The Church Brewing Company

All posts tagged The Church Brewing Company

Greetings, June bugs. Outside (and really, inside) of beer, it’s an important month for inclusivity, equity, celebration and learning. It’s National Indigenous History Month in Canada and Pride Month is widely-celebrated in North America in June as well. We don’t want to get on the soap-box too much here, but supporting your local, independent, craft brewers is always important, but we do encourage you to know where you’re putting your dollars. Some may use this special month as a chance to change a can design or change their branding or logos to have rainbows or Indigenous support, but please try and support those that really want to make a change for their communities, their breweries, their employees and everyone they serve. Some breweries just simply care, and we know most of our readers do, too. Now, onto the sunshine and beer news!

As we like to do, let’s kick off the post with details of a new brewery opening in our region. Banished Brewing, located in Paradise, Newfoundland, has sent the first few kegs of their beer out this week. Kegs of the initial trio of releases are pouring now at Bar Brewdock in East Duck, with cans coming to local distribution at Marie’s, Ultramar, and NLC locations next week (and soon their own retail shop at 9 Maverick Place, but keep an eye on IG for those details). So, what can you expect to drink from Banished? First up is Out The Gate, the fittingly-named Belgian Single/Singel, at 5.3% ABV, with a light malt and hop character, with a nice yeast-derived bubblegum note, while remaining refreshing. Up next is Space Puffin, a 6.0% ABV New England IPA, juicy, hazy, and full of citrus and tropical goodness for the warmer months ahead. This is the first in the “Puffin” line, keep an eye out for many more! And the newest kid on the block is NO NO NO NO YES NO. Cheeky label, eh? Big props to Paul George Hammond for this and all of Banished’s branding! This EI (Employment Insurance) Pale Ale is 4.5% ABV, light enough in alcohol to warrant having a few in the afternoon while you wait for your check to come in! These are all pouring now at Brewdock, with the Out The Gate making its way to Port Rexton Brewing on their guest tap in the next few days. And those on the West Coast will be able to get their first tastes of Banished at tomorrow’s Newfoundland & Labrador Craft Beer Festival in Corner Brook. And those in Lab City still have time to grab tickets for June 11th’s Big Land beer festival at the Legion. Congratulations to Craig and the team at Banished, we’ll have plenty more from them next week (more new beer and nerdy details and their plans for the summer!).

And speaking of new breweries, we have word that the under-new-ownership BarNone Brewing will be holding their first event at Barn One tomorrow! Doc MacLean will be blowing the roof off the joint, and there will be plenty of beer pouring to accompany that. They may even be set up to fill some growlers, just like the old days! This is a ticketed event, so email them for more details and to get your name on the list!

Bannerman Brewing, fresh off its inclusion in the list of the Top 50 Bars in Canada, is releasing a new pale ale, in collaboration with Iceberg Quest. Designed as a more sessionable offering, Undertow comes in at 5.5% ABV, perfect for sipping while out on the water searching for bergies (did we mention it will be available on-board Iceberg Quest’s tour boats?). Flaked and malted oats were added to the malt bill to give a soft mouthfeel, with dry-hop additions of Galaxy and Strata leading to hop notes of tropical and overripe fruit. In addition to being available onboard, cans and pints of Undertow can also be found at Bannerman’s taproom.

Tanner Brewing is back and these Chester brewers never disappoint with new styles, flavours and doing their own thing. They’re featuring a new hop variety, Harlequin, in their new beer of the same name. A UK hop that is very fruity with big passionfruit, peach and pineapple flavours and aromas, the Harlequin IPA features this hop in the boil and for dry-hopping. It is available in 500ml bottles and is 6.5% and 60 IBU. Get it from their stores and online for their weekly deliveries. 

Quidi Vidi is partnering with Jordan Blake, a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Homebrew Club, the Newfermenters, for the release of Catharina Sour. The crew is getting creative with flavours and styles, concotting what they are calling a strawberry coffee sour. Cans of this 5.5% ABV sour are available today at the hop shop in Quidi Vidi and will see broader distribution to QV’s other retail partners next week.

In Sydney, Breton Brewing has a new seasonal release available now. Bringing the classic style to Nova Scotia (and we want more of it, whenever we can get it), West Coast Pale Ale is exactly as advertised. This clear, golden, fruity, citrus, hoppy and bitter pale ale is a treat, popping with a generous dry hop of Simcoe and Cascade. This 5.4% and 45 IBU IPA is available in 473ml cans from the taproom and also on tap; it’s also available online for delivery in CBRM and HRM. 

Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing is staying busy over the upcoming week with three new releases! Each release is a small batch run that will be available in cans only (no kegs or bottles). First up is Crystal Crescent Strawberry Kolsch. Named for the famous beach(es) (IYKYK) in nearby Sambro, this 5.9% take on the style sees an addition of strawberries to their Days End Kolsch. Next up is Cosmic, a Strawberry Guava IPA. Also coming in at 5.9%, this ale features a blench of kolsch and English yeasts to amp up the fruity esters. Expect lots of guava character along with grapefruit and jammy berries. Finally, we have Foiliole, a 5.9% hoppy witbier. This one combines a Belgian Witbier yeast with large dry hop additions of Citra and Simcoe. Expect the classic spice notes from the yeast, along with plenty of fruit character from the dry hop. Keep your eyes on Serpent’s social channels for the exact release dates throughout the week as these small batches are likely to move quickly. 

Would you believe that Fredericton’s favourite hop hustlers, Trailway Brewing, have now turned SIX? We do because we found out about it last weekend after we posted our Friday Wrap-up, and as punishment/penance, they’ve given us a fully 2 Crows-sized release to write up. The short version is, they released FOUR new beers (IPA variants, natch) all with a bit of a naming theme, and packaged them as a four-pack for maximum delight.

Up first is Tubesock Tanline, a West-coast IPA weighing in at 6.4% ABV. Not in the usual TW wheelhouse of juicy hazies, this one presents prominent biscuity and toasty notes that balance a dank, floral, and spicy hop profile and, of course, a firm old school bitterness. Sounds pretty textbook to us!

Next comes Soul Patch, an IPA made with newish hop variety Zappa and arriving at a hefty 7%. Also not in the totally typical Tw style, this one saw additions of tangerine purée and lactose to bring it into the Milkshake IPA territory. Featuring notes of passionfruit, stone fruit, and sweet citrus (maybe even reminiscent of fruity pebbles) thanks to the aforementioned Zappa plus some Citra and Cashmere, you can expect it to be pillowy soft and sweet-ish, with plenty of pungent hops.

Third in the mix is Turtleneck Tanline, representing a style they’re calling Piña Colada IPA. This 5.9% juice bomb (almost literally) was hopped nearly to death with Sabro and Vic Secret before being refermented on pineapple juice and then cold conditioned on coconut flakes. The result does what it says on the tin, and you might even think about pouring it into a poco grande glass and garnishing it with fruit!

Last in the four-pack comes Rattail Tanline, a double dry hopped IPA with one of the highest hopping rates that the gang at Trailway has ever smashed into a beer (and folks, that’s saying something!). With stalwart hazebomb varieties Citra, Galaxy, and Sultana, leading the way, there’s also a brand new variety from South Africa called Southern Sublime in the mix. Look for notes of Juicy Fruit™ gum and tropical fruit alongside floral and dank kush-like notes from this 6.5% hopjuice.

We know that these four-packs were sent out to Picaroons Saint John and CAVOK Brewing in Dieppe last weekend, but we don’t know how much is left there or at Trailway’s own taproom. You’ll just have to hope on your drive over. Meanwhile, kegs of all of these beers have been sent around the province, including Attepic in Edmundston. Hopefully those of us in the other Atlantic Provinces will get a chance to sample some of these hoppy delights as well! Happy Birthday to Trailway and here’s to another six years!

In Halifax, 2 Crows has a new beer out this week that’s intended to both represent and give back to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. In order to do that, they teamed up with queer members on their staff, Mairi, Mairi, and Tessa, who helped put it together. The Agenda is a grapefruit and basil Radler with a splash of orange and 100% of the proceeds from its sale will be donated to South House Halifax, Kjipuktuk/Halifax’s only full time gender justice center. To celebrate this release in style, the brewery will be having a party with a Rhinestone Cowboy theme next Saturday, June 11th, with tasty morsels from Cafe Aroma Latino and DJ EFFA spinning (country-tinged?) tunes from 7PM to close. So grab your favourite stetson and a bolo tie and head on down to maybe do some line dancing and familiarise yourself with The Agenda.

Nyanza’s finest, Big Spruce Brewing,  is back with a new brew for June! Saison Opener is a perfectly named beer as we roll into summer. A foedre-fermented Saison brings classic saison flavours with a touch of funk. Finished off with a dry-hopping of Huell Melon, you’ll get nice aromas of melon and spice in this lovely 4.9% summer sipper. This is available on top now at the brewery, different outlets and will be canned next week. 

Island-hopping from Cape Breton to Newfoundland, up on the Avalon Peninsula in Mount Pearl Landwash Brewery has brought back their Prickly Fish “tiny” pale ale for the summer. Named for the wee little stickleback fish that heavily populate the brackish waters and tidepools around Newfoundland, the beer is as adorable as the little fishies it’s named after. Coming in at 3.2%, it’s got some hop pop with a lemon/pineapple/fruit cup vibe and a hazy appearance. Rolling out to all the regular spots where you find Landwash beers, including their own spot, this is a limited release, so don’t wait too too long before grabbing yourself some!

Further north on the Rock, we find Port Rexton Brewing, where they’re releasing a brand new beer in a brand new packaging format. Small Trek is a 4% ABV light lager that they’re calling “the perfect summer sipper”. You can safely expect this one to be clean, crisp, and refreshing, but also convenient. Available, like most other PR brews in 473 mL cans, this one is also being packaged in 355 mL cans that are available in 6-packs (with compostable rings!), a first for the brewery. Already available at the tap room, it should also have appeared on the shelves of their Saint John’s Retail Shop by the time you read this, and will see wider distro through the usual channels in the coming days and weeks.

Sticking with the island theme a little longer, Montague, PEI’s Copper Bottom Brewing is celebrating the arrival of patio season with their new Sour IPA. Part of their Field Trip series of fruited sour beers, this one also brings some hops. Which one(s)? You’ll have to taste yourself and try to figure it out. Bright, tart, and tropical, this beer is 5.0% ABV and available at the taproom for pints, and in 473 mL cans to go, for online orders, and at select PEILCC locations starting this weekend.

Wolfville’s Church Brewing Co. is jumping on the easy drinking lager train in time for summer. Atlantic Lager is a 5% ABV lager that features Pilsen malt alongside Magnum and Saphir hops. Expect herbal notes, alongside floral or lemony aromas. Keep an eye on Church’s social channels for release details.

O’Creek Brewing in Dieppe, New Brunswick, has a new canned product out this week! Paradox Ale is a New England IPA, full of big tropical punch notes of citrus, mango, and pineapple, with a touch of coconut in for good measure. This is a limited release, so head to CAVOK Brewing and Dieppe and Greater Moncton-area ANBL stores to grab cans of this 6.0% summer sipper today! And we may be letting the cat out of the bag a little early, but big things are oming for O’Creek in 2022, with a larger system, larger space of their own, and wider distribution of more beer on the horizon! We’ll be sure to pass along the important information as soon as we have it!

While we here at ACBB like to focus on informing you about locally produced beverages from across the Atlantic Provinces, we’d be remiss not to occasionally mention when some really cool beer from outside of the region becomes available (especially when it is purveyed by fine folks like Bishops Cellar). Average weeks of anticipation (you’re damn right we are constantly checking the new releases page), three releases from Toronto’s Bellwoods Brewery are hitting the shelves in 473 ml cans. Head on down to BIshops (or order online) for your chance to grab Ratclops Pale Ale, Roman Candle IPA and Jelly King today. It’s a real treat to be able to enjoy fresh hoppy beers from Bellwoods without making the trip to the Big Smoke. Kudos to Bishops for figuring out the logistics of getting the freshies here under cold storage, which is more than we can say for a certain government monopoly. For a more local option, Tanner’s Wheat Beer is making its return to Bishops as well.

If you’re reading this before Sunday, June 5th, Candid Brewing has a contest and a new beer to go along with it! First up, the beer (of course)! Twist My Arm is a 5% pale ale, starring Cascade hops that is intended to be easy-drinking with a nice punch of flavour. The contest is for an upcoming show on Saturday June 11, as The Fabulously Rich play a 3-hour set dedicated to The Tragically Hip. The winner will also win a prize pack from the brewery in addition to the tickets. Check out their social media for contest details.

Just in time for summer, tourists, and NBers travelling around their own province, the lovely St. Andrews in New Brunswick is home to a brand new brewery space and taproom that is now open. Right downtown, Saint Andrews Brewing  is open with 12 taps, a big patio and some snacks. Don’t worry, though, they will also still be on tap at other local establishments in Saint Andrews. While we will have more news coming, we can tell you they’re open 7 days a week with their favourite English-inspired ales and more.

Staying in New Brunswick, Off Grid Ales changed ownership after the the former owners followed through on plans to sell the brewery about a year ago. While Off Grid is known for being entirely self-sufficient (and tasty!), their 15-barrel production system powered by solar panels and wind turbines will be moving into a bigger space and switching to cans later this month. The move to Magaguadavic (only 20min west from the current Harvey Station location) will also see an increase to a 30-barrel system. The move is planned to be complete in early August following the New Brunswick long weekend. Check out the full news article here

A few bits of news out of Boxing Rock, as they’ve rebranded their 6.6% IPA and it’s available now at most NSLCs in 4x473ml packs. Also, those of you in Halifax may not have known about their location on Agricola within Local Source. The pairing has been hard at work moving to their bigger and better location at the corner of Windsor and Almon, so keep an eye out for their official opening date. 

Happy Friday Beer Fans! We’ve got a busy release for you today, as breweries continue to pump out the good stuff in our region, now that patio season is in full effect. And lucky us, as we have an extra day to enjoy it this weekend! Let’s just hope Mother Nature got the memo too… Be sure to check your local breweries’ social media to confirm they are open Monday if you are in the mood for a pint or retail stop that day. Now, on with the new beer and cider news, and check the end for the Atlantic Canadian brewery performance in the Canadian Brewing Awards!

We’ll start out with a gold-medal winning brewery this week, as Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing have scaled up a small batch hit for wide release. Not a stranger to mango purees and sours in the past, this Mango-Guava Milkshake Sour is absolutely filled to the brim with both mango and guava purees, some lactose (aka milk sugar) that is acidified to keep it balanced and super-drinkable. Think fresh-pressed juice or smoothie, and you’ll be in the right mindset! Also keep an eye out for their new Peach Seltzer available now in cans, pints and growlers. 

As for the brewery itself, we’ll give a special shoutout to Alan Norman who was named one of Atlantic Canada’s Top 50 CEOS of 2022 in Atlantic Business Magazine. We’ve seen Mitch Cobb from Upstreet on this list before, so we’re glad the great work these breweries are doing is getting recognized. Other big news for the team is that they picked up a Gold at the Canadian Brewing Awards for their Helles Yeah! Oktoberfest Munich Style Lager.

Deer Lake’s Rough Waters Brewing Co. has a new release in its Neighbeerly series. For this one, they are partnering with Quadrangle NL, an organization working to create a 2SLGBTQIA+ community centre in Newfoundland, and with NL Beer Fans mosaic.wit on Instagram. They’ve teamed up to create a Mosaic Wit, combining the citrusy and coriander notes of a witbier with the fruity and tropical notes that come from a dry-hopping with Mosaic. This one is only available at the taproom for now, but should see distribution through Rough Water’s typical retail spots on the east coast and Avalon next week. One dollar from every can sold will go directly to Quadrangle. Check out @mosaic.wit’s Youtube channel for a behind-the-scenes video of the brewday and what they’ve been getting up to in homebrewing as well!

North Street’s favourite brewery, Unfiltered, has a few newsbites for the weekend. Up first, Double Orange Ale (affectionately known as DOA) is the wonderful 7.5% Double IPA loaded with Citra. It’s as amazing and delicious as ever. Next up, a new release, Sparkling Motherfucker, is a sparkling rosé refermented on raspberries. It comes in at a highly drinkable 4%, is low-carb, gluten-reduced and also has a bunch of electrolytes (sodium, chloride and potassium) but as they’ll tell you, it’s not a sports drink. Both of these are available on tap and in cans today. 

Hopping over to Newfoundland, Landwash also has some returning beer and some new news in the last week. First up, Caribou Hill is back in a limited release but with wide availability. This beer is a ANZAC Biscuit Brown ale in memory of the Newfoundland troops that fought years alongside the Australian New Zealand Army Corp (ANZAC). The troops had special cookies that they would get from Australia. The beer itself is 5.2% with coconut additions and is widely available at the brewery, NLC and Convenience stores.

Another returning beer is Silvern Voices. This is a dry-hopped sour that is a rotating seasonal release. A few changes for this release include the removal of lactose and really upping the Cashmere dry-hop and adding some Galaxy into the mix. They’ve even switched up their lactobacillus from their other sours to make this stand out even more.  This is 4.9% and very hoppy, bright, tart and refreshing for the summer. This is available now across the island and at the brewery. 

Lastly, but not leastly, their spring Make/Shift collaboration series released with Mysa. Mysa is the beer name, too and is a juicy double dry-hopped IPA featuring Cascade and Nelson Sauvin hops. Using the Escarpment Labs Thiol Libre yeast, expect lots of tropical, fruity flavours like from this 7.4% IPA. This beer is also available now at the brewery, NLC stores and convenience stores across Newfoundland. 

Beausoleil Farmstead, the cidery/winery out of Port Williams, teamed up with Saltbox Brewing Company for a new release last week. Hibiscus is a 6.7% ABV blend of cider and chardonnay that has been infused with hibiscus, giving the final product a subtle pink hue. Cans are out now, following a release at last weekend’s Appleseed Cider Fest in Mahone Bay. 

Celebrating their Third Anniversary last weekend, East Duckworth’s Bannerman Brewing quietly released a month-appropriate lager, Full Bloom Maibock. Brewed in the cooler months, with the plan to release in spring, the Maibock is light in colour and higher in alcohol than traditional year-round German lagers, with Bannerman’s sporting a 6.5% ABV. Leveraging the herbal and spice notes from traditional Noble hops, perfect for the malt-favouring base beer. Available in cans in house and at shops around the Avalon, and pouring on tap for pints and growlers too.

Bannerman is also wading into the Cold IPA frey, with the release of Negative Space Cold IPA. While big variations to the pseudo-style exist, at least we can get behind the end result, a tasty hoppy beer! Their take on it uses a similar malt and hop profile as a more traditional IPA, but fermented cool and undergoing an extended conditioning phase like a lager. After primary fermentation, Cascade, Centennial, and Citra were added for dry hops, giving it a distinctly West Coast vibe, with a clean and crisp fermentation profile. Draught and cans are available from the brewery now, with cans probably seeing distribution before too long.

Breton Brewing is back with some long weekend, summer-themed fun with some updates to some of their more popular offerings. Let’s Jam Sour has a new flavour, as Let’s Jam: Blueberry Pomegranate is available now. The current Strawberry Rhubarb offering has been widely available across the province for a few years and this one will also be 4.0% and available at most NSLCs. In other NSLC news with Breton, Seven Years Pale Ale is now available in 6-pack 355ml cans. 

The Dartmouth-Timberlea connectors that are North Brewing have a new release that could be a first for the brewery. Let the Gold Times Roll is a 6.0% Golden Stoute featuring some help from Rousseau Chocolatier for the cocoa nibs and Roastery 46 for some cold brew. Always a fun style that features chocolate, coffee and classic stout flavours, it pours as a golden, clear ale. This is available at all three North locations and available online for delivery.

Halifax’s own Garrison Brewing is celebrating a massive anniversary, as they’ve hit the quarter-century mark. Celebrating 25 years of beer sligning, they’ve got a new beer and a fun contest with the Halifax Wanderers. The beer is  25th Anniversary Pale Ale, a 5.5% hazy beer with a nice mix of malt and fruit-forward hop flavours. This is in a special can and available now.  Check out the Garrison IG for details on their contest valued at $2000 running until May 26th. 

Antigonish’s Candid Brewing Company is celebrating one year in business with the release of 2021. This one is an ode to classic West Coast IPAs, featuring dank, citrusy and pine notes in a 7% ABV package. Speaking of the package, fans of a certain Dr. Dre album will enjoy the label artwork produced by Maritime Grime. In addition to the release, Candid will also be celebrating with live music tonight (Friday) at their College Street taproom. Happy Anniversary from all of us at ACBB!.

Up in the Valley there’s beers afoot, especially in Wolfvegas (that’s Wolfville to non-Acadia students), where Church Brewing decided to do all the things at once, including two collabs! First up, continuing their established history of putting out styles with high drinkability, is Marie, a 4% American Cream Ale, which means it’ll be light, crisp, and fairly dry, perfect for crushing after a hard afternoon of yard work. Then comes Pilsberry, a cranberry Pilsner, combining another very dry and crisp style with the lovely thirst-quenching tartness of cranberries in a 4.5% ABV package. Expect this one to have a hint of pink and to pair well with sitting in the sun on a patio. Also bound to be a hit with the patio drinking crowd is Life After Death, a collaboration with Avondale Sky Winery. Dubbed a “sparkling rosé sour” it’s a beer fermented with Champagne yeast for an ultra dry presentation, and then a conditioning on pinot noir grape skins from the winery. Tart, with some cherry pie flavours, the draught version of this one is quite different in ABV from the bottle conditioned version, with it pouring at 5.5% off the taps and more like 6.2% out of the bottle. You’ll have to visit the brewery to try a pint and then compare with some bottles you buy to take home! Lastly, the other collaboration this week is with up-the-Valley neighbours Schoolhouse Brewing in Windsor. Combining both breweries’ penchant for good beer with fun names they’ve come up with Bible School Dropout, a German Bock. Like all good Bocks, this one leans heavier on the malt side than the hops, and at 6.5% that’s going to mean sweet and smooth on the palate, but it’s also a lager, so you can still expect a fairly dry finish that beckons another sip. You can grab this one in cans from both breweries.

Big congratulations to Lone Oak, who open their Lone Oak Brewpub location at 15 Milky Way in Charlottetown today at 5 PM! With seating for more than 150 inside and out, there is sure to be room to accommodate all drinkers this fine weekend. While reservations are not being taken during the busy season, a quick call to check capacity as you’re headed out the door (and to be put on the waitlist) is a good idea and encouraged (902 892 0600). The brewpub is open from 11 AM seven days a week, and operating until 10 PM or later (the kitchen closes an hour or two before the pub). When visiting, you will be hit with the familiar aromas of the same crew behind The Abby kitchen at their Borden Brewery location, aka Terry Nabuurs and Co. Live music and fun all weekend long, with Matt Hannah and Jeff Doherty taking the stage this evening. Keep an eye on their IG page for more details. Congratulations to Dillon, Jared, Spencer, and the Crew on today’s opening!

A few quick hits from the old crows today, 2 Crows Brewing, ever the supporter of the Halifax classic Bluenose Marathon race weekend, will be opening early on Saturday (10am) and Sunday (11am) to host any post-race celebrations and gatherings. Pastries, coffee and beer, will join a new Electrolyte-based Hop Water in addition to Letna being back and widely available through the summer.  The new Hop Water will only be available at the brewery. 

New Scotland Brewing has a returning cider this week as Barracks is back in a small batch release. This is a 6.2% dry English cider using apples from the Valley. Get this one directly from the brewery! And congrats to the New Scotland Crew who announced that they will be making the move to a new location, offering more space for production, taproom, and music performances. Details coming soon!

Let’s leave you today with results from the Canadian Brewing Awards, announced in Calgary on the weekend. The region’s brewers did quite well, with more than a dozen breweries, representing every Atlantic province, bringing home the hardware. The full results are available here, and be sure to pick up a bottle or can of these beers the next time you stop into your local brewery!

  • 1. European Style Lager (Pilsner)
  • 2. European Style Amber to Dark Lager
    • Silver – Uncle Leo’s Altbier
  • 4. Kellerbier/Zwickelbier
  • 8. Baltic Porter
  • 11. Belgian-Style Abbey Ale/Pale Ale
  • 15. German-Style Sour Ale
  • 17. Porter
    • Bronze – Grimross Brewing Co. Pugnacious Porter
  • 19. Irish and Scotch Ales
  • 21. English Bitters
  • 24. Dry Stout
    • Silver – Tatamagouche Brewing Co. Hierlihy Irish Stout
  • 27. North American-Style Lager
  • 33. North American-Style Blonde or Golden Ale
  • 35. North American-Style Pale Ale
  • 37. American-Style India Pale Ale
  • 40. American-Style Imperial India Pale Ale
    • Gold – Copper Bottom Brewing Parkman Ave
  • 43. American-Style Sour Ale
  • 51. Barley Wine-Style Ale

Happy Friday, loyal readers. The signs of summer are everywhere around us. Temperatures in the region are creeping up to 30 degrees, patios are springing up on sidewalks, sessionable crushers are rolling out of tanks, and in the surest sign that the colder months are behind us, the Leafs are about to choke their way to another early exit. With a later release this Friday (we blame the fact that it’s Friday the 13th…), what better time to grab a beer, and get caught up on all of Atlantic Canada’s newest releases and events. Appreciate you sticking around and checking out the news!

Let’s kick things off with a brewery that hasn’t graced the pages of this blog in some time, Loyalist City Brewing, who are embracing the low-alcohol trend with the release of On Call IPA, a 2.5% ABV micro IPA. Special attention went into assuring that despite the low ABV, this one still packs plenty of hop aroma and flavour. Citra and Mosaic hops were used to create notes of stone fruit and citrus, with plenty of balancing bitterness at 35 IBUs. This one is available for a limited time, on tap at the brewery and better beer bars around New Brunswick.

Over in Antigonish County, Half Cocked is rolling out their first ever lager with Ozzy Dunkel, named in honour of the ever popular taproom dog, Ozzy the German Shepherd. This take on the classic German style comes in at 5.4% ABV and features sweet malt notes of biscuits and caramel, along with a hint of black tea. Ozzy Dunkel is available at the brewery for pints and fills, and may get in Halifax County for those imbibing there..

Let’s make a quick jump back to New Brunswick for our next new release, L’érablière 2.0. CAVOK partnered with Chateau Scoudouc Maple to create an amber ale that saw an addition of maple syrup, before being aged on oak chips. The resulting 7.7% ABV ale is available now for pints, growlers and crowlers. And find it at their spot at Cap-Pelé, which is now open for the season! Beach lovers rejoice!

Propeller is mixing things up this week with the release of Saison, their take on the Belgian-inspired style. Expect notes of lemon and spice from the Belgian yeast (with a bit of citrus twist added to send it even higher), with the fermentation also creating lots of carbonation and a dry finish. Cans of the 5% and 20 IBU Saison are available today through Propeller’s online store, their three retail locations, and at the private stores across Halifax.

Up in Nyanza, Big Spruce is celebrating this beautiful May weekend with the release of Stunt Dubbel. The big winner from their 9th Homebrew Challenge held earlier this year, winning brewer Karl Penney made the trip to Cape Breton and helped the Big Spruce Crew turn his 20 litre batch into more than a thousand! As you could probably guess from the name, this is a Belgian Dubbel in style, a malt-forward and super-smooth beer, featuring aromatics and flavours of caramel, toasted brown bread, and even a hint of milk chocolate. The belgian yeast contributes some light pepper spiciness and banana fruity esters, rounding out the 7.2% ABV beer. Available on tap and in cans, whether your travels take you to the brewery, otherwise you can order for HRM or Canada-wide delivery. It’s joined by returning favourite Day 6 with Brett Blueberry, Big Spruce’s tongue-in-cheek ode to Day 6 with Brent Bambury, full of NS-grown Organic blueberries and fermented with the wild Brettanomyces M yeast, for a fruity, funky, full-featured beer.

Tomorrow in the Annapolis Valley, Sea Level Brewing is releasing their Myria IPA in support of the Brew for Ukraine efforts. Ukrainian for “Dream”, Myria borrows the recipe from Pravda Beer, leveraging some great hops to maximise tropical and citrus notes that are reminiscent of passion fruit, melon, peach, and citrus on both the nose and palate. As supplies of this 6.5% ABV beer are limited, cans are available exclusively at the brewery retail store, with the remainder pouring only in their taproom, at 9146 Hwy 221 in Sheffield Mills. Be sure to drop by this weekend to take in the beer, the sights, and the lovely weather!

Up next is an aptly named collaboration between Newfoundland’s Dildo Brewing Company and Church Brewing out of the Annapolis Valley. Sweet Whistlin’ Jaysus is the brainchild of head brewers and former co-workers, Steve Crane and Kyle Jeppesen. Using techniques and ingredients from multiple styles led them to label this 4.6% ABV lager as an Austro-Mexican Lager. The grain bill features a base of Vienna malt, with additions of CaraVienna and corn; Spalter hops were used exclusively, along with an extended fermentation and conditioning with Dildo’s house lager yeast. Keep an eye on both breweries’ social channels for release and retail details. 

Cornwall’s Village Green is back with a new version of their Weird Clouds IPA series, this one features Amarillo, Strata and Azacca hops. Look for notes of peach and berries that complement the notes of fresh dinner rolls from the malt. We’ll also mention that last weekend saw the release of Lil’ Hazy, a 4.2% ABV New England Style Pale ale. This one featured ample late boil and dry hop additions of Citra, Strata and Mosaic hops, providing lots of tropical fruit and citrusy notes. 

Plenty to tell you about at Serpent Brewing, with several new beers and events to keep you busy this weekend. First up, the beer! Last week, they released Espiritus, a 12% Mexican Mole Porter. Their resident designer of labels and murals in the taproom, Mónica, wanted to bring a taste of her hometown of Mexico City 5000 km Northeast to Spryfield. Using authentic Mexican chocolate, spices, and peppers, she prepared a mole, which went into the beer at the very end of the boil of the base Porter, to bring out even more chocolate, as well as pleasant warming from the peppers and spicing. Previously available exclusively on tap, there are bottles of this heavy hitter available at the brewery now. 

Joining Espiritus are three decidedly more restrained beers alcohol-wise, but every bit as flavourful. Dreamer is a 6.0% Raspberry Witbier, where the Brew Crew leverage their yeast and familiarity from their White Mountain Witbier, with the raspberry puree complementing the wheat character, with the beer fermented a touch cooler to keep its esters restrained. Nova Blue is also 6.0%, and just like Dreamer, is best described as a fruited witbier, with locally-grown blueberries lending their flavourful juices to enhance the aroma and taste of the beer. The latest of the Beer Creation Series, where the first boosters of Serpent were able to choose a beer recipe and release it commercially, with beer fan Bob calling the shots on this one.

And finally in new beers is the next in their Beer Creation Series, a small batch beer named Fight Trail. Those of the two wheel variety may recognize the name from a popular trail in the Spryfield area, where Serpent regular Mitch spends lots of time. The beer is a British Golden Ale, that spent some time lagering as well, to mellow out just a touch. Wanting a beer “to crush after crushing the trails”, the 4.7% beer is simple yet complex enough to enjoy while throwing back a couple. A little light for the style, and Simcoe in the dry-hop may not be CAMRA-approved, but these help to keep it interesting and tasty.

All of these beers are on tap, with many also available to go in bottles, from the brewery who are celebrating the opening of their patio this weekend. Dominic’s Cucina Wood Fired Pizza will be slinging pies from 2:30 PM onward, and Nick Hamlyn will be playing live from the patio 3 – 6 PM. Sunday, they will be playing Music Trivia, and you can check out the many events they hold throughout the week!

Three years ago (May 11, 2019 to be exact!) the fine folks at Bannerman Brewing opened their doors and on Saturday May 14th, they’re throwing a big birthday bash at the brewery. Here are some of the highlights from the delicious East Duckworth venue:

  • BEER! Surf’s Up is being re-released on tap only, a tropical blue sour that sold out very quickly. Also, 30% off of pints of all of their core beers that were available 3 years ago. 
  • Island Time, their original launch DIPA, is also available again as of last Friday. This is available widely in cans and at 8% it’s tropical, easy drinking, smooth with nice orange and tangerine flavours. 
  • FOOD! Best Friend Burger is setting up shop all day to serve their smash burgers for dine-in service. Also, they’ll have dinosaur shaped nuggets. 
  • MUSIC! The Dandelion Few will be around from 3pm until 5pm with some deadly tunes. Don’t worry, there’s no cover, so swing by if you can.

That about covers it. They’re very excited to welcome everyone back, have people in person and pay homage to some of their core beers. 

A pre-COVID staple that many of us looked forward to was the great, the bold, the strong, Péché Day! The annual celebration of the Dieu du Ciel! world class ale is finally back in Halifax and Moncton. Saturday May 21 is the day and Bar Stillwell will host in Halifax and Tide & Boar will host in Moncton. Five offerings of Péché Mortel will feature this year, with Bourbon 2021. Tajumulco 2022, Kumquat 2022 and Dulce de Leche 2022 will join the classic offering. Check out the full details here from DDC. 

All this reading making you thirsty to get into the beer biz? We’ve got a couple of options for you to look at this week.

2 Crows Brewing is taking part in the Canada Summer Jobs Program, and hiring full-time Driver / Packaging Assistant to join the mix. The position is for those 19-30 years of age, and they would love to have those from under-represented-in-beer communities apply for the position. Check that link for full details on the position and how to apply!

Speaking of Packaging, those living in Newfoundland, or willing to move there (and why wouldn’t you??), should check out the FB post and details from Dildo Brewing Company, as they are hiring a full-time Brewer’s Assistant/Packaging Technician to help around the brewhouse. While no brewing specific skills are required, a willingness to learn, and work, are key. Plenty more info on their Facebook and via email!