The Stillwell Freehouse

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Happy Friday beer, cider, and mead fans! It’s getting to be the season of celebration and reflection, as we look back on the ”Year of Beer 2021” that was, and how beer (and life) will look in 2022. Your faithful ACBB authors will be taking a little pause during the next couple weeks to spend with family (growing family, in a couple of our cases!) and friends, and do our own reflecting on what is to come. Here be the last ACBB Friday Wrap-Up of 2021, and we’ll chat again soon!

Delta Force Brewing in Greenwich, Nova Scotia, has a fresh new beer available this week, Bap, a Korean toasted rice lager. Inspired by the Korean scorched sticky rice dish Nurungji, the fellas behind DFB actually toasted their own rice before adding it to the grain bill of this 4.5% ABV lager. The resulting copper lager features a touch of toasting from the process, but still remains refreshing, and the perfect pairing for Korean food, including fried chicken. Grab Bap, and everything from Delta Force, from their online shop, which is featuring a 10% discount for orders of 6+ bottles, or from an increasing number of spots in HRM, including Bishop’s Cellar, The Other Bean, and Pizzatown Cobequid.

Breton Brewing has visions of (sugar) plums dancing through our heads with their latest release, Let’s Jam Plum Sour. Building on their previous Let’s Jam releases, it features loads of plum to complement the acidity from the base beer. Available direct from the brewery and online, as well as in the Maritime Craft Beer Advent Calendar.

Back with another release in their rotating IPA Series, 2 Crows Brewing brings out Quiet Contemplation, a juicy, tropical, and lush IPA available now. They use the same malt base as the other IPAs in the series (Golden Promise, wheat, oats and dextrin malt) along with lots of mash hops, some hopback hops and massive amounts of dry-hopping.  This one is loaded with Vic Secret and Citra hops and brings a flavours and aromas of mango, mandarin, pineapple and passionfruit in a smooth 6.1% and 44 IBU package. It’s available now, online and in the taproom in 473ml cans. 

Cornwall, PEI’s Village Green has two new releases to round out 2021. Weird Clouds 8 is their latest in their IPA series featuring loads of Galaxy, Simcoe and Idaho 7, bringing lots of citrus, peach skin and some nice allium flavour from Simcoe. It’s 6.9% and is available in cans now. Second up is a Winter Warmer, brewed with Charlottetown good beer joint Hopyard. A seasonal favourite, it was brewed with brown sugar and a fine selection of warming spices to bring this dark and tasty style to life at 7.7%. Now available in cans and kegs, it will be pouring at Hopyard on PEI over the holidays. 

Port Rexton Brewing is celebrating Tibb’s Eve in style next week, with their taproom open Dec 23rd, 4 – 10 PM. Plenty of fun things planned for the evening (including a cask of their Gluten Free Porter with a ton of orange zest added), so let’s tell you about their annual celebratory beer that accompanies it! Tibbs the Saison is a 5.8% ABV Saison brewed with Fruit Bomb Saison from Escarpment Labs, displaying plenty of fruit and herbal character in a non-adjunct beer. Available now at the brewery, their St. John’s Retail Shop, as well as Urban Market 1919, Maries Mini Marts across the island, and local NLCs.

In the spirit of holiday get-togethers, two of Dartmouth’s breweries partnered up on a couple of beers for the holidays. Brightwood Brewing and New Scotland are releasing Fritz, a West Coast IPA inspired by the “father” of that style, Fritz Maytag (of Anchor Brewing, donchaknow!), and Wallonia Cranberry Farmhouse Ale, inspired by the birthplace of the Belgian Farmhouse Style. Exclusively available in 4-packs (two of each, of course) for an even $20 (tax and deposit included) at both breweries.

Across the Northwest Arm from peninsular Halifax, Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing decided to pound out some holiday brews for us all. Up first is Rusty Compass, the latest output of their Beer Creation Experience program. A 5.6% cream ale, it includes flaked corn in the grist to keep the body light and the finish crisp; it’s available in 500ml bottles or for fills and pints at the taproom. Next up is Pilot Boat, a collaboration with local espresso bar/grocery/art gallery Pavia. Nominally a “coffee ESB” it of course contains some coffee, but also a selection of specialty malts specifically selected to create a coffee-like character that could be enhanced by the addition of actual beans in the secondary. Coming in at 5.3% ABV and 33 IBU, you find this one on tap and for fills at Serpent, or in bottles exclusively at Pavia. Lastly but not leastly is Slowrider, Serpent’s latest foray into the New England/hazy IPA realm since Pavo. Somewhat slight, even for the style, at 5.3% ABV and 28 IBU, a little bit of Magnum for bittering gives way to whirlpool additions of Amarillo and Sabro, followed by a huge dose of Sabro in the dry hop. Plenty of high-protein adjuncts paired with the London Fog yeast strain make for a delightfully opaque presentation of hop goodness, but you’ll have to go to the brewery to get it, as it’s not packaged. In non-new release news, Serpent’s Eden is now available on tap at the Armview on the roundabout and White Mountain Witbier is available at Bishop’s Cellar for the first time.

Pulling the opposite trick from a couple weeks ago, we go Spryfield to Sackville (or is that Spryville to Sackfield?) this time, where Ol’ Biddy’s has a small batch coming out next Thursday just in time for your Xmas weekend. Available at the taproom for pints and growler fills only, it’s a bit of a big one, at 7.6% and 22 IBU. Aged on Madagascar vanilla and bourbon, look for big chocolate flavour and a smooth vanilla and bourbon finish. A fine pint to sip on after your shopping is done and you’re ready to relax.

On the Eastern side of PEI, Bogside Brewing has a couple new things this week as well, starting with a beer for a cause: Gimme Shelter is a blonde ale, crisp and refreshing at 5% ABV, and with $6 from every 6-pack sold going to the PEI Humane Society. On the (much!) heavier side is Bourbon Street Barrel Aged Porter, a big ol’ smooth, rich, and velvety concoction matured in Kentucky Bourbon barrels and weighing in at a hefty 10%. On draught at the taproom, but also available in a limited number of bottles to go.

Dildo, NL’s eponymous Dildo Brewing has a collaboration beer out with PEI’s Lone Oak, using their respective Provinces’ favourite root vegetables. Starky Bunch is a 5% lager using PEI Potatoes and Newfoundland turnips to produce 20% of the extract in this well-hopped clean and crisp American Pilsner. This is available in 473ml cans from Dildo now, and we hear Islanders will see it at Lone Oak as well in the coming weeks.

Deep in the Annapolis Valley, Smiths Cove’s Lazy Bear Brewing has debuted something a little different this week, a gruit! The Descendent uses juniper for flavouring and bitterness, rather than hops, producing a nice light coniferous character. Flexing the versatility of Kveik yeast to ferment just about anything thrown at it, The Descendent is available now at the brewery, as well as at their Market presence this weekend.

Staying in the Valley, where Annapolis Brewing Company has a brand new beer available as well. Left Coast Double IPA is ABC’s first DIPA and they’ve aimed to make it a classic example of the West Coast style. Mashed high to encourage some non-fermentable sugars that in turn lend some extra body, it was bittered with Magnum and hopped in the whirlpool with classic American varieties Amarillo and Centennial. Finished with a “whopping” dry hop of more Centennial, you can expect plenty of pine and citrus from this one, which is available on tap and in cans from the brewery.

Staying in Annapolis Royal, East Coast Cider Company has a new seasonal cider available today. Ambrosia Raspberry Cider is a semi-sweet, semi-dry cider offering using a base of their Ambrosia cider, with raspberry added in for a nice tart and sweet flavour. This 6% offering is available on tap and in cans at the taproom, or available to order online. 

Continuing West down the 101 highway, we come to Roof Hound down Digby way where they’ve put together a Chocolate Stout collection for the holidays. All built off the same base beer (we think!), each got a different holiday treatment: Wasted Days will be reminiscent of Peanut Butter Balls, Cinna-Bone will give you your chicken bones fix, Cherry Brandy will get you that liquor-filled cherry bon bons vibe, and the cleverly named 8:05 Mint will make you think of a green box, paper wrappers, and peppermint. Sounds like an awesome chance to share some fun beers with friends and/or family. Or four nights of contemplating a particular beer. You’ll find these in bottles, available as singles, as a Chocolate Stout Collection 4-pack, or as part of Roof Hound’s Holiday Box all on sale at the brewery.

Lots of news out of Halifax’s Good Robot Brewing this week. Firstly, they’re dipping their toes into the big lager market after their success with 10,000lb Pilsner with the release of Good Robot American Lager. Designed to be a “good, honest, cold lager,” at 5% ABV and available in 6-packs, maybe you’ll like it, or maybe it’ll just save you a trip elsewhere to get beer for your non-craftian party guests. Either way that’s a win! GR is also joining the throngs with the availability of Holiday Boxes. Two are available, the “Essential” box with eight GR beers and two pieces of custom GR holiday merch, and the “Deluxe” with eighteen brews and twice the merch content (four pieces). All come with a Holiday Card that they’ll fill out any way you like – GR does the work, you get the credit. And lastly, if you’re heading down there, GR is running a “Swabs for Pints” program to encourage folks to be smart and get tested. You show your evidence of a negative COVID test, either via a pic of your home test result or a text message from the testing program and they’ll sell you a pint at the lowest legal price. Wins for everyone!!

Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing have been happy little beer elves all year long and they’re bringing some holiday cheer with some new and returning releases. Golden Vanilla Latte is a favourite of TS fans, a blonde ale with lots of coffee and vanilla, brewed in collaboration with Epoch Chemistry coffee shop. Using lightly roasted coffee beans with lactose and vanilla, 3,000 litres of beer was aged, giving a vanilla latte flavour in the 5.0% ABV brew. Next up is another canned release, Pear Chai Sour, a sour ale using a tonne of Chai tea and 100 litres of pears. Pitched with Lactobacillus, you’ll get a fruity, sweet and sour notes at 6%. These two beers are available today in cans, growlers and pints at the brewery. Next Wednesday (December 22) there will be a limited release of FaceMelter, a Wee Heavy style beer coming in at 10%. A perfect style for the season, you get some boozy, malty, caramel flavours, but thanks to the use of honey dates in this brew, you’ll get some fruit notes as well. This was first brewed two years ago, but the honey dates are a new addition for 2021. There are only 100 bottles of this, and last time it sold out in one hour; only available at the brewery, of course.

Nyanza’s finest, Big Spruce Brewing, is back with a winter themed release making it’s return. Shrediquette is a New England IPA that is juicy, bold and fruity. Originally released in March 2020, this beer was going to debut at the Vermont Brewers Fest, but sadly, COVID cancelled that plan. This NEIPA is packed with El Dorado hops and uses Ebbegarden Kveik yeast to bring pineapple, guava and mango flavours to the soft and fruity esters from the yeast. This is available now in cans from the brewery and online. Also, like so many other breweries this year, Big Spruce has a special holiday box featuring 12 cans of 6 Big Spruce staples! Featuring 2 each of Kitchen Party, Cereal Killer, Ready Yer Knot Regatta Red, Guava Get Me Some, Tag! You’re It and Silver Tart, you can get this for $50 including free shipping in Canada!

Lake City Cider has a new release for the end of the year, adding to their Vine series of wine and cider mixes. Sparkling Apple Pinot Grigio is the latest release, featuring Pinot Grigio with a bit of freshly pressed Nova Scotian apples for the cider side. It’s light, delicate with notes of apple and pear with a very dry finish. Available in store or online in 750ml bottles at 9.6%. 

The news keeps coming out of North Brewing, this week in the form of a brand new one brewed with a shining light in the industry. Ren Navarro of Beer. Diversity. and Do Better. Be Better. is both a beer expert and a leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Who better to team up with on a collaboration beer? Pip Pip Cheerio is an English Porter at 4.5% ABV featuring a blend of specialty malts and a fermentation with the Sterling Ale yeast strain from Escarpment Labs. Expect a toasty brew, with nutty overtones and a soupçon of caramel and cherry. Grab it at any of North’s three retail locations or order it online. And consider giving do give Ren an Instagram follow at Beer Diversity if you don’t already!

Antigonish’s Candid Brewing really wants to do something to ease the mental and emotional load of the negative light cast on their town over the past couple of weeks. What better way to do that than beer and a spirit of giving? Over the holidays when you place an order that qualifies for free local delivery ($50 and up), you’ll find an extra beer in the box when it arrives: a can of their Kanpai rice lager in friendly community spirit with the Antigonish Townhouse. They ask that you “beer it forward” to someone deserving, be it a friend, colleague, or just someone who needs a pick me up. If you take a picture of that paying it forward and share it to social media (tagging Candid, natch), you’ll be entered to win a private tasting for six at the brewery. The draw will be held Christmas Eve at noon, so you’ve got a few days to get this done. So get thee to their brand new online ordering system and order up some beer, including a couple more brand new debuts that have hit the virtual shelves in the last seven days. Especially important for those in the HRM is that they will be doing a run to the big city next Tuesday (Dec 21), so submit your orders before 8 PM Dec 20 to get in on the action. $60 order minimum, and an order over $100 will get you free shipping, so grab a friend or two and get to clicking!

Heading down the road we’ll end our year in beer news in Stellarton, where Backstage Brewing is releasing Fare Thee Well, a Champagne IPA. This is on tap at the brewery now and bottles will be available early next week. Expect an effervescent beer with a dry finish and plenty of hop character. 

A couple of events to tell you about coming to a beer bar or podcast near you!

Obviously subject to change according to whatever might happen restrictions-wise in the next couple of weeks, if you’re looking for a beery NYE pre-party by all means head on down to the Stillwell Freehouse, where they’ll be running from 12 to 10PM giving you plenty of time to enjoy one-off kegs, staff favorites, and special snacks before you head on out to do your countdown thing elsewhere.

Whether you’ve got some time off coming up and you’re looking for some things to pique your interest, or you’re looking for some new content to help you get through the commute during this slow time of year, 902BrewCast has you covered. Tune in to their latest episode, recorded yesterday, but coming to a Tuesday near you (we suspect this coming one, December 21st), when they sat down with Lucas Mader from Bishop’s Cellar (Bishop’s Cellar! Bishop’s Cellar! Bishop’s Cellar!) to catch up on what’s in stock, what’s coming soon, and beery plans for the future. Grab it from their website or wait for it to appear in your favourite podcast app.

In a year full of ups and downs, let’s leave you with some happy news today… TAPestry Beer Bar is celebrating 6 months of bringing the best beers of the province to the fine folks in Lr. Sackville. Thousands of pints poured, Flight School Fridays to launch the weekend, and Kaisers subs consumed onsite, and there will be many more of those to come. Pop by their spot at 833 Sackville Drive to support those folks bringing great beer to great people!

We’re officially a month into fall, although you might not know it with the weather in most of the region over the last couple of weeks, and our breweries seem to have firmly turned the corner from traditional end-of-summer burnout to finding a second (third? seventh?) wind and stomping into the leaf pile with fun new liquids for all of us to enjoy, especially so-called “cooler weather styles.” With all four Atlantic Provinces now requiring patrons of indoor public spaces to be vaccinated, we remind you to make sure your documentation is in order before heading out for a pint and to above all, please have patience with (often understaffed) restaurants and bars as they continue to navigate a bunch of new processes and procedures that they never asked for, but have no choice but to participate in. In HRM especially, as we come to the end of burger week, remember that it’s been extra crazy here and maybe some additional patience (and generous tips!) are in order. And with that, here’s what you need to know about this week’s new beers and upcoming beery events.

Although the news hasn’t been super regular coming out of North Brewing in Dartmouth over the past few months, that doesn’t mean things haven’t been going on! An Insta update this week shows lots of progress on their new Halifax-side-of-the-harbour location in Timberlea, fuelling hopes that folks can be buying beer there before the holidays and making it a destination for a sitdown pint in the new year. Meanwhile, at their primary facility, they’re settling into fall and continuing to put out interesting beers – two weeks ago we told you about the Coco Pony and Beernana releases (which we’ve heard blend quite nicely together) – like this week’s new one, Chai Wala Stout. Partnering with Aman Dosanj of Paisley Notebook and, more appropriate to our purposes, small batch spice blend purveyor Edible Adventures, this one does what it says on the tin, pairing warm and comforting chai spices with a deep and dark malty beverage. Starting on the malt side with healthy doses of oats for mouthfeel, chocolate malt for color and roastiness, and lactose for some residual sweetness, the first dose of chai was added in the kettle during the boil (not unlike making tea), with a second extraction taking place on the cold side. As you might imagine, the result is a “rich, spiced stout, reminiscent of a sweet cup of masala chai.” You can find it in cans to go (and pints to stay!) at North’s Portland Street location and Battery Park, or for online ordering. And if you go to the source, and you find yourself thinking, “I’d like to have some of this spice blend that’s not already in beer,” you can buy pouches of this limited release blend at the brewery.

Truro Brewing Company has released a new Hazy Pale Ale this week, and are taking part in the world-wide Brave Noise Beer collaboration. In May 2021, Brienne Allan of Notch Brewing in Salem, MA, shared her story of descrimination and misogyny while working in the beer industry, and asked other women in beer to share their own. This launched wave after wave of people sharing their experiences, and ignited a flame to call out bad actors in the industry, and make beer safer and more welcoming to all, including women, LGBTQIA, and non-binary individuals. The Women of the Bevolution, Allan (who has since left Notch to pursue other endeavours), and Notch are hosting the collaboration to continue the momentum, and make real changes by encouraging breweries around the world to brew the beer, promote the movement, and donate funds to groups supporting related organizations. TBC’s Brave Noise Beer is a 4.5% ABV Hazy Pale Ale, featuring a base of Pils malt, with Oats to bump up the mouthfeel, with Sabro and Mosaic hops added late in the boil and whirlpool to contribute more aroma and flavour than bitterness. Bottles of Brave Noise are available now on Inglis Street in Truro, where it can also be found on tap for pints. TBC is donating proceeds from this beer to The Lotus Centre, a non-profit resource for women in Truro, offering counselling, programming, clothing, hygiene products, and much more, all free to their clients. While they are the first brewery in the region to take part in collaboration, we hope they are not the last! Interested breweries can sign up at the link above, it’s not too late!

Up in Port Rexton, the eponymously named brewery has a new beer released last weekend to celebrate friends and long time PR tap account, Adelaide Oyster House in St. John’s, who are celebrating their 7th birthday. It’s a Vibe is a mango guava wheat beer, super fruit-forward and decidedly crushable. Containing both mango and guava, of course, it gets an additional citrusy tropical boost from a small dry hop of Galaxy and Azacca hops. Finishing dry and coming in at a very quaffable 4.5% ABV, it’s the kind of beer one might expect could pair very nicely with oysters. Look for it packaged in cans at both of Port Rexton’s locations (HQ and the St. John’s Retail shop), and on tap at PR and Adelaide, of course.

Fully loaded with a new release this week is Antigonish’s Half Cocked Brewing with Braeside Bitter. Named after the once famed Antigonish bowling alley, “Braeside Lanes”, the bowling alley not only lends its name to this Bitter style ale, but the wood from lane 2 was donated to the brewery to create their bar top. It sounds like it’s going to permanently join the lineup at Half Cocked as this classic style is always a crowd-pleaser, whether you’re in England or Antigonish. Using all English ingredients to stay true to style, they just had to tweak their local water a bit to get what they were looking for. Bringing traditional flavours of a biscuit and caramel malt body, you’ll get notes of honey, lemon and tea based on their hop blend. This is available now on tap and for growler fills at the brewery. 

Always keeping us on our toes (and wishing that we could get there and try their beer!) Secret Cove Brewing is releasing Scoff, a 3% table beer.  As always, they keep with Newfoundland and Labrador themes and pride with their releases, staying true to their terroir, values and traditions. Made for gathering and doing things themselves, this beer welcomes all in a true East Coast spirit. This table beer is brewed with a variety of English hops bringing herbal and earthy notes, pairing with Vienna, rye and flaked barley in the grain bill. There is a lot in here for “just a 3% beer” to pair nicely with all your fall Newfoundland traditions of Jiggs dinner, deer, moose and game season. This is available in 473 mL cans from the brewery today and will likely make its way at various locations across the island in the coming weeks.

From the Lake City (Dartmouth), Lake City Cider has a new release in their Vine Series with Strawberry Pinot Grigio Sparkling Cider. In this series, they use their normal base of Nova Scotia apples for cider, but infuse wine elements from different grapes and sometimes fruit additions. In this release, the apples are complemented with Niagara Pinot Grigio grapes and local Nova Scotia strawberries. The result is a light and refreshing sparkling cider pairing well with many different foods. It’s available now in 355 mL cans and is 9%. You can find this at the cidery or online, and they deliver 7 days a week!

Staying in Dartmouth, New Scotland Brewing is embracing the fall weather by releasing Old Buzzard, a dry Irish Stout. This is a traditional dry Irish Stout with a bit of a twist (we’d expect nothing less from these brewers!) in the addition of locally roasted organic coffee and organic cacao nibs to enhance the flavour. Light in the mouth, dark in the glass, with lovely coffee and chocolate sweetness, it’s a lovely ale for the time of year. A special shout-out to Scott, a co-founder of the brewery (Mike is another founder and Head Brewer), who brewed this beer alongside the production team. It’s been awhile since Scott has been in the brewhouse, so definitely give him a shout-out if and when you try this one on tap. This beer is a very sessionable 3.7% and is available starting today (Friday) only on tap at their Downtown D-town brewery. 

Halifax beer drinkers have been spoiled with another great taproom addition, the Gottingen Street location of Tusket Falls Brewing Co. This week sees the release of Predictable Chaos, available in cans and for pints now. This 7.1% beer is being called a Blackberry Cinnamon Sour Crunch (queue the BJCP style writers scratching their heads). The kettle sour features additions of blackberries, cinnamon, vanilla bean and their in-house baked granola, which in our books, also makes this a perfectly acceptable breakfast beer. And for those on the South Shore, their brewery location is also carrying the Chaos.

Over on the Island (Prince Edward Island, that is), Modern Brewer’s Village Green in Cornwall has a brand new IPA to tickle your tastebuds and satisfy your hop cravings. Coastal avoids the great IPA beef of the 2010s by being “not quite East Coast, not quite West Coast, but definitely wet.” Leveraging classic citrussy Cascade, pithy, piney and resinous Chinook, and stone fruity and slightly tropical Amarillo, it’s got a classic aroma and moderate bitterness in a 6.1% ABV package. It’s already on tap for pints and in cans to go at the tap room in Cornwall; and if you decide to head down and try it or grab some to go, maybe give a thought to trying/grabbing some of their super-sessionable, eminently quaffable 3% Dark Mild.

In other Village Green new, they’re looking for part time bartenders. VG’s beertender/assistant brewer/tastemaker Mark Misener is heading to the Big Smoke to work at Bar Volo, and so there are big shoes to be filled! “Celebrating inclusion and diversity in both people and beer”, all are welcome to start or continue their beer career, by reaching out via email. And Misener will be pouring his last beers in Cornwall next Friday, so be sure to pop by for a visit before then to see him off!

What’s on the go this weekend? In HRM, tomorrow is the last day of Halifax Burger Week, so be sure to get out and support your local restaurants, breweries, and Feed Nova Scotia all in one trip! 

Some Moncton news from a brewery that always has updates for our readers, Tire Shack Brewing has a new beer release and a food event on Sunday. First up, the beer! We’ve had a few white stout releases over the last few months and Tire Shack is joining the fray, releasing Lavender-Chocolate White Stout today! At 5%, this is a white stout featuring both a flavour pop and smoothness from a mix of lavender and chocolate additions. Don’t let the appearance fool you, as this isn’t a classically dark stout, but it tastes like it could be! A limited release as it was brewed on their pilot system, it is only available for pints and growlers at the brewery. Come try it out on Sunday when they’ll be hosting Birria Dave’s at 1pm for Mexican street tacos. Last time they hosted this pop-up event, all the tacos sold out in 90 minutes!  

A friendly reminder that Halifax’s Stillwell Freehouse is hosting a tap takeover by Microbrasserie Les Grands Bois tomorrow. More details on the tap list and fun are available in last week’s post, and their IG page. And keep your calendar free for next Saturday, October 30th, as Stillwell on Barrington hosts Willibald Farm Distillery & Brewery from Ayr, Ontario, bringing a full dozen taps of beer, ranging from lagers to sours, stouts to Triple IPAs, with the folks from Willibald in the house to chat all things beer. We hear there will be some special food coming out of the kitchen too, so come both thirsty *and* hungry!

Those who have attended one of the many Craft Draught Showdown events at the Carleton in Halifax over the past few years know that they’re a great way to not only sample a bunch of tasty beers and enjoy some excellent food but to also have some fun in the process. So whether you’ve been and are looking to go again or haven’t and are excited to try it, you should be aware that these events are back, with one of the HRM’s newest breweries, Serpent Brewing out of Spryfield, taking on one of the oldest craft breweries in the city (and the province, and the region, really), Propeller Brewing on Wednesday, October 27th at 7 PM. As always, five food courses from chef Mathias Probst will be paired with a 4oz pour of a beer from each brewery. Patrons will vote for the most successful pairing with each course, with a winner declared at the end of the night. Tickets are $75, which includes tip but not HST ($86.25 all in) and, conveniently, can be ordered online. Seating is limited, as always, so we’d recommend getting your tickets soon if you want to attend this one!

We have a couple of quick hits from Dieppe before we dismiss you for the week. Be sure to visit your fave local good beer bar, restaurant, or brewery this weekend, to help them keep the great stuff pouring!

Up first is Flying Boats Brewing with Evil Lover, an 8% ABV Double IPA from their Test Pilot Series. This one features large hop additions for bittering (82 IBUs), and also during the whirlpool and dry hop to amp up the aromas of citrus, berries and apricots. Cans of Evil Lover are available now at the Dieppe taproom and through their online store. 

We’ll leave you with a new kettle sour from CAVOK Brewing. Long Weekend is a low bitterness and sessionable take on the style, with only 6 IBUs and 4.7% ABV. It’s available now in cans and on tap for pints or growler fills.

With the summer rush officially behind us, breweries across Atlantic Canada are turning their attention back to new releases and fun events to keep thirsty beer fans across the region happy.  Last weekend saw many breweries and beer drinkers partaking in the final Oktoberfest celebrations, soaking up the great weather and general good vibes. This week, we’ve got a bunch more new releases and some great events in Halifax and St. John’s to help you plan your weekend. This week is also the kickoff of the infamous Burger Week in HRM. A friendly reminder – be courteous and patient as your favourite beer bars and taproom restaurants deal with the onslaught of burger fans and do their part to keep us safe with the new vaccination mandates. Take a look below at what’s new this week and make some plans to grab some burgers, peep some leaves, and drink some tasty fermented beverages from your favourite breweries and cideries this weekend. 

Starting out on one of our favourite islands, Dildo Brewing had a few new releases over the last few weeks. We’re here to get you caught up to speed and help you quench your thirst for Atlantic Canadian beer! First up is Lassie, a Dildo take on a classic Northern English Brown ale. This dark ale has caramel hues of reddish-brown but well balanced with hop flavour and malt character. Very light and drinkable at 4.5% this beer uses a mix of English pale, biscuit, brown and caramel malts, all blending for a nice roasty flavour with some nutty and biscuit malt notes. Additions of fancy molasses helped develop a deeper colour and balance of sweetness, producing a lovely beer that pairs well with this season.

Second up from Dildo, Bitter Cold is another malt forward, easy-drinking ale. A 4.0% ordinary bitter, it has classic English flavour notes of orange pekoe tea and toasted biscuits. Both of these new brews are available in 473ml cans at the brewery, St. John’s store, and Marie’s, this should also be popping up at Orangestores around the province. 

Heading to another island (and another beer release last week), Big Spruce Brewing has a canned release of a beer that was at the Stillwell Beer Garden Oktoberfest. Festfriends is a German Festbier perfect for the time of year. This German-style lager is just what you’d want for your crisp beergarden bevvy taking you straight over to Germany. Featuring some toasted malt and biscuity notes from Pilsner malt, this 5.8% beer is available now in 473 mL cans directly from Big Spruce at the brewery or online. 

Back to the Rock, where just west of Stephenville, you’ll find lovely Port au Port and Secret Cove Brewing. Flake & Gunnels is a Double IPA named after classic Atlantic fishing terms (a “flake” is a platform to dry and preserve your catch and, if you were lucky, you were loaded to the Gunnels) this beer represents the families that harvest from the sea. Packed with those classic American “C” hops (Cascade, Centennial, Columbus, Chinook and Citra) and adding creaminess and body with flaked oats and flaked barley, this hop-forward, smooth beer brings flavours of juice, citrus, resin and pine. At 7.6% ABV with high juiciness and bitterness, cans should be available today from the brewery. We’ll end this blurb with a note straight from the brewery (and because this beer sounds so delicious) “Cod may be God, but We Love and Pray Hops.

Aaaand back to the mainland for a pair of new releases from Nova Scotia’s North Shore at Tatamagouche Brewing. Their Intertidal line of hop-centric beers continues with Intertidal Eclipse + Galaxy Pale Ale, leveraging both of these tropical and citrus hops in a Pale Ale. Available on draught at the brewery, and soon at better bars in HRM and beyond, cans should be hitting their shelves (virtually and on Main Street Tatamagouche) in the next week.

Available now in bottles is another in Tata’s exploration of barrel-aged beer, Petite Milo. Beginning life as a Golden Ale that was fermented and conditioned in some funky barrels for several months, it underwent a secondary fermentation with the addition of locally-grown Petite Milo grapes. More time means more character when it comes to these mixed fermentation beers, and PM is no exception. A touch of barrel pokes through the bright and tart beer, with vinous character from the grapes also making their presence known. Bottles are now available at the brewery and online, with just a few kegs available, so it should be popping up in the wild soon.

Never one to shy away from our weekly updates, Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing has a very special release for a good cause today. A special freshly picked wet-hopped IPA is a brew for goodwill with all profits from sales being donated to the Moncton SPCA. It’s is 6% and the hops were hand-picked locally in Moncton by Tire Shack employees. While you can never be sure with backyard hops, the fine folks at the brewery believe it is mostly Cascade. There are only 100 litres of this beer and it will be available for pints only at the brewery, so stop by this weekend if you get the chance! 

On to another island, Montague, PE’s Copper Bottom is back with a fresh entry in their Flux series, a single hop feature constantly changing with new releases. This edition is Flux: Azacca a Session IPA clocking in at 4.2% and 20 IBU. This is hazy and sessionable, with the Azacca hops bringing out bright citrus notes along with stone fruits like mango and peach. Soft and smooth it has just enough bitterness to balance the grain bill of 2-row malt, wheat, and flaked oats and it’s available today in 473ml cans only at the brewery. 

Staying on PEI, another brewery with frequent releases is back with another one (DJ Khaled!). Village Green brings us Wheelie’s Hazy Pale Ale, a hop filled pale ale named after PEI’s famous haunted childrens toy (this is news to us, but it’s definitely creepy!), it features Citra, Mosaic, and Chinook hops (enchanted by the brewers to make it extra spooky). With that combo you can safely expect bold fruity, citrus-y, and piney flavours and a strong hop aroma. This beer release is paired with an event today at the brewery from 4:30 – 6:30 PM where you can see Wheelie there in the flesh (!) and $1 from every sale of the beer will go towards the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation

And one more time up to NL, where Ninepenny Brewing in CBS has also released an ode to a local celebrity (of sorts) this week, in collaboration with the Manuels River Interpretation Centre. MR1 is a 500 million year old trilobite fossil found along Manuels River by Dr. Riccardo Levi-Setti in the 1970s; it is one of the best preserved specimens of this species, and is proudly displayed at Manuels River. The beer is a kettle sour, conditioned on locally grown blackberries and blueberries from Walsh’s Farms in Colliers, as well as wild river mint foraged from near the site of the fossil discovery. At 4.9%, it’s tart, fruit, and refreshing, reminiscent of a fruited mojito. You can grab it on tap and in cans at the brewery, and can even grab cans at the Manuels River Interpretation Centre. And speaking of, the Centre is hosting their own Oktoberfest next Friday, Oktober 22, with a German-inspired menu, flights of Ninepenny, and live music. Check out their events page for more information and to book your spot!

As we transition from Oktoberfest to Spooky Season all across the region, Fredericton’s Trailway Brewing has decided that St. Patrick’s Day shouldn’t be the only holiday to have questionably colored beer and have accordingly released a Halloween-themed beer that looks like a witches’ brew! Spooky is a Raspberry sour that is very green (in colour, not flavour!), a 6% sour ale that is dosed with blue Spirulina powder to turn it into a hazy shade of green. Tasting both sweet and sour, reminding you of Halloween candy, it’s full of raspberry flavour and a bit of acidity and it’s available now in 473ml cans only from the brewery. 

Big news out of Greenwich/Halifax’s most clandestine brewery, Delta Force. For the first time, their beers are available via retail. The fine folks at Bishops Cellar will be stocking Anderlecht Farmshed Ale and Atlantic Time Bitter. Anderlecht is their Brett-forward nod to Orval, in the Trappist single style. Atlantic Time is an English-style bitter featuring PEI-grown malt and Delta Force’s own hops from the Greenwich area. To celebrate their retail debut, DF is offering a limited quantity 6-pack of some of their greatest hits, spanning several styles for your drinking pleasure. Home deliveries are available within a 1 hour radius of HRM. Hit up their online store for more details on how to order. 

And lastly for our news section (but bleeding into our events section), did you think you were going to get through a Friday Wrap-up without news from 2 Crows? Psshhhht; silly beer lover. We told you a couple weeks ago about the home and home collaboration between 2C and Bellwoods Brewery, including teasing you about the BW side of the release, the Crowbar IPA that was only available in Ontario. We also talked last week about the recent trend in lagers at 2C and specifically the Harrington released last week that was named after the variety of barley malted by Shoreline Malting and used in that beer. Would you believe all that naturally leads us to this week’s new release, almost as if someone had cunningly planned it that way?

Birds and the Bells is a “New Zealand Pilsner” which is the recent industry term for a Pilsner that’s hopped a little more than average, often late, and always with New Zealand hop varieties. Leveraging the same hop combo that was used in the Crowbar, this beer also exclusively uses the Shoreline Harrington malt. Mashed with their recently adopted regimen that promotes big and long-lasting foam, they really leaned into the hop side of things, with Rakau and Motueka added in the mash, at first wort, and then late. Fermented low and slow with Escarpment Labs’ Isar Lager, it was krausened and assertively dry hopped with plenty more Motueka and Pacifica plus a little bit more Rakau before being lagered for 5 weeks. At 4.4% ABV and 35 IBU, the result is a maximally crushable ultra crisp beer with some lovely and zippy hop notes, including lime and apricot, and big beautiful foam. Find it at the brewery or for online orders via their web shop, or, you could head down to 2C tomorrow (Saturday, October 15) from noon to 5 PM for the release party! There will be hand pies from Humble Pie Kitchen, bottle pours of some Bellwoods bangers courtesy of Bishop’s Cellar, and, of course, plenty of fluffy-capped Birds and the Bells streaming from the side pour tap.

A couple of things to tell you about today before we send you off to the great unknown…

St John’s Brewdock Beer Bar has always had gluten-free options on tap and on the food menu, but they are pulling out all of the stops this weekend, dedicating three of their draught lines to GF options (which is infinitely easier these days, with Port Rexton having a dedicated line of truly gluten-free options, including the recent Gluten-Free IPA and the newest Gluten-Free Sour, featuring a boat-load of Haskap berries). And Chef Chris Mercer and team in the kitchen have created more than a dozen GF food items, including baking and refining their own potato bun that is the base of either a beef or spicy cod burger. And in chatting with the Brewdock team, they expect to have a few of these items (and beer) on all the time going forward, giving those who live with Celiac Disease, or who just want to reduce their gluten ingestion, more options in their glasses or on their plates.

Mark your calendars for next Saturday, October 23, as the Stillwell Freehouse will be welcoming Microbrasserie Les Grands Bois, located in Saint-Casimir, Quebec. Founded in 2016 in a movie theatre built in the 1940s, Les Grands Bois has a wide portfolio of beer in house, and are sending ten of them to Agricola Street. From Grisettes, Kolsch, Pils, to New England and American IPAs, there promises to be something for everyone that day. And with it being the last day of Burger Week, you can try Chef Graeme’s house-made-beef-bacon- and cheddar-sauce-topped creation one last time… And in “It’s That Time of Year Again”, remember that the Stillwell Beergarden on Spring Garden is winding down for the season Sunday, October 17, so grab those afternoon and evening pints and Beverly Taco Service eats before they close the metal gates for another year. The good news is that Beverly are expected to be back slinging tacos from Sourwood Cider’s location on Cornwallis later this month.