The Canadian Brewing Awards and Conference kicks off in Halifax today, and unfortunately, does so under the shadow of the immense forest fires affecting thousands of Nova Scotians. Like many of you, we have friends and family affected by the fires and emergency evacuations, and understand beer is much lower on the priority list for many! If you are able to assist through donations to Red Cross and United Way, who are assisting those seeking food and shelter and other necessities, and when it is time to rebuild. North Brewing is donating 15% of draught sales until Sunday, as well as a drop point for necessary items for displaced people. Read more here. You can also do your part by doing nothing… Now is not the time to get out and enjoy a hike and a beer in our forested lands! Pause those activities until it is safe to do so. Let’s get you up to speed with the events and new beers that those in Halifax, and beyond, can enjoy in the days to come.
As mentioned, the Canadian Brewing Awards are taking place in downtown Halifax today until Saturday, and while a ticket is required to attend talks, check out the Exhibition Floor, or attend the Awards Gala Saturday night, there are plenty of events happening around Halifax to celebrate the increased eyes on the region’s beer scene. Here are but a few events that we know about, but you’ll be doing yourself a favour by checking Social Media to avoid disappointment, just in case your favourite taproom is closed for an event!
Propeller Brewing and Tatamagouche got together for a pair of home-and-home collaborations at their respective breweries in May, and are releasing them today in a big bash at Prop’s Gottingen Street tap room. When the Tata crew came to the big city, they brewed Twin Shores Collaboration Ale, a 4.5% Pale Ale featuring Nectaron and Vic Secret hops, for a double dose of passion fruit, peach, and pineapple. Using a cold fermentation temp kept the beer crisp and clean. In addition to the draught for today’s event, cans of Twin Shores are also available now. Prop will have a half-dozen more beer on tap, a collection of newer releases, complemented by seven from TataBrew, who will be offering a sneak peak of the soon-to-come Kudos.
When the Propeller Team visited Main Street Tatamagouche, they opted to get a little funky, using Sacc Brux Trois to ferment the Nectaron-hopped Pale Ale. The yeast itself gives off plenty of fruity aromas, only enhancing the hop choice. While visitors today (like, right now!) will be able to try Kudos in advance of its full can release in the coming weeks. Also on tap from Tata is the Bishops Cellar collab Cellar Slammer, Dekorum Lime, Apres Cream Ale, Saltwater Cowboy Gose, Deception Bay IPA, and Baltic Porter. And if you time it just right, you’ll be able to enjoy food from Humble Pie Kitchen, who are on-site from 3 PM until sell out.
Not on tap at Propeller today, but available wherever Tata beer is sold, is the newest entry to their Dekorum line, Dekorum Gold. After Brewer Chad Ellis tasted Horton Ridge Malt’s Vienna malt recently, he knew that it would make a great base for a “maltier light lager”, and pictured it as the next Dekorum. Using that Vienna malt, with just a touch of Dextrin for a bit more body, malt, and “oomph”, it was lightly hopped in the mash and then whirlpool with Strisselspalt and Spalter Select, respectively, before fermentation with Isar Lager from Escarpment Labs (plenty from them later in the blog!). After several weeks of cool fermentation and conditioning, small cans of this super crispy beer with a light toasty note are available now at Tata’s shop and taproom on Main Street, as well as select retailers in the province, including their online shop.
Another event is being hosted today by BrewCulture at the Gahan House Nova Centre location, adjacent to the CBAC, and is sure to appeal to the yeast nerds in the audience. Dr. Chris White, of White Labs, will be in attendance 4 – 6 PM to chat all things yeast, and to toast the release of Thiol City IPA, a collaboration brew featuring WLP077 Tropicale Yeast Blend. And after the Conference tomorrow, BrewCulture is hosting a party at the Propeller Gottingen Street taproom and Arcade, learn more and RSVP here.
Among the collaborations Stefan Gagliardi of BrewCulture undertook recently is Born to be Mild, with Antigonish’s Candid Brewing. This lower alcohol Mild Ale was fermented with White Labs’ London Ale Yeast, expressing some subtle esters of oak, and enhancing the light toast and coffee notes from the malts. Available now on draught and in cans wherever you enjoy being Candid.
And for those folks in town to attend the Conference, the fine folks at Anton-Paar are in attendance, and will have some working instruments at Booth 117 on the Exhibition floor. So if you’re looking for information on Dissolved Oxygen (bad!), Alcohol testing (good!), and CO2/Carbonation level (depends!), bring in your cans and bottles, and Tim and Co will let you know what you’ve got on the go!
It wouldn’t be a big week of beer in Halifax if 2 Crows didn’t torture us at ACBeerBlog with more of everything. True to form, they’re kicking off the CBAC weekend tomorrow, June 2nd, from 4pm ‘til close with a special tap takeover. Featuring beers made in collaboration with PEI’s Shoreline Malting and Guelph’s Escarpment Labs, 10 new tipples are slated to be on tap at the 2C taproom on Brunswick Street. We told you last week about 2C’s new Green World DIPA, which features 100% Maritime-grown ingredients including the aforementioned Shoreline malt and hops from Lakeview Hops in Harvey Station, NB. Also from the home brewery is Guv, an English mild that started with Shoreline Pale, with some amber and black malts capping the mash for color and a bit of toasty bread crust and drying roast, respectively, and some brewer’s caramel. It was hopped in the boil with Goldings from Southan Farms and fermented with Escarpment’s House strain. Bready and creamy, they’ll have it on the nitro tap as well for a real treat in terms of mouthfeel. Rounding out the 2C contribution is Racy, which is part beer, part kekfrancos piquette. The kekfrancos skins came from frequent 2C collaborators Lightfoot & Wolfville and the beer side is essentially AC Light Lager, but you probably wouldn’t recognize it as such, as it’s got plenty of winey depth and spritz from the piquette side. You’ll also find Saison du Chardonnay from North Brewing pouring from bottles, Shore, a pseudo-lager from Lone Oak that leverages the Escarpment Krispy Kveik strain, and If you Don’t Stop, a hazy NE-style IPA from Tide & Boar. Given the capricious nature of our provincial regulatory overlords at NSLC, the realities of shipping beer across the country in a post-pandemic world, and the added complications of our local wildfire problem, the rest of the beers are a little bit tentative, but we can tell you that you might run into additional offerings from Burdock, Indie Alehouse, Merit Brewing, Banished Brewing, and Escarpment themselves! The only way to find out for sure is to head over on Friday evening!
For those who are thirsty now and don’t want to wait until tomorrow, 2 Crows has brought back their collaborative and charitable radler, The Agenda. Version 2.0 features a light lager base, with the addition of tangerine and peach puree. Using a touch of agave nectar for a hint of sweetness, this juicy hybrid is fresh, easy drinking, and just 2.0% ABV! This is only available on tap during the month of June, and will see 100% of the sales donated to Halifax Sexual Health Centre, a non-judgemental non-profit giving back to folkx in the Halifax region since 1970, especially embracing the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.
Back in Halifax, Garrison has two new releases this week starting off with the newest version of their Pucker Up! Series, Citrus. This 4.9% ABV kettle sour starts of with 2-row and wheat malt before seeing additions of flavoured green tea and stevia. Expect notes of orange, lemon, grapefruit and lime, with a hint of vanilla, and a tart finish. Next up is this year’s version of SMASH, a beer made with one type of malt and one variety of hops, in this case 2-row malt and Sasquatch hops. Coming in at 5% ABV, and brewed in the American Pale Ale style, expect \ woodsy and citrusy notes from the hops along with some dankness. They’re both available now at both Garrison locations, on tap and in cans, with SMASH also seeing distribution at the private stores in HRM.
This week’s last release comes to you from Sydney, where Island Folk is rolling out Blowing Raspberries, featuring notes of raspberry and rose water. Bottles of the 5.4% ABV cider are available now at the cider house and through their online store. The name for this one stemmed from a partnership with the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, that saw Island Folk run a competition for short stories or poems that reflect the unique personality of the cidery and the flavours of this new cider. Hannah Vincent, a writer from Truro, took the prize with a poem titled Blowing Raspberries and a new cider name was born.
Not all of the fun is in Halifax this weekend, as Landwash in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland is holding a Cask Festival Saturday at noon. Inviting in breweries and cideries from across the island (Banished, Bannerman, Bootleg, Dildo, Port Rexton, Rough Waters, and Mauzy Cider), they will have plenty of tasty and unique casks a-pouring this weekend, including something a bit crazy with Skittles! You’ll have to pop by to check it out!
And for those in Fredericton, TrailWay Brewing is celebrating their Seventh Anniversary on Main Street with their annual Block Party! Live music, Food Trucks, face painting for the kids (and adults, we hope!), and of course great beer (look out for some tasty beer slushies)! The party kicks off at 11 AM and runs all afternoon and evening, with live music kicking off at noon. More details on the line-up here!
We’ll leave you with a few final newsbites, starting in Fredericton where Grimross is releasing its cult-favourite Praha bohemian lager for another summer run. This one packs lots of herbal hop character and bitterness into a sessional 3.8% ABV package. Short cans are available now at the brewery.
Sticking with short cans, Halifax’s Bishop Cellar is stocking an exclusive 6-pack of Tatamagouche Brewing’s Dekorum lager, featuring 2 each of the lime, mandarin and unfruited versions. And while you’re there, be sure to grab some cans of the aforementioned Twin Shores Pale Ale collab with Propeller and this year’s edition of Cellar Slammer.
Unfortunately, as we began the post today, we must also end with sad news of the fires currently burning in Nova Scotia. While not in the most affected area of the province, The Harbour Brewing in Musquodoboit Harbour shared some video and pictures of their storage and expansion gear affected by a fire a couple of days ago. As they sift through the debris, we can help them by purchasing their beer where available, and maybe even making a trip to their taproom/retail spot on Highway 7, to purchase their beer and merch.