unite (no not the new one, Lebron fans) and check out the latest brew from Maybee Brewing. If you look at the label you’ll understand, but Slam Dunkel is a brand new dark lager in the classic Dunkel style with a base of Munich malt from the Fredericton brewery. With its highly drinkable notes of coffee and chocolate, it’s smooth and balanced at 4.5% and 25 IBU. This is canned and kegged, so look for this from the brewery and anywhere else you find Maybee products! 

And a few last mentions to see you on your way for the weekend:

Does Tanner put out a new beer every week? It seems like it! Pilsner is back from the brewery, using an exclusive Pilsner malt from Horton Ridge, who are continuing to expand their oeuvre to serve the local market. The malt is currently just for Tanner and is featured in this traditional German-style pilsner. It’s crisp and dry with a slightly spicy floral finish. It’s 4.8% and 35 IBU, canned and available from the brewery. 

Wolfville’s Annapolis Cider has a new Something Different on tap that is available now. Robuste is a more traditional cider, fermented in French Oak and split up and aged for another year in rum barrels and two other grades of French Oak. The apples for this were entirely heirloom varieties (like Golden Russet, no that’s not a potato!) and English cider varieties (like Dabinette) and the result is funky and strong, with a clean finish at 11%. Only available for pints and fills at the cidery, fifty cents of each refill of Something Different supports the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Halifax. Swing by to try this complex wonder!

Fusion is back from Burnside Brewing, as this big dry-hopped beer uses a mix of hops in the hazy IPA style. Fermented and dry-hopped with Callista, Ariana,and Hallertau Blanc. It’s 6.9% and unchanged from the previous recipe. It’s back for a limited time and is canned and available at all the Burnside locations.