The Church Brewing Company

All posts tagged The Church Brewing Company

Happy Friday all you cool cats and kittens! We hope your July has been going well, and will continue to get even better. With COVID restrictions continuing to relax, for those able to travel in (and outside of) the Atlantic region, checking in on a new or favourite brewery is a great way to support those who keep you well stocked in excellent local beer. As we took last week off (and it was glorious!), this will be a bit of a longer post, so strap in and let’s get going!

Hardisty Brewing in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, is celebrating Pride with the release of a brand new Amber Ale. Thirst Trap continues Hardisty’s mission to celebrate diversity and inclusion in all things they do, with this approachable 5.8%, 37 IBU, copper-coloured beer featuring plenty of biscuity malt character with a touch of bitterness, finishing with a dark caramel toast flavour. As with all of their releases, the cans feature a quote about the beer, with Thirst Trap’s featuring one inspired by their love of Schitt’s Creek. So, how can you get your hands on TT and other Hardisty beer? If you’re fortunate enough to live in Cole Harbour (or willing to move there), they’ll bring the beer to you, through their weekly deliveries. If not, you’ll have to make your way to Harvest Wines (or request delivery), where you can grab it. And be sure to check out Hardisty’s webstore for a big selection of merchandise, including tees and hoodies inspired by Pride and Thirst Trap.

Heading to the Hub City, Truro Brewing Company has a couple of new beers on the board, including Stone Fruit Butch, a 5.7% hazy IPA featuring big additions of mango purée and coconut, to go all-in with the tropical theme. Plenty of fruit character, with just a touch of bitterness, great for enjoying on their patio at 53 Inglis Place. Proceeds from Stone Fruit Butch are going towards Truro Pride Society, supporting the great work they do in the community. SFB joins Tenacious B, a 5.8% Black IPA that marked their 100 brew since opening in February 2020, as well as Citrus Got Real, an 8.0% West Coast Double IPA featuring tons of Citra and Idaho 7 hops.

And last weekend, Truro held a gala to announce the winners of the inaugural Hubtown Homebrew Competition, which tasked amateur brewers to come up with their best Patio Beer. A wide variety of styles were submitted, and the Best in Show was Derek Wood’s Polish Grodziskie, a light Smoked Wheat beer. You’ll soon be able to enjoy Woody’s beer on the patio at TBC, as well as a Session IPA brewed by Chelsea Meisner, which took honours as the top score-getter in the first round of judging. Congratulations to all entrants and the hard-working judges who had the difficult task of picking the winner!

Delta Force Brewing, the elusive brewery located in REDACTED Nova Scotia, has another big beer drop available for delivery within a 1 hour radius of HRM. In fact, they have two big beer drops, in the form of two Six Packs available now. The Farmshed Summer 6 Pack features a wide variety of options, including the brand new Operation Jaromir Lagr (a 6.0% Czech Dark Lager), Operation Stronghold (West Coast IPA), Operation Assay (Kveik Pale Ale), Operation Jug (a 5.6% Saison), and Operation Wessex with Brett (Brett Barley Wine). Also available is Time Travel 6 Pack, featuring a pair of bottles each of three variants of their Mean Time Brett Bitter: The original, featuring their own farmshed-grown hops and PEI Malt, Mean Time Atlantic leaves out the funky Brett yeast to allow the locally-grown ingredients to shine through on their own, and Mean Time Pacific swaps out their hops for some classic West Coast hops to better experience the left coast… In addition to these 6 packs, there are a few singles available for purchase, as well as some Anderlecht Farmshed Brett Single. You can order, pay, and arrange delivery by contacting them via email (deltaforcebrewing@gmail.com) for delivery this weekend!

Cross Creek Brewing located near Woodstock NB, has sent their beer on quite the trip this week, with it being available outside the province for the first time ever. Those of you in Charlottetown should keep an eye on the social media and taps at HopYard Beer Bar, as they’ll be pouring 5 different CCB offerings over the course of the next few weeks. In addition to their eponymous Cross Creek Pale Ale, look out for Two Divas Blonde Ale, featuring Carleton County-grown Cascade and Centennial hops, Outhouse Stout, a 4.8% Oatmeal Stout that is extremely easy-drinking and lightly hopped with Fuggles, Blueneck Kentucky Common Ale, and Headpond Cream Ale. And word on the street is that there are big things coming in CCB’s region, with major plans underway to be drinking the good stuff at a place of their own before too long!

Wolfville’s Annapolis Cider has announced their latest Something Different, and it really is a departure for them. Grapefruit Cider Radler is a lower alcohol (4.7%) cider featuring Amarillo hops to complement the Red Grapefruit and Lime juices in the blend, with bright citrus acidity being perfect to refresh after a bike ride (the original impetus for Radlers in Germany), or just to cap or start a great summer’s day. As with all Something Different releases, Annapolis partners with a local group, with $0.50 of each refill of the Radler going to the Adrian Campbell Scholarship Fund, assisting young Nova Scotian athletes to pursue post-secondary education while still engaging in their passion for sport.

Halifax charmers Tidehouse has a new release this week that is hot for the summer. Hip! Hip! is a summer crusher ale from the brewery that is their lightest beer brewed to date. This 4.8% ale brings a very neutral release from the brewery, not hoppy, crisp, a touch of white wine character. Using a base of pilsner malt, along with flaked corn and a small amount of hopping from Nelson Sauvin, this is available today from the brewery. Enjoy it to celebrate out in the sun with friends and family. 

Just outside of Antigonish is Half Cocked Brewing, located in North Grant. Since opening their expanded location and welcoming visitors into their taproom daily, they often hear “Do you have anything sour on tap?”. For the first time, the answer is now a resounding “Yes!”. Something Sour hit the taps yesterday afternoon for samples, pints, and growler fills. At a light and breezy 4.9% ABV, the sour features massive dry hopping of Citra and Idaho 7, complementing the bright citrus notes from the underlying beer, but without any bitterness. Pair a pint with food care of the Crafty Cooks food truck set up onsite, and you’re in for a wonderful evening or weekend brunch destination!

The whippersnappers at Tatamagouche always keep us on our toes with amazing releases. The latest to join the fray is Intertidal: Ekuanot Rye IPA. A first release of the Intertidal series, this one showcases the Ekuanot hop, those familiar will know it has a complex profile with some spiciness, cedar and tropical fruit flavours. First settling on the hop, the spicy-biting style of Rye IPA was chosen to play with the profile of Ekuanot. Starting with a base of Horton Ridge pale, with about 20% malted rye, there are small additions of light and medium caramel malt as well. This was mashed in at a slightly cooler temperature to try and create a drier finish for the IPA. Joining Ekuanot, El Dorado and Centennial played supporting actors in the kettle and was distributed throughout the boil. The big hop drop blend also joined in the whirlpool. Fermented with mostly English yeast for its high attenuation and a bit of wheat beer yeast. Finally (!) this ale was dry hopped with Ekuanot and El Dorado. Trying to play with all of these flavours has been a careful decision by the brewery and it sounds like a hit. The final product is a 6.7% Rye IPA that is available today from the brewery in cans and kegs, and hitting their webstore any minute now, for Canada-wide delivery.

One from last week’s release that can’t be ignored (not that we ignore anything!) is a new release in that lovely, familiar can design from Propeller. Mosaic Pale Ale joins the single hop featured lineup from the Halifax brewery. Featuring Mosaic hops exclusively, this 5% pale ale gives notes of fresh-picked berries and should have a bit of piney resin flavour as well. Crisp and clean, this 35 IBU pale ale is one to pick up for the summer. Available in 473ml cans, you can pick this up in 4-packs from Propeller online or in-store and likely around some of the private shops in HRM. 

Cornwall’s Village Green has a draught-only release this week. Nelson Table Bier is a (you guessed it) table beer,or a “session Saison” if you’re not familiar with the style. This comes in at 3.7% and has a very generous dry hop featuring Nelson Sauvin. Some peppery notes accompany this slightly herbaceous and very refreshing beer. On tap only for now, cans should be coming next week. Be sure to stop in if you’re passing through!

The new releases keep rolling out of Nyanza, with Big Spruce’s newest one-off, Tripel Belgian Pale Ale. Coming in at 9.3%, look for traditional notes of spice, banana and citrus, with a hint of residual sweetness. This one was brewed in collaboration with award-winning Halifax homebrewer Ian Wheatley, who should be no stranger to the readers of this blog, having collaborated with several Nova Scotia breweries throughout the years. The new Spruce releases continue, but for this one, you’ll need to make a trip to Sydney. Brewed for exclusive release at Governor’s Pub and the Sydney location of the Old Triangle, Bizarre Gov Triangle is a 6.4% hazy IPA with notes of tropical fruit. You can find it on tap at the two downtown Sydney watering holes today. 

We’ve got a couple of important newsworthy items from Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery today. First off, they recently debuted Hard Over Harry, a 4.5% Light Beer brewed to honour the commissioning of HMCS Harry DeWolf, an arctic and offshore patrol vessel, the first coming out of the Irving Shipyard as part of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, and the first in its class of vessels. Named after Vice Admiral Harry DeWolf, Canada’s most highly decorated naval officer, and known for aggressive ship manoeuvering while commanding the HMCS Haida during the Second World War. Available on tap and in cans now at their taproom at 35 Portland Street, as well as their Waterfront Beer Garden at Alderney Landing.

And you’ll soon be able to enjoy a third location, as the Brightwood crew are opening BrightYard in the coming days… Located at 53 ½ Portland Street in Downtown Dartmouth, this outdoor beer garden will feature plenty of Brightwood beer on tap, and feature a BBQ-inspired menu, courtesy of Emma Strubank and her team (best known for Café GoodLuck and other great spots around HRM). Centering around an authentic Southern BBQ offset smoker, look for brisket, chicken, and veggies too, prepared in the low and slow technique that has kept people happy and satisfied for years. And you too can be happy and full this afternoon, as BrightYard is holding a pop-up in Brightwood’s taproom this afternoon, 4 – 9 PM, with brisket and smoked chicken sandwiches, pulled pork, and great veggies options like charred carrots and grilled broccoli and radicchio available. Live Music from Ryan Stanley on the go from 8 PM in the taproom as well. Check out Brightwood’s social media for the full scoop, and follow both accounts to keep up with the opening date and full menu.

A few more newsbites to finish off today’s post. Stay dry but well hydrated this weekend!

A short bite out of Antigonish, Candid Brewing has updated their hours and has some beer available in HRM. Two of their beers were dropped off to Battery Park, so keep an eye out for Working Joe (4.7% Breakfast Stout) and No Brainer (5.2% Blood Orange Pale Ale) hitting the wall at the Dartmouth favourite. Their regular summer hours are currently 3 -6 PM Wednesday through Saturday, so be sure to stop by if you’re in the area. 

Always a popular destination spot, Wolfville’s Church Brewing sees a few brewery exclusive releases this week. Available now for crowler and in-person pint fills, Persephone Strawberry Pale Ale and Hades Blueberry Pale Ale should be summer-y, refreshing, fruity and slightly tart twists to crisp pale ales. 

News from Lone Oak sees Noble coming at you in cans! Noble is a 0.7% ABV ultra light pale ale with notes of field berries up front and some citrus on the finish. Perfect to add to your summer, weekday or drinking rotation, you can get this in person or online. And mark your calendars to support Lone Oak as they take on Keith’s in the semi final of the HopYard Battle of the Breweries next Thursday, July 15th. The winner of that battle faces Upstreet in the finals July 29th.

Following up from an editorial note two weeks ago, the 2 Crows & Luke’s Small Goods pop-up from July 1st is now tomorrow, July 10th, from noon until sell-out. The event sees the re-release of Cool Kid (blog favourite, RIP Niche), celebrating with a Fried Chicken pop-up! Details are in the Instagram post here and our post from last time.

A quick hitting re-release from Unfiltered sees Edgy making a return last week. Using the base recipe from DOA, this Double IPA uses Centennial instead as it’s single hop all throughout the mash, wort, kettle and dry-hopping. This is available now for growler fills, pints at Charm School and 473ml cans online or at the brewery.

 

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.

 

Welp, after a lighter blog last week, the breweries, cider houses, and mead makers have righted the ship with two dozen new and returning releases this week. All four Atlantic Provinces are well-represented, so no envious reading of new beers not available in your neck of the woods… And with many breweries shipping intra- and inter-provincially, even those concerns are things of the past. As always in these times, confirm that your local brewery or favourite beer-centric bar or restaurant is open and doing take-away or in-person enjoyment (those in NS will have to wait a while for that luxury again), but at least we can suggest what to ask for when you do sidle up to the bar.

Starting off this week, we’ve got a barrel aged version of a previous release. Last fall, 2 Crows released a Change is Brewing collaboration called Good News, a Berliner-style Weisse with raspberry and Mango additions. Yesterday, they released Great News a barrel aged sibling. The big difference with this one is that the brewers started with some Berliners that were already in barrels from the fall.

From the brewery: “Together with the members of CIB and a couple folks from the Africville Heritage Museum, we held a blending session where we sampled a number of different Berliners we had brewed to barrel in early 2020.  As a group, we decided on a blend of three different barrels – one Sauvignon Blanc, and two Mezcal Reposado barrels.” Fruit additions of Raspberry and Mango joined the blend, which used the same base for all barrels: 55% pilsner, 11% raw wheat, and 33% wheat malt, along with some aged hops in the mash. The beer was then conditioned for two months before bottle conditioning for another seven.

This beer has great jammy flavours from the raspberry, and is zippy per the style. The Mezcal barrels bring some earthiness, while the Sauvignon Blanc barrels give smooth lemongrass notes. It comes in at 3.2% ABV and is available in 375ml bottles. A limited number are available, so get it directly from the brewery while you can! 

Those in the Saint Andrews, New Brunswick area have reason to celebrate, as they now have a local brewery of their own! Saint Andrews Brewing Company is a nano brewery owned and crafted by Ian Covey, a veteran of the New Brunswick brewing scene. While SABC does not have a taproom of their own, they will be supplying local bars and restaurants with their beer, with local The Red Herring Pub the first to carry their beer this weekend. We’ve got the early scoop on what will be pouring, namely: Herringbone Pub Ale, their 4.6% take on a traditional Best Bitter, featuring a grain bill of Golden Promise and a dash of Crystal Dark, plentifully hopped with East Kent Goldings to the tune of 30 IBU. Caramel, toast, and even some Earl Grey tea qualities in the glass, and look for it to be on Cask in the future. Also on draught is Wharfbound Hazy Pale Ale, a 5.5% NEIPA with a blast of ripe tropical fruit character from the Citra and Simcoe used throughout (including in two dry-hopping additions), on a pillowy base of Golden Promise, Canadian 2-Row, wheat, and flaked oats. Think candied pineapple, mango, and even CBD gummies. In addition to these core beers that should always be on tap at the Red Herring, the first of their rotating taps is London Brown Ale, a 4.3% Brown Ale brewed in the historical style, a touch sweeter than a traditional English Brown, showcasing all the lovely brown bread, toffee, and raisin notes you’d expect. These three beers will be on tap today at noon, and given the small batch size, may not last all weekend, so do not delay in visiting to grab the first tastes! We’ll have much more from Covey and SABC soon, and in the meantime follow along on IG and Fb to learn more on future releases!

Heading back to NS, Big Spruce is re-releasing Complexified. With only 500 bottles available, this Bourbon Barrel-Aged Baltic Porter was slow lagered and conditioned in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels for over six months. Featuring complex, rich chocolate notes with a bit of nuttiness, a smooth bourbon finish, and a touch of wood, this beer is a winner. Only available at their Sprucetique in Nyanza and online in 650ml bottles, be sure to act quickly on this. They’ll ship this 10.9% ABV and 28 IBU beauty anywhere in Canada. 

And staying in Cape Breton, their new cidery on the block, Island Folk CIder House, is releasing Special Elderflower Cider. The elderflower infusion leads to slightly herbal and floral notes that compliment tannic notes from the apples. You can grab a bottle at the cider house in Sydney, or order online for local delivery and Canada-wide shipping.

From one Island to another, let’s head to Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, where Landwash Brewery can be found who have plenty to share this week. Out today is Up She Rises, the result of the collaborative brewday Head Brewer Christina Coady held on International Women’s Day in March, in which breweries from across Newfoundland and Labrador took part virtually. This 6.0% ABV IPA uses the Pink Boots Society hop blend from Yakima Chief, and features additions of passion fruit to the brew, for a massive blast of tropical, floral, and summer-esque vibes. Part of the proceeds from can and draught sales this weekend will be going to YWCA St. John’s, so be sure to support their efforts while drinking a great bevvie!

Plus we have some intel on two beers coming later this month, that we’ll spill closer to release, but we can say that the first is a Saison, reminiscent of Christina and Chris’ time brewing at Folly Brewing in Toronto, where naturally conditioned and “weird” and “funky” were the norm. And coming later in May is Packaging Manager Nardia McGrath’s Caribou Hill, an Anzac-biscuit-inspired Brown Ale beer featuring coconut. Much more then!

Where better to drink Up She Rises than at the brewery taproom, which is sporting some new seating up above the taproom proper in a space they are calling the Loft. With 30 additional seats (that will grow to 60 when restrictions ease), the space also features a second bar to reduce wait-times, and a view of the taproom and brewhouse below. It will be available for private bookings shortly, and their website also now allows for seating reservations for you and your bubble. They have a full month of events planned each Wednesday and Thursday, with fly tying (of the fishing type) each Wednesday beginning at 5 PM, and live music each Thursday starting at 6 PM. And as the weather warms, you’ll soon be able to enjoy a pint on their under-construction outdoor seating!

Wolfville’s Church Brewing has a new release this week, and best we can tell, it marks the first time they’ve packaged in bottles. Til Death Do Us Tart Sparkling Framboise is a new take on their previously released raspberry wheat ale, Til Death Do Us Tart. This time around, they’ve bottled conditioned the beer with champagne yeast to create a more sparkling and effervescent carbonation. Bottles are available now at the taproom on Main Street and for delivery locally, throughout the Valley Wednesdays (order before 8 PM Tuesday), as well as to HRM Thursdays (order by Wednesday at 8 PM). It’s also available in a special Mother’s Day gift pack that includes two tulip glasses and a bottle opener, with an optional variety of cheeses that can be added, available Sunday for pickup or local delivery. Due to the small batch size, phoning in the order for delivery is probably the way to go for this one (902-542-2337, https://churchbrewing.ca/store/shop-beer). 

And while we have you thinking of Church, they debuted a new American IPA on the weekend, aptly named Maia. Named after the Goddess of Spring, this 5.7% ABV slightly hazy golden ale features some wheat and oats in the grist to soften the mouthfeel, with the star of the show being the hops used. Magnum, Mosaic, and Vic Secret shine through with lemon and herbal notes, with plenty of other fruity ester character to stand tall on her own, or the beer’s acidity can work with the hops as a refreshing palate cleanser accompanying wings, orzo salad, or a Caprese bacon sandwich. Maia is a draught-only release, which these days means it is only available in Crowlers, but those can be added to a local or HRM delivery over the phone, or picked up in person at their location on Main Street Wolfville.

Bad Apple is back with a cider release this week, straight outta Somerset in the heart of the Annapolis Valley. Haskap Cider is 6% ABV and features the local Haskap berry added to the cider as whole fruit smashed with love. Available in 473ml cans only from the brewery, this is rich, flavourful, well carbed and sports a vibrant red colour. 

And In other Bad Apple news, if you’re reading this early enough on Friday and are in HRM, you may be able to get an order delivered in Halifax. Check out the Facebook post here for details on how to order, and choose from their Box Cutter IPA, Mosaic DIPA, Black & Tackle RIS, and Stearman APA, as well as several of their ciders.

And speaking of both cider and the Valley, Kentville’s Maritime Express has a new cider available this week as well. Lively Airs is a 5.2% fruity and herbal cider that began with a base of a juice blend from Spy and Honeycrisp apples. To that, local strawberries were blended in, before basil was added during the aging process. Named for a picnic outing sponsored by the Western Counties Railway way back in 1875 to drum up funds. Flat cars were fitted with benches and an estimated 1,200 people went on the excursion, entertained by the “lively airs” of the Milton Brass Band who were positioned at the center of the train. A lovely historical reference to a very summery-sounding cider. Get your taste of it by ordering online for pickup any time between 12 and 8 today (Friday) or between 4 and 8 on Saturday (and hopefully soon enough you’ll be sipping pints in the taproom again!) And if you’re making an order, you might also be interested to know that their Roundhouse Rhubarb is also back in stock and it’s “tarter and rhubarbier than ever!”

Bringing some good news from PEI, Copper Bottom is bringing the love, returning the support they’ve received over the past 14 months during the pandemic. Islanders have been more than kind to them and they’re taking a turn to give back. Launching today, they’re starting a Give Back Initiative, which will be a series of beer releases that will support PEI not-for-profits, community groups and local artists. 

The first release comes out today and Plover is a Helles-style lager in support of Island Nature Trust, whose mandate is to protect vital underdeveloped land and at-risk wildlife. Available in cans and pints, this style has a bit more body than a classic Pilsner, has a Noble hop flavour and aroma from the Hallertau Mittelfrüh, complementing the Island floor-malted grain used to achieve the 4.8% ABV. Cans are available from the brewery today, along with draught Plover pouring as well. $1 from every can or pint sale will go directly to the Island Nature Trust to work to protect natural assets and thrive for sustainability across the province. For those not in Montague, check their website for delivery options to your neck of the woods. If you’re lucky enough to be nearby, they’ll have some entertainment in the taproom at 6 PM tonight to celebrate the release. From Copper Bottom, “Future plans for the Give Back Initiative include releases to support mental health initiatives, local art installations, and other community-oriented projects.”

There’s a bunch of news out of Garrison Brewing in Halifax this week, as it’s clear they’re very very busy over there despite the HRM lockdown. First up is news for fans of football (no, not that one, the other one): Halifax Wanderers FC and Garrison are teaming up for a co-branded special release of Garrison’s Tall Ship Light in 473 mL cans. Merging themes from each brand into a single, unified look, you’ll be able to see it for yourself through the Seaport and Oxford retail locations, private stores around the city, and eventually at the Wanderers Grounds at a Wanderers match once this lockdown madness is all over.

There are also beers returning to the Garrison ranks this week, one that’s fairly new school and one that’s decidedly not. First up is the summer edition of their kettle sour. The 2021 edition of Pucker Up! Citrus is hazy and very orange forward, continuing to a citrus finish, all on top of the usual tartness that fans of this one enjoy. Available at the Seaport and Oxford locations now, they will also be coming to the private stores and NSLC in the coming days.

Also returning is the elusive, in-frequent, but cult-following-inducing Jalapeño Ale. Last spotted in 2018, this year’s 4.6% batch features more chilis than just its eponymous pepper, but the exact cultivars are a secret! What isn’t a secret is the kick of capsaicin evident on the nose and palate right away, making it perfect for marinating, cooking, as a base for a beer cocktail, or straight up enjoyment for those pepperheads out there. If you fall into any of these categories, we suggest you grab Jalapeño quickly, as it will be gone before you know it. (Now we need to start a petition for Garrison to bring back and equally vintage brand, Khybeer Mokka Ale!!)

And finally from Garrison is a cider collaboration with their pals at Bulwark. Core Apple Cider has been on tap at their Seaport and Oxford locations for a while now, but is available for the first time in 473 ml cans this week. At 5.8%, finishing dry, it used 1005 Annapolis Valley Apples that Bulwark helps them source and process. Gluten-free as you’d expect, and a yummy alternative for those wanting/needing an alternative to beer.

Borden-Carlton’s Lone Oak Brewing has a new beer on tap at their taproom, your first/last stop when visiting the Island (you know, assuming you aren’t supposed to be self-isolating)…Lupin is a 6.5% ABV Belgian Saison, with lots of yeast-derived notes of bubblegum, clove, spice, and herbs, on a dry effervescent base. Featuring Island-grown hay, as well as honey from Canoe Cove, there’s a hint of sweetness on the backend. Only available on draught at the taproom currently, bottles of Lupin will be available before the end of the month.

Lunn’s Mill – CM done

Lunn’s Mill Brewing, in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, has a new “Old” English IPA on tap at the brewery now. Bramle On features the English Bramling Cross hop, resulting in an earthy and floral aroma complementing the soft and well-conditioned feel of a classic British beer base (and, if you’re like some of us, a name that’ll put you in mind of Led Zeppelin). At 6.1% ABV, it is on draught at the brewery’s taproom in Lawrencetown, so growlers are the best way to go for this one. And then in-person pints there and at your local pub soon, once the lockdown lifts! In the meantime, you can request delivery to your door through their online portal.

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing is continuing their month of Small Batch Releases with a beer over a year in planning. Wild IPA is a blend of a Brettanomyces-fermented IPA that spent time in white wine barrels, before being blended with a super-fresh IPA loaded with Nelson Sauvin hops. Gooseberry and White Wine notes burst from the can, with a funky wild character from the Brett component. This 6.2% ABV blend is a can-only release, appearing on the shelves at all 3 Prop locations open 12 – 8 PM today (and everyday!), with same-day delivery available in HRM and shipping further afield. A portion of the batch will also be appearing at the four private stores in Halifax and Dartmouth this weekend. And after a mad dash to snap it up mid-April, Tropical Haze is back in cans at the Prop Shops as well, perfect for enjoyment outside as the weather warms.

Annapolis Brewing Company is going sour for their most recent release, Basin Berry Sour. Leveraging plenty of raspberry and blackberry fruit in the glass, blending perfectly with the base kettle sour beer that marks their first foray into the style, and just in time for the warmer weather. Featuring a lovely purple hue, the 4.0% sour is available in cans at the taproom in Annapolis Royal (lockdown hours, Wed – Sun, 12 – 6 PM), or for home delivery through their website.

Mountain Meadworks has a pair of new meads available this week, available from their stall Saturday from the Truro Farmers Market, as well as through the online portals from the Truro and New Glasgow Markets. Feral Nova Scotia was created with honey from Tatamagouche, and yeast harvested from a pin cherry in Cape Breton and cultured by Escarpment Labs that will be familiar to many beer fans… Finishing dry, yet showing a touch of lingering honey on the palate, the floral character shines through in spades. The second expression is a sure sign of spring, the return of grackles to the area. Featuring wildflower honey from Tatamagouche, the mead also showcases organic blueberries from North of Nuttby Farm, and Black Currants from Upperbrook Farm in Truro. Dry, yet juicy, with plenty of fruit flavour and light tannins from the fruit additions shining through.

Cornwall PEI’s Village Green has debuted their first traditional farmhouse beer this week, the simply-named Saison. Using a multi-grain grist bill, the beer finishes quite dry with notes of pepper, lemon, and a touch of spice. European and English hops complement the base with a solid bitterness. Find Saison on draught and in cans at their location on Church Street in Cornwall, and you may also be able to catch it on tap at HopYard in Charlottetown as well.

We finish off our news section today with a major development for cider in Fredericton. Red Rover Craft Cider has found a new home, at the historical Neill Family Farm, located in Devon on the Northside. Dating back to 1867, there are generations of history at that location, which Nicola Mason and Adam Clawson of Red Rover intend to continue with their own family. Their plans are far-reaching, including moving their production facility from Hanwell Road to Devon in the coming months, which will allow expansion as well as welcome guests to tour the facility once renovations are complete. A taproom and event space, the Ciderworks, will repurpose some of the existing farm buildings to better suit their new intention. Going forward, they will be planting apple and other fruit trees, including traditional cider-specific varietals, which will bear fruit in the coming years. Much more great details to share as Red Rover make the farm their own, and our congratulations to Mason and Clawson on this major milestone!

Just one event to talk about this week, but it’s a good ‘un if you happen to be in the St. John’s area!!

The East Duck area of St. John’s is getting a taste of the mainland this weekend, with both Bar Brewdock and nearby Toslow pouring some fresh kegs from Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing. Both spots are pouring a nice selection on the go/coming soon, with Waltz German Pils, Deux II Cherry Sour (collab with Orono Brewing Co), Laurel Dark Saison with plum and bay leaf, Zip! Berliner Weisse, Jamboree Fruited Sour, I Love You Brett Saison, and Space Words Triple IPA to be pouring at Brewdock, and Deux II and Laurel on at Toslow. Both spots will also be pairing some great food all weekend (and the rest of the time, natch), so maysel make an evening of it and try ‘em all!

A few last quick hits to leave you with this week:

Lovers of tiny hoppy beers rejoice! 2 Crows Matinee is back. This 3.1% crusher is now available to-go at the brewery and via 2 Crows’ shipping and delivery options on their webstore. Look for it to start popping up at select NSLC’s around the province too. 

The small can/small ABV trend continues to gain momentum, providing us with sessionable packaged options just in time for summer. Tatamagouche Brewing is the latest to adopt the format and is now selling 355ml cans of Dekorum, their 2.9% ABV light lager by the flat. Check out their webstore for some special pricing and stock up for the weekend. 

Heritage Brewing has a new English Pale Ale out this week. This one comes in at 5.4% ABV and 30 IBUs, and like any good EPA, features some malt-driven sweetness. Easy to drink, it is lightly hopped with Fuggles to balance the malt sweetness, with the combination of malt and hops giving a deliciously smooth, medium-bodied ale that is perfect for enjoying in your household bubbles. EPA is available now for growler fills at the brewery on Main Street.

Route 19 Brewing also has a new release this week with Sandcastle. Coming in at 5.0% ABV, this fruited sour ale features peach, key lime and cara cara orange. Sandcastle is available for delivery through Route 19’s online store and is also being carried at 20 NSLC locations across Cape Breton Island. 

Dartmouth pals North Brewing and Lake City Cider have teamed up for a collaborative release hitting the shelves at both spots today. Burst is a melding of beer and cider, aka Snakebite, that features the hop-forward Pleasant Disposition from North, and a blend of Lake City’s Blueberry and Dark Currant ciders that were co-secondary-fermented to finish quite dry. The resultant beverage is hoppy, tart, refreshing, and full of fruit on the palate. Grab Burst in person at both Lake City and North, or through their respective delivery portals.

We’ll leave you with some good news from Miramachi, where New Maritime Beer Co. was the recent recipient of not one, but two gold models at the European Beer Challenge. The Very Best Juicy IPA and Refined Pirate Stout both took home the medals in their respective categories. Congrats to head brewer David Draper and the rest of the team at New Maritime on the wins! And if you’d like to join this award-winning team, they are currently hiring for a full-time Sales Representative / Delivery Person to join their family. Check out the job posting and send along a resume!

Congratulations are also in order to Brasseux d’la Côte who took home an EBC Gold for their La Classic Rosé! Lots of great things brewing along the shore in New Brunswick. Well done Crew!

And speaking of job positions, Bathurst’s 13 Barrels Brewing is hiring a bar tender/server for their taproom. You can learn more and apply by reaching out via email.