The Stillwell Freehouse

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Well lookie here, it’s October! One more month closer to this debacle of a year being over! That’s how it works, right? We get through a couple more months of this goat rodeo and then everything magically goes back to something like the normal we knew one or ten or twenty-five years ago? No? Well then, that must be why we have beer, folks. In the interest of helping you maintain your sanity (ours is a lost cause), here’s what you need to know to keep your beer levels up, thanks to all the latest news we could find this week about breweries, beers, and beery events in Atlantic Canada.

Halifax is getting a little more beery next week, when Serpent Brewing has their first beers available! While their taproom and retail shop is slated to open later this month, curbside pick-up and local delivery to the Spryfield/Armdale/Cowie Hill/further afield area will be available beginning Monday, October 5th. We’ll have a full Profile with them early next week for you to read while you sip on the beers, but in the meantime, be sure you hit their website to order their bottles. Serpent is a Belgian-inspired brewery, and their first three offerings certainly reflect that. White Mountain is a 5.5% Belgain Witbier, with strong clove spiciness, plus notes of orange and pepper thanks to the addition of bitter orange peel and coriander in the boil. Patey’s Bier is a Belgian Singel (aka, Patersbier), the lower alcohol brother of the monastic Tripel, light-coloured and 4.6% ABV with notes of floral and fruity malt and yeast. And finally, a hybrid of sorts, Eden Belgain IPA; 6.0% ABV, with a neutral Ardennes strain of yeast and a simple malt bill, allow the Amarillo hops used throughout to shinr through, with citrus and fruit in spades. All three are in 500 mL bottles, with online ordering still available!

We teased last week that we’d have more details on Siren, the “Tripel-style Braggot” collaboration between Truro Brewing and Mountain Meadworks, and since that’s right there in virtual ink on the internet… well, looks like we have to actually follow through on that promise! Brewed at TB, they mashed in with Pale malt from Shoreline Malting, and added local honey (from Tatamagouche) late in the boil, giving a 50:50 ratio between malt and honey. A splash of Hallertau Blanc hops were added in the boil, and the wort was fermented with a Belgian yeast strain. Finishing very dry and at 7.8% ABV, it’s pouring a light golden colour with aromas of “bright apple, honey, bubblegum, and banana”, with the malt coming through a bit more in the flavour, along with a bit of hop character and white wine notes. Siren officially launches at Truro Brewing today at 6 PM, with more details available on the party at the FB page

This week in “postcards from the edge” we got an update from one of our region’s most northerly breweries, RagnaRöck Northern Brewing Co. way up in St. Anthony, Newfoundland, who will be rounding the corner into their second year of operation come November. Like some other breweries that opened late in 2019, we’re sure they didn’t have any idea what was in store for 2020, but so far, thanks to the support of both their local community and the folks that found a way to make it up to the island’s Northern Peninsula, whether from the rest of the Province or from within the Atlantic Bubble. Originally opening with four ‘basic’ beers, Da Bold and Beautiful Blonde Ale, Boggy Bottom Brown Ale, Red Rover Red Ale, and Bit Snatchy Belgian Wit, they expanded the lineup to include an IPA called Hela’s Fury and a kettle sour known as Jormunder’s Sour thanks to the popularity of those two releases. Since re-opening post-COVID shutdown, they’ve also had a couple more beers on regular rotation, namely another sour, this one with cherries, called Surt’s Flaming Sabre, and a Session IPA they’ve dubbed Freyja’s Feathered Cloak. If you’re getting the feeling from these beer names that they’ve really leaned into the Norse Mythology connection implied by their name and logo, you’d be right! If you can get your hands on some of these beers, they’d make an excellent pairing for an evening of reading up on the Æsir and the Vanir. Meanwhile, some of the biggest news from the brewery is the addition of a canning system to the facility. For now they’ve been canning their Blonde and Sour and selling them from the brewery, but as we move into Winter, the system should allow the brewery’s beer to get a little bit of local distribution and possibly even travel a little further to the rest of Newfoundland and maybe even beyond!

Good news for you hopheads living in Miramichi – Timber Ship Brewing has released what they’re calling their most hop-forward beer-to-date, a New England IPA they’re calling Farewell Buoy. Named after the familiar opening words (well, familiar to those of you from Miramichi, anyway!) of the late “Hoppy” Dunn, a local sports broadcaster (“From the headwaters of the Miramichi to the farewell buoy…”), the beer features hops, hops, and more hops. Specifically, plenty of late-in-the-boil additions of Mosaic, an early dry-hop of Citra, plus a double-dry-hop of more Mosaic, as well as some Galaxy. Coming in at 6.2% ABV and 40 IBUs, expect plenty of citrus and pineapple, all in a hazy package. And in more good news, this one won’t be available just on tap; they’ve started canning some of the beers, including Farewell Buoy. Look for this one and a couple of their flagships in cans soon, at Carroll’s Distillery and Bakery in Douglastown. 

Looks like Grand Falls Brewing has added a new beer to their taproom lineup, with an American Pale Ale named High Five. Brewed with a grist of 2-Row, Oats, and Wheat, the wort was hopped with Cashmere and Vic Secret (emphasis on the Vic), before being fermented with a Norwegian Kveik yeast strain. Dry-hopped with more of both varieties, the final 5.25% ABV brew is full of citrusy, tropical flavours, with low bitterness and a soft mouthfeel. This one will be on tap only, for both pints and growlers, and is available now, so be sure to drop in over the weekend!

Dieppe’s CAVOK Brewing has just released the latest in their “Star” series, bottled beers that they’ve named after stars with Latin names. Their first, released in late December, 2019, was Alpha Canis Majoris, for example. The newest is Upsilon Ceti, a 6% ABV, 52 IBUs “Oak Aged Rye Ale”. We don’t have too many details on the beer, unfortunately, but we can assume that there was a proportion of rye malt used in the grist, and the beer was aged in oak for 3 months before being packaged in 750 mL bottles. Very limited quantities are available; you can pick yours up at the brewery today. There’s also a bit available on tap, if you’d like to give it a taste before committing to a bottle purchase!

Congratulations to Grimross Brewing owner Stephen Dixon on completing the multi-day Tri for Housing First 290 km Triathalon last weekend. Supporting the Fredericton Housing First endeavour, supporting those experiencing homelessness by providing permanent shelter first and foremost, allowing people a solid platform from which to concentrate on other aspects of their health, wellbeing, and livelihood. Just shy of $15,000 has been raised thus far, and you can continue the great work by donating at the link above. Grimross is continuing the good works by donating 100% of their cans of Radler to the cause, if you’re looking for a way to satiate your thirst while also providing assistance to those in need. And look for cans of their Oktoberfest Marzen to be hitting the shelves of their retail store and ANBL stores across the province in the next few weeks.

After the very successful launch of The Cherry Brook Wheat earlier this week, brewed in collaboration with the Change is Brewing Collective (more details in last week’s post), North Brewing has hit us with a second new release this week. Strollin’ Down Baldwin St. is a 3.0% Grisette (think Saison’s little cousin), brewed with Shoreline Malting Pilsner malt, lightly hopped with New Zealand Wai-ti and Wakatu hops, and fermented with Escarpment’s Old World Saison blend. Light and spritzy, lemon, peppery, with some tropical fruit and notes of hay, this is a lovely refresher in a tiny package. Grab both SDBS and The Cherry Brook Wheat at either North location, or for home delivery or shipping at their website.

Port Rexton Brewing is teaming up with the ever popular downtown St. John’s boutique Johnny Ruth to celebrate the store’s 15th anniversary. Win Hop Amber Ale comes in at 5% ABV and features the staple caramel malt flavours of the style (perfect for the Fall weather), with a herbal hop character that leads to a dry finish. Grab it in cans now at the brewery in Port Rexton or the St. John’s retail store. If you stop in to celebrate at Johnny Ruth, keep an eye out for the beer in a special gift pack. 

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing is bringing out their annual Nocturne Black IPA beer today, available in cans for home delivery and at the three Prop Shops in Dartmouth and Halifax. This 6.7% beer features significant dry-hopping from Amarillo and Falconer’s Flight, for tropical fruit, pine hop aromatics to complement the roast, chocolate, and coffee notes from the base beer. $1.50 from each can sold goes directly to the Nocturne: Art at Night festival, which is running October 12 – 17. While portions will be moved to the online sphere, there is an installation behind Propeller’s Gottingen Street location after 6 PM on the 17th. And there is also a mid-week Virtual party on the 15th, hosted by HEIST, featuring a DJ, live performances, Lip Sync Roulette, and prizes. It’s free, just requires advance registration.

Tis the Season for Oktoberfests! In addition to Tire Shack Brewing in Moncton and Garrison Brewing X Stubborn Goat Beer Garden events we’ve told you about previously, we have a few more to tell you about this week. However you celebrate, please do so responsibly! 

In Fredericton, TrailWay Brewing is holding their first Oktoberfest, which started yesterday and continues until Saturday, October 3rd. In addition to Milda’s Pizzas being on site (with homemade pretzels available on Saturday), TW is also debuting a new beer, Festbier. Similar to the Oktoberfest style of beer, but less richly toasted, TW’s take “has a caramel and honey-like sweetness, with some subtle breadiness” while remaining dry and crisp. No, it was not dry-hopped with 13 tons of the latest tropical hop variety, but it does have a touch of floral hop character. At 4.5% ABV, and served in pints from their new toy, a Euro-style side-pull tap, it’s intended to be consumed in quantity… hey, they ARE celebrating Oktoberfest, after all! No cans of this one, only available on tap, while it lasts. 

A reminder of the Stillwell Freehouse X 2 Crows Tiedhouse event is tomorrow, which will be the only place to grab a couple of special releases from the brewery, made especially for the slick cask facilities the Freehouse employs. While brewing into cask is outside of their normal wheelhouse, 2 Crows are never ones to back down from an opportunity for experimention. First up is Dulwich, an English Golden Ale, with a base of Shoreline Pilsner malt and a bit of flaked rice. Foggy Lodon Ale yeast did the heavy lifting, and the beer was dry-hopped with Centennial and East Kent Golding before conditioning in the cask. The result is a lower alcohol, bright fruity, floral, herbal and citrus ale, reminescent of those served across the pond. Also debuting is Aquifolium, a wild-ferment Saison, featuring captured yeast harvested from under a holly tree in Sackville, NS. After conditioning for several months, it was dry-hopped with Chinook before completing its life in the cask. Dry, light esters, earthy character, a lovely mix of features. Other casks include a Cask conditioned version of their Refresh Lager, and Paper Airplanes Brown Ale. The full draught lineup is available in last week’s post.

And the Stilly related events keep coming, so be sure to make plans to head up to the Stillwell Beergarden next Saturday, October 10th, for their annual Oktoberfest celebration. A little different than in previous years, tables must be reserved in advance, so grab your bubble buddies and set down your Euros to take part in the fun. In addition to the great food that will be available, the star of the show will be Delta Force Brewing’s first appearance on tap. After two quickly-sold-out bottle releases since Spring, this will be a great way for fans to enjoy a few pints of the brewery’s offerings. Bauernhofschuppen Märzenbier is 5.0% ABV, and as is tradition, was brewed at the end of winter (hence the name representing the month of March), and lagered ever since. This long process chilling out allows the bread and toast of the malts to shine though, but with the beer having plenty of time to develop a crisp finish to leave you wanting another! We’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to find out what that name means (first person to hit us up on twitter, Chris will buy your first pint!). Attendees will see some goodies from Toronto’s Godspeed Brewery pouring that day, but you’ll have to show up to find out which! Keep an eye on Stilly’s social media that day if there are changes to the program/last minute seats opening up!

Those wanting to experience a taste of Ocktoberfest in the Saint John area should circle October 17 on their calendars. Uncorked Tours is transforming North Market Street into a German biergarten for the day, and featuring a Bavarian inspired food menu to go along with a selection of New Brunswick’s finest German inspired beers. Expect live music, patio heaters and good times all around. Keep an eye on the Facebook event page for more details. 

Quite a few quick hits this week as we leave you to your afternoon:

Keep an eye out for Cross Creek Pale Ale. Cans of this 5% ABV APA  are starting to hit ANBL shelves. Cross Creek Brewing’s first packaged offering is now available at agency stores in Woodstock in Fredericton, with wider distribution to follow throughout the month. Expect lots of citrus notes from the Citra and Mosaic hops used.

The annual return of Meander River’s Wet-Hopped Ale is here. This year’s version features Chinook, Centennial, Fuggle, Newport, Nugget and Galena hops, all grown at Meander River’s onsite farm. Available now in bottles and growlers at the brewery in Ashdale.

O’Creek Brewing continues to add to their evergrowing list of hoppy beers that they’ve brewed with their latest NEIPA, Skyrats. Hopped with Citra, Sabro and Simcoe, along with some Nelson Sauvin in the dry-hop, it’s 6% ABV and no doubt juicy and tropical af. You can find it on tap at CAVOK, Le BarBu, and Euston Park. They’ve also got more of their Route 117 IPA available in cans at local Moncton and Dieppe ANBLs, and some even made it to Fredericton York St. ANBL this time!

Bedford’s Off Track Brewing added a new beer to its lineup this week. Bullseye Red Ale comes in at 5.4% ABV and features notes of caramel, toffee and toast.  Swing by Rocky Lake Drive to try a pint or grab a growler to go.

Secret Cove Brewing has a new beer out, affectionately named after a local mountain, The Cabox. In terms of the beer, The Cabox is an 8.1% ABV West Coast DIPA that features multiple hop additions, including Columbus in the kettle, Citra, Simcoe and more Columbus in the whirlpool, as well as some Summit (natch) in the dry-hop. Available now. 

Know anyone who loves clean beer lines and meeting a lot of great people? They might be interested in this position:

Looking for a way into the beer industry, and have a need for clean? Great news, Nova Scotia’s BeerTech is hiring! They have a couple of openings to join their ranks, to keep brewery taprooms, restaurants, and bars, draught lines squeaky clean, so you and I can keep drinking fresh beer! It’s not only cleaning, however, as installs, maintenance, and updates are also important parts of the draught world. There will be a job posting soon, but in the meantime, reach out to Ken via email or social media (Fb / Ig / Tw) to learn more. See the region, one bar at a time! 🙂

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!

Happy Friday everyone! Another week in the bubble, and we hope to give you a few solid ideas on what/where to enjoy a beer or cider this weekend! Be sure to say “Hi!” if you see us out, or tag us in your beery posts this weekend, we love to see what you get up to! Now, without further ado, today’s post!

Let’s start off with our fine friends at Tatamagouche Brewing, where they continue to experiment with Kveik yeast strains (is there any better way to experiment than with yeast? Serious question…). Their latest Kveik (or is it Kviek😘) beer is On Task Export, a beer brewed with Pilsner malt and a bit of Vienna, and hopped with Tettnanger and Hallertau Mittelfruh. This one was fermented with Escarpment’s KRISPY, a blend of two Kveik strains rumoured to produce “Lager-like beer in Ale time”. Lagered for a couple of weeks, the beer definitely still has some fruity Kveik characteristics, so while not completely Lager-ish, it’s tasty and easy-drinking. Designed by the brewery’s cellar crew – with a special shoutout to “packaging wizard” Jony Riley – with the idea of brewing a new beer perfect for summer work around the house, it’s a reasonable 5.5% ABV. Available in cans and kegs at the brewery now, with the same heading to the HRM next week, and always available at their online shop

And if classic English beers are more your cup of Earl Grey, we encourage you to seek out some of Tata’s English Bitter, a 4.1% brew with Pale malt for the base, a mixture of caramel malts, and a little bit of Chocolate malt, and hopped with East Kent Goldings and Fuggles. A beer just made for being served on cask, you can indeed find it just so at your favourite cask-serving-location (we’ve seen it at the Stillwell Freehouse recently), and kegs will be also hitting bars this week. Finally, Tata is also re-releasing Salt Water Cowboy, their 4.4% ABV Tequila barrel-aged Gose w/ lemon zest; look for kegs and 500 mL bottles to make their appearance over the coming weeks. 

For those of you who adore your hoppy Belgian beers (which truly are a beautiful thing, when you find a proper one), you’ll be happy to read about Stillwell Brewing’s latest beer, Dry. Designed with the intention of bringing you a low-ABV (4.2%, specifically), bone dry beer, it’s a mixed-ferm Saison that was dry-hopped with plenty of fresh Saphir. Packaged and can-conditioned in April, the dry-hop character is coming through at its peak now, giving the beer “a big, grassy, herbaceous character that plays well with the floral Saison fermentation notes”. A touch of tartness is present as well, with a firm bitterness in the finish. All three Stillwell locations will have cans of Dry available to drink on site, with HQ having plenty on hand for retail sale so you can enjoy one or six on your deck some hot, sunny day. Go!

Continuing with more mixed-fermentation fun elsewhere in Halifax, 2 Crows has the latest in their series of cocktail-inspired beers with Negroni. Named after and based on the dark red, Italian cocktail of the same name, this particular beer is actually a blend of three unique beers (very fitting, considering a proper Negroni cocktail typically is made with three different liquors/liqueurs). All three beers feature a golden sour base, but here’s where they differ: one was aged for 9 months in a freshly-emptied Amaro (ex-Bourbon) barrels; one aged in fresh Vermouth barrels; and finally, one aged in a gin barrel. Once all three were blended, 2C conditioned the final beer on a “complex” combination of botanicals (we think they’re being modest with the word complex!): fresh bitter orange peel and lemon peel, dried wormwood, calamus, fennel, sage, orris root, rosemary, cinnamon, clove, thyme, marjoram, juniper, coriander, as well as some hibiscus from World Tea House. At 5.5% ABV, this brilliant red beer is meant to resemble a proper Negroni cocktail, and it sure sounds like it does – the brewery describes the final product has having “orange and grapefruit zest leading the aroma, followed by a serious bitter kick and subtle herbal and woody aromatics”. Look for bottles of this beauty at the taproom starting tomorrow; they’ll also have a single keg pouring, which we recommend trying as well! You didn’t need us to recommend that, but we’re sticking to it.

There’s still plenty of summer left, and Spindrift has announced the details on their summer seasonal for this year, Sundaze Session Ale. Featuring a grist of Pilsner, Maris Otter, and Chit malt, it was hopped late in the boil with a healthy amount of Centennial and Galaxy, and whirlpool-hopped with Galaxy and Sabro. Fermented at cool temps with a neutral ale yeast, the beer was dry-hopped (midway through fermentation) with Centennial and Sabro. Coming in at a sessionable 4.5% ABV, the resulting beer shows off both the malt side (with biscuity characteristics) and the hop side (with “big notes of passion fruit, coconut, and tangerine”); expect little bitterness in the finish (20 IBUs, if that’s your thing). You can find 6-packs of Sundaze at the brewery, and in NSLC stores soon. If you’re nearby, they’re having an official launch party at the brewery tomorrow from 11 AM – 3 PM, with Buttered Bliss joining them to pair some scrumptious chicken sandwiches with their beer ($5 pints all day, and $1 off all sixers and growlers). 

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Milkshake IPAs are still a thing, and Big Spruce has brewed some tasty ones in the past. They’ve got a brand new one out right now, Tiguido, which is the French Canadian phrase for “just peachy” (we’ll have to trust them on that one). As you may have guessed, this release is a Peach Milkshake IPA, which was hopped and dry-hopped with a proprietary blend of Cryo hops from Yakima Chief (that means it’s a blend where we’re not exactly sure which varieties are used!). Brewed with lactose powder, and conditioned on vanilla and peaches (all organic, natch), it weighs in at 7% ABV and is “super fragrant, bursting with fresh peach flavour, and finishes soft and sweet”. Available right now at the Sprucetique in growlers, pints, and bottles, you can also find it on tap at Battery Park and the Stillwell Beer Garden. And if you’re looking for more fruity IPAs, Big Spruce has also got a new batch of Guava Get Me Some available in a limited supply; El Dorado and Mosaic hops, and lots of guava, all in a 6.4% ABV package.

Douglas, NB’s 3Flip Brewing has just launched the latest in their Rock God of Summer beer series, Limes Ulrich. This 6.5% American Wheat Ale was brewed exclusively with malt from PEI’s Island Malt House, and late-hopped in the boil with Amarillo. Conditioned on fresh lime zest in the fermentor, the final beer is light and crisp, “with a bright citrus lime flavour and aroma”. It’s billed as a crusher, but we recommend going easy at that ABV! Kegs should be hitting accounts any day now, and bottles will be available as well; keep an eye on their social media accounts for more details. 

We just told you about Shipwright’s first kettle sour last week, and they’re keeping the train rolling in that department, as their second sour just went on tap a couple of days ago! Surf Side is a 5% ABV kettle sour that was brewed with Pale Ale, Wheat, and Honey malt, and once soured and fermented, was dry-hopped with a 50:50 blend of Bru-1 and Citra. Featuring “aromas of grapefruit and lychee, leading to pleasantly-tart flavours of peach, citrus and pineapple”, it’s currently pouring at Shipwright’s taproom, and available to take-away in crowler format. 

Dieppe’s O’Creek has three brand new beers being released this week, providing two completely different tastes for the senses. First up are two of the latest in their DUOH series (NEIPA hopped with two varieties), DUOH: Nelson/Galaxy and DUOH: Sabro/Enigma. Both beers were fermented with the Foggy London strain, and hopped and dry-hopped with Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy, and Sabro and Enigma, respectively. Both are 6% ABV, hazy af, and showing off big hop aromas and flavours (of course, with those varieties!). Look for DUOH: Nelson/Galaxy at CAVOK Brewing and Euston Park Social, DUOH: Sabro/Enigma at Traffik in Shippagan. And if hoppy beers aren’t your thing, their next beer is Czech Affaire, a 5.5% ABV Czech Pilsner brewed with Pilsner malt and a bit of Munich and Carapils. Hopped with Sladek and Saaz, it was fermented with Escarpment’s Premium Pils, and lagered for over 2 months. Tasting clean and crisp, with a “fresh, bready aroma” and a firm bitterness, you can find it on tap soon at CAVOK. 

Propeller has gone ahead and released their IPA Day (Aug 6 this year) beer a little early, and it’s a tweaked version of one of their classics. They’ve taken their IPA recipe and double-dry-hopped it with Ekuanot and Citra, to give you DDHIPA. It’s still 6.5% ABV like before, but with the dry-hop additions it’s showing off aromas and flavours of pine, mango, and citrus, with a “slightly herbal taste and smooth, citrus finish”. It comes in their 360° cans, where the lid can be removed and the can used as a glass, and should be available at all three Prop shops today (and online for home delivery).

Head a bit further North in Halifax, and you’ll pass Good Robot Brewing on Robie Street. They are taking full advantage of their new canning system by packaging up another fresh batch of their award-winning El Espinazo Del Diablo Jalapeno and Lime Mexican Lager, as well as a brand new release, Purple Haze. The latter is a 5.9% American Pale Ale starting life as any other, but received a dosing of terpenes at packaging to skyrocket the smell and flavour to the next level. What are terpenes, you may be asking? These are the super-aromatic naturally occurring compounds that give pine needles, citrus fruit, lavender, etc, etc, their distinctive character. They’re also found in hops (a lot of the time when we talk about “biotransformation”, it’s these terpenes being transformed into another form), and its funkier and more potent cousin, cannabis. Centering on these, a blend of terpenes was used in this beer to mimic the distinctive aroma of the Purple Haze and Grandaddy Purp strains of weed, producing great aroma but without the high (sorry!). Think pine, citrus, melon, field berry on the nose, bumping up the contribution from the hops already in the beer. Cans of Purple Haze are available now in their retail shop, and online. And while you’re checking them out, keep in mind that there’s still a bit of their Blackberry Freedom Ale available, brewed with the Change is Brewing Collective, and benefiting BIPOC groups in the community. And there are more great beers coming from the Collective, but we’ll keep those under wraps for now.

Let’s hop across the water for our last brewery visit this week. In Deer Lake, Rough Waters Brewing celebrated the opening of their patio yesterday, at their 83 Wights Road location. Expanding their seating capacity just means more room for you all to visit on your way to/from Gros Morne, but also worthy of a visit specifically, of course! Plus, you can bring your pup to hang out with Ruffwaters’ own mascot. So, what can you be enjoying while there? Well, they released Wanderlust, a 5.0% Blonde Ale, featuring delicate floral aroma dancing on the light malt, in a crisp and refreshing package. Next up is the continuation of their Sour Series, this being Sour IPA. Galaxy hops lend a load of citrus and tropical fruit to the beer, with the clean acidity cleans the palate and keeps you coming back for more! This fella is 5.3% ABV, and available both on tap and in bottles, but for sale only at the brewery. And finally, just back today is Down South, their Pineapple Pale Ale, featuring 20 kilograms of pineapple puree added during conditioning. Again, exclusively available at the brewery, so we think you’d better start making your plans now! The retail, taproom, and patio (weather depending, unless you bring your ‘brelly) is Thursday through Monday, 2 – 10 PM.

On the cider side of things, Annapolis Cider has the details on the latest one-off in their Something Different series, Strawberry & Mint. Created with the intention of celebrating the Valley’s berry harvest season, it’s a blend of their dry-fermented cider with a “splash” of Perry, along with freshly-pressed strawberry and apple juices. Infused with locally-grown mint, this 6.2% ABV sparkling cider has “a bright effervescence and balanced acidity”, and is chock-full of strawberry and mint flavours for a very refreshing beverage. For this week’s release, they will be donating $0.50 from each refill of Strawberry & Mint to the Valley Regional Hospital Foundation

Not one, but TWO Beer Gardens opened this week!

Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery has opened up their Waterfront Beer Garden at Alderney Landing, adjacent to the Alderney Gate ferry terminal. Featuring seating for 64 (plus dogs!), the converted shipping container has both a draft system for draught sales to be enjoyed on-site, as well as a retail side with cans to take-away. For those grabbing pints, it is a BYOF establishment, with Brightwood is teaming up with Port City Cafe to offer bar snacks like nachos and dips to be ordered from their website and enjoyed there. In addition to Brightwood’s full complement of beers, the container bar will also be serving their new house cider, Brightyard. This single varietal (Northern Spy) is a semi-dry cider produced with Chain Yard Urban Cidery, where the cider starts life in Halifax before finishing up in Dartmouth. And look for super-special releases coming from the water-side ½ barrel, 60 litre, system also hanging out in the shipping container. The Waterfront Beer Garden is open 11:30 AM til 11 PM daily until the end of September, weather-dependent, of course.

And Bedford just got a little more beer-y with the opening of Birch and Anchor yesterday. Open 11 – 11 daily, the former site of China Town restaurant has been transformed into a sprawling beer garden with 15,000 square feet of space, a dozen draught taps (Breton, Garrison, Propeller are on the board currently) and two dozen varieties of bottles and cans. The food is prepared on-site, with pizzas, charcuteries boards, and BBQ courtesy of Asado Wood Fired Grill.

Just one event to tell you about this week!

Normally held in March, Péché Day is the celebration of Dieu Du Ciel!’s Péché Mortel, a 9.5% ABV Russian Imperial Stout with coffee. Since *something* got in the way of celebrating 4 months ago, the Stillwell Freehouse is taking another stab at it tomorrow, July 18th. Pouring PM plus 5 variations, including a Bourbon-barrel aged version, “Mexican Stout” (ancho & guajillo peppers with cinnamon and vanilla), Cassis (black currants), “Sidama” (infused with Ethiopian Sidama Howolso coffee), and Nanatsu No Taizai which is Péché Mortel fermented with lager yeast, rather than ale. Complementing these big coffee beers will be another touch of Montreal, with Smoked Meat Toasties, and a bring-your-own vinyl DJ situation, all kicking off at noon. No tickets, no reservations, so we suggest arriving promptly to secure your spot!

A couple more beer and brewing related job postings this week, for those looking to get into the industry!

Inverness, Nova Scotia’s Route 19 Brewing is looking for a motivated individual to join their team, working in two key roles as both a Brewery Assistant and Delivery Driver. In the brewery, assisting Head Brewer Dallas in all aspects of brewing, including recipe planning, ingredient handling, brewing, fermenting, conditioning, packaging, and everything in between. And then you’ll be able to help get that beer to customers across the province as a cargo van delivery driver, servicing Cape Breton and the Halifax region. While no formal brewing training is required, a thirst for knowledge is key! Fire an email with your resume and questions to Stefan Gagliardi. And for those who recognize that name, Stefan has joined Route 19 as the CBO, Chief Beer Officer, overseeing all things beer from Brewing Operations to Sales & Marketing. Congratulations, Stefan!

And on the serving side of things, Dartmouth’s Battery Park Beer Bar is looking to add some permanent part- and full-time servers to their team. Must love beer! Learn more here, and send along your resume!

And in “so you want even more beer details and information in your life” for this week

The fellas of the 902 BrewCast made a run for the border (and bridge) last weekend, visiting the other 902 province, Prince Edward Island. While there, they managed to fit in a handful of brewery, malting, and hop operation visits and interviews in just a couple of days. The first interview, with Spencer Gallant of Lone Oak Brewing in Borden-Carleton, hit the virtual airwaves earlier this week. Learn about his progression through the local brewing industry, the latest release of theirs (the Duet Saison that we are still in search of), and what can be expected from the tanks and barrels the rest of this year. Better than waiting for us to tell you about the latest Eps (or in this case, forgetting!), be sure to subscribe however you listen to podcasts. Find out how on the link above!