TrailWay Brewing

All posts tagged TrailWay Brewing

Look at us posting late again. Is it because we were out enjoying all of the lovely beers the region has to offer us? Sadly, no, once again real life intervened. After a lovely week of weather (in Halifax, anyway) looks like we’ll be blessed with yet another rainy spring weekend, as is traditional. So rather than enjoying a cold one or two in the sun while you finish that yard cleanup, maybe you’ll be sipping a couple while you organize your linen closet and wash your walls instead. So it goes. The good news is, there’s plenty of new beers for you to seek out and try this week, so without further ado, let’s tell you about them! Stay tuned to this spot next Friday for some big news from us on the future of the AC Beer Blog.

Big week for Fredericton’s Trailway Brewing, as they release a trio of new beers entering the second half of April. First is the latest in their line of fruit smoothie beers known as The Blend. This week sees The Blend: Mango, Strawberry & Banana hitting the taps and shelves. Each can is absolutely overflowing with more than 200 grams of fruit, pours a thick bright pink colour, and provides all of the vitamins and fibre needed as part of your complete dinner (or breakfast or lunch!). Cans and draught are available at both their homebase and Saint John locations.

Also new on tap and in cans is the bigger sister to the popular Ooz Double IPA… Oozier is the double-dry hopped version, which still clocks in at 8.0% ABV, but has even more hops added after the fact. Look for even more tropical fruit flavors and aromas in the form of mango and peach, coconut and even vanilla! On tap and in cans now. And if you act quickly, you can take advantage of $10 shipping for a 12- or 24-can box, within New Brunswick, as well as Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Ontario. Score! Sorry, The Blend is not shippable due to the fact that it should be kept cold at all times, and neither is the new small batch brew available at the Union House in Saint John, Pilot Project #3, a NEIPA brewed with Cashmere hops. Lucky folks in uptown SJ!

Cornwall, PEI’s Village Green has a pair of new options on draught this week. Released on the weekend was Aussie Haze, a 6.0% Hazy IPA, featuring Australian-grown Ella and Topaz hops (along with a handful or three of Citra). Dank, resinous, and bitter, this IPA has a bit of bite to go with the aromatics and flavour in the glass. And joining it is a return to when things were Fine… This 5.7% Red Ale is a fine alternative to the hoppier side of life, with crystal and chocolate malts reminding us that the grain bill is fiercely important too! On tap, and in cans, so pop out this weekend to get more of the good stuff!

In Tusket Falls, on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, the eponymously named Tusket Falls Brewing is releasing a lager this week. This should not be surprising to anyone who’s been following the brewery as, after hitting the market with a fairly traditional lineup, then expanding their portfolio with a plethora of sours and IPAs (and sour IPAs, natch!), in the last year or so they’ve now doubled down on lager production as well. This latest release is a 4% ABV light German lager, crisp and light, built on a base of crackery Weyerman Pilsner malt and hopped with traditional Tettnanger. Dubbed Industry this one sounds about perfect for your après spring yard cleanup or just a tall cool one after a long work day. Packaged in cans, we reckon you’ll find it both at the home base and at their tap room in Halifax.

Speaking of lagers brewed by South Shore NS breweries starting with the letter ‘t’, up next is a New Zealand Pilsner from Tanner & Co. Brewing in Chester Basin. As is de rigueur for the style, this one comes out with a rich golden color, with a clean malt profile thanks to a grist of local malts, and a hop bill that stresses the wonderful white wine-esque flavors that New Zealand hops are known for. In this case, Motueka and Nelson Sauvin provide notes of lime, gooseberry, and pineapple to balance the malt. Coming in at 5.5% ABV, this one is packaged in cans and is no doubt available both at the brewery and Tanner’s tap room location in Chester proper.

Up in Nyanza, on Cape Breton Island, Big Spruce Brewing is doing that collaboration thing they do so often (and so well), this time pairing up with a pair of local musicians, Rachel Davis and Darren McMullen, to produce Made to be Played, a session IPA. Featuring newfangled experimental hop variety HBC 1019 (the name fairly rolls off the tongue), it boasts light and lively flavors of mango, fuzzy peach, and citrus zest. And at only 4.5% ABV you can safely enjoy a couple while you enjoy some local tunes. Find it in cans direct from the source.

Available new this weekend from Propeller is Prickly Pear Lagered Ale. At 4.8%, the light ale is a perfect blank palette upon which the prickly pear cactus fruit can bring its tart character, fruity ester profile, with a beautiful pink hue. Available on draught at their Prop taps in Dartmouth, Halifax, and Bedford, and in cans there, and soon at the private and government stores too.

Dartmouth’s Burnside Brewing is also releasing a brand new exotic fruit-laden beer this week, in their case melding the musky aromas and sticky sweet tropical notes of pink guava with the stone fruit and citrus tones of New Zealand Wai-iti and Rakau hops for a fruited NEIPA. Athena is hazy and bright, with a firm bitterness of 40 IBU to counter the fruity sweetness and weighs in at a solid 6%. Dosed with pink guava purée for a legitimate blast of fruit, you can certainly expect some tropical punch vibes from this one as you dream of warmer weather. Available now at all Burnside locations, and coming to all the private stores in the HRM in the coming weeks.

Wouldn’t you know it, there’s a third HRM brewery melding fruit and beer this week as Garrison comes at us with Mango Dragonfruit Sour once again. A stalwart summer brew over the last few years, as always it brings real mango and dragonfruit to a sour base built off a grist of Pilsner and wheat malts. At 5% ABV, it’s not going to rock your world with booze, but it might with fruit flavor and a tang. Boasting a rich red-purple color, it’s intended to taste like summer in a can. Look for it in cans at Garrison locations and the private stores in the HRM, and soon at the NSLC, ANBL in New Brunswick and NLLC in Newfoundland as well.

A quick hit from Lone Oak Brewing, who have released Lush West Coast IPA, just in time for 4/20. The first, but probably not the last, of their beers brewed with TERPS, a new strains of yeast from Escarpment Labs, developed to enhance stone fruit and citrus terpenes in the resultant beer. More from Escarpment on the yeast here.

We’re ending the week back on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, where Boxing Rock makes their home. Once fiercely against cans for several reasons, they surprised everyone (or no one) by introducing cans to their portfolio four years ago (coincidentally on April 1st…). Well, they have announced that they are packaging their latest made-for-aging release in the last of the bottles they had remaining in the brewery, so this is your chance to purchase a little bit of history! Clock Work Imperial Stout is big and bold at 10% ABV, featuring rich roast and chocolate notes, and is available in both 355mL and 650mL bottles at both the Shelburne Taproom, as well as their Windsor Street location in Halifax. Keep those eyes peeled for a barrel-aged version to be released at Christmas!

Boxing Rock Shelburne and Halifax also have fresh cans of their Brass Monkey Cold IPA, the winner of their “Legendary Empty Tank” beer competition held in January. This was an “everything but the beer” contest, in that entrants shared their beer recipe, and opined on the beer and its place in the BR line-up, but no actual beers were brewed or tasted. Brad Smith’s winning beer is 6.7% ABV, and can be purchased this weekend!

Happy Thursday y’all! Thursday?? Yup! We figured we’d give ourselves a break from all of the beer writing tonight/tomorrow morning, so that we can enjoy a little break. While many breweries and your favourite taprooms and bars will be closed for Good Friday and/or Easter Sunday, it’s best to check their social media for the details on their opening days/hours if you are in need of an emergency four-pack or respite from the family. Plenty of new releases to tempt you today, so let’s jump right in!

Fredericton’s hop heads Trailway Brewing are back with another play on their flagship Hu Jon Hops, this time catering to those who like it hot… Hu Jon Heat! Keeping the hop schedule of the HJH that is beloved across the region, habanero and mango were added to give a solid infusion of capsaicin, pepper flavour, as well as a fruit sweetness to round out the beer. At 6.6% ABV, we figure this will go well with your asian-inspired dishes as well as on its own. On draught and in cans at Trailway now, with distribution coming soon!

In Halifax, Garrison Brewing is reminding all of us to Hold Fast in these wild and crazy times. This 5.5% pale ale features a straight-ahead malt bill of pale malt augmented by a portion of wheat, and was hopped in the kettle, and again post-fermentation, with Bravo, Chinook, and Lemondrop. Hazy-gold in appearance, you’ll find citrus on both the nose and palate in this medium-bodied and lightly bitter beer. It is available on tap and in cans at both their Seaport and Oxford Taproom locations, with 473ml cans also coming to the NSLC, Bishop’s Cellar, and the other private stores in HRM.

In Edmondston, NB, Microbrasserie Ateepic is celebrating sugar season with a new release this week. Camp Malin is a Maple Scotch Ale, featuring plenty of locally-sourced ingredients. The traditional grain bill was enhanced by some malt that was smoked in-house, and the beer was aged on maple chips charred on their grill. Both maple syrup from Sucrerie du Petit Camp as well as SylvAcer whiskey-infused maple syrup were added to the beer for a one-two punch of the sweet stuff. It is available at their golf course taproom on draught to enjoy onsite and in growlers, with a limited run of cans coming soon as well!

Chester Basin’s Tanner & Co Brewing has a new beer on tap and in cans this weekend, just in time for their Saturday HRM deliveries (hint, hint!). Brux IPA uses a yeast, known as Sacch Troi, that was previously thought to be Brettanomyces, due to its ability to form a pellicle and it’s significant fruity ester production (sorry, our nerd is showing). Kicking up the fruit factor another notch are Mosaic, Motueka, and Chinook. At 6.5%, this is a refreshing and easy-drinking IPA, and alo features locally grown and malted grains!

Despite the release date, we must assure you the following is not a joke!
One keg, one day only: Gahan House Nova Centre Head Brewer Ryan has thrown the Reinheitsgebot rules into the Halifax harbour, and is releasing Hot Dog Lager. Brewed well before any convenience store announced some sparkling water bullshit, this Pale Lager was brewed using hot dog water, and mashed with hot dog buns. Obviously not vegan-friendly, this 5.5% beer will only be on tap Monday, April 1st, and we imagine will go well with a burger or the chorizo penne. Sorry, no cans of this extremely limited brew, but you may be able to convince the staff to fill a growler of this glizzy beer!
Seriously, we promise that was not a joke!

Speaking of Gahan, their Atlantic Home Brew Challenge wrapped up last weekend, with judges from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia having the hard (ya right!) job of picking the best beers submitted in the (BHCP style 11B) Best Bitter and (BJCP Style 30A) Spice, Herb, and Vegetable categories. After the dust settled, Dave Gamble took top spot with his “Bitter Afterthought”, and Greg Rogers won the SHV title with his “Triple Beats”, a Belgian Tripel with Beets. Rogers’ beer was also the overall winner, which means he will be brewing up this beer at the Hub City Gahan location later this year, for a limited release. Congratulations to all of the entrants and winners, and big thanks to Gahan Beer for continuing to hold the competition and inspiring the brewers of tomorrow! More details are available here.

As we enter spring, we are seeing the return of some perennial favourites, including Big Spruce’s Cerberus IPA. Originally crafted as a three-heading conspiracy between NS Organic breweries, this year’s release is all Big Spruce, all the time! As in previous years, however, this is a one-shot deal, so you’ll be best served to grab this 7.5% ode to Galaxy, Mosaic, and Simcoe as soon as possible. Pouring at the brewery and a couple of better beer bars around the HRM today, cans will be coming next weekend to your favourite retailers.

Arcade Brewing in Burnside has been brewing up a storm recently, and have just introduced cans to their lineup. While enjoying a hand pulled pint of their real ale at their 80 Thornhill Drive location is always great, especially enjoyed while banging the flippers in their pinball room, you can now take cans of their Arcade Ale (4.1% British-style Pub Ale) and Peculier Ale (5.2% North Yorkshire-style Dark Ale) home to drink later.

Finishing off today is a heads up that Bishop’s Cellar has a quartet of new beers from Caledon, Ontario’s, Sonnen Hill. With generations of brewing experience, they take things slow and steady. On Bishop’s shelves tomorrow are the Heart Lake Pils, Frank Lager Franconian Lager, and two spontaneously-fermented offerings: No Worry and Riesling Beer.

What will we talk about to open up this post? The weather, of course! Spring has sprung and with beer events around the corner and new beer releases continuing, we are all here for local craft beer to spring eternal. Join us on a journey as we welcome the season of renewal with a pint in hand (while watching some March Madness basketball too). Honestly the NCAA Women’s Tournament may be better than the Men’s this year!). But not all news is good news, so let’s get into it.

After finishing last week’s post with sad news, we unfortunately need to start this week’s in the same way. This week Brightwood Brewery announced that they will be closing the doors of their taproom on Sunday, March 31st. This isn’t necessarily the end of the business, as they are committing to an attempt at restructuring, but it does mean that possibly your last chance for a pint at their well-loved spot on Portland Street in downtown Dartmouth is just over a week away. As has been the case with other closures, retail sales have been down over the winter; in Brightwood’s case, they also faced forced price increases at the NSLC and the loss of two of their three listings there. Between inflation, the recent influx of ready-to-drink products, and a general trend away from alcohol consumption, small producers have the deck stacked against them these days. While galaxy-brained folks are quick to shout, “It’s just proof that we had way too many breweries, it wasn’t sustainable!” we beg to differ. The state of Maine (amongst others) has a much higher breweries per capita than any province in Canada let alone Atlantic Canada. But breweries there have more options for retail channels (although we’re sure folks still complain a little about their distro system). They don’t have to deal with the same kind of constant regulation, especially as pertains to pricing. Given the state of the post-COVID economy, everyone knew it was probably somewhat inevitable that there would be a contraction of brewery numbers in our region. But the way it’s been shaping up over the past little while, we’ve got worries that the craft breweries that are going to survive are the big ones that can withstand losses for a longer period. The smaller, more hyperlocal ones, the ones that have built vibrant tap rooms and vital communities, are the ones that are most at risk. No offense to those brands that have built themselves as (or built themselves up into) going concerns, with lots of NSLC/ANBL/NLC/PEIBC listings and maybe even out-of-province sales, but it’s the neighbourhood breweries we think folks will miss the most. So we say again, as we have said before, and yes, with full understanding of the economic climate we say it in, support your local brewery if you can, folks, they’re probably riding a knife edge right now. We also say best of luck to Brightwood: they had a great story of going from basement/garage to downtown taproom; we hope to hear of their resurgence in the not-too-distant future.

Pals from way back, the owners and brewers of Moncton’s Happy Brewing and Fredericton’s Half Cut recently got together in the Hub City to brew up a beer appropriate for this time of year… a Cold IPA! Space Case started with a base of Pilsner malt, with the addition of toasted flaked rice to help it ferment dry and keep the body light (and true to the Cold IPA style). Lager yeast kept just a touch warmer than usual means the bugs fermenting the beer keep their aromatics in check while chomping away, allowing the bitterness and big flavour from NZ-grown Nectaron to shine through in the form of pineapple and lychee. This 6.3% beer is on tap at both of the Main Street Fredericton and Main Street Moncton locations today, and will be in cans in early April in both cities (and perhaps better can shops across the province too!).

Up in Newfoundland, Dildo Brewing has brewed a special brew to celebrate a special crew. The Newfoundland Highlanders Pipe Band is celebrating 50 years of piping tradition and Dildo has produced a traditional Scottish Wee Heavy Ale to mark the occasion. Featuring a classic mahogany color and a creamy tan head, you’ll find toffee and caramel aromas leading to flavors of dark fruit and some earthy bitterness. Sip carefully, though, the “heavy” part of the name is no joke, with the beer coming in at 8.6% ABV. If you’re in Newfoundland, at least the St. John’s area, you can experience the Newfoundland Highlanders this Saturday at 7:30pm playing alongside the Royal Newfoundland Regimental Band at the Salvation Army Temple. Admission is free, but they ask that you bring a donation for local food banks. As for the beer, it’s been canned, so no doubt you can find it at the brewery and their St. John’s Water Street Bottle Shop, but also likely through retail channels in the coming days.

Speaking of big ol’ beers, we turn back to New Brunswick, where Trailway has a monster of their own that’s been some time in the making. Smoke & Mirrors is both a local and international brew, featuring malt from Distillerie Fils du Roy Malthouse along with Scottish peated barley. This 11.1% imperial smoked stout was aged for twelve weeks in whisky casks from Distillerie Fils du Roy, it picked up additional layers of flavor including more smoke and malt character as well as some oak notes. With a soft carbonation, this thick beer boasts warming alcohol that complements the smoky profile and finishes with subtle vanilla and oak. Find it in at the Trailway taprooms in Fredericton and Saint John, and cans will also see distro to ANBL locations in the coming weeks.

Monctonites! Get ready to reunite with a returning variant from Tide & Boar Brewing. Their Sour Otis series of sour ales features different fruit additions and flavours, and this week Sour Otis: Watermelon Dole Whip is back in cans. If you’re unfamiliar with Dole Whip, it’s a Disney theme park staple that featured pineapple juice and chunks, that is dairy free and and like soft serve ice cream. Available in a few flavours now, folks make this at home and the watermelon version from T&B brings a great blend of acid and sweetness, like a slightly sour watermelon candy. This is canned, 6.0% ABV, and available now from the brewpub!

There’s one other one from T&B to tell you about and this one will tickle your tastebuds in a different way. Melting Mountains is a new Triple IPA that is big and hazy. Featuring the hop trio of Citra, Mosaic, and Idaho 7 it is big on citrus and drinkability in a 10% body. Check this one from the taproom!

TataHeads (or fans of Tatamagouche Brewing, which is everyone) have a full year of enjoyment ahead of them as the brewery slow rolls their 10th anniversary celebrations over the year. On social media they’re going to be running polls for the next week in their own March Madness style showdown. They’ll be posting 16 beers from the Tata Brew Archives and followers will have a chance to vote on what beer makes a triumphant return. Check their Instagram stories and post for a little trip down memory lane. We certainly have our favourites, so go check out the contest and vote with your heart!