Tidehouse Brewing

All posts tagged Tidehouse Brewing

Oy, we’re a little late today and apologies for that, but what are you going to do when there’s so much going on in the Atlantic Canada beer (and cider!) scene? It’s looking like a lovely day throughout most of the region, with a high chance of continued loveliness through the weekend – it’s almost enough to make you think that Spring is something you can believe in. Whether you choose to let yourself be lulled into a state of hopefulness or not, one thing that goes wonderfully with nice weather is beer! And, well, we can tell you a little bit about that…

Great news for beer fans in downtown Halifax, the Tiny Taproom rises again! After closing their spot for in-person enjoyment in March 2020 (you know, because of this pandemic), Tidehouse Brewing shifted their focus to curbside sales of their beer in cans. In the before times, grabbing a barstool at the 6-7 person bar top could kick off or wind down your night, physical distancing was definitely not a thing. Taking advantage of this not-completely-voluntary opportunity, the Tidehouse Team has completely renovated their space, and are now open again to all of us. Making their production space out back more efficient and streamlined (taking out their original plastic fermenters and replacing with four 500 litre tanks was a big help in that regard), put them in the position to extend the public space significantly. Capacity is now 16 (22 in a post-COVID world), which may mean them losing the title of smallest brewery taproom in the country, but we think they’re OK with that… So, what can you expect when you visit? In addition to being significantly larger, the space has a refreshed look thanks to B.A. Built (behind the Edna and Bar Stillwell looks and designs), and several tables so your bubble buddies can enjoy a pint or samples at low tops. 5 taps are flowing these days, with fresh Sotil, Hibiscus City, Bitchin Camaro IPA, Goth Stout, and Mars Imperial Stout, with a small number of cans available as well. That last one is their massive 11.5% ABV ImpStout with lactose, blackberries, and yes, Mars bars. Small pours on this one, fam!

Congratulations again to Shean and Peter and the entire Tidehouse Crew for weathering the storm and using it as an opportunity to expand their space and offerings! Pop by 4 PM – midnight, Wednesday to Saturday, 5187 Salter Street.

With last weekend’s ice all melted and some bluer skies in the forecast, now seems like the perfect time for a trip to Cape Breton for the release of Big Spruce Brewing’s newest beer, Début. This marks the first beer to spend time in their recently acquired 500 litre foeders. Brewed in the grisette style, Début also saw a dry hopping with Huell Melon hops and completed its entire fermentation in the foeders. Expect aromas of spice from the fermentation and melon from the hops, with notes of vanilla and honey on the palette. This one is making its debut (zing!) in kegs at the Sprucetique in Nyanza and in Downtown Dartmouth at Battery Park

The grass is always greener, they say and in PEI, Village Green is back with a new beer available today. Amarillo Pale is a Pale Ale brewed exclusively with Amarillo hops which gives it a great citrus flavour with some snappy bitterness. This 5.2% treat  is available today at the Cornwall brewery on tap and also in cans to go. 

Keeping up with new releases and news week after week, Bannerman Brewing is dropping two new releases today. First, Nothing But Time, is a new IPA that brings a unique flavour profile. With a grain bill consisting mostly of flaked and malted wheat, they massively dry-hopped this 7.5% IPA with El Dorado and Citra giving it a character that might remind you of candy and more specifically, Rockets! Available now on tap and in 473ml cans from the brewery; it will be at Marie’s this weekend. 

The second big release from Bannerman this week is a Thai-inspired lager with help from Namjim, a Thai based dining experience that serves out of different restaurants around St. John’s. Paradise Lost is a light and complex lager brewer with Pilsner malt, flaked rice and lemongrass. After being generously dry-hopped with Motueka and Sorachi Ace, this 5.0% ABV beer was conditioned on toasted coconut, lime leaf and lime zest. 

To celebrate the release, Namjim will be doing a kitchen takeover at Bannerman for Friday and Saturday (April 9th and 10th). The beer will be available only in 473ml cans from the brewery in limited quantities, so grab it while you can!

Down Lunenburg way, Shipwright Brewing is back to making some small batches for limited distribution (or at least we’re back to finding out about them in a timely fashion). The latest is one they’re calling Njǫrd Jötunn Saison, a 6.7% ABV saison at 30 IBU with a bit of a Scandanavian bent. Built on a grist of Shoreline Malting Pilsner and wheat malts, with a touch of acidulated malt in the mix as well, you can expect a balanced malt profile with some light graininess and a touch of honey sweetness. The hopping featured Eureka in the kettle for bittering, with late additions of Citra and Amarillo cryo hops for plenty of citrusy hop character. Completing the picture was a warm ferment with the Jötunn yeast blend from Escarpment Labs, which is a blend of a Norwegian Kveik strain and a saison strain designed to have a Viking deathmatch in the wort. Expect a bright and fruity beer with plenty of minerality and a touch of funk. Available on tap only at the brewery, and for growler fills and crowlers to go.

In cider news, Annapolis Cider Company in Wolfville dropped a new one last week, but a little too late for our pre-long weekend Thursday post. That’s okay, though, because it’s still showing in their online shop, so it’s still available! The latest in their Something Different series, Grape Mint has a pretty self-explanatory name, as it was blended with cryo-extracted grape juice and infused with plenty of fresh mint. Landing at 7.4% ABV, this sparkling cider leads with acidity, brings tropical pineapple and mango mid-palate, and then finishes clean with a cooling sensation from the mint, which is also present in the aroma. Sounds like this one would have gone well with Easter lamb dinner, but we’re sure it’s plenty tasty on its own too! As with all Something Different ciders from Annapolis, this one is in growlers only, and $0.50 from each fill will go to support a charity, in this case Campaign for Kids.

Fredericton’s Trailway continues to revisit some of their previous offerings, review them, revise them, and re-release them in a renewed form. This time it’s one called Imagination, an IPA brewed originally with Ekuanot and Loral (HBC 291), it now boasts so-new-it-doesn’t-have-a-name-yet HBC 630, Cashmere, Idaho 7, Sultana, and Columbus. But what’s more, this one has been upgraded to full DDH (that’s “double dry hopped”) status. This super hop-saturated fruity monster isn’t so monstrous when it comes to ABV, rolling in at 6%, which means you can almost certainly have two. Look for it on tap and canned at the brewery alongside a fresh batch of another of their hoppiest brews, Green Island. Act fast though, as both of these are in limited quantities and won’t be seen again for a while! Lastly, we told you about Trailway’s new light ale, Mully, a couple weeks back, a crisp and refreshing easy drinker at a paltry 4.0% ABV. That one is now in cans in addition to being on tap exclusively at JH Sports.

We mentioned back in March that Annapolis Brewing did a Pink Boots collaboration brew with folks from Church Brewing, Lunn’s Mill, and Sea Level for International Women’s Day 2021, and we promised you more details when it was released, so, well, here we are. Coming out this weekend is Glass Ceiling, a hazy IPA in the New England/Northeast style. At 5.5% ABV you could consider it on the more sessionable end of the style, with plenty of pineapple, mango, and coconut coming across from the Pink Boots hop blend, while a pleasant bitterness provides balance and a wheat-heavy grain bill brings the haze. Of course, proceeds from the sales will go to the Pink Boots Society, which provides scholarships for women in beer education around the world. We’re not sure exactly who’s going to have this one available, but we’d guess Annapolis for sure, so if you’re looking for some check there first!

Truro Brewing Company has a brand new light and crushable beer flowing from the taps today, Endless Summer. This 5.0% ABV Kolsch-style lagered ale is their answer to the “lawnmower” beers that many of us turn to as the weather warms and we may want a beer that refreshes first, without needing to think about it too much. While you probably won’t be grabbing ES by the flat, growler fills are certainly available at their spot and are a bit easier to juggle. 

Nova Scotian Homebrewers, fire up those kettles again (as if you need us to tell you that)! Truro Brewing has announced their Hubtown Homebrew Competition. They are looking for your best and most creative Patio Beer! Your $20 entry gets you a t-shirt, as well as a pitch of Escarpment’s Krispy Kveik liquid yeast, a perfect way to ferment something quick and crispy-ly. Judging takes place at the end of May (BJCP-Sanctioned, btw, so scoresheets with real feedback provided!), and the winning brewer will come in to TBC for a brew day with Jana and see their beer get a full release. There are only 20 spots for entries, so if you are keen, best fire them an email (trurobrewco@gmail.com) now!

Obviously a full slate of events still can’t really be a thing right now, but there are still a few things going on with proper social distancing and masking up and the hey-hey, so check them out!

Propeller Brewing is happy to announce that their Community Cask Night event will be supporting Prescott Group this month, with April’s events scheduled for tonight and two weeks from tonight. You can read more at their website for more details, but the short version is that they’ve been a non-profit organization in the area since 1962 and current support 160+ adults with disabilities through development of work and life skills. The cask for this evening will be Prop’s venerable ESB with an addition of coffee, while the April 23rd event will feature their Prime Lager dry-hopped with African Queen. As always, the casks will be tapped at 5 PM and will be served until they’re gone.

The last 12 months have seen far fewer beer nerds travelling outside of our bubble in search of new brews. Luckily, the good people at Stillwell continue to bring in the goods from elsewhere in Canada and beyond. This Saturday at HQ, they’ll be tapping three mixed ferm treats from Toronto’s Bellwoods Brewery. Beginning at noon, you’ll find a Farmageddon variant with Niagara Montmorency and Morello cherries, the peach version of White Picket Fence, and Grandma, a foeder fermented golden sour. 

Are you a pro brewer looking to expand your knowledge of Berliner Weisse production? Maybe you’re just a curious homebrewer looking to get your lacto on? Whatever the case, check out the upcoming webinar from Escarpment Labs, livestreaming on April 20th at 12:00 PM (CBC voice: “12:30 in Newfoundland”). Escarpment will be joined by German brewer and beer historian Benedikt Koch, who will cover topics including the history and culture of the beer, and various production methods. Reserve your spot here. If you can’t make the livestream, look for the recording to be added to Escaprment’s YouTube channel on April 21. 

Our usual round-up of quick hits is right here:

North Brewing is switching things up this week with the release of a cider. Core Values, first made last spring on North’s smaller system, is made with Stirling’s Farms apples. Fermented with a Chardonnay yeast strain to the tune of 6.1% ABV, it spent six weeks undergoing a cold ferment/conditioning, resulting in a drier cider with notes of melon, citus, and you guessed it, apple. Cans of Core Value are available now through North’s retail channels and on tap at the Portland Street taproom and Battery Park.

Staying with Dartmouth ciders, Lake City Cider has a new one out this week that features a variety of methods and fruits. Strawberry Rhubarb is a 7.8% cider made from house-fermented strawberry rhubarb fruit wine, blended with apples. Expect prominent berry notes and a tart finish. Cans are available now through Lake City’s retail channels. 

This Saturday will see the return of the acclaimed Commissar Russian Imperial Stout at Unfiltered Brewing. The 2021 release comes in at 11.2% ABV and will be available in bottles and on tap next door at Charm School. Drink some now, and buy bottles for when the end of the world truly comes into focus…

We know plenty of folks who’ve missed Propeller’s Azacca session IPA and wish it were a full-year beer and not a seasonal, but life’s like that. The good news for that set is that the season is upon us and the 4.5% ABV and 30 IBU single-hop (Azacca, duh) beer is back at the Prop Shops and six packs are heading to the private stores, then NSLC in May, where you’ll be able to find it all summer long.

And speaking of the return of sessionable hoppy beers for the summer, 2 Crows has also brought back theirs! Matinee is just 3.1% ABV, but it packs plenty of flavor owing to being loaded with Citra, Galaxy, and Idaho 7 hops. Find it at the brewery now and coming next week to select NSLC stores.

A couple of jobs in beer on our radars this week, and expect to see these more and more as taprooms and breweries beef up their staff in preparation for the coming traveling season. Let’s go Bubble!

Lunn’s Mill in Lawrencetown, and their sister The Station location in Bridgetown, are hiring Servers, Bartenders, and Cooks to round out their FOH and BOH crew. Open to all with an interest in beer, wine, cider, and spirits or designing, preparing, and serving great food to pair, they’re looking for those with great customer service and working with a team. Tidy up that cover letter and resume, and send it through those tubes to info@lunnsmill.beer.

And if getting your feet (and probably hands and knees) wet in a brewery is more your speed, Chester Basin’s Tanner & Co Brewing is looking for an Assistant Brewer to join their team. With more production capacity coming soon, they’re looking to double production staff with a full-time Asst Brewer position. No previous commercial experience is required, though homebrewing and a thirst to learn more are both big assets to the job. While a seasonal job now, this could become permanent. Check out their Careers page to learn more and how to apply!

As we wind our way through January, Dry or not, the new beer and returning favourites, continue unabated. Whatever you’re drinking these days (or caching away in the cellar for Feb 1), we think there will be something in today’s post that will tickle your fancy. Let’s get this show on the road without any further ado!

Cornwall, PEI’s Modern Brewer’s Village Green continues to release an onslaught of new beers, as they flex their brewing chops in several different directions. This week’s new bevvy is the simply-named Simcoe Pale Ale. Taking advantage of the iconic eponymous hop’s citrus aroma and flavour (think clementine, VG encourages us), the base is made up of Island Malt House Pilsner, Wheat, and Oat malts, for a light and airy mouthfeel that keeps you going back for another sip. Simcoe is exclusively available on tap for pints or growlers, and in cans at Village Green’s location at 30 Church Street, where you can grab a meal or snack at their pals Holy Fox Food Truck too. And while you’re there, be sure to grab the details on their Draught Beer Appreciation Society, so you can become a member too!

It wouldn’t be a Friday if we didn’t have an encyclopedic amount of information to dump on you about new beers from 2 Crows… seriously, don’t those guys have anything better to do than brew beer? Apparently not, because we’ve got two new ones to report on this week, so best to stop complaining and just get on with it already!

First off is Novello, another collaboration beer brewed with the fine folks at Bannerman Brewing. While not an actual in-person collab, naturally (thanks, COVID!), both breweries were involved in crafting the recipe, which was also very much inspired by their first beer brewed together, Vinello. Originally brewed last summer with Pilsner and Rye malt from Island Malt House, the wort was hopped heavily with Sterling (to 48 IBUs), and then fermented in one of 2C’s foedres with an assortment of their house yeast cultures. It hung out in there for about five months, awaiting an addition of macerated Riesling pomace from Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards. After the pomace was added, the beer conditioned for another month before being canned and can-conditioned. The final, 4.5% ABV beer is “lively and fresh, with soft Riesling aromatics, a touch of acidity, and snappy funk”. 

Next up is Colourful Language, a solo-brewed beer that also features wine from Lightfoot & Wolfville. Brewed last June with a grist of Shoreline Pilsner, Wheat malt, and unmalted wheat, it was hopped lightly with Sterling and aged noble hops. The wort was fermented and aged in another of the brewery’s foedres with a blend of Sacch and Brett yeasts, as well as Lactobacillus cultures, for approximately four months. In October, about 400 kg of fresh Marquette pomace from L&W was added directly into the foedre, along with 300 lbs of plum; the beer sat for another six weeks to allow the sugars from the fruit to ferment out, before being canned and can-conditioned. The result is a 5.6% ABV beer that is “playful and peppy, vibrant and juicy”, with no doubt some lovely wine and plum character coming through. 

Both of these beauties are available at the brewery starting today. While you’re grabbing some, note that they’ve got a freshly-canned batch of Waltz in their fridges that you should also pick up! This 5.5% ABV German Pilsner is always crisp and refreshing, and a great palate cleanser for some of those more intensely-flavoured beers that are currently surrounding it at the brewery. This batch features a slightly increased dry-hop, bumping the herbal qualities a little.

Lunenburg’s brewing pride and joy, Shipwright Brewing, has two brand new beers pouring at their taproom downtown… and depending on how you look at it, maybe four beers! In this case, we’re referring to their Shifting Tides Berliner Weisse, their take on the classic German low-ABV, sour style. Shipwright brewed theirs with Shoreline Pilsner and Wheat malt, and a very light addition of Hallertau Blanc hops (to only 3 IBUs). Lactobacillus was used to provide some acidity in this 3.6% ABV beer, to go with the light funk present from fermentation. You can enjoy this one as-is, or order it with an addition of raspberry or woodruff syrup, as is often traditional for the style in Germany. Or, order all three!

Next is the brewery’s latest hoppy offering, Seafarer IPA. With a grist made up of Maris Otter, Caramel malt, Rye and Oats, and hopped heavily with Citra and Idaho 7. Weighing in at 6.7% ABV and 65 IBUs, expect some malt character to break through with notes of “light sweetness, bread, honey and spice”, complementing all of that grapefruit, pine, and tropical flavours from all of those hops. As mentioned, both beers are available at the taproom, for pints or crowlers-to-go. 

Fredericton’s hop maestros Trailway Brewing are bringing new batches of a couple of their hoppiest brews today with fresh batches of Green Island and Box Theories hitting the taps and the fridges. Green Island is (one of) their ultra-juicy IPA(s) featuring Idaho 7 and Cashmere hops for notes of pineapple, peach, and sweet citrus in a hazy 6% package. On the somewhat stiffer, but no less hazy or juicy, end of the spectrum is Box Theories, a recipe developed to show off some the new hotness on the hop market, Strata. With some old hotness mixed in as well in the form of Citra and Mosaic, you can expect elements of mango, apricot, peach and nectarine, and perhaps a tinge of blueberry coming through on the finish. This one’s going to hit a little harder, though, at 8% ABV, so rather than planning anything strenuous maybe just sink a little further into that comfy chair and have another one.

In other Trailway news, is something decidedly less hoppy. Not only are they continuing with their foray into the world of German beers, they’ve announced that they are packaging one “for the first time.” We’re guessing that means they’ve forgotten all about their flagship kölsch (pouring in mass quantity at The Drome), Candlepin, and their long-running German Pilsner Yada Yada, but we’ll let that slide because we’re all lager lovers here and MOAR LAGER is a good thing. You won’t be surprised to learn, then, that we’re excited because this new beer, Ramifications is a Helles (German for “pale”) lager. Described as “clean, smooth, round, and soft,” which is everything a Helles should be, you have every right to expect this to be an immensely quaffable beer at 4.3% ABV. Look for it, the above pair of hop monsters, and everything else the gang at Trailway has available at their online shop, where you can order online for contactless curbside pickup or shipping anywhere in the Maritime provinces or Ontario via Canada Post.

It’s cold and only getting colder, but luckily your Halifax friends from Garrison are here with a seasonal release to keep you warm. Wintervention is back! A Russian Imperial Stout, it’s got a lot of chocolate character after being conditioned on cocoa nibs. Coming in at 60 IBU thanks to some well balanced hopping with Millenium, the chocolate, munich and pale ale malts bring the flavour to this 10.5% ABV release. Available in 650ml bottles, you can pick this up from Garrison at both their Seaport and Oxford retail stores. 

Keeping with the theme from above, North Brewing is helping you out with another tasty stout to keep you warm. Another fan favourite is back with the re-release of Twinkle Pony Tiramisu Stout. This 7.5% stout brings sweet and smooth chocolate and coffee flavours, as it’s made with Ladyfingers, chocolate malt, lactose, vanilla and cold brew coffee. There is only a small amount of this that was canned, as the rest is going into darkness for a barrel-aged treat! Order these cans online today or find them at both of their Dartmouth shops. 

Staying right on theme is Nyanza’s finest, as Big Spruce comes back with a limited edition of their Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout. This already tasty smooth and roasty stout is freshly canned for a Glenora Whiskey Barrel Aged version. Aged in local Glenora Whiskey barrels, the roasty, chocolatey & espresso-coffee aromatics are amplified with a complex layer of smooth whiskey and subtle woody notes from the barrel. This is (again) a very limited release, so we recommend ordering it online directly from Big Spruce on their online shop! Get the good stuff before it’s gone!

Traveling down from Cape Breton, Tatamagouche is back with a few fan favourites that make a very tasty duo. First on deck (appropriately) is the return of First Light, a delicious Czech Pilsner. Crispy like the weather, this 4.5% lager is naturally carbonated, brewed with Noble hops and Czech yeast. This is really a tasty, crispy treat.  

First appearing on this blog about two years ago, Kitty Clyde is back! Meow! A Double IPA hopped with two of our favourite Australian varieties, Galaxy and Vic Secret, this 40 IBU hop bomb clocks in at 7.8% ABV. Both of these returning beers are available in cans online and at Tatabrew, and should make their way into the private shops as well. 

Tidehouse is back with a restock with fresh cans of Sotil coming out today, which first came out just before Christmas. This second iteration is a super dry 4.5% Saison made with Horton Ridge malt, with the wort lightly soured with Escarpment labs Lactobacillus rhamnosus/plantarum blend and fermented with French Saison yeast. A late addition fermentation of Marquette grape skins from Bent Ridge Winery brings a Saison-wine like ale that could be described as a “wine-seltzer” by Tidehouse themselves. They’re very proud of this beer and it’s simple, refreshing and dry. 

Just one event to let you know about at this time, but it will be a full-week affair, so strap on your drinking shoes… The Moncton Craft Beer Week is a celebration of all things beery in the GMA, with twelve breweries and scores of local pubs and restaurants taking part in the fun. Running February 22-27, there will be events every day, including the launch of the Moncton Craft Brewery Passport, an Extreme Beer homebrewing competition (more details here, and the winner will get to brew their creation at Tire Shack Brewing!), A Meet the Nano Brewer night at CAVOK, Beer Geek Trivia with acbbchris at the Furnace Room, culminating with Open Brewery Day (with free buses for those wanting to hit all of the spots in Moncton, Dieppe, and Riverview) and an all-local IPA Tap Takeover at Tide and Boar Gastropub on the 27th. Check out their website and Socials (Fb/Ig) for the latest details, and we’ll have more details on it all leading up to the event, natch!

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.