The Joyce

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Happy day-before-Halloween! Just kidding; you’re not really into that stuff, are you? Look, if you’re old enough to drink beer, you’re old enough to not get excited about a “holiday” where you’re encouraged to dress up and hand out free candy to a bunch of kids you don’t even know and… wait, where were we going with this? Oh right, this is a blog about beer in Atlantic Canada so here’s some more beer news for you. And you might need some beer to survive this weekend, and/or this coming Tuesday (and the goat rodeo that will very possibly ensue). Enjoy!

Bedford’s Topside Brewing kicked off a new series of beers last week, dubbed Around the World in 30 Beers. This ambitious project sees them highlighting indigenous and historic beer styles from across the world, showcasing the many flavours available in the malt, hops, yeast, and water profiles found universally, as well as native plants or ingredients special to those regions. The first in the series is Outlaw, a 5.4% Kottbusser, an historic German style. From Topside, “As the Reinheitsgebot spread from Bavaria through the rest of the region in the late 1800s, the style was outlawed because it was brewed with Oats, Honey and Molasses. We chose this as the first beer of the series because to set a tone for the various styles that people may not have tried or may never have heard of and it’s a lot of fun.” So, now that you know about it, how can you get your hands on it? As this is a small batch from this nano-brewery, it is only available as part of their Grab a Growler program. Head to the website for the full details, but the short version is, if you live in the Bedford area, you can sign up for growler delivery weekend afternoons, meaning you don’t even have to leave home to drink around the world!

And in Coming Soon news from Topside, they will be featuring their Rollin’ the Dice IPA on tap at Finbar’s Irish Pub in Bedford for a special event on Remembrance Day, November 11th. Named after the team motto of EOD3, roto 1-10 in Afghanistan, who suffered a catastrophic attack on May 3rd, 2010, when they were targeted after disposing of an IED, with Craig Blake killed and Chris Downey wounded that day. Rollin’ the Dice features a blend of unconventional malts, continuous hopping throughout, and a yeast strain not typical of the style. The event at Finbars on the 11th will be a way for the community to come together to enjoy great food, beer, and the company of others to reflect and remember sacrifice in times of war.

Hardisty Brewing is another nano-brewery in the region, located in the Colby Village area of the HRM. Delivery of their canned product is available in that community, as well as the occasional draught taps in Dartmouth. The latest beer delivered to Battery Park is their brand-new Stoked Pilsner. The 5.8% ABV beer has a healthy 31 IBU, but certainly deviates from the traditional, featuring the addition of crushed Juniper Berries and Coriander during the conditioning phase, inspired by their love of the botanicals found in gin. Also making an appearance at Battery Park now/soon is their Block Party Pale Ale, a 4.5% ABV SMaSH beer named after the parties in the Hardisty area so often fueled by beer brewed right on the street. For those fortunate enough to live nearby, be sure to reach out to them to place your order for any/all of their six beers currently available in cans: Heritage Rye IPA, Dark Confessions Smoked Porter, Island Gold APA, and Homestead Imperial IPA join the Stoked and Block Party.

The fine folks in Dieppe are hot off a sell-out of their latest beer, so CAVOK Brewing is back with another new release. Côte Magnétique is a wild ale that was fermented on grape skins and tailings from Magnetic Hill Winery. Pitched with a blend of Saison yeast and Brettanomyces, expect this 4.6% beer with an IBU of 8 to be easy drinking with a great flavour profile. This is currently available at the brewery and while you’re there, they will be doing an Oyster pop-up from 5-7pm on Friday October 30th with Little Shemogue Oyster Company

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing is bringing back a small batch favourite on a bigger scale today, to avoid anyone missing out. Earl Grey Pale Ale is a 5.5% ABV English Pale Ale, featuring Idaho 7 and Citra hops, to complement the citrus and floral aromatics of black tea and bergamot orange that arose from generous additions of Earl Grey tea. Choosing Cookie and Red malts in the grist helped to provide some complexity there, too, giving a “tea and biscuits” feel. Available now at the 3 Propeller retail locations (Gottingen, Quinpool, and WIndmill) in cans, and on tap at the two Halifax taprooms.

And for those of us who have been enjoying the Propeller Arcade as a way to have a Prop pint in an awesome space, you’ll love what comes next! In addition to the 8 pinball machines, and the same number of cabinet games in their current space, a full complement of carnival-style and ball games are now installed in an expanded area just a few steps away. And these games actually dispense tickets, which can be redeemed for prizes like erasers, Popeye Candy Sticks (aka Cigarettes for those of old enough to remember those), and even retro gaming systems if you save up enough tickets! By taking over more room in the space below the Gottingen Street retail and taproom location, more seating has been added to the brewing floor, with a half-dozen picnic tables now available for solo or bubble seating, so you can safely sip in between rounds of Medusa Pinball, Area 51 or Skee Ball. As always, masks on when you’re playing (beer is best enjoyed in the sitdown area), wash/sanitize your hands often, wipe the games down before/after use, and have fun! The Prop Arcade is open from 4 until 10 PM or later, Thursday through Sunday.

Speaking of returning favourites…we’ll go down the street to Tidehouse for their latest release. After a very long sabbatical, Hey Abbot! is available and ready for purchase. The folks on Salter Street are gearing up for their 4 year anniversary in December, and this re-release is the 2nd beer in their “best of” series. Hey Abbot! is a Belgian Tripel that comes in at 9.0% but like most proper Tripels, does not taste strongly of alcohol. The beer gives hints of banana and clove, followed by some light spicy notes and a bit of white pepper if you dig deep enough. Look for this new release to drop today at 2 PM, available exclusively in cans at the brewery.

We’ve got a bit of info on the not one, not two, but *three* new beers hitting New Scotland Brewing’s taps tomorrow. The first one is this year’s iteration of Heads Will Roll, a Halloween-themed Red IPA. Featuring late-addition hops (to the tune of 55 IBUs), this 6.6% ABV beer is slightly more malt-centric on the palate, but with definite pine and citrus notes coming through as well. Next up is an “American Rye Ale” named Kitsch & Sync, a “mellow and drinkable” 4.7% ABV, 22 IBUs brew. Hopped with Willamette and Centennial, it has a balance of sweet and earthy flavours. Finally, they also have a small batch of C’est Bon, a 5.3% ABV, 25 IBUs Saison that is “fruity, spicy, and dry”. As mentioned, all three will be pouring at the brewery’s taproom by tomorrow, as well as at select licensees.

Fans of Hampton Brewing Co. will be happy to hear that the brewery has finally announced that, after contract brewing at other locations since opening (including Loyalist City and Hammond River), they have broken ground on their own location in Hampton. The plan is to have a taproom and patio area along with the brewery, which will be located at Fire Fly Recreation Campground, just outside of Hampton at 64 Robertson Rd. Of course it’ll be many months before the project is complete, but naturally they’re quite excited about having a set location and plan in place! In the meantime, you can still find their beers on tap at several bars and restaurants around NB, including Peppers Pub, Britt’s Uptown, Peddlers Creek, Station 33 Cafe, The Joyce Pub, Gridiron Brewing and Grass Roots Grill.

While on the topic of expansions (not a phrase we would expect to be typing during a pandemic, but hey, it’s beer!), Spindrift Brewing has announced that they will be opening a new taproom and beer store in Antigonish. The Spindrift Oak Manor will be located at 271 Main St., with the plans to open sometime in early 2021. The brewhouse will be small, at only 1 BBL (~120 L), with several fermentors of the same size; this will allow the brewery to experiment with new and exciting beers that will be exclusive to Oak Manor. Of course, they’ll also regularly have the flagship Burnside-brewed Spindrift beers available on tap for pints and growler fills, along with cans and Spindrift merch for takeaway. As for the taproom itself, the plan is to have lots of small group seating, as well as some larger communal tables, all in a comfortable, cozy setting that locals should be happy to think of as their home away from home. And if you live in the Antigonish area (or would love to have an excuse to move there!), the brewery is currently looking for someone to manage Oak Manor; if interested, check out the details here.

In this week’s events, it’s time to declare outdoor beer drinking season officially closed (we guess, if we have to…*grumble*), and who says you can’t have a (COVID protocol compliant, socially distanced) Beer Fest in 2020? Not us!

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end… warm weather, hugging complete strangers in the middle of the sidewalk (that used to be a thing, right?), and the Stillwell Beer Garden. That’s right, tomorrow, October 31st is the last day for outdoor beers, tacos, ice cream, etc. That means you have only two more days to take advantage of their final week blowout, which includes $5 pricing for most pints, $5 cans of North hard seltzer and TrailWay Patio, hot chocolate (with bourbon or without!), and, of course, cornhole. 

Also tomorrow, Old Road BBQ is following suit and shutting down their patio for the season. Luckily, they’re going out with a party! Willie Stratton (2019 Music Nova Scotia’s “Entertainer of the Year”) will be headlining a socially-distanced music event at Old Road’s location in Truro (190 Industrial Ave.), and you know that there’ll be puh-lenty of delicious BBQ available on site as well. You can grab your ticket ($11.62) from the event link above; there’s also a two-ticket-plus-hotel-room option you may want to consider!

The Cox & Palmer Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Fest For United Way is happening next weekend. Looking quite different than in years past, the celebration of local beer is holding a pair of in-person events, while encouraging attendees to go virtual for the rest. Next Friday, November 6th, there will be a 5 course Brew Dinner at the recently opened Monk10 Taproom in downtown Moncton. And then next morning, Monk10 will host the Brewmasters’ Breakfast at 10 AM. Tickets for both events can be found at the above website. For those fortunate enough to grab tickets for the Brew Fest in a Box (sales end at noon today), you’ll be able to take part in all aspects of the virtual Fest. Your ticket will get you 4 beers from the participating breweries, as well as ingredients to prepare some paired dishes, so you can tune in and drink along! Bubble up and grab 4 tickets to try all 16 available! The Brew Fest in a Box Live Q & A will allow you to chat with brewers from around the region too, recreating some more of the fun from ACCBF years past.

And furthering the charitable aspect of the Fest is the Silent Auction which is on now. Benefitting the United Way of Greater Moncton and Southeastern NB, breweries from the region have donated swag, growler fills, gift cards, and everything in between, perfect to complete your collection. The auction closes next Sunday, November 8th, and it looks like there are some great deals to be had right now!

We’re finishing off with two notices for our Homebrewing readers, don’t sleep on either of them! If you’re looking to getting into homebrewing, check out the Brewnosers or Newfermenters, both very active groups.

Today is the last day to sign up and deliver your beer to take part in the Maritime Home Brew Challenge by Gahan. Follow that link to register yourself, and then pop down to your local Gahan to deliver your West Coast and/or North East IPA, grab your t-shirt, and you’re in it to win it! Judging will be taking place next weekend, with the Awards being announced the following weekend. With thousands of dollars in prizes up for grabs, great feedback coming your way from BJCP-certified judges, there’s really no reason not to enter!

Big Spruce has announced the details of its 8th annual Home Brew Challenge. This year, home brewers from across the region are being challenged to create their best version of a Sticke Altbier, a variant of the BJCP 2008 category 7C Düsseldorf Altbier. As always, ingredients are left to the creative minds of the brewers, but for those looking for yeast, Big Spruce will arrange for pickup or delivery of Escarpment Yeast Lab’s Koslch Style Ale. Entry fees are $25 per submission, with the beers due for drop-off by January 15, 2021 (leaving plenty of time for lagering!) at a TBD location. Email jeremy@bigspruce.ca for an entry form or more details, or check out the event’s Facebook page. Unlike previous competitions, this year’s winners will be announced virtually, but T-shirts and other swag will be available to all who participate! The top 3 judge beers will be announced, and per tradition, the winner will be invited to Nyanza to brew their beer on the 7 BBL system.

We hope the first half of your week was not too disrupted by Teddy’s visit to the region. Thankfully it didn’t have nearly the dramatic effects that had been feared. Let’s celebrate that, and the official arrival of Fall, with a fresh batch of beer news, with more than a dozen debuts across the region coming at you today!

After announcing their presence through their first collaborative release in July, the Change is Brewing Collective is back with another beer release. This time, the group has teamed up with Dartmouth’s North Brewing to bring us The Cherry Brook Wheat. Named after the Cherry Brook community along Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore, the beer is a 6.6% ABV Wheat Ale featuring more than 100 kg of crushed cherries from Noggins Farm in the Annapolis Valley. Lightly hopped with El Dorado and Huell Melon, the beer allows the base of flaked and malted wheat, as well as the fresh fruit, to shine through. Sporting a beautiful label designed by Change is Brewing member Jayme-Lynn Gloade, the beer will be available next Tuesday, as part of a launch party at the North Brewing taproom. From 7:30 PM on September 29th, pints and cans will be available to enjoy in the taproom or to go, with other licensees in HRM also coming on board to sell the beer on draught shortly thereafter. The CiB group will be onsite to chat about the beer and their overall goal for better representation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour in the beverage and food industry in our region. This release supports two important movements, with 100% of the profits from all can and draught sales going toward The Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia located in Cherry Brook, as well as the CiB Brewing 101 program, where they bring the joy of beer and brewing to those communities who may not have otherwise felt welcomed. Congratulations to Change is Brewing and North on this great release!

While you’d be forgiven for thinking that this time of year is inundated with breweries releasing Pumpkin Ales and Märzens (not that there’s anything wrong with that), there are, of course, plenty of other beer styles that go great with fall weather. One example is another German style, Hefeweizen, which is definitely available in some tents during Wiesn. Sure, you may immediately picture yourself sipping on a fine local example at the peak of summer, but we feel that a delicious, refreshing Weizen is equally as appropriate on a lovely fall day, preferably out on a deck somewhere! Don’t worry, all this waxing poetic has a point – Tatamagouche Brewing has released Acolyte Weissbier, which looks like it could be their first take on the style. Brewed with lots of wheat, naturally, it was hopped lightly to 12 IBUs with Tettnanger and Huell Melon. Fermented with a dry Weizen strain, the 4.5% ABV beer is showing “aromas of pear and banana, backed by subtle clove,” with a refreshing, crisp finish. It’s available on tap at the brewery and local accounts, and they hope to have it in 650 mL bottles by mid-October. And while you’re thinking Tatamagouche and Oktoberfest, while the largest Oktoberfest east of Kitchener has been canceled (as well as the *big* one in Munich), Tata is celebrating on a smaller scale in their taproom. Visitors can enjoy $5 pours all weekend, or opt for the Maß pour (that’s 1 litre!) for $18, and you get to keep the glass! Check their IG for the latest taplist. Prost!

Speaking of styles that go great with fall weather, the team at Big Spruce Brewing has been busy harvesting from their organic hopyard for the annual release of their fresh-hopped harvest pale ale. Major Hop Lips was brewed with the freshest hops possible, added to the kettle within minutes of being picked. This year’s version was brewed with Golding, Chinook, Mt. Hood, Cascade and Centennial hops, leading to floral, apricot and pine notes. Available now for pints and fills at the brewery in Nyanza, be on the lookout for bottles in their online store next week.

Heading southwest, Tanner and Co. Brewing’s newest release is Mystery Hop Ale. The neat story behind this beer starts with Penney Hill Farm, an eighth generation farm outside of Bridgewater, the founders of which originally brought hops with them from Germany. Over time, information about which varietal(s) has been lost, but, lucky for us, the hops have thrived. Tanner hoped to make a beer with the hops last year, but the plans were derailed by Dorian. This year, luck would have it that they were able to harvest just before Teddy made its arrival. Described by the brewery as being reminiscent of a lagered ale with mild hop balance, Mystery Hop Ale comes in at 5.5% ABV, and is available at both of Tanner’s locations, and their online store. While you’re at it, grab a bottle or two of their Belgian Blonde, making its return after a six month hiatus. 

Earlier this year, when things were “normal”, Port Rexton Brewing held a Mystery Homebrew Challenge, where they chose the ingredients, leaving everything else up to those brave enough to participate. The winner of that challenge was homebrewer Ralph Pike with Sour Belgian IPA, a beer whose name tells you most of what you need to know about it! Well, to a point, anyway. While details on this beer are a bit slim, admittedly, it is a kettle sour “backed by notes of citrus rind and tropical fruit”, complemented by a refreshing tartness and finishing with a bit of earthy bitterness. Weighing in at 6.7% ABV, you can find it in cans right now at the brewery’s taproom and their St. John’s retail shop.

The air is crispy and Garrison always delivers leading up to Oktoberfest. First up, their classic Nut Brown is available in cans for the first time. This Garrison classic is rich, dark, malty and clocks in at 5.0% and 22 IBU. Next up, it’s Knuckle Puck Lucky Punk time! Lucky Punk is a Sour IPA back for a limited time in both shops and the NSLC, coming through with some peach, apricot, lemon with a zesty and puckering sour finish. Hopped with Amarillo, Mosaic, and Bru-1, this hybrid IPA is 5.4% and 40 IBU. And back just in time for Oktoberfest is their Weinerful Wheat, their 4.6% German Wheat Ale brewed in collaboration with Jack 92.9, and in support of the NS SPCA, with $0.50 from each can sold going to support wieners, schnauzers, and animals of all origins!

And what better way to enjoy (German) beer than at an Oktoberfest event? Garrison is keeping it waterfront for a 10 day Oktoberfest extravaganza! Garrison will be teamed up with the Stubborn Goat Beer Garden from Sept 25 (today!) until Oct 4th down at the waterfront for the first time. While the beer will be pouring the entire 10 days, the fun really ramps up during their Das Big Party events each Friday and Saturday, with live bands, Oktoberfest food specials and tons o’ fun! No tickets required, so show up in your favourite lederhosen and yell Prost!, and they’ll fire you a beer in no time. Check out the full details on their Facebook event page

Fresh off a Silver Medal from the Canadian Brewing Awards, the good robots from…Good Robot are releasing Friendship Island. Bringing a balanced English Pale Ale character with lime citrus and floral notes, thanks to hopping with Lemon Drop, this 5.5% ABV beer will only be available on draft at the brewery. And if you’re wondering about the name, it’s a reference to a mysterious island off the coast of Chile that is inhabited by extraterrestrial life forms who operate a UFO junkyard. The fine machines at GR are also re-releasing Leave Me Blue (4.5% ABV) and fan favourite Goseface Killah (5% ABV); both are available in cans from the brewery and online!

In Hanwell, NB, the gang at Niche is firmly back in the swing of sending out kegs to those places who are ordering them and this week they’ve got something new for those tap accounts. Red Sails is a 7% ABV Red IPA built on a grist containing a fair portion of specialty malts to provided body, color and some toffee/caramel character. From there, it was hopped with Galaxy and Ekuanot and fermented with the Ebbegarden Kveik yeast strain from Escarpment Labs. Finally, it was heavily dry-hopped with more Ekuanot, as well as Mosaic. Expect a juicy brew, a touch dank and not too sweet, despite the dark amber color. You might be surprised to find this one is also hazy, which some might find a little bit odd, but we encourage you to taste it with your mouth, not with your eyes! Look for it soon at The Joyce, Peppers Pub, 540 Kitchen & Bar, and the new Uncorked Tours tasting room at the Saint John City Market.

Fall is also the time of year for the release of wet-hop beers (beers brewed with freshly-picked hops, with “freshly-picked” oftentimes literally meaning within several hours), and Truro Brewing has their own that’s now available to start off your weekend in the best way. This brew is actually a collaboration with local homebrewer Tyler Pearson, who provided the fresh Cascade hops that were used, which they’ve named Fill Yer Boots. A 4.8% ABV American Pale Ale that they’re describing as “mild with herbal hints”, you  can grab it on tap at the brewery. Truro Brewing would also like to pass on that they will soon be holding their first bottle release event, next Friday, October 2nd. They’ve teamed up with Earltown’s Mountain Meadworks to create Siren, a “Tripel-style Braggot” (beer/mead hybrid) that we’ll have full details on for you in next week’s post. But for the sake of planning ahead, we can tell you now that the event will feature door prizes, live music, samples of the braggot, and of course bottles will be available for sale.

St. John’s Bannerman Brewing has brought back a cocktail-inspired beer to their taps and cans today, ready just in time for a liquid lunch (or supper). Mood Improvement is a 5.2% ABV fruited sour, inspired by the Moscow Mule, featuring ginger and lime, and dry-hopped with Motueka. Citrus, spicy, ginger on the nose, yet light and refreshing, Mood Improvement is pouring and ready to take away now, and sure to brighten your weekend!

In case you missed it, we told you about Topside Brewing earlier this week, who debuted on tap at the Birch & Anchor in Birch Cove on the weekend. In addition, Topside has debuted their Grab a Growler program this week, and there is still time to place your order for this weekend! And for those looking to grab a pint at a bar local to the Bedford brewery, Finbars Irish Pub in the Sunnyside Mall at 1595 Bedford Hwy, has their 5 Bells Session IPA now! Named after the line signal that a diver will send to the surface, most commonly meant to signify “I have finished my work.” So once you’ve finished your work today, head on over for this 4.6% ABV, 45 IBU beer, featuring a light hop profile and just a touch of malt base to complement.

In addition to the Oktoberfest celebrations and other events mentioned above, we’ve got one more big deal happening to tell you about this week:

Although on any given day (that they’re open, anyway) you can wander down to 2 Crows Brewing on Brunswick Street in Halifax and find a bunch of delightful liquids that they’ve made, there’s always something special about a tap takeover somewhere else. Even more special is when it’s the first ever takeover at that somewhere else, so everybody is pretty pumped that on Saturday, October 3rd, you will find 2 Crows beer flooding the taps and casks at the Stillwell Freehouse! For those who aren’t aware of the beer industry in the UK, the name “freehouse” is meaningful: it contrasts with a “tied house” where a pub is obligated to buy all or some of its beer from a particular brewery; the public house is “tied” to that brewery as opposed to being “free” to purchase from any breweries whatever. Interestingly, in Nova Scotia (and pretty much the rest of Canada, we believe), that sort of arrangement is illegal, but it’s been described as “one of the most inter‐woven industrial relationships you can identify in the UK.” Pretty interesting, huh? No? Alrighty then, on with the details. The list of offerings has been set and it looks like this:

On tap:

  • Dos Cuervos – Mexican Lager 
  • Waltz – German Pilsner
  • Milosh – Helles Lager
  • Perfect Saturation – IPA
  • Matinee – Tiny Hoppy Pale Ale
  • Fantacity – Dry-hopped Witbier
  • Deux II – Sour with Cherries
  • Run by Night – Grisette with Damson Plums
  • Bedlam Bridge – Double IPA
  • Vinello – Lagered Wild Ale with Riesling Pomace

On cask:

  • Liesse – Cask-conditioned Table Beer
  • Dulwich – Cask-conditioned English Golden Ale
  • Aquifolium – Cask-conditioned Wild Ale
  • Paper Airplanes – Cask-conditioned Brown Ale
  • Keller-Refresh – Cask-conditioned Lager

No tickets are required for this event, and we haven’t seen anything about reservations, so plan your visit accordingly. Remember that COVID-19 restrictions are still in place, bring your mask and don’t be surprised if table service! Otherwise, we think this looks amazing and we hope to see lots of you there celebrating both 2 Crows and the Stillwell Freehouse!

Today marks the turn into the last month of Summer, at least as far as the Earth’s orbit around the Sun is concerned. But the realities of solar system mechanics and their impact on meteorology aside, we know that there’s still plenty of warm-weather beer drinking to be had in our region. Lucky for us, our region’s breweries and cideries are continuing to pump out top class liquids for our consumption. Read on for news about as many as we could find out about this week!

Last Friday (too late for a blog post then, sorry!), Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing dropped the latest in their Million Acres series, an ever-changing lineup of barrel-aged brews. This newest release is Million Acres – Barrel-Aged Cherry Saison, a 6.5% ABV beer brewed with malt from Island Malt House. The beer was put into barrels in January, and transferred back to steel about six months later. There, it was given a small dry-hop of Barbe Rouge (a French varietal), along with an addition of cherry purée. With a reddish colour, and aromas of cherry and leather, this bottled beer is showing off flavours of “deconstructed cherry pie”, as well as notes of grapefruit, lemongrass, orange pith, leather, straw, pie crust, and dill, according to the brewery. You can find bottles at both Upstreet locations in Charlottetown; they’re recommending that you don’t cellar this one *too* long, as it’s best-enjoyed within a few months. 

Hopping over to Newfoundland, where Landwash is excited to share details on a fresh new beer they’ve just canned, Platters Head. Billed as a hoppy Lager, the beer has a simple grist of 85% Pilsner and 15% Flaked Oats. Fermented with the Isar Lager strain from Escarpment Labs (is there a week where we DON’T mention Escarpment? [editor’s note: No]), the beer was lagered for five weeks, and dry-hopped with Amarillo and Azacca. The final 4.8% ABV brew is tasting crisp and clean, as a good Lager should, with plenty of fruit – including peaches and lemons – in the aroma, and a bit of dankness carrying over into the flavour. Congrats to recently promoted Head Brewer Alex on this release, the first he’s fully designed and brewed at Landwash! It’s available on tap and in cans; stop by the brewery for a taste this weekend (and grab some Saucy Mouth while you’re there, natch!). While you’re there, you can pick up some of their latest batch of Brackish Sour Ale, and they should have some super fresh That Much Ocean NEIPA available now as well!

Back to the mainland for New Brunswick Capital Region’s Niche Brewing’s latest release, another in their exploration of fun and exciting hop combinations. Lost in Translation is a 4.6% ABV Session IPA, with hop additions of Hallertau Blanc and Simcoe beginning in the boil, further enhanced by a heavy dry-hopping of more of the same hop pair, along with Citra. Foggy London Ale yeast from Escarpment did the heavy lifting, with the tropical and citrus vibes first and foremost, along with a touch of spiciness. As with most Niche releases, grabbing it on draught at your local watering hole is your best bet, with The Joyce in Fredericton, Peppers Pub in Saint John, and Halifax’s Bar Stillwell all the first spots to jump on kegs. And speaking of Stillwell, they are facing off against Dartmouth’s Side Hustle Snack Bar in a friendly head-to-head competition of kitchens, all in the name of raising funds for disaster relief, so we strongly encourage you to visit one or both spots this weekend. More details on their social media.

Hometown-proud Truro Brewing Co. has a couple of new beers hitting their taps over the last week, including their latest foray into the world of SMaSH (while we don’t seem to see as many of these beers these days, we figure you’re still all up to speed with what that acronym stands for), Halla Back Girl. This 5.8% ABV beer was brewed all Pale malt from Shoreline Malting, and hopped with a generous amount of Hallertau Blanc. Expect “a tropical, fruity aroma with hints of white wine and pineapple”, in a light orange, very hazy package. Also, last Friday the brewery launched Rubyfruit Grapefruit Sour, a tart and refreshing, 3.5% ABV fruited sour. Both beers are available on tap at the brewery, now.

Maybe we’ll actually be crazy and stick with one province for a moment, and move over to Route 19 Brewing, who have been experimenting on their 50 L pilot system. For those of you have been looking for a beer that tastes like peanut butter waffles covered in strawberry jelly, we guess you’re going to be excited by this one! Crunchy! is what the brewery is calling, yes, a “Peanut Butter Strawberry Jam Ale” (hey, don’t shoot the messenger, ok?). The malt used in the grist (including Biscuit, Carapils, and Honey malt) during brew day contributes biscuit and “fluffy batter flavours”, and strawberry puree was added during fermentation. What about the PB, you ask? Well, they didn’t want to overdo that aspect of the 6.5% ABV beer, so they added peanut butter extract directly into the brite tank (before carbing the beer) “one spoon at a time until the flavour was just right”. Maybe they should have named this one Goldilocks and the Peanut Butter Bears? We’ll just show ourselves out… Oh, we should also reiterate that there isn’t much of this beer around, so if you’re at all curious about what it tastes like, we recommend getting over there ASAP for a pint. And of course, those with nut allergies should avoid this one. Glad to see they’re back open after the awkward incident earlier in the month!

We go from one unusual but intriguing beer to another, stopping next at Good Robot Brewing, the place where misfit people can enjoy misfit beer 😉. Dreamed up by summer brewhouse intern Nathan, they’re going all in on a Chocolate Banana Porter named The Banana Wizard. A light 5.0% ABV Porter, fermentation was carried out by a Belgian yeast to promote banana esters and a touch of clove spiciness, on top of the rich chocolate, dark toffee, and toasted notes. To send it over the top, they dosed in some banana cream and chocolate extracts, for the full “chocolate covered frozen bananas on the boardwalk” experience (there’s always money in the banana stand!). This release is only available in cans, so fire up your Segway to head down to their Robie Street location, or order online for home delivery, and they’ll dispatch their stair car directly to your door.

Delta Force Brewing, Nova Scotia’s only Farmshed brewery, is back with a second big release after a few months creeping through the jungles and carrying out Top Secret missions. With several of the beers in this release taking months of patience to let the yeast and bugs play together, the window to grab the beers is now open! Returning are Anderlecht, their 6.0% ABV Belgian Single with Brett Lambicus, and Mean Time, their 4.8% ABV English Bitter brewed with their own shed-grown hops and fermented with Brettanomyces. They are joined by a new twist of their third release in April, the West Coast IPA Operation Stronghold, but one keg was dosed with Brett, developing some great funky notes and a touch of ester fruit character. All three of these beers are available in 500 mL bottles, at $8 apiece.

Joining those three are a trio of debut releases from Delta Force. Operation Sommar is a Dry Stout, putting an end to the trope that stouts can only be enjoyed in Winter (we also suggest anyone who thinks that should maybe reflect on the existence of Tropical Stouts). Be transported to an idyllic place in the Swedish countryside, where you can dance around the Maypole, be showered in flowers, and dress up like a bear (whether you want to or not). Chocolate, roast, but light and lively enough to be refreshing. Operation Saison is even more refreshing, harkening back to the days when Saisons were enjoyed freely by farmhands at the end (or during) a hard day’s work in the fields. Open fermented in a former milk jug, the floral and spicy character shine through, a testament to the malt, hops, and yeast working together in harmony. Both of these beers are also in 500 mL bottles, $5 each. Rounding out the beer offerings is Operation Assay, a Pale Ale fermented with Ebbergarden Kveik yeast. This is DFBC’s first foray into a “year-round elixir”, and they invite you to follow along on their journey.

So, how can you get your mitts on these beers? The best path to success is to send them an email (deltaforcebrewing@gmail.com) with your order request, and delivery address. Orders over $40 include delivery in Halifax, and arrangements may be possible for smaller orders or other areas of the region. Keep an eye on their IG page for more details as they’re released today.

Back to Newfoundland for the latest small batch release from Port Rexton Brewing. Summer vibes continue on the Bonavista peninsula, so plan your trip to PR to Wet Your Whistle. A 3.8% ABV Session NEIPA, it’s hoppy, hazy, and bursting with great citrus character. Light bodied and crushable, it’s perfect as a rehydration helper for the hot days we’ve been having. As it’s a small batch, it’s only available at the taproom in Port Rexton for pints and growler fills (still a few options at their St. John’s Retail Shop, fear not).

Dieppe’s CAVOK Brewing has teamed up with Bertrand’s Oktoberfest des Acadien to release a beer in its honour. With physical distancing requirements making the in-person Oktoberfest an impossibility, CAVOK has stepped up and brewed a beer to allow us all to celebrate the event together, apart. Keeping true to the inspiration from the original Oktoberfest in Munich, L’Oktoberfest des Acadiens is a 4.7% ABV Märzen, an easy-drinking lager with light toast and biscuit notes, and the perfect beer to fill your Maßkrug. Available in cans at the CAVOK brewery and taproom, it will see wide distribution in ANBL stores across the province.

Down the road from Dieppe and across the Confederation Bridge, Charlottetown’s Red Island Cider is launching a new cider for your enjoyment tomorrow. Part of their Ghost Ship series of limited edition beverages, Two Farmers is made with a blend of apples from two of PEI’s apple producers, one in Prince County (the Island’s “West side”), and one in Kings County (the “East side”). Together, the apples combined with yeast to produce a dry yet complex 6.5% ABV cider with a champagne color, and a bright and vinous nose. Additional tasting notes from the cidery include creamy honey, a touch of caramel, and a tannic finish. Sounds lovely to us! Even better, tomorrow’s launch will feature a special on this cider with local oysters from 4 – 7 PM on their limited space, properly socially-distanced patio. If you can’t make it, though, the Ghost Ship series does generally make its way into bottles, so you should be able to grab some to go as well!

Speaking of PEI cider (two PEI cider posts in one week? That’s got to be a record!), Caledonia’s Double Hill Cidery has a new release of their own. IslandSide was made with apples from Arlington Orchards, and was slowly-fermented and cold aged. It’s 5.5% ABV, and is tasting “fresh and crisp, with floral notes”. It’s available in cans right now at Double Hill, and should be available very soon at PEILCC stores (maybe even in time for the weekend!). 

And a couple more short mentions before we leave you to your weekend; we hope it’s a warm, sunny and beery one wherever you are!

Dartmouth’s North Brewing has the latest in their line of sour beers available now. Raspberry Plush features a whole whack of fresh raspberries pressed in-house, resulting in a beautiful bright pink colour and a beer bursting with flavour. At 4.5% ABV, it’s a perfect patio pairing partner (partner!). Grab it online or at their store on Portland Street when you’re there for some Side Hustle side action.

Quidi Vidi Brewing released an American Amber Ale earlier this week, simply-named Amber Ale. Billed as easy-drinking, with light caramel and biscuit-like flavours, as well as a touch of fruit character, it finishes dry with a firm bitterness. Coming in at 5% ABV, it’s available now at the brewery’s Hops Shop for pickup and delivery.