TrailWay Brewing

All posts tagged TrailWay Brewing

The great news keeps rolling out in our region, with New Brunswick entering Phase 1, and almost immediately Phase 2, of their Path to Green, with Nova Scotia allowing in-person dining and drinking Wednesday, allowing many of our favourite watering holes to re-open. And the re-imagined Atlantic (and Maine?) Bubble looks to become a reality next week as vaccine uptake and recoveries trend up, and case numbers trend down. We’re doing it folks, it’s happening! Let’s celebrate with more than a dozen new beer, plenty of events, and new openings to tell you about this week!

One of the spots that has been able to open this week is a brand new Nova Scotia-only beer bar in Lower Sackville, years in development and months in the construction. Tapestry Beer Bar is located at 833 Sackville Drive, just up from the Beaverbank Connector Road at Exit 2 of the 101. Concentrating on “the smaller breweries around the Province that don’t have a footprint in the HRM”, Tapestry owner Ian Smith is a long-time beer fan, and has driven across the province seeking out breweries that may not otherwise be pouring in the area. The 20-tap draught system features beer and cider from Yarmouth to Sydney, with Heritage Brewing, Hell Bay, Horton Ridge, Tanner & Co, Smokehouse Nano, Hilltop Hops, Harbour, and Big Spruce showcasing the best from away on their initial tap list, as well as locals such as Off Track, Lake City, Unfiltered, and fellow Sackville establishment Ol’ Biddy’s. Even with COVID restrictions, there is plenty of room for those looking to pop in for a pint, with seating for 50 in 10 bubbles in booths, lounging spaces, and stools at the bar. Beer and cider is the focus at Tapestry, with visitors allowed to bring their own food if they’d like, taking advantage of their great location, with Pizzadelic and Apt 3 Coffee in the same building, and Mary Brown’s and Kaiser’s Subs just a quick walk away. Open Tuesday to Friday 2 – 11 PM, and Saturday and Sunday 12 – 11 PM, be sure to pop by and support the Tapestry crew in their quest to bring more great beer to Lower Sackville!

If you’ve been paying attention to your beery social media this week, you may have noticed that TrailWay has been hyping a collaboration with an Ontario brewery that they recently did (virtually, of course) and would be releasing this week. That beer – and the info to go with it! – has finally dropped as of yesterday, so here’s the scoop to get you fired up on your way over to TW’s taproom in Fredericton to grab some cans. The beer, The Big Dance, was brewed with Town Brewery from Whitby, ON. Like TrailWay, Town has a majority of their beers in the “hazy and hoppy” category, and is definitely well-regarded in that particular area (at least). The two breweries discovered that they have more in common than just their tastes – a staff member at Town has a parent who went to prom with a parent of one of the TW co-owners, hence the name of the beer! The beer itself is an APA that was hopped with no-doubt large amounts of Amarillo, Strata, and Eclipse, with hibiscus flowers and passion fruit also added during the brewing process. The beer is looking hazy and pink, giving off “notes of passion fruit, freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice, red beers, and tropical fruit, with some floral and herbal character”, all thanks to the hibiscus, fruit and hop additions. You can find it on tap and in cans at the brewery, but don’t wait to pick some up, as it likely won’t be around too long.

Time flies at Upstreet Brewing, where they’re releasing the 6th version of their annual De Novo series. De Novo VI – Dry Hopped Pineapple Tangerine Saison will be available next week, and for the first time, is being packaged in cans. This one starts with pilsner malt and wheat from Island Malt House, plus an addition of Simpsons Golden Naked Oats.  It was then dry-hopped with Bru-1 and Mandarina Bavaria before additions of pineapple and tangerine concentrates. De Novo VI pours a light orange color with notes of banana, stone fruit, tropical fruit and bubblegum. Some slightly spicy yeast notes round out the 5% ABV Saison. Although De Novo is being released next week, Upstreet’s sixth anniversary is not until June 26. Check this space next week for more details on their planned celebration. 

We mentioned last week that Tatamagouche Brewing is celebrating their 7th anniversary this week and that they’d be releasing some new beers to celebrate, and sure enough, they’ve delivered! Four brand new beers hit the taps and retail this week, two smaller and lighter, and two of the bigger and more complex variety. Starting with the summer refresher side of the spectrum, we have Ketch, a classic Berliner Weiße coming in at 3.1% ABV. 355 mL can- and keg-conditioned, it was fermented with a combination of lactobacillus and a traditional German Kölsch yeast in the primary before a secondary fermentation spell with the Berliner brettanomyces strain from Escarpment Labs. Bright and acidic, but also featuring some funk, this could very well be one of the rare small beers that benefits from some time in the cellar. That said, we’re pretty confident that it’ll be pretty dang tasty right away, on it’s own or with traditional woodruff or other fruit syrups!

The other “light and lively” beer this week is Wherry, a 3.8% grisette. Fermented with Escarpment Labs’ New World Saison yeast blend, which contains both saccharomyces and brettanomyces strains for a rustic charm, the beer itself is also a blend of barrel-aged and stainless steel conditioned versions of the same base beer, with the neutral oak of the barrel side really popping in the finished beer. Continuing with the trend of packaging smaller beers in smaller formats, this one is also in 355 mL cans.

On to the bigger, bolder beers, the first new offering is actually a variation on one of the brewery’s longest-running beers, an award-winning IPA that’s been going strong since September of 2015: Deception Bay. Still very much in the West Coast style for IPA, featuring Huell Melon, Mandarina Bavaria, and Citra hops, it provided a suitably hoppy base for Resurgence a new barrel-aged Brett IPA. Basically DB packed into a barrel with some brettanomyces for a while, before a quick and modest dry hop of Huell Melon, this 6.8% beer was then can- and keg-conditioned to produce a drier, funkier, and somewhat fruitier version of the original. Contributing to the character as well were the previous two hoppy residents of the barrel (and there’s another one in there now, so stay tuned!). Look for this one in 473 mL cans.

And the last of the four new releases this week is Vintage Lane, a barrel-aged saison that was aged on Muscat grape skins and in barrels both from Jost Vineyards. A blend of two saisons, one of which is essentially the Edel from a few years ago, this beer celebrates the brewery’s connection with “the vineyard down the road.” Coming in at 6.6% ABV, it was (500 mL) bottle- and keg-conditioned, with the bottle artwork echoing that connection. Look for all of these beers to be available in packaged format direct from the brewery in the coming days, at various Tata tap accounts throughout the province, and potentially at some of the private stores. We’ve been advised that Stillwell HQ should have all four of these on tap at some point, The Freehouse Ketch and Wherry, and on the packaged side, Bishop’s Cellar is expected to have the Ketch. If you wish to go direct, you can grab pints at the taproom or get free shipping all weekend long by using the promo code 7YEARS at checkout at the Tata Online Store. And a very happy Anniversary from all of us here to Matt and Christiane and the rest of the gang!!

North Brewing has teamed up with a trio of local partners for their newest release, Twice the Wild, a barrel aged Belgian Dubbel. The beer was brewed in September 2020 with help from the guys at A for Adventure, using base malts sourced from PEI’s Shoreline Malting. The brew day also saw the addition of Lucie Kuhlmann grapes from the 2nd partner in the collaboration, Benjamin Bridge. The beer was then fermented with Sacch. Trois and barrel aged for six months in neutral wine barrels, before refermentation in stainless tanks using local honey from Casman & Widden. The result is a bottle conditioned, 8.0% Dubbel that also offers great cellaring potential. Which brings us to the final partner in the collab, the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. NSNT is currently in the midst of its Twice the Wild campaign, where a group of funders have agreed to match donations at four times their value! $5 from every bottle of Twice the Wild will go to the campaign, which means every bottle you buy leads to $25 that will be used to protect and conserve lands in Nova Scotia. Grab it today at North’s two retail locations in Dartmouth or for delivery via their online store. And if you’re there in-person, why not stay for a smashie from their taproom restaurant, Side Hustle, which is now open for indoor and patio dining.

With a big weekend of returning to in-person indoor service in Nova Scotia, you had to expect 2 Crows would decide to gift everyone* with a couple of exciting new releases that are the result of an exciting new collaboration between 2C and Lightfoot & Wolfville vineyard. First up is Vitis, a lager beer that was brewed with Riesling piquette. In the grand tradition of 2C making some of the most ambitious (read: complicated) beers in the region, this one takes a little explaining. It all started with a Pilsner that was brewed with a little bit of wheat, hopped in the kettle with Hallertau Blanc and fermented cool with Mexican Lager yeast. Towards the end of fermentation a small amount of that beer was used to make a piquette along with water and a “whole lot” of fresh Riesling pomace from L&W. The piquette was allowed to pass peak sugar content, but not to fully ferment out by the natural yeasts present on the grape skins, before being transferred to tank with the remainder of the lager, where the whole shebang was capped and, essentially, krausened with the remaining grape sugars instead of wort. Once target gravity was reached, the temperature was dropped and the beer was lagered for eight weeks. The result is a “crisp and lively” light lager that also features Riesling character in the form of pear, melon, and honeyed citrus. Complex, yes, nuanced, sure! but crushable too at 4.6% ABV and 11 IBU! Look for it on tap and in 355 mL cans at the brewery right away, and likely some other places as time goes on.

Part two of this collaboration is a true Piquette, one that doesn’t contain any beer, but definitely has a brewer’s touch to it. This one started with Scheurebe grapes, a lesser-known variety grown largely in Germany and Austria that’s known for being highly aromatic and being used to produce sweeter wines. For this piquette, L&W picked and crushed the grapes, then 2 Crows grabbed the resulting pomace and trucked it back to the brewery where it was macerated in water for several weeks. From there, the water chemistry was adjusted and the natural yeasts present on the skins were allowed to ferment it out before a light dry hop of Saphir and Mandarina Bavaria provided the finishing aromatic touches. Conditioned with local honey, the result is Scheurebe Piquette, a 4.3% ABV refreshing  beverage with notes of grapefruit and a bit of ginger on top of a soft minerality. You can find it for in-person enjoyment at release parties this afternoon at Lightfoot & Wolfville and tomorrow at 2 Crows. You’ll be able to purchase 355 mL cans to go on-site at L&W this weekend or next week at Bishop’s Cellar. Unfortunately, due to NSLC regulations†, 2 Crows can’t actually sell this one to go in packaged form.

* Ed.: except maybe those of us who have to write it all up

† Ed.: Fucking SERIOUSLY?!

After major renovations, a few can-sales-only weekends, and a pause to right themselves, Tidehouse Brewing’s Slightly-Less-Tiny-Tasting-Taproom is open once again. Open Wednesday through Saturday, 4 – 11 PM, owner/brewer Shean Higgins is concentrating efforts on getting the good stuff in your glass at their spot at 5187 Salter Street, with less of a focus on packaging for the time being. Growlers are on pause, with can sales winding down, so that the offerings from their small brewhouse keep the taps stocked. Those taps are full right now, with 6 beers flowing, including Chrysalis Cream Ale (5.5%), Hibiscus City Sour w/ lime and hibiscus (4.5%), Saddle Up IPA w/ Enigma, Eclipse, and Citra (7.0%), Peachy Fuzzies Sour w/ Peach Rooibos Tea from World Tea House (4.5%), Mars Imperial Stout w/ blackberries & Mars bars (11.0%), and Goth Stout American Stout (5.0%). Learn more about the renovations, beers, and everything else in the latest 902 BrewCast which dropped on #902Tuesday.

Remember when 902 BrewCast used to interview brewers and other beer industry professionals?! We promise, that was a thing. Well, they are back in business this week with a 2+ hour interview with Tidehouse’s Shean Higgins and Sprindrift’s Jeff Green. Updates from both breweries, changes at CBANS, and what they’re looking forward to drinking this summer. Check out the episode here, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Speaking of Spindrift Brewing, let’s get you up to date with all of the news coming out of Burnside… Firstly, as mentioned in the 902BC, they’ve just completed an expansion/beautifying of their outdoor seating area, The Spinyard, where folks can lap up the sun while enjoying samples and pints from the brewery at 21 Frazee Avenue, open Tuesday – Friday 11 – 5:30 and Saturday 11 – 4:30. One of the new offerings you can find on tap is a new addition to their core offerings, Sea Glass IPA, a NEIPA weighing in at 7.0% ABV, featuring a light and pale malt bill, with plenty of late- and dry-hopping of Amarillo, Azacca, and Vic Secret, resulting in a soft mouthfeel and blast of pineapple, mango, and lemon. Joining the core lineup is SunDaze, a 4.8% ABV Pale Ale, featuring the lovely Galaxy and Centennial hops, giving great notes of pine, grapefruit, and passion fruit. Both are on tap now for growler fills and pints, and cans to go (SunDaze is coming reeeeeal soon to cans), and hitting the NSLC in the coming weeks.

Spindrift also has a new seasonal on tap, Strawberry Run, a 5.0% ABV Ale, lightly- hopped with Comet, before undergoing a secondary fermentation on Strawberry puree, with Key Lime juice which delivers plenty of acidity to keep it refreshing. Pints and growlers now, cans coming soon to Burnside and NSLC locations. And they have let us know that their Spindrift Oak Manor location in downtown Antigonish will be opening soon, almost certainly (probably maybe) before the end of June! Pair that with the massive expansion at their Burnside location, and a brand refresh, there’s plenty of new excitement from the crew.

Cornwall’s Village Green is back at it with two new releases. First up is Milk Stout, which starts with a mix of English malts and includes the addition of lactose, per the style. Milk Stout comes in at a sessionable 4.2% ABV and with just enough bitterness at 20 IBUs. Check it out today on tap in Cornwall, where it is also available to-go in cans. Next up is A Lager Bier, Village Green’s first foray into the world of bottom-fermenting. This one uses Vienna malt, which gives a nice bready note, and is hopped with German Tettnanger. A Lager Bier is on tap now at the brewery.

Antigonish’s Candid Brewing continues its run of new Friday releases with a pair of entries to their core lineup. First announced is Lagerish, a 4.8% Kolsch-style lagered ale, brewed to be bright, crisp, clean, and refreshing. Joining it is Town Crier, named in celebration of the former newspaper and publisher tenant of their 88 College Street location. A 5.0% Altbier-style bier, this clear copper beer is brewed to let the malt shine through, without hops taking centre stage. Six different beers are available to go today 1 – 6 PM and again tomorrow from 1 – 4 PM. And those in HRM will soon be able to enjoy Candid in their mugs, as kegs are being sent to Dartmouth’s Battery Park in the coming weeks.

Hey hey, check it out! Events can kinda be a thing again!!

The Saint John area is celebrating Craft Beverage Week, with a full load of events wrapping up tomorrow. But before they do, you still have time to:

Get on out and support those producers in the region!

Also on the go today in New Brunswick is the launch of CAVOK Brewing’s new satellite taproom and retail spot in Cap-Pelé. Located at 150 Allée du Parc, it’s just steps from Aboiteau Beach, and shares the building with Restaurant à la Dune. While their neighbours handle your food needs, CAVOK’s 12 taps and retail fridge can handle everything else! Their location features a large deck overlooking the beach and water with seating for more than 50 people, and if the weather isn’t lovely, there’s room for the same inside. They even fill growlers, but if you’re headed to the beach, no glass, eh! The beach location is open from noon until late every day this summer, and pouring favourites and new arrivals like the Red Knight Hibiscus IPA and Echo Saison, light and refreshing and with a robust amount of hops. More good beer in more places, we can dig that!

Coming to your screens this week is the latest project from the duo behind the very successful Beerocracy New Brunswick beer movie released a few years ago. Shauna and Alex hit the road across the Maritimes again last year, producing Maritime Spirits, profiling craft alcohol producers across the region. The first Season is now available on Bell TV1 (either through your TV or online portal), and features visits to Moonshine Creek Distillery, Upstreet Craft Brewing, Red Rover Craft Cider, New Scotland Brewing., Deep Roots Distillery, Tire Shack Brewery, Dunhams Run Estate Winery, Trailway Brewing, Jost Vineyards, and Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault. You can check out the trailer here, and see plenty of behind-the-scenes fun on their Facebook page.

And a last few quick hits on our way out the door for a lunchtime beer:

Corner Brook’s Boomstick Brewing has a pair of new beer out this week, the first is the latest in their Drawing Board Series, debuting in a 4-can Boombox mixer pack that is available across the province now. Rosemary Hibiscus Gose pretty much describes itself, with the 4.5% lightly tart sour ale featuring a touch of salinity, and using rosemary as a complement to the coriander the traditional German recipe employs. And drawing inspiration from their own Hew and Draw hotel at 55 West Street, Hewers Light Lager is a 3.9% American Light Lager, light bodied, crisp, and refreshing. Available on-site as well as in NLC, Maries Mini Mart, and Orange Stores across the province (on its own and in the aforementioned Boombox Mixer packs).

Garrison Brewing has brought back the first winner of their Home Brew-Off competition,Nit Wit Belgian Style Wheat beer. Brewed in the Witbier style, this O.G. hazy beer style features orange peel and coriander to lend some citrus and spice to the character the yeast has already imparted. Cans are available now at both their Seaport and Oxford locations, and can be enjoyed on tap there as well.

Hopheads in Conception Bay Stout can treat themselves to the newest release from Ninepenny Brewing, The Devil’s Jackstone. This 8.9% DIPA is now available in the taproom and on select taps around St. John’s. Look for it to make its way into cans next week.

Rounding off the news this week is the Return of the Mack, DOA (aka Double Orange Ale), from Unfiltered Brewing. Single-hopped with boatloads of Citra, the blast of citrus entering every one of your orifices is enough to power up your weekend. Grab it in cans to go, or even better, their new corral on North Street, allowing them to serve pints onsite at Charm School for the first time in way too long.

It’s the last Friday in May in Atlantic Canada and after a short week thanks to Victoria Day, it’s time to start thinking about the weekend. Somewhat sadly, with the pandemic still upon us, that’s not going to include much in the way of in-person socializing or even, for many, trips to the cabin or cottage or camp or whatever you call it. But there have certainly been some rays of hope this week, with Nova Scotia’s case numbers continuing to drop, recoveries increasing, and vaccinations now open to everyone 12 years of age and older throughout the entire region. And our breweries definitely seem to be getting into a more summery mood as they hope for easing of intra- and inter-province restrictions in time to be slinging suds in person and on premise before our all-too-short warm season is over. Read below for all the news we could find and type up about this week’s releases. We also encourage our Nova Scotia readers in particular to check out the information that’s come out this week regarding the Auditor General’s report on the operations of the NSLC. If you’re a fan of the smaller independent breweries in NS, consider lending your voice to the crowd that’s calling for action by the Provincial Government. We already knew that these folks have been facing an uphill battle with largely antiquated liquor laws and COVID restrictions destroying many business models, but the AG’s report seems to suggest that the operating model of the NSLC does almost nothing to help our region’s local producers, folks who have been entrepreneurial in their communities, generating employment opportunities and keeping cash local. We’d love to see more folks out there amplifying their voices as they lobby the NS Government for change to support our community breweries before we start seeing them have to close up shop.

After contract brewing for the past couple of years, Hampton Brewing Company now has a place to call their own. Located at 64 Robertson Road just outside of town, HBC has set up at Fire Fly Forest Recreation. The taproom and patio are open seven days a week, Mon – Wed 4 – 8 PM, Thurs 4 – 10 PM, today and Sat 12 PM – 12 AM, and Sun 12 – 8 PM. Brewing on a 500 litre (4 BBL) Blichmann Hybrid system, they are currently pouring 5 beers for onsite enjoyment (or to take away), Crush Session IPA, Big Shoes American Pale Ale, Black Door Porter, Chameleon Blackberry Lime Sour, and just tapped for the weekend, Misty Mountain Hops NEIPA. Make the trip out, maybe even stay the night, and support the newest brewery in our region! Congratulations Hampton Brewing Crew!

Our friends at Landwash Brewery have handed over control of their brewhouse – temporarily – to their Packaging Manager, Nardia, to create a one-off beer of her very own. After no doubt hours of deliberation, she desired to brew something inspired by her home country of Australia. April 25th was the annual Anzac Day, a national day of remembrance originally designed to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp. This reminded Nardia of the biscuits that have been produced by ANZAC, which are made with coconut, rolled oats, and golden syrup. So… where were we going with this? Oh right, so the beer, Caribou Hill, was brewed to represent these biscuits! Named after the battle of Caribou Hill in World War I, where ANZAC and Newfoundland troops fought alongside each other, the beer is a 5% “Coconut Biscuit Brown Ale”. We’re betting you can already taste it in your minds (is that a thing?), but rest assured it’s a dark brown brew with notes of coconut, and plenty of biscuity malt character throughout. Cans are available now at the brewery, and if you get there REALLY fast, you may be lucky enough to purchase some of the cookies that inspired the beer! All money raised from cookie sales will be donated to the Canadian Mental Health Association – Newfoundland.

Candid Brewing in Antigonish opened their doors last week for the first of their “retail pop-ups”, and are back at it again this weekend for even more of the same. Joining their Humdinger West Coast IPA are two more of their core beers, namely the No Brainer and Party Line. No Brainer is a 5.2% ABV Pale Ale, with blood orange juice added for an extra citrus blast on the palate. Party Line is a 6.2% ABV Northeast IPA, featuring plenty of tropical and bright citrus character from loads of hops added late in the process, for a smooth and low bitterness beer. All three beers are available at their pop-up shop at 88 College Street today 3 – 6 PM, and again tomorrow 1 – 4 PM. And keep an eye on their and neighbour The Townhouse’s Social Media (IG) for the details on a food and beer pairing take-away bundle available tomorrow and Sunday.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been bringing you news about more and more breweries embracing lower ABV styles in smaller packages, mainly 355ml cans. Trailway is the latest to embrace this trend with the release of Fetch Pale Ale. Let’s start with the packaging. For the first time, Trailway will be offering 12 packs of 355 ml cans. Starting off, you can find them at the brewery, but in a few weeks it will see province-wide distribution through ANBL. Now, onto the beer. Fetch is made using Canadian pilsner malt and hops sourced exclusively from New Brunswick producers. In another first, Trailway is saying goodbye to its trademark haze, and filtering the beer to a high degree of clarity. Expect notes of honey from the malt with floral hope notes and a mild bitterness.

Rough Waters Brewing, up in Deer Lake, NL, has released a new beer in their Neighbeerly series of beers that each support a local charity. This time, they’re benefiting the Islaview Foundation, with $1 from each bottle sold going to that organization. You’ll also find it for sale at Marie’s Mini Mart locations on the East Coast, Ultramar Corner Stores in Deer Lake and on West Street in Corner Brook, and Rudy’s Pub & Grub in Gros Morne. The swank new beer bar in St. John’s, Brewdock, also has it on tap and will also be donating proceeds. So what is the beer, you ask? It’s a fairly self-describing Strawberry Mango Milkshake India Session Ale, of course! At only 4% ABV you should be able to go through a couple of them as you decide whether it’s the Strawberry, Mango, or hops that you like the best.

Continuing to fly under the radar (at least, in our opinion) Nova Scotia bright spot and future destination once things open back up, Lunn’s Mill has a new release this week. Sour Batch Kveiks is a Sour IPA clocking in at 7% on the ABV scale and this style is always a fun one to try. Citrus and stone fruit complement a ripe orange with lime sour taste, reminiscent of Sour Patch Kids. Bringing some bitterness to the finish, this uses El Dorado for the hops and a Kveik yeast from Escarpment Labs. Available now for growler fills and pints at the brewery, cans will be available in the coming weeks at the private stores around HRM. 

Cornwall’s Village Green continues to churn out interesting styles, with two new releases over the last two weeks. First up is Centennial Black Ale. This 7.5% ale features bready notes, chocolate and orange flavours, with enough bitterness from Centennial to keep things balanced. Find this one on tap or for fills at the brewery, as well as cans to go. And brand new this week is West Coast IPA. Coming it at 7.9%, expect more malt character and bitterness than Village Green’s previous IPAs that leaned more into tropical hop notes, thanks to Columbus, Cascade, Amarillo, and Mosaic in the boil, and then a double dry-hopping from a combo of Motueka, Amarillo, and Citra, and later Idaho 7. Hops lovers will want to get out to Cornwall this weekend to snag this before it’s gone!

Chester’s Tanner & Co continues to dip their toes in the mead pool, offering more choices for fans of fermented beverages, especially those seeking a gluten-free option. Their newest release is Oak Aged Raspberry Mead. This one starts with local honey from Cosman & Whidden. Towards the end of fermentation, it was transferred to an oak barrel from Ironworks Distillery, where it finished fermentation with some raspberry purée. This 8% ABV mead has made its way into bottles that are available now at the Duke. St taproom and through Tanner’s online store. 

Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing has a stated goal of focusing on Belgian-inspired beers, and Saison certainly qualifies. Originally brewed on the farms of Wallonia in the winter months with leftover ingredients, and then conditioned for summer consumption, there has always been a wide range of characteristics to what we know as Saison. Of late, and certainly in our region, when most people think of the style they think of a fairly light-bodied spritzy beer with plenty of yeast character, including pepperiness and even some tartness. Those who experienced Serpent’s first iteration of Sprytown Saison back in March know that it was more on another part of the spectrum, with rustic malt character and some deep caramel undertones. Why are we telling you all this? Because there’s a new version available, their Summer Edition, and it’s not so much like the first one. Drier, lighter, and with some definite tart and fruit character, this new 5.5% ABV edition should be an excellent refresher on hot summer days. You can find both versions, Spring and Summer, available from the brewery, just make sure you ask for the one you want. Grabbing one of each would be an excellent way to introduce yourself to the breadth of the Saison style, while giving you something to look forward to, as they plan to brew a different version of this beer for each of the seasons of the year. Pop out to their spot behind Canadian Tire on Dentith this weekend to pick some up, and complete your visit by grabbing something from Jamdouns Food Truck, specializing in Jamaican cuisine, who are onsite 2 – 8 PM Saturday and 2 – 6 PM Sunday.

Want more tiny beers in tiny cans? Check out Tatamagouche Brewing’s newest taste of summer, Dekorum Lime. Tata has added organic lime to its 2.9% light lager for a super sessionable sipper, available in 355 ml cans. If you’re not feeling the lime, check out Arvo, their 4.6% Helles Lager, also back in stock this week. In other Tata news, the brewery’s retail store has reopened for in-person takeaway, with capacity limits in place. Pair that with a 15% discount of Tata clothing (in person and online), and your weekend is set!

Although not specifically mentioned in government reopening plans, the gradual return to normal times means that we’ll surely be seeing more beer events across the Atlantic region. Craft breweries on PEI are kicking off the summer season with PEI Craft Beer week. Running from June 5-12, the celebration of local beer features daily events that include tastings, musical entertainment and food pairings. Check out https://www.peicraftbeerweek.com/ for all of the details, and if you’re on FB, their Events pages. And while you wait for the weekend’s festivities to begin, check out Beer Trivia with the PEI Beer Guy at the Upstreet taproom on Thursday night. Trivia runs from 7-9 PM and you can call the taproom to book your team of 4-6 people.

A couple of brewery job listings for you to peruse before signing off this week.

If you’re looking for an industry job in the Moncton/Dieppe area, check out the jobs page for Flying Boats Brewing. They are currently looking for a Sales Representative to join their team.  The ideal candidate will have an outgoing attitude and a passion for craft beer. Applications for the position close on June 6.

Landwash Brewery in Mount Pearl is hiring a cellarperson to join their team. Mostly working on the “cold side” of the brewhouse, that is, everything after the brewing, tasks include cleaning, transferring, cleaning, packaging (kegs and cans), cleaning, and more cleaning. 😉 But in all seriousness, the position is open to anyone enthusiastic to get into the beer world, but does not require brewing experience, so this could be just the perfect way in for you! Check the job posting on Indeed, and give them a shout before June 1.

 

Happy May Long Weekend, beer pals! While not every brewery can be open and welcoming folks in their taprooms and patios, we do hope you’re able to support them with curbside and delivery purchases. In Nova Scotia, many restaurants and bars are struggling due to being quick to follow government regulations and closing in-person service for everyone’s safety, but inaction and lack of support from the Province could see them suffering permanent losses. Be sure to check in to see if your favorite spot is offering ordering and delivery or curbside pickup and try to support them however you can; it could make the difference between them reopening when this mess is all over and, well, not.

And more universally, there has been a reckoning of late, bringing to the forefront shocking events of harassment and assault directed toward women, non-binary folks, people of colour, and others under-represented in the beer business. Those in positions of power, whether they be brewery owners or management, festival organizers, or patrons in bars, breweries, or at festivals, have been the beneficiaries of a “code of silence,” but we say with some hope that it appears that silence is starting to break thanks to a myriad of people stepping forward to report, support, and amplify. We believe when people tell us what they have experienced, and we support them. We believe that all businesses and organizations in this industry should have guidelines on conduct and safety posted in their establishment and online, so that all can feel safe and free from reprisal in reporting any of these acts. And now is the time for those in the beer (and wider) world to speak out about this topic and take action if witnessing any harassment. We believe that these actions will improve Beer for everyone, allowing more to feel welcome and bring their passion to the industry.

Let’s start the news with a one-two punch of new and returning breweries in the Antigonish area. After closing in early 2020 to complete major renovations in their brewery and taproom, Half Cocked Brewing in North Grant has opened their doors once again. Located 7 minutes north of downtown, Half Cocked is located in a former chicken farm building on Highway 245. Expanding their brewing capacity from 50 litres to 1200, they have fully stocked their fridge, ready for their thirsty fans. They have eight beers currently available for draught sales via growler purchase (either bring your own clean glassware, or you can purchase one of theirs): returning favourites are Pete’s Sake Blonde (4.7%), Darkest One American Stout (6.0%), XPA American Pale Ale (6.0%), and Cock of the Walk Black IPA (6.5%). And debuting this week are Sunrise Session Ale, a 4.4% crushable lawn mower beer; White Whale Pale Ale, at 6.6%, floral, punchy, and dry; Haze Fatigue IPA, a 7.7% bitter and brite IPA with a citrus finish; Wait For It Double IPA, 8.3% well worth the wait! Half Cocked’s retail spot is open 4 – 7 PM from Wednesday – Friday and 12 – 7 PM Saturday and Sunday. When restrictions are lifted, you’ll be able to sit inside or out on their massively expanded taproom and patio, with some special pop-ups and events planned, as well as enjoy pints at the local beer hotspots, including the Townhouse, so keep your eyes peeled here and on their Social Media (Fb/Ig/Tw)! Congratulations to Greg, Matt, and the whole Half Cocked Crew!

Back in the heart of town, Candid Brewing is not quite ready to open their retail location, but they *are* ready to get some beer in your hands! Located at 88 College Street in downtown Antigonish, they are doing a Pop Up today 3 – 6 PM, and again tomorrow 1 – 4 PM, slinging two canned beers curbside. First up is Humdinger a 6.7% West Coast IPA, featuring bold citrus and pine flavour with a full body that balances the bitterness. It is the first of Candid’s five core beers available in the coming weeks. Also available is a collaboration with their pals at Big Spruce Brewing in Nyanza, Skeptical Vibes. This 4.9% red lager was cold conditioned before receiving a generous dry-hopping with New Zealand’s Motueka, for a bright citrus nose on a crisp and dry base. Available in cans at both participating breweries, as well as online for delivery and shipping from the Big Spruce store. We’ve heard tell of lots more from Candid, and we’ll be sure to share when we can! Their space will feature a large taproom with plenty of room for bubble distancing and events galore. Those in the area should sign up for their Membership to get early access to the news and releases, plus some slick deals when the taproom and retail are open full-time. Congratulations Bryan and team!

Off to Mount Pearl for another new release, this one from Landwash Brewery. Their first bottle-conditioned beer, Saison Da Pearl is reminiscent of when Brewster Christina Coady was heading up the program at Toronto’s Folly Brewing, where Farmhouse beers were the focus. Now they’re bringing that to Da Pearl! The focus is on the yeast, with the pale malt and muted hops taking the backseat, giving rise to notes of pepper, spice, and even a touch of vanilla, thanks to a warm fermentation allowing the yeast to express itself. That yeast also plays double-duty, after finishing the beer fermentation, a dose of sugar just before bottling brings it back to life, and has the yeast naturally carbonating the packaged Saison. Closing your eyes, you may even be transported to a Wallounian farm after a hard day’s work! This 7.0% 500 mL bottle is available exclusively at the brewery’s retail location (for now, it may be available elsewhere if there’s any left in June).

O’Creek Brewing may be most known for their super hazy, super hoppy IPAs (and with good reason!), but sometimes they like to branch out a bit and play with other beer styles. One beer in particular was brewed back in March, and is finally hitting taps any day now. The beer is Doppelbock, and we’re betting you can probably guess the style! That’s right, this one is a Doppelbock, a high alcohol, dark brown, malty Lager that originated in Germany many years ago. O’Creek’s version was brewed with lots of Munich malt as the base, along with Pils, and Carapils, CaraMunich and Chocolate malt thrown in for colour and character. Hopped with Saaz and East Kent Goldings, it was fermented low and slow with Isar Lager yeast from Escarpment Labs, and allowed to lager for weeks longer. Coming in at 7.6% ABV, it’s sweet and malty, with “hints of dark fruits and light toast”, with very low bitterness. It’s currently on deck at CAVOK and The Joyce, so keep your eyes peeled for when it goes on tap!

Wait wait, don’t worry hopheads, O’Creek has you covered as well! Their latest hop bomb is Elevated, a 7.6% ABV DIPA that is bright, hazy, and flavourful. Hopped with Nelson Sauvin, Idaho 7, Mosaic, and Centennial, it’s smelling and tasting exactly as you probably expect – tropical and citrusy, with notes of mango and passion fruit. First kegs of that one will be popping up at The Joyce, Euston Park, and Au Bootlegger (if it’s not on tap already).

Camping season is fast-approaching/here – YMMV! – and Boomstick Brewing has thus been inspired to brew a beer that they feel pairs perfectly with the great outdoors: a Session IPA named Gravel Pit. An easy-drinking-yet-flavourful beer hopped with a large amount of Galaxy, it’s got tropical fruit aromas abound, and at just 4.8% ABV, is a great brew to enjoy during or after a hike, campfire, etc. It’s available right now at the brewery’s West St. location in Corner Brook on tap and in cans, and should already be on NLC shelves by now as well. 

Out Port Rexton Brewing way, they have teamed up with Toporama Prints in nearby English Harbour for a beer and art collaboration. An artist-run screen printing and design shop, Toporama has designed a unique piece that melds perfectly with beer, and limited prints of it will be available in posters, t-shirts, and on glassware, as well as adorning cans of a new beer release. Although we don’t know what it’s called yet, coming out today at noon is a 5.3% combo of sour ale and New England IPA, featuring a blast of mango and peach, and everything tropical, with a moderate acidity and light bitterness. A limited run, it’s available exclusively from their taproom in Port Rexton this weekend (maybe elsewhere in the off chance it’s not all gone!). We think planning a visit out is a super-great idea, as Toporama will be setting up their screen printing gear Sunday afternoon and creating tote bags right in the taproom!

After a super-successful launch earlier in the month, Saint Andrews Brewing is back with another new release this weekend, in celebration of Paddlefest 2021. That’s a Paddlin’ is a kölsch-style lagered ale that has been allow to cellar condition for 3 months, allowing the iconic yeast to do its thing and bring together notes of both lager and ale, on a German Pilsner base with plenty of Czech Saaz to balance. Cracker malt character with some spicy hoppiness, all in a spritzy package. It joins Wharfbound Hazy Pale Ale and Herringbone Pub Ale at the Red Herring Pub, where all three will be pouring this weekend. As with all SABC releases, these are quite small, so be sure to show up early (and often) to avoid disappointment!

Heading north up the Acadian Peninsula, four breweries in North-Eastern New Brunswick have collaborated with their own local mountain biking club. Brewed at host Distillerie Fils du Roy, brewers from Brasseux d’la Cote, Microbrasserie Houblon-Pêcheur, and Brasserie Retro Brewing were brought together by Mountain Bike Atlantic and local bike clubs. Sirène is the brewery’s take on a Vienna Lager, which they are calling a Vienna Acadienne in a nod to the local barley used to make the beer. Sirène is technically a SMaSH beer as it showcases 100% Vienna malt and Saaz hops. The malt comes from the Fils du Roy maltery in Petit-Paquetville and uses barley grown exclusively on the Acadian Peninsula (hence the Vienna Acadienne). The malt lends a copper red colour and a rich malt character, with notes of caramel, that are complemented by a medium hop bitterness that comes in at 20 IBU. With an ABV of 4.5%, Sirène is plenty sessionable to enjoy after a nice mountain bike ride. The beer is named after the collaborating bike club, Sirènes en Cavale, a women’s mountain biking club on the Acadian Peninsula. Cans are available now through the collaborating breweries and look out for more releases in the series in the coming weeks. 

Continuing the beer and biking collaborations theme is Sussex Ale Works in Southeastern New Brunswick, who teamed up with the neighbours at The Outdoor Elements to brew a beer fit for enjoying after (or while) hitting the local trails. LBS Kölsch is clean and refreshing lagered ale that comes in just shy of 5% ABV. The name is a nod to Local Bike Shop, and Outdoor Elements can’t get much more local as it shares a building with Sussex Ale Works. LBS Kölsch is available this weekend at the taproom on Main Street. 

And would you believe we’re not yet done with the brewery and cycling connections in New Brunswick? In Fredericton, Grimross Brewing is releasing Monkey Business, a Session IPA brewed in collaboration with River Valley Cycling, Mountain Bike Atlantic, and NB Brews. Named after a well-known mountain bike trail in the city (well-known to mountain bikers, anyway!), it’s a light and sessionable 4.5% ABV brew, built on a grist of pale malt and rolled oats, with low bitterness (6 IBU) and plenty of hop aroma (Vic Secret, Mosaic, and Idaho 7), designed to be the perfect cap to a hard session on the trails; but best be sure you’re finished your ride, as it’s likely that the first one will quickly lead to another. If this sounds on-brand for you, you’d best get on your (chromoly) horse, as this is a summer seasonal and once it’s gone, it’s gone! 

In other news out of Grimross, they’ve got another new small batch from their Scratch Series hitting the taps today, and it’s a special one for the brewery. It would seem that some extra microbiology has been going on within the walls at the brewery, as they’ve managed to discover a yeast strain unique to their premises. And what’s a brewery going to do when they discover a new yeast in their brewery? They’re going to brew with it, dammit!! SMaSH House is a single-malt and single-hop (well, sorta) beer using pale malt from Shoreline Malting and the Grimross Hop Blend from  Island Hop Company. Fermented with the aforementioned yeast (name and trademark to be determined, no doubt 😉 ), it has a subtle malt presence and notes of citrus and spice all leading to a crisp finish; perfect for all things summer. Check it out at the brewery today when you’re stocking up for the long weekend.

Edmundston’s Brasseurs du Petit-Sault has a new release in their Epic Series this week, chock full of bright and vibrant fruit. Simply named Ale aux Fraises et aux Framboises, the most learned among us recognize that it features strawberry and raspberry on a smooth and velvety, yet slightly tart base. Cans of the 5.2% beer are available at the Brewtique now, with growler fills next week.

Back in Halifax, Unfiltered Brewing is doing their best to lift the lockdown blues for thirsty beer drinkers, courtesy of a brand new release! Positively Shocking is a new SMaSH DIPA featuring Idaho 7 hops, that follows the same technique of Greg Nash’s other beloved SMaSH DIPAs. Look for piney and tropical notes from the hops with a pithy and bitter finish. Cans and fills of the 7.5% DIPA are available today on North Street. 

New Brew from Baccalieu! Hitting their shelf in Bay Roberts today is Hot Spot, a 5.5% Tropical Smoothie Sour, absolutely chock-full of dragonfruit, passion fruit, and pineapple on a tart base. And kicking it up to the next level is a generous dry-hop of citrus darling Mandarina Bavaria. Cans are available today and all weekend at 1 Conception Bay Highway in Bay Roberts, keep your eyes peeled at the better beer retail spots across the Island to snag yours later.

Inception, Trailway’s ode to the Falconer’s Flight hop blend, is making its return this weekend, this time as a 6.5% DDH IPA. Look for lemon-lime citrus notes, subtle notes of pine and a punch of dank hop character. Cans are available now at the taproom and through Trailway’s online store. 

A few weeks ago we teased a new Belgian Saison from Lone Oak Brewing Co. Lupin comes in at 6.5% and features classic Belgian notes of bubblegum, clove and spice. It is now available in bottles at the taproom in Borden Carleton and for island-wide delivery. 

And in another “reminder of a previous beer”, the 2 Crows Czech Pilsner, Letná, has been released to the masses this week. Available at the brewery in cans for retail, curbside, and delivery now, it is also available at Bishop’s Cellar for the same treatment. Joining the 355 mL can is a branded 500 mL mug, tall enough to be able to give it a proper pour with a couple of inches of tight foam to protect the liquid’s refreshing carbonation. Delivery and curbside pre-ordering is the way to go for this and other 2C orders, given the current restrictions.

Spryfield’s latest addition, Serpent Brewing, has a new beer and a virtual event on the go this long weekend. First up is the beer: Days End is a top-fermented, cold conditioned beer in the style and spirit of the city of Köln in Germany (such beers produced there are properly called Kölsch, of course). A perfect beer to cap a long day of work or to sip on a warm summer patio, it comes in at 4.6% and, we’re sure, has a slightly grainy malt backbone, with a slight fruity presence and a balancing bitterness. They’ll be celebrating the release of this one with a Virtual Tasting Event via Facebook Live tomorrow evening at 7 PM (time subject to change, so keep an eye on that event page). Growler fills and crowlers of this one are available, but bottles are still listed as “coming soon.” So make some plans to grab some Days End and/or some of the other Serpent offerings, and plan to hunker down tomorrow evening to share it virtually with other like-minded folks while learning a little from the team about the beers and how they’re made. 

Spring is in the air in Newfoundland. And at the Northern tip of the island, at the end of Highway 430, you’ll find Saint Anthony, home of RagnaRöck Northern Brewing Company. While they’ve been churning out the great beer non-stop since their opening in 2019, they did pause the taproom for the winter to re-configure and add a canning line to the mix. Well, with this unofficially official start to summer, they are looking to welcome folks back in the taproom starting Thursday, May 27. Open Thursday through Saturday from 5 PM til 11 PM (10 PM Thursday), they’ll be pouring a half dozen beers from the taps, plus have a great selection of beers to takeaway in cans. With a summer perfect for domestic/close to home travel, this is the time to get out and see *all* of your home province, so be sure to make all the way North! Located at 223-227 West Street, pop in while exploring L’Anse-Aux-Meadows or Grenfell Museum

And rounding out the news this week is Mirimachi’s New Maritime Beer Company, who are releasing a brand new beer inspired both by a trip to Mount Everest Basecamp by two of the brewery’s owners as well as their experience navigating the difficult waters as a new brewery during this past year’s pandemic craziness. Three Little Birds is named after the Bob Marley song, and if you know it, you’re probably already singing softly to yourself that every little thing gonna be alright. Considered by the brewery to be a New Zealand Pale Ale, owning to the exclusive use of NZ hop varieties Rakau and Motueka, it features aromas and flavors of stone fruit and citrus zest along with some tropical vibes. At 5.5%, it’s pretty light and crushable, and perfect for a carefree summer afternoon on a patio somewhere. Get it now at the brewery, on tap for pints, or to go in growlers or crowlers.

Not a whole lot of events going on in the region, for obvious reasons, and we encourage you to stay home, stay cool, and drink some beer; meanwhile, if you’re an experienced brewer looking for a job in and you’re in the St. John’s area (or willing to go there), check this opportunity out:

Banished Brewing is the brainchild of the folks behind the newly opened and busy as heck Bar Brewdock, in St John’s East Duck area. Banished, however, will be found in a beautiful location in Paradise, and slated to open in 2022. Wanting to start things off running, they are looking to hire an experienced Head Brewer to join and lead the production team. Check out the job posting on their website, and drop them a line if you’re the right person for the job!