Another Friday is upon us in Atlantic Canada, and that means all kinds of news from our region’s breweries about new and returning beers, events, and other things. Right about now we’re wishing we had some beer news from Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing and the eponymously-named Tatamagouche Brewing, because if we did we’d be absolutely leading with it. Along with friend of local beer and also the blog, Truro’s Old Road BBQ, these two breweries have found themselves the target of a pretty disgusting online brigading campaign by Internet trolls. Why is this happening, you might ask? Because these businesses stuck their necks out and cancelled an event that they realized made people in their own communities uncomfortable. We don’t believe there was any malice or ill-will in their original plan. We believe that they were helped to see, however, that lack of malice doesn’t necessarily mean that it wasn’t problematic. And we also believe, all three of us, that they did the right thing in canceling the event. You can find statements from all three businesses on Instagram and Facebook; we recommend that you read all three. And if your response is to vilify or attempt to hurt these businesses, we suggest you take a minute to think about that. If the only “principled stand” you’re willing to take is one that sides with institutions that have proven to be problematic for BIPOC folks, in a societal climate that we hope, thanks to the brave folks speaking out all over the world, is finally seeing attention paid to these deeply entrenched problems, we think that makes a pretty sad statement. We stand with BIPOC people all over our region. We stand with Big Spruce and Tatamagouche and Old Road. We hope that everyone sees better days ahead.
Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing’s brewing staff have got their hands on the KRISPY Kveik yeast from Escarpment Labs, and they’re kicking off a Kveik beer series with Styrbord, what they’re billing as a “hybrid Lager”. Brewed with a blend of Pilsner and Oat malts, the wort was lightly hopped with Bru-1, and fermented with the growing-in-popularity blend of two Kveik strains. While this yeast is often pitched with the wort temp being quite warm, Shipwright tried going slightly cooler than the low-end of the recommended temperature, which resulted in a slightly-longer fermentation time (but really, not that long). After a brief lagering period, they threw in a dry-hop addition of more Bru-1, as well as some Simcoe. The final 4.4% ABV, 5 IBUs beer is very clean, and showing off flavours of honey, light banana, and melon, along with “subtle Farmhouse notes and classic Lager crispness”. You can find it on tap at Shipwright for pints and crowlers; look for future brews with this yeast in the very near future!
Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing is back with another bottled creation today, continuing their exploration into sour beers that take a little more time. Throwin’ Blueberries is a 5.5% ABV Sour beer, featuring more than 100 kilos of locally-picked wild blueberries added to the tune of 200 g/L (that’s a lot!). Starting from a pitched yeast and soured with Lacto in stainless, it was conditioned with the fruit for over two and a half months, developing beyond a simple tart character, incorporating the fruits sugars for another round of activity. After completion, the deep purple beer was allowed to bottle (and keg) condition for an additional four months, naturally carbonating and allowing everything to meld together perfectly. 750 ml bottles are available at the brewery today, but in short supply (and only at the brewery, btw), so if this sounds up your alley, we suggest making a break for the Northside today! And for those fortunate enough to live in the area, you can enjoy pints of that draught (as well as 9 other beers) on their patio this weekend! Their pals from Milda’s Pizza will be onsite at 5 PM, to fill that pizza-shaped hole in your tummy/soul.
Couple of new beers coming to you out of Tusket Falls Brewing recently, aiming to satisfy both the hophead and stout lover that reside deep, deep in your soul (well, ok, maybe not that deep). For hops, they’ve got Buy the Ticket… Take the Ride, an 8% ABV Double IPA full of Citra, Chinook, and Galaxy hops. With a full body, moderate bitterness, and lots of lemon and orange flavours to suit your needs. As for the stout, Against Better Judgment is pretty hefty itself (at 7% ABV), and is tasting creamy, full-bodied, with “a subtle vanilla flavour” thanks to the addition of Madagascar vanilla beans during the conditioning phase. Cans of both beers are available now at the brewery, as well as their online store.
Speaking of DIPAs, Secret Cove Brewing, straight out of Port au Port, NL, have brought back a local favourite DIPA of theirs, Hop A Ryed In My Dory. If we’re reading this right, the beer is brewed with some Rye malt in the grist, and has plenty of late hop additions (looks like they’re keeping the varieties a secret!). Weighing in at 7.6% ABV, the brewery describes the aroma as containing “mango and citrus, with a sweet apricot finish”… but then they’ve mentioned “images of an overloaded Tall Ship filled with Rye Whiskey in its belly”, so yeah, you can see why we were confused before! Grab it on tap and in cans at the brewery today.
And hey, we might as well stay on Newfoundland, since Bannerman is ALSO releasing a DIPA (oh right, it was IPA Day yesterday! It’s all coming together now…), and a brand new beer for them. Cloud City is an 8% ABV brew that was double-dry-hopped with everyone’s favourite (well, one of them, anyway) hop varieties, Galaxy. That equals a trip to Juicy Town, with flavours of “tropical fruit, pineapple, and nectarine”, specifically for this beer. Sounds delicious to us, so we have to recommend that you drop by the brewery to pick some up for the weekend, if you’re in or around St. John’s. Plus you can grab a glass or can of the latest batch of Punch Drunk Love, their kettle sour chock-full of raspberry, pink guava, sweet cherry, and pineapple.
Tidehouse, the tiniest brewery in Halifax, is open today with their latest release, this time pairing up with local flavour-guru Phil Holmans at World Tea House. Using some peach rooibos tea from Phil’s shop, they added it to a lightly-soured ale to create Peachy Fuzzies. 4.5% ABV of tart peachy goodness, kinda like those nickel gummy candies you enjoy(ed)! With an ever-so-subtle hint of tea too (for two?). While today’s release is of only 300 cans (so we suggest getting there today or tomorrow, 2 – 8 PM both days, or until sold out), we understand there are more batches in the works, and new projects with World Tea House coming soon! Tidehouse’s Hibiscus City is also available to take-away in cans today, and maybe even a couple other recent favourites…
Oh St. John’s, what a strange week it’s been! Rather than playing Regatta Roulette on Tuesday night, and hopefully being able to enjoy another bunch of great local beers on the edge of Quidi Vidi Lake, unfortunately this year’s Royal St. John’s Regatta was canceled. Not canceled, however, was Quidi Vidi Brewery’s Crown and Anchor, the beer brewed in celebration of the event. A 3.9% ABV Light Lager, perfect for enjoying throughout the day, so maybe you can toss a few rubber duckies in the bathtub and cheer them on while enjoying a few bottles or cans? 😉 But in all seriousness, while the cancelation of the event was less than ideal, staying physically distant while socially together is most important in these trying times. Available at the brewery and for delivery, through their Hops Shop.
Crown and Anchor joins a whole bevvy of collaborative and partnership beers on the Quidi Vidi virtual shelves, including the latest with downtown’s Fogtown Barber, this time seeing light as a 4.5% ABV Session Ale. Low alcohol, but with plenty of citrus and tropical goodness from Amarillo and El Dorado, it’s sure to keep you looking and feeling fresh! And celebrating (and supporting) St. John’s Pride is their Gayboil, the newest batch of their popular Dayboil, with $0.50 from each can going direct to the event and educational activities. And teaming up with The Outhouse TV crew, they have released the The Outhouse – Homebrew Session Lager, a 4.0% ABV beer available by the case, and with a dozen unique beer labels of all your favourite characters from the series. And if you opt for curbside pickup at the Hop Shop, you have access to a few more of their small batch beers, including Peach Raspberry Sour, Krispy Lager, and Sour IPA #3, which are all available in limited quantity only at the source.
Keep your heads up for a new beer release at Good Robot next Wednesday, when they’ll be launching Marmalade Forest. A 4.1% ABV Berliner Weisse that they’re calling “slightly sour”, they added a hefty dose of yuzu puree. What IS yuzu, you ask? Well, it’s a citrus fruit that originated in China and is a hybrid of a mandarin orange and ichang pipeda. What’s an ichang pipeda? Look, we don’t have time to Google two different things, you’ll just have to look into that one on your own. Sorry. Oh, and yeah, so check out the beer next week!
In Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, on the north side of the Bay of Fundy, Two Islands Brewing has launched a new batch of their Fundy Fog APA that sees a bit of a departure from previous batches: testing the notion of using some Fermentis SafAle S-33 in a New England style (read: hazy) beer. While this is a strain predominantly used for Belgian styles and thus would tend to show some phenolic character (e.g., clove, pepper) it also is a poor flocculator, which can help make for a hazier appearance. Using a bit of this with a more standard strain is an interesting way to achieve more “fog” in the Fundy Fog. You can be the judge of how well the experiment worked by checking out the beer in and around Parrsboro at the Two Islands tap room, BlackRock Bistro, and Wild Caraway, and in Truro at Blunt Bartender, Bistro on Prince, and Frank & Gino’s.
Let’s finish up with some great news for beer and cider fans in Halifax and Saint John.
Uncorked Tours will undoubtedly be familiar to our readers in New Brunswick, known for boosting the signal of the province’s breweries, cider makers, distilleries, and wineries, through tours in Saint John, as well as further afield. They are celebrating big news in that regard this week, with the opening of their Tasting Room in the Saint John City Market. Open 10 – 8 PM daily (except Sundays, and open later during the Thursday Night Market), the tasting room is fully stocked with 8 taps of rotating local beer and cider (current list is available here), as well as wine and spirits from across the province. The knowledgeable staff are there to help you make the perfect taster or choose the right pint to pair with the food you pick up elsewhere in the market (here’s their list). Congratulations to Gilliane and Nathalie, and be sure to pop in to see their setup real soon! Read even more about the Tasting Room in Huddle.
And in Halifax, Bulwark Cider has opened their Cider House at 1518 Dresden Row. Featuring a fully-stocked retail shop with more than 20 different bottled ciders and fruit wines (can also be enjoyed in-house), their taproom will be launching this coming Tuesday with sixteen taps of Bulwark ciders and guest beer collaborations, available to enjoy onsite or to take-away. Coming soon are charcuterie and bar bite options, live music events, and a special private space upstairs. Their patio looks quite inviting as well! Congratulations Bulwark! Open Tuesday – Sunday from 11 AM – 10 PM, and an hour later Thursday through Saturday. Check their FB page for the latest news.
Have plans for next Saturday yet? If so, cancel them!
Hey hey hey, folks, during these COVID times have you missed the excitement (and comfort!) of heading down to Stillwell HQ for tap takeovers by awesome breweries from our region and beyond? We sure have. Well the good news is that it looks like things are getting back into swing. Differently of course (isn’t everything?!), but still swingy. We had the delightful Brasserie Dunham x Coda Ramen deal a couple weeks ago and now, coming up on Saturday, August 15th, we’ll see the return of Newcastle, Maine’s Oxbow Brewing to the wall. Oxbow has been putting out lovely liquids in the farmhouse and eccentric veins since 2011 and are known for their “loud beer from a quiet place.” Now with locations in Portland and Oxford as well, they’re keeping on with the keeping on. They did their first takeover at Stilly in September of 2017 and another mini-takeover last October. This time there will be 10 taps pouring Oxbow’s creations plus (*we think*) some delightful cans and bottles as well. Here’s where the different part comes in: due to social distancing restrictions, you’re going to have to make a reservation telling them how many folks you’re bringing, what time you’d like to come (the event runs noon to midnight), and how long you plan to stay; direct that information (politely!) via email to email@example.com and see what comes back in terms of availability. Also, if that wasn’t enough to entice you, it bears mentioning that there will also be a special food menu from Joe Martin and his team for the event featuring a Coney Island Carnival theme. Hope to see you all there!!
Just a few more things before we unleash you onto the taprooms and patios today!
Boxing Rock’s latest beer is Indigo Blueberry Sour Ale, a 5.4% ABV “mildly tart and fruity” brew that features an addition of fresh blueberries from the Parrsboro region of NS. It should be available at the brewery right now.
Rothesay’s Foghorn Brewing has launched their Sour Series with a dive into a favourite citrus flavours, grapefruit. Featuring a little acidity and a little bitterness and a crisp finish, Grapefruit features plenty of real citrus in the glass, for a refreshing kick. At a quaffable 4.5% ABV, pop by their spot at 47 Clark Road for a pint and/or growler fill this weekend. And a canned version isn’t far off, perfect for toting to the lake or beach!
Heritage Brewing has announced they have a new beer on tap at the brewery, lightly bittered with Amarillo (to 20 IBUs) with a little thrown in at the end of the boil for a bit of tropical citrus aroma, as well. What’s it called? We don’t know! Just head to the taproom and say the ACBB sent you to try a 4.0% ABV new beer, that should work.
Sober Island has a new IPA available on taps and in cans, Wavebreaker. An American IPA with a bit of tangerine in the aroma and flavour, it’s 6.3% and well-balanced. Available at the brewery and for delivery.
Unfiltered has brought back their “Wild Blueberry Sour”, Lifesaver (4.2% ABV); cans and fills at the brewery today.