The Stillwell Freehouse

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Have you heard of the second wave? Will you ride the wave like an undercover cop pretending to be a surfer? Have you reached your point break breaking point as cases rise? The Atlantic beer scene keeps rolling along and many of our friends have kept home delivery going strong. We wish you nothing but safety, tasty beers and merry cheers as we roll into the holiday season. Stay alert (like the COVID alert app) and stay safe!

This long awaited release from Tatamagouche is finally here, adding to the global lineup of this cultural beer. Black is Beautiful (9.5%) is their take on the Weathered Souls recipe shared around the world, as other breweries have done. Our friends at Tata used Crisp Pale Malt and Horton Ridge Pale Malt for the base with oats, C-120 malt for some dark caramel malt, chocolate wheat and rye with roasted barley and a pinch of lactose. This malty beauty was bittered to 75 IBU and with Nugget and Cascade hops.
As with all of the Black is Beautiful releases, a local initiative will benefit from the sales. All proceeds will be donated to the Tatamagouche Centre to be used for bursaries and scholarships, supporting equality and inclusion. For over 60 years the Tatamagouche Center has been a meeting place for those who care deeply about spirituality, leadership, and social justice. Each year they offer over 10 programs, which cover areas such as congregational life, spirituality, community growth and development, transformational learning, social justice, youth and family, and retreats. Available now in 500ml bottles at Tatabrew HQ on Main Street in Tatamagouche, via their online store and in the city at Bishop’s Cellar real soon. Kegs in the Tata tap room will be available as well as a few licensees in HRM. Many have tried this already (including us!) at Stillwell and the Stillwell Freehouse. It is smooth and has a beautiful balance with the bittering hops. Keep an eye out for this over the winter months, support a good cause, and you may even see it on Nitro taps, too!

Straight out of Hanwell, we missed one from last week! If you’ve followed Niche (like we have), you may be aware of Hop Altered, a Northeast American Pale Ale (NEAPA!) that changes their hop schedule in the recipe. Back for a third iteration, this beer sticks with the flaked wheat and oats and Escarpment Labs’ Foggy London yeast, but goes tropical fruity with Galaxy hops in the kettle and dry-hopped with Citra and Nelson. These are 3 tasty hops that should bring a nice balance of dank, haze and citrus to this 5.2% pale ale. This will be available on draft at the usual Fredericton accounts, along with Stillwell in Halifax. 

Over in PEI, Upstreet has two new beers, both being released on the same day. First up is the latest entry in their Million Acres series of barrel aged brews, Million Acres Yuzu Farmhouse Ale. A Saison that was hopped with Kazbek and Sorachi Ace, and conditioned on yuzu (a citrus fruit of East Asian origin), it spent about 2 & ½ months in the barrel before bottling; the shorter time (compared to “usual” barrel aging) was to allow the Saison yeast character shine through. The beer is pale yellow, with aromas of “candied orange peel, hay, and farmyard goodness” and flavours of grapefruit and lemon zest, with a bit of oak and tannins coming through as well. It’s 7% ABV, and available only in 500 mL bottles at the taproom and Craft Beer Corner.

Next up is a new beer in another ongoing series, but hops instead of Farmhouse. You guessed it, it’s the latest Neon Friday, Neon Friday 3.04 NEIPA. Brewed with 2-row, Vienna, wheat, and oats, they hopped it heavily with plenty of varieties: Sabro, Cashmere, Citra, Mosaic, and Ekuanot. Hazy, golden, and bursting with big aromas of “peach, coconut, tropical fruit, and dehydrated strawberries,” along with lots of stone fruit on the palate, you can find this 6.5% ABV hop bomb on tap at all Upstreet locations, as well as in cans at their Charlottetown taproom and the CBC (no, not the news organization).

Coupla new brews coming out of Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing the last couple of weeks. Let’s start with the hoppy one, just for a change (:D). Hot Sky is the brewery’s latest American IPA, which was hopped almost exclusively with Eclipse. An Australian variety that used to be known as the less-catchy name of HPA 016 (BOR-ing!), it’s giving this particular 6.6% ABV beer notes of “sweet citrus fruits, candied orange, peach juice, papaya, Juicy Fruit gum, and pine needles”, according to TW. It’s currently available both on tap and in cans at the brewery.

And in a move away from the world of hops, TW released their newest German-style beer late last week, Alternate Side. Brewed in the Altbier style, it was fermented cool with an Ale yeast, which is traditional for the style. Exhibiting lots of malt character (specifically “honey, caramel, and multigrain toast”), it’s balanced by a firm hop bitterness, while remaining dry in the finish. Balance is key for a beer like this, not to mention drinkability; at 4.5% ABV, it sounds like TW may have hit the nail on the head. This one is only on tap at the brewery, in their 0.5 L mugs, so you’ve got to visit to try it!

Halifax’s Tidehouse has a new beer in cans available for takeaway starting today; continuing their look back at their first four years of beers, it’s a re-release, but it’s been such a long time since it was originally brewed, it’s bordering new-beer territory! The beer is El-Galaxarillo, a 7.5% ABV New England IPA that was first released way back in October, 2017, for pints and growlers at the TH taproom. Many of you may be able to look at the beer’s name and surmise what hops they went with, but just in case you’re not that hop-geeky, the varieties are El Dorado, Galaxy, and Amarillo. With a heavy amount used in the whirlpool, and multiple dry-hop additions, it’s exhibiting plenty of stone fruit, orange, and grapefruit notes in the aroma and flavour. Available in cans to grab and go today at Tidehouse, starting at 2 PM. 

Winter technically isn’t here yet, but that wouldn’t stop some breweries from getting their winter seasonals ready for release, would it? Hells, no! And really, it’s basically cold enough most of these November days/nights to warrant sipping on some stouts, barleywines, et al. In an answer to our needs, the people at Spindrift Brewing have conjured up their newest winter seasonal, Seeker Espresso Stout. Featuring additions of cocoa, toasted coconut, cinnamon bark, and – yes – espresso, it’s a complex brew with “bold flavours reminiscent of a holiday dessert”, with a silky, smooth mouthfeel. Weighing in at 6.9% ABV, you can grab some right now at the brewery in the form of pints and growlers, with cans rumoured to be hitting shelves very soon.

Experimentation is still the name of the game at Tanner & Co. with the release of their latest beer, Kuhlmann. With a grist of Pilsner and Vienna malts, along with a touch of Rye, the wort was fermented on 100 lbs of Lucie Kuhlmann grape skins from Planters Ridge Winery out of Port Williams. No yeast was pitched in the making of this beer – all of the fermentation took place from the wild yeasts naturally occurring on the grape skins. The final 7% ABV beer has “youthful grape-forward notes of blackberry, cherry, and black currant”, and can be found at the brewery on tap and in bottles, as well as on their online store (which will unlock the secret of Friday delivery in the Bridgewater to Halifax stretch of the province, if ordered before midnight Thursday).

Continuing to surpass the high bar set by their award-winning German styles, Montague PEI’s Bogside Brewing is releasing the Gladiator Doppelbock tomorrow, Saturday November 21st. This beer is truly a meeting of the minds between German-trained Head Brewer Mark Patriquin, and Island Hop Company’s Josh Mayich. Using a Mayich family recipe for Doppelbock, and their own family farm grown hops, this beer is just about as authentic as it gets outside of Munich. Heavy use of Vienna and Munich Type 2 malts, as well as a decoction mash step, bring out some lovely rich caramel notes and full mouthfeel. The use of IHC Hallertau Tradition in the beer was used to target the flavour of traditional Doppelbocks, and it underwent a controlled aging process to bring out those characteristics. Beer science and history incoming! Historical brews of this style were done a couple of months after hop harvest, due to availability of resources, and during that time a light oxidation of the hops would change the aromatic compounds (those terpenes you’ve heard so much about) ever so slightly. Mayich performed the same steps, monitoring the results often, before halting it and locking in the character. Added late in the boil, allowed more of the woody, tobacco, floral, and light citrus to stay in the final beer. A low and slow lagering over the course of two months rounded out the beer to where it stands now. Available on tap and in cans tomorrow, the release party from 2 – 5 PM will feature live music, and even a pairing of schnitzel from Thatchers Eatery kitchen onsite. Get thee to Montague tomorrow, or make an order for delivery!

It’s getting to be *that* time of year, when husbands, wives, partners, and kids struggle to find a meaningful and useful gift for loved ones. Well, if that special someone in your life loves beer, maybe we can lighten the load a little bit. Here’s a round-up of some Holiday and Gift Boxes we’ve spotted. Have we missed one? Let us know! Hit us up on twitter or instagram or via email.

In Shelburne, Boxing Rock is releasing a very-limited number of the Brewmance Box this December. A gift box that includes thirteen beers (4 x Unobtainium, 4 x Vicar’s Cross, one Temptation, and four of either IPA, Sour, or Puck Off!, your choice), it also includes a Boxing Rock toque, drinking game, and spice mix (with recipes). You can purchase yours here for $89; if you sign up for a subscription, you’ll receive a different Brewmance Box every three months for a year, and save 10% on each Box. Free local pickup or delivery in the HRM (at Local Source Market) or Shelburne area, with $15 shipping elsewhere in NS. 

North Brewing is very rarely outdone in these parts, whether that’s for quality, style, or grace, and their Holiday Beer Box is no exception – there’s a lot going on here. Non-beer wise, you’ll find a North Brewing Holiday Card and an exclusive-to-the-box 20 OZ ceramic stein with a North Snowflake design in yellow or blue. Beer-wise, there’s a can each of local favorites Lawrencetown Surf session ale, Rosy Berry saison, Pleasant Disposition IPA, Alloy Champagne IPA, Cole Harbour Red, Little Beast lagered ale, and a can of their Cranberry Clementine Seltzer as well. Where things get extra delightful is with the holiday beers and seasonals, including one brewed specifically for, and not available outside, the box. First up, a couple of returning beers that exemplify both North’s penchant for experimentation with grapes and grape skins as well as their relationship with local winery Benjamin Bridge. Blanc is a 4.5% ABV beer in the Grisette style (think “baby saison”) made with Sauvignon Blanc grape skins. Musqué is a burlier beer, an 8% ABV Double IPA made with Chardonnay Musqué grapes. From there are three very special beers not made before:

  • Cinnamon Bun and Stack o’ Pancakes are both 9% ABV “Holiday Stouts” based off the same recipe (no actual Cinnamon Buns or Pancakes were harmed in the brewing of these beers). Cinnamon Bun was given treatment with a generous dose of cinnamon bark along with vanilla and salt. Stack o’ Pancakes was fermented with “many” buckets of Nova Scotia maple syrup, which was allowed to ferment out completely to prevent a cloyingly sweet result, along with vanilla and salt as well. 
  • Down Time is at the opposite end of the spectrum from those two, an Altbier that comes in at 4% ABV. Brewed specifically for this box and not available outside of it, it’s apparently something they’ve been wanting to brew for a long time and will be an extra special treat for those who grab a box.

On sale as of yesterday (earlier for newsletter subscribers), 300 of these are being assembled and they’re selling for $89.95 (tax-in). They will be available for pickup on December 1st, but they also qualify for free shipping in North’s local delivery area but not quite free shipping within the Maritimes or Nationally (although you could always add a few things to your order, such as a second Holiday Beer Box to get to the respective $100 or $150 minimums). Wrapped in custom North Brewing holiday wrapping paper, they’ll even write a special note for you if you indicate that your purchase is a gift. There’s a good chance, we think, that these will sell out fairly quickly, so if you’re interested (and why wouldn’t you be?!) best act soon! But if the box isn’t your thing, look for all of its contents (except the steins and the Altbier) available separately via North’s online store or at the brewery. The Stack o’ Pancakes is out today and the Cinnamon Bun is coming soon, as are the Musqué and Blanc (the latter two will see a $0.50 donation per can to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust); we’ll do our best to let you know when those are all available.

Bathurst’s 13 Barrels Brewing is getting in on the fun as well, with a, you guessed it, 13 days of Christmas Advent Calendar box. Pre-orders are open now at the brewery until December 5th, with the pickup scheduled for December 9 – 12. In addition to the baker’s (brewer’s?) dozen of beers inside (some of these thirteen will be exclusively available in this box), look for some mystery gifts as well! Message 13B on social media to place your order, and then fall asleep with visions of a sugar plum gose dancing in your head. And once it’s all over, return your box in good condition and they’ll give you a bonus 14th beer!

If cider is more your speed, Lake City Cider has you covered! They have a handful of gift boxes all ready to rock, some feature just the cider in the “Spice Up Your Life” or “Mixed Three Pack”, or go all out with the Holiday and Fan packs featuring blankets, stemless glassware, tote bags, and much more! Check out their online shop and grab them today!

Brightwood Brewery in Dartmouth is also thinking of your hard-to-buy-for friends and family, with a Gift Box set ready to pick up and share in a hurry. A six-pack of Beer is complemented by a 16oz Brightwood Glass and Canvas Tote Bag. Pick from some curated options for selecting the beers (whether your giftee is into Hops, Malt, or something a bit more seasonal allowing you to grab the Christmas on Portland Street Raspberry Porter), or you can opt pick exactly the six beers you’d like if you visit their shop!

If a surprise every day of December leading up to Christmas sounds more up your alley, the Harvest Wines/RockHead/WestSide group has brought back the Maritime Craft Beer Countdown, which features 23 beers and ciders from across the Maritimes, plus a free glass to enjoy them in. The identity of the beers is secret until you open them up, and you can expect several exclusive Countdown-only bevvies, but peep the box’s website for a sneak peek at which breweries and cider producers took part! Available now in store and online if you can’t wait the two additional weeks until December 1st (or want to get them chilling ASAP).

What about gifting your beau/belle a membership in the hottest club to ever hit the shores of Spryfield? Serpent Brewing has re-jigged their Membership Clubs so that you can get in on the ground floor even easier. The benefits will start once their opening-real-soon Taproom is complete, but here’s a sneak peek: As a member of the Brew Club, every month for the next two years you’ll enjoy a free growler fill or two bottles or two pints, plus $3 off growler fills every Thursday, a Serpent shirt and a pair of glasses, plus vouchers for a handful of free pints and flights to use or share with friends. How about gifting them a full Beer Creation Experience? This will allow them to work with Head Honcho Glen O’Keefe to formulate a brand new beer recipe, work with Serpent to name and design the label, sample it throughout the brewing and maturation process, and get the first case of the finished product! And if you are feeling especially generous, gift them both as part of the Founders Club. More details and how to sign up are on their website, but don’t delay as there are only a limited number of the memberships available!

OK, enough of those “Future Holiday Boxes”, let’s get you up to speed with the events happening in our region this weekend!. It just so happens to be a little Hali-centric this time ‘round, but we know there’ll be great beer on tap no matter where you find yourself!

Propeller’s Gottingen Taproom continues their Community Cask this evening, once again highlighting and supporting a community group that inspires and improves the community. November’s recipient is Ecology Action Centre to benefit the Green Avengers Team, a group of 16 dedicated individuals who are running in this year’s Blue Nose Marathon to raise funds for the Ecology Action Centre. So, help support EAC while enjoying a pint! What can you expect in your glass, when the cask is tapped at 5 PM this evening? It’s a sneak peek of a big release coming in December, with a rum-soaked-oak-stave-conditioned Mocha Oatmeal Stout! The base 5.5% ABV beer already showcases tons of locally roasted coffee, tempered by the smooth character of the addition of oats in the malt bill, and the rum and oak are sure to bump this up to a truly special beer. Real Fake Meats will be onsite with Donair Egg Rolls (vegan, natch) for a fun pairing.

Tomorrow, Saturday November 21st, Brunswick Street’s 2 Crows Brewing will be putting a few of their favourite beers back on tap for a “Hey, it’s Saturday, let’s have a pint” event they’ve dubbed “Some of the Good Ones”. Plenty of fun collabs done with the likes of Change is Brewing Collective (Good News), Bannerman Brewing and Lightfoot & Wolfville (Vinello), Orono Brewing Company (Deux II), Kilter Brewing (Lil’ Miguel), plus a great variety of fresh & hoppy (Perfect Situation) and wild (Old & New). The doors open at noon, and you’ll also have the chance to grab the amazing fried chicken sandwiches, pastries, and more from Buttered Bliss, onsite from 12 – 4 PM (or earlier, most likely, if they sell out).

The Stillwell Freehouse at 2534 Agricola celebrates its First Anniversary next Saturday, November 28th, and they will be stacking the taps and casks with killer beer and cider options from the region, and beyond. Chef Graeme will continue to work his magic in the kitchen, preparing some lovely complementing dishes… Or will the beer be complementing the food? I’d say both are true! Open noon til 1 AM, no reservations required, just show up with an empty stomach!

A few more things to tell you about this week before you’re dismissed. Don’t forget to wash your hands and wear your mask, things are getting a bit hairy out there again!

Gahan is jumping on the holiday dessert beer wagon (or should we say sleigh?) with the rerelease of Shortest Day. Their take on a milk stout is spiced with nutmeg to get those holiday feels going. Expect notes of vanilla to go along with the spice. Coming in at 4.5%, you can find cans of Shortest Day on the Island at PEI Brewing Company, the Gahan Beer Store, and look for it next week at PEI Liquor locations and Gahan’s other outlets across the Maritimes. 

Keeping on trend, Garrison is also re-releasing one of its holiday seasonals with All Lit Up making its return. This 7.0% ABV spiced ale features Cascade hops and is available in single cans or in their Holiday Mingler 4-Pack. You’ll also find Stay The Blazes Home Ale back in stock, this time only at the Oxford Taproom and Seaport locations (or for home delivery). As before, a portion of sales will go to support Feed Nova Scotia. 

Brand new IPA from Good Robot available just in time for your Friday drinking needs! SpaceTime NaviGator is a 6% ABV brew hopped with Galaxy, Mosaic, Citra, and Mandarina Bavaria. Fruity and tropical, no doubt, you can find it at the bar for pints and takeaway cans, and online.

Back in Fredericton, Grimross is adding to its Maritime Series with Maritime Wheat Ale. Expect classic Belgian witbier flavours of clove and fruit, and a slightly cloudy appearance (can swirl anyone?). As an added bonus, this 5% ABV beer features 100% Maritime ingredients from two excellent local supplies, Shoreline Malting and Island Hop Company. Grab some today on tap or to-go in cans.

Hardisty Brewing Co. has expanded its reach beyond the Colby Village area of Dartmouth. Look for cans of their BlockParty SMaSH pale ale at Harvest Wines in Dartmouth, starting today. And they are now in rotation at Battery Park in downtown Dartmouth, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled to their IG page for the latest updates. 

Crossing the harbour, check out North Street’s Unfiltered Brewing for the release of Riddle of Steel. This 7.0% ABV IPA is back in cans and on tap next door at Charm School. 

New Scotland Brewing has released Tough Chit, a DIPA brewed with – we assume – some Chit in the grist, and bigly-hopped with late additions of Mosaic and Idaho 7, as well as a large dry-hop. Slightly sweet, with flavours and aromas of “mango, honeydew, and peach”, it weighs in at 7.5% ABV and 40 IBUs. You can find it on tap at the taproom this weekend.

Let’s end on a new beer from Quidi Vidi Brewing, for those who need a whole buncha hops in their lives (isn’t that all of us?). Simply named Imperial IPA, this small batch release is an 8.7% ABV blast of citrus, orange, and pine on the nose, along with a serious bitterness and just a touch of warmth on the finish. Fans of Calm Tom will certainly dig this one. You can grab it at their Hop Shop in QV Village, or their Home Delivery happening Friday and Saturday. More details on their website. And look for a rebrand on the line of sours QV put out this summer, now dubbed the Sofa Sour Series. The first to be released under this moniker is the Pineapple Sour Sour, a re-brew of their July debut. Other sours getting the facelift will feature passion fruit, peach & raspberry, and strawberry & guava, on shelves and out for delivery in the coming months.

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!