The Stillwell Freehouse

All posts tagged The Stillwell Freehouse

Well hey, we made it to mid-July and, even better for NSians, Phase 4! Although it’s definitely positive news and puts us one step closer to that “new normal” that we’ve been hearing about, it’s really important to remember that the lifting of restrictions in this phase don’t help everybody to the same degree!! Due to the continued need for social distancing, bigger venues get a whole lot more benefit from this than the little folks. That’s not judgement, that’s just facts. And frankly the little folks are the ones who’ve already been suffering the most. Now consider that the bulk of the craft breweries in Nova Scotia and the other Atlantic Provinces are on the smaller end of the spectrum. Now is not the time for complacency if you want your favorite local(s) to make it to the other side of this thing. While in-person space is limited, plenty of places are still doing on-line ordering for pickup and/or delivery; why not throw an order their way?

Let’s start with some news from Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula. Those who’ve been to the Landwash Brewery taproom in Mount Pearl can attest to the great vibes, cool interior design, tasty food options (care of in-house food truck Saucy Mouth) and excellent beer. However, a trip to the Pearl requires a bit of a drive, which may not be feasible for tourists or others spending time closer to downtown St. John’s. That changes this summer, as Landwash is taking its act to the Gut as part of the new Wharf at Quidi Vidi vending park and beer garden! In what’s shaping up to be a surefire summertime destination, the setup will feature outdoor seating, including a large tent to make it a rain or shine operation, an ice cream shack from the Quidi Vidi Sweet Spot, and food from Landwash mainstain, Saucy Mouth and the Bernard Stanley Gastropub. And of course, Landwash will be slinging pints from a custom built beer trailer. The Wharf is now open 7 days/week from noon to 9:00 PM, with plans to remain open until September 8th.

And while we’re talking new and exciting for the Landwash Crew, there’s also a new beer from them, a bit of an ode to their Mount Pearl home. With the City recently launching the Find Your Centre Renewal plan, and today being the first of Mount Pearl City Days, what better time to launch this collaboration! Find Your Centre is a 4.5% ABV Session Pale Ale, hazy and bursting with flavour from the massive amounts of Eclipse and Galaxy hops used late in the process, for flavour and aromas of mandarin orange and candied citrus. For the time being, the only place to grab a Find Your Centre is at the taproom at 181 Commonwealth, with cans and draught available for purchase. And until Sunday, your purchase of either will have you entered in a draw for a prize pack from the city, with plenty of goodies from local businesses. Win Win!

On the opposite side of the island, the crew at Port au Port’s Secret Cove Brewing has a new IPA out this week with the release of Citra Arse Down. This one was brewing with Canadian grown 2-row and Victory malt and was hopped exclusively with Citra from Yakima Chief Hops. Coming in at 5.6%, expect notes of orange and tropical fruit. Available now for pints at the brewery’s taproom.

Staying with IPAs, the makers of some of HRM’s favorite hoppy beers, Propeller Brewing, are back at it with the release of Pacific IPA. This one features two New Zealand hops, Pacific Sunrise and the elusive Nelson Sauvin. Look for flavours of white grapes, tropical fruit, citrus, pine and gooseberry (yes, let’s all keep pretending we know what that tastes like). Pacific IPA comes in at 6% ABV and 60 IBUs. Look for cans with the pop-top 360 Lid, last seen for Propeller’s DDH IPA, which celebrated previous years’ IPA Day. But 2021 deserves a brand new celebrator, and Pacific IPA is where it’s at! Cans will be available at Propeller’s three retail locations and home delivery today, as well as Bishop’s Cellar and other private stores and the NSLC soon. On tap for pints at Prop’s two taprooms (Gottingen and Quinpool), with kegs also heading to Battery Park and North end pals Sourwood Cider. Due to the smaller batch size, no growler fills of this beaut, sorry!

Downtown Halifax’s Tidehouse Brewing has a pair of new beers on tap and in cans this week, on opposite ends of the spectrum! Groove Delight is a Strawberry and Vanilla Sour, with plenty of lactose (milk sugar) added, the beer flirts with the “Milkshake Beer” category, but the gentle tart character from underlying sour keeps it from being too heavy and thick. Tons of strawberries added late in the process mean there’s plenty of flavour in the beer, which can be difficult. Available on tap and in cans from opening at 4 PM today. Also available is Big Swifty, a 9.5% Double IPA featuring loads and loads of Zeus hops (part of the CTZ trifecta with Columbus and Tomahawk, nearly indistinguishable from each other), for plenty of bitterness underlying the dank and resinous character of this Old School American hop. Pop by today to grab some of each, plus a few more, for samples and pints, growlers and cans!

Back to Newfoundland for some news from Quidi Vidi Brewery, who have recently opened their taproom’s patio down in the Gut, which may have the prettiest view at a brewery in the region (send corrections to @acbbchris). Celebrating more beauty is their Arts & IPA Series, where local artists’ work adorns the labels. The latest is Arts & IPAs 03 – Rye IPA, featuring The Voice of Currents by Mike Gough, born in Corner Brook. At 6.5%, Citrus and Spice come together, as the hops and especially grain shine through for a bit of complexity. Available now at their location in QV, as well as their Hop Shop at 16 Harbour View Avenue off Torbay Road, and coming soon to NLC and convenience stores across the Island next week.

Down in Lunenburg, NS, Saltbox Brewing is bringing out a new beer they’re calling Loud and Proud. A hop-forward American Pale Ale with classic notes of citrus, it is a collaboration with Lunenburg PRIDE, a non-profit advocacy organization for local 2SLGBTQ+ individuals of all ages and their allies who are, “committed to building an inclusive community on the South Shore where everyone feels safe, secure, and respected regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.” Proceeds from the beer will be donated to Lunenburg PRIDE and you can be part of that by hitting a Saltbox tap room as of this afternoon to try a pint or two!

Keeping with the Pride theme, but heading northeast to PEI, Upstreet has released their seasonal Pride-themed beer, Rainbrew. A “strawberry lavender saison,” the style is a mouthful and so is the beer, but in the best of ways. Featuring an ingredient for each color of the classic Pride flag, it was built on a base of Island Malt House 2-row, oats, wheat, and rye. Hopping is courtesy of modern continental varieties Huell Melon and Barbe Rouge, and, as you’d imagine, strawberries and lavender were used, and also butterfly pea flower. Coming in at 5.5% ABV and 15 IBU, the initial impression is dominated by its distinctive pinky/purply color that you don’t find in many beers. On the palate it’s got a minerality and tartness paired with a touch of sweetness, and aroma-wise you’ll find some classic notes of clove, spice, a bit of bubblegum, and banana, all from the saison yeast, but also a touch of that strawberry and lavender. This is the fourth year for Rainbrew, which began as 2 kegs that sold out in one night and has gotten bigger every year to this year, where a double production batch was done. Proceeds from sales will be donated to Upstreet’s collaborating organization for this beer, Pride PEI to the tune of $0.50/can and $20/keg. The launch party was last night at the brewery, and as of today you’ll find it available for pints and growler fills as well as cans to go!

Staying on the Island for a moment but heading just out of town to Cornwall, the longest-named brewery in the region, Modern Brewer’s Village Green, has the latest iteration of their Weird Clouds New England-style IPA on the go this weekend. Coming in at 6.6% ABV, the hopping is classic Centennial blended with modern Citra, Mosaic, and Galaxy. This killer combo brings notes of Creamsicles(™ Unilever) and sweet oranges backed by a firm, grippy(™ CPR) bitterness. On tap at the brewery and also available in cans to go.

And speaking of NE IPAs, back across the Northumberland Strait to Antigonish, you’ll find a brand new beer in that style from Half Cocked Brewing. Perfectly Unclear features an awesomely apt label on the can, and an aptly hazy concoction inside, with heavy floral and tropical hop notes owing, no doubt, to the two huge dry hop additions. With no real bitterness to speak of, this 6.6% ABV hop monster goes down easy, possibly too easy. Grab some cans or a growler fill to go at the brewery or sit and have a pint (or two).

And speaking of Antigonish, they’re officially a two brewery* town: Candid Brewing has opened the doors to their taproom at 88 College Street. which locals of the region will no doubt know as the longtime office of venerable newspaper The Casket. And if you visit their website, you’ll see they’re leaning into that heritage. For now, opening hours are as follows: Mondays closed, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 3 – 9 PM, Thursdays to Saturdays 3 – 10:30 PM, and Sundays 12 – 5 PM. On tap you’ll find (subject to availability, of course), their five core beers and, as brewing time allows, some seasonals as well. Growler fills are available (retail hours the same as taproom), and you’re welcome to bring in any (clean!!) growler you might have or purchase one of Candid’s own. There’s no kitchen on site, but you’re welcome to bring or order in food from other places. Look for a profile of this new concern on Nova Scotia’s North Shore in these very pages soonish!!
* [Ed: possibly still one horse though…]

Happy Third Birthday to Lake City Cider, who have been busy these last few months putting together some great blends of apple and fruit together in fun and exciting ways, including their District Pride Rose (Dry cider rose with tart berries to complement), Field of Dreams (local apples blended with NS strawberries fermented and steeped with whole vanilla beans with a splash of black currant wine), and Cardi P (NS apples and plums, with a touch of cardamom). You can take home a Birthday Bundle featuring these three cuties, along with three more options as well an LCC-branded frisbee. Congratulations to Poet and the team!

Hey folks, do you miss the pre-pandemic world where you could hang out with your friends drinking brilliant beers from far-flung places? We sure do, and we especially miss doing so at the various Bars Stillwell!! If you’re the same, and you’ve maybe been living under a rock that shields you from beer-related news, boy do we have some good tidings for you about the potential return of something that might possibly feel like just a little bit of normalcy: on Saturday, July 24th, the Stillwell Freehouse will be hosting a special event featuring one of the best breweries in Belgium (and really, the world), Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen. No fewer than 19 unique blends from 3F will be on offer that afternoon, with bottle pours, 11 beers from the Speling van het Lot (Twist of Fate) series, and, of course, Belgian-inspired treats coming out of the kitchen. And if you’re feeling more contemplative than chatty, the back room will play two screenings of episode 5 of Michael Jackson’s (no, the other one) Beer Hunter, entitled “Burgundies of Belgium.” Note that reservations are being taken for this event, and it’s strongly recommended that you try to make one. To do so, email andrew@barstillwell.com.

We’ve got a few more short beer hits to share today before we dismiss you for the week…
Iron Rock Brewing in Lab City debuted a new Pale Ale this week, which will help you strike it rich… Prospector APA weighs in at just 4.0% ABV, but thanks to a whole buncha Citra hops used late in the process (end of the boil and in the dry-hop), it is not at all light on flavour and aroma, with plenty of citrus and floral character complemented by low bitterness. On tap for pints and growler fills, and wider distribution in cans in the coming weeks.

O’Creek Brewing, the nano in Dieppe, NB, has a new beer pouring that they’ve dubbed Snap Cryo Pop. Featuring the Cryo Pop Hop Blend from Yakima Chief, it’s an NE Pale Ale with a very tropical bent. Look for citrus, stone fruit, and hints of coconut in a 5% ABV package. It’s available only at Le BarBu BeerGarden for now.

Out in Sackville, NS, the new hip beer bar, Tapestry Beer Bar, has received several inquiries about private bookings. Well good news for those folks who’ve been looking to make such a booking, they’re going to be possible! Obviously, rates and availability will vary, but you’re welcome to make contact to find out whether it’s a fit for your group. There’s some contact info on the website, but you can probably also slide into their social DMs (Fb/Ig) to ask. And keep your eyes peeled on the blog as we have a full interview with owner Ian Smith in the coming days!

Bedford’s newest brewery, Topside Brewing, has been working to get their beers out to other places beyond the brewery. Look for them on tap at Finbar’s Portland St., Finbars Bedford, HopYard Halifax, and Battery Park. Several of those locations have their newest beer, Backyard Blonde, but you also may find summer staple Joyce’s Boy Hefewëizen and core offering On the Bottom DIPA as well.

Bannerman Brewing in St. John’s is putting out some of the Rock’s finest fermented beverages, but they haven’t been packaging all of them. New to cans this week is Broad Strokes, their lagered German ale at 4.8% ABV and made with Pilsner and wheat malts. Eventually you’ll be able to grab some (while quantities last) at NLLC licensees (Marie’s Mini Mart and Urban Market 1919, we believe), but for now you’ll have to head to the brewery.

If you’re looking for a beer job in Halifax, we think you could do far worse than with our friends at 2 Crows Brewing on Brunswick Street. And now would also be a good time to be looking, as they’ve got a couple of positions that they’re looking to fill: brewery production assistant/delivery driver and part-time bartender and packaging assistant. In both cases you’ll be working with a team that puts out high quality product and cares deeply about their roles in the brewing community and the general Halifax community as well. More information, including instructions on applying, can be found by clicking the “Careers” link on their website.

If you felt the heat wave earlier this week, we hope you were stocked up with local treats to keep you cool. Or if you live on the Avalon or Labrador, maybe something to keep you warm during yesterday’s flurries! This weekend looks like another sunny one across Atlantic Canada, so why not stock up and enjoy them safely at home or get out on a patio if you’re comfortable! Either way, we know our local libation lovers will support their own establishments as best they can and we’re back again to help spread the news!

As PEI Craft Beer Week winds down this weekend, Upstreet Brewing is launching an annual favourite collaboration with The Inn at Bay Fortune. Fireworks, named after the kitchen at Chef Michael Smith’s on-farm restaurant, is a Farmhouse Ale featuring a whole bunch of local grain, malt, and other special ingredients. Island Malt House-grown and -malted Pilsner, Biscuit, Wheat, Toasted Wheat, Buckwheat, Malted Oats, and Rye made up the grist bill, giving the yeasty beasties a whole bunch of different sugars and other carbs to munch on over the course a several months. After the boil of the wort was completed, Ekuanot and Pekko hops were added to the whirlpool (during a rest before cooling), and once fermentation subsided, Lemondrop was added to amplify a citrus character. During that conditioning time, ingredients straight from the Culinary Farm on Bay Fortune were added, including more than 200 kg of crab apples, dried marigold, and citrus basil, all hand picked and curated by the IaBF team and Upstreet crew. The resulting beer has floral and earthy notes, with barnyard and hay on the nose, with a light acidity and carbonation to keep it refreshing. The beer is debuting tomorrow at the Upstreet tap room on Allen Street in Charlottetown, with a tasting kicking off at 3 PM. Bottles will also be available at their Craft Beer Corner location downtown, and of course at The Inn at Bay Fortune. And those in HRM may soon be able to grab bottles at their Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse in Burnside and private stores as well, so keep your eyes peeled!

Upstreet is also continuing the releases today with the second in their Libra line of non-alcoholic beers, with Libra Hazy IPA. Bumping up the hops from their Libra North Cape Pale Ale, but still in a sub 0.5% ABV package, the beer features loads of Idaho 7, El Dorado, Citra, and Mosaic late in the process, to keep it from being too tongue-coating bitter, while still imparting plenty of great citrus, tropical fruit character those hops are known for. Available in short cans at the taproom, CBC, and online for delivery Canada-wide (soon), as well as other spots in the coming weeks (remember, not alc = wider availability!). Cheers to Mitch, Hogie, and the crew for providing more low- and non-alc beer alternatives to those looking to moderate their intake of alcohol while still having a flavourful drink!

Let’s keep it going with more PEICBW info, as one of the OG PEI breweries welcomes their younger pals to take over their taps tomorrow. The Gahan House will be pouring several of their own After Hours seasonal and one-off brews, while also welcoming Bogside Brewing, Copper Bottom, Lone Oak, Upstreet, and Village Green to pour their latest and greatest beers. Look for new releases, old favourites, and cool change-ups from everyone involved! The pouring starts at 11:30 AM and goes all day and night. And of course be sure to check out the cool new beers and events from Evermoore, Moth Lane, and PEI Brewing Co this weekend, and the rest of the year!

To the mainland we go, stopping in at Spryfield, Nova Scotia’s own Serpent Brewing, with two new beers to tell you about this week. Both are part of their Beer Creation Experience, where the public had a chance to design a Serpent beer, from style, recipe, ingredients, all the way to the label on the bottle. Released last weekend was Pavo Tropical IPA, and while it does not contain any actual fruit, the hops chosen, namely Amarillo, Magnum, and Mosaic, do a fine job of imparting a ton of berry and citrus, with a touch of pine too. At 5.4% and 50 IBU, the hazy IPA (XPA? Big APA?) is perfect for enjoying on their patio this weekend, or in bottles to take away. 

Debuting today is the next in the Serpent BCE, Whatermelon is Wrong Wit You? Taking a cue from NS Premier Rankin’s question to those not following COVID protocol by reducing interactions, this pun-tacularly named beer is a spin on their White Mountain Belgian Witbier, but elevated to the next level. Long-time friend-of-Serpent Nick Sanford has been sampling owner Glen O’Keefe’s homebrew for years, assisted during the brewery construction, and even stepped in to become a Founder of the brewery, and designed Whatermelon based on a homebrew he and Glen had enjoyed on a camping trip years ago. Taking the already flavourful White Mountain recipe as a starting point, even more orange peel was added to brighten the beer, with watermelon added post-fermentation to let the fruit shine through with little distraction. The 5.5% beer is available now in bottles and on draught at the brewery for imbibing on their patio this weekend (and indoors next, Strang-willing). And stop by Saturday and/or Sunday to grab some great Jamaican snacks and meals from Jamdouns Food Truck who will be parked adjacent to the patio!

Heading up to Newfoundland and in particular, Port Rexton Brewing, where the gang have managed to get their beery paws on some 355 mL silver bullets. In celebration of this minor coup (seriously, cans are in wretchedly short supply across North America right now), they’re filling them up with delightfully crushable liquids for your enjoyment. Up first is Whitecap, a bright and refreshing session NEIPA that began its life as a taproom favorite Wet Yer Whistle. With a nice light body and a “sounds like another one” ABV of 3.8%, you’ll find it available today at the PR taproom and also at their St. John’s retail shop. These are only being sold in singles right now and once they’re gone they’re gone until more can stock comes in, as they’re holding some aluminum aside for another light and tasty release next week! And if you’re into beer and outdoor activities in the PR area, you should check out the guided hike around the Skerwink Trail being hosted weekly by PR, Paul Dean and Fishers’ Loft Inn. No fee or registration required, just a desire for a lovely walk and an ear for Paul’s geologic knowledge and stories. The hike will end at Port Rexton where you’ll get your first pint at 50% off. Sounds like a pretty good deal to us! More details available from this Fishers’ Loft Ig post.

Further island vibes from Newfoundland bring a new release from Bannerman this week. Vibe Architect is a 5.0% Witbier which is the first of its kind from the St. John’s crew. Brewed with pilsner malt, flaked wheat, flaked corn and some malted wheat, the hop profile is a blend of European hops that provide great balance. With a true to style flavour profile, expect orange and coriander notes with some nice sweetness from sweet orange peel and spices. This is a renowned and respected style (see: Allagash White) that is complex, subtle and refreshing. This one is available now in cans, on tap at the brewery as well as select Marie’s locations. 

Back down to Nova Scotia, where in the Northern part of the province Tatamagouche Brewing is getting their summer on the go a little early. We told you a couple of weeks ago about the return of Dekorum Lime, which sees their ultra-sessionable Dekorum lager meet treatment with tonnes of lime flavor. Well they didn’t stop there! This week two more variants on that ABV base are available that leverage organic juice concentrates to provide a little summery pizzazz. Dekorum Mandarin and Dekorum Blood Orange are both still 2.9% ABV crushers, each with a slightly different citrus twist. Sounds like an opportunity to grab (at least) 4 cans (OG, lime, and the two debutants) and commence with Dekorum Battle 2021!! That all said, if you’re a Dekorum lover, but not interested in the new fruity variants, check out their current online-only deal, $45 of your finest Canadian dollars for 24 refreshing cans!

Meanwhile, the Tata gang is gearing up for some birthday shenanigans next week as they turn seven years old! We’ll have all the details for you in next Friday’s post, but in advance of that, know that they’ll be running happy hour pricing from Thursday to Sunday on pints at the taproom along with some other on-site promos. There will also be four new beers for you to sample, including two low-abv funky offerings. Check back here next week for the full details on those and maybe keep an eye on Tata’s socials (Fb, Ig, Tw) for more info on the celebrations.

As Halifax and Nova Scotia are getting hopeful with their re-opening plan, Garrison is bringing some new releases for everyone to enjoy. First up, they have a new series called Hop Mess, which will be a mix of summer releases where the brewers will be experimenting with hop stands (adding hops at flameout and letting the hops stand in the hot wort before chilling) and heavy handed dry-hopping. In their own words they want to “create some messy, dank & crazy flavourful IPAs.” The first release of this series is Hop Mess IPA #1:  Aussie Rules, where they’re adding Eclipse, Topaz and Australian Cascade hops post-flameout and in the fermenter. At 6.7% this is going to be hop-forward upfront with low lingering bitterness. This is a limited run that is available now in cans only at their taprooms in Halifax. 

The other new release at Garrison taprooms is a partnership with Bulwark, as their Blush cider will be available in cans at the Garrison Seaport and Oxford locations. Using the fresh juice from Bulwark, this is fermented and canned at Garrison at their locations. If you know Blush, it’s a tasty local cider that balances wild berries and apple flavours at a very drinkable and fresh 5.8%. 

The newest addition to the Antigonish beer scene continues to put out new and interesting beers during their soft opening phase. This week, Candid Brewing Company is releasing Working Joe Breakfast Stout. Described by the brewery as “if cold brew were beer”, this one features Ethiopia-sourced coffee from renowned Halifax roaster, Java Blend. Working Joe is the first release in Candid’s Side Door Series of one-off batches. You can find it today (Friday), at Candid’s weekly pop-up sale (reminder that Candid will be opening for retail hours every Friday from 1:00 to 6:00 PM until it’s grand opening), for takeaway in pre-filled 1L growlers. Cans of their Northeast IPA, Party Line, and APA with blood orange, No Brainer, will also be available. 

From one university town to another, Wolfville’s Church Brewing also has a new small batch release ready for your weekend. Pomona is a cranberry sour that comes in at 4% ABV for your summer session enjoyment. Brewed with barley, wheat, flaked wheat, and oats, and lightly hopped with Magnum to the tune of 8 IBUs, you can expect notes of rhubarb and lemon zest on the nose, with a puckering cranberry flavour and tart finish. Pomona is named after the Roman goddess of fruit trees, gardens and orchards, something Wolfville and the surrounding Annapolis Valley can boast plenty of. You can grab some today in crowlers from their onsite Beer Market, or enjoy a pint on their expansive taproom/restaurant patio. 

You may recall that we passed on some info last week concerning two brand new Saisons from Big Spruce; well, they’re continuing that trend this week with yet another Saison, Fruit Bomb. Fermented with two different Brett strains (B. anomola and B. bruxellensis), along with a “clean” Saison strain, it was hopped with organic French Barbe Rouge. The yeast and hops blend together to produce “a nose of summer strawberries spilling into a bowl of peach and nectarine”, to complement the floral and spicy flavours you’d expect from any well-brewed Saison. Refreshing and dry, and 6.8% ABV, it’s the perfect warm weather sipper. Look for it on tap right at the source, and at your favourite Big Spruce watering holes across NS; looks like there should be some bottles available, too! 

But that’s not all, as Big Spruce has been busy as usual! They’re also (re-)excited about the first beer that was fermented and aged in their 500 L foedre, which has been fittingly named Début. Now technically this one was released back in April and may have been spotted in the city at Battery Park, but it’s not been seen in the HRM since then, so you could maybe suggest that this week marks a re-debut of Debut, which is debuting at Stillwell Freehouse right now! Described as “crisp and herbaceous,” it’s Oak-fermented, dry hopped with Huell Melon, and 4.9% ABV. Sounds like a debut that’s worth checking out!

Just one event to tell you about (beside the PEI Craft Beer Week goings on above)

Despite having to navigate through closures, pivoting to online sales, reopenings, and managing one of Halifax’s most popular outdoor watering holes, Stillwell continues to bring us the goods from out of province. This Saturday at the Beergarden, they’ll be pouring seven bangers from British Columbia’s Four Winds Brewing. Your intrepid beer bloggers have had the privilege to share several Four Winds bottles over the years, and we can confidently say that the quality is up there with the best that Canada has to offer. The event will feature styles that appeal to every beer palette, including lagers, a variety of IPAs, a table saison, and their flagship dry-hopped sour, Nectarous. Check out Stillwell’s Instagram post for more details on the beers and event. While we’re talking Stillwell, a friendly reminder that the 2021 version of Preach dropped in the Stillwell Brewing webstore and is now available for Friday deliveries in HRM and shipping country-wide. Look for Preach and the newest batch of Stilly Pils on rotation at the Beergarden and the Stillwell Freehouse patio, before indoor enjoyment comes next week.

A couple more things to look out for, before you hit the patios this afternoon…

It’s Pride Month all over the world (though the parade in Halifax this year will be in August) and Truro Brewing Company has something light, fresh and bright to celebrate. Pulp’d Fiction is a Berliner Weisse with Blood Orange. Always a delicious style that is tart and refreshing, this comes in at 4.0% and is available on tap today at the brewery. 

Another quick hitter from Halifax’s own Bishop’s Cellar as they’re bringing in some bottles from Quebec’s Brasserie Dunham. Always a pleasure to see in our local shops, there are 3 new bottles now available at Bishop’s with more releases from Dunham in the coming month. You can pick up a Mata Hari Gose, Berliner Passion Weisse and the classic Saison du Pinnacle on Saturday in-store or online.

 

Great news to lead off today, as Newfoundland & Labrador have loosened restrictions to COVID Level 2, which allows restaurants and taprooms to open for in-person dining and imbibing. Be sure to support (safely) those breweries and great beer bars and restos in whatever way you can, as they surely have had a tough few months. With the recent flare-up in Northwestern NB, we know forward progress can be taken away in a moment. We’re still feeling cautiously optimistic about April 19th, with the probable re-inflation of the Atlantic Bubble. Wear a mask and take care of yourself and others. 🧡

Halifax’s Good Robot Brewing has a brand new release this week, which comes with a mystery they’d love to learn more about. Abigail Price was a widowed free Black Woman who immigrated by boat from New York to Shelburne in 1783, her name appearing in The Book of Negroes. 10 years later, she had a home built on her land in Tusket, where she lived for some 20 years, before selling the property in 1816. After the sale, she moved on, and her life afterward is currently lost from the history books. Today, that property is known as The Hatfield House, an award-winning restaurant. 

Chelsea B teamed up with local journalist (and beer enthusiast) Evelyn C White to develop the recipe and brew Abigail Was Here, a beer to honour Price’s legacy. Light amber and a touch hazy in appearance, this 5.9% ABV Saison was lightly hopped with Lemon Drop, before an extra helping of lemon zest and juice, in addition to a touch of blueberry extract to round out the fruit character. A Saison yeast offers a bit of clove spiciness. The beer’s label was designed by Brent Braaten and Sara Panchaud, and drew inspiration from the earliest photograph available of the original house, as Abigail Price may have left it 200 years ago. The beer is available on tap at the brewery, and in cans to take away or for home delivery.

Tatamagouche Brewing has a new beer designed and brewed by brewer Chad Ellis in a somewhat uncommon style for our region. Black Flower is an American Stout coming in at 5.5% ABV and Chad did his best to lean into the “aggressively hopped” aspect of the style and leveraging American varieties. Starting with some Triple Pearl from HOOH (Harvesters of Organic Hops) in BC that he describes as featuring, “some cool vanilla/black tea aromas,” he blended in some “really resinous” Centennial from local hop farm Wicked Hops in Stewiacke, NS. Completing the hop picture is classic Cascade. With a firm bitterness of 55 IBU established, most of the hops were added in the whirlpool, which should give plenty of hop aroma and flavor showing. On the grist side of things, Horton Ridge pale, some caramel malts (but not too much), and a “punchy” blend of dark malts that included barley, rye, and wheat provide balance to all those hops with roasty, chocolate, and coffee notes. Fermented with S-04 yeast, a British strain, but well-suited to the style, the resulting beer has plenty of citrus peel character, especially on the aroma, with similar flavors as well as dark chocolate, black coffee, and caramel. This one is debuting in cask-conditioned (aka naturally carbonated) firkins at the Stillwell Freehouse in the next few days, with kegs and cans coming to Tatmagouche and licensees next week. Don’t forget you can order online as well, for delivery across Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada.

If you’re feeling that Island life and the warm weather has got you in a tropical mood, Copper Bottom brings a new release available today. Field Trip: Pink Guava is their latest in a series with an eye on experimentation, unconventional and unpredictable, which tend to be tart and fruity. This iteration brings a kettle soured with a grain bill of Shoreline two-row and wheat, a bit of Warrior hops and then a lot of pink guava puree added after the kettle souring. This is available in cans today at 5.0% and it will only be available online and in their taproom, with a few choice Charlottetown accounts. If you’re around the taproom, pop in for some live music and an expanded menu to celebrate the release, with Nick Doneff starting the tunes at 5 PM this afternoon. That expanded menu, btw, has several items curated by the fine folks at HopYard, and still includes the great Handpie Company offerings, picnic baskets, and small snacks, joined by the new epic Spinach Dip, Sausage Roll, and Pepperoni and Veggie Flatbreads. 

We would also like to congratulate the team at Copper Bottom for winning the Excellence in Adaptation & Resiliency Award last night at the Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce President’s Excellence Awards. This award recognizes a business that has shown resilience in the face of adversity by introducing or improving a product/service to better fit the new environment caused by COVID-19. Congrats to the great team there and we’re happy to have been lucky enough to enjoy your fine brews over the last year. 

Rolling right into the same awards ceremony, Upstreet Brewing also took home some hardware, picking up the Workplace Excellence Award at the same Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce awards noted above. This award is given to an organization that, through its innovative human resource practices, provides employees with a positive, healthy and productive workplace. Things are upbeat at Upstreet and we know you’re worthy recipients!

This sounds like the perfect time for a new release, so they’re back with Neon Friday 3.04 New England IPA. First released in November 2020, they’ve tweaked the recipe ever so slightly, to enhance the smooth hop finish with notes of stone fruit and cherries. Still plenty (more, even!) Cashmere, Citra, Mosaic, and Sabro, they adjusted the timing of those additions, along with changes to the water and grain bill to enhance the haze and head retention. Still at 6.5%, this is available in cans and on tap at Craft Beer Corner, their Taproom and online for island wide delivery. And those in HRM/Nova Scotia should see it in the private stores soon. And no spilling the beans just yet, but fans of their Rewind Seltzer take note, as well as those who are digging their Libra line of <1% ABV beers…

Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing is saying “So Long” (well, “See You Later”) to their Aussie-hopped Dunder Pale Ale, and bringing in a brand new year-round Pale Ale. Day’s Done is a 5.0% ABV American Pale Ale, that features a hop bill of Cascade and Mosaic, but used judiciously in a well balanced and easy-drinking beer. A medium body and soft mouthfeel from the malt bill (mostly Canadian Pilsner) support the hops in this golden ale. Available on tap and in cans at the brewery now, as well as for shipping across Atlantic Canada and Ontario.

You can help them Hooroo to Dunder for the rest of the week by grabbing a pint or growler fill at the brewery, for just $5 or $10, taxes in. Also, for those looking for something in the fermented seltzer vein, best grab their Bubbly seltzer quick before it goes away. They’re not getting out of the Seltzer game completely, as TW will be back with a less-cease-and-desisty name and brand soon.

The team at North Brewing Company is giving us an early taste of summer with their release of Mango Mango, their take on the Fruited IPA style. This one starts off as a west-coast style IPA featuring Lotus and Mosaic hops. It was then referented on 200 lbs of mango pureé (the Totapuri variety of mango from India and Sri Lanka to be exact). 473 ml cans are available now through North’s two retail locations and for delivery through their webstore. You can also find it on tap now at North’s Portland Street taproom and Battery Park. In other exciting news, North posted a teaser on social media this week about their new, third location! Online sleuths quickly identified the location as the Brunello Estates neighborhood in Timberlea. We’ll have more news in the coming weeks on what is sure to be a great addition to the BLT area. 

Although no brewery puts out a new beer every single week of the year, some breweries do seem to aspire to it, which brings us, of course, to 2 Crows in Halifax. Fans of the brewery (and fruited sours) are no doubt familiar with Jamboree, a regular in the 2C lineup, and this week the gang on Brunswick is releasing a sibling beer they’re calling Jubilee. Built on a similar grist of Pilsner, malted wheat, raw wheat and some flaked oats, no hops were added to the boil. Souring was accomplished with Lactobacillus plantarum after which the wort was fermented at high temperature with the Ebbengarden Kveik strain. Post-fermentation it saw fruit, and not a little bit of it: 440 lbs of blackberry puree and 270 lbs of apricot were added to a 2,400 L batch!. After giving those extra sugars time to ferment out, the batch was dry hopped with a little bit of Bru-1 hops. The result is not unlike a smoothie, according to the brewery, as it’s, “fruity, lush, thick, and purple,” and not super sour, but, “kinda tart.” Also of note is that this beer was soured post-boil, so the bacteria used to sour are still alive; this implies that there could be a little bit of aging potential for this one, although probably not super long term as it’s only 4.8% ABV. You can find it at the brewery packaged in cans for a pint or grab some to go, or you can order on-line for delivery.

What better to celebrate Newfoundland and Labrador’s return to Level 2 than the release of a new beer!? On the west-coast, you’ll find the newest offering from Crooked Feeder Brewing Co. Powder Keg is a Cream Ale brewed with Escarpement Lab’s KRISPY Kveik yeast. Developed in collaboration with local outdoor outfitter Rugged Edge, Powder Keg comes in at 4.5% and is currently available on tap and in 500 ml bottles at the Crooked Feeder Gastropub in Corner Brook. 

Cornwall’s Village Green has not one, not two, but three new beers on tap this weekend. First up is their take on a Belgian-Style Tripel. Brewed in January to allow for sufficient conditioning, Tripel was made using Pilsner malt and Perle hops. At 9.4% ABV, it’s the strongest beer made by VIllage Green to date and is currently available in 5 oz pours at the taproom. Keep an eye out for a canned release of Tripel shortly. Next up is Hazy Pale Ale. This one started with two-row, malted wheat and a touch of crystal malt, along with Warrior hops for bittering. The beer was then hit with auditions of Amarillo, Centennial and Citra in the whirlpool and as a dry hop. Expect notes of candied citrus and spruce needs in this 5.8% hazy ale. Finally, for something on the maltier side, keep an eye out for their take on a Brown Ale, also being released at the taproom this weekend.

The Altbier style has been gaining in popularity in our region, with more breweries in the region producing examples of the beer that originated in Düsseldorf, Germany. Annapolis Brewing Company is the latest to release their take on style. Coming in at 5% ABV and 42 IBU, Altbier pours a dark copper colour with a moderate noble hop aroma. Expect malt notes of biscuit and caramel, nicely balanced by the hop bitterness. Altbier is available for pints and growler fills now at the taproom in Annapolis Royal.

Lots of fun news coming out of Moncton this week, as Tire Shack Brewing has a few exciting things on the go. 

First up, they have a special cask release tonight with 20L of their Russian Imperial Stout that has been sitting in cask for 4 months and filled it with cubes of Hungarian Oak to simulate the effects of barrel aging. The oaky flavours should come through and is definitely worth trying if you’re in the neighbourhood, but even if you’re not, it is worth the trip! It’s a doozy at 11.9% ABV, so tread carefully and have a pal take care of transportation! That way you can also enjoy… 

A new release also graces Tire Shack today, they have a Blueberry-Vanilla Milkshake IPA available now. Using Ahtanum hops for a lemony-spicy kick, the sweetness and blueberry come on the finish for an interesting release. This is available today for enjoyment onsite in pints and flights, and in growlers to go, and at just 4.5% ABV, you can certainly enjoy a couple in these warmer evenings. And if we play our cards right, there may be some cans coming in the next few days!

Lastly in some cool news, they’ve extended their Halo donut collaboration through the weekend for Moncton Craft Beer Week. They have two awesome donuts featuring some of their beers. The first features Secret Society Stout icing with Sunny Brae Coffee espresso crumble. The second donut is loaded with Parts N Labour IPA icing with lime zest. Pairing them with their parent beers in the taproom is highly recommended, though they will also be available to go from Halo’s spot at 110 St-George (open 12 – 6 PM all weekend, though no guarantee the donuts won’t sell out earlier!). Lots of great news from Tire Shack and worthy of heading out this weekend if you’re able. 

Speaking of Moncton Craft Beer Week, it wraps up tomorrow with a couple of special events.

Open Brewery Day is happening tomorrow, with free shuttle buses running a loop between connecting the downtown core, Riverview, and Dieppe, with stops along the way. From 11 AM – 5 PM, start your visits at any one of these spots and get a headstart on your Moncton Craft Beer Passport… The first bus leaves at 11:30 in this order, with the others leaving every 15 minutes: CAVOK Brewing (perfect place to grab some Acadie-Broue, Chockpish, and O’Creek), Flying Boats, Pump House Fill Station, Tire Shack Brewing, Tide & Boar Brewing, Holy Whale Beer Hall (just a 30 min walk Celtic Knot), completing the loop at City Hall in the downtown core (quick walk to Gahan Hub City, Pump House, and Tide & Boar Gastropub).

Speaking of Tide & Boar, they are hosting an All IPA Tap Takeover Saturday, with 14 hoppy beauts from the GMA pouring all day long, plus a secret IPA flight, and if you can correctly guess the identity of the beers, you’ll be entered in a draw for a $50 T&B gift card.

And today and tomorrow are your last chances to take part in the Beer Tasting Menu at Clos, the Spring Beer Garden at Euston Park, and the Mac & Cheese & Beer Restaurant Crawl.

In more great news from Newfoundland being at Level 2, if you’re not able to make it there, you can pop down to Stillwell on Saturday for your own fresh sips of Bannerman Brewing! Your fine purveyors of the good stuff bring six fresh pops from the St. John’s brewery. They’ll be open at Noon on Saturday and joining the six draft pours will be fried fish sandwiches flying out of the kitchen. Check out the full tap list below:

Early Rise – Dry-hopped sour w/ lactose, mango, pomegranate – 6.5%
Eclipse IPA – 7%
After Hours DIPA – 8%
Hill O Sips American IPA – 6.8%
Counter Productive Oatmeal Stout – 6%
Better Watch Out Barleywine – 9.5%

Speaking of Stillwell, they are looking for a Few Good Folks to join their Beergarden staff (yup, it’s that time of year!). Experienced Beer- and Food-tenders should apply by email at yo@barstillwell.com.

The job postings keep flowing as Bannerman is looking to add a few new people to their team. In the kitchen, they are looking for a Prep/Line Cook, as well as an Events Manager. In their words, “We’re looking for an energetic, organized individual to take on our ever growing event space. Experience is a must.” If you’re interested, please drop them a line with your resume to info@bannermanbrewing.com

We mentioned Village Green’s new releases already, but they are also looking to grow their team with the additions of a Trainee Brewer and part-time Beer Servers at the taproom. They are accepting resumes at villagegreenpei@gmail.com, or if you’re in the area, drop by the taproom for more info. 

In Southern New Brunswick, Hampton Brewing is preparing for the May opening of their brewery and taproom at the Fire Fly Forest Recreation area just outside of Hampton, and they are looking to hire a full-time Server. Thriving in a fast-paced work environment, and creating a great experience for those who drop by for pints or beer-to-go, the right candidate will have the opportunity to grow with the brewery. Send them an email (hamptonbrewingco@gmail.com) by April 2nd with your resume and “Taproom Server” in the subject line, and you can check out the full posting here.

Now that we’ve got you up to date with all of the latest news, how about some more beer stuff for your ears while you drink some beer this afternoon? The fellas from the 902 BrewCast are back on the mics this month after a bit of a break, and are getting you up to speed with what’s new in their beer universe, and answered questions about every little thing from their loyal listeners. Check your podcatcher for the latest ep, or go direct to the source here!