Happy April! We promise, this is a prank-free zone, despite the date on the calendar. It also is the first day of Nova Scotia Craft Beer Month, which, given the current COVID situation does not have any major all-encompassing events (hopefully come fall!), though breweries are encouraged to hold their own and highlight some fresh releases (as they do year-round). But let’s kick off the week’s news in New Brunswick, with news of a brewery that has been nearly a decade in planning…
After attempts dating back to 2014, we are thrilled to share that AWOL Brewery in Moncton is now fully licensed and selling beer! Owned and operated by Canadian Army Veteran Robert Black, AWOL operates from a fully-electric 350 litre (3 BBL) system, fed entirely by solar power (with battery backup) in the Greater Moncton Area. Part of the Buy Veteran movement, and living up to their creed of “Serve those who Serve us”, their first licensee is the Moncton Garrison All Ranks Mess Hall, with Marky’s Laundromat Espresso Bar and The Joyce in Fredericton now also serving their beer. Their Tactical Pause American Pale Ale is 5.0% ABV and 36 IBU, with plenty of hops on the palate and nose to allow drinkers a break in their day. And from both German and American influence comes The Smoker, an Amber Ale brewed using Beechwood-smoked German malt, complementing the Canadian-grown base, and featuring American Warrior and Willamette hops throughout. Both beers are available at all three locations, and keep your eyes open here and on AWOL’s Social Media (Fb/IG) for details of their official launch later this month. Congratulations to Robert and the whole AWOL team!
Hailing from Sainte-Marie-de-Kent, New Brunswick, Broue du Païen has released a new beer this week, featuring malt grown and processed by their Acadian Peninsula neighbours Distillerie Fils du Roy. Kent Light is a crisp and light pseudo-lager, and at just 4.0% ABV, perfect for enjoying a couple after work, or while tending to the garden. Fils du Roy’s Pilsner Malt features heavily in the grain bill, imparting just enough character to keep this light beer interesting. BdP are offering home delivery in their hometown, as well as down the shore into the Greater Moncton Area. Hit them up via direct message on Facebook or Instagram to speak up for your own Kent Light, or Bouctouche Pale Ale, Cocagne Chocolate Stout, or Dunkles Bock today!
As today is the start to Nova Scotia Craft Beer Month, let’s get you up to speed with the new releases in the Bluenoser province…
Alright, we promise this isn’t a joke, but with the fellas from Delta Force, it doesn’t hurt to ask first! 😉
Today they have released Operation Bamboozle, a 10% ABV boozer that they’re only describing as a Malt Beverage. Separating this from others in that wide swath of styles is that this underwent a secondary fermentation with Brettanomyces to really dry it out, and lend just a touch of extra estery goodness. Packaged in beautifully ornate double-wax-dipped growlers with custom hand-drawn labels, Bamboozle is only available in very limited supply, so check out their How to Buy page to grab it or another of their current offerings from the Anderlecht Farmshed Ale, Bap Nurungji Lager, or duelling Mean Time and Pacific Time Brett Bitters.
If you are dialled-in to the scientific goings on in the beer world (seriously, this is a thing that happens and has always happened: beer nerds trying to make better, tastier beer!), you may have recently started hearing the term “thiols.” Actually if you’re into wine you might have heard the term quite some time ago, specifically in relation to Sauvignon Blanc varietals, especially those from New Zealand. Thiols are a magic little sulphur-containing hydrocarbon (basically the sulphurous analogue to alcohols) that, like sulphur itself, are exceptionally detectable in aroma and flavour (like, parts-per-trillion). The good news is that they smell and taste nothing like sulphur, oh no, they bring tropical notes reminiscent of gooseberry, guava, and passionfruit! Some hops (notably Citra and Mosaic) contain “free” thiols, but others contain “bound” thiols that are undetectable unless they can be freed. Enter every brewer’s and beer fan’s favourite microbe, YEAST! Several yeast labs are working on products that can release bound thiols and Canada’s own Escarpment Labs is on that list. Escarpment has bred a custom hybrid yeast strain that reliably frees bound thiols in other (much cheaper) varieties of hops like Cascade and Saaz. Called “Thiol Libré,” breweries are lining up to use it in a new beer, most often a tropically fruity hazy IPA, of course!
Enter Big Spruce Brewing in Nyanza, who are the first in the region (that we’ve noticed) to get a beer out using this brand new yeast strain. Enter Alors On Danse, a 7.1% double IPA released not only to show off this new yeast strain, but to help celebrate Big Spruce’s 9th Birthday! (Holy H! Where does the time go?!) Described as “soft, silky, and unapologetically juicy,” should be a tropical fruit bomb in a glass. Look for it on tap at Stillwell, Battery Park, and Maritime Express (and no doubt some other places), in cans at your favourite purveyor who sells Big Spruce, and obviously at the brewery for pints and fills as well as cans. And though there won’t be any big official celebrations (we’re guessing they’re saving up for a 10th birthday bash next year), raise your glass to nine years of Big Spruce!!
Dartmouth’s Spindrift Brewing is releasing Athena Pink Guava IPA today, designed and brewed by the dynamic Brew Team duo of Sophie Zimmer and Kristi White. Originally planned as a release for International Women’s Day, supply chain issues caused delays in the cans, which sport art created by White as well. Now that those are here, the beer has been packaged and is ready for all of us! Featuring fresh pink guava puree and plenty of dry-hopping of New Zealand hops Rakau and Wai-ti, look for massive tropical punch nose and flavour in this New England IPA. Available on tap and in cans at the brewery, and at their regular licensees and retail partners soon! And we’ll have plenty of info on their release of Brave Noise later this month!
We mentioned it a couple of weeks ago, and now it is a reality, Garrison Brewing’s release of Putin Huylo Strong Golden Ale. This is part of the world-wide charitable collaboration with Pravda Brewery of Lviv, Ukraine, Brew For Ukraine, with 100% of the profits going to Ukrainian Relief. Bottles of this 7.0% beer are available today at both of their retail spots (Seaport Brewery and Oxford Taproom), so be sure to pop in and grab a couple tomorrow! [Ed note: originally to be released Friday, but delays mean a delay] And while you’re there, you’ll no doubt spot a new label for the recently re-launched, and now full-time Hoppy Boy IPA. Featuring loads of Azacca, Denali, Idaho 7, and Lemondrop hops, this 6.5% IPA is kinda-sorta a hybrid of the classic American and New England IPA styles. All 2 Row malt fermented with a clean yeast leaves the hops to take centre stage, with floral, tropical, and citrus aromatics. Cans are also rolling out to private stores as well as a few NSLC locations. This 25-year old dog *does* still learn new tricks!
Speaking of Brew For Ukraine, in future beer news, Lunn’s Mill has announced that they will be releasing Red Eyes as part of the fundraising collaboration, and are giving you a chance to put your nickel down to secure yours. An American Red Ale, Cascade and Columbus hops impart plenty of great citrus on top of a well-balanced ruby-coloured beer. As part of the fundraising, the Lunn’s Mill release will see all of the profits going to the effort to Ukrainian relief. Fire up those browsers and show your support by pre-ordering your cans at LM’s online shop!
Three’s a charm this week when it comes to Brews for the Ukraine, as another Annapolis Valley Brewery, Sea Level Brewing in Sheffield Mills has also brewed up a Pravda Beer Theatre & Brewery recipe in support. Mriya is Ukrainian for “dream” or “inspiration” and also the name of the Ukrainian-designed and -built heaviest cargo aircraft ever built, the Antonov model An-225 that was destroyed at Antonov Airport in Kyiv in March. We’re not sure if there’s any connection there, but it’s an interesting sidebar if nothing else. Under the auspices of the Brew For Ukraine program, proceeds from sales of Sea Level’s Mriya will go towards humanitarian support during the invasion crisis. Look for a release date towards the end of April/early May. We’ll try to get all the details for you when that happens!
And why not bring together a pair of Dartmouth favourites once again with Burst SnakeBite. North Brewing got beer in Lake City’s cider, or maybe Lake City spilled cider in North Brewing’s beer…. Either way, the resulting blend is a deadly combination! Alloy Champagne IPA (think dry and hoppy) was blended with Exit 6 Blueberry and Dark Currant cider to birth the 6.5% amalgam, available from both spots right now!
Keep your eyes here for CBANS events as they are announced, but in the meantime, we’ve got one featuring an out-of-province brewery those in Halifax probably won’t want to miss…
Eagle eyes have noticed the Instagram stories of both Stillwell HQ and the Freehouse are featuring Town Brewing out of Whitby, Ontario and an (ominous?) date of Saturday, April 2nd. While we don’t think this is a takeover or anything, it sounds like there will be some new-to-the-region beers available at both locations starting tomorrow. Flats of cans and what looks like evidence of a tap-poured are featured in those stories, so if you’re into checking out some beers that you’d otherwise have to travel a ways for, maybe head down to a Stilly location near you tomorrow for some special treats!
More and more spots are increasing their hiring as the weather warms and the public gets thirstier, so let’s see if we can make a match for you today!
We’ve mentioned their upcoming expansion, and now that it is months away, Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing is ready to get the right people in house to help make that happen! They are looking for a second Brewer to join the team to keep their fermenters fed and happily chugging away to keep the good stuff flowing. Drop Jerica, Alan, and Henry a line via email to learn the ins and outs, and get your name at the top of the list if you say we sent ya! (your results may vary)
PEI Brewing Company is hiring for several positions at their home base in Charlottetown, including a Brewer, Packaging Hand, Delivery & Warehouse Assistant, as well as Beer Guide, or Line Cook. All of the details on these positions, and how to apply (as well as a few other openings across the Murphy Group family of companies) are available on their hiring portal.