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.